Lord Saunders attacks Austenasia over marriage laws

BICKENHILL – A fresh row has erupted in Adammic politics over the past few days after members of the government discovered last year’s Austenasian referendum result which effectively banned same-sex marriage, sparking a wave of condemnations which has seen the Emperor at odds with the rest of the Ruling Council, including his own party.

Lady Worthington, Minister of Patriotism, first raised the issue in the Ruling Council group chat on Tuesday the 16th. Members of both the government and the opposition were quick to call for action to be taken, but Emperor Adam ruled out issuing a personal statement, causing a great deal of disappointment, with Lord Maude comparing the Emperor to Neville Chamberlain.

The Prime Minister, Lord Saunders, issued a statement on Thursday condemning Austenasia and calling on the Emperor to resign his IKA (Imperial Knight of the Austenasian Order). The Storm Party also used its new Twitter account (@AdammiaStorm) to attack Austenasia.

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The Prime Minister’s statement in full.

Emperor Adam responded on Friday morning, stating in a press release that whilst he sympathised with the feeling of the Ruling Council, he would not be prepared to condemn Austenasia as he considered it to be undiplomatic. He added that he and foreign minister Lord Maude had agreed that Adammia should use its diplomatic influence to encourage other micronations to be more progressive, particularly more extreme nations which have gone much further than banning same-sex marriage. The Emperor’s statement can be read in full here.

Whilst the Emperor’s statement appeared to satisfy the Liberal-Moderates and Labour, members of the Storm Party described it as “weak” and stated their objection to “watering down” any condemnation of Austenasia. The Ruling Council is currently sitting as a Committee of the Whole (due to the fact that it is convened via Facebook Messenger, as members are currently unable to convene in person), and is voting on a motion tabled by Lady Worthington which, whilst not explicitly condemning Austenasia, does refer to the referendum decision as “unacceptable”. The result of the vote is expected tonight. An amendment written by Colonel Sir Sam Boardman, which adds that the government should not take any further action without first applying diplomatic pressure, has already passed.

The Adammic Express contacted the Austenasian government for comment. This afternoon, Emperor Jonathan said that the condemnation represented an “immature” attitude to foreign affairs and questioned what the Adammic government was aiming to achieve.

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The Emperor of Austenasia’s remarks in full.

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Great Reform Act passes, referendum on 27th of April

Adam I, Editor

MATERNIA – The Ruling Council convened on Saturday the 30th to pass the Great Reform Act 2019, a bill written by the Emperor to implement the cross-party decision reached by an informal summit of Council members in early February. The Act stipulates that the constitutional reforms – outlined in the accompanying Sixth Amendment to the Supreme Directive – will be put to the people in a referendum on Saturday the 27th of April. The Act passed 7 votes to 0, and was signed by the Emperor earlier today.

The biggest proposals to come out of the cross-party talks were the creation of a bicameral legislature, with the Ruling Council as the upper a house and an online lower house elected by party-list proportional representation, and a new system of direct democracy for local provincial governments. The proposed Sixth Amendment’s name for the new lower house is the House of Citizens.

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Voters will go to the polls on Saturday the 27th.

If the people approve the Sixth Amendment, it is due to come into effect at the start of July. The first House of Citizens will then be elected in a general election in September or October. So far, there has been no serious opposition to the reforms, and most expect that they will pass through the referendum comfortably.

In other news, His Imperial Majesty the Emperor published his 21st Birthday Honours List on the 19th of February, which can be read here.

Adammia FM April 2019 music playlist

BREAKING NEWS: Adammia at war with Wazakhstan!

ASHORIA – Dramatic news has come to us at the Adammic Express over the past few hours of massive troop movements around the Adammia-Wazakhstan border, in the wake of a shock declaration of war issued by Prime Minister Saunders at midnight.

An ultimatum was sent by the Adammic government demanding that Wazakhstan relinquish its Goodbold Oblast, an enclave of the Adammic territory of Ashoria. Prime Minister Saunders has reportedly been furious at Wazakhstan’s claim as it prevents Adammia from having a complete claim over the Selly Park area. Furthermore, rumour has it that Minister of Patriotism Lady Worthington was an active voice in the Cabinet calling for war – she has been described as a “militant atheist” who wants to take action against Wazakhstan’s Methodist regime.

