If Great Again Britain finally wrenches itself loose from the toils of the EU, and is politely asked to withdraw their Governors – General, Lieutenant, State, or Honorary as the case may be – from nations that have finally decided that they can also govern themselves, there will be formalities to be completed.
In the case of the United States these were conducted at Yorktown in Virginia some centuries ago. The representatives of the British Crown under Lord Cornwallis were invited to throw their muskets into a heap and get on board Royal Navy vessels and go away. The alternative was to be shot dead. It may not seem a very formal procedure, but it was effective.
We need not go the musket route here in Australia or New Zealand, though it would be a lot of fun. We can simply pack up the silver, paintings, Rolls Royce cars, and portraits of H.M., place the Governors on top of the pile, and send them back to Tilbury Docks via the next container ship. The various Government Houses can be occupied by the state or federal leaders and if it is done with efficiency no-one will really notice anything.
Canada may have a problem in that they will be replacing a Queen with a Trudeau and there may be a lot of popular sentiment against it. If they substitute a hockey goalie the thing might go well.
I think the UK would do well to look to a hitherto untapped source of funds – the Loyal Oath taken by new citizens of Commonwealth countries during their naturalisation ceremonies. I underwent one such affair in 1970 and it was a solemn and joyous occasion. A Bible was held and an oath of fealty to HM Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and assigns was taken. This was not given a run-out period and is in force today.
If the British BREXIT from Australia as well as from the EU, I am prepred to pay a fair fee for the cancellation of this oath and/or its transfer to an Australian President or King or High Ruler. If the transaction occurs during the reign of King Charles III, I would be prepared to pay more.
It could be quite exciting. I mean the idea of an independent Great Britain. A new experiment for the British people. Something they have never tried before.
Oh, they’ve been a sovereign nation before…and they’ve wielded sovereignty over many other nations quite cheerfully. Taking food and fibre, oils and minerals, gold, silver, iron and timber from them to supply the things that the British isles cannot grow or mine. They’ve used them as sources of slaves, when that was fashionable…and indentured labourers when the fashion changed. They’ve used them as receptacles for the unwanted poor or religiously inconvenient. Other nations have been jolly useful – even when you have to been forced to trade with them instead of looting them.
But that doesn’t make you independent. Quite the opposite – like Japan, Singapore, the various Arabies, and any number of quasi colonies…if Great Britain cannot do without those other outlying sources of goods and food, they are in a position of strategic dependency. That’s the most frightening one of all, as Japan discovered when the submarine campaign against them ramped up in the mid-forties. Isolated and independent is fine when you are stocked up but you go hungry and cold pretty quick as the pantry clears out.
Still, the British have been hungry before – the Second World War comes to mind. They got thinner and had less tooth decay, so maybe a period of austerity will be good for the people as a whole. Give them three decades and they might well have balanced their population with their arable land ( Mind you, you can only increase the latter by so much before you have to trim the former. The withdrawal of the National Health Scheme should do that. ).
I think they can do themselves a lot of good by trimming the overseas fat off their budget. Not just the EU contributions but the money that is put out to maintain the show of overseas political rule. Haul down the Union Jack from the places where it is a symbol of the 18th century…Canada, New Zealand, Australia, etc. and sell off the residences of the various governors that prance and prate therein. Stop pretending to be Queen or King of Someplace Else and concentrate on being Q. or K. of the UK. Let the former colonies elect or appoint their own parasites as heads of state. Then they’ll have to entertain the Q. or K. of the UK when they visit at thethe expense of their own nation.
Or do they do that now…?
The opposition to the British BREXIT decision taken some time ago seems to have been set along party lines – as so many social questions are – and further connected to a number of interest groups. Whether they might be said to be special interest groups or not is up to the reader to decide. I counted :
- Some youth groups – who were horrified that the easy access to Europe for jobs and/or vacations might be compromised.
- Some immigrant organisations who feared that the nation’s gates would swing shut and prevent their clientele and relatives from coming to the UK and staying there.
- Some organisations opposed to nationalistic sentiments or actions of any kind – good or bad. Not ALL nations, mind, but the UK version was to be abhorred.
- Some companies who could see financial loss or inconvenience caused by having to move their headquarters out of the UK or their manufacturing plants into it
I’m sure there were many others, some with genuine concerns for the country and some with genuine concerns for their own concerns.
But have we considered that some of the opposition to an independent Great Britain may come from the rulers of the place? They have been used to a populace that does what they are told – they have been told what to do all the way from William The Conquerer to the last speech from the Crown Prince – and the idea of the locals getting free of the Germans and the French might start them thinking that they’d like to be free of the rulers…
You can’t sing ” God Remove Our Gracious Queen…” with quite the same poetry as the current words, but then you could always write a new piece of music to go along with it. I don’t think the British populace would think about this at all, but they could change their minds when Charles and Camilla ass-end the throne.
I am starting to think that the British have a problem with independence…in all its many forms. And I suspect that they have had the trouble for a long time.
This has been in my mind as I watch the reports on the BREXIT business – reports that have been coming in from them and their erstwhile EU colleagues for the last two years.
