Move on!

Inniss growing impatient with Republic talk

2016 is as good a year as any for Barbados to begin the process of removing Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and replacing her with a Barbadian.

So says Government Minister Donville Inniss, who is calling on his own administration to turn its recent republican talk into concrete action.

“I am prepared as Member of Parliament of St James South to have that conversation with my people here in St James South. I intend to make it a constituency matter for me to hear the opinions of my constituents and just as important to share my perspective on it with them,” said Inniss, while calling for serious national discourse to begin this year on ending the current monarchial system of Government.

Last March, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart broached the touchy subject of removing the Queen as the country’s head, represented here by Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave. At the time, Stuart said he intended to complete the process of decolonization and to have the island referred to as the Republic of Barbados “in the very near future”.

Since then, nothing has been done to take the process forward.

However, in an interview with Barbados TODAY the outspoken Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development said he did not believe the island should be made to wait much longer, explaining that he had told both the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues as much.

“I am of the view that the next step has to be for Barbados to become a republic. I have made my position very clear to the Prime Minister and my colleagues. It is something I feel very strongly about. I am of the view that it has to happen sooner rather than later,” said Inniss, who is anxious to see the island take full charge of its own affairs.

“It is an issue that the country must have a conversation about. Both political parties have supported that over time – the [Opposition] Barbados Labour Party and the [ruling] Democratic Labour Party. When you reflect upon the manifestos and conversations among the political parties there is no doubt in my mind that both of us are of the view that Barbados should become a republic,” he added.

However, acknowledging that timing was an issue, Inniss said there would always be “a group in this society” who
would claim to be monarchist and did not want to change.

“But it is perhaps the same group that opposed free secondary education and the same group that opposed independence in 1966. While some of the names and pigmentation have changed, fundamentally it is the same group,” Inniss said.

“I don’t think it is a matter that has to divide a country.
We can all have respect for one another’s views without getting into any angry rant about the matter. But I am certainly of the view that Barbados needs to become a republic. It is the next logical step for us,” he stressed.

Inniss, who was born the same year the island gained political Independence from Britain, said it was about time a Barbadian was made head of state.

“I have heard all sorts of arguments put forward about loss of tourists and collapse of economy. These are just emotional [comments]s that have no substance whatever,” he charged.

“I mean no disrespect to the [British] Royal family. They have certainly offered a level of stability even in some of the most trying times of politics around the world and certainly in the Commonwealth,” he said, adding that even if the island becomes a republic it should remain a part of the Commonwealth.

marlonmadden@barbadostoday.bb

6 Responses to Move on!

  1. Joel C. Payne
    Joel C. Payne January 5, 2016 at 1:14 am

    Yea, but wunna don’t have any experience. Need I bring up Four Seasons? Need I bring up the clinic down St. John that took two for-evers and I question if it was on budget. Need I mention the St. Joseph Hospital? Why don’t you all tackle something more easy and on par with your experience level as a government rather that trying to break the Constitution of Barbados. Why don’t wunna go try and bring some legislation for freedom of information that wunna promise since 2008 in your 2007 manifestos and still cyar get written yet. I cyar be so sure that wunna can write proper Constitutional ammedments yet that wont end up with a lot of people taking the Crown to court and Tax payers having to pay for allyuh messups. Worse yet, are you all pushing this because you want to plant one of your questionable experienced-lot as a President of Barbados? Well then heaven help Barbados if that happen…

    Reply
  2. J. Payne January 5, 2016 at 1:33 am

    Yea, but wunna don’t have any experience. Need I bring up Four Seasons? Need I bring up the clinic down St. John that took two for-evers and I question if it was on budget. Need I mention the St. Joseph Hospital? Why don’t you all tackle something more easy and on par with your experience level as a government rather that trying to break the Constitution of Barbados. Why don’t wunna go try and bring some legislation for freedom of information that wunna promise since 2008 in your 2007 manifestos and still cyar get written yet. I cyar be so sure that wunna can write proper Constitutional ammedments yet that wont end up with a lot of people taking the Crown to court and Tax payers having to pay for allyuh messups. Worse yet, are you all pushing this because you want to plant one of your questionable experienced-lot as a President of Barbados? Well then heaven help Barbados if that happen…

    There’s WAY more than just the Monarchy that Barbados needs to consider. Why don’t we get rid of the Senate as well and have a single National Assembly like Guyana and Dominica? It would allow Barbadians tax payers to saver considerably more money by dumping the Senate which is a rubber stamp. Between Lower House (30 members) and Upper House (21 members) Why does a nation of a quarter million people, and only 2.5x the size of Washington D.C. need 51 representatives??????? WOEFULLY inefficiency. If the President is soo important for Barbados also why not make the President an executive one? To complete independence also the Barbados Supreme Court should become the court of last resort for all issues other than CSME too.

