I just read on The Guardian website that Barbados is planning to replace the Queen as head of state with a ceremonial President by 2016 – to coincide with the island’s 50th anniversary of Independence.
I wanted to share this news on here as I think it’s an important step for the island and probably something that is long overdue.
Fifty years of independence is an amazing milestone and I can’t think of any better way to mark that historic event than by symbolically cutting ties with the ‘Empire’ and choosing your own head of state albeit by replacing it with a ceremonial position with no real powers.
Even though the final decision on whether this happens and who the new head of state is, must be determined by the Barbadian people, and not the government, I truly believe that as long as the democratic process is followed and the majority agree this is a necessary development.
Of course our little gem in the sun will stay part of the Commonwealth and enjoy all of the benefits and security that brings, but really this will send an important message to the world that Caribbean islands are strong, free and separate entities, with the power for self determination and direction.
I’m sure there are many Barbadians in the UK who will have mixed feelings about this development mainly because of the long held love of the ‘mother country’ which in some ways is tied up with the monarchy especially this current Queen, but personally I can only see the positives from moving on.
So I thought I’d share the story on here because although it does not fit into the mission statement for this blog this decision by Barbados demonstrates a turning point in its history and its links with the UK.
‘The Lord has been the people’s guide
For past three hundred years
With him still on the people’s side
We have no doubts or fears
Upward and onward we shall go
Inspired, exulting, free
And greater will our nation grow
In strength and unity’
(Last verse – Barbados National Anthem)