Shireroth likely to leave SCUE

SHIREKEEP – With forty-eight hours still remaining in the vote, Shireroth’s Landsraad appears ready to approve it’s removal from the SCUE amid a populist anti-micronational economy wave of sentiment in the micronation.

The binding resolution, introduced by Jonathan Ayreon-Kalirion on August 24, was prompted largely by frustration on his part. Despite his efforts to inspire Shirithians to engage in economic activity during his reign as Kaiser at the outset of 2015, Ayreon-Kalirion’s attempts were met with indifference due to the lack of a local market. “We should just leave the SCUE. There’s no market for the money. No one wants an economy, there is no supply nor demand for money. We might as well leave the ship before it sinks,” he said dejectedly while tabling the motion.

The motion was quickly seconded by Malliki Nur Pinito, an established opponent of micronational economics, who charged that “[Shireroth gains] nothing from pretending that tomorrow, or the day after tops, is the day that a ‘real’ micronational economy will take off. It’s not going to happen. Let’s abandon this failed system (SCUE) and build something of our own.”

As a banking product developed by Erik Metzler of Shireroth and Andreas the Wise of Gralus in 2009, the proposal touched a nerve with several Shirerithians, some of whom did not feel comfortable withdrawing from something of their own.

Vilhelm Benkern led opposition to the motion, exclaiming that “a time when Shireroth turns its back on its own creation, when it turns its back on the outside world, gazes into its own navel, would be a dark time indeed.” While he acknowledged that Shireroth has made limited use of the SCUE1 in recent years, he did not see a need to withdrawal from it, as being a member of the organization was “not hurting us, and it’s not getting in the way.”

Benkern further suggested that a removal from the SCUE would limit Shireroth’s ability to participate in intermicronational commerce; though there has been little such commerce in recent years within the Micras community, both within the SCUE and outside of it in those micronations that maintain local economic systems use forum points systems or other mechanisms.

Pinito proclaimed, in response to Benkern, that it was pointless to remain in the SCUE as it was a “malfunctioning banking system” that was “useless”. He suggested that being a member of the SCUE limited Shireroth’s endeavours in other areas of micronational economics, preventing it from being more creative; however the fact that Shireroth is not exploring any economic alternatives raised a quick rebuke from Benkern. “What is the use of removing ourselves from a system without an alternative? I don’t believe we will spontaneously have good ideas because we’re not in SCUE … As this proposal stands, we are leaving SCUE to go to nothing,” he countered.

With the vote on adoption of the resolution continuing until September 2, supporters of an exit from the SCUE currently hold a 5 to 3 majority. With most active Shirerithians having cast a vote, it is likely that Shireroth will leave the organization by September 12.

It is presently unclear what means, if any, the Imperial Government will introduce to facilitate future economic transactions in place of the software offered by the SCUE. At present, it appears that Shireroth will fully abandon micronational economics for the foreseeable future.

  1. The SCUE is a treaty organization that provides to its signatory micronations a common currency and access to software to facilitate banking transactions. []

One-on-One: Stellus Yastreb

For those readers who are unacquainted with you, would you please give us some background as to how you came to participate in micronationalism and what it is you do in the community today?

A stupidly long time ago, there was a communistic micronation called the PRNSE (People’s Republic of the New Soviet Empire). It existed in a more volatile age when micronations were created as flimsy pretexts for attacking other micronations, and wiping out forums with Denial of Service attacks was considered good clean fun. The PRNSE, or more accurately certain individuals who happened to be closely associated with it, engaged in its fair share of various micronational dark arts under the leadership of, among others, an enigmatic individual known as Yuri – one of those high archons of micronationalism of the same blisteringly unassailable calibre as Ras Diga, Scott Alexander and Ardashir Khan to name but three. I didn’t cross paths with him until the after PRNSE’s demise, but the encounter remains important as he is the one most responsible for luring me into the eternal pixelated maelstrom that is the Micras Sector.

