Who will benefit from removing The Queen?

Letters to the Editor

Who will benefit from removing The Queen?

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

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Dear Editor,

Every so often the matter of who should be head of State in Jamaica comes to the fore. There are those who are passionately against the retention of Her Majesty as head of State and would very much love to see a Jamaican president. Then there are those who think it's a complete waste of time.

I remember growing up and hearing the tales of British rule from old folks who had lived through that period. What struck me then was that they always spoke about it with such fondness. However, they usually ended with a sad face, saying, “If we had stayed under British rule we would have been like Cayman today.”

And that is where I want us as a nation to take this debate. What economic value will accrue to Jamaica by removing The Queen as head of State? Will the removal of The Queen help to grow the Jamaican economy? Will the removal of The Queen cause our debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio to fall to 60 per cent in short order? Will it bring greater investment into the country? Will it give us better roads and water in this country? Will it put food on poor people's table? Absolutely not!

So then, why the rush to remove The Queen as head of State?

I believe it will make some people feel better about themselves, especiallt the advocates in academia and media. It will make them able to boast to their friends overseas that they have somehow removed the final vestige of our colonial past. Ironically, if one should ask some of them if they are willing to drop the title 'Queen's Counsel' or 'Sir' and replace it with some Jamaican variant they would scream, No! Well, that's just one set of the hypocrites.

What will be the benefit to the common Jamaican in his/her struggle to survive day to day. We need to understand that fact, because it's the regular Jamaican who will have to make the choice to remove The Queen in a referendum without being told how it will benefit them. Because, in all of this democracy business, it's the poor majority that is abused by the well-off minority and told what to do, whether it's in their interest or not.

In my view, this is one of those things that should be attempted only if a thorough economic analysis can be done to show whether it will make this country better off in any meaningful way. If that can't be done, we shouldn't waste one red cent on a referendum to decide if The Queen should go.

And, every time I hear an old person say we would be better off if we were being ruled by England, I shake my head, because we should be ashamed that after so many decades of Independence, these same people who are calling for the removal of The Queen have done such a terrible job that it makes older folks want to see the “Union Jack” again.

They have squandered this country's future for decades, why in God's name should we listen to them now?

Fabian Lewis


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