His Majesty’s Government

Overview

The Kingdom of Sable is a Constitutional Monarchy, as defined by the Act of Establishment, passed in August SY 001: the government governs, and the King oversees. A mechanism of emergency powers does exist to temporarily suspend democratic rule at times of high threat to the Kingdom of Sable, but these have never been invoked.

The seat of government is the Houses of Parliament, near the Central Square in Sable City, and the majority of the government offices are located in the buildings nearby, although a few remain in the Royal Palace from an earlier time when the government met on the King’s Isle. The Parliament is bicameral, with an elected House of Commons and an unelected/appointed House of Peers. Elections for the House of Commons are held every five years on the first Tuesday of September, and are decided on a first past the post basis. It is a predominantly two-party system (the Whigs and the Tories), although there are a few independents and fringe parties, as well as a new anti-Treaty party which gained some traction in the SY 155 election.

About a quarter of the seats are chosen from Sable City and the fifty miles surrounding it; another third are split across the other major population centres; and the remainder are elected from the rest of the Kingdom. All full-time Sable residents over the age of 21 are entitled to vote in elections, even if they were not born in the Kingdom itself, with the exception of members of diplomatic missions to Sable.The House of Commons comprises 350 elected Members of Parliament.

Most of the business of government is conducted by this lower house, co-ordinated by the Cabinet, which is made up of the Secretaries of State for the various Ministries, who are appointed by the Prime Minister (usually the leader of the largest party within the Commons), in consultation with His Majesty; and the nine Great Officers, who are appointed directly by the King. A bill will be introduced into the House of Commons, debated, discussed in committee, amended as necessary and finally voted upon. Once it has been passed, it is sent to the House of Peers.

The House of Peers is made up of between 100 and 150 people, with up to half comprised of noblemen, senior military, judges and clergymen, and the remainder of life peers. All parties in the Commons have the right to recommend life peers, who are usually selected for services to King and Country, as vacancies arise. The upper house acts as a check on the Commons for the rare occasions when strongly controversial legislation has been passed by the lower house. Once legislation is received from the Commons, the Peers will usually study it, debate it, suggest amendments if it feels they are required, and then return the bill to the Commons for its Final Reading. Once it has passed its Final Reading, it is sent to the King for Royal Assent. It is unusual for the King to deny Assent to a bill, although he reserves the right to request changes and delays, and has done so occasionally – most recently with the Restoration Bill of SY154.

The most recent election was held in September SY 155, when the Electorate had their first opportunity to express their views on the Armistice with the Reich. The Tories were returned to power, but with a reduced majority due to a combination of the Whig party having finally settled some of its long-term internal disagreements (which kept them out of power in the preceding three elections, as well as this one) and anti-Treaty sentiment.

Party SY 155 result SY 150 result
Tories 176 189
Whigs 155 141
Social Democrats 7 12
Revoke the Treaty 6
Green 4 3
Independent and Others 2 5

The next election is due in September SY 160.

The Cabinet

The current make-up of the Cabinet is as follows:

Secretary of State For… Current Incumbant (SY 155 election)
His Majesty’s Prime Minister Dr Donald Caffrey
Chancellor of the Exchequer James Maxwell
The Home Office Melissa Ryman (Deputy Prime Minister)
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Dr Janice Kelly
President of the Board of Trade Arthur Walsh
Defence Wolfgang Metz
Transport Jonathan Burrows
Health Jessica Gleeson
Education and National Development Mary Chate
Employment and Welfare Elizabeth Fielding
The Arts Sebastian La Roche
Magical Affairs Simon Ellis, KG, DMg
International Development Gaspard de Salle
Attorney General Joan Bader-Martin
Solicitor General Marion Marsden
Chief Whip Philip Bentley
The Great Officers of State
Lord High Steward Alfred McRae
Lord Chancellor and Head of the Judiciary Lord Chief Justice Sir Julian Castle
Lord Treasurer and Governor of the Bank of Sable Dame Olivia Grant
Lord President of the Council, Leader of the House of Commons Matthew Barrowman
Lord Privy Seal, Leader of the House of Peers Aldous Collins, Duke of Fairview
Lord Great Chamberlain Aubrey de Vere, Viscount Newcross
Lord Constable Jonathan Verdun, Baron Ashton
Lord Protector Field Marshal Prince William
Lord High Admiral Admiral Sir Nicholas Bonner

Senior Government Ministers

Dr Donald Caffrey, Prime Minister of Sable

Caffrey remains the the King’s Prime Minister, having held the position since SY 142, and (having been re-elected three times). During his Premiership, he has been highly influential in the Commonwealth. He went into politics about thirty-five years ago, having previously taught Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Sable, as well as being a noted singer and patron of the arts.

