Monday, 23 March 2015

Recording the Past

Many aspects of Nilkawt's past are frozen in the lap of legend.  The current head of state is one of several now known to history.

Before Her Illustrious Highness, Twaklin I, ascended the throne, the ethereal grand duchy was headed by the former Queen Empress Matilda, who preferred using the term imperial instead of ethereal.  Matilda habitually attached Nilkawt, at least in documents, to her various other collections of territories.  It is most fortunate, therefore, that Nilkawt is now truly independent.

Before Matilda, Nilkawt had Arthur.  Most people know Arthur of the Round Table fame.  He is still very keen on carpentry and mythology, as well as the legends of the present.  During his Nilkawtian term of office he preferred the term kingdom.

Before Arthur, Nilkawt had Mr Plato as the head of state.  He preferred the term philosopher-presidency.  Before Plato there was Pepi II, who preferred the term land of the pharaoh-go, and before him, Professor Charlie Warra, who still prefers the word eternal.

Professor Warra knows all about myths, legends, creation stories, caring for natural environments, finding and managing local sources of food and water, and maintaining a sense of place.  Most of his duties nowadays are dedicated to improving Australian society rather than the Nilkawtian one.  He is not yet sure if his current devotion to Australia is a lifestyle choice.  He hopes to have an answer to that question in about 40,000 years.

Pepi II is currently an investigative, global journalist.  Mr Plato is spending his time volunteering and fishing.  Arthur is enjoying a remote yet luxurious existence in Tasmania, well away from tourists.  Matilda is currently giving private dancing lessons in Adelaide.

The official historians of Nilkawt mainly have oral records and works of art to assist them in understanding the past.  Many Nilkawtian sayings, proverbs, adages, epigrams and jokes have been past down through the generations, most of which are unsuitable to be mentioned in public, or even illustrated on the walls of caves.  It is mainly for this reason that young persons are no longer permitted to inhabit Nilkawtian territory at all.  Their minds are incapable of accurately interpreting the past without giggling.

Ethereal Nilkawtians do their best to communicate with material ones, but sometimes the messages are misinterpreted.  Such misinterpretations in other parts of the world are often given the name of religion.  In Nilkawt, they are called opinions.

Friday, 20 March 2015

System of Honours

Many people around the world are fascinated by the Nilkawtian system of honours.  All honours in Nilkawt are related to raising the status of Nilkawtian citizenship.  This process often entails a devotion towards an enlightened approach to democracy.  It also involves the willingness to uphold a suitably peaceful yet assertive approach to sovereignty.

Apart from becoming the Nilkawtian head of state, one of the highest honours in Nilkawt is to be inducted into the Order of the Charter.  Other honours involve leading the counties of Nilkawt and/or serving in Nilkawtian government duties, particularly commissions.  Gaining citizenship in Nilkawt is an honour in itself, especially as the selection processes are so rigorous.

In keeping with tradition, honours in Nilkawt are very much the same as those in other countries, except that none are hereditary.  The recipients of honours are usually of two sorts:  They have either had a great deal of good fortune and can therefore spare a little time and money towards gaining philanthropic recognition and subsequent honours, or they have had a great deal of misfortune and have therefore been forced to contact government ministers and members of the media on numerous occasions in order to obtain even a basic amount of necessary attention and some subsequent sympathy.

No-one in Nilkawt is permitted to use foreign titles or fake titles, except by paying for the privilege.  A significant amount of Nilkawtian government revenue is gained from the Titles Tax.  Additional government revenues are raised by the taxes on prestigious job titles and sinecures.  It is no surprise, therefore, that Nilkawt easily balances its budget each year.

Most Nilkawtian honours are currently awarded at the new royal palace, Palazzo Twaklinilkawt, in the capital, Twaklinton.  The historic aspects of the occasion mean that several members of the Faculty of Official Historians are usually on hand to provide reasonably well-informed eye-witness accounts of the proceedings.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Hike Kawt Challenge

Yesterday, this embassy received a writ, through the Nilkawtian Hike Kawt Court of the Caught, preventing any mention of the names of the new cabinet members.  Apparently, several of the new cabinet members believe their new status to be unconstitutional, hence their challenge.

