In this version of the world, the counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley and the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell became disgruntled and declared UDI from the UK in 1995. Part of Wales and Shropshire then joined what would be later known as The Federal Republic of Greater Herefordshire and Worcestershire (AKA- Herefordshire and Worcestershire, Mercia, The Federation of Mercia-Morgannwg or The Federal Republic)
Historical point of divergenceEdit
In this version of the world, the counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley and the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell became disgruntled and declared UDI from the UK in 1995.
There were 22 major turning points trough out their history which don't go as in our realty.
- A large mass of Carboniferous and Upper Carboniferous era trees grew in a valley, which was later to be home to Worcester several billion years later. They died, rotted and became anthracite coal.
- Josiah Steven Ball opened a minor coal mine in 1820 by the then town of Worcester.
- Worcester became rather politically left wing after about 1900 and saw its population grow by about 15%-20% more than it our time line.
- Angry citizens from Blaenavon handed a petition to the government condemning the closure of Blaenavon (Low Level) Railway Station in 1962.
- The M6 motorway came around Stafford in 1962 and connected with the M1 motorway in 1971, giving the town vastly improved communications.
- An even poor than government response to the Aberfan accident of the 21st of October, 1966.
- Tipton 5 ways station and Dudley Station are closes in 1967. The latter soon becomes a Frieghtliner depot.
- The Hereford bull that was led down past (our world’s) Whitehall on 6 April 1972, as part of a protest, in which a petition handed in at 10 Downing Street calling for the preservation of Herefordshire, died of a heart attack as the petition was handed over (in their world).
- The long-awaited M54 motorway, shadowing the ancient Watling Street, opened in 1983, thus greatly improving regional links.
- Josiah's pit was closed in the run up to the 1984-85 miners’ strike (which ran pretty much was the same as in our reality). The Welsh Valleys were devastated as in reality, but never forgave the powers that be in this time line.
- The station master at Hagley station was sacked on May 7th 1985, for officially complaining about the BR 3 letter station code reading "HAG". His counterpart at Sandwell and Dudley then resigned in disgust at both the sacking of the Hagley station master and Sandwell and Dudley's BR 3 letter station code reading "SAD"!
- As nearly all the south Welsh pits and Cannock Chase's closed in 1986, heavy rioting hit- Tonypandy, Brynmawr, Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tudful), Hirwaun, Aberdare, Aberthaw, Abercynon , Blaenavon, Caerphilly, Rhondda , Blaenau Gwent , Rhymney, Monmouth, Abergavenny (Welsh: Y-Fenny) and Cwmbrân. 1 policeman and 6 rioters were wounded in the riots.
- A local worker tried to challenge the 1989 closure of the Dudley Freightliner Terminal, which was a major local employer, in the high court, with the terminal finally closing in September 1989.
- The dreaded Poll Tax was tried out in Worcestershire, The Metropolitan Borough of Dudley and Herefordshire (not Scotland, as in our world) from the start of the 1989/90 fiscal year. due to concerns of a voter backlash, a year before the rest of the UK.
- A statue dedicated to the local Composer Sir Edward Elgar was destroyed in the 1990 Worcester Poll Tax Riot, 6 weeks after the notorious London Poll Tax Riot of our reality.
- The last working coal mine on Cannock Chase, Lea Hall Colliery in Rugeley, closed in 1990 and a major riot occurred in which miners injured 2 local policemen were injured. Coal from the mine was taken directly by conveyor belt to power the adjacent Rugeley Power Station
- The national abolition of the Community Charge was announced on 21 March 1991.
- Frieght trains still passed through the site of the Freightliner terminal until the Wednesbury to Round Oak section of the South Staffordshire Line closed in 1993. Taxation legislation had been passed replacing Community Charge with the Council Tax from the start of the 1993/94 financial year.
- The alternate version of the UK’s The Guardian newspaper had a field day in the October 1994 when it alleged that London's most successful parliamentary lobbyist Ian Greer of Ian Greer Associates illegally paid 2 Conservative Members of Parliament to tank parliamentary questions, and other tasks for Mohamed Al-Fayed. On April 10, 1995, The Guardian then report on Timothy Aitken's covert dealings with leading Saudis. The ATL version of the 1994-1996 Neil Hammitlon v. Mohamed Al-Fayed's cash for questions' scandal had also (wrongfully) embroiled (in their reality) the Militant Labour MP for Worcester Josiah Colliery District scandals had also (wrongly) embroiled (in their reality) the Militant Labour MP for Worcester Josiah Colliery District, Bronwyn Annette Hicks, after she had been falsely accused, by (in their reality) the right wing Conservative MP for Worcester Newfields, Steven Ian Brooks, of taking cash for questions on behalf of the Ford Motor Company.
