(Special thanks to Dave MB for Skinnerisms and other CNA political
For All Nails #147 - Sunday Morning Tea
The vitavision tuner in the Governor General's office was dialed to the 5
setting. Given the time, it was only natural...
NABC Burgoyne, 9:00am ET, Sunday December 29th, 1974
A tea-table is surrounded by four silhouettes, one obviously female,
and three obviously male. Two males on the left are leaning over
toward each other, as if they are talking. The music of a string
quartet is playing as the title card:
Sunday Morning Tea
appears over the silhouettes. A voiceover starts:
The North American Broadcasting Company presents, "Sunday
Morning Tea," a forum for discussing events of the day and
the issues surrounding them. In our studio in Burgoyne, we
now join your hostess, Dame Judy Underwood.
The lights on the stage appear brighter. We see two older gentleman
on the left. They are familiar with the setting, and appear
comfortable. On the inner seat on the right, is Dame Judy, who
appears a bit apprehensive. On her right is a younger man, who
appears more apprehensive.
The woman is DAME JUDY UNDERWOOD, 58. She was one of the most
experienced Family Law judges in the Northern Confederation. Ten
years ago she stepped down to allow fresh views on the bench. Her
skills, graciousness, willingness to help and encourage younger
judges earned her a knighthood. NABC offered her a position a a
legal analyst, and her appeal earned her a Sunday morning discussion
show, up against the very popular Jeffrey Martin . Her abilities
from family court to steer discussion in a positive manner allow her
to field guests of radically different perspectives on at the same
time. With Martin's retirement from vitavision in 1969, Sunday
morning vitavision is associated with Dame Judy.
She is naturally apprehensive because of recent events.
The original topic of today's show was going to be a look
back of the events of 1974. The shocking atrocity at Bali,
however, and how it will affect the next agenda for the Grand
Council, will be up for discussion today instead.
The man on my far right needs little introduction. He was
Governor General until this summer's abrupt special election,
and leader of the People's Coalition until just last month.
This is his first time on the programme, please welcome
Thank you Dame Judy - it's my pleasure.
Next to him is Minister of Defence, and former Liberal
councilman from Southern Vandalia, Trevor Freeman.
I'm glad to be here again, Dame Judy.
On my right is a new voice of loyal opposition, and like
Governor  Monaghan, a first-time guest, Masonist
Councilman Ryan Creighton-Young, of Manitoba.
Creighton-Young is very nervous.
Thank you, Dame Judy.
I'd like to start by sharing this political cartoon from
Thursday's West North City _Courier_.
She holds up a blown-up editorial cartoon. It has the distinct style
and signature of Terry Henning. It is set on a stove top, of all
places, and has two main figures. On the left is a pot, with
Mercator's face plus tiny spindly arms, and a very large mushroom
cloud coming out of it. The spindly arms are pointing to a kettle on
the right, with Carl Salazar's face and its own mushroom cloud coming
out of the spout. The one-word caption below it reads: "Black!"
Mr. Henning's drawings quite bluntly point out that Vincent
Mercator has set himself up as a power with an even deadlier
type of bomb... this, M-bomb as the New York _Herald_ called
My first question is: What will the government's position be
when the Council reconvenes tomorrow, and will the Council
debate any related motions?
Dame Judy, this new and even MORE destructive bomb simply
underlines the point that James Volk has been making since he
first published, "The Bomb Myth" 7 years ago. We simply
cannot engage in war anymore or we face the extermination of
the entire human race.
We plan on introducing a resolution condemning Mercator as an
enemy of peace, and proposing that we disclose to the world
detailed information on anything our scientists know about
such a bomb, so that we can continue the balance of power
that has kept world peace for more than a decade.
And while we do this, Vincent Mercator picks and blows up his
next target. Mr. Creighton-Young, I agree that Mercator is
an enemy of peace, but opening ourselves up like you propose
is not only dangerous, but foolhardy.
I need not remind anyone present that this sort of naivete
concerning sensitive information in the name of openness
contributed to the Michigan City scandals of 1969. Those
FREEMAN looks very sharply at the young Masonist.
... practically placed this new bomb right in Vincent
Mercator's hands. I will actively discourage any revelations
that will aid our enemies.
But the proverbial cat is already out of the proverbial bag,
is it not, Mr. Minister?
That does not mean we should let out the kittens also.
There's a madman with superbombs, and possibly the support of
Trevor, you know as well as I do that President Moctezuma has
done everything but order the killing of Vincent Mercator
since his impeachment scare back in November. The Mexican
President is as ornery as a henhouse guard-dog...
FREEMAN (interrupting back)
Carter, I may be a city boy, but I do know how hard a
henhouse guard-dog BITES. We don't even KNOW how the Mexican
people feel about this. President Moctezuma may feel public
pressure to blame US for this...
DAME JUDY (interrupting with authority)
Gentleman, while you're both showing what fine debaters the
University of St. Louis  produces, neither of you have
answered my question about government positions and Council
The government is appalled by the senseless destruction of
the Kramer facility in Bali. We will provide humanitarian
He glances at Creighton-Young, knowing that this last bit is a bone
to throw at the Masonists
... and help in any manhunt of this _criminal_.
