|1026655. Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:51 am
|TBH, the idea of The Gambia leaving the Commonwealth is not too shocking at the moment, nor will it be for a number of countries, particularly in Africa, which might leave international bodies such as the Commonwealth.
It all boils down to money and influence.
During the cold ward of the past, poor countries needed to align themselves with an ideological body to get any kind of help, whether financial, cultural, academic, etc. After 1990 many of these countries continued to seek admission and stronger ties with "western" international bodies, as was noticed by the sudden rush of applications by former Soviet Bloc countries to the EU and other organisations.
During the old cold war, on a small scale, West Germany had an international project with a number of poor countries which seemed to completely ignore ideological affiliations, it was a purely business approach which helped German industry grow and was facilitated through academic and diplomatic ties that seemed to act as a front for what was a purely business transaction.
However, since 1990, China has taken up the mantle and aggressively pushed for these seemingly worthless diplomatic ties with many countries, supporting public projects which seemed to fizzle out, but gave them the foothold to create a fast growing trade relation with many countries they had little contact with only a few years befoer.
The Gambia is a prime example. The rise of Chinese diplomatic relations, and trade, has been phenomenal in the last few short years, and this has resulted in a country which used to rely on trade and other ties to the UK and EU for most of their economy, suddenly being in a position where sanctions from the UK and EU will not really harm them now, so they can now "stand up" to anything they disagree with.
Unfortunately, when you get corrupt leaders, what they "stand up" for is not necessarily in the country's interest, and more to help isolate their people from bodies which are critical of their leadership.
People don't realise it yet, but we've entered new cold war recently, one that is not about politics, ideology, or anything of the like, it's all about money, influence and power. It's a cold war where the people no longer matter, only the leadership.