‘Baroness Shameless’ has Commonwealth nod

Baroness Scotland with predecessor Kamalesh Sharma, left.
Baroness Scotland with predecessor Kamalesh Sharma, left.

VALETTA, Malta – Following an effective smear campaign conducted on her behalf, “Baroness Shameless” (as Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper named her), aka British Baroness Patricia Scotland of Asthal, was selected as Commonwealth secretary general by heads of government meeting in Malta.
Given that the Commonwealth Secretariat is located in Britain, and the dominant nationality of the new secretary general is British and she is a sitting member of the British Parliament, it may now reasonably be suggested that the name of the organization should revert to the “British Commonwealth” instead of the current “Commonwealth of Nations”.
While African and Asian member countries held together as a unified bloc in favour of the African candidate in both the first and second round of balloting last Friday, smaller Pacific countries were reportedly terrorized into voting for Scotland by Britain, Australia and New Zealand – part of the so-called “White Commonwealth”.
As secretary general, Scotland is predicted to promote the positions of Britain and the rest of the White Commonwealth in areas such as financial services and climate change, all of which are antithetical to Caribbean interests.
As a very recent example, the U.K. is trying to force its overseas territories such as the Cayman Islands into allowing direct access to company records, including details of beneficial ownership. Britain is unlikely to stop at its own territories when it comes to seeking a quid pro quo for the hundreds of millions of dollars in aid promised by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, none of which has actually been paid yet.
The contest also dealt a major blow to the notion of regional unity and cohesion, which many regard as already on life support, with some Caribbean countries refusing to vote for Scotland even in the second ballot.
One regional commentator said, “The Caribbean region has lost an opportunity to project influence and represent its core values and beliefs and has once again exposed the superficial nature of regional integration.”
Social media comment in Britain was unflattering with many posters revisiting Scotland’s conviction and fine in 2009 for employing an illegal immigrant housekeeper at a time when she was the U.K. attorney general.