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Dissolution of St.Charlian recognised

26 January 2017 1 comment

National flag of the Federal Republic of St.Charlie.

An Act of Parliament was passed last night which finally recognised the Federal Republic of St.Charlie to be defunct.

After Prime Minister Alexander Eastwood controversially took supreme power as Chancellor in August 2015, the St.Charlian government effectively ceased to function. After a year and a half of complete inactivity, Eastwood informed Emperor Jonathan I on Saturday 21st earlier this month that he considered the nation “defunct”.

Yesterday’s Foreign Affairs Act 2017, amongst other provisions, cites “the inability of the St.Charlian government to continue to function to the extent necessary to exercise sovereignty” as the reason for the Empire revoking recognition of the Federal Republic.

Although the inactivity of St.Charlie’s government has long been known, Chancellor Eastwood’s admission that he himself considers the nation defunct has been seen as the official death-blow to the country.

Alexander Reinhardt, arguably St.Charlie’s most famous politician, refused suggestions that he should declare himself monarch in an attempt to restore the nation’s sovereignty.

St.Charlie was founded as a Kingdom on Christmas Day 2000 by King Patrizio I, who ruled until overthrown in November 2008 by Reinhardt, who established the Federal Republic. For years afterwards, St.Charlie was known as one of the most politically and culturally advanced small nations in the MicroWiki community, with a population peaking at 150 and land claims around the world.

Austenasia entered into mutual relations with St.Charlie in August 2009, signing an official treaty of mutual friendship with the nation in December later that year, and the now Emperor Jonathan I met with St.Charlian leaders in 2011 and 2012.

A decrease in governmental activity had been noted in St.Charlie by early 2014, which the then President put down to many St.Charlian leaders having to spend more time on other commitments as they grew older. The Presidency was abolished by Prime Minister Eastwood the following year, who declared himself head of both state and government as Chancellor.

There has been reaction to St.Charlie’s ‘official’ demise from members of the MicroWiki community. King Adam I of Uberstadt and Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy both reflected on how they had warned Eastwood that his reforms would damage St.Charlie, whereas Mercian diarch Richard Cunningham called it the “End of an era”.

The Lord Admiral’s Corner: On the revived Grand Unified Micronational

16 June 2016 1 comment
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The logo of the new Grand Unified Micronational

This article is one of a series of editorials from Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy known as The Lord Admiral’s Corner, where the Prime Minister will give his thoughts and opinions on issues affecting the micronation.org community. The opinions expressed in this series are the personal views of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Austenasian Times or the Austenasian Government.

I’ll admit, I was skeptical when His Imperial Majesty the Emperor told me of plans to revive the Grand Unified Micronational.

As a younger man, I was a very influential delegate from the now-defunct Ashukov Federation. I campaigned for the Chairmanship three times, though only the second one was successful. I was instrumental in the creation of the now-defunct GUM Library and established a committee dedicated to enacting a new Charter (which failed to accomplish its goal following the end of my term). I was as instrumental in attempting to revive the GUM as I was in its disestablishment as an organization; I was one of the first to advocate for its disestablishment and I served as the last Vice-Chairman of the old GUM under Adam of Adammia, my former rival and electoral opponent.

Eventually, I came to agree with efforts to revive the GUM for a few reasons: the lack of discourse between nations in this community and the rise of the very capable (with some exceptions) “new guard.” When the GUM was disestablished, there ceased to be a hub for intermicronational diplomacy, with the only other major organization remaining being the then-relevant and active Saint Josephsburg Economic Pact, which is currently planned to be dissolved by the remaining member-states. This community has needed something like this to revive discourse between numerous micronations and to ensure stability.

One of the reasons the old GUM failed was because, for a time, the number of lower quality new nations was exceptionally higher than the number of higher quality new nations (and because, against my advice, Quorum would vote to let anybody in, but that’s another story for another time). As older nations began to die off, a void was opened that newer nations weren’t able to fill. Now, with the rise of nations such as Mcarthia, Roseland, Zenrax, and the return of Koss, the GUM has enough higher quality nations to not totally stagnate.

As a former Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Supreme Judge, I have some advice to give the members of the new GUM.

