Submitted by Caleb Pilgrim
Hon Blogmaster, I read somewhere that “all is vanity and vexation of spirit”. Maybe! But, can this maxim equally apply to the issue of the coming Republicke of Barbadoes?
Candor demands that I confess at the outset that such a prospect does not particularly exercise me one way or another. However, it may well be that, as many bloggers have noted, absent collective discussion via a properly executed national referendum – notwithstanding past public and parliamentary discussion – to foist some feel good, happy talk “republic” on the Barbadian public, may well represent a little bread and circus, if not a mindless, (some might even say despotic) descent into an empty constitutionalism largely irrelevant to Barbados’s national growth and development at this particular historical juncture.
Come November 30, 2021, we may well have succeeded in putting the cart before the horse. But, rather than a gold standard of political re-structuring, are we now being asked to buy a pig in a poke; to walk by faith, and not by reason, on a bridge to nowhere?
Or, in the final analysis, a decision having been made, are we now to scramble to meet a preordained deadline? What makes this exercise more than sheer symbolism, a magical, manipulative, calculated, political exercise, more swagger than substance?
Pray tell us, Blogmaster, why now, if both parties have toyed with this subject for a relatively long time? And why is this not another band-aid solution in search of a problem; “all vanity and vexation of spirit”?
As a rationale, some will have suggested that “advanced”, industrialized countries, e.g the U.S, France, Germany et al, are republics, inferring that their prosperity somehow derives from or correlates with their republican status. I find an alluring, Eden like simplicity to the argument.
I would wager to the contrary that a cursory survey might show that out of the poorest 20 countries in the world, 20 are republics. Out of the 20 most crime ridden countries in the world 20 are republics. Out of the 20 most debt ridden countries, an assortment of republics, monarchical systems, etc, etc.., prevail.
Republican status, therefore, as an instrument of political organization, guarantees little or nothing, per se. it can represent the good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent in any people. It does not guarantee political, economic, cultural, social progress and development. The label, “republic”, without other assets, properly utilized, can be utterly meaningless.
As of 2017, per Wikipedia, there were 159 countries out of 206 which used the term “republic” in their names. This means that approximately 78% of states operating in the international community represent themselves as “republics” of some sort.
True to form … Comes now, Barbados, 55 years after, in November 2021, late to the party, republic # 160, “a friend of all”, “a satellite of none”, history made by “effluxion of time”.
It is also worth noting that in recent times, some critics concerned at problems confronting Barbados, have labeled Barbados a “failed state”. If true, how will a “failed state” come November 30, 2021, transform itself, or morph into a successful, thriving “republic”? Shouldn’t a failed state, whatever its causes, logically lead to a failed Republic? How does a toad or a toadie suddenly become a prince or princess? And, while we are at it, who really needs another toothless, bootlegged republic? Aren’t there already a dime a dozen?
To be poor often means to be defined as who, or what we are not. In this vein, which right thinking person would wish to be a President Moise of Haiti, recently assassinated; or his wife shot in the wee hours; or a President Henry currently under investigation? Or, a much maligned and misunderstood President, Idi Amin? Or, a President Mobutu? Or, a President Macias Nguema? Or, a President Bokassa? Or, a President of Afghanistan or of Albania (notwithstanding Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”), or of El Salvador, Guatemala, et al? Who would wish to be another pompous fraud with abundant airs, royally presiding over some squalid, political farce in a failed republic historically beset and bedeviled by countless political and socio-economic problems? And, this is in no way intended to disparage those leaders who seek to do the best they know how.
On the other hand, which reasonable person would wish to be bound to an arcane monarchical system, with empty posers, e.g here, a wayward Prince historically useless, an alleged paedophile or child molester, and a royal ne’er do well; over there, a philandering Princess heavily subsidized by the hapless British taxpayer or taxpayers in the U.K. and Colonies?
In terms of national priorities, then, are there not enough immediate problems in Barbados without hog tying the current system, imperfect as it is, to empty drivel about a Republic? Covid-19 and its increasing havoc? The excessively high cost of living, food in particular? The national Debt? Perennially high unemployment, and underemployment? A widely criticized legal system? Endemic corruption? The 1m trees promised, etc, etc?
An example from comparative politics may also be instructive. The French Republic has had several iterations: The First French Republic, 1792 – 1799; The Second French Republic, 1848 – 1852; The Third French Republic, 1870 – 1940; The Fourth French Republic, 1946 – 1958; The Fifth French Republic, 1958 to the present. How many iterations will a Republic of Barbados require over time to right maladies confronting Barbadian society, past, present and future; from slavery, through colonialism to post-“independence”?
Still from the comparative politics standpoint, another issue, that of an electoral college continues to generate much controversy, e.g in the US ….
Since 2000, two out of five U.S presidential elections have been won by the candidate who lost the popular vote. They have won because of the Electoral College. This kind of consistent rejection of the public’s will breeds frustration and antipathy. Shouldn’t a properly functioning democracy ensure that every vote counts – that every citizen has a voice in their government?
However, altering or eliminating the Electoral College in the U.S requires a
Constitutional Amendment. This is therefore an enormous undertaking, requiring the support of at least two-thirds of the members in the U.S Senate and in the House of Representatives, and the ratification of at least thirty-eight states. At this time, Congress has virtually abandoned any proposal to reform the Electoral College.
In recent years, at the state level, several legislatures have voted to enter into the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (an interstate agreement to award all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote). The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would not alter or eliminate the Electoral College. However, it would ensure the winner of the national popular vote becomes the U.S President when enough states to represent at least half of the Electoral College votes enter into the agreement.
In a different vein, to the friend who cautioned me that I was one of those Bajans who would have opposed Barbados’ “Independence” in 1966; I say “not really”; even though I recall that the late Sir Grantley and others opposed independence for Barbados in 1966.