Why didn't you hunt Carl Salazar? Private firms threatening
innocent people with mass destruction is hardly civilized.
MONAGHAN (with authority)
Carl Salazar stopped a war! Vincent Mercator may very well
start it back up!
I believe my fellow Coalitionists will support the policies
you've proposed, Mr. Minister. They will also remind the
Governor-General that the Mexican government will want
Mercator extradited back to them, and that good relations
with our continental neighbors is CRUCIAL at this time of
I wish your government had paid more attention to our
neighbors. Perhaps Sen-yore Mercator would have been seen as
a threat earlier on.
We are seeing reports that Mercator based most of his efforts
not in Mexico, but in the United Empire's newest ally, the
_Kingdom_ of New Grenada.
I do hope this alliance, which the Liberal party made a
cornerstone of last summer's campaign, doesn't draw our
Confederation into a _war_ down there.
We must join with our Mexican neighbors in investigating just
how this event came to pass. I hope that any such
investigation, however, will be free of the Liddy-like cloud
of mystery that surrounded the Michigan City defection
inquiries. And hopefully without the Starkist overtones of
I promise you, councilman, the suspicion isn't pointed at any
members of your party.
Yes, I'm sure we all agree that Mercator must be apprehended.
This leads me to my next question: Various Continental powers
are equally upset by this. Will they take advantage of this
situation, especially given both the German relationship with
Boricua, and the recent alliance of the United Empire with
New Grenada, to increase their presences in the Caribbean?
We should welcome the Continental powers, not only to the
Caribbean, but to the peace table. This is an opportune time
to lessen the tensions that could lead to war.
Councilman Creighton-Young, are you suggested we INVITE the
hostile Germans, the increasingly alarming United Empire -
Carter, you have a point there - and the enigmatic
Scandinavians to float ships in what is probably the most
contested body of water in the world? The Caribbean is the
proverbial bottle, and there are already two scorpions in it!
Councilman, I would very much like to draw those powers to
the peace table, but I think we have all the foreign presence
we need in the Caribbean as it is.
I will be asking the Governor-General to send the carrier
group led by the HMNAS _Ezra Gallivan_ to join the _Winfield
Scott_'s group already patrolling the Georgia coast. We're
concerned about any power or powers that might use this chaos
as an opportunity for mischief.
Are you ready to spill more North American blood? Didn't we
learn our lessons from Boricua?
MONAGHAN shakes his head in disgust. FREEMAN speaks first, however.
I rarely let a day go by without thinking of the lessons of
Boricua, young man.
Mr. Minister, you are not admonishing a schoolboy.
Mr. Creighton-Young is a duly elected member of the Grand
Council. And I am personally wondering if we have
learned the _correct_ lessons from Boricua.
At this point, I believe we should each take a breath, as we
let our sponsors talk for a bit.
The camera pulls back and we hear the string quartet (now obviously a
recording) again. We CUT to dramatic music and a shot of JACK
ELLISON at a podium speaking. We only hear the NARRATOR and the
Tonight, on "NABC at Nine", we interview Kramerica President
Jack Ellison on the Bali Situation...
Governor-General Lennart Skinner was angrily amazed. "Well I'll be good
God-damned! She might just's well have fined them fifty pounds each for
contempt o'court. Tucker, what time you got?"
"9:10, Governor-General," replied Chief of Staff Tucker Marshall.
"Ah think Dame Judy has just set herself a new national record for the
quickest cut  to an advertisement from a chat show. I'm beginnin' to
wonder if I should've kept ol' Trev on his leash and sent _you_ over to NABC
to face the momma lion in her den."
"Trust me sir. We need to show strength at this point. Besides, he's really
the only guy we got besides you who's not intimidated by Monaghan," replied
"Hell, Tucker, I'd be a damn sight more intimidated by ol' Judy Underwood
myself!" Skinner chuckled, "USL debate team... makes sense, I spose," he
paused, weighing something carefully. He continued speaking.
"You know, Ah haven't had Monaghan in here for a talk since just after the
election, and he _knows_ that sum'bitch Moctezuma better'n anyone..."
. . .
 Jeffrey Martin appears in Sobel as a player in the People's Coalition
party. He was a journalist by trade, but with a strong anti-Mason bent.
There are and were pols in OTL who came from the Fifth Estate.
 (Thanks to Dave MB for this point.) By CNA protocol, the title of
"Governor-General" expires when its holder leaves office, unlike that of
a confederation or provincial governor. Hence Monaghan is now addressed
formally by the title he retains from his term as Governor of Southern
Vandalia (mentioned by Sobel). No less an authority than Judith Martin,
a/k/a Miss Manners, asserts that this is the correct (though normally
ignored) protocol in the OTL USA. Hence in 2002 President Bush's father
is Ambassador Bush, and Senator Clinton's husband is Governor Clinton.
 This is a subtle slam at the pair of Southern Vandalians. In reality,
USL produces some FINE debaters, including Governor Monaghan and Minister
 An OTL American might not be shocked at this, but think if this were the
BBC or ITV...