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.
AND WHEREAS a defeat for monarchy and for the people in any one Realm, is a defeat for monarchy and for all our peoples in all our Realms, we do hereby mutually proclaim therefore that any further acts of disloyalty carried out against our peoples as represented by their Sovereign, or any further encroachment by the political elite on their residual powers of State, or any further attempts to undermine the legitimacy, independence and dignity of their office, shall no longer be tolerated with gradualist abandonment, but fought vigilantly and honourably with dutiful obligation, bound by our undying affection, loyal devotion and true allegiance to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Her Heirs and Successors.
WHEREAS by the law and ancient usage of this Realm, the Kings and Queens thereof have taken a solemn oath upon the Evangelists at their respective coronations, to maintain the statutes, laws, and customs of the said Realm, and all the people and inhabitants thereof, in their spiritual and civil rights and properties: but forasmuch as the oath itself on such occasion administered, hath heretofore been framed in doubtful words and expressions, with relation to ancient laws and constitutions at this time unknown: to the end therefore that one uniform oath may be in all times to come taken by the Kings and Queens of this Realm, and to them respectively administered at the times of their and every of their coronation: may it please your Majesties that it may be enacted:
II. And be it enacted by the King's and Queen's most excellent majesties, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That the oath herein mentioned, and hereafter expressed, shall and may be administered to their most excellent majesties King William and Queen Mary (whom God long preserve) at the time of their coronation, in the presence of all persons that shall be then and there present at the solemnizing thereof, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, or the Archbishop of York, or either of them, or any other bishop of this Realm, whom the King's majesty shall thereunto appoint, and who shall be hereby thereunto respectively authorized; which oath followeth, and shall be administered in this manner; that is to say,
III. [Inserting for Section III of the Act the 1689 oath taken by Her Majesty The Queen on Tuesday, 2 June 1953 amid great public rejoicing]
Archbishop: Madam, is your Majesty willing to take the Oath?
The Queen: I am willing.
Archbishop: Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the Peoples of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon, and of your Possessions and the other Territories to any of them belonging or pertaining, according to their respective laws and customs?
The Queen: I solemnly promise so to do.
Archbishop: Will you to your power cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all your judgements?
The Queen: I will.
Archbishop: Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?
The Queen: All this I promise to do.
Then the Queen arising out of her Chair, supported as before, the Sword of State being carried before her, shall go to the Altar, and make her solemn Oath in the sight of all the people to observe the premisses: laying her right hand upon the Holy Gospel in the great Bible (which was before carried in the procession and is now brought from the Altar by the Arch-bishop, and tendered to her as she kneels upon the steps), and saying these words:
The Queen: The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God.
IV. And be it enacted, That the said oath shall be in like manner administered to every King and Queen, who shall succeed to the imperial crown of this Realm, at their respective coronations, by one of the archbishops or bishops of this Realm of England, for the time being, to be thereunto appointed by such King or Queen respectively, and in the presence of all persons that shall be attending, assisting, or otherwise present at such their respective coronations; any law, statute, or usage to the contrary notwithstanding.
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