The Special Needs Relationship
Celebrating the common goals of two nations divided by a common language but united by a love of groping:
Police are hunting for a man who has been dressing up as a cute old granny so he can persuade women to let him give them a cuddle.
Charleston, West Virginia
A man spent an entire year pretending to be a mentally retarded person unable to look after himself so he could get to fondle home help nurses and make them change his nappies.
Observer's review of English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900
It's the Observer, so you know what to expect
: More than reviewing the book, the writer is in effect commenting on us, who celebrate how the alliance of the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand "has saved the world in 'one overall, century-long struggle between the English-speaking people's democratic pluralism and fascist intolerance of different varieties.'" But such a declaration has always seen to me to be so much myth-making. Where does Suez fall into such a theory? How does attacking Cuba but mollycoddling China and Saudi Arabia represent a noble struggle? Is New Zealand included because of actions well over 50 years ago and its blue ensign when Taiwan and Japan have been of far more use in maintaining a presence in that region? Is India's massive contribution ignored because they sought to respect their own democratic pluralism and no longer step into whatever breach their masters order?
Mostly for me, the jarring assertion ignores the reality. America bankrupted the UK while getting the latter to single-handedly hold off the Nazi threat from America's doorstep. America up to Korea only fought after the other guy first declared war, not through ideology. It's hard to think of Britain's wars in Kenya and Malaysia being fought to promote pluralism. Australia knows which side its bread is buttered and has now exchanged a British master with an American one. Economics, sirs, not ideology guide us.
We are bound together not so much by language but Anglo-Saxon capitalism. That's my view, not the review's. But in looking at our relationship critically and not through a romanticised mist, we would be paying heed to the author's warning not to "drown(s) out the reasoned and discriminating judgments, the measured understanding of the other sides' perspective, that are the best of English virtues." I myself look at the potential of acknowledging and building upon the imperishable ties that bind us, but that does not mean we need to let sentiment get in the way of the facts.
David Cameron, Britain's new "Great Charlatan"? Is the Tory leader a confidence trick
, or does he favour substance over style and spin?Update
: It's unanimous. Dave the Dimbo
needs to start showing more substance
, needs to start putting more flesh
on the bones, needs to put away the smoothie
, etc, etc.
French Summit faces "hostile" Canada
Could this be what happens when you send an Anglophone prime minister to a Francophone summit?
Bilingual Prime Minister Stephen Harper vetoed
a last minute resolution at the 53-nation "French Commonwealth" today, calling for a recognition of the suffering of Lebanese civilians from this summer's Israel-Hezbollah war. The Egyptian delegation, with the backing of the Lebanese, apparently attempted to sneak it in at the last minute before facing the unexpected "hostility" of Harper and the Canadians:
”Obviously Canada believes that the resolution has to be balanced and that we should recognize the victims in both Lebanon and Israel. I don't think an international organization with the breadth and scope of the Francophonie would want to do anything than to make sure that victims are recognized regardless of their nationality”
President Chirac said that negotiations are continuing on the resolution and that a solution is needed to ”allow everybody to save face.”
Monsieur le President, the only people who have egg on their face are all the others who tried to support this one-sided, anti-Israel amendment. I think the rest of the world has forgotten that the Liberals from Quebec are no longer in power over here. For those in the not know, his name is Harper. Stephen Harper.
Farewell to the Great Charlatan
Oh, the English hills are alive
with the sound of music. Now if only one of our British correspondents would deliver a eulogy for us, we might all get a better sense of the man. Was he "Bush's Poodle" (give it a rest), "Tony Bliar" (likewise), "Tory Blair" (yeah, right), or was he, as Gerald Warner routinely fashioned him, "The Great Charlatan" (now you're talking)? Gentlemen, I think we have a winner.
To his eternal credit, on the most important issue facing the West today, Tony Blair
provided bold leadership, if not on the homefront, certainly in the very necessary fighting abroad, even if you think that Iraq was a mistake, and even if you think playing second fiddle to the United States is somehow demeaning to Britain's higher purpose. For this he earned praise with the superficial title, the "Son of Thatcher". But on pretty much every other policy issue of the day, particularly on the crucial question of the United Kingdom's future as an independent player in the world, he practiced a level of quackery that would have impressed Moliere, roaming about the capitals of Europe, foisting that worthless nostrum onto Her Majesty's subjects, even if it meant, as he tried to do, swindling British sovereignty from the Queen and sending the Constitution to Brussels.
So farewell to Phoney Tony. So long, and thanks for the memories.Update
: The Great Charlatan shows why he is the "King of Spin
". A truly remarkable performer - Labour's best asset has just left the stage.
The 'Canadianization' of British tradition and precedent
Given the talk
of Adrienne Clarkson's
new book, Heart Matters
, I was reminded
of the many controversies that encircled her time in office, and how when we look back, those five or six years will probably stand out as the greatest period of unconsultative change in the history of the Maple Crown. I was also reminded of a comment
by Walsingham, who touched brilliantly on the perils of Canadianization, specifically on the dictatorial manner in which this has been carried out by successive Liberal regimes throughout our modern history.
It is interesting to note that the GG's staffer's answer, on being asked by Premier Klein whether or not Her Majesty could sign Royal Assent to Alberta Legislation, was not: "that would not be in accord with statute"; it was: "that would not be consistent with 'Canadianization' of our governance institutions" - or something very close to that.
Ignoring that "Canadianization" is a quite puerile descriptor, for which I'd like to see the GG have the honesty to attach a definition and a declared policy - and then tell me where in the hell she got the mandate to undertake and enforce it - it is altogether obvious that had the same question been asked in relation to federal legislation (yeah, right), the answer given would have been the same - now quite illegally, and in direct contravention of statute.
Let's not forget, however, that all this is in the tradition of the declarations by earlier Liberal regimes that, first peerages, and later knighthoods, would no longer be conferred on Canadians, because that would be inconsistent with "Canadian values". In both of those cases, the decision was undertaken with complete disregard for tradition, and without the slightest effort to consult anybody. "Canadian values", it seems, are justifiably decreed from the PMO - provided that a Liberal sits there.
One could extend the relative economy of the Royal governance institution in Canada, to an analogous one pertaining to peerages and knighthoods. There used to be a time when most men of character would have crawled on their knees for a K, as a reward, from a grateful sovereign and, by extension, from a grateful nation; for a lifetime of service and distinction. A K cost the taxpayer nothing, and character counted in the eligibility: the quest for a K served the useful purpose of keeping in check the kind of behaviour [that was] litanized daily by Gomery, among a large part of the governance class, the civil service and the senior ranks of the private sector.
But my real point here is to underscore that the smug and dictatorial fashion by which the Liberals and their kith and kin proceed[ed] to these kinds of decisions and actions, is really but further illustration of the depth of their contempt for the very idea of consulting the electorate, or even of submitting and binding themselves to the arbitration of Parliament. Contravention of the law, and of tradition and precedent - by decree, and unrestrained by consultation of any kind of the population or the House of Commons - is conveniently justified by pointing to "Canadian values".
I do not claim that most Canadians would support these particular things if, in fact, they did go to a referendum. I do not really know. But given that, in these cases, one is talking at least about a substantial departure from tradition, and at most about violating or "changing" the law of the land - would it be too much to ask to consult Parliament at least?
