onday evening The Royal Court opened the new political year. As described last week then the political year is a bit different than a regular year and is stooped in ceremony and speeches, Monday was no exception to that.
Note: If interested in the minutes of this meeting then you can contact The office of the Court Registrar who has these available. We will only be bringing a few excerpts.
The whole event started out with a sermon in the Cathedral in Stormwind, initiated by Templar Master of The Cathedral of Light, Vincent Harringoth - who then introduced Sister Adonia Ward who took over and first read a passage from the Tome of Divinity, and then asked the audience about The Three Virtues - Compassion, Tenacity and Respect. Sir Galford of the Cathedral of Light, Templar Master Vincent Haringoth, and Sir Cailen Cadogan all gave their views on the Three Virtues, and Sister Ward herself finished off with her take on it. Of the four I will highlight Sir Cailen Cadogan's answer since this is about the Royal Court and politics.
Sir Cailen Cadogan: The three virtues can be applied in many ways.. even those who work in the Court. The people gathered here may not be church men. But they show respect for their people, and the liege. They show compassion in the good deeds they do, for King and country, and tenacity in their determination to succeed. So that all may live in peace and security. I am proud to be among them.
A tad high-browed, but it was a ceremonial event. Not saying it was sugary, just that it was comparable to a cake with extra frosting and baked in honey and sprayed with syrup before you drizzle over chocolate, is to be expected. The members of the Royal Court are for sure generally doing what they think is the best for the citizenry and the kingdom, but sometimes their idea of what is best - does not align with the needs of Mr. and Mrs. Stormwind. After the sermon in the Cathedral the members of the Royal Court, ambassadors and all, trotted the same dirty cobblestone as the rest of us back to their palace. I know, I am being unfair - but the only time I have seen the High Lord Chancellor outside of the Keep, was on horseback, riding through the streets of Stormwind. Sometimes nobles really need to think about how they appear to the common people. For this special occasion the entranceway and corridors of the Keep was flanked by City Guards from the Echo Company just as their high-ranking officers where present in the throne room in full uniform. It was an almost foreboding presence signalling the upcoming speech by the Lord High Chancellor himself, Count Didonus Essington. Once inside the throne room and in their semi-usual spots around the room and with the usual formalities done with, the Lord High Chancellor addressed the audience.
Lord High Chancellor, Count Didonus Essington: Esteemed Councillors, Nobles, Knights, Clergy, Soldiers, Ambassadors and other guests, we start this year under a slumbering veil of darkness and confusion. For all the pomp and circumstance that accompanies this stately occasion there can be no doubt of the dire state of the Kingdom. Not three months ago the skies over Icecrown shattered, the Scourge rose up once more reaching these very Halls in an seemingly unmatched offensive and ending in the untimely abduction and disappearance of our one and true High King, Anduin Llane Wrynn. Under these circumstances there can be no doubt of the challenge that faces our Kingdom and by extension this Court and Council. Upon this Council rests the heavy duty to help guide the Realm in times of uncertainty, in times of challenge, in the times of shadow-wars. As we witness these days of sunset on our Realm, it is our duty to ensure that the Realm will see its next sunrise. As of such the Executive has deemed it paramount that the coming mounts will focus on policy that addresses these threats, concerns and unruly times. The Policy Directive for the first term of this Court Year will therefore be "Safety and Security". Safety transcends the traditional concept of military protection. Safety translates to the very purpose for which we govern. To ensure that every citizen of Stormwind can rise in the morning to go about their lives. A life without troubles from beyond borders, a life shaped by the choices of the citizen. That a farmer may rise to tend to his soil, without fear of drafts, without unrest or chaos. To live the life he choose. This is the safety that we as a Court and as a Council must strive to create for our citizens. That our peoples may come to peace in the knowledge that the wars will not last forever and the loss of loved ones is not the norm, but the exception.
Nothing special here, a retelling of recent events - and a statement that the coming year will see a focus on "Safety & Security". He then went on to thanking various branches of the armed forces.
Lord High Chancellor, Count Didonus Essington [cont..]: Safety is matched with Security. Security extends to many aspects in life. Security we see, the true heroes of Stormwind. The unnamed men in silver and blue, the guards of the City and the first layer of protection. These men and women, who happen to be here today, are the face of security for most in our realm. So I say: Hail! to the guards, thank you for your service. Security is however not always visible to most. Most of the Security that we find in this city, is granted by the unrelenting service of the soldiers of the Realm. Be it the Seventh Legion, the Special Services Units or even the many faces of men and women at the outposts and frontlines all across Azeroth and Beyond. Each and everyone of them works tirelessly to ensure that our citizens may sleep and rise safely.
While I agree that a lot of these people do an outstanding job and deserve the praise - then I do get worried when the Court one week award honours and ribbons to soldiers and special agents, and next week continue the praise. It seems like a very one-sided focus and one can only speculate as to why it is so important for the Court to praise and compliment and bind them closer to the court. It pairs up with the fact that most members of the court, especially the senior members are military men and women. There is very very little in the way of court members with a more civilian outlook on what it is like to live in the kingdom. An oversight? or on purpose? your guess is as good as mine, but it could be argued it leads to a blindness when important political matters are subject for debate within the court.
Lord High Chancellor, Count Didonus Essington [cont..]: This duty, to secure that which we have been entrusted with by our ancestors, is a sacred duty. For there cannot be a tomorrow if we do not protect our today. So taking into account the times, the challenges and the state of the realm, there can be no choice, there is no choice: we must first and foremost work for the Safety and Security of the Realm.
This is when my alarm bells go off. When an entire speech is about "Safety & Security" I worry. I worry because as mentioned these are military men and women. People who do not have to live the life of a civilian, a farmer, a shoe polisher, a miller or a mason. "Safety & Security" is something everyone wants, but both also means freedom, it means civil rights, it means "Safety & Security" from oppressive government and draconian laws. Last fall we saw the guards get increased mandate to deal with the problem of an outlawed gang in Old Town. As far as I know, then the gang is long gone, but the law is still in effect - there was no sundown clause - no expiration date of the law. This is just one of the problems. Laws are enacted to deal with an immediate problem - but there is no one remembering to return to normal state when the problem is dealt with. How many more special laws is this new focus going to give life to? and how many of them will still be in effect in five years? According to certain sources then a Royal Advisor to the late King Varian Wrynn once said:
"Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
It was true words then, and it is true words now. Safety and Security must never be the goal, it must never be at the cost of equally important values like Civil rights and freedom. You promise a focus on "Safety & Security" in the upcoming year. I promise a focus as well. On "Civil rights & freedom." Not as catchy, but just as equally important.
Lord High Chancellor, Count Didonus Essington [cont..]: So I say to you all, in the presence of the Regent-Lord, Welcome Back and Let us get to work. So we may see our King returned to the throne! For King and Country. Long live the King!
Indeed. Long live the King.