In further developments in the controversy surrounding the Grand Unified Micronational (GUM), Chairman Yaroslav Mar and Vice-Chairman Bradley of Dullahan both resigned yesterday amid strong criticism of the embattled organisation.
Their resignations mean that the entire leadership of the GUM has now quit, with the exception of Jonathan Caesar of Austenasia, who has now become Acting Chair of the GUM.
In Mar’s resignation statement, he said that he had “zero rights” to remain as Chair of the GUM.
“I hope that my short rule will not be remembered only by my crimes, though this is certainly what I deserve and what I shall expect”.
He also claimed that he had been used as a “tool” by a “clique which pursued its own aims and used me as a weapon for that”.
Vice-Chair, Duke Bradley of Dullahan, resigned shortly afterwards, meaning that under the GUM Constitution, Supreme Tribune Jonathan Caesar of Austenasia becomes Acting Chair for the remainder of the term.
Caesar said that he hoped that his term would “oversee the restoration of respect and integrity” to the organisation.
In another statement, former Secretary of the Security Council, Håkon Lindström, apologised for his “disgraceful and unprofessional behaviour”.
“It was most unbecoming of a diplomat and a head of state, I would like to also say sorry to the current and former members of the GUM for my part in this sordid affair, that has not only brought dishonour and embarrassment upon the GUM but Zealandia and myself”.
He also released logs detailing Skype conversations between himself, Duke Bradley and Yaroslav Mar.
The latest events come just a day after the resignations of the Secretary of the Security Council, Secretary of the Advancement Council and the departure of three member states.
A1 News Service: Just wanted to get your reaction to the GUM stuff
And also a concise explanation of what happened, if possible
I’ve just come back from work and found all this…
Jacob Tierney: I’ll give it a try :D
Firstly, my reaction, personally, is that I support our Council decision to leave the GUM. I think that the reflex scapegoating of Bradley is unfair and unfounded; I think Zealandias attempt to deflect blame from M. Lindstrom is disingenuous and ultimately only self interested and ultimately I think the GUM has work to do in sorting this corruption out, and I personally will not be advocating any form of rejoin until significant steps have been taken..
To sum up what happened:
After continuing quarelling between Sandus, Juclandia and Wyvern, there was discussion as to how this should be treated by the Security Council. Ultitely, it was first advocated that there should be mediation. This is standard procedure and is absolutely what should happen. However, there was then urging from no less than the Chair himself that the standard protocol should be ignored, with expulsions being favoured. With the help of M. Lindstrom, who is head of the SC, this motion was forced through, to vote even being closed before all parties could vote. Sandus was voted to be expelled at next Quorum, the decision on Juclandia was postponed.
The quorum came, the SC tabled the motion, and it passed. However, it was then highlighted that Juclandia, being accused of exactly the same things, was not being voted on. They thus were, and were expelled.
After this M. Lindstrom was accused of being corrupt, and when no one would agree to actually prosecute him, he brought the charges against himself. Ultimately, he in the end withdrew the charges and the case collapsed. However, during the case, evidence had been distributed to those standing in on the Prosecution, namely M. Soergel. He was given the logs which showed the voted had at the very least been coerced and manipulated. He leaked these logs, which obviously cause considerable outrage.
In the wake of this being uncovered, several nations have tendered their resignations from the organisation, including Uberstadt, Amager and Renasia.
There are now calls for an early election, mostly fronted by M. Caesar, the Supreme Judge, and a great deal of turmoil within the institution itself.
That, to the best of my ability, is the situation.
A1 News Service: Great thanks :)
So what do you think has to happen for the GUM to be viable?
Jacob Tierney: Ultimately, it needs a new system of checks and balances. This is the product of the utilisation of both councils and the power of the Chair to solve political disputes in a partisan manner, and as such we need to find some way to regulate how these actions are taken to prevent this sort of abuse being taken again.
A1 News Service: So what’s your reaction to the statement released by Mar and Bradley? http://gum.lostisland.org/1/post/2013/01/official-apology.html
Jacob Tierney: I think it is a step in the correct direction. I certainly think their proposal to give the office of Supreme Judge observership over the Security Council is sensible and forward thinking. While this partially restores my faith in them, I cannot say I find it to be a complete solution, and it will not induce us to rejoin the GUM, though we hope this is the first step to resecuring the non-partisan nature of the institution.
A1 News Service: If this doesn’t happen, what do you anticipate happening to the organisation, if anything at all?
Jacob Tierney: Well, ultimately, I think if these these don’t happen, either the organisation will collapse, or at least dwindle in size, until such a time as this incident is forgotten or they do instate these measure. Otherwise, it may be that the GUM becomes something which is unrecognisable.
A1 News Service: What is your ideal vision for the GUM?
Jacob Tierney: Ultimately, as odd as it sounds, I don’t have an ideal vision for the GUM any more. I have things I’d like to see, but I don’t think people should be coming into the GUM with a grand vision for perfection. You’ll never get it, the GUM is compromise, because it is diversity, and that is how it should be. But the few things I do want: the GUM should be part think-tank, part diplomatic union and part facilitator for the devlopment of its members and perhaps the wider community. If it is those things, whatever else it may be, it is ideal to my mind.