The hypocrisy of a GG strutting around, enjoying the perks of a viceregal position while transparently despising the very idea of being a viceroy - as though, were we not a monarchy, we would somehow have just proclaimed her "eminence in chief" on her own merits - is too striking for words. That she is a card-carrying member of a caste that believes whole-heartedly in an elitist apostasy of democracy gives it away. But I guess we shouldn't be surprised. There is a lot of contempt for democratic due process floating around. To quote Mandos: "I'm not ready to get upset if surreptitious transfer of the fundamentals of the role to the GG is going on."WALSINGHAM
Loyalty and Country
Peter Worthington brusquely touched on
what Andrew Coyne delivered with more eloquence: loyalty, what you can do for your country
. This was easily the best opinion piece on the weekend, arguing that a country is not simply a dispenser of services, but a great moral project in which we are all engaged.
I would simply beseech Mr. Coyne to bring this to its logical conclusion. If we are to limit dual citizenship on the basis of rewarding loyalty to those who actively belong to our common moral project, should we not expand this to include countries that share it? What difference morally do we have with New Zealanders or Great Britons? Let's end the free ride, but let's reciprocate where it makes emminent sense to do so.
British PM in waiting Gordon Brown to "reassert claim to crown
". You know, these days you can almost take that literally.
The devil you know, or didn't know
Two can play that game. You call the President of the United States the devil incarnate
in New York City, we'll strip search
your Foreign Minister in a New York Airport. Oops, sorry about that. Not sure how we could have made such a blatant diplomatic faux pas. Not sure what could have provoked such a thing. Must be the work of the devil.
More sanity from Down Under: No English, no excuse
. All migrants to Australia should learn English as a matter of basic courtesy, says Sydney Police Commissioner Ken Moroney. "If you're going to come and live in our country, have the courtesy, the common courtesy, of embracing our culture, the history," by learning our traditions.
A peoples who dare not speak their name
I'd like to strike a discordant note. It is trye that we good ol' Tories love a bit of Hell-in-a-Handcart-ism: I suppose it makes us feel rather validated. We spend years of our lives harumphing over the morning's Telegraph and declaiming to long-suffering loved-ones that if things like these are allowed to go on we'll all be dead or enslaved by 1974 or some such thing.
Very sadly, then, I must say that I can't agree with your delightfully pessimistic evaluation
of the United Kingdom's national future. Aside from the remarkably obvious fact that we are the only country in the Anglosphere in which the opposition is more robust about the terror threat than a pro-Iraq War government, there are, I think, a few pointers that we're not all doomed yet.
To quote from Melanie Phillips' excellent book, Londonistan, "[I]n the US there has, at least, been a counteroffensive. The grip of the left-wing intelligentsia has been loosened by the growth of conservative think tanks and publishing houses, talk radio and now the internet bloggers. In Britain, by contrast, there has been no equivalent insitutional challenge to the hegemony of the left... In the United States, at least there are wars over culture; in Britain, there has been a rout."
It seems rather self-evident that her very writing of those words invalidates them. And it is not just her. Michael Gove has argued the case even more eloquently in Celcius 7/7. And in the blogosphere, as Jim Bennett has demonstrated, all the English-speaking world occupies the same Information Space, with just as many hard-left multicultists and paranoid conservatives in London as there are in Ottawa, Washington, Canberra or Wellington.
Moreover, in Britain's case in particular, my keen desire to see only disaster just can't carry me that extra mile. To quote Melanie Phillips again, this time concerning the Danish Cartoonistan demonstration in London, "Not only was such open incitement to murder and terrorism allowed to go on, but at the time the only action taken by the police was actually directed against those passers-by who objected to such displays. People who tried to to snatch away the placards were held back." Quite so. Ordinary Londoners, not all of them owners of white vans, tried to resist, regardless of the attitude of the State.
To conflate the national character with the policies of a nation's State would be to condemn half the world to the status of violent, ignorant savages - and while we may be tempted to do that sometimes, we must admit in our more rational moments that it is not so. A government is not the same thing as a people.
Put simply, if this is really 1938, as many seem to suggest, then so what? The Churchills were still voices in the wilderness, and national self-abasement seemed a small price for Peace in Our Time; but when the fat hit the fan, it did not take months, or weeks, but a matter of days before British people had stopped telling themselves that Hitler would be a good little Fascist if only we behaved sensitively, and had instead started crawling through Burmese swamps with machetes, saddling up the camels in the Ethiopian mountains, training bootless Gold Coasters in the art of plastic explosives and deposing the King of Egypt at the point of a Lee Enfield.
Already decades past our prime, the old imperial spirit was dug out from wherever it had been put, and the world trembled. To quote the great GK Chesterton,
"Smile at us, pay us, pass us, but never quite forget
That we are the people of England that never have
Give us a chance, laddie. We'll surprise you yet. We always do.
Lastly, even if you are right and Olde Ynglande is done-for, I can't really despair. England is not a place, or a people, but an idea. All of us - you and me, and Stephen Harper and John Howard and George Bush and even the Prime Monster of New Zealand Helen Clarke - we are all That Corner of a Foreign Field, even though I'm the only one with a British passport, and I'm from southern Africa.
There is a word for what we share in common, for that intangible Thing which makes Canada more like Australia than like Korea. That word is 'British', whether or not Clarke & Co would like to admit it - and in fact it would take several sessions of dental torture to make many of you in the former Dominions admit it, in spite of the fact that it is demonstrably true. We are the civilisation that dare not speak its name. Rome fell, but it was rotten to the core anyway and its spirit lived on in the East. No Byzantine felt sad for Rome because they were the repository of its Genius and Rome was only a few ruins.
So I'll fight for the Motherland if it gives me the opportunity, but if we lose and I'm still alive at the end of it, I'll be off Down Under or across the Atlantic - not as an exile but, as Joe Chamberlain himself might have put it, as redistribution of population within the nation.POSTED BY CATO FROM LONDON, ENGLAND
Need to refer to the anglospherist American Thinker more often. Read: Australia, the Beacon of Sanity
Our extremely gifted and eloquent Newfoundlander, Rex Murphy, just savages
former Governor-General of Canada, Adrienne Clarkson, for her newly released tell-all book, Heart Matters
. It is apparent that Rex Murphy's esteem for monarchy has completely evaporated, if he ever had it in the first place, which is disappointing given my great respect for his wit and wisdom. I will need to reflect more on this before commenting further.
The Blair Enigma
Just wanted to share with you all a couple of articles that should provide especial reinforcement to the arguments that come up in this forum.
Decoding the Tony Blair Enigma by Hal G.P. Colebatch at the American Spectator starts off by revealing that "(f)ew people have been more critical than I of British Prime Minister Tony Blair," claiming he wrote the book (literally) first condemning "the whole New Labour enterprise and its associated culture-war, and have published many articles arguing in effect that he has headed the most destructive and dysfunctional British Government since that of Ethelred the Unready."
Here's an example that should dismay all of us:
In 2003, Blair had to decline an offer from the U.S. of a free trade agreement because Europe would not permit it -- a terrible admission that Britain could or would no longer exercise sovereignty in its own interests.
