The tourists who had come to view Westminster Abbey gathered to watch the spectacle as tanks rolled down the street towards the “Supreme Court” building on Parliament Square. There had been no warning of troop movements. The BBC had just gone off air—no one knew why—but otherwise everything was as normal. Soldiers jumped out of the vehicles, armed with machine guns. Something was happening. And there were no media present; just tourists snapping the sight with the cameras on their phones.
A court official ran out, shouting, “you can’t come in; this is illegal!”, and within a few seconds policemen, dozens of them, ran out of the Supreme Court building, blocking the entrance. Major Davies approached them and explained his business, provoking much shouting and arguing the tourists couldn’t quite make out.
Minutes later, the news broke on Sky. The Queen had agreed, at the first meeting of the Privy Council after the election, to suspend habeas corpus and order the arrest of the judges of the “Supreme Court” on grounds of high treason. The BBC had been taken off air, but a similar stand-off was taking place outside Broadcasting House. It was reported that BBC staff were refusing to leave the building, and commanders outside were awaiting political orders on how to proceed.
The news rippled through the crowd, which stood back to allow whatever act or drama was unfolding before their eyes to continue. No one knew if the court officials would stand down, or what action the soldiers would take. Everyone now knew the soldiers had been ordered to arrest all 12 of the “justices of the Supreme Court”, and to gun down anyone who stood in their way. They were to give no quarter.
Major Davies issued his final threat and ran back towards the men. The policemen were standing firm, and so was the court official. What they were doing was treason—revolt against the sovereign. The soldiers took aim, and with a nod from Davies opened fire. The court official collapsed in a bloody mess, murmuring “how dare you?” as he expired. Some of the policemen fell; the others ran; the crowd screamed. But the way had been cleared. Davies tried the door: it was locked. The cowards had locked themselves in.
The glass door would not withstand a direct collision with a tank. The tank glided up the stairs and jolted against the door, which momentarily remained in place, although shattered in pieces as vein-like cracks appeared, before shards of glass fell to the ground. The tank rolled back, and the men ran in the building.
They ran down the corridors of the building, but had difficulty finding the enemy. They searched the building room by room, until at the back of the building on an upper floor, he found them cowering together, a group of court officials and judges dressed in haughty finery.
“You can’t touch us: we are judges”, one of them exclaimed.
“You will come with us, or be gunned down on the spot”, Davies informed them.
“Under what law?”, asked one of the judges.
“By order of Her Majesty the Queen. We will not debate the Common Law with you. You will come, or die now”.
They submitted, all twelve of them. Their fine robes were ripped off—each of them demeaned their apparel, which was meant to signify Royal authority and the majesty of the Law—and they later emerged from the building, cuffed and cowed.
Tom Smith, the new prime minister, had promised a radical restoration of the Law, the law the Queen was required to uphold as a condition of her accession to the throne. He had humiliated the Queen in private consultation as he stressed to her that she was now required to reverse the damage she had allowed to be done over nearly 70 years as monarch. In the end, she had no choice: to refuse to appoint Smith would have required another general election, which she would have lost. Smith had campaigned against our membership of the European Union, the constant ingress of Africans and Asians into our country, the official promotion of multi-culturalism and the anti-racialist hysteria, and the failure of our judges to uphold English Common Law, including the provisions of the Bill of Rights and Magna Carta. The aged Queen could not be sure of winning an election on a platform to maintain bureaucratic rule, in London and Brussels, in defiance of the constitution she had sworn to uphold.
Smith, surrounded by a phalanx of guards, came out into Downing Street, where workmen were busy removing the illegal structures that prevented the public from gaining access to the Queen’s Highway along the street, and gave more details of what was going to happen. There would be no long and drawn-out court case for the traitors of the Supreme Court: the Queen had agreed to appoint a Star Chamber that would handle the case speedily. The sole question to be resolved was whether those judges had declared themselves to be a Supreme body, no longer, as required under the Common Law, a committee of the House of Lords. If the answer to that question was that they had declared themselves to be so, they would each be publicly executed in Parliament Square the following day. Justice must be seen to be done.