The facts and circumstances were different in Nov 1966. By then, a substantial number of former colonies had gained their titular “independence”, so much so that 1960 had been known as “Africa’s Year” at the U.N, Ghana having been first to attain independence in 1957. Even the much vaunted Singapore (model) had assumed status as a republic in 1965. (If “Big Ghana” had become an independent republic in 1957, doesn’t “Little Ghana” seeking republic status in 2021 not now seem too little too late)? Why therefore preoccupy ourselves with stale political ideas about a republic now? It all now seems a bit passé as a flavor of the month. Remind me when was it that Plato originally wrote his “Republic”; a text known to every first year political science student; circa 375 B.C?
Certainly, it is undisputed that Barbados, as a sovereign, independent state, has the legal right to exercise its sovereignty, and renounce any subservience to the British monarchy.
But, where, what and why is the compelling urgency of now? In sum, what makes it so necessary to declare Barbados a republic at this specific juncture? And, specifically, who benefits? Qui bono? Perhaps, a politically astute Prime Minister who would eradicate and supersede the popular memory of EWB’s legacy as “Father of Independence”. Perhaps, a few merchants benefiting from a spike in temporary sales of republican memorabilia. How also will becoming a republic raise Barbados’s status at the international level?
In the final analysis, this move towards a republic appears a fading replica of a once faddish meteor of little or no enduring value. Like the crumb from Dives’s table, or some cheap mascara, it will do little or nothing, to advance the fortunes of the average Barbadian, even if it might yield another bootleg republic doomed to a pretentious mediocrity in the oblivion of history.
The U.S Embassy (per Wikileaks) once spoke of “Mottleynomics”. Perhaps, better “the economy stupid” as a priority. Or, a serious attempt to rollback “crime and violence”. Who can forget the many political ads lambasting the late P.M. Thompson re his seeming obsession with “crime and violence”?
Honorable Blogmaster, would you do an aging comrade a favor and kindly have the PIP (the People in Power) delineate in precise detail the specific benefits which will inure to Barbados on becoming a republic come November 30, 2021? Nothing fantastical; no fluff; no flummery; no fluckrry; no folderol.
For, as we attempt to rewrite our constitutional history, re-casting Barbados as a republic, as a priority, will neither reconstruct Barbados’s sorry past as a captive, slave, plantation society, nor usher in any type of Utopian future. Better perhaps to focus on promptly resolving persistent, fundamental issues; call a snap election depending on one’s record of substantive achievements and one’s internal polling; and moving the electoral process swiftly forward; rather than drift or limp along like some previous administrations.
Let us not trample the truth. There are few risks, but even fewer objective benefits in declaring Barbados a republic.
Do you wish to swear allegiance to some member of the British Royal family? A white family whose subjects were instrumental in slavery. And the agricultural enterprises which used slave labour for generations.
You are correct, there are not many advantages of a Republic. Similarly there are not many disadvantages either..
The author is unfortunately a doubter. He does not believe in great historical heroes. I do.
He should rather believe in our saviour Mia Mottley. She has already done such great things: protected us from international creditors, Corona, hurricanes and volcanic ash and likewise eradicated cockroaches and the DLP. She has given us the best vaccine in the world with Pfizer-Biontech.What more do we want?
The Republic grants us international respect and Mia Mottley the opportunity to retire one day to the office of President after her work as Supreme Leader and Prime Minister is done.
Unfortunately because of a mistake barbadians made at the polls last election
Barbadians are now saddled with doubt and confusion illegalities of all kind and now a govt jumping head first to force Republicanism down the throats of the people
Never in the history of Barbados has so many wrongs done by a govt barbadians have to.accept because of not having a strong opposition in PARLIAMENT to beat back govt illegal and inappropriate legislation foisted upon the people and which has brought into question the legal moorings of the Constitution to steer govt in the right direction
As the old folks say where there is smoke there is smoke there is fire
To that I add Buyer Beware
Atherley queries constitutional amendment to bring on Republic
Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley has raised concerns over the legality of Government’s intended move to Republican status, despite declaring full support for the move.
Citing unnamed members of the legal profession, he said the manner in which Government was proceeding to move Barbados from a realm to a republic with a Barbadian Head of State could be unlawful.
As lawmakers moved to pass the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, Bishop Atherley said he was not attacking Government but merely wanted the transition to Republican status to be done the right way.
Noting that Government had proven to be wrong in the past on points of law, he said: “The Prime Minister said the Government has been advised by prominent persons who we have saluted and honoured; Sir David Simmons, Sir Dennis Byron, Justice Sherman Moore, and I have no doubt that the Government of Barbados would come to proposing this to the House on the basis of good, legal advice. All I am saying is that they are equally prominent persons, legally experienced, trained and acclaimed who are of the view that this is inappropriate.
“I’ve spoken to a number of legal people who hold very strongly to the view that it is inappropriate for the Barbados Parliament to seek to undertake an action that results in what we perceive to be the revocation of an Order in Council of the UK Parliament. Can the Barbados Parliament revoke an Order in Council of the UK Parliament?”
The Opposition Leader said he did not want a situation where the Barbados Government found itself before the law court because it had erred in its procedure.
“We are exposed if we get it wrong,” said Bishop Atherley. “We expose ourselves to legal challenges brought pursuant to or consequent upon any action that we take as a people under the Constitution if it is proven we got it wrong.”
He also opposed the timing to become a Republic and described it as “the wrong moment” as Barbados continued to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, questioning whether Government had an alternative agenda in ensuring the transition was done speedily.
The Opposition Leader declared: “I support the move to Republic, I support the nomination when it comes in the appropriate format and time but I believe very strongly that we are doing this at the wrong time and that the process leaves much to be desired. I believe they are many out there of the view that we are not getting this right when it comes to the process.
“Beyond the constitutional and legal arguments it is a bad moment with COVID. It is not the right moment. We do not know what next year will bring, we may still be faced down with COVID. I would prefer to believe that by the middle of next year this thing would be gone.”
He also said the November 30 date for the transition was inappropriate as it could diminish the work of Errol Barrow, the Father of Independence.
He suggested that July 26, 2022 – the Day of National Significance that memorialises the 1937 Disturbances – would be a better fit for such as event.