As for the Muslim threat, his words starkly repeat what most of us here believe:
Muslim extremism and terrorism has bred in Britain because of the Government's incredibly conciliatory and purblind attitude towards it since 9/11 and for years before that. Warnings by moderate Muslim leaders ....that radical Imams had a monopoly of proselytising and distributing literature to Muslim prisoners in British jails and .....at university campuses and youth clubs -- were ignored. Multiculturalism has been a total failure. More than 80% of British Muslims now consider themselves Muslim rather than British and the proportion is higher with the younger, British-born, generations than with their immigrant parents. Forty-five per cent of British Muslims believe the Jews were responsible for 9/11.
He then spends the rest of this long passionate article putting flesh on the words of William Shawcross:
"We have a prime minister who in my view has committed many, many errors at home; but abroad Tony Blair has a clear vision, both moral and pragmatic, of the threat we face."
Read the whole thing here
The second article is the last of a set of 4 entitled "The White Man's Burden" at http://wizbangblog.com/2006/09/21. It pretty much merely repeats what has been said here, but the value is in the ensuing comments. It would be good to mobilise the growing numbers of citizens spread throughout the globe shown in such comments and try to come up with a concerted battleplan. A number of groups are trying to do this very thing, but I think we should actively seek out and invite likeminded people instead of having what seems to have taken place elsewhere; an admirable labour of love by a committed core hijacked by people who can't spell and seem more keen to use the group as a forum to vent their spleens against the Irish or discuss the best flag designs which do more to turn off the interested than attract the people we need and to guide and mobilise the movement. Or is that too elitist?
Don't "mollycoddle" our future king
Our future king is to join
his brother's cavalry regiment, The Blues and Royals, upon graduation from Sandhurt this December. Both brothers-in-arms wish to serve at the frontlines in Afghanistan or Iraq and refuse to be "mollycoddled
or wrapped in cotton wool", to use Prince William's fabulous choice of words.
All I can say is God save William and Harry. Way to lead from the front. As princes of the royal blood, you set a marvellous example for others to follow, and dispel at once any notion that the royals have it easy. Needless to say, you boys make us plenty proud.
P.S. A military career for both these royal lads has the added advantage of keeping the papparazzi at bay, who would rather report playboy intrigue, than something as manly as military service and soldierly duty.
The great Burkean philosopher, Roger Scruton, delivers the essay
of our times.
Messing with loyalty
Loyalty to Queen is good enough
, Mr. Brodbeck. Her Majesty is the constitutional embodiment of our country. She is the personification of the people and the humanisation of the state. We don't need to add an extra layer of abstraction onto this fact. Introducing a mistaken and misleading concept of dual allegiance, when loyalty to "King and Country" is a singular longstanding notion, is deliberately divisive, confusing, perhaps even mischievious.
A prudent person must assume that this is nothing more than a hidden agenda to disassemble the monarchy through a clever two step process: add a reduntant concept of national allegiance to sovereign allegiance, then remove the sovereign. We can already predict the return of the Tom Brodbecks before the ink is even dry on the legislation, calling for an end to the silly notion of dual loyalty. How can we be loyal to the "Queen of England" and
to Canada, they will persist. Surely we should grow up and recognize that loyalty to Canada is all that matters. So nice try, Mr. Brodbeck - needless to say, I oppose it wholeheartedly.Postscript
: We must keep in mind of course that traditional loyalty and patriotism are alien concepts to most people nowadays. Nice in theory, but in reality unpracticed and irrelevant to scores of rootless, non-aligned cosmopolitan multiculturalists. The issue is not Queen or Country, because much of today's internationalist urbanites are not loyal to either. Sure they are attached as residents here, but only because we tolerate the holding of multiple passports; because we are a fabulous multinational hotel with great room service. Maybe that's another reason why we shouldn't engage in loyalty experiments. Perhaps we are so far gone, the whole thing just might unravel.
Second rate crusaders?
Ayman al-Zawahri, the al-Qaida No. 2 man, suddenly is Mr. Glib. He sneered at U.S. forces for turning over duties in Afghanistan to "second rate crusaders" from NATO.Ouch
. I guess that would be us Canucks and Brits, along with the Dutch. I think us second rate crusaders have just graduated into the ranks of first rate infidels.Update
: More of that second rate crusader stuff right here
: "Canadian-led offensive may have killed 1,500 Taliban fighters", says General Jones, NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe.
Cross-posted to The Torch
An American monarchy
? Is George Bush acting like George the Third?
The "Boy King" faces dissent
from Tory grassroots. "Dave's" modernising agenda offending
traditional Tories, risking the "big suburban yawn". Labour leadership woes fail to lift party
. The prospect of a Tory-LibDem coalition after next election appears more realistic than that of a Tory majority.
Her Majesty's enemies
demonstrate just outside Westminster Cathedral on Sunday, intimidating Christians and worshippers. Hundreds of comments pouring in....
Anglosphere delivers where NATO fails
With the death of four more Canadian soldiers yesterday, it is becoming obvious which countries
are carrying the burden
in the war against the Taliban. According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, proportionate to the number of forces on the ground from each NATO contributor, a Canadian soldier is three times more likely to be killed than a British soldier in Afstan, four times more likely than a US soldier in Afstan and six times more likely than a US soldier serving in Iraq.
Apart from Canada, the UK, the US and the Dutch, NATO is failing the test
in southern Afghanistan, where all of the heavy fighting with the Taliban is taking place. Most nations of the military alliance prefer the relative comfort of guarrison duty in the north, and have refused to send reinforcements even after the NATO commander requested assistance to relieve the situation facing the Canadians and Brits operating in the south
, who together have lost around 80 soldiers, half of these coming this summer alone. Thankfully Australia, not even a member of NATO, is stepping to the fore with 400 soldiers of its own, to fill part of the gap. Canada too is sending more tanks and soldiers, bringing its total force to 2,500.
I always thought the Anglo-American alliance that liberated the countries of Europe and Asia in WW2 was merely a fact of being the only ones left to do the job. More than sixty years later, we're still the only ones substantially doing it, generating an unfair level of risk and burden to our fighting soldiers.
Related: Can NATO survive
Afstan's killing fields?
History of the English-Speaking Peoples
Hat tip: Albion's Seedlings
. Following in the great tradition of Churchill's four volume set, Andrew Roberts is soon coming out with a new volume - A History of the English-Speaking Peoples since 1900
. I agree with James Bennett
that the key passage in the book's review is this one:
"Just as we do not today differentiate between the Roman Republic and the imperial period of the Julio-Claudians when we think of the Roman Empire, so in the future no-one will bother to make a distinction between the British Crown-led and the American Republic-led periods of English-speaking dominance between the late-eighteenth and the twenty-first centuries. It will be recognised that in the majestic sweep of history they had so much in common - and enough that separated them from everyone else – that they ought to be regarded as a single historical entity, which only scholars and pedants will try to describe separately. A Martian landing on our planet might find linguistic or geographical more useful than ethnic factors when it came to analyzing the differences between different groups of earthlings; the countries whose history this book covers are those where the majority of people speak English as their first language."
I'm sure we all eagerly await the book's release.
I don't know what to say about The Queen
and film director Stephen Frears, so I won't say much at all. But if I thought monarchy was about the private lives of the Royal Family, then I too would think the institution was idiotic
and probably not worth the while. Royal watchers might live for this kind of intrigue - luckily, I'm not one of them. What Her Majesty does within the confines of her own family is none of our business. How the Queen carries out her public duties is. So carry on, Mr. Frears.