I arrived among the PRNSE folks in late 2002, sometime after its grand poohbah Siberian Fox span it off into a largely non-micronational Soviet-themed social debating type community (Soviet-Empire). However some of their regulars still kept a hand in the old micronations game full-time, and I guess it was inevitable that I was recruited for their latest project in that sphere, a largely forgotten place called Noviykrazniystan. Aside from the aforementioned Yuri, the intermicronational master criminal known as William Jesmer had a large hand in dragging me into this business. What neither of them told me at the time was that they were some of the most reviled people on Micras on account of their various misdeeds, and that by mere association with them I would be treated with vitriolic contempt by pretty much everybody for no discernible reason. It was a hard upbringing, to be sure.

Between then and now I was mostly involved in Baracão, Yuri’s USSR reboot and its better-known spinoff Novaya Zemlya, and of course Shireroth. I have kept an intermittent presence in the latter since the back end of 2003, and over time it has become my home. My current roles in Shireroth are limited as I’ve deliberately avoided high positions in anticipation of real-life time constraints this summer. My two last big roles were Imperial Steward (second-in-command) and Minister of the Exterior. I do however maintain the rule of Lunaris, a county in Goldshire which is quite convenient for expressing my floridly effeminate side without attracting too much ridicule. I love that place like the very stars themselves, and it makes a good retreat for when Shirerithian politics are getting too hot.

Congratulations on winning the RIMA Award for Excellence in Micronational History during the 2014 FNORD Awards for your work on documenting a historical timeline of Shireroth’s Duchy of Goldshire. Should we expect any new history-related projects from you this year in an attempt to make it two awards in a row?

Shireroth’s Kaiser has put out a renewed call for updates to the ShireWiki, particularly the legal records which are abominably outdated. I may work on that. I have also been tasked with more medium-term recordkeeping by my appointment as Imperial Malarborist. This is a formalisation of the fact that I have been unofficially updating the Malarbor news box for the reigns of several Kaisers now. I seem to step into these roles as an emergency measure and end up being stuck with them. I also made that mistake by being the last Minister of Trade to run the Imperial finances with some semblance of function, prompting incessant calls for my resumption of that role ever since …. I guess that makes me some kind of sucker.

Regarding the longer-term histories, although I am able to inject small nuggets of knowledge to suit the demands of the day (usually the heartily Shirerithian exercise of berating my peers for their historical ignorance), sitting down and actually writing a comprehensive weighty tome on anything requires far more time than I have available at this point. I may try to incorporate some history into another cultural work like a theatrical play at some point, killing two birds with one stone – but the fact is that my Goldshirian timeline, although badly needed, was a rather rushed affair. My FNORD for it was only awarded due to an embarrassing absence of alternatives. Certainly when I look at the other winners of the RIMA over the years, it doesn’t feel right to be counted among them.

Shireroth undertakes Charter rewrite

SHIREKEEP — The first draft of a major overhaul of Shireroth’s constitution law, known colloquially as the Imperial Charter, is anticipated to be published this weekend.

The first comprehensive review of the law began on January 25, having been undertaken by the Arbiter of the Imperial Judex, Malliki Nur Pinito, at the request of former Kaiseress Isa IV. The Arbiter quickly sought public consultation on the matter, inviting Shirerithians to propose amendments for inclusion in the rewritten Charter. Pinito also sought specific proposals in a number of core aspects of the law, including the powers of the Imperial Government, the level of autonomy that the Imperial States should enjoy and the powers afforded them, as well as a designation of required officers of State. Finally, Pinito sought input on how to create a common identity for the micronation’s citizens.

Mira Raynora further suggested that the new Charter should incorporate a dual-level of citizenship – a national one and a local state-level one. A mandatory Shirerithian citizenship would afford the individual the right to sit in the Landsraad (legislature) and hold office in the Imperial Government, while a non-mandatory state citizenship would grant the right to participate at the local level.