“I believe frankly that the better date is July 26,” said Bishop Atherley. “We call it a Day of National Significance. It is to me, among blacks, the majority class in Barbados the birth of consciousness, it is the birth of an identity which was evolving and which has set us on a path to this moment and that the move to Republic when we get there, culminates for me what began in the 1930’s and on July 26, 1937.” (RB)
What is the point? If Atherley feels strongly about the process why has he agreed with the government to select Dame Mason? Now would have been the time to make a stand.
What an erudite exposition of a current act of misdirection within political theatre.
Stull, we believe as an obvious scholar you have in your weightings of certain important historical phenomena inserted significant imbalances, even imprecisions.
And also, like a true scholar of substance you have committed the here cardinal sin of rightly inserting the wrong pronouns.
For the Royal “we” which those exposed to academic and scientific writing depend on to indicate, in part, that there exist a broader body of knowledge from which is drawn but for which cannot be referenced has finally been made anathema. An article of faith in ignorance.
Take a round of applause. We might seek to square the circle later. However, on the issue of moment,” we”, as shorthand for all the supportive literature so heavily weighted in your favour commend this piece.
DavidSeptember 29, 2021 6:38 AM
What is the point? If Atherley feels strongly about the process why has he agreed with the government to select Dame Mason? Now would have been the time to make a stand.
He made his thoughts known
Be that as it.may he rather lookforward to the next election and prefers to weigh his chances for winning against losing
To him his reality now lies in returning to Parliament next election
Atherley also sow seeds of deception
He is now caught between a rock and a hard place
One in doing was is right for the country and his self serving interest in winning a seat come 2023
Reminds me of a dog looking at his own shadow trying to catch a bone
What a ting doah
@ Pachamama September 29, 2021 6:46 AM
Your erudite explanation on the ‘right’ to use the so-called Royal We (especially in a republican setting) should put an end to those unjust and weak barbs of intellectual envy ‘delivered from’ your uninformed critics on BU.
“We” back your ‘critique’ of Caleb’s constructive criticism of the pending (undemocratic) project called “Republicke of Barbadoes”.
His solid grounding in the ‘Classics’ received at his alma mater at ‘Waterford’ has served him well in his intellectual pursuits.
It would do Bajans well to get accustom to the ‘dropping’ of the titles “Dame” and “Sir” along with the Royal paraphernalia from their public officiating if they don’t want to look like a bunch of V.S. Naipaul’s ‘mimic men’ (and women) unable to sever ties with the British Monarchy and vacate the Royal servant quarters.
You were counted among those that opposed moving to ‘independence’ in 1966?
@ David September 29, 2021 7:54 AM
Who is against Barbados changing its status to that of a republic?
if it the Will of the people, so be it!
The question is: Has the Will of the people been expressed?
The majority of Barbadians are blissfully unaware of their civic responsibility. We witness this in most spheres when it comes to the lack of people engagement in governance issues. How many times in this space have we highlighted where Barbadians have ceded their civic responsibility?
We are well past this offering. Nothing to see here.
@ Miller September 29, 2021 8:18 AM
The May 2018 general elections were more than a referendum on the DLP. They were a revolution.
Two things follow from this:
First, since then, the will of the people and the will of the leader have been one. The people did not elect a party in May 2018, but their Supreme Leader for life. The people did not elect a party but the movement of our Supreme Leader. Therefore, there is no need to consult the will of the people again. We do not need a referendum on the Republic, not even new parliamentary elections. They are absolutely superfluous.
Secondly, since the May 2018 referendum was a revolutionary act, the people thereby implicitly empowered our new government to set new constitutional law independently of the existing constitutional law. This new law has its basis in the revolutionary will of the people and no longer has to be judged against the outdated constitution. Moreover, the old constitution is not a lawful constitution, but an act of injustice from the hand of Barrow.
Only idiots judge constitutional law solely according to the rules of positivism. We must break away from this and include the context of the world spirit, embodied in our Supreme Leader, history and great politics.
Barbados is the first country to disengage its constitution from England?
We love to politicize and intellectualize when there is no need.
@ David September 29, 2021 8:23 AM
What do you think about the legal (Constitutional) argument that it is the British Parliament- acting on the request of Her Majesty- who has to grant approval for Barbados changing its political governance status to that of republicanism the same way Independence was given?
In the absence of a revolution or referendum in which the majority of voters says ‘Yes’ to republicanism isn’t this plutocratic-type approach to governance flying in the face of the people’s democracy which was heralded in by the Universal Adult suffrage project of 1951?
THIS IS A NICE PIECE OF PROSE- A LOST ART IN CONTEMPORARY COMMUNICATION.
SINCE THE EARLY DAYS OF BU, WHEN THE LATE YARDBROOM VISITED THIS FORUM, SUCH LOFTY AND LOVELY LOGI HAS RARELY APPEARED ON BU.
@ Tron September 29, 2021 9:07 AM
Your counterargument would hold water only if your Supreme leader had not promised to get the Will of the people on the decriminalization of marijuana and legitimization of same sex relationships.
A real Supreme leader must not speak with a forked tongue even if there are 4 lips to hide it.
THIS BOVINE EXCREMENT ABOUT A SUPREME LEADER IS UNECCESSARY BLASPHEMY.
IT IS SAD THAT YOUR SUPREME LEADER IS A MERE HUMAN, AND ONE WHO IS KNOWN TO BE MORALLY FLAWED.
ON THE OTHER HAND, THAT THOSE OF YOUR ILK DESIRE A HUMAN AS YOUR SAVIOUR, IS QUITE IN KEEPING WITH THE FACT THAT CONTEMPORARY CIVILIZATION IN THE MIDST OF THE CURRENT CONFUSION IN THE COSMOS IS SEEKING SOME CHARASMATIC CREATURE -AND ANY SUCH ONE- TO HEAD UP THE ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT, TO BE LED BY ANTICHRIST, HIMSELF.
