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User:Will Campbell/History of Glastieve Sandbox
The history of Glastieve is well-recorded and complex. The formal political history of Glastieve began with the Glastieve Cultural Association (GCA), which existed between February and November 2017, but the history of Glastieven culture, including preceding political entities such as the Kingdom of Skovaji, stretches back much further. The issue of Glastieven history is complicated by the fact that, between February 2017 and January 2018, the nation of Glastieve was officially considered to be equivalent to the "cultural group" of Acteriendia, which has written records confirming its existence as early as 2014, and a body of stories and characters known as Glastieven mythology has existed since 2012. This article only deals with the history of Glastieve following the establishment of the GCA, mirroring official Government policy since January 2018 which no longer considers Acteriendia officially linked to Glastieve.
It has traditionally been a contentious topic of political debate in Glastieve as to whether or not the country is a formalisation of the cultural group, which would make it appropriate to consider the history of Acteriendia 2014-17 part of the history of Glastieve, or a micronation project with no control over or official link to the cultural group. Until recently, the Government’s official position was that Glastieve as a nation was equivalent to Acteriendia, but this was changed following extensive campaigning by Robert Catcheside and John Matthews that led to a "severing of official ties" between the two entities on 16 January. However, a number of the traditions and observances of Glastieve remain based on those of Acteriendia, and the GCA, which was considered under its own jurisprudence to be a formalisation of the cultural group and was formed as a direct result of the group’s politics, is still recognised both legally and spiritually as a direct antecedent to the Republic of Glastieve.
The GCA, which was established as a competitor to an entity loosely known as "the Group" that was seen as controlling "the superstructure," which was the term used to describe a fusion of three previously distinct cultural groups, and also as a simulationist micronation project for fun, was a body that shared some features with a sovereign state but never declared independence from the UK. The GCA pretended to be a sovereign state in the MicroWiki Community in a whitewash known as the Sovereignty Retcon. The superstructure collapsed following the April 2017 controversy and the GCA was briefly dissociated from any cultural group, although it started to form its own cultural group that was quickly identified as a successor to the Acteriendia that had existed before around August 2016. Although the GCA was continually rocked by predictions of the collapse of the cultural group, worries over a lack of organic culture and a number of destabilising political scandals, it managed to sustain itself with a high level of activity until a series of bitter controversies, both domestic and foreign, and an ill-fated attempt to increase interest (Project Zeta) led to the organisation’s collapse the day after an independence referendum. This referendum was used a day after the GCA’s collapse as a mandate to form the Glastieve Planning Board, which planned for a new Republic of Glastieve to be declared on 1 January.
Immediately after its declaration, the new Glastieve was very similar to the GCA in governmental structure and in political character. The early Glastieve suffered from divisions fostered by disputes over philosophy and continual claims by Robert Catcheside that it was "killing the cultural group." As a result of these fears and other internal pressures, the association between the cultural group and the country was officially ended on 16 January and a process of reforms to the Government, starting with the January 2018 Cabinet reshuffle on 17 January, aimed to create a new foundation for the country based on increased formality, efficiency and fostering a sense of dignity and gravitas surrounding the state that would make participation more enjoyable.
- 1 Glastieve Cultural Association (February to November 2017)
- 1.1 Foundation Period (March to May 2017)
- 1.2 Partisan Period
- 1.2.1 Matthewsgate controversy and related events
- 1.2.2 Following that
- 1.2.3 Second Cabinet reshuffle
- 1.3 Holiday Period
- 1.4 Reformation Period (September to November 2017)
- 2 Glastieve Planning Board (November and December 2017)
- 3 Republic of Glastieve (January 2018 to present)
- 3.1 Early Independence Period
- 3.1.1 Acteriendia and New Secessionism crisis and related events
- 3.1.2 Other events between 1 January and 8 February
- 3.2 Current Period
- 3.1 Early Independence Period
Glastieve Cultural Association (February to November 2017)
The GCA was formed as a result of politics in the Acteriendian cultural group that would, until January 2018, be considered an official part of the country's history. Acteriendia, which had enjoyed a cultural golden age that peaked in Summer 2015 and started to end in Spring 2016, was in Feburary 2017 known loosely as the "Chill Group." It had joined with two other larger groups in Summer 2016 to form the superstructure, which led to exclusion of some people, such as Michael Howe and John Matthews, who were not as connected with the politics of the superstructure. Genevieve Unak, Robert Catcheside and Will Campbell were all at various points connected ti "the Group," a poorly-defined set of people that was dominated by Elaa Fursman and people from her cultural group, including later GCA members Cassandra Bellingham and Charlotte Bourner. The third cultural group is not especially relevant, although a friend of Unak's, Arissa Wilde, was from this group before it started to disengage from the superstructure. By intertia, the superstructure was starting to fall apart and the Group was itself being defined as a cultural group, but this led to increasing dissatisfaction among Campbell and Lynch with what they felt was an erosion of the weakened identity of the Chill Group; likewise, Howe still believed in the integrity of the Chill Group against the weakening superstructure and was increasingly uncomfortable with "external" interference from the Group over which he had no influence.
Meanwhile, Fursman and Bourner were becoming increasingly intolerant of Unak's status on the edge of the Group, which was starting to "cause problems." Partially as an attempt to secure Campbell's uncertain status as a member of the group, and partially to help Fursman and Bourner remove Unak from the picture (as he felt she was stopping him from becoming properly involved and was standing between him and them), Catcheside suggested to Fursman that Campbell could be drafted in to "politely get rid of" Unak. Campbell accepted the offer, partially in order to protect Unak from the alternative and partially to become more involved with the Group itself, and persuaded Unak to leave the Group willingly, which would be the start of his reputation for spin. However, he felt uncomfortable with the way that the Group had been taking control of the cultural groups, whilst also approving of the strengthening of cross-group ties and the increasing trend towards self-governance and a common identity.
His solution was to create an organisation called the Acteriendia Cultural Association (ACA) on 15 February. This organisation's ruling body - the Cabinet - would be composed of "ministers," who would collectively perform the same role as the Group had done. The organisation was a popular idea with Lynch, Unak and Howe, who felt forced out of the politics of the Group, and also saw Catcheside and Fursman interestedly join. Seperately, in order to allow him to return to the MicroWiki Community without the negative reputation of Kerry Stapleton or Skovaji, Campbell started a micronation, which a number of the same people joined. The name ‘Glastieve’ (an amalgamation of the Irish place name roots glas 'green' and tieve 'hillside,' themselves anglicisations of the original Irish glass and taobh) was one of several suggested, and was selected to represent the nation in the community. The territory was also selected for Glastieve a priori, as it had been the territory used by Skovaji. On 23 February, the ACA and Glastieve (the micronation) were merged into the Glastieve Cultural Association (GCA). The GCA was to be a non-sovereign, non-independent government, similar in principle to an American domestic dependent nation, with a formal territory but also the capacity to enforce its laws to its members at all times and in any locations.
The GCA first met in person on 23 February (when according to the later Sovereignty Retcon they declared independence) and a group chat, called the Glastieve Planning Board, was created on Skype to plan for the organisation's joining the MicroWiki Community. Roles were assigned quickly, although Howe briefly threatened to leave because his role as Minister for Defence and the Judiciary did not lend him day-to-day control over the armed forces (he claimed that he had been misled before agreeing to select it); Robert Catcheside was the Minister for Defence and the Judiciary, Will Campbell was the Minister for Media and Economics, Aaron Lynch was the Minister for Governmental Administration, Ella Fursman was the Minister for Education and Recruitment, Charlotte Bourner was the Minister for National Identity, Insignia and Language, Arissa Wilde was the Senior Judge of the Supreme Court, Genevieve Unak was the Field Marshal of the Armies and Michael Howe was the Minister for Infrastructure, Transportation and Geographical Affairs.
In the group chat, Charlotte Bourner proposed a design for the GCA's flag and coat of arms, both of which were positively received by other members of the group chat. An alternative flag, created by Howe and seconded by Campbell, was defeated in a vote in favour of Bourner’s design. A second version of her flag, which had slightly darker colours and replaced a yellow star with a golden one, was created by Howe and was approved by the group chat to replace the brighter one, as it "looked more serious." Campbell and Catcheside also set up an online blockchain currency using a service called Colu, and suggested several names for the currency, including "Glasts" and "Mhórle." Jay B'lard suggested the name "Luach," an Irish word meaning "value," and this was selected to be the name for the currency.
Foundation Period (March to May 2017)
The first period of the GCA's history is often termed the "Foundation Period." When the history of the GCA was first divided into sections during the early Partisan Period, the Foundation Period was referred to as the "Acteriendian Period" and was defined as being from the GCA's establishment to the May 2017 GCA Cabinet reshuffle. The word "Acteriendia," which at the time was used not to refer to a specific cultural group but to the entire set of three cultural groups that was dominated by the Group, was first used in a Glastieven context towards the end of the Foundation Period in connection to an election where "Acteriendianism" was described as support for Cassandra Bellingham, who was a member of the Group but was less skilled than the opposing candidate, Will Allen. This dichotomy between supporting the GCA as an independent entity and as a realisation of what was then termed "Acteriendia" was seen as having been realised in favour of domination by the Group in the Foundation period but, after the reshuffle, having moved in the other direction. The discrepancy between the active and inactive ministers and the political nature of conflict in the early GCA was blamed on its being too attached to friendship group politics. The term "Acteriendian Period" started to fall out of favour during the Holiday Period. "Acteriendia" had come to refer to the group known loosely then as the "Chill Group," and, ironically, the GCA in the past had been less "Acteriendian," as it had been dominated at least in part by Fursman and Bellingham's side of the wider friendship group and was subject to, rather than influential in, group politics. The term "Foundation Period," first suggested by Daniel Carter (at the time using the fake name "Tom McMillan") was used in official histories from mid-August onwards.
The GCA, once established, may have spelled the end for the Group and its hegemonic sway over three separate friendship groups. With the exception of Arissa Wilde, who was relatively inactive, and Tamara Williams, who was near-completely inactive, there were no representatives from the "third" cultural group led by Freddie Hill and his associates. Wilde and Williams, in addition to being inactive, were friends of Unak's, and started to become disassociated from their previous cultural group over the Foundation Period. On the other side, Campbell and Fursman started to pit the Cabinet and the Group against one another, and individuals who were involved with both, such as Catcheside or Bourner, increasingly felt pressured sides. Although this never culminated in an argument, it helped to define Acteriendia against Fursman and Belligham's cultural group, which would mean that when the Group eventually did collapse in April, the cleavage lines were already well established, with the GCA providing the main set of traditions and culture defining the new Acteriendia. In promoting its politicised image of Glastieven culture and in being used as a knight in the power games being played by the Group, the GCA over the foundation period created a new, distinctly Glastieven, cultural group that would eventually break free from the Group and govern itself entirely on its own terms.
Initial activity in the GCA
The GCA initially planned to join the MicroWiki Community on 1 March. The Sovereignty Retcon stated that on 1 March, the "Republic of Glastieve" declared independence; this declaration, and the supposed in-person meetup to sign the declaration, never happened. The plan to join the community was delayed by certain tasks not having been completed and it was initially suggested that it should be moved back to 1 April, however, Will Campbell persuaded the Cabinet to allow him to announce the "Republic of Glastieve" on the MicroWiki Forums on 4 March. He decided not to use the fake name "Kerry Stapleton," instead opting to use "Mark Kavanah" (a name taken from Glastieven mythology). The GCA internally referred to Campbell as both "Kerry Stapleton" and "Mark Kavanah" - normally the second in official documents, so for clarity that name is used in this article where it was used by Campbell. Kavanah made the following post on the MicroWiki Forums on 4 March:
Hi! My name is Mark Kavanah, the Minister for Media and Economics in the Glastieven Government (and the lucky Minister chosen to launch our nation on MicroWiki). To start out introducing our nation, I'm gonna fill in the list suggested by Kossian Ministry of Culture -
Government Type: The eight-member Cabinet controls the Executive, and some powers are dissolved to other departments - for more information take a look at the Ministerial Responsibilities Act 2017 (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eRxv...sp=sharing), and for a little more information on what each branch of the government does, take a look at GovernmentOnline (https://glastieve.wixsite.com/governmentonline)
Your name and style of address: Mark Kavanah MoC, Minister for Media and Economics (MoC stands for "Member of Cabinet) [lack of closing quote reproduced sic erat scriptum]
Population: I'm unsure of the exact population, but there are twenty people involved with the micronation, twelve of whom contribute daily/weekly, and ten of whom have Skype accounts
Leader/Head of State/Head of Government: As the Ministerial Responsibilities Act 2017 explains, the eight cabinet members are equal - although (off the record) John Mathews, Minister for Governmental Administration, and myself do most of the organisation
Foundation: We started on the 25th February 2017
Languages: English, and Evonian (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gLgI...sp=sharing)
Whew - that was a long list, M. Campos. Aside from the above, Glastieve is ranked, according to the "Linden's System of Classification" as a 4.2 (5, 5, 5, 1, 5). As the Minister for Media and Economics, I'd also like to mention a couple of things I'm personally pleased with - we have a blockchain-based crytocurrency called the Luach, and you can set up your own custom wallet for free, with an automatic sign-in, at https://wallets.colu.co/luach (this only works with Google Chrome); and we have a Stock Exchange and economic news platform at (https://glastieve.wixsite.com/stock-exchange).
