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Lord Wilson and Lady Dillon confirmed as general election candidates

Emperor Jonathan I yesterday confirmed two candidates for next month’s general election.

Lord William Wilson (l) and Lady Addison Dillon (r)

Lady Addison Dillon, Representative of Blue Ridge, will be running against Lord William Wilson, Representative of Nahona.

Both candidates have recently founded political parties to organise their supporters: Lady Dillon the Alliance Party and Lord Wilson the Arete (Excellence) Party.

The Alliance Party describes itself as “syncretic” and “endorses civil rights, equality before the law, Athenian direct democracy, and broad technological and social reform.” Lady Dillon has noted that it “focuses on social issues rather than ideological economic specifics.”

Lord Wilson has stated that the aim of the Arete Party “is to bring about the best of cultural, economic, and political life in Austenasia through the application of the 11 moral virtues described in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.”

The Arete Party held a party conference earlier today, in which incumbent Prime Minister Lord John Gordon was elected party secretary. Two other Representatives have also joined.

The general election will take place on 17 September, and will elect the country’s sixth Prime Minister.

The winner of the election will come into office the following day, 18 September, which this year as the third Saturday in September will also be Austenasian Independence Day.

The incumbent Prime Minister, Lord John Gordon, has been in office since June last year, but is stepping down as head of government due to increasing demands on his time, as well as the fact that despite enjoying broad popular support he was not directly elected.

Lady Addison Dillon became an Austenasian governor in July 2020 upon claiming the then Territory of Blue Ridge. This was expanded into a Town in December with the annexation of her adjoining residence, of which she was elected Representative in February. She currently serves as one of Austenasia’s three delegates to the Grand Unified Micronational.

Lord William Wilson joined Austenasia with the creation of the Town of Nahona in January 2020. He currently holds office as Deputy Prime Minister and Chief Herald, and also served as Home Secretary from August 2020 to February 2021.

Relations established with Lundenwic at London meeting

The two Emperors with Lord Lewis (centre) in Kensington

A treaty was signed yesterday establishing mutual recognition and formal relations between Austenasia and Lundenwic at a multilateral meeting in central London.

Emperor Jonathan I met Lord Mike Lewis, Prime Minister of Lundenwic, as well as Emperor Adam I of Adammia.

The three national leaders met at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, gradually making their way to Kensington over the course of the afternoon.

Lundenwic was founded in December 2013, and has a population of fifteen. Its land claims are bordered by south-west London.

Despite only entering into formal diplomatic relations yesterday, Austenasia has held informal friendly relations with Lundenwic for some time. Lord Lewis visited Wrythe as a tourist in December 2016, took part in Austenasia’s tenth anniversary celebrations along with Grand Duke Julian of Lundenwic in September 2018, and joined both emperors at the June 2019 GUM Birmingham Summit.

Over the course of yesterday’s meeting, Austenasia, Adammia and Lundenwic all agreed in principle to the creation of an organisation to promote the interests of small nations and unrecognised independence movements in the British Isles. This idea was put forward by Austenasian Prime Minister Lord John Gordon in November last year, and its promotion made a priority of the Austenasian Foreign Office.

More details of the prospective organisation will be forthcoming as discussions progress.

The location of Speaker’s Corner was chosen to commemorate the tenth anniversary – off by only ten days – of the 2011 Intermicronational Summit. This summit, which likewise had Speaker’s Corner as its initial meeting place, saw fourteen politicians and diplomats gather for the first multilateral in-person meeting of members of the “MicroWiki community”.

Coup underway in New Virginia

Chaos erupted yesterday in the Commonwealth of New Virginia as President Kennedy suspended the constitution in response to a declaration of “revolution” before joining it herself.

Events began when Elizabeth Lewis published a poster in the “Announcements” channel on the official New Virginian Discord server.

Headed by a picture of Karl Marx, this poster called for an overthrow of the constitutional order, the “building of a socialist… state and party” and “the deportation of dangerous right wing figures”, before declaring “Long live the New Virginian revolution”.

A second graphic was then posted calling for the removal of Bradley of Dullahan, the Leader of the Opposition.

President Brooklyn Kennedy responded by assuming emergency powers, using the authority granted to her by the Constitution to suspend it “for the time being”, and announcing that all powers of state would be exercised by the Presidency until New Virginia could “return to a state of normalcy”.

