Nuntius Inimici - Inimician Broadcasting Corporation
Telum, 18th Feb 2021 -- Formal charges agains Maximillian de Barrington, former Marquis, Imperial Councillor, and Imperial Consul, were made public this morning by the Imperial Palace press division. In the one-page document, which sets out the exact crimes De Barrington is accused of, no date for a formal hearing or trial is set, contrary to precedent in Inimician criminal cases. Rumours circulating in the Imperial Palace claim the Imperial legal team requires more evidence from Neo-Venetian sources to be able to build a successful case against Mr De Barrington, who was stripped of all titles and fuctions by Imperial Decree this week.
"Mr De Barrington was a notoriously efficient worker", one unnamed source claims, "He did not leave a paper trail -- most information we have of his betrayal results from intercepted Neo-Venetian communications." This posits a problem for the Emperor's lawyers: as Neo-Venetia has been declared a no-go zone by the national government, and any Neo-Venetians found in the Empire are to be interrogated and deported immediately, it is difficult for any Neo-Venetian officials' testimony to be formally gathered and used in Court. A temporary change in the law is therefore expected imminently.
Questions were also asked about the Neo-Venetian issue by Imperial Councillor Jeff Speller in a Council sitting this morning. Mr Speller demanded to know whether the Emperor is currently planning to "kidnap" Neo-Venetian officials to testify in Mr De Barrington's case. His Imperial Majesty declared that He cannot divulge militarily sensitive information to the National Imperial Council. "It's not unlikely", Nuntius Inimici political editor Colin Husky comments, "that testimony from Neo-Venetians is necessary to make a compelling case and convince Crown Court judges that Mr De Barrington is guilty. After all, many judges on the Crown Court were appointed by Mr De Barrington over the past few years."
The full charge sheet accusing Mr De Barrington of High Treason, Treason against the Emperor, and leaking of State secrets, is as follows:
The State of the Empire of Inimicus, Plaintiff
Mr Maximillian de Barrington, Defendant
Lidia Legdan, Sergent-at-Arms of the Province of Terra Diutius, in the Empire of Inimicus, under the Fair and Proper Jurisdiction of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos, and in the name and by the Authority of the same, on her official oath, makes and charges:
That at and within the Province of Terra Diutius, in the Empire of Inimicus, on the 12th day of February, 2021, one Mr Maximillian de Barrington did willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously attempt to cross the Threshold of the Province of Terra Diutius, in the Empire of Inimicus, with the sole intention to collaborate with foreign and hostile powers, thereby betraying his Sacred Oath to the Constitution of the Empire of Inimicus, and engaging in High Treason;
Further, that Mr Maximillian de Barrington indulged in conspiracy to effect the death of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos, thereby betraying His Sacred Oath to the same, and engaging in High Treason;
Further, that throughout a period as yet unspecified, but ending no later than the 12th day of Feburary, 2021, Mr Maximillian de Barrington did willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously supply, give, and receive payment for, information held confidentially under the Seal of His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Artabanos, thereby betraying His Sacred Oath to the Constitution of the Empire of Inimicus, and committing an offence under the Imperial Secrets Act (2012);
Contrary to the form of the statutes in such cases made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the Province of Terra Diutius, and the Will of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos.
NEO-VENETIAN ASSASSINATION SUSPECTS NAMED AND SHAMED --//-- DE BARRINGTON'S LIAISON ALSO UNDER SUSPICION
Telum, 23rd Feb 2021 -- The Imperial Palace today released international arrest warrants against four Neo-Venetian politicians and military officers suspected of being involved with the downing of Needletail One, the fateful crash which nearly led to the death of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos, and sadly killed over a dozen high-ranking Inimician politicians. Several of the Neo-Venetian suspects are high-ranking figures in the Neo-Venetian Social Republican Army, the organisation largely responsible for the communist coup in Neo-Venetia last March. The four named individuals are:
- Dominic Dalfarra, the Speaker of the Neo-Venetian National Assembly;
- Andrew 'Marco' Brookfield, Deputy Minister of Defence and member of the Central Committee of the Social Republican Army;
- Paul 'Lando' Ambrogio, Northern Group Command, Social Republican Army;
- Col. Peter Zan, Northern Command, People's Army of Neo-Venetia.
In a statement, Vicarius Wilfred Cocx claimed that the latter two individuals "are thought to be directly responsible for the organisation and transport, and final execution of the missile strike that downed His Imperial Majesty", while the former two are "facilitating politicians", who "wrote and signed orders, directed military units, and, importantly, liaised with an Inimician source of information." This source of information is a reference to the current criminal case against former Imperial Consul Maximillian de Barrington, who was charged with treason and the leaking of state secrets last week.
Vicarius Cocx called upon "all friendly and like-minded nations to assist in the capture and bringing to trial of these hardened criminals." He further addressed the four named men directly by saying: "You cannot hide. We have named you, we will shame you, and we will arrest you. You cannot run, you cannot hide. We will get you. The Imperial Guard is on your tail." Pictures and descriptions of the named men were circulated just after Vicarius Cocx's statement, and bounties of €100,000 are currently on offer for information leading to the arrest and capture of each individual.
It is specifically believed that Dominic Dalfarra, the highest-ranking individual on the warrant list, was the direct liaison for Maximillian de Barrington. Dalfarra's testimony, therefore, would be key in the case against the former Imperial Consul. "This man is key suspect No 1", Nuntius Inimici Political Editor claims, "And his capture and bringing to trial would bind the whole case against De Barrington together."
It is still unclear what the Imperial Government intends to achieve with these warrants. Neo-Venetia has been completely locked off from the international community since March, when an armed communist insurgency separated the territory from Angleteric control.
Vicarius Wilfred Cocx addresses the press following the publication of the arrest warrants
TREASURY CHANCELLOR, PEOPLE'S TRIBUNE ARRESTED ON TREASON CHARGES
//WARRANT ISSUED FOR SIR AUGUSTUS BARRINGTON'S CAPTURE
Telum, 28th Feb 2021 -- Chancellor of the Treasury Jonathan Barrington and People's Tribune Glennis Mayfair were arrested on charges of high treason and the attempted assassination of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos this morning. A representative from the Imperial Guard confirmed "both officials are currently in custody, having already been charged" in what commentators are calling the end of the largest Palace-wide conspiracy in recent Inimician history.
Sir Augustus Barrington, Inimicus's temporary European Councillor, appears to have so far evaded capture, although a warrant for his arrest was issued late last night and, reportedly, law enforcement across Inimicus has been placed on high alert to find him. Flight tracker data seemed to suggest Sir Augustus's private jet, which was en-route from Europolis to Telum last night, made a sudden course change due west, before disappearing from the radar.
This recent round of arrests has resulted in the all members of the prominent Barrington family having been removed from office and either placed under arrest or being hunted. A press release from the office of Vicarius Wilfred Cocx this morning read: "Imperial Guard investigations resulted in the whole Barrington network being implicated in the heinous crimes of last summer, when our Emperor was so very nearly taken from us all. Justice will always reign in Inimicus, and today's arrests are testimony to that."
