|Sir Arthur Hermang|
|Official portrait of Arthur Hermang|
|Lord Councillor of Eroea|
8 April 4083 – 4 June 4102
|Preceded by||Vernon Wester|
|Succeeded by||Joseph Xao|
|Lord Lieutenant of Yuntvar|
2 June 4107 – 26 November 4107
|Preceded by||Augustus Harhold|
|Succeeded by||Archduke Wester|
Arthur Leopold Jackson Hermang|
1 June 4044
Forbestown, Alexandria, Yuntvar
26 November 4107 (aged 63)|
Manor el Dacci, Yuntvar, Eroea
|Political party||Royal Democratic Party|
|Conservative Noble Party (4065 – 4073)|
Arthur Leopold Jackson Hermang, Lord of Yuntvar (1 June 4044 – 26 November 4107), was an Eroean statesman, who served as Lord Councillor of Eroea from 4083 until 4102 and until his death in 4107, he served as Lord Lieutenant of Yuntvar.. His premiership marked the end of the 45 year rule of the Conservative Noble Party, led for the most party by Augustus Wester. Hermang, who originally was a high profile member of the Conservative and Noble Party, defected to the Royal Democratic Party in 4073 after quarrels with Vernon Wester about the governance of the party and its direction. Hermang stuck with the Royal Democrats and led his party to victory in the 4083 parliamentary election; his leadership was marked by increased colonial devolution and a considerable swing towards the left by the Royal Democrats.
Hermang was born to Alexander Hermang Jr. and Lillibet Hermang in 4044. His father, an economic and socially liberal politician, was the son of Alexander Hermang Sr., who had served as Lord Councillor from 3986 until 39992. A member of the Royal Democratic Party, Hermang refused to obey by his fathers political views, which drove a wedge between the two men, especially in their early years. Hermang sided with more Conservative policies and was part of multiple conservative leaning interest groups at high school. Hermang was elected in the 4062 parliamentary election, even though he had not completed high school. Hermang remains today the youngest ever elected Eroean politician. Hermang would slowly become more liberal during his parliamentary career, sparking his wish to bring the Conservatives more close to the centre but would ultimately lead to his defection. Regardless, his early party membership was successful; Hermang made waves in backbench committees and meetings, outputting more legislation in his first year of councillorship than many had done in 3 years. He was promoted to Government Chief Whip in January 4063, a surprising appointment for such a young politician but Wester was impressed with Hermang's determination and ruthlessness. He was concurrently promoted to Secretary for Vanheim by Augustus Wester in later 4063, a position he held until the independence of Vanheim in 4065. Hermang continued to rise through the party and he would continue as Chief Whip until one year prior to his defection. He was a persuasive speaker and known to be quite charming in private, though he was also notorious for being hugely manipulative, a trait that proved effective as Government Chief Whip. His time as whip was marked by very low rates of vote disobedience with no expulsions occurring during his time as Chief Whip. Impressed by his skill as Chief Whip and anxious to award a more prestigious ministerial position, Augustus Wester appointed Hermang as Minister for the Treasury and Finance in 4069. In later years, Wester regretted appointing Hermang as a Minister stating 'the man has this pomposity and charisma never seen before. He's a true determinant politician but that doesn't work in administration - only when you are the leader, which he wasn't meant to be'. Hermang proved tough to work with, he refused on multiple occasions to raise appropriations to the Department of Defence and State Security. Regardless, when Vernon Wester, brother of Augustus, was charged with taking on more duties as Deputy Lord Councillor, Hermang was promoted to the now vacant First Minister position.