They’re in a mess. They seem to want to be an independent nation – they say ‘ once more ‘ – but have not figured out how to implement it. They seem reluctant to even declare it clearly. But I think that this is a hangover from their history of dealing with other people who wanted to be independent.
The case presenting most clearly is the United States of America. They wanted to be independent in 1774 and made the effort of fighting a successful revolutionary war to achieve it. The fact that they won this against Great Britain told heavily in the UK and its echo still is there in the minds of the British people.
The French revolted against themselves – again successfully – a few years later and this also tells in modern Great Britain’s mind.
And finally, some former colonies of Great Britain – their overseas empire of resources – also declared themselves independent after Great Britain spent itself poor in half a century of modern war. And the UK could do nothing but pretend that they agreed…being powerless to prevent it. This is the latest and most acid memory.
Perhaps there is more…tomorrow.
I once lived in Canada – for about 17-18 years. Then I moved to Australia and have racked up another 50+ years here – with time out for a working holiday in England. Thus I have the basic qualifications to be horribly wrong about three countries. I make the best use of whatever false insights I have made over the years.
Note: I also lived in the USA for a couple of years as a youth and a student. So I can be an instant expert about the place, too. If I am dreadfully wrong, it can be no worse than most of the overseas posts and news reports you read anyway.
All this leads me to a question; how long does one have to actually be in a country to be able to make a rational judgment on and useful report of it. How long does one need to form real memories – as opposed to the ones the glimpses airports and freeways give. How far down the biological and social chain does one need to go to reach the real experience? And is it worth going there?
Well, if your entire experience of, say, Canada was an arrival at Vancouver airport, transfer to a cruise ship and up the coast…then a quick trip to a ski resort and back to the airport…you might be forgiven for a really distorted view of the country. It might have been a pleasant holiday – in between two horrendous airplane flights – but you’d have no idea of summer in the fire season or winter on the prairies or the smell of hockey skates drying in an enclosed space. The same could be said for the tourist who comes to Australia – though most of the North American visitors spend more time here than we do there. It’s the Asian tourists who do a quick round of casinos, beaches, and wildlife parks and then scatter back to their homes. Possibly with a glazed look in their eyes.
Does anyone ever take home a real view of a real place?
I have been pondering for some months about the whole Brexit situation – as an outsider before they voted, I could only speculate about the issues and frame of mind of the pro and anti voters. But as it seems to have been decided in the affirmative, I can concentrate more on the question of why. I’m still and outsider, but the question is now…Why did Great Britain vote to end its connection with the European Common Market or European Union? Here’s some possibilities:
- The new formation of a European army was a timely reminder of the last few times the Europeans have formed armies under Napoleon, Hitler, etc. and of what Europeans would like to do with their armies. There’s only one tunnel under the Channel but there’s always the Channel.
- The trade and farming regulations from Brussels that prevent some British farmers from working their land for produce and profit are a thorn in the side.
- The ready supply of illegal migrants camping in France and other places with an eye to getting to the UK and disappearing is a daunting prospect.
- The continued prospect of propping up spendthrift regimes and dole bludgers in the sunnier climes of the Mediterranean is a particular annoyance to people who live in the damp climate of Wales and other rural portions of the UK. They might as well spend the money on parish cases at home.
- Why not?
- The French have hated the English since the time of the King Henries. In the last century they dragged them into two world wars, and left them to play the last one out by themselves for years. Then they supplied De Gaulle to make it all better. The French idea of better may not be the same for the rest of us…
- The English do not trust the French or Germans. Or the Italians, for that matter.
- The loss of the Empire and the colonies was traumatic. But there was still the Commonwealth. With the EEC and EU experiment, a lot of the Commonwealth interest drifted away. If they Brexit the European door shut, they might re-open the Commonwealth door.
There’s no new political insight in there, but it does go some cynical way to supplying reasons. If it proves a bad idea – like the First World War or convict transportation – you can always blame the Manchester Board Of trade and the Admiralty. Or Trump and the Americans. But don’t blame them too hard in case you need Lend-Lease and Spam again.
I love pirates. From Johny Depp as Jack Sparrow to Errol Flynn as Captain Blood they have swashed buckles and shivered timbers from Tortuga to Tahiti. Even Aardman had wonderful pirates as animated characters.
I’m even more impressed with the ones off the Horn of Africa who try to zoom aboard passing merchant ships and rob the crews. And I just loooove the way the US, Britain, France, and the Russians treat them – from opening up on their tin can boats with autocannon to boarding them and blowing them up with satchel charges.
I note that the Iranian floating terrorists are now entering the game and stepping up the pace with ship captures and mines.
Please, let us return to the days of the Caribbean and the Royal Navy sinking pirates on sight. And Wapping Stairs, please. In chains.
Rules of engagement for countering pirates: There’s one, open fire.
PS: Let the air squadrons play too. If they can’t get a Warthog that far out from the coast, surely someone has a spare gun pack in the stores they could clap onto a Hornet.
Pirates are ALWAYS freie Vögel…whether they have a mullah or a mad king at their back. And eventually you get to storm their pirate nest and burn it to the ground. It took care of Port Royal and Cartagena…and Bandar-e Abbas is no different.