The rolling up of the Barrington cell appears to be tied to the recent publication of several names of Neo-Venetian officials and military officers by the Vicarius, who swore "swift judgement" on all those involved with the Emperor's fateful crash. His Imperial Majesty's press office has so far declined comment on the arrest of His former close allies. Nuntius Inimici political editor Colin Husky comments: "These events must cause His Imperial Majesty great pain and suffering: to see His former friends, those He trusted most, at the heart of a conspiracy against Him, is among the worst pains anyone could imagine. We should all stand by Him at this time."
Sir Augustus Barrington
MAJOR STUART, HERO OF NEO-VENETIA RAID, IN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW --//-- IMPERIAL GOVERNMENT GUILTY OF WAR CRIMES?
Major Ettore Stuart, whose heroic actions in Neo-Venetia city rescued the mission from disaster
Portus Inimici, 11th March 2021 -- After the Imperial Government's statement yesterday confirmed the deployment of Inimician special forces in the territory of Neo-Venetia last week, many across the Empire were left wondering: How? Who? Today, Nuntius Inimici reveals one of the many heroes behind the daring raids, whose swift action following the death of the senior officer commanding the operation arguably saved the mission from total collapse. An extensive interview with Major Ettore Stuart of the Imperial Special Forces Command reveals how, after the initial plan for extracting hostages in Neo-Venetia was compromised by overhwelming Neo-Venetian resistance, Inimician operatives evacuated to a nearby park, where helicopters brought them to safety.
Major Stuart relates how at least one Imperial Navy helicopter was shot down by Neo-Venetian coupist forces using handheld missile devices, also known as MANPADs, leading to the demise of both pilots. Further anti-air resistance came from heavy installations throughout the city, the location of which had been known to the Imperial Armed Forces beforehand. In response, mission command decided to launch guided missiles from nearby Imperial Navy submarines. Stuart recalls "deafening noise, screams and shouts" after these missiles, which are among the largest in the Imperial Navy's arsenal, hit Neo-Venetia's capital city.
Stuart's testimony begs the question: was the Imperial Government justified in launching some of its largest non-nuclear missiles into the centre of a densely-populated capital city? "There is no doubt these strikes caused dozens of civilian casualties", explains former Major-General Lethbridge-Stuart, "However, Imperial Navy protocol dictates that, when Inimician lives are at stake or an operation is seriously compromised, this is entirely warranted. Clearly, the situation was dire to such a degree that the commanding officers saw no other way out."
This picture appears to be corroborrated by Major Stuart's testimony: "Hundreds of armed personnel, some SRA, some simple civilians brandishing their bedside cabinet pistols, converged on the secondary landing site. Air support was critical to us at that point, and there was no way we could get it if these surface-to-air sites were still active." Imperial Defence Officer (IDO) Boris Mancov, who assumed responsibility for the raids, confirmed that "Protocol was followed entirely", and that "Special Force Command operatives released an emergency broadcast, prompting emergency action."
Nevertheless, some in the National Imperial Council have called IDO Mancov to account, claiming the Imperial Armed Forces willingly and knowingly committed atrocities against civilian populations. Jeff Speller IC relates to Nuntius Inimici: "No matter the cause, the Imperial Government has no right to launch missile strikes against civilian populations. Are Neo-Venetian lives worth less than Inimician ones?" Speller has requested a special session of the National Imperial Council to discuss his grievances. IDO Mancov did not seem fazed by Mr Speller's accusations: "A man who was himself convicted of attempting to assassinate Emperor William would obviously not grasp the seriousness and importance of apprehending the suspected criminals who attempted to end Emperor Artabanos's life."
The full verbatim interview with Major Stuart may be read at nuntiusinimici.in/ettore.
SIMGE GALANTH NEW IMPERIAL CONSUL; KAREN SMITH NEW CHANCELLOR --//-- COMMONS ELECTION SCHEDULED FOR MAY 3RD
Simge Galanth (left) and Karen Smith
Telum, 9th April 2021 -- Following the arrest of several members of the Barrington family and associated allies, replacement appointments for the offices of Imperial Consul and Chancellor of the Treasury, which were held by those suspected of crimes, were made by His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos today. Former Duchess of Terra Quaestoris Simge Galanth, who led her Emperor's Finest party to victory in the recent National Imperial Council elections, has been appointed to the Imperial Consulate, where she will share the important duties associated with this office with the other Imperial Consul, Lord Christopher Strathclyde. Galanth is the first woman to serve as Imperial Consul, and the first Quaestorian to ever serve on the National Executive. Galanth served as Aedile up until the present moment, and is currently an Imperial Councillor for Terra Quaestoris. This, however, is not thought to interfere with her Consular duties.
Karen Smith, currently a People's Tribune, has been promoted to the office of Chancellor of the Treasury, and will therefore be responsible for the Empire's day-to-day finances. Smith has been lauded for her efficient decision-making in the People's Tribune office, and is yet decidedly non-partisan. "I have, myself, full confidence that Simge Galanth and Karen Smith will serve My Empire with dignity, efficiency, and patriotism", the Emperor announced in a statement today.
Related to today's announcement, elections to the House of Commons have been called for May 4th. Unlike most nations' lower houses of Parliament, the Inimician House of Commons sits for one month every year only, a time during which it discusses pertinent matters of state and elects members of the Common Executive, including People's Tribunes, Aediles, and Quaestors. Since 2014, the Commons have sat in June every year.
The Emperor's announcement of elections today sparked waves of activity from political parties in Inimicus, who have been preparing their election campaigns all year. Inimician Liberal Appeal (ILA) Chairman Michael Dowding announced his party's open hostility to the People's Movement (PM): "This year, we stand, more than ever, against the forces of facism that would seek to divide us." A newcomer in this year's House of Commons could be the Emperor's Finest, a party founded last year -- Simge Galanth, EF leader, announced the start of her party's election campaign this afternoon. Given the Finest's popularity in recent months, it is expected their performance in this election will cost traditional parties significant amounts of seats.
Former European Councillor Hetty Tilki
Nation-wide, 22nd April 2021 - Campaigning ahead of the House of Commons elections scheduled for May 3rd has begun in full swing across the Empire. Centre-Conservative Union (CCU) and Inimician Liberal Appeal (ILA) leaders have been spotted out on the streets in their respective key voting areas, attempting to cling onto supporters who, polls show, are shifting more and more towards the Emperor's Finest, a newcomer force formerly led by Imperial Consul Simge Galanth. Her replacement, former European Councillor Hetty Tilki, is expected to take the Commons by storm.
Smaller parties, including Jeff Speller's United Green Front (UGF), the Central Progressive Party (CPP), and Adolf Danube's People's Movement (PM), are expected to show little to no electoral change compared to last year's Commons, and media coverage has largely steered clear of these minor political forces. Danube, whose controversial conduct over recent years includes orchestrating the smoke bombing of the House of Commons in 2014, claimed this was "evidence of the Imperialist framing of Inimician politics".
Notably, all major parties, including the Finest, have signalled new emphases on how Inimicus should behave itself abroad. ILA leader Michael Dowding went so far as to condemn the Imperial Government's actions in Neo-Venetia, stating "Inimicus has no business raiding a foreign nation unannounced". Even the Emperor's Finest, whose support for the Imperial Government had hitherto been unrelenting, compiled manifesto commitments claiming "the Imperial Armed Forces should only be deployed abroad in the utmost need and distress". Press releases from the Centre-Conservative Union, Inimicus's third party, even called for "the dissolution of the Treaty of Telum and the mutual defence agreement with Spain". Whether these proposed policies translate into government action remains to be seen, as the Commons, and the Common Executive which it elects, form only a minor part of the Inimician structure of state.
