from The Essential Paradise

Doc. 5.09. Edit

Belonger is a classification of legal status applicable in The British Paradise Islands, as featured in the Two Paradises fiction/fantasy realm devised by author Jonnie Comet.

History Edit

Upon the appointment of Sir Harvey Headley as territorial viceroy in 1950, by default all natives currently resident in the territory were officially classified as belongers. The policy of appropriate recognition of belonger status, as well as treatment of tourists and other visitors, was inconsistent till provisions with sterner language with regard to immigration were enacted by Territorial Parliament in 1964. By the 1980s the policy was falling lax again; and it was the involvement of Paul Cavaliere, and his cousin Jonathan Cavaliere, which revitalised restrictions on immigration, based on a reaffirmation of belonger status, through popular referenda.

Provisions Edit

The belonger is one with inalienable rights to citizenship and residency in the territory, typically by birth or by direct family connection; but the status can also be conferred, typically by the sovereign or by the governor-general in the name of the sovereign, given appropriate circumstances. It is a legal distinction, denoting a class of rights and responsibilities within the greater category of British Overseas Territories citizenship, which may or may not imply that of British citizenship. The Paradisian belonger has the right to vote, to attend public school and to have a BPI passport. The belonger is typically expected to pay taxes and to participate in Paradisian community even whilst abroad such as for education or work.

The status of belonger is unique in Paradise in that, by law, it is inalienable; unlike the status of resident or that of a tourist it cannot be stripped from one to whom it has been granted through application and acceptance, nor from one who gains it by royal bestowal, nor from one who possesses such status as a birthright. By contrast, a regular resident ('liver') may have many benefits and responsibilities similar to those of a belonger, but his residency is always considered temporary (as in 'temporal') and the resident has not the belonger's unconditional right to return to Paradise, after even a very protracted absence, and to consider the territory his permanent homeland.

As in other Commonwealth territories noted for having successful tourism markets, only the belonger may invest in commercial/investment real estate or in businesses based in the territory.  Attempts by off-islanders and those of resident status to form contractural partnerships with Paradisian belongers have, since the development codes, been met with universal rejection by land-use authorities and (by default, local) financial lenders.  Those of resident status may be employed in the territory and may even hold officer responsibilities with employers; but non-belongers may not receive or control more than a token interest in their employers' assets as compensation, as a gift, or in under any other guise.

This distinction is implied in the patriotic territorial creed of 'Once a Paradisian, always a Paradisian'. The phrase is believed to have been adapted from one in the novel The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, (likely through Sir David Holloway, a belonger by bestowal and noted CS Lewis fan).

Appearance in the stories Edit

Most of the characters of the Two Paradises fantasy/fiction realm who are resident in The British Paradise Islands are belongers, as the various story series focus on their point of view as compared to the viewpoint of Western visitors.

Jonathan Cavaliere and David Holloway, their children (including Susie, whom the Cavalieres adopt at age 2 years), all American-born, their wives, Jeanne Banfield Cavaliere who was born in Denmark and Lynda Byrdsong Holloway who was born in Britain, and even some of their close household and personal staff, become belongers by conferral when Cavaliere and Holloway are each knighted KCMG in the 1988 Birthday List.

Chloe Jamison and her parents, all three having been born in New Zealand, are belongers by bestowal as well.

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