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Archive for June, 2014

Land in Carshalton given to Renasia

An area of parkland just under half a mile away from the Imperial Residence has been annexed by the Free State of Renasia.

A declaration fastened to a tree in the Zone announcing the transfer from British to Renasian sovereignty.

Recent discussions between Emperor Jonathan I and Chancellor Kuri Kabanov of Renasia resulted in an agreement that the former would grant an area of land in Carshalton to Renasia after the Emperor suggested it as a means of strengthening Renasian relations with the Empire.

Today, by order of the Emperor, a detachment from Centuria II Midgetae occupied a corner of Poulter Park in Carshalton and declared Renasian sovereignty over it at precisely 11:09. The area of parkland has been named the Zone, after some graffiti on the main entrance to the area.

This is the first time that Centuria II Midgetae has conquered territory since the War of the Upper Playground in May 2006.

 

 

 

 

Micronational book club: King Nicholas and the Copeman Empire – Book review and interview with the former king

51mkbd0jnkl-_sx310_bo1204203200_Article by Evren Filgert, Duchess of Dumnonia – originally at Porthbokon News

Part micronational memoir and part ballsy fictionalised tale, ‘King Nicholas and the Copeman Empire’ is a story of a man with a Hyacinth Bucket-esque talent for self delusion with a wit that makes all the ludicrous events described excusable. Most of the facts about the author’s life are completely made up, but it’s told with such a straight face that you can’t help but play along – something that fits with the subject matter of the yarn itself.

Peppered with documentation of the Copeman Empire’s rise (something I was very thankful for, since any actual micronational information seemed to have disappeared from the web) and obsessively detailed accounts of local fast food establishments, this book works as both an entertaining, dryly humorous tale and a micronational account, like an explorer’s journal. As someone who immediately put his micronation into the ‘real world’, so to speak, going about town in micronational dress, becoming the gossip of his town and issuing royal warrants, Copeman gets quite a bit further than many of his micronational readers have before.

With a national religion based on the ‘Order of the Zinger’, a KFC burger, headed by the ‘Archbishop of Fantaberry’, a royal signet ring made out of a cannibalised pound coin and a Throne Room which is actually a caravan’s bathroom, it reminds one of the Kingdom of Lovely documentary quite a lot, and it’s just as entertaining and hard to put down.

I read it obsessively at work, during snatched breaks, because it was so engaging, and it gave a micronational zeal that’s sadly hard to regain sometimes when reading an endless barrage of internet micronationalism. Though the story is about a man’s dramatic, flourishing failure at life, in terms of micronationalism – and having a good time – Nicholas gets things done, whether it be outfitting a static caravan into a lushly kitsch palace or gatecrashing a  regional society ball in his kingly persona.

I contacted the former King (now just plain Nick Copeman), who was polite and accommodating when speaking about the former micronation, despite it having been defunct for nearly a decade. He put up an archived version of the Copeman Empire’s site, a very well-designed and funny example of a micronational web presence, complete with custom headers featuring the king and his inspirational quotes and a parodical citizenship qualification list:

  • 1. Get hold of a copy of King Nicholas and the Copeman Empire
  • 2. Read it
  • 3. Give it to a friend/enemy/stranger
  • 4. Tell them to read it
  • 5. Buy a Zinger Tower burger from KFC
  • 6. Eat it, while listening to Zadoc the Priest on your iPod
  • 7. Buy a Zinger Tower Burger for a friend/enemy/stranger
  • 8. Watch them eat it while they listen to Zadoc the Priest on their iPod
  • 9. Get a £1 coin and bore the middle out
  • 10. Stick it on your finger
  • 11. Change your name by Deed Poll to something snazzy-sounding
  • 12. Eat a 10p bag of spicy Transform-a-Snacks
  • 13. Email me

Which gives you a clue as to the nature of the micronation (I’m at no. 4, planning to complete 5-8 this weekend!).

Nick also agreed to an interview about the book, his life, and his former micronation, but unfortunately some of it might not make sense to those who haven’t read it. All the more reason to buy a copy! They’re a couple of quid on Amazon.