A surprisingly likeable man for a politician, he has an unerring knack of getting people to do what he wants them to do, both within Sable itself, and in his dealings with the Reich and out into the Shadows beyond. He is an expert at keeping the peace around him, and keeps a close eye on goings on within his sphere of influence.

James Maxwell, Chancellor of the Exchequer

James Maxwell was reappointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer following the SY 155 election, having held the same position in the previous administraion. He is in charge of setting taxes and budgets, and overseeing the healthy running of the Sable economy. He is also in charge of the Royal Treasury in the palace.

A native of the Western continent of Magica Superior, James came to the Kingdom to avoid being captured when the Reich invaded his home town, where he was one of the leaders of the resistance against the Reich’s domination. He got drawn into the government from his background of banking and accounting, and made his mark quickly, first standing as a Member of Parliament about five years after his arrival in Sable. In appearance, he looks to be in his late-thirties, with black hair shot through with silver, and blue eyes.

Melissa Ryman, Home Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister

Melissa was born in Bazan, a Shadow with a strong commercial and trading tradition, and came to Sable university to study business and commercial management. Like de Salle, she decided to stay around the City, although she has travelled out into the Commonwealth on business. In the previous government, she was President of the Board of Trade.

She is one of the more youthful looking members of the Cabinet, appearing to be in her early-thirties, and has long, dark hair and grey-green eyes.

As Home Secretary, she is responsible for overseeing the day to day internal running of Sable. This includes issues such as policing, maintaining services such as the fire brigade, immigration and passports into the Kingdom, and so on. She is also the Deputy Prime Minister.

Dr Janice Kelly, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Janice is a former civil servant from within the Home Office, who decided to cross to the other side of the fence and try to get into Parliament in the SY 130 election. She was successful on her first attempt, but then lost her seat in the SY 135 election, which was won by the Whigs. She returned to the House in SY 140, when the Whigs were voted out, and Tory Donald Caffrey became Prime Minister. She quickly gained a reputation as a strong speaker, and made her mark on the back benches. She was appointed Minister of International Development after the next election, and was promoted to Home Secretary in SY 150.

In the post SY 155 election shuffle, she was moved to the Foreign Office, replacing Gaspard de Salle, who had decided to step back from the position. She is in charge of overseeing the Diplomatic Service and the appointment of Ambassdors (usually in consultation with Sir Marcus Court), as well as dealing with foreign nationals in Sable, and Sable nationals in the Commonwealth, and negotiating treaties with other with other states. De Salle remains in the Cabinet, but at the lower-level position of Minister for International Development.

She is generally well respected around the Kingdom, although she is a bad person to get on the wrong side of. Janice was born and bred in Sable, and while she travelled the Commonwealth in her younger days, she has spent most of her life in and around the Kingdom. She appears to be in her early-forties, and has red-blond hair and blue eyes.

Arthur Walsh, President of the Board of Trade

In the previous administration, Arthur served as Secretary of State for Transport. Under his watch, the Aurellian Piloting system was fully integrated into the Sable transport network. He was promoted to President of the Board of Trade in the SY 155 post-election reshuffle.

As President of the Board of Trade, he is in charge of the commercial business of the Kingdom, and setting up trade and other deals with the Shadows in the Commonwealth.

Wolfgang Metz, Secretary of Defence

Metz originally came to Sable with his family as refugees from the Reich, where despite distinguished service in the Wehrmacht, he was in serious danger of arrest for his political opposition to the Kaiser/Delatz regime. He joined the Sable Army, and worked his way up to the rank of Lt Colonel, before retiring about thirty-five years ago. From there he changed his specialism to the politics, rather than the military , working for Marcus Court in one or two areas of the Commonwealth. He eventually came to the attention of the higher-ups in the Sable government, and was first appointed as a junior minister to the Secretary of Defence in SY 140, before being given the top job after the SY 145 election. He has retained it ever since.

Metz looks to be in his late-thirties, and is solidly built – still keeping himself fit, as he had in the army – with blond hair and blue eyes. He has a marked dislike of the Reich, although he makes sure that that does not interfere with his duties.

Simon Ellis, Minister for Magical Affairs

Simon Ellis was the first and only person to have held the position of Sable Mage College. However, following the SY 155 Election, he was invited to add Minister for Magical Affairs to his portfolio. He tried to juggle both positions, but realised in mid-SY 156 that he needed to choose one or the other. In the end, he opted for Magical Affairs.