- A leading Worcestershire CoE priest, publican and primary school teacher were jailed in Winston Green Prison during late 1994, for spending the last 3 years touching up local kids.
- ATL unemployment did reach an all-time high of 85% in the past industrial Blaenavon (Welsh: Blaenafon) during mid-1995.
- Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Dudley and Cannock Chase councils symbolically declared UDI on August 1st, 1995, with Sandwell and Breconshire councils joining in a day later. It was planned as a bit of a PR stunt, aimed at highlighting their plight, but when became ugly in South Wales and Cannock Chase, it accidently turned it in to so much more!...
Independence to 1997Edit
The ATL version of the UK's The Guardian newspaper had a field the October 1994 when day in alleged that London's most successful parliamentary lobbyist Ian Greer of Ian Greer Associates illegally paid Conservative Members of Parliament to tank parliamentary questions, and other tasks for Mohamed Al-Fayed. On, 10 April 1995 The Guardian then report on Timothy Aitken's covert dealings with leading Saudis. Both scandals had also (wrongly) embroiled (in their reality) the Militant Labour MP for Worcester Josiah Colliery District, Bronwyn Annette Hicks, after she had been falsely accused, by (in their reality) the right wing Conservative MP for Worcester Newfields, Steven Ian Brooks, of taking cash for questions on behalf of the Ford Motor Company.
Many job and pay riots also devastated Abertillery, Ebbw Vale, Cwmbrân and Torfaen happened during early and mid 1995. As this happened many turned to the former trades unions (most were banned after the NUM coal miners' ATL strike of the 1980's) and the Anglican Church for help.
After much acrimony and debate Hereford and Worcester council voted on declaring a symbolic week long declaration of UDI starting on August 1st, 1995. Jobs, taxation, changing the 3 letter BR Station Codes and restoring their respective counties were the hot topics of debate thereafter. They knew the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley agreed with them and would soon join in and that the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell was sure to follow. The Hereford Times and Dudley News had been independently promoting such a protest for the last year or so.
Once it was declared the people partied in the streets and Hagley’s BR Station Code was unofficially changed by the rebels from HAG to HGY.
The next day Sandwell joined the rebellion with a unanimous council vote. That night the Croatian ambassador offered his support, shortly followed by his Albanian counterpart. President Franjo Tuđman of Croatia recognized the Federal Republic by a presidential decree on the 3rd of August, which was supported by a parliamentary vote 2 days later. The situation was further complicated when the ambassador from the Republic of Krakozhia chose to recognise the rebel regime. There was also a reported outbreak of unrelated left wing riots in Blaenavon and Torfaen. Pieter Smith was concerned that the long term militancy at the Welsh pitheads and recent rioting in Rugeley was going to ruin everything. Later in the day Staffordshire Police and Rugeley miners then did battel outside the local power station killing a riotting miner and badly ingering 3 cops. Power supplys were also disruped after some recless roiters boroght down a local 33,000 volt power line.
The 'Rebel President', Worcester councillor Pieter Smith, told the ambassador that it was only a week symbolic PR stunt, but neither the Croats, Krakozhians, or Albanians believed him since they thought the Federal Republic was being bullied by the UK in to folding up. The UK’s government in Whitehall did not believe the 'rebels' either and the Home sectary (interior minister) had outlawed the 'Federal Republic' within 3 days, ordering in the police with army back up if need be.
The parish councils southern part of South Staffordshire Council around Seisdon and Codsall voted for out on August 3rd, 1995 and the day long riot in Birmingham’s southern suburbs ended as a popular rising took place in Edgbaston, Longbridge, Northfield and King's Norton on August 5th, 1995. As this took place the West Midlands, part of West Mercia, South Wales, Duffyd-Powys, Warwickshire and Staffordshire police tried to quell the riots, but control was lost. The rebels had got a lot more than they had bargained for as the UDI seemed to become more real life than PR stunt with every passing hour. The Conservative-Ulster Unionist-SDLP coalition government in Westminster was reportedly "in utter chaos" and "permanently on panic mode", according to a report by the ATL version of the UK's OTL The Times newspaper the following day.
