No big posts or rants about the Jubilee here - sometimes it is just better to let the other side have their day, knowing there will be other times to fight on an issue. Roll on King Charles!
One of the sillier claims I spotted about the Queen as a force for political good deserves a hearing however. Lord Alan Watson is Chair of the Council of Commonwealth Societies and author of 'The Queen and the USA'. He has an interview in the May 2012 issue of Surrey Downs Magazine, entitled 'The Queen's Reach.' Try this gem on how marvellous Lord Watson thinks the Commonwealth is:
"The great thing about the Commonwealth is that it links North and South, gives small nations a voice and is inter-governmental, not federal, in nature. A lot of diplomacy goes on behind the scenes and the Queen is instrumental in that.
Take South Africa under apartheid. This Queen has an instinct for racial equality, as did Queen Victoria, and her quiet influence was undoubtedly significant".
Historians and scholars have usually explained the end of apartheid in terms of the ANC reaching a deal with the main white parties in South Africa. This centred on Mandela accepting political, if not necessarily full economic power, on the basis of few, if any recriminations. That deal has endured, even if it has not brought significant economic change to many black Africans, nor has it prevented the sustained (and greatly under reported in the UK) murder of rural white South Africans.
It seems that history needs to be ripped up. We now need to add to the story the Queen's instinct for racial equality and its 'quiet influence'.......