By Ray Fleming

Slowly, quietly, almost imperceptibly the Commonwealth is taking over the seats of power in Britain. Yesterday the New Zealander Ross McEwan was named as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Bank of Scotland. A Canadian, Mark Carney, has already settled in as the new Governor of the Bank of England. Lynton Crosby, an Australian, is probably David Cameron's most important advisor as head of strategy for the 2015 election. And that's not all. The Liberal Democrat's director of strategy is Ryan Coetzee, a South African. In sport, England's cricket coach Andy Flower is from Zimbabwe and Warren Gatland, the leader of the British Lions successful recent tour of Australia, is a New Zealander. One would probably need to go back to the Second World War to find a comparable Commonwealth/Empire constellation of talent at the service of the nation -- Robert Menzies of Australia, Jan Smuts of South Africa and Lord Beaverbook of Canada.

What is the reason for this fashion for appointing outsiders to key UK jobs?
In banking the 2008 crisis and subsequent recession certainly seems to have denuded the higher ranks of people with the necessary skills and determination. The various scandals and an atmosphere of greed have not helped. In two or three of the appointments the Chancellor George Osborne seems to have been influential. But in sport? Who's going to be the next England soccer manager?

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