“It would do Bajans well to get accustom to the ‘dropping’ of the titles “Dame” and “Sir” along with the Royal paraphernalia from their public officiating if they don’t want to look like a bunch of V.S. Naipaul’s ‘mimic men’ (and women) unable to sever ties with the British Monarchy and vacate the Royal servant quarters”
that is what everyone is waiting to see, particularly the DROPPING OF THE STRUCTURED SLAVE SOCIETY…..unless ll of that is done, it will be republing in name only with attached shadiness…
unless all of that is done, it will be republic in name only with the attached and accompanying shadiness…
Allow the blogmaster to restate a simple point- the proposed change to a republic is being managed in phases. Phase 1 is a simple change to replace the white Queen of the UK with a born and bred native.
“The majority of Barbadians are blissfully unaware of their civic responsibility. We witness this in most spheres when it comes to the lack of people engagement in governance issues. How many times in this space have we highlighted where Barbadians have ceded their civic responsibility?”
people on another forum are putting together a social grouping to educate people on their civic duties, human rights, network on knowledge sharing of LEGAL RIGHTS…that sleazy lawyers hide from their clients, sleazy government ministers hide from the people etc…
the prudent thing to do is put together such a grouping, someone can create a website specifically for that…..there is no excuse i built a website in 8 days and had no clue what i was doing but it got built…
@ Miller September 29, 2021 9:16 AM
What you call “forked tongue” just reflects the twisted will of the people.
We must think out-of-the-box and enable our Supreme Leader to rule state, party and sheeple, I mean people.
“Phase 1 is a simple change to replace the white Queen of the UK with a born and bred native”
how does that change anything, ya replacing Elizabeth with someone she/the system trained…..how ya gonna change that level of indoctrination/mindwash…after over 6 decades..
i thought the intelligent thing to do was to change the CONSTITUTION FIRST…they warbled about republic for over 2 years and had the time..
people on another forum are putting together a social grouping to educate people
let me rephrase, the group has already been formed, hundreds of thousands are members, nearly 1 million, they have online public discussions etc…and even put together a Black manifesto to keep everything in perspective, the time for talking, posting etc is over…it’s long past time for action.
Let me ask all the doubters of the Republic: If I remember correctly, Britain did not hold a referendum on emancipation among eligible voters in 1834. So if I am to believe our BU commentators, emancipation was illegal and Barbadians of African descent are still slaves.
Argumentum ad absurdum!
Those who want to hold on to the royal house should provide substantial arguments instead of hiding behind paragraphs.
@ David September 29, 2021 9:14 AM
“Barbados is the first country to disengage its constitution from England?”
No! The USA was. And it was done through a revolution expressing the Will of the people (except the black slaves).
What’s so ‘hard’ about getting the Will of the people either by way of revolution or elections or referendum as is done in more enlightened jurisdictions like Switzerland?
Is the Voice of the people No longer the voice of God?
The blogmaster was not aware that what you stated inspired the American Revolution, always willing to soak up new information.
@ Tron September 29, 2021 9:45 AM
“Argumentum ad absurdum”, indeed!
BTW, Universal Adult Suffrage, the bedrock of any referendum, was not present in Britain prior to the 20th century so there could not have been any say by the people on the matter of the abolition of chattel slavery in Barbados.
Who wants to hold on to the Royal coattail that is about to be relegated to a mere museum piece of a tourist attraction when the current monarch abdicates?
The question is why aren’t the people being consulted via their voting on the matter the same way the British people were invited to do on the EU?
Isn’t Barbados still a people’s democracy?
Why can’t the majority of the people of Barbadoes express the wish (or refusal) to carry on smartly under the royal umbrella the same way T&T and Jamaica are happy to carry on under the same British Privy Council as the judicial agent of last resort?
Aren’t you the very Tron who likes to regale the BU audience about how better-off the still-British colonies are, economically and materially?
“The question is why aren’t the people being consulted via their voting on the matter the same way the British people were invited to do on the EU?”
the people have a right NOT TO VOTE since their opinions are not important, so why vote…just CAPSIZE the fraud show that works against them come 2023 and watch minosters scramble to put it back together again…aint enuff Slaves or minorities to put anyone in the parliament….most people have already turned against the government…the most important people, the ones they suffered and wilfully neglected.
13 US colonies…heavily colonized…still suffering the negative effects today that we are witnessing..
a group is already making recommendations…those with the knowledge and the drive can take it one step further…..and later even further..
William…that’s what i was suggesting earlier this year, a forum solely for educating the people about all the things the two toxic governments and the lawyers hid from them for half century….and with the hollow sounding promise for a new constitution, people will have to be even more vigilant than before…
sorely needed is.a database strictly for information purposes where whatever people don’t know can be accessed…so they don’t ever get away with this muzzling and hiding facts ever again.
i already have something like that set up but for other reasons…a commitment made couple years ago
I knew from the time they started yapping, yapping about republic ya would get the sleight of hand, exclude the people and work hard to keep the same go nowhere, for the majority population. status quo…but the people are on to them…they definitely will never get away with it this time and they cannot muzzle anyone.
“One caller drew the panel’s attention to what he saw as a major weakness in the existing Westminster model of parliament, which he argued cannot remain in a new democratic Barbados because it disenfranchises a substantial portion of the electorate.”
In case you wanted to know…
Signed in to that zoom conference last night. I left in no time. Gonna do the same here…
“First, since then, the will of the people and the will of the leader have been one. The people did not elect a party in May 2018, but their Supreme Leader for life. The people did not elect a party but the movement of our Supreme Leader. Therefore, there is no need to consult the will of the people again. We do not need a referendum on the Republic, not even new parliamentary elections. They are absolutely superfluous.”
Ah… the quiet part out loud.
It comes as no surprise that the fascists are now so excited to speak their truth.
The totalitarian freaks are reveling in the complete debasement of the will of the people.
It was never about whether the PEOPLE of Barbados wanted to move to a Republic, that would involve something known as the “democratic” process. Why bother with that? It was never like the current administration ever cared about democracy anyways.
God forbid, the people of this country may not agree with the desires, or the will, of the Party.
So what is to be done?
Promise a referendum then break that promise.
