EDITOR: There has been some criticism locally over the swearing-in of the new Governor-General, our first female Head of State, on Emancipation Day. This is quite understandable since Emancipation Day is symbolic in the struggles of our people for freedom. Unfortunately, while the physical chains came off at Emancipation, the chains and legacy of colonialism in all its forms did not disappear in 1938.
The ranks of those making critical comments are quite varied, among them being genuine patriots, concerned about our heritage and ridding our people of colonial trappings. However, it became a bandwagon for some whose political agenda has little to do with national pride or anti-colonialism. In fact, reading their comments in the media, the hypocrisy became more and more glaring. So let’s separate the genuine patriots from the band-wagoners.
In the last decade we have had two massive opportunities to indicate our anti-colonial credentials. The first, and more important, of these was the constitutional referendum of 2009. Whatever the feelings about the process, in the long run some fundamental questions were before us. The major issue was that of republican status, ridding ourselves of the queen of England as our Head of State and all the colonial baggage which went with it. Among these was the Privy Council as our final Court of Appeal.
How then could persons who not only VOTED for Elizabeth of Windsor as our Head of State in 2009, who opposed, and still are against, the move to install the Caribbean Court of Justice as our final Court in its full jurisdiction, be so barefaced as to speak of the desecration of Emancipation Day by swearing in a representative of the queen of England? Had we voted to be rid of the colonial trappings in 2009, we would have been able to swear in a female Head of State of a republican SVG on Emancipation Day as a further signal of our progress along the Emancipation Road.
That is the issue in its essence. Let the comments come from the patriots, not those with hands still stained with the betrayal of 2009.