Evren: The book is told with this very straight-faced dry wit as if Adrian Mole were the heir to Grand Fenwick, but a lot of the events described seem very fantastical. Are any of the people or events in the book exaggerated or did everything really play out like that? 

Nick: Yes, everything is distorted and screwed up. All the characters are 100% real but some had their names changed so they wouldn’t beat me up, and certain episodes are slightly Walter Mitty.

I think there is a term for it .. something along the lines of “unreliable author”, where one isn’t clear whether the narrator is telling the truth, deluded, outright lying, or a mixture of all three.

But one thing is totally true: I became King Nicholas. I walked this earth for some time — not as a mere mortal — but as God’s anointed one.

The ending to the whole tale, on the other hand, is quite sobering, a sharp turn away from stuff like having lobster on a bed of pot noodles and riding around town on a horse. Did everything work out all right in the end?

I can’t stand happy endings. They just don’t happen. Life is bitter-sweet. The problem is that consumerist society wants you to believe that if you buy a certain fragrance, then you’ll attract an aspirational partner, get a free upgrade to business class, whitened teeth, and generally live the dream.

Becoming “King” was escapism and wanting to feel good about doing badly in life, but it was a doomed dynasty from the start. That was the whole point really. To be an epic failure, rather than just a meek, downtrodden and apologetic failure

Coming from a small seaside town myself, I know how much people like to gossip. It seems like the whole endeavour had a big effect on the residents of Sheringham. If you still live there, do people still talk about it? Is the Copeman Empire alive in the hearts of Norfolk (or, some of Norfolk’s hearts)?

One interesting thing about living on the coast is that there is one less direction to run in if some yobos happen to be chasing you, and also your community is much denser, simply because it can’t dissipate out in one direction — everyone’s crowded around the waterfront.

So yes, people did gossip about me and my empire: most people were just perplexed by it, some thought I was acting above my station and a minority was outright hostile.

But some people loved it. The sort of can-do people I admire.

I still reminisce about the Empire with Roy Boy occasionally (the owner of the truckstop cafe who had my Royal Warrant proudly displayed on the side of his trailer).

In fact, I’d take Roy as a prime example. Since the book came out he made the move from the layby into the town, opened a cafe, and later extended it — the guy is an absolute legend, fully deserving of an MBE in addition to the MCE I awarded him.

And my official barber has since opened a newer and bigger shop, yet he still comes out to cut my elderly dad’s hair at home as a favour. All the people who were positive and self-motivated at the time of my empire were the people who supported me then and they’re all still going strong now.

Leading on from that, do you regret anything about the whole business, or was it just a strange chapter in your life? 

I don’t regret any of it all! It made perfect sense at the time and it still makes perfect sense now.

For example, I stopped wearing my one pound coin ring when I abdicated. But I came across it in a box of trinkets the other day. I’d had a few months of people turning down my current project and I just decided to try it on again, like it was “The Precious” off the Lord of the Rings or something. And as soon as I put it on, I suddenly felt all my regal powers coming back — not in a cocky way, just I felt the legacy was alive again. I’m wearing it as I type.

The book is really interesting to me and other younger micronationalists, because it resonates with a lot of us now but actually happened in this time where the internet was a totally different, younger, place, and things like BT broadband installation and floppy disks. What do you think would happened if you’d had the idea in 2014? Would you have been too busy watching Countdown on iPlayer or would you have gotten really into it, like micronations such as the Federal Republic of St.Charlie or Molossia?

I think if I’d had the idea now, not much would have changed. I’m not on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and all that. I still believe that meaningful interactions are what count. Face-to-face, ideally.

You had to do a fair bit of digging around to get hold of me. Not that that makes me special or anything. But I think doing a bit of legwork means you care about the interaction, rather than just liking someone on Facebook to boost your network of so-called friends.

Thanks for answering all my questions! Last one: what’s so bad about drinking pink gin in the navy? [at a Naval officer interview, Nick orders a pink gin, a traditional naval drink, and instead of camaraderie is met with coughs and muttered ‘w***er’s.]  

