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#BTSpeakingOut – Bajan head of state long overdue

by Barbados Today
3 min read

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by this author are their own and do not represent the official position of the Barbados TODAY Inc.

I would like to address this missive to those citizens of our country who — it seems to me – are agitating themselves needlessly over this matter of Barbados acquiring a Barbadian head of state.

Let me begin by stating for the record that our Government has already confirmed that they wish our country to go through an extensive people-based “National Consultation” in which we will examine all aspects of our governance structures, with a view to producing a new and much more comprehensive type of Constitution.

Indeed, Prime Minister Mottley has stated that her Administration envisages that out of that consultative process will emerge a new Constitution that will range far beyond the simple outlining of the traditional arms of government, and that will extend to encapsulating the responsibilities that come with citizenship, and defining new governance structures that will facilitate an ethic of active and participatory citizenship.

And – very importantly – Prime Minister Mottley has confirmed that that national consultative process will commence in December of this year.

However, so far as removing the Queen of England from the post of head of state of Barbados and replacing her with a Barbadian head of state is concerned, our Government has indicated that they do not intend to delay this, and will put this in place by the 30th of November 2021 at the very latest.

Now, it should really be clear to every right-thinking citizen of Barbados that the head of State of Barbados should be and must be a Bajan. Just like how the head of state of Britain is a British person!

It should also be clear to us all that this is a development that should have taken place as long ago as the 30th of November 1966 when Barbados became an independent nation.

We Barbadians have delayed far, far too long in making this manifestly self evident change. And let us be clear about this.

There is actually no single issue that our country has consulted and deliberated on more than this one of removing the Monarch of England and establishing our own Barbadian head of state.

“We have had two National Commissions that consulted with us on this precise matter – namely, the Cox Commission and the Forde Commission. This issue also occupied the attention of the Commitee on National Reconciliation that was chaired by Sir Keith Hunte.
Furthermore, it is an issue that has featured in the Election Manifestos of our political parties, with the BLP and DLP

Administrations of former Prime Ministers Owen Arthur and Freundel Stuart, respectively, both undertaking to implement the change.

In fact, the DLP Administration’s promise to implement the change was made in 2015 – just six years ago. Back then, the DLP Administration promised Barbadians that the Queen would be removed and that we would have a Bajan head of state by the 30th of

November 2016 – the 50th anniversary of our Independence.

Surely, all Barbadians should be able to perceive that this self-evident development is long overdue, and that the promise of the current Government to implement it by the 30th of November 2021 is something that we should all embrace.

I must say that I find it hard to understand how any Barbadian citizen could feel satisfied to have as our nation’s head of state, the Monarch of our former colonial master.

We Barbadians are surely not in any way inferior to the British people . And so, if Britain can have a British Head of State, why shouldn’t independent Barbados move as expeditiously as possible to confer upon ourselves a Barbadian head of state? This is a long overdue progressive development, and we should all welcome and support it.

David Comissiong
Proud citizen of Barbados

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