Café Riche: The Ministry of Truth
An embarrassingly bad attempt by the Socialist Party to rewrite history
In George Orwell’s superb novel 1984, Winston Smith is employed by the Party with the specific objective of rewriting history. He does so by selecting newspapers, books and photographs which are at odds with the Party-sponsored version of history and then systematically burns them. Lacking the physical means to carry out such a scheme, it appears as if Mr. Alvisi has decided to try a more literary path.
I don’t have a problem with people expressing their opinion about recent events. What I do have a problem with is when that effort embraces denialism on an epic scale and also appears to be, for the most part, a long-winded way of attacking me with utterly false claims.
According to Alvisi, his justification for such claims is that in past few months someone (read, me) lead an “unjustifiable, folly-driven charge” against his government and “enjoyed levelling accusations against institutional figures”. Yes, I have written two articles about the past government and yes, my resignation letter talked about it. But I would like to stress two points. Firstly, virtually every claim I made is factually verifiable. Secondly, freedom of speech and criticism is permitted in St.Charlie. I know the Constitution isn’t the SPSC’s favourite text, but hey, try giving it a glance every once in a while.
In the first paragraph Alvisi correctly points out that he won the 2011 elections. I would therefore correctly point out that Mr. Mubarak won the 2005 elections in Egypt. The point is not whether Alvisi won the elections, but how. The answer to that question was revealed by the Electoral Commission and I’ve quoted it enough times. For brevity’s sake, let’s just say it was unconstitutional.
After at least conceding his government did absolutely nothing about the Electoral Commission’s suggestions, Alvisi stumbles onto a very silly mistake. In responding to my resignation letter, he stated that he agreed with me entirely and wouldn’t try to respond by “agitating the ghost of an illegitimate electoral commission”. But in his letter he plainly says the commission “is not envisaged by any law … and no laws guarantee the validity and enforceability of its decisions.”
Putting aside his obvious hypocrisy, Alvisi is also wrong on this count. The Treasury, Home and Foreign Affairs Ministries Reform Act 2010 ascribes to the Home Affairs Ministry the task of ensuring the smooth functioning of elections and vote counting, which absolutely authorizes the creation of a Commission to fulfil these tasks. If that Commission was ignored, by assuming the bad faith of its creator, and replaced with an ad hoc one, it is hard to complain. And of course, it is interesting that Mr. Alvisi, a member of the Commission, only though about this now.
In trying to defend the 2011 elections, Alvisi commits another very simple mistake. It is basic logic that two wrongs do not make a right. Just because in the 2010 elections the 180-day-citizenship clause was lifted by Parliamentary decree (at least it was lifted, so the election itself was legal) does not make the 2011 election any more legitimate. His attempted snipe at my person for my membership of the party that won the 2010 elections also fails miserably, since I was not active in St.Charlie at the time.
The next paragraphs are where St.Charlian history seems to take an interesting bend. Alvisi suggests that the inactivity of his government was the NPSC’s fault. Yes, you read that right. He claims that the government was mostly composed of NPSC members and “sympathizers”, and they are thus to blame. While is not clear how he wishes to prove the second part of his statement, the first is demonstrably false, given that only two out of 6 governmental positions were held by NPSC members. It is also instructive to recall that the SCSP had a parliamentary majority, but none of its members proposed a single piece of legislation.
The next three paragraphs are an orgy of insults, lies and disgustingly deceitful claims unequivocally intended to harm my person. Alvisi claims he “frequently urged” me to get on with the Educational Reform. This is absolute rubbish. After contacting me once on January 30th and even offering to help me, I didn’t hear a word from him. And he then has the nerve of saying I “stabbed [him] in the back and used defamatory language”.
Once the mud factory’s wheels started churning, there was no stopping them, and slime over slime is added with each new sentence. Alvisi states that I asked him to review Mr. Strauss’s Budget 2011, even though it was beyond my responsibilities, and that I “only corrected a few drafts.” Again, this is patent nonsense. Alvisi himself proposed that I help with the process of writing the budget and he should be on his knees thanking me for making time to look over something I had nothing to do with. After correcting one draft, I wrote an extensive appendix proposing a wealth of ideas for how to create a micronational economy, which I am willing to publish on request. If none of my proposals were taken on by the competent minister, that is hardly my fault. It is Alvisi, not I, that left the bill “in the middle of a bureaucratic ocean”.
Another sentence, yet another defamatory lie. Again Alvisi lies unashamedly by suggesting he asked me to publish the reform numerous times. If he had, he would have known that the reform conjured at the Expo 2010 had been discarded and that the new one would be written from scratch, and avoided mentioning the former in his letter. He thus mistakenly claims that the reform had a “9 month gestation period”. This is, again, false; since it was written at the Expo 2011, as anyone who decided to cough up the €10 for the train ticket would have known.
Alvisi also seems to magically forget why I resigned: not a single government member commented on a bill I proposed that would have created ministerial decrees, a tool absolutely necessary to publish such a technical reform
The most disgusting attack on my person comes when he proceeds to question my integrity by claiming that my resignation was “pathetic and melodramatic” and that I have become a “stakanovist” at the Observer, “flying in the face of supposed commitments of the past year”. Sheer idiocy is the only motivator I can see here.
Until May 23rd, the day of my last exams, I had devoted my time to studying for my International Baccalaureate in order to secure a place in a top UK university. I had mentioned to Alvisi in January I had little time for St.Charlie. I then went on holiday and attended the Expo. During October I was a fresher at university, nuff said. Since my resignation, I have written four proper articles (including this one) on the Observer – one every three weeks. Given Alvisi’s yardstick for activity, I’m not surprised he characterizes this as “stakanovist”.
The last act of revisionism comes when he claims that in fact many important things were undertaken in 2011. These include, and are limited to, ratifying a Legal Code that had been written 8 months earlier, an attempt to sabotage the recounting process and a detailed description of how a St.Charlian wedding works. Not to forget merging Justice and Home Affairs Ministries to “reduce bureaucracy”, which indeed has worked so well that a not a whisper emerged from the joint Ministry in 2011. Great stuff, as you can see. Click here and decide for yourself if the bills passed in 2011 are even remotely as important as those of 2010.
What drives a man to denialism? Maybe fashion or trend-following, since historical revisionism seems to be quite popular as of late in the community. But for a man that has had virtually no contact with micronationalists outside the 4000m2 of Tor Pendente that sounds unlikely. What seems more probable is a concentrated effort to regain standing within St.Charlie and the wider community.
But such an attempt is bound to fail if based on a gripping but absolutely ridiculous version of St.Charlian history and if you launch yourself on a full-scale defamatory attack on a journalist who had the daring to expose the utterly pathetic sham your government was. That is definitely not going to score well. In fact, I’m surprised that the truly intelligent Mr. Alvisi came out with such a terrible letter. Perhaps I should be giving a bashing to whoever suggested these ridiculous ideas down in Tor Pendente.