It’s a Second Helping of Potato!
Dateline Asteel 3205.321
With the Q0 votes finally in, the Greater Federation of Asteel has voted to give Star Party candidate Alphie Potato a second term by 51% to 46%, with 3% going to third party candidate Rocky Talaferio.
The margin of victory – actually greater than his previous cliffhanger election win – surprised pollsters, who were predicting a far closer race and possibly even an Elgon victory even during initial exit polls. However, the voters never lie, and it seems that although Potato has done almost everything he can to lose what has been a relentlessly negative election, including a dismal performance in the head-to-head debate and losing three key ministers during the campaign itself, the appetite of the Esteeler public for his administration’s combination of economic prosperity and high-profile public scandal remains undiminished.
Martian government falls after no-confidence vote
Dateline New Mars 3205.340
The Martian CDP-led government has collapsed in disarray after losing a crucial no-confidence motion in the Martian Senate by 14 votes to 13. The defection of the Central Democratic Party’s key ally Phil Dermond and his Free Mars Party and the disappearance of Foreign Minister and Harness protégé Thrain Shadbolt swung the balance in favour of the
opposition, while the government’s other ally the New Humanity Party abstained.
Although Charles L Harness remains Supreme Councilor of the Martian Union, he must now put together a new
cabinet in the teeth of concerted Senate opposition, and the talk is of a Government of National Unity, involving opposition as well as former government members. It seems certain that there will be important roles for the leaders of the coalition that defeated the government, including Phil Dermond (New Mars Party), ‘Toinette Banderas (MCGP) and Ophelia Laertes
(MLWP), but pundits predict it unlikely that Senator Shakewell of the New Helix Party will get a seat on the ICC. Former Minister of War Senator Minos Cornelius has already indicated that he will not form part of any cross-bench government.
Dateline Sol Q0 3205.307
The Black Swan Lines starliner Golden Wraith has disappeared on the final leg of its Quadrant Zero cruise, from Kumarajiva to Sol. Several hundred crew and passengers are feared lost. The ship entered hyperspace normally at Kumarajiva, but is now over a week overdue at Sol. Black Swan Lines say that the ship has an experienced captain and crew and an impeccable safety record, and are at a loss to explain the ship’s vanishing.
Masada enacts constitutional changes
Dateline Masada 3205.311
The Planetary Knesset of the world of Masada has enacted a series of changes to its constitution in response to continuing pressure from religious conservatives, who form a sizeable minority of the population there. A series of Jewish courts is being set up, answerable to the planetary Knesset, with authority over burial, marriage and the status of
immigrants. Divorce is to be made illegal. Certain neighbourhoods will be designated as ‘haredi’ (Orthodox), and will be closed to vehicular traffic on Saturdays. No public transport will operate on that day, and businesses will require special licenses to remain open. Local production of non-kosher food will be prohibited, although if imported it may still be
sold by licensed premises.
True Zion Party leaders have said that they regard Masada as a model for the way they would like to see the UoX develop, at least within Q0, and are encouraging worlds like New Jerusalem which also have significant Jewish minorities to enact similar laws.
Escape from Sheepville
Dateline Linwood, Q2 3205.285
The island-city of Sheepville on the independent world of Linwood in Quadrant 2 has suffered a catastrophic failure of the city’s main power reactor. An explosion dispersed radioactive debris across the entire city, the largest on the planet. Government attempts to evacuate the populace have had to be abandoned in the face of widespread civil disorder, and the world is rapidly sliding into anarchy.
Small planetquake on P27 – not many dead
Dateline P27, Q5 3205.375
Reports are reaching us of a moderate tremor under Valparaiso, the second city of P27-2. Sections of the city are reportedly badly damaged, although casualties are not thought to be serious.
Exclusive INN Breakfast with Frost Interview, with Surre-David Frost (3) Dateline Earth 3205.275
SDF: Hello, Good bording, and Welcome. We return today to the final part of our serialisation of ‘Unreliable Memoirs’ by former MAFC Foreign Minister Drakkir Hands.
