Nominally a republic, Britannia was in truth a totalitarian autocracy, a case of Marxism gone wrong - or perhaps gone right. Established in the immediate aftermath of the defeat of British government forces by English Red Front militias and Scottish revolutionaries, the Republic of Britannia, proclaimed by the Red Front, invaded and 'liberated' Scotland from nationalism.
Beginning as a fractious coalition of Marxist groups such as trade unionists, anarcho-syndicalists, Trotskyists, socialists, communists, and more, executive power was necessarily concentrated in order to implement the centrally planned and socially owned economy desired by party members. Eventually, the United Socialists (UniSoc) faction of the Red Front was able to consolidate its hold on power and began a purge of all other factions. Also around this time was the beginning of the Great War Against Capitalist Europe (later named the Great Delusion by historians), a fictional war against a fictional European Union State that was supposedly invading Britain. The fiction was kept up with a war-like economy and propaganda machine, as well as the constant bombardment of Britain by unmarked aircraft. This was the government's way of controlling the population, holding on to power, and maintaining legitimacy in the eyes of the increasingly indoctrinated public.
The secret loyalist group known as the Knights of the Kingdom operated amongst the ruins of Britain's finest cities, the factories of its surviving cities, and the wilderness of Scotland and Whales, and played a crucial part in the eventual recapture of Britain and overthrow of the Britannian regime by Canadian forces. There are some records of Irish groups aiding the loyalists in their fight, and in gratitude for their role in restoring the British Parliament and royal family to Britain, the independence of the entire Irish island was recognised by the successor Kingdom of Great Britain and Canada.
In a great moment of irony leading up to the end of the Republic, it was widely reported that, as news of the Canadian liberation spread, many citizens marched under the anthem of the Republic in knowing irony, and attacked government outposts throughout the country.
Following the revolution that overthrew the WIP
Before the 2080 abolition of the Red Front, the government was as follows:
- Executive Branch: The executive branch of the Republic was the State Council made up of the President (acting as chairman of the Council) and between 13 and 21 appointed Secretaries each heading a separate secretariat of the British government. The most notorious of the secretariats was the Secretariat for Internal Security which directed a vast array of Internal Security Agents (ISAs) from lowly police officers to the powerful Red Guard, an elite paramilitary police force dedicated to weeding out political dissidents and securing the ideological purity of the state.
- President of the Republic: The President was the highest authority and chief executive of the Republic. By convention he also held the position of General Secretary of the Red Front as well as the role of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, making him head of 2 state organs as well as the Red Front Party. In the lead up to the 2080-abolition, the President was de facto untouchable and wielded absolute power, though in the beginning of the nation the national legislature asserted significant authority and was de jure the highest organ of the state. In large part due to unofficial infighting and factional alliances and betrayals within the Red Front, the more radical United Socialist faction was able to secure the position of President.
- Legislative Branch: The National Congress consisted of 500 delegates from Red Front chapters across the nation and was de jure the supreme organ of the state. In the first decades of the Republic, the Congress met once in two months to debate and introduce new laws and policies. However, by 2200 the Congress had become little more than a rubber stamp legislature. Though attempts were made by delegates to change the state of affairs, those attempts always failed.
- Judicial Branch: The judiciary of the Republic was messy and corrupt. The Constitution was interpreted by a Constitutional Committee while general judicial functions were headed by the Supreme Court whose members were appointed by the Congress and whom practiced the civil-inquisitorial system of law.
In 2080 the President declared the abolition of the Red Front, making the United Socialist (UniSoc) faction the only legal political party, and the reorganisation of the government of the Republic. What followed was a cultural and political revolution unlike anything seen before, with many dissenters, Marxist or not, 'disappeared' and or publicly confessing their crimes before being executed. The process of reorganisation was long and bloody, and the following is a description of the government in the year 2190:
- National Congress: In theory the highest organ of government, in practice the Congress, which was composed of 300 UniSoc delegates, was little more than a rubber stamp under the will of the President.
- President: The President was the supreme leader of the Republic. He was in theory appointed by the National Congress but in practice presidents usually were able to pick their successors.
- State Council: The State Council was chaired by the President and contained an additional 6 Ministers, the Minister of Peace, the Minister of Resources, the Minister of Work, the Minister of Information, the Minister of Justice, and the Minister of Forgiveness. Each minister headed a similarly named ministry, each overseeing a different aspect of society.
- Ministry of Justice: The MoJ was one of the first of the new ministries to be created, having assumed all inquisitorial/judicial functions from the disbanded Supreme Court and Constitutional Committee (which was no longer needed as there no longer was a constitution). The MoJ operated the infamous Watchful Eye - the national law enforcement agency that patrolled the streets and would apprehend and even torture misbehaving citizens. The courts themselves were merciful by contrast.
- Ministry of Resources: The MoR assumed the functions of many prior secretariats as well as many new powers, focusing heavily on centrally planning economic production and consumption after the abolition of money and private property in 2111. Though not the most powerful ministry, the MoR is one of the largest. The ministry became famous for its Visible Hand, the overseers that ensured all produce, whether agricultural or industrial, was appropriately and entirely turned over to the state for redistribution.
- Ministry of Work: The MoW was created to work carefully with the MoR, relocating labour forces across the country wherever they were needed, especially given the "war effort". Their motto was, "Work will set you free".
- Ministry of Information: The MoI focused on two main things: propaganda and education. The former sought to perpetuate support for the Party as well as the non-existent war effort, while the latter focused on the same two objectives except for young children. At the same time, a more widespread effort was underway under the MoI to cleanse Britain of any and all non-socialist literature, and to produce plenty more for the public. The Agents of Truth were directed the ministry for the purpose of identifying and eliminating deviant literature.
- Ministry of Peace: The MoP was perhaps the most devious of the ministries, though it could not have succeeded without the superb services of the MoI. The MoP was supposedly engaged in a massive war against an invading European Union State with the entire economy and workforce putting lifetimes (and lives) into production and enlistment for the war; but nothing could be farther from the truth. Europe had, of course, disintegrated, the old European Union nonexistent. Instead, the vast majority of Peacekeepers, as the soldiers were called, simply drowned in the English Channel, sunk by their own government. A large portion of the munitions produced were either dropped in strategically meaningless parts of Britain itself (so as to not create more damage than necessary while keeping up the illusion of war) or in larger population centres when "population control" was deemed necessary by the government; most munitions simply found their way to Scotland, stored in case they were necessary to put down a revolt. This was the government's way of simultaneously keeping population levels sustainable while also perpetuating the survival of UniSoc through perpetual "revolutionary war". Later investigations by British historians of the 24th century conclude that it is likely most, even in the highest levels of government, had no idea of the deception. It was how even party members were kept in line.
- Ministry of Forgiveness: Perhaps the most insidious of the ministries, the MoF was instrumental in maintaining political and ideological security, primarily by targeting small-time and big-time political dissidents and deviant thinkers alike. The Internal Corrections Unit (ICU), later discovered to have been named as a joke (I-see-you), was tasked with capturing and quite literally convincing political dissidents that they had been wrong about their deviancy, after which they were sent to public "Forgiveness Ceremonies" where they were pardoned for their political crimes before being executed for their own good. The MoF was the last of the ministries to be created, and it took over fifteen years for their techniques to be perfected.