Voters in Terra Praestoris, the Emperor's province, are further due to elect a National Imperial Councillor after the resignation and accusation of Sir Augustus Barrington earlier this year. Frontrunners in this race include the Finest's Hetty Tilki and the People's Movement's Adolf Danube. This race has mainly centred around the Imperial government's handling of the Needletail One fallout, and associated arrests and foreign operations.
Lastly, Inimicus will also elect a new European Councillor on May 3rd, in line with European legislation mandating the direct election of Councillors. Although all parties except the People's Movement have stated their disagreement with these rules, instead calling for the National Imperial Council to determine who should represent Inimicus in Europolis, well over a dozen candidates will appear on the ballot paper. Nicholas Benfield, who served as Inimicus's European Councillor during the reign of Emperor William in 2013, currently leads the polls for this race, with other candidates trailing by at least fifteen percentage points.
The Imperial Diet, House of Commons chamber
Inimicus, 29th April 2021 - With the House of Commons election just days away, Inimicians across the Empire have been making up their minds about who they will send to Telum this year. Polling shows fewer and fewer undecided voters as polling day nears, with the majority of undecideds siding with the Emperor's Finest. The Finest, a new movement centred around support for Emperor Artabanos's policies, and combining them together into what it calls 'Artabanism', first gained popularity last year after three Imperial Councillors with a Finest background were elected to office. For this election, the Finest are led by former European Councillor and influential, popular vlogger Hetty Tilki, whose strong performance in territorial and regional debate has helped steer her party to unprecedented heights in the polls.
The Finest are now predicted to win at least 250 of 700 Commons seats this year, with the Inimician Liberal Appeal's 150-something MPs trailing far behind. The Centre-Conservative Union and the People's Movement follow at around 100 MPs, and the United Green Front and Central Progressive Party, popular with urban populations, both poll at between 30 and 40 seats. Translated into real scores, these polls would not only imply the most extensive election victory for a new party in Inimician history by the Finest, but would also see the People's Movement, highly critical of the Emperor and the Imperial System, nearly double in size. The Movement returned 55 MPs in the 2020 parliament, and has benefitted from controversies surrounding the Emperor's handling of the investigation into corruption and the Needletail One crash.
Long-standing Movement leader Adolf Danube is expected to have strong support in his home territory, Terra Praestoris, as well as rural areas in Terra Legati and Terra Rosarum. Urban areas generally have not returned Movement MPs, and indeed, the Movement is not standing candidates in most constituencies in the Districto Teli. Although Movement motions and proposals have generally been subject to a rigorous cordon sanitaire in previous parliaments, should the controversial party return close to a hundred MPs, mainstream parties will find it hard to ignore them for long. "We will take our banners, ideas, and people to this parliament", Danube confirmed at a Lacerta rally this afternoon, "And we will show the elitists, the aristocrats, the plotters in power what the People really want - a true, clean, Inimician Republic." While the Movement formerly attracted mainly those on the far right, their recent shift to constitutional reform may be at least partly credited with their porential electoral success. A recent report by Nuntius Inimici showed that 22% of Inimicians are now actively in favour of abolition of the Imperial System, with 74% against abolition, and 4% undecided.
In related news, polling for the National Imperial By-election in Terra Praestoris, for the seat left vacant by the banishment of Sir Augustus Barrington, shows a clear lead for Emperor's Finest leader Hetty Tilki, who is now expected to win the seat she sorely lacked during her time as Councillor. It is rumoured that her surpise election to the European Councillorship led to pressures inside the Imperial Palace, which may have forced her to resign. Her election to the National Imperial Council would, however, no doubt settle this score. Similarly, polling for the European Councillor race shows current deputy and former Councillor Nicholas Benfield as clear frontrunner. Voters seem particularly pleased about Benfield's current conduct as Deputy Councillor,
Electoral Results Map of Inimicus. Purple: Centre-Conservative Union; Blue: Inimician Liberal Appeal; Pink: Emperor's Finest; Red: People's Movement; Yellow: Central Progressive Party; Green: United Green Front; Grey: Independent.
Telum, 3rd May 2021 -- The Imperial Electoral Commission confirmed the results of the House of Commons election 2021 proceeded according to standards set out in law. Polls closed at 6pm today, following an election predicted to see an earth-shattering victory for the Emperor's Finest, a catch-all party advocating strongly for the Imperial system, and support for Emperor Artabanos. Today's results show exactly how earth-shattering this victory truly is. From no seats won in 2020, the Finest will send 292 members to Telum come June, a staggering 36% of seats.
"The Inimician People have spoken", Finest leader Hetty Tilki announced to roaring crowds in Lacerta after the results were announced, "They have said Yes to the Imperial System. They have said 'I serve' to His Imperial Majesty. And they have said 'Convict Them' to the traitors who sought to destroy Him. Today is a victory for all of Inimicus, and for the Emperor."
Gains were also made by the People's Movement, who nearly doubled their MPs by winning 90 seats. Outspoken critics of the Emperor and the Imperial System, the Movement capitalised on recent controversies surrounding the arrest of members of the Barrington family, and the Imperial Armed Forces raid into Neo-Venetia. Movement leader Adolf Danube called today "a wake-up call for the Emperor and His clique" and announced he would be filing motions in Parliament calling for the impeachment of the Emperor.
Results from the Terra Praestoris Imperial Council by-election are expected shortly, with preliminary results suggesting a narrow yet consistent lead for Finest leader Tilki, who is trailed by Movement leader Danube and other parties. Full results of the Commons vote are given below.
Party 2020 PARLIAMENT: 2021 PARLIAMENT: CHANGE United Green Front: 80 33 (4.1%) -47 (-62.5%) Inimician Liberal Appeal: 262 143 (17.9%) -119 (-45.4%) Centre-Conservative Union: 199 102 (9%) -97 (-14.3%) Central Progressive Party: 83 31 (3.9%) -52 (-62.7%) People's Movement: 55 90 (11.3%) +35 (63.6%) Independents: 21 9 (1.1%) -12 (-57.1%) Emperor's Finest: N/A 292 (36.4%) +292 (N/A)
MPs for the 2021 House of Commons take their oath in the former National Senate room, Telum.
Telum, 17th May 2021 -- Ahead of the opening of House of Commons proceeedings for the year 2021 on June 1st, the 700 MPs for this year's sitting have sworn or pledged allegiance to the Constitution of the Empire of Inimicus and His Imperial Majesty the Emperor. Members further pledged they have neither offered nor received bribes or gift to be elected to their office, and promised to fulfil their duties faithfully and to the best of their ability.
This week also marked the start of the official Pre-Parliamentary Period (PPP), introduced at the end of the 2017 Parliament, in which MPs can submit pre-Parliament motions usually relating to House of Commons Standing Orders, as well as to present candidates for the offices the House of Commons elects. All major parties have submitted candidates for People's Tribunes (general executive officers responsible for civilian contact with the Imperial government), Quaestors (finance ministers), and Aediles (Justice ministers).
