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Time to end the Commonwealth


Shade_Wilder
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The sad passing of Elizabeth brings a serious issue to the fore; should the Commonwealth continue? And, will it?

I would argue 'No' on both counts.

First, it needs to be said that I wouldn't have raised the subject while Elizabeth was still alive; she earned enough respect globally to have it continue under her tutelage, and few people would disagree with that.

However, the sad day has come, and the remaining nations in the Commonwealth will be asking their citizens very soon if they want to continue. And, if anecdotal data and/or polls are anything to go by, the answer will be a resounding 'No".

The Commonwealth is/was a nod to the past, and while I am a bit of a history buff and firmly believe that we need to understand where we came from, it is time for Commonwealth nations to look to the future and finally close the door on the fading embers of British influence. Moreover, it is increasingly difficult, especially with the link to Elizabeth severed, to see what value still remains in membership. Is there a common culture? No. Are there common economic interests? No. Are there political ties? No, not really. Are there cultural ties? No, not really. Does any nation, other than the UK, really really want to see it continue? No. Finally, with respect to my British friends, the UK seems to be in a spiral of diminishing itself with no end in sight; I very much doubt that the UK itself will still be functional by the end of the decade and will have split into even smaller groupings

There is one other point which needs mentioning; Charles simply doesn't have "it". What is "It"? "It" is hard to explain, but Elizabeth had "It" and most people were quite happy to let things ride while she was alive. That said, the minute that Charles' face appears on the currency of Commonwealth nations (for those who might not know; Elizabeth's face is on all Commonwealth currency) will be the time when all people start really saying "Why the hell is he there?"

The Commonwealth had its time, and while I can't really identify any of its accomplishments, it did serve as a bridge, along with Elizabeth herself, from past colonial times to our current age. But...

Its time for the Commonwealth to go, and it should be now at the onset of Charles' reign; it'll disintegrate soon and I think its better and more dignified if it is done voluntarily, quickly, and without future rancor.

What say you?

Some reading...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/siladityaray/2022/09/09/queens-death-reignites-calls-to-cut-ties-with-british-monarchy-in-australia-and-other-commonwealth-nations/?sh=23ff41753e1c

https://www.reuters.com/world/does-commonwealth-have-future-after-queen-elizabeth-2022-05-23/

https://www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership/aha-history-and-archives/gi-roundtable-series/pamphlets/em-16-what-makes-the-british-commonwealth-hold-together-(1946)/will-the-commonwealth-hold-together

 

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I agree SW, now would be a good time to sever the umbilical.  Australia and NZ have expressed as much in the past but failed to move on it for the reasons you've expressed so well.

NZ, under John Key, even attempted a change a flag but the mechanism they chose for selection saw that idea thwarted.  There was tremendous opposition to removing the Union Jack although as each year passes, those who still have close ties to the UK and/or memories of WW2, are fewer and less vocal.

Now, only history binds the colonies to Britain.

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The CW is now merely a vestigial remain of the colonial past of another faded empire. However, the language and parts of culture will remain for some time. It took hundreds of years AFTER the fall of Rome before Latin was eschewed as Lingua franca in the countries it previously occupied.

   What is true is United Kingdom (as of BRitish isles) is also fragmenting now. We will see what Scottland will do, although I think the "independence drive" today is mostly an aftermath of the anti-Brexit movement, which tried to use that as a wedge to stop Brexit. We will see how much teeth remains in that now. MORE likely is a continued drive of Northern Ireland to unite with Ireland and pieces here and there (Gibraltar) to reunite with Spain. It does not seem like there is big drive in Wales to break away, but if it were to do, we could be left with an England as a rump entity. 

     

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you failed to mention the Falklands in your unbelievable naive post, the majority of natives of  Gibraltar and the Falkland want to remain part of GB,  Northern island is a lot more complicated that simply joining its connected country, what do you think all the fighting there has been about over the years

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On 9/10/2022 at 11:18 AM, Shade_Wilder said:

The sad passing of Elizabeth brings a serious issue to the fore; should the Commonwealth continue? And, will it?

I would argue 'No' on both counts.

First, it needs to be said that I wouldn't have raised the subject while Elizabeth was still alive; she earned enough respect globally to have it continue under her tutelage, and few people would disagree with that.

However, the sad day has come, and the remaining nations in the Commonwealth will be asking their citizens very soon if they want to continue. And, if anecdotal data and/or polls are anything to go by, the answer will be a resounding 'No".