After the ultimatum expired without a response from Wazakhstan, units of the Adammic Army began to cross the border into Wazakhstani territory, spearheaded by the 1st Armoured Division. Observers have spotted AAF drones seemingly supporting the ground operations, though strong winds seem to have compromised the very light quadcopters’ ability to fly in a straight line, or indeed anywhere near to the direction their operators intended. Over the past hour, reports have come of skirmishes along the border, with high-profile government figures on the front line directing the troops, including Prime Minister Saunders himself, who has apparently been using his expert parkour skills to avoid enemy fire. Colonel Sir Asher Bond has been seen driving a commandeered British tank onto the battlefield, supposedly stolen from somewhere in London.

The Express understands that GUM peacekeepers are already on the ground and are monitoring the situation around the centre circle. Rumour has it that if Adammic forces are found guilty of breaking the Geneva Conventions, Wazakhstan could be given a free kick. Wazakhstan’s manager Ned Hilton, speaking to the press earlier, suggested that Lady Worthington should be given a red card for her role in starting the conflict.

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Lady Simpson’s elite Adammic Humvees have also been spotted near the border.

Reports have also come in that the AIS are investigating accusations that at least one opposition member of the Ruling Council is a Wazakhstani spy. Although Lord Helliker has denied that his party harbours any Wazakhstani sympathisers, this has not quelled rumours that certain Liberal-Moderate officials have been operating a secret front selling illegal biscuits and cider in order to arm Wazakhstani insurgents with weapons from a Nollandish arms dealer known as “Thar Tzomas I”.

The latest news is that Adammic foreign minister Lord Maude is trying to broker a ceasefire between the two nations, suggesting that a game of Kubb be played to resolve their differences. Government sources indicate that at least some in the Cabinet are open to this possibility.

Seek wisdom and honour, and long live the Adammic Protectorate of Goodbold!

Update: April Fools!

Cross-party consensus reached on constitutional reform

Adam I, Editor

SERKATIA – On Sunday the 3rd of February, members of the Ruling Council gathered for an informal meeting at the Country Girl pub in Birmingham, UK, to discuss the nature of the wide-ranging constitutional reforms the government has been wishing to put forward. The most eye-catching proposal to come out of the talks was a revolutionary plan to create a bicameral legislature, which would include the current Ruling Council as its upper house and would have a new lower house, which would meet online and would be elected by party list proportional representation. Under these plans, the Prime Minister would simply be whichever party leader has the confidence of the yet-to-be-named lower house.

The bicameral legislature plan came from a desire from members of both the government and the opposition to stay involved in Adammia after they graduate from the University of Birmingham, which would be very difficult given the strictly in-person nature of the Ruling Council; indeed, some politicians, such as former Leader of the Opposition Lady Simpson and former Minister of Citizenship & Information Lord Gurr, have already been effectively forced to retire after moving away from the Birmingham provinces. Meanwhile, government plans to reduce the powers of the monarchy came up against slightly stiffer opposition from the pro-monarchy Liberal-Moderates. The most substantial concession made by the opposition was to allow the legislature to propose its own constitutional amendments in future, and to call referenda on them; the Emperor would still be able to veto such amendments after being passed by a referendum, but it would be a much more difficult decision politically to go against the will of the people. The monarch will also need the executive’s permission to sign bilateral treaties, which will also be subject the oversight by the legislature.

The opposition was also able to get its own proposals into the agreement, specifically the replacement of the current system of local government with direct democracy, per the Liberal-Moderate Party’s 2018 manifesto. One of the more controversial proposals was the Storm Party’s idea of removing the line of the Supreme Directive which forbids the government from forcing a job or role upon a citizen, in order to facilitate its “mandatory national development programme”. At one point, the Attorney General was consulted for his legal opinion, although it was opposition from coalition partners Labour which forced Storm leaders to withdraw the idea.

The agreement was published by the Office of the Emperor in a press release on Sunday night. The following day, Prime Minister Lord Saunders commented in the Empire of Adammia Facebook group: “We have met with the other parties to discuss the reforms which we wish to implement. As of right now, we are in agreement, more details on the actual reforms will be revealed shortly. But let me be absolutely clear, we stuck to our red lines and I am very proud of what we have achieved. This is a new form of politics. Next council meeting we shall vote on the referendum and then you will decide the future of this micro-nation. We promised, we delivered!”