From his appointment as First Minister, tensions grew among party leadership. Hermang, who was proving to be a confident, charismatic and well-liked politician for the backbenchers, was disliked more and more by frontbench ministers due to his imposing nature and zealous pursuit of his personal and national objectives. Debates soon broke out between the Wester brothers and Hermang over the direction of the party. Hermang argued against the increasingly conservative policies, arguing that they would polarize a large chunk of the conservative electorate. Hermang resigned in February 4073 as First Minister and from the party in May of the same year. He spent a number of weeks as an independent politician, before being encouraged by his father to join the Royal Democratic Party. Hermang, once again, ascended through the party with ease. His views, which had become far more liberal since his first election, matched the tune of many members within his new party. Hermang was appointed to the role of Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee within the first few weeks of his membership of the party. He was then appointed as Leader of the Royal Democrat Voice, a pressure group that consisted of a number of backbenchers. In April 4074, Reginald Hennessey appointed Hermang as Shadow Minister for Defence and Security. On the 6 November 4075, the Leader of the Royal Democratic Party, Reginald Hennessey, was removed from Parliament by the Imperial Council under sexual abuse charges. The Royal Democrats were in turmoil but Hermang provided a sense of stability and was able to gain control of his party. On the 9 December 4075, Hermang was elected as both Chairman of the Royal Democratic Party and its Leader. He was later appointed as Sahdow First Minister by Justinian II - a position he would hold on until 4083.
Hermang won the 4083 election, winning an absolute majority; he was the first Lord Councillor to have originally came from the opposite side of the aisle and his rise to echelons of both the Conservative and Royal Democratic party's is considered an astounding feat of political mastery. Immediately, a number of reforms to healthcare were introduced, along with a change in colonial administration, especially in regards to Eukatosia. In the 4090's, his party began increased public spending in unemployed education programs, which boosted common support for the party and improved the economy overall. His party, which had been under his firm control since defeating Jeremiah McCormick 4079, increased their vote count at each subsequent election. The downfall of Hermang began with his more friendly relations with the Commoners Party - a party of the working class. Aiming to bring the working class more in line with Royal Democrat policies, Hermang began bridging the gap between the two parties. This caused uproar, especially among older members who would not tolerate association with 'communists' and 'anti-royalists'. Simultaneously, relations between the Republic of Juno and Eroea deteriorated after a multitude of disputes over fishing rights; a cabinet reshuffle in 4096, which was labeled as an attempt to prevent any more dissent within his own party turned many of the party's most powerful members against him. He was later ousted in a backbench rebellion, led by Joseph Xao. He was replaced by Xao as Leader of the party and as Lord Councillor a month later. He returned to the backbenches and never retook much interest in frontbench politics.
Hermang remained active in local politics but stepped down at the 4106 parliamentary election. He was then invited by the Emperor, Justinian III, to become Lord Lieutenant of Yuntvar in 4107, a position he held for 4 months. Hermang's premiership has been received moderately well in scholarly circles, with his early leadership marked by economic growth, unified and strong leadership and progressive social policy. However, many have criticized Hermang's perceived weakness in diplomatic disputes, and his heavy employment appeasement as a diplomatic strategy. Foreign relations and the internal cohesion of his party towards the end of his career have been viewed negatively and is often accredited to the reckless fiscal decisions towards the end of his tenure. Hermang passed away due to liver failure in 4107, a shock to many of his former government colleagues and the nation. Joseph Xao commented, 'While we all look back on careers of politicians positively and negatively, today on Eroea, under the sun, we do not do that. We pay homage to a man who led this country for 20 years, a man who progressed Eroean life more than what had been achieved 40 years prior. A man we all know, a man we look up to, a man taken too soon'.
- 1 Early life and political career
- 2 Political career (4063 – 4069)
- 3 Senior ministry (4069 – 4073)
- 4 Return to backbenches (4073 – 4075)
- 5 Leader of the Royal Democratic Party (4075 – 4083)
- 6 Lord Councillor (4083 – 4102)
- 6.1 Royal Cabinet
- 6.2 Colonial affairs
- 6.3 Healthcare reform
- 6.4 Moving left
- 6.5 Commoner-Royalist Partisan Cooperation
- 6.6 Relations with Juno
- 6.7 Internal instability and Xao challenge
- 6.8 New ministry and economic downturn
- 6.9 Defense cuts and loss at the polls
- 6.10 Backbench rebellion and ousting
- 7 Post premiership
- 8 Personal life and legacy
Early life and political career
Rebuttal of Royal Democratic Party
Despite his grandfather serving as Lord Councillor, his grandfathers political ambitions and predilection's did not transfer to his son initially. Arthur Hermang grew up during the era of Sean Chandler and Reginal Hennessey, both were members of moderately liberal factions of the Royal Democratic Party. They were more conservative than Alexander Hermang Sr., the leader of the party preceding Chandler and Hennessey, and often considered one of the most liberal Lord Councillors in history. Regardless, as a young man, Hermang did not agree with his grandfathers views or the views of the large majority of the Royal Democratic Party. Arthur Hermang is not considered a hard-line conservative, even by this time in his life, he is still considered one of the more liberal politicians. However, he rejected membership of the Royal Democratic Party and in a twist that shook many grassroots families, Arthur Hermang registered to join the Conservative Noble Party.