This became more so after what would later be called "The Tipton incident" the on August 8th and the subsequent resignation of the UK's Deputy PM, Health, Education and Energy ministers after the (in their time line, not ours) Home sectary (interior minister), Defence minister, Chancellor (finance minister), culture and the Trade minister declared martial law with out the PM's or the Queen's consent. The governing Conservative party unexpectedly imploded the next week after a Labour lead no confidence vote and 2 censure motions, supported by the SDLP and SNP. As this happened various political right wingers took it over, with the (ATL) MP for Chalcombe and Cropready, Sir Pieter Ian Linkletter, becoming the new P.M. 3 days later, as various political right wingers took it over. They and their kind formed short lived 'National Presidium'.
Indeed, it's resultant effects were all over the front pages Northern Echo and Glasgow Herald for the most of the following month, alongside the formation of supposed ‘People’s Soviet of Sunderland’, 2 days later. The well-known local agitator and NUS member and leader of the ‘People’s Soviet of Sunderland’ wound terminate the symbolic territory after 3 days. Every one saw them as what they were, opportunist local students and ex-trades unionists trying to take advantage of the situation both for personal gain and to help publicise their own local problems.
The illigal 'National Presidium' would later arrest both the PM and the aviation minister, who sought a peaceful solution to the crisis. In time, Democracy would soon return to the UK after the protests of early 1997 and thus the situation would finally ease with the Federal Republic after the creation of The Gloucestershire Corridor.
The next 17 months saw a brief struggle of independence, starting at the The battle of King's Norton. The reluctant separatists knew it was the only way left open to them. As well as this both the rebels and the UK government sought to crush the localized 9 month long rebellion by the Smethwick street-thug come 'warlord' "Hoodlum Johnny" (he was only ever identified by hi street name and his real name is still unknown).
As the year closed, a few more places like Ludlow in Shropshire, would join forces with the rebels' free-state. The defeat of "Hoodlum Johnny" in the April of would finally bring an end to the fighting.
The defeat of "Hoodlum Johnny" in the April of 1996 at the The battle of Smethwick Galton Bridge railway station lead to Winson Green returning to UK rule and Smethwick joining the Federal Republic.
Democratic elections occurred in mid 1996 and The Independent county of Shifnal and Codsall willingly joined the union on March 1st, 1996, as pressure from loyalist forces grew in South Staffordshire.
The Federal Republic's borders with UK were fully secured by January 1st, 1997, after the rebel victory at The battle of Dymock, and a long siege of the entire nation then issued. None the less June 6th, 1997 would witness the small border incursion known as The battle of Swan Village.
The growing tension with the socialist, communist radicals and trades union veterans who were trying to illegally take over in the Welsh valleys (as the Welsh Valleys SSR), lead to the honourable defeat and reluctant assimilation of the Welsh SSR in the March of 1997, after the Battle of Clun, in which Clun Bridge was accidently destroyed by the Welsh in the face of a determined federal assault. Realising that the UK forces around Chepstow were about to take advantage of this, Both nations would join forces against the British Government in the Battle of Monmouth and Battle of Cwmbrân. The act of Union was finalised in the August of 1997, by the singing Treaty of Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tudful).
The The Independent county of Breconshire joined the union volitarnerily on March 1st, 1997.
It was indeed the various nationalistic trade unionists, Marxist agitators, Labour left wingers, hard-line Welsh nationalists and concerned Anglican clergy had inspired the Welsh working classes. They would ended the South Welsh Valleys period of socio-economic decay with a mixture of fear, bribery, political inspiration, wise investment, religious hope and common-sense ideas, that would be the hallmark of the region’s future role in the politics in the Federal Republic of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Sandwell, Dudley preferred a more democratic, middle class and centre right, approaches to life and would carve out a similar and just as successful moral role on there side of the border.
After the UK general election of April 1997 a new ATL Conservative lead, democratic, Conservative-Liberal Democrat-Labour-SDLP government of national unity was formed until Labour won the ATL election of 1998, like the OTL one of 1997.
List of UK prime ministers
- John Major- 1992-1995 (1992-1997 OTL).
- Sir Pieter Ian Linkletter- 1995-1997 (ATL).
- John Major- 1997-1998 (1992-1997 OTL).
- Tony Blair- (1997-2009 OTL) 1998-2009.
- Gordon Brown- 2009-2010 (OTL/ATL).
- David Cameron- 2010-2015 (OTL/ATL).
