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From the Archive
The Commonwealth Games – the ‘friendly games’ – take place this year in the Midlands city of Birmingham, once known as a ‘workshop of the world’ with iconic brands known all over the Commonwealth such as HP sauce, Birds Custard, Typhoo Tea, Bourneville hot chocolate and Cadbury chocolate all produced there. This article harks back to a previous major gathering of the G8 in Birmingham, linked to the previous year's CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) in Edinburgh. Both looked at the dangers posed by the ‘new’ globalisation, and shared concerns over India's nuclear testing programme – still concerns today.
Patricia Scotland was re-elected Commonwealth Secretary-General for another two years at the Kigali Commonwealth summit in June 2022. This early piece from now veteran Commonwealth-watcher Stephen Chan analysed her first three predecessors, using an avian analogy for each. What bird he would choose for the Secretaries-General who succeeded is an open question.
With the Commonwealth Games opening in Birmingham on 28 July, we look back to two previous occasions when cities in the UK hosted the Commonwealth Games: Edinburgh in 1986 and Glasgow in 2014. In this commentary, Stuart Mole weaves together the sporting, political and Commonwealth contexts of the two contrasting Games: in 1986 when they faced near-bankruptcy, and in 2014 when their success gave a fillip to the movement for Scottish independence.