Statement of suspension of A1 membership of the GUM Edit
The Most Glorious People's Republic of A1, its citizens, government members and public servants have peace and harmony utmost in our minds. We believe intermicronational war to be stupid and pointless. We have seen many intermicronational organisations attempting to prevent such events from occurring with all ultimately failing – in either present or past tense.
We, like some other micronations, do not view the Grand Unified Micronational in a favourable light, for a number of reasons.
Firstly, we, and other micronations, have put up with high-handedness and arrogance from Erusia, more specifically Mr. Lethler, in acting like a micronational superpower, for long enough. Other than specific experiences through direct communication between A1 and Erusia, we have seen this more openly in GUM forums and public statements made.
Other than this violating the GUM Constitution (Article XX: “Every delegate must be treated with the respect deserving of an individual of their station.), it is undiplomatic and rude. A full email sent by Mr. Lethler to me has been posted, as an example of this rudeness and arrogance that has unfortunately become all too common. A short explanation has also be posted there regarding that incident.
This has become most apparent in this recent saga, where the misinterpretation of what a micronationalist said has been turned into a huge fuss by Mr. Lethler, which has overshadowed other, more pressing issues that the GUM is apparently supposed to deal with, such as weapons development and diplomatic tensions between micronations.
Secondly, we have seen a steady rise in the number of ways that the GUM is attempting to compromise member nations' sovereignty, despite the GUM Charter apparently holding sovereignty dear.
We understand that the GUM follows the ideals of Internationalism, rather than Realism or Rationalism, but there comes a point when nations cannot afford to have their sovereignty compromised any further. We have seen this in the recent Treaty of Universal Non-Aggression.
The Treaty, especially, is very vague, unspecific and open to interpretation, apart from the many grammatical errors. For instance, in the very first article is the phrase: “All Contracting Parties [sic] obligate themselves to desist from...any attack on each other”, within which the word 'attack' could mean anything from verbal exchanges to sexual assault.
Article 4 is also a major cause for concern, stating, in essence, that any GUM nation who does not sign the treaty or violates its terms will be suspended and will hence be at the mercy of the Justice Commission. We do not believe that forcing GUM nations to sign such a vague and unspecific treaty that hands yet more sovereignty over to the GUM and inhibits the operation of micronations to deal with their own issues, is something that can be reasonably justified.
Although this is all done in good faith, the attempted creation of some sort of world government in the micronational world is doomed to failure, much like the United Nations. This is because individual nations will not stand to have their sovereignty compromised, as we have the capability to put on trial and condemn those who we feel need to be dealt with in this way. We have the capability to decide when and where force needs to be used. And we will not stand for the GUM telling us what we can and can't do, who we can and can't condemn and how and who we use necessary force (on).
We see multimicronational organisations as adding to the capabilities of micronations, such as providing means of communication between micronations or providing for a middleman in negotiations, rather than compromising or replacing them.
Thirdly, we have seen decisions taken by the GUM and actions taken without consulting us and, quite possibly, other members. Although there are difficulties in keeping us up-to-date with such information due to massive time zone differences, this should not impede our clearly stated right to have a say on these decisions and actions. We have seen this, most recently, in the decision taken to open a micronational library and university under the GUM. We were not told this at any level. A member of my staff only chanced upon this in the corner of the sixth page of the St. Charlian Observer (14th November) in an interview.
Other than the possible copying or basing of the idea on the Organisation of Active Micronation's 'Micronational Dictionary' and associated expansion projects, which would not be surprising given Mr. Lethler's less than positive view towards the OAM, the almost complete absence of notification and the exclusion of my nation from voting is clearly violating numerous articles of the GUM Constitution. Just to take a few examples: -Article XXI: “The Quorum of Delegates is charged chiefly with addressing matters of Intermicronational importance and directing the development of the institution. The Quorum serves as a forum for discussion and voting on such matters.” -Article XXX: “minutes shall be taken at every meeting to ensure those who were unable to attend will be able to access a record of proceedings.” (this has not happened, despite a promise from Chairman Lethler for this to occur over two weeks ago) -Article XXXIII: “Each member state is entitled to a single vote for a specific motion or decision of the Quorum. Voting status is the same regardless of the number of delegates or constituent countries a micronation has.”
