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|“||Micronational organizations are doomed to fail in a community where people are less and less micronationalists and more and more bickering children who whine about almost anything.||”|
—On micronational organizations and the community, June 2011
Heinrich "Henry" Simon Schneider OBS (born 26 November 1993) is a former Director of the St.Charlian Observer and a former St.Charlian politician, who wrote on the Café Riche and The Economist columns.
He served as Minister of Public Education and University during the Alvisi Administration and as Vice Secretary-General of the National Party of St.Charlie. Schneider was the second longest-serving Member of Parliament, having served from 5 January 2009 to 31 October 2011, for a total of 1029 days.
A member of the National Party of St.Charlie since November 2008, serving as a close aide to Secretary-General Alexander Reinhardt and playing a central role in the November Revolution, Schneider was promoted to Vice Secretary-General of the NPSC in January 2009 and served as Minister of Economic Affairs, Secretary of the Treasury and NPSC Member of Parliament during the First Reinhardt Administration.
Following the 2010 General Elections he was reconfirmed as MP, but served instead as Minister of Home Affairs throughout the Second Reinhardt Administration. After the defeat of the NPSC by the St.Charlian Socialist Party in the 2011 General Elections, Schneider lost his unofficial title of Deputy Prime Minister and was transferred to head the Ministry of Public Education and University, while once again retaining his seat as NPSC MP.
On 31 October 2011, he resigned from all of his political positions due to university work and his frustration with the Government's inactivity and failure to address the irregularities carried out by the Socialist Party during the 2011 General Elections.
Schneider's involvement with St.Charlie commenced in late 2008, when Alexander Reinhardt informed him of the situation in the Kingdom of St.Charlie and his plan to overthrow the monarchy. Schneider was enthusiastic about the idea and immediately offered his help, serving as a close aid to Reinhardt and taking part in the capture of the Royal Palace during the November Revolution.
Following the establishment of the Federal Republic, on 5 January 2009 he was nominated Minister of Economic Affairs, Secretary of the Treasury, Governor of the Federal Bank and Member of Parliament. On 21 January, in the wake of the Branson Act, he was made Vice-Secretary of the NPSC.
Schneider was placed in charge of the St.Charlian economy for the year 2009, a considerable challenge given the world economic downturn which had started in late 2008. Because of academic constraints, Schneider's involvement was initially limited, and the public deficit soared. In late March, after an emergency meeting with the Prime Minister, a plan was drafted to restore a positive value to the growth index and curtail the deficit. During the school's MYP Fair in April, the plan was successfully put in action: with a combination of selling of St. Charlian products and donations from the public, the deficit was eliminated altogether and the government's income increased largely.
Schneider himself told the St.Charlian Observer in an interview on the day: "We made a total of thirty-five pounds through passports and pianetas that were sold to collectioners. The amount gained was enough for resetting the St.Charlian national debt." He also anticipated a second sale, which was never carried out.
Schneider continued to micro-manage the economy throughout the summer, selling off memorabilia and fostering donations while in holiday in Italy. The economy then halted its growth in early September, due to Schneider's school-related inactivity, and entered a period of stagnation. To restore growth in the final quarter, Schneider organised a Christmas dinner while in Italy which was attended by 14 people and raised enough money to close the financial year with a GDP of almost €100.
For his exceptional work, Schneider, already an Officer of the Order of the Blue Star, was made Commander by Prime Minister Reinhardt. He will be remembered for his elimination of a budget amounting to 27% of GDP, the enforcing of the first micronational tax (Extraordinary Donation) and for achieving one of the highest growth indexes of any micro or macro nation.
|“|| Having started with a budget deficit of €25, over the next 11 months me and many other St. Charlians worked hard to achieve the aim of reconstructing our nation. Through the help of a notophiliac economy, the first ever micronational tax, a managerial approach to micronational economics and selfless donations, we can now say to have accomplished our mission: a quick curtailing of the debt, a vigorous economic growth and a GDP coming close to €100; all at a time of a great global crisis and recession.
