The red queen

Reinderdijkhuis on Aug. 29, 2012

We'll be answering some reader questions in the next few episodes. The formatting features on Drunk Duck don't lend themselves to this as well as the functionality on the main website, so please feel free to visit the main ROCR site, where this was posted on February 25, 2005.

Today's question comes from reader Michel Prior, who asks: “Some while ago you asked if anyone guessed what Maghreid was up to. Or more precisely: ”what variant of the political game do you think she has been playing?"
The visual answer actually comes with a long historical note, which I hope Drunk Duck won't mangle: 

Barbara Castle (1910-2002) was a fiery, redheaded, uhm, red. She was Britain's first female cabinet minister, and in several alternate realities became Britain's first female Prime Minister. In this reality, we got Margaret Thatcher, then Tony Blair. This is a good example of what makes alternate history such an attractive genre to write in.
For reasons of brevity, I have omitted Barbara Castle's first cabinet post, that of Oversees Development, which she bagged in 1964. In that post, and the Transport posts that followed, she was an effective administrator, introducing such crazy extremist left-wing ideas as breathalyzer tests, a 70 MPH speed limit and mandatory seatbelts in cars. By now, the lives saved by these measures in the fourty years since then could fill a medium-sized city.

Killjoy: opponents of the breathalyzer tests did call her that. In those more primitive times, there were still some people left who thought it was their God-given right to drive drunk and get away with it.

Nanny state: the British equivalent of Big Government. It is this author's opinion that those who complain the loudest about a nanny state are the people who need nannying the most.
In Place of Strife: the title refers back to a 1952 book by Aneurin Bevan called In Place of Fear. Barbara Castle was an admirer and supporter of Bevan's.

This comic's style and format were inspired by that of the webcomic Teaching Baby Paranoia, which you should read. I can't make any claim to having parodied it accurately although I think that with a bit more practice, I could learn to. As it is, I had very little time to make this one, and so my research into TBP artist Bryant Paul Johnson's technique was pretty perfunctory and slapdash.
And that is very much in the spirit of the original.