This is a work of fiction created for the Twilight 2000 Role Playing Game. Original material © Dave Ross
Since May 1998 the UK’s provisional Capital has been the historic cathedral City of Winchester in Hampshire, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Wessex in Anglo Saxon times.
Meeting in Winchester’s Guildhall, Parliament now consists of just over forty MP’s and nearly thirty members of the House of Lords who survived the nuclear attacks and the chaos that followed (many by taking shelter at military bases). Continuing the coalition arrangements first put in place at the start of the War, all Political Party loyalties have been temporarily put to one side, and the Government frequently refers to itself as a Government of National Unity, although the occasional dissenting voice can be heard from time to time; the most noticeable of these voices is that of the Progressive Party’s George Graham. As there has been no General Election since the start of the War, the MP’s still represent pre War constituencies although many Members have not set foot in those Constituencies for several years.
The Government is supported by the Civil Service, many of whose members were staff at either the University of Winchester or one of the City’s several private schools before the war. Security is provided by the Army’s 32nd (Guards) Infantry Brigade.
A number of MP’s and Peers who survived the nuclear exchanges remain elsewhere in the UK, having been either unable or unwilling to undertake the potentially hazardous journey to the south of England. This group includes Alex Stewart, the Scottish National Party MP for Perth, who chose to remain in Scotland, where he now leads the separatist Government, and Martin Fielding, the Labour Member for Manchester Central, who is being held captive by marauders in the North West of England.
The Right Honourable Douglas Montgomery, KC MP (Conservative) -
Born in Carshalton, Surrey, in 1948, Douglas Montgomery first became involved in politics whilst studying law at Trinity College Cambridge, becoming Chairman of the Cambridge University Conservative Association. Called to the Bar in 1973, he spent nine years as a Barrister before being elected to Parliament in the 1982 General Election as the Conservative MP for the “safe” seat of Witney in Oxfordshire. Montgomery served in a number of Ministerial positions in the Government of Margaret Thatcher and her successor, culminating in the position of Home Secretary, one of the four most senior positions in the British Government, which he held from the spring of 1994 until defeat in the 1996 General Election marked the end of seventeen years of Tory Government. Shortly afterwards he was elected as the new leader of the Conservative Party following the resignation of the previous incumbent. He was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1994.
When the Coalition Government was formed at the outbreak of the war Montgomery resumed the position of Home Secretary and de facto Deputy Prime Minister. He escaped the strike on the High Wycombe bunker that killed most of the Government, including the Prime Minister, by sheer chance (he had been attending meetings at Army headquarters at Salisbury that day), and as the senior surviving member of the Government he was appointed Prime Minister by the new King when Parliament reformed in the spring of 1998. He then set about forming a Government in Winchester from surviving MP’s and Peers of all Parties.
A skilled and experienced Parliamentarian who has a natural ability to put people at ease, Douglas Montgomery has risen to the task of leading the post nuclear Government, having to make some difficult decisions and holding together a sometimes fractious coalition. He has appointed Victoria Redman as Deputy Prime Minister (he would have preferred to offer that post to James Forsyth, but Forsyth is also a Conservative and Montgomery felt obliged to offer the position to a member of the Labour Party).
He is painfully aware that it will be necessary to hold an Election at some point in time, but he is anxious to avoid the same scenario as the United States has suffered where the questionable legality of the Election caused the split between the Military and Civilian Governments. To this end the Emergency Parliament passed an Act in late 1999 which suspended the requirement to hold an Election until the 01st of April 2001.
The Prime Minister lives in Winchester with his Welsh born wife Samantha and their eldest daughter Pippa, twenty nine. A Doctor in Oxford before the nuclear attacks, Pippa now works at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester. The Montgomerys’ younger daughter Charlotte is currently missing. Montgomery knows that Charlotte, a second year student at his old school, Trinity College Cambridge, where she was studying Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, survived the nuclear attack but is unaware of her current whereabouts, although he believes she is still somewhere in the Cambridgeshire area. With many thousands of families separated, the Prime Minister is reluctant to be seen to be getting any special treatment, however unknown to him the head of the Security Service, Sir Harry Price, has instructed his agents in the area to try and locate Charlotte (although the agents are not aware of her identity).
