A Commonwealth in chaos: my opinion – Lord Matthew

A Commonwealth in chaos: my opinion – Lord Matthew

Lord Matthew, centre

GREATER BADDOW – Yesterday the Commonwealth of Essexia was struck by its most acute challenge since the civil war of 2018. Despite the progress and transformation seen in Essexia since that event, it is hardly striking that events yesterday so similarly resembled the events of the September rebellion two years ago.  Fundamentally, both rebellions derived from the same intrinsic failings, from the same perpetrators.

The events of Monday came of no surprise. Essexia, being a nation of eccentric disposition, has always been prone to dissent and insurgency. The very nature of the centralisation of its authority and power has left ambitious players no choice but to pry for the few top jobs the country has to offer. Combining this with an abnormal abundance of autocratic hopefuls invariably leads to discord, often culminating in spectacular coups and the chronic occurrence of ultra vires. It is quite normal for Essexia to see several changes in government in as little as a month, something you attribute to an empire on deaths door rather than a nation that is supposed to have established itself after several civil wars.   

Essexia is on life support. It has been since it was born. Every time it comes out to try and stand on its own two feet, it is dealt a major blow by another self-inflicted ruckus. Its life support is Emperor Terry, who through Herculean effort manages to save the country from the grip of degeneration. There will come a time when not even the exercising of the most exceptional power will save Essexia from collapse unless something substantial changes. It doesn’t take much to realise what needs changing – and that is who is involved with the project.

On the surface, the former Lord, Jack, is the common suspect behind the gravest problems – and it would be easy for us to source all of our issues back to his actions without assessing it in detail. He has led the opposing faction in the two civil wars, and has by far initiated the most coups against whoever is in the incumbent in government. Jack has a thirst for high office. I think most of that derives from his belief, even if he would fail to admit it openly, of the sense of reward he feels entitled to – not in an egotistical sense – but in the sense he has been one of Essexia’s most active contributors and greatest patrons, thereby (in his eyes) empowering him politically. It must come of much frustration when he endlessly fails to win popular support in any election despite the years of effort he has devoted to the success of the project. I don’t blame Jack for wanting power, it is fundamentally human nature. Jack embraces the relative insignificance Essexia has in the grand scheme of all of our lives, knowing that through our macronational personal friendships which pre-exist Essexia, none of us truly take his otherwise sinuous actions to heart. Away from micronationalism, Jack is one of the funniest and kindest people I know, a far cry from what is basically his Essexian ‘alter-ego.’ Most of us are content with this, and know Jack has no real bad intent, hence Jack is always allowed by general consensus to return to Essexia after wrongdoing. He is by no means the sole problem.

You then have Earl Jamie – someone who is somewhat new to Essexia. It is this newness, combined with the unparalleled speed with which he rose to prominence, that has most upset the power-balance in Essexia. The old guard of the micronation – that is Lord Jack, Earl Finn and myself – have ordinarily been the three principal actors in the theatre that is Essexian politics. Jamie has emphatically, and arguably righteously, shattered the hegemony we once held. Perhaps, we as a trio, are embittered by his successive electoral successes’, all of which cast us into the shadow of irrelevancy. Jamie is boundlessly more popular than us in a social sense, and he is ruthless. These cards aggregated are the reason for the Parliament’s we have seen in recent times – sculptured in his personal image. However, where Jamie succeeds in attaining popular support, he falls short in the venue of politics. Jamie is not a politician, he himself would admit that. Jamie is a character. Characters, no matter how popular or imposing, are devoured in a serpent’s pit. It is no wonder he frequently finds his honeymoon with the voters cut short not by his own personal failure’s in office, but by parties that know how to play the game better than he does, seizing his office from him. For all his ruthlessness, Jamie, at least from my perspective, is so absorbed in his own personal vanity that he can never seem to exorcise this opposition. However, for this, he cannot be blamed, and the underlying failures of the Essexian state cannot be attributed to his wholly positive contributions either.