Smith gave a deadline of 2pm for the BBC workers to hand over Broadcasting House. The RAF stood ready to bomb the building, he said. He was prepared to do it. A den of traitors, who had used or misused their control of information to pretend that foreign rule, multi-culturalism, bureaucratic hypertrophy and such like were in the public interest, had to be held to account one way or the other. Commissioner Sir Jamil Ahmed of the Metropolitan Police was also being arrested, he said, indicating that he, and all the other police chiefs in the United Kingdom, would be subject to charges of misprision of treason. All of them knew that the entire political class had agreed to support foreign rule and the dispossession of the English people. The law did not permit them not to take action against treason. They were all guilty.
Having delivered a brief explanation of the day’s events, Smith disappeared back inside Number 10. No one knew what would happen next—who else would be arrested or what other buildings would be attacked. For a government to take power—and then take down the Establishment—this was quite unexpected. We knew Smith wanted to withdraw from the EU and was likely to curtail immigration. But no one could have predicted a palace coup on day one of the new administration.
Minutes later, it was reported that troops were surrounding Buckingham Palace. The Queen was inside—the Royal Standard was up—so had they come to defend the Queen or to pose a menace to her? Press commentators argued both sides of this point, but those in the know, with connections in the Constitutional Alliance, which had taken power under Tom Smith, insisted the troops had arrived to prevent the defection of the Queen. She could steal out of the Palace and lead the bureaucratic counterattack. What were the troops’ orders if the Royal Family attempted to leave the Palace? Would the troops open fire on the Monarch herself? No one had clear answers. It felt like the October Revolution in Russia: the CA had come to power peacefully, but was now using force to impose its agenda.
Late morning, the BBC flickered back to life. Broadcasts resumed for a good half an hour, in defiance of the Order in Council, with Charlotte Dimbleby, the latest scion of the media family, known affectionately as “Dimplebottom” among the media elite, for some reason, presenting a frenetic denunciation of the elected government. Everyone must come out against the government, she argued.
“Get to Hyde Park as soon as you can. Hyde Park is the meeting place. If the people are united the government will not dare move against us. Bring whatever you need to defend yourselves”.
The BBC’s rogue broadcast had a link-up with a unit on the ground in the park, and sure enough, people were converging in small groups on the park. The Socialist Workers with their loud hailers were there, but there were more people standing on the sidelines watching what would happen. This was a government prepared to use force, and no one knew how far to push their luck. Every few minutes Charlotte and her studio cut into the live broadcast of Hyde Park with yet more pleas for popular manifestations against the new government.
Then shouting was heard at the rear of the studio, as a group of armed men pushed their way into the studio. They fired on the presenters. Charlotte slumped over the desk, and a clear image was broadcast of blood pouring from her mouth. The cameramen were taken out. And the BBC was off the air again. It was later reported that stormy arguments raged within the BBC on whether to flout the Order in Council, with a radical group gaining control of the airwaves for a time. SAS teams had entered Broadcasting House and BBC facilities in Salford and elsewhere in a bid to prevent the broadcasts, and Charlotte had been gunned down by one of those teams.
Without the BBC, the opposition was in disarray. Sky covered the day’s events, but coverage was restrained: the facts were reported, but no attempt was made to organise popular resistance, lest a military attack on their facilities be mounted too. Finally, the 2pm deadline came and went. Our soldiers were pulled out of the BBC headquarters. A cordon sanitaire was thrown up around the facility, to prevent the workers within from fleeing for their lives. Combat aircraft were heard overhead and within seconds began to strafe the building. The first bomb shattered the windows and was followed by an explosion within. Flames poured out of the windows, with plumes of smoke rising into the heavens, deftly avoided by our airmen. The next bomb and the next found their targets, and soon the building was yellow and black, cloaked in flames, smoke and soot. They came running out of the entrance, but the army was ready for them. All of the workers who sought to leave were machine-gunned down—live on Sky TV. Smith intended the revolution to be televised, as a warning to anyone seeking to resist. The Salford workers gave themselves up, surrendering their facilities, and escaping, however unjustly, with their lives.