He is a Sable resident, born and bred. His Talent manifested when he was twelve, and from that point onwards he never had any doubts that he would become a mage. His arcane skills and abilities are well above the average, and as a theoretical mage he is better.

His specialisation is as a defensive and transport mage, but he has also written a number of papers about the Talent in general, relations between Talented and non-Talented, the increase in the number of conjurers, and the future of the magical arts. Nowadays, however, he does not teach as much as he did, concentrating more on the administration of the College and his work with the Sable Magical Oversight Committee.

He and his wife Kate are considered to be personal friends of HM King Robert, and together they were trusted enough by the King to bring up his grandson, Dominic, before the latter was welcomed back into the Royal family by his father. A close relationship endures between the Prince and his foster parents.

Joan Bader-Martin, Attorney General

The Attorney General and the Solicitor General are the Government’s main legal advisers, and may represent the Crown in difficult or publicly important domestic and international cases. For the first time in the history of the Kingdom of Sable, following the SY 155 election, both positions are held by women.

After graduating at top of her class in law school in SY 60, she set up a small law practice in Wickstone. After fifteen years or so, she realised that she wanted to do more than just contracts and house sales. She studied for the Bar, and then joined the Law Chambers of Richard Johnson in Sable City, in SY 80, with whom she took equal pleasure in both prosecuting and defending, and won a number of high-profile cases.

She was invited to join the Attorney General’s office by AG Julian Castle in SY 122. From then on, she often worked closely with Prince Thomas, although at times she was heard to say that she felt he was a spoiled brat who was playing at being a lawyer. Their rivalry deepened over the next ten years, as she felt he gained advantages from his birthright, while she had to work twice as hard. She resented his appointment as Deputy AG in SY 133, and was delighted when he had to resign under something of a cloud in April SY 154. At that point, she was approached by Julian Castle, who asked her to replace Thomas as his Deputy.

Joan succeeded Julian Castle as Attorney General in SY 155, when he was elevated to Lord Chief Justice. She is the first woman to serve in the post.

Marion Marsden: Solicitor General

Marsden originally graduated from the University of Sable, but set up practise in the Commonwealth Shadow of Aracar, doing a lot of work on the trading laws of the Commonwealth. She applied to the Solicitor General’s office after twenty years in Aracar, and was accepted, acting as specialist in trade law. She rose through the ranks of the office quickly, and became Solicitor General about ten years ago. She is an imposing woman, appearing to be in her early forties. She has dark brown hair, cut to shoulder length, and light brown eyes. She is rather more formal than Castle in most situations, although they have a good working relationship.

Other Major Political Figures

Dr Jennifer Baxter (Whig), Leader of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition

Of late the Whig party – the second major political party within the Kingdom – has been riven with disagreements and strife. As such, having voted them out of government four elections ago, the Sable electorate has thus far resisted returning them to power. Jennifer Baxter, who holds a doctorate in politics and economics, became leader of the party after the SY 150 election defeat. She has done a reasonable job of trying to find a new coherence in her party, and they have been steadily climbing in the polls, especially since the signing of the Armistice. She is well respected around Sable, by ally and enemy alike, and the Tory party are aware that finally there may be a force to be reckoned with leading the Opposition.

In appearance, she looks to be in her late-thirties, with short brown hair and dark eyes.

Bernard Jensen, Leader of the Social Democrats

The Social Democrats are the perennial third party within the Kingdom of Sable, and its representatives are mainly from the more industrial towns and cities. Their main platforms are better wage equality, and a desire for the man in the street to have more of a say in government than the upper-middle and upper classes, who they believe have a disproportionate voice.

Bernard became leader of the party, following the resignation of his predecessor, Jeremy Marshal, after the SY 155 election, when the party made a poor showing. Bernard was born in Willsburgh in SY 083 to a blue collar family, who strived to get him a good education. He was the first of his family to go to university, and even now comes across as quite studious. He teaches PPE at Sable University.

Col. Eric Jackson, Leader of Revoke the Treaty

Eric set up the Revoke the Treaty movement, in response to Sable and Reich ending hostilities. Many of the members of his movement are former soldiers and other people who feel that the signing of the Treaty is a betrayal of everyone who died in the war, and want their voice to be heard in government. Of the six seats gained by his group, four came from the Toriese, and two from the Social Democrats, indicating that emotions still run high across the Kingdom with regard to the peace. Time will tell whether their success will be repeated at the next election.

Eric served with honour in the Sable Army from SY 100 to SY 135, before retiring from active service, and becoming a lecturer in tactics and military history at Sandhurst. He resigned from that position in late-February SY 154, once it became apparent that Sable  was determined to pursue some kind of peace with the Reich. He started actively campaigning for a seat in parliament on an anti-Treaty platform at the start of SY 155. As well as being an imposing presence – standing 6’3″, with a soldier’s build – he is also a charismatic and eloquent speaker who talks from the heart.