Hermang took part in a number of conservative interest groups. He was secretary of his high school's National Conservative Youth League (NCYL). He was known for his rebellious, politically-charged behaviour outside of the classroom. He often organised demonstrations on school grounds, during school hours, in tandem with national Conservative parades. This caused much upset for many of his teachers at Forbestown Academy for Boys and led to a number of meetings between his parents and the school administration. Ultimately, Hermang was removed from the NCYL association when he was 17 and barred from taking part in political movements while on the school premises. In protest, many members of the NCYL left the school ran organization and instead set up an independent association led by Hermang. The association was dissolved when Hermang was elected and became a full member of the Conservative Noble Party.
Election and backbench (4062 – 4063)
Political career (4063 – 4069)
Government Chief Whip
The first move Hermang made towards political stardom was his appointment as Government Chief Whip. His ability to slide between a cold and charismatic personality was astounding according to many of the politicians of the day, especially for such young politicians who were usually nervous and more easily intimidated by more senior members of government - Hermang was an exception. He had proved himself as a productive and hard working politician, his time on the backbenches had led to him putting forward multiple pieces of legislation that addressed a vast arrays of issues for the government. His skill at orating and his ability to sway committees was high and he soon found himself at the center of the attention of the Conservative Party.
In January 4063, a 'mini' cabinet reshuffle took place. Augustus J. Wester, a nephew of the Lord Councillor, was removed as Government Chief Whip and made a junior minister. Augustus Wester, wanting to take advantage of Hermang's talent and test him for possible future ministerial positions, appointed him as Government Chief Whip - a surprise to many, a long time coming for few. Hermang was tasked with a large task, bringing the liberal leaning members into line with the party's views. This was a difficult task, and would lead to the liquidation of Hermang's conservative views in 4073. This external influence began to shift Hermang slightly, but would not show until he had reached the top of the party. At first, Hermang was efficient at his job - soon, long time 'non-sheepers', as they were called, such as Bartholomew Smith were brought into line, promised with positions on committees, internal party administration and in some cases, junior ministerial posts. This was the first success for Hermang as Chief Whip and he began to be accepted into closer party circles, he was eventually made an inner cabinet member in later 4063 when he was appointed to a secretariat position.
Hermang continued to serve as chief whip until 4072 when he was forced to step down due to conflicting schedules. By 4069, Hermang was almost a ghost appointment in the Office of the Government Whip. Many of the office's deputies had taken over main whip functions as Hermang became more and more crowded with leadership politics and other matters of state. He was removed by Vernon Wester on the formation of the first Vernon Wester ministry and replaced by Wilhelmina Jeru.
In the same year as his appointment as Whip, Hermang was appointed Secretary for Vanheim, a position that was daunting and dangerous as the Crown Colony of Vanheim had been destabilizing over previous months, with separatist paramilitaries clashing with colonial forces. Hermang was tasked with negotiating a deal with groups such as the Vanheim Nationalist and Peoples Association (VNPA), the New Army of Vanheim and the Vanheim Nationalist Party. Negotiations began 3 weeks after he ascended to the office and would continue until the office was abolished in 4065.