I would like to finish by thanking all the St. Charlians and foreigners that with their amazing work have contributed greatly to this micronational miracle. Every person who has played a role in this grand adventure can say to have completely fulfilled the St. Charlian motto:
Auferstanden Aus Ruinen - Reborn from our Ruins.
—Schneider in his official St. Charlian Budget 2009
On 7 January 2010, Schneider was reconfirmed as an MP for the NPSC but was instead nominated Minister of Home Affairs, succeeding Mohamad Osman. His predecessor, Athlon Strauss, inherited Schneider's previous positions, although to this day the latter remains the de facto Manager of the Federal Vault. He remained inactive until 25 April 2010, when he joined the St. Charlian Forums.
On 17 May, the St.Charlian Parliament voted on the "St.Charlian Police and MIB Reform Bill" with 6 yeas, 1 nay and 1 abstention. The bill was presented on 27 April and was aimed at reforming the roles of the Ministry of Home Affairs and of Defense, in particular concerning the St.Charlian Police and the MIB. The reform bill transferred jurisdiction of the St. Charlian Police from the Ministry of Defense to that of Home Affairs, appointed Schneider himself as High Commissioner and suppressed the MIB in peace time, to be reactivated in time of National Alert. It also provided for a "citizen's list", containing private data, to be stored in a safe portal in a centralised fashion with the Home Affairs Ministry responsible.
On 13 May, Schneider submitted another bill, dealing with the procedures to enter the Federal Republic. The bill was voted on by the St. Charlian Parliament on 23 May with 8 yeas and 0 nays. The bill clearly set out the procedures and steps required to become part of the Republic by creating the entities of Territories as a first step to federationship, the distinct Permanent Territories to enable sovereign micronations to affiliate themselves with St. Charlie and instituted the St.Charlian Commonwealth as a grouping of the Republic and any Territories.
Following the passing of his second bill, Schneider, on behalf of its whole population, filed a formal petition to the Parliament to request Territorial status for a plot of land of 200m2 with the name of Royal Beresford. On 26 May, with 8 yeas and 0 nays, the Parliament voted in favour of the new Territory.
Between the 25th and 26th of May, two new bills were jointly presented by Schneider and Foreign Affairs Ministers Lunam to the Parliament: one regulating the process of citizenship and the other proposing a complete reform of the electoral system.
Between the 25th and 29th of July, Schneider attended the St.Charlie Expo 2010, held in District where he actively contributed to the many discussions taking place. He was the chief mind behind the "2011 Budget", an ensemble of economic activities to be undertaken in the next legislature by the Treasury, and the creation of the St.Charlian Stock Market. He was responsible for the idea of stocks as well as the various regulations to avoid collusions and speculation.
|“||I say it without fake modesty or deliriums of omnipotence, the 2011 Budget and the Financial Reform are my creatures at 90%||”|
—Heinrich Schneider while discussing the two initiatives in the St.Charlian Parliament
Schneider was also the ideator of the proposal to block double-citizenships in St.Charlie and played a fundamental role in the structuring of the "Education Reform". In the latter, the details of the Tor Pendente State University were hammered out and Schneider was nominated Senior Micronational Economics Lecturer.
Of the various bills voted upon in the 12 September session of the Parliament, 6 out of 8 had Schneider's signature on them. These included modifications to the afore mentioned Citizenship Act, the Electoral Reform Act 2010, the request of Federation status for Royal Beresford, a Privacy Act which regulates citizens' sensitive data and the use of wire-tapping techniques as well as a Federalism Bill aimed at de-centralising some of the decision-making processes from the central government to the federations. He also jointly presented a Commonwealth Bill with Alexander Reinhardt which is intended to regulate the St.Charlian Commonwealth until a multi-lateral charter is written.
On 18 October, two new bills proposed by Schneider were approved unanimously by the Parliament: the Defense and Armed Forces Reform Act (jointly with Ministers Lunam and Von Sternberg) and the Ministerial Reform Act. The former abolished the Navy, Border Troops and Federal Police and transformed the SCAF into a investigative and policing force, along with reduced military capabilities. The latter redistributed various tasks such as citizenship requests from the Foreign Affairs Ministry to the Home Affairs Ministry, and restructured the Secretary of the Treasury to give it more independence and dividing its operations between Euro and Pianeta.
