Here is Bob Carr dissing the Anglosphere:
Senator Carr said today, “With our heritage of White Australia and membership of the British Empire . . . it’s too risky for us even to glance in the direction of talk of an Anglosphere.”
“It revives all those unfortunate recollections and associations. If we even hint to the world that our self-definition is tied up in being part of the Anglosphere, we give the impression we are fundamentally more comfortable with that sphere . . . than we are with nations with a different history and different cultures.
“We confirm the most outdated stereotypes of Australia . . . stereotypes which aren’t supported by the nature of the Australian population, which is more culturally diverse than the population of any other country you can think about.
“Talk of an Anglosphere is antique and presents us as something different from what we are.”
He is trying too hard. But our American friends – some of them anyway – are trying the same stunt on Mitt Romney.
The recent hullabaloo over a Romney adviser stating that Romney understands better than President Obama the special relationship between Britain and the United States demonstrates a total lack of historical understanding of what the term ‘Anglo-Saxon’ means.
What uninformed people do not realize is that long before the term was usurped by ignorant racists such as the KKK, it was used to describe a political system that is the basis of the English-speaking world.
… based on its Anglo-Saxon heritage, England became the birthplace of the principles that are (or were) the foundation of liberty—liberty the English-speaking world now takes for granted. Additionally, it is the foundation of what was to become known as ‘Liberal Democracy.’
In fact, I argue that there would be no such thing as human rights if not for the Anglo-Saxons since their principles of individual rights, rule of law, and the limited power of government were alien to the system of government that developed on the continent or anywhere else in the world.
I’m not surprised that Australia’s unelected foreign minister doesn’t like that sort of thing.
Those who claim the Anglosphere to some sort of white and racist concept are on shaky ground as Daniel Hannan explains.
One thing that Britain and the US have in common is that they define nationhood in civic rather than ethnic terms. A hundred years ago, 80 per cent of British subjects were neither white nor Christian. You become British, as you become American, by signing up to a set of values.
And a pretty decent set of values they are. In two world wars, hundreds of millions of men crossed half the world in order to take up arms in their defence. Whether they were from Jamaica or Australia, India or Canada, they understood that they were fighting for freedom against tyranny. Not every country got the big calls of the last century – the two world wars and the Cold War – right. The Anglosphere peoples, by and large, did.
During the first half of 2012, I toured the main English-speaking democracies to make the case for the Anglosphere. I was struck by the warmth with which people of non-British backgrounds, especially in Australia and Canada, endorsed the concept.
Bob Carr likes to pass himself off as being a history buff. Australians would also like to think that a minister of the crown knows something about that Crown and the constitution. I’m just not sure that “individual rights, rule of law, and the limited power of government” are “stereotypes which aren’t supported by the nature of the Australian population”. An elected politician would know that.