Adam I, Editor
ADAMSVILLE, Greater Tytannia – The new Ruling Council was completed on the 26th of November after the Ordo Vladius agreed to the Office of State’s proposed appointment of Owain Davies as Delegate of the Colonies. Then, on the 3rd of December, the composition of newly-elected Prime Minister Sir Alex Helliker’s Cabinet was announced. With everything now in place, the first State Opening of Council in the Birmingham provinces was scheduled for Tuesday the 5th of December in the Province of Serkatia.
The full composition of the new Council, as announced by His Imperial Majesty the Emperor in his State Opening speech, is as follows:
Councilor of Greater Tytannia: HIM Emperor Adam I (LIB)
Councilor of Serkatia: HG Sir Alex Helliker PM KOV (MOD)
Councilor of Alluria: Sir Jack Sykes KOA (IND)
Councilor of Paternia: HG Admiral Ems Simpson (NUC)
Duke of Greater Tytannia: HG Commodore Sir Joe Daniels KOA (LIB)
Duke of Serkatia: HG Colonel Sir Zak Maguire KOA (MOD)
Duke of Alluria: HG General Sir Luca Panconi DPM KOA (LIB)
Duke of Paternia: HG Callum Gurr (LIB)
Delegate of Abroad Citizens: Asher Bond (IND)
Delegate of the Colonies: Owain Davies (IND)
As we previous speculated, a coalition has been formed between the ruling Moderate Party and the Liberal Party, in order to provide enough Council members to fill a complete Cabinet. The composition of the new Cabinet is as follows:
Prime Minister: HG Sir Alex Helliker PM KOV
Deputy Prime Minister: HG General Sir Luca Panconi DPM KOA
Minister of Finance: Owain Davies
Minister of Foreign Affairs: HIM Emperor Adam I
Minister of Defence: HG Commodore Sir Joe Daniels KOA
Minister of Citizenship & Information: HG Callum Gurr
Minister of National Development: HG Colonel Sir Zak Maguire KOA
It has also been confirmed that, as the leader of the largest party not in government, Admiral Ems Simpson is acting as the Leader of the Opposition.
HIM the Emperor addresses the State Opening of VI Legislature.
Following the State Opening speech, the Council set about its business for the first meeting of VI Legislature, with both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition giving brief comments on the prospects of the coming term. The centrepiece of the meeting was the 2017-18 Budget. Standard financial appropriation for the previous financial year had expired at the end of October, with the transitional Cabinet issuing an Emergency Appropriation to extend funding until the end of November. From the five days between then and the State Opening, a government shutdown was in effect, though the effects of this were negligible. As the Cabinet had only just been formed, it did not have a Budget prepared, and so the Council suspended order and worked informally on a simple Budget, with the Government and the Opposition collaborating. The finished document, as moved by the new Minister of Finance, authorises expenditure of £24 to cover the domain costs of the national website, and up to a further £20 for donating to charity. It was passed with 7 votes in favour, no votes against and 2 abstentions, although several votes were given remotely after the meeting, as only 5 members were present at the meeting itself. The Budget did not deal with measures for raising income, and the Council is expected to return to this side of public finance after a few ideas were suggested at the meeting. Though nothing is yet set in stone, the Government appears to be moving towards an annual Contributions payment instead of the old monthly scheme, with a potential lower rate of £3 per year (as opposed to the 50p per month, or £6 per year, under the old regime), which would bring it in line with the membership fees of most student societies at the nearby University of Birmingham. There were also suggestions of providing some sort of reward scheme for citizens who choose not to opt out of the scheme, though it is not yet clear what form this might take. At any rate, even if the Government fails to raise any income at all during this financial year, there are enough reserves left over in the Treasury from the last government to see it through the year without entering debt.
After dealing with the Budget, the Council agreed on a business motion for the following five meetings, handling a total of ten Acts of Council derived from the current party manifestos. This is the first time the Council has scheduled its future business in such a way, but it wasn’t the only first from the Council. If the recent elections set the tone for a new, more engaged Adammic politics, then this was the first time we really got to see it in action. Admiral Simpson appears keen to fulfil her role of holding the government to account, and has already criticised the appointment of Callum Gurr as the Duke of Paternia, on the grounds that he is not a resident of the province, and further that he is a Liberal representative of a province where nobody voted Liberal at the recent election. Meanwhile, Gurr himself raised eyebrows when he questioned his own party’s leadership’s decision to enter coalition with the Moderates without consulting party members such as himself, although his decision to accept a Cabinet position suggests that he does not consider this to be too much of an issue.
The full report of the Council meeting can be read here.
After the Council meeting, the Cabinet met briefly, and mainly discussed foreign affairs issues. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is expected to formally request that Adammia be re-admitted as a full member of the Grand Unified Micronational at some point in the coming days. Furthermore, the government is believed to be considering diplomatic relations with the newly-formed nearby micronation of Wazakhstan, led by UoB fresher Ned Hilton as its Prime Minister. The emergence of Wazakhstan onto the stage has raised the prospect of a so-called “Birmingham Sector” around the areas of Edgbaston and Selly Oak, which would be the first new local sector of the MicroWiki sphere in several years.
The Council is now in its Christmas recess and will convene again in January. At its next meeting, it is expected to discuss the Moderate Party’s General Amendments Act, as part of Prime Minister Helliker’s pledge to reform and improve past legislation, and the Nuclear So-and-so Party’s Human Rights Act. The former will be mostly technical and is not expected to be controversial, and the latter will probably have the broad approval of all parties, although some finer points could be contentious. However, there will be some serious political debate in the near future. The Emperor recently announced that he would again be seeking to have the Empire de-recognise the United States government, this time in response to President Donald Trump retweeting a number of anti-Muslim “Britain First” videos on Twitter. Famously, an Imperial Decree was issued following the US Presidential Election last November which withdrew diplomatic recognition. This caused an uproar amongst Adammia’s right-wing, which saw the ANP challenging the Emperor’s then-seat of Delegate of the Colonies, which he narrowly held on to in a subsequent by-election. Eventually, then-PM Sir Paul McKenna tabled a Council motion to overturn the decree, arguing that it did not respect American democracy, and in a move which was unheard of in the political climate at the time, the Council sided with the PM and against the Emperor, thus restoring diplomatic recognition. Clearly, the Emperor is hoping that the new Council will be less hostile to the measures, but there are signs that this may not be the case – both the PM and the Leader of the Opposition are understood to be opposed to withdrawing recognition. Although the Emperor is understood to have the support of Liberal colleagues such as Gurr, this situation could well turn into the Liberals versus the rest of the Council, and although the Liberals have the most seats, they do not have a majority. Plans to enact the decision by Imperial Decree have seemingly been shelved in order to prevent the potential embarrassment of the decree being overturned a second time, and the Emperor is now expected to propose the move as a private member’s bill at the next meeting, where there could well be a significant debate unlike anything we have seen previously.
In other news, Adammia saw its heaviest snowfall since its foundation over the weekend, with 4-5 inches of snow falling on South Adammia on Sunday. It was in these conditions that the Emperor travelled back to his holiday residence of the Imperial Household in Adamsville, Greater Tytannia, on Monday, with Emperor Mother Jayne and Sir Paul McKenna. Indeed, most members of the government have now gone home for the academic holidays.
Snowfall in Serkatia.
Seek wisdom and honour, and long live the Empire!