The rewrite of the Charter is the first extensive constitutional reform undertaken by Shireroth since 2012.

Proposed SCUE tax divides micronationalists

HUB.MN — The implementation this month of the Trade Equality Act by SCUE has divided members of the Micras community, with many expressing that the intermicronational organization has no role in taxation.

The Act was introduced as the first measure of newly-appointment SCUE Administrator Pallisico Sinclair as a means of promoting trade and trade equality amongst the organization’s member micronations. To accomplish this goal, a 5% tax is imposed on the total currency reserves of each member that has a bi-monthly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) equal to zero. If the member has a GDP greater than zero, it will be rewarded by being granted a sum from SCUE equivalent to 5% of the value of its total transactions during the bi-monthly period. The first taxes are scheduled for debiting on April 1.

It is the expectation of Sinclair that the tax will spur members that have dormant economies to begin making transactions and increasing economic output to qualify for the reimbursement incentive. “All that is requested in order to avoid a tax is at least one transaction,” said Sinclair in attempting to minimize any opposition to the tax, as one transaction would result in a non-zero GDP.

Despite his attempt to minimize the negative connotations associated with the implementation of a tax, the SCUE Administrator quickly experienced a backlash from several micronationalists who hold accounts with the organization’s bank.

“Are you kidding me? You cannot just steal half of my personal money,” exclaimed Jack de Montfort at the prospect that his holdings in Coria would be taxed due to the micronation’s lack of trade activity. Sinclair rebuked Montfort harshly in the exchange, replying that “Clearly, doing nothing has not encouraged you to participate in any meaningful way.”

Malliki Tosha, the Arbiter of Shireroth’s Imperial Judex, questioned the legality of the measure, noting that the organization was in his reading of its charter treaty only permitted to enforce, not introduce, taxation. “Even if you can interpret it as meaning that [SCUE] can impose taxes, I would still consider the language ambiguous,” he said.

That opinion was echoed by Iain de Vembria and Vilhelm Benkern, the latter of whom angrily pronounced that “SCUE shouldn’t be led by a despot but someone who takes in the views of many members.” Benkern called on SCUE to re-think the implementation of the taxation, calling it counterproductive to economic development. “[The organization] should surely be providing a platform for co-operation between member states and allowing them to flourish themselves, without having to actively ‘encourage’ or penalise certain nations in the way proposed.”

Yet the pronouncements of those in opposition to the tax have failed to sway the opinions of several micronationalists who voiced support for the measure. “… Penalising members for just sitting on piles of money and never spending it seems fair,” Joe Foxon opined with the support of Giles Melang and James-Robert Knight.

Former SCUE Administrator Andreas the Wise, while agreeing with Tosha’s legal interpretation of the treaty, nonetheless expressed his support for the tax and encouraged further discussion on its merits and implementation. “This actually sounds like quite a reasonable plan to me – taxing [inactivity] and rewarding economic activity,” he said.

Despite the ongoing opposition from his detractors, Sinclair appears to remain intent on implementing the tax. “If most aren’t using the currency, then the currency is essentially worthless,” he proclaimed, “It is not in the interest of the bank, or of the members …, for the currency to be essentially worthless. Therefore, it is incumbent on the bank [to] adopt fair measures to promote the usage of the currency, even if it means taxes.”

Society for Interactive Geofiction proposal panned

SHIREKEEP (CS) – A proposal floated in Shireroth to create a macronational non-profit Society for Interactive Geofiction, to be completely distinct from the Simulationist community of micronations and to be funded through the collection an annual membership fee, has been met with a largely negative response from Shirerithians.

