Hamland seeks second currency

NEW KIRRIE – Following a prolonged lack of trade due to its unique SCX-based economic model, Hamland is again considering a return to a traditional model based on its own independent currency.

The “Real Currency Act,” proposed by Lewis, is a continuation of a campaign he began early last year to create a mechanism for what he described as “real trading” by adopting a second currency as a complementary alternative to Pallisico Sinclair’s SCX-based economic model. That economic model, which uses SCX market indices to generate production statistics, resulting in significant internal economic simulation, had served in practice to actually discourage the buying and selling of goods, as the simulation made the local economy virtually independent of the actions of the citizenry.

Lewis’ past campaign, which he labeled “A Return to a Real Economy”, proved a thorny issue, with his efforts to seek implementation of a dual currency criticized by Sinclair, who sought to protect the unique model that he had created. The resulting fray led Lewis, at one point, to take a leave of absence from Hamland.

With the introduction of the Real Currency Act, the opposite has occurred, as Sinclair has announced his resignation from the Hammish Government. The announcement followed Sinclair’s retraction of his original point-by-point rebuttal comments to the Act, which he replaced with a lament. “If you decide that you’d rather adopt a different economic system, I won’t stop you. I’m done trying to defend and explain the work I’ve done in this field. It clearly is neither understood nor appreciated,” charged Sinclair.

The Act itself would create the “Zenar”, as a means of reintroducing “real coinage” to Hamland, in order to reinvigorate trade. The Zenar would carry equal recognition as an official currency of Hamland, alongside the SCX-based Obol, and be of par value with it. The currency will be local, using a forum-based system, and it will be independent from SCUE to avoid confusion with the SCX-based Obol, given that the SCX is operated as a function of SCUE.

The Zenar will also be regulated in a similar fashion to that used by Gotzborg, in which the amount of currency in circulation at any given time is controlled, as opposed to SCUE’s automatic creation of new currency to reflect exchange rates. “Having our own currency allows [Hamland] to meet our needs in the short term, in terms of printing, distributing and taxing,” Lewis commented to the Coprieta Standard. He further noted that under Sinclair’s model, in which currency is held within companies listed on the SCX, meant that the amount of personally-held Obols by any given individual in Hamland was unclear.

Lewis further argued that while Sinclair’s model has had success due to his hard work, the model was labour intensive. “We really need to get a basic system which is both fun and provides some utility,” Lewis said, emphasizing the need for a low-maintenance economic model.

In supporting the Zenar as an independent currency, Lewis expressed his wariness of fully re-engaging the SCUE Unit for Hamland’s local economic needs due to the duplicity caused by Sinclair’s economic model. “The accounts system was a great idea, but the stock market (SCX) has had the unintended consequence of spawning another alternate model of simulated economies,” he said.

One-on-One: Jack de Montfort

For our readers who are unfamiliar with you, would you introduce yourself and perhaps provide us with a bit of a history of your participation in micronationalism and what it is you currently do in the community?

Of course. As many of you probably know, I’m a Dutch micronationalist who has been active in the Micras sector for some time now. My first encounter with micronations was an article about Sealand, I believe that I was twelve years old at the time. I was intrigued by this interesting project and it didn’t take long before I started my own micronation: Castrigia.

During this time I explored the micronational world, which was slightly different from what it is now. One of the more substantial things during that time was my discovery of the Kingdom of Batavia, of which I briefly became a citizen, and the Dutch Sector. Unfortunately I then made the decision to take a more secessionist path. During this time I got in contact with the ‘famous’ micronationalists, who were featured in the lovely Lonely Planet guide to micronations, and some lesser known secessionist nations such as Flanderensis, which then had just been founded.

When I was about 16, I quit micronations entirely. My interest in the hobby had declined and I had other things to do with my life. I was a secondary school student after all. So, I took a micronational hiatus from 2009 and 2012. I didn’t intent to return to micronations at all then. However, in 2012 I decided to take a look at the Batavian forums to see what was going on there. Obviously a lot had changed, Batavia had become inactive and Jonas, whom I knew from my brief period of Batavian citizenship, was now part of the Empire of Jingdao and South Batavia. I decided to join this micronation and had quite an amusing time there, developing the autonomous region of Calbion.

