It is with great disappointment that we have learned of the governments intention to quit the Queen by November 2021, but what do the people have to say about this decision? It is out of love and respect for the people of Barbados (our brothers and sisters under our shared sovereign) that we write this open letter, asking each Barbadian subject to demand that the government give the people the right and ability to speak for themselves regarding this national issue. Great constitutional changes, or events that are to transpire in the future, thus resulting in the drafting of a new constitution, should not be left to the political classes, but to all of the people of Barbados. The current constitution has served the Realm extremely well since 1966, and any such move to discard this instrument of freedom should be voted on directly, through referendum, by the people of Barbados. In response to the news that Barbados will move to become a republic, and more so as to the comments of Mr. Peter Wickham with respect to how the government plans to accomplish this plan , it is all too clear that the ruling party within Barbados’ Parliament plans to cut out the will of the people altogether. To read the comments of Mr. Wickham that have appeared in Barbados Today, 17 September 2020, he outlines that a referendum on the subject of quitting the Queen would not be in the best interest of the government, eluding to the fact that he fears the government would lose and the people would vote to keep their Crown. Mr. Wickham was quoted as saying that a referendum would be a “mistake“, as well as that, “There is no need to [hold a referendum] and I don’t think it makes a lot of sense. We had a situation where since 1999 this [political party] indicated its desire to go in the direction of a republic. The Opposition has always supported it… So I think there is enough cohesion in that regard to go with it.”
Turning towards a republic is not about the people, it is about denying the will of the people. Abolishing The Crown of Barbados is strictly about politicians and heir desire for ultimate power, a power they would and will be able to have if it were not for the Queen of Barbados. The speech as given by Prime Minister Mia Mottley clearly outlines the desire for politicians to usurp the power of The Crown for themselves by abolishing it for their own glory and selfish purposes. This is further proven by the comments of Mr. Peter Wickham:
“I think the critical thing now is that we have a leader who is anxious to distinguish herself in a fairly significant way, and as it stands now there are really not a lot of options out there to distinguish oneself. So, I think yes, we are going to become a republic. The question is what type of republic.”
Together with the Barbados today poll of 25 March 2020, which showed 64% of those polled wished to retain the Monarchy, it is looking stronger by the minute that the Labour government is set to impose it’s will on the people of Barbados without their consent. This goes against the very democratic principles that originally constructed a free Barbados as a monarchy. By allowing the government to impose its will on the people without a referendum, this is a very dangerous road to travel. Such direction certainly shows the corrupt intentions of the politicians that only want to grab power from the Crown, and make a name for themselves at the expense of the people. This letter is not so much a plea, as it is a warning to the people of Barbados. Our brothers and sisters in Barbados have not seen the true nature of their ruling politicians, until The Crown of Barbados is dissolved, and done so without their permission, their thoughts, or more importantly, their votes.
As the constitution has served the Barbadian people so well, so has their Queen – a point not to be taken lightly. The prudent thing for Parliament to do would have been to make a clean break from the United Kingdom if and when the people of Barbados instructed them to do so, not make such an announcement as was done yesterday. The announcement that Barbados is to be a republic by November 2021 makes it quite clear that the political class, and not the people, of Barbados no longer wish to be a part of our family, to no longer enjoy the benefits of our shared Monarch – a statement that should have waited until Her Majesty was no longer Head of State. Your one party Parliament decided otherwise. Politicians always think they know better but they do not, especially when they are up against the worlds most experienced stateswoman, with 68 years of political knowledge under her belt. What a wonderful way to thank the Queen for her decades of care and concern for her people in Barbados, especially right before she is due to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee in 2022. Thank you to the members of the Barbadian Parliament.
Though Her Majesty has stated that the issue of becoming a republic is for the people of Barbados to decide, the pain and hurt will of course be felt not only by her, but by those who love and support her position as Queen of Barbados. She has after-all dedicated her life’s work to the people of the Commonwealth and its associated Realms. Despite the centuries of shared history and successive Sovereigns, Barbados is of course a free and democratic nation, it has been fully autonomous and free of British rule since 1966, but the inclusion of Barbados within such an intimate grouping of special nations within the Commonwealth is invaluable, and the loss of this status to the Barbadian public, incalculable. Freedom, and democracy to a greater extent, wears a crown, and it would be in the best interest of Barbados, its people, and its special status within the Commonwealth, to not only think about what republicanism means, but to also come to the realisation of what will forever be lost as the nation backtracks away from democracy, into the abyss of partisan party politics, and possible tyranny under a Presidential Dictatorship. Should one party hold all of the power for extended periods of time, it is extremely easy for corruption to consume the most ardent of individuals, no matter how good their intentions.
