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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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naxhi24

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To Right Honorable Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
((naxhi24 -Private))

My Lord of Salisbury,

Hearing of you as a man of great mind and reason, a sound nobleman and a public servant, We have decided to address you personally.

Today My realm, your homeland and the Empire of Russia currently have the honor of being the pioneers of the European expansion in China. Currently We have the upper hand there – and therefore now there are two roads. Either we indulge in petty competiveness that would only hinder our successes and lead to other players emerging in this area. Or we work out a united strategy and fair divison of profits and spheres of influence that would benefit all three countries and let them, in fact, dominate in the European-Chinese trade and be the main agents of the West in this region.

For this reason We believe that it would be useful for the representatives of our three realms to meet and discreetly discuss the Chinese question.

We would be glad to hear from your government.


FELIPE

To His Royal Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain

Honorable King.

It would indeed benefit the profits of our three nations to conglomerate together and monopolize the trade in China. However, I feel this deal will be more beneficial for the nations of Russia and Spain then it would be for the United Kingdom. You see, the United Kingdom's influence over China is far more reaching then the Russian's or your Kingdom's influence. We own more ports, and thus we own more trade. The United Kingdom would find it unfair to its own interests to split its obviously bigger earnings in China between two "lesser" powers in the region. The United Kingdom though will discuss the possibility of monopolization under the condition that it leads all future joint-endeavors between the three nations in regards to China due to its superior position in the country.

-Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
 

naxhi24

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To Alexander III, the Emperor of Russia
((naxhi24 - Private))


Dear Cousin Sandro,

First of all, I thank to thank you for your kind cooperation during our campaign in the East. We would always be as good as friend to you as you were to us.

I must tell you that I believe that the region of China has great potential. Not only does it contain most valuable resources, its people, while suffering under barbarous leadership, are diligent, prone to obey the authorities and (I believe) may be worthy subjects if they are integrated into the civilized world.

We, the countries who currently have planted their flags there, should, I believe, exploit the unique opportunity we now have – the opportunity to dominate and monopolize the European-Chinese trade. For this reason it is important that the three realms that are currently represented in the region act in a united fashion and reach clear agreements on the division of the influence spheres in China. For this reason I suggest that the representatives of the United Kingdom, Spain and the Empire of Russia would meet and discuss such an arrangement.

FELIPE

Cousin

The introduction of a friendly power in the East has been good for both the interests of Spain and Russia. However, the United Kingdom is in too strong of a position in China. If we are to balance power in China, we need to make the United Kingdom bend to our terms, and not have us bend to there terms. I will happily agree to this meeting, but I cannot in the best interest support any British idea that they deserve special treatment just because they hold a little bit more territory then we do.

-Sandro
 

Marschalk

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naxhi24

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((um, can you vote @Marschalk, you know being the king and all?))

((Technically, the King is allowed to vote since he is a citizen (THE citizen), and thus can vote just like the rest of them))
 

Marschalk

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((I ofc influence-vote through Court as i did before Xd))
 
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naxhi24

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images

Your Grace

We, a collective group of journalists, have signed a petition to reform the government's treatment of the papers in this country. For too long, the government has been infringing on our papers by censoring anything they find to be "inappropriate" or "against the nature of the state". While we journalists feel that there is some justification in this practice, there are many times that the government have overstepped their boundaries. Many reports about the election in regards to parties, especially articles about the People's Party, are being censored when all we wish for is to report these events to the people and provide opinions on the matter. If we express concern about the Royalist party, they are censored as well. In-fact, the only things that seem to get through now a-days are positive reinforcement of the Royalists, and negative imaging of the other parties. We are even censored from reporting the voting records in the Spanish Audience, while another paper run by Royalists reports results that are completely different from what we reported on.

The bottom-line is that people are starting to distrust the papers due to the government's constant involvement in censoring things it doesnt like, only for a government paper to report something different. The people dont know whether or not it is the truth, or a government truth, and the people have begun to stop buying papers because of this. We, journalists, fear that in the event that the Spanish government were to tell an important truth, people would just believe it is fabricated, and not bother with it, which could be very problematic. Less censorship can also help make elections look more fairer. As of now, with the pro-Royalist bias coming from the Censorship Bureau, many people are questioning if the Royalists are using positions like this for their own personal gain in these elections, and have even begun talks of "corruption".

All we ask is that the Censorship Bureau be managed by a non-partisan committee at the least, and be dissolved at the most. A non-partisan committee will be able to directly censor things that may be detrimental to the foundation of the crown, while keeping reports on election-matters and party activity free as well as providing the people with accurate information. If the papers were more free, the people would trust the government more, and receive information in regards to parties that are fair and unbiased.

Signed

-[List of Journalist Names]
 
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Wyverncraft

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The journalists of the associated judgement press are on that list, of course. We have been victims of unfair censorship many times in the past. This must not continue.
 
