It cannot be denied that the results of the 2017 British General Election was even more of a surprise than the 2015 election, and considerably more so than the EU membership referendum. It’s effects on British and party politics have been reviewed many times and considered in effectively every way possible, but how does it effect the Commonwealth, Realms & Canzuk Campaign and other pro-CANZUK, Realms and Commonwealth groups?
The Commonwealth itself was only mentioned in the manifesto of one party, to the best of my knowledge, UKIP. Yet UKIP were never going to form the government or have much effect directly to the new government. It also should be noted that UKIP have never supported either CANZUK Free Movement or the Special Passport Area, and Douglas Carswell, UKIP’s sole MP, did not sign the letter to May calling for the Special Passport Area. (However, this may be because the letter was a Conservatives-Only letter, I do not know).
From a party which promised, but could never deliver, we come to the party that didn’t promise, but can deliver: the Conservative and Unionist Party. If anything shall be done about our, or other pro-Commonwealth groups, proposals in Parliament, the Conservatives will be necessary. However, despite the amount of pro-Commonwealth mentality in the back-benches, they cannot do anything without us. They can, and have, written to the PM asking (unwittingly) for many of the CRCC’s goals. We need to show them we are right behind them in their demands to the PM. She has been significantly weakened by the election, and should be much more open to listening to her MPs and the public’s requests on many points. We must use this to our advantage while we can.
It will be too soon to presume who will replace Theresa May as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party if and when she resigns. Whoever they are, they will probably replace the current Home Secretary, who barely maintained her own seat. There are many in the Conservative Party who are forward-looking and it seems most Pro-Brexit MPs are also supportive of closer Commonwealth connections in theory.
We do not even know if the new Conservative-DUP non-coalition will last, or if we will have a new general election in the foreseeable future. In any case, a new government is a new opportunity, even if the Home Secretary remains opposed to CANZUK Free Movement. For this reason, we at the CRCC intend to strike while the iron is hot.
We are contacting our partner campaigns, an intend to have some petitions available soon on our website here. In the mean time, you can check it out, especially the one for CANZUK Free Movement from our sister campaign CANZUK International.
Every constituency will have an MP, and every MP has an email address. You can find them all on parliament’s website. You can let them know you support the CRCC, and any particular goals of ours. Once they know the public are asking for closer Commonwealth, and especially Realms, connections, they will consider what we and so many others are proposing in greater detail. Regardless of party, the idea should take root. Even if it doesn’t and your MP remains opposed to it, two things can happen:
- They realise that more and more of their constituents like it, they may consider it again
- It can even be made an issue in an election, and MPs do get voted out – like what happened for the MP of my birthplace – Gordon, Scotland
The most effective thing you can do, and we at the CRCC would be delighted if you could, would be to let your friends, family and anybody you think may be interested in our ideas about us and our sister-campaigns. Emphasise our shared history, our shared service in defence of democracy and freedom in two world wars. Note the cultural similarities. For much of the British population, we are intrinsically and unwittingly pro-Commonwealth: when I discuss it with people, the general consensus is “That’s common sense: why didn’t I think of that before?” They may not support CANZUK Free Movement, but they are supporters of closer Commonwealth ties. We need to tap into this asset deep in the British psyche: 64% want CANZUK Free Movement. This is a remarkable statistic we can build off.
We have won the first round: We proved that the UK does not wish to be ruled and governed by our neighbours – let’s now show that We The People (to use an Americanism) want to be with Our Family – for that is who they are.
Let’s keep hammering it home!