The Commonwealth is/was a nod to the past, and while I am a bit of a history buff and firmly believe that we need to understand where we came from, it is time for Commonwealth nations to look to the future and finally close the door on the fading embers of British influence. Moreover, it is increasingly difficult, especially with the link to Elizabeth severed, to see what value still remains in membership. Is there a common culture? No. Are there common economic interests? No. Are there political ties? No, not really. Are there cultural ties? No, not really. Does any nation, other than the UK, really really want to see it continue? No. Finally, with respect to my British friends, the UK seems to be in a spiral of diminishing itself with no end in sight; I very much doubt that the UK itself will still be functional by the end of the decade and will have split into even smaller groupings

There is one other point which needs mentioning; Charles simply doesn't have "it". What is "It"? "It" is hard to explain, but Elizabeth had "It" and most people were quite happy to let things ride while she was alive. That said, the minute that Charles' face appears on the currency of Commonwealth nations (for those who might not know; Elizabeth's face is on all Commonwealth currency) will be the time when all people start really saying "Why the hell is he there?"

The Commonwealth had its time, and while I can't really identify any of its accomplishments, it did serve as a bridge, along with Elizabeth herself, from past colonial times to our current age. But...

Its time for the Commonwealth to go, and it should be now at the onset of Charles' reign; it'll disintegrate soon and I think its better and more dignified if it is done voluntarily, quickly, and without future rancor.

What say you?

Some reading...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/siladityaray/2022/09/09/queens-death-reignites-calls-to-cut-ties-with-british-monarchy-in-australia-and-other-commonwealth-nations/?sh=23ff41753e1c

https://www.reuters.com/world/does-commonwealth-have-future-after-queen-elizabeth-2022-05-23/

https://www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership/aha-history-and-archives/gi-roundtable-series/pamphlets/em-16-what-makes-the-british-commonwealth-hold-together-(1946)/will-the-commonwealth-hold-together

Ridiculous , a total misunderstanding of what 'Commonwealth' means and its strengths and advantages for a number of independent Nation States in terms of political and legal stability, not to mention trade and cultural interchange.    

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On 9/10/2022 at 4:08 PM, NorskTiger said:

The CW is now merely a vestigial remain of the colonial past of another faded empire.

it is nothing of the kind.  That out of date interpretation disappeared over 70 years ago.  Its position in the international globalized World is far more subtle and advantageous to its members. People need to stop banging on about the UK's Imperialist past.  Nobody alive today had anything to do with it, or has any responsibility for it.  

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13 minutes ago, cockneyboy said:

you failed to mention the Falklands in your unbelievable naive post, the majority of natives of  Gibraltar and the Falkland want to remain part of GB,  Northern island is a lot more complicated that simply joining its connected country, what do you think all the fighting there has been about over the years

You're referring to BOT's, or British Overseas Territories, and I'm quite sure SW was not including those ~14 BOT's in his article.   

India, Australia, NZ and Canada are perhaps the most likely to sever ties to Britain in the near future.

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8 minutes ago, KaptainRob said:

You're referring to BOT's, or British Overseas Territories, and I'm quite sure SW was not including those ~14 BOT's in his article.   

India, Australia, NZ and Canada are perhaps the most likely to sever ties to Britain in the near future.

I thought i had quoted Norsktiger who mentioned NI and Gibraltar not Shade_wilder

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On 9/10/2022 at 4:08 PM, NorskTiger said:

MORE likely is a continued drive of Northern Ireland to unite with Ireland and pieces here and there (Gibraltar) to reunite with Spain. 

Do you actually know anything.? 

Possibly you just cannot express yourself properly. 

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If you want to leave the commonwealth then go for it.

You are completely wrong about there being no cultural ties between the nations but if you and the rest of your people feel it time to leave then do so.

But ask yourself this. What does it cost your country to be a member and what will you gain by leaving?

What you will lose by leaving is access to things like the commonwealth games and a shared culture. 

But no-one is going to try to stop you going if its what you want.

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29 minutes ago, Pinetree said:

Ridiculous , a total misunderstanding of what 'Commonwealth' means and its strengths and advantages for a number of independent Nation States in terms of political and legal stability, not to mention trade and cultural interchange.    

Will you enumerate the "strengths and advantages" that you mention?
England is not the military might they once were and certainly do not "own" the seas as they used to.
What does the UK provide that these independent nations need after the money they pass on to the CW?

Is there true free-trade between all CW nations?

