Glawe's Outlook

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

One nation - sold?

I came across an article the other day about this guy who is selling his country; persons interested in purchasing it were asked to respond to him!

Apparently all the "country" consists of is an old anti-aircraft base perched on two concrete towers in the North Sea. The structure was built during WWII to repel German bombers and was taken over in 1965 by retired Army Major Paddy Roy Bates who went to live there with his family.

He declared the platform, located seven miles off the east coast of England and just outside of Britain's territorial waters, to be the country of Sealand.

The self-made prince adopted a flag, chose a national anthem and minted silver and gold coins.

Britain's Royal Navy attempted to evict them in 1967 and again in 1978 - but the family won out.

Now 85, the "Prince" lives in Spain. the family has been approached by state agent with clients "who wanted a bit more than a bit of real estate."

It has been suggested that Sealand, which has eight rooms in each of the two towers, could be a base for online gambling or offshore banking.

The Prince's 54-year-old son was asked to describe the structure. "It is a cross between a house and a ship. Neighbors are very quiet and there is a good sea view."

It was later stated that legally, because it is a "principality", it cannot be sold, but custodianship can be transferred.

Wouldn't that be fun!

It would be a self-esteem booster, I believe, to have the notoriety that most definitely would come with owning your own country.

Though small, you could be discriminating and decide which few people moved in and who didn't. And frankly, if feuds occurred, those you couldn't get along with, could, sorry to say, become fish food!

I would like to be called Princess Lorri and maybe I would even wear my hair in weird knots like Princess Leia and look really cool.

I would also like to have monogrammed candy coated chocolates as my little treat - in my country's colors - purple and pink.

I would have the flag redesigned to best define my country's theme - FUN! Perhaps it would have a picture of the Beach Boys from the '60s and their music would be blasting all day and night. The dolphins would even enjoy the new sound and would dance around the platform. Oh, it would be a fun life!

I am sure the Bates family also enjoyed the country for all these years and probably are sad to give up the ownership - but then again - they are probably looking forward to a "sale" as well.

They are asking for $977 million.

Which would you rather have, a country of your very own - or that much cash?

Reach the columnist at lglawe@ stormlakepilottribune.com.