Diplomabear arrives in Adammia

Adam I, Editor

SERKATIA – On the 30th of January, the Office of the Emperor took delivery of Angus Diplomabear, the small red teddy bear which has been touring micronations around the world since 2012. Diplomabear was sent in the post to the province of Serkatia by his previous guardians in the Principality of Wildflower Meadows (a protectorate of Austenasia).

Since arriving in Adammia, Diplomabear has been photographed visiting the sights of the Empire and the surrounding areas in Birmingham. He is expected to stay in Adammia until after Foundation Day in April, which will allow him to visit White Gold Palace. He will also be making trips to Glasgow, Brussels and the Tsardom of Nolland during his stay with Emperor Adam I, who is acting as his guardian.

Diplomabear’s next stop after Adammia will be the micronations of North Carolina. Representatives from the Kingdom of Jupiter are expected to take him to MicroCon in the summer. Diplomabear’s schedule is currently set by the GUM.

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Next to the border sign at the entrance to Serkatia.

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Next to the flag in Serkatia.

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Watching a webinar by Layla Moran MP with the UoB Lib Dems.

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At the UoB Conservative Society’s Port & Policy, at Bournbrook and Selly Oak Social Club, wearing the Emperor’s famous top hat.

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At the Bristol Pear pub, Birmingham, dressed as a Peaky Blinder.

The full photo album for Diplomabear’s visit to Adammia can be found here.

By-elections conclude with all candidates elected unopposed

Adam I, Editor

SERKATIA – Three by-elections have been held in Adammia over the past couple of weeks in the wake of Corellia’s admittance to the Empire on New Year’s Eve. Elected on Thursday 24th of January, the first Councilor of Corellia is to be Alexandre Schweig-Peters, a housemate of Prime Minister Lord Saunders and a member of the ruling Storm Party. Meanwhile, on the same day, Sir Ned Hilton was elected to replace Lord Saunders as Delegate of Abroad Citizens, after Saunders was appointed Duke of Corellia; Hilton is sitting as a member of the opposition Liberal-Moderate Party. The LMP’s nomination of Hilton has drawn criticism from Storm – the governing party has long been critical of Hilton’s role as Prime Minister of Wazakhstan, accusing him of being a dictator and being fearful of Wazakhstani interference in Adammic politics. As a result, the Liberal-Moderates have been forced to clarify that Hilton will only be an opposition backbencher, and will not serve in any future shadow cabinet. Finally, on Friday the 1st of February, Colonel Sam Boardman, commanding officer of the recently-created 2nd Medical Regiment, was elected as an independent Delegate of the Colonies, replacing Sir Owain Davies (also independent).

In all three by-elections, there was only a single candidate, which means that no poll is held and the candidate is elected automatically, under rules that were introduced last summer by the Fifth Amendment to the Supreme Directive. This rule for local elections differs from that for the national election – even if there is only one candidate for Prime Minister, they still have to face a public vote of confidence.

The election result makes little practical difference to the composition of the now slightly larger Ruling Council. The government (Storm, Labour and Dank parties) now holds five out of 12 seats, with the independent Councilor for Alluria Sir Alex Hasioszyn also voting to support the government in a sort of unwritten confidence and supply agreement. The opposition Liberal-Moderates hold five seats, and the Council is rounded off with the independent Colonel Boardman, who has stated that he is willing to work with any and all parties in the national interest. Presently, if there was a confidence vote, the government would be expected to survive, as even if Colonel Boardman voted against the government, the vote would be tied 6-6 and the Prime Minister’s casting vote would decide the vote in the government’s favour.

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Diagram showing the composition of the Council following the by-elections.

Attention now turns to constitutional reform. This evening, the Council will be sitting informally as a “committee of the whole” in order to try to reach a cross-party consensus on a major constitutional amendment which could define Adammia’s future over the coming years. It remains to be seen whether the government will be able to push through its plans to restrict the Emperor’s powers and to give abroad citizens more representation without incurring the Emperor’s veto. The Emperor is understood to be willing to make some concessions. There has been some talk of setting up a new, online lower chamber as one way to resolve the representation issue, giving Adammia a bicameral legislature for the first time ever. If a consensus is reached tonight, we can expect a press release from the Office of the Emperor soon afterwards outlining the agreement.

