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|Subject: Victoria Concordia Crescit|
Ed Harris (London)
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Date Posted: 01:12:45 01/25/05 Tue
In reply to: Steph (U.S.) 's message, "On the Anglosphere and Union" on 00:00:49 01/25/05 Tue
I should like to address some of your points, but I should like first of all to point out that my neo-con, Americophile politics are not necessarily representative of the majority of CANZUK subjects, although here in Blighty they are not as rare as the BBC might lead you to believe.
Firstly, you address the critical point that many in CANZUK will fear a take-over by the USA. Goodness knows that many fear it at the moment, even without political harmonisation. Admittedly, this is less true in the UK, since we are big and ugly enough to look after ourselves, although even here certain elements bang on about the 'curse' (I would be inclined to say 'blessing') of Americanisation. Personally, I think that this problem could be surmounted by federating CANZUK first, leaving it twenty years, and then starting talks with the USA. Before the War, there were games between "The United States vs. the British Empire": badges ('pins', I believe you say) were produced with a lion on one side and an eagle on the other, or the Jack on one side and Old Glory on the other, as if this was a meeting of two equals. If Crown Commonwealth federation were a fait accompli before the USA were even considered as a potential member, the feelings of inferiority would be replaced by a greater sense of equality in the negotiations (Ian will have something to say about this), and there would be a concomitant fall in hostility towards the States. Even as an almost rabid pro-American, I feel that this is important, because I will not sacrifice the monarchy to assuage the sensibilities of Americans who have been indoctrinated to believe that a tyrannical king tried to destroy their liberties in the 1770s.
Your second point - that about anti-Americanism - can, I believe, be addressed by the solution above.
Your third point, about Federation or Confederation, is a trickier one. Personally, I am a Federalist, in that I think that we should form a Federation with a central government with some powers devolved to the regions. Indeed, I would even be in favour of extending the [traditional but not modern] British system to the Federation: a highly centralised government which does virtually nothing except defence and servicing the debt, set against strong local authorities which sort out bread-and-butter issues in their own areas, such as health and education and other things which were once the remit of the individual.
Confederation, if it is to be anything, should be a first step towards federation. Right of residence, work, franchise and so forth should be unified, as a precursor to more significant integration. From the British point of view, this is only natural, since all Commonwealth citizens (and not just Crown Commonwealth) can already come here, vote, stand for Parliament and become Prime Minister without a British Passport. Confederation would just involve relaxing immigration rules for CANZ citizens, and as such is not a significant step - although it will no doubt prove a difficult one.
Your last point, as I recall, was about the expansion of the Federation to include former British Empire territories such as India and South Africa. As a Sith Ifrican, I can say quite conclusively that 'we' have 'lost' there. 'British' culture was destroyed by the Rocks 50 years ago, and although it looked like Mandela would usher in a Commonwealth-conscious renaissance in South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, as a Marxist, is not especially interested, except using CHOGMs as vehicles for defending Mugabe. To be honest, I don't think that a Marxist, racist government would sit well at the CANZUK or even CANZUKUS debating table...
India is another case entirely. I have lived there, worked there, studied there, etc., but this is rare amongst Britons these days. The thing about India which makes it so special is that the Raj involved cultural symbiosis rather than colonisation. There are aspects of British culture in India and of Indian culture in Britain. It was enlightened, but it was brutal; it was altruistic, but it was profitable; it has left a country in which some everything is eerily familiar but not quite the same. Compared to Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders, and even Americans, Indians are aliens; but there are more Indians in Britain than nationals of all these other countries combined (my fiancee is one of them); and I am sure that there are more Indians in Australia than nationals of Canada, UK and NZ combined; and so forth. It is an odd case, and should be treated differently.
You also mentioned Jamaica. I'm not sure that I understood your point, since Jamaica already shares our head of state and is already included within our proposed Federation.
Other than that, I'd like to say that I share your general attitudes towards our movement, but that the Devil is always in the details... that's why the British constitution has always worked: until now, we have avoided the details and gone with the broader and less controvertial picture, in which we are assisted by the fact that it is not written down.
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