Happy to answer any questions, either below or in PM :)
As the wording suggests, Kavanah's initial intention was to imply that he had not previously been involved with the MicroWiki Community. However, the micronationalist Henry Twain recognised the name as Kavanah had changed his Skype account (which had previously been called "Kerry Stapleton") to use the name "Mark Kavanah" before having left several micronational group chats in preparation for the GCA's rejoining the community. Twain leaked this information to several major micronational group chats, and on 5 March, Kavanah was forced to make a second post on the forums explaining that he was the same person as Kerry Stapleton. This would be the first of several incidents that would lead to Twain having a poor reputation in the GCA, with future diplomat Jay Ballard, who at the time was a civil servant, being a particularly vocal critic of him in the Glastieven group chats. On 6 March, the GCA became a member state of the Micronational Virtual Football Federation (MVFF), but would never be a particularly active participant in the organisation.
Despite the minor point of controversy surrounding Kavanah's attempt to have a "fresh start" in the community, the "Republic of Glastieve's" ascension to the community was seen as an early success. In the first Cabinet meeting on 9 March, the Cabinet passed two important pieces of legislation: the Ministerial Responsibilities Act 2017 and the Cabinet Procedure Act 2017. The Ministerial Responsibilities Act established the powers held by individual ministers and the powers held by the Cabinet collectively, clarifying that the Cabinet was a corporation aggregate that could only act as a united entity. Importantly, the Act also prohibited individuals holding more than one post in the government; this was referred to as the "Duality of Posts Precedent" and was considered a cornerstone of early Glastieven jurisprudence. The Cabinet Procedure Act established standing orders for cabinet meetings, and also provided a loophole in its wording that would allow documents to be designated as "classified" by specially-created Cabinet committees (it would later be established that this loophole was deliberately included by Kavanah, who drafted the legislation, in order to facilitate the Spingate controversy). In the same meeting, a ceremonial vote was held to make official the flag and crest that were already being used by the association - the darker version of Bourner's design created by Howe, and the original crest created by Bourner. It was expected that both of these would be unanimously passed, but Howe, in protest against the choice not to use his flag design and his opinion that the simplified crest was a "national embarrassment," voted against both motions.
On 16 March, a quorum of only five Cabinet members met. This would be typical of a distinction between the "active ministers" (Catcheside, Kavanah, Unak and Howe) and the rest of the Cabinet, who were active in the group chat but poor at attending meetings. The Cabinet unanimously passed the Planning Permission Act 2017, drafted by Howe, and created the Glastieve Shared Google Drive. Additionally, Kavanah informally sought feedback for a new design of the coat of arms, which had been created by graphic designer João Gustavo. Recording of the GCA's history was poor in this period. Political maneuvering in the group and informal work to develop the organisation were both constantly present, often in group chats or at meetups, and were poorly-recorded. Often, this means that official recording of officially recognised events, such as Spingate, seems out of context; however, tensions in the Cabinet and also enthusiastic work on developing the nation's identity and political development as an organisation were both undoubtedly characteristic of the Foundation Period, although they are absent from records.
Between 16 and 23 March, Michael Howe, Mark Kavanah and John Matthews became involved in a dispute, known at the time as "Transitgate-Spingate" and now usually just called either "Spingate" or "the March 2017 controversy." It would be the first of two scandals in Glastieven history officially referred to using the ‘-gate’ suffix, which implies importance, and until around late October 2017, it was acknowledged as one of the most major moments in Glastieven history, although its influence has been debated over time and has been increasingly assessed as less than it was perceived as at the time.
Present-day understanding and analysis of the controversy is damaged by poor-record keeping at the time, as aspects of it rely upon false claims made by John Matthews as part of the inconsistently recorded "unofficial work on Glastieve" that went on between the well-documented Cabinet meetings. The background to the dispute was one of serious tension between Howe and Matthews. Generally, more blame is attributed to the latter, who was perceived as deliberately inciting a response from Howe for his own amusement, although Howe’s angry responses often inflamed the situation and dragged more people into minor disputes, causing them to snowball into more serious conflicts. Both ministers would go on to make attempts to have the other removed from the government, of which Spingate was the first.
On 26 February, three days after the Glastieve micronation was formed and shortly before the nation joined the micronational community, a meeting was held in Exeter, UK to ensure the completion of any tasks that were outstanding before the micronation announced its existence on the MicroWiki forums. At this meeting, Matthews pulled Kavanah aside to present him with an ultimatum: "help me to remove Michael from Glastieve, or I will leave both the micronation and the ACA." Kavanah, hoping to "out-spin" Matthews and resolve the situation to mutual advantage, agreed.
The plan (‘Operation: Transitgate’) was to artificially create the impression of a macronational-esque media storm that could be used to force the resignation of Howe. Although Matthews would be the face of the operation from its cover being blown to Kavanah’s voluntary admission of involvement in early November, Kavanah orchestrated the majority of the plan, although he deliberately designed the documents to appear as though they had been created by Matthews.
The first stage of the operation was to make it illegal to view classified documents, which Kavanah provided through the deliberately misinterpretable wording of the Cabinet Procedure Act (Kavanah told Matthews that this would provide them with safety, although his actual intention was for Howe to find a document labelled as ‘Classified’ in Matthews’ folder and to be more suspicious.) The second was to make it illegal to contract companies to work with the government without permission from the Cabinet. This was in response to an announcement by Howe two days previously that his department was "contracting a private company" called Glastieve Transit, of which he was the CEO. The plan was to, upon making this illegal without Cabinet consent, accuse Howe of disobeying the Cabinet.
However, Kavanah’s plan was different, and he hoped to use "Transitgate" as an opportunity to attack Matthews’ constant lies about DoGA's achievements and staffing, which he was concerned made the GCA appear less serious as the "Republic of Glastieve" in the community. He deliberately tricked Matthews into sending him text messages that admitted to having invented four staff members and several other claims on the website. Matthews also claimed that he had "been to the Microwiki [sic] high court and they will be shutting glastieve [sic] down," as an attempt to prevent Kavanah from leaking the earlier messages. Kavanah compiled a news report that blamed Matthews for attempting to use Transitgate to attack Howe, and claimed that his plan had been to accuse Howe of embezzling funds for his own purposes by "paying" Glastieve Transit. The report drew attention to the irony that Matthews had broken the law to claim salaries for his four workers, but that he was planning to accuse Howe of the same. It also debunked a number of Matthews’ other lies, and referred to the whole dispute as Spingate, technically implicating all three of them.
Calm before the storm
Although its importance has been exaggerated, Spingate was undoubtedly significant in revealing that Kavanah was the de facto primus inter pares of the Cabinet, which put him and Catcheside into a position to juxtapose the Cabinet and the Group as alternative "ruling councils" for the increasingly fractured combination of friendship groups that provided the backdrop for the comparatively peaceful internal politics of the GCA. The period in late March and early April 2017 is referred to as the "calm before the storm," the storm in question being the April 2017 controversy, as despite it being a period of stability and productiveness in the formal records of the GCA, in the history of the cultural group is was the time when the battlefield was being selected for the Group's collapse and the end of the trilateral association between the increasingly incompatible cultural groups. It was no coincidence that Fursman and Bourner, from their own cultural group, and Wilde, from Hill's, were the least active members of the Cabinet.
On 23 March, all of the Cabinet met, primarily to discuss Spingate. The meeting decided that both Matthews and Kavanah were in the wrong, although in reality the ill-feeling would only linger surrounding Matthews. The Department of Media and Economics was given additional powers, including the ability to manage what information the Government published, that were similar to those that would later come under the euphemism of "communications," and Kavanah was encouraged to continue using The Glastieven to "expose lies and duplicity." In addition, the larger quorum voted again on the Planning Permission Act 2017, making a minor amendment to the middle section before voting unanimously to pass it. Finally, Kavanah formally proposed João Gustavo's coat of arms and the Cabinet voted unanimously to adopt it.
Following the failure of an earlier attempt to popularise the use of the Luach, which at the time was a cryptocurrency on a Colu blockchain, on 28 March Mark Kavanah announced that the Department of Media and Economics would look to "revitalise" the economic programme. On the same day, he started the first of several unsuccessful attempts to turn Glastieve into a "community nation," in this instance by creating a page on MicroWikia and by trying unsuccessfully to move the Government's communications from Facebook Messenger to Skype.
The Cabinet meeting scheduled for 30 March was cancelled due to venue unavailability, and the Minister for Governmental Administration John Matthews said that he would not be planning to organise any meetings before 20 April, when the usual venue was next available. This was the start of a brief period between 31 March and 14 April where no history is recorded, which could either be taken as a sign of inactivity or of a lack of recording of non-formal activity in Glastieve. On 14 April, marking the end of this period, Kavanah published a white paper titled "Creating a functional economy in Glastieve," which laid out the principle for an economic model called the Glastiven Model or the Three Pillars Strategy.
On 20 April, the Cabinet met for the final time before the April 2017 controversy and the end of the Foundation Period.
The April 2017 controversy is one of the most important events in the history of Glastieve, but is completely absent from official records. Anecdotal evidence does provide a reasonably clear picture of what may have happened, although contradictions between evidences are frequent.
At 6.32 PM on April 21, Bourner added Kavanah to a chat containing him, Belligham, Bourner and Fursman. The group had a call lasting 1 hour and 45 minutes, with Kavanah then renaming it on the morning of April 22 to "Dumping Rob without destroying everything." Fursman and Kavanah then agreed to found a "Glastieve Secret Service" with Fursman as the Chief and this chatroom as the main venue. Another group call, on 23 April, lasted for two hours and twenty minutes, followed by Kavanah posting "Well we're all f*cked ladies and gentlemen."
On 22 April, Kavanah created a Skype group chat called "Glastieven Lounge" with Howe, Fursman, Ballard, Wilde, Catcheside, Unak and Bourner as members. This chatroom was near-completely inactive, with only Unak, Kavanah and Ballard ever posting and the last message being sent on the afternoon of 23 April.
May 2017 Cabinet reshuffle
On 4 May, the Cabinet met for the first time since the April 2017 controversy. Only Mark Kavanah, Genevieve Unak and William Allen attended the meeting. The absence of Charlotte Bourner and Ella Fursman, who had de facto resigned during the controversy, was to be expected, and Robert Catcheside was ill, making him unable to attend. There was a significant concern that the cultural group had not survived the controversy, and the fall in activity in the GCA showed that it was not strong enough to redefine Acteriendia alone. However, the Chief Constable Tamara Williams was also in attendance, and so was a new governmental recruit, Isabella Wall. Allen and Kavanah proposed using a Cabinet reshuffle to remove the inactive ministers and to help create a new GCA no longer defined by the politics of any cultural group. Unak supported this and after the meeting the support of Howe and Catcheside was secured, with Allen and Kavanah to work together to create a new Cabinet. Later that afternoon, Kavanah published a news story on The Glastieven's website titled "Allen and Kavanah announce Cabinet reshuffle ‘before the end of May’."