There has been much discussion in the Nilkawtian Parliament, as well as in the Hike Kawt Court itself, as to whether the challenge itself is constitutional or not.  There have also been conversations, debates and arguments on the matter in local government halls and chambers.  The Nilkawtians have always taken their politics seriously.

Even with its many silly and not-so-silly traditions, Nilkawt has a beautiful political system.  It has wonderful land titles, social titles and entitlements.  It has an amazing education system.  It occasionally has a slightly disruptive Constitutional Crisis, but the Nilkawtians always provide a suitably elegant travel advisory in such circumstances.

There is often much to commend the Nilkawtians upon when they offer their hospitality to visitors.  Tourists are rarely inconvenienced in Nilkawt, at least if they have the ability to pay their way properly.  This is particularly the case when visiting the royal palace.

Since the Hike Kawt Challenge was announced, there have been many additional bookings for special tours of the Inns of Kawt and the local Low Kawt Courts.  In fact, business in Nilkawt has been booming ever since the restoration of the money key.  There has been so much work for students of the  Twaklinian School of International and Constitutional Law and Peace, in their capacity as legal tour guides, that most do not currently have the time to study and are therefore failing their courses.

Fees for entry to Nilkawt are likely to rise soon, considering the larger-than-usual number of applications for visas.   Everyone wants to be where there is an excellent economy.  Even the Nilkawtian Treasury officials are perplexed by the situation.  The openness of the accounts may be part of the reason for this upsurge of interest.

The reason for the writ, and the interest from the public, the media, and even foreign governments and international financial institutions, is that all the new Nilkawtian cabinet ministers happen to be senior officials in the Bank of Nilkawt.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Recording Reactions

The Independent Commissioners for Free and Fair Elections, in association with the Independent Commissioners Against Corruption, the Political Reform Commission, the Office of Electoral Progress, and the Humour Rights Commission have now verified the names of the new members of the Nilkawtian cabinet.

Since it began providing the world with its excellent insights into digital diplomacy, this embassy, and especially the ambassador, and all the most attentive staff here, have devotedly proclaimed the Nilkawtian mission to the world.

The Government of Nilkawt is unique.  There is a possibility for its cabinet members to be changed annually, for reasons of hygiene, though there are usually unavoidable circumstances preventing that fortuitous occurrence.

Several members of the Nilkawtian Faculty of Official Historians are here to record the reaction to the announcement.  They are continuing to argue over their various interpretations of how the election results will be viewed in later centuries.

Since the grand reopening of this embassy, there has been much discussion about the level of openness concerning all sorts of selection processes by the Nilkawtian government.  Upholding the rule of law is difficult anywhere in the world, especially when considering the various interpretations of international law.

The elections were held in accordance with the Constitution, subject to the limitations imposed upon them by the Treasury, the media, public holidays and traditions.

The Trade and Investment Commissioner is on hand, here in the digital embassy, to answer any important questions about the implications.  The Tourism Commissioner is also here, promoting exclusively expensive meet-and-greet opportunities for anyone wishing to do business in Nilkawt in the new political climate.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Levels of Government

It is not yet known how many official levels of government actually exist in Nilkawt.  It is known, at least officially, that Nilkawt is a parliamentary democracy headed by a constitutional monarch.

Nilkawt is not formally a federation as it is relatively small.  It has the world's most excellent structures of local government, which is why you will rarely hear about Nilkawt in the usual news media.

Unlike the selfishness and greed encouraged by other governments around the world, there are strict constitutional limitations on the powers of the Nilkawtian state.  Most states are in a mess because they encourage abusiveness at all levels of society.  It is why Nilkawt is so different from anywhere else.

In Nilkawt, there is no exploitation of anyone.  Older people are respected.  No-one intrudes into the lives of others.  Gossip is frowned upon.  Support services are fair and efficient.  Pushy sales tactics are strictly forbidden.  Taxes are always paid on time and in full.

Most areas of Nilkawt are clean and tidy, with an indescribable charm.  Meddling in the beauty and heritage of Nilkawt is a serious criminal offence.  Protection of environments is made possible by an accountable network of supervisory institutions.