The move towards a republic will not be a money saving exercise for the people of Barbados. It will certainly not be a feeling of great satisfaction knowing that there will no longer be an apolitical figure above the many overzealous politicians who wish to usurp the position and power of The Crown of Barbados, which it currently has to deny such power to those who would only exploit it for themselves and their party. By removing the safeguards of an apolitical Head of State, such as Her Majesty, Barbados will in fact fall into the deepest bowels of corrupt republicanism, where parties are put before the people, and those at the top rule with only the interests of their own and their party’s survival. Barbados as we have come to know and love it as a Kingdom will not be the same place, or mean as much without its Crown. This is a sad day indeed.
The Queen of Barbados may not live on the island, but that does not mean her absence dictates that she is not Barbadian. She encompasses the heart, the soul, and the many traditions of the nation, not to mention providing an apolitical and neutral platform for the country; putting the place of the people first, thus elevating the position of Head of State above the petty party politics that can and has often destroyed many a nation. The status of the Monarch of Barbados is a national symbol of unity, strength, celebration, and pride, to which this position is able to acknowledge those within the public body for their commitments to the people and their nation, without the influence of politics involved. The Monarch of Barbados is of and for the people, not the politician that Parliament has called to replace their Queen. Politicians are about one this, and one thing only – power. Throughout eastern Europe, such as in Serbia, Romanian and other nations, there is a rising number of countries that are looking to restore their monarchies due to the overwhelming dissatisfaction of the people with their corrupt republican governments, as Socialists and Marxists tend to destroy and tear down their nation’s history – similar to the proposed removal of the Barbadian Crown and replacement of the nation’s constitution.
Although the Constitution of Barbados calls for one token member of opposition to be in place during each open session, what has happened with the election of 30 politicians from the same leftist party, has only enabled an unsupervised party of politicians to unrestrictedly run a muck within the politicians playground that is now known as the Barbadian Parliament. This is truly the work and intention of the authoritarian left, sticking it to the people, with little to no concern for their thoughts, feelings, and well-being. To discard the very constitution which has served the people of Barbados very well for the past many decades, is to undermine the very public consensus and consciousness that has made Barbados the success it has been since 1966. Removing the Monarch of Barbados will not eliminate or ease the problems the nation faces. In the long-run, Barbados will be worse off by the shedding its Crown, removing the sole apolitical cap on ruling political parties, and further politicising the coveted and scared position that the Barbadian Crown once held.
Quitting the Crown is not just a loss of Barbadian culture and pride, it is a loss of status, of respect, and more importantly a loss of identity for the people of Barbados. Barbados will be classified as a land of party politic and identity politics as all republics have come to be. The financial implications will also be a harsh reality to treasury. Furthermore, there is no evidence provided to suggest that an elected president would represent Barbados better. To be honest, there is no representative on earth better than the Queen. A political president will usually appeal to people who share that persons political beliefs and would put off people with opposing views. This is very different to the Queen and Barbados’ constitutional monarchy which serves as a symbol of heritage and national unity. A Presidents can be very expensive and even more costly than what Barbados pays towards the Governor General to carry out the duties of the Queen. When a president enjoys the trappings of power, and lives like a monarch themselves, they, their families, and those keeping them in power become accustomed to such lavish lifestyles – something that the people of Barbados will soon tire of. The monarchy of Barbados is clearly more unifying than a President which makes it easier for the Queen to represent the nation, as does the fact Monarchs reign for far longer than a President, who would usually serve for just a few years. For example, on important national days the Governor General who represents the Queen leads the entire nation as a collective, whilst the political party leaders line up alongside each other and represent their parties more as equals. In a republic which is being called for, the political Head of State would often lead the nation and be the focus of attention which can be divisive for their political opponents especially if it is near election time when such a position can be exploited.
We would love to wish the people of Barbados well with their republican endeavours, but I fear for what lays ahead for such a wonderful and proud people, as we truly know the grim reality and injustices that living in a republic can and ultimately does bring. We implore the people of Barbados to defend themselves, defend their nation, defend their constitution, and defend their future by defending their Queen, for her love is the nations love. We ask that the people demand the government to provide a supervised referendum, to which you can vote with your heart about this life changing decision, for Barbados will be ever changed. If the Queen of Barbados is allowed to be removed, and the Barbadian Crown is abolished, there will be no going back. We trust that our Barbadian brothers and sisters will do the right thing, and that is to support and defend their Queen and their Crown.