First of all, as dreadful as this might sound, I strongly recommend the newer delegates wait an election or two before seeking the office of Chairman. Now, I understand why you might dislike this advice because I once attempted to run for the Chairmanship against King Ciprian of Juclandia after only serving as a delegate for around six months. In retrospect, I was nowhere near experienced enough to lead an organization such as the GUM. Now, as a former Chairman I can tell you that the job is no walk in the park (as a matter of fact, I wouldn’t accept the position if Quorum unanimously begged me to). It’s extremely time consuming, doubly so now due to the increase of the Chairman’s mandate from three to six months. It’s also extremely stressful – one mistake and Quorum will ridicule you (especially if you’ve made political enemies and rivals, which I did and I’m sure most delegates will do). Numerous past Chairmen (myself included) have stories of the job being so stressful they quite literally broke down for a time.

Finally; please, for the love of God, don’t admit just anyone into the GUM as a full member. My personal recommendation is to refuse admission to any nation which hasn’t existed for at least six months (before anyone points out that Ashukovo was a GUM member from day one of its existence, Ashukovo was a successor state of a prior GUM member-state and all Ashukov politicians were seasoned micronationalists with at least six months of experience), doesn’t maintain active relations with at least five full member-states and can’t compose a decent MicroWiki article. That doesn’t mean you should shun most of these nations entirely (excluding lost causes such as joke nations and obvious fakes), just advise them to seek observership so more seasoned members can help them improve and then seek full membership.

I believe the new GUM can be a positive force in the modern MicroWiki community so long as the new delegates avoid the errors of the past. I will serve as an Austenasian delegate and will occasionally voice my opinion and vote in Quorum, but at present I don’t plan on seeking office in the GUM. I wish the new and old delegates the best of luck and offer them my wholehearted support.

HIH Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy, Duke of Bohemia

Revival of the Grand Unified Micronational underway

15 April 2016 1 comment

The newly adopted logo for the restructured GUM.

Yesterday evening, a quorum was held by the Grand Unified Micronational for the first time since June last year.

For the past ten months, the Grand Unified Micronational (GUM) has functioned as a formal chatroom for heads of state, politicians and diplomats, having been reformed from an increasingly dormant international organisation.

Yesterday, however, Emperor Jonathan I and Lord Kit McCarthy raised the prospect of having the GUM return to being an international organisation for small nations.

With overwhelming support from the chatroom’s members, the Emperor – who is the current Chair of the GUM – called together a quorum, a meeting of delegates which was used to pass motions when the GUM was an organisation.

The members of the chatroom passed a motion agreeing to begin work on drafting a new reformed charter for a restructured GUM, which would learn from the mistakes of the past. Although several microstates and micronations were represented in the quorum, it was agreed that none would be considered member states of a revived GUM organisation until after the new charter was passed.

Although international organisations have recently become increasingly unpopular in the diplomatic community of small nations, there is support for a reformed GUM from a wide range of those in the MicroWiki community, for which the GUM functioned practically as a United Nations equivalent for much of 2009 and 2010.

It is hoped that the restoration of the GUM to an international organisation will help to improve ties between the older and newer members of the MicroWiki community, who are increasingly forming two separate factions according to many observers.

Interview with Lord Kit McCarthy of Amerdansk

Lord Kit McCarthy is Baron and Governor of the newly annexed Austenasian territory of Amerdansk,  and last year founded the RadioMicro media group and the micronation of Mcarthia (his house in Scotland). He is known for his public criticism of Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy – most recently supporting concerns raised over the Prime Minister’s mandate – and is a prominent figure amongst the newer members of the MicroWiki community. The Austenasian Times has conducted an interview with Lord McCarthy:

Tell us a bit about Amerdansk. What’s it like; what interesting features does it have?

Amerdansk is a patch of land next to Mcarthia’s east border, sitting directly north of Government House – indeed, the President’s Office overlooks it. Mcarthia’s two free range chickens are frequently seen there, along with Mcarthia’s two cats.

The land is accessed by a short narrow path through a wooden frame with various plants growing over it.
Much of the territory is actually covered in thick moss, which in summer gets extremely warm. In fact, two years ago, it got so that residents could see a little steam coming off!

