21st June Edition</strong>
Leaders ~ Editorial
Dear readers, I am writing to you today from my homeland, the United Kingdom (eUK). At the advice of one of your citizens I've decided to publish an article here, to give Hungarians an insight into British politics, and a British perspective on the world. I have done this before, but this is the first time I have posted in Hungary. I hope you enjoy the article- and forgive me for posting it in English, as I cannot speak Hungarian very well.
This week has been a bit crazy for all concerned. Here in the UK the call for a training war was abruptly answered as our President, Kumnaa, attacked Ireland. Many suspected his earlier cries for war with Ireland to be light hearted banter, but as war was declared Britain’s people answered the call, dealing devastating early damage in the battle. As it turned out the war was for training only- but I’ll go more into that later. Any readers worrying about an invasion of Irishmen need not worry (any more than usual anyway).
In Europe there have been developments as the PEACE re-conquest of German regions has gone unhindered. The Swedes realised they were outmanned and outgunned and made little more than a token attempt to stop the Hungarian advance. As we can see the Hungarians have deprived the Swedes and Poles of all but their original regions. They have also spread the regions amongst their allies, presumably to avoid a PTO of their congress similar to the one Indonesia faced. In addition Israel is now free, and only five Greek regions still lie under Turkish rule.
Elsewhere in the world the United States released a gruff message about our training war, accusing Kumnaa of being uncommunicative with their President, Scrabman. This is another step towards cold war between the United States and the United Kingdom. The Americans blame the current pro-PEACE sentiment of our government for the split; our own leaders pin the blame on an intrinsic bias against our country. The Americans suspicions are certainly correct- our government does favour joining our old enemies. However our own government’s claims are also true- the American’s new alliance, Fortis, is specifically weighted (in votes) so that if the UK joins we would only have a second class citizenship.
Which brings me onto the final part of my editorial section: This week we’ve seen the debate over which alliance to join intensify. Kumnaa clearly intends to make a decision on the issue before the end of his term. The four options before us are: Eden; Fortis; neutrality; PEACE (in alphabetical order). Eden isn’t much of a choice- we haven’t been approached as a country by the Eastern Atlantis block, who are forming the new alliance, with an invitation to join. Fortis have invited us to join the rest of the Western Atlantis block in their new alliance. However the invitation is a mixed blessing, as membership would mean we as a nation would have two votes on the Fortis council, whereas the USA and Spain would have three apiece. According to intelligence sources, the Americans invented this ratio and then later developed a formula to justify it. In any case the bargain is a poor one. Neutrality is something that has been heavily argued against by our government, however it has its uses. As a neutral country we allow ourselves the luxury of time to consider our options. Any of the other options we take would be irreversible for months, neutrality is the option for the cautious. Finally PEACE have apparently approached us to offer us full and equal membership. Joining PEACE would provide us with protection from invasion, but would mean siding with ancient enemies, something that tastes bitter in the mouth of many British citizens.
In any case, Kumnaa has left the choice up to our elected officials, congress. If you feel strongly, we encourage you to lobby them to vote. I have decided that the Economist will take no official stance on the issue. We are glad that Kumnaa has given the choice to congress, and will trust in our elected officials to make a sensible choice.
Leaders ~ War on home soil
For the first time since operation French Toast a British Prime Minister pushed the attack button to assault foreign soil. In this case that soil was the Shannon, a region of Ireland with a narrow border with British Northern Ireland.
To try and clear up the confusion generated by others in the media I will offer an explanation of the events. Some time ago our President Kumnaa and Nithraldur of Ireland met and agreed that they would have a training war. They agreed that a war would drive up activity, encourage competition and give a more accurate gauge of British civilian strength. However, to avoid people treating it much the same as the USA training wars with Ireland the two Presidents agreed to keep the nature of the war a secret. Thus only a few prominent advisors and top army officials on each side were informed of the attack.
At 11.50 eRepublik time the two men signed a contract, the Nitnaa accords, on the official forums to seal their deal. Ten minutes later Kumnaa attacked. At this point even the regular armed forces were unaware this was a training war, though some had come to suspect that it was, due to a few pieces of evidence lying around the forums. As a result, the UK army pulled the Irish wall down in less than a minute, and though the Irish fought fiercely they maintained their advantage comfortably (and with some precision) over the following hours.
