Sunday Afternoon, everyone who is anyone was to be found at the Ministry of Magic listening eagerly to the demands that have been made by Goblinkind. Senior Assistant to the Minister for Magic, Archibald Colquhoun, introduced the demands whilst Alistair Colquhoun represented Wixen for the debate, and the Goblin community was represented by Urgerik the Smith, distinguished in the goblin community and speaking to the demands outlined by Ragnuk, styled as King of Gringland.
These demands were;
– Wizards will issue a public apology for all atrocities committed against Goblins and reparations for the past 500 years
– Goblins shall be permitted to be a part of the Wizengamot. Goblin representation on the legal body will be a 1:1 match against Wizard Kind with goblin votes matching those available to wizards.
– Full goblins will be permitted to attend Hogwarts and be granted a representative in the Senior Administration of the school
– Goblins will be permitted to carry wands within GB borders
– Goblins will establish an embassy within the British Ministry of Magic. The first and second floors of the ministry should suffice.
– In exchange for using Goblin forged gold as currency, wizardkind will provide Gringland with wands as a part of a trade agreement
– Goblins will resume operation of Gringott’s Bank, which will be a satellite branch of the Bank of Gringland.
Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, Alistair Colquhoun made counter points to each, which are surmised below by The Daily Prophet;
Wizards will issue a public apology for all atrocities committed against Goblins and reparations for the past 500 years
AC: On the matter of the apology, we have some confusion. The Ministry of Magic could very well decide to make such an apology. But how could negotiation ever be based on a requirement for private persons to make such an apology? If the Daily Prophet, for instance, did not choose to make such an apology, how could it be compelled to do so? Only be an act of law. That means that the Ministry would have to force our own citizens to make unconscientious statements under the force of the law .. an entire violation of human dignity, freedom of speech, and the proper relationship between the Ministry and private society. Again, a demand which, even if one were to think it understandable, is completely unworkable in law or fairness.
Goblins shall be permitted to be a part of the Wizengamot. Goblin representation on the legal body will be a 1:1 match against Wizard Kind with goblin votes matching those available to wizards.
It is reported that only citizens of Great Britain and Northern Ireland may hold a seat on the Wizengamot, thus making this request something that cannot be negotiated with as Goblins are claiming an independent, sovereign state.
Full goblins will be permitted to attend Hogwarts and be granted a representative in the Senior Administration of the school
It is reported that the staff at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry have voted on this in private and have declined to negotiate with this request. The Board of Governors saw fit to defer to the staff of the school and thus this is not a negotiable demand.
AC: What concerns me most is that enormous contradiction in what the Goblin Community is demanding. On 28th August 2027, the Goblin community voted for some form of independence from the Wizarding community. Now what we see is a set of demands about how the Wizarding community should govern itself! For example, on the question of Hogwarts School, which as we have heard is not to be discussed in further detail, but does provide an interesting case in point. Hogwarts School does not accept foreign students. In demanding that Goblins be allowed to attend, are we referring here to Goblins who are citizens of Gringland, or Goblins who remain citizens of Great Britain & ireland? Indeed, what even is the difference? The Goblin demands seem not to know. In one line, they want independence, in another line they want representation within *wizarding* institutions. They are outmanouvring St. Paul, who was converted but once on the road to Damascus – the Goblin King seems to be converting after every third word on the road to Independence.”
Goblins will be permitted to carry wands within GB borders
In exchange for using Goblin forged gold as currency, wizardkind will provide Gringland with wands as a part of a trade agreement
Goblins will establish an embassy within the British Ministry of Magic. The first and second floors of the ministry should suffice.
AC: What is the legal status of the new Gringland? It is recognised and considered trustworthy by the Swiss Magical Council or the International Confederation of Wizards? We have heard no such thing.
Goblins will resume operation of Gringott’s Bank, which will be a satellite branch of the Bank of Gringland.
AC: The matter of Gringott’s bank has already been settled in our courts. This was not a political decision, but a legal one.
But let us suppose indeed that the Goblin Community disputes that ruling – it would have absolutely nothing to bear on the demands which they have placed before us here. Why so? Because previous discussion about Gringott’s Bank has concerned whether it should remain in Goblin or Wizard operation within the jurisdiction of the British Ministry of Magic. That reality no longer exists. The Goblin Community is not just asking us to concede to their operation of the bank – they are asking for our entire banking and monetary system to become to satellite of a foreign power.