One of the most important things in becoming a micronationalist again, and deciding to be a part of the Micras sector, was the IRC. Nowadays it isn’t as active as it used to be, but back then it was very much alive. Because of the people I met at the IRC (mostly fellow Bastionados), I joined other nations. Most importantly Elwynn, that was still independent then. Shireroth followed, and so did many other nations. I was involved in Maraguo, a Batavia revival, and quite a few of my own projects such as the Brettish Isles, Tyrenia and Arasha.

Nowadays I’m mostly active in Shireroth and the Brettish Isles. I’ve been granted the honour to be Kaiser of Shireroth and that is an important part of my micronational life now, but I reckon that there will be some questions about that later ….

There will be! But first, you’re the founder of the Brettish Isles, a Micras micronation that is active within the Bastion Union group. What was your motivation for creating this Victorian-themed micronation and what were your goals for the Isles when you set out? Have these goals been met, in your opinion?

Some of you may know that I have a strong interest in the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. It’s something I’ve been interested in since I read ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ at age 7 or 8. For me, reading the stories and surrounding literature, but also collecting Sherlockiana, is quite an interesting past time. It was only a matter of time, really, before these two interests would come together. I decided to give the ‘Victorian England’ thing a go. I created a map, featuring place names from the Holmes stories, and left plenty of references to the world of Holmes in the nation.

I didn’t have any goals beforehand at all, nor did I have any expectations. My micronational philosophy is that this is first and foremost a hobby. When you feel like doing something, when you want to explore something in micronations, you should do it. We’re in this hobby voluntary and exploring new settings and developing new projects is what micronationalism is also about. So, I didn’t expect this nation to exist much longer than other projects of mine. It did, though. As it happens, more micronationalists have an interest in Victoriana and have since joined the nation. Some of our initial citizens have since left, which is of course fine, and we now have a core group of four citizens.

The Brettish Isles have had a difficult history. Periods of activity were followed by larger periods of inactivity, but we have always managed to stay alive. During the summer of last year, we really had a period of complete inactivity. I didn’t think that the nation would exist much longer. Towards the end of the year, I had drawn up a plan to ‘safe’ the project and to transfer it into a sort of one-man nation; however, it turned out that some Brettish citizens were still interested in the project. We then discussed what route we would take with the nation and this ended with us deciding to continue the project with Lord Amherst becoming Lord Protector.

Leadership change in Micras institutions

HUB.MN – On the heels of recent leadership resignations in two of its pre-eminent intermicronational organizations, the Micras community has conducted elections that may serve to bring in a new era.

The recent revival of the Micras Treaty Organization led to the adoption of an amendment to its charter treaty allowing for the designation of a permanent Deputy-Secretary. That adoption also provided Secretary-General Nathan Waffel-Paine, who had held position since November 2012, an out as he announced his resignation on March 11.

Voting to replace Waffel-Paine began on March 23, with Alexandrian delegate Primo de Aguilar and Gong Federation delegate Jezza Rasmus vying to gain the Secretary-Generalship. With voting scheduled to end in just over 48 hours, Aguilar has garnered four of the seven votes cast by delegates.

A historic, and sometimes militant, rivalry between Alexandria and the Gong Federation’s predecessor state of Jingdao aside, both individuals hope to return the Organization to the relevance it enjoyed from 2011 to 2013. That renewed relevance is sorely needed in the view of some, as the Micras community has become more starkly defined by divide between the Bastion Union and non-Bastion Union micronations.

Meanwhile, the Standardised Currency and Unified Economy organization also passed through a leadership change. Administrator Pallisico Sinclair, who found himself embroiled in controversy for pursuing what many considered to be an activist agenda, resigned in frustration on March 13.

The ensuing election for a new Administrator saw long-time Micran economists Giles Melang and Liam Sinclair face-off for the position though their individual policy platforms had more in common than not. Ultimately, with the conclusion of the three-day election yesterday, Liam Sinclair had gained seven of the nine delegate votes cast to become the third Administrator since the founding of the organization in 2009.

Of immediate concern to the new Administrator is a promised review of the SCUE Treaty wording to resolve diverging interpretations that underpinned much of the angst that ultimately led to Pallisico Sinclair’s shortened administration. Liam Sinclair is expected to release more details on his administration’s plans in the coming days.

The Week That Was – Around the Blogosphere

The Coprieta Standard highlights some of the news stories from our fellow micronational news media services around the Blogosphere in the past week.