We will no longer stand for being subject to decisions of a body that we are supposedly part of, and yet have no say in. We will no longer stand for being discriminated against simply because of our time zone. We will no longer stand for our ideas being plagiarised and copied. And we will no longer stand for promises, binding oaths and constitutions being broken. This is not the mark of an organisation worth being a part of.
And even if these decisions were legitimate, they were never announced publicly. We have a right to know what decisions are imposed on us.
We mostly hold no ill-will towards individual nations, but rather the path the the GUM is taking, and already partially has taken, and we will not stand for this.
We have raised our issues with the relevant authorities, and nothing has been done.
Therefore, I, acting upon recommendations from my own office, Cabinet and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and pending further review, hereby suspend A1's membership of the Grand Unified Micronational and withdraw our signature to the GUM Constitution until further notice, effective as of 12:01am, Eastern Standard Time, 17th November 2009.
We seek not to isolate ourselves from the micronational community, but rather to bring attention to these sort of things that are happening.
We call on all other member nations who believe that their sovereignty and dignity are worth fighting for to do the same.
HG Sir. Philip Fish Chairman Minister for Interior The Most Glorious People's Republic of A1
A-One 05:24, November 16, 2009 (UTC)
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I must say that Chairman Fish's remarks have amused me greatly - precisely what one needs before setting off for a long day at work, I can tell you. It would seem that our ideologically confused friend, who I would like to note needs to learn the value of researching his subject matter before arguing in a public forum, has joined this institution purely to try and sabotage it. I do not believe I have ever heard him make a single positive comment about the organisation and I have every intention to publish all e-mails he and members of his government have sent to me in the near future, rest assured. Before I proceed to counter his points I do feel compelled to notify you all that Mr Fish did contact me privately and I was in the process of drafting a reply to him last night, but was unable to complete it due to time constraints - he waited less than forty-eight hours for my response. Please keep that in mind when you consider my words and his actions. I also note that I am replying seperately to Flandrensis below, and will not deal with their decision in this response. Forgive me if I alternate between addressing Mr Fish as 'he' and 'you' - this statement has been drafted in between other business and letters.
Firstly, I must address the matter of the e-mail that was dispatched from my office. Mr Fish would have you believe that this e-mail was sent in my capacity as Chairman of the Quorum, as he is apparently unable to comprehend the idea that some of us are able to put politics above our international duties. This e-mail was sent in my capacity as Erusia's Foreign Commissioner and General Secretary of the Communist Party, not as Chairman of the GUM, and thus is entirely irrelevant to this matter. If anyoneelse does believe it relevant, I would like to request you confirm your apparent annexation by Erusia, given the e-mail clearly states it was sent on behalf of the Central People's Government and not the GUM. How I sign off is irrelevant - its contents have nothing to do with the GUM or the community, and Mr Fish has failed to publish the preceding e-mail, in which he attacks the GUM as being unable to stand up on its own feet as he so quaintly put it. If you believe all of my offices cannot be effectively seperated, then I ask that you also proceed to denounce the Kingdom of Finismund, as I hold status a special advisor to their government.
With regards to the "fuss" I apparently kicked up, I remind you that my own comments were made to a session of the National People's Assembly of Erusia and not to any other institution or authority. The only national news service of Erusia viewable by non-citizens elected to quote part of what was actually a much longer address, for reasons I cannot explain because - and this may come to a shock to Mr Fish - I am not a dictator who controls every aspect of his nation. Erusia Central News reported on it whilst I was occupied trying to stop a civil war in one of our nation-states and trying to prevent another major international war. Certain members of this institution elected to jump on the news story and make a "fuss" out of it. With regards to the comments themselves, I think you will find that I am obligated by Communist Party by-laws to represent and defend the official position of the Party, and I did precisely that in the Assembly. With regards to the GUM trials we have requested, they are completely unrelated to that incident and deal with allegations of constitutional subversion presented by other members of my government - most within the GUM know I do not want the trials to go forward personally.