By late afternoon all the police chiefs were in custody. More and more reports emerged of more junior judges being arrested. In his public comments, Smith had only mentioned the justices of the Supreme Court, but CA sources told Sky that the entire judiciary would now be held to account. They had enforced European legislation over that passed by our Westminster Parliament, justified by their interpretation of the flagrantly unlawful European Communities Bill 1972, which the Queen had, illegally, purported to sign into law in an act that made King John’s handing over of England to Pope Innocent III a minor act of Royal perjury in comparison. The numbers being arrested continued to climb, but it seemed clear that some police constabularies were refusing to take part in the raids on homes of the members of the judiciary, despite government assurances that police officers with ranks lower than Assistant Commissioner would not be held accountable for political crimes. It would take a while to get full control of the machinery of state, a necessary consequence of a full-fronted attack on the Establishment.
The magistrates were easier to deal with. It seemed these were not going to be executed. The gallows would never be out of operation if all the traitors were hanged, and so some kind of line had to be drawn. It was announced on Sky that magistrates who had colluded in the administration of unlawful imposts such as the Council Tax—in other words, all of the magistrates, as they had all agreed to enforce “statutes” that flouted the Common Law’s prohibition of personal taxation established ever since the Peasants’ Revolt—would be subject to large fines provided they handed themselves in to the nearest police station, and would thereby not forfeit their lives. A similar concession was available for council officials who had levied a range of “fines”, in violation of the Bill of Rights. They handed themselves in in such large numbers there was no room to sit down in police jails.
The government hadn’t yet announced what was to happen to senior civil servants, including those at the Revenue and Customs who had also claimed an extra-judicial right to levy fines. This was partly for fear of a collapse of the entire machinery of Whitehall. Smith was going to deal with the senior civil servants over the next few days. What counted for now was to gain physical control of London. MPs and Lords were another group of potential targets, but once again Smith had delayed an accounting with them until later in the week. Ultimately, everyone who was anyone in the British state was a traitor, but you couldn’t get them all. It was necessary, however, to get enough of them to instil fear in the rest and thus extract compliance from what remained of the state machinery.
The crowd in Hyde Park marched around, yelling slogans, and tried to move into Green Park and thus towards the Palace, but were thwarted by the troops. Penned into the park, with insufficient toilet facilities and growing weary of standing around and arguing with each other, they started to drift home. It looked by the end of the day as if Smith was basically in control. He had removed the organs of propaganda, and seized some of the key members of the Establishment. Most importantly, he had most of the army’s top brass on side, assisted by the consideration that he was a constitutionally elected head of government with the notional support of the Queen and the Privy Council on his side. He was starting to wonder what to do next. He knew he needed to act fast, as the Establishment was unlikely to go down without a fight.
At 10pm, as the new Cabinet met for the first time, news was received, by text message, that an unauthorised gathering of troops had been spotted in Horseguards Parade. This information had not been relayed by the Cabinet Secretary or the other members of the civil service in the Cabinet Office, who feigned ignorance. But thousands of men with automatic weapons and a few tanks between them had now assembled, close enough for an assault on Downing Street. This was mutiny and this was treason—and Smith knew instinctively that Sir Jocelyn Neville, the Cabinet Secretary, was not as ignorant as he made out to be. A brief call to the Palace established that the Queen had not authorised the gathering of troops, or was not admitting to having done so.
Tanks were moved in place to take on the rebels, and the media got ready for a pitched battle on Horseguards. Negotiators moved in defuse the situation. Floodlights lit up the area, and leaflets were dropped by helicopter telling the men gathered there what they were doing was treason. As the negotiations wore on, Crown forces thickened in numbers, to the point where the rebellion was seen to have failed. The commanders of the rebel force handed themselves over, and were executed on the spot, in front of the cameras on Horseguards Parade, without the luxury of a court martial. The rest of the men were arrested, but assured their lives would be spared.
