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Essay: A royal salute to the Commonwealth

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  • Reading time: 3 minutes
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  • Published: 11 October 2015*
  • File format: Text
  • Words: 757 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 4 (approx)

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For centuries, countries worldwide have been in several struggles for power with each other, result-ing in different associations between them. Among several other things, this has resulted in the United Nations, the European Union, NATO and the Commonwealth. The purpose of this essay is to analyze and comment on Peter Oborne’s article on the subject, ‘A royal salute to the Common-wealth’, as well as the role of the Commonwealth as presented by the author.
Oborne starts out by saluting the British monarchy. To prove the importance of the Commonwealth, he uses ethos as a form of appeal. He focuses on several occasions, such as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who was welcomed very warmly on their visit to Canada. He creates a connection between Canada and England by writing about some of the historical events where Canada and the UK have collaborated and also says that visiting Canada is like visiting family rather than some foreign country. He also uses a quote by a Canadian spectator who spoke about how he has waited for five hours to see the couple. Oborne uses the quotation to show that people will wait for plenty of hours to see the royal couple, which is helping to support his opinion that the Commonwealth is popular among the people.
From the very beginning of the article, we get the impression that Oborne is a big supporter of the royal family. It appears in his use of words, which are positive when describing the Commonwealth: ‘Such is the invisible strength of the Commonwealth, the association of independent countries that emerged out of the wreckage of the British Empire at the end of the Second World War.’ (l 16-18). We can see that the royalty are described as a strong element that has only grown stronger since the Second World War. He uses wreckage as a metaphor, which supports his point as the pictures that takes shape in the readers mind and forces the reader to take a stand.
Things then take a turn and Oborne is suddenly realizing that there isn’t that big of a support to the Commonwealth anymore. Instead of being unbiased and look at the things that might be wrong with the Commonwealth since it has lost so much of its authority, Oborne decides to aim an attack towards neo-conservatives such as the New Labor, which he continues to write patronizingly about for the rest of the article.
‘Furthermore, the Commonwealth is devoted to the promotion of humane and democratic values. But unlike neo-Conservatives, it does not try to promote these values through invasion.’ It is clear that he is talking about the US, which he indirectly states is a neo-Conservative country.
He now states that the Commonwealth is ‘more relevant than ever’ (l 30) and follows up on his argument by using plenty of facts and statistics which are all supportive to his argument. He does that to ascribe himself a certain authority so the reader will agree with the claim that the Common-wealth is important, but it is only underlining Osborne’s subjectivity which is very striking through the entire text.
Even though the Commonwealth is extremely important in international politics, Oborne states that there is a big problem with the Commonwealth. The problem is about the loss of the Queen. He says that because of the fact that the Queen knows most of the leaders personally and is the heart of the entire Commonwealth, it will all collapse if they can’t handle the crisis they will be thrown into when she dies. Here we can see that Oborne raises his ethos while it is the only place in the entire article where he seems to be able to raise himself above his own point of view and look at the sub-ject from another perspective. He also gives the reader the impression that the Queen is very signif-icant, just like the mortar between the bricks of all the great leaders of the world. We get the im-pression that without her, the entire world will collapse, just like a building without mortar.
The Commonwealth and its political importance is, according to Oborne, a balance weight between China and the West, which could be a very difficult role to fill. Once again, he is patronizing in his statement. He thinks that the Western connections as being very negative for Great Britain. ‘We would no longer be tied so closely into Washington and Brussels, two connections that have serves us so badly over the past two decades.’ (69-70).

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