Difficult Conversations – Was it Worth It?

All people like to hear what they want to hear – even if it is not true. There are three common reasons to tell people what is not true: (i) to encourage them, (ii) to avoid trouble, and (iii) to deceive them.

When children are learning to play musical instruments, their parents may tell them that their initial poor renditions are good – to encourage them to keep practising. A newly married man may think that he has options if his wife asks him if she looks slim. Those married for a while understand that there is only one right answer.


We accept exaggerated compliments from individuals, because we know that the giver had no ill intent. But untruths from corporate and national levels can be dangerous to everyone.

A business selling unsafe products may deceive people in a nation that their products are safe. When consumers are inevitably harmed, the business is negatively branded, and its employees are implicated in the scandal. The longer the deception continues, the worse it will become – for everyone.


A nation does not try to deceive its citizens. Rather, a nation and its citizens normally try to deceive the world. It may start as an innocent mistake – a leader misspoke. But when the citizens conspire with the Government to promote the deception, both may suffer the terrible consequences of negative branding.

The historical record of knowledge transcends law, politics and religion. It is assumed to be accurate, and is taught as fact to children of all nations. Corrupting the historical record is not tolerated, since all people rely on it for research. Tragically, we have corrupted this shared historical record. Fortunately, we can correct it now with no consequences – or be implicated in the certain scandal to follow.


In 2005, the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration passed the Referendum Act, CAP 11A. In 2007, they promised Barbadians that they would get their consent with a referendum, before making Barbados a Republic. [1]

In their 2008 election manifesto, the BLP promised Barbadians that they would “consult the public fully by way of a referendum”, before making Barbados a Republic. [2]

On 15th September 2020, the Governor-General of Barbados read the Throne Speech, stating that Barbados would “become a Republic by the time we celebrate our 55th Anniversary of Independence.”

The following day, the Queen’s response was published: becoming a Republic was “a matter for the government and people of Barbados”. [3]


The following day, on 17th September 2020, the Barbados Labour Party administration informed the international news media that Barbadians had given their consent for Barbados to become a Republic. They claimed that it was at the 2018 General election, stating: “we certainly campaigned on it in the manifesto”. [4]

On 28 June 2021, Foreign Policy reported: “Mottley, who has campaigned on republicanism, won a landslide victory in 2018 elections when her party won all 30 seats in the House of Assembly.” [5]

On 22 November 2021, the National Geographic reported: “Charismatic and outspoken, Mottley campaigned on republicanism to become the nation’s first female leader in 2018.” [6]

On 26 November 2021, iNews UK reported: “She campaigned on republicanism, ahead of her landslide victory in 2018 elections.” [7]


The truth is that there is no mention of any plan to make Barbados a Republic in the BLP’s 2018 general election Manifesto. Further, none of the nine political parties that participated in the 2018 General Election campaigned on Republicanism. All adult Barbadians, both at home and in the diaspora, know this to be true.

To their utter shame, this generation of Barbadian: leaders, politicians, historians, poets, teachers, pastors, journalists, entertainers, writers, media practitioners, and youth leaders seem willing to support the corruption of the shared historical record of all nations.

There is always a reckoning. Our children will inherit the consequences of this reckless support. At that time, they may ask whether our active or passive support for deceiving the world was worth it – and we better have a good answer to give them.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com
[1] Still A Voice. Nation, 26 November 2007.
[2] Barbados Labour Party Manifesto 2008, page 77.
[3] The Guardian UK, Patrick Wintour (Diplomatic Editor), 16 September 2020.
[4] Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Phil Williams (Chief Foreign Correspondent), 17 September 2020.
[5] Foreign Policy, Stéphanie Fillion (United Nations based foreign affairs reporter), 28 June 2021.
[6] National Geographic, Jacqueline Charles (Pulitzer Prize finalist, 2018 Maria Moors Cabot Prize winner), 22 November 2021.
[7] iNews UK, Michael Day (Chief Foreign Commentator), 26 November 2021.

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.

Why the Haste to Appoint a Governor General?

