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Never been a better time to rejoin the Commonwealth? April 20, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Anyone else read Eamon Delaney’s suggestion in the SBP that ‘there has never been a better time to rejoin the Commonwealth’. In fairness it was mentioned in comments ages ago that someone would make this case, so perhaps no surprise it is him. Anyhow why does he believe this makes sense? Apparently because ‘we are overwhelmingly connected with Britain – economically, culturally and legally’ and ‘in a scary post-Brexit (and Trump as President) era we should seek a many clubs and alliances as it can’. And hey, for those uncomfortable or dismissive with and of this notion ‘we should explore associative status’!

And on he goes. To be honest the case for membership isn’t really made. The actual material benefits are unclear…he mentions that the UK might have preferential trading status with Commonwealth states, and we shouldn’t miss out, but appears indifferent to the idea that might impact on EU membership. But beyond that nada.

I like this line:

Granted many of us would prefer if the Royal Commonwealth Society drooped the Royal from its name, especially since the global organisation is called the Commonwealth of Nations. It seems like an anachronism and anyway it is likely the Commonwealth will transcend its royal association beyond the current monarch into something more global and exciting.

More global and exciting!




1. Jim Monaghan - April 20, 2017

If you look carefully at the undercurrent calling for an Irish Brexit, you can find a lot similar, couched in a different language. Eg Tom McGurk in SBP.


2. EWI - April 20, 2017

It appears that some of our native pundits have caught Brexit fever, a new and exciting illness of the bonkers English rightwing press. Why on earth would we give up the existing trade agreements with our EU partners and the rest of the planet, to go with some flimflam about new and exciting trade with the long-departed British Empire?

As for Delaney’s moaning about our supposedly close ‘cultural’ (maybe in the D4 state of mind of the Irish middle class, mate) and ‘legal’ (I for one would welcome an end to the odious, parasitic legal system here to move to the European system), the less said, the better.


3. Roger Cole - April 20, 2017

EWI, it is true that the British Empire is a very pale shadow of the Empire of 100 years ago, but its imperial values remain the dominate ruling elite and its corporate media which explains why they hate Corbyn so much. If I remember correctly the ANC agreed that SA would rejoin the Commonwealth after the fall of apartheid as part of a settlement to ensure a level of support from those in SA that had an identity with GB. I certainly think that as part of the negotiations to achieve a United Ireland it could be considered, especially since very many people in Ireland still largely regard themselves as British.


EWI - April 20, 2017

I certainly think that as part of the negotiations to achieve a United Ireland it could be considered, especially since very many people in Ireland still largely regard themselves as British.

And that’s been on the table as an (unreciprocated) offer in that direction for the last century or so. But clowns like Delaney would recoil in horror at the thoughts of a UI; what they want is the link to the supposed glories of the Anglosphere, which are the brightest star in the sky for D4-heads.


4. sonofstan - April 20, 2017

The supposed cultural closeness requires some interrogation; my feeling these days, back and forth between the two countries, is that the differences are becoming more and more pronounced. England (not Britain) is moving rapidly away from many of the things that used to be aspirational for some of us in this country. The general public mood on immigration is one obvious example – there is simply no Irish counterpart to the preoccupation with the supposed issue in England. More counterintuitively, Ireland, to my eyes, is now far more cosmopolitan than England (London and a few other places excepted). Part of this is our general experience of emigration – many of us have worked somewhere else, and if we haven’t, it’s odds on someone in our family has. This simply isn’t true in England, where abroad for most people is for holidays. But another part of it, related to the first, is the way in which people from other countries seem to be able to intergrate more and quicker – it’s much more usual to meet relatively recent immigrants working in broadly ‘middle-class’ and public facing occupations in the PS particularly, than in the UK. A small example; there are (at least) two non-Irish weather announcers on RTE – impossible to imagine on the BBC.

Even in the area of popular culture and sport, where once British football, TV and pop/ rock was a large part of popular culture here also, now, it’s more the case that both countries participate in a wider global culture. With TV in particular, netflix etc. are well on the way to replacing the terrestrial network, certainly for kids, who by and large consume an almost exclusively US originating diet. And pop, as a unifying discourse is dead; I asked a classfull of 20 year olds recently if anyone could name the number 1 record in the UK and no one could. Everyone lives their own playlist.

I suspect, for McGurk and the odious Delaney, the things they were brought up to assume were culturally significant are a vanishing currency.

Liked by 3 people

Seedot - April 20, 2017

Good comment, and the changes you mention in England are very noticeable.

Your comments on media consumption are really interesting. I lived in the UK as a child and frequently spent time there since. I generally associate the differences in media consumption for how Irish people know about English politicians and popular culture but the knowledge is not reciprocated. They never watch our news, see our chat shows etc.

But nowadays, (grumpy old man alert), many English people don’t watch English news or read English papers – they might follow Vice or MMA and have a common culture with young Irish people I don’t share. I think the pending death of terrestrial television (Arqiva who run the UK mast network have given it to the end of this decade) will impact hugely on national and other identities.

No idea how though. Just know it’ll annoy me 😉


Starkadder - April 20, 2017

” I generally associate the differences in media consumption for how Irish people know about English politicians and popular culture but the knowledge is not reciprocated. They never watch our news, see our chat shows etc.”

Some of them might pop over here for holidays, or the high-minded might read John Banville or Colm Toibin. But you’re right-the cultural exchange flows mainly in one direction (there may be a parallel with Canada).


sonofstan - April 20, 2017

I met a man who worked for the BBC at a conference, who introduced himself in that way people do when they expect you to recognise the name, who ‘knew Ireland well’. And proceeded to Britsplain the whole place to me….


5. irishelectionliterature - April 20, 2017

Delaney is one of the many fools in the ever growing chorus of right wing columnists, each trying to outdo the other in their “controversial” views. His Hibernian Forum think tank pedals all sorts of right wing libertarian shite.
Wouldn’t Michael D have to relinquish his position were we to join the Commonwealth?


Michael Carley - April 20, 2017

There are a few republics in the Commonwealth.


sonofstan - April 20, 2017

Amazing how little that growing chorus is actually reflected in actual politics.


Pasionario - April 21, 2017

I think re-joining the Commonwealth would be a useful and probably essential gesture (and it is no more than a gesture) as part of any move towards a United Ireland. Michael D could indeed remain Head of State.


Dr. X - April 21, 2017

I would have no problem with it, so long as it happened in conjunction with reunification.


oconnorlysaght - April 21, 2017

From the record, that would seem to be Connolly’s line. Is it Delaney’s, McGurk’s, Coughlan’s et als? I don’t think so.


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