‘ The Anglosphere is not a racial, ethnic or religious concept.’
– The Anglosphere Institute
Variations on ‘we’re not racist but…’ tend to give away the protestor’s underlying tendencies and the Anglosphere Institute’s variation on the theme is no different. It shows an awareness that the Anglosphere is seen, or is likely to be seen, as a racist concept… something today’s Conservatives are anxious to deny.
So what could give anyone such an impression? The institute defines the Anglosphere as an emerging branch of civilisation that embodies the values of the English speaking nations at its core: ‘individualism, rule of law, honoring contracts and covenants, and the elevation of freedom to the first rank of political and cultural values.’
I bet they’re gutted the French got to ‘liberty, equality, fraternity’ first. And it’s hard to believe they count English speaking countries like Zimbabwe, say, or Nigeria, among their nations to admire. Anglospherists conveniently forget that English was spread throughout the world by conquest and brutal colonialism. In further defending itself against the racist charge, the institute claims the Anglosphere is strengthened by assimilated immigrants and cites Colin Powell; ‘the first American Secretary of State for generations to have relatives in London, owing to his Caribbean ancestry’. Jamaica is a predominately black, English speaking nation today because Europeans wiped out the indigenous population and the British imported huge numbers of slaves.
Nevertheless, the Anglosphere is an idea that’s catching on among leading Tory bloggers like Iain Dale, who I’m sure would earnestly deny the racist charge. But looking in from the outside, it’s clear the Anglosphere is there to provide pseudo-intellectual cover for the usual Tory prejudices (it’s being anti-EU too, must be quite a boon) and those signing up to it should more carefully consider why those denials of racism are so necessary.