Amerdansk: the Territory governed by Lord Kit McCarthy.

Why did you decide to offer Amerdansk to the Empire?

Mcarthia greatly respects the Empire’s position as a community leader, and on our first anniversary we wished to make something of a contribution. Therefore, the Mcarthian Parliament unanimously agreed to cede the land of Amerdansk to the Empire.

We also hoped that after the – ahem – ‘Austenasian Election Affair,’ relations could be improved between the two nations.

There have in the past been tensions between yourself and the Prime Minister, Lord Admiral Kennedy. Can you see this being a problem for your position in the Empire?

I would be lying if I said I approved of all the Prime Minister’s actions, and that is common knowledge. At times, I have found the Prime Minister to be offensive, and believe that some of his actions have been inappropriate for someone of his position.

However, he has been democratically elected, and no matter what issues I may have with him, if the electorate trusts him, I will of course support his position.

I have no desire to fight further, and hope that we can respect each other – accepting, but not dwelling on past events. So long as he is also prepared to accept that, I hope there will not be any further problems between us.

You’ve recently advocated for the Grand Unified Micronational to return to being a full-blown intergovernmental organisation. Could you tell us a bit about your reasons for this, and what you think it would take to be a success?

The GUM was fairly undeniably the most successful of all the micronational organisations, even considering its eventual demise. I have been discussing with a senior member of the community the possibility of the GUM once again becoming active in its previous style.

The community, I have long believed, needs some kind of focal point. Even disasters such as the MNTO brought the community together, and created activity (even if it wasn’t always the activity we wanted…). Despite their bad name, organisations are a good way of encouraging participation in the community, and helping us stay attractive to new and younger members.

I think that with genuine careful planning, and the support of major micronations, the GUM has a hope of becoming a ‘real’ organisation.

It is an unfortunate fact that most, if not all, organised micronational activity does not last forever. I suppose the essential reason for this is that micronationalism is for many a hobby, and is not essential to people’s lives. So what if an organisation collapses? However, this puts many off founding organisations.

We have to accept that there is perfectly good chance that the GUM would not survive again. However, I don’t think this should put us off. If it doesn’t work, it’s not the end of the world. It’ll have given us all something to do!

Any efforts however would face a dilemma – the GUM survived while it did primarily because it was full of extremely experienced, respected nations. However, in my discussions with others, it is clear that many would see a new GUM primarily as a project for newer nations. Concerns have been raised that younger micronationalists have no role model, if you will. People see a need, and I think I agree, for an organisation that would mentor MicroWiki’s younger members, and give them valuable political and professional experience.

But then, there is a problem. If an organisation is focused towards younger nations, many of the more experienced nations might not be so interested in joining. And if we don’t have the experienced members, long term success would prove much harder. A very careful balance would need to be struck.

Absolutely meticulous planning would be required, probably months’ worth, and all of the essential technical and legal infrastructure would have to be in place before the organisation began again. One of the major problems the Nollandish Confederacy suffered was a lack of this. All our activities revolved around self-management because the system wasn’t effectively working when the organisation began. Work was divided into two categories – elections (taking 80-90% of our time), and attempting to pass legislation relating to governance and management. We were inflated by unimaginable amounts of bureaucracy.

What should be happening ideally is that the members of an organisation shouldn’t have to bother with this. Administration should, as much as possible, be taken care of behind the scenes.

We couldn’t afford this in a new organisation. Elections would have to take less than no time, and the Constitution should mean that self-governing legislation shouldn’t be necessary. A new organisation would have to hit the ground running.

What happened with the Confederacy was that a complete lack of anything useful being done meant that no one bothered to even vote on all the pointless legislation. No one cared. What others and myself were trying to do later in the Confederacy’s life was introduce some kind of projects – there was a guide for new micronationalists, for instance, or a Confederal games. It was too late.

A new organisation would have to be kept simple. A simple electoral system would be a key example. I have found that organisation designers are somewhat in awe of very complicated electoral systems that might produce a decent result but are absolutely impossible to run. They were the death of the Confederacy, I am fairly sure.