Without warning, Allen resigned on 5 May, saying he would "do a sh*t" job as the Minister for Governmental Administration and also claiming that the GCA was "a little stupid." He informed Kavanah of his resignation via Michael Howe, and Kavanah secured the support of Howe, Catcheside and Unak to appoint Unak the second reshuffle advisor. In addition, Daniel Carter showed an interest in joining the GCA, using the fake name "Tom McMillan." The GCA internally referred to Carter as McMillan, so for clarity that name is used in this article where it was used by Carter. Unak and Kavanah threw away the plans drafted under Allen, opting for a more complete overhaul of the Cabinet, the details of which were released on 8 May.
Kavanah, in his last official action as the Minister for Media and Economics, on 7 May appointed Jay Ballard as the Director of the Glastieve Broadcasting Council (GBC). Ballard created a YouTube channel for the organisation, although it would never be used.
On 8 May, Unak and Kavanah publicised the results of the reshuffle, which both restructured the Government and renamed several departments, in addition to changing the Cabinet's composition. Most notably, the restructure abolished the Department of Education and Recruitment - transferring responsibilities to the newly-named Department of Governmental Administration and Recruitment - and split the Department of Media and Economics into the Department of Economics, Finance and Governmental Communication and the Department of Media and Technological Affairs, headed by Tom McMillan. In addition, the Department of Defence and the Judiciary was renamed to the Department of Public Safety, Defence and the Judiciary to better reflect its existing purview.
Following the reshuffle, the Cabinet had Mark Kavanah as the Minister for Economics, Finance and Governmental Communications; Robert Catcheside as the Minister for Governmental Administration and Recruitment; John Matthews as Minister for National Identity, Insignia and Language; Isabella Wall as Minister for Public Safety, Defence and the Judiciary; Tom McMillan as Minister for Media and Technological Affairs; Michael Howe as Minister for Infrastructure, Transportation and Geographical Affairs; Genevieve Unak as Field Marshall of the Glastieven Armies; and Tamara Williams as Senior Judge of the Supreme Court.
From 8 May to 12 May, a number of follow-up actions were taken in response to the reshuffle. All the departments (with the exception of the Department of Public Safety, Defence and the Judiciary) adopted new logos, and the Army officially adopted the Military Standard of the GCA, which had been created by Unak during the Foundation Period but was strongly disliked by Howe. Matthews' "DoGA" identity for the Department of Governmental Administration and Recruitment was retained, and he also started using the term "Doniial" (pronounced /dɒnaɪɑːl/) for the Department of National Identity, Insignia and Language. Kavanah's unsuccessful attempts to move the Government to Skype were reversed by McMillan, who created a new Facebook Messenger room for the Government. Finally, Catcheside introduced an attendance record for Cabinet meetings, designed to help combat the problem of inactivity that had been faced during the late Foundation Period.
The second period of the GCA's history is often termed the "Partisan Period." When the history of the GCA was first divided into sections towards the start of the Partisan Period, it was simply called the "current period." Following the Matthewsgate controversy and the July 2017 cabinet reshuffle, it was frequently termed the "Egalitarian Period" in reference to the Egalitarian Party, which was a political part by name but was essentially a mechanism to formalise the hegemony of certain ministers in the Cabinet. The term "Partisan Period" was adopted in the Reformation Period as a more accurate reflection of the overly political nature of the cultural group and the seemingly constant spin and maneuvering that characterised the Partisan Period. Initially, the Partisan Period saw an increase in formality, efficiency and productivity and was set against a backdrop of there being no defined cultural group. As a new cultural group defined by the GCA itself started to emerge, the equality of the Cabinet broke down as the more active and organised ministers started to dominate the affairs of Government through a system of political parties and a revival of the Glastieve Secret Service (GSS). The end of the Egalitarian Period was brought about by a political split between John Matthews and Alfie Knowles and the remainder of the Cabinet, and it is now associated with instability, infighting and constant uncertainty.
Following the reshuffle, the new Cabinet met for the first time on 11 May, with all eight members in attendance. At this meeting, the Cabinet voted to ratify the Charter of the Grand Unified Micronational (GUM) under the Sovereignty Retcon, giving permission to either Kavanah or Matthews to notify the GUM of Glastieve's intention to accede. In addition, according to the officially recorded history of the GCA, the Planning Permission Act 2017 was passed for the first time at this meeting, although two earlier Cabinet meetings in the Foundation Period also apparently passed the legislation, although the record of the second of these meetings makes reference to the first and mentions an amendment to the middle section. It is was likely a mistake in record-keeping that led to the claim that the Planning Permission Act was passed in May.
Kavanah applied for Glastieven membership of the GUM on 13 May, and the so-called Republic of Glastieve was granted provisional membership on 14 May. On the same day, Kavanah instructed Jay Ballard to apply for the GCA (again as the Republic of Glastieve) to join the Micronational Association for Finance and Economics (MAFE), an organisation he had founded two days earlier on 12 May. The MAFE was founded to create a unified organisation to end the stream of short-lived micronational organisations that had marked the development of micronational economics and was also allegedly distinguished by its deliberate lack of formality and disdain for individual ambition. The organisation only ever received a lukewarm response from the community, but maintained a reasonable reputation in the GCA during the Partisan Period.
The full Cabinet met again on 18 May, although Howe left partway through. By the time of this meeting, Glastieve was already starting to develop its own cultural group and there was an increasing want of less formalised but still Glastieve-orientated activities to help strengthen this developing trend. In the meeting, an organisation called the "Sofa Government Club," which was a pun on the British political term "sofa government" meaning decision-making by important figures in political parties and government before official meetings of bodies like the Cabinet, and the fact that the group was a "government club" that met in a venue with sofas, was created. The Club would meet at 4.30 pm at 9 Marsh Barton Road (the current location of Cabinet meetings) on a Thursday.
On 21 May, Kavanah decided to revive The Glastieven using a new website template he had created on Wix.com, with the first stories reporting on an otherwise unrecorded proposal by Catcheside to create a BHH-themed video game and on the dissolution of Pavlov. However, the website was much more difficult to update than the Wordpress site and also frequently glitched, causing several minutes worth of written content to be lost; on the other hand, Wordpress was felt to be problematically unprofessional in appearance and poorly-designed. Backtracking from his original decision, Kavanah announced a "consultation period" where he would make up his mind and discuss the issue with other Glastievens.
The initial successes of the Partisan Period in maintaining high activity and preventing argument both started to show cracks in the next Cabinet meeting, on 25 May. There was a single unnotified absence and two notified absence.
The Cabinet met again on the 25th May, with one pre-warned absence and two unexpected absences, described by DoGA Minister Robert Catcheside as a "disappointing turnout". The meeting gave a Plenipotentiary Licence to the Minister for Economics, Finance and Governmental Communications Mark S. Kavanah, although with significant opposition from Tom McMillan and John Matthews who described it as "dictatorial" to remove democratic Cabinet oversight from diplomatic affairs. The meeting also discussed, despite the absence of Minister for Public Safety, Defence and the Judiciary Isabella Wall, Michael Howe and William Allen's proposal to hire Cabinet security to improve decorum. The proposal was narrowly defeated by one vote, leaving William Allen outside Glastieve. A botched communication of the minutes of the meeting to Isabella Wall regarding them voting on William Allen doing a task related to her job without her presence led to her mistakenly accusing the Cabinet of voting to replace her with William Allen; this incident led to John Matthews being replaced by Robert Catcheside as being responsible for taking minutes in meetings.
The Sofa Government Club also met on the 25th May, discussing mostly the newspaper and whether or not it should be on Wix.com, which looked better but required more maintenance, or on WordPress, which was much easier to quickly update but had a far less professional look.
The Cabinet failed to meet on the 1st June as the venue was unavailable, and the Sofa Government Club's meeting was also suspended.
On the 2nd June, in his first exercise of the Plenipotentiary Licence he had been granted, Mark S. Kavanah announced that Jay B'lard would serve as ambassador to the GUM until the 2nd August, although Mark would continue to negotiate treaties with other nations. With Jay also representing Glastieve in the MAFE, Mark drafted a proposal to also grant him his own Plenipotentiary Licence to allow him to negotiate treaties and join organisations, although this was scrapped after an uncertain response from John Matthews and Tom McMillan in the consultation phase.
The entire of the Cabinet except Tamara Williams met on the 1st June, with Unak informing the Cabinet that Tamara had been forced to leave active micronationalism due to other commitments. The Cabinet elected Teoni Woodward, the pre-reshuffle Senior Judge, to Tamara's vacant post, renaming the position to "Chief Justice of the Supreme Court". Michael Howe proposed that William Allen rejoin the micronation as a security advisor to the Cabinet, however his proposal was defeated 5 - 3.
An attempt to restart The Glastieven online the 6th June, reporting on Glastieven attitudes to the UK general election, failed to gain enough traction to be "worth the effort". Afterwards, the Department of Economics, Finance and Governmental Communications and the Department of Media and Technological Affairs admitted that a macronational-esque media or any sort of meaningful political interaction between the government and an independent media or chorus entity was not a realistic short-term aim for the nation, and GBC Director Jay B'lard was transferred to being a Senior Diplomatic Officer.
The Cabinet meeting on the 8th June saw William Allen appointed to the post of Chief Justice, as Teoni failed to attend the meeting. The Cabinet also voted to disband the Sofa Government Club, as casual conversation about the micronation was already happening without the expense. The Cabinet narrowly voted not to make a roleplaying game based on traditional mythology the new national game, with the full vote and the vote discounting the Chief Justice and the Filed Marshal both reaching a tie, and the Minister for Governmental Administration and Recruitment ultimately deciding to reject the proposal on grounds of controversy.
The Cabinet met again on the 15th June. The Minister for Media and Technological Affairs Tom McMillain and the Minister for Economics, Finance and Governmental Communications Mark S. Kavanah (whose brief included foreign affairs) both formally apologised for the lack of updates to the history section of the MicroWiki article, with William Allen stating that "the 6th to the 15th June 2017 represent a strange hole in the official history of Glastieve that Mark and Tom are responsible for carving out."
On the 20th June, the Taxation and Salaries Committee was formed by Mark S. Kavanah, Robert Catcheside and John Matthews, with the intention of building on the Glastieven Model to create a functional economy in Glastieve. The group wrote the Personnel Ranks and Pay Bands Act 2017 and the Civil Service and Governmental Departments Act 2017, agreeing to divide the economic and bureaucratic responsibilities of the new civil service and economy between the Department of Economics, Finance and Governmental Communications and the Department of Governmental Administration and Recruitment.
The Cabinet met productively on the 22nd June, passing the Luach Credit Instrumentation Act, the Criminal Law Act 2017, the Personnel Ranks and Pay Bands Act 2017 and the Civil Service and Governmental Departments Act 2017. All four Acts were passed unanimously, although debate about whether or not manslaughter should be defined as a crime, and also as to whether banning bestiality and stating that there were no victimless crimes were inherently contradictory.
The Cabinet meeting on the 29th June was cancelled because Tom McMillan was unwell, and Isabella Wall, Robert Catcheside and Mark S. Kavanah were all forming the Glastieven delegation to a local political society, where they won a mock-partisan competition using the logo, values and name of the Glastieven Egalitarian Party.
On the same day, the Supreme Court assembled to discuss the legality of Nedland's claim on Evonia: the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Geographical Affairs claimed that Mark S. Kavanah had unlawfully ceded land to Nedland without seeking permission from the relevant Department, which would have been contrary to the Ministerial Responsibilities Act 2017; Mark S. Kavanah defended the claim on the grounds that Glastieve had defined its territory in terms of the land ceded to the UK by the Kingdom of Skovaji by its Liquidation and Dissolution Act 2017, which did not include Evonia as it had already been ceded to Nedland. The court ruled in favour of Mark, but the Chief Justice Will Allen claimed Mark had acted "legally but immorally, using his position as our main ambassador to the micronational community to behave as though he were primus inter pares, not a situation reflected by our processes or day-to-day running of the country."