Hermang, who was more liberal towards colonial devolution, especially within the Conservative Party, was willing to enter into cohesive negotiations with Nicholas Bush, the Chairman of the Venheim Nationalist Peoples Association. This was a controversial move by Hermang, for many weeks he was dubbed to be 'dealing with terrorists' because of his initial negotiations with Bush. This prompted the establishment of the Layton Tribunal, a tribunal established to investigate the claims that Nicholas Bush was indeed a terrorist and should not be provided communication with the government. Hermang, who did not believe that Bush was a terrorist and was more heavily in favor of prosecuting Guy Azlow, Marshal of the New Army of Vanheim. The tribunal met from the 18 December 4063 until the 7 May 4064. During that time, negotiations were impeded but on the 7 May 4064, Justice Andrew Thornton declared that there was no evidence of Bush taking party or directing any terrorist attacks by Vanheim nationals; Thornton went on to state that the New Army were a terrorist organisation and while there were definitely associations between the VNPA and the New Army, these were not close enough to deem the two agencies allies.
Hermang accepted the tribunals conclusions, and after discussion among Cabinet, it was deemed appropriate to afford the VNPA proper communication with the Imperial Government on possible independence terms, along with the Vanheim Nationalist Party. These negotiations, however, did not go without protest. Guy Azlow accused Bush of 'betraying the national cause and fight for Vanheim imperialists. Alternating for an approach that will ultimately lead to imperialism poisoning our national system of governance'. Vernon Wester, the First Minister at the time, was opposed to negotiation with the Vanheim separatists. He went on to state in a parliamentary speech that Vanheim was a land of 'savagery, incest and devoid of all life that is pure in God's eye'. This comment proved to be detrimental to negotiations and embittered Bush and his associates. It also led to cold relations between the two nations during the premiership of Vernon.
Negotiations resumed on the 10 May 4064. The original 'Fair Deal' proposed by the Imperial Government included a benefits programme started by the government that would include loans to Vanheim that would be re-payed over a number of years. The cities of Lagrae, Anastosia and Farandur would remain under the control of Eroea and Vanheim would remain within the Empire as a commonwealth nation, the Emperor as the head of state but taking the title 'Lord Protector of Vanheim'. This deal was refuted immediately by Bush as an 'opportunist attempt to instill Vanheim culture with Eroean values'. The deal was re-negotiated and Vanheim were offered full independence, along with the benefits programme, but only Anastosia and Farandur would remain within the Empire. This proposal, originally accepted by Bush, was refuted by more hard line members of the VNPA and the VNP. The talks dragged on until the 29 November 4064. A date for the changes to be implemented had been set on the 13 January 4065, a date that seemed unlikely to be met. Vernon Wester soon intervened in the negotiations and issued a non-negotiable deal. It would remove Vanheim from the sphere of the Empire, no aid would be given to the country afterwards, all presence of Eroea would be cleared out during the transitional period and diplomatic relations would cease to exist after the 13 January 4065. This deal was subsequently accepted by the Vanheim nationals but was seen as a disaster by political analysts. Regardless, the Republic of Vanheim was established on the 13 January 4065 by the Vanheim Decree. The day was marked as a national day of celebration in Vanheim. The intervention of Wester was seen as detrimental towards the future cohesion efforts of the two countries and is often believed as a factor in rooting the divisive relationship between Hermang and Vernon Wester. On the same day, the role of Secretary for Vanheim was abolished and replaced by the President of Vanheim.
Establishment of Conservative Youth
One of Hermang's greatest achievements during his early years within the Conservative Party was the establishment of Conservative Youth, the youth wing of the Conservative Noble Party. The need for a youth organisation had been recognised many years prior with the publication of the 'Shaun Report', an internal report done by the Conservative 'Commission for Public Relations, Outreach and Attraction', led by Shaun Verd. This report had been published 4056, but due to lack of interest from many young members within the party and the general lack of appeal of the party towards younger voters, the initiative never took off. However, in 4066, Hermang volunteered to take on the creation of such an organisation.
