Last year, following the death of Britain’s longest serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, it had been predicted by some that efforts would be made by the same class which had bound us in slavery, robbed us under colonial plunder, and continue to benefit from racist ties of inequity, to use the emotions invoked around Queen Elizabeth’s passing to bind those in the Commonwealth who still recognize Britain’s monarch as head of state, to readily endorse that state of affairs.
Developments surrounding the coronation of King Charles III, tomorrow, validate this prediction. Never mind it is very well understood in monarchical and colonial circles that there is a distinct difference between membership in the Commonwealth of nations and retention of the British monarch as head of state of widely disparate countries, every effort is being made to dupe those not so well aware.
Indeed, of the 56 members of the Commonwealth today, only 14 retain this anomalous position of having a foreign head of state. Of these, Canada, Australia and New Zealand share a similar population make-up of a large white/British origin. Most of the other larger Commonwealth nations, for example India, Pakistan, Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana have insisted on their own indigenous heads of state while retaining Commonwealth membership.
So the speculation related to Charles’s accession to the British monarchy and the attitude of the remaining 14 to colonial ties have nothing to do with Commonwealth membership. It is the privileged minority in Britain, those which have benefitted from slavery, colonialism and continued neocolonial ties of inequity who are deliberately trying to confuse us. One prominent member of this clique, a one-time deputy leader of the Conservative party, Lord Michael Ashcroft, has put his cards on the table for all to see.
On the eve of Charles’s coronation, Lord Ashcroft has published the results of a poll (see story on Back page) that he conducted about the apparent readiness of the 14 states which still retain the British monarch, including St Vincent and the Grenadines, to maintain this state of affairs. Before we even indulge in his conclusions, the credibility of his poll discredits itself.
It says that the poll was conducted in the 14 countries indicated, among a grand total of 11,251 persons. Now those countries include Australia with a population of approximately 25.7 million, Canada with 38 million, New Zealand with 5 million, Papua New Guinea and Jamaica (9.5 and 3 million respectively). If we ignore the other smaller populations among the 14, this still works out to a ratio of about one person polled in 7,200. So, we can assume this to represent approximately 15 persons in St Vincent and the Grenadines. What conclusions can one draw from such a poll?
Yet it places support for a British monarch as our head of state at 63 per cent of the population. This dubious poll also reckons that the British monarch “cares about” our country and does a “better job of connectivity” with the local population than our elected politicians. We hope that opportunists seeking to raise the Ashcroft flag, note “than elected politicians” – both sides.
The credibility of this unrepresentative poll must be soundly rejected.