Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Commonwealth or Anglosphere

Among others the Irish Times reports:
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government won a vote of confidence in parliament today, ensuring the survival of the ruling coalition and a civilian nuclear deal with the United States.

The government said it would now push ahead with the pact, which would give India access to foreign nuclear fuel and technology and end decades of isolation, as well as work towards reforms to liberalise the trillion-dollar economy.
India is growing into a major regional power (as is Australia, which is ahead in that game) with her own links to other countries, particularly the United States and the Anglosphere in general.

All too often one hears of the revived Commonwealth as the alternative to Britain's membership of the European Union. Sadly, the Commonwealth is a thing of the past, even if some of the institutional structures are still in place (and aren't they useful in a crisis, such as the one in Zimbabwe?). The notion that countries like India will go back to any kind of a past arrangement is ludicrous. The notion that you can build an Anglospheric network without the United States in it is past ludicrous.

The question we must ask ourselves is how to ensure that Britain takes her rightful place in what is the political grouping with the greatest potential.


John Page said...

"Political grouping" in what sense...?

Helen said...

Not in the sense of a state or even a union, though when it comes to military matters, detailed alliances have to be worked out. The idea of the Anglosphere is more of a network of countries working together and having special agreements on various issues among themselves. Must admit it is still a project in the making but is far more appealing than the EU (there's a surprise) or the moth-eaten Commonwealth.

R. Christian Moya said...

(a) Why is it more appealing than the EU, exactly? (b) What would be the change in the status quo, when such arrangements already exist in the intelligence and military arenas (UK-US-NZ-AU)? And, most importantly, (c) is such an entity mutually exclusive with other arrangements (i.e. the EU) already extant?

Your proposal is a 'new' iteration on a very old idea, one Cecil Rhodes (that great bastard) was very much inclined towards.

I guess I'll always be reminded of that great American patriot, Thomas Paine: 'England and America...belong to different systems. England to Europe: America to itself.'

Ironic, really, that such an astute observation should be more prescient and necessary for the British side today--beholden as the UK is to all-things American--than it is to my native land. But then again it is the British, whom I respect and admire (living among them as I do), who are most ludicrously tied to this 'cousinhood'-notion of UK-US relations. Woodrow Wilson would have had a hearty laugh at our expense today!

Lord Palmerston is most definitely rolling in his grave...

Helen said...

I don't think the new Anglospheric ideas have that much to do with Cecil Rhodes's. If you read around it you will see that is so. Furthermore, Thomas Paine was often wrong so there is no point in quoting him as the ultimate source of wisdom.

Why is it more appealing than the EU? Firstly, because the Anglospheric countries have more in common than the European ones with each other, let alone Britain with them in questions of law, politics, consitutional and economic development. Secondly, because the EU is becoming an integrated state, something that the Anglosphere, most specifically would not be. Thirdly, because those military and intelligence links are fraying because Britain is being integrated into a fairly useless but rather destructive European military structure.

One advantage of the Anglosphere is that there is a possibility of getting away from that obsession with the Anglo-American special relationship.