Fred Mitchell with his colleague Foreign Ministers at Marlborough House, headquarters of the Commonwealth for the Commonwealth Foreign Minister’s Conference 15 March 2023 in London.
King Charles III became the Head of the Commonwealth, following the death of his mother last year. This is a group of 56 countries, all independent who used to be British colonies, and some like Togo, Gabon, Mozambique, and Cameron who were also French. Imagine these independent republics saying that a king is head of their association, and he got the position by being someone’s child. It is a club that has signed onto democratic values. They also provide from its headquarters in London technical cooperation for countries that cannot find it otherwise. The British under Boris Johnson said that they were turning to the Commonwealth after leaving the European Union as a substitute for the trade which they would have lost in Europe. They are pipe dreaming. The move to leave Europe was one the silliest decisions made by any state in recent times, and they are all the poorer for it. The Commonwealth cannot substitute for that, and it seems that they had dreams of an Empire again. Those who did not think so were convinced after the ham-fisted move by the white Commonwealth countries to remove Baroness Patricia Scotland as the Secretary General of the Commonwealth. The British tried to use Jamaica to divide and conquer and their candidate went down in flames. Having lost in that attempt, they are now starving the Commonwealth of funding by withdrawing all the discretionary funds from the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation. They mean to punish Baroness Scotland for daring to invent a new Commonwealth. This is sad.