(1937-11-20) To Repeal or Not To Repeal
Details for To Repeal or Not To Repeal
Summary: Kogrod facilitates a forum on the Repealment movement with Gilbert and Maudlin as speakers.
Date: 1937-11-20
Location: WWN, Hogsmeade
Related: Plot: Unity

This is the main street and venue for Hogsmeade Village, the western portion of High Street. The street is always occupied by someone either out for a walk, loitering, or tidying up the outside of their business. OPEN signs hang in windows, shutters and drapes are open wide so display windows can be peered into to view some of the shop's wares. Bustling with life the forest surrounding the village is as active with wildlife as the village is with civilization, however quaint and country it might be.

Late afternoon at Hogsmeade sees a slightly unusual sight in the village. A small covered stage has been erected in front of the WWN studios. On the stage the white table cloth covering the small table in its center flutters in the slight breeze, held down by a pitcher of water and two glasses. Next to the table sits a plush armchair with its own end table also containing a pitcher of water and a glass. Microphones extend from the WWN building and center on the stage so as to be able to capture everything that is said from the table of the arm chair.

David is currently being uncharacteristically busy. He's scurrying about the stage, making sure that the mics are set up correctly and working well. He's the only member of the WWN that's currently involved, as the rest of the studio could care less about the politics of the Wizarding world.

The Daily Prophet surely has a few reporters out and about, but one in particular is… perhaps not the sort of press such an event directly seeks. Eupraxia Pyrites cuts quite the display of herself in her usual over-the-top attire. The kimono-styled robe is obscured a bit beneath her cloak, but that itself is quite the outstanding thing. A pale gold fabric is overlaid with the feathers of a Fwooper which cascade from shoulders to ground. A charmed umbrella — in pale pink, of course — follows Eupraxia around, freeing her hands to clutch at parchment and quill. As the panelists approach the stage, she begins taking frantic notes.

"Thank you Mr. Sullivan." Maudlin says with a charming smile as she reaches out to take the glass of water he poured for her. She takes a polite sip of it. Her green eyes scan the area as she makes mental notes on individuals she sees. Carefully she sets down the water. "It is a pity that the opposition did not wish to join us." She says to him. Then her gaze comes to rest on Kogrod another smile is given to him and she waits.

Emrys and Jocunda arrive just about the time the panelists approach the stage, apparently running a little late. "Oh, good, we haven't missed anything." The Welshman remarks to his companion as he guides her toward a good place to listen from.

Kaylee has came to offer some support for Gilbert during this while think it seems. Her gaze drifts over the area as she wanders along humming softly as she goes. Seems nothing has started so she isn't late at least. Her steps carry her on towards the stage and a smile is seen while she catches sight of Gilbert and offers him a wave.

Thankfully with wizard-aided acoustics, there's no need to find the "sweet spot" to listen from. At least not yet. Jocunda falls into stride with Emrys as he seeks out a spot for them to observe from. "Do you think Cassius will attend?" she asks of her companion in a low voice.

Gilbert doesn't actually wave at Kaylee but he does wink at her as he catches her wave before leaning over to murmur an answer to Mauldin's comment,"It is but we can still accomplish the purpose of this forum without them." He then faces the audience waiting for Mr. Kogrod to start the proceedings.

David has disappeared from the stage now that everything is situated and finds himself standing at the back of the crowd, his arms crossed and a look of calm on his face.

"I can't imagine him missing out." Emrys murmurs in reply to Jocunda. "This is…his bread and butter, right now. And if he does intend to move from our department into the political arena he can't afford to miss something like this."

"Let us hope Mr. Sullivan." Maudlin says to Gilbert as she gets herself comfortable in the chair she is seated in. She is dressed in the latest Muggle fashion and her blonde hair is styled in the same manner as her dress. She looks clam as can be as she waits for it to start.