What does this mean? It means that Wizardkind would lose political control of our own economy. It means that the British Ministry of Magic would be in tension with the authority of Gringland for control of our own money, trade, and regulations. The facts of this demand are so preposterously unreasonable that it should be plain to anybody that we cannot ever accept them. Would the British Wizarding Community ever consider handing over control of our financial institutions, for instance, to the Magical Congress of the United States of America? Such a proposal would show such contempt for the jurisdiction of this community and this Ministry that it would be impossible to accept. Indeed, if it were attempted, the Wizengamot would have a strong legal case to intervene to prevent it from happening.
AC: What is legal is what is just, and what is just is what is workable within the life of a community. I think we can see plainly that the arrangements these demands propose are entirely unworkable. It had not been my intention to revisit the topic of Gringott’s Bank, but let me just highlight some salient points. Even if we concede that the gold as a material is supplied by the Goblin community, it has always been accepted as such under two prevailing conditions; (i) it has never been outside of the jurisdiction of the British Ministry. The question of distinct sovereignty between the two communities has never existed in that arrangement, and (ii) that it is supplied as a carrier of value for the economy which the entire community, principally wizards, actually produce. The material used for that currency is not the *substance* of the economy … it is only a *representation* of it. To hand its control entirely to not only another community of people, but a foreign state, both never has been the case, nor could ever be something which the wizarding community could accept. This is not a matter of cold legality – it is the bedrock of fair and decent government.
AC: As I said when I opened the Ministry’s case, it is not in the interests of either of our communities to waste our time with emotional or over generalised talk about the history of the tensions between us. What matters is the way forward. We can only hope to arrive at one with precise and rigorous examination of the demands which have been placed before us by the Goblin community. Wizardkind of Great Britain & Ireland, I hope that I have made the case clearly that these demands are not legally or practically workable. They require the wizarding community to give up control of our own institutions. They require too many demands from different parts of our community, which cannot be forced to accept them. They require us to blur the lines between the independence of Goblinkind and their place within our own community. This is not a proposal for equality or harmony. Indeed, I suggest that it is a formula for increased division and tension. But I am also gratified to hear the words of my friend in the Goblin Community, and feel that it is only befitting that I end on a conciliatory note. The Ministry of Magic has never shied away from negotiation and discussion. If we want to find a way forward, I ask the Goblin community to set aside these unworkable demands, join us at the table, and find something which actually makes sense for the future harmony of our two communities. I have no doubt that my opponent tonight has nothing but good will, but the demands he has been asked to bring to us tonight are absolutely unworkable. I cannot help but thinking that many in the Goblin community must know that they are unworkable. Let us try to find an arrangement which is mutually beneficial … but this is not it.
U: I think you have heard what I have to say about our demands. What we demand, we demand because we feel it is what we need to be treated as your equals, with equal dignity and equal rights. We have no desire to hurt you wantonly! We have no desire to cause you distress. But we *must* be respected as true people in your eyes
Jade Troll (Local Business Owner)
How will you go about punishing the Goblin and half Goblin citizens of both communities for their crimes against businesses.
U: Once the relationship has been worked out between our two peoples, then any crimes, by individuals of either people, should be prosecuted according to the laws and agreements we make. I look forward to discussing those particulars with Mister Colquhoun.
Philomena Pest (Reporter)
It’s a question for Mister Urgerik. The money that disappeared from the vaults of our dearest, hard-working poor and destitute. Is it coming back? Of course, it’s not an issue for myself, being quite wealthy. But for those who use the soup stand, for example, that I so willingly front, along with Saffron, it is quite another matter.
U: Once Gringotts has been reopened, we propose to operate it in much the same manner as before. This will include restocking the vaults with moneys appropriate to each vault, as they were stocked before. So yes… Yes, the money comes back
Saffron Macauley (Reporter & Local Business Owner)
What if the press doesn’t want to apologise, or if they do, will anything they publish following their apology be criticised? Will goblins create issues with any agreements if The Daily Prophet is critical of anything they do [sic]
U: “The purpose of the apology is to raise awareness, and to set us on a path to mutual respect and dignity. If Wizardkind does not feel the need to apologize, then there is no path forward. Thin is the skin that cannot take a critique. I know that my work as a smith gets critiqued, fairly or unfairly. I do not expect people to stop making the critiques. But I do ask that they be fair. Similarly, I do not see how a fair critique by the Daily Prophet, or by any other of Wizardkind, should be scoffed at by Goblins. However, what we might all consider to be fair… May or may not be the same. But let us at least begin on that path to mutual understanding and respect together.