By midnight, the rebellion was over. Sir Jocelyn was taken into “protective custody”—a ruse state officials like himself had often used to justify unlawful imprisonment of political dissidents. The Cabinet Office was emptied of civil servants for the duration of the night, and trusted security personnel brought in to sweep the building for eavesbugging devices and to examine the email boxes of all Cabinet Office personnel. Smith decided that they could not rely on existing Cabinet Office staff, who were likely to be in collusion with rebel elements. All of the senior officials were to be prevented from turning up for work in the morning, with their salaries and pensions cancelled. The failure of the rebellion was a good sign. A window of opportunity had been created to build a free state. It could only be built by intimidating and cashiering the senior personnel of the previous regime.
In the morning, the Star Chamber met. No one knew where the Star Chamber was meant to meet, as the Star Chamber had been abolished after the Civil War, but Smith decided to hold the trial of the judges in Westminster Hall. As no plea of mitigation would be accepted, all that had to be established was whether the justices of the Supreme Court had claimed to be a Supreme Court. The judges of the Star Chamber were handpicked; the verdict was never in doubt and the trial took 15 minutes, all told.
Immediately afterwards, the judges were led in chains into Parliament Square, where the gallows had been erected, waiting for them. And, one by one, they were led up on to the platform, submitted their heads to the noose and a head covering and took their final leap. It could not have been done any other way, or else the judiciary would have frustrated all attempts at reform. The final execution of the junior judges would take weeks, but the machinery was now in motion.
Smith responded to the news of the cashiering of the judges of the Supreme Court with a statement before the cameras in Downing Street:
“I have just received a message from an official of the Star Chamber. It reads, ‘be pleased to inform Her Majesty that the judicial conspiracy against the law has been quelled’”.
In the days that followed, MPs and peers who had supported the bureaucratic regime were arrested too, a development that had been expected, although in some quarters it had been hoped that politicians would be spared in the interests of “toleration” and democracy. Smith knew that such limp-wristed considerations would defeat the revolution he was putting in place. We needed a new Establishment, and the best way to get it was to hang the old one.
The Cabinet meeting resolved that the revolutionary phase of government—a nasty, but necessary, business—had to be got over with as quickly as possible. An amnesty for traitors would be announced at the end of the administration’s first month in office; all the executions under way had to be completed by then. Already the majority of the judges had been executed, together with the police chiefs and leading politicians who supported our subjection to a foreign bureaucracy and our dispossession from our homeland. The most senior personnel in the Revenue and Customs had been seized, and were expected to dance a trap door jig along with the other traitors and collaborators, and the top two or three ranks of officials across Whitehall had been dismissed.
Violence was a manly solution: the idea that in a free society violence should never be used against the opponents of society was recognised by the CA as arrant nonsense—this was our only chance at power and we must not be too effete to use it. When under attack, a free people give short shrift to their foes, and thus gain the right to rebuild society without compromising with the former elite. We didn’t have time to work slowly, marching, or crawling at a snail’s pace, through the institutions of society, hoping that we could achieve the social mass to effect a revolution before English people were reduced to a permanent minority in society, never again able to dominate the state.
Such Cabinet discussions were more focused now that the Cabinet Secretary was prevented from attending. Alex Nicholls has been brought in to run the Cabinet Office in Sir Jocelyn’s place, but, in any case, why should bureaucrats be allowed to attend and manipulate policy discussions? Only brief notes were taken, leaving officials none the wiser as to the real content of the discussions. True enough, most of the staff of the Cabinet Office had been replaced, but Smith decided that there was altogether too much recording of policy discussions, which could fall into the wrong hands.
After the meeting, he took a call from President LeShaun Jackson—why these Negroes insisted on such names was beyond him—and Smith jumped as he noticed a staffer, too junior to be thought worth replacing, picking up the phone on the opposite side of the room.
“What the hell do you think you are doing?”, he thundered.
“I’m taking notes on the phone call. It’s my job”.
“No. Get this right. Being prime minister is my job. Get off the line: I want a private conversation with President Jackson. Haven’t you got filing to do?”