As the seats begin to fill up, Kogrod decides it's time to begin the introductions, loudly clearing his throat and standing up (not that that makes him any more visible). "Good afternoon," he states to the crowd. "We are here as part of a discussion on one of the more interesting issues of our time. Our forum this afternoon is entitled 'The International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy- To Repeal or Not To Repeal?' My name is Kogrod, business writer for the Daily Prophet, and here with me are Mr. Gilbert Sullivan and Miss Maudlin Huntington. …We had planned to hear from Mr. Cassius Malfoy, who as you will no doubt recall is one of our nation's most vocal proponents of the repeal of the ISWS, but, alas, he does not seem to be with us. Nevertheless, we will attempt to gain as full a picture as we can of the issue with this discussion. I have a few questions prepared here, some of which were submitted in advance by readers of the Prophet, but afterwards I will also offer a chance for those in the audience to share their questions. So… Miss Huntington, you may give your opening statements, followed by Mr. Sullivan's." Kogrod finally finishes and returns himself to his seat.

It is not Kogrod that Eupraxia is listening to. In fact, as he makes his introductions, she's scribbling away at her parchment. The panelists are scrutinized and more notations made. She's off to the side, beneath that umbrella. Even if it's not currently raining, it /might/ and she can't let herself get wet. Oh no. Once she's satisfied with whatever she's written of those on stage, the woman turns to squint into the crowd.

Monty dashes in just as Kogrod is beginning his speech, glancing around and taking a seat over near Jocunda and Emrys. "Oh, I wouldn't be surprised if he shows up just when the tension's highest," he suggests. "You know, to really draw everyone's attention at the crucial moment? That's what I'd do if I were him."

As Kogrod explains that Cassius is absent, Jocunda's eyebrows raise somewhat. She's about to speak, but Monty cuts in and her lips press into a line. Thoughtful, perhaps. "Hmm," she offers finally. "You may be right. We can hope. I had hoped to see him speak."

"One can indeed hope." Emrys agrees, before offering to Jocunda "If not, I can always see if he'd be amenable to having lunch at some point so you can get his point of view on things. I see him around the office often enough."

Kaylee does catch the wink and shifts off near the front of the stage though somewhat out of the way while she settles in to listen to the talk it seems. Her pale gaze drifts over the area catching sight of whom all has came out for it.

"My opening statement Mr. Kogrod, will be short but to the point. First of all I wish to thank you all for coming here and for tuning in. It is my hope that all those who are listening to us today will be able to make an educated and informed decision as to where they stand concerning the Statute of Wizarding Secrecy." Maudlin words are crisp and speak of education and breeding. "We are not here to make the decision for you but we are here to inform you and to explain both the pros and cons of the issues that surround the Repealing of the Statue of Wizarding Secrecy." A gentle smile is given to Gilbert. "Mr. Sullivan, it is your turn." She then grows quiet.

Gilbert waits for Maudlin to finish her introductory comments before saying,"Like Ms. Huntington I would like to thank everyone in the audience and listening at home. For the last few weeks the Unity movements, as the proponents of repealment have now started calling themselves, have been talking about uniting Muggle and Wizards into on cohesive society, the first step of which would be to repeal the International Statutes of Wizarding Secrecy. This is a good and lofty ideal but for all their ideal and rhetoric they have failed to address many of the practical aspects that go along with such a proposal. Hopefuly today we will be able to provide more of this practical information on both the benefits and drawbacks of this proposal and encourage the general wizarding public to do even more research on their own so as to develop informed opinions on the subject."

"I would like that," Jocunda says to Emrys before falling silence to listen to the speakers. The woman settles back on her heels, folding arms across her stomach as she listens. She keeps features schooled to stillness, taking in what is said and trying to minimize any reactions she may have.

"Excellent," Kogrod says after Gilbert finishes. "I suppose we should begin with the basics. Mr. Sullivan just referred to the idea of unifying wizard and Muggle societies as a 'good and lofty ideal'. What makes it so? What would be the advantages of revealing ourselves to Muggles? What benefits would magical society gain from closer ties with Muggles, and how would Muggles benefit from connection to the magical world? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts first, Mr. Sullivan…"

"We'll have to see what can be arranged then." Emrys murmurs before he too falls into silence. Like his companion, his features are carefully schooled not to betray whatever he may think about what's being said. He does, however, put one arm around Jocunda as they listen.

Gilbert takes a moment to carefully consider Kogrod's questions before responding, "Over the decades Muggle have made strides in all sorts of areas including technology and economics. Repealing the statue of secrecy would provide the wizarding world with economic opportunities as well as allowing us access to some of their technological advancements, notably communications and medicine. On the Muggle side of the equation abilities like instantaneous transportation and accelerated healing to name a couple, could revolutionize their industrial and economic sectors as well as improving their quality of life in general."