Under ten minutes later, Kennedy made a second announcement, declaring her support for the “29th of July Movement” revolution. Claiming that the New Virginian parliament was “rife with reactionaries, racists, and elitists”, she stated that the “time has come for these men to be purged”.

The President went on to announce that all political parties were immediately dissolved, and power would be held by a Revolutionary Committee comprised of three people appointed and chaired by herself.

Sir Simon White, the New Virginian Prime Minister, refused to support the 29th of July Movement, stating “I cannot in good conscience support this insurrection. To outlaw reactionary partisanship is indeed a noble policy, but the outlawing of conservatism in general is utterly repugnant to this nation.”

It is furthermore being reported that Adam I of Adammia, who also serves as President of the Senate of New Virginia, has called on the Constitution to be immediately restored and for a general election to be called, criticising the committee for its lack of democratic mandate.

Adammia has announced that it has suspended relations with New Virginia, and Wyvern has indicated that it does not recognise the Revolutionary Committee as the legitimate government of the country.

In Austenasia, meanwhile, Cabinet met online to discuss the situation, and the following statement was co-authored by Emperor Jonathan I, Prime Minister Lord Gordon, and Deputy PM Lord Wilson:

“A hand of friendship, as always, is extended to the New Virginian people, but we cannot recognise an illegitimate government. If the situation has not been resolved with respect to the democratic rights and representation of all New Virginians within the next 36 hours, we will consider the New Virginian government to have fallen and therefore be incapable of maintaining diplomatic relations.”

Talks had been in the process of being arranged between Austenasian and New Virginian officials to discuss the way forward following the events of last month.

However, following the news of the ongoing coup in New Virginia, the House of Representatives met and voted on a motion calling for the Empire to withdraw from the alliance it still formally held with New Virginia. Independently, eighteen minutes later, the Revolutionary Committee likewise voted to sever the alliance.

Bradley von Dullahan later announced the unilateral secession of Helinium – the New Virginian claim governed by himself – from the Commonwealth, interpreting the rhetoric used by Kennedy and the other revolutionaries as thinly-veiled threats against his own position.

Lord William Wilson, who also serves as a local governor in New Virginia, said the following: “This coup is of a blatantly authoritarian nature, with a small cabal of politically aligned individuals surrounding the President. They have suspended their constitution and legislature, threatened the exile of political opposition, and used rhetoric of death to ‘capitalists’ and ‘reactionaries’.” He also accused the revolutionaries of seeking to turn New Virginia into an “echo chamber”.

Kennedy and Lewis have objected to this summary of events, stating they were “not just removing people for disagreeing with us”. They pointed out that von Dullahan left of his own accord – although Lewis later commented that he “left before he could be kicked [out]” – and argued that he could not technically be considered a political opponent of theirs as they both hold non-partisan offices.

Bradley of Dullahan provided the following exclusive statement to the Times:

“For a long time Brooke [Kennedy] and Elizabeth [Lewis] have been dissatisfied with the partisan politics that they enabled through the creation of the now abolished political system. It actually worked fine and was stable. A true multiparty system was developing slowly, with in my mind at least another party in the make. However, the government cabinet, as foolish as they were, schemed with the President to declare a fake emergency to amend the constitution. Now it has come to pass, they used some random offensive argument to push through their ideas and abolished the whole lot. Not at all what the Prime Minister had in mind.

They enabled the President by feeding her ideas that this was a good idea, and then when she took it a step further they were shocked and angry. However, my disappointment with New Virginia doesn’t end there. The entire justification of this inside coup (all members were government officials, so no “people’s revolution” at all) was on the basis of my person. They do not mention me by name, but every accusation they give is directly relatable to a warped and sickening view that Elizabeth has of me, which the President of the Commonwealth has adopted and used for the declaration. Its inaccurate, misleading, and highly offensive.

The President of the Commonwealth of New Virginia and all her cronies in the so-called commission for the salvation of New Virginia and everyone who joined in on the revolution are traitors. The rightful head of government is Simon White. They destroyed a nation without giving it time to grow.”

New Virginian Deputy PM James Frisch, who has refused to join the “29th of July Movement”, rejected the allegation that the government had “schemed with the President”, noting that the majority of the Cabinet has either opposed the revolution or kept silent.