“LeShaun, sorry for the interruption! Your southern accent reminds me of a land of cotton…”
“Well, cotton on to this, Tom. Ambassador Houston has given us the lowdown on what you’re up to. We take a very dim view of the extraordinary events in the United Kingdom. If you value our transatlantic alliance at all, I suggest you change course”.
“LeShaun, we are always open to suggestions, but this is our country, and we will run it as we see fit. Don’t forget that English Common Law is the basis of the US Constitution too. Maybe if you had impeached your judges for overstepping their authority, the freedom and liberty the United States was founded to preserve would still flourish”.
“Don’t give me that constitution crap. There’d still be segregation in the South if the judges hadn’t used their authority to nudge society in a progressive direction…”
“And no doubt your violent crime figures would be much lower too! A free society cannot last long where society is divided along cultural lines—this was clear to the US Founding Fathers too, and was explained at length by the father of English liberty, John Stuart Mill…”
“You mean, segregation should have continued?” He was working himself up into a conniption of hysterical outrage.
“No. I mean we were foolish to attempt to replicate the social problems of America. You can forget your attempts to foist multi-culturalism on the UK from now on, LeShaun. That’s over. Done with. The people who are already here in our country will have to fit in with us. We cannot allow our domestic policy to be subject to international sniping—we will decide it for ourselves. The best I can do for you is to reaffirm that the UK will not oppose key interests of the United States. Your base in Fylingdales is secure, barring a complete rupture between the governments”.
“If that is your response, we will have to withdraw our ambassador for discussions. If reports are true that you plan to leave the European Union and end immigration, then you will find Uncle Sam a hostile foe. You need to reconsider immediately, or face sanctions.”
“LeShaun, LeShaun, I’m starting to realise that the rise of China and Russia has its good points. You cannot throw your weight about like you did in the Cold War. We will find other allies, but basically, other than international trade, we don’t seek anything else from any other country. We are not interested in telling you how to govern America, and don’t have a problem with China or Russia…”
“What about our joint mission in Burma? What is the purpose of our occupation of that country if you support the Chinese?”
“LeShaun, I did not say we supported the Chinese, but as far as Burma is concerned, you’re on your own there. Our troops are being withdrawn—we decided this in Cabinet today. I suggest you withdraw from Burma too, concentrate on the US and stop trying to manipulate other countries. As for Ambassador Houston, by all means withdraw him. We were going to declare him persona non grata anyway, for his absurd pronouncements on UK policy on immigration. Don’t bother appointing a replacement if the new ambassador is not prepared to behave in line with diplomatic norms. We can do without the ambassadorial appointments and state visits”.
The following day, the news channels were all over the announcement that Britain was being expelled from NATO. We were being isolated. The European Union announced that we had become “the new Belarus”, but had not yet decided whether to let us leave or to expel us. Smith argued to his colleagues that if the most unpleasant stage of the seizure of power was completed by the end of the month, all this talk of sanctions would die down. Belarus will suit us just fine, as long as we can still trade with the world.
It wasn’t clear what Jackson would do, or the EU, but the government turned to domestic matters. Days after the seizure of power, the lower strata of the state apparatus were, by and large, implementing the orders handed down to them. In Whitehall itself, the middle-ranking officials had been promoted, without pay rises, and were managing to keep things ticking over. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office; the Department for Education; the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; the Department for Communities and Local Government; the Department for Culture, Media and Sport; the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; the Department for International Development; and the Department of Energy and Climate Change had all been closed down, and those civil servants who retained their jobs were now panicking lest a similar fate meet them too.
It had been decided that the few quangos that remained were to be brought properly into government as departmental bodies—in order that they be accountable to Parliament through ministers’ questions—with the principle being that total spending on quangos had to be cut by 90% within a fortnight. The Commission for Equalities had been shut down the day before, along with the entire apparatus of employment tribunals and their respective appeal bodies. A rather lame fax from the Potato Marketing Board lay on Smith’s desk, trying to argue that fish and chips were so central to our culture that some regulation of potatoes remained necessary.