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Riccardo93

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The Marquis de Pontevedra, after learning of these complaining "journalists," immediately demands this illegal collective be disbanded; he further begins censoring their papers far more harshly than before, even outright banning certain, particularly liberal papers in general. However, he begins offering certain papers routes out of this cycle of increased censorship, by having them direct their ire at the various opposition parties; so long as they turned their focus away from the Royalists and the Government, their papers would, generally, return to only the previous levels of censorship.

The Marquis, growing further distrusting of the media, begins a more thorough infiltration of it by the secret police, whilst taking more openly legal action where the shreds of evidence of impropriety justify such actions. He similarly takes on other intimidation tactics to discourage some of the more belligerent amongst them.

As the third avenue by which he takes his revenge, he begins setting aside some of the surplus his most recent budgets have created in preparation to more or less seize financial control of some the weakened papers, with further plans of using them as new conservative mouth-pieces, without informing their readers of the changes. He further intends on directing the new editors to gradually shift the paper's leaning from the left or centre to the right, to further muddy the waters.

-

It is the estimable opinion of the First Secretary that these allegations of bias are, for want of better words, wholly unjustified. These papers have, so long as they do not contain prose of any sort contrary to the nature and ethics of the Kingdom of Spain, been allowed a great deal of liberty - compare, for instance, the situation of France, where the press is owned or otherwise regulated to an extreme degree, quite unlike the frankly lax laws across the whole of Iberia in general and Spain in particular. That these writers have penned pieces opposed to the Crown, the Government, and to peaceful, lawful society - decency and morality - is not some matter of grave concern. Indeed, it can be quite easily determined that, again to speak liberally, their own biases and pettiness comes to the fore, and their desire to create headlines and controversy, rather than accurately depict the situation, is indicative of their general policy in regards to the news - that is to say, they are nothing more than hapless, reaching demagogues, often within the sly wit necessary to construct worthwhile prose, and without the integrity to be truly effective journalists. That they choose to be attack dogs, villains, and indecent people, whose sole purpose is to deride the natural order, to libel the government, and to forsake honesty, the government cannot be faulted for taking a proactive, meaningful stance to oppose such blatant deceit. That they further choose to assail the government in taking these wholly lawful, and indeed necessary actions - after all, who is there to regulate the newsman? Who is there to keep them honest? - is again unsurprising. They have aligned themselves to parties disposed to opposition, almost as equally as they are disposed towards indolence and disloyalty.

To make succint the thoughts of the First Secretary; these claims are without merit, and are little more than the latest attempt by those so opposed to the Crown and its Government as to conjure up imagined incidences of bias and the like. That they choose to delude themselves is nothing more than a disappointment; that they now wish to lie before the King is simply unacceptable, and this should be condemned in the firmest ways possible.

The outlandish demands that the "Censorship Bureau," as they deign to call it, be run by "non-partisans" is ultimately a vacuous statement, indeed about as vacuous as any of their papers - if the personal opinion of the First Secretary can be freely expressed. This seems to be little more than a move to open the floodgates of radical speech and outright dishonesty in the press, whilst curbing the Crown's right of appointment, and its ability to effectively follow the laws that govern this Kingdom. Indeed, this motion would merely undermine the 1873 Agreements, rather than bolster them.

Furthermore, the claims that any move by the Crown to "silence" the press in matters pertaining to the Royal Audience is, frankly, laughable, for such powers being in the hands of the Crown's government were supported by the Audience, and indeed by the Liberal members of that body. Need the First Secretary remind those complaining so thoroughly and viciously (though certainly not factually) that is was the People's Party and its leader, Sr de Valle, who fought so fervently for the Crown to have these powers affirmed by that body? Or, dare I suggest it, do these press-men have no desire to objectively make their case, and rather are attempting to facilitate radicalism and the lessening of Royal Power through these lies and withheld truths? I would, judging by their actions thus far, and the years that the Crown has in dealing with such individuals, very much assume that this is, unfortunately, the case.

~ Pontevedra
 
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Pedro was disappointed by the ball, nothing much occurred however, he did most enjoy the dramatic costume, it felt far lighter than that of any western attire. And so it was quite often that he would wear an over-gown, one fashioned of a lighter blue and gold trim rather than black, over his typical ensemble. Coupled with his gold wire frame glasses, and one could mistake one of the wealthiest noblemen in the realm for a simple academic scholar.

However, he certainly didn't act like a scholar when voting, he saw that only El Movimiento Socialista could actually hold a torch to his views. Yes they wanted to make the workers more powerful, but aside from this small detail, Pedro saw a strong base ethos, and was confident in casting his vote.
 

Duke Dan `the Man`

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Vote: El Movimiento Socialista
 

Scrapknight

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"Hm," thought Juan. "How could I best throw things into chaos? The Amarillos are too loyal to the Realistas to make things interesting. And the Socialists...monarchist? nationalists? Bor-ring. Now the Populists, they look like they know how to have a good time."

