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James Philip Christopher Howard (1910-1990) was a Bancairn politician and 23rd Prime Minister of Bancairn. He was a member of the Conservatives and a controversial political figure.

Early life[]

James Howard, great-great-great-grandchild of Henry Howard II, and member of the great Howard family, grew up in the traditional Howard settlement of Port Sarah, where he was born. His father, Russell Howard, was an influential member of Parliament for Avryshire. His mother, Elizabeth, was often absent and bed-ridden with chronic migraines and fevers. As a result, James would spend most of his time as a child with his few friends, like Peter Miswenian and Kenneth Decken. As they grew older, the three friends took an oath to bring back the Conservatives as leading power of the nation. From 1925 to 1928, James Howard attended the Regis Academy, a private school in Deaston. During this time, he lodged with Francis Rover's family. Howard was considered an excellent student at Regis, and became sports captain as well as Head Boy.

Military service and medical career[]

From 1928 to 1931, Howard served in North Africa and India as a surgeon, which later earned him the title "Doctor.", though this was never mentioned in his later honorary title in Parliament or Government. During this period, Howard wrote How us Tories Fall, a bitter critique of previous Conservative Governments, calling them "elitist" and "aristocratic", and severely judged the Amesby Ministry (1911-1918), in particular because of its "disastrous" handling of World War I. He also began work on two books, one about his service in Africa, and another about the Nile river; both works were never completed.

Further studies and political involvement[]

On returning from India in 1931, James Howard joined the newly founded Royal Academy of Politics, which offered courses in political and social sciences. He did this against the will of his mother, who wished him to become a lawyer. James came out of the Academy three years later, once again with excellent results. He joined the Conservative Party in 1934, and began to make himself known as Party Treasurer. Elections being at the time a competitive period inside the Party, Howard quickly built himself a case to compete with possible rivals, and, with the help of Rover and Miswenian, thatched the Conservative Manifesto, which was falling to bits and had not been updated for a decade. Howard became a chief political theorist and advisor to the party. In 1939, when Francis Rover was elected Minister of Economy, Howard contributed the economic theories which were later acclaimed by the public.

World War II[]

When the Second World War broke out, Howard clearly stated his opposition on sending troops over to defend Britain, but encouraged the collection of material and food for the allied civilians during the Blitz.

The 1946 General Elections[]

In 1946, Rover was shifted to the Ministry of Defence, and James Howard was elected to the House of Commons as a representative for Avryshire. There, he immediately demonstrated his rhetoric skills, and was Deputy leader from 1948 to 1950.

The 1950 General Elections[]

In August 1950, Francis Rover and party President Reginald Kewell prepared Howard's campaign as Minister for Internal Affairs. During his mandate as Home Minister, he was successful in countering Prime Minister John Gillard's policies on employment.

The 1953 General Elections[]

In 1953, Howard was greenlighted by the Party to run for Prime Minister. He came second to Albert van Christen, and became State Secretary. His mandate with Christen, he said, was based on "a very good communication, as it should always between elected members of Government".

The 1956 General Elections[]

In 1956, James Howard campaigned once again for the premiership, and won, owing to his rising popularity and innovative policy ideas.

Prime Minister (1956-1959)[]

James Howard began his term as Prime Minister by introducing the Howard Bill, a Government Motion aiming to increase worker protection and reduce unemployment. However, in 1958, Howard was confronted to Government corruption and feared a Government collapse after Delegate to the Ministry of Energy John Steele was reported in the Bancairn Express to have received regular sums of money from the NAPC (see Steele corruption affair). Howard revoked Steele; the Minister for Energy, Warner Soleman, suddenly decided to resign, against Howard's advice. He finally replaced him with Gerald Gaven, a fellow Conservative. After these events, Howard relaxed his policies and assumed "business as usual" in Government. However, things became worse.

Involvement in the Randall Scandal[]

In September 7, 1959, Defence Minister Douglas Randall constructed a hoax with the help of a technician working at Central Airport; this involved a fake explosive device placed inside the hatch of an international flight from London. At the news of this, Howard, fearing a terrorist attacks, assumed full responsibility for the solution of the crisis. When Randall admitted to have lied to the nation, Howard was equally blamed for his involvement, and some of the disapproval projected at Randall rebounded on him. After weeks of constant opposition and a plunge in his confidence polls, Howard was torn between resigning and running again as Prime Minister in the imminent Elections.

The 1959 Elections and fall[]

In 1959, Howard and Randall ran in the Elections. Howard's major opponent, Sebastian Wycroft, was a 36-year-old Socialist. Howard was hardly elected on any ballot, and received only 9'835 votes nationally. He took the customary "compensation seat" in the House, where he led the opposition against Wycroft and the Socialist Party. Howard was said to be particulary touchy about Wycroft because the latter was also a native of Port Sarah (some further advance that Howard disliked Wycroft's good looks, but this was never confirmed). He retired in 1962, a beaten and disgraced man.

Presidency over the Conservative Party[]

In 1960, Howard became President of the Conservative Party. He retired from this post in 1962, at the same time as his term in Parliament ended.

Retirement & death[]

From 1962 to 1972, Howard acted as an advisor to Conservative candidates like James McAby, but stayed invisible from the public. In 1960, he suffered from a stroke, and spent several weeks in hospital. In 1970, he took his leave from the Party and led a quiet life in Deaston until his death in 1990. He observed his Party become more and more aligned with the policies of the British Conservatives and American republicans, and moving increasingly away from the people.