At the same time as the British were celebrating and enjoying their lead, the Irish discovered that the war was nothing to worry about. Whereas their British counterparts laughed off the deception the Irish congress felt that this was no joke and attempted to impeach their President. Despite being a fair match for the eUK in many ways the Irish value their isolation and many of their citizens were angry their government had terrified them so badly by arranging the attack. In the end the President of Ireland survived impeachment, but a simple majority of his people wanted him to go.
The end result of the whole series of events is that the UK has confirmed its faith in Kumnaa whilst the Irish have lost faith in Nithraldur. We hope that this doesn’t damage our relations with what is one of our few remaining strong allies, and hope that future training wars between our two countries can be enjoyed.
Britain ~ Even more House of Lords Reform
One day, the Economist will be able to go a week without reporting on the latest attempts to fix what is regarded by many as our upper house. This week the new Lords reform has come in, meaning that existing Lords have to be reaffirmed (2/3 majority), and then new Lords can be proposed. I intend to go through the existing Lords, give a very short bio of each Lord and (for once) comment on whether they should or shouldn’t be a Lord in my opinion, along with the congress vote.
Ladies and Gentlemen: your Lords-
Dishmcds: 17 Yes-No 0
My opinion: Yes. Dish is a two time Prime Minister, and despite being a PEACE leader over the past few months he has returned and showed a committed and unbiased approach towards British politics. Dish was born in eAmerica, and has been President there, in the UK and in Mexico, where he moved to protect the country during the US invasion. He is known for being rude and arrogant, but also witty and intelligent. Despite he and I personally coming to odds many times he is a definite yes for the House of Lords.
Pagan: 9 Yes-No 6 (rejected)
Pagan was once an active citizen of the eUK. However, he is now very rarely active. Many citizens also took affront to his dismissal of the public when he claimed that as a Lord he does not have to consider their opinions. This is contrary to the spirit of the Lords, as a body representing the people. As such he has no place amongst them.
Relic: 13 Yes-No 0
As one of our oldest citizens Relic has fulfilled many roles. Guiding two parties in his time in the eUK, he ran for President in January and was narrowly defeated. Since then he has been a leader of the state of Croatia in South East Europe. Recently he has returned. Although not the most active citizen he contributes when prodded by his fellow Lord and is nearly always available on IRC or MSN for those who need him. A good choice as an advisor, Relic’s experience makes him a decent candidate for a Lord.
Final Destiny: 16 Yes-No 1
Final Destiny is a two time President of the eUK and one with the worst luck. In his first term he was hospitalised and struggled through. The second term he disappeared and no explanations have been offered since his return. I feel that despite his experience, making him a Lord was a big mistake. We know that he faces periods of inactivity, and now he intends to go travelling around the USA. Whilst doing so he has confessed he will be a two clicker. Despite being experienced and intelligent, his contribution will be next to nothing. Making him a Lord is an honour he deserves, but if he cannot fulfil the role he should not accept the position.
Funky44: 16 Yes-No 0
Funky is one of our most active Lords. A three time leader of the UK Reform Party and two time Minister, Funky has been one of the Stalwarts of British politics since he joined eRepublik in February 2008. One of our remaining Belgian citizens, Funky’s place in the Lords is unquestioned by most, including myself.
Lotfire: 17 Yes-No 0
Lotfire is one of our oldest and most valued citizens, a well respected military leader and advisor. Despite this, his role in the House of Lords is very limited. Although I am aware many of his most important contributions are in the War Council where we cannot see them, he has not made a single contribution to the House of Lords discussion since May 18th, when he merely agreed with Twaters. We cannot see a meaningful contribution in the last month. As such we think that Lotfire is not qualified to review legislation, which is the true purpose of the Lords. I will no doubt receive criticism for saying this, but since the number of Lords is limited we want Lords who will be active and contribute daily to public discussion and lords discussion, like Twaters of Dishmcds. I feel the Commons were blinded by his contribution to the UK military when voting, and didn’t consider his usefulness in the job for which they were measuring him.
Bob Boblo: 14 Yes-No 3
Bob is a controversial choice, but a wise one. Despite his fondness for Spam he wants a place as a legislator and since his elevation he has acted wisely. He was dignified throughout the period after his initial rejection and doesn’t display the same dislike of other parties shared by some members. I can only guess that those who voted against did so because of the actions of his friends not him. A yes from me.