A1 News Service: So how do you respond to Alexander Reinhardt’s criticism of the GUM as an organisation? http://stcharlianobserver.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/gum/
Jacob Tierney: I think M. Reinhardts criticisms are, as usual, insightful and fair. However, I would hold that the GUM has not perhaps lost its ideal, but they are lost behind the fog of all this petty arguing.
A1 News Service: Ok great thanks very much :)
Former Prime Minister of St.Charlie and prominent MicroWiki administrator, Alexander Reinhardt, has strongly criticised the Grand Unified Micronational (GUM) in an article published in the St.Charlian Observer yesterday.
The article follows the most recent turmoil to hit the GUM, which resulted in the resignation of two secretaries and three member nations leaving the embattled organisation.
In the article, Reinhardt criticises the GUM itself, dismissing it as “…an arena for micronations to argue about useless matters”.
“If you’re able to tell me at least three things that recently made the GUM useful and different from any other intermicronational union (or even the MicroPolitan Lounge), please write them down”.
He also called for the leadership of the GUM to apologise (they subsequently did) and for “drastic, yet effective measures”.
“Maybe if something is done quickly, the GUM can get back something more important than its activity: its decency”.
Many micronationalists commended the article, including King Quentin of Wyvern and Grand Duke Niels of Flandrensis.
King Quentin said that he could not remember the “…’GUM of old’ doing anything noteworthy, especially outside the small circle of nations that were part of it”.
“No wonder the organisation is a mess – not even the ‘old guard’ of the organisation knows anything about how it’s supposed to work, and all trials, elections and meetings from the moment it was refounded until today have taken place based on ‘convention’, which lends itself to the type of power struggles that we, as a community, seem to love”.
The Grand Unified Micronational has been hit again by major upheaval, caused by the resignation of the Secretary of the Security Council, the Secretary of the Advancement Council, the departure of three member nations and renewed criticism of the organisation’s leadership and structure.
It is reported by the New Light of Yurtyzstan that an argument arose in the ‘GUM Lounge’ Skype chatroom over the recent leaking of logs from last month’s Security Council meeting where Sandus and Juclandia were expelled.
During the argument, Renasia, Amager and Überstadt all announced their decisions to leave the GUM with immediate effect.
Jacob Tierney, the now-former GUM delegate for Renasia, told the A1NS that his micronation would not consider rejoining until “corruption” had been eradicated from the organisation.
He also criticised Håkon Lindström’s article published yesterday, after his resignation as Secretary of the Security Council.
“I think that the reflex scapegoating of Bradley is unfair and unfounded; I think Zealandias attempt to deflect blame from M. Lindstrom is disingenuous and ultimately only self interested”.
It is understood that the Chair of the GUM, Yaroslav Mar, urged the ignoring of standard mediation procedures during the Juclandia-Sandus-Wyvern dispute in December 2012, and helped to force through the motion in the Security Council to expel Juclandia and Sandus.
Chairman Mar and the Vice-Chairman, Bradley of Dullahan, have since released a statement on the GUM website, asking delegates to “keep faith” in the current GUM leadership.
“We know many have lost faith due to the recent events and the lack of progress, though this has been an eye opener”.
They also promised to “…rush forwards many projects to show that we are a profitable organisation and to make up for lost time”.
Supreme Judge, Jonathan Caesar, has also recommended a number of changes to the organisations.
He proposed bringing forward elections for Chair and Vice-Chair, calling their position “untenable”.
As may be already known, the Micronational Press Council (MPC or MNPC) was resurrected late last year.
In a time when intermicronational organisations are held in less regard than probably ever before, particularly ‘UN-style’ organisations, the MPC follows a slow but sure trend of intermicronational organisations leaning towards more specific purposes.
The MPC, according to its website is:
…responsible for promoting good standards of media practice, community access to information of public interest, and freedom of expression through micronational media – specifically, through its constituent media outlets. The Council has responsibility for responding to complaints about its member newspapers, magazines and associated digital outlets.
The MPC also provides useful and relevant resources to its members, such as website templates and tools, as well as providing for discussion and information-sharing between media outlets.
So the MPC essentially acts as the self-regulatory body for micronational media outlets that choose to become members. There are many comparable organisations in the macronational world which the MPC is based off but seeks to improve on.
So what does all of this mean for the A1NS (and other media outlets) and how it reports news?
To put it simply, quite a bit. The nature of micronationalism and its relatively small size means that conflicts between micronations quickly turn personal. As such, when government-controlled media outlets report on these issues, they are usually subject to allegations of bias.
The MPC provides the independent mechanism for complaints like this be handled, even if the outlet in question is not a member (it just means that the MPC can merely made recommendations, not a binding ruling). It’s something that people can turn to and seek a ruling on that is fair and without bias.
The beauty of the MPC is that it only needs to be active when there are complaints. There’s no real need for members to constantly visit the forum or the Skype room. All the activity that needs to happen occurs when a complaint is received and elections for the Chairman are held (which should, incidentally, be soon).
In summary, before the MPC, there was no independent regulation of media outlets, and there was quite a bit of furour over the years about how some media outlets conducted themselves. In the event that this happens again, the MPC stands ready to fulfil its purposes.