"I see," Kogrod says. "And you, Miss Huntington? What are your thoughts on the positive aspects of repeal?"

Jocunda seems mildly surprised by the arm about her. She shifts a bit uncomfortably at first, but she must not mind /too/ terribly because Emrys not only gets away with it, he doesn't suffer a pop on the nose either.

"To be honest based off our History and History Muggles I do not see any positive aspects. Outside of the few that Mr. Sullivan mentioned. There was a time when we and the aristocracy of the Muggles worked together but power, fear and lack of understanding destroyed those ties." Maudlin says. "Yes they have made amazing advances in their medicine as we have. Every day for both us and them amazing discoveries have been made. I do apologize Mr. Kogrod, but this is the best answer that I can give you."

Eupraxia is still off to the side, beneath her garish umbrella. She's taking an ample amount of notes, but her attention is rather more focused on the people that have stopped to listen to the debate.

Kaylee is still there ever watching and listening. Her gaze drifting back an forth to the questions brought up and answered to the ones around her to see there reactions it would seem.

"Now, this is interesting," Kogrod says, "because one of our readers was quite curious about the technological aspect. I know that some in our audience are unfamiliar with the technology that Muggles have been developing, particularly in the last twenty years or so. I myself have only read about many of them, not being able to venture out openly into areas where Muggles live. So, might the two of you go into more detail about what you know of these recent developments and how they might impact our community?"

Emrys continues to listen, arm around Jocunda. Although his expression is largely neutral, it's clear from a brief twitch that is definitely one of those in the audience unfamiliar with pretty much any Muggle technology whatsoever.

Gilbert takes a moment to wet his throat by sipping from his glass. After an exchange of glances with Maudlin he clears his throat and answers the question first,"As some people might now I have dedicated my life to the study of Muggle society so I have had quite a bit of interaction with them and their technology. Some of the main advances have been in transportation, which we use in the wizarding world. But they have also made great strides in communications, developing items like the television, the telephone, and the radio. Medically they have made large advances in developing instruments that allow them to not only cure many of the illnesses and injuries that affect them but to understand /what/ causes these issues, like viruses and bacteria. But here is also where we start wandering into the disadvantages of repealment since the Great War brought about substantial advancement in their weaponry and military tactics, which, along with their numbers, could make them a very great threat to Wizarding society if they react badly to learning about the magical side of the world. And history has taught us that, as a society in general, they are prone to react aggressively to the unknown."

Jocunda listens to Gilbert's response, lips pressed into a thin line. She shifts back on her heels, tilting her head slightly as she murmurs something to Emrys.

"To expand on what Mr. Sullivan has said I will go a little bit off topic. Magic itself is neither good nor evil. It is the intent in which it is wielded with that makes it evil or good. The inventions of the Muggles are neither good nor evil as well. But, it is how they are used. Muggles fear and hate what they do not understand or cannot understand. They see each other an inferior or superior, not realizing they all bleed, dream, hope and cry. They all are born and they all die." Maudlin says in gentle voice.

Her tone changes and she leans a little forward in her seat to drive home a point. "In the past twenty years, they have perfected the art of trench warfare, airplanes, tanks, motor cycles and motor cars, bombs and guns and some of those medical advancements they turn into bio and chemical warfare. Many died in those horrors. Most of the young male population of Muggle Europe was wiped out. Why did this happen, because governing countries did not agree. I know that many of us think we can control them. But, let me leave this little thought with you" She pauses for a moment. "They out number us. They have reacted badly to us in the past what is to make us think that they will not react badly to us now." She grows quiet and leans back against her seat.

Emrys nods to whatever it is Jocunda murmurs to him, apparently in agreement, and then whispers a reply. He doesn't look entirely impressed.

Gilbert jumps in at this point, bringing up one of the main concerns of a lot of people that are against the repealment,"That right there is one of the problems with Repealment. We /can/ control them. A few well placed Imprious Curses could gain the wizarding world control of the Muggle world. But it would be highly immoral. And a sever temptation if repealment happens and our reveal does not go as expected."