    Reply
  3. Tony Webster January 5, 2016 at 5:50 am

    Sir Donville….may I venture to agree wid you…sorta…dat anything day ain’t working 100%, cud n’use a li’l tune-up, or even a mash-up an’ build-back new.
    HOWEVER…a few small matters of passing interest:
    ONE: tell us…clear and concise…effin you talkin’ bout an Executive President, likes Mr. Obama…or yuh gine just re-name de G.G., as “Mr. President”, likes in Trinbago?

    TWO: Hummuch dis gine cost us tax-payers, to draft summuch new laws and ting? $250? $5M? $15M? Effin we “need” a new Parliament building, electronic voting an all de new tings to “go with” de New Ting, might we intend building a new Parliament in St. Where-ever pasture, costing $35M?

    THREE: Dis gine lower de price of flying-fish too? Or mek water flow – (yes, like water) from de taps in St. Joseph?

    Please value respect de li’l respect we yet retain for you, personally, and chuffle de pack again: our National Priorities require our representatives, to deal FIRST, with our Priorities…and your administrations long list of “Things To Do Today”…does NOT include any such frivolities or convenient, but Very Expensive Distractions.

    Swing and come again…or alternatively…you cud just disappear…like “poof”…just-so!

    Effin yuh want a really nice Big bang, for jes’ a few dollars, and earn de citizens everlasting thanks…jes’ pass two new laws: FIRST: de Freedom Of Information Act; and SECOND…de Integrity in Public Service Legislation. I would walk wid you on dese! Today! Yes, In de Hot Sun.

    Reply
  4. Wayne Dread January 5, 2016 at 8:22 am

    We see who you speak of , though the pigmentation has changed or has it?

    Reply
  5. Karl Watson January 5, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    What is pigmentation in this day and age? The colour of a Grantley? That is an unnecessary red herring…pun not intended but will certainly be understood by us Bajans. I would like to see a cost/benefit analysis of republican status before I make up my mind on this. I don’t want any intangible, philosophical, neo-psychological ruminations. I would wish to see a straightforward comparison….there are monetary costs associated with a shift to republican status. Will the benefits associated with republican status outweigh these costs? Will we have increased employment opportunities? Increased investment? Will the island be better off and will we the people of Barbados enjoy sound benefits from such a move? Will we see an arrest in our declining living standards? Will gun crime decrease and pockets of poverty be eliminated? Will we finally come to grips with the pressing issue of climate change, of which access to potable water is but one manifestation? If the answer is yes, then let’s go for it.

    Reply
  6. jrsmith January 5, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    BARBADOS THE NEW REPUBLIC.. BAJANS WILL HAVE A REFERANDAM… We bajans ,is in the 50th year of independence.
    Our country ,only survives on tourism,..
    Our bank is not ours…
    Al most all the businesses in Barbados is foreign…
    We ,have water taps , but no water….
    We have sewage systems ,which never worked in 15 years, and still not working today.
    We have no jobs for our people..
    We have a totally failed infrastructure.
    We, have a government , who only understands tourism. having no business ideas beyond that.
    We have a prison over flowing with our black young men.

    Our bajan people is treated as second class systems.
    We have no real rights.. may be not constitution.
    WE have, GUNS ,GUNS, GUNS , GUNS, GUNS ,GUNS,,all brought into Barbados , as you would /could bring in a box of mangoes, by certain people ,who is above the law and ,protected.

    Our new republic, what will happen to our Barbados dollar.
    Our Barbados politicians and the region, behaves the same , when the economies are struggling , we hear ,of Westminster, the Queen, climate change, renewable energy, oh sorry reparation is getting old. This will back fire…

    WE SEE THE NEW REPUBLICS, JUST ACROSS OUR SHORES, SOME ARE DICTORTORSHIPS RULE BY DRUG CARTELS, PEOPLE LIVING LIKE RATS, DIER POVERTY, MURDERS AND CRIME, THEY MONEY WOTH NOTHING, LIVES WORTH NOTHING

    OUR, bajans politicians has failed us all, we are heading for disaster. but we should remind them , when the friendship , when the support , start to fail ,it will all come tumbling down. them and us ,becomes us all .

    ,

    Reply

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