If we are to navigate our way out of the dark and dreadful waters we find ourselves here in Britain, it is in articles and ideas such as the following that we see something of an encouraging light:
'An Anglo-Alliance', John O'Sullivan, National Review
I had recently been reading a Heritage Foundation study by the American writer (and a friend), James C. Bennett, in which he argued that such forms of developing cooperation were especially characteristic of English-speaking, Common-Law countries such as, well, Britain, Australia, and the U.S. There was, he argued, a definite pattern to them.Personally, in light of how the EU cleverly hands our shires over to the influence and rule of Leftist Germans and ex-Marxist Frenchmen, I have often been struck by the happy thought of handing a good dollop of our sovereignty over to John Howard's Australia, or stout-hearted Gibraltar, and having the similar arrangement produce quite contrary and far healthier results. It's too late for the former, of course, now the Labo(u)r party has swept the whole nation into something of a one-party state, but we live in hope. O'Sullivan's article is the latest in a sequence of them by numerous Anglosphere writers. It is worth a good look over for some much-needed encouragement, even in these days of Mohammed being our most popular boy's name, and Gordon being our Prime Minister.
Citizens, voluntary bodies, companies, lower levels of government form their own networks of useful cooperation for practical purposes across national boundaries. Over time these networks become denser, more complementary, more useful, and more self-conscious, creating what Bennett calls a “network civilization.” In time governments see the value of these networks and underpin them with new political links — trade deals, military pacts, reciprocal immigration agreements — creating what he calls a “network commonwealth.”
Such network commonwealths, which like Topsy, “just growed,” may end up being more integrated — psychologically and socially, as well as economically — than consciously-designed entities such as the European Union. If you want to know which countries the British feel really close to, check which ones they telephone on Christmas Day. (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.S…. but you knew that.) Moreover, network commonwealths don’t demand the surrender of sovereignty that is a feature of supra-national bodies like the EU.