S: So we have no choice in the matter and that we’re held hostage to that? Just to make that clear. My next question; there are laws in place that state only wizards can hold a wand. Imagining you rework the law to allow that, do you plan to reimburse the businesses you stole wands and magical books from?
U: No, you are not a hostage to anything. But my question for you is, do you feel that centuries of mistreatment are fair to Goblins? Are we but Beasts to you? Creatures to be catalogued and controlled, like Diricawls or Nundus? This is a profound question. How are we supposed to interact with and support a people that has such disdain for us? No. The apology is made because it is the right thing to do. Not because we demand it. Do you see the difference?
First off, we do not propose to change Wizarding law. That must be done by your Ministry, as has been pointed out here. We demand merely that it be done so that Goblinkind are allowed to bear and use wands as they see fit, and to learn to use them. As for reimbursement — if we can legally own wands, then we can legally purchase them, like any other wand users. We would do that very thing. You would get more customers out of it than you would otherwise have. Goblins would be a new customer base for you.
Enoch Marrow (Entrepreneur)
You ask for us to treat you with dignity, yet you have proven yourself to be little more than thieves. You expect for us to welcome you with representation into our community but you have not only disrespected the vote this very community made prior, but the agreement we’ve had for centuries. You expect us to trust you to continue operating as you have in the past, and yet you’ve set a precedence for breaking that trust and taking that which we held legal claim to. You have shown exactly how your kind operate. You say you are not proposing law changes, but you /demand/ them. But my point is… you wish for us to forgive all of these recent transgressions… but how do you expect we do that when, as you have said numerous times, Sir, you are holding us responsible for ones made centuries ago?”
U: With all respect, I think you need to re-read your histories. Goblins have been asking, even demanding, equality for centuries. In the past, this took the form of Goblin Rebellions. Goblins of the period felt they simply had no other recourse. This time, we decided to try a different kind of protest: a more sophisticated one. We do not seek to dominate you or rule you. We seek only equality, which we have not had. If we have broken trust, then I wonder whose trust we’ve broken. For our part, we have trusted Wizardkind to mistreat us as they have done for centuries. As I said in my opening: look at my face. One of you did this to me, because I was little more than a beast to him. And yet I do not seek to hurt any of you. I merely seek to live as your equal, free to live how I please. It is no different from what you demand from life.
Alice Hawkins (Local Business Owner)
To be doubly clear on your answer you’re saying that we should trust you with our entire economy while at the same time accepting the possibility of you uprooting our entire economy, again, and condemning thousands to poverty… again is acceptable and just if you feel the situation warrants it somehow?
U: You speak of trust. And… That’s fair. But let me ask you this: can trust exist between a dominant people and a subjugated, subject people? For centuries, Goblins have been that subject people. Our lives are controlled by a Wizengamot that we do not control, which enacts laws that restrict our freedoms. We have no recourse except to take the extraordinary action we have taken, because your very system does not allow us any other recourse. All we seek is to establish the conditions where true trust *can* exist for the first time in the thousands of years of our shared history. For that kind of trust can only exist between equals
It sounds like there are some things that need to be discussed, some demands that can’t be met as they are right now. Is [sic] there any of the demands that you have established the Ministry of Magic would be able to meet?
AC: The difficulty is the whole package which has been presented to us. There are so many difficulties which tie together. However, speaking entirely for myself, there are some points which could at least be discussed. I would be willing to have some discussion around wand rights, but I have to emphasise that it would require the consent of both the Wizengamot and the Minister for such a change in law, as well as the confidence of the Wizarding community as a whole. I do think there is a fair point to be raised about Goblin representation on the courts, but I could not accept this on a 1:1 basis, nor with the problems I have mentioned about Gringland citizenship. Such representation could only be granted to Goblins who were strictly British & Irish citizens, as is the case for Wizards, and the question of Gringland’s status is currently muddying the waters. Saying that, if Gringland were recognised by the international wizarding community as a legitimate state, then certainly diplomatic representation would be reasonable. But again, not on the terms mentioned in these demands. A straight forward single ambassador like any other country.
