New Republic, ‘Soulless’ Process

I did not think that I would have to write again about Barbados’ move to a republic. It has been a dud of a process and the selection of the President has been anticlimactic.

A noted academic described the process as “soulless”.  I think that has resonated with many Barbadians at home and abroad, even those of us who wanted the Queen removed as our head of state. Though, we know in our governance systems, it is a Prime Minister that “runs things.”

If former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart had approached Barbados’ transition to republic with no genuine public consultation on the form of republic Barbados was to become, former Opposition Leader Mia Mottley, based on the track record, would have likely played high politics with marches, walk-outs of Parliament and taking to the streets. As I have said in this column before, what is good for one is good for the other.

I want a republic as most Barbadians, but no one would ever call the current republican process, properly executed. In other ways it has been undignified and exclusionary.

The very way the independence constitution was created as an elite, hierarchal exercise for the big-ups, this move to a republic was done in a similar if not worse fashion.

At least at the time of Independence there was spirited debate on all sides of the argument throughout the country and in Parliament. This moment has not been met with that same level of debate or engagement.

We are told by some commentators that we are to beat the drums and dance in the streets to celebrate the fall of Babylon. How has Babylon fallen when Barbadians were intentionally and directly left out the process for deciding the type of republic Barbados has become.

How do some commentators live in their glorious contradictions? Celebrate removing the Queen as head of State and the oaths of allegiance to the Queen but cannot respond to the fact that we will have a new republic with an old independence constitution.

The independence constitution that for example, contains a savings law clause to ‘save’ existing colonial laws, does not contain an explicit right to privacy and contains a preamble that tells the story of the oppressor while excluding the story of slavery and the people whose backs, literally and figuratively, on which Barbados was built.

Whenever the issue is raised, no one can adequately respond, because there is none but to recognise the contradiction. Maybe for these commentators, it is like asking a builder to repair your house. You come home and it is nicely painted on the outside and you feel very good until you walk through the door to realise the termites and rodents still infest the walls, but it is all too late.

You paid the money, and the builder is nowhere to be found, but at least you can keep pretending to your neighbours that everything is well, as you swat the termites and rodents from inside your home.

The saddest part of this whole republican affair is that we have been robbed of what should have been ours. Our moment has been hijacked by a political class unable to understand the shortcomings of its approach. We have simply swapped one ceremonial head of state for another ceremonial head of state as selected by the political class.

This could have been a moment to innovate and show bold new thinking on our governance. The status quo, essentially remains the same, though the Queen was removed.

I guess when you broadcast to the world a deadline, but do not engage with your own people, you are driven by those external forces and timelines. Sounds, oddly colonial.

It would have taken tremendous resolve to pause and understand the process of transitioning Barbados to a republic needed to genuinely include the People as the constituent element of the constitution of Barbados.

Ronnie Yearwood is a lecturer in law, lawyer and social commentator. Email: yearwood.r.r.f@gmail.com

Related Links:

        https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/06/20/btcolumn-4/      

        https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/08/11/btcolumn-dont-treat-bajans-with-contempt

220 comments

  • These anonymous trolls can be a danger with their warped minds
    but hate is still a form of subjective attachment

    I’m not talking about content success or money if that is the goal
    but publishing a book is an achievement in itself
    especially as she appeared to be a full nut job

    but her posts make no sense and she claims she a leading original thinker in pachas league when she is unoriginal derived and snide

    her book probably has no content that wasn’t said on Bu already

    One Question
    does she hate and resent Beckles with contempt as he is established researcher author expert and teacher in the field of slavery (no pun intended)
    or did she write a book on Slavery because she hates Beckles

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  • Wait…Husbands speaking again!!! The Hibernating one whose social media went dead after May 2018…is suddenly full of talk. The Don is “otherwise engaged”, but seems she knows she has a fight on her hands.

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  • The dumbness among some is frightening….the word hate is FRIGHTENING, that is why i do not use or entertain it……people use the word out of emotion and do not understand its power

    definition of dislike..