Lewis was approached for further comment, together with another member of the Revolutionary Committee, but neither have so far replied.

Further updates will be posted as the situation develops.

Gordon not to stand in September general election

Lord John Gordon, Viscount of Thetford

Parliament has authorised an early general election to take place this September, in which Lord John Gordon, incumbent Prime Minister, has said he will not stand for re-election.

Under the Elections Act 2020 passed in November last year, general elections are meant to be held every four years. However, exceptions can be made by Parliament, as took place this morning.

Although the next general election was not due until February 2024, it will now take place on 17 September later this year.

Lord Gordon is currently training with the British Army, and the increasing demands on his time have led to his decision not to run for re-election as Prime Minister.

Lord Gordon has served as Prime Minister since 1 June last year. Uniquely, rather than being elected, he was appointed directly to the position by Emperor Jonathan I after the latter assumed emergency powers to calm the May 2020 political crisis.

The new Gordon premiership saw a quick return to stability and normality, reaching a record-breaking growth in Austenasia’s population and land claims and a flowering of culture. The demographic changes accompanying this growth are another factor in the decision to call an early general election.

The candidates for the upcoming election will be confirmed by 20 August.

Ministry of Territories and the Diaspora established

Tuesday 19th January saw a new Cabinet Ministry created by Parliament to enable greater political participation for non-residential subjects and for the governors of uninhabited territories.

Lord Andrew Creed, newly appointed Minister of Territories and the Diaspora

Out of Austenasia’s population of one hundred and twenty one, only eighty five live in Austenasia itself. The other thirty six, known as non-residential subjects, form an Austenasian diaspora the majority of whom live in the United Kingdom, USA, Greece, and New Virginia.

Given non-residential subjects do not live in a Town, they are not represented in Parliament. Their comparatively limited ability to have their voices heard has been noted before, but Emperor Jonathan I and PM Lord John Gordon agreed to enact concrete steps towards enabling their greater political participation.

The newly-established Ministry of Territories and the Diaspora has therefore been tasked with creating a group for non-residential subjects which will allow them to have a greater involvement in Austenasian politics and culture. The exact form this group will take and the time-frame for its creation have not yet been confirmed, but membership will be voluntary.

The new ministry has also been given the responsibility of “relaying to Cabinet the concerns, requests or opinions of Governors”, that is, the officials that administer uninhabited Austenasian land claims, who have prior to this not automatically had any official means of having their voices heard in lawmaking or policy.

Lord Andrew Creed has been appointed the first Minister of Territories and the Diaspora. He is Austenasia’s longest serving Governor, having administered Corinium Terentium since December 2013.

Princess Hannah and Bradley of Dullahan named Consuls of 2021

1 January 2021 1 comment
The Consuls of 2021

Lord John Gordon has named the first Consuls of his premiership, announcing that Princess Hannah and Bradley, Duke of Dullahan will hold the office for 2021.

The Consuls are the highest judicial authorities in the Empire, passing sentence when guilty verdicts are reached. However, due to Austenasia’s practically non-existent crime rate, their function is mostly ceremonial, primarily being used to name the year.

2021 will therefore be known as the year of the consulship of Hannah Augusta and Bradley Archidux Saxoniae.

Princess Hannah also served as Consul last year, becoming one of only three people to have held the Austenasian Consulate consecutively since its creation at the start of 2011.

A Consul may serve two consecutive terms, but the same two Consuls cannot serve consecutive terms at the same time.

Princess Hannah, in addition to being sovereign monarch of the Principality of Wildflower Meadows, is the fiancée and official consort of Emperor Jonathan I.

Bradley, who was recently appointed Archduke of Saxony in the Holy Roman Empire, in addition to his role as Prime Minister of Wyvern also serves in Austenasia as Princeps Senatus (leader of the Senate) and has held office as both Home Secretary and Minister of Defence.

Happy New Year from the Austenasian Times!

Christmastide statement from the Prime Minister

This year, Emperor Jonathan I did not issue his customary Christmas broadcast, but rather delegated that honour to the Prime Minister, Lord John Gordon. Technical problems have prevented him from recording a broadcast, but he has published the following statement:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 210px-JohnGordon.jpg

Austenasians, Friends and Subjects, I must first start by apologizing for the lateness of this speech. As you can imagine, it’s been a busy period. 