Now I know that you came here to discuss your views on the Mald Foundation, but I really have to ask you about the current political situation on New Mars.
DH: I’m obviously disappointed. I think that the Harness Administration was one of the best things to happen to the MAFC in some years, and that we put the country back on its feet after a very difficult time. I can understand however the frustrations that the action against Douglas has caused within the Senate.
SDF: Did you ever discuss Douglas in cabinet?
DH: Of course. The difficulty was that at that stage Herr Zemo had made no false move, even though we all distrusted his motives. I think perhaps had I been there I might have urged a legal rather than military solution [mutters: or a quiet accident…].
SDF: And what will happen now? I’ve heard that Senator Banderas is tipped for your Foreign Affairs position.
DH: Oh no… oh surely not…
SDF: Er… perhaps we can turn to your reaction to President Potato’s victory?
DH: That bloody woman. Hmm? Oh, ER President Potato… I wish him well, of course.
DH: Well, it’s not for me to comment on Esteeler internal affairs, but I do feel that President Potato has always walked a very difficult line between different wings of his cabinet…
DH: And I think he made a major mistake in signing the New Washington treaty – against the advice of his Secretary of State, I may add, and I always found Gerry O’Brien someone I could agree with on this – and he may find it is not to Asteel’s benefit in the longer term. But perhaps if I could say a few words about the Mald Foundation…
SDF: I’m very sorry, Drakkir, but we’re out of time.
Thank you once again.
Right wing in ascendant as Earth goes to the polls
Dateline Sol 3205.331
The Earther election cycle is beginning again, with voting for the Council of Representatives (CoR). This will be followed early in 3206 by the incoming CoR selecting the new Council of Senators, and finally in late 3206 the Grand Council of the Senate will select the new Imperium and First Minister. The CoR election, with one representative per every million inhabitants of the Empire, represents the public’s main chance to give its view of the direction of Earther policy. So
far polls are suggesting that the rightward drift in Earther politics that began with the Exterminator War will again make itself felt in the composition of the new CoR.
Orion Ceasefire Not Holding
Dateline Orion Q4 3205.290
The UoX-brokered ceasefire between the pro-Clewgist Government forces and the terrorist ‘Free Orion Now Zealots’ (a primarily New Davidian faction) looks in danger of breaking down.
Xyonist marines and ‘military advisors’ have been operating on-world for the last three octants in an attempt to assist the locals in resolving their differences. In the last Octant the the Shaliach of Ritchie, Admiral Gabriel Rozenberg CoG UXN (Rtd) has been moving additional resources into the Orion system in an effort to, as he says “..bring about peace and stability to our neighbour and friend.”. Criticised at home, the Admiral has retorted”…look, if your neighbour’s house is on fire, do you wait until it burns down before acting?”
There has also been close cooperation with Wolfer aid agencies, who have been operating on Orion for some time now – though they have complained that they are woefully under-resourced.
To further complicate the issue, there are accusations that the Davidian terrorists have been aided by Earther arms, smuggled into the system from nearby Zocalo. Xyonist warships have intercept a number of illegal arms shipments, but are hampered by the lack of cooperation from the Earther authorities. The situation has become more tense as a result of the arrival of an Imperial task group of a light cruiser and a destroyer in the system – there to ‘protect legitimate trade interests’.
The Davidians have a large number of cities under their control on Orion III and even though they are not officially recognised by the ruling government, they are the de-facto authority over much of the central continent. The Government is claiming that it will not negotiate with terrorists – though reporters observe that the FONZ has what appear to be legitimate claims to civil rights abuses, religious intolerance and corruption – even some accusations of ‘ethnic cleansing’ against the government. In the political turmoil here at Orion, however, it is hard to be clear exactly how many of these claims are founded in truth. The Government, for its part, points to bombings, shootings and random senseless murders committed by FONZ.
The Xyonist advisors on world were able to broker a shaky ceasefire last octant, but the shootings and bombing have now started again after a bungled Government ‘security operation’ left 250 people dead, including 42 children.