Pink Gin was a popular naval drink, in the nineteenth century I believe, up until the days of David Niven or thereabouts (1940s-ish). I think angostura bitters were added to gin in the Caribbean or there abouts as some kind of health thing, perhaps to do with sea sickness or warding off tropical illnesses.

It was still a popular drink when my uncle was a naval officer, hence him teaching me how to make it.

But fast-forward to my appearance at the Admiralty Interview Board, and no one drank cocktails anymore. Most of them now drink bloody lager!

So when I ordered a Pink Gin (thinking myself the pinnacle of sophistication), they assumed I was taking the p*ss.

Incidentally, I currently favour a Gin ‘n’ Mixed Vermouth on occasion.

Take a Martini glass and fill with five shots of gin (Plymouth/Tanqueray/Beefeater) followed by 1 shot of Extra Dry Martini and 1 shot of Rosso Martini and garnished with a maraschino cherry on a cocktail stick.

———

So, there you have it. Hopefully this has inspired you to read the book, given a new lease to your real-world micronationalism or at least, inspiration for any new gin-based cocktails. I think I’ll mix myself one in honour of the Copeman Empire.

The Emperor speaks at event on independence

Speakers at the event being introduced (Emperor Jonathan I seated, second from left).

Emperor Jonathan I yesterday spoke about the Empire’s independence at an event at Wilton’s Music Hall in Tower Hamlets, London.

The event, entitled “This state of independence shall be…”, was part of the “Change for a tenner!” week-long festival celebrating social change, run by the London International Festival of Theatre.

His Imperial Majesty spoke to an audience of roughly 60 alongside representatives of the NSK State, Kemetia, Christiania, and Elgaland-Vargaland, all of which are independence movements of varying kinds.

The Emperor gave a 5-minute long overview of the history and structure of the Empire, then fielded questions on several topics, including the prominence of women in the Austenasian government and the expectations of the now Imperial Family when they declared independence.

 

One year anniversary of the Liberation of Orly celebrated

East Wrythe, the location of today’s celebration.

The first anniversary of the Liberation of Orly was today marked with a celebration in the Copanese Embassy at East Wrythe.

Tea and cakes were enjoyed by Emperor Jonathan I and Queen Emma of Copan, who was appointed monarch upon the Liberation one year ago.

They were joined by two prominent Orlians at the embassy, which, while under Austenasian sovereignty as an exclave of the capital, is administered under Copanese law due being under extraterritoriality. As East Wrythe is therefore in a sense both Austenasian and Orlian, it was felt to be the best location to celebrate the occasion.

The Liberation of Orly is the name given to the events of 24 June 2013, when citizens of Orly deposed Declan I and turned to the Emperor of Austenasia to restore legitimate government in Copan and the Grove, the two states which comprise Orly. Declan I had seized power over the Carshalton Nations in December 2010 by exploiting a power struggle between the then Emperor Esmond III and Crown Prince Jonathan, but had abdicated from the Austenasian Throne in January 2013. His deposition from the throne of Orly (and its re-division into Copan and the Grove) marked the end of foreign rule in the Carshalton Nations.

Jonathan I yesterday visited the Grove in a personal capacity to feed the wildlife there, an activity joyfully partaken in by the newly independent Orlians a year ago immediately after having deposed Declan I. The Emperor hinted that this may become an annual tradition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

James von Puchow made Austenasian subject at summit in London

The Emperor and von Puchow shake hands in Mile End Park after the latter becomes an Austenasian national.

James von Puchow, founder of Landashir and long-time friend of the Empire, became an Austenasian national earlier today at a summit held in central London.

Emperor Jonathan I met at Mile End with von Puchow and with Richard Cunningham (a former holder of the offices of GUM Chair and Pope of the Proto-Cults), to be joined later by Sebastian Linden of Francisville. Pierre d’Égtavie of Renasia had intended to attend the meeting, as had Evren Filgert of the recently founded Austenasian town of Porthbokon, but both had to cancel.

