Geologists had noted the increasing tilt of
Great Britain throughout the twentieth century. The eastern edge
of the country was becoming closer to sea level while the western
side continued to rise. In the latter decades of the century,
however, it became apparent that the rate of change was
increasing until, by the turn of the century, it stood at eight
degrees and rising.
The seriousness of the situation was
outlined in a broadcast to the nation in which the Prime Minister
explained the prediction of geologists that if the tilt reached
twelve degrees, the country would be at serious risk of capsizing.
Emergency measures were instigated.
Initially, all people defined as obese were relocated to areas
west of the Pennines. Objections were raised by many of those
required to lose eight or ten stones in weight before they could
return to their homes. There was no right of appeal during the
emergency, however, and police in Norfolk and Yorkshire made
particular use of their stop and weigh powers.
The rate of increase in the tilt was
slowed, but still the angle increased. Phase two of the emergency
response was therefore put into action, and the whole population
was resettled as close to the west coast as possible.
It was known that the greatest increase in
the tilt occurred during storms and after the gales of November
2010 the nation awoke to find the country lying at an angle of
eleven degrees. Many had rolled out of bed. Snooker tables
required re-levelling. Bowling greens reopened as dry ski slopes.
Also people began to dig. There was now
recognition that it might take just one more storm to turn the
country over. Those near the coast might be able to scramble onto
the upturned land, but those inland would be trapped. Shafts were
dug down through the land to the water beneath and were sealed
with watertight doors. It was hoped that, if the worst happened,
these would allow passage to the top side of the upturned island.
It was on the night of October 25th,
2014 that disaster struck. The strongest winds and highest seas
for a century buffeted the coast of Wales. Thousands of people
swung out on trapezes over the Irish Sea in the manner of
yachtsmen, to counterbalance the forces, but to no avail.
Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Durham sank beneath the
waves, while Milford Haven hurtled nearly four hundred miles
through the night sky to land upside-down in the North Sea.
Millions escaped via the emergency shafts,
though in the confusion many watertight doors were not resealed,
causing the sea to flood in. Britain rapidly began to sink, and
by four am, when the storm had abated, five hundred miles of
clear water lay between Ireland and mainland Europe.