Hermang first needed to convince the National Executive Committee to approve the initiative, however he was rebuked by the committee due to internal disagreements over a youth wing. Many older members classified the party as one for older generations and thus believed a youth wing would violate the ethos of the party. Hermang, still convinced that a youth wing was necessary to preserve the future of the Conservatives, went to the next highest body within the party; the National Conservative Congress. The congress, which was an annual meeting of all party delegates, could overrule any decision made by the National Executive Committee once a 60% of all attending delegates voted in favour of the motion. Hermang, along with government ministers and the support of Augustus Wester, submitted a motion titled 'A motion to overrule the rejection of the Executive Committee on the matter of a youth wing for the party; to replace this ruling with the appropriation of all necessary funds to the formation of a youth wing under the leadership of an elected President who is subject to the National Conservative Congress'. The motion was passed resoundingly by 73.5% of the delegates present, however, it did lead to the resignation of Norman Quinn as First Secretary of the Conservative Party. The congress, which was held on the 15 June 4065, set a date for the establishment of the Conservative Youth on the 2 January 4066.
Senior ministry (4069 – 4073)
Rise and appointment
Hermang led the Conservative Youth directly through the years 4066 until 4069, maintaining his position as President until 4073, when he stepped down fully from the post. By the end of 4069, Hermang no longer took any direct administrative in Conservative Youth and delegated most of his power to his protege, Dutch Quinn. During this time, he had grown close to Augustus Wester and proved himself as a talented administrator. He began to directly work with Augustus on almost all matters, including cabinet meetings, which he began to attend to. Hermang was seen as a firm enforcer of Augustus' guidelines and authority within the party. Many office officials have recalled Hermang spending significant time interviewing various party officers for failures to complete tasks and orders. His time as Government Chief Whip had also garnered Hermang's reputation as a ruthless negotiator and determinant politician.
Party division and abandonment
Return to backbenches (4073 – 4075)
Joining the Royal Democrats
Shadow Cabinet positions
Leader of the Royal Democratic Party (4075 – 4083)
Sexual abuse scandal and election
Appointment and Opposition Cabinet
McCormick vs Hermang
Bringing down Augustus Wester
Lord Councillor (4083 – 4102)
Commoner-Royalist Partisan Cooperation
Relations with Juno
Internal instability and Xao challenge
Hermang's control over the party began to falter in 4096 as an internal leadership race would develop between himself and his eventualy successor, Joseph Xao. For many years, Xao was seen as the leader of the more right wing, traditionalist faction of the party and this faction had grown increasingly disgruntled with the leftward stance of the party which it had taken in recent years. In 4090, Hermang appointed Xao and others to the cabinet in an effort to pacify any calls for a leadership election. The Department of Foreign Affairs was placed under the watch of Xao who proved to be a tough negotiator and a strong diplomatic voice. This contrasted with Hermang's belief that appeasement should be used to resolve conflicts within the empire, which Xao privately disparaged as a flawed doctrine that would ultimately lead to the empires collapse. Xao's tough foreign policy garnered him votes from the Conservatives, while disillusioned member of the Royal Democrats also believed he was the next best leader for the party. The dispute over policy reached boiling point in July 4096 when Xao issued the Excalibur Declaration, which stated that the acts of the Republic of Juno in the waters around the Eroean possessions of Excalibur Island, Outer Alexandria and New Yuntvar as tantamount to war and ordered such vessels to withdraw. This infuriated Hermang who was not advised about the declaration. He felt it was a violation of his prerogative to exercise as the supreme commander of the Armed Forces on behalf of the Emperor. What ensued was a constitutional battle for the Declaration to be nullified; Hermang wrote to the President of Juno, James McDonald, outlining his regret for the declaration. McDonald assumed the declaration was a mistake and agreed to engage in talks with the Eroean government over resolving the fishing dispute. Xao was annoyed to hear that Hermang had contacted Norman Faër, the Lord Chamberlain, to have the declaration nullified. Justinian II nullified the declaration and warned Hermang that failure to control execution of ministerial prerogative was indicative of loss of confidence in the Lord Councillor; Hermang refuted this but understood that Justinian was warning him that another government could be formed if his Cabinet was unstable.
