Contemporary Britain (book)
British attempts to enter Europe since the 1950s have tended to militate against the traditional familial and trading importance to Britain of the Commonwealth. But the continuing role of the Commonwealth is a debated aspect of Britain´s international standing.
The labour government apparently feels that the Commonwealth is a success and is commited to raising its profile. Significantly, a large number of countries wish to join the organization, not all of whom have been previous British colonies. But commentators argue that the value of the Commonwealth in the contemporary world should rest on concrete, realistic and distinctive role for the organization, which would not only appeal to member states but also demonstrate its advantages over existing world bodies.
Mutual trade, financial aid, investment and economic cooperation continue to be important elements in the organization. But arguably, they are not as crucial in today´s globalized economy as they have been in the past. Critics consequently argue that the commonwealth could more campaign for accountable government, democratic concerns, anti-corruption reform and civil and human rights.
Opinions about the contemporary relevance of the organization and Britain´s relationship to it, therefore vary considerably.
Article by Magnus Linklater (A dysfunctional family?)
The commonwealth gathered in Edinburgh for its biennial conference, Magnus concluded that its time is up. If the Queen is the head, is no longer welcome in its most populous state (India). This association of sovereign states has no economic muscle, offers no collective security to its members and has little effect on the human rights abuses, it carries only the flickering memories of empire.
One reason for its success is that it offered small nations a sense of security.
There are doubts about the role of the British monarch as the head of the Commonwealth because she was not welcome in India.
Goals of the Commonwealth by the Harare Declaration of 1991:
· Promoting democracy
· The rule of law
· Sound government and human rights
· Fighting poverty
The environment question seemed to have dropped off the official agenda.
Tony Blair things that the Commonwealth should offer a suitable challenge (hungry for education, for help in sustainable development and for access to the new technology). he things that the Commonwealth should be away from the concept of a large and amiable clan, with the Queen as matriarch, into a modern, dynamic economic organization. It means to break some old links as well as forming new ones. It will mean changing attitudes that have been formed by the conflicts of the past. The reward for success could be to turn it into a club that is genuinely worth joining.
British Civilization Book:
The British Empire and later Commonwealth have changed considerably in membership status and scope over the years.
In 1931, the British...