A Union In More Than Name
A petition has been circulating the internet and gaining momentum of late calling for a zone of free mobility between the nations of Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand (collectively known by the unofficial title of the Anglosphere). The idea behind it is straight forward. Much like how the European Union allows for free mobility of labour amongst its member states, so too would free mobility of people be allowed among the nations of the Anglosphere. If you are a citizen of New Zealand and you want to move to Canada you could do so. No papers, no visa, no need to acquire permanent residency.
Words cannot describe my support for this idea. Unlike the aforementioned EU, which is a Frankensteinian experiment that I loathe utterly and without qualification or reservation (even if it was admittedly born of good intentions), the Anglosphere has all the necessary conditions to make such a zone of mobility actually work. The four key nations all have a similar degree of economic development, and a similarly skilled and educated workforce, so many of the concerns often raised around the EU would not apply. More importantly, given that Canada, Australia and New Zealand are all scions of the British Empire, and Britain quite obviously is the originator of the Empire, all members of this bloc share a common culture, history and set of values that would make such a proposal work quite seamlessly without the friction that tends to develop in other scenarios where porous borders are implemented.
But it goes beyond mere economics and practicalities. Such a move would also be a step towards a far greater goal: the strengthening of ties within the Anglosphere itself. One of the greatest sins of the World Wars (second only to the Holocaust in my humble opinion) was that it truly was the destroyer of empires, of which the British Empire was the greatest casualty. Anyone even casually familiar with my person will know I consider the British Empire to be the greatest entity to ever have graced God’s green earth. It is the nation that gave us Shakespeare, Kipling, the Magna Carta, the Westminster system, Monty Python, James Bond and the Industrial Revolution. In the decades that followed the World Wars that Empire dissolved and the newly independent nations of the Commonwealth slowly drifted away from one another, forgetting the history and heritage they shared. It is a shame, an “eternal shame” to quote old Willy himself, and any move to knit closer together that which should never have been torn asunder would be a heartily welcome one.
The time has certainly never been better. At this moment all four nations of the Anglosphere happen to have not only conservative governments, but conservative governments headed by leaders who have shown themselves to be sympathetic to the ancient bonds of fellowship and loyalty that tie their nations together (both Australia and Canada being exceptionally so in this regard). It has never been a riper moment for an idea like this to be realized, and it may be generations before the stars align again in such a fashion.
My only true criticism of this proposal is that it is not ambitious enough. I would be perfectly comfortable (and I recognize this inclination is not shared by many people of my political persuasions) in extending such a zone of free movement to the Commonwealth as a whole. Any person fortunate enough to be born in a nation once graced by the Union Jack is just as much an inheritor of the birthright bequeathed by the British Throne to its subjects as I am, and I would welcome them in sharing in it with open arms.
This is probably at the heart of my utter loathing of the BNP and their ilk in politics throughout the Anglosphere. The British Empire was composed of millions of people of different races and religions. Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs all bled and died together for their King and Empire. It was an entity based on a concept of not racial but instead civic identity, rooted in the concept of shared values! When racists of any stripe try to pervert this history towards their own sick ends, and twist what it is to be British into a narrow, racial definition it boils my blood.
So if you feel as I feel, if you yearn as I yearn, and if you remember as I remember, add your name to the petition below…..and God save the Queen!