Party: Partido Popular
 

Keinwyn

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The Duke of Valencia (father to a certain Manuel) was usually a non-partisan member of the State Council of a more conservative bent. However certain changes in circumstance motivate him to speak.

It has of late, been of deep concern that certain elements within the government have seen fit to stir the sentiments of the lower classes in the name of petty political maneuvering. However since the demise of the esteemable Duque d’Escalona it would seem that the treasury has adopted policies in the same vein. The recent deterioration in material situation for many amongst the nobility can only be cause for concern when it is to pay for the enabling of the lower classes.

I would beseech the throne to request moderation in such matters from its ministers. We of noble blood and birth would serve as the ever permanent bedrock of the monarchy, it’s ablest and staunchest defender, but this we cannot do when our means are purloined and instead diverted into manumitting the masses.

Thank you, gentlemen.

___

He further offers assistance and connections to some journalists - only those of repute - whose only crime is holding differing views to the government Pontevedra. He pays special attention to those local to Catalonia, Valencia and Aragon and seeks support from those of his peers in the regional administration equally disquieted by Madrid’s apparent disregard for their class. It can be hoped therefore that at least one local paper, when faced with some severely overworked bureaucrat from the Interior ministry might have the conviction to respond with something along the lines of ‘Kindly **** back to Madrid’.

___

Meanwhile, in Shanghai, Lolo lounges, his feet atop his desk, one hand idly scratching his bare chest as he flicks through a sheaf of papers one last time before sending them to Spain. Silently he curses the insufferable heat.
 

Riccardo93

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I believe that the good Duke of Valencia may, perhaps, be overstating the gravity of the situation; tariffs have risen, yes. Yet in the same time Spain's own industrial base has rapidly expanded, and the recession that affected the whole of the nation - indeed the world - is largely a relic of the past on Iberia (and need I remind all present that we are one of the few nations to presently enjoy robust growth). Could it be that the nobility are not quite as able to expend their wealth quite as efficiently before? Perhaps. But none among us can doubt that the our industry is thriving, our position in the world is securer, and the overall mood of the nation improved. Indeed, when these boons are taken into account, these losses seem to evaporate.

If the good Duke is so gravely concerned about this present state, I would ask him to more plainly state his increased poverty; mere platitudes of hardship, or rather, inconvenience, should not shape our policy. I can, and will if necessary, showcase the recovery and progress Spain has made since I made the highly necessary revisions to our budget - whereas before taxes were high and tariffs were low, our economy receding and our deficit growing, now with low taxes and high tariffs, our economy is growing and we run strong surpluses. Indeed, our economy is sound enough that we can safely fund both an expansion of the army (and potentially the navy), and can further improve the administrative powers of this government, amongst other highly beneficial policies.

Furthermore, though more as an aside, with our recent expansion into China, and our growing interest there, surely many of the goods desired by our good Duke are now far more readily available than they were previously?


I have no doubt that there may be some inconveniences - such things in life are inevitable - but can any among us truly say that these policies have been to the detriment of Spain? Would we rather have a few more coppers in our pockets, or would we rather our nation's industry - once mutilated and weakened by foreign markets, unchecked and bestial in their drive to expand into Spain, and now thriving beyond belief - collapse again under the weight of overwhelming foreign competition? Would we rather see the nation budget, now growing, once again contract? Would we rather allow economic uncertainty foment distress and instability, whereas these policies have done nothing but promote the opposite?

No, my good gentlemen, I do not believe we can. We have effected a change - in my estimation, a long needed one - and it has been made to our benefit, all things taken into account.

~Pontevedra

-

"It can be hoped therefore that at least one local paper, when faced with some severely overworked bureaucrat from the Interior ministry might have the conviction to respond with something along the lines of ‘Kindly **** back to Madrid’."

In the event some paper decided to be stupid enough to do that, their presses would be seized, their license revoked, and its editor, owner, and lead writers placed under investigation.
 

liefwarrior

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naxhi24

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((Private: Senor Scruvera))

Senor Scruvera,

Your concerns are certainly legitimate, though I feel that they may perhaps be overblown; this investment that I propose, and more specifically the oversight, would be in regards solely to promote the military and commercial vessels of the Crown, whilst the shipyard would have largely free reign over the remainder of its other business, so long as it follows the pertinent laws that all other industries must follow.

Furthermore, your fears that the company will not grow are, in my estimation, largely a non-issue; the Crown can and likely will be a valuable customer, whilst in all matters with which we have an active interest, we ensure that our vital industries are protected and promoted; as was outlined in my previous letter, the Crown would be willing to devote time and funding to not only expanding the shipyard, but also taking measures to ensure that, even in the event of a deficit being run by your shipyard, it will receive enough support to ensure that any and all royal projects are well provided for, to the extent that most every concern regarding growth or stability or the like would rendered largely unimaginable.

~ El Marques de Pontevedra

((Private, Riccardo))

Senor Marques

If that is the case, I see no reason as to not accept a government contract. I toast our new-found cooperation!

-Scruvera