Countries Which Don't Exist (Self-Declared; Unrecognized; etc.)

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Anonymous

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#1
Let's say you had a windfall of a nine figure sum and decided you wanted to buy a country. Or just a large piece of land to live on. Or even just the plot that your house now inhabits. What is preventing you from declaring your land, which you bought, as an independent country? Do we truly own the land we buy, or does it still belong to the crown despite blowing our hard-earned on a semi with a garden? What is the procedure for declaring independence? Is there a form to fill in and an application fee? Who decides what is a real country or not? Hold a plebiscite in the front room perhaps?
 

carole

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#2
It would probably be easier if you bought an island, then you could repel all boarders, as it were.

Wasn't there some bloke in Western Australia who formed his own 'country'? It was called The Hutt River Colony or some such. He declared himself King Len and he issued his own stamps and currency.

Carole
 

_schnor

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#4
Isn't there an oilrig somehere (franco/belgian border) where the workers decided to decree the rig as an independent island state for a laugh - gave the passport people a few grand and they actually got themselves recognised as independent and also a tax-except status?

mebbe an UL but I'm sure I read it in FT a few years back?
 
A

Anonymous

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#5
owning your own country

that would be the royal Prince Leonard of Hut River provence in Western Australia.Unfornaturally the Australian Government has no sense of humour(look at the little git who is Prime Minister and a city jerk at that) and made the loop hole in the law that allowed you to create your own country invalid.I beleive??? that if you can get 3 other countries to recognise your claim the United Nations will back you.
 

carole

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#6
Thanks, Wildman! I reckon if you go to the trouble of issuing your own stamps and passports, etc, you should be allowed your own country.

I fancy a Channel Island of my own, like the Barclay (?) brothers who own Brecqhou, just off Sark.

Carole
 

intaglio

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#7
you specified a 9 figure sum. With about 3/4 of that you could probably buy a US presidential candidate and a lot of the Senate and Congress as well. :D

If you have that much money thinkBIG
 

rynner2

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#8
Sealand

This is an old gun platform in the North sea, off the Essex/Suffolk coast. I sailed past it many times in the 80s, when it was an independent kingdom, and waved to Prince Roy! (Drat! I forgot to mention that one on the'Six Degrees of Separation' thread...)

You can read about it on this page (about two thirds of the way down). There are also details of other similar places, mostly used as tax havens.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#10
A few years back there was a group of people in Montana that declared their land an independent country. They were trying to get out of paying back taxes.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#11
If you actually own your own land, I think you are sovereign in it, aren't you? Did they ever make a law to stop that?
 
A

Anonymous

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#12
your own country

It would be lovely to have ones own island.Currently the ones off Qld are still slightly beyond my reach but if I keep saving for the next 500 years or so anything is possible.Ive fantasied about moving to Pitcairn Island for years,currently its population is dwindling so if I can convince all my friends to move too....well be like a cult we'll vote our selves into power...now thats a really frightening thought ...Rynner for president???
 

rynner2

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#13
Wow! I love islands, but I'm not sure I could handle all the power-thing of being president.

Perhaps I could be a sort of wise-old-man figure, and people could come to me with questions (and if I don't know the answers, I'd make something up, in an oracular and enigmatic fashion). A few handmaidens would be nice, too...

[rynner sinks into reverie, with silly grin on mug.]
 
A

Anonymous

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#14
Inverurie Jones said:
If you actually own your own land, I think you are sovereign in it, aren't you? Did they ever make a law to stop that?
This is what I'm most interested in - how much ownership do we really have if we buy some land? What's to stop you from declaring independence within your own borders?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#15
If you own land anywhere there is nothing to stop you declaring independence. However, doing and keeping are two seperate questions. Declaring independence from any legitimate government will probably earn you a spell in jail if you try to fight recolonisation. The truth of the matter is that no-one will recognise independence unless you give them a reason to do so. Bosnia and Croatia have done so, and were recognised because their independence solved a problem. Gibraltar would also fall into that category, because, as an independent Gibraltar could not be invaded by another country, given the ties they have with the UK, and the assurances they would seek. However, declaring independence on land that is solely claimed by one party, or on disputed land that would be fought for is a different question. The only people who would grant nation status to anyone in those areas would be enemies of the current ruling class. We need only to look at Taleban Afghanistan to see that. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE gave it recognition because it served a purpose. Or take pre Nixon China, which was the island we now call Taiwan. If someone in, say, Birmingham, declared independence, assuming it was permitted and not stopped by the rest of the land surrounding it, they would be forced to deal with the rest of the UK economically and militarily, unless they had Nukes. All the rest of Britain would need to do would be to block the Birmingham House's access to trade, and they would be forced to concede to any demands made.

The only way to declare independence is to (to quote Roosevelt) "Talk softly, and wave a big stick"

However, if you want diplomatic status, give me a call, and I will see what I can do before they stop me!
 
A

Anonymous

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#16
Nice thread.

Sadly, it would surely come down to issues of money and control. If you're declaring yourself independent the assumption from the outside would presumably be that you were doing it either as a tax dodge, or to put yourself beyond the law of the land. I wouldn't fancy your chances on either count.

But contrary to some earlier comments, I think your little country would probably survive as long as you liked -- until you broke a law or ruling custom of your 'real' home country. You can declare yourself independent til your blue in the face, but you'll still have to decide what to do about, for instance, your host country's council tax (property rates). If you 'voluntarily' paid it, well, I'm sure your independent state would be allowed to struggle on until its next constitutional crisis...