More God Save the Pope
, including this little gem: "While I don’t mean to pick especially on the BBC, when other mainstream media are often as culpable, they are worth singling out here to show the amount of sheer, murderous evil of which this taxpayer-funded network is capable...By turning the story back-to-front, so that what’s promised in the lead -- a crude attack on Islam -- is quietly withdrawn much later in the text, the BBC journalists were having a little mischief. The kind of mischief that is likely to end with Catholic priests and faithful butchered around the Muslim world."
The Euston Manifesto
Well it's not The Radical Tory Manifesto
, but it is honourable all the same. The British Euston Manifesto
, inspired by liberal democrats and progressives, is a call to arms to all principled, sane and decent people on the Left to support the war against radical Islam and seek a new political alignment with others of "unambiguous democratic commitment" (that would be the Right, apparently). Just this week the manifesto went from being British to being Anglo-American
, and is now catching on across the United States.
James Lewis in the American Thinker has a few thoughts
There has never been any doubt about the “unambiguous democratic commitment” of Anglosphere conservatives, which goes back to Edmund Burke, John Locke and the American Founders. The Euston Manifesto is an opening by liberals to conservatives on the critical survival question of the day. It may be a ray of sunshine in a dark season...
This could be the start of something like the centrist alignment that kept the West going against Soviet and Chinese expansionism for half a century.
Or maybe not. A great deal depends upon the ability of sane people on the Left to push away the nut fringe. So far the Mad Left has controlled the ballgame, both here and in the UK. As a result, the British Left is now in some disgusting company, like “Red Ken” Livingstone, the anti-Semitic demagogue Mayor of London, and Oily George Galloway, the MP who just asked for money on Syrian TV with the aim of buying up British newspapers to peddle his brand of Islamist-Socialist hatred. These creatures of the Brit-Left might as well be British fascists of a previous age; they are much more dangerous than the toothless outer fringes of the Right. For one thing, they have the BBC and the UK Guardian on their side.
The American Left has also been dominated by today’s foaming-at-the-mouth Stalinoids; except that Stalin wielded a pretty mean whip and kept his CPUSA troops in line. Their successors today only compete to show who is wilder in denouncing the scapegoat of the moment—President Bush, who also happens to be our strongest leader against Al Qaeda and the Khomeini cult. But like the Stalin Left, today’s radicals purge dissenters and practice constant intimidation against their own side. Which is why Congressional Democrats are running scared.
Somehow, the word “neocon” has been smeared so much by now that the original meaning has been lost. The first neocons were leftwingers who were mugged by reality during the Cold War, and became conservatives, pretty much in the long Anglo-American tradition. Today’s conservatives represent the tradition of evolving democracy in the Anglosphere much more accurately than the “liberals,” who are intellectual descendants of a totalitarian philosophical tradition in Germany and France. But the most important thing today is survival: Not of some political alliance, but of the Free World.
Those who recognize the threat can make common cause. In the healthiest outcome, conservatives and liberals will continue to argue and sometimes fight. But we may agree on matters of survival. That would be a vital step forward.
Deal with China
I'm honoured to have been invited to offer my first contribution to this site and, writing from China, I feel I should provide a perspective that may not be recognised outside.
60 years ago Churchill gave his Iron Curtain speech advocating closer a British Commonwealth -American association to confront the growing threat of a common enemy. We see that today of sorts in Iraq and Afghanistan. BUT if we left the region we’d be better off in my view, letting them stay mediaeval and divided because it’s in our interests and prevents the creation of a rival bloc. The fact that Bush has refused to increased taxes shows how much a threat he really sees the mess in Iraq to be. This idea that Europe will always be strong because Muslims can’t break us I see repeated here is missing the whole picture and focussing on a geopolitical irrelevance. Because while we sacrifice so much in the fight against a nebulous enemy for control of a region which increasingly has less and less importance, our greatest rival grows. We may forget the deplorable human rights violations, the coverups, the corruption that make up China (although I can’t because I live here and see the rampant inequality and injustice). But we here advocating the development of Churchill’s dream should now look at how China will affect us and why such an alliance is all the more necessary in the future.
China is already showing that it’s not going to just quietly sit in the back of the Security Council and not raise its head. Last year Beijing authorised the use of non-peaceful means against Taiwan if it ever moves toward independence. The US and Japan tried without success to get AUSTRALIA to support them in condemning this. Already the Anglosphere has shown not to be strong enough at this early stage to overcome economic self-interest. If the US ever intervened it could very well face a Chinese arsenal made in Europe. China has the gall to claim the whole of the South China Sea which is going to be a serious flashpoint as this is where Japan gets almost all its energy and resources.
Beyond its region China is locking up essential energy sources by propping up African dictatorships. Blair this weekend has been urged to do something about the genocide continuing in Darfur but as long as China continues to block sanctions nothing will be done. The Commonwealth’s ability to put pressure on dictators like Mugabe is limited by the Chinese providing them with weapons and military hardware, maintaining the ability of such dictators to keep their people cowed. China has already sold Zimbabwe $200m of fighter aircraft, technology to censor all communication, and electronic surveillance equipment as it declares Mugabe to be "a man of great achievements, devoted to world peace and a good friend of the Chinese people". This model of development is the antithesis of the West's promotion of democracy and freedom. Think of values China stands for. Better yet, read its own constitution and you’ll understand the nature of the country which will increasingly intrude into our sphere:
Article 34. All citizens of the People's Republic of China who have reached the age of 18 have the right to vote and stand for election.
Article 35. Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.
Article 36. Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief. Article 37. The freedom of person of citizens of the People's Republic of China is inviolable.
The problem is that we are so dependent on China we may hesitate to confront it when the time comes. The US suffers from such staggering trade and budget deficits that Chinese purchases of its bonds are absolutely vital to its economic stability. Our education system is a mess, and I don’t just mean the lowering standard of A levels. It’s commonly heard that Western teenagers dream of growing up to be pop stars, while Chinese and Indian kids dream of being engineers and idolising Bill Gates. Look what we’re doing- we contract out design and innovation in the hopes of cutting research and development costs by drawing low-paid technical workers in China, India, and elsewhere. With the whole basis of our advantage in military technology being sold off we soon will reach the point even if we wanted to address China’s rise, we won’t be in much position to. We’re selling off our future just as we’re keeping our prosperity dependent on petrol.
I’m not advocating aggression, and I certainly hope we never get to blows (although there have been those from MacArthur who argue that is our only hope of stopping China). China’s past has always shown the country to be insular and rather benign. But this is a country that has no problem stealing Western technology, banning seemingly innocuous websites like the BBC and Wikipedia, taking land from peasants and selling it to companies to destroy it as they create the greatest environmental catastrophe of all time affecting every one of us, summarily executing more people than the rest of the world combined without any due process, etc etc etc. We appease them by awarding them the Olympics, they respond by threatening to lock up the mentally ill and forcibly deporting the migrants building the stadia. “Islamofascists’ or whatever you want to call them might be unpleasant, but they’re not the threat to us that the IRA was and I’ve never had any trouble going to a pub in Ulster and hearing songs glorifying terrorists. If we left the region and stopped giving unqualified support to Israel our security would be as threatened as Norway’s. But China will affect our world and our way of life the more we appease and ignore it. It’s time to seriously address this.
