21 April 2014

Elizabeth writes to Stephen Harper*

Dear Stephen,
It is not often that I write to my subjects, especially those who live a considerable distance from our fair shores.  I make this exception today because I wish to express my undying gratitude to you.  As you would probably surmise, this is about your decision to suspect Canada’s funding to the Commonwealth. 

I applaud your self-righteousness in this matter.  It is good that Canada has placed this much importance on human rights issues.  It is, as you would agree, rather late in the day, but as a subject who knows the niceties about the English language you would agree with the adage ‘better late than never’. 

I write because it is now incumbent on you to ‘go the whole hog’ (another of those English lines you would have grown up with).  There is a lot to be done.  ‘Charity begins at home,’ is another line you can draw inspiration from, I believe.  I am sure you know what I am talking about. 

‘Home’ to you must mean Canada of course, even though you are still one of my subjects.  A loyal one, may I add?  But ‘home’ to you, is/was ‘home’ to a lot of people and most of all to the descendents of the native peoples that your ancestors (and mine) slaughtered, infected with smallpox and in other ways treated in appallingly inhuman ways.  I am sure you are happy that the UNHRC didn’t exist back then.  But I hear that those descendents don’t exactly feel ‘at home’ in Canada on account of crimes of omission and commission perpetrated by the government you head and its predecessors. 

Now Stephen, it is quite charitable of you to announce that funds denied the Commonwealth Secretariat will be channeled to other Commonwealth programmes.  This would help dismiss charges of stinginess.  However, I urge you to reconsider this decision.  It would be more appropriate and it would most certainly improve your stature if you were to redirect those funds to those who have been and remain dispossessed within the boundaries of the crown territories you have stewardship over.

I would have expected you, Stephen, to be more astute in this matter of pointing fingers.  Rightfully, the finger should have been directed to me.  I would of course use the fact of my reduced circumstances to take that finger and turn it towards David (that’s Cameron by the way).  David talks of turning the spotlight on Sri Lanka.  That’s a neat but cheap way of getting out of the spotlight for crimes against humanity perpetrated in my name by David and his predecessors.  If you whisper the name Chagos Islands, David might flinch, but then again he’s developed quite a thick skin, necessary I suppose for one with so much colonial and post colonial baggage to deal with.  You would know of course that the invasion of Iraq was illegal. You would know of the crimes against humanity committed by British troops or else approved by successive British governments.  That’s not the past Stephen, that’s the present.

But you want to look to the future, clearly.  It is good therefore to get the monkey called ‘The Past’ off your back. 

I know that you can’t leave the Commonwealth.  Imagine a smiley right there.  This side of securing the independence to thumb your nose at me, however, there’s a lot you can do. 

Do it Stephen.  I don’t want anyone to call any of my subjects a hypocrite.  Or a wimp.  Right now, though, you are in danger of being called both. 

Warm regards,

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary (that’s ‘Queen’ to you, Stephen).

*In a parallel universe