Starting with the late evening of the 29th June and through until the morning of the 2nd July, many micronational community members were asked to join the newly-founded Legislative Convocation of Glastieve, with their party choices being announced as they came in, in the 'Glastieve serious' chat. In constitutional terms, they were standing for election unopposed, and running with a certain political party, technically making it an election. The Egalitarian Party won, and the Cabinet remained the same, with the Pragmatic Party leader Will Allen staying as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, as the rest of the Cabinet decided to keep him rather than appoint an Egalitarian judge. The leader of the Acteriendian Party in top-tier politics, Alfie Knowles, resigned his post upon hearing the election result, and leadership defaulted to the only remaining member, Michael Thomas Brazeau.
The Cabinet's meeting on the 6th July was initially cancelled as Robert Catcheside and Mark S. Kavanah were both unavailable, and the new venue was still not yet chosen, however five of the eight members managed a video call on the same day in the 'Glastieve serious' chatroom, passing the Manslaughter Decriminalization Act as proposed by Robert Catcheside. Its staunchest opponent, Isabella Wall, was not part of the video call meeting that passed it, and complained afterwards that the vote was illegal, a claim not acknowledged by the rest of the Cabinet.
On the 7th July, Michael Howe and Robert Catcheside were able to organise a new venue for Cabinet meetings, and potentially also organise affiliation between Glastieve and the official Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). The former move was unanimously praised, although Pragmatic, Acterendian and right-wing politicians in Glastieve, including Egalitarian Party member John Matthews, spoke out against the latter, calling for safeguards to prevent the Glastieven government "becoming involved in political affairs with a bias not shared by all Cabinet members, and even more so acting like a UK charitable body or NGO, rather than the government of a sovereign state."
At 10.46 on the 5th July, the Glastieven Protectorate of Edible Pug Squad was established, claiming 2 square feet of land in Manchester and with eleven citizens, only two of which had been previously involved with Glastieve (and both of whom were staff of the Diplomatic Office). At 16.23 on the 6th July, it was disbanded. The Glastieven Cabinet stated it had had no official involvement in the takeover and was in no way affiliated with the so-called protectorate. A vote was held on whether to call a formal inquiry, but it was defeated 5 - 3.
It was announced on the 10th July that the Cabinet would be unable to meet in person, as despite the new venue there was no time when a Quorum of more than half would all be physically able to meet. This had been planned to be the final meeting before September 2017, however instead it was decided that cabinet meetings would wait until then. On the same day, in the 'Glastieve serious' chat, John Matthews conducted an official survey of citizens' religions for his Department, as he announced he planned to record all the same data as a census by conducting many short surveys, rather than one bulk census.
On 12th July, Mark S. Kavanah and Robert Catcheside held the first formal Mythological Conference, where they gathered every mythological text they could find, and reformed the four cycles system, using new names based on the texts that best showed the development of the three main archetypes, introducing additional chronological details between the cycles to explain any perceived plotholes, and adding a potential fifth cycle (the Crossover Cycle or Time Travel Cycle) as the logical conclusion to events near the end of the BHH Cycle involving the Ravensgate and Fourth Army.
On the 14th July, the Department of Economics, Finance and Governmental Communications announced that the economy would begin on the 1st October 2017. On the same day, the Egalitarian Party finally officially acknowledged the tension between the John Matthews (and Alfie Knowles) and the rest of the party, describing it as a 'political split'. Matthews refused to acknowledge it, rejecting claims that he and Alfie were manipulating the rest of the group. Several small clashes, mostly involving unsuccessful attempts by Matthews to shame Kavanah, ensued over the next few days until the Matthewsgate scandal.
The Cabinet of Glastieve, the primary legislative and executive organ of the Glastieve Cultural Association in early July, towards the end of the Partisan Period, was composed officially of eight people, seven of whom were active: Will Campbell (who was using the fake name Mark Kavanah, which, for consistency, will be used in this article as well), Daniel Carter (who was using the fake name Tom McMillan, which, for consistency, will be used in this article as well), Michael Howe, Genevieve Unak, Robert Catcheside, Isabella Wall and John Matthews. Matthews, who led the Department of National Identity, Insignia and Language (which he referred to as Doniial, pronounced /dɒnaɪɑːl/, in what was frequently parodied), also employed Alfie Knowles as his Undersecretary. The initial politics that would lead to Matthewsgate involved all the active members of the GCA except for Wall and had its roots in earlier tensions and disputes reaching as far back as 2015.
From a political perspective, Matthews was seen as something of a black sheep in the GCA. He had been the Minister for Governmental Administration (which he referred to as DoGA, pronounced /doʊgə/, in what was frequently parodied) at the country's foundation and was, then, seen as likely to be one of the most active and reliable ministers. This reputation was damaged by the Spingate controversy, where he was exposed as having lied on his department's website and in Cabinet meetings. In addition, it made public his tensions with Howe and shifted general feeling away from him. When Howe proposed a motion of no confidence in Matthews in July, it narrowly passed, which saw him announce he was leaving the GCA. Initially, Matthews refused to return unless he was given his old job back; naturally, there was no political desire to acquiesce to his request. However, in the GCA Cabinet reshuffle, May 2017, Matthews was brought back to replace Charlotte Bourner, who had de facto left Glastieve during the April 2017 controversy, and he became the Minister for National Identity, Insignia and Language.
Matthews immediately started to, from his perspective, accrue power within the government. He re-branded the department as "Doniial" (/dɒnaɪɑːl/) in a similar vein to DoGA, created a logo for the department and employed Alfie Knowles as the Departmental Undersecretary, in a rare instance of a civil servant actually being an active contributor to the GCA. His intention was to establish Doniial as the most powerful department in the government, and started to include increasingly tenuous aspects of policy under the department's assigned portfolio of "National Identity," in a similar way to how Kavanah and Catcheside had used the label of "Communications" in a similar way to the Tony Blair Government in the UK. For example, Matthews proposed a taxation act which would have put Doniial and the Department for Economics, Finance and Governmental Communications (incorrectly referred to as DoMAE, an otherwise unofficial abbreviation for the former Department for Media and Economics) as equally allowed to set taxation policy.
Matthews was not either subtle or polite in expressing his often contentious opinions and was also developing a justified reputation for being deliberately provocative; ergo, combined with his ambitious tendencies, he had clearly-defined friends and enemies. Before a political scandal known as Unakgate, Matthews disliked Allen and Isabella, although the animosity was generally both one-directional and dismissive, and had a strong and unpleasant rivalry with both Howe and Unak. He disliked McMillan, although McMillan himself was willing to work with Matthews, and he got on well with both Catcheside and Kavanah. Without delving into the intricate complexities of the Acteriendian cultural group's history any further than necessary, it is also helpful to note a historic animosity between Unak and Catcheside that, although nuanced, at the time took the form of a rivalry (which would later be humorously compared to Kismesissitude from Homestuck).
Meanwhile, the partisan structure that had been introduced as a result of the UK's General Election was being used as an excuse by Kavanah and Catcheside, and to a lesser extent by McMillan and Howe, to circumvent the duality of posts precedent and all function as a single "Communications team," which was something of a cross between a group of spin doctors and a secret service. This group functioned either as the Glastieve Secret Service (GSS) or as the National Executive Committee of the Egalitarian Party (Egalitarian Party NEC) depending on convenience, but it was the same group of people: Catcheside, Kavanah, McMillan and Matthews/Howe. Before Unakgate, Matthews was involved; after Unakgate, Howe became involved as the group positioned itself in opposition to Knowles and Matthews.
Unakgate was a failed attempt by Matthews to persuade Kavanah to trick Unak into leaving Acteriendia. Kavanah claimed it would be immoral to even try and unlikely to succeed, but Matthews was initially successful in persuading Catcheside to agree with him. Catcheside was on the fence, as he claimed he thought it might be necessary to maintain stability in the group. Kavanah, however, managed to prevent it from being put to a vote by persuading Catcheside to vote to remove Matthews from the Egalitarian Party NEC for misconduct - the misconduct being the attempting to have Unak removed undemocratically and through spin. Matthews, in response, had Knowles join the Egalitarian Party (which left only Allen in the Pragmatic Party and nobody in the Acteriendian Party) and positioned Doniial as the main opposition to the GSS (which was the same as the NEC). In everybody's minds, the battleground was drawn, although Unak, Wall and Allen remained unaware of the intricacies of the dispute, including Unakgate.
With the GSS firmly dominant in Glastieve itself, and McMillan, Unak, Wall and Allen unlikely to vote for any overtly political motions, even if they were part of a bargaining process that might have persuaded Catcheside, Howe and Kavanah, Matthews and Knowles planning to work through Acteriendia. Although not officially documented, anecdotal evidence from Kavanah, Catcheside, McMillan, Howe, Knowles and Matthews all suggests that they were choosing to damage Kavanah and Catcheside's standing outside of Glastieve in the hope of causing their influence within Glastieve to decline and allowing Doniial to usurp the GSS as the main political force, with the intention of being respected and influential enough to persuade the remainder of the Cabinet to appoint Matthews the President of Glastieve. This plan has been loosely referred to as a coup d’état, but was more realistically a plan to open a war of attrition outside Glastieve with Kavanah and Catcheside that he thought he could win. This "war" went on for around a week in mid-to-early July before official action was taken by the GSS.
Events leading up to the evening of 16 July
By 12 July, it was felt by the GSS that Matthews' and Knowles' blatant attempts over the recent period to attack Kavanah and Catcheside and to gain power within Glastieve were serious enough that they required official recognition. It was feared that, if they were able to engineer a split that could recruit other members of the Cabinet, a political collapse akin to the April 2017 controversy might be caused as a result of the increasingly Machiavellian schemes employed by Matthews to attack his targets outside of Glastieven politics. The Egalitarian Party NEC formulated a plan: expose and isolate John Matthews so that their actions seemed childish and in a vacuum, removing the danger of their cloak-and-dagger methods actually affecting the remainder of the Cabinet. On 12 July, the Egalitarian Party officially acknowledged Matthews' and Knowles' actions, describing them as "power games" and warning them to stop or face humiliation. The full statement issued by the party read -
The Egalitarian Party is aware that John Matthews and Alfie Knowles are attempting to engineer a split in our party intended to strengthen their position relative to some nebulous source of power that they assume is hidden by us. Glastieve is a nation of equals, and where individuals are influential this is based purely on a respect for their opinions earned through hard work and commitment to the country. We will not insult Matthews' intelligence by pretending that we do not understand how this works: if they continue with their power games, they will only humiliate themselves and lose whatever influence they have.
On 15 July 2017, Kavanah, Catcheside and McMillan personally spoke out against Matthews and Knowles, focusing on Matthews, arguing that any political split would only end badly for them. In response, Matthews claimed that there was no split and that he had no plans to gain any power, saying that "these accusations are completely ludicrous and myself and Alfie both joined the Egalitarians as we thought it was the best way forward for us and Glastieve." He also attacked Kavanah, asking "how come it’s always me that is under fire; why not Catcheside or Kavanah? This is why this Glastieve is really held back, Kavanah is just manipulating everyone and when they do what he wants, he chucks it back into their faces."
The aforementioned comments, along with passing remarks made by Isabella Wall and Genevieve Unak, were published in an article in The Glastieven titled "Egalitarian political split can only end badly for Matthews, argues Kavanah." Their sole aim was now to cause as much damage as possible to Kavanah and his supporters. The full article read (mistakes reproduced sic erat scriptum) -
Mark S. Kavanah, Tom McMillan and Robert Catcheside have spoken out against John Matthews and Alfie Knowles and their recent work against the Egalitarian Party executive, uncovered by Kavanah on Wednesday last week, accusing them of creating a split in Glastieven politics ‘intended purely for his own gain’, warning him that arguing with the majority will backfire on them both and can ‘only end badly’.
Behind closed doors, Robert Catcheside has been rumoured to have been even more scathing about Matthews. “He thinks this is a game, and that he is the genius megalomaniac, tricking everyone into letting him win,” Catcheside is alleged to have said. “But he always forgets that Flowey ends up dead in all three runs.”
In their official statement, they urged the two to stop their power games, calling for unity in the government to help push the nation forwards in the community and continue with their ambitious economic plans, a call mirrored by Genevieve Unak and Isabella Wall, both also now Egalitarian members, who asked for peaceful talks to find a compromise solution, calling on Catcheside, Kavanah and McMillan to soften their stance.