Walsingham speaks, and so do I
It is becoming apparent
that a major Christian/Western - Islamic/Asian conflict is probably inevitable. The immature, hysterical, malevolent and aggressive/expansionist mood throughout the south Asian Muslim world evidently has already spiralled past the point of no return. As with other societies before them, their passage from a stagnant, rotten and dysfunctional present to inclusion to a progressive, peaceful and prosperous future will take the path of folly and pain. They are now doing precisely what the Germans did: blaming others for their society's predicaments, and attempting to salvage their situation and self-respect by attacking and bullying others. And as with Germany, only utter and final defeat and destruction will sweep away this approach and mindset.
I hesitate to quote one of Mr. Bush's more embarrassing lines - embarrassing at least in the particular context he uttered it - but, "bring it on". The sooner all this happens the better for us and - ironically - the better for them. It is silly to worry about the outcome. They cannot defeat us. All this "Europe is doomed" stuff is complete nonsense. Muslims are nowhere near a majority in any European country, and only a fraction of them will align against their European home countries in any eventuality. Anyone who really knows the French, in particular, also knows that they will neither hesitate nor fail to undertake whatever measures, however draconian, that need to be undertaken against any threat from their internal Muslim population or part of it. For goodness' sake, even the Dutch have started cracking down. (I just wish the British would get with the programme...)
Yes, our armies appear to be stretched thin and clearly winning almost nowhere. But in fact we have committed only a part of what remain small, peacetime armies, and used them in manners that prejudice their effectiveness and restrain their real might. At some point soon we will begin to refuse further asymmetric and limited warfare and we will start inflicting real, effective and punitive destruction on the broader enemy, and rallying a greater proportion of our real power to the task. When that happens, the end will be in sight.
This outcome is inevitable. This enemy cannot proceed stealthily to our destruction. Alaric may have surprised the world by appearing at the gates of Rome, but Islamic Asia cannot sneak-attack its way into levelling the odds. In a way, they shot their bolt with 9/11. The enemy's future attacks against us will be either ineffective in the strategic sense, or grand enough to provoke us finally to unleash our full fury and power. 9/11 did not destroy us, nor will its successor- but that successor will finally and firmly cast the die.
So let us have faith in how this will turn out and get on with it.
Lord Deedes: Charles threw a wrench
in the throne.
God Save the Pope
Given that I am a monarchist and a Christian, I think I'll enthusiastically take the Holy Father's side in this little spat
with Islamists. I see a major intensification against the Islamification of Europe now and into the future. The signs are all there, in every corner of the Anglosphere, but most especially on the European continent. Are we too late? Is Eurabia just around the corner?UPDATE
: Speaking of Rome...
May the courageous Italian lady of iron, Oriana Fallaci
, rest in peace.
A tenacious dame, who fought fascism at both ends of her 77 year life.
Why oh why do the British Bobbies protect these people
? The Flea sums up my exasperation
. Hat tip: Occam's Carbuncle
Oz, the $223 million bully
: The Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands accuses Australia and John Howard of being a bully
. By bully, I'm assuming the dear PM is not referring to the generous $223 million in aid his country collects every year. Grateful is that grateful does.Related
: Somehow I missed this
, but given that we are on the topic of Australia, where is Canada's John Howard
is one journalist that uses her brain (see link to her latest article below). The Anglosphere needs more journalists who have her guts and views. After reading it go to the opinion page (in The Australian) to read other articles by her. Go here
Australian "Labor" leader, Kim Beazley, attempts to one-up
Prime Minister John Howard on encouraging migrants to integrate within Australian society. He proposes that tourists
visiting Down Under should first pledge to uphold Australian values before being admitted into the country.
Wow. Holy gobsmacking wow. Stick a fork in Aussie multiculturalism. It's done.
The Power and the Glory
This is a Prime Minister who has an eye for the backdrop. Just look at the man's choice of forum for addressing the nation on television yesterday to commemorate the fallen of 9/11.
This is not the televised addresses we are used to, the behind-the-desk up close and personable. This is deliberately cold and distant. It is not a venue intended to harbour public affection, but to quite deliberately showcase the official majesty of state and pride of country that we have been so deprived of in the past.
This is not the indignity of the press scrum. This is not a venue for kissing babies, yet another photo opportunity to lose the jacket, loosen the necktie and pretend to get all warm and cuddly with the people. Harper means to convey that he is serious, that he is this kingdom's Prime Minister, not leader of some second rate nanny state. Hence the podium instead of the desk, the vaulted ceilings of Parliament instead of the plain surroundings of the office.
In a Godly way, it is meant to be uplifting, to raise us from the drudgery of our daily lives, to take the attention off of himself and to redirect our imagination onto the vastness and stone cold beauty of our constituted dominion. It is meant to inspire and instill confidence. It says here is the unshakable rock of our foundation, now go out and build your temple.
The media, the opposition and much of the public still don't understand this. They may in time.
Oh the humanity
More foot-in-mouth disease from one of our own. From the Washington Post
Never known for his tact, England's shadow Higher Education Minister Boris Johnson
was forced to apologize for characterizing inhabitants of Papua New Guinea as cannibals. The mop-topped Tory, who seems to put his feet in his mouth more frequently than a flexible fetishist, compared the Labour Party's recent abandonment of Prime Minister Tony Blair to "Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing."
His comments, which appeared in The Daily Telegraph, have stirred up a diplomatic incident, with Jean L Kekedo, the South Pacific island's High Commissioner, demanding an apology. Despite issuing said public mea culpa, Johnson has since defended his politically incorrect comparison by saying: "My remarks were inspired by a Time Life book I have which does indeed show relatively recent photos of Papua New Guinean tribes engaged in warfare, and I'm fairly certain that cannibalism was involved." The practice of eating human flesh on Papua New Guinea is believed to have been stamped out 200 years ago--some 35 years before the first daguerreotype.
Still, Mr. Johnson has long demonstrated a preference for outrageous over accurate, recently telling Brits that a vote for his party "will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3."
The civilised must be ferocious
The one uplifting moment of 9/11 - the Queen’s Guard playing the Star Spangled Banner - monarchy does that, it can inspire even at the worst moments – couldn’t topple the sinking feeling I had then, that our civilization – Western civilization – had lost its basic instinct for self-preservation, having just let a pair of box cutters take down both 110 story World Trade Towers, killing three thousand innocent people. It became painfully apparent to me then that we had become so pacified and zombified after decades of putting others in charge of our own safety, that we were easy pickings for attack and mass slaughter.
For the past five years, I haven’t gone anywhere in a public setting without first profiling the crowd, peering for those eyes of hate – not out of fear, but out of prudence and a desire to take on my attackers, be it on a train, on a boat, on a plane. The opportunity won’t avail itself, but deep down I pine for the chance that was denied to those who perished in the Towers, the chance to destroy the enemy coward with all my limited and savage might. As the great David Warren
said, "in the face of barbarism, the civilized must be ferocious". Or the civilised are goners.