And as for the issue of the Treaty of Universal Non-Aggression...well, I think it is about to come clear that Mr Fish is either blind or illiterate - certainly one of the two must be true. As most people within this community all ready know the Treaty was not written by me or any other Erusian, and was in actuality written by the current Vice-Chairman Wilhelm I of New Europe. Furthermore, most people who were present when it was first proposed are fully aware that I personally vetoed Article 4 of the original document, making it completely clear that the GUM would never infringe on the sovereignty of its member states in such a way. As anyone who is fluent in English can tell, the version of Article 4 on MicroWiki is clearly marked as being "(Amended)" - the original text is shown first, then followed by the current text which removes the obligation for all GUM members to sign. The treaty is, then, completely voluntary - every member who signs has voluntarily agreed to those terms and no member state has ever been pressured into signing it. When I was Chairman of the GUM-JC I agreed that we would regulate the treaty as per the new Article 4, provided those who signed it were fully aware of its terms. Perhaps if he had bothered to read or even ask about the treaty, Mr Fish would have realised this.
I'd also like to take the opportunity to note that it appears to me as though Mr Fish has just said, quite openly, that he would happily bring anyone to trial under his laws - including those who are not citizens of his nation. He has also made it clear that he feels he has the inviolable right to freely use force against any nation he wishes. If you feel that is how the GUM should be, then I ask you to join him in leaving us now - we don't want nations like that in the GUM. As Mr Tierney, our esteemed founder, recently reminded us: this institution is founded on the ideals of peace and intermicronational cooperation, not on the shameless nationalist agendas of certain member states. I find it laughable that he would accuse the Democratic People's Republic of being arrogant and almost a menace to this community when he has just made it clear that his nation does not actually respect anyone's sovereignty. Or maybe I have simply not taken the time to read what he said clearly - its simply awful when people do that, don't you agree?
The next point Mr Fish raises is perhaps the only one which is backed up with a valid arguement, though that arguement remains deeply flawed as most members are no doubt all ready aware. I will concede that there has been difficulty in trying to move this institution beyond the Atlantic and that nations such as A1 have indeed been at a great disadvantage, and I do sincerely apologise for that. We have been experiencing technical difficulties with our official e-mails recently and as such it has been difficult for me to get in touch with people, as Mr Reinhardt knows, to discuss certain issues. Minutes of both Quorum sessions should have been taken (I did request it) and if you never recieved them, then I assure you that I will investigate and make sure that a competent individual takes minutes in future - I am unable to do so personally due to an often unreliable internet connection. You have my apologies again for this, and I assure you that by the end of the month we will once again be taking minutes properly as we previously did - it does not help that our main minute taker has vanished off the face of the Earth.
Having said that much, that is only a small part of Mr Fish's arguement - the rest of it is entirely invalid. I have tried to answer each of his sections in turn, though this part of my answer is going to become rather disorganised, so my apologies for that.
Let me first turn my attention to the accusation that the intermicronational library has, in some way, been plagarised from his Organisation - the full name of which has conveniently slipped my mind. As I wrote in my e-mail to him that would have been sent out tonight had Mr Fish understood the virtue of patience, following a request for more information about the library that he sent to me about 19 hours before he made his statement above. As many of you are aware, the proposal for an intermicronational library was first brought before the members of the Advancement Council in July 2009 (to my memory) by Jamie Sutherland, though it was not seriously considered because there were more important issues being discussed at the time. Ultimately, the proposal went for debate to the Quorum on September 27th 2009, being clearly listed in the agenda of events issued to the Quorum on September 25th 2009. I believe Mr Fish cited that his Organisation has had this idea "for about a week or so", meaning the earliest date of implementation would be November 8th - about six weeks after the Quorum first discussed the proposal for a library.
Mr Fish has, then, accused us - and Mr Sutherland specifically if indirectly - of plagarising him and his Organisation even though it is exceptionally clear that the idea for an intermicronational library not only precedes his own by a considerable period of time, but actually precedes the founding of his Organisation by about a month. I fail to see how we, or Mr Sutherland, could have possibly stolen the idea without access to an extremely sophisticated piece of technology that allows us to peer into the future - and as I am not aware of any such artefact being within our posession, I must assume that either our friend here has once again chosen to distort material available to him, or he is simply here to cause trouble and to attack the integrity of this institution. It is we who should be accusing you of plaragism, not vice-versa.
