Saturday, December 29, 2007

Old shoes for new

Amused that the day in which I post a review of a book which I bought due to reading the Anglosphere Challenge the concept of the Anglosphere is brought to national attention by John O’Sullivan in the comment section of the Daily Telegraph.

I was delighted to meet Mr O’Sullivan, formerly Mrs Thatcher’s speechwriter and now editor of National Interest last year when he gatecrashed a drinks party I helped organise in Washington. At that time and reading his writings since he seemed to be a sane voice in a naughty world. Now he has us all a favour by writing a trenchant piece but one with which I have one major caveat. That is the headline, “A British-led Anglosphere in world politics?” now I don’t know if the headline was provided by the subs, but my feeling is that it was. O’Sullivan is too subtle and thinking a man to have gone with it and the article really doesn’t support it.

The thing to note that this is all happening under the radar. Indeed it is happening rather delightfully in a fashion that is entirely in keeping with our way of doing things. It is not created by summits and press events but the cumulation of thousands of individual acts.

Indeed having Britain involved in itself be counter productive. The pendant and maybe the practicle side of the Anglosphere concept and possibly the one with the most legs is the Commonwealth Free Trade Area, with the add on of the US. For this to work at all it is perhaps necessary that the UK not be involved, as this would assuage the fears of many Commonwealth/Anglosphere nations that Britain was merely trying to reconstitute a former imperial power.

However after the creation of such a thing then no longer would the fearful and the the timid be able to claim that outside the European Union are monsters. No, outside the EU would be a functional trust based trading system into which we could slip without chaffing. Much like finding an old comfortable pair of boots that have been hidden behind a pile of new fangled pointy-toed objects that always produce blisters.

O’Sullivan’s piece provides a timely reminder that we are not alone.


The Aunt said...

"an old comfortable pair of boots that have been hidden a pile of new fangled pointy-toed objects that always produce blisters"

Oh Eliab how I love your writing.

Elaib Harvey said...

It would have been better If I had remembered to ad the word 'behind', but thank you my dear.

Oliver McCarthy said...

If what you write about Britain's position in the "Anglosphere" being problematic is fair, what then can we say of America? People across the world might jeer at a former imperial power such as the UK, but the US is a neo-imperial hegemon that they will positively loathe and despise.

Elaib Harvey said...

Two minds over that Oliver, the ties that bind exist alright between the US and much of the Anglosphere. The point being for those who fear and loath the US are probably not the high trust liberal societies that we should be that close to. A network community such as the Anglosphere allows each participant as much or as little involvement as they feel comfortable with.
The CFTA would and should be created amongst the Commonwealth first, hence the namne, but with Canada already in NAFTA, well you see the progresion. The US is a big market after all, and oddly despite how much everybody claims to hate it, an amazing number of people still want to go there.
Look at their feet.

Oliver McCarthy said...

It's possible that the question of how much people really hate American (as opposed to the stupid evil genius Bushitler) will settled in a year's time.