People's Movement leader Adolf Danube, notable critic of the Imperial system and of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos, submitted motions calling for the "Extension of any term of the House of Commons to at least one year", implying that MPs would sit all year before being re-elected. The Emperor abolished the permanent sitting of the House of Commons in 2014 after widespread corruption scandals and public opinion shifts against the Commons and in favour of the National Imperial Council, which has since taken over much of the day-to-day legislative business previously occupied by the Commons. Other Parliamentary duties were delegated to each of the seven Provincial governments -- this devolution was later formalised in Constitutional amendments, taking power away from the central government in Telum and giving it to Provincial Assemblies and Colleges.
Other pre-Parliament motions include a 'Motion of Approval of His Imperial Majesty' filed by Emperor's Finest leader Hetty Tilki, which calls upon Members to "applaud and approve of the conduct of His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Artabanos, and voice appreciation of His stable leadership, figurehead status, and His unrelenting battle for justice, security, and prosperity for the Inimician People." This Motion of Approval was met with a counter-motion by People's Movement MPs, who presented a Motion of Disapproval against the Emperor and all Emperor's Finest MPs.
"This infighting isn't helping anyone, especially ordinary Inimicians, who expect Parliamentarians to behave like adults", Hetty Tilki then commented, referring to declining approval ratings of the institution of the House of Commons. Since being transformed into a temporary body, average approval ratings have soared from under 50% in 2013 to over 65% in 2019. The last Parliament, however, which saw not a single bill meeting approval or a single Parliamentary motion passed, appears to have shaken public confidence in the elected body.
By Colin Husky, Political Commentator
Telum, 26th May 2021 -- With only days to go until the formal starts of Inimicus's Ninth Parliament, MPs, journalists, and political enthusiasts have flocked to the capital to engage with next month's proceedings. Hotels in the city are fully booked. Short-term accommodation lets are all but sold out. Restaurants and bars have received more bookings than in any month of the year so far. Whatever next month brings politically, there is certainly still a huge aura of interest surrounding the House of Commons.
The official Pre-Parliamentary Period ends today, five days before the start of proceedings. More pre-parliamentary motions have met the threshold for submission than in any parliament before -- with a grand total of 77 motions MPs will have to consider before any other business can be conducted. Motions range from those calling for the removal and forced abdication of the Emperor to those proposing the complete abolition of the House of Commons. The former point is likely to win the support of the People's Movement, whose 90 MPs gathered in the Ritz in Telum yesterday night to celebrate their best Commons result ever. Conversely, the Emperor's Finest, whose 292 MP-block is only about 100 shy of an overall majority, ran on a platform of delegating Parliamentary and provincial powers to the National Imperial Council and the Emperor.
Inimicus's main center parties, the Inimician Liberal Appeal and the Centre-Conservative Union, have both announced party reviews into their poor performance at this year's vote. High-ranking Liberal officials, including leader Michael Dowding, have recently been seen entering Conservative big-wigs' offices, suggesting on-going talks between the two groups have intensified. Sources told Nuntius Inimici the traditional giants, whose performance at this month's elections was their worst ever, are looking for ways to counter the Emperor's Finest's momentum, possibly by drawing attention to the Emperor's orders to continue to incarcerate those suspected of involvement with His attempted assassination in July last year. This would signal a major policy shift for both parties, who have generally favoured Emperor Artabanos's hands-on reign, especially after His predecessors' widely criticised conduct from 2011 to 2014.
United Green Front and Central Progressive Party representatives have reportedly also been in talks, about a formal merger of the two parties. Every motion proposed by MPs from either group have so far been endorsed by at least three MPs from the other, leading analysts to suggest an alliance between the two simply necessitates nothing more than formalising. Comining the UGF's 33 and the CPP's 31 MPs would still make a combined party the smallest single group in the Commons.
Nuntius Inimici will broadcast live coverage of Parliamentary proceedings every day from 9 to 6. Keep in touch through our live blogs and commentary on ni.in/commons or through channels NI1 and NI2.
By-party layout of the Ninth Parliament. From left to right: Emperor's Finest (292), Inimician Liberal Appeal (143), Centre-Conservative Union (102), People's Movement (90), United Green Front (33), Central Progressive Party (31), Independents (9)
Telum, 13th June 2021 -- In a shock vote, the House of Commons has declared its support for controverial Commission candidates Josephine Areai, from the war-torn nation of Istkalen, and Sofie Čikarová, spearhead of the Party of the European Left. Following a narrowly-accepted motion by People's Movement leader Adolf Danube, which called for MPs to cast a ballot on Inimicus's votes for Commission, Parliament swiftly decided Inimicus's preferences within half an hour.
Surprisingly, the People's Movement, whose party principles place it on the far right of the political spectrum, voted together with the United Green Front, Central Progressive Party, and splinters of the Emperor's Finest and Inimician Liberal Appeal, to give Ms Čikarová a narrow win in the Commons. It is understood Adolf Danube instructed his MPs to vote for Čikarová, who is an incredibly controversial figure in Inimicus, to cause an almost certain contrast between Parliament's choice and the National Imperial Council's, which is due to vote on the Empire's Commission preferences next week.
Similarly, Movement MPs supported Areai, along with large fractions of the Centre-Conservative Union, Inimician Liberal Appeal, and smaller parties. Parliament expressed its support for Areai by just two votes, with virtually all Emperor's Movement MPs preferring Jean-Claude Juncker, despite his opposition to the European Commission (Sanctioning Powers) Act.
During and immediately after the vote, legal experts questioned the legality of Parliament assuming the prerogative to decide on the national Commission vote. "Ultimately, following the Constitution, this power is reserved to the Emperor", explains legal scholar and European Court of Justice Candidate Benjamin Steyn. "He has delegated this power to whatever instrument He feels fit, in this case, the National Imperial Council. The House of Commons was not given such power in the Imperial Decree calling for its convention, and this vote should therefore not have happened."
Jeff Speller, Imperial Councillor, however, claims Parliament was given the right to decide on matters "of its own choosing", and that therefore, this vote stands. Whether the National Imperial Council will hear it, however, is another matter. "If the Council neglects this decision by the directly-elected representatives of the people", Speller explains, "there can no longer be said to be any democracy in Inimicus. The people's rule will have ended."
Meeting chambers of the House of Commons (left) and the National Imperial Council
Telum, 18th June 2021 -- National Imperial Councillors have determined Inimicus's votes for European Commission. By a large majority, the NIC chose Jean-Claude Juncker for Premier and Emma Granger for Internal Affairs Commissioner. These preferences completely contradict the choices made by the House of Commons last week, whose members cast their ballots for controversial candidates Josephine Areai and Sofie Čikarová. Given that Areai resigned from the Internal Affairs race not too long ago, the Council did not consider her in its voting sessions today, meaning even the likes of Jeff Speller IC, whose position was to vote as the Commons did, could not cast their vote for her.
Nevertheless, the choice of Čikarová vs. Juncker causes an unprecedented constitutional crisis on the Empire level. The Constitution does not document who, or which body, is mandated to determine the Inimician vote for Commission. Custom has dictated that the National Imperial Council votes on candidates, but a House of Commons motion by People's Movement leader Adolf Danube triggered a vote by MPs, who narrowly backed Areai and Čikarová. "Who holds power in Inimicus?", asks political correspondent Colin Husky, "Parliament or the Council? More importantly, perhaps, what is the function of Parliament if it does not hold any power?"