Can a CW person travel freely between all CW nations with no restrictions and no Visa?
Or rather do all CW people get a UK passport as well as their own national passport?

Ireland (and N. Ireland) should be 1 country.  UK should be able to see this since they can't seem to get BREXIT rules (now a recognized treaty) right between EU (Ireland) and UK (specifically N. Ireland).

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On 9/10/2022 at 11:18 AM, Shade_Wilder said:

while Elizabeth was still alive; she earned enough respect globally to have it continue under her tutelage,

Preface this by saying I could be wrong or off on my views as am not from the UK.

As an american I never understood Royals.  Tutelage = protection/authority/guardianship. How does a family living in luxury and leisure provide guardianship for a nation? 

Why do they not pay taxes?  Why do they live in a "palace"?  What makes them special except for bloodline? How do "ambassadors" or "Heads of State" have a net worth of almost a billion dollars.  How can one job pay that much?   5555   (not paying most taxes and receiving 86 million from taxpayers annually helps immensely I would guess)

1200 years of monarchy just seems like the royals have the longest running scam in the world !  Thailand is  second, so England is not alone 5555

 

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5 minutes ago, ExpatPattaya said:

1200 years of monarchy just seems like the royals have the longest running scam in the world !  Thailand is  second, so England is not alone 5555

You make some good points which might be compared with religions and other sects used to form a cohesive social structure.  

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And so it begins...

"Antigua and Barbuda to vote on whether to remove British monarch as head of state, PM says"

https://edition.cnn.com/2022/09/11/americas/antigua-barbuda-referendum-republic-king-charles-intl/index.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-62867569

I think that this is inevitable; there really isn't any reason to have Charles as Head of State instead of a local person. And, I think it is worth highlighting the comment made by the PM...

"This is a matter that has to be taken to a referendum for the people to decide," he said, adding that it is not mean to "represent any form of disrespect to the monarch. This is not an act of hostility, or any difference between Antigua and Barbuda and the monarchy." (CNN)

... there is no malice, but merely historical prerogatives. Further, we have seen this occur already in Barbados, and the recent Royal Visit to Jamaica and Belize demonstrates that it is a Caribbean-wide sentiment. In the larger scope of things, countries like Canada, Australia and NZ will soon be following the trend, again without malice, but simply out of a natural progression of political development; the concept of having the British Monarch as a Titular Head of State cannot really be defended or justified anymore, and slowly will vanish (these things take time, but...). The era where the British Royal Family reigns, even symbolically, anywhere outside of the UK died with Elizabeth and is done.

In the wider Commonwealth Organization, it too will slowly diminish and vanish out of apathy and lack of a reason for existing. It should be said that the Commonwealth Organization was a good idea in the immediate post-colonial era last century as it made sense to have dedicated offices to deal with issues arising from the process, but that time is long over. In 2022, what is the purpose of the Commonwealth? RS noted the Commonwealth Games (which I happen to like), but aside from that? Has anyone ever said "Damn it! We have a crisis; get the Commonwealth on the phone!". The Commonwealth as an organization still exists as a tribute to Elizabeth, but as she has passed, so should the organization. And, it should be done now, and not die slowly and painfully of a thousand cuts of boredom.

I think that this is a hard thing for my British friends to accept, especially as Brits tend to pay attention to history more than most, but if I may paraphrase/bastardize an old saying...

The passing of Elizabeth means that the sun has set on the British Empire.

 

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The Queen, or now King, being the head of state is no actual requirement for membership of the Commonwealth. Out of the 56 countries that make up the Commonwealth, only 14 still recognise the King as their head of state, including the UK.

The King is also now not automatically the head of the Commonwealth. The individual leaders decide who is the head. It also includes 4 countries that were never "British Colonies".

 

“Four countries in the Commonwealth — Mozambique (1995), Rwanda (2009), Togo (2022), and Gabon (2022) — had no colonial ties with Britain. Mozambique was a Portuguese colony, Rwanda was ruled by the Belgians and Germans, and Togo and Gabon by the French.

All these countries, however, recognise shared values and ties to the British Empire and, according to an analysis published by the BBC, “they see the organisation as a useful network of diplomatic and cultural influence, and for exercising ‘soft power’ on the world stage”. “

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-global/queen-elizabeth-dead-british-commonwealth-past-present-future-8140896/

 

Does it serve a purpose? Perhaps, especially for smaller nations that have an equal vote on the matters decided. For Australia, one could sarcastically say yes when it inspires a level of national sporting pride as we top the medal count every 4 years at the Commonwealth Games! 😁

As for any other value in its contributions, I am sure that opinions will differ greatly!

https://thecommonwealth.org/

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Have to see how this progresses.