    1 : a feeling of aversion or disapproval 2 obsolete : discord 3 : something that a person habitually does not like or enjoy talking about his likes and dislikes

    i use dislike in place of hate….because one word has no power….the other has A LOT OF POWER…

    definition of hate as a noun…because the verb is a DOING WORD..

    noun

    1.
    intense or passionate dislike:
    “feelings of hate and revenge”

    Full Definition of dumb. (Entry 1 of 2) 1 a : lacking intelligence : stupid pretended to be dumb. b : showing a lack of intelligence asking dumb questions a dumb look on his face. c : requiring no

    when someone can hate an anonymous blogger WHOM THEY HAVE NEVER MET….and only just saw what they look like…..ya know there are mental problems there somewhere…i don’t even hate people who have done me wrong, because there are better ways to handle that…..without the emotion…..coldly applied but still devoid of hate…bet ya the hater don’t have the nerve to post a photo.

    guess everyone has to wait and see or hear what’s in the book….

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  • You are in good company, thousands across continents are waiting patiently on both book and magazine.

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  • This is why i have an aversion to the word, we are seeing what HATE is NOW DOING to those who have hated us FOR CENTURIES……but it was expertly inculcated in the anti-African minds of blacks against those who display conscious thought.

    not that i give a shit, haters deserve what they get if they have all that time to wear a draining emotion…just interested in this for my second book, and more interested in the second part of this article which i did not post.

    “Hate is a mighty strong emotion. This mental venom can pollute your spirit, poison your soul and seep into all of the relationships that surround you. Anyone who has found themselves wrapped up in the arms of hate knows how damaging and mind-consuming it can become.:

    While hate can be directed at almost anything – animals, foods, jobs, movies – the most destructive is hatred toward other people.
    Today, I want you to ask yourself these questions: Does hate have a place in my life? Do I harbor any feelings of hatred toward myself or anyone else? If you do, I implore you to address this negative feeling before it becomes something much more dangerous. Hate, when left unchecked, will drain your spirit, tarnish your soul and darken your days.

    Generally speaking, there are two kinds of hate: the kind that’s turned outward (explosion), and the kind that’s turned inward (implosion). Both of these will eat you up inside, so if you find yourself living with hate, perhaps today is a good day for a little wellness housecleaning.

    Hating Others
    Hate turned outward is both dangerous and ugly. It can motivate violent crime and damaging behaviors. The recent shooting at the L.A. Fitness gym in Pennsylvania is a painful reminder of this. The gunman’s hatred toward women and their perceived rejection of him fueled the desperation, insanity and carnage that cost several people their lives.

    At the heart of all hatred is blame, and this is particularly true for hatred turned outward. When one feels like they’ve been seriously wronged or victimized by someone (A FORMER ANONYMOUS BLOGGER?????) 🤣🤣🤣, their discontent and anger carries with it the potential seeds of hatred. This quote from Siddhartha Buddha says it all: Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

    I like this quote because the antidote for hatred is definitely within your grasp. The hand that slaps also has the potential to become the hand that comforts. It all depends how you choose to use that hand.

    This point is also made in this anecdote, Native American in origin: A grandfather talking to his young grandson tells the boy he has two wolves inside of him, struggling with each other. The first is the wolf of peace, love and kindness. The other is the wolf of fear, greed and hatred. “Which wolf will win, grandfather?” asks the young boy. “Whichever one you feed” is the reply.
    I couldn’t agree more with these two sentiments. The more you hold onto hatred, the more likely it is that the hot coal of the emotion will burn you. And the more you feed it, the stronger it becomes.

    (AGAIN…NOT THAT I GIVE A SHIT, your hate, you deal with it…..ya can keep it for all i care, if ya have power to give away)

    However, you can control the feelings that can lead to hatred. I’ve developed a different meaning for “hate” – an acronym of the mindset you need to counter this destructive emotional assault on your mind and body. Simply think of H.A.T.E this way: Healing Aggressive Thoughts Emotionally.

    Consider the following five steps to diffuse your hatred:
    1. When you begin to feel hateful thoughts, stop, take a deep breath, let it out very slowly and repeat this process for four or five repetitions.
    2. Consciously challenge your irrational hateful thoughts.
    3. Replace those hateful irrational thoughts with calmer rational thoughts.
    4. If your feelings are directed at another person, limit your contact with this person.
    5. Employ a “distraction strategy” to refocus your mind – watch a movie, go for a walk, read a book, exercise.