Labour Tory, same old story
I just admire this politically sober analysis
from the Gods of the Copybook Headings:
The British political classes had flashbacks to the fall of 1990 this week
, with an assassination attempt on the British PM's political life. Those with long memories will recall that the overthrow of the Iron Lady, by her Wet enemies, fatally weakened the Conservatives. While the lamentable John Major did narrowly win the 1992, with no small thanks to the Sun's famous election eve attack on Neil Kinnock's Labour, over the longer term the party was destroyed. Thatcher, like Blair, was a modernizer who greatly antagonized the Old Guard. In Mrs T's case everything rankled. She was a woman from the lower-middle classes, who had fought tenaciously for nearly a decade to enter Parliament. Her style was abrasive, her conduct of party and government affairs business like, even her voice, high pitched and headmistress-like, grated the Tory patricians. The cosy life of the Tory Wets, the gentle glide from Eton, Harrow or Winchester to Oxbridge and to the Commons, or even for the humbler born men like John Major, was very rudely interrupted by the Thatcher Revolution.
Old Labour was similarly disturbed by the New Labour Revolution. Blair did not invent New Labour, credit for that goes to the late John Smith who, in a twist worthy of Victorian politics, or a BBC mini-series, died suddenly, bringing his lieutenant to the leadership. The youngish Blair brought a brashness of style to his conduct of party affairs matched with a smarmy Clitonesque public image. The Old Labour mandarins, both the TUC leaders brought low by Thatcherism and the pipe-smoking intellectuals who backed Michael Foot, were not amused. Neither Major nor Brown were representatives of the Old Guard, but they benefited from an accumulated hatred of the their predecessors. The post-1990 divisions have left the Tories an ideologically empty hulk, any shift to the right or left likely to re-salt the unhealed wounds. Don't expect anything different from a Brownite Labour Party.
Mark Steyn on the Great and Powerful Oz here
. How Australia comes out on top in a Tale of Two Dominions and Best of Three Anglosphere Amigos.
The King of Tonga died
in New Zealand this morning, ending a 41-year reign. There are roughly 100,000 Tongans living on 161 islands, though 42,000 of them apparently reside in New Zealand.
Speaking of hereditary, the oldest hereditary institution in the world, the Chrysanthemum Throne, conceived its newest male heir
just last week, averting a constitutional crisis in Japan, where it is illegal for females to accede to the position of Emperor. (Even though "female Emperors" have ruled Japan at points throughout its long history. The forbidding of female Emperors is actually a very recent experience for a monarchy that extends all the way back to 2600BC).
Niall Ferguson defends our hereditary values in born to rule
Aussie youth support for republic collapses
Today’s 20-somethings show a growing disinterest in the idea of an Australian republic.
A new poll reveals a significant drop in support for an Australian republic among 18 to 30-year-olds in WA over the past two years. A similar study in 2004 found 53 per cent supported the notion of a republic — a figure which has now dropped to 38 per cent; it’s in free fall.
If a referendum on any republican model were to be held now, support among young voters would be likely to sink to a point well below the 38% recorded.
There is no reason why these results would be much different across the nation
This is consistent with trends elsewhere in Canada and New Zealand. Republicans will have to rethink the theory that the monarchists who spoilt their republic idea back in 1999 will eventually die out. Clearly that is not going to be the case.
In the same poll, 73 per cent of respondents wanted to retain the Australia flag. Just one in five would like it changed.
Captain Gatso and his Merry Men
I was in need of a good chuckle, and I think I just got it
. It's too bad Her Majesty is powerless against the Safety Nazis. It's not just photo radar; whether it's legislating helmuts for peddle bikes, banning cell phones for drivers, forbidding toothpaste on planes ...freedom requires an ever present watchful eye against the impulse of the collective, who regularly over-react to statistically sliverous events. Beware any time anyone says it's for your own protection. Freedom beware.
Hat tip: Occam's Carbuncle
Stick a fork in Blair. He's done
Lord Iggy: Canada is a 'multinational state'
The so-called favourite to lead the Liberal Party of Canada, patrician Michael Ignatieff (Lord Iggy), apparently believes we are a multinational state
, meaning that Quebec should be recognized as a nation, along with the aboriginal Assembly of First Nations, within the confines of the Canadian state. So my question is this: If Quebec is a nation, what are the rest of us? What is our nation?
Simon Heffer tells it
like it is: Who is better loved - Tony Blair or the Queen? How one ardent life-time republican came to admire Her Majesty and a system that puts duty before self.
America's Choice: Anglosphere or Anarchy
Part II of our series by James Pillman:
The United Nations was founded with what the road to hell is paved with, good intentions. The victorious allies gathered in 1945 to write a UN Charter, replete with ringing calls for peace and security, human rights and equality. Yet for the past six decades the vast majority of the world's people have enjoyed few, if any of these ideals. Even today less than half of the 192 member states are considered free. And the list of UN scandals and outrages is seemingly endless: Oil for food, human rights bodies that include Saudi Arabia, Libya, Sudan, etc., "peacekeepers" moonlighting as drug runners and child-prostitute procurers, Zionism equals racism and on and on. Conservatives have long wanted to give the UN the boot and turn it's HQ into the Turtle Bay Tenements, or some such. But the UN, for all it's corruption and ineffectiveness, will probably survive, if only out of inertia.
There is, however, another international organization with a far better record on freedom, democracy and human rights. And where scandals and corrupt practice are the exception, not the rule. The Commonwealth of Nations predates the UN, includes members of every color and creed, and extends to all six inhabited continents. The Commonwealth though, is considerably poorer than the rest of the UN. It has 30% of the world's population but only 16% of it's economy, which makes it's record on human freedom that much more impressive. Consider these statistics from Freedom House, broken down regionally:
------------------- Commonwealth nations -------- Non-Commonwealth nations
------------------- free / partly-free / not-free ---- free / partly-free / not-free
Americas --------- 12 ******* 1 ********** 0 ------------ 12 ******* 8 ******** 2
Europe ------------ 3 ******* 0 ********** 0 ------------- 34 ****** 4 ******** 2
Africa -------------- 6 ******* 10 ********* 2 ------------- 5 ****** 14 ******* 16
Asia/Pacific ------- 8 ******* 8 ********** 3 ------------- 9 ***** 13 ******** 20Total ------------- 29 ****** 19 ******* 5 ------------ 60 **** 39 ********40
The British traditions of liberal democracy and the supremacy of the law have obviously survived throughout most of the old Empire. But can the Commonwealth transform itself from a mostly Third World talking shop into something more substantial? The criteria for membership includes having had a constitutional association with an existing member state, and complying with it's general principals, such as democratic governance and respect for human rights. Unofficially, speaking English would help. Ireland and a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe, as former Commonwealth nations, would be happily welcomed back into the fold. But the elephant in the room is a certain republic whose constitutional association with Britain lasted from 1607 to 1776. US membership would transform the Commonwealth into a powerhouse overnight, and pave the way for the English-speaking successor states to the American "empire" to join: Liberia, the Philippines, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau. Former British colonies in the Middle East and Burma are unlikely candidates as none are English-speaking, and none (except Israel) are free democracies. The last possible candidate might be Rwanda, never part of the Empire but with English as an official language since the genocide of mostly English-speaking Tutsis by mostly French-speaking Hutus in 1994. Rwanda's inclusion (contingent on democratization) would mean the entire English-speaking world was inside the Commonwealth.
