MG Mason

The Opening of Dead Lock


I just want to post the first few hundred words here of the mirror story I hope to publish by the end of the year. As you can see, it’s a very different opening. I’m not sure about the newspaper headlines I’ve included, and may eventually work them into the narrative. It does five you a sense of the alternate history we are looking at though.

May 1979

‘Britain has spoken!’ The man on the podium raised his fist in victory as a burning cross appeared on the video screen behind him, hovering in front of a Union Flag billowing in the wind. ‘This land is ours!’

The crowd responded with a wave of a cheers sweeping across the hall. A number of vociferous supporters surrounding the podium waved banners and repeated his chant, ‘This land is ours! This land is ours!’ and cheered their leader again.

‘My thanks to the party leadership, all party members, activists on the ground, fundraisers and donors. We simply could not have won this election just ten years after the founding of the Britain As One Party. Our success has been phenomenal and down to you, good British people making the right choice today, here, in 1979. People are disillusioned with conventional party politics. We have taken votes from Labour and the Tories concerned about immigration, the destruction of our Christian society and creeping powers of the EEC allowing weaker economies into its ranks.’

Jeers rose from the junior members in the balcony; the man smiled and waited for the noise to subside. ‘Former Prime Minister Callaghan, like Wilson before him, did nothing. Thatcher promised a new kind of politics but she is no different. She would have taken us deeper into the EEC. The people of Britain have spoken and we have listened.’

Another boo swept over the crowd at hearing the names of the two main party leaders.

‘I am leaving for the Palace in five minutes and we begin tomorrow to make Britain great again. Tonight, we revel in our victory in showing the other parties, and Europe, precisely how to mobilise an electorate! Britain as One!’

 JANUARY 1ST 1980: New legislation came into law today that restricting the number of immigrants entering the UK from inside and outside the Commonwealth. It is expected to affect thousands of applicants from India, Pakistan and the Caribbean. This will not presently affect migrants from the EEC while Britain formalises its exit.

July 15th 1980: The British Government led by the majority Britain as One Party claimed victory in its goal to reduce immigration. Home Secretary Helen Atkins said, “we’re already seeing a measurable drop in the unemployment levels since the beginning of the Parliament”. When questioned about the engineering and science skills shortages, Miss Atkins stated that the money freed up from the dole budget would go to investing in bursaries for these core services.

19th August 1985: Following the overwhelming “Yes” vote in April’s referendum whether The United Kingdom should leave the EEC, the country formally withdrew. “The borders are now closed” said Foreign Secretary Malcolm Howarth.

6th April 1989: Work began today on renovating the Victorian prison on Mortwich Island, Sussex today. The execution of twenty political rebels 18 months ago prompted the move from the government who said the prison’s isolated position made the location ideal. “The bridge has two forts – one on each side – which can easily be fortified. When complete it will house not just enemies of our state but other undesirables such as rapists, child killers and murderers. The people of Britain deserve this!” said Justice Minister David Greene.