    Actually, since the overall effects of hatred are so physically harmful and emotionally devastating, perhaps we should think of hatred as another type of “H-Bomb.”

    it can kill the hater for all i care….one less asshole misusing the gift of oxygen that others need to do better things for the Afrikan family.

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  • Lecturer: Govt’s approach unusual
    THE WAY GOVERNMENT is going about the move to a republic is unusual, says senior lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Professor Cynthia Barrow-Giles, but she is still giving it her support.
    “What Barbados is doing is rather unusual in terms of the constitutional approach to republicanism.
    “We know that most countries have simply taken a single step, that is, amended the constitution with some changes. What Barbados is doing is, in fact, first going to republic and then later on, as promised, we will have a debate which will probably lead us then hopefully to some changes,” she said yesterday.
    Barrow-Giles was part of a panel, including Queen’s Counsel Hal Gollop and law lecturer Dr Ronnie Yearwood, on Starcom Network’s BrassTacks Sunday radio call-in programme on the topic Our Rights As Republicans.
    She said that according to a survey being undertaken on the transition to a republic, there were mixed feelings as some people felt there had been insufficient public consultation.
    “What is coming out very clearly is that there is a lack of knowledge, not only on what republicanism is all about, but a clear lack of knowledge on our current political system,” she said.
    Current system
    She added that so far the data showed less than ten per cent of the people polled were comfortable with their understanding of the current political system, while a third indicated they had no knowledge of what republicanism was about. Gollop said a lot of fears had arisen out of ignorance of what
    people were being asked to accept.
    “The past administration was also committed to the move, so there should be no political divide on the issue of republicanism.
    “What I believe the Government has to work assiduously towards is to getting that message across and to build confidence among the population, especially those people who are fearful of change,” he said, adding he was one of four people who drafted a republican constitution for the then Government in 2003-2004.
    Yearwood, the Democratic Labour Party candidate for St James South, said while he was enthusiastic about the change, he found the process “quite contradictory in some ways”.
    “There are arguments we must become a republic because of self-edification . . . and coming into your own self. However, you have disregarded and left the people out of the conversations about becoming a republic, and I think that is where the consultation and education would have been important.” (RA)

    Source: Nation

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  • “We know that most countries have simply taken a single step, that is, amended the constitution with some changes. What Barbados is doing is, in fact, first going to republic and then later on, as promised, we will have a debate which will probably lead us then hopefully to some changes,” she said yesterday

    and you are going along with something that is not a SURETY, can go either way because of a history of TREACHERY…….STEUPPSS…

    “as promised” ..one more false promise makes very little difference…….if ya elect me again, i will give you a republic constitution…

    and people are supposed to take yall seriously…steuppps x2

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  • Artax,

    I have tried to ignore it but anyone who repeatedly calls me a thief will rile me up. I do not need to meet her. I know what she has said. She is a real live person calling me a thief, regardless of her name. GP calls me a medical illiterate. That’s not entirely false. I am not qualified in medicine. Lorenzo calls me a pea brain. That is his silly opinion, to which he is entitled.

    But THIEF? That is not a matter of opinion! One has either stolen or one has not. And envy is one of the DEADLIEST sins!

    And…. she says I have given her power over me? Not the kind of power any well person would seek out!

    She hates no-one yet she spews bile every day, all day. Trying to disguise it as something else does not work with me.

    I repeat without reservation that nobody who calls me what she has could be anything other than my enemy! On a blog or in person!

    P.S. Thanks for the heads up! I would not wish to run into the wrong person and mistake her for my enemy. I’ll take it under advisement.

    And now, I am done. David will be happy to hear that any future response to the witch shall be as cryptic as his always are. Nuh lotta long talk!

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  • “Native” + disparing remarks relating to a childlike lack of intelligence and sophistication = connotations other than the strict meaning of the word.

    Words must be interpreted within the context of those around them. Often, that is what gives them meaning beyond strict dictionary definitions.

    All WRITERS know that.

    Try it with the “n” word! Surround it with rap lyrics and it means one thing. Surround it with white supremacist’s tropes and it means something else.

    Put the word “house” in front of it and..
    well I don’t need to tell you about that. That can make your “most frequently used” list!

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  • Correction – DISPARAGING remarks.