So then, to sum up (and I apologise for a very long answer): a new organisation would have to have confidence, experienced members, a very wide support base, a balance between providing for experienced members and younger members, extremely careful planning, a pre-prepared infrastructure, and a simple governance system. Heaven knows that’s not all, but it’s a start, and if we can get that, I think we’d have a decent chance.

Thank you for your time.

Grand Unified Micronational reformed

For much of 2009, the Grand Unified Micronational could have reasonably been described as the United Nations of the MicroWiki community. Earlier today, almost six and a half years after its foundation, the GUM as an international organisation came to an end.

Logo of the Grand Unified Micronational.

The GUM has been through two major reforms in the past – one in February 2012 and another in February 2014 – but today’s reform has seen most of its structures completely disestablished.

After several months of declining activity, a consensus was reached by the member states of the GUM that there was no longer a need for a UN-style organisation in today’s MicroWiki community. Instead, the GUM has been transitioned into what could be described as a Skype-based private members club, with national delegates retained as members and the Chairman – Adam Belcher, who oversaw the transition – remaining as administrator.

Membership of the GUM is now no longer for delegations representing small nations, but rather for politicians and diplomats acting in a personal capacity.

The Empire of Austenasia had formerly been a member state of the GUM since October 2009.

Emperor Jonathan I, Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy, and Prince Andrew I (governor of Corinium Terentium) are included in the members of the new GUM.

MicroWiki bought by the Emperor

The logo of MicroWiki

His Imperial Majesty Emperor Jonathan I has become the new owner of MicroWiki.org after buying it from former owner Pierre d’Égtavie.

D’Égtavie, who has hosted the website since it became independent from the Wikia organisation in November 2010, announced via Facebook at the start of the month that he was “looking to transfer ownership of the site to someone who… [he felt could] keep it alive”.

The Emperor put in a bid for the website, which was soon accepted in principle, with details of the transferral of ownership being discussed over several days. The transferral of ownership took place this afternoon, with the Emperor taking control of the financial and administrative management of the website.

MicroWiki is a website that hosts a wiki and forums which are a major focal point for the foreign relations of Austenasia and many of the states with which it has the closest diplomatic relations, with a vibrant community of politicians and diplomats having grown up around it since the first incarnation of the wiki was founded in 2005.

The acquisition of the website by the Emperor has already been welcomed by several individuals on its forums, as well as via Skype and Facebook.

Joseph Kennedy becomes Pope

19 January 2014 1 comment
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A stylised portrait of Joseph Kennedy, the new Pope Alexander IV of the Divine Church of the Parva-Religions.

Joseph Kennedy yesterday assumed the role of Pope of the Parva-Religions.

The Pope leads the Divine Church of the Parva-Religions, an institution designed to promote the culture (specifically religious aspects) of small nations.

Kennedy, who is Governing Commissioner of the Austenasian Crown Dependency of New Richmond, has taken the papal name of Alexander IV. He is the eleventh individual to hold the office, which derives its origins from a cat-worshipping cult founded in 2004 in a predecessor state of New Wessex.

Kennedy’s predecessor, Pope Ezekiel I (better known as Richard Cunningham), founded the Church of the Parva-Religions together with Bradley of Dullahan last June. Formerly, the Pope was a spiritual advisor to Declan I, King of New Wessex, chosen by him from the members of the Orlian College of Cardinals, a body which was theoretically meant to advise him on the culture of Orly but only ever contained foreign leaders who he had appointed to the group as an honour.

After the liberation of Orly from his rule last year, an argument between Declan and the cardinals resulted in them breaking away from his control under the leadership of Bradley of Dullahan, who together with the then pope founded the Divine Church by merging the Papacy with the College of Cardinals to create a single and independent institution.

Currently, the Divine Church is in somewhat of a state of disarray. The responsibilities and functions of the former cardinals within the new system are not thought to be precisely delineated, and Kennedy was not elected to the position but was simply nominated by two former popes after the office had been left vacant for over two weeks after the resignation of his predecessor.

Kennedy has stated that he wishes to reform the governing body of the church, and to make its “presence in the [MicroWiki] community more known”.