Spending programmes were being abandoned, but the Palace was proving obstructive on the cancellation of public-sector pensions. A large reduction in personal taxation could not feasibly be pushed through Parliament in the following week’s budget unless key spending items, including the fraudulent public-sector pension schemes, were identified for elimination. Smith jotted down a few points on his handheld computer to make to the Queen the following day in advance of the meeting of the Privy Council. He intended to secure the passage of an Order in Council denying access to benefits to any of the redundant state officials, pending proper legislation to the same effect in Parliament.
Suddenly, a special adviser ran into the room, with a remote control in his hand, and switched on the television screen against the wall. Smith felt vaguely irritated at such intrusions—was he not the prime minister? couldn’t his minions even knock before entering?—but he quickly realised the significance of the programme. The cameras were focused on James Arbuthnot, former director of the Revenue and Customs, blubbering as was dragged into view in Parliament Square. This was going to be great television! On the one hand, there was the danger of being seen to be cruel to political opponents, but on the other hand it was an advantage too: these people had to be morally destroyed as well as executed. Arbuthnot was wailing something like, “but we were told we could fine people—the judges had agreed it! It was all in the emails from the Supreme Court”. The more he yelled, the more he proved his guilt. As if the judges had any right to decide such a thing! Smith leant back and savoured the moment he had always longed for—justice was being done! The wretch didn’t even have the dignity to compose himself for the scaffolds! Moments later, he was suspended from a rope, quivered a while as if holding on to every precious moment of life, and then his body went limp.
Suddenly, Smith’s attention was distracted by the appearance of a red box in his lap, containing final details of the budget for his approval. Yes, everything had to be done quickly before the old elite could organise, and that required cutting off their funding and their perks. Council tax—gone! Plans for a levy on freeholders—freeriders on the back of social activity, which boosted their land values—were still somewhat rudimentary, but the unlawful tax on all residents, whether landowners or not, had to go immediately, with all arrears cancelled. The TV licence, or hypothecated BBC tax, hadn’t been collected since the strafing of Broadcasting House, but it was being officially retired too. Maybe the Queen would like to come on Sky and explain why she thought every one of her subjects should be forced to subscribe to seditious propaganda?
Some of the larger taxes would have to be withdrawn in stages, but Smith had decided to get rid of National Insurance in one fell swoop. The Cabinet discussion had been intense. Some argued that people should be forced to pay a similar amount of money into mandatory pension funds, but the long-term locking up of savings was not ideal either, and it was decided that people should spend their money as they wished—but under the clear warning that the pensions jamboree was coming to an end. If you didn’t save, you could ask your children to support you or you could turn to charity: those would be your choices. The Cabinet had finally decided to end universal benefits of all types, including pensions: a meagre welfare payment would be available to indigent retired people, but it would be limited to people of British ancestry, would not be uprated ever again in line with inflation, and would eventually be replaced by a much smaller block grant to the parishes of the Established Church to hand out in the form of charitable donations to parishioners they knew to be deserving. The elimination of employers’ NI contributions and the immediate end of “employment rights” would encourage job creation. Around one-quarter of the state would have to be closed down to finance the abolition of NI.
Capital gains tax and inheritance tax were also being abolished. As most property was held in the form of land, the planned land value assessment would shift some of the burden of revenue-raising on to landowners to replace inheritance tax and council tax, but this could not be done in a week. In any case, legacies held as cash or investments, and not in the form of landed property, would never be taxed again. Finally, there was the absurd income tax. A large reduction was pencilled in for the following year, when healthcare and education would be privatised, but the new systems had to be put in place, and it had been decided that the temporary retention of an income tax as an emergency measure could be reconciled with the Common Law, provided that large reductions were being implemented every year, with the whole charade eliminated well within the decade. The bill also made it a criminal offence for any UK revenue-raising agency to share information with other jurisdictions on taxes levied on economic activity wholly engaged in in Britain. The US was unlikely to approve, but their extraterritorial taxation of US citizens abroad had become an affront that could not longer be tolerated.
