With the first anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Union, which created a state of union between Gurvata and Leylandiistan, now just one month away, the region of Leylandiistan’s representative in the diarchical executive, Co-President Ó Cathail, gives his opinion on topical subjects which affect the Confederation and the micronational community.
The past year has been a great one for the young nations of Gurvata and Leylandiistan. We have shared our two nations talents and achievements by coming together in a bold political experiment. The Confederation of Leylandiistan & Gurvata rose from political crisis in the then Democratic Republic of Leylandiistan. It was this time last year that Robinscourt withdrew from the Republic, leaving the nation with three citizens. The negotiations that followed between myself and Stephen Keohane of Gurvata stopped Leylandiistan from being consigned to history. We have shared many successes, but the past 11 months have also taught us where we need to improve.
On the economy
Our budget this year allowed for grants to be given to small businesses. I am delighted to announce that the first small enterprise in our nation has been registered as a private company by our Companies Registrar. “La Belle Vie Ltd.” is a small furniture restoration business, buying furniture at auctions and charity shops and redecorating them, with its primary address in Orchardstown, Leylandiistan. It has received a grant of €30 to buy equipment from the National Treasury
Of course, we will continue to prioritise agriculture. For our domestic market we will increase cider production. 9 bottles were made as a trial last year, and we will double production this year with new demijohn and hygrometer equipment, funded by another small enterprise. Vegetable production, as reported here last week, is already doing well. For the international market, we must look to seeds and dried herbs and spices. These are the only non-perishable goods we can currently produce. In conclusion, our economic strategy is working, enterprises are forming, and production is increasing on last year.
On internal administration
Taxation has been our greatest success in terms of administration, but it has not come without its problems. We in Leylandiistan & Gurvata have a voluntary taxation system, where citizens can choose to pay taxes if they want to. Residents who choose not to pay taxes cannot apply for grants or benefit from government projects. It usually takes one week to collect taxes from the four citizens who avail of government services, meaning five residents (all Gurvatan) do not see the benefits of our tax system. Since the patterns of taxation are so different between Gurvata and Leylandiistan, I think we should pursue a devolved taxation system, where taxes are paid to local authorities who then spend the money accordingly. On a separate note I am very happy to see the new government building in Orchardstown (pictured above) is now open for business. It has been a project that has been planned since before the Confederation began, and one which has dominated spring here.
I think a dedicated government website would benefit us greatly, as well as informing the wider world about our small country. The Democratic Republic of Leylandiistan had a widely visited but shoddy looking Google Sites website. We could have a very detailed website on a platform like WordPress, and it is not too late to start one either, as demonstrated by Sirocco.
On our relations with the micronational community
Leylandiistan & Gurvata is viewed as a friendly, progressive and respected nation by the rest of the community. The projects we have carried out have been viewed with great interest by other micronationalists, particularly our agricultural projects. However, we have not always conveyed the internal ongoings of our nation very well. Few are aware that our government meets every week at least to discuss affairs of state, and to collect taxes in person from each citizens. We have also published articles on this site and tweets on our Twitter pages very irregularly, leading at some stages, particularly in February, for members of the community to question if we have gone dormant. While we maintain good relations with our fellow nations, we must update the wider community regularly with our nation’s activities, and, as said above, start a government website. With regard to diplomacy, I am glad we have abandoned our “diplomacy for the sake of it” attitude, and that we are cutting down on unnecessary ties, focusing instead on building closer ties with our most important allies
On trade with other nations
I have great pride for our achievements in this field. We have managed to get a discussion going in the micronational community by using our own agricultural projects as an example for other nations to use to develop their own economy. We must advance this cause further, and I feel as a nation we should promote the importance of economic sovereignty as well as political sovereignty.
With regards trade, we are now building on our successes in our domestic market and opening up our first economic relations. We joined the Saint Josephsburg Economic Pact last year as our first step into trading with other nations. Unfortunately, this area has been sidelined by the government, and we have neglected our membership in the SJEP completely. In fact, the membership of this body has fallen from 5 to 2, with Renasia and Ashukovo’s disbanding and the recent departure of Sandus as well. We must attract new members to this organisation and prove it is not a “YAMO”, and to do this we must initiate trading immediately. To do this, seeds have been collected from chives and rocket in our farms, with the intention of exchanging them with other nations. I have begun negotiations to begin a strategic trade arrangement with Siar Fordell, a micronation in North America who can supply us with seeds we need in exchange for our own. I will also endeavour to advance such individual trade ties with nations who are starting their own agrarian sectors, like Uberstadt, Mercia, Adammia and Sandus.
I hope that my opinions have managed to inform the wider community of progress to date here in Leylandiistan & Gurvata. Over the course of the summer I would be glad to contribute further to Béal na Tíre and share my views on current affairs and topical subjects here. I will be meeting with my Gurvata colleague again this week to discuss the changes in taxation I would like to see happen, as well as the trade relations we are opening.