The Emperor, von Puchow and Cunningham visited the Tower of London and the British Museum before going back to Mile End to meet Sebastian Linden and his significant other. After refreshments, the group went to Mile End Park, where von Puchow was made an Austenasian national by the Emperor under the provisions of an Act of Parliament last week.

Von Puchow now holds the status of a non-residential subject, and will soon be appointed Deputy Chief Ambassador to share the workload of the current Chief Ambassador, the Prime Minister Countess Eritoshi.

 

Pigeon shot by air rifle falls into Wrythe

The pigeon contained under the basket until its injuries could be treated.

A pigeon fell out of the air onto the patio at the back of the Imperial Residence this afternoon after having been shot with an air rifle.

The shot had been fired from 316 Green Wrythe Lane, a house close to the Imperial Residence. A person living there is thought to have been visited by police officers only a few weeks ago due to him using the air rifle in their garden, having been heard to loudly complain about the incident on a mobile phone.

The pigeon landed on the patio and frantically shuffled into Wrythe Public Park, where the Emperor himself contained it under a large basket to prevent it from spreading blood over the park or injuring itself further.

After telephoning the RSPCA (a British animal welfare charity) to ask for the bird to be taken to be treated for its injury, the Emperor was asked by them to contact the British police to inform them of the incident, as both injuring a wild bird and shooting something outside of one’s own private property (as the pigeon almost certainly was) are illegal in the United Kingdom.

Two police officers soon arrived and were invited into the Imperial Residence by the Emperor, where he informed them of the situation. Despite the near-certainty that the bird had been shot – it had fallen out of the air after a loud “crack”, with the people at the nearby house having been heard mere minutes ago talking about “shoot[ing] it” after having been seen using the air rifle in their garden – the lack of an actual eyewitness meant that the police could take no action against them without the case being brought to court.

The Emperor declined to press charges, only expressing concern for the welfare of the pigeon. The police officers waited for several minutes for the RSPCA officers to arrive, but then had to depart, leaving a note with contact details should the RSPCA wish to press charges against the shooters.

After some time, an RSPCA officer telephoned the Imperial Residence stating that they were over an hour away and that it would be better for the bird to be taken to a nearby vet. However, there was nobody in the Imperial Residence who was allowed to drive on British roads, with the Emperor Mother and Emperor Father being at work and visiting friends respectively.

Lord Michael – uncle of the Emperor and twelfth in line to the Throne – kindly came to Wrythe and drove the Emperor and the pigeon to a nearby veterinary clinic, where the pigeon was given treatment and will soon be transferred to an animal sanctuary.

Lord Michael has received official thanks both from the Emperor and from Lord Hengest Crannis, Minister for the Environment, for transporting the pigeon to the vets.

 

 

 

New town established as Porthbokon joins the Empire

The garden in Porthbokon, July 2010.

For the seventh time this year the Empire has expanded, yesterday annexing a house and garden in Cornwall.

Porthbokon, as the property is now known, is home to four people, three of whom (one being under sixteen) are now Austenasian subjects. Lady Evren Filgert has been appointed Porthbokon’s Acting Representative until the next local election.

Measuring roughly 6980 square feet, Porthbokon is by far the largest Town of the Empire, over double the size of the second largest, Lichtenstein. The land was formerly claimed by a now defunct micronation named Bokonton, which was founded in October 2007 but entered into a terminal decline in late 2010.

 

James von Puchow speaks of the future for himself and Landashir

Article by Evren F

Yesterday, James von Puchow issued a statement explaining that his two-year involvement with Francisville was coming to an end.

James von Puchow, February 2013.

A micronationalist of long standing in the micronational community – Mr von Puchow has been nationbuilding for well over a decade – James has decided to cement Landashir’s status as “a politically autonomous collective which operates as a nation state” in order that it may “continue to exist without needing me to prop it up… [so that] the inactivity of my own self would not indicate that Landashir had ceased to exist. Landashir is still my home, but I would like to invest my efforts somewhere else.”