John Matthews has refused to acknoledgeany [sic] ‘split’ in the party, saying, “These accusations are completely ludicrous and myself and Alfie both joined the Egalitarians as we thought it was the best way forward for us and Glastieve.” Talking directly about Kavanah, he said, “Anyway, how come it’s always me that is under fire; why not Catcheside or Kavanah? This is why this Glastieve is really held back, Kavanah is just manipulating everyone and when they do what he wants, he chucks it back into their faces.”
Catcheside's comparison between Matthews and Flowey was mirrored in the picture used for the article, which showed a scene from Undertale with Flowey holding various other members of the Undertale cast captive, representing Matthews' attempts to control the Cabinet. This was the start of a wider trend of comparing Matthews to Flowey, which would continue throughout the Matthewsgate scandal and would also continue as a recurring motif throughout the political history of the GCA, although it would go out of fashion by the time of Matthews' final resignation after Project Zeta. However, Catcheside himself has stated he regrets making the comment, saying that it was likely "too harsh" and only served to corroborate Matthews' view that the rest of the government had been manipulated by Kavanah into opposing him.
In August 2017, as part of an attempt to accurately record the history of the Matthewsgate scandal, screenshots from the scandal were collected by the Department of Communications and Press Strategy for publication on MicroWiki. However, Kavanah accidentally published a larger tract of his messages with Matthews than intended, which revealed some further information about the buildup to the evening of 16 July. The accidentally published messages were removed from the collection a few hours after their publication to "respect John Matthews' privacy."
The leaked messages showed that, in response to Matthews' statement, Kavanah said "I know, I just wanted a good news story, this is so political kek." However, he has denied that this was an admission of guilt, saying that "the intended meaning of my statement, which was said in a private conversation, was to state that I did not believe that this would amount to anything. I was attempting to follow the strategy laid out in the Communications guidelines of the time, which was to attempt to portray Glastieve as formalising ordinary discourse into a political narrative through media like The Glastieven. My statements at the time regarding Matthewsgate remain the most correct indicator of my feeling at the time and and also remain my sole official position."
The leaked messages also showed that Matthews gave the article a "thumbs up" in the private messages, showing that he supported its publication, despite later claiming that part of his statement was reprinted without permission. The part of the statement that he never denied was intended to be published was sent to Kavanah in quotes, whereas the second message was not; however, Matthews showed no opposition to Kavanah mentioning he would alter the punctuation before its publication, as well as giving the article a thumbs up. On the morning of 16 July, he also offered to meet Kavanah in Exeter during the day, but Kavanah was not free to attend. It is possible that this meeting may have related to Matthewsgate.
Crucially, the period from 12 July to 16 July represented a shift in focus for Matthews and Knowles: by being brought out into the open, their so-called "coup" was now doomed to fail. Their initial plan was to replace the more influential figures in the government with themselves by damaging their reputations and replacing them in leadership roles outside Glastieve; however, now that this was no longer possible due to the official recognition of their behaviour having ended any chance of their gaining respect and influence, their focus shifted to attacking who they saw as responsible - Kavanah. Matthews and Knowles perceived Kavanah as being the manipulative leader at the heart of a web of spin, and having failed to "take over" this alleged power structure, their sole goal was to attack who they saw as the enemy.
Evening of 16 July
On the evening of 16 July, Matthews resigned from Glastieve after an evening of conflict that would give rise to the controversy being termed "Matthewsgate." Despite the argument being relatively minor in comparison to the rest of the dispute, it represented the "breaking point" where Matthews finally resigned and their plan to attack Kavanah was finally written off as a failure. Howe, Catcheside, Matthews, Kavanah and McMillan were relatively calmly discussing a proposal by Howe to introduce a privately-owned National Lottery once the economy started, a proposal which only Matthews was in opposition to. The discussion started to turn heated when he described Howe as "stupid," which prompted Howe to claim that he only opposed the concept because it had been proposed by him, in reference to the well-known animosity between them. As the argument started to descend into everyone else in the room arguing somewhat aggressively against Matthews' claims, including Howe breaking rules of ministerial conduct by shouting (using ALL CAPS) and swearing, he removed both Howe and Kavanah from the Facebook group.
A few minutes later, he re-added them, explaining his action on the grounds that he only removed them "for a bit of fun." By this stage, Howe had completely lost his temper and was swearing at Matthews, who was laughing at him and making fun of him for losing his composure. Following the group chat guidelines, McMillan (in his capacity as Minister for Media and Technological Affairs) removed Matthews from the group, informing him that he intended this to be a temporary measure to allow everyone to calm down. However, whenever Matthews was re-added to the chat, he attempted to remove McMillan, Howe, Unak and Kavanah - the minister who had removed him and the three he had rivalries with - swearing at other ministers and becoming increasingly aggressive in his insults.
Eventually, he removed all of the chat's members other than himself and Knowles, private messaging Kavanah: "Shame everyone apart from me and Alfie are out the group." Kavanah threatened to leak a screenshot of the messages, claiming that it was proof that he and Knowles were plotting against the remainder of the government, pointing out that Matthews had previously said "these accusations are completely ludicrous" and were the result of "Kavanah just manipulating everyone." Matthews responded by claiming that he was going to publish a "secret" of Kavanah's, giving him "ten seconds to apologise before I leak the secret." Kavanah claimed at the time and during the Nightjar Inquiry in October that he was unaware what Matthews was referring to, and when asked directly in January 2018, Matthews avoided the question.
Kavanah responded to the threat by near-quoting lines from the character Sans in Undertale, the national game of the GCA (and also the source of the running joke comparing Matthews to Flowey). The below table shows the similarity of Kavanah's threats on the night of Matthewsgate to Sans' dialogue in the Final Corridor on a Genocide Route in Undertale -
|Sans' original lines from Undertale||Kavanah's messages during Matthewsgate|
|so, i've got a question for ya.||So, I’ve got a question for you.|
|do you think even the worst person can change...?||Do you think even the worst person can change...?|
|that everyone can be a good person, if they just try?||That everybody can be a good person, if they just try?|
|heh heh heh heh...|
|well, here's a better question.||Well, here’s a better question.|
|do you wanna have a bad time?||Do you wanna have a bad time?|
|cause if you take another step forward...||Because if you don’t stop this pathetic, unskilled attempt at manipulation,|
|you are REALLY not going to like what happens next.||I’m going to use all my Machavellian skills to make sure that you REALLY won’t like what happens next.|
Kavanah went on to explain to Matthews that all he was doing was embarrassing himself, and that it wasn't too late to give up the attempt and apologise, pleading with him to back down, including again quoting near-quoting Sans, saying "Come on, John. Do you remember me?" (cf. "c'mon, buddy. do you remember me?"). After this failed, Kavanah threatened to attack Matthews outside of Glastieve as he had been doing, warning him that "you don't want to see me when I'm not holding back." In response, Matthews blocked Kavanah on Facebook to prevent him messaging him further. A few seconds later, he re-added every member except Kavanah to the group chat, announcing that both he and Knowles were leaving Glastieve immediately and permanently, leaving the group himself.
Matthews then communicated through text messaging McMillan from his mobile, with McMillan forwarding screenshots to the group chat. Howe created a special group chat to post screenshots, and the term "Matthewsgate" was first used, but only to describe the events of that evening. In messages with McMillan, Matthews famously said: "Mark ahs [sic] no power he is a minister of economics [sic] not a lord high chancellor [sic] or any thing [sic] like that and yes quit Glastieve [sic]," and when asked why he quit, claimed that "Glastieve is fake and. A [sic] waste of time." He also went on to say that they were "all playing silly buggers," a phrase he repeated over ten times in later conversations with Kavanah. He then claimed that Knowles had resigned his civil service post two weeks before the evening of Matthewsgate, but retracted this claim five minutes later when it was mentioned by McMillan.
After the screenshots had been collated, McMillan (in his capacity as Minister for Media and Technological Affairs) instructed The Glastieven write a report "showing the extent of our disgust and loathing for the former Minister’s behaviour." Also on the night, Kavanah, Howe and McMillan all issued official statements on the night's events.
Howe stated, "I believe that John Matthews’ resignation will not hinder the progress of Glastieve but rather streamline the government; make it functional. Matthews' resignation shall be like the chains that hold the nation back have been severed. Without the former minister, fewer disagreements, arguments, shouting matches, physical skirmishes and verbal, emotional abuse to other respectful members of the Glastieven Cabinet." Howe also described Matthews’ decision to delete all members from the online governmental groups as being like a "self-destruct" after realising that he’d been defeated in the argument.
McMillan stated, "He quit helping children at the church to do paid work; he actually admitted this to me. John or, as he should now be known as, Aaron, told me that himself and Alfie, his immediate inferior, quit Glastieve: when I asked him why he said 'Glastieve is fake and a waste of time.' His behavior and the objective truth says much more than any spin could."
Kavanah stated that "John Matthews has disgraced himself and, in the short term at least, has humiliated Glastieve. We do not consider ourselves a nation that supports the variety of quasi-political, manipulative behaviour that Matthews – and to a lesser extent Alfie – have indulged in as part of their unsuccessful attempt to seize control of the Egalitarian Party. There can be no question of Matthews' return to Glastieve, and in the short term, no question of my personal forgiveness."
The full news article, which was published the next morning, read (mistakes reproduced sic erat scriptum) -
'John Matthews and Alfie Knowles leave Glastieve in disgrace following failed coup d’état in the Egalitarian government
A seemingly innocent discussion about whether or not to create a lottery in Glastieve has resulted in a ‘night of shame’ for John Matthews and Alfie Knowles, where the depth of their collusion against the government was revealed before Matthews deleted the chat history and attempted to threaten Mark S. Kavanah, before changing tack and announcing his permanent withdrawal, blocking Kavanah on Facebook and issuing poorly-punctuated statements to other Ministers.
A discussion about whether or not a lottery should be established turned heated after Matthews refered to Michael Howe as “stupid” and when the argument seemed to be turning against him, removed both Howe and Kavanah from the group, readding them a few minutes later on the grounds that it was “just for a bit of fun.” Minister for Media and Technological Affairs Tom McMillan removed Matthews from the group, informing him that this was a temporary measure to reduce tension; however, it only inflamed the issue, with Matthews continually insulting and attempting to remove other Ministers whenever he was offered the oppurtunity to calm down.
The so-called coup d’état was Matthews’ final response to the four other present Ministers disgareeing with him, as he removed all chatroom members except himself and Alfie Knowles from the chat, private messaging Kavanah: “Shame everyone apart from me and Alfie are out the group”. After Kavanah threatened to leak the conversation as proof of his and Alfie’s plotting against the group, acusations described by matthews as “ludicrous” and a result of “Kavanah just manipulating everyone”, Matthews retaliated by threatening to leak a “secret” of Kavanah’s, giving him “10 seconds to apologise before I release the secret.” Kavanah responded by nearly quoting some of Sans’ lines from Undertale (the national game).
“So, I’ve got a question for you.
“Do you think even the worst person can change. . . ?
“That everybody can be a good person, if they just try?
“Well, here’s a better question.
“Do you wanna have a bad time?
“Because if you don’t stop this pathetic, unskilled attempt at manipulation, I’m going to use all my Machavellian skills to make sure that you REALLY won’t like what happens next.”
In response to Kavanah’s continued pleas to end the coup, including a detailed walkthrough of how he intended to take Matthews down, Matthews announced suddenly that he was quitting Glastieve with immediate effect, and blocked Kavanah on Facebook to avoid further questioning. In messages to Tom McMillan, Matthews claimed that “Mark ahs no power he is a minister of economics not a lord high chancellor or any thing like that and yes quit Glastieve [sic overload] “, and when asked why he quit, claimed that “Glastieve is fake and. A waste of time [sic]”.
Since removing all members from the online chat, John Matthews resigned and added all members except Mark S. Kavanah back into the group, before leaving himself. During the dispute, now being branded as “Matthewsgate” by the involved Ministers, Matthews revealed that Alfie Knowles, former Undersecretary in the Department for National Identity, Insignia and Language had allegedly resigned two weeks previous. Alfie Knowles is yet to comment.
Three involved Ministers have issued official statements regarding ‘Matthewsgate’.