Earl Finn is another key player, albeit a lesser one in recent times, and one that has never enjoyed the prominence and melodrama associated with the office of First Minister. It is this very detachment to what the office should be, that is the reason for Finn’s shortcomings. He may not appreciate me saying this as someone who is passionate about politics, but Finn is a rubbish politician. He is simply too human, too down to earth, and honest to survive in the cesspit and hustle of the political scene, both in a macronational and micronational sense. It is evident he can somewhat make up for this through a sharp intelligence, more so than any key player in Essexia – he has been a mediator in some of Essexia’s greatest issues and the man knows how to remain calm and collected. But for all the positive attributes of his character, Finn is not as merciless as he needs to be to survive in this field. I have witnessed myself how he becomes paralysed in his own indecisiveness – by the time he has reached any conclusion it needn’t matter for it is too late to act. His inability to react to threat has been exploited multiple times, all bringing with them the peril of damaging Essexian stability. Yet, it would be unfair and wrong to blame the problems of Essexia on a person that has such a high level of integrity and morality.

From the outset there is not case to be made that the issue lies with the Emperor either. Whilst he is widely described as lazy and quite frankly negligent of his duties at the best of times, it is difficult to see what else he can do. By far, Terry can exercise the most power in Essexia. As far as the law is concerned he is constitutionally invincible too, and his prerogatives on paper would have the most austere despots droll in jealously. Except, Essexia is notorious for unusually not functioning through de-jure, rather, power derives from the de-facto, and the de-facto situation in Essexia, is that any act of overreach by Terry – even a hint of tyranny when in theory he could be as tyrannical as he pleases – would result in his disposition instantaneously. Terry’s power is backed up not by a constitution or any law, but by the popular support he has, and seeing as Essexia is a micronation of only a few dozen active contributors, he has to labour for every ounce of credibility he can get to stay in power. He must stay fiercely impartial. Any inkling that he acted in partisan interest, would cause major uproar. Indeed, his long-established personal friendship with myself is often the source of most of his woes – he is incessantly and erroneously accused of acting in my best interest rather than the Commonwealths a whole. This is simply a falsehood and both him and I know it. However, Essexia couldn’t care for what is fact, as I have already conveyed. By virtue of this, the rebels took it among themselves yesterday to abandon a project years in the making, in part due to his aforementioned supposed bias in my favour. Again, this is not Terry’s wrongdoing. That leaves one eventuating individual.

Me.

It would be wrong to use this platform to defend myself or my actions over the past three years. Likewise, I won’t commit an act of self-sacrifice and charge myself with being the sole obstacle in the path to Essexia’s success. I am conscious of the fact I find myself at the centre of every civil strife and argument factions in Essexia have. I am not oblivious to my involvement in past misdemeanours. I have done nothing overtly positive to assist in transitioning Essexia from an unstable new project to a revered micronational entity as we envisioned. In fact, sometimes, I will admit to doing quite the opposite, through unhelpful contributions to international exchange – which is so important to our image – and knowingly sabotaging periods of tranquillity for personal gain. I have back-stabbed just about everyone there is to back-stab in Essexia, from the Emperor to foreign dignitaries. I have corrupted innocent institutions, riddled vital legislation with deliberate loopholes, and aggregated issues from a fun, micronational project – to real friendships. I have undeniably played my part in ensuring the state of perpetual chaos Essexia finds itself in. This isn’t supposed to be a resignation letter, but as a result of what I have described, I do seek to distance myself from the front lines of this great project in the near future, and enjoy the lesser appreciated aspects of Essexia I have previously neglected, such as the journalistic or military side of the micronation.

Essexia can thrive. It will thrive. But my departure from its bow after three years won’t fix the issues. Every MP, cabinet member, earl, politician, royal, worker, soldier and citizen will play their part in the transition of Essexia to the next chapter in its history. It is chiefly up to those at the helm, and they know who they are, to stop this trivial power mongering and revert Essexia back to what a micronation should be – a fun, quirky and sociable community which is an escape from the malignancy of reality.  I will be there with you for as long as Essexia exists – doing my bit in whatever part I chose to play – rooting us on. Essexia, for all its issues, still has the potential to live up to its founding prophecy, spoken at its inception on that Christmas eve nearly three years ago;

Glory.

Lord Matthew is an MP in the Essexian Parliament who is the Minister of the Interior and Ambassador to the Grand Unified Micronational

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