The alternative voice

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The Independent Online

Be prepared. An American archivist, we note, has published a collection of memos and speeches prepared in case of different outcomes to momentous events, including the Moon and Normandy landings. Thus we might have had Richard Nixon mourning Neil Armstrong, or Eisenhower taking full responsibility for the failure of D-Day.

Be prepared. An American archivist, we note, has published a collection of memos and speeches prepared in case of different outcomes to momentous events, including the Moon and Normandy landings. Thus we might have had Richard Nixon mourning Neil Armstrong, or Eisenhower taking full responsibility for the failure of D-Day.

Similar precautions must have been undertaken throughout history. It is possible, by dint of research augmented by informed conjecture, to present some plausible prepared alternatives:

1) "Well done, Eve! I knew I could trust you!" 2) "Crossing the Red Sea was always going to be a high-risk venture." 3) "Veni, Vidi." 4) "See, I told you the Danes wouldn't come back." 5) "And gentlemen in England now a-bed shall think themselves bloody lucky they were not here on Crispin's Day." 6) "So I keep Hampton Court and Anne gets custody." 7) "We have this plan for a big column in Trafalgar Square, Emperor." 8) "You're not Dr Livingstone." 9) "It's a boy, Alderman Roberts." 10) "I smoked myself silly, and the acid wasn't bad, either."

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