After all, the opinion of the Barbadian masses is only important at election time, when there’s plenty of opportunity to bribe them with their own money to vote for particular candidates. Beyond that, fuck off.
We have a bevy full of ass-lickers parading on State TV and Radio making believe that they speak for EVERY Barbadian all day, every day, so who cares what the average Bajan thinks, especially if he or she dares to disagree with the Party.
What is amazing though, is that not only does the administration not care about the will of the very people that voted them in to their positions of power, but their supporters are glad to have the opportunity to hand over to all executive powers to a right wing administration, they are all toying with the idea of using this power to negate the need for democratic process ever again. The supporters of the Party are delighted to have authoritarian rule – they are ecstatic. Not one of them have said: “Hey, let’s here what everyone has to say. If the Party is so much loved and popular as they say they are, why not take the opportunity to have the people express all this love in an even more public way. After all, we won 30 – 0.”
This reminds one of the Austrians during WWII. Hitler didn’t have to invade. The people welcomed the Nazis with open arms, and cheered them on. They actually passed a motion in their “Parliament” to effectively install Hitler as their leader, and NASDAP as their administration. They greeted the death of their freedom with applause.
Whether or not I want to move to a Republic is immaterial. The will of the majority is what should matter if we are even pretending to call ourselves a functioning democracy. The impetus is on the ruling administration to make the argument for their policies in such a way as to convince the people of their point of view, and after that process, to let the people decide.
Yet, this has not happened. Even the Commissions that are being so proudly touted as “proof” of the inevitability of moving to republic status recommends having a referendum.
However, the need to create a legacy and cement power into the hands of a particular few is being masqueraded as the “next logical step after Independence” and a way to show the world that Barbados is finally able to do what needs to be done in her best self-interests without the permission of our colonial masters.
Give me a fucking break!
The same so-called “Pan-Africanists” and “Afro-centrists” brayed joyously when Nelson was moved, but when our strong, courageous leader goes around the world on the tax-payer’s dime cap in hand, and without any sense of the slightest shame, irony, or self-awareness, begging the same people she declares independence from for money, they say nothing.
She brags about how much money she borrows and how she “saved” the country from fiscal disaster. Yet, she found it prudent to waive VAT (from 2001 no less) and income tax penalties on businesses and the wealthy, drop the corporate tax rate to less than 10%, give her bloated Cabinet a 5% raise even before any one of them drove a stroke for that money, hire expensive consultants at the expense of hundreds of civil servants’ jobs, all the while piling on even more national debt than that for which she decried her predecessors for amassing. This genius sui generis even created a Ministry of the Blue Economy, while not ever having a Blue Industry. Genius, I tell you.
She needn’t worry though, all she has to do is call on her dishonest base, give them all the red meat they want and all will be well. Go back to the tried and true formula of blaming the DLP for her glaring mis-steps, her ineptitude, her inadequacy, her incompetence and when that doesn’t work as wanted, blame the COVID-19 pandemic – because of course she would.
She need not take responsibility for anything, why after all who do you think she is, a Prime Minister? A leader? Apologies, Supreme Leader? Responsibility resting solely with the Government only applies when another party is in power. When things go wrong under this administration, the leader is not to be blamed, but the people without her power (and she is always careful to remind everyone that SHE IS IN POWER) surely they can bear the brunt of the blame – why not? They voted her in to her position – so who do you think is really to blame but them?
Still, we cheer them on.
They brag about how she repaired the roads (because now ALL the potholes in Barbados have disappeared forever! YAY!) She got the shit off the streets, but now that the same shit is being directed into the sea destroying the reefs, or Graeme Hall’s prime species, they have nothing to say. Her protesters took the streets in action against an NSRL on behalf of big business, but can’t be half-assed to protest staggering fuel prices, the real impact of which is now being felt in every other sphere of their own lives. The jackass whom I cited above often questions Guy Hewitt and his actions overseas as ambassador, but not a word about Clarke being paid as ambassador to Canada for almost a year while still here in Barbados; nor any question about Thompson’s mysterious return from her foreign posting. Her administration is touting the rezoning of Zone 1 land in order to satisfy squatters, most of whom are foreigners, but have no problem threatening legal landowners with confiscation of their property for the slightest infractions.
And we cheer them on.
They call her a hero. They call her tough. Really? So tough that at any perceived slight she feels compelled to silence her detractors even for the pettiest “non-compliance”?
She celebrates thirty plus years as a political fighter, but she can’t point to one piece of legislation or policy of her making that was of material benefit to the people of this country – not one. You know what? Maybe I am wrong, maybe she could single out the idea of putting condoms in prison, or better yet, suggesting that… oh, never mind. Truth is anathema.
Unfortunately, the same people that reveled in the democratically decided results of May 18, 2018 are now the same ones celebrating the complete dismissal of the opinion of the people in a decision that must materially affect everyone’s lives. These people have never cared for democracy and they never will. Barbadians will realize soon enough. Is it not strange that the Party that was dead set against the 1966 move to Independence and thereafter spent decades trying to undermine the effort by constantly questioning if “Independence” really meant “true freedom” would so suddenly be super enthusiastic to move to the extreme of a Republic? Even the fucking clown whom I cited above often writes that the Father of Independence, Errol W. Barrow is a criminal worthy of eternal defamation for leading this country into independence, but that same douche-nozzle is all in for the “Supreme Leader” transforming us lickety-split into a republic, without any reference to, or democratically meaningful input from, the citizens of this country. Doesn’t that seem just a tad hypocritical? Doesn’t this sound a little like typical fascist bullshit? Well, it’s certainly familiar to – Oh no! I now remember, the blogmaster said that that is all “satire”.
This manic, hasty move to a republic, without the due respect shown to the will of the Barbadian majority as part of the truly democratic process, is nothing more than part of a desperate, political power-grab by a proto-fascist administration aided and abetted by racist, partisan forces and enabled by a lazy, feckless, irresponsible people who have no idea of what true democracy means.
