2013: The Year in Review

2013 In Review

Alston, CA, Dec 31 – Another year has drawn to a close in the MicroWiki community, and with it comes the Times’ annual Year in Review to chronicle the stories that hit the headlines in 2013.


Sirocco entered the new year with both a bang and a war, with the country claiming victory over a splinter micronation as the new year rang in. Telegraphy was all the rage in January as nations scrambled to set up telegraph services, with Sirocco leading the charge when Sirocco Post was reformed into National Post and Telegraph. At the end of the month, the government announced the dates of the delayed Micronational Games, named such so as to avoid the ire of the International Olympic Committee.

DISGRACED: Grand Unified Micronational (GUM) Chairman Yaroslav Mar resigned in the firestorm scandal that enveloped the organisation in early 2013.

2013 got off to a turbulent start with troubles in the Grand Unified Micronational (GUM) that eventually led to the resignation of chairman Yaroslav Mar after he was caught using his powers for his own means. Further shock came later in the month with the surprise resignation of Austenasian Emperor Declan I. Declan, who has since begun a career in film, handed powers over to long-time Prince Jonathan I. Under Jonathan’s reign the Empire has flourished, and 2014 seems set to be a good year for the London micronation.


February was dominated by change in Sirocco, with the first shift in capitals in the nation’s history followed in quick succession by the second. Havilland, Wellesley took over from Alston on February 20, and was itself replaced by Rathlyn, Hobson, which served as Sirocco’s capital for most of the year. Sirocco also weighed into the debate when part of Zealandia split off under an independent triarchy, which while unsuccessful, highlighted the chronic instability which plagued the nation throughout the year. Sirocco also hosted the first half of the 2013 Micronational Games in February, which while deemed a failure as a result of the lack of participation from most nations, succeeded with Sirocco winning six medals in the walking and running events, with Zealandia following up with five in the train dash and swimming events.

While busy for Sirocco, February was quiet in the community, but the shock resignation (albeit temporary) of Zealandian President Håkon Lindström and the coronation of Austenasia’s Jonathan I stand out as notable stories in 2013’s second month.


Weather proved a concern in Sirocco in March with water advisories and drought declarations, both of which were lifted later in the year. Politics was also on the agenda as the Premier met with conservative youth in an Auckland bar, and just days later Rathlyn and Havilland were rattled by two small earthquakes centred close to the capital. March also gave Siroccans a fright when Labrador Maxie Anderson suffered a major health scare in Alston. Her deteriorating health prompted the Premier to make her a General of the Siroccan Defence Forces and award her the Order of the Black Cross, the first time the award was given.

Long-time community member Ultamiya was dissolved in March, splitting into four separate nations, including Varina and Michrenia. Varinian leader David Salapa would leave the community in July after near-constant clashes with members of the community. The current status of the Ultamiyan successor states is unknown.


The Times rang in April with a piece on the pending transfer of MicroWiki back to Wikia, which despite being a joke at the time had eerie parallels with the fate of the site late into the year. Somewhat happier news would come to Sirocco a few days later with the transfer of Zealandia’s last New Zealand landholdings to Sirocco ahead of the Premier’s first visit to New Zealand’s South Island.

The Times broke the news of reported corruption in Palasia at the start of the month, although the news came as no surprise to some who dismissed it as typical of the notoriously unstable state. Just days later came April’s most popular article on the Times when we reported on the death of Margaret Thatcher, who was mourned by some and had her death celebrated by others. Austenasia rejoiced at the rediscovery of a bottle owned by the former King of Rushymia, which had gone missing in 2010 soon after former Austenasian Emperor Esmond III claimed it and the title of King of Rushymia associated with it. Juclandia held a referendum that gave the ruling Populescu government the blessing to alter the nation’s 133-article constitution, while Zealandia unveiled new government branding that did not go down well with some.


Politics proved the dominating factor of May, with the Federal government pledging its support to a pro-Siroccan Sabioveronese dissident who had had enough of Communist policies and praised Sirocco’s stance on the matter, followed by a report that showed Premier Anderson and Opposition leader Nicholas Woode-Smith jockeying for top poll ratings. Federal proved the more popular of Sirocco’s two parties, but Woode-Smith managed to edge Anderson out in terms of personal popularity stakes.