The following days saw Schneider engaging in more legislative activity: on 20 October he jointly presented the Pianeta Reform Bill with Athlon Strauss, which strengthened the Pianeta within the Commonwealth and laid the basis for a monetary union in the Commonwealth. On 26 October, he concluded his 2010 activity by proposing two bills: one to tighten the existing privacy law and a second to create a functioning copyright and patent system; both in response to the St.Charlie-Atlantis crisis.
With 11 bills to his name in 2010, an average of 2.2 bills per month of activity, Schneider was St.Charlie's most prolific legislator.
Electoral crisis 2011
Shortly after the St.Charlian General Elections of 2011, Schneider found himself at the centre of a crisis that swept over St.Charlie due to his position as head of the Home Affairs Electoral Commission. Following a report from a citizen, Schneider investigated irregularities that were alleged to have occurred in the District North constituency, home to Magnus de Armis. On 3 January, the report was made public and an article published on the Observer, detailing the absence of Citizenship forms for some twenty citizens of District North and reporting Schneider's request to De Armis to provide them within a week. The Minister also stated that he wished simply for "clear and transparent voting".
The news of the report however, was ill-received by De Armis, who openly challenged Schneider in a private parliamentarian conversation, accusing him of acting with the interest of the NPSC in mind and of acting undemocratically by requesting Parliament to postpone its first meeting until the issue was resolved. This caused Schneider to publish an open letter to De Armis where he firmly denied the allegations and clearly set out his motivations for the report. A second Commission was established with Schneider, Nicolò Alvisi and Alexander Reinhardt and released its findings on 17 February, revealing how the irregularities were more profound, as Article 4.1.1. of the Constitution required citizens to be registered 180 days before voting. Although Greater Ridgeway, Tor Pendente and District (North) were all supposed to hold recounts, only the former did so, under Schneider's supervision.
The Alvisi administration
On 8 January 2011, Schneider was nominated Minister of Public Education and University by newly-elected Prime Minister Nicolò Alvisi. 2011 was a challenging year for Schneider academically, as he was completing his final year of high school and his activity suffered accordingly. The only significant piece of legislation to bear his signature was a series of amendments to his "Entry and Admission Act" dated 24 February, which removed the intermediate step of becoming a Territory before becoming a Federation and established Territories as St.Charlian plots of land with no population. Talking to the St.Charlian Observer, Schneider enthusiastically stated: "It’s an extremely important step forward in shaping an effective and functioning Commonwealth. With this bill under our belt, we can finally finish the Charter that St.Charlie, Landashir and Tiana are working together to write."
On 16 May, Alexander Reinhardt stated at a press conference that he would "not run for the 2012 General Elections" in order to promote "other candidates". He also confirmed that Schneider was the front runner to replace him and said: "He was always behind me and is able to lead St.Charlie. I’m sure that, as Prime Minister, he would do a wonderful job. His past work as Deputy Prime Minister shows how committed he is"
The middle of 2011 saw Schneider participate in two important events. Between 29 July and 3 August, Schneider, Reinhardt and three other citizens met in District for the first NPSC National Conference, where the electoral campaign for the 2012 elections and an "Education Reform" were discussed and fleshed out. On 24 August, Schneider joined Reinhardt in forming the St.Charlian delegation at the 2011 Intermicronational Summit, although his involvement was limited.
Following his resignation from all political offices, Schneider pursued a career as a journalist in the Observer and campaigned against government inactivity. On the third anniversary of St.Charlie he wrote a poignant article criticizing the Socialist government and describing 2011 as St.Charlie's "lost year". In January, he was promoted to Director and established a second column, Café Riche, to discuss St.Charlian politics. On 15 January he published another article critical of the Socialist government, which led Alvisi to reply by sending a letter to the Observer.
The letter claimed Schneider had "enjoyed levelling accusations against institutional figures" in an "unjustifiable, folly-driven charge", had "stabbed [him] in the back and used defamatory language" and that his resignation letter was "pathetic and melodramatic". He also claimed that his government had in fact done much work and criticized Schneider for doing nothing on the subject of Educational Reform. This attracted a harsh response from Schneider, who accused Alvisi of "embracing denialism on an epic scale" and attempting to rewrite the facts, as well as failing to rebut the many criticisms laid against him.
