Patience, Allan: Australia’s involvement in an “Anglosphere” is the delusion of a golden age that never existed

Allan Patience

Australia’s involvement in an “Anglosphere” is the delusion of a golden age that never existed‘, The Conversation, 24 May 2017

Post-Brexit, some in Britain are turning to a resurrected Commonwealth as the basis of an alternative to Europe. Former Australian prime ministers Abbott and Howard have battened onto this; their predecessors Deakin and Menzies had overdeveloped Anglo ‘bumps’ also. New trade agreements and security alliances are part of ‘the dreaming’ in this ‘Anglosphere’.

‘The [Anglosphere] idea remains a nostalgic dream among the dwindling ranks of British Empire loyalists and staunch monarchists in contemporary Australia’, says Patience. But the ideal is flawed, as ‘the British Empire was a very ramshackle affair for almost all of its cumbersome history … It is well to remember that the roots of latter-day Anglosphere imagining lie all gnarled and twisted amid the British Empire’s ruins.’ The ideal is also racialised.

We should, Patience concludes, steer away from nostalgic imaginings for a Golden Age that never existed. Instead, we should find our future in Asia and not with the United Kingdom or the United States. Alison Broinowski discusses related issues in her chapter in The Honest History Book (‘Australia’s tug of war: Militarism versus independence’).

Allan Patience has also written recently about the Australian right and Australian federalism.

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