UK-specific info:

Please note that if you are a 'property owner' in the UK you do not, in fact, own the land at all. All land in the UK is, in theory at least, Crown property, and has been since 1066. 'Freehold' ownership simply means that your ownership rights, unlike leasehold ones, are not delimited by time. There is some significant early 20th century legislation that clarifies the issue and effectively protects freeholders (i.e. the Crown can't just take your land away) but I think the principle still holds.

The only circumstance in which Crown ownership would still be asserted is if a freeholder dies with no traceable heirs -- in this case the land reverts to the Crown.

Didn't anyone ever see Passport to Pimlico? All your self-declared independence fantasies played out on the silver screen...
 

carole

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#17
Ah, Passport to Pimlico, one of my favourites!

Why don't we form our own e-country here on this message board - the State of Forteana, and James Whitehead can be the Grand Duke, Rynner Admiral of the Fleet, etc, etc?

Carole
 
A

Anonymous

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#18
We could always do it on the moon. Just declare us owners of it. We have just as much right as that guy selling land up there.

Whoever told the Queen she could have England? Did we do a vote back then in 1066? And who gets it when monarchy fails?
 

carole

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#19
Laughing Boy Blair - who else? The rest of us will all be consigned to serfdom . . .

Carole
 

FelixAntonius

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#20
The expression Xanatic, is: "By right of conquest".

It's also the reason why William the Bastard became known as William the Conqueror.

Any locals, lost most if not all of their rights one day in 1066 on Senlac Hill, a few miles outside of Hastings!!!!!!
 
A

Anonymous

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#21
owning your own country

What a great idea, owning the planets.Maybe we can get the Fortean Times, to claim Mars(or someother interesting planet) and raffle it off to the readers(bags the pyramids) or maybe Xantic or Rynner could portion it out(how do I bribe em).Or possibly we could have a great land grab like in the States.
 

diamonddogs

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#22
All land in the UK is, in theory at least, Crown property, and has been since 1066
So that would explain why our local council's Parks and Recreation department tell us what we can and can't do with burial plots we've bought in cemetries....?
 

FelixAntonius

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#23
You don't own a grave for ever Papa L, at least in the UK.

The "Local Authorities Cemeteries Order 1974" states that:

"....rights subsist for the period specified in the respective grants, and such period is to begin from the date of the grant and must not exceed 100 years, though the burial authority may from time to time extend the period of the grant...."

The only exeption to which the 100 year rule does not apply, is in the case of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Just because your dead is no excuse for staying down there for ever!!!!!;)
 
A

Anonymous

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#24
What about Jewish graves? Aren't they supposed to remain undisturbed forever? Which is a good reason for Israel to expand into Palestina, they will run out of space soon.
 
A

Anonymous

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#25
Originally posted by Jon_K
Please note that if you are a 'property owner' in the UK you do not, in fact, own the land at all. All land in the UK is, in theory at least, Crown property, and has been since 1066.
Hence compulsory purchase orders.
 

FelixAntonius

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#26
In the case of Jewish graves, Xanatic. I would guess that a Jewish group buys the land & gets planning permission. After that they just hope the rights remain with them in perpertuity.

But then as we all know nothing lasts for ever!!!!
 
A

Anonymous

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#27
This is a great idea! In fact, I have been wondering this myself! My plan is to buy an island in Fiji (Fiji has thousands of islands that no one has ever set foot on) with no modern technology. Everyone is is treated equal, and everyone is naked.
And, oh yea...marijuana is LEGAL!!!:cool:
 

tastyintestines

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#28
has anyone claimed the so-called planet x? if not iv'e got a nice retirement community in mind, alll you have to do is send a check,money order, or well concealed cash by 3/3/03, best sites will go to the highest bidders,hehehe
 
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Anonymous

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#29
Jon_K said:
Please note that if you are a 'property owner' in the UK you do not, in fact, own the land at all. All land in the UK is, in theory at least, Crown property, and has been since 1066. 'Freehold' ownership simply means that your ownership rights, unlike leasehold ones, are not delimited by time. There is some significant early 20th century legislation that clarifies the issue and effectively protects freeholders (i.e. the Crown can't just take your land away) but I think the principle still holds.

The only circumstance in which Crown ownership would still be asserted is if a freeholder dies with no traceable heirs -- in this case the land reverts to the Crown.
This is the reply I was hoping for, and since it hasn't been contradicted thus far I guess it must be true. So what we shell out for (a house and land with discernable borders), or in fact buy doesn't really and truly belong to you.
And what exactly is the "crown" anyway? I thought we booted out the monarchy (from a seat of power at least) in 1649? Is the "crown" now the UK government? And are there any circumstances under which we could be displaced?
I guess if you want to surround your plot of land with a Berlin Wall style arrangement, have the armaments to back yourself up, and either survive on your own allotment or negotiate your own import tariffs then maybe, just maybe you have earned the right to make your own laws, smoke skunk weed and run naked round the garden with a stick of celery in your ear.
Is the same principle applicable in the States? If so, I'm sure any militia group that hears of this will be straight down Kmart for some more ammo.
I find the idea that we're buying something off each other that is not actually ours quite amusing. Mainly as I don't own a house.
 
A

Anonymous

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#30
If I were to buy an island in Fiji for example and claim it as my own country, would you people come and live with me?
 
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