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On Being Neutral
[03/07/2002] [Sir Feral Lynn]

A small while back the question was asked why Arimithris was allowed to be on the Amtgard Monarch’s email list. The answer was that he was president of a BOD and therefore allowed access. Well, I don’t think they realized what they had done, because I had, just that week, been elected to the position of president for the Dragonspine BOD. So, I get to see all of these really neat posts come by. Some are expressly meant to remain on the list (for instance I won’t detail all of the slander spewed forth by Arimithris) but other stuff is very public information that is occasionally too good not to pass along.

I have recently read a post that gave details of the latest Goldenvale A lthing. In it the populace stated that they would remain neutral in the entire Wetlands/Burning Lands dispute. Their stated reasoning was due to the Burning Lands ownership of the game and “should any changes need to be made they should be made by the Burning Lands Board of Directors.”

Well, there is a contradiction here, and a crucial one at that. The stated stance of the Goldenvale populace is NOT one of neutrality. It is one that sides squarely with Burning Lands. They have stated, as their reason for neutrality, their acceptance and support of Burning Lands as the end-all/be-all of Amtgard governance (which point is at the heart of this and nearly every dispute the Burning Lands has ever had with anyone else).

This becomes even more crucial in light of the fact that the representatives of Goldenvale have made an offer to mediate the dispute between Burning Lands and Wetlands. They claim their ability to do so is due to their supposed neutrality. But, since that neutrality is fictional, they really aren’t in any position to fairly adjudicate the situation.

If anything, should the Burning Lands and the Wetlands take the bait on this, Goldenvale would be in a prime position to tilt the scales in favor of Burning Lands in the PR wars as well as on a legal basis. Now, I know that the moderators don’t make any decisions. I know that they aren’t sitting as a judge. But, consider this scenario:

Burning Lands and Wetlands agree to have Goldenvale mediate their dispute. Goldenvale, due to their already acclaimed support of the Burning Lands’ right to rulership, leans heavily in favor of Burning Lands in the formation of plans for resolution. Then, when Wetlands balks and gets up from the negotiating table both the Burning Lands and Goldenvale can claim righteousness with sound bytes that go something like “We tried everything, but Wetlands is determined not to listen or negotiate.” Should the case ever go before a court the Burning Lands can point and say, “We even tried with neutral arbiters.” It would be a very dangerous thing for Wetlands to agree to this, very dangerous indeed.

No my friends, the Kingdom of Goldenvale is not neutral. They are steadfastly behind the Burning Lands, lock stock and barrel. Is this a bad thing? No, not at all. Burning Lands has to have at least one friend; otherwise I’d start to feel sorry for them. But, let’s not kid ourselves about where everyone stands.

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