Vol. 1 Ed. 9

March 8 to 15, 2015

  • The Shirekeep Gazette returned from a more than a year-long absence this week with an open letter regarding the recent controversy surrounding the Imperial State of Neridia. The letter called on the Shirerithian government to fulfill its “obligation” to Neridia; however, the Imperial State was nonetheless dissolved by the Shirerithian legislature. Neridia has now been set up by its former ruler, Janus Eadric, as a refugee state under the protection of St. Andre.
  • An economic development plan for Sandus has been adopted by the leaders of the micronation for the remainder of the calendar year, Sandum state media reported. The plan includes the creation of a Work Merit Rewards program, inspired by that used in the Free State of Renasia, as well as the founding of a hard-currency exchange shop.
  • Marred by controversy since gaining the post of SCUE Administrator, Pallisico Sinclair attempted to barter his resignation in return for member states of the organization allowing his home micronation of Hamland to exploit the accounts of the Republic of Stars, the Daily Squidger reported. Sinclair, who uses the moniker Opeyeme Time in Hamland, desired the access to “oversee the sale of Stars’ investments in the Hammish economy.” Sinclair ultimately resigned mere hours later. Two individuals are now vying to replace him in the role of SCUE Administrator – Giles Melang and Liam Sinclair (no relation).

The Week That Was – Around the Blogosphere

The Coprieta Standard highlights some of the news stories from our fellow micronational news media services around the Blogosphere in the past week.

Vol. 1 Ed. 8

March 1 to 7, 2015

  • The political unrest in Sorrenia dominated news from that micronation in the past week. The discontent was brought to the forefront when Richard Hytholoday called for the rejection of a historic bill that would enshrine the micronation’s secularism, according to a report by Liberty Action News!,the official news service of the Democratic-Liberal Party. After being condemned for his proposal by prominent politicians, including President Miles Pressland, hostilities between the micronation’s political factions erupted, resulting in the eventual suspension of the local Navy on charges of rebellion and conspiracy to create a ruling military junta.
  • The passage of a law to promote growth of the agriculture sector in Leylandiistan was transformational, reported Béal na Tíre. The Agricultural Regulations Act 2015 provides for the implementation of what is billed as the first micronational organic certification programme and bans the use of agrochemicals. The government will also fund agricultural co-operatives to allow farmers to have access to common equipment and facilities. Farmers may also qualify for direct funding from the state as well.
  • An article in the Daily Squidger indicated that Pallisico Sinclair’s desire to annex the Republic of Stars for Hamland under economic pretences had not fully abated as originally thought. Under the banner of his personal micronation, Passio-Corum, the prominent Micran economist laid claim to Stars’ oil extraction and exportation rights, setting up his re-introduction of annexation legislation in the Hammish Parliament later in the week.

Hamland aims to unilaterally annex Stars

NEW KIRRIE — As the Republic of Stars seeks to reclaim its Micras territory after a recent inactivity removal, Hamland has vote to unilaterally annex the micronation claiming economic security.

Introduced by Pallisico Sinclair, who is also the administrator of SCUE, the measure notes that since the Republic holds 0.9% of all currency reserves within SCUE, and given that it also retains considerable investment interests within the Hammish economy, it was incumbent on Hamland to unilaterally annex it for economic security.

The annexation, which has received the blessing of Hamland’s parliamentarians, authorized the Hammish government to undertake the “total annexation” of the Republic of Stars, including absorbing all of its SCUE holdings. This, according to Sinclair, will “protect [Hamland’s] non-food and oil industries, which will otherwise lose upwards of 77% of their funding when Stars is removed from SCUE.”

Sinclair, who is also currently embroiled in a legal controversy due to his recent decision to impose a supranational tax on SCUE members, dismissed any claim of impropriety on the part of Hamland with respect to the annexation intentions.

“We are able … to lay fairly legitimate claims to any territory in which we are involved economically,” he said, “In this case, Stars basically did the work for us … insofar as they senselessly invested way, way too much money in our economy, which meant that we would eventually need to intervene in the event that they became inactive.”

Hamland will allow the Republic of Stars and its President, Tobey Rowe, to object to its annexation between now and March 4. Unless the Republic explicitly objects to the annexation (i.e. ignoring Hamland is not an option), Hamland will follow through with its plans. It is unclear if Stars will issue a formal response, though it has already sought to reclaim its Micras territory, indicating that Hamland may be rebuked.

It remains to be seen how this action by Hamland will affect international investment in its economy by other micronations in the future.

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.”