Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The Most Odious Crusade in Canada

Posted: February 20, 2008, 3:25 PM by Marni Soupcoff
National Post Editorial


Maybe it's an impertinent question. We feel awkward asking it. But we can't be the only ones who have been buffaloed by news reports about Charles Roach's continuing litigation crusade against the oath of allegiance to the Queen for immigrants. So let's put it out there: If you don't want to live in a constitutional monarchy governed by the British Crown, why the heck would you come to Canada?

Mr. Roach is a lawyer originally from Trinidad who believes that the language of Canada's citizenship oath -- which requires new Canadians "to be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen" -- is offensive. In particular, he says it is offensive to black individuals from countries that, in the words of a republican press release about his Charter challenge, "were oppressed or forcibly subjugated during the height of the British Empire." Most historians would identify the peak of the British Empire as arriving around 1902, after imperial victory in the Second Boer War. This was, let it be noted, many decades after the British government had succeeded in largely eradicating the world slave trade. And the Boer War itself was a struggle against the future practitioners of apartheid -- one which transpired partly as a consequence of native African pleas for imperial protection against racist Boer republicans.

This is not to suggest that the Crown's history is without actions worth regretting, but to believe, as Mr. Roach apparently does, that the Queen is analogous to Adolf Hitler -- well, one can only imagine how offensive Canadian life might be to such a person. Our visual and textual landscape is a cornucopia of regal and imperial symbolism that remains subliminal to most of us, from British Columbia (ouch!) all the way to Prince Edward Island (gasp!). Mr. Roach has been suffering for 48 years now. As a final humiliation, he must now seek relief in the Charter of Rights, whose authority derives entirely from the E-R II signature at the bottom. Is this what they mean by "fighting fire with fire"?

10 comments:

Ken MacNeil said...

That man gets right up my nose. CBC Toronto has given him airtime twice, and that's just when I've been listening. Andy Barrie of Metro Morning in particular has been nothing but sympathetic to his terribly hurt feelings. Pathetic.

David Byers said...

In a funny way I would like to see the Queen removed from citizenship Oaths in Canada and the UK because we had them removed from citizenship Oaths in Australia, I know it is out of jealousy that I say this but it just hurts like mad that we are the odd one out in that we don’t have our Sovereign in our citizenship oath. That is why I am pushing for ACM to produce “The Australian Oath of Loyalty” so we can a least say “well in other realm you have to make an oath to the Queen but here in Australia many do so voluntarily.”

Anonymous said...

Even I have heard of this guy, and I live many thousands of miles away.

He's been irritating for years. I note that he doesn't seem interested in campaigning for a republic in Trinidad - which is probably as monarchist as Shropshire or Newfoundland (although the chaps in Tobago are probably buoying that up a bit).

I think the salient point here is that there are monarchies and republics aplenty in the English-speaking world, and that if you prefer one to the other you don't need to find yourself in the one which you don't like. It's not hard.

Cato

Stauffenberg said...

@ Cato".. there are monarchies and republics aplenty in the English speaking world". Indeed. There is a relatively significant republic sharing a land border with Canada, and I am sure Mr Roach can also find himself a seat on a plane to Port of Spain in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago if he so chooses. The Brit-bashing blame game is just tiresome.
While I think his appreciation of the Boer War leaves room for debate, Tweedsmuir is right as far as the overall track-record of the British Empire vis-a-vis Black emancipation in the 19th century is concerned, including early steps (steps, admittedly) towards participation.

Beaverbrook said...

I love this line:

"Our visual and textual landscape is a cornucopia of regal and imperial symbolism that remains subliminal to most of us, from British Columbia (ouch!) all the way to Prince Edward Island (gasp!)."

Anonymous said...

I think the deeper legal question the courts might rule on is whether citizenship is a "fundamental right" for those who have lived in the country "long enough". If it is, you cannot force the man to take an oath if it violates his freedom of conscience and if he is indeed "entitled" to citizenship. If citizenship isn't a "fundamental right" and a privilege, then he made a conscious choice to not be a citizen by not swearing the current oath. And thus no rights were violated. After all, non-citizens, but permanent residents, are accorded all the rights needed to function daily in our society save the right to vote and serve public office. I see these republican malcontents as wanting to have their cake and eat it too. But republicans beware, if you go down that route and the courts agree with you, then you cannot force anyone in the future to swear any loyal oath of citizenship to the country: be it to a Queen, a flag, or a constitution. "I demand my right to be a citizen of this country and no oath to bind me to anything, please!" What a place this would be...

Anonymous said...

In terms of the first comment regarding Andy Barrie from Metro Morning, he annoys me as well! First of all he's an American who only came to Canada in the first place to dodge the U.S. Vietnam Draft and he has a tradition of trying to cut down Canadian Institutions. He was the one who spearheaded the move to rewrite the Maple Leaf Forever in the mid 90's to make it more "Canadian" and more "modern" Somehow I think he knows very little about what it means to be Canadian.

Lord Best said...

You give your immigrants an oath? How outdated, here in Australia we give them a popular culture quiz, thats the way forward! If they fail it, they can go home and google the answers and try again.

Younghusband said...

Just visited the site after seeing this posted over at britsattheirbest.com but once again beaten to it.

Shaftesbury said...

If the Courts interpret and rule properly, they will maintain that the Crown in Canada precedes and takes precedent over any "rights" pertaining to the issue. The analogue ruling is probably the most recent one surrounding that traitor from RMC.