James cited personal commitments such as his studies for the reasoning behind the decision, which “was made a long time ago”. Mr von Puchow does not see his announcement as an “announcement of radical ideas” but simply a confirmation of a naturally made decision and stated further that,

“I have felt personally disappointed that I have not been able to fulfil any major duties as Premier nor go out and be a diehard micronationalist since I arrived in Edinburgh, but what needs to be stressed is that I am not the country. I have done a lot for it – I built it up – but Landashir can still be a functioning small little country with a government and territory without my constant input. I’ve learned to embrace the feelings of guilt by knowing that I belong to a country, but that country does not necessarily belong to me.”

On the subject of James’ intent towards the Empire of Austenasia, he stated that,

“The Emperor and I are looking to use my experience as a statesman to work for the Empire’s diplomatic service and embassies, possibly installing me in the office of an Austenasian embassy… The Emperor and I have been very close friends in the professional world, and I have taken time to attend national events in Austenasia and visit. I see a stable, structured nation and a possible new home. They have also embraced democratic institutions and their culture is not too different from my own. However, it can’t be denied that I am a staunch republican, so any oaths I take will have to reflect that although I may give allegiance to an Emperor, I remain loyal to a nation and its people.

“I may be a critical voice within the country as a result, but I know that this will not stop me from taking part in Austenasian processes and its culture. Think of it this way – Landashir is my spiritual home and place of rest, but I will live and work with Austenasia. Landashir doesn’t need all my time because it can function without a designated leader or a stack of laws – it is a commune.”

When asked about his future plans, hopes and dreams for this new, evolved role in micronationalism, James simply answered that “Plans will simply be to keep everyone updated on how I’m doing – I’m a friend of this entire community and a veteran at the same time. I have asked that my experience be used and somewhat exploited; at the end of the day, I find much comfort in being involved in this community because it realises my passion for politics and talking about what sort of country I wish to live in. We’ve yet to see the fruits of my labour, so I look forward to the future.”

An inspiring message for long-standing members of the community everywhere, James von Puchow is a shining example of the evolution of micronational statesmanship. We await further developments with interest.

 

Compromise reached over New South Scotland; peace restored

A satellite view of New South Scotland.

A compromise has been reached between His Imperial Majesty the Emperor and Queen Astrid of Zealandia in regards to the crisis over New South Scotland.

The escalation over the Austenasian Crown Dependency, which began yesterday afternoon BST, has come to an end with the restoration of diplomatic relations between the Empire and Zealandia.

After discussion between the Emperor and the Queen (which had been encouraged by Lord John Gordon of Palasia, Sir James Puchowski of Landashir, and several others), it was realised that both leaders had made misinterpretations and mistakes, with difficulties in communication arising from the medium of Skype messages and the differences in time zones.

Zealandia’s brief claim to have annexed New South Scotland has been withdrawn, and Queen Astrid – also known as Anna Lindstrom – has been reinstated as Governing Commissioner of New South Scotland.

The Emperor has passed an Imperial Edict making the position of Governing Commissioner of New South Scotland belong ex officio to the Zealandian head of state, and relinquished “any claim to anything more than de jure sovereignty” over the crown dependency, giving permission for it to be run under Zealandian administration.

Under this compromise, New South Scotland will be for all intents and purposes run as if it were a part of Zealandia, but remain a nominal part of the Empire. The Imperial Edict passed by the Emperor can be read here.

New South Scotland invaded as Zealandia condemned for aggression

Despite being roundly condemned by numerous national leaders for her aggression towards New South Scotland, Queen Astrid of Zealandia this morning sent Zealandian troops into the Austenasian crown dependency.

Announcing that she had renamed the land “Nyaskane”, Queen Astrid – also known as Anna Lindstrom – claimed to have annexed it into Zealandia, a claim unrecognised by the international community.

Claims that this has been done in accordance with the principle of self-determination have been ridiculed, with nobody living on the land and there being no citizens of New South Scotland registered with the Austenasian government.

Much confusion has resulted from claims by Queen Astrid she had been “pressured unfairly into dismissing half our government”, asserting that Emperor Jonathan I had been pressuring her to sack her Prime Minister and two high-ranking military officers. The Emperor has clarified that he suggested she dismiss an officer who she had complained was actively trying to depose her, and challenged her to produce any evidence that he had ever done anything more, stating that neither of them had “never even mentioned” the Zealandian Prime Minister.