Imperial Wedding: Emperor Mother Jayne and Lord McKenna to marry in June

Adam I, Editor

SERKATIA – The Adammic Express is delighted to confirm that the Office of the Emperor has announced that Her Imperial Highness Emperor Mother Jayne will marry Lord Sir Paul McKenna, her partner of eight years, on Saturday 22nd June 2019. The two became engaged to marry on Boxing Day.

The marriage will be the Emperor Mother’s third. She previously married Emperor Father Kevin in 1994, with whom she had three children: Emperor Adam I (b. 1998), Crown Prince Daniel (b. 1999) and Prince Jake (b. 2004). She split up with the Emperor Father in 2009 and they were officially divorced in 2016.

Both the Emperor Mother and Lord McKenna are former Prime Ministers of Adammia; she served as the Empire’s inaugural PM for three years from 2013-2016 on behalf of the Moderate Party, before being defeated in the 2016 National Election by her partner McKenna, who represented the Labour Party. He served for one year. Today, both are retired as micronational politicians, though they continue to hold the honourary titles of Countess of Tytannia and Count of Maternia respectively. They live together in the County of Maternia, in a property the Emperor Mother bought in 2010 and which McKenna moved into in 2014, making him the Empire’s first immigrant.

The couple will be registered to marry in the United Kingdom, but are also expected to be presented with Adammic wedding certificates, making them the first couple to be officially married in the Empire under the Free Marriage Act 2018.

The news will cause much excitement within the House of Hall, which has not seen a wedding for almost twenty years. The House dominated Adammic politics during the First Era (2013-2017), and continues to dominate the Northern Adammic aristocracy.

Adammia expands to more new territories, doubling size of Empire

Adam I, Editor

SERKATIA – On New Year’s Eve, an Imperial Decree was issued claiming two new parts of Adammia. The new Province of Corellia, located at Prime Minister Juliano Saunders’ term-time residence, has a registered population of two and it takes the total number of Ruling Council seats back up to the historic 12. Saunders has been appointed Duke of the new province, and a by-election to elect its Councilor is expected to be held within a few weeks.

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The new territory of Ashoria, as seen from the United Kingdom looking across the border.

Alongside this, there is a new Territory known as the Great Reserve of Ashoria. It comprises Selly Park, just a short distance from Serkatia and Corellia, and it comes in at around 74,936 square metres. The only part of the park not claimed by Adammia is the centre circle of the northern football pitch, which is claimed by Wazakhstan as the Oblast of Goodbold. This was the source of the diplomatic dispute between the Saunders government and the Wazakhstani government some months ago, which has now been dissolved. Adammia now has a land border with another micronation for the first time ever, and the two nations are expected to sign a treaty soon guaranteeing free movement across the border. Ashoria appears to be South Adammia’s equivalent to the Jagstonian Plains, located in a park in North Adammia. Speaking of which, the Jagstonian Plains were themselves expanded on the 3rd of January by the Office of the Emperor, including the park’s lake and other grassy areas, whilst the playground and skatepark, which are frequently occupied by British citizens, have been left alone. This has taken the size of the Plains territory to 83,119 square metres. Meanwhile, the old territories of El Grandens and Kappania have been ceded back to the United Kingdom, as the government has effectively lost contact with their governors.

These territorial expansions have taken the total surface area of the Empire to 179,099 square metres or 44.3 acres, its largest size ever.

Emperor Adam I on course to win second consecutive term as GUM Chair

Adam I, Editor

MATERNIA, Greater Tytannia – With most of the GUM’s active members having cast their votes over the past three days, Emperor Adam I now appears on track to win another term as Chair of the Grand Unified Micronational, leading the Principality of Posaf’s Nicholas Randouler by 11 votes to 7.

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The GUM is currently electing its Chair for the first half of 2019.

Mr. Randouler got off to a strong start when voting opened on Christmas Day, with votes from younger micronations, most of them based in North America, giving him an early lead. However, votes from older micronations primarily based in Europe and Oceania have swung the numbers in Emperor Adam’s favour. Some of the Emperor’s supporters – such as Wyvern, Juclandia and Sabia & Verona – were considered inactive and unlikely to vote at all, so the Emperor will now undoubtedly be glad that he had not moved for their expulsion from the organisation prematurely.