Although favorable to the entry of Kozuc and Egtavia to St.Charlie, Schneider warned of the serious implications this would have and suggested strengthening the Commonwealth to handle similar applicants in the future. He restated his opinion a few months later in the wake of several Federationship applications. Throughout time he has continuously criticized government inactivity and even took matters in his own hands by proposing a draft for a new constitution.
Schneider regards himself a centrist liberal with right-wing tendencies. While believing in free markets, free trade, economic liberalization and a small, efficient state he is very critical of modern finance and the neo-classical school; thus placing himself as a moderate New Keynesian. Schneider believes in strong law and order and an assertive foreign and defense policy, while also being a committed environmentalist and an ardent supporter of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
Although he is not a left-winger, he is firmly anti-Berlusconian, and therefore strongly supports the Italian centre-left Democratic Party. In the UK, he supports the coalition government and its plans for deficit reduction and overhauling of the state. He is a staunch opposer of any type of political extremism and openly despises both fascism and communism.
Within St. Charlie, he has much to account for the more liberal stance of the National Party, but has spoken out in response to those who have said the name sounds like that of a fascist party:
|“||People should read the name better. "National" is not the same as "Nationalist". Our party has always aimed for national unity rather than for a fascist dictatorship. We started out as a movement for freedom and liberation, and we still hold those ideals to heart.||”|
Since the early days of St. Charlie, Schneider was always viewed as an economist first and a politician second. His year-long posting as Secretary of the Treasury and his management of the St. Charlian economy are bound to leave a distinct image of Schneider, even after his shuffling to the Home Affairs. Schneider was also one of the "Big Five", a group of highly influential politicians in the Republic's first year.
His writings for the St.Charlian Observer have also brought Schneider to wider prominence as a micronational commentator. His most important articles have been on micronational war and micronational organizations, detailing the idiocy of the former and the tendency to failure of the latter.. Both articles received many positive comments and sentiments of intellectual support from various micronationalists.
Schneider graduated Caroline Charlotte Military Academy on 2 July with a degree in Advanced Military Tactics and History. Although he received full points in the theoretical part of the exam, he was unable to complete the pratical part due to technical problems and was therefore only eligible for the standard degree. Once the Tor Pendente State University opens, Schneider is set to teach Micronational Economics.
Awards and decorations
Heinrich Schneider was an active member of the cabinet since his nomination to Secretary of the Treasury. With his great ideas and spirit of collaboration, Schneider made St.Charlie a better place. (Translated from Italian, Albo dell'Ordine della Stella Blu)
|Preceded by:||Director of the St.Charlian Observer||Succeded by:|
|Nick Maggiore||13 Jan 2012 - 2 Oct 2012||Alexander Reinhardt|
|Preceded by:||Minister of Public Education and University||Succeded by:|
|Fabiana Gallo della Loggia (as Minister of Culture and Education)||8 Jan 2011 - 31 Oct 2011||Fabiana Gallo della Loggia (ad interim)|
|Preceded by:||Minister of Home Affairs||Succeded by:|
|Mohamad Osman||7 Jan 2010 - 8 Jan 2011||Magnus de Armis (As Minister for Federal and Judicial Affairs)|
|Preceded by:||Secretary of the Treasury and Minister of Economic Affairs||Succeded by:|
|Athlon Strauss||5 Jan 2009 - 7 Jan 2010||Athlon Strauss|
|Preceded by:||Vice-Secretary of the NPSC||Succeded by:|
|Alexander Reinhardt||21 Jan 2009 - 31 Oct 2011||Patryk Adam Bronisz|
- The St.Charlian Observer: The Economist: Why micronational organizations fail - 23 Jun 2011
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Dimissioni - 31 Oct 2011
- Official St.Charlie site: History
- St.Charlian Budget 2009 - 26 Apr 2010
- The St.Charlian Observer: Schneider: "We've shrugged off the recession!"