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart

In early 2015 Prime Minster Freundel Stuart announced that Barbados will switch from the monarchical system of government to republican status. It is December 2017- almost two years later- with a general election on the horizon and clearly Barbadians must conclude that this is another empty promise by a politician.

The appointment of Justice Sandra Mason makes the BU household question how can we hold our politicians accountable. How is it possible for a prime minister of Barbados to boldly state in 2015 that he will champion the transition to a republic and then do nothing to deliver and we ACCEPT it.

Why is there a rush to appoint a governor general if the plan is to ‘shift’ to republican status? The irony is that the political class [a collective] is expressing glee at what is being termed a popular choice for governor general. The BU household holds no brief for Sandra Mason, she appears to be a decent lady, however, the public should be expressing outrage at another broken promise, the media should be questioning and probing the political morality of the government. The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) should be asking why the hurry to appoint a governor general, a governor of the central bank and possibly a director of public prosecutions weeks before a general election. On the flipside, how many permanent secretaries are acting in the position and for how long therefore compromising their ability to execute?

It is morally wrong!

We know this Democratic Labour Party (DLP) does not practice political ethics in governance. Take the flagship example of Michael Carrington who as Speaker was found to be dishonest in his dealings with a septuagenarian wheelchair-bound client and the prime minister did nothing about it except to advise him to secure a lawyer. We can add another example of prime minister Freundel Stuart signing-off on the Cahill deal without admitting it publicly amidst the noise of the debate to the contrary.

Relevant links:

If the head is bad…

There will be no jumping for joy in the BU household with the appointment of Sandra Mason as governor general.


Open Letter to the Prime Minister: The People’s Price Tag on a Republic

Submitted by Heather Cole

Submitted by Heather Cole

I write on the behalf of the people of Barbados to highlight what I think is a matter of great concern to your attention. It is with regards to the changing of the system of Government in Barbados from the Westminster system to a Republic.

You may recall that in 1652 the under represented English Colonies, flexed their muscles and obtained quasi independence under the Treaty of Oistins by advocating their rights under the banner of ‘no taxation without representation.’

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Another Perspective on Barbados Becoming a Republic

Submitted by Amused

QueenElizabethIn circa AD100, the Roman poet Juvenal in his Satires bemoaned the descent into dictatorship of Rome and explained how the dictators operated to gain political power with the phrase, “Give them bread and circuses.” And we know what happened to the Roman Empire as a result. Yet, a little less than two millennia later, Bajans are falling for the same thing. It is not that we haven’t seen the tactic before, it IS that, apparently, we as a nation choose to don blinkers and ignore it – after all, “That couldn’t happen in Barbados, we are too bright – the best in the world.”

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Becoming a Republic

Posted to Facebook by June Naime Yesterday at 10:15pm.

Independence, 1966

Independence, 1966

Going Republic might sound good in principle but when you change the legal entity to another legal entity every Treaty every Agreement even down to the letterhead has to change including all international Airline Routes, every Double Taxation Treaty will need to be changed and amended.

Do you think that Barbados in the Re-Negotiation is going to get the upper or lower hand…it certainly will not be the same. The only people that stand to benefit are Lawyers and Those Seeking Power Over The People.

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Talk About a Republic Merely a Diversion

Submitted by Anthony Davis

Dr Tennyson Joseph

Dr Tennyson Joseph

Stuart pointed out that for all practical purposes, Barbados was already a republic. A Republican form of government stipulates that those run the people’s affairs should be chosen directly or indirectly by the people themselves. We already do that. Under republicanism, the persons who administer your affairs can serve during your pleasure. In other words, they should only be able to stay as long as you want them to stay Barbados Today

Dear Mr. Prime Minister, please tell me where you will get the money needed to change around everything from the Monarchical system to that of the Republican one?

The Minister of Finance is always complaining about “low cash flow” when it comes to satisfying the needs of the poor, the needy and the vulnerable, and the institutions on which they depend. You come to us now with something which is nothing but another red herring to try to get out of the predicament you are in at present.

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