Preliminary polling conducted for Nuntius Inimici suggests a near 50/50 split in popular opinion: 43% support the Council determining Commission votes, with 42% favouring the Council. Additionally, 66% support a consensual vote, where both the Council and Parliament determine Inimicus's vote together. This consensual option has also been raised by several Imperial Councillors, including Jeff Speller and Imperial heavyweight Basil Lawson. His Imperial Majesty, who naturally possesses the Prerogative to end this crisis, has not spoken out on the issue yet, but is expected to do so in due course.
Telum, 29th June 2021 -- Inimicus's temporary legislature, the House of Commons, was disbanded a day early today by His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos, who made yet another surprise appearance in the grand House of Commons meeting chamber during the House's morning sitting. The Emperor, citing Nuntius Inimici polling figures which suggest well over half (63%) of Inimicians now suggest Parliament should never again have a say in Inimicus's choice for European Commission, claimed MPs had "overstepped" their "constitutional bounds". The Emperor's announcement follows weeks of infighting among parliamentarians over which one of Inimicus's legislatures, the directly-elected temporary House of Commons, or the permanent part-appointed National Imperial Council, is legally mandated to determine the Empire's votes for European Commission.
The Emperor, whose constitutional power is absolute, albeit bound to constitutional principles, finally decided on a compromise vote, partially maintaining the Commons' wishes, partially concurring with the National Imperial Council. Following the speech in which He set out this choice, People's Movement MPs attempted to file motions calling for the immediate deposition of the Emperor, the quashing of His decision, and the forced resignation of all members of the Imperial Executive. These proposals were met with vigorous backlash from Emperor's Finest MPs, resulting in fillibusters, disordery conduct, and even physical threats made against MPs in the last week of Parliament's sitting.
His Imperial Majesty, upon disbanding the Commons a day before the scheduled end date on 30th June, also referenced how well over 80% of polled Inimicians agree with His compromise decision, and 86% now view Parliament less favourably than before this year's sitting. Artabanos further warned MPs that "a procedural review" will take place to determine whether the House of Commons "can continue in its current shape". Making amendments to the procedures of the Commons would, however, require a Constitutional amendment, which His Imperial Majesty does not have the power to enact Himself.
In other news, the death of Lord Bentlarch of Orbis Terrarum yesterday brings the House of Nobles, the other chamber of the Inimician Parliament, closer to a dysfunctional death. 150 Nobles sit in the Upper House, and all are appointed by the Emperor. Artabanos, however, has refused to appoint any further Nobles since 2014, leaving nearly half of all Noble seats vacant. Rules of procedure in the Upper House dictate that no sitting may commence unless a quorum of over 75 Nobles are present in the Chamber -- in recent weeks, following the rapid deaths of seven Nobles from old age, this has caused increasing difficulty for the Noble Speaker, Frits Steiner, to start any sessions.
In 2014, 142 Nobles formally sat in the House. As of yesterday, 78 remain. With well over twenty Nobles being over 80 years old, it is considered only a matter of time before the House of Nobles dies a quiet death. His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos has been a long-time critic of the House of Nobles, which only has advisory powers, and vowed to stop appointing its members when He acceeded to the Throne. Critics, including Imperial Councillor Jeff Speller, accuse the Emperor of "attemping to subvert democratic order" and "escaping from any and all scrutiny". Nevertheless, Nuntius Inimici polling now shows stronger support for the formal disbanding of the House of Nobles than support for keeping it in place.
Former European Councillor Augustus Barrington was stripped of all titles and his knighthood after being suspected of involvement with the attempt on His Imperial Majesty's life last summer
Portus Inimici, 13th July 2021 -- Inimicus's former European Councillor and suspected criminal mastermind Augustus Barrington arrived in Portus Inimici today after nearly six months of extralegal hiding in the Commonwealth of Leagio. Barrington was escorted by Imperial Guard Investigation Unit (IG-IU) officers on a government flight from Tullion to Portus Inimici Military Aerodrome this morning. In a brief press statement following the transfer of Barrington from the jet to a column of armoured vehicles, IG-IU Commander Albert Rosenfield, who led the Inimician delegation in Leagio, commented: "Working in tandem with Leagioan authorities, the Imperial Guard has extracted Augustus Barrington from a hidden location in Leagio, where he was in hiding with senior organised Leagioan criminals. Barrington was detained for an indefinite in line with the Imperial Decree calling for his arrest."
Barrington, whose vigour as European Councillor was matched only by his shrewdness on the National Imperial Council, is expected to stand trial along with his brother, Maximillian de Barrington, and former People's Tribune Glennis Mayfair, as well as Neo-Venetian coupists Dominic Dalfarra, Marco Brookfield, Lando Ambrogio, and Peter Zan. Dalfarra and Brookfield, whose roles in the Neo-Venetian communist regime was salient, were arrested in an Imperial Navy raid in Neo-Venetia City, while Ambrogio and Zan were apprehended by Imperial Special Forces at a military encampment close to the Inimician-Venetian border, not far from where former Imperial Consul Maximillian de Barrington was arrested attempting to cross into revolutionary territory.
The Emperor's prosecutorial team, headed by Imperial Prosecutor Extraordinaire (IPE) Paulus Robinax, pictured below, has been preparing for this grand court case since last summer, when it became apparent His Imperial Majesty had been the victim of an assassination attempt. By Imperial Decree, criminal procedures were delegated from the Provincial judiciary of Terra Rosarum, where the assassination attempt took place, to the Imperial level, and as such this case will be presented directly to the Imperial Crown Court, which the Emperor chairs. Robinax, in a press statement this afternoon, suggested procedures could begin as early as next month: "His Imperial Majesty and the Inimician people expect these criminals to be brought to justice as soon as practical. I have requested the Imperial Crown Court clear its judicial calendar for August and September in preparation for proceedings to begin."
Under Inimician law, appointments of extraordinary prosecutors are reserved to the Emperor; these prosecutors may be given whatever powers and duties defined in the appointment decree. Robinax, who heads a 100-strong legal team housed in the Imperial Palace, was given full investigatory powers on a national level, and was granted the rank of Commander of the Imperial Guard, allowing him to direct investigation units with the purpose of evidence-gathering. Critics on the National Imperial Council, such as Jeff Speller IC, have suggested that Robinax's position is "illegal" and "dictatorial". The Emperor, however, defended His prosecutor in Parliament last month, saying "the Inimician People can have full confidence in the Imperial prosecutorial team."
Until legal procedures start, Augustus Barrington will be detained in the Military Detention Centre in Portus Inimici, renowned for its high security levels. The other suspects are currently in undisclosed locations spread around the Empire, with the government keen to keep them from mingling with one another.