Cheeseball: 9 Yes-No 5 (rejected)
Cheeseball was a military leader for a long time, and earned his place because of that. However he is inactive on the forums and is as such of little use to us as a legislator. The fact that nine members of congress knew that but still voted for him shows that for many people friendships mean more to them than the successful running of the country. A no from me.
Bremer: 10 Yes-No 5
Why Bremer was accepted I do not know. Despite his achievements in the past he is very inactive. He briefly appeared on the forums (which have been in use since December) for the first time on May 24th. He took up his seat in the Lords and stayed active for three days before disappearing again without a trace. Although many people have obviously decided to give him a seat out of nostalgia I think this is a silly reason to give someone one of a low number of seats in the House of Lords. Bremer should be honoured for his contribution, but if we are to believe the Lords’ purpose is to review legislation (the only good reason for it existing) then we need people to man it who can do that. Why congress voted for Bremer I do not know, but I wouldn’t have done.
Twaters: 15 Yes-No 2
Despite his abrasive argumentative style (which clearly earned him two no votes) Twaters is one of the most active Lords. He has a clear way of summing up his points that means that he is often one of the protagonists in any debate. Often he was the only Lord to bother to clearly articulate why they opposed legislation, which meant that the Commons could at least understand how it must be adopted to gain his support. The commons voted Yes to Twaters and I would have done too if I was them.
Hassan Pesaran: 17 Yes-No 0
Hassan is one of our most experienced citizens, having served in almost every role except Prime Minister. He may not contribute heavily to debate but he always contributes somewhere. He has a keen understanding of military, financial and foreign affairs issues. He is generally a nice guy as well, which is sometimes in contrast with other Lords who tend to be more adversarial when they debate. Hassan is a good Lord and deserves his place there.
Mr Brodie: 17 Yes-No 0
I have some reservations about Brodie’s ability to keep a clear head but his experience cannot be doubted. He has a lot of contacts around the world and this is often useful when discussing issues of the day. As one of the older UKers still around he was almost guaranteed a place here. In congress at the minute, he is one of our most active citizens and thus is readily available to debate. Yes.
Squiddy: 15 Yes-No
Squiddy has fulfilled a number of roles in his time. I remember him firstly as the Party President of TUP, as this was the position he occupied since he joined. He is also currently a director of Zycon Industries, one of our biggest corporations. His experience, especially as the manufacturer of our defence systems, makes him a valuable person to have around. He has made a consistent effort to better the eUK. Unlike most he has not given up when his idea hasn’t been accepted (something we all face) but instead has persisted. Even today he is very active in public discussion, party forums and so on. I think he is a good Lord and deserves his place.
Deilos: 16 Yes-No 0
Deilos has been a congressman, paratrooper leader and Minister of Defence. He has been active in both the UK and Australia. After a brief break from politics he returned to the UK in May. He has a lot of experience and is very active, making him a good candidate for Lordship. Due to his high strength it is wise to leave him in the Lords so he can fight as a paratrooper whilst still lending his experience to government.
Well that’s your Lords. Dishmcds is suggesting another group to help replace the ones that have been removed or gone inactive, bringing the Lords up to full quota. I hope my little piece has helped ordinary citizens learn a little bit about the shadowy figures in their second chamber. Despite personally not getting on with all of them, they do a hard and often thankless job, and we should show our appreciation for the best amongst them.
Europe ~ The Struggle
Today we saw our old allies Croatia attacked by Hungary. The battle was designed to coincide with the training war between Ireland and the USA, so most of our troops had already fought today. The Hungarians have been clever here. Their intention is not so much to conquer the Croat territories, for there is little chance Romania and Sweden will allow their ally to suffer that fate. However they will of course have to sacrifice gold and wellness to match the Hungarians in battle.
This is just another ploy by PEACE to weaken what is left of Atlantis in Europe. As it is the armed forces of PEACE outnumber and outgun those of the Eden group (Sweden, Romania, Croatia etc.) of countries. Which brings the question- what are they doing?
The answer is simple, and is more obvious when one considers Hungary’s tactics. Political Take Over involves moving large amounts of citizens into the target country to vote. Now that Sweden, Croatia and Romania are deprived of their empires their citizens are squashed into their original regions. Conquering one of these regions would effectively create a large hostile population- in essence you would PTO yourself. Which doesn’t make much sense really.