Minister for Infrastructure, Transportation and Geographical Affairs Michael Howe stated, “I believe that John Matthews’ resignation will not hinder the progress of Glastieve but rather streamline the government; make it functional. Matthews’ resignation shall be like the chains that hold the nation back have been severed. Without the former minister, fewer disagreements, arguments, shouting matches, physical skirmishes and verbal, emotional abuse to other respectful members of the Glastieven Cabinet.” Howe also described Matthews’ decision to delete all members from the online governmental groups as being like a “self-destruct” after realising that he’d been defeated in the argument
Minister for Media and Technological Affairs Tom McMillan stated, “He quit helping children at the church to do paid work, he actually admitted this to me. John or, as he should now be known as, Aaron told me that himself and Alfie, his immediate inferior quit Glastieve; when I asked him why he said ‘Glastieve is fake and a waste of time. His behavior and the objective truth says much more than any spin could.”
Minister for Economics, Finance and Governmental Communications Mark Kavanah stated that “John Matthews has disgraced himself and, in the short term at least, has humiliated Glastieve. We do not consider ourselves a nation that supports the variety of quasi-political, manipulative behaviour that Matthews – and to a lesser extent Alfie – have indulged in as part of their unsucessful attempt to sieze control of the Egalitarian Party. There can be no question of Matthews’ return to Glastieve, and in the short term, no question of my personal forgiveness.” Editor’s note: The Glastieven was officially instructed by the Minister for Media and Technological Affairs and advised by the Media for Economics, Finance and Governmental Communications, as part fo the Media and Governemtnal Communications briefs, to write a report “showing the extent of our disgust and loathing for the former Minister’s behaviour.
Screenshots relating to Matthewsgate
Several disparate screenshots, which provide a full but incomplete picture of the messages sent during Matthewsgate, were uploaded to a group chat named "Matthewsgate screenshots" on 16 July. In the same chat there was an image of a draft version of the Anti-Cuntery and Dickishness Act, which would be formally proposed ten days later.
Aftermath and immediate consequences
Further information: GCA Cabinet reshuffle, July 2017
The next morning, 17 July, Kavanah was required to work with Knowles for a week on a non-Glastieve related project. Early that morning, Kavanah and the GSS agreed to focus the week on trying to transfer Knowles' loyalties back to the government, and on ending the bilateral association between him and Matthews in a spin and political context. During the GSS's August 2017 restructure, this mission would be retrospectively designated Operation Glass Crystal. It was referred to casually as "Operation DONIIAL," in reference to breaking up the role of Doniial as the opposition to the NEC/GSS.
Knowles claimed on 17 July to have "woken up confused" on the morning after Matthews' resignation, and confirmed that he still wanted to remain part of Glasteive, giving the statement: "I don’t know what John’s on about. I'm still 100% a member of Glastieve and if I was going to quit, I'd tell the group and formally hand in a letter, not just tell John to announce I'd walked out or something. I woke up confused this morning... I really hope this can all be sorted out." Kavanah instructed Catcheside to initiate the formal procedure to elect a new Minister for National Identity, Insignia and Language, with Knowles standing within minutes of nominations opening.
Knowles' innocence was communicated in a short news report in The Glastieven on 17 July, which was the final news report directly related to Matthewsgate.
Alfie Knowles “woke up confused” on morning after Matthewsgate scandal and is “still 100% a member of Glastieve.”
Alfie Knowles, Undersecretary to the Department of National Identity, Insignia and Language, who was yesterday claimed to have left Glastieve two weeks ago and was also announced to have quit by disgraced former Minister John Matthews, has informed the Cabinet that he has no intention of quitting.
“I don’t know what John’s on about,” said Alfie this morning. “I’m still 100% a member of Glastieve and if I was going to quit, I’d tell the group and formally hand in a letter, not just tell John to announce I’d walked out or something. I woke up confused this morning… I really hope this can all be sorted out.”
Alfie, who is now a full member of Glastieve is again, is currently the frontrunner in the election for the new Minister for National Identity, Insignia and Language.
However, with no sign of another candidate standing, on the evening of 18 July, Kavanah motioned to the Egalitarian Party NEC that Knowles should be appointed without being formally elected. The Committee voted by a majority to accept the motion, but Catcheside (in his capacity as Minister for Governmental Administration and Recruitment) called it "lazy," and the leader of the opposition party, the Pragmatic Party, William Allen, called it "undemocratic." After being appointed, Knowles said he planned to "continue with the quintessential 'DONIIAL' identity that John Matthews [had] created for the Department." He went on to say: "I’m not one fo [sic] these people who’s really glad John is gone and thinks we need to remove all traces of his leadership. I think that, with some unfortunate exceptions like his bullying and manipulative tendancies [sic], he could certainly run a good Department."
Over the next week, Knowles was convinced to side with Glastieve over Matthews. However, the bilateral association between them remained and was a measurable force in the GCA's politics until both of their resignation at the time of Project Zeta. Some analyses of Operation Glass Crystal reflect poorly on Kavanah, either by questioning the success of his efforts or by questioning the altruism of his intentions. In October 2017, Matthews claimed that Kavanah had used Operation Glass Crystal as an excuse to recruit Knowles to a cabal that he would use in the reshuffle to secure control over Glastieve. In response to Matthews' claims, the Department of Communications and Press Strategy considered Operation Glass Crystal's main purpose to have been to prevent Knowles and Matthews "regrouping" and planning to politically attack Glastieve from outside the government.
On 23 July, one day after the conclusion of Operation Glass Crystal, Kavanah proposed the "Anti-Cuntery and Dickishness Act" to the Cabinet. The Act, which had been initially drafted by Kavanah on the evening of Matthewsgate with near-unanimous support but was now much more divisive, would have effectively exiled Matthews and barred him from rejoining the government. The Act was tied in the first round of voting, with Allen, Unak, Howe and Wall (as well as non-Cabinet member Arissa Wilde) supporting the motion, and opposed by Catcheside, Kavanah, McMillan and Knowles. The Cabinet Procedure Act states that, in the case of a tie, the vote should be held again without counting the votes of the Field Marshal and the Chief Justice, both of whom had voted in favour of the Act, causing it to narrowly fail.
The failure of the Anti-Cuntery and Dickishness Act was seen as a turning point in the aftermath of Matthewsgate, as for the first time, a decision had been taken to, at least technically, allow Matthews to rejoin the country or the government. It also showed that the "influence" held by certain members of the Cabinet was an illusion, or at least had faded, which also laid the ground for Matthews to feel more comfortable in a return to Glastieve. He was approached for comment on the failure of the Anti-Cuntery and Dickishness Act, but refused to do so. A news story reporting on the Act also continued the Flowey joke, showing the Cabinet choosing to spare Flowey after the rebellion of the Human SOULs at the end of the Photoshop Flowey fight.
Seeing that he would be allowed to rejoin, Matthews unblocked Kavanah on Facebook and opened dialogue with him. After a few minutes, he presented Kavanah and the Cabinet with an ultimatum: demote Knowles and re-instate him as the Minister for National Identity, Insignia and Language, or he would refuse to rejoin. He also threatened to have Knowles leave with him, but this was seen as an empty threat. He also presented a separate ultimatum to McMillan: make he and Knowles "co-Ministers" for National Identity, Insignia and Language, both allowed to attend and vote at cabinet meetings. When both of these proposals were rejected unanimously, he walked away from negotiations, once again claiming the rest of the country were "playing silly buggers."
However, on 24 July, Matthews agreed to become the Undersecretary to the Department of National Identity, Insignia and Language. The vote was scheduled to be held on 25 July, with McMillan and Kavanah announcing that they intended to side with Knowles and Catcheside, who were seen as the primary camp in favour of Matthews return. Unak and Howe were seen as the most vocal anti-Matthews campaigners. However, the Department of Economics, Finance and Governmental Communications warned of the dangers of continuing in this overly-political manner, claiming that constant scandals were damaging Glastieve's community image and ability to make progress. Later that day, they issued a statement reading, "John Matthews is either a member of Glastieve or he is not. His current one-foot-in attitude, which is constantly creating political tension and scandal, can not be allowed to continue from a Communications standpoint. We all have more important things to be getting on with, and if he returns, Matthews can consider himself on a final warning. If he quits again, that will be it – this Department owes it to the Government to keep that promise."
However, in secret, Kavanah and McMillan - who were now seen as the most influential members of the government after Catcheside had appeared to be lacking in political vitriol in the debate over Matthews' proposed exile - were planning the end of the Partisan Period. Motivated into action by the events of Matthewsgate and McMillan's disdain for "Communications," in the euphemistic sense, they planned to hold a Cabinet reshuffle to shake up the government and to prevent the vote on Matthews return from taking place, which would have risked its failure. They proposed at the final meeting of the Egalitarian Party NEC the "Anti-Political Functionalist Motion" (which is from where the mythological Evon political philosophy draws its name), which would dissolve the party machine and trigger a Cabinet reshuffle with McMillan and Kavanah as the advisors. The motion was passed unanimously.
The reshuffle, which promised "an era of stability and progress founded on a more equal Cabinet and more specialised and functional Departments," would see Matthews return to the Cabinet as the Minister for Economics, Corporations and Charities. The list that determined the composition of the new Cabinet was written by Kavanah, McMillan, Knowles and Matthews together at a Starbucks near Glastieve. The inclusion of Knowles and Matthews on the reshuffle team was a peace offering - it showed that Matthewsgate was over. However, its impact on the GCA's political culture would be difficult to overstate; even after Project Zeta, Matthewsgate's influence was perhaps unreasonably great for its size.
Cultural impact and legacy
Matthewsgate had a major influence on the politics of the GCA. The level of detailed analysis available on Matthewsgate, compared for example to a larger event such as the April 2017 controversy, is a result of its disproportionate standing in understandings of Glastieven history until at least November 2017. Towards the middle of November 2017, Matthewsgate would, as Michael Howe put it, start to "go out of fashion as the quintessential -gate scandal," which allowed its cultural impact to be assessed and appreciated more realistically; before then, it was seen both as an amusing meme and as one of the most important incidents int he cultural group's history. An article written in October 2017, for example, claimed that "Matthewsgate has had a huge impact on Glastieven political culture. It is seen as a defining moment in Glastieven politics and remains a topic of active political debate."
The legacy of the controversy was widespread mistrust of "communications," a reputation for Mark Kavanah that would lead to Howe in November 2017 describing him as the "King of Spin," and a stereotyped image of Matthews and Knowles that they would both find difficult to shake, especially Matthews.
Matthewsgate is also known for introducing a connection between John Matthews and Flowey. John Matthews's later actions have been compared to other actions by Flowey in Undertale (or in the YouTube parody series If Undertale was Realistic), and non-Matthewsgate related satirical artwork depicts Lynch as Flowey. Before the Matthewsgate scandal, he was sometimes portrayed as Papyrus, but references to this essentially ended after the scandal. In October 2017, Lynch destroyed satirical artwork created by Kavanah representing Matthewsgate as akin to the Photoshop Flowey battle in Undertale, named Photoshop Matthews by McMillan, a nickname now in general usage. The artwork also showed Knowles being used as a weapon by Lynch, which Knowles described as "actually pretty clever." As well as Kavanah's images of "Photoshop Matthews," in the same month Catcheside made an image that showed Knowles' state photograph as the new Minister for National Identity, Insignia and Language with the word "Doniial" replaced with "Denial," with the edited image titled "the influence of Matthewsgate." In January 2018, a leaked image of diagrams made by the GSS attempting to understand social connections within Acteriendia showed Knowles' and Matthews' names circled and labelled as "Matthewsgateland."
The next morning, Alfie Knowles announced publically that he "woke up confused" after Matthewsgate and was still entirely a member of Glastieve. He assisted Kavanah in constructing detailed news reports about both the incident and Knowles' statement that we intended to remain in Glastieve. Two days later, on the 19th July, he was appointed the Minister for National Identity, Insignia and Language. The decision not to call an election was criticised by William Allen and Robert Catcheside, but was otherwise accepted as a sensible idea. Over the next week, the Glastieven Secret Service embarked on Operation:Glass Crystal, the aim of which was to break up collusion between Alfie Knowles and John Matthews and to lay the ground for his eventual return.
