Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Guest Article: On the Trail of Empire By AB Royalist

A few weeks ago I spent a weekend in Calgary with my wife and daughter before the weather changed over to fall, and while there we took the opportunity to visit Heritage Park. I was quite impressed with their effort to recreate the spirit of southern Alberta around 100 years ago, with their mix of replica and relocated period buildings and actors playing the part of typical town folk, and I'd highly recommend a visit.

Another thing that struck me about the place was there were no Maple Leaf flags of any kind, and the flags were either Union Jacks or Canadian Red Ensigns which seemed to be piratically on every street corner. Likewise the actors played their parts very well, and I found the mix of the western town feel, the flags, and the obvious patriotism towards the British Empire shown by the characters to be striking; for while they were proud to be Canadian they were equally proud of being British and belong to the Empire, which I found to be both intoxicating yet bittersweet; for this is what the late British Empire was like for a fleeting instant before being undone, and has never been the same since.

For sadly after World War I, politicians in the various Dominions began a concerted effort to achieve full independence, while also downplaying their British ties in favor of a new artificial nationalism, and as the years passed renounced their Britishness altogether while retaining membership of that useless talk shop Commonwealth as a sop; and when I think about it these actions make me angry. For what the peoples of the Dominions forget, is that the very term 'British' was originally fostered as a way of binding together otherwise disparate peoples and nationalities, with a unity far greater and more glorious than what could be achieved on their own. This was first demonstrated during the Union of the Crowns, when Scotland and England entered into a personal union by sharing a common monarch, and a little later with the Act of Union of 1707. Consequently the inhabitants of the United Kingdom began thinking of themselves as English or Scottish first, and British second; and the creation of the Dominions merely extended the principle. For you could think of yourself as Canadian, Australian, or South African, while also being British.

Its high time people in Britain, and the Dominions stopped being ashamed of their glorious history as part of the old British Empire, realize that by themselves are merely minor or unimportant players on the international scene, and embrace the legacy of Empire by once again banding together into a unity far more formidable; that would also serve as a counterweight to the United States, Europe and China. This doesn't mean of course that the Dominions become slaves to Britain, but rather that they emphasize and focus on the things they share in common, while also retaining their unique national identity.

The first step on this path would be to ditch the legacy of liberal, left-wing political correctness; namely the hushed and ashamed connotations surrounding the British Empire, by reverting the name of the 'Commonwealth' back to the 'British Commonwealth'. Secondly the piratically meaningless Commonwealth Citizenship should be scrapped, and replaced by a new British Citizenship which would actually be useful, while Britain would rename its British Citizenship to United Kingdom citizenship; both to avoid confusion and to emphasize both the real dual nature and international scope of the word British.

Thus anyone born or naturalized in the United Kingdom and the Dominions, would automatically possess British Citizenship in addition to their original nationality and consequently be able to free move and settle in the United Kingdom and the Dominions, with the right to work and vote just like any native born person. This isn't as far fetched as it might seem, as nationals of any of the European Union states automatically have EU citizenship, and can freely move, settle, work and vote throughout the EU; and these countries have far less in common than British Commonwealth countries too! Thus there's really no excuse why members of the British Commonwealth couldn't do the same.

Thirdly Britain and Ireland need to realize they have nothing in common with the rest of Europe and it would be far better for them to leave the European Union asap, and direct their trade, energy and focus on the Dominions and their other Commonwealth brethren, with whom they share far more in common. This of course means the Irish need to swallow a little dose of pride, get over the whole Easter Rising thing which happened long enough ago to be water under the bridge; and stop getting hung up over Northern Ireland. Yes I know partition sucks, and believe me both myself and my fellow Brits would love to get shot of Northern Ireland, however if Irish Nationalists started reproducing more than the Unionists then the problem will take care of itself, just saying... Now where was I? Ah yes, the fact is that my Irish brethren and fellow British countrymen need to realize that it would be far better being members of an alliance of sovereign independent British Commonwealth states, than continue the insidious, national soul destroying rule of Brussels.

Fourthly the British Commonwealth should have its own institutions modeled after the EU, such as a Commonwealth Parliament to legislate over matters that effect the Commonwealth as a whole; such as trade; a common market; common citizenship as previously mentioned, a British Judicial Council comprised of senior judges from member states on a rotating basis serving as a court of final appeal, but unlike their EU counterparts these institutions would have no jurisdiction over purely national laws; and finally above all, the British Commonwealth would be a defensive alliance like NATO; with a unified Supreme Command in the event of war, although other countries would likely think twice before attacking any member of this British Commonwealth.

Finally many of these countries should get off their republican high horse, and embrace the monarchy anew in places like Australia and New Zealand, or restore it in places like Ireland, South Africa and India. I'm not picky if these republican countries either adopt the British monarch as their own monarch again, or have a separate monarch for themselves like Tonga has, just as long as they ditch their failed republican systems. For only a monarch can reign and govern independently of any corporation, special interest group, lobby or association (to whom republican leaders and politicians are really beholden to, not the people...); while serving as a focal point of national and international unity. Consequently I say Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, should be upgraded from boring and useless title of 'Head of the Commonwealth' to 'Empress of the British Commonwealth', which in addition to being far more regal, dignified, and glorious; would actually be worth something! Of course I'm not suggesting that monarchs in places like Tonga or Malaysia be subordinate to the Queen, but that she would essentially be first among equals with greater respect and honour shown to Her Majesty when visiting these places, by virtue of the ancient legacy of her Crown from whom all their concepts of national liberty sprung forth.