Margaret Dench, Head of the Civil Service

Margaret is a career civil servant, who worked up from being a humble clerk, to her present position. She is in charge of the day to day running of the government offices, and officers, with one department under her control also in charge of the council officers to do with the Sable City Council. Margaret is of a little over average height, and slightly stocky. She appears to be in her mid-forties, and has short greying blond hair and grey eyes.

Laurent Cassells: Cabinet Secretary

Laurent is in charge of the smooth running of the Sable Cabinet. He is also effectively the second-highest ranked person within the Sable Civil Service, reporting only to Margaret Dench in that regard. He organises his small staff of ministerial secretaries with almost Teutonic efficiency, taking no nonsense from anyone, and makes sure that his duties and responsibilities are carried out to the letter. Laurent is a native of Shigare, a Commonwealth Shadow with a strong military tradition, and one of Sable’s strongest allies. He is in his early-forties, with short brown hair, brown eyes, and usually wears horn rimmed glasses. He speaks English with a slight French accent, but is fluent in both languages.

Sir Marcus Court, GCG: Head of the Sable Diplomatic Service

Reporting to the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary (currently Janice Kelly), Marcus is responsible for dealing with the visiting and Sable-based Commonwealth – and other – Ambassadors, and assigning the Sable envoys out into the Commonwealth Shadows, the Reich and other Shadows with which Sable has diplomatic relations. Major changes in Ambassadorial postings usually happen in the months following a General Election.

Both mage and career diplomat, he is efficient at what he does, and keeps the King informed as to the current progress of diplomatic negotiations and expansion. Marcus has been in Sable since the earliest days of the King’s reign, and in addition to his diplomatic duties, he is also a member of the Magical Oversight Council. He looks to be in his early-sixties, with thinning, light brown hair and blue eyes.

Sir Julian Castle, Lord Chief Justice

The Lord Chief Justice is the Head of the Judiciary of Sable, as well as sitting in the Cabinet. Julian Castle replaced Justice Allan Thorne following the latter’s retirement after they SY 155 election. He was born on the Shadow of Gallen, but studied law at Sable University, before practising for some years within Sable City. Eventually life at the Bar tired him, and he applied to join the Attorney General’s office. He was accepted, and quickly made a name for himself. He was appointed Attorney General when Prince Andrew stepped down from that position in SY 067 (having served in the position since SY 001). During his tenure, he was instrumental in setting up legal systems both in Sable and the Commonwealth.

He looks to be in his early-fifties, with light brown hair, grey eyes and a neat beard and moustache. He has a somewhat informal outlook when not in the courtroom. When he is in court, however, he is a force to be reckoned with.

On graduating from Sable Mage College, Prince Thomas asked to be attached to Castle’s staff, and trained as a lawyer, specialising in criminal prosecutions. Having held the position of Deputy Attorney General to Castle for over twenty years, Thomas stepped down in April SY 154.

Dame Olivia Grant, Lord Treasurer and Governor of the Bank of Sable

Dame Olivia is a highly respected businesswoman, who has been very familiar among the Sable financial community since she set up her first stockbroking business in SY 117. She gained a PhD in Economics and Business Management from the University of Sable in SY 108, then worked for several years with Corney, Barrow and Musk, a prominant investment banking firm in the City. She is the first woman to be appointed at Governor of the Bank of Sable.

Sir Allan Thorne, former Lord Chief Justice

Allan Thorne stepped down as Lord Chief Justice after the SY 155 election. He tendered his resignation after an eighty-plus year long legal career. He was a judge for sixty of those, during which time he was responsible for a number of significant judgements which have been enshrined in the body of law. He had been Lord Chief Justice since SY 147, having been appointed on the death of his predecessor, who was killed in a vehicle accident when visiting the Commonwealth. Prior to that, he served two terms as a Law Lord (separated by a period of fifteen years).

Edward Thomson, former Governor of the Bank of Sable

Edward Thomson had a long and distinguished career as an economist, working for the Sable Civil Service. He has also lectured at the University of Sable in his chosen subject, where he managed to make economics seem interesting to his students. He was appointed Governor of the Bank of Sable in SY 140, and kept an iron hand on inflation and interest rates within the Kingdom. He chose to retire from his position after the SY 155 election, but remains a consultant to the Bank of Sable.

In appearance he looks to be in his early-fifties. He stands about 5’10”, and has dark hair, streaked with grey, and blue-green eyes.

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