CS: Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and how you came to become involved in micronationalism?
JF: I first got into micronationalism when I was still at school. I’d just seen ‘How To Start Your Own Country’, I think I was a few years behind everyone else! I decided it would be fun to try it myself, so I asked a few friends and we founded Stigistan. Some of them decided to break away and form their own nations, and others just stopped being involved over time, but I was still having fun, and fun is my only real motivation in doing this. I’m not sure how much history you want from me, but there’s been some pretty interesting stuff over the years. We had our first name change when we first joined Micras – we were called Barrington back then. Then came the merger with Murrayfield to create the Republic of Wyke. When that dissolved, we finally took on the name of Mercury and have remained ever since. In that time, I’ve since become FMF Vice President and a member of the MCS Council, which I don’t think anyone would have expected when Stigistan were rejected for membership!
CS: You were one of the first – if not the first – individual to cross over to Micras from the MicroWiki Community. What motivated your decision to join Micras?
JF: I was struggling with inactive members at the time, so I wanted to take on a more simulationist approach to things, just to keep it ticking over whilst trying to gain more members. It never really turned out that way, but I still remained a member on Microwiki. After a while, I just got fed up of all the bickering about the same-old stuff, so I decided to permanently move to Micras.
CS: What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of each of Micras and MicroWiki?
JF: Well Micras is definitely a lot more grown-up, which is a good thing, but then we don’t have that same sense of community that Microwiki has. That community bickers endlessly but still like to pool together and get things done, whereas over here, if you’re not doing sport, you’re doing your own thing.
CS: You’re the founder and leader of the Republic of Mercury. Can you tell us a bit about this micronation and your plans for it?
JF: Mercury is a parliamentary republic made up of eight states. There are five mainland states: Deacon, May, Mercury, Taylor and Tow Law; and three other constituent countries: Lucerne, Nova England and Nova English Korea. Each of the mainland states has their own senate where they deal with local matters. Lucerne has the Lucerne Council and Nova England/Nova English Korea share the Witan. My plan is to just carry on what I’m doing. I prefer going it alone, and I wouldn’t want someone else to come in and take it in a completely different direction, as New Victoria tried to do.