This Christmas we reflect not only on this year, but also on ourselves. This year has been full of hardship and sacrifice and we have risen to the challenge. With Covid-19 ravaging the world, it hasn’t been the best of years. However, we all came together in the spirit of community and I could not be more proud. We must also remember those we have lost this year due to the pandemic: they will never be forgotten.

This year for Austenasia has been turbulent, beginning with the crisis with the Constitutional Referendum and Dionisiy’s subsequent resignation which gave me the reigns of government, but we have emerged stronger and more united. Austenasia is my home and I am so proud to be an Austenasian.

This Christmas I want us to remember the words of Jesus when he told of the Good Samaritan in the Bible (Luke 10:25-37). We must help our neighbor as we help ourselves. I want 2021 to be an illustrious year for Austenasia, and I promise you I will do everything I can to make that a reality. 

Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!

Lord John Gordon, Viscount of Thetford
Prime Minister of Austenasia
Palasia
30 December 2020, the Sixth Day of Christmas

Imperial Family celebrates Christmas under coronavirus restrictions

A toned-down Christmas Day was yesterday celebrated by the Imperial Family due to restrictions currently in force in neighbouring areas of the United Kingdom to protect people from the spread of coronavirus.

The Imperial Family’s Christmas tree in Parliament Hall

Christmas would usually see the immediate Imperial Family hosting or being hosted by the relatives of Emperor Mother Margaret for Christmas dinner, but in order to help prevent Covid-19 spreading between households, new restrictions brought in earlier this month by the British government have forbidden different families from meeting.

Plans to allow up to three households to meet together over Christmas were cancelled after a new strain of the virus was discovered in England.

The Imperial Family was, however, able to attend the customary morning service at Carshalton Methodist Church, albeit wearing masks, socially distanced from other families, and with no congregational singing, as per the rules imposed regarding corporate worship.

Emperor Jonathan I did not give his usual Christmas broadcast, instead delegating that honour to the Prime Minister, Lord John Gordon. The broadcast will be published at some point over the wider Christmas season, prior to the New Year.

The Emperor was, however, able to wish the people and supporters of Austenasia a merry Christmas in a post on the Empire’s official Facebook group, in which he shared photographs taken of the Imperial Family’s visit to church that morning. The customary Christmas cards to Austenasian and foreign dignitaries were also successfully sent off.

With the success of ongoing vaccination efforts, next year’s Christmas should hopefully see a return to relative normality.

Dominel granted protected state status

A new sovereign state, the Kingdom of Dominel, was recently founded by its now monarch, Queen Alexandra I.

Flag of Dominel

The new kingdom claims a small area of land bordered by the British county of Norfolk, and is situated nearby to the Austenasian town of Palasia.

After diplomatic efforts led by Austenasian prime minister Lord John Gordon – who serves as Representative of Palasia – a treaty was yesterday signed between Alexandra I and Emperor Jonathan I establishing mutual recognition and friendly diplomatic relations between Austenasia and Dominel, as well as making Dominel a protected state of the Empire.

Protected states of Austenasia hold a favoured position geopolitically in that Austenasia has pledged to defend them militarily upon their request, but they are not required to provide anything in return. Neither does the Empire assume any control over their foreign affairs or military, as it did with its protectorates (a status held by some states between 2010 and 2012).

The Kingdom of the Grove, the Kingdom of Copan, and the Principality of Wildflower Meadows are also protected states of Austenasia.

Palasia Pet Cemetery designated national monument

On November 10th, a charter was signed which gave Palasia Pet Cemetery official national monument status.

Palasia Pet Cemetery is located in Joyce Memorial Garden in Palasia.

The status of national monument, created by the Monuments and Heritage Act 2017, is for sites or structures within Austenasia which are of cultural or historical significance to the nation.

Palasia Pet Cemetery is the second site to be granted the status. The first national monument was another pet cemetery, that of Wrythe, and the Ministry for Culture is also exploring the option of granting the status to a monument recently erected in Nahona.

Palasia Pet Cemetery was officially opened on 21 July earlier this year after the burial of Pickles, the family dog of Lord John Gordon. It is also the final resting place of a rabbit, Sasha.

Its status as a national monument now enshrines within law the commitment of the Representative of Palasia to make provision for the maintenance of the cemetery, and increases the legal penalty for damaging the site.