Kogrod nods, listening intently to the panel's words. "Certainly something to keep in mind. Other than those issues relating to technology then… what other disadvantages are there to repealing the Statute of Secrecy? The world has certainly changed a great deal since those days, what reasons would there be to keep it in place?"

Jocunda snorts softly in response to the replies from both panelists. "Where is Cassius?" she inquires, voice still pitched low. "This is awful one-sided at the moment."

"But you speak of theory for we have not tried it on a grand scale and Muggles for all their faults are free thinking individuals who are connected with us. If they were not we would not have Squibs born from purebred families. But you are right it would be immoral for us to do so." Maudlin smiles sweetly and her green eyes go from Gilbert to Kogrod as he asks the next question. "Another reason would be for us to protect our world and the creatures that live in it from them. For that matter we would be protecting the Muggles from some of those creatures that live in our world." This is said with a little bit of amusement. "As for your comment about the changing world, it has but Muggles themselves really have not changed. Look at how they treat each other."

"I'm sure there's a good reason for his absence." Emrys offers to Jocunda, before looking a little ill as Maudlin mentions squibs being born from purebred families. It quickly passes, but he's definitely uncomfortable for a few moments at such an idea being spoken of openly.
From afar, Maudlin laughs and laughs.

Gilbert's years on stage make him comfortable with speaking in public, including paying attention to his audience. And the reaction of some of the members of his audience makes him start of with,"Squibs is a great place to start Ms. Huntington. All we have to do is look at how we, as a society, deal with Squibs. We treat them as second class citizens, barely tolerated. So not only do we need to look at how Muggles treat each other but at how /we/ treat each other. We would be putting two societies that both have a tendency to marginalize those that are not part of the group in power head-to-head against each other. And in a climate as politically charged as that within Muggle society at the moment all we could help to achieve is polarizing the Muggles and changing their focus to what history shows us they will see as the greater threat. We would not help ameliorate the political powder keg that is Muggle society at the moment, we would set it off."

"Now then…" Kogrod says, after Gilbert finishes, "that brings up another question that one of our readers suggested. Do either of you personally know any Muggles, and if so, does your experience with them make you more or less wary of bringing the two communities together?" He keeps his hands folded before him.

"I have traveled in the Muggle world and I know personally a few Muggles; I think that Mr. Sullivan has some fantastic points. From what I have seen after the Great War and from what I have been hearing and reading about with the current politically charged situation that is drowning most of Europe and after hearing of the comments pertaining to the repeal of the Secrecy Statute from our own community." Maudlin pauses. "I would have to say that I do not think either side is ready to be introduced on a grand scale." Her voice carries some weight to it. "We are not to be their master and they are not to be ours."
Maudlin pages: I really think these two would do really well in a debate against the other side. :)

Gilbert looks around the audience for a moment, letting the question sink in before answering it. "I do. Many of them in fact. And I have also extensively studied their history. If Repealing the Statue is done in a careful, throughout manner it could be beneficial for all parts involved, at another time, when the political situation among the Muggles is not as charged as it is at the moment worldwide. This I say from the perspective of someone that knows many fine, upstanding, rational, and compassionate Muggles. From the perspective of the scholar, Muggles tend towards a mob mentality that exhibits very few of the positive qualities they show as individuals. And as a society their most probable reaction will be to lash out violently so again, if Repealment where to happen the strategy to achieve it would have to be carefully planned out, as well as having to plan out laws and regulations to avoid Wizards from abusing Muggles on a large scale through magic. But to tie in with Ms. Huntington's comments, the moment is most definitely /not/ now."

Nodding toward Gilbert, Kogrod thinks for a bit. "Well, I was about to ask the two of you, if now is not the time to repeal the statute, what changes would have to be made on both sides that would make it a wise decision. However, Mr. Sullivan seems to have provided a satisfactory answer to that question, I would say, so Miss Huntington, if you would have any further comments on that question, of when would be a better time…"

Jocunda taps her foot gently, glancing sidelong at Emrys. Perhaps to gather his opinion of what's been said. She, herself, looks as if there might be a storm cloud above her.

The topics have drawn on Eupraxia for she seems to have grown bored. In fact, she can't help but smother a yawn. A few more passers by, however, catch her attention and she goes up to an older Witch to inquire heatedly about wherever she got that hat.

