Difficult Conversations – Open Letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister:

I first met you over two decades ago in my capacity as an Engineer.  You were the Minister of Education.  From that first meeting until the present, your determination to get things done for the benefit of Barbadians has been evident.

Only God has all knowledge.  Therefore, all of us must all make decisions based on partial knowledge.  Rather than use ‘partial knowledge’ as an excuse to have us flounder in a sea of uncertainty, you have been decisive.  If your decisions did not have the intended results, you reversed your decision to keep us moving forward.

Since no human is perfect, your Ministers inevitably made blunders.  When they did so, you did not publicly chastise them.  Instead, you quickly intervened to show them how to make better decisions.  Your demonstrated willingness to change your mind is not a weakness.  Rather, it is perhaps your greatest leadership strength, that makes it easy for people to trust and follow you.

CANNOT BE UNDONE.

I feel compelled to write you this open letter, since for the first time as Prime Minister, you plan to make a decision for all of us, that you cannot later undo.

Madam Prime Minister, the time for investigating the potential benefits and liabilities to Barbadians, if Barbados becomes a Republic, is now – not when it is too late to do anything about it.  Any harmful consequences will be permanent on all future generations of Barbadians.  Therefore, being decisive on this one issue, is not in the best interest of Barbadians.

THE BLP’S PROMISE.

This permanent change to how Barbadians are governed, requires the consent of both Parliament and the public.  Your advisors are claiming that the public gave their consent by electing the BLP in the 2018 General Election.  They claim that you actively campaigned on this issue, and that it was prominent in the BLP’s 2018 Manifesto.

To my knowledge, none of the nine political parties who contested the 2018 General Election, campaigned on the Republic issue.  The facts are that there is no mention of any plan to make Barbados a Republic, in either: the BLP’s 2018 Manifesto, the BLP’s 2016 Covenant of Hope, or the BLP’s 2013 Manifesto.

The most recent BLP plan for making Barbados a Republic, is a promise in the BLP’s 2008 Manifesto.  Page 77 reads: “Update the Constitution Review Commission recommendations on replacing the Crown with a Barbadian President and proceed to consult the public fully by way of a referendum”.  This never happened.  Therefore, the public were not consulted on this issue, and the public did not give their consent.

THE CONSTITUTION REVIEW COMMISSION.

Your advisors insist that we must follow the recommendations in the 1998 Report of the Constitution Review Commission.  However, they never mention the Commission’s warning that Barbados was vulnerable to harm, from what it called “Prime Ministerial dictatorship”.

The Barbados Constitution was designed to prevent the economic ruin of Barbados, by a politicised public service.  After we became Independent, Parliament began making changes to our Constitution (especially the 1974 amendments), to give the Prime Minister the power to politicise our public services.

In the 1976 General Election, the BLP promised to reverse the 1974 Constitutional amendments if they were elected to form the government.  After the BLP was elected, in classic ‘Lord of the Rings’ fashion, Prime Minister Adams found the new powers too addictive to give up.

ACT IN GOOD FAITH.

Madam Prime Minister, I do not believe that you are, or will become a dictator.  However, I believe that if we become a Republic, without an effective restraint that our Constitution currently provides, that a dictator will certainly arise to do us harm.

The Commission’s recommendation of a Republic, pales in comparison with the recommendation to address the risk of Prime Ministerial dictatorship.  The Commission’s recommendation to remove the powers that a Prime Minister was never intended to have, should be done.  After approximately 50 years of broken promises on this issue, doing this first would be an act of good faith on your part.

WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS.

We have seen previous Prime Ministers almost choke themselves as they pulled at the Constitutional restraints.  All of our previous Prime Ministers proved themselves too weak to reverse those dangerous Constitutional amendments.

Madam Prime Minister, for us to become a Republic, while still addicted to that power, is not in our best interests.  I believe that at least one year is required, to demonstrate to the public that the extreme withdrawal symptoms of having addictive power taken away, has been overcome.

The risk to all of us if we become a Republic prematurely, is that once the withdrawal symptoms kick in, you can simply use your 30-0 majority to reclaim the powers you gave up just to make Barbados a Republic.  We will then have to live the nightmare that our present Constitution tried to protect us from, and the 1979 and 2008 Commissions warned us about.

DO NOT JUST TAKE IT.