Our democracy, like our country, does not belong to the BLP, the DLP, the NDP, the PdP, Solutions or whatever other organization there could be found here struggling for supremacy. Our democracy belongs to the people of Barbados. Barbados for Barbadians first! We have the power to install or remove these miscreants from power as WE see fit. That we act in willful ignorance of this fact is a damning indictment of our so-called “patriotism”. We don’t exercise that power simply because we have taken it for granted.
The powers that be, however, have not.
Why do you think this administration is moving so swiftly to centralize all executive powers into the hands of the PM? Why do you think that they are so hasty in their moves to secure for her all powers over the police, the military, and most importantly, the Public Service?
These people have realized the power the people have, even if the idiot people themselves do not. The Party has perceived that the 30-0 was not a final judgment on the political future of this country. No, they realized that this was an unfortunate (for us, the people) aberration that afforded them the opportunity to finally fulfill their nascent fascist agenda. They must move now to secure this power completely, finally for themselves and away from a people dreadfully ignorant of this power to begin with. They realize that as easy as 30-0 went in their favor, it could oh so easily go against them. That, my friends, is what must never happen.
And we cheer them on.
@ Miller September 29, 2021 10:23 AM
Of course, the change to the Republic is economically completely pointless and costly. The change has only one political purpose, to distract our naive masses from the Corona mess. That is the only point.
“”History shows that it does not matter who is in power or what revolutionary forces take over the government, those who have not learned to do for themselves and have to depend solely on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they had in the beginning.”
-Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro”
as forseen, this is where everything is at, it’s the dependency on others strangling the majority population, that is what they have to break away and free themselves from and that is what dumb negros in the parliament are pushing down their throats. Fight back..
@Elon MuskSeptember 29, 2021 12:55 PM
Your insults aside, a nice essay. Really well done for someone who has as much anger in his belly as you do. It hurts when you no longer have an official Mercedes and public servants around you, doesn’t it?
But if you accuse me of a contradiction because I condemn Barrow’s independence plan but praise Mottley’s republic plan, you do me an injustice.
After setting the wrong course in 1966, we have to make the best of the desolate situation. This is undoubtedly the republic, because it creates new civil service posts, distracts the masses from the economic problems and checkmates the opposition through constitutional amendments in the small print. And that permanently.
Consider me as an inspiration for our Supreme Leader. Let us ignite the republican flame. This constitutional amendment will only be the first on the road to a presidential republic with unlimited power for a president for life.
“The same so-called “Pan-Africanists” and “Afro-centrists” brayed joyously when Nelson was moved, but when our strong, courageous leader goes around the world on the tax-payer’s dime cap in hand, and without any sense of the slightest shame, irony, or self-awareness, begging the same people she declares independence from for money, they say nothing.”
How true, Elon Musk. How true. I guess we could even become friends one day. It is indeed very striking that the reparation claims over slavery are being brought up now, just now, when we are in a deep recession. This sounds more like the search for the ATM than the search for justice.
By the way, you should put yourself in MY shoes. Do you know how difficult it is to put a positive spin on all official manoeuvres and proclamations and to make sense of them?
“For, as we attempt to rewrite our constitutional history, re-casting Barbados as a republic, as a priority, will neither reconstruct Barbados’s sorry past as a captive, slave, plantation society, nor usher in any type of Utopian future.”
It shall be a celebration for X-slaves to rejoice set off fireworks and dance around bonfires, children will break open pinatas of queen elisa and adults will get drunk and be merry
stop whining and party hearty
“For, as we attempt to rewrite our constitutional history, re-casting Barbados as a republic, as a priority, will neither reconstruct Barbados’s sorry past as a captive, slave, plantation society, nor usher in any type of Utopian future.”
The spirit of all the slaves ancestors for 20 generations will be with you and smiling and giving their blessings
it will be a time of remembrance of how far you have all come with a respectful memory of your African roots
Oh dear! Such vitriol! One should be able to fly to the moon with all that steam! Sans rocket!
Miss Mottley is no different from those who preceded her.
This change will be a symbolic but welcome change for me.
It is up to us to make it more than symbolic.
@ Tron September 29, 2021 4:07 PM
By the way, you should put yourself in MY shoes. Do you know how difficult it is to put a positive spin on all official manoeuvres and proclamations and to make sense of them? (Unquote)
Only if Elon Musk et al could appreciate what the consummate satirist you are!
Instead of surrounding herself with a gaggle of yes-men (and wo(e)men like Donna) why can’t the nakedly vulnerable Empress aka Supreme Leader just hire the court jester called “Tron” to tell her how politically well dressed she is?
One Naked Depature is enough for this island!
Yuh mudda was the yes woman! She said yes to all the sailors.
One of her cheap tricks was yuh fadda.
@Tron, in other words, the Republic is all about Ms Mottley not Barbados!
Blasted ass! I was for the republic since I literally turned my back on the queen (as always, with a common “q”) in 1976.
At that time, I expect Mia would have been lining Constitution Rd as I was, waiting for Lizzie to pass.
I betcha Mia did not turn her back then. Just Donna and her two best friends.
So who is saying “yes” to whom?
“Doan trouble trouble till trouble trouble you!”
“The May 2018 general elections were more than a referendum on the DLP. They were a revolution.”
The BLP won but there was no revolution. If there was, the BLP would not continue the same licentious relationship with Mark Maloney like their predecessors or the numerous things that have been done to day to the ire of the population.
Do you know the meaning of “REVOLUTION? What fundamental changes have occurred in Barbados since then?
@ Heather September 29, 2021 8:19 PM
These are not my words.
Our Supreme Leader cannot do more than the people allow. Of course, it would be economically necessary to devalue the totally overpriced Barrow dollar, lower wages, extend the working week and curb the power of the unions. But in a country that pays homage to rebellious union leaders, social workers and other freeloaders on its banknotes and as national heroes, this is unfortunately impossible.
Remember my words: the will of the people manifests itself in our Supreme Leader. She only does what the majority wants. People should therefore look at their own noses instead of pointing at our Supreme Leader.