In the wake of the Matthewsgate scandal, the Department of Media and Technological Affairs created a "Code of Conduct" for the two official chatrooms, written and enforced by Tom McMillan. As part of the overhaul of the chat system, a third official chat was created, "Glastieve lounge", the have scheduled and semi-structured debates on pre-selected topics, such as religious, macronational political or ethical questions.
The Glastieven's active news reporting continued, and with the lack of available venues for meetings the three Glastieve chatrooms and the newspaper became focal points for the nation. The mythology continued to be developed and other non-political ways to move Glastieve forwards were discussed, with Michael Howe, in particular, rising to increased prominence as a suggester of ideas, whilst in the comparative political calm the role of Robert Catcheside and Mark S. Kavanah declined to being roughly equal to that of Tom McMillan and Michael Howe, with a so-called 'triarchy' of influence dominating for the next few days.
On the 21st July, the Isotoniae Corporation announced increased provision for the Evonian language, calling on the Government to take more of an active role in promoting its use. The Glastieven ran the first full-length print media story in Evonian, reporting on Isotoniae's policy change and demands, and Mark S. Kavanah announced he intended to persuade his own Department to prioritise Evonian when ensuring Communications were accessible to all, calling for the programme of writing Acts into Evonian to continue. In response, Alife Knowles announced a new official orthography, which would make the language easy to use in latin and modernised for the modern day, whilst retaining translation sheets for the so-called Mythological Orthography.
On the 23rd July, the Cabinet held a formal vote on whether or not to pass the 'Anti-Cuntery and Dickishness Act' to ban John Matthews from the country. The first round of Cabinet voting was a tie, but it narrowly failed to pass when William Allen and Genevieve Unak's votes were discounted. The possibility of John Matthews rejoining now being open, on the 24th (the next day), the Department of Economics, Finance and Governmental Communications warned that further politics and scandals regarding John were damaging Glastieve's image in the community and that he would be on a 'final warning' should he be allowed to return. Michael Howe, who was influential, opposed any return of Matthews at all. However, the tide of political opinion was changing and it seemed likely he would return.
On the 25th, John Matthews became the Undersecretary to the Department of National Identity, Insignia and Language, and was welcomed back by Robert Catcheside, Alfie Knowles and Mark S. Kavanah, whilst the general reaction was more lukewarm. Michael Howe and Genevieve Unak, who had both opposed his return, agreed to allow him a chance so long as he abided by the nation's Communications policy - in other words, Mark S. Kavanah (and to an extent Robert Catcheside and Tom McMillan) were warned to keep him under control or stick to their word of not letting him return.
Second Cabinet reshuffle
On the 24th July 2017, Michael Howe's poor behaviour in the Cabinet showed the falsity of the illusion of his influence, and the prevailing feeling was that Tom McMillan and Mark S. Kavanah had the most power in the Cabinet and the nation had transitioned to a 'diarchy'. As the Egalitarian period seemed to be drawing to a close, especially with the increasing collusion between the Communications team and John Matthews, who was excluded from the Egalitarian Party, John Matthews and Mark S. Kavanah created a committee to reshuffle the Cabinet, including Tom McMillan and Alfie Knowles in the process. On the same day, Mark S. Kavanah welcomed Matthews back into the Egalitarian Party, calling for 'a new way of running Glastieve'.
On the 25th July the reshuffle began, first secretly between Mark S. Kavanah, Tom McMillan, John Matthews and Alfie Knowles and later openly to the whole cabinet where the new cabinet makeup of nine members and seven departments was revealed. The Department of Economics, Finance and Governmental Communications and the Department for Media and Technological Affairs were replaced with the Department of Economics, Corporations and Charities led by John Matthews, the Department of Communications and Media Strategy led by Mark S. Kavanah, and the Department of Online and Diplomatic Affairs led by Tom McMillan. The Department of Public Safety, Defence and the Judiciary was split into the Department of Constitutional Affairs and the Judiciary led by Isabella Wall and the Department of Public Safety and Defence led by Alfie Knowles. The Department of Governmental Administration and Recruitment was abolished. The Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Geographical Affairs and the Department of National Identity, Insignia and Language where renamed to the Department of Infrastructure and Territorial Affairs and the Department of National Identity, Culture and Language respectively, with the former keeping its old minister of Michael Howe and the latter being led by Robert Catcheside. The Army and Courts were unaffected.
The second reshuffle was intended to relieve tension resulting from the Matthewsgate scandal and to break down the so-called 'power structures' such as the apparent 'diarchy' involving Kavanah and McMillan that had unintentionally formed. The reshuffle also sought to recreate the politico-media complex of the early Egalitarian period, and to encourage Glastieve's function as a selection of specialised but equal Ministers. It also handed control of the economy, due to begin on the 1st October, to John Matthews, who was offered the opportunity to prove himself.
Continuing to use the group chat instead of meeting in person - a situation that the newly-formed Department of Communications and Media Strategy said would persist until the 4th September at the earliest, possibly with inconsistent exceptions - the Cabinet of Glastieve voted to pass the Corporate and Financial Law Act 2017, which was the continuation of the Glastieven Economic Programme. The new Minister, John Matthews, wrote the Act from scratch, abandoning Mark S. Kavanah's early drafts for a much larger and more comprehensive Economic Law Act 2017.
On the 28th July, Tom McMillan and Mark S. Kavanah accidentally discovered a new river in the broadleaf forest of Glastieve that was invisible to a sattelite, and which ended in a tunnel into the UK, and promised to organise a visit to show the Minister for Infrastructure, Transportation and Territorial Affairs as soon as possible.
The period of stability that followed the upheaval of the Cabinet reshuffle was marked by a newly equal Cabinet, increased professionalisation of political discourse and a more influential Department of Communications and Media Strategy, mirroring trends that had begun in the late Egalitarian period, and the development of a functional economy and private sector, which would become an important part of the Glastieven national identity.
The traditionally defined start of this period was with the issue of a white paper from the Department of Communications and Press Strategy titled 'Dissolving hidden political and power structures to create a more united and democratic Cabinet', which challenged traditional Glastieven views of the progression of history, and claimed to offer an 'honest, realistic and often quite self-insulting' view of history to better understand how the Cabinet functions as an entity, which was generally well-received but was criticised by John Matthews (who probably uncoincidentally did not come off too well), who said, "I want it to be factual and politically correct not 'haha this will make a good news story'." As well as detailing what would become the prevailing view of Glastieven political history, the white paper also explained several strategies to ensure functional equality, showing that the traditionally influential members of the Cabinet Mark S. Kavanah were comitted to dismantling power structures and creating a truly equal country.
On the same day, Renmei was voted in as the new state philosophy of Glastieve, which was deliberately left poorly-defined to allow it to be developed into an ideaology that matched the traditional cultural values of Glastieve and its Ministers.
Between the 28th July and the 1st September, the Cabinet six times in large enough numbers to qualify as a quorum, had it been a formal meeting. Use of the national chatrooms and frequent reporting in The Glastieven both continued, and during this period were the main 'lifeblood' of Glastieve, although several Departments continued to work on their projects. A reform of the Cabinet Committees was undertaken on the 1st August, with all inactive Cabinet Committees dissolved and two new ones - the Cartography Cabinet Committee and the Fundraiser Cabinet Committee - were both formed. The Inspertorate of the Judiciary and the Glastieve Secret Service were both left unaffected by the change.
In mid-August the Shorewellese Empire approached Glastieve with the proposal of forming democratic relations between ministers and offered the Minister for Online and Diplomatic Affairs, Tom McMillan, the option of a mutual recognition, nonaggression or alliance treaty. After hearing the opinions of some other members of the cabinet McMillan decided on an Alliance treaty. The treaty was written and signed by the Sultan of Shorwell, Bilal I on the 13th August and signed by Tom McMillan on the 14th August.
In August, a renewed interest in Glastieven mythology saw the Mythological Trust become unexpectedly influential and saw Glastieven Mythology Wiki expand very quickly, reaching the first milestone of 100 articles in a few days. It was claimed that Glastieven mythology was under-represented internationally (partially due to Glastieven Mythology Wiki, rather than MicroWiki, hosting the articles, and partially due to the 'History' section of the Glastieve article only recording events of significance to the country as a whole), although a vote by the Board of Directors to pass a motion to condemn it, which would have effectively spurred the government into increasing publicity, failed to materialise.
On 29 August, the Minister for National Identity, Culture and Language Robert Catcheside proposed a video game based on the BHH or Maisraln Cycle of Glastieven mythology, which he suggested could be created and distributed by the Mythological Foundation as a way of raising money and raising the profile of Glastieven mythology. It was pointed out that, despite the mythology being a major focus of the members of the Foundation, around half of the country’s citizens still knew nothing about the mythology and were confused by the complicated way it was divided up into cycles, stages and canons. The Foundation’s only official response had been the slow production of ‘Introduction to’ and ‘Simplified’ articles on the Wiki, which had yet to see significant success.
Catcheside suggested that a benefit of creating a game based on Glastieven mythology could be that it would promote the canon of the mythology as the canon of something more concrete, a video game, and would encourage increased interest in the mythology as players tried to find easter eggs or answer questions left unanswered by the game itself. It was the second time that Catcheside has proposed a game for Glastieve, as he had previously suggested a Glastieve-themed alternate universe expansion to the 2015 game Undertale, which is an influence on the newer aspects of the mythology and is the national game of Glastieve. However, the then-Minister for National Identity, Insignia and Language John Matthews condemned the proposals, accusing Catcheside of ‘privatising national identity.’
The initial suggestion for the game was a 3D first-person action-adventure game, similar to Final Fantasy, based on BHH or Maisraln, although current proposals are centered on a game based on the mobile phone app Pirates and Traders, the game Earthbound (a UK release of the Japanese Mother 2) and the game Undertale, with the proposed game being based on BHH and being a choice-based RPG with a bullet hell battle system.
The Mythological Foundation voted later the same day to begin development on the game, and by the next day, the battle system had already been designed, and the plotline was being developed. The game was decided to be centered on BHH, with the Fourth Army forming the main enemies or allies depending on the choice made around halfway through the game to either ally with the Ravensgate or the Fourth Army.
At the same time, a dispute between the New Community and the administrators of MicroWiki, which was targeting Mark S. Kavanah by claiming the New Community was 'really just [him]', reached Glastieve when a sarcastic article written by Jonathan was seen as 'the straw that broke the donkey's back' in terms of the level of insult endured by the nation. The Minister for Diplomatic and Online Affairs Tom McMillan, separately to Kavanah, contacted Jonathan to complain about his behavior and the insult to Glastieve. Kavanah, although somewhat annoyed that he had not been consulted, commended McMillan for protecting Glastieve's interests in the escalating dispute.
Glastieve's article became the longest on the wiki on 30 August 2017. However, the celebrations were overshadowed by the ongoing dispute between the MicroWiki administration and Mark S. Kavanah, which now involved Tom McMillan, as the way they were behaving and the way Glastieve was treated by the dispute had politicised and damaged MicroWiki's name as a micronational encyclopedia. The official response from the Department of Diplomatic and Online Affairs, published by Tom McMillan, read, ‘Jonathan Austen has publicly shamed Glastieve on the grounds of supporting the New Community; I hope the fact that we have supplied more information to MicroWiki than any other nation will show that he is wrong.’
In a personal statement to The Glastieven, Mark S. Kavanah, who was the largest contributor to the article along with Michael Howe and Tom McMillan and who was also one of the two main parties in the conflict, said, ‘the fact that the official response to this remarkable achievement focuses on the ongoing conflict between myself the administration of MicroWiki is a pity. I was tempted in writing this article not to include the quote, as I am already being accussed of ‘controlling’ Glastieve myself, but I think that this really shows both the way that Glastieve stands as one against attack and slander, and how MicroWiki’s good name as a micronational encyclopedia has been smeared and politicised by the actions of Jonathan and the rest of the administration in refusing to take a neutral stance on this issue.’
Tom McMillan, re-examining the nation's score with the Linden System, concluded that Glastieve currently scored 3.8 out of 5, but that they could raise this to 4.6 within less than six months if they followed steps laid out in a document he published.
On 2 September the country's newspaper - The Glastieven - moved from Wordpress to Google Sites since the latter was easier to edit, although the Wordpress site was kept so as to retain all the old articles. Following this it gradually became even more active than before.
