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‘You, Eugenia D. Hammarschmidt, are an accredited representative of the Workers’ International. It looks like the cause of socialism may have two victories this evening, the first in the victory of left-leaning parties in the British general election, the second in the fall of the Muratov Chairmanship. What kind of advice does the International have for the British government in handling the coming crisis?’

‘The Workers’ International has always been a broad church. It includes parties of moderation and of radicalism, parties of government, partnership, and opposition. Assuming any prospective British Labour government continues the Popular Front agreement with the Communist party, I believe that the United Kingdom can have a confident prospect of cooperation.’

‘But, Eugenia, the Muratov regime was able to keep the peace in Eastern Europe for thirty years. His Rightist Coalition has cooperated with even the current German government to balance the interests of the two largest economies in Eastern and Central Europe. Before that, proxy wars between German and Russian backed interests were the norm, to the consternation of successive Western governments, regardless of ideology. Can we look forward to a return to that norm?’

‘But there is no guarantee that they won’t. With Germany’s right-wing coalition looking like it will continue to be a fixture, but the Jewish autonomous government being dominated by the KPD, is there not a danger that the Jewish population of Germany will once again be singled out as Russian sympathisers.’

‘That is certainly a possibility, but only Western complacency will allow the German government to behave in such a manner to their own citizenry. We would hope that any British government, even a continued National coalition government would seek to ease the passing of the old regime in Russia, and the birth of the new.’

‘Well like I say, the Popular Front alliance of Labour and the Communists combines the forces of the trade union movement with the campaign for socialism. However, it is clear that that will not be enough. Perhaps an alliance with the Home Rule League could rebalance the United Kingdom away from the state centralism that mirrors capitalist accumulation, and toward a system oriented toward the citizen-worker. Even the Liberals would be viewed favourably, ushering Britain away from the constraining of civil liberties which has occurred over the last four years. What is clear, is that the left’s former allies in Social Credit have, ahem, discredited themselves by aligning with the forces of fascism. We would prefer that Labour choose not to taint themselves by association.’

‘Not a huge surprise, Croydon Central has been a safe seat for the Nationals for some time. It should be noted however, that the majority here is extremely narrow, thanks to a Liberal surge.’ Piped up Hadrian. ‘I would be cautious of saying this represents a permanent trend, as recall four years ago when we analysed the Unionist surge and predicted that fascism would find a warm seat at the heart of Opposition, if not in government for some time to come. If the Liberals make the same mistakes as the Unionists in the following years, we could be recording the collapse of the Liberal Party’s vote-share in a few years’ time.’

In the town, the riot is clearing away as the police clamp down. The news of Muratov’s death raised fears that clashes between the Blackshirts and Red Brigades could escalate out of control and spread beyond their carefully managed cordons. With Greenshirt aid, the police have broken up the crowds and carted off the worst offenders in trucks. The majority will be released in the morning, but hopefully by that point the unpleasant atmosphere will have at least partly diffused. The rest of the crowd has moved off, mostly to drinking establishment, either clubs run by their respective party or to an unaffiliated pub. Such an establishment is where our five heroes have settled down for the remainder of the night.

Secreted underneath an old petrol station, since there wasn’t much need for those any more, Alan, Alice, Johnson, Steve, and Helen are busily nursing stuff thats a little stronger than the cheap beers that Alan had bought. The election coverage murmurs in the background from a televisor behind the bar.

‘I don’t buy that. There is too much money going back and forth between Berlin and Petrograd. It’s like saying America and Japan are going to go to war. Sure, they don’t like each other and haven’t for a long time, but there is too much profit from peace between them.’ replied Steve.

‘You’re a reasonable man, Steve, but these are the Social Revolutionaries. Why would they care about profit or how much money that Russian corporations make from trade with Germany? Thats kind of their least favourite thing.’ pointed out Alan.