What a difference a year makes. Ever since the former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced the date and format of the European Union referendum the Commonwealth has possibly been spoken about more times than since the United Commonwealth Society was established in 2002.
Through organisations such as the United Commonwealth Society, Commonwealth Exchange and CANZUK International (formerly the Commonwealth Freedom of Movement Organisation), CANZUK Uniting and others working in the background, the Commonwealth’s profile has moved up once again into the public’s view.
It is exciting to hear politicians such as Boris Johnson and Liam Fox talking about forging new trade deals and relationships with our Commonwealth family. For many who have family overseas the idea of closer relations with the Commonwealth Realms and the wider Commonwealth is tantalisingly close as Britain moves closer to her final days in the European Union.
While many popped champagne bottles and celebrated the news of the referendum result, those that know the European project knew that it would not be smooth sailing. Ever since last June various political and non-political figures have attempted to block the will of the British people.
The surprise announcement of a general election has further upset the leaving process. Some believe that only a re-election of the Conservative party can guarantee Britain leaves the EU with a decent deal. Some believe that the same can be achieved with Labour, albeit with a different set of domestic policies. What the announcement has done is again diverted attention away from the work that people and organisations have been doing to further the cause of the Commonwealth.
In my humble opinion, as the new chair of the United Commonwealth Society, I believe that this once in a lifetime opportunity for likeminded groups to come together under a common banner is a chance to start afresh with the people of Britain and the wider Commonwealth. To bring new methods of contact, education and news to everyone so that the continuing force for good in the world that the Commonwealth brings can continue far into this new millennium.
When I was approached by the team at the Daily Globe it was clear that our goals of uniting the Commonwealth Realms (through their shared Queen, language, systems of government and cultures) and the encouragement of stronger ties between all Commonwealth nations complimented those of the Daily Globe’s campaign. An item was discussed and voted on by the Society’s council and all agreed that this campaign would help our cause of uniting the realms and emboldening the Commonwealth.
I encourage all that believe in the power of the Commonwealth to spread the word to all who will listen that with our Commonwealth family we can achieve anything.
United Commonwealth Society