After the Queen Astrid suspended the treaty allowing ZDF personnel to be present in New South Scotland, the Emperor gave 24 hours for them to leave the area before he would consider their presence a violation of sovereignty, a situation which Queen Astrid compared to the British colonisation of Australia (not the troops occupying the land, but being given time to leave).

The actions of Zealandia have been condemned by the international community of small nations:

  • Sir Joseph Kennedy, in his capacity as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Ashukov Federation, calling Zealandia “a nation known for its crippling instability, frequent constitutional changes and frequently-deposed incompetent government members” stated it “has no right to” New South Scotland and that Ashukovo “will stand with Austenasia, no matter what”. He further stated that Astrid had “decided to invade a territory that has never, isn’t, and will never be Zealandian. Is it not ironic, then, that the Zealandian queen called the Austenasians “imperialist”? Therefore, I call on the Zealandians to do the right thing; stop this nonsense. New South Scotland rightfully belongs to Austenasia, you are violating the territorial integrity of Austenasia and international law.”
  • King Adam of Überstadt stated that “the Kingdom of Überstadt condemns the Commonwealth of Zealandia and calls upon Her Majesty to remove her forces from New South Scotland and return the same to civilian rule at the soonest possible time.”
  • Duke Bradley of Dullahan, Chairman of the Grand Unified Micronational, condemned the “childish actions” of Zealandia.
  • Sir James Puchowski, Premier of Landashir, stated that “the way that Zealandia is behaving is something I find shocking and rather idiotic… [and] it stands nowhere within the guidelines of professional conduct. The Queen has always been the sort to act erratically and sporadically without warning and especially without any rational thought… [and] I condemn the aggression.” He later added Zealandia’s actions were “not impressing anyone and this is really really sad.”
  • Sir Sebastian Linden, Federal Councillor of Francisville, condemned Astrid’s “acts of aggression towards the Empire of Austenasia”, calling them “inconducive towards fostering a spirit of co-operation and development”.
  • President Hogg of the micronation Algasia stated they would “lend any diplomatic support available to ending this whole matter and will support Austenasia.”

Emperor Jonathan I has given the following statement:

It is with great sadness that Our Imperial Majesty has seen the betrayal of our former friend play out before us. Astrid has lied to us, to the Zealandian government, and to those who have tried to help the situation through mediation. Her lies about us cannot be tolerated – nowhere did we pressure her to dismiss the members of her government that she claimed, and we challenge her to prove otherwise. While we advised she dismiss an officer attempting to depose her, this was advice given in a spirit of friendship after she informed us and our Privy Council that she was at risk of losing her throne. We cannot now help but think that this was a ruse to cause us to say something of the sort which she could present to her government as proof of “imperialism” – even she does not seem unstable enough to promote an officer if he had genuinely attempted to overthrow her mere days ago. It is clear that, far from having been forced by her government to invade New South Scotland, she has manipulated them into doing so by feeding them lies about Austenasia. The occupation of New South Scotland is illegal under international law. It is sovereign Austenasian land, and never has been Zealandian. The principle of self-determination has no relevance, there being no New South Scotlander population; Astrid’s claims to herself be a citizen of New South Scotland started only yesterday, after the crisis had begun, having never before claimed this status (which, if she held, would anyway make her guilty of treason for encouraging foreign invasion). Her claims of Austenasia being imperialist and aggressive are so laughable and hypocritical that we would debase ourselves to dignify them with a response. Furthermore, we dishonourably revoke Astrid’s honour in the Austenasian Order, and relinquish our own knighthood from her deceptive nation. In conclusion, the occupation of New South Scotland is an affront to the majesty of the Empire and the customs of civilised nations. However, it is not that which pains us, but the lies, deceit, and betrayal from somebody who for so long has claimed to be our friend. If that friendship was a ruse, a mere trick to be able to occupy some land, then we must condemn Queen Astrid and her actions as truly despicable.

ICJA

Wrythe, 3 June 2014