Emrys doesn't look entirely happy, though that could well be because of the storm cloud he's well aware is hovering over his companion. He's more guarded than she is, but can't help frowning every now and again.

"When both sides are able to see each other in equal light and when all of the Muggle World is not on the brink of war." Maudlin says simply. "It may take another hundred years. After all we look down our noses at many squibs. Especially, if one is born from a purebred family they are considered to be dirt beneath the feet of the wizards. That is all I have left to say, unless there are question pertaining to history."

Gilbert takes a drink from his water glass as he listens to Maudlin then adds,"When Pureblood wizards can treat Squibs, Muggle-borns, Goblins, Centaurs, and all other sentient magical races as equals then, and only then, will we be ready to try and live side by side with the Muggles."

"And with that," Kogrod says, scanning the audience, "I believe we should be drawing our prepared segment to a close. Mr. Sullivan, Miss Huntington, you may give some final words before I open things up to any questions from the audience," he states.

With her hands clasped behind her back, Rhyeline Diderot remains standing alone in the crowd. The girl has been here all along, drinking in the words of each participant in tonight's forum. In addition, the waiffish witch has glanced now and then towards those commenting to each other around her regarding the words being said. But none has her attention more than Gilbert Sullivan himself. As it comes time for a final statement, she rises up on her tip toes, trying to peek over the shoulder of the tall wizard that has moved in front, blocking her view.

"I have nothing to add at this time. I think is time to hear from the others." Maudlin says in response to Kogrod.

Gilbert glances over to Kogrod and bows his head to him for a moment,"Thank you for an ably done job Mr. Kogrod. I think we are indeed ready for public questions."

Jocunda glances about the crowd at those who seem to be mulling over the words. Some even seem haltingly ready to ask questions. Like they're uncertain whether or not they wish to be singled out. Jocunda casts a sidelong glance to Emrys. "I have no desire to ask anything. Do you?"

"Not a thing." Emrys shakes his head, apparently in agreement with that lack of desire. "We can leave, if you wish. Or we can stay and see what is asked, and how they respond."

While Rhyeline does not wish to voice a question in a crowd so large, she is most certainly curious to see what the public might have to ask. Giving up her attempt to see over the wizard's shoulder, she ducks down and tries to find a better spot.

Kaylee doesn't go asking anything, it has pretty much been all said as far as she sees it. She looks towards the ones around her pondering if anyone might ask anything it seems.

Well, of course Monty has a question, waving a hand in the air just in case there was any doubt. "Mr. Kogrod, I've got a question for those in favor of repealing the statue. Quite apart from how well or badly anyone will be treated— well, have you taken into account all the employees at the Ministry of Magic who'd be put right out of work as a consequence? They're all sharp fellows, of course - I'm sure they'd find new careers for themselves before long - but there'd still have to be a transition, wouldn't there?"

The first question is not quite to Jocunda's liking by the way she steps back slightly. Either away from Emrys, or bringing him along with her if his arm remains as it is. "Let's get something to eat," she decides.

"It doesn't appear that we have any proponents of repeal on the stage," Kogrod points out, looking toward Gilbert and Maudlin. "But if either of you would like to comment on how a repeal would affect the Ministry, you're welcome to do so."

Kogrod acknowledges the question and passes it on Gilbert and Maudlin. After a quick exchange between the two of them Gilbert turns to the audience to answer,"That is indeed a very good question and one of the many plans that would need to be made before repealment can be seriously considered. Many of the Ministry employees but most notably the Obliviators would indeed no longer have careers. I do wish members of the Unity Movement had accepted our invitation as they would have been the best people to give a more concrete answer to your question.

"Something to eat it is." Emrys' arm remains where it is, and so Jocunda brings him along with her as they head off for food.

"There's, ah… well a few places here in Hogsmeade, or we could head back to London," Jocunda offers in a quiet voice, heading away in a companionable fashion with Emrys. She does cast glances back towards the crowd, seeking out reactions perhaps.

"It doesn't seem that we have any further questions," Kogrod says, rising (or perhaps… falling, depending on one's perspective) to his feet once more. "Therefore, this forum is concluded. Thank you all for your attendance, and your attention. Farewell."

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