Of course, there is excellent training in Nilkawt for any citizen or visitor wishing to understand all aspects of Nilkawtian society and government.  Students thereby learn to separate essentials from triviality.  They learn to listen attentively and remember important facts.  Those failing to do so receive sensitive civic remedial assistance.

Ethics is highly regarded in Nilkawt.  It is one of the most common topics of conversation.  Transgressions are dealt with quickly, fairly and effectively.

People in Nilkawt are given the time and space in which to ensure their lives are in balance.  Their many responsibilities in life are acknowledged and respected by their employers.

Nilkawtians are never made to feel guilty about taking time off work for health appointments or to attend important public meetings on matters of concern to them.  There is flexibility in every form of employment.  There is no unemployment or underemployment in Nilkawt.

Everyone in Nilkawt participates affectionately in their local government institutions.  They often do so with the assistance of remarkably competent, conscientious staff.  Everyone also has the opportunity to participate in parliament, directly and indirectly. 

There are no parliamentary secretaries in Nilkawt, mainly because the parliament and the government are completely separate entities.  This assists people to avoid confusion.  It encourages calmness in society.  It enables relationships between people to be very pleasant indeed.  And most of the sensitive, civic remedial assistance, for those in need, is supplied through the central government, in the form of appointments to cabinet positions.

To ensure equality and democracy in Nilkawt's government can be maintained and sustained, all ministers have equal status.  They are, therefore, all members of the cabinet, except for the prime minister.  Even empty chairs have equal status with filled ones around the ministerial table when no ministers can be found to sit in them.

Some of the most incompetent cabinet members have been known to fill the cabinet rather than a chair.  The cabinet, after which the Nilkawtian Cabinet is named, is mainly supplied for decorative purposes.

The most momentous news of the moment is that the Nilkawtian ambassador to the digital sphere has just received a list of all the new Nilkawtian cabinet appointees.  It is not yet known, either officially or unofficially, which level of government, if any, the cabinet is truly meant to serve.

As in many other societies, the Nilkawtian cabinet often makes the most disruptive and incompetent contributions to governance.  The embassy staff, none of whom have ever been cabinet ministers, attempt to remain diplomatic at all times.  This can sometimes prove very difficult indeed in practice.

The staff of this embassy are obviously familiar with the biographies and careers of all former and serving cabinet members.  They therefore know that being satirical can often be the only way to maintain sanity.

It is not appropriate for the embassy staff to publish the names of the new cabinet members today.  They are not yet sure if the list is a joke.  Even the list of outgoing ministers is something of a joke:

List of Outgoing Ministers

Foreign Minister

Defence Minister

Environment Minister

Minister for Energy, Upkeep and Equal Opportunities

Enlightenment Minister *

Minister for Immigration and Broader Inspection

Minister for Courtesy and Moral Philosophy

Minister for Health *

Minister for Education *

Minister for Arts and Sciences

Minister for Lawnless Order

Minister for Brilliance

Minister for Housing *

Finance Minister *

Minister for Commerce *

Minister for Natural Resources *

Minister for Tolerance

Minister for Pleasant Weather

Minister for Agriculture

Industry Minister *

Minister for Government Business *

Minister for Government Service *

Minister for Creativity, Innovation and Enterprise *

Minister for Prosperity

Minister for Training

Minister for Useful Employment

Minister of Communications

* Indicates that no suitable candidates could be located to fill the previous cabinet positions and sit in the respective chairs.

Friday, 13 March 2015

New Cabinet

A public announcement was made through this digital embassy yesterday that the public announcement of the most recent Nilkawtian elections will be held today.  We have just received the transcript of the preamble to the announcement, which is itself three hundred pages long.

Page two hundred and forty three of the preamble states that the public announcement is to be held at five o'clock this afternoon.

Given that it is likely to take all day for the official announcement to be introduced by those presenting the preamble, the suspense of the situation is likely to be too much for most Nilkawtians.  They have already been waiting for the election result since late September.