To distinguish this new Commonwealth from the old one, let's call it the Greater Anglosphere (GA). One primary function of the GA might be channelling development assistance to deserving recipients. Why should Canada, Ireland or Singapore continue to aid totalitarian states like Cuba, Algeria or Vietnam? Foreign aid should be directed to sister Anglophone democracies like Jamaica, Ghana and the Philippines instead. And the GA's institutions should be strengthened. Heads of government could meet annually rather than biennially as is the case now. A charter could be drawn up based on the declarations of Singapore in 1971 and Harare in 1991, promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Like the UN Charter, but with a history of actually adhering to it's principals. Likewise a permanent council to represent the GA's 62 member states. Instead of a UN-type Security Council, an informal inner circle of major democracies could meet from time to time. Australia, Canada, India, the Philippines, South Africa, the UK and the US (the GA-7, if you will) together account for over 70% of the GA's population, over 75% of it's area, and over 90% of it's GDP. Upon major improvement in their economies and democratic systems, large countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria could be admitted to this inner council.
The GA should never be allowed to grow a useless, byzantine bureaucracy like the UN. Nor should it try to replace useful Western institutions like NATO and the OECD. But it should act as a check against a world breaking up into regional and religious blocs. The EU has gone furthest down this path, with Brussells Eurocrats trying to impose a centralized, supranational state on a reluctant population. France sees itself as Europe's natural leader and, in it's reflexive anti-Anglo-Saxonism, more often than not sides with the autocracies (China and Russia) over the democracies (the US and UK) on the UN Security Council (the grownups among the children of the General Assembly). Mark Steyn, paraphrasing Harold Macmillan, sees France's grand strategy as a French-led Europe playing Greece to China's Rome. All to the detriment of America, of course. In her book Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis, Bat Ye'or paints a dark picture of an anti-American, anti-Jewish, anti-Christian Europe with increasing institutional ties to the despotic Arab League. Beholden to Muslim immigrants at home and Arab oil-producers abroad, the EU seems to be evolving into Eurabia.
Meanwhile, the US has immersed itself in NAFTA and has proposed extending it to the entire hemisphere (FTAA). While laudably increasing trade between it's members, NAFTA seems to have a hidden clause allowing for the illegal immigration and eventual amnesty of tens of millions of Mexicans into the US. NAFTA's consolidation into an EU-like political and economic union would likely wind up seeing the US as a hybrid Anglo-Hispanic society. It's expansion into the FTAA might find the US/Estados Unidos as merely the northern appendage of Latin America in a Spanish-dominated hemisphere. The politics, culture and economy of this future America might resemble that of present-day Brazil. In a similar vein, Australia and New Zealand are now "dialogue partners" of, and may push for full membership in, ASEAN. ASEAN is an Indonesian-dominated political-economic group based in Southeast Asia. It's mostlypoor population of several hundred million could easily swamp the mostly-rich Aussie-Kiwi combined population of just 25 million. The two may be rushing from their British past towards an Austral-Asian future. The core states of the Anglosphere (the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) are thus divided into three regional blocs. And the divisions between them will only widen if further EU integration begets further NAFTA integration begets further ASEAN integration.
Still, all things considered, the EU, NAFTA and ASEAN are, for now, relatively benign organizations. Not so with the Shanghai Co-operation Organization (SCO). This little reported-on group acts as a kind of Eurasian anti-NATO. Formed in 1996, the SCO comprises China, Russia and four Central Asian republics. It has five associate members, including Commonwealth countries India and Pakistan, plus, more ominously, Iran. The SCO's primary function is military co-operation between member states, and eventually to evict US troops and bases from Central Asia, including Afghanistan, another SCO associate member. At the group's 2006 summit, Iran's president called for an overtly anti-Western stance from the SCO, and offered access to his country's vast energy reserves in exchange for Chinese and Russian support on the UN Security Council. An emerging China-Russia-Iran axis is troublesome enough for the West, but India's full membership in the SCO, and buying into it's anti-Western agenda, would be a geopolitical disaster. The world's "centre of gravity" might switch permanently from the US and North Atlantic to China and mid-Asia. Future generations will ask "Who lost India?".
Another malignant world body is the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Formed in 1969, the OIC's animating principals seem to be a virulent anti-Semitism and deep resentment of the West. Twelve of it's 57 mostly Islamic member states are also in the Commonwealth. In countries from Nigeria to Pakistan to Bangladesh to Malaysia, Muslim-inspired theocratic rule and Sharia Law are in a bloody struggle with British-inspired democratic rule and Common Law. The worldwide rise of radical Islam has strengthened the OIC vis-a-vis the Commonwealth. America and the West must continue to support the Enlightenment values of the Commonwealth against Islamic extremism. The African Union (AU) rivals the UN in it's bureaucratic graft and incompetence, it's support of vicious dictatorships, and the avariciousness of it's so-called peacekeepers. Eighteen of 53 members are in the Commonwealth. The AU may "mean well", but it tends to sink to the level of it's lowest common denominator. An example of this is the pan-African adulation of Robert Mugabe, whose misrule of Zimbabwe led to it's expulsion from the Commonwealth, but remains a member in good standing of the AU. South Africa in particular should be encouraged to align itself with English-speaking democracies in other parts of Africa and overseas, rather than despots closer to home.
So the world is breaking up into blocs, some bad, some worse. All under the watchful eye of the emerging world government (shudder), the UN. Isolationism in this coming world is not a realistic option. That's why the GA is an idea whose time has come. English-speaking democracies under the Common Law are being nibbled away at around the world. If we think that they're worth defending, then we need a plan. If not, not. But the decision is essentially an American one. If the US joins the Commonwealth, then the Greater Anglosphere and the freedom and democracy it represents will become a reality. If it declines, then Americans might end up looking on from their hemispheric isolation as Eurabia plays Greece to the SCO's Rome.
The Anglosphere and the Commonwealth
In the first of a two part series, The Monarchist takes a serious look at revitalizing the future of the greater Commonwealth and why it matters. Written by James Pillman, who has granted us publishing permission for both pieces, we learn that President Bush has reportedly expressed interest in the United States joining the mostly republican English-speaking organization, and what this would mean if they did. Principled die-hards on both sides will object, but it’s time we took the broader view of the future and of an organization that has long outlived its usefulness as a vehicle for promoting pan-Britannic patriotic sentiment.
James C. Bennett's concept of the Anglosphere is probably the most original, far-sighted geopolitical idea of the new century. Introduced a few days after the millenium in the National Post, it has attracted a slew of proponents around the world. Like-minded thinkers include Mark Steyn, John O'Sullivan, Paul Johnson, Robert Conquest among many others. Mr. Bennett defines the Anglosphere as the English-speaking, Common Law nations with similar values such as freedom, democracy and a strong sense of individualism. He further defines it as "a network civilization without a corresponding political form" and divides it into a core (the US and the UK), a middle (Anglo-Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa) and a fringe ("the educated English-speaking populations of the Caribbean, Oceania, Africa and India").
But the Anglosphere might just have a nascent political form, namely the Commonwealth of Nations. The Commonwealth evolved out of the British Empire and dates back to 1931 when the Statute of Westminster conferred equality between the UK and six self-governing Dominions. The Commonwealth now counts 53 freely associatad members totalling nearly two billion inhabitants. The head of the Commonwealth remains the British monarch and it has a permanent Secretariat in London. It's heads of government meet every two years and it's athletes meet every four years at the Commonwealth Games, the world's second largest multi-sport event after the Olympics. There is a Commonwealth Flag, a Commonwealth Business Council, a Commonwealth Writers Prize (plus the Booker Prize), even a Commonwealth Day, the second Monday in March. In short, the Commonwealth matters.
