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

Monday, 28 April 2008

The Divided Crown
The Loss of our Common Patrimony

"Why is it that this 'teeming womb of royal Kings' wishes now to be anonymous?" - Enoch Powell, 1953

A drop of water symbolising the broken crown

This year being the tenth anniversary of Enoch Powell's passing and the fortieth of his Rivers of Blood speech, my next post will be a more fulsome tribute in honour of the Right Honourable Enoch Powell, M.B.E.

The incredibly prophetic Enoch Powell, the man who predicted the Second World War a decade before its unfolding; the staunch monetarist who preceded Milton Friedman's infamy when everyone was piling on the Keynesian bandwagon; his early warning that the EEC, though merely an economic gathering at the time, would spell the end of Britain's sovereignty; and, of course, his accurate foretelling of the consequences of mass immigration to the fabric of civil society - history indeed looms large under the deductive reasoning of Enoch Powell. Unfortunately for monarchists, the doom of the crown itself is waiting to be added to this list. In the long run, good as dead. (Though we shall fight on the beaches...)

Powell basically predicted this on 3 March 1953, when he spoke against the Royal Titles Bill in the House of Commons, in a speech that for the rest of his life he regarded as his finest ever. The High Tory, ardent constitutionalist and One Kingdom conservative said he found three major changes to the royal style profoundly repugnant:

Royal Title, 1948–1953: By the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Defender of the Faith

Royal Title, 1953– : By the Grace of God, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith

1. Divisibility of the Crown: The first one was "that in this title, for the first time, will be recognised a principle hitherto never admitted in this country, namely, the divisibility of the crown". Powell said that the unity of the realm had evolved over centuries and included the British Empire: "It was a unit because it had one Sovereign. There was one Sovereign: one realm". He feared that by "recognising the division of the realm into separate realms, are we not opening the way for that other remaining unity – the last unity of all – that of the person, to go the way of the rest?"

2. Suppression of the word 'British': The second change he objected to was "the suppression of the word 'British', both from before the words 'Realms and Territories' where it is replaced by the words 'her other' and from before the word 'Commonwealth', which, in the Statute of Westminster, is described as the 'British Commonwealth of Nations'":

To say that he is Monarch of a certain territory and his other realms and territories is as good as to say that he is king of his kingdom. We have perpetrated a solecism in the title we are proposing to attach to our Sovereign and we have done so out of what might almost be called an abject desire to eliminate the expression 'British'. The same desire has been felt... to eliminate this word before the term 'Commonwealth'.... Why is it, then, that we are so anxious, in the description of our own Monarch, in a title for use in this country, to eliminate any reference to the seat, the focus and the origin of this vast aggregate of territories? Why is it that this 'teeming womb of royal Kings', as Shakespeare called it, wishes now to be anonymous?
3. The Loss of Our Common Patrimony: Powell went on to claim the answer was that because the British Nationality Act 1948 had removed allegiance to the crown as the basis of citizenship and replaced that with nine separate citizenships combined together by statute. Therefore if any of these nine countries became republics nothing in law would change, as happened with India when it became a republic. Furthermore, Powell went on, the essence of unity was "that all the parts recognise they would sacrifice themselves to the interests of the whole". He denied that there was in India that "recognition of belonging to a greater whole which involves the ultimate consequence in certain circumstances of self-sacrifice in the interests of the whole". Therefore the title 'Head of the Commonwealth', the third major change, was "essentially a sham. They are essentially something which we have invented to blind ourselves to the reality of the position".

"... if they are changes which were demanded by those who in many wars had fought with this country, by nations who maintained an allegiance to the Crown, and who signified a desire to be in the future as were in the past; if it were our friends who had come to us and said: 'We want this,' I would say: 'Let it go. Let us admit the divisibility of the Crown. Let us sink into anonymity and cancel the word 'British' from our titles. If they like the conundrum 'Head of the Commonwealth' in the Royal style, let it be there'. However, the underlying evil of this is that we are doing it for the sake not of our friends but of those who are not our friends. We are doing this for the sake of those to whom the very names 'Britain' and 'British' are repugnant.... We are doing this for the sake of those who have deliberately cast off their allegiance to our common Monarchy
So dear reader, if you are wondering when "British" ceased to be regarded as the common patrimony of the whole Commonwealth, I would say you should go back to when it entered the consciousness of the first man who understood it and argued passionately against it. Of course these changes were the result of the Commonwealth Conference of 1949, which arrived at the formula to provide that India, while removing itself from the sovereignty of the King, should remain in the Commonwealth, referred only to "the King", with no indication of what he was King of. And surely the quite contrary to law, by which the Queen was proclaimed in Britain in 1952, followed by Australia and New Zealand: that is, "Queen of this Realm and of Her other Realms and Territories", with no mention of what "this Realm" was! It goes to show that where there is no unity, there can only be neutrality, anonymity and eventually, indifference.

During the twilight of our unity under the Crown, when Princess Elizabeth, on her visit to Canada in 1951, declared that she felt herself "among fellow countrymen", she did not mean that she was Canadian, but that we were British. Enoch Powell's belief was that the moment we stopped being British, our personal and national allegiance essentially became a sham. Sadly, I'd say that is exactly what it has become.


Lachlan said...

this is a very interesting article and one that really makes me think. I call myself Australian yet am totally loyal to the Queen of England/ Australia. while the monarchists here in the fight to keep the monarchy always try to destroy the view that our monarch is the queen of England but emphisis the fact that she is Queen of Australia. how easy it would be if we were back in colonial times were everybody belived themselves to be english, or before the event of seperate titles and the removal of the word british or maybe infact the time before 1986 where Australia still had ties to England through the privy council and the ablity for the Queen to have any power at all as i think now she has absolutely no power to speak of what so ever.