This only by banding together in this way can the nations of the British Commonwealth truly arise again to something far more greater and glorious, than the sum of their parts...


  1. I'm always conflicted about the Dominions (I steadfastly refuse to call them realms), for I feel that they imposed a foreign monarchy over nations rather than enabling an indigenous one to take over. India in particular would probably have never become republican had it been allowed to choose a prominent Prince from its' ranks to become Emperor of India.

    1. I don't see why that would automatically follow. The various Rajas and Maharajas were maintained during British rule and only lost their status after independence. Burma was a different story, I feel a little more sympathy for them but in India, picking a monarch, then as now, would have been problematic. The only one with any real legitimacy was the Mughal Emperor who was a Muslim and many Hindus would not have liked that. Likewise, elevating a Hindu prince to Emperor would have been opposed by many Muslims.

  2. Thanks MM for this article, I was very delighted to read an article that hits closer to home for me (As I'm an Australian citizen and subject to the Queen of Australia).

    I can also say that many people that I know, friends and family also think of themselves as being Australian but also British. With the exception of a few who are descended from other parts of Europe, including Asia.

    But what you propose to my mind isn't such a bad idea, but it would be seen as a revival of the British Empire and potentially by nationalists as an attempt to be subjugated under Great Britain (Even now some believe this is so) but an interesting counter to the European Union. Regardless I know to an extent some British MP's also think along the same lines as you do as not too long ago a member of the House of Common's has proposed a bill to give priority to citizens of the Dominions at airports over citizens of Europe along with other changes that aim to break with Europe and build with the Dominions.

    A reformed British Commonwealth with our Queen as 'Empress' is overall an interesting concept. Personally though I reckon the Monarch should've been referred to as Emperor/Empress during the British Empire anyway and is fitting such a position. Although I'm not 100% sold on the idea it is worth considering.

    Thanks again MM for a great article!

    1. I appreciate that but keep in mind this is a guest article, I didn't write it, AB Royalist up in Canada did.

    2. Yes I just realized after posting my comment. I apologize and thank AB Royalist for this article.

  3. I have always been wondering why did Britain granted self-rule to its oversea colonies especially Canada, Australia, and New Zealand where the majority of the inhabitants are descendants of the British people. I don't believe in the idea that two pieces of lands separated by sea or oceans cannot be the same country and nation. If people still believe in that idea, humans can never colonize other habitable planets outside the solar system without having them declaring independence in the end. Instead, the British should have integrate all their dominions into one powerful country under one monarch with the island of Great Britain not as the "mother nation" but a part of it. With that, all of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand should be divided into many provinces or counties and given full representation in the British parliament. It is quite sad to see that the British Empire disappeared as if all the British people were willing to just give up what their glorious ancestors fought and died for. Britain should just ignore Germany and France and just leave the European Union. Then the British should strengthen their loose relationship with all the other members of the Commonwealth Realms. At least, the Union Jack still fly high on the flags of Australia, New Zealand, Ontario, Manitoba, and British Colombia.

    1. I believe some did want to do just that with an "imperial parliament" in London for representatives from across the empire to handle matters of significance to all. People just didn't come together on the idea and, I would guess, events probably overwhelmed them with the onset of World War I.

  4. There was definitely enthusiasm for the idea of a 'Greater Britain' (with an imperial parliament like you mentioned), however like you said MM World War I put the whole thing on the back burner and the aftermath of the conflict trashed it completely. That's when traitor politicians in the Dominion's began stoking the idea of downplaying and then later completely forsaking their British heritage. Shameful!

  5. A truly unified Commonwealth headed by the Queen really could be an effective counterweight to the EU, China, and the US. Separately, the 16 realms are middling powers at best, and many of them are far smaller than that. Joined together, however, and you're talking about a $6 trillion economy and over 135 million citizens spread around the globe. And all those citizens have far more in common with each other, far more binding them together culturally, historically, linguistically, etc. that the nations of Europe.

    Imagine, one unified free market zone for all Commonwealth realms, a full customs union, one common legal space, a strong defensive alliance, etc. all symbolized by a common crown. You really would have a totally new world superpower, not as one nation, but as many nations with a shared monarchy, celebrating their national diversity at the same time they celebrate what binds them. Aside from the 16 realms that exist today, many other countries that abandoned the monarchy more recently (Malta, Mauritius, Fiji) might opt to restore it simply to enter in to this new union and reap its benefits.

    It might exist in parallel with the modern Commonwealth of Nations, in that membership in the existing Commonwealth could be a prerequisite for joining the new, stronger, British Commonwealth, but not all Commonwealth of Nations members would automatically belong to the British Commonwealth - the republics would definitely have to be ineligible.


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