GOD Bless BIM…god bless the Republic
Barbados barring no unforeseen event will be declared a Republic on the 30th November 2021. For many including this blogmaster, it has taken too long and with hindsight should have been part of the independence transaction in 1966. It is embarrassing to listen to some Barbadians in 2021 justifying why the Queen of England should be regarded as head of state even if in name only.
The two main arguments against moving to a Republic on the 30 November 2021 – insufficient time has been spent to socialize the republic construct with Barbadians to ensure it captures our expectations and to demystify many about the workings of the Barbados Constitution. The other argument – embarrassing though it is – removal from the protective cloak of England will expose Barbados to economic and ‘other’ threats.
It is an embarrassment after sinking billions of dollars in education with the hope of developing an enlightened people, there is a large segment of the population who lack the confidence to appreciate the freedom of the mind that comes with truly being free. What did the late Nesta Marley messaged years ago? – we must emancipate our minds from mental slavery …
The anticipation of walking into public buildings; schools and other places and not being subjected to looking at the face of Queen Elizabeth II prominently displayed on walls has created a ‘rush’ for the blogmaster. That foreign face will be replaced by soon to be President Sandra Mason, a daughter of the soil.
A word about the process. In the opinion of the blogmaster there is no blueprint to move to a Republic. Any path taken would have attracted criticism. The government has taken a decision of switching out the head of state with the promise to open the country to debating constitutional reform next year. To those who say it is a case of putting the cart before the horse, maybe. To those who suggest this is Mia Mottley padding her legacy, maybe. There are those like the blogmaster who are concerned Barbadians are some of the biggest procrastinators on the planet and needed a Mottley to bulrush this first step towards validating what’s we already are – a Republic. Uneasy lies the head that wear the crown…
The blogmaster is looking forward to the public debate as promised in 2022 about how we make the Barbados Constitution more relevant. For too long successive governments have promised to move this matter forward and failed. For too long although laying claim to be an educated people, too many Barbadians are woefully unaware of civic responsibilities enshrined in our Constitution. Hopefully when the time comes for public debate on constitutional reform, it will be as robust as the ongoing debate regarding the deletion of God replaced with Creator in the Charter of Barbados being debated in the House.