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Commonwealth of the Imagination

State of the Union: The Indo–Canadian spat shows the absurdity of the Commonwealth.
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Canada and India are beefing. Our northern neighbor’s ridiculous head of government, Justin Trudeau, has claimed that Indian intelligence agents killed a Sikh Canadian who was allegedly involved from afar in a Sikh separatist movement in India. India has responded with predictable irritation, putting a halt to the processing of Canadian visas.

These things, in the main, are of little concern to the American people. It is worth noting, however, that it puts the lie to one of the dearly held fictions of our reliable lackey, the United Kingdom, with whom we have such a “special relationship” (another dearly held fiction): the “Commonwealth,” that face-saving non-entity for covering the British Crown’s nakedness in the wake of the dissolution of the Empire. Let’s lay aside the question of what the very word “commonwealth” means without political union, particularly when that “commonwealth” includes sovereign republics but is headed by a monarch. What kind of “commonwealth,” even in the most generous reading of that word, encompasses states that are actively falling out with each other diplomatically, with nary an appeal to the Crown?



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