Your Eyewitness has learnt that Barbados is going to sever all links with Britain and its Monarchy and declare itself a Republic. Oh dear…just when the new season of “The Crown” opened on Netflix, and we’re learning how Thatcher reversed the Mother Country’s slow descent into the Third World it once created and ruled.
Now, Barbados and us both received independence back in 1966, and Burnham had quickly thrown out the Crown by 1970. Barbados is therefore a full half-century behind us.
We know that even though Burnham had been shoehorned into office by the Brits, he insisted on doing his own thing: he didn’t like the latter looking over his shoulder as he did the dirty to the ballots. But, under Mia Mottley, what’s Barbados’ motive for cutting the old umbilical cord? Don’t they like being called “Little England” anymore? Seems not.
The “Governor General”, who represents Queen Elizabeth as Head of State, while reading the “Throne Speech” written by PM Mottley last September, revealed it was because the Bajan people wanted to cut the old “colonial ties”.
Now, various Bajan Governments have been making these noises over the years, but, this time, it looks like the Mottley Administration mean business. They signalled this by removing the statue of Lord Nelson – the British Naval Commander – from their Square of Heroes a couple of days ago. Now, this is serious stuff, since the monument’s been there since 1813, fully 30 years before the one in Trafalgar Square in London went up!! But then, Nelson’s battles had been fought against the French, and had been mostly in the Caribbean, to drive off the Frenchies under Napoleon.
Your Eyewitness is still a tad curious, however, as to what exactly does Mia (your Eyewitness feels he can be on a first-name basis, for some reason!) hopes to gain for Barbados with this move? Had they rather have been ruled by the French and eat snails? Is it to signal that Britain is definitely not “Great” any longer? Is it to send a message to the Barmy Army that, when regular cricket resumes, they just can’t descend upon Barbados like locusts to make the locals into a minority?
Among the “Big 4” in the old British Caribbean, in TT and Jamaica, Republicanism still remains the road not travelled. Guyana’s the only one that took the plunge; and after what Burnham and the PNC did here, we certainly aren’t a ringing endorsement of the Republican ideal!!
Does Mia realise that, the next thing you know, she might have to call on Caricom to stop some Sanctimonious Gangsters in her opposition from stealing their elections in plain sight?!
…from our trauma
Did you realise, dear reader, that our last election was a near-death event for our fledgling democracy? That’s right. The last time we allowed the PNC to get away with rigging in 1968…it took 24 years to get them out – years during which they took our country from being among the top in the region – by whatever criteria you choose – to clinging just above Haiti. The challenge for us going forward is to ensure we don’t allow that to recur.
So, what exactly can we do? Well, for one, we have to see through Burnham’s ruse when he cut ties with Britain: it wasn’t about ending colonialism at all; it was all about exchanging the foreign colonial masters for his domestic version. He, Burnham, of course playing the role of Queen Elizabeth 1 – not the one who we see scrounging around at Balmoral Castle in “the Crown”, but the one who could – and did – have anyone who disagreed with her beheaded.
We gotta make sure the PNC plays by the rules of the (democratic) game!
Your Eyewitness once again raises his hands to the heavens and pleads with his fellow Guyanese to follow the guidelines on the COVID-19 virus.
If COVID-19’s gotten out of control in the US, what about here?