This embittered Xao against Hermang and many members of the cabinet at the time have commented how meetings between the two were often tense and acerbic. By the end of August 4096, Xao had amassed enough followers to launch a leadership challenge against Hermang. Xao required 75 signatures for Hannah Chandler, the Chairman, to issue writs for a leadership election and for an emergency parliamentary meeting to take place; he attained 168 signatures. On the 29 August, Xao and John Edward Feeley acted as cosignatories on the leadership challenge document, which was issued by Chandler on the same day. An election was scheduled for the 8 September, the date of the next meeting of the parliamentary party. Hermang was taken aback by this leadership challenge and the sheer number of his own parliamentarians who were in favour of a leadership election. At the time, the Helmfrith rules still governed party leadership challenges; these were a set of rules designed by Austin Helmfrith in 4034. Despite calls for their removal, they were still in effect at the passing of the leadership challenge and thus Xao would need a two-thirds majority to topple Hermang. Many felt this was unfairly skewed towards the leader and that only a simple majority should be required. Xao did not bother challenging the rules and progressed as normal. No other candidates stood for the leadership election and thus the results were as follows:
Hermang was initially surprised at the way that the vote turned out, with 43 members of the party defecting from Xao to Hermang after submitting their approval to the Chairman for a leadership election. This was in fact Xao manipulating the votes cast. Realized he would be unable to win with the current rules of election, he told a number of his supporters to vote for Hermang in an effort not to divide the party. However, he ensured a considerable bloc still voted for him in an effort to ensure that Hermang would not attempt to kick the members out of the party, if he performed such an action, he would lose his working majority and ultimately weaken his position.
New ministry and economic downturn
On the 8 October 4096, Hermang announced the dissolution of his fourth ministry, which had only been appointed earlier in the year. A new fifth ministry was announced, with radical changes to cabinet composition. The most notable change was the 'demotion' of Joseph Xao to Minister for Colonial Administration. Other changes were the removal of Teegan Hogan as Minister for the Interior and Arnold Huxley as Minister for Social Protection and Welfare. These ministers were replaced by Wesley Ansfield and Petrov Egre, both loyal supporters of Hermang. The removal of Hogan and Huxely, two of the most senior members of the Royal Democratic Party, would prove detrimental to Hermang's career and would solidify the now cold tensions between his Cabinet and former ministers.
In response, the Central Central Committee, on which Hermang had served First Secretary, removed him from his seat on the bureau. This was a turning point for Hermang, he no longer had full access to the executive organ of his own political party. Furthermore, Xao spearheded the formation of the Traditional Voice Association, a socially conservative group of politicians and other figures who wanted to see an end to the leftward movement of the Royal Democrats. They also wanted to see an end to friendly relations with the Commoners Party, who they believed were communists, and should not be trusted with any power in government. The formation of this association underpinned a serious divide between conservative and liberal within the party. Ansfield, the Minister for the Interior, accused the former Lord Councillor and Leader of the Conservative Noble Party, Vernon Wester, of conspiring to destroy the government by stirring conservative tensions within the party. These accusations were met with scrutiny from the press, opposition benches and Ansfield's own party. Wester was suffering from amyloidosis and many argued that Wester was unable to take part in any supposed 'conspiracy'. Ansfield apologized for his comments afterwards.
From 4096 until 4097, the tides began to turn against Hermang. His tax relief programs, tertiary education subsidies and the Unemployment Action Act all increased public spending significantly. These programs counteracted each other, the cutting of taxes led to less government income and budget deficits were financed by foreign loans, mostly provided by the Imperial Bank of Regalia. The national debt of Hermang was also of serious concern for almost all government members outside of his own cabinet. In 4083, the national debt stood at ₠33,301,067,001, in 4097, it stood at ₠56,184,103,555, an increase of 68.71%. These calculations were published by the Royal Institute for Economics and Trade in October 4097. This brought about huge criticism from opposition leadership and Hermang was threatened with a motion of no confidence in his position as Lord Councillor. Initially, Hermang was willing to fend off this motion of no confidence but soon a greater power intervened. In tandem with the recent poor economic showings, 4096 saw Eroean GDP contract by 5.33% as lenders panicked over the perilous state of the nations financial system.