Only four people know the results so far, in accordance with the fact that the private areas of the royal palace are very private indeed, much to the annoyance of tourists, foreign spies and the gatherers of digital metadata.

It is perfectly reasonable for anyone to require some privacy in the 21st century, even if a personage is a celebrity head of state, a world leader and a notable public figure.  Her Illustrious Highness, Twaklin I, Ethereal Grand Duchess of Nilkawt made the private announcement with her three Private Secretaries as the only witnesses.

Since the Grand Closing Ceremony, back in August last year, the three Private Secretaries have been busy behind the scenes, and in public places.  At the same time, all the Ladies-in-Waiting to Her Illustrious Highness have been working on the aforementioned preamble, subject to the limitations of the Treasury.  Each page of the preamble will be presented by at least one of the Ladies-in-Waiting, with at least two ladies presenting the information when charts are to be interpreted.

The audience for the public announcement will consist of all the Ladies-in-Waiting and the Private Secretaries, of course, plus the newly appointed Political Reform Commissioners, namely Professor Judy Lee-Gents, Professor Wendy Scent and Professor Sue Pafishel.

No-one from this embassy will be in attendance.  Whether that is fortunate or unfortunate is yet to be determined.  What is known, though, is that all the persons capable of announcing the announcement through this embassy will be leaving here at 5pm today, as usual.  Hence, the actual announcement of the new cabinet may not be known until they return next week.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Important Government Announcement

The Nilkawtian Head of State, Her Illustrious Highness, Twaklin I, Ethereal Grand Duchess of Nilkawt, has just announced the names of the new Cabinet of Nilkawt, in a private ceremony in the royal palace.

Using the latest electoral technology, the grand duchess keyed in the password, as privately as possible, then turned the three additional cabinet keys in accordance with the secret electoral instruction manual.

Unfortunately, someone had forgotten to recharge the batteries and the machine would not work.  This often happens with new technology.

New duties should usually be inserted into a job specification long before the use of an unfamiliar gadget is implemented.  Even the inventor of the machine forgot to mention that in the instruction manual.

A head of state should, therefore, never be left in an embarrassing situation by the occasional incompetence of any of her (or his) usually competent private secretaries.  It is why more that one private secretary should be appointed, to check the work of the other(s) sufficiently.

Fortunately, being an excellent leader herself, the grand duchess had already practiced the ceremony, in even more privacy, several weeks ago and on several private occasions since then.  Sufficient rehearsals are necessary for any important performance.

Her Illustrious Highness had therefore ensured she had total familiarity with the workings of the machine, the results of the election, and with the public and private lives of the new cabinet ministers.  Such foresight should be routine for any world leader, long before making announcement publicly.

Tomorrow, the results of the election are likely to be officially announced in public.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Faculty of Official Historians

Since this digital embassy opened last year, the global public has been fortunate to obtain at least a little knowledge of life in the Ethereal Grand Duchy of Nilkawt.  This embassy and its staff have, of course, already provided the world's best example of digital diplomacy.

Much has happened here since the grand official opening.  Much history has occurred.

2015 is likely to be a very busy year indeed for Her Excellency, Madame Magda Carter, the Nilkawtian Ambassador to the Digital Sphere and Head of Protocol to the Government of Nilkawt.  Madame Carter is an expert on parliamentary democracy, unlike most of the current members of the Nilkawtian cabinet, and unlike most parliamentarians and congressional personages around the world for that matter.

Her Excellency knows, for example, that Magna Carta is one of the most important documents in history because it states that everyone, at least in pleasant societies, is subject to the rule of law, including the sovereign.  Fortunately, the current head of state of Nilkawt is very keen to uphold the rule of law, as long as the law is reasonable.  Even the former head of state tried to do likewise, though her rule began before Magna Carta was signed.

The current Nilkawtian head of state only began in the position in April last year.  The former incumbent held the position for well over eight hundred years.  By some estimates, considering the fact that documents of that time have never been held in safe keeping within current Nilkawtian territory, the former head of state ascended the Nilkawtian throne in 1168.