@ Heather September 29, 2021 8:33 PM
According to Marx, you have to distinguish between the superstructure and the substructure:
With us, the superstructure consists of the masses and their political leaders. My concept of revolution refers only to this level, a level of politics. The powerful businessmen, that is the substructure. It stands firm like a rock and is independent of the political change in the superstructure.
In other words, our businessmen run the theatre, the politicians are the actors and the masses are the paying guests.
Mia serving up a long tall glass of kool-aid called Republicism and the blp chasing it like it was gold
One can bet that if Mia pulls this bad joke off ( bad as in Nov30th already the designated time for Barbados independence
Bad as in a woman overly obsessed with placing her name in history an important step similar to The right honorable Errol Barrow upon which she is bound and determined making baby steps to erase Errol Barrow name for the minds of future generations
Bad as in grossly insluting to Barrows name
What more does she has hiding in that red bag to stink the whole country up
Inquiring minds wants to.know
Wunnuh head hard as Baloney cement!
TRON IS BEING PROVOCATIVE!
DavidSeptember 29, 2021 9:14 PM
Barbados pushing to becoming a republic — PM
Monday, March 23, 2015
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says Barbados will be moving towards a republican form of government “in the very near future” ending its centuries old relationship with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as its head of state
The difference being Mottley has turned the historical importance into a bad joke
First giving the people assurance that their voices would by heard by mandate and did not
Then setting aside Nov30th as the desired designated date .insulting and Shameful
Then having smily teet Marshall to lay out legal first steps for Barbados to become Republic and knowing when asked to get involved in things legal once can expect disaster
However the only saving grace is that it might take Marshall a year to finalize the first step saving barbadians from another moment of embarrassing legal gaffs all associated. with this govt
Heather…rest assured she will get away with NONE OF IT..
doubt she is a master at high stakes poker…or mental chess…but she can always try in this rocky environment.
salary sucking laggards, all government ministers are good at is hiring consultants and agents…they can do nothing for the people who hired them, always need to hire others at the people’s expense, so what does anyone need any of them for..
A wise man sent from Heaven above to do his Father God’s Works once said the following wisdom to the massive
So light up a fat head spliff kick off your shoes and listen to King Tubby meets the Upsetter at the Grass Roots of Dub in a legal stylee and then rewind it back again and go tell your friends
Jah Jah Skanking, Winston Edwards, Wood Roots, King Tubby Meets The Upsetter
Just as foreseen by ancestor Carter G. Woodson. We find ourselves echoing what others have said before and only now realizing that it was seen and said decades ago.
“”With ‘mis-educated Negroes’ in control themselves, however, it is doubtful that the system would be very much different from what it is or that it would rapidly undergo change.”
-Carter G. Woodson
So yall got a complaint lodged with the police because the personal property of a deceased from Harrison’s Point went missing as soon as he passed away and the family made a video….only because they did that they were suddenly called and told they found the wallet that they first claimed was not there,, but the rings were in someone’s suitcase….tiefing during a time of death…no scruples…
that one above ended up on the wrong thread.
Pacha, Pacha, Pacha…….and IT CAME TO PASS…..this ancestor left us in 1950 years before i was born.
“”In this untoward situation the Negro finds himself at the close of the third generation from Emancipation. He has been educated in the sense that persons directed a certain way are more easily controlled, or as Ovid remarked, ‘In time the bull is brought to bear the yoke.’ The Negro in this state continues as a child. He is restricted in his sphere to small things, and with these he becomes satisfied. His ambition, does not rise any higher than to plunge into the competition with his fellows for these trifles. At the same time those who have given the race such false ideals are busy in the higher spheres from which Negroes by their mis-education and racial guidance have been disbarred.”
-Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro”
Here we go again! Mischief making at its worse!
Ya can’t find someone’s content to go tief….dumb bich there is a video, just like there is proof that a family was at Harrison’s point, with the adult tested positive, did not get treatment right away and on a sunday morning there were no meals and they HAD CHILDREN WITH THEM……and i don’t have to provide proof for either..go look for it yaself…
…dim, where is dimmer.
So doing the math while facing reality, we are at the close of at least 5 GENERATIONS from EMANCIPATION….and it’s the same old bullshit system with miseducated corrupt negros in control..
The juxtaposition of democracy and republicanism presumes that they are mutually exclusive.
This is not so. For a democracy could exist under republicanism and vice versa.
Monarchy and republicanism represents a more precise question.
So…. maybe one person MAY have stolen something. And that is a reason to pounce like a bloody school girl gossip and cast suspicion on all of the workers there.
Why not just let the police do their job?
Mischief making at its worst!
P.S. I have completed our book and determined that I could never squeeze out a shittier pile. So I decided to retire at the top of the heap.
Plus, you have me shaking in my shoes at the thought of seeing the nastier side of you or rather, the thought of seeing you at all. Oh the horror!
All green and warty and slimy, I imagine. Like the wicked witch you are.
But I had too much fun yesterday and my sides are still aching.
So… you may have the last cackle.
This bitch has business with more worthy opponents!
You are way tooooooo easy! Like Assie!
Blasted idiot still does not understand that if people show up with extras in tow there will be problems with meals.
Blasted idiot does not understand that big so-called developed countries are turning away patients and rationing care.
Blasted idiot does not understand that if Bajans refuse to act responsibly, they have no-one to blame but themselves.
I don’t know why the witch won’t wave her magic wand and make all the problems disappear.
On yeah, it is because she is a WICKED witch!
On the world stage.
“Monarchy and republicanism represents a more precise question”
This is how a REAL republic works….with all it’s faults France can still manage to get it right….i can never see it happening with miseducated corrupt negros ..
a little ignoramus like you who steal WORDS from the living would happily steal ANYTHING from THE DEAD….ya won’t see a thing wrong with that…
I just see that the Royal Wee Wee and the Little Pee Peesex think that I don’t know the use of the Royal “We”.
Wunnuh too full uh wunnuhselves!
“This writer” “broader body of work” shite!
You think tossing around the term “empire” is all it takes to qualify?
So damn pretentious!
“Little Pee Pee” . Cut out the “sex” I changed his name and forgot it there.
