Equally, apart from my school in my home town of St. Albans the monarchy through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (I only managed a silver) and my progression to be a Queen’s Scout were highly formative of the current “me”. I owe a personal thanks to both!
After all how many other leaders would stand on a draughty boat for four hours primitively protected from the torrential rain, at the age of 86, to salute her people both ashore and in the thousand boats? Most hardly dare show their faces in public as they are scared of their people! No screaming blue-light motorcades here.
It also goes deeper as she made her promise (in Cape Town, 1947) to serve the people of Britain and its then colonies for the rest of her life, a promise, unlike those made by politicians, she has kept. She has shown that despite several “anni horribilis” and a world seemingly bent on self-destruction she has wielded her personal powers (little positional power) in a manner that has quietly smoothed some of the troubled roads.
Her reign has not only covered massive technological change but also the creation of the Commonwealth from Macmillan’s ‘Winds of Change’ speech (again Cape Town, 1957) as almost all colonies are now sovereign states. The Commonwealth that has emerged as a much valued institution promotes good governance, developmental democracy and a “shop” where leaders of mainly ex-colonies exchange views and sometimes overcome political and economic woes; they represent about a quarter of the world’s population. This association has been a major achievement to world sanity by the Queen!
It was interesting that Namibia’s first act was to join the Commonwealth and is pleasing, despite the cost, that our President joins the celebrations; well done! But his attendance and our continuing membership are surely indicative that Namibia is committed to the Commonwealth principles involving rule of law, fairness, equity, honourable government, good governance.
But I will not deny my English heritage but my adoption of Namibian citizenship was an act of faith in that promised would that delivered by government. And yes, patience and somewhat chaotic adjustment was inevitable in our new environment, but hopefully underwritten by the principles of our new rulers and those of the Commonwealth.
As expected being born out of conflict, the first 20 years were the most difficult as institutions developed, personalities evolved and new problems arose all within a rise to authority of those who had little experience beyond that of military structures. But now we know the problems!
We are now at a pivotal point. We have governance problems, corruption, entrenched power groups, many public servants who abuse their positions, institutions that have become a joke (Council of SOEs?) and political leaders unable to lead.
We tend to legal process to settle administrative differences, focus on personal attacks and constantly misspend due to ignorance, nepotism and greed while constantly defending incompetence at the highest level.
I therefore have to challenge our commitment to Commonwealth. Are we one day going to fire the useless or just recycle? Coming Chinese weakness, monetary crises and mid-east stupidity is going to test our resolve as a nation. Or do we carry on the road of Buzz, Blah and Bunkum? I want to continue to be a proud Namibian!