Smith glanced at the text of bills withdrawing from the EU and preventing all immigration, with small exceptions for up to 1,000 genuinely highly skilled workers. A larger exception allowed free immigration of people of wholly British ancestry, with Australians, Rhodesians, Canadians and others expected to benefit. This pool of talent was wide enough, he thought, without fishing for labour in hostile lands. No announcement had yet been made about the re-registration of the entire citizenry whereby only people of English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish ancestry would be accepted for the new-style passports. This was absolutely essential to prevent the political process from being manipulated by outsiders and as part of the radical plan to reserve stripped down public-sector employment and welfare benefits for native Britons alone. So many traitors on the opposition benches in both Houses of Parliament had been arrested, there was little likelihood that these bills would attract much opposition. The Queen—an insubstantial figure in her late 90s—was likely to give in on all of this, but Smith was angered by the coterie of effete courtiers who claimed to represent the Queen’s wishes. Last week’s meeting with the Queen had been attended by three other people. He decided that he must deal with the Queen alone the following day.
He arrived at the Palace in the morning, flanked by bodyguards provided by the Russian embassy. He didn’t trust MI5, and his secret plans to forge an alliance with Moscow to replace the axis with a Latino/black America had gone down well with President Ivanov. From now on, he had bodyguards he could trust, and a small praetorian guard of handsome Slavic soldiers in civvies was being installed around Downing Street. He was driven in through the front gates of the Palace and then around the back, and walked up the Palace stairs admiring the portraits of the kings—if only Elizabeth had defended the constitution like George III would have done, he thought. Alas, it was all unpicked decades ago, and it would be difficult to pin the responsibility on an ageing, albeit sprightly, woman.
He was shown in, and made a half-hearted bow to a woman he believed had colluded in our national dispossession. They were there, next to her—Dame Janet Thirles and Sir Nicholas Tomlinson—the guardians of the monarch, so to speak.
“Your Majesty, I wish to hold our meeting in private”.
“Why, Mr Smith, Janet and Nick are my constitutional advisers. They will be present, particularly as you are planning thorough-going constitutional change”.
“Ma’am, they did not take the Coronation Oath with you. As member and governor of the Established Church, you cannot contract out your duty to keep your oath. If you fail to uphold the Common Law, you will be the one guilty of perjury—not them!”
“Mr Smith, this is an impertinence! I am unaccustomed to being spoken to in this way…”
“That may be so, Ma’am, but after seventy years on the throne, you are the constitutional expert, and you need no advisers. My bodyguards will attend at a distance, and your advisers may follow at a similar remove. I wish to speak with you, alone”.
They walked down the stairs and into the kitchens and picked up the corgis, and strolled out into the gardens. On reflection, it was a good idea to have some attendants on hand, far enough not to influence the conversation, just in case the ageing Queen had a fall.
“I want you remember, Mr Smith, that I am your Sovereign, and I will consider the merits of the Royal Assent in the case of each piece of legislation you advance”.
“Well, I am more than respectful of the symbolic role of the monarchy, Ma’am, as it represents the continuity of our nation from the days it was first forged by the House of Wessex. But Dieu et mon droit indicates that royal power flows from the religious ceremony of the Coronation, and the Oath that was taken then …”
“ I am aware of your rude remarks in the press claiming that I have not kept the Oath. As I explained to you last time we met, and I do not wish to go over this point every time we meet, I am obliged to follow my prime ministers’ advice, and my decisions can only be seen in that light”.
“In that case, Ma’am, you will support my legislative programme, just the same as you supported that of my predecessors. But the difference is that my programme aims to restore the constitution that has been overturned since 1952. The advice you received from Wilson, Heath, Blair, Cameron and the others was not lawful: it amounted to requiring you to violate your Oath.”
“So my mother claimed—”
“Your Majesty, the interests of the monarchy, included the Crown Estate and the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall will not be touched…”
“I was going to get to that—”
Smith thought as much. It came down to pounds, shillings and pence with the Windsor firm.
“… but embezzlement by public-sector officials has to stop, and this will be the main item on the agenda of the Privy Council today”.
“I see. The Royal estate is safe, but the civil servants are to thrown to the wolves? And this fuss about immigration—how can you expect me to give my assent to that?”