Royal Wee Wee and Little Pee Pee
has it even entered ya tiny peabrain that Pacha is already PUBLISHED…and qualified to call himself a writer….and actually have a body of papers….it’s clear ya not familiar with the term, it’s writer’s lexicon….i too have a body of work….just like i can say “this writer” because i wrote my own book with my own words and plagiarized none, ya jealousy clouds your minuteness until ya have become insignificant……
so busy don’t even have the time for lame brains today….maybe ya should put yaself out of ya nonwriter’s misery and take a writer’s class, it will minimize the chances of ya jealousy poisoning ya system and finishng ya off…
Some people on BU need a hobby….i am here happily cataloging as many African creatives as I can….because if ya have more than 2 braincells ya can where that would lead…
FYI you may have an issue with your site’s certificate
Greetings to all
Friend or foe
No stars, one star or more stars
Capital letters or different
Published or unpublished
Broader body of work or body is a work of art
Sitting here and cannot get a single thought going..
“Disgrace is the reward of excess.”
I would like to remind everybody: 1 October 2021 is coming! Be prepared to march!
Quite sure he has published. I have read some terribly crappy books in my time.
I am trying to figure out why someone would take a wallet [with money, multiple pieces of ID perhaps??] jewellry and other valuables to a place where they may end up in intensive care.
I am also trying to find out also why a family would want to take home clothes from a place where a highly infectious disease is knocking about?
I have been in hospital both in Barbados and abroad. I take no money, no jewleery, 1 piece of ID.
I also own a ring or two. Since the pandemic I have not worn ANY ring, because tell me how does one wash/sanitize one’s hands properly while wearing a ring under which all kinds of nasty viruses can lodge?
Please people don’t take valuables to a hospital. And in this Covid era please ask the hospital to incinerate your family’s clothing. I beg you please do not bring home possibility contaminated clothing from Harrison Point.
Last time I checked the wicked witch asked my permission to publish a little parody this “non-writer” wrote in jest.
And as usual, I cared nothing about being published.
The fun is in the process.
P.S. Don’t deny it or I’ll call up Artax, the Archive Man!
I remember TB. I remember when the old lady at the end of our street died. I remember when the health officials came and had a big bonfire under the mango tree.
The mango tree survived. I ate some of its sweet mangoes during the “summer” this year.
I have, on one occasion, had $3000 dollars stolen off me at my workplace.
I had no clue who it was and did not want to cast suspicion on anyone wrongfully. Did not see how the police could help. Too many people around. Kept my mouth shut and moved on. No unnecessary and futile drama. Came home, had a good cry and went back to work next day with a smile.
There was no social media then, of course but I obviously would not have used it if there had been.
This person could have called the police and left it in their hands.
But, of course, they wanted to pull down all the staff at the facility and get noticed on social media.
When it is clear that nearly half of adult Bajans don’t have enough sense to shelter themselves from a shower of rain, or a DEADLY PANDEMIC, I don’t know how we expect these same people to make a sensible decision about republic or no republic.
@Donna September 30, 2021 5:18 PM “Cuhdear Bajan, I have, on one occasion, had $3000 dollars stolen off me at my workplace.”
So sorry to hear this Donna.
I have had $450 stolen off me at work. I did not report it. But subsequently other people did complain. The employer installed security cameras and caught the employee red handed. The long standing, very highly regarded employee was terminated the same day. I have a friend who does such security work. The cameras I am told are smaller than the rubber at the top of a pencil and are typically installed in the middle of the night when no employees are around.
I confess that I can find no sympathy for them. Maybe I should but I can’t.
These are the same people who don’t check a doggy or a pussy for HIV or anything else before they inject the owner’s body fluids into their body.
They don’t know what the person has in their body fluids that may kill them but they want to know what’s in the vaccine that may kill them.
@Miller September 29, 2021 9:16 AM “decriminalization of marijuana and legitimization of same sex relationships.”
Marijuana use should have bee decriminalized long time ago. Although I have never used the stuff myself.
Same sex relationships should have been recognized a long time ago. I mean has anybody anywhere ever asked any government anyplace for permission to be gay?
“P.S. Don’t deny it or I’ll call up Artax, the Archive Man!”
why would i deny it, i thought it funny and would definitely put it out there…did i not ask permission…because that is how it’s done….if you think you are the only one i asked nah.., from one end of the earth to the other, ya will find people, some famous, some not whose writings, videos, articles, etc i asked permission to publish….
And you saw my process. I had great fun. And I was done.
I care nothing for publishing.
I have no problem with us moving to a republic status. I even care less about the procedures use in getting there. And even though it is a feel good symbolic ploy, the national pysche demand such change.
Blogmaster really need to put up a thread for locals who are inspirational writers, this one is very impressive….did not even have to think twice to promote it.
“In 2010, while serving as a Lance Corporal in the United Kingdom Army in Afghanistan, the armoured vehicle he was travelling in was bombed and he sustained injuries which resulted in him becoming a double below-knee amputee.
Rather than allow his new limitation to become a barrier, through immense strength, dedication, willpower and family support, Mapp lifted himself and broke boundaries he had never even envisaged. One such was the historic occasion of becoming the first Barbadian and Briton to claim the European Para-Bobsleigh Championship title 2019.”
Under the Republic, wouldn’t the citizens elect a president from a choice of candidates. What’s proposed, looks like a stacked deck. Giving someone five years! Who establishes their remuneration? What are their duties?
Nothing changes on November 30 except a white Queen as head of state is replaced by a black native woman of the soil Sandra Mason.
Big up the young lady for her creativity…..and hitting the international stage at a sprint….kudos to Rihanna…most people only need a hand up.
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The election of our first, new president was a day of infamy. Our Supreme Leader prepared everything in the best possible way. And what does the outspoken senator, Barbados public enemy no. 1, then do? He’s totally misbehaving.
It will soon be time for angry citizens to storm to defend our Supreme Leader, the state and the people!
Let us work to make the government follow through on the promise of constitutional reform – if we can.