On the 11 September 4097, a spontaneous meeting between the Emperor, Justinian II and Hermang took place. The meeting was called after a report titled, 'The Midsummer Report on Government Performance and Institutions'. This 502 page document, published by the Imperial Council, highlighted serious concerns about government spending and the detrimental effect this would have on Eroean foothold on Ut'un. Justinian was concerned with the numbers professed by the report, especially the money being allocated to the Tertiary Education Subsidy Scheme (TESS), which Justinian would call 'en extravagance beyond the financial means of any living man or organisation'. Ultimately, the meeting ended with Justinian ordering Hermang to resolve the issue through spending cuts, to resign or to be forcefully removed from his posts within government. The next day, a meeting of the Royal Cabinet was convened and major decisions about government spending were made. TESS was discontinued and was planned to be replaced by a less comprehensive and less financially crippling scheme. The budget, which was due in September, would include no tax cuts except for elderly people living alone. It was also decided that all elected members of parliament, bar official ministers and members of the Imperial Council, would receive a 10% pay cut, a decrease from ₠127,800 to ₠115,020. The plans were announced to the House of Councillors the following day and led to uproar within the opposition and backbenches. The removal of the TESS program was praised by the Conservatives but seen as a betrayal of the agreement between the Royal Democrats and Commoners. The removal of tax cuts did not stir many negative or positive feelings from any councillors but the pay cuts angered almost all non-government ministers. This further destabilized Hermang's Lord Councillorship. Xao, along with 3 other ministers, agreed to take the pay cut despite their salary being left untouched - this was a sign of solidarity. The plan to reduce councillor salaries was reversed only 6 days later and was replaced with a universal salary cut of 8.7%.
Hermang would never recover from these reformed appropriations, while they did some to alleviate the national debt, foreign borrowing resumed in 4101 and would do so until the election of Joseph Xao as Lord Councillor and Edward Petrificus as Minister for the Treasury and Finance.
Defense cuts and loss at the polls
The budget cuts for 4098 had done some good for alleviating economic downturn within the country, but unemployment continued to rise, not as sharply as before, however. The TESS system was replaced by the Stricken Education Scheme (SES), which no longer provided subsidies to all citizens in the state. Instead, it provided assistance to families who have serious financial trouble. TESS originally offered admittance to 350 tertiary education institutions in Eroea, the most notable of these, the Imperial Institute of Education. The number of schools on offer was cut back to 120, all universities that were decreed by royal charter were removed from the offerings and only institute of technologies remained. This caused uproar within the Commoners Party and on the 12 January 4098, Regina Doherty, Leader of the Commoners Party, pulled from the Commoner-Royalist Co-op Pact, dissolving the informal coalition between the two parties. This was a significant blow to Hermang and calls for resignation began to ring louder, especially within public spheres.
Between 4097 and 4099, the national debt of Eroea decreased from ₠56,184,103,555 to ₠51,002,314,991. This was mainly accredited to the prudent financial appropriations of Leonard Webster, the Chief Secretary at the Department of the Treasury and Finance, regardless, the opposition parties jumped on the band wagon of political dissent towards Hermang. Regina Doherty described the budgetary cuts as 'necessary hardship but could have been handled in other areas far better'. Government expenditure which had amounted to ₠19,491,013,111 in 4098 produced a deficit of ₠5.2 trillion. Once again, cuts were needed to induce economic growth and to prevent a free-fall in debt. Thus, for the first time in 300 years, the Grand Treasurers Council convened in the Imperial Manor, in The Westerlands on the 14 September 4099. The council, which had existed well before the introduction of democratic government in Eroea, was once the main decision making body for the Monarch along with the noble court. The council was largely redundant by 4101 but still existed. All members of the Cabinet, Imperial Council, all noble heads, senior members of the Royal Court and any invitees were part of the council. The main aim of the council was to decide where funds should be cut; Hermang aimed to cut defense spending, a very risky decision as his party had become increasingly conservative.