So what does this mean for the eUK and other high population countries? Simply it means that conquest, though possible, is undesirable. Harbouring a large foreign population can be hugely disruptive, not only during elections but also in terms of productivity, national strength and so on. It forms a weak link in the chain. What is most interesting is that Hungary used these very tactics when under Romanian occupation long ago. Now the situation could be reversed, and the Hungarians aren’t stupid enough to take the bait and win. So what we have essentially is a struggle with no winners.
United States ~ How quickly they forget...
“I can say that the relationship between the USA and Ireland remains strong. Unfortunately, I am not sure I can say the same about the UK.”- President Scrabman of the USA
Throughout eHistory, the English-speaking peoples of the world have shared a particularly close bond. Our common language allows us to communicate and resolve our differences, it allows our citizens to mix, intermingle and emigrate between countries. As the two largest such countries, the eUK and eUSA should surely bear responsibility for maintaining the bond between us all.
However, in recent times this has not been the case. Since the opening of the training wars between Ireland and the USA, the United States government has looked on the UK as being a hindrance rather than an old ally. They have forgotten our friendship and look only to our mistakes. Their leaders talk of a lack of communication, but forget that it takes two to tango. Our lack of communication is lamentable, surely, but so is theirs.
Alliances are built from mutual trust. It seems that the USA no longer trusts us. This time the dispute comes up over our war with Ireland (above). Despite being warned by the President of Ireland, Scrabman feels that the UK should also have warned him of the upcoming war. We feel that this is a bit silly. The USA does not send us a heads up every time they decide to do something. They invaded Mexico without asking our permission. We’re both sovereign nations, and unbound by any formal alliance. We are free to do as we wish- as are they.
If the USA wants us to tell them of every military action we choose to take then they want us to ally with them formally. If that is the case then we need to have a full and frank discussion about how we can do that, instead of slighting one another diplomatically.
This week we’ve seen a continuation of the devaluation of the Brazilian currency, from 33BRL to 1 gold to a staggering 49BRL to 1 gold. As you can imagine this has been met with consternation, as hundreds of businesses lost money overnight. However this is good for the government, as it increases the value of their own gold.
Some leading Brazilians have begun to accuse the government of profiteering at their expense. Brazilian prices (in gold) have slumped as the value of the native currency has decreased. Now would be a good time to buy and donate yourself some cheap Brazilian iron! For business owners who opened Iron Mines there it’s probably less enthralling, as thousands of unity of local currency devalue by a third.
We saw a similar situation but in reverse in the UK last month. Shortening currency supplies meant that the value of our currency slowly rose towards the low 30s per gold from the benchmark of 38.5. This sounds good, but essentially devalued the national gold by around one fifth, in effect costing the nation around five to six hundred gold in taxpayer money. The solution to this was to issue currency, stabilising the market and returning the currency value to benchmark.
In eRepublik, no fancy playing with the currency pays off long-term. It pays to have a stable and trustworthy currency to draw in new investment, and to keep the economy strong.
Asia ~ Singapore and Malaysia
As many readers will know, these two countries have long considered a merge. However, nationalistic sentiment and repeated takeover attempts have driven them apart. Now, they have reopened negotiations about a potential merger. As the war would be very expensive, the more wealthy of the two countries (Singapore) would conduct it with Malaysia retreating before the battles.
Possible objections surround the two Q5 hospitals, one in each country. Whichever country performs the merger, there will be a hospital destroyed in the process. Ex-USA citizen John Jay has promised to replace any hospitals destroyed in the merger. Many Malaysians object to the merger because they feel it would take their sovereignty, as the geographically larger but weaker country is absorbed by the smaller more densely populated one.
From a military and economic perspective the merger makes sense, and I would encourage others to emulate this move. Whether or not it is successful depends on whether the people are willing to forgo nationalism and put the success of their unified country first.
Business News ~ MoW Housing Auction
Just a short business section, as this is already too long. The Ministry of Work, as many will know, employs low skill workers in various industries to get them past skill 0. As a side effect we end up with houses. Obviously the cost of production with skill zero is enormous, so there is little point in actually selling them at cost. The Ministry of Work has begun to auction houses on the forums here.
The bidding starts at just £30 for Q1 houses so if you’re looking for a place, get along there. There are also a few private auctions going on in the thread. Go along and get yourself a bargain place to rest your head.
Top ten players currently in the UK
4. Brother D
7. Vettige Swa