- Ed Milliband- 2015-2025 (ATL, removed in a ATL coup)
- John Cubertson- 2025-2027 (ATL)
- Joan Pritchard- 2027-2028 (ptrovsional leader).
- James Probert- 2028-2038 (ATL)
The city of Worcester became a centre of open conflict between Australian minority members and the Federal Police after it was particularly affected by the collapse of a massive pyramid (Ponsi) scheme in the December of 1997, which had destabilised the town entire national economy until mid 1999.
By the 10th of September, 1997, the UN Sectary General was deeply disturbed by the situation in the UK after receiving the Croatian, Albanian, Irish and Pilipino investigator’s reports on the detraining situation in the UK. He welcomed a American lead resolution on sending UN peace keepers to the UK in an effort to reconcile the UK’s and rebel government’s differences. The implement a UN/UK/Rebel agreement to hold a free and fair referendum on self-determination for the people of Hereford and Worcestershire. Fundamental differences between the UK and the Hereford and Worcestershire Separatist Front had yet to be resolved. The Netherlands, Monaco, Croatia, Albania and Algeria all chose to officially recognise the rebel Hereford and Worcestershire regime the year before.
A 15 strong Ghurkha presidential guard named the '25th Ghurkha Rifles' (in honer of the former WW 2 colonial unit) was formulated from the small number of Ghurkhas living in the breakaway state on July 1st, 1998.
Ross-on-Wye also saw an anti-Welsh riot in late 1998, while Abergavenny (Welsh: Y-Fenny) and Cwmbrân had anti-English riots in early 1999.
The Gloucestershire Corridor was arranged for in mid 1999 as a humanitarian link to the outside world. The disliked and rather effective blockade would last for another year. Due to the heavy shortages caused and the international controversy relating to it, the total blockade was lifted in 2000 and replaced with an arms, trade and banking embargo. This was mostly due to pressure from the Netherlands, Monaco, Croatia, Albania and Algeria; all of which had politically recognised Hereford and Worcestershire in 1996.
According to an official analysis by legal and historical experts New England School of Law's Center for International Law & Policy during the year 2000, "Herefordshire and Worcestershire or Mercia as it now wants to be to be known as, has a right of self-determination, including the attendant right to independence, according to the criteria recognized under international law." They furthered their case by saying "the principle of self-determination is included in Articles 1, 55, and 73 of the United Nations Charter," and were "codified in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights , and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights -which are considered (as in our world) to have constituted the international '" Bill of Rights'" and an overarching law greater than national policies and laws on domestic and internal affairs. They went on to state, "the right to self-determination has also been repeatedly recognized in a series of resolutions adopted by the U.N. General Assembly, the most important of which is Resolution 2625(XXV) of 1970." New England School of Law then recognized the Federal Republic on January 6th, 2001.
The 2001 UK’s foot and mouth outbreak also hit Herefordshire and Knighton in Powys badly, as in reality.
President Pieter Richard Smith swiftly condemned the 9/11 attacks on the USA. Al-Qaeda activity in the Federal Republic was banned the next day (thankfully no one was involved in Al-Qaeda activity).
The The Stourbridge and Pedmore question of 2002-03 was a political debacle that lead to the popular division of Dudley in to it's 4 semi-autonomous provinces. At one Point Sedgley had planned to cescied from Dudley and amalgamate it's self in to Seisdon (they were both (as in fact) part of Staffordshire until 1974).
In an attempt to reconcile their differences, the UK began diplomatic negotiations with Hereford and Worcestershire in the summer of 2003.
The trade, arms and banking embargo ended on Christmas day 2004.
There was a new era of glasnost and cross border co-operation between the UK and the federation beginning in 2005. This included the removal of the customs check points at Tewkesbury and Ashchurch Railway Station, the B4080 B-road, the A491, A456, A449 A-roads and the M5 and M41 motorways.
As time passed, military expenditure fell, student exchanges took place and hostilities decline.
A minor Nigerian 'hornswoggling' Internet scam swindles M£16,000 out of the federation during the February of 2005.
2 minor pyramid schemes run by an Australian swindler collapsed, take in M£20,000 and UK£1,000,000 with them in the May of 2006.
The youth street gang cultures in Smethwick, Worcester and Dudley were totaly supressed beween 2004 and 2007
The 2007 United Kingdom floods of July 2007 flooded many areas in and around Ludlow, Sandwell, Ledbury, Tewkesbury, Ashchurch, Bredon, Evesham and Upton-upon-Severn were (as in reality) the most severe in the towns' recorded history. The area around Tewkesbury is a floodplain frequently affected by varying amounts of flooding.