“Well, this is our country, Ma’am, and your governments should never have encouraged all and sundry to flock to our shores. The effects in terms of crime have been truly dreadful—”
“But there will be riots if you end the preferences and re-establish the primacy of English culture…”
“… yes, possibly so, but that is what the army is for: to defeat the enemies of our nation. Nothing will be done without warning, but it is imperative that it be understood by all that our domestic policy is not subject to a veto by immigrants or by their descendants. It is no different in their countries. As you know, Ma’am, Major Davies is a long-standing member of the CA, and thousands of soldiers have already pledged to defend the country against internal threats, if necessary. The alternative would be civil war, I can assure you”.
“You browbeat me into putting into effect a policy I would not voluntarily support. Is it truly necessary to maintain a constant guard around the Palace?”
“Your Majesty, let me put it this way. I hope there is no civil war, but we will not lose through being unprepared. We expect you to favour our legislative programme, as all the kings and queens before you would have done”.
Later in the day, it was announced that the sacked civil servants were on their own: there would be no welfare for them, and their only option was to quickly seek alternative employment. Smith assumed that even quite senior people would not all find positions immediately, and that they would find themselves too busy securing a livelihood to conspire effectively against Her Majesty’s government.
It was the first State Opening of Parliament guarded by Russian soldiers. They had to let the Queen out of the Palace. She was given a two-paragraph speech to read in view of her age, and there was no point in trying to humiliate her more than necessary by including too much verbiage implying personal support for the revolution in progress. Smith turned up in full white-tie dress, as befitted a State occasion, and let it be known the CA ministers were not to slum it in business suits. He looked round at the so-called lords, and mused on how most of them would soon be gone. Who on earth were they? Politicians and hangers-on, in the main—not at all the descendants of the companions of the Conqueror. From now on, there would be no more life peers, and hereditary peerages would only be recommended to statesmen with the money and class to join the aristocracy. If the statesman had not built the wealth to buy or erect his own stately home, then he would not be enrolled in the Upper House.
The following day, during the debate on the Queen’s Speech, the government’s plans were unveiled to a largely supportive Commons. The Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties had been proscribed as illegal organisations, and so, apart from Ulster Unionists and a handful of others, there was no meaningful opposition. The CA backbenchers cheered as Smith outlined plans for an immediate restoration of the Common Law. There would be no fines handed down by councils or the Revenue and Customs: councils would have to make do on their block grants until alternative arrangements were put in place—they could save money by sacking entire finance departments that hitherto busied themselves in the criminal office of demanding money with menaces—and, while income tax would be withdrawn over several years, non-PAYE payers were to being made exempt overnight. This was in order to foster self-employment and in recognition of the fact that only the courts could hand down fines, and in the absence of a PAYE system for the self-employed it was not going to be possible to enforce collections. Each tax that was being abolished was greeted with loud approval.
All those departments and quangos were being closed down, but the likely impact on frontline services was likely to be zero, as most of them didn’t do anything. Smith acknowledged that local government faced cuts, but the legislation would compel councils to require care home residents to sell their properties or seek family assistance if necessary. There was no extra money available, and so the largest element of local expenditure would have to bear the brunt of a savage cut. Family responsibility must replace state programmes. Daughters-in-law must, once again, accustom themselves to caring for their husbands’ ageing mothers—this had to happen as a matter of course, as it had over countless centuries.
The exit from the EU would save billions, and food was going to be cheaper now crazy European agricultural and fisheries policies had been deleted. Of course, our fishing grounds would be defended by the Royal Navy—Spanish boats would be blown out of the water. This nation of lovers of fish and chips was going to see its coastal waters teem with cod once again!
Jim Robinson, member for Antrim North, interrupted the prime minister. Would soldiers’ pay and perks be cut? How would this affect Northern Ireland? Smith assured him that the only group of public-sector workers who would see their perks protected were soldiers—soldiers in uniform, mind you, and not the scrounging officials of the Ministry of Defence. For once thing, they might be called upon to defend the government, and plans to scrap the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland also underlined the important of generosity to servicemen.