The Right Honourable Victoria Redman, MP (Labour) -
Born in Twickenham, London, in 1961, Victoria Redman was elected to Parliament in the 1992 General Election, as the Member for the Don Valley Constituency in South Yorkshire. She rose swiftly through the ranks whilst in Opposition, becoming renowned for her intelligence and skill as a debater, and coming to the attention of Tony Blake, the leader of New Labour, and when Labour won the 1996 General Election her efforts were rewarded with an appointment to the Government as Minister of State for Housing. She moved to the Department of Health after a Cabinet reshuffle in early 1997, becoming Minister of State for Public Health.
Redman was in her Constituency in South Yorkshire when London was targeted by Soviet nuclear weapons. She made her way to Catterick Garrison, where she was placed under military protection, before being flown south with a handful of
other surviving MP’s at the start of 1998. When the central Government was reformed she was promoted, becoming Secretary of State for Health and Social Security. As a member of the Government of a post nuclear Britain, Redman was immediately faced with a seemingly endless list of challenges. Whilst she worked tirelessly to meet these challenges, some of her decisions were controversial and led to her being described as ruthless.
In late 1999 Redman was appointed Home Secretary after the previous incumbent died of a massive heart attack. Her responsibilities as Home Secretary include health, law and order and overseeing the newly formed Department of Redevelopment and Renewal, with the Minister for Energy and the Minister for Agriculture, Food, and Fisheries both reporting to her. In March 2000 she accepted Montgomery’s invitation to become Deputy Prime Minister in addition to her other duties.
An extremely focused and driven individual, Redman does not tolerate fools gladly and can sometimes come over as abrupt and cold. She does not back away from tough decisions and expects a lot of those who work for her; consequently the Civil Servants within her Department worship her and despise her in equal measure. Victoria Redman is also very ambitious; realising that eventually an Election will have to be held, she is currently working quietly behind the scenes to ensure that when that happens she is in the strongest position possible to achieve her long term goal of becoming Labour’s first woman Prime Minister.
Redman graduated from the University of East Anglia with a BSC (Hons) in Social Science in 1982. She married in 1983 and divorced in 1990. She has no children.
Lord Forsyth of Marston (Conservative) -
James Forsyth was born in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, in 1929. Educated at Harrow School, he graduated from Sandhurst in 1950 and was commissioned into the Gloucestershire Regiment as a twenty one year old second lieutenant. He saw active service in the Korean War, winning a Military Cross at the Battle of the Imjin River, when he made it back to the British lines with most of his Platoon after the Glosters’ last stand on Hill 235.
He married his wife, Elizabeth, in 1955 and left the Army in 1962, by which time he had attained the rank of Major. He then embarked on a successful business career with Standard Chartered Bank, which included spells in Singapore and Hong Kong. Entering Parliament in the 1974 General Election, when he was elected as Member for the safe Conservative seat of Devizes in Wiltshire, he enjoyed a steady rise through the ranks of
the Conservative Party, holding the post of Defence Secretary from 1991 to 1993 and Foreign Secretary from 1993 until 1996.
In 1996 he announced that he would not seek re election at the forthcoming election; his wife had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and his intention was to retire from public life to spend as much time as possible with her. Upon leaving Parliament he was granted a Peerage, taking the title Lord Forsyth of Marston, Marston being the village near Devizes where he and Elizabeth had their home.
Forsyth’s wife passed away peacefully in her sleep in September 1997. Soon afterwards the UK was attacked on Black Thursday. Over the winter Lord Forsyth helped other villagers in their efforts to ensure that they had sufficient food and other supplies. He also volunteered for service with the group formed to defend the village against any marauder attacks, taking his turn standing guard armed with his twelve bore Purdey shotgun.
Forsyth and Douglas Montgomery were old friends, and in May 1998 the Prime Minister visited him at his home, where he asked him to return to Government service and take up the role of Foreign Secretary. Forsyth agreed at once, joining the Government at Winchester,
Lord Forsyth spends a significant amount of time dealing with the representatives of the French, Dutch, and American Governments in the UK. In particular, for the last three months he has been working behind the scenes to try and negotiate a French withdrawal from occupied Dutch territory. So far however these efforts have proven futile. Since November 1999 Forsyth has also held the position of Defence Secretary, working closely with General Sir Clive Smith.
Six feet three inches tall, charming and polite, Lord Forsyth is a distinguished Parliamentarian who is every inch the English gentleman. He remains Douglas Montgomery’s closest friend, with the two men often reflecting on how best to lead the country’s recovery efforts over a late night glass of malt whisky. He and his late wife had one child; a son, Mark, a Squadron Leader in the RAF who died flying a Tornado over Poland in 1997.