Saturday, November 16, 2013

More Bombay than Berlin

Writing in the Saturday Wall Street Journal, Dan Hannan MEP uncorks another bottle of that trusty brew, the view that the "Anglosphere" -- a select group of English system legacy countries -- provides the epitome of state-citizen relations. Towards the end, some musings about whether India is in da club:

In India, governments come and go as the result of elections, without anyone being exiled or shot. The armed forces stay out of politics. English is the language of government and of most universities and businesses. Property rights and free contract are secured by a common-law system, which remains open to individuals seeking redress. Shared values lead to shared habits. When, in the aftermath of the tsunami 10 years ago, the U.S., Australian and Indian navies coordinated the relief effort, they found an interoperability that goes beyond even that found among NATO allies. If India were to take its place at the heart of a loose Anglosphere network, based on free trade and military alliance, the future would suddenly look a great deal brighter. Of course, to join such a free trade area, the U.K. and Ireland would have to leave the EU. But that's another story.

Perhaps it's flattering that he thinks Ireland is such an integral part of the Anglosphere that any meaningful grouping would have to involve it. Not very clear is what would be in this for Ireland, which, for example, already seems to have a level of tax integration with the UK and US that it can handle. It's also worth mentioning that David Cameron letting the genie out of the bottle with his EU membership referendum may be bringing the realities of such a decision for Ireland closer than people think.