Members of the High Council of Army Chiefs were invited to take part in the talks. Hermang aimed to cut spending on intelligence agencies, specifically; the Internal Investigation Service, Imperial Protection Bureau and Domestic Intelligence and Surveillance Agency. Hermang presented his decisions on the first day of the council convening. Many attendants in the building at the time stated there was a loud eruption of noise and shouting from within the meeting hall, only to be interrupted by the rush of army generals out the doors of the hell, with red faces of anger. The proposed cuts did not sit well with many of the nobles and many of the generals, especially Field Marshal Weston Baxley-Hutton Smith who cried that the cuts were an offense on the sovereignty of the military, to which Emperoro Justinian II replied; 'My most dear friend, Duke Hutton Smith, you speak as if you are the Emperor, as if you are the sovereign, as if you are the power from which Eroea percolates. I would like to give you some divine intervention, you are not, you will never be - these changes will be considered'.
The cuts were passed by Justinian II, without advice from the House, Imperial Council or Treasurers Council. This act brought the monarchy under fire, as it was the most interventionist act in Justinian's life, ever. The failure to pass future cuts in 4101 would lead to the collapse of Hermang's support within his own party and his slow, but eventual ousting. Included in these cuts was also a 12.5% pay cut for all frontbench ministers and an 8.8% pay cut for all members of the Imperial Council, excluding the Imperial Steward. The Lord Chamberlain's salary would be scrapped all together, replaced instead with an expenses system with personal income coming from imperial cash flows or private ventures.
Backbench rebellion and ousting
Business and educational interests
Personal life and legacy
On the 20 Novemeber 4107, Hermang collapsed during a meeting at his office in the Lieutenant's Manor, in Argost, at approximately, 11:25 AM. The meeting was with a number of his subordinate secretaries about schedule planning for the next month of events that were due to take place. Hermang had been reported to be in a jovial mood that morning, with no signs of any physical or mental pain. Hermang had been making tea when he suddenly collapsed, the kettle he had been using severely scalded his right harm on descent. The Chief Commissioner of the Imperial Chemists was on site at the time and was called up stairs to inspect Hermang. He determined that Hermang had entered into cardiac arrest. Ambulances were immediately called and an AED was put into use, which revived Hermang's heart within a number of minutes, however his pulse was weak.
At 11:34 AM, the ambulance arrived from Stricton Central University Hospital. The ambulance arrived at the hospital at 11:40 AM; Hermang was immediately rushed to the heart revival and healing unit and an emergency revivotopy was performed, which was successful. Hermang regained full consciousness on the 22 November 4107, but was weak. He returned home on the 25 November as his physical fitness had stabilized. Hermang planned to stay out of the public eye for a number of weeks and even proposed resignation, he was visited by Emperor Justinian III on the 25 November 4107, who later revealed that Hermang seemed to be making a grand recovery.
However, in the early hours of the 26 November 4107, a servant noticed a loud thump coming from Hermang's room. The servant concerned for the Lord Lieutenants safety entered the room to find Arthur Hermang lying face down in his bedroom. The alarm was immediately raised as there was no reaction from Hermang. The doctor-on-call arrived at the scene 10 minutes after the alarm had been raised, at 02:33 AM. He was unable to resuscitate Hermang and confirmed he was dead at 2:45 AM due to liver failure. The Emperor, who had been attending a dinner party in Radolan, was immediately notified and flown back to Eroea on the news of Hermang's death.
At the funeral of Hermang, on the 3 December 4107, the Emperor gave the graveside oration, an honor never bestowed upon a 'commoner'.. A moment of silence was conducted in the House of Councillors and the Imperial Council the day following Hermang's death. Public opinion of Hermang reached its highest levels since the 4080's, often cited as being the golden era of Hermang's career. The opinion boost had a slight positive effect on the opinions of Joseph Xao as leader, who also led a number of memorial events around the capital directly after Hermang's death.
After the funeral, the State Committee on Ethics launched an investigation into the health negatives of political life. The relatively young age of Hermang at the time of his death, despite his extensive access to high quality healthcare raised a number of questions surrounding the lifestyle of senior Eroean politicians. The committee engaged in a 12 month investigation that monitored both Hermang's life but also living politicians. The committee found no strong correlation between political life and Hermang's death, but did cite that more stress-coping services should be offered by the Imperial Council to politicians. It also cited that Hermang's rather lax use of alcohol may have contributed to the subsequent liver failure that killed him on the 26 November 4107. The report produced by the committee was published on the 21 January 4109, and dedicated in Hermang's honour.