The Kingdom of Sable


Political Overview

The Kingdom of Sable is a Constitutional Monarchy, as defined by the Act of Establishment, passed in August SY001: 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. 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, with a predominantly two-party system (the Whigs and the Tories), although there are a few independents and fringe parties. The next election is due in September SY155, which will be the first chance the Electorate has had to express its views on the Armistice with the Reich.

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. This 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 current make-up of the Cabinet is as follows:

Secretary of State for... Current Holder (SY 150 government)
His Majesty's Prime Minister Dr Donald Caffrey
Chancellor of the Exchequer James Maxwell
The Home Office Dr Janice Kelly (also Deputy PM)
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Gaspard de Salle
President of the Board of Trade and Industry Melissa Ryman
Defence Wolfgang Metz
International Development Matthew Barrowman
Transport Arthur Walsh
Health Elizabeth Fielding
Education and National Development Jessica Gleeson
Employment (inc. Welfare) Mary Chate
Agriculture and Rural Affairs (inc. the Environment) Michael Galloway
The Arts Ruth Whitelaw
Magical Affairs Anthony Decarniere, DMg
Attorney General Julian Castle
Solicitor General Marion Marsden
Chief Whip Philip Bentley
The Great Officers  
Lord High Steward Alfred McRae
Lord Chancellor and Head of the Judiciary Lord Chief Justice Sir Allan Thorne
Lord Treasurer and Governor of the Bank of Sable Sir Edward Thomson
Lord President of the Council, Leader of the House of Commons Patrick Howarth
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 Marshall Prince William
Lord High Admiral Admiral Nicholas Bonner

Senior Government Ministers

Dr Donald Caffrey, Prime Minister of Sable

Caffrey is the King's Prime Minister, and has been for about twelve years (having been re-elected twice).

James Maxwell, Chancellor of the Exchequer

Maxwell 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.

Dr Janice Kelly, Home Secretary

Janice Kelly, a former civil servant within the Home Office, first decided to cross to the other side of the fence and try to get into Parliament five elections ago (SY130). She was successful on her first attempt, but then lost her seat at the following election, which was won by the Whigs. She returned to the House in the SY140 election, when 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 SY150. She is one of those who was recommended to the Cabinet by the Lower House.

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. 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.

Gaspard de Salle: Foreign Secretary

A native of Cadel, a Commonwealth Shadow which acts as defender to those states which surround it. De Salle came to Sable to go to university, where he studied PPE (politics, philosophy and economics). When he graduated, he joined the diplomatic corps, and served in a number of Commonwealth Shadows, including acting as liaison to his home Shadow. He is in charge of overseeing the diplomatic service, as well as dealing with foreign nationals in Sable, and Sable nationals in the Commonwealth. He also helps set up treaties with other states.

Wolfgang Metz: Secretary of Defence

Originally Metz 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 years ago. From there he changed his specialism to the political, rather than military field, 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, before being given the top job after the SY145 election. 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.

Melissa Ryman: President of the Board of Trade

As President of the Board of Trade, Ryman is in charge of the commercial side of Sable, and setting up trade and other commercial deals with the Shadows in the Commonwealth. 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. 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.

Julian Castle: 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. Castle was born on the Shadow of Gallen, but studied law at Sable University, before practising for some years within Sable City. Eventually the direct life of 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, nearly a century ago, and since then has been 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. However, having held the position of Deputy Attorney General to Castle for over twenty years, he recently stepped down, and is now working elsewhere for his grandfather.

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 three 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 most recent election defeat, in SY150. 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. In appearance, she looks to be in her late-thirties, with short brown hair and dark eyes. 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.

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, Marcus is directly responsible for dealing with the visiting and Sable-based Commonwealth - and other - ambassadors, and assigning the Sable envoys out into the Commonwealth Shadows and the Reich. 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.