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  • I have lived for almost sixty years without hatred in my heart.

    A little bit is unlikely to kill me now, especially when I forget about it as soon as I log out from BU.

    Not much time for watching people riding hobby horses around the nursery these days so I should be good.

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  • none of those words are NATIVE TO AFRIKANS…or black people….they are ALL COLONIZER WORDS…including what you posted…..come with something new and MAYBE ya will impress someone beside the mentally stunted like yaself…..without looking for a piece of cake to be thown at ya to massage ya nonsense..

    Like

  • All these years on BU and NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT…..shameful..

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  • Isn’t it wonderful then that there is life outside of BU? Today is a good day to live it!

    I gone because I know you can’t go.

    Enjoy your daily shit!

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  • “I gone because I know you can’t go.”

    mentally stunted with hatred…

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  • de pedantic Dribbler

    @David, this is risible (as the Dean would say) … I gotta laugh at my lil Bim that was once touted as 99% literate. This must be a joke!..

    “…less than ten per cent of the people polled were comfortable with their understanding of the current political system,”

    What de badword!

    “while a third indicated they had no knowledge of what republicanism was about.”

    Seriously!

    They polled Bajans down at Matcocks Bay around midnight after the third round of Cockspur and Mount Gay!😇🙈

    Bro, you do recall a panel of school girls and boy – a representative poll of our educated youth of that day if we don’t quibble much on statistical models – back in ‘Understanding’ (CBC Programme) days who took a lawyer and senator to task on matters of the role of senate and parliament some 40 plus years ago, right!

    So how in heaven’s name then can we be at a stage now where only 10% of Bajans (a poll is a representative sample of the population, right) don’t understand how our govt Westminster style works!!!

    And after ALL these years of debating and discussing the monarchy as an anachronistic relic you mean to say that only 3 in 10 Bajans understand anything about a republican form of govt!

    Ads too after some almost 50 years plus of Guyana being a Republic form of governance and then too TnT and the big US of A where Bajans travel to in droves and so many got family there you mean that so many Bajans still don’t grasp what an executive Republican or ceremonial Republican system is all about!

    That sir is gravely disheartening … no wonder corruption is so rife bout here … too many are just absolutely indifferent and focused on material needs it seems.

    SMH. Lata.

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  • @Dee Word

    We have regressed maybe?

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  • Donna November 1, 2021 7:24 AM#: “Words must be interpreted within the context of those around them. Often, that is what gives them meaning beyond strict dictionary definitions. All WRITERS know that.”

    @ Donna

    I agree. But, people often engage in ‘splitting hairs.’

    A guy, for example, says he does not use the word ‘kill,’ but, tells people he would deprive them of their lives. Whether he wants to accept it or not and despite him quoting philosophy……… the premeditated intent to kill remains foremost in his thoughts.

    Similarly, the word ‘hate’ is defined as:

    ‘Hate,’ verb …….. 1. feel intense or passionate DISLIKE for (someone): “the boys hate each other.”

    ‘Hate,’ noun …….. 1. intense or passionate DISLIKE: “feelings of hate and revenge.”

    No matter how you may want to describe or ‘window dress’ it, the ‘bottom line’ is …….. by expressing a definitive ‘DISLIKE’ for someone, you’ve essentially EXPRESSED feelings of HATE.

    And, attempting to manipulate what was written by using the words ‘dislike’ or ‘hate’ interchangeably as a noun or verb does not negate those feelings.

    But, remember,………”when someone can ‘DISLIKE’ or ‘DON’T TRUST’ an anonymous blogger WHOM THEY HAVE NEVER MET”……… and then present LIES as his/her JUSTIFICATION for doing so………..”ya know there are SERIOUS mental problems there somewhere.”

    Remain focused….. forget the hate, jealousy nonsense and the other ad hominem attacks.

    The lady has been PROVEN time and time again to be a LIAR. Her evening and morning words SELDOM AGREE. That’s the reason why she hates…… ohhh, sorry, ‘my bad,’……. DISLIKES the archives.

    Her defeat lies therein.

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  • de pedantic Dribbler

    @David, re “We have regressed maybe?”

    Fah sure or those numbers are really just hokus-pokus!

    Lata.

    Like