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No go!

Sir lloyd advises against republicanism

A former Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Prime Minister today advised the Freundel Stuart administration against even considering a change to a republican system of Government at this time.

And Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford urged Government to maintain a focus on fixing the struggling economy instead.

“I will say this much, that from 1966 until the present time, Barbados has done remarkably well under our two-party system – democratic two-party system . . . and if you can tell me how the [economic] situation would be improved by doing that [becoming a republic], I’m all ears,” Sir

Lloyd said during an interview at DLP headquarters after a lecture he was scheduled to deliver was postponed.

Sir Lloyd quoted the country’s first Prime Minister Errol Walton Barrow as saying that the people of Barbados could choose republicanism whenever they wanted to, but that he wanted to deal with other issues. And he argued that today’s big issues did not include a change to republic status.

“The big issue now is not our constitutional status, but our economic status . . . that can come if the people so determine and whenever they want to determine it, but just tell me how that is going to solve the current problems,” he emphasized.

While contending that the current administration was trying “magnanimously” to solve the economic problems facing the nation, Sir Lloyd was of the view that the only way the country could emerge from the present doldrums was by selling hope to the people.

“It is not insurmountable, but it can only come through the frank education of the people through an explanation of how we got here. My fundamental question remains, ‘how did we get there?’”

He recalled the “very serious economic situation” that faced the country when he was Prime Minister in the early 1990s and his attempt to get all sides involved in the discussion for a solution.

The former leader also pointed out that his approach to Government by consensus led to the formation of the Social Partnership.

However, Sir Lloyd appeared to be still haunted by the ghost of the no confidence motion which led to the downfall of his administration, saying he had not gotten over it.

“For taking those actions, a resolution was put on floor of House of Assembly . . . a vote of no-confidence for taking steps to save the economy of Barbados. I am still living with that. Government could take steps to remove the criminal records of certain people in Barbados, but that vote still remains on the floor of the House [and] people who actually committed criminal acts had their records cleared, wiped clean,” lamented Sir Lloyd while emphasizing, “I didn’t commit any crime.”

Sir Lloyd’s 1991 austerity measures, including an eight per cent salary cut across the public service, led to widespread public protest. However, that intervention is believed to have saved Barbados from the clutches of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a possible devaluation of the local currency.

While not providing a prescription for the recovery of the economy, the former Prime Minister said the austerity measures introduced by the Stuart administration were only a part of the solution. He contended that job cuts were a natural part of any Government’s efforts to slash expenditure.

And with the country preparing to celebrate 50 years of independence next year, Sir Lloyd expressed regret about the process 49 years ago.

“My biggest regret is that we did not get consensus among the people of Barbados for that move to take Barbados into independence. We were divided and it is never appropriate for a country, particularly one like Barbados, to go into these situations without a consensus,” he explained.

He argued that quarrelling over matters like the colour of the flag and what the pledge should state were little things which should not have been allowed to create division.

7 Responses to No go!

  1. Tony Webster November 21, 2015 at 6:31 am

    It is indeed appropriate that we touch base with Sir Lloyd- and other senior statesmen and women- at this time, to elicit their views of the passing years, and the milestones marking our national journey. However, I assay that it is the NEXT 49 years, that are clearly, manisfestly, and crucially, more significant!

    While I thank the BB Today team for this piece, I might not be the only citizen who is keenly interested to learn of the views from such national heights, of what lies beyond the horizon.

    Happpy Independence to Sir Lloyd- and also to his equals on that side of the fence.

    • Donild Trimp November 21, 2015 at 10:14 am

      It is time for a Republic.

      Every time I hear sir this and sir that I cringe. Erase the colonial influence for good.

  2. Sue Donym November 21, 2015 at 8:35 am

    What better way to ‘sell hope’ to your people than to let them know that they can realistically aspire to being the head of their country?

    Agreed that the move to a republic is not urgent in the short term, given all circumstances and considering the legislative time and effort that would be needed to make it happen. However one must ask how is our present top tier structure helping the economy. Exactly! I don’t think those with a preference for a republic were ever saying that it would be the answer to all our problems; rather the thinking is that it would be that ultimate step that says that we have the confidence to declare true sovereignty.

    This does not mean a rejection or denial of the past or that the nation does not respect worthwhile alliances. What it does say is that we need not swear allegiance to ‘all heirs and successors’ without knowing their future intentions. We are still free to develop relationships and belong to groups that we decide are in our best interest. How would being a republic hinder our progress?

  3. Ormond Mayers November 21, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Black People like Sir. Lloyd continued to maintain this colonial mentality and belief the racist legacy left by our colonial master should be sustained. It is time Barbados advance towards total sovereignty.

  4. dave November 21, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Republ;ic what ?
    What we need a Republic for eh ?
    We should not even be Independent
    We would have been better off under Britain as a department of England –Little England
    Independence was foolishness–I do not support that nonsense.
    We could still have been Bajan with our culture etc.
    Being under the British could not stop that . It is the experience of the Bajan that would shine through. Being tied to England would NOT have stopped that. Now we Americanized in our habits –Steupse !!! Republic ??? Foolishness -Independence ??- nonsense !!
    I say so !

    • Olutoye Walrond November 21, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      The Willie Lynch story about creating a permanent slave has now been shown to be a myth. But what is certainly true is that if you condition the mind of someone to inferiority and subservience for long enough, you could keep him and his descendants in that state for centuries.

  5. janette reifer November 21, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    These people focus is on everything except what is most important. I really don’t know where they came from or who made them. Are they really Barbadians or Barbarians ? Never see nothing so yet. Sometimes I wonder if this is the same Barbados where I was born and grew up. Believe it or not !


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