In another quiet month, Zealandia came to be noticed for the swearing-in of its new Prime Minister, Count Alex von Berger and Thingavik. This was the beginning of a settled period for Zealandia that unfortunately was not to last into 2014.


English: Seeburg 1000 Background Music System ...

MUSICAL: The desire to keep the music playing saw the government donate nearly §8 to Internet radio station Seeburg1000.com. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

June is usually a quiet month for Sirocco, and 2013 was no exception with only the report of a §7 7/5d donation to Internet radio station Seeburg1000.com of note. Granted by the government to support the station, the donation was made to ensure that “Sirocco’s national music…never has to shut down.”

The United Kingdom of New Wessex lost its last toehold in the Carshalton sector in late June with the reassertion of Austenasian sovereignty over the Kingdoms of the Grove and Copan, collectively known as Orly. Despite planning to visit Orly, laziness on the part of New Wessex King Declan prompted revolt, which resulted in Declan’s backdown and the return of Orlian sovereignty to Austenasia. Zealandia and Lostisland also locked horns when Lostislandic leader Yaroslav Mar was caught trying to bribe a journalist for the Zealandian Guardian. The matter was reported to the nation’s security officials, and the matter proved just one more sore point in this year’s deterioration in their relationship.


Not long after the donation to an Internet radio station, Sirocco had established its own. The first broadcast of SBC National Radio on July 5 was hailed as a monumental success, and despite technical problems at the beginning of transmission, the rest of the year proved popular for National Radio, with occasional broadcasts well listened-to and drawing regular listeners in from around the world. The SBC would also take hold of the tail end of the month with the announcement of the end of popular cartoon series Micro High, following the pending closure of animation website Xtranormal. The series finished in October to international acclaim. In the midst of this media frenzy came the adoption of the Atomic calendar, which after its creation in December 2012, began being used with greater frequency in Sirocco. The calendar, which dates from 16 July 1945, the date of the Trinity atomic test, is now used in the media and in government papers, and has become a treasured part of Sirocco’s Atomic Age culture.

The big news in 2013 was the Intermicronational Summit held in Paris. Nine delegates from Austenasia, Juclandia, Rukora, Lostisland, Draega, Francisville, Angyalistan, and the Formori Institute met to discuss micronationalism during the five-day summit, and despite the drunken antics of one delegate involving an elevator, the summit was deemed a success.


Sirocco’s Micras province, Weymouth, was nearly lost in a regular site cleanup in August. Thanks to the quick actions of Micras micronationalists based in the MicroWiki community, the province was saved, but other nations with no activity on the geofictional planet were not so lucky.

Juclandia went into shock after the controversial victory of Gori Jucărescu in elections against opponent Ovia Bogi, with the result coming almost at the last minute. Zealandia opened a corruption inquiry into past elections, and was also put on alert following an online attack and unsolicited mail arriving in the kingdom.



A TRIP DOWN SOUTH: Premier Daniel Anderson stopped by Greater Hagley in his visit to New Zealand’s South Island in September, noting its scenic splendour as well as the biting wind.

Rathlyn swelled with over 400 people at the Rathlyn National Exposition of Sirocco as August faded into September, with the Premier giving guided tours and educating curious visitors about the Siroccan capital and its way of life. Just days later, Anderson made a second visit to the South Island of New Zealand, in which he visited the Territory of Greater Hagley and claimed the Territory of Stirling for the nation.

Austenasia was the first of the 2008 micronations to celebrate its fifth birthday in September, just days after the arrival of Emperor Jonathan I into university for the beginning of his three years’ studies of theology and religious matter. Juclandia, too, had reason to celebrate, with a number of occasions and anniversaries on its calendar. Yet for Zealandia, September was no time for celebrating, with its government hurriedly ejected from its capital, Stepenavik, with no warning and little chance to retrieve what was left behind. And just days before his unopposed victory, King Quentin of Wyvern sat down with the St.Charlian Observer to talk about what his tenure as GUM Chairman would consist of. The Times also held an interview with St.Charlian President James Lunam, in which he lambasted St.Charlian Prime Minister Alexander Eastwood for his plans for a ‘Superpresident’ with sweeping powers. Although Eastwood later backed down, the affair raised concerns that the former micronational superpower may be on its way out.