George Macauley (Business Owner)
WHY should we give your demands ANY attention whatsoever, never mind ‘respect’, when you’ve made a mockery of our entire Ministry and legal system? When you’ve bankrupted our hard workers and made OUR poor poorer? When you’ve sent OUR children to school without supplies their parents worked hard for, robbing their Yule gifts and their education? You are trying to tidy up the fallout of a cold war that YOU started. Why on earth should we be listening to any demands at all? You should be BEGGING us to let you remain with the same power you had before all this started, not demanding we give you MORE on top of it! … Should we bend to the will of all creatures who go to war with us? All countries, for that matter? You want to be treated equally, Mr The Smith? Well, us wizards in Great Britain do not bend to the demands of warfare! Not from the rest of the wizarding world, not from muggles, and not from YOU. This IS equality.
U: I do not want any kind of war. War hurts, war destroys. War undoes the fabric of society. Nobody should want it. But we cannot live as we did. We cannot go on as your gold-producing ‘pets.’ And this speaks to that gentleman’s question before, about the so-called ‘resolution’ of prior Goblin Rebellions. They sought only what we seek now. The exact same thing. Those Rebellions weren’t ‘resolved’ so much as ‘violently put down.’ And we are left making the same demands, centuries later. All we want is to be treated as equals. How can trust exist between non-equals? What we are attempting to do, as I said before, is establish a condition under which true trust can exist between our peoples for the first time in the thousands of years of our shared history. For trust to exist, the peoples involved must be equals. And that is all we seek.
Séraphine de Vaucaquelin (Foreigner)
I ask only this: why now, Monsieur Urgeric? The vaults below Gringott’s have sat empty for the better part of this year and during this time, many people have suffered. The mutual respect and trust, the equality you seek.. it has not been served by forcing such hardships upon so many in the Wizarding world.
U: Precisely because, as the last gentleman said — what we sought… We were not achieving. You must understand… Goblins aren’t some monolithic hive-mind. We are individuals, just like you, many with different ideas. I’m a smith. I supported independence, it’s true. I didn’t particularly support those starting that riot in Hogsmeade, for instance. My point is — there are many competing ideas and personalities within Goblin society, as there are within Wizarding society. We attempted one solution to our long-standing problem, and it didn’t work. So we had to… Go back to the sketchboard, so to speak, and try a different solution. We want equality. Independent or not, that’s what we seek.
Noma Nyx (The Department of Magical Law Enforcement & Burlesque Dancer)
You keep saying to others that if we can work things out the money that was how you say taken back….would be given back once the bank gets handled. Now you have mentioned wanting to be equal but how are you planning to give back the money? You do realise that the money that was taken is just a small fraction of what has been lost. Like it was pointed out it’s been a while now and more people are without funds bigger than what you initially have taken. SO I guess simply put if you intend for us to be so equal then are you going to pay us back in full? To me that would be the most equal thing to do, and also fair. Why should we have 2 coins taken, when we have lost 4 by now….and you plan to give us only those 2 coins back?
U: I don’t know what the final form of our agreements will be. I suspect that I will be reporting back to my King after all this is done, to discuss with him precisely what an agreement should look like. However, if what you seek from Goblins are reparations, then I do not see how that would be appropriate. Yes, there has been pain. A great deal of it. I am not going to try to state otherwise. But you can only see your own pain. You do not see ours, or how long it has lasted. We could ask for reparations for centuries of abuse. Does it make sense to do that? I don’t know. What does make sense to me is equality. Equality and rebuilding your economy and our own, and moving into the future in peace, prosperity, and in trust. As equals.
NN: So then you’re not wanting equality, cause it’s not about reparations…when people who aren’t even against your kind are also struggling….that ain’t [sic] even close to equal
It appears that the majority of the demands made by Goblinkind are demands that can be negotiated, however what appears to be entirely non-negotiable is an apology for incidents that happened five centuries ago. Goblinkind appears to be holding wizardingkind at an end pass until the Ministry of Magic, and The Daily Prophet make public apologies, potentially altering the direction wizardingkind makes, along with The Daily Prophet’s freedom of speech.
Beyond that, Wizardingkind are being asked to trust and forgive the previous transgressions against our people; the theft of wands, books, and our money, in exchange for their demands to be met.
Their demands also beg the question that the laws that are in place apparently “subjugating” Goblinkind were agreed upon by Goblins post rebellion, so why are they so eager to reassert themselves into a Wizarding Society they appear to hate with such vehemence, or is it just about control?
And though this debate proved insightful, thanks to Chief Warlock Coluqhoun, the questions put to the Goblin representative appeared to be unanswered.
The polls will remain open until 23.59 on 3rd May. All those wixen of age with United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Citizenship may vote to decide if the Ministry of Magic continues to negotiate with Goblinkind or not.