- The St.Charlian Observer: OBS welcomes new members - 3 Mar 2009
- St.Charlie Official Forum: Albo dell'Ordine della Stella Blu (Italian)
- Official St.Charlie Forum: Presentazione II° Governo Reinhardt (Italian) - 7 Jan 2010
- Official St.Charlie Forum: Salve cari compagni! (Italian) - 25 Apr 2010
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Regulation concerning reforms of the St.Charlian Police and the MIB - 27 Apr 2010
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Regulations concerning the process of admission and entry to the Republic - 13 May 2010
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Richiesta di Status Territoriale per Royal Beresford (Italian) - 25 May 2010
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Regulations concerning Citizenship and Immigration - 25 May 2010
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Disposizioni in materia di riforma del sistema elettorale e circa la costituzione del Parlamento San Charliano (Italian) - 26 May 2010
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Post-Esposizione, parliamo dei frutti (Italian) - 5 Aug 2011
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Richiesta di Status di Federazione per Royal Beresford (Italian) - 26 May 2010
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Regulations concerning privacy, wire-tapping and the management of personal data - 6 Jun 2010
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Regulations concerning federalism - 28 Jun 2010
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Disposizioni in materia del Commonwealth St.Charliano (Italian) - 7 Sep 2010
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Disposizioni in materia di Difesa e di Forze Armate (Italian) - 1 Oct 2010
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Disposizioni in materia di riforma dei Ministeri degli Interni e degli Esteri e della Segreteria del Tesoro (Italian) - 29 Sep 2010
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Disposizioni in materia di riforma del Pianeta St.Charliano (Italian) - 20 Oct 2010
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Modifica alla legge "Disposizioni in materia di privacy" (Italian) - 26 Oct 2010
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Disposizioni in materia di copyright (Italian) - 26 Oct 2010
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Bills approved by the St.Charlian Parliament
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Problemi Elettorali (Italian) - 1 Jan 2011
- The St.Charlian Observer: Uncertainty on elections - 3 Jan 2011
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Lettera Aperta al Sig. de Armis (Italian) - 5 Jan 2011
- The St.Charlian Observer: BREAKING: Parliamentary Electoral Commission releases findings - 17 Feb 2011
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Risultato Riconteggi Elezioni Generali (Italian) - 7 Mar 2011
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Primo Governo Alvisi - First Administration Alvisi [ITA-ENG] - 8 January 2011
- The St.Charlian Observer: Reinhardt "not running for 2012 General Elections" - 16 May 2011
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Modifica alla legge "Disposizioni in materia del processo d' ammissione e d' entrata alla Repubblica" (Italian) - 24 Feb 2011
- The St.Charlian Observer: Commonwealth reforms in order to simplify structure - 23 Jun 2011
- The St.Charlian Observer: 2011 Expo confirmed for mid-August - 21 Jul 2011
- The St.Charlian Observer: The Economist: The lost year - 23 Nov 2011
- The St.Charlian Observer: Café Riche: Welcome to a new Observer - 13 Jan 2012
- The St.Charlian Observer: Café Riche: The triumph of democracy - 15 Jan 2012
- The St.Charlian Observer: Reinhardt's Corner: Alvisi and the "Je Ne Regrette Rien" - 21 Jan 2012
- The St.Charlian Observer: Café Riche: The Ministry of Truth - 28 Jan 2012
- The St.Charlian Observer: Café Riche: A wave of hope - 20 Apr 2012
- The St.Charlian Observer: Café Riche: Hold on just a sec - 18 Jun 2012
- The St.Charlian Observer: Café Riche: All quiet on the Western Front - 24 May 2012
- The St.Charlian Observer: Café Riche: Back to the basics - 5 May 2012
- Official St.Charlian Observer Twitter account
- Official St.Charlie Forums: MPC - 17 Apr 2012
- The St.Charlian Observer: The Economist: The idiocy of war - 30 Sep 2011
- The St.Charlian Observer: The Economist: The idiocy of war, Comments - 30 Sep 2010
- The St.Charlian Observer: The Economist: Why micronational organizations fail, Comments - 23 Jun 2011
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Qualche domanda... (Italian) - 22 May 2010