Imperial Prosecutor Extraordinaire Paulus Robinax
CROWN COURT TO CELEBRATE 10-YEAR EMPIRE ANNIVERSARY WITH BARRINGTON SENTENCING --//-- HOUSE OF NOBLES OFFICIALLY DIES OUT
Left to right: former Imperial Consul Maximillian de Barrington, former Quaestor Glennis Mayfair, and former European Councillor Augustus Barrington
Telum, 11th October 2021 -- The Imperial Crown Court Publicity Service announced today that it has arranged the sentencing of all suspects in the Barrington Treachery case to occur on 1st December, exactly 10 years after the establishment of the Empire of Inimicus. The Barrington brothers Maximillian and Augustus, along with confidante Glennis Mayfair and three Neo-Venetian suspects, were recently found guilty of several high-level offences, including High Treason and leaking of critical information, after a long trial this summer. It is thought the Imperial Palace put significant pressure on the Crown Court to come to a sentencing judgement as soon as possible, although sources from inside the Court claim there is significant disagreement within the Court benches on what sentence to hand the Inimician convicts.
Official celebrations for the 10th anniversary of the Empire started this week with mass gatherings in all major cities, including Portus Inimici, Astro, Patricio, Lacerta, and Orbis Terrarum. Meanwhile, the Imperial Palace have invited foreign dignitaries to a large banquet marking the decade-long Imperial tradition, as well as riding tours across the Empire's major landmarks. It is thought His Imperial Majesty the Emperor will personall visit several important battlefield sites of the Inimician revolution of 2011, including ones on which He Himself fought personally.
Imperial Consul Christopher Strathclyde commented the co-occurence of national celebration and possibly severe legal sentencing in a press statement this afternoon: "The Imperial Crown Court sets its own sentencing dates", the Consul claimed, "However, I think every true Inimician will, rather than considering it inappropriate for this sentencing to take place on our national day, consider it fitting and apt that those who attempted to topple the pillar of our stable government, to undermine the Empire, are finally handed their sentence on the day we celebrate the same stable government, the same Empire."
In other news, following the death of Baroness Pickering of Fugit this morning, only 74 Nobles officially remain eligible to sit in the House of Nobles. Given that 75 members (a 50% quorum) are necessary for any sitting to formally begin, this implies the House of Nobles is now dead. The abolition of the House of Nobles has long been a policy of Emperor Artabanos and His allies, however, the Nobles are constitutionally mandated to prevent their own formal disollusion. Imperial Consul Strathclyde called the informal abolition "a step into the 21st century". Noble Speaker Frits Steiner, however, declared the process "a constitutional outrage" and vowed litigation through the courts.
EMPIRE ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS BEGIN AS INIMICIAN-DIESSENIAN OFFENSIVE AGAINST REULAND SEPARATISTS TAKES SHAPE
His Imperial Majesty meets supporters on the streets of Telum (left), and journalists at a joint press conference with the Confederal President of North Diessen (right).
October 20th, 2021 -- As the official programme to mark the 10-year anniversary of the founding of the Empire of Inimicus commences, joint Inimician-Diessenian operations against separatists in the Diessenian State of Reuland begin to escalate. His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos has supposedly rushed from the Imperial Situation Room, somewhere underneath the Imperial Palace, to meet with foreign guests He invited to mark the exalted national occasion. "I had anticipated this day to be far more celebratory than it has turned out to be", His Imperial Majesty was quoted as saying, "Nevertheless, I trust every Inimician to mark our special celebratory period with the same vigour, with the same patriotism, as would be expected."
Foreign dignitaries are currently housed at the Imperial Palace, where they will enjoy a lavish anniversary banquet. Among the guests are Inquistan Archibshop Mikaela Kligenberg, who supposedly wore a camouflage-pattered dress to mark the strange combination of military deployment and state banquet, and Commissioner candidate Jean-Claude Juncker, whose presence in the Palace has led some in the National Imperial Council to complain about the Emperor's "party-political preferences". Tomorrow, 21st October, foreign leaders will join His Imperial Majesty on walking tours of Telum and Patricio, although security is likely to be enhanced following recent events. Indeed, President of Czech Slavia Albína Reiserová, currently a candidate for the European Order of Merit, pulled out of attending at the last minute, citing concerns about her nation's neutral stance.
His Imperial Majesty, however, does not consider Inimician involvement in North Diessen an "intervention" as such. In a joint press conference late yesterday with Inge Pekcan, Confederal President, the Emperor declared "our assistance is neither an intervention nor an invasion -- it is, put plainly, help. The Imperial Government received a formal request from the Minister for National Defence of North Diessen, Ekrem Mueller, for military assistance, and, as a true ally of the Confederacy, the Empire answered the call." Responding to a statement by the Premier Commissioner of the European Union, Sofie Čikarová, who called upon "outside actors to refrain from conducting military operations in the region without prior consultation with the rest of the European Community", His Imperial Majesty claimed that "if we do not act now, we are giving Reuland away", and that "the European Commission has no powers to stop allied nations defending themselves when in need."
Confederal President Pekcan, who arrived in Telum under heavy Imperial Guard protection, thanked His Imperial Majesty personally for His "impeccable record as North Diessen's ally, in good times and tough times." She further announced that the deployment of Inimician military forces "has already made a considerable difference" in combatting units from the separatist state of Reuland. The situation in Reuland remains unstable, however, with reports of reprisals against civilian populations who aid Inimician or Confederal Diessenian authorities frequent. According to several sources, a man who offered food to an Imperial Armed Forces squadron entering his village was later arrested by the Reuland Constabulary, tortured through partial flaying, interrogated, and executed.
Nevertheless, celebrations across the Empire are likely to continue, as authorities grapple competing demands of extensive military deployment and festive activities.
Additional Imperial Armed Forces units have been preparing for deployment to North Diessen since yesterday.
The Inimician Third Fleet has made a 180-degree turn and is returning back to the Empire's shores.
5th November 2021 -- His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos has made a personal intervention into Inimician involvement in the crisis surrounding the Strait of Adventaruza. Following escalation of tensions over the waters, which are a major trade artery for Inimicus, Imperial Defence Office Baris Mancov announced yesterday that the Imperial Navy's Third Fleet, which had up until then been patrolling the coastal waters of North Diessen, would join the First Fleet in Adventaruza. That decision, it now appears, has been overturned by the Emperor.
The Inimician First Fleet has been present in the Strait of Adventaruza since late last month, and has been providing the Spanish Armada with reconnaisance and patrolling support. Following the contesting of Spain's claims to the entire Strait by the Republic of Yosai, and widespread condemnations of, and statements of support for, Spain's claims, naval units from the Kingdom of Reitzmag moved up in preparation of entry to the Strait this week. In response, Defence Officer Mancov called out the "intentionally aggressive and projecting moves" made by Reitzmag and ordered the dispatch of the Third Fleet to the Strait. Similarly, the Kingdom of Montenbourg announced the sending of a carrier strike group to counter Reitzmic aggression.
However, His Imperial Majesty stated in a press conference this afternoon: "Although we resolutely condemn yet another act of wanton aggression by the Kingdom of Reitzmag, which has torn to pieces the shreds of trust the Empire had built up in Simon Bridges' government over the last weeks, we will not risk Inimician lives over these waters. The Imperial Navy was originally deployed to the Strait to help our Spanish allies in reconnaisance and patrol, not to wage war. Reitzmic escalation of the situation has made it entirely untenable for the Imperial Fleet to remain in the Strait."