Madam Prime Minister, while I believe that you are better than your predecessors, no one knows if you are stronger than them.  Since they chose to remain addicted, they avoided the withdrawal symptoms of letting go dangerous power.  You have only had that power for three years.  If you give up that power, then you will enter unchartered territory.  The prudent thing to do is to give yourself, and us, time to see the results.

Your advisors want you to behave like a dictator now, and forcibly take our consent.  I am asking you to earn it, as promised in your party’s 2008 Manifesto.  This includes allowing an honest discussion on this issue, and then letting the people decide how they want to be governed, by holding the BLP promised referendum.

Yours respectfully.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

55 comments

  • No White Brits have gone to heaven in the last 500 years due to Slavery.
    Only a fool would pledge allegiance to the racists crown.
    God is love.

    Like

  • “Rather, it is perhaps your greatest leadership strength, that makes it easy for people to trust and follow you.”

    steupse…

    Like

  • What is it with this man that we so longs to cling to the apron strings of people who care nothing for us?

    First, he championed Nelson’s statue and having lost that one, he is still championing colonial ties!

    Man, grow a freaking pair! Why can’t you believe that black people can take care of themselves?

    It is time for the black diaspora to come together and reclaim our pride and independence.

    All we lack is unity and CONFIDENCE in our own ability and cultures.

    Be off, timid little boy!

    Like

  • That HE so longs

    Like

  • Grenville Phillips, is a BLP proponent

    Like

  • @ nextparty 246:
    (Quote):
    Your advisors want you to behave like a dictator now, and forcibly take our consent. I am asking you to earn it, as promised in your party’s 2008 Manifesto. This includes allowing an honest discussion on this issue, and then letting the people decide how they want to be governed, by holding the BLP promised referendum. (Unquote).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Fair comment/request.

    They could have saved the taxpayers’ money by killing two manifesto promises with one referendum stone by combining the decriminalization of a God-made plant on the same referendum ticket as that of going republic even if it turns out to be a simple banana.

    But the same BLP administration can effectively save money in these harsh Covid-19 times by using its dictatorial powers and decriminalize the use of marijuana (and put it on equal footing with alcohol and tobacco) the same way it will be legislating the republic status without the people’s express consent and effectively doing away with the governance and cultural impact of almost 400 years of ‘English’ monarchical apery.

    Like

  • The committee appointed is mandated to implement. It seems the time to discuss has passed?

    Like

  • This article is entirely based on illogical fallacies.

    Permit us to deal with the most glaring.

    Whether Barbados is a republic or remains under monarchical rule makes not a scintilla of difference.

    The writer’s political awareness should have so guided him.

    And the only measurable benefit will be to Mugabe whose yardfowls with the utmost obeisance would be able to argue, that like Barrow is the fictitious father of pretend independence,, now Mugabe is Mother of the Republic. Or Father!

    Like

  • @Pacha

    You have no problem with the QUEEN mentioned in the Constitution of Barbados?

    Like

  • It seems that some do not think that the people should have a say in how they are to be governed.

    Like

  • David
    Not only “mentioned in the Constitution” but with the queen generally.

    Our real problem is that after 50 years of socalled independence there is still Queen Mary Road or President Kennedy Drive, for example.

    More fundamentally, that the minds of Bajans are no less colonialized than 300 years ago. And the author of this article, Grenville Phillips, represents proof positive.

    Barbados is still foundationally
    Little England and no number of political renamings could change that. Mugabe is merely playing political games. And she is bright enough to know she doing shiite.

    David, if you doubt us why not go to the UK and observe that even the non-verbal behavious of Whites are not dissimilar to Bajans. LOL. Why do you think that is?

    It’s one of the most shocking things seen as a young traveller. Seeing White people displaying behaviours of individuals grown up with.

    Like

  • David

    Indeed, there,s a cricketing joke within a joke where our friend Ezra Moseley was bowling to Viv Richards and beat him a few times with balls going in and away.

    Viv walked down to him and said ,”you Little Englishman”.. That is the state of play. LOL

    Cricket as metaphor.

    Like

  • How could “Republic” renaming change that?

    Like

  • @Pacha

    Where do you recommend the Mottley government should have started the process of colonial cleansing of the minds of Barbadians?