 

 

"New Zealand and Australia hold ceremonies to recognise new head of state and pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II"

 

"Ardern said she believed New Zealand’s close connection to the royal family would continue and strengthen under the new monarch"

 

"Australia also officially recognised King Charles as the country’s new sovereign, with the governor general and executive council making their public proclamation at Parliament House, followed by a 21-gun salute."

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/sep/11/jacinda-ardern-expects-new-zealands-royal-ties-to-deepen-under-king-charles-iii

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1 hour ago, Faraday said:

"Ardern said she believed New Zealand’s close connection to the royal family would continue and strengthen under the new monarch"

Ardern tells lies.  She's a commie and at this stage in her political career will say anything in an attempt to win voters as her reign will almost certainly end in March!

I'm a fence-sitter on the issue, especially as I've made my home outside NZ/Australia.   I think both countries are going backwards with current policies in relation to far older issues than the Commonwealth.  In many ways it's a shame the Governor Generals can't over-ride their respective Prime Ministers.

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I might ask just one question, List the negatives against the positives the colonies have now, and then compare them to a neighboring country of similar size? then see what country is safer,more prosperous, and less corrupt? Put your answers down below.👍

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On 9/14/2022 at 1:24 AM, Thaidup said:

I might ask just one question, List the negatives against the positives the colonies have now, and then compare them to a neighboring country of similar size? then see what country is safer,more prosperous, and less corrupt? Put your answers down below.👍

From your spelling, I presume you are an American. America would be better if it reverted to being a British colony again. Maybe.

I assume you mean past British colonies, because Bermuda doesn't have any neighbours

 

Turk and Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory. Got to be a byword for honesty and probity. Oh wait......

I'll compare it to the US Virgin Islands.

 

I can take any "colony", a place where people have been transposed to, white or otherwise, and construct whatever argument I would like to support either position; colonisation good versus colonisation bad. Or is British colonisation better than, say, Belgian colonisation?

Is Mexico better off because it was filled with Spanish colonisers?

Thailand, never colonised. Is it less corrupt than Cambodia, which was? Corruption Perceptions Index suggests if you don't want to be robbed in business or end up in a Killing Field, you'd plump for never-colonised Thailand.

 

 

 

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On 9/12/2022 at 8:43 AM, KaptainRob said:

Ardern tells lies.  She's a commie

Agree,  but do think "naive" would probably be the kindest adjective to describe her interpretations of international relations.

She has been reaching for the stars and barely getting liftoff.

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5 hours ago, lspab said:

From your spelling, I presume you are an American. America would be better if it reverted to being a British colony again. Maybe.

I assume you mean past British colonies, because Bermuda doesn't have any neighbours

Turk and Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory. Got to be a byword for honesty and probity. Oh wait......

I'll compare it to the US Virgin Islands.

I can take any "colony", a place where people have been transposed to, white or otherwise, and construct whatever argument I would like to support either position; colonisation good versus colonisation bad. Or is British colonisation better than, say, Belgian colonisation?

Is Mexico better off because it was filled with Spanish colonisers?

Thailand, never colonised. Is it less corrupt than Cambodia, which was? Corruption Perceptions Index suggests if you don't want to be robbed in business or end up in a Killing Field, you'd plump for never-colonised Thailand.

No, I was commenting on the Original Post. About how most major countries that the Brits colonized are in a better position while they stay under Brit rule then neighboring countries ie colonized by France or the Dutch or the Spanish or any other country, Just seems that the Brits did a good job for Australia,New Zealand and Canada, India? Burma went to shit after the Brits left.

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With dissolution of the Commonwealth will come calls for another union under the guise of a newer order to combat climate, the far East, and whatever else they can muster up as a bogus threat.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/11/2022 at 5:50 PM, KaptainRob said:

You're referring to BOT's, or British Overseas Territories, and I'm quite sure SW was not including those ~14 BOT's in his article.   

India, Australia, NZ and Canada are perhaps the most likely to sever ties to Britain in the near future.

How many votes / referendums has Australia had on the subject and they all had a majority for maintaining the status quo. 

I once asked a voluble Australian, if one time the vote went his way would they have another a few years later to democratically confirm the point. He was shocked to the core.. One view of democracy.

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