Rapprochement between Reitzmag and Inimicus now seems unlikely, after a phase of growing detente between the two countries. His Imperial Majesty added the following: "The Imperial Navy has begun its process of withdrawal. I expect, no, I demand, that Reitzmic forces to the same. Even though Simon Bridges is clearly not used to rational decision-making, I hope he will listen to my advice and remove his vessels from active deployment. I must also warn him, that if he decides to take the withdrawal of the Imperial Navy as an opportunity to attack our allies in the Kingdom of Spain, he will face full hammer blows of two combined Imperial fleets within no time at all."
The Emperor's overruling of His Defence Officer comes at a time when Baris Mancov's conduct in North Diessen is under scrutiny by some Imperial Councillors, Inimicus's highest legislators. Councillor Jeff Speller, a noted critic of the Imperial Government, today called for an investigation into "possible war crimes and betrayal of our allies", referring to reports that Imperial Army troops had barred Diessenian Defence Force units from leaving their bases towards the end of the Inimician intervention in North Diessen. IDO Mancov is yet to address these allegations.
Returning to current affairs, His Imperial Majesty concluded His statement by saying: "This decree by Me is a sign of peace. It is a sign of the diplomatic, peaceful intentions of the Empire of Inimicus. I would urge the Kingdom of Spain, whose position we continue to support in whatever way we can, to come to an agreement with the Republic of Yosai as soon as possible, so trade can flow, sailors can return home, and no one loses what is most dear to them."
Former IDO Mancov
Telum, 10th November 2021 -- Imperial Defence Officer Boris Mancov has been dismissed from his post following the crisis around the Strait of Adventuranza. Mancov came under heavy fire from members of the National Imperial Council after he dispatched a second fleet to the Spanish-claimed Strait, following rumours that a Reitzmic force was approaching the contested waters. Imperial Councillor Simon Lane, whose experience as Inimicus's former Prime Minister included several international crises, claimed "The IDO [Imperial Defence Officer] endangered Inimician lives by dispatching our women and men without consulting the Imperial Defence Council. He escalated the situation beyond precedent, and alienated our allies."
In an emergency debate on the Adventuranza crisis, Mancov found little support from his traditional Council allies, including Executive Representative Leader and Imperial Consul Christopher Strathclyde, who called the IDO's actions "unfortunate and damaging to the Empire's reputation abroad". His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos, present for the debate, announced at its conclusion that Mancov would be relieved from his post immediately, and claimed he had "damaged the trust of our allies in our resolve to come to their aid, and the confidence of the Inimician Peoples in our Armed Forces." Mancov was also questioned around reports that Imperial Armed Forces units blocked Diessenian military personnel from leaving their designated bases during the final days of the Diessen Campaign last month. Mancov categorically denied these reports.
The Imperial Palace later announced that political veteran James Cocx IC, former Triumvir of the Empire under the pre-2018 divison of power, will replace Mancov as Imperial Defence Officer with immediate effect . Mancov is to remain an Imperial Councillor for the time being, pending a formal investigation into his conduct. "Comparing Cocx to Mancov, we see clear differences in past conduct", comments Colin Husky, Nuntius Inimici political editor, "Cocx has a track record of spending big and reaping the rewards afterwards. Mancov was a far more conservative spender, and a more cautious person in general. We can only guess what angry mood stirred him to deploy a second fleet to Adventuranza. In any case, that gamble did not pay off."
James Cocx IC, newly-appointed Imperial Defence Officer
Big spending, it seems, is already high on the new IDO's agenda. Only hours after being appointed to the position, James Cocx announced a "completely new focus" of the Imperial Armed Forces budget. In a statement, the new IDO claimed he secured "billions of guilders' worth of new funding for the Armed Forces from the Imperial budget". Outlining what these billions would be spent on, Cocx emphasised the importance of "a new way of warfare, focused on drone technology, special forces, small yet efficient strike teams, cyberwarfare, and traditional military units as support elements." Although a formal budget has not so far been published, the Defence Office announced this would be forthcoming within the next weeks.
Retired Brigadier General Lethbridge Stuart, who led the famous rescue operation that freed Emperor Artabanos from Rimrothian captivity in 2014, comments: "If the Imperial Armed Forces is serious about this 'new way of warfare', it could become an even bigger player than it already is on the world stage. No longer would the Imperial Navy be sent out in conspicuous ways, but teams at the Imperial Defence Council's headquarters would be able to deal the same or worse damage from their own PC screens. Unmanned drones would wreak havoc on the Empire's enemies without a single Inimician life at risk. This is promising."
Previously, the Imperial Air Force has experimented with unmanned reconnaisance and attack drones, including the newly-developed P.1HH and its designed - but not yet realised - P.2HH successor. Trials were generally reported as extremely successful, and the Imperial Defence Office is rumoured to announce a ƒ1bn fund for development and build of the P.2HH. This would accompany a ƒ750m investment in retraining and expansion of the Imperial Special Forces Command, whose successful operations in Neo-Venetia and North Diessen saw it gain in political appreciation, and whose Cyber Division could graduate to an independent branch of the Armed Forces.
An Inimician Air Force P.1HH over the mountains of Terra Dominus
CONSPIRATORS SENT TO LIFE INTERNMENT AS EMPIRE ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS CLOSE EARLY --//-- IMPERIAL PALACE 'PLEASED' WITH WITHDRAWAL OF ECOJ CASE
Impression of the Imperial Crown Court Central Hall
Telum, 25th November 2021 - Six days before its initial schedule, the Crown Court has issued judgements in the case surrounding the Needletail One disaster, now nearly eighteen months ago. All defendants, except former Quaestor Glennis Mayfair, whose role in the conspiracy that nearly led to His Imperial Majesty's death was hotly debated, were sentenced to varying forms of life inprisonment.
Dominic Dalfarra, Peter Zan, and Marco Brookfield, the three neo-Venetian operatives who liaised with Palace moles to encompass the downing of Needletail One, were handed a lifetime sentence of solitary imprisonment in Patricio Imperial Penetentiary, the Empire's harshest foreign national prison.
Former Imperial Consul Maximillian de Barrington and his brother Augustus, a familiar face in Inimicus's European representation, will both spend the rest of their days in the Dominus Military Detention Centre, which is liked to the copious bauxite mines in northern Inimicus.
Judges commented that an even more severe sentence "would have been more than appropriate given the severity of the defendants' transgressions". However, Inimician law no longer provides for capital punishment after EU legislation outlawing this practice was passed several years ago. All defendants, having been kept in highest-security custody since their arrest several months ago, were immediately escored by armoured transport to their new, permanent homes.
"Justice was served today", commented Imperial Consul Christopher Strathclyde after judgements were handed out, "And the Inimician Peoples can rest assured that the most hardened, calcified criminals in our Empire are behind bars, and will remain so."
Mass protests accompanied the Court's session, with thousands of people gathered outside the Crown Court demanding tougher sentences and a reimposition of the death penalty. "My mother-in-law was murdered with a frozen leg of lamb", commented one protestor, who wished to remain anonymous, "Surely eye for an eye is what we need?" Imperial Government sources, however, suggest no plans to overturn European law currently exist.
Imperial Consul Strathclyde further commented on the withdrawal by Istkalen prosecutors of the pending European Court of Justice case against the Imperial government: "The Emperor's legal team was fully, and I mean fully prepared to fight this ridiculous petition tooth and nail. The whole case was based on conjecture, speculation, and rumours. We know, and I think the Inimician Peoples know, that His Imperial Majesty's reign is a true blessing to us all, and He would never even think about committing the outrageous offences of which He was accused by this Istkalen band of singers."
