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Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 11. 1961

The Immediate Future of World Politics

The Immediate Future of World Politics

Where will we see the most change in the world within the next few years? I answer this idle question as an ignorant but interested student. (I take full responsibility for the irresponsibility of the following hypothesis).

Today we have seen Communism gain a foothold in South America; Red China become more agressive to the western allies than the Soviet Union; South Africa become a police state amidst the surge of African nationalism and India retain a precarious neutralism. But I think it is to the Old World—the Europe that young rationalists think has "had it"—that the world will look to for change and perhaps, leadership.

Great Britain has undoubtedly committed herself to the E.E.C. and what I anticipate is that she will join a United Europe. As such these older countries will not only be a real force In world politics but also retain the role of an experienced adviser that the individual countries (such as France and Great Britain) now hold. United Europe is full of exciting possibilities, but how will it affect New Zealand?

Well, firstly, there will no longer be a British Commonwealth. No matter how flexible this organisation has proved to be up to date, it would be futile to retain it in view of the opposition of member countries to the trade alliance with Europe. Culturally Great Britain is adaptable and is actually akin to her European neighbours, and although our cultural ties with

Great Britain will remain strong this will hardly be an excuse for retaining an anachronism In a changing world. No doubt many people will always yearn to identify themselves with "home" and have a special place In the corner of their hearts for all things British, but I hardly see this as a major argument for retaining the Commonwealth.

New Zealand has proved herself internationally; from the San Francisco Peace Conference when Peter Fraser gave us the reputation of being spokesman for the smaller nations of the world, we have been proud of asserting our Independence in foreign affairs. "Where Britain stands, we stand" was an admirable sentiment during a world war but today we have shown ourselves to be more than just followers. As Sir Leslie Munroe has pointed out we are surprisingly well respected in the United Nations; we would be annoyed with being considered merely as part of the Commonwealth, a satellite of Great Britain, than as a country in our own right. Perhaps we could at the same time rid ourselves of the taint of colonialism.

It would do New Zealanders no, harm to realise that without our automatic military reliance on Great Britain we have to develop more friendship with our Asian neighbours. Perhaps Asia would also provide the potential market for our goods which we will be selling. To align ourselves with India (leader of the Asian world) would be a realistic step. Retaining our independence but supporting Indian policy as long as our sympathies were with It, would give us an anchor that the anxious will undoubtedly be seeking. As compared to the rather brash diplomacy of the United States, India provides an intellectual approach to politics. Her neutralism would be strengthened by our support and neutralism in today's world seems to be another term for pacifism.

Another repercussion of the Commonwealth disbanding will be the position of the monarchy. The Queen's position is at present secured by tradition and affection. If the tradition is cut under can the affection long endure as a positive force for the retention of the monarchy?—J.L.A.