The federal fire and rescue services had been overwhelmed after 2 days. The townsfolk gratefully collected the supposedly 'unofficial' UK humanitarian aid that both the British citizens and government had willingly offered them in Federation's hour of need. The Irish air force also airdropped food, fuel and pumps in to the citizens of Tewkesbury and Ashcurch. This hastened the pace of peace talks between both governments.
The 2007 restoration of Smethwick Galton Bridge railway station and the re-building of the former Galton Bridge was one of was one of the first of the many Anglo-Federal Reconstruction and Reconciliation Programs.
The détente survived the floods and lead to the de facto economic and transportation assimilation of the nation in late 2007.
The credit crunch went pretty much as in reality, but the republic’s ailing currency did pick up due to the lack of major banks, corporate failure and state debt (most of the overseas aid was given by allies free of charge).
The Mercian Pound was pegged to the £ between 2008 and 2010, but then broke its fiscal linkage and thus was re-floated during the European Economic Crisis of 2010-2012.The economy was buoyed up with continuing trade Venezuela, Algeria, Albania, Croatia, the R of Congo and the C.A.R.
A French tourist was jailed for 6 years in Hereford prison for ridiculing the federal president on May 1st, 2009.
The winter of 2009-2010 was (as in OTL) the worst in 50 years, in which 7 federal and 23 UK citizens died.
The UK's H.R.H. Queen Elisabeth II was warmly welcomed on a tour of Hereford in the May of 2010. The then Bosnian representative at the UN Security Council, Ivan Barbalić got a similar response from Worcester in the July of that year.
The English Defense League demonstrations of 3 April and 17 July 2010 in Dudley town centre were marked by several nasty scuffels. This lead to a total of 38 arrests, 2 garages being looted and several instances of criminal damage. The local EDL branch was banned outright and the BNP was suspended for 6 months by the Federal Police Force as they were investigated for their linkage with the riot and the subsequent arrest of 2 of its members for inciteing a riot and looting.
The credit crunch went pretty much as in reality, but the Federal Republic’s ailing currency did pick up due to the lack of major banks, corporate failure and state debt (most of the overseas aid was given by allies free of charge).As of June 2011, Ivan Barbalić and ex-Albanian president Sali Berisha have been neg otiation the official separation of Hereford and Worcestershire from the UK. The UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron had hinted to (according to the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper) Ivan Barbalić that formal recognition would occur in the March of 2012. This was amended when the UK, Turkmenistan and several other nations politically recognised by the UK on January 1st, 2012. The rebel's president, Pieter Richard Smith dod not to stand for re-election in 2013 due to ill health. His son Stephan took over in 2013.
As of June 2011, Ivan Barbalić and ex-Albanian president Sali Berisha have been negotiation the official separation of Hereford and Worcestershire from the UK. The UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron had hinted to (according to the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper) Ivan Barbalić that formal recognition would occur in the March of 2012.
The UK's West Midlands Police and the Federal Police Force fought it out in a joint operation against the hoodlums during the West Midlands riots of August 2011. Sandwell's division of the Federal Police Beauro and West Midlands Police's Riot Control Unit, Mounted Division, Homicide and Serious Crime Command, Drugs Squad and several specialist investigators from the Public Order Branch were tested to the limit and made numerous later arrests. A couple of hundred local youths rioted in parts of West Bromwich, looting business, smashing out shop windows, setting bins alight and torching out cars. There was Sporadic, but heavy, street fighting in Winston Green, where several properties were looted and much damage was done in the district. The Worcester Sony DADC warehouse and 6 Wednesbury Kaibab shops were also arsned. Much of the aggression was of a classist, racist or criminal nature. There was much public anger over the deaths in Winston Green of (as in out world) of Haroon Jahan, Shahzad Ali and Abdul Musavir. President Pieter Smith condemned both the 3 murders and the looting of several shops and business premises. The wrecking of the Worcester Sony DADC warehouse and the chain of arson attacks on Wednesbury Kaibab shops drew particular crissum.
The 24th of December, 2011, Boko Haram bomb attacks on several churches across Nigeria, killed a Hereford and Worcestershire national in Joss.
UK, Turkmenistan and several other nations politically recognised the Federal Republic on January 1st, 2012. The rebel's president, Pieter Richard Smith, is planning not to stand for re-election in 2013 due to ill health.
(This TL is soon to be transwikied to Alernate Future Wiki).