David Byers said...

The is all very interesting and also irrelevant. There has always been a nationalistic element to Australia that would be even stronger if we did not have our own links to the Crown.

We must deal we what we have now and fight for it.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, I am a staunch moanrchist. I believe in the supremacy of the Crown and am proud of my country's monarchy.

However we must not fool ourselves into thinkg that we shall ever again be the dominant force in the Commonwealth or Empire. We are, by the Statute of Westminster, equal with all other Commowealth members. Our Soverign does not intrinsically have to be the Soveriegn of any other members: and Her Majesty has supported this view many times.

It is right that they be known as "Her" realms because they are not property of Britain - they are entirely independent and free to run themselves with Her Majesty's Governor General (note: not 'British Gov. Gen.) to represent their Sovereign when she is absent. She is Queen of Australia in Australia, not Queen of the United Kingdom in Autralia, for example. This is a right, fair and just system for those people who rightly value their Queen but should not be forced to recognise the United Kingdom as being a superior authority over them. (The status of the Privy Council is, of course, somewhat different).

God Save the Queen!

Ghandi the Viking said...

The issue is indeed an interesting one. I had not heard of this speech before, but I have always thought that letting India into the "Commonwealth" was a disaster that ultimately killed off Britain as a superpower. Simply put, at the government level, the Indians at the time had little loyalty to the Idea of the British Commonwealth and the Peoples of India and Britain had really very little in common on an interpersonal level. (There is really no reason to suppose that they should, given the rapid nature of the preparations for independence and the fact that other "Dominions" such as Australia and South Africa had barrier legislation that would treat the Indians in their countries as undesirables. In Britain at the time there was certainly no desire to let masses of Indians into the country). Therefore, the descision to transform British Subject status into Commonwealth Citizen status caused a tradgedy. Australians, say, were treated on the same footing as Indians and ultimately, as other Colonies became independent either the Australians would have to be treated exceptionally or there would be a loosening of the bonds between us. We know what happenned. If the application of the laws had held that the Crown lands were all as one then there might have been advantages conferred, but whether the British, South Africans, Australians etc... would have accepted the Ceylonese and Pakistanis in the club is an unknown.

Incidentally, if the remaining Commonwealth Realms did act as a single unit today, it would be the second largest economy in the world in real terms and the largest in area, although there are some pretty crappy and underdevelopped places within this grouping. Sadly, I think we're far beyond the point of no return, here in Britain.

If they were able to form a sensible union (say Australia, Canada, New Zealand GB) at least that might offer some advantage to the besieged monarchies Down Under - "we don't want to lose our right of abode in the uk and canada, do we"?

Just a thought - what do you think? Could Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have an equivalence of citizenship agreement? As far as I know, this could be carried out with each country remaining in its regional block of choice...

Anonymous said...

Okay, so the blighter made a good speech or two. This one is a case in point. His early adoption of the 'Austrian School' economics of Hayek and the Monetarism of Milton Friedman are also admirable.

But we must get away from this idea that he was somehow 'ahead of his time' in his immigration views. Here is a link to Powell's actual 'Rivers of Blood' speech:

Below is a comment which I left under a column by Simon Heffer of the Telegraph where the ginger idiot was in one of his Enoch-Was-Right rants.

Hope ye all are well.


"I just read the speech via the link above, and dear god! I have always been one of those unfashionable Tories who defends Powell when his name comes up in the lounge bar of the Northumberland Arms or whatever. I often adorn these opinion pieces with my rightist comments on various things, so I hope I can be taken for a bona fide conservative. But reading this thing carefully has absolutely appalled me!

5000 or 25000 per annum as a deluge? The man must have been stark, staring mad. And I fail to have any sympathy for the old biddy who prefered poverty to renting her house out to black people. Perhaps there is a reason why the racist white underclass are now mostly welfare jockeys, and hell mend 'em, say I.

But most of all, modern Britain is distinguished from its precedessor Britains, as it were, by HM's Commonwealth-descended subjects. It is these 1950s-70s arrivals who have brought that fine spiciness, to use an apt metaphor, to the modern British culture which we know and love. With the exception of a few Waziri nut jobs who are incapable of living in harmony with anyone, Anglo-Saxon or otherwise, these wonderful people who were washed up on our shores by the ebb-tide of Empire have not destroyed our culture but added to it, in almost exactly the same way as Indian words like nabob and bungalow have not obliterated the English language but enriched it. They have strengthened the Commonwealth by adding new networks of family ties with the West Indies, the Subcontinent and East and West Africa to supplement those which already existed between Anglo-Celtic Britons and their relations in North America, Australasia and Southern Africa. It is thus that we have remained part of that global family of English-speaking countries which distinguishes us so clearly from the provincial concerns of little Europe.

It is this modern Britain which we Tories should be wanting to defend from the REAL deluge - hundreds of thousands per annum - from European countries with which we have nothing in common and to which we owe nothing, and which can only tend to bind us closer to this alien association of European nations which is REALLY seeking to obliterate our independent national life and incorporate us into an inward-looking European super-state, cut off from our global family and powerless to follow our own dream and our own path in the world.

So if Mr Heffer wants me, as a Tory, to "admit that Enoch was right" to propose the re-emigration of Hindus or Barbadians, he can [obscenity deleted]."

Beaverbrook said...

Excellent comment, Cato. It hasn't entirely been a success though, owing to that core of staunchly reverse assimilationist group of Mulsim Britons who don't identify with being British. On further reflection, it would probably be unfair to credit Enoch Powell with foretelling this, as he was talking about immigration as a whole, and not specifically in regards to a future filled with Islamic fundamentalism.