In that era, Nilkawtian territory was mainly situated in Europe rather than Australia, at least according to the majority of members of the Nilkawtian Faculty of Official Historians.  Even so, the Nilkawtian people have always found anarchy and authoritarianism to be just as distasteful as each other.  Historians have often been known to practice anarchy and authoritarianism amongst themselves, whether officially or unofficially, on many occasions.

Enshrined in the Nilkawtian Constitution, since at least the fifth century BC, as far as anyone can remember, has been the duty of all Nilkawtian citizens to uphold Nilkawtian democracy within the limits of social liberal pleasantness.  Nilkawt has always been advanced in many ways, regardless of the eccentricities of its traditions, its academics, its legal fraternity, its cabinet members and its business persons.

Religion has never had much of a place in Nilkawt, mainly because it causes too many arguments and no-one can agree about it.  Nor can anyone make demands on its behalf without thinking they are above the law.

Persons professing to understand the will of a deity always turn out to be nutcases, in every case.  Even with just a rudimentary knowledge of reasoning, all arguments in defence of religion in a political context are usually found to be flawed.  That was why democracy was needed in the first place.  No-one wants to be ruled by a tyrant.

As far as anyone is aware, Nilkawt is the only nation in the world with a Minister for Tolerance.  It is for this reason, perhaps, that Nilkawt has never suffered an investiture controversy.  In fact, Nilkawt is known for its wonderful stability, founded upon ancient customs.

The Faculty of Official Historians within Nilkawt is responsible for ensuring anyone wishing to learn anything at all within Nilkawt is suitably trained in the history of Nilkawt, both officially and unofficially.  There has never before been an official history of Nilkawt, mainly because no-one within the faculty could agree with anyone else on what an official history should contain.  It is hoped that this year will be different and an official history, whether from the official historians or anyone else, will find its way into the history books of the world.

Visitors to Nilkawt, whether as tourists, students or business persons, are usually interested in visiting the Parliament of Nilkawt, taking a tour of the royal palace, learning about Nilkawtian local government and central government, and about the mission of this digital embassy.

Most potential visitors want to know about the types of visas for which they may be eligible, and whether their visit will coincide with ceremonies associated with the Order of the Charter or those of any other Nilkawtian traditions.

In its democratic pursuit of openness, the Nilkawtian government seeks to ensure the selection processes for allowing foreigners to enter Nilkawt are as fair as all the other selection processes within Nilkawt.

Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, no government, individual or institution, anywhere in the world, is able to guide the selection processes pursued by Nilkawtian historians.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

A Beautiful Political System

Anyone in Nilkawt, if eligible, is permitted to sit in the parliament at any time of their own choosing.  It is, therefore, unnecessary for Nilkawtians to vote for or against their own parliamentarians.  They are, however, most welcome to vote for or against policies, legislation and various expressions of bad manners.

Parliaments are places of theory.  Governments are places of practice.  Policy proposals, debates on those proposals, and the development of legislative measures are all parliamentary pursuits.  Governments are meant to put legislation into practice, hence the difference in purpose between parliaments and governments, at least in Nilkawt.

Whenever and wherever there are grievances amongst the populace of Nilkawt, citizens are permitted to participate in parliament themselves.  They may do so at any time of the day or night, on any day of the year, should they wish to do so directly.  They may also do so indirectly.

In any truly democratic society, there are many freely and formally constituted clubs, societies and other associations.  There are also the usual friendships groups, but not necessarily the usual family groups.

In the clubs, societies and associations of Nilkawt, members vote for representatives to go to parliament on behalf of their group.  The same applies within companies and other forms of business.  It is why the Parliament of Nilkawt is so pleasantly interesting to visitors.  It is also why visitors have been supplied with their own Nilkawtian parliamentary chamber, for training purposes.

Grievances about legislation are, therefore, the responsibility of the Nilkawtian parliament, primarily.  This is why forming a government in Nilkawt never involves most parliamentarians or other ordinary citizens at all.

In fact, all full citizens of Nilkawt are regarded as parliamentarians whether they have ever been in parliament or not.  There is, in view of the above, no unfair lobbying within Nilkawt.

Further information


Election results

Independent Commissioners for Free and Fair Elections

Selection processes

Office of Electoral Progress