The proposal, developed by Gustave Chevalier, envisions the non-profit entity providing or supporting a variety of services including the provision of web-hosting for micronational organizations, the development of local Interactive Geofiction groups macronationally, the support of literacy and other community campaigns, the funding of annual international conventions, in addition to a core goal of drawing more participants to micronationalism. Chevalier promotes his envisioned Society for Interactive Geofiction as not aiming to supplant the Simulationist community, but rather supporting it. Said Chevalier, “a distinction would be made between [micronations], which are [real] entities, and the 100% fictional nations and worlds created for entertainment purposes within the Interactive Geofiction milieu.”

The idea provoked a strongly negative reaction from Shirerithians initially, with one citizen, Malliki Tosha, labelling it a “completely retarded idea,” while condemning Chevalier, stating “any normally functioning person should realize that people will probably not want to pay for a service they get for free now … you are either stupid or greedy.” Ari Rahikkala was more diplomatic in his rejection of the proposal, claiming that the proposed functions of the Society were geared toward a larger community and that in reality it would not work for the existing geofiction participants in the Simulationist community as “there’s just not enough of us, and we just don’t have enough common concerns, to make it worth it to centralise like this.”

While Chevalier has not yet made a statement on whether he will proceed with the development of the Society, a poll indicates that seven of nine participants are against the idea as of press time.

Antica in Crisis!

A Babkhan in not-so-convincing disguise: Malliki arrives in Nafticon to oppose new Archon Aryeztur Mejorkhor

The Antican Republic has been thrown into Crisis in the last few days after Aryeztur Mejorkhor became Archon and declared Antica to be a Holy Kingdom. The controversial move, opposed by a great number of Antican citizens, saw the Archon act in what has been seen as extra-constitutional. The Antican Assembly has been dissolved and a Council of Elders created which has been widely shunned by pre-eminent Anticans such as Malliki and Octavius. A move to censure the new Archon from Malliki was promptly dismissed by the Archon who has invested Antica in a series of complicated rituals to go with its new Holy Kingdom status.

It is unclear what lies ahead for Antica, one of the proudest and oldest nations on Micras. Reports are emerging that attempts to hit back symbolically at the new Holy Order have been hit by fierce resistance which resulted in the destruction of the Fasces of Antica and wounds, possibly fatal, to Octavius. Areas of Antica are in open revolt against the Holy Kingdom which has received support from Shireroth and tacit engagement from Batavia. The Imperial Kingdom of Babkha’s role in this has been ambivalent, with claims of support from Babkha being made by both sides. The Empire has been in touch with the new Antican authorities but it is reported that Geneva is worried by talks of manifest destiny from the new Archon. The last time this phrase was prevalent in Antican rhetoric Imperial Forces had to be deployed to Leifgrad-Baden, an Imperial Territory that Antica has long claimed as its own.

Hyperborea to Secede from Shireroth?

SHIREKEEP, SHIREROTH – In an unexpected turn of events, a three-way battle has broken out in Shireroth’s Imperial Judex over the future of the County of Hyperborea. Hyperborea was annexed to Shireroth in May 2002, but earlier today, it was revealed that it was suddenly no longer a subdivision of Shireroth (along with Yardistan) by Scott of Hyperborea, in his response to a case brought by Steward Malliki Tosha against an allegedly illegal alliance between Hyperborea and Yardistan.Steward Tosha was subsequently obliged to drop that case after he then submitted a new case against Scott of Hyperborea for treason as secession is illegal. The latter then responded with a counter-case against the Steward for an allegedly illegal alliance between Tosha’s own Duchy of Brookshire and Harvey Steffke’s newly recreated Duchy of Goldshire.

Although a number of historical records from the first half of 2002 no longer exist, the Hyperborean Incorporation Act is still intact. Unfortunately, following the fashion of that time, it consisted of a single unqualified line:

The former Tymarian state of Hyperborea will be incorporated into the Duchy of Elwynn.

Arbiter Leo Dine, Duke of Elwynn, called the situation an “ordeal” and decided to adjourn both cases until tomorrow in order that a single, unified, case can be prepared.