Asked whether the Imperial Government would have co-operated with an extradition of the Emperor to European lawmakers if found guilty, the Consul added: "I normally do not deal in speculation, unlike those who drew up this court case, but if the European Court of Justice, a foreign court meant to arbitrate between nation states, ruled that the Inimician Peoples should extradite their Emperor, their elected, re-elected, and re-re-elected highest representative, to be imprisoned for crimes against humanity, well, surely you would understand that this would comprise the highest form of lunacy. The Emperor is the Imperial Government. The Emperor embodies His Peoples. Extradition? No way."
Exclusive interview sheds light on Benfield's history, motivations, and aspirations for the European post
Nicholas Benfield, European Councillor for Inimicus, National Imperial Councillor, former Imperial Triumvir, is a staple of Inimician and regional politics. The councillor, 42, came to prominence as an ally of late Emperors William and, especially, Hugh, during and after the Inimician Revolution of 2011. Since then, European Council discussions on climate change, immigration, and a host of other topics, made Benfield a controversial and - at times - notorious name on the European stage. Cllr Benfield recently threw his hat in the ring to replace Donald Tusk, Deputy Speaker of the European Council, claiming his extensive expertise on the European stage would make him a knowledgeable and sympathetic chairperson. Nuntius Inimici had the privilege of interviewing Cllr Benfield ahead of the Deputy Speaker election. Colin Husky reports.
Cllr Benfield, thank you for taking the time to sit down with us. I'd like to start by taking you back in time, before the Empire. What was the pre-Imperial Nicholas Benfield like?
Well thank you, Colin. As you'll know, my early years were spent in rural Terra Centurio, and at 17, I relocated to Telum where I completed my degrees in Industrial Engineering. I found work and love in our capital, and decided to stay. At age 25, I was elected the youngest member of the Telum General Assembly, as it was then known, under the Republican administration. My opponents chastise me for my political past before the Empire came to be -- if anything, my involvement with local government pre-revolution allowed me to know what I was fighting for, when the fighting came.
And when the fighting came, you found an ally in former Emperor Hugh Doyle. How did you meet?
Hugh is a fellow Centurian. It doesn't take much for us to band together. I first met Hugh at one of his Monarchist, anti-republican rallies in 2009, and was immediately impressed. I thought, here is someone whose idealism, whose movement, has the potential to inspire. Of course, as my work in our capital's city council had continued, I'd also realised this feint of democracy that existed in our nation back then was nothing more than just that, a ghost. I approached Hugh after his rally, and we have worked together ever since.
Emperors of Inimicus William Jameson (2012-13) and Hugh Doyle (2013-14)
Fast forward to 2012. The Empire is established, our nation has acceeded to the European Union. And you are delegated by Emperor William to represent us all in Europolis. What were those early days like?
For all intents and purposes, our nation was a pariah in those days. In the aftermath of the revolution, a Telum police chief had ordered the gassing of several dozens of peaceful protestors, which led to threats of invasion by our neighbours and a formal European investigation into Inimicus's chemical weapons stockpile. Let me tell you, those initial months were tough. I had to fight tooth and nail for the right of our Empire to be heard abroad. To fix the crooked image the Republicans had built.
One of your most famous -- or should I say, infamous -- moments on the European Council floor occured when you referred to the Medieval Warming Period in a debate on climate change, leading to a prompt and vicious response from the Inquistan Councillor at the time. How do you reflect on that day?
Badly. I have admitted my errors several times before, but let me state once again that I was wrong to make this comparison between hundreds of years ago and the present day. The Inquistan Councillor at the time was completely correct in pointing out the error of my ways. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to clear my name and state my error on the Council floor, as not soon after I had to take a lengthy leave of absence due to a car accident. Nevertheless, I have changed my mind, which too few people do these days when presented with evidence.
On that fateful day in 2013, you lost both legs in th horrific car crash you mentioned. How did you recover?
For a long while, I didn't. I had to give up what was most dear to me: my work, my family, all to quite literally get myself back on my feet. Artificial feet at that. Eight years on, my recovery is still ongoing, and every day I have to remind myself to keep going. I have the amazingly kind and caring staff at Telum Imperial Hospital to thank for their efforts to keep me alive; without them, I would not be sitting here today.
I will say that having to wheel myself around for several years on end gave me a new perspective on life. Suddenly, accessibility is everything. From the floors of the National Imperial Council, where I was honoured with an appointment a few years back, to my own house, to public transport, to my offices in Europolis: stairs were a no-go, and still are. Doors have to be wide enough, I do not need a chair at the table as I bring my own. It's a mental revamp as well as a physical one, and certainly a development that made me far more aware of the requirements of others, both personally and professionally.
Cllr Benfield's car following the crash in 2013
After your recovery, you suddenly reappeared on the political stage to assume the role of Triumvir, along with former Emperor Hugh and Emperor Artabanos. You lost your Triumviral position not soon after. Was this a failure on your part? Why are you still around, if you don't mind my asking?
I'm still around because, I think, my proclivity for political office is recognised. Representing the people of this great country, in whatever form, be it on the European Council or as Triumvir, has been the greatest honour of my life. My passion for representation of our Empire abroad has led me to the corridors of the European Council, to far-flung destinations, but my heart and soul are always still connected to Inimicus. Have I failed at things in life? For sure. But failure is also a great opportunity for learning. And if there is anything I have done in this past decade, it is learn. Learn from my colleagues on the European Council, learn from the citizens I represent. And I intend to continue learning as much as I can.
You then returned to what you just defined as your original passion: representing the Empire abroad. Why, then, make a run for the Deputy Speakership?
Given my years on the European Council, I know its ins and outs. I know its procedures, its ambiguities, but also its importance and the impact it can have on people's lives. As Deputy Speaker, I would be responsible for guiding these procedures in the right direction. Too often have we seen drawn-out Council proceedings that come to a conclusion far too long following a crucial event. In part, this has been down to Speakers and Deputy Speakers neglecting to terminate debate and voting periods. That is what I would change.
Some might question your credentials, given your history of failure and controversy. What would make you a good Deputy Speaker?
I think it's fair to say I've had a tumultuous life, for better or for worse. But from these experiences I have learned to listen, to understand the intentions of others, and to judge fairly. Those are qualities of a good Deputy Speaker. My office door would always be open, I have shown I can work constructively with parties from very different background -- like in the Triumvirate. My experience on the Council floor further shows I know the rules, am capable of interpreting the Constitutional requirements put on the European Council, and the relationship between the Council, Commission, and Court. I would submit I would do the office justice.
Finally, do you have a favourite out of the current Speaker Candidates? Who would you work with best?
Hah, well, they are all highly deserving candidates. I couldn't possibly choose from among them. Current Deputy Speaker Tusk has grown in his role very well, and I would be happy to work with him. At the same time, the Istkalen candidate is an immensely promising Councillor, and it would be a huge privilege to co-operate. Similarly, though Cllr Yahontov and I have found ourselves at the opposite ends of various discussions in recent months, I value her as a competent political actor. Much the same goes for Cllr Roscoe.
Cllr Benfield, thank you for speaking with us today. We wish you all the best and good luck.
Thank you for having me.