He has also failed to account for the fact that the intermicronational library and college are both voluntary programs launched by the Advancement Council, not by the Quorum of Delegates (though the matter has been on the agenda because it is difficult to arrange meetings of the Council and it is usually easier for Council members to meet informally at each Quorum session). As anyone who has actually bothered to read the Constitution is aware, the Councils make non-binding decisions concerning the subject matter assigned to them. No member state is constitutionally obligated to respect, follow, adhere to, implement or otherwise disseminate the decisions of either Council unless they are a member of that Council (in which case the minority of members must conform to the majority). Because the decisions of the Council are not binding, nor representative of the general membership (each Council being elected to a quarterly term by the general membership), member states do not have a garaunteed say in their affairs and the Council is not obligated to listen to anyone other than its members or Select Committees. A1 is not on the Council and as such its views were not required for these proposals, which I note were approved a long time before you even joined us, with the members of the Council at the Quorum simply discussing their implementation. Neither A1, nor any other member, would be required to take part in them. All four programs being concurrently operated by the Council at this moment in time are completely voluntary - the college, for example, is aimed to give all of our member states the opportunity to send their citizens to a generally recognised micronational educational institute if they cannot provide such services themselves. Those who were present at the Quorum conveniently had the opportunity to voice their thoughts, but the Council was by no means obligated to ask for the views of each member, and your claims that the GUM is trying to force education and literature upon you are quite simply ludicrous. A1 has not been forced to do anything or accept any decision, and your claims that your sovereignty is being violated somehow are quite frankly nonsensical.
I would also like to draw the institution's attention to the fact that Mr Fish criticises us for not notifying him of any item being discussed by the Quorum, when he has clearly never checked the agenda that is published every week on this very page. If he had simply done so every Thursday, when the agenda is traditionally published, he would have seen the list of items to be discussed by the Quorum and requested that each week we dispatch a detailed agenda to A1 so that they could offer their in absentia votes and any comments on specific proposals. No-one from his nation has ever done so and we assumed, quite naturally, that A1 did not have an interest in taking part in the Quorum in this way - a simple e-mail or notice on this discussion page would have ensured that the GUM kept A1 up-to-date on events. Instead, Mr Fish and his government have chosen to throw what can only be described as a childlike tantrum because I am not breaking my back to help his nation - which has repeatedly crticised GUM and shown no desire to become seriously involved - to have its say. I am not here to act as an errand boy - if his nation is not prepared to even simply notify me that they wished to recieve a detailed agenda every week in advance of the Quorum, or to even check the basic agenda every week, then I see no reason to waste time or resources doing so.
I do not see any other particular points that I need to counter. To conclude then, it is exceptionally clear to me - and I hope to the other honourable delegates to and members of this institution - that Chairman Fish has behaved in the most dispicable fashion recently. He has attempted to portray this institution as an authoritarian organisation that is hell-bent on oppressing each and every one of its members, and painted a picture of me as the dictator of this bizarre "world government" that the GUM appears to be within his twisted view of the microworld.
It also seems appropriate for me to address the problems of the GUM briefly. Mr Fish is entirely right in saying that our institution is by no means as strong as it could, should or one day will be - there is a lot of room for improvement still and I whole-heartedly accept that. As all of you who were members at the time know, both myself and Mr Sutherland - when we stood for election to the office of Chairman of the Quorum - promised to deliver institutional reform and I would like to believe that a great deal has been accomplished between our two terms, especially following the July election when we shared an electoral ticket, as it were. As A1 and other member states who did not attend last nights Quorum are going to find out tonight, a major institutional reform proposal is going forward aimed at tackling some of the issues that Mr Fish's complaints - however distorted his view of this great organisation may be - by democraticising the GUM and making it accountable to its constituents and not just its members. The charter on the fundamental, inviolable rights of all micronations and their citizens is being drafted - as was agreed in early 2009 - for ultimate consideration and hopefully ratification by all members, allowing our member states access to a clear explanation of their sovereign rights in the eyes of the GUM and hopefully resolving many disputes surrounding micronational sovereignty. The aforementioned institutional reform proposal will allow citizens of the GUM to become involved in the institution in a way they have before been able to, taking power away from micronational leaders and vesting it in our collective population, without actually changing the power of the GUM.
