To say we are proud of what Barbados has done and what their Prime Minster has accomplished in moving from a monarchy to a republic should be regarded as the understatement of the year. The entire region should have gotten a lift from the action of tiny Barbados and their Prime Minister who showcased herself and her country across the world.
It is not a major step as major steps go. In the sense that it does not revolutionize Barbadian society, it is not a major step. However, it is in the psychological and cultural sense a major step.
Jamaica, The Bahamas, St Vincent, Grenada, St Lucia should all have done it. Just as the Turks and Caicos Islands and the British Virgin Islands, Monserrat and Anguilla should all now be independent countries.
The great anomaly is Jamaica. They are the big brothers in the region. They are the dominant cultural power. They are overwhelmingly African and but for Haiti, there is none other that dwarfs them in that department. And yet, they remain at the top a deeply conservative society, until recently allowing the rest of the world to criminalize the use by their people of marijuana and with a virulent homophobic ethos and slavish adherence to U S hegemony in the region.
You would have expected that the country with the hardest mouth so to speak would be the first to go.
That honour fell to Trinidad and Tobago to first break the cord. Of course, Dominica did not bother with the monarchy at independence and Guyana got rid of it. They all got rid of it.
Now it’s up to the rest of us to have Prince Charles come to the podium and say bye bye farewell.
Michael Manley, the former Prime Minister of Jamaica used to say “ it is impatient of debate” And so it is. To quote Lennon and McCartney: “ Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl but she doesn’t have a lot to say.”