Republic of Texas 'Ambassador' Loses Another Round

Poor Robert Hertner. The man just can't get any respect.

Back in 1981, when he ran for mayor of Amarillo, Texas, he was trounced. His petition for a $1-a-year county constable job was flatly rejected, too.

Sixteen years later, after moving to London, Hertner finally had a title -- "His Excellency, Ambassador and Consul General for the Republic of Texas to Europe" -- but the British prime minister and Queen Elizabeth II still refused to see him.

That might have had something to do with the fact that the Republic -- widely known as ROT -- was a radical group that improbably claimed the United States had illegally annexed Texas in 1845. It also could have been related to the standoff that Hertner's Texas overseers had just had with Texas Rangers weeks before. One ROT member was killed, and ROT leader Richard McLaren went to prison.

After that, Hertner continued to rail on in London about the "Vichy-style government" that actually runs Texas. He produced no results whatsoever.

Then, last year, Hertner focused in on a more manageable target. Furious at a British TV licensing inspector -- Britons must pay a licensing fee for their TV sets to support British public television -- he filed a £4.5 million ($7.9 million) suit against the company that collects the fees. He said the firm's TV inspector trespassed at his home (which doubles as the ROT embassy) and damaged a computer cable.

But last December, Hertner lost again. This time, the Central London County Court ordered him to pay £7,000 ($12,320) in court costs.

Now, presumably, Robert Hertner will return to the independent filmmaking that is his bread and butter. He may have trouble, however, earning the court costs he owes, what with his films bearing names like "Amazing Crap Video.Com."