Fringe Box



Our Former Dominions Should Be Remembered When Forging Better International Relations

Published on: 1 Dec, 2017
Updated on: 1 Dec, 2017

From Bernard Parke

hon alderman and former Mayor of Guildford

Guildford Borough has embarked on a project to improve international relations.

Perhaps this is a time when we should acknowledge the debt we owe to those of our former Dominions that sacrificed so much for us during two world wars.

A link with Guildford in Western Australia could be a starting point; it owes its very existence to its foundation by Admiral James Stirling whose vault has recently been rediscovered in the graveyard at St John’s Church in Stoke.

Canada also has close connections with our town which was forged during both world conflicts when many Canadians were stationed in this area. Indeed, Viscount Bennett of Calgary donated the very hill on which our cathedral now stands. Stag Hill is also the home to one of the only Canadian war memorials in our country.

We have also connections with New Zealand at Clandon Park, with Hinemihi the only Maori meeting house in the UK. For many years it has been the unofficial meeting house for the NZ High Commission.

Perhaps it would also be interesting to visit the CANZUK website which belongs to a group founded in 2014 to promote closer trade and cultural ties between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

At this difficult period during Brexit deliberations, we need as many friends outside of the European Union we can foster.

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Responses to Our Former Dominions Should Be Remembered When Forging Better International Relations

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    December 1, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    I remember considerable discussions concerning the loss of trade with Commonwealth countries, dairy produce and mutton/lamb for example, when we joined the EEC.

    What goes around, comes around.

  2. Sue Fox Reply

    December 2, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    I remember being told that you cannot go back in life. Life moves on and changes happen.

    As it happens, I worked on our EEC entry negotiations back in the mists of time, and have no regrets. I voted to Remain recognising that the EU was not perfect, far from it, but you can only change things from inside. Both sides of the argument told lies but no-one expected the current shambles.

    But from the shambles of war and bigotry comes peace and the chance for our heirs to live a good life and peace and hope are the most important things, especially at this time of year.

    • Dave Middleton Reply

      December 3, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Indeed you cannot go back in life. However, you can learn from your mistakes.

    • Jim Allen Reply

      December 4, 2017 at 10:00 pm

      It is true you cannot go back in life and it is easier to change from the inside – but one must also recognise somethings will never change and as a ship sinks there comes a time to step into a life raft. Sadly, that time has come.

      Forcing integration onto people across the world has proved deadly for many in the Far East and other areas. People like their individuality and their Local “isms” and customs forcing ‘blender gender” and multiculturalism policies onto an unwilling population was never going to work. They should have asked first and the signs of discontent not ignored.

  3. Bernard Parke Reply

    December 2, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Yes, you cannot go back in life, but should we forget the immense sacrifice paid by these countries in our time of need?

  4. David Wragg Reply

    December 3, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    I have heard that old claim that we should stay inside the EU and try to reform it far too many times. The EU resists reform. Blair gave away half our rebate in exchange for improvements to the Common Agricultural Policy – we are still waiting.

    I think the problem is one of cultures – they have the mainland culture which is that everything is forbidden unless it is permitted, while the Anglo-Saxon culture is that everything is permitted unless it is forbidden. Ours is a far healthier and logical approach.

    We will need all the friends we can get, and starting with the dominions is a very good idea, although they will themselves have made other arrangements when we abandoned them.

  5. John Perkins Reply

    December 4, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Indeed, NZ lamb and butter was immediately sold in SE Asia instead. One acquaintance told me that it had proved more profitable for them as the markets were bigger and shipping costs lower.

    It’s more than just a cultural difference; it’s law. Both have advantages and disadvantages, for example we’re more vulnerable to inventive crooks, they to unimaginative officials.

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