It is only tragic the Mr Fish was not prepared to wait just a few hours to recieve this e-mail. Nonetheless, given the behaviour he and his nation have shown today, I for one must applaud their decision to withdraw from the GUM - we certainly do not want members who are only going to undermine the institution and create dischord at a time when we are trying to promote harmony within the community. I would say that the decision to withdraw is the only sensible one he has made in his political career if this is his attitude towards the GUM and its members. Because A1 will be withdrawing its signature from the Constitution at 12:01 EST, the Most Glorious People's Republic - and I use their official title reluctantly indeed for their conduct not revealed any glory that I can see - will subsequently be unilaterally expelled from the GUM in the interests of protection other member states' constitutional rights. If A1 should decide to return to the GUM, it is of course entirely free to re-apply for membership in the institution, but it will not be allowed to simply re-sign the Constitution and declare itself a member state once more. This is within my power but as always, if the Quorum should object, the decision will be left in its hands instead.
I would also like to make a quick closing statement about Flandrensis: I have contacted Niels to confirm they are withdrawing from the GUM completely and not just downgrading to Provisional Membership status, to make sure there is no misunderstanding. Furthermore, I do not believe their decision to withdraw is based on the decision of A1 to do so because Flandrensis made their decision before A1 did as far as I can tell, though I may be mistaken. Until Flandrensis' status is clarified fully, they will be considered suspended members only.
Finally, please accept my apologies for such a lengthy reply (3,055 words) - there was a great deal that I felt needed to be said.
- Robert Lethler
In A1's defence...Edit
I hope that this is the last time that I will have to post on this talk page, and I will try and keep this as short as possible.
Mr. Lethler has resorted to unfounded personal attacks on me, misinterpretation of what I stated and blowing things out of proportion.
Firstly, I stated that: "Other than the possible copying or basing of the idea on the Organisation of Active Micronation's 'Micronational Dictionary' and associated expansion projects..." I made an accusation of a possible copying, not using the imperative. I now stand corrected and apologise for this as now unfounded accusation, as we quite obviously did not have access to the information that Mr. Lethler has obviously had.
Secondly, I was quite amused to find this: "He has attempted to portray this institution as an authoritarian organisation that is hell-bent on oppressing each and every one of its members, and painted a picture of me as the dictator of this bizarre "world government" that the GUM appears to be within his twisted view of the microworld." Blowing it out of proportion I must say. The statement was not an attack on you (Mr. Lethler), but rather of the institution as a whole. I never implied an "authoritarian organisation" or you as a "dictator". I merely wanted to express my deep concerns over A1's sovereignty and that of its member nations, as a result of the GUM.
Thirdly, we have not "...joined this institution purely to try and sabotage it". Far from it. We joined this institution with high hopes of it being the kind of organisation that A1 was looking to become an active member of, in line with our July 2009 White Paper - active, peaceful and well populated. As our opening statements show, we were willing to participate in the programs of the GUM, but we were never approached to do so or similar. This resulted in us becoming "inactive" in the GUM, for the simple reason that there was nothing to do for us, whether rightly or wrongly.
Fourthly, sure, you may not have sent the email in your GUM capacity (despite: "4th Chairman of the Quorum of Delegates of the Grand Unified Micronational and Acting Presiding Officer of the Advancement Council" being attached to your signature), but that is just a minor side issue. The meat and potatoes of this email is that it was rude, offensive and undiplomatic. And, just to satisfy Mr. Lethler, I will publish the previous email and the following email sent in reply by myself so that those interested may decide for themselves.
Fifthly, the copy of the Universal Treaty of Non-Aggression that I used was emailed to A1. We were never notified of any amendments, vetoes or changes and hence, were rightly using this copy of the treaty. This is a perfect example of A1 being excluded from proceedings.
Lastly, as I don't want this to drag on for too long, there is quite an abundance of personal attacks on me in the 3,000 or so word essay above this. I called Mr. Lethler arrogant and rude about twice in my opening two paragraphs or so. And what do we get in return? "Childish", "his nation does not actually respect anyone's sovereignty" (quite obviously not true - nor was it ever stated), "the decision to withdraw is the only sensible one he has made in his political career" and many others. This statement was not a personal attack on Mr. Lethler - it was only in the first two or so paragraphs that I raise the issue of his rudeness in some correspondence and communication.
And just for the record, the People's Congress and A1 Cabinet have both unanimously approved this move by A1 in suspending our membership of the GUM.
There is much more that I wish to say, but I have more important matters to be getting on with.
I now leave you to decide for yourselves.
A-One 22:17, November 16, 2009 (UTC)"