Here is, for public consumption, a somewhat cleaned up version of my rather ex tempore speech in the Way Forward gathering of the Minmatar yesterday.
Again, I thank all who came and voiced opinions. EM is at a crossroads and hearing all that - even, maybe especially, the parts I did not particularly like hearing - will help me in forming my own opinions about the next steps.
Brothers and sisters, I am glad to see so many of you here on a short notice.
There are two reasons I wanted to talk. One external, and one internal.
The external threat is that of the Enemy - as always, but more pressing now. You have read, I am sure, of the news of deals on the warzone - and I will let my esteemed brother to speak on that if he so chooses - but there is a consequence of those deals that is more pressing than any content of them.
After the Amarr Empress’s declaration of more power to major House Navies, House Sarum has used this deal to an open provocation and proclaimed that they will start taking slaves from the warzone, intending or nothing less than a full Reclaiming of the population of Floseswin.
Now, we could blame this on the shady deals made, but that would be a mistake. This is not the deal’s fault, this is House Sarum’s doing. If there wasn’t this opportunity, they would have made another provocation. They want war.
And that brings me to the internal issues. We are, as a Republic, dreadfully unprepared to fight a hot war now. There has been no advances into readiness in ten years, if anything the Militia wars have drained us. The Security Service seems more inclined to threaten honest citizens and tribal capsuleers, than mounting a defense.
In the past six months, we have come closer to a civil war than ever in my time, and, well, there are people in the audience who remember couple of the previous close calls.
That. Must. Stop.
So I invite you to listen today, and ask questions, and voice any grudges and concerns, and speak freely, because make no mistake, if we do not stop this cluster ■■■■, we will be Reclaimed.
Never again another Long Night.