This particular GUM election has seen the return of an old GUM tradition, the so-called “gentleman’s agreement” where two opposing candidates vote for each other as a gesture of goodwil, seeing Adammia vote for Mr. Randouler and Posaf voting for Emperor Adam. This tradition was last seen in the September 2014 election, when Emperor Adam narrowly defeated Joseph Kennedy (now Prime Minister of Austenasia) to win his first term as GUM Chair.

Mr. Randouler has challenged the Emperor’s leadership of the organisation by running on a platform calling for the Chair to take a more active role in the organisation. The Emperor has countered this by pledging to delegate more executive responsibility to new officers, saying that over the past six months he has become more confident in the GUM’s recent intake of younger micronationalists. The Emperor is also relying on his experience to carry him through, with three terms as GUM Chair under his belt as well as five and a half years on the throne as Emperor of Adammia.

If the Emperor is indeed re-elected, he will be the first person in the GUM’s almost ten-year history to be elected to two consecutive terms, and only the second person to be elected to four total terms, alongside the GUM’s founder Jacob Tierney. However, Emperor Jonathan of Austenasia, who has served as Acting Chair on several occasions on top of his three elected terms, continues to have served the most days as Chair by a large margin.

Government restructured amidst row over Wazakhstani border

Adam I, Editor

SERKATIA – Yesterday, the government passed the Government Ministries Act 2018 through the Ruling Council. This merges the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Citizenship and Information into a Ministry of Patriotism, of which Lady Worthington is to be minister. It also created a new Ministry of Memes, of which Lady Peace is to be minister.

The session also saw the first ever Prime Minister’s Questions – or rather, Deputy Prime Minister’s Questions, as Prime Minister Sir Juliano Saunders did not attend the meeting. Instead, Deputy PM Lord Maude answered questions from Leader of the Opposition Lord Helliker. The full minutes of the meeting can be read here.

The big issue currently dominating political discussion is the government’s plan to claim nearby Selly Park as a new territory. This itself is not an unusual move – the Jagstonian Plains near Tytannia have been an Adammic territory for nearly five years. However, presently the Kingdom of Wazakhstan claims the centre circle of the football pitch in Selly Park as the Oblast of Goodbold. The government insists that it will claim the entirety of the park, ignoring Wazakhstan’s existing claim. This has soured relations between the two nations, with Wazakhstani Prime Minister Ned Hilton describing it as “a worrying mistake to make”. Hilton has cited an agreement between himself and Emperor Adam I made at the State Opening of Council last month, which said that Adammia would claim the rest of Selly Park, but not the centre circle of the football pitch. Lady Worthington, Minister of Patriotism, has dismissed this agreement as being from “one undemocratic leader to another”, claiming that a border between Adammia and Wazakhstan at the centre circle would prevent Adammic citizens from being freely able to play football on the pitch; Hilton has stated that Wazakhstan will allow free movement over its border.

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The football pitches in Selly Park, the site of the dispute.

Prime Minister Saunders has said that, despite Wazakhstan making its claim first, Wazakhstan’s claim is baseless and that Adammia has the right to the entire park. In reality, neither nation appears to have any legal basis for a claim which is more valid than the other’s. It is understood that, despite the government’s wishes, the Emperor will specifically exclude the centre circle from Adammia’s claim, which is expected to be made by Imperial Decree later this week. Labour Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lord Maude, has taken a softer tone than his Storm Party colleagues and has stated that he is undertaking bilateral talks with Hilton to ease the tensions.

Whilst most of the tension appears to have been for naught, there can be no doubt that it has damaged Adammic-Wazakhstani relations, with the prime ministers of both nations openly arguing in the Empire of Adammia Facebook group. The Emperor and Lord Maude will both no doubt be attempting to heal relations behind the scenes, in spite of the inflammatory comments made by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Patriotism. On the other side of the coin, the claim over Selly Park seems to have some significance to the Storm Party, with Saunders claiming that it will usher in a “new era” for Adammia. Opinion within the Storm camp continues to be that Wazakhstan has been improperly interfering in Adammic affairs by exercising undue influence over the Liberal-Moderate opposition; Lady Worthington has even gone so far as to suggest that Adammia should militarily intervene in Wazakhstan to “liberate” its people from Hilton, a self-confessed dictator. Though the Emperor would undoubtedly veto any such course of action, the rhetoric is clearly straining relations between the two neighbouring micronations.