October did not present much news in Sirocco aside from the National Centre of Computing’s rapid expansion, with over §230 spent on various computer memorabilia from the 1990s to add to its collection of vintage computers, software and books. The addition of 20-year-old software, computer manuals, floppy disks and CD-ROMs was well appreciated, and today sits in the Alston arm of the museum where it is enjoyed by the museum’s many visitors.

The community was dominated by despair in October. The month began with concerns over the ability for the MicroWiki site to pay for itself, with funding shortfalls making the site an unprofitable hassle in the long run. Efforts to streamline the site began soon after, with UnMicroWiki, the MicroWiki Archive and the Geofiction MicroWiki closing down. October’s constant arguing and pettiness within the community was cited by (now former) Renasian leader Jacob Tierney when he retired from micronationalism at the end of the month, which prompted a flurry of opinion pieces, with both Sirocco and Zealandia saying that Tierney’s retirement needed to serve as a wake-up call to a badly inactive community of micronations.


GOOD INNINGS: At 15, Maxie has managed to outlast many of her canine compatriots, but there is grave concern that illness may soon claim her.

TRAGEDY: Sirocco went into mourning at the news that 15-year-old Maxie Anderson had passed away in October after battling poor health for some time.

In a frantically busy month, the Times reported on the five-day-long Internet outage that had some Rathlyn users at the end of their tether, the replacement of Sirocco’s four bloated “Superministries” with sixteen smaller, more focused ministries, bomb tests conducted by the Institute of Scientific Research in the popular computer game Minecraft, the end of Rathlyn’s tenure as capital and the problems that came with it, and finally the tragic news of the death of beloved Labrador Maxie Anderson on Labour Day at the age of 15 years. Plans are underway to commemorate Anderson in 2014, but as yet the government has not confirmed any details.

Zealandia’s stable government was torn apart by a dispute between King Håkon, his Prime Minister Tala Tiptree, and MP Daniel Sjø-Otter, with both Tiptree and Sjø-Otter being stripped of their positions and citizenships. Austenasia welcomed its new Prime Minister, Countess Eritoshi of Memphis, in November, with her sweeping vitory wiping out the chances of her two rivals. MicroWiki’s transition was finished in November, with the site moving to the new Micronation.org domain and the opening of the MicroWiki News Service, which as yet remains sparingly used. November also saw a bizarre, yet hilarious send-up of the Premier in the Zealandian Guardian, when Anderson was accused of having eaten a puppy in a burger and refused to eat the complimentary bacon. Written in response to satirical Sirocco Times front pages published in Facebook meeting-point MicroGroup, the accusations were refuted when Anderson said eating the puppy would have been against the nation’s anti-Communist ideals.


The Ministry of Communications updated its media classifications in December, adding new R15 and R18 ratings, and giving literature ratings for the first time. National parks were also created across Sirocco, and just hours later, these same pieces of ground received the full force of a heavy thunderstorm that prompted the Department of Meteorology to issue its first-ever weather advisory. Toward the end of the month, the 7th annual Spon Awards were held, with the Spon Award for Excellentness going to Reg Owen’s 1959 song Manhattan Spiritual, which also took out the Song of the Year award. This, and the awarding of anime series Free! the Anime of the Year award provoked harsh reactions in the community, with organisers forced to defend themselves the next day. As the holiday season arrived the North East bolstered its defences against the threat of an attack by hostile forces for Christmas, and as the year ends today we may note two pieces from the Premier – his optimism and warnings for 2014, and his predictions for what lies ahead.

Storms rumbled through Palasia, and despite the threat of severe calamity in the Austenasian protectorate, less damage was caused than had been expected; amid government reshuffles, Zealandia’s Håkon questioned whether power-sharing is a viable option in micronationalism; and in Juclandia, the Communist-led alliance took victory in the December elections, with Prime Minister Teddy Populescu reconfirmed for another term.

That’s it, 2013 is finished. What do you think were the highlights of 2013? What are your fondest memories? What did we miss out? Leave a comment below and let us know! Thanks also to the St.Charlian Observer, the Austenasian Times, Scânteia and the Zealandian Guardian. Have a happy and prosperous 2014!

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