Saturday, September 25, 2010

Magnificent Micro-nations: Part 1- The Hutt River Province

I love oddities; those little accidents of history, those quirks of fate, those FUBARs of constitutional law which lead to the bizarre and the ridiculous. That's why I find micronations hilariously appealing.

After all, how do you want to "stick it to the Man"? Sitting in your room with the curtains drawn, sullenly looking at your poster of Che Guevara while listening to Rage Against the Machine or the Manic Street Preachers? Or would you like to declare independence, cecede from the imperialist oppression of a recognised state, and lead your homeland (or in many case, just your house) to freedom, before going mad with power, losing sight of the revolutionary ideals you once held dear, and declaring yourself a monarch?

Oooh, the latter please!

In what will hoepfully becoming a whirlwind tour of the mini-states of the world, we shall begin with the Hutt River Province, a nation which heroically won its freedom from that most repressive of nations: Australia.

Fascist bastard!

In 1969, tired of being ground under the heel of the repressive Canberra regime, and suffering from the Aussie's stringent wheat quota, farmer Leonard Casley declared his farm independent. That might sound kind of pathetic, but remember this is an Australian farm, so it's 75 square kilometres - so its nearly half the size of Liechtenstein, and it dwarfs the Vatican.  And hey, they're independent, so why not Hutt River?

Hutt River's Mighty Territories (Image from Wikipedia)

So much, so crazy, and Australia obviously refused to recognise what the Feds no doubt assumed was simply a lunatic. The suits began legal proceedings, and all would have no doubt have ended in a heavy fine and a wordy judgment from an Australian court, had the Governor-General's office not referred to Mr. Casley as  "Administrator of the Hutt River Province" - which, under the terms of the Royal Perogative (the G-G represents the British monarch, don't forget), meant Mr. Casley now represented the official administration governing Hutt River.

Mr. Casley promptly did what we all would, and declared himself His Royal Highness Prince Leonard of Hutt, which had the dual benefit of being both ridiculously grand, and, under the terms of Commonwealth law, prevents him being prosecuted in Australian courts. So bye-bye Australian Tax Office.

Australia did what any repressive regime would do, and cut off HRH's post, which meant that King Leonard's copy of "Monarchs Monthly" had to be passed through the Canadian Postal Service (obviously, the New Zealanders were under diplomatic pressure not to provide this service).

Since then, the Hutt River Province has ticked along quite merrily, forming its own Diplomatic Intelligence Service, seeking foreign business opportunities in Dubai, and generally gettin up the nose of the Aussies.

You have to admire the brass neck of this micronation (hey, the country has a Prince Wayne!)

The only disappointment is that I was certain that the Hutt River Province would be ruled by this guy:

Send the Aussies to the Sarlacc!


  1. Thanks for posting this, I'm always intrigued by geo-political oddities.

  2. This is brilliant. I've been somewhat curious about the more traditional micronations (Liechtenstein, Andorra, Isle of Man, etc). How many of these small European nations survived the 20th Century is kind of fascinating.

    But the micronations born of nutjobs--pure brilliance!

  3. Starbuck, I assume you were more devastated than most that Hutt River has no constitutional role for Jabba!