    Like

  • “… decriminalize the use of marijuana (and put it on equal footing with alcohol and tobacco) …”

    mary jane is less harmful than alcohol
    mary jane is less harmful than tobacco
    mary jane never troubled anyone

    if grenville puffed he would be enlightened
    and wouldn’t even need to try so hard

    Like

  • David
    Good question.
    We have not the answer. Not even sure that such a project could be successful, but we should try deconstructing and reconstructing a new Bajan woman and man aided by a meaningful and enabling environment. At least not engage in acts like republicanism, independence and fake regionalism which cover up the societal malaise, makes things worse. How has such a republicanism project worked elsewhere?

    Like

  • “Where do you recommend the Mottley government should have started the process of colonial cleansing of the minds of Barbadians?”

    holy herb frees the mind

    David V34.1 seems square

    with a maggot brain like a Hal

    and has never ever puffed

    and gotten out of bhis box

    free your mind

    and your ass will follow

    Jamaicans are more liberated than Barbados

    and have big herb trees

    “Free your mind and your ass will follow
    The kingdom of heaven is within
    Open up your funky mind and you can fly
    Free your mind and your ass will follow
    The kingdom of heaven is within
    Freedom is free of the need to be free
    Free your mind and your ass will follow
    The kingdom of heaven is within
    Yeah
    Free your mind and your ass will follow (your ass will follow)
    The kingdom of heaven is within
    Whoa!
    Free your mind (will you free your mind?)
    And your ass will follow (and your ass will follow)
    I have never, never never
    Never in my life
    Have this given to me
    Free your mind and your ass will follow
    ?
    Not like you
    You are as free as you want to be (your ass will follow)
    Well, I discovered that this life that was getting’ to me
    Is not really mine (Free your mind and…”

    “Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time
    For y’all have knocked her up.
    I have tasted the maggots in the mind of the universe
    I was not offended
    For I knew I had to rise above it all
    Or drown in my own shit.
    Come on Maggot Brain
    Go on Maggot Brain”

    Like

  • Shackles and Chains

    House Negros like Grenville Phillips, Trevor Phillips, Hal Austin, Georgie Porgie and John Knox are in awe of white people and their wicked minds to abuse mankind and should be shot in their head

    Like

  • David34.1
    I am in moderation boderation oh what a situation
    ready when you ready

    African Drifter Vs Drifting Dub

    Like

  • Bajans are boring plain neutral Beige Uns
    .. and need to black up their minds like Jamaicans
    .. wake up and skin up and tough up and wise up
    .. so they are not so meh and are more rah

    meh = expressing a lack of interest or enthusiasm
    rah = a cheer of encouragement or approval

    Like

  • “More fundamentally, that the minds of Bajans are no less colonialized than 300 years ago.”

    i posted before reading this, but there is DEFINITELY A BIG PROBLEM…

    FIRST and foremost, something has to be done about the nasty, low crawling RACISTS on the island, both indian, syrian, black and white…the social disease has crawled into everything, including into the minds of too many weak-willed Black people.

    racists must be IDENTIFITED, easy to do….and SHUNNED /REJECTED by REAL Black/African people…make them PARIAHS and UNTOUCHABLES….take away their FRAUDULENT first class citizens status.GIVEN TO THEM BY THE TRAITORS IN THE PARLIAMENT that started IN THE FORM OF BARROW…..just as they have spent DECADES poisoning the environment and promoting the hatred of anyone showing Black consciousness…..i have watched these criminals for decades and saw what they did in STEALTH….to the most ignorant black minds..

    Like

  • Pacha….look out for this title one of these days, don’t know which order it will be in but publishing is a given.

    From Slavery Survivor to Trapped in a Den of Racists
    Copyright ⓒ 2021. All Rights Reserved.

    Like

  • @Pacha

    You are a wise man acknowledging the enormity of the task by avoiding absolute language. Never forget political parties first and foremost are about feathering popularity with political leaders always with an eye on legacy building. This is a universal truth.

    Like

  • David

    Having thought about it, we would suggest that instead of republicanism as a political trick an accurate knowledge of self shall be the national project 101.

    Like

  • A ‘man in the mirror’ project using a similar model as the truth commission employed by South Africa you mean?

    Like

  • David
    No. That was a waste of time. Not reformist in nature. Nor where issues that could be kicked into the tall grass like all commissions are intended to be. At the outer reaches of radical thought assuming that everything we think we know is a lie.

    Like

  • @Pacha

    If you disagree share with us the reference point used to inform your suggestion.