Reformation Period (September to November 2017)
On 7 September the Cabinet met for the first time since 6 July with Alfie Knowles, John Matthews, Mark Kavanah, Tom McMillan, Robert Catcheside and William Allen in attendance. However the meeting was cut short due to Knowles and Matthews leaving partway through meaning the meeting was no longer quorate. Reports were received from Kavanah, Lynch and McMillan regarding the secret service, progress with the economy and leaving MicroWiki respectively and Allen was welcomed back from leave. McMillan also urged the cabinet ministers to complete department logos. No acts or motions were passed at this meeting.
The Cabinet met on 14 September with the same composition as the previous meeting except with Michael Howe in attendance and Aaron Lynch on notified absence; Genevieve Unak and Isabella Wall also arrived partway through the meeting. Most of the present ministers donated money towards buying a domain name for the country's website and membership into the failed MicroNews project. During this meeting the Cabinet voted to hold a 'special meeting' every 2 months to decide the nation's goals.
Later that day the Cabinet announced a Two-Month Program of legislation and governmental reform to lay the groundwork for a 'new era of prosperity'. This originally involved three main acts: the Economics Act, the Constitutional Convention Act and the National Identity Act, of which the Constitutional Convention Act and the National Identity Act have been passed, and a plan to move Cabinet meetings to inside Glastieve and hold them at a time that would allow for longer meetings. Throughout its duration various legislation and reforms would be added to this plan.
Starting from 15 September John Matthews, up until now an alias name decided to be known by his real name: Aaron Lynch as 'Glastieve is something I don't want to hide my involvement in'.
The Cabinet meeting on 21 September only just managed to make quorum with only Mark Kavanah, Michael Howe, Robert Catcheside, Tom McMillan and William Allan in attendance. The meeting's only productive purpose would be the passing of a motion to punish unnotified absence from meetings; although Catcheside attempted to motion to amend the Standing Orders for meetings it was pointed out that this could only be done at a 'special meeting'.
On 26 September the Department of Infrastructure, Transportation and Geographical Affairs passed the Public Roadways and Pedestrian Spaces Act. Since this was a Departmental Act, an act that alters how a Department uses its powers without expanding them, it was not passed through the cabinet. The Act was positively received by the majority of the Cabinet, however Aaron Lynch disproved of it on the grounds that it was 'unenforceable' and could 'get [the government] into trouble' as well as shunning Michael Howe's decision not to pass the act through the Cabinet.
The Cabinet descended into uproar during the evening of 7 October
Glastieve Planning Board (November and December 2017)
Republic of Glastieve (January 2018 to present)
Early Independence Period
Development of and initial response to New Secessionism
The term "New Secessionism" was first used by Daniel Carter in December 2017 at a meeting of the Glastieve Planning Board to describe the integration of the principles of the Resolution on Micronational Sovereignty (adopted by the Congress of Colo) and of the GCA's jurisprudence. The idea was supported by both Robert Catcheside and Will Campbell, the latter of whom used the name to start building a more complete philosophy that he developed and started to publicise on the Internet. Despite the failure of the Intermicronational Community and Glastieve's intention to rejoin the MicroWiki Community in 2018, the Resolution on Micronational Sovereignty and the ideas of Delvera were both still greatly respected before January 2018.
The Resolution on Micronational Sovereignty, which was written by a joint delegation from micronations including Delvera, defines micronations in opposition to conventional sovereign states, and makes reference to "separate, parallel planes" of sovereignty that are key to New Secessionism:
Whereas micronations and macronations exist on separate, parallel planes whereby their duties and responsibilities do not overlap; and
Whereas micronations have sovereign power which is exerted in the social, cultural, and economic realms; and
Whereas micronational authority is entirely based on the consent of the governed rather than a monopoly on force; and
Whereas micronational laws are enforced through the implementation of punishments agreed to via consensus ad idem and pursuant to macronational restrictions on violence; and
Whereas all micronational citizens hold macronational citizenship; and
Whereas macronations generally do not tolerate challenges to their authority in the manner of true secessionism or separatism; and
Whereas micronational governments, as true servants of the people, should protect their citizens from unnecessary hardship and persecution at the hands of macronations in relation to movements of secession;
Therefore, micronational sovereignty and macronational sovereignty do not preclude one another; and
Micronations which seek macronational status alter their basis of authority, and therefore their national character; and
Micronational governments do not hold a monopoly on force to the exclusion of separate, macronational authorities where such authorities claim jurisdiction in a given case; and
Micronations should not identify as a movement which seeks to usurp the macronational monopoly of force.
However, despite defining the ways in which micronations are not "macronations" (conventional sovereign states), the Resolution fails to explain on what basis micronations do operate, and although it implies that consensus of its citizens is a key part of their basis for "punishments," it does not elaborate on this enough to provide a reasonable basis for a political philosophy. It could also be read as Simulationist in nature, as it directly challenges the idea that micronations should seek to become conventional sovereign states, which is the basis for conventional Secessionism. Finding this interpretation of the Resolution unsatisfying, the Planning Board argued that the line "Micronations which seek macronational status alter their basis of authority" legitimises the implication that micronations had the right to govern themselves with an authority that was separate from that of sovereign states.
Carter argued that this basis was the same as that claimed by the GCA. The GCA defined itself as a non-sovereign entity under international law, operating within the law of the United Kingdom. The GCA's political purpose was to formalise the existing self-determination of Acteriendia: the UK can, and has, exercised de facto rule over the cultural group and its members without restraint, and, by its own legal and constitutional standards, it has exercised such rule de jure; however, the Group, an entity that existed at the time of the GCA's foundation as an unofficial ruling council for the "superstructure" of three linked cultural groups including Acteriendia, also exercised control over the cultural group and its members. This self-determination, argued the GCA, was the result of the distinct culture and traditions of the cultural group which had a tradition of self-rule that was never challenged by the government of the UK. Therefore, it was within the law of the UK to create an organisation that took this legally unofficial but undoubtedly existent power (known in a GCA legal context as the Executive) and use it as the basis for a legal system and bureaucracy, in the same way that the UK's government and law stem from the previously less-defined but always accepted power of the Crown. The GCA initially positioned itself as an organisation using this power in an abstract way in opposition to the Group, but after the April 2017 controversy functioned more like a national government, using the Executive as the basis for a form of legal self-determination that resembled tribal sovereignty in the United States.
Arguing along similar but distinct lines, Campbell compared the Resolution's "basis of authority" to the Confucian concept of li (this comparison is discussed in detail further in the article) and also to the international legal principle of the formalisation of the status quo, which was argued on the basis of a paper released by Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs in the United Kingdom). He said that cultural groups, including Acteriendia, could be compared to stateless societies or chiefdoms, in that they had a shared culture and set of traditions that formed the basis for the unofficial and fluctuating authority of a leader within that group. He therefore attributed the decline of "the Group," which Carter suggested had been usurped by the GCA, to the collapse of the shared cultural traditions following the April 2017 controversy; without traditions and observances, micronational governments, which like Carter he suggested were an example of this "sovereignty of cultural groups" being channeled via an organised and codified system, were meaningless without being rooted in the culture and traditions of a cultural group.
A combination of Carter and Campbell's ideas became the official philosophy of Glastieve when it declared independence, and the text of the declaration was heavily influenced by the developing philosophy. For example, Article 2 of the four-article declaration read:
The government and institutions of the Republic of Glastieve will always seek to protect and recognise the unique culture of the people of Glastieve, and shall not ever seek to impose a culture or ideals upon their people, for their own international or political benefit alter their way of being to less reflect the organic and present-day culture of the people of Glastieve, or violate the fundamental principles expressed in this Declaration of Independence.
And in Article 4, the third of the three "founding values" of Glastieve is described as:
cultural recognition, with a state that strives to be founded in the traditions, history, values and reality of the culture developed organically by the Glastieven people.
Following the declaration, the legal structure of the new state when defined also noted that "The institutions of the Republic of Glastieve must always be founded in the Nation of Glastieve." The term "Nation of Glastieve" was a neologism for Acteriendia post-independence; that is, it was a way of describing the cultural group in such a way as to make it explicit that it was considered to be a part of Glastieve. Glastieve's "goal" was defined quite clearly as "providing a framework for the cultural expression ... of the Glastieven people," and the declaration of independence seemed to suggest that New Secessionism would be a key focus of Glastieve, even more so than in the GCA. It was in reference to this that Campbell coined the term "Acteriendian Secessionism," which referred to New Secessionism (which he wanted to export intermicronationally) in a specific Glastieven and Acteriendian context.
During this process, Catcheside, Campbell and Carter were unified in their support of the philosophy and, apparently, its implications for governance. However, following the declaration of independence and the start of Glastieve's return to activity following the two-month period in which the Planning Board had been working, Catcheside would start to express reservations that would quickly escalate and form the basis of the Acteriendia and New Secessionism crisis.
Initial dispute and the so-called Revived GCA Period
January 2018 Cabinet reshuffle
Maiestas project and escalation of tensions
Cultural impact and legacy
Other events between 1 January and 8 February
On 3 January, Jonathan I of Austenasia made The Glastieven an approved publication on MicroWiki, granting it the right to post on the main page newsfeed. This was seen as an important early step towards restoring Glastieve's reputation in the MicroWiki Community post-independence.
Carter organised the first meeting of the Cabinet of Glastieve on 12 January, with the temporary location fixed at 9 Marsh Barton Road in Exeter, with video participation also available. The entire Cabinet attended the first meeting - Carter, Catcheside and Kavanah in person and Bradstreet, Murlock, Howe, Wall and Unak through video call - but Catcheside deliberately derailed the meeting, prevented the video call from working and spent a significant portion of what was intended to be the meeting making memes of Carter, laughing at him and Campbell for attempting to restore order. He later claimed that he was doing this because "all our meetups are Cabinet meetings," despite this having been the first meeting of the Cabinet, and threatened to continue to prevent formal meetings from taking place unless the Government ended its policy of treating Glastieve and Acteriendia as formally connected. Before the meeting descended into Catcheside and Unak, who would later be the one minister to resign as a result of "no longer having to be in Glastieve to be in the cultural group," posting memes and bullying Carter (a term he refused to accept) by posting edited images of him in group chats despite having been sincerely asked not to, the GCA Legislation Act 2018 was made law and Bradstreet announced he had successfully created a Glastieven Public Health Service, which was a medical kit.
The Cabinet's second meeting, following the January 2018 Cabinet reshuffle, was organised by Campbell and took place entirely on video call on 19 January. This was a result of what BBC News had called the day before "the worst flu season since 2011" in the UK, which had seen several ministers infected and unable to attend in-person. With one notified absence, from Howe, and one unnotified absence, from Murlock, the meeting unanimously voted to approve the creation of Robert Catcheside's new ministry, which was named the Ministry for Economic and Pecuniary Affairs.
In his new role as Minister for Logistics, Meetings and External Communications, Campbell announced on 26 January that Cabinet meetings would now instead be scheduled for Sundays at 12.00 Glastieven time (14.00 UK time) and would be in a new outdoor location in Barton Fields, a local playing fields near Glastieve. However, on Saturday he announced the meeting on 28 January would be cancelled as a result of adverse weather conditions, which was a result of a BBC Weather prediction of torrential rainfall. The day was, in fact, clear, but the meeting was not held. However, on 3 February three members of the Cabinet, Matthews, Campbell and Carter met in the new location despite subzero temperatures, and Bradstreet and Catcheside joined via video call. This meeting lasted only seven minutes, the shortest in the history of Glastieve or the GCA, and passed no legislation and saw only a single department report.
Following the resolution of the Acteriendia and New Secessionism crisis, there was a steady increase in Glastieven activity. This was partially as a result of a more unified Cabinet in which the ministers traditionally responsible for organising things, Campbell, Carter and Catcheside, were now free to work on legislation, meetings and other state affairs, but was also a direct consequence of a far more unified cultural group. For the first time since at least the September Scare and possibly since the Egalitarian Period, Acteriendia was peaceful, well-defined and frequently held group events, which were becoming increasingly Glastievenised in line with the framework agreed at the resolution of the Acteriendia and New Secessionism crisis.