So can the present-day Commonwealth double for the Anglosphere? No it can't, for two reasons. First, the Commonwealth contains only a minority of the world's Engish-speaking people. And second, its members are overwhelmingly poor, with 94% of it's population living in the developing world. But if the US and the eight other non-Commonwealth English-speaking nations were to join, this revitalized entity would contain the vast majority of the world's English-speakers and nearly triple its developed, First World population. This new 21st century Commonwealth might then also be known as the Greater Anglosphere (GA).
The six-continent, 62 nation GA would have over 30% of the world's land area (minus Antarctica), 35% of its population and 40% of the Gross World Product. It would also account for nearly 60% of the world's military spending and four out of seven of the world's declared nuclear-weapons states. A GA, anchored by the US and India, working towards ever closer political, economic, security and developmental co-operation, would likely be the world's most powerful all-purpose alliance. It would be able to hold its own within various international institutions, and prevent its smaller members from being dominated or bullied by outside powers.
And compared to the rest of the world, the GA would be a beacon of liberty. According to Freedom House, 67% of the GA's population live in free countries, 24% in partly free countries, and 9% in countries that are not free. This is including unfree nations such as Pakistan and Zimbabwe that are probably best left inside the GA and encouraged to reform, rather than be expelled. As for the rest of the world, 34% are free, 14% partly free, and a whopping 52% are not free. And while 87% of the people in the GA live in electoral democracies, only 43% of the rest of the world have that privilege.
Of course there are great differences within the GA. Levels of income and unemployment, literacy and life-expectancy vary from among the highest to the lowest in the world. And there is certainly no common ethnicity in the GA. Virtually every race, religion and linguistic group on the planet is represented. But the Britannic inheritance of freedom and democracy are enjoyed by large majorities of GA citizens, and hoped for by much of the rest. Other commonalties include the 91% of people who live in countries where English is, de jure or de facto, the official language. And the 99% of people living within legal systems wholly or partially derived from the Common Law. Of course an ultimate goal of the GA should be for 100% of its population to live in free and democratic English-speaking Common Law nations, but there is a solid base to build from.
At present, the Commonwealth is considering membership applications from such unlikely nations as Cambodia, Yemen and Palestine. At the same time some pundits are proposing "membership" in the Anglosphere for Japan, Taiwan and Israel. Alas, it seems as if the Commonwealth and the Anglosphere are drifting apart rather than merging together. All these nations should be rejected for the simple reason that none of them are (officially) English-speaking. For the English language must surely remain the primary raison d'etre of the Anglosphere. And the future of English as the world-dominant language is by no means assured. As the 21st century moves forward, it will be challenged by, among others, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and Arabic. The Commonwealth should not repeat it's mistake of 1995, when it admitted Portuguese-speaking Mozambique.
The US joining the Commonwealth would be a world-historic event. The prospect of America joining an organization headed by the Queen of England more than two centuries after the Revolution might raise some hackles, but it would herald the arrival of the Anglosphere as a concrete institution rather than a nebulous abstraction. It would also further solidify the emerging US-India alliance. In a world breaking up into political-economic blocs often based on nothing more than geography, the GA would represent a transcontinental association based on language, law and liberty. George W. Bush has reportedly expressed interest in joining the Commonwealth, and all US politicians should be encouraged to make it happen.
Sometime in the coming decades China will overtake the US and become the world's dominant economy. China is a totalitarian state where basic freedoms and the rule of law are a joke. It supports and will likely continue to support dictatorships around the world, while undermining fledgling democracies, including ones in the GA. The English-speaking peoples have faced down tyrannies before, from Napoleonic France to Nazi Germany to Soviet Russia, and we will do it again with China and its unfree fellow-travellers. But we'll need a worldwide alliance, a 21st century Commonwealth, a Greater Anglosphere to ensure our eventual victory. So that this century may end how it began, with English-speaking liberal democracy under the Common Law continuing to enlighten the world.
British multiculturalism gone mad
. Hat tip: Small Dead Animals
Crocodile Steve Irwin
Australia says goodbye
to one of its sons, a veritable Crocodile Dundee. He capitvated many outside his native Oz, including yours truly. When I think of "The Outback" and the arid interior of "the bush" Down Under, I think of mythical swagmen and squatters and croc wrestlers. I think of men like Ned Kelly and Rodney Ansell. I think of Steve Irwin. Rest in peace, mate.
London falling? The incomparable Mark Steyn wonders
about an Anglosphere without England.
The impeccable Scots Tory, Gerald Warner, crucifies
the Boy King
for denigrating Thatcher.
British suffer day's greatest loss in War on Terror
"Fourteen British soldiers were killed
in a plane crash as hundreds of Canadian and coalition soldiers launched a major offensive yesterday to drive Taliban insurgents from a stronghold west of here used as a staging ground for deadly ambushes and terror attacks in Kandahar..."
It will take me some time to update the above Queen's casualty list: Honouring our Sons, Commonwealth soldiers killed in the War against Militant Islam. As big of a single day's loss we have suffered today, let us remember that the Taliban are meeting a fate far worse. The last time our boys engaged these warlords a couple of weeks ago, dozens upon dozens - hundreds - were killed in a single operation. The Taliban have decided suicide is a better end than submitting to Western force. So be it. Let it be done.UPDATE
: Spencer in the comments had me running back to the news to discover this
. Four more Canadian soldiers have indeed been killed and up to nine more wounded; God bless them all. But according to NATO we got 200 of the enemy, which puts everything in proper perspective. Tell me this: who do you suppose is winning this conflict, now? Not a question in my mind. Our soldiers of peace are wreaking serious havoc on the lords of war in that part of the world. God bless all the 31 Canadian and 35 British soldiers who have lost their lives in this Afstan struggle. God Save their Commander-in-Chief. God Save the Queen.
Sir Martin Gilbert
In a coup of academic proportions, the University of Western Ontario
snagged distinguished historian and prolific author Sir Martin Gilbert
, as Adjunct Research Professor of History. For those that don't know, and you should be ashamed if you don't already know this, Sir Martin happens to be internationally recognized as Churchill's official biographer. He also happens to be a total gentleman, explaining that he wants to give back to Canada for taking him in as a child during the Second World War. No thanks needed, Sir. We're all part of the same family, but even if we weren't, any scholar of Churchill is a scholar of mine.
Hat tip: Publius
Canadian wins civilian equivalent of the Victoria Cross
The Cross of Valour
, medal and ribbon coloured with the red of venous and arterial blood, was established on May 1, 1972 to replace the Order of Canada's Medal of Courage and to "Canadianize" the British George Cross (which I'm still partial to, by the way). The Australians followed suit with their own Cross of Valour
in 1975. Today's winning recipient, only the 20th ever awarded the decoration (only three have ever been awarded in Australia), is told in the current edition of the Globe and Mail
"First Officer Leslie Palmer of the Canadian Coast Guard was aboard the vessel Point Henry on Dec. 27, 2004, when he braved the worst of mid-winter weather to rescue the men, who were barely responsive and near death.
The Cross of Valour is the highest Canadian civilian award for bravery and is given for "acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril." It has only been awarded to 20 people, including Mr. Palmer, since its creation in 1972. Governor General Michäelle Jean, who announced Thursday that Mr. Palmer would receive award, will bestow the honour upon him at a later date."