The Queen’s apt Commonwealth plea amid global turbulence

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Morning View

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The Queen will today appeal for the people of the Commonwealth to support those who are in need or feel excluded.

The theme of her annual message to mark Commonwealth Day is apt in a time of turbulence and exclusion.

The Queen’s message refers to people who feel excluded in all walks of life, so it is an observation that is applicable both to a desolate refugee who has been bombed out of their home or to an elderly person who is isolated in Britain, or many other stricken people in the Commonwealth (and indeed elsewhere).

There is perhaps a Christian subtext to the message –there have been such subtexts to several of the Queen’s speeches in recent years, including her annual Christmas address.

The world is convulsed with huge problems at the moment, including vast human migrations and terrorism abroad and unacceptably high suicide rates at home.

Many of these problems seem set to worsen.

The population of Africa is soaring to alarming levels, already over one billion people and heading towards two.

It is the continent least able to withstand such increases, and the dramatic rises could lead to starvation, wars and even larger waves of mass migration.

Some of the affected countries were former British colonies, and are therefore in the Commonwealth.

The organisation, which is one of the best legacies of the British Empire, is made up of 53 countries representing 2.3 billion people.

It is populous because it includes a number of huge nations such as Nigeria and India and Pakistan.

The Commonwealth by its very nature is a living illustration of diversity. The Queen commands respect within it and outside it. Her message is an important one at a time when a sense of cohesion is so urgently needed.