    Like

  • “Having thought about it, we would suggest that instead of republicanism as a political trick an accurate knowledge of self shall be the national project 101.”

    Quality of Life Versus Quantity of Life

    People in the West are moving away from rat race dog eat dog capitalism and are practising New Age philosophies such Yoga, Meditation and exercise for well being and eating healthy and engaging in part time work, working from home, and also considering concepts like universal basic income, less materialism, self employment, more sharing and renting equipment and using hotel resources for local use.

    Barbados’ priority and goal should be to eliminate poverty

    Like

  • @ David June 14, 2021 8:21 PM
    (Quote):
    The committee appointed is mandated to implement. It seems the time to discuss has passed? (Unquote).
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    A committee to implement??

    Isn’t that an oxymoron in Barbados a country seemingly suffering from a congenital case of implementation deficit?

    How can such far-reaching changes come about in any foreseeable future when the use of titles of Queen Counsel (QC). knighthood and military-style parades with royal pips and crowns on display would still be par for the ceremonial course?

    Can Bajans look forward to seeing their new CoP bedecked in a uniform sans the royal regalia by Independence day 2021?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Time will tell Miller. What is your position on the move to go a republic in principle?

    Like

  • I listening to Brasstacks. Floor crossers and bullspitters dominating.

    Like

  • @Hants

    What specifically do you have an issue with the doctor?

    Like

  • @ David,

    Why do you think I have an issue with the floor crosser ?

    Like

  • You comment inferred Hants but if you prefer not to expand this is your right.

    Like

  • Well the good news is the population who elevate these liars to the parliament has come to recognize that they are ALL LIARS….looking to line their pockets at Black people’s expense and boast how much they tief from the population by the millions/billions to give to minorities or let them tief too and then write it off…

    keep those videos coming…the best way to expose them all…and their BIG LYING MOUTHS…

    Like

  • Check it out Pacha…some islands are less backward than others and more progressive and forward thinking.

    “RPM congratulates Antigua and Barbuda.

     AUTHOR:ADMIN  PUBLISHED DATE:JUNE 15, 2021  LEAVE A COMMENT ON RPM CONGRATULATES ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA.

    The Rastafari Progressive Movement (RPM) congratulates the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, the Rastafari Community and a private investor “Itiopia Life”, on the launching of GROW Antigua, a feasible arrangement, which aids the Rastafari community in starting its journey into the Medical Cannabis Industry on solid ground.

    A statement from the government of Antigua and Barbuda said that within the business arrangement of GROW Antigua, it would receive a 24 percent stake in exchange for the use of government lands, another 24 percent would go toward the Rastafarian community that would supply labour, with the remaining 52 percent going to the private company, Itopia Life.

    While it is stated that Rastafari will provide the labour within this business framework, Rastafari are more than muscle and will, we are positive, assist in other crucial areas of development of GROW Antigua…”

    Like

  • @ David June 15, 2021 9:28 AM
    (Quote):
    Time will tell Miller. What is your position on the move to go a republic in principle? (nquote).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The plan to go republic was, officially, in the works since 2014 when the Prince of Wessex attended the 375th anniversary of the existence of a Parliament in little England with its long history of no taxation without representation as secured under the Treaty of Oistins.

    For Barbados to stay tied to the ceremonial British monarch after the pending abdication/passing of QE11 would only make the country of 54 years of Independence look like a mummy’s boy unable to bury the umbilical cord.

    The only issue is why no referendum to get the people’s express consent?

    Where is the mandate to go republic?

    Why is this administration prepared to put its faith in the people when it comes to the decriminalization of marijuana but cannot accede to a similar request on a matter which will affect 100% of its citizenry?

    In its necessary re-branding exercise Barbados ought to consider a makeover for its flag displaying a ‘broken’ trident.

    Like

  • Broken Trident, Broken Minds.

    Like

  • I asked the Prime Minister to get the consent of the people.

    It is likely that the people will give their consent, but it is an important step that needs to be taken – to avoid the accusation that a Republic was forced upon us.

    The response from those who regularly comment on BU was as expected.

    Like

  • @Miller

    As you know the country does not have a history of reverting to referenda. Some are of the view this is a wedge issue which the country can illaffat this time. This is another case of the BLP over promising on the political campaign. Barbados is dubbed Little England for a reason. Whatever her motives we need to remove the Queen from our governance setup.

    Like

  • David
    You are well adapted to dictatorship.
    That character of the Bajan makes it impossible to approach any serious national project.
    How can it be that this government is never to be held to the highest standards with all manner of excuses, obfuscations, being supplied by you.
    None of the referenda promised by this regime never happened. And there will never happen because you are ready to give them a free pass, regardless to circumstances. No was no returning to the people after being fooled by the manifesto and now the elected dictator is free to be the Father of the Republic, as petty as that will be. Maybe Mugabe should take a second term without an election. We’re sure they’ll be a justification for that as well.

    Like

  • @Pacha

    Was offering a prevailing mindset. You should be aware the blogmaster is about truth, honesty and integrity. What is political morality anyway?

    Like

  • If people feel like smoking a spliff they smoke a spliff, and don’t need a stupid referendum to get everyone’s approval and they will still light up and smoke it regardless.

    UK/GB were slave traders that took free men woman and children from Africa to be slaves and sold them in New World Western Slave Markets to plantation slave masters who owned them as property and made them work for free and made their life a living hell.

    It’s another no brainer that a referendum is not needed and due time to cut the umbilical chord with the crown.

    Like

  • @ David June 15, 2021 3:35 PM

    But what is that which was ‘over-promised’ by the BLP on the recent campaign trail about going republic?

    The only thing which can be considered ‘over-promised’ was the 6-month time frame for the effective implementation and operationalization of the overly long-promised ITAL and its legislative handmaiden the FOI Act.

    Barbados has been a de facto Prime ministerial dictatorship whose true colours are on stark display given the existing composition of the Parliament.

    All that is required is for a rewriting of the existing Constitution and replace the words “Her Majesty”, “Queen Elizabeth”, “Her Heirs & Successors” and “Governor-General” with ‘His/Her Excellency the President’ of the republic of Barbados the veritable gopher of the Primus inter pares.

    Don’t you think if this administration was worth its salt in the art of good governance it would have by now circulated a draft of the revised Constitution for constructive feedback from the so-called highly educated Bajan people?

    Like

  • William Skinner

    “Barbados is still foundationally
    Little England and no number of political renamings could change that. Mugabe is merely playing political games. And she is bright enough to know she doing shiite.

    David, if you doubt us why not go to the UK and observe that even the non-verbal behavious of Whites are not dissimilar to Bajans. LOL. Why do you think that is?

    It’s one of the most shocking things seen as a young traveller. Seeing White people displaying behaviours of individuals grown up with.”

    @ Pacha seems to be one of those overseas Bajans yuh. Where the hell was he hiding all this time? The man like he prefer the Union Jack to the Broken Trident. What a thing nuh.
    Well you can fool some of the people some of the time…………..
    @ Pacha will know the rest; David said he “ bright”.

    Like

  • My last eord
    As long as Bajans are afraid to do time for righteous causes, this nonsense will continue.

    I file this in the same drawer as Mr Blackman and the watercourse.

    Like

  • Wrong post but will not repost elsewhere. The Good Lord must be intervening.
    Eord=word.

    Like

  • “It is likely that the people will give their consent, but it is an important step that needs to be taken – to avoid the accusation that a Republic was forced upon us.”

    it means you will not be able to be James Bond 007 anymore and work for MI5 or MI6 as a babylonian spy in secret intelligence with all the lil white boys and girls

    Like

  • Dub: You, Donna et al are simply revealing yourselves. Carry on.

    Like

  • “You, Donna et al are simply revealing yourselves. Carry on.”

    Ooh!

    Looks like everyone is done with your thread already another non-starter from your mind

    You should pray to St. Jude the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes for help

    Your works are graded
    A for Effort
    F for Achievement

    Like

  • Cry baby wants a pacifier?

    Just like you reveal yourself with every stupid submission.

    NOTHING to see here. People are writing you off.

    We saw your juvenile brain from the very beginning yet we gave you the benefit of the doubt.

    No more doubt.

    Like

  • Who could forget “The Insurance Policy”?

    🤦🏽‍♂️

    Like

  • You are carrying on exactly as expected. You just cannot help yourselves.

    No attempt to engage in a discussion. Just the typical well-worn insults. Carry on.

    Like

  • And poor you cannot help yourself from answering.

    Discuss what? Damn foolishness? There is nothing to discuss. Bajans are not obsessed with what you are obviously fixated on.

    Bajans know there is no “insurance policy”.

    Like

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