Time to move on


Time to move on

Charles Roach

The late Charley Roach was right.

The Trinidad-born lawyer spoke out a long time ago about getting rid of the monarchy in Canda and moving towards a republican form of government.

Charley was well ahead of his time.

Some of us listened respectfully to what he had to say about an institution that’s rooted in colonialism and based on white supremacy  but there was no groundswell of support for any  changeover from monarchy to republicanism.

In our own Caribbean community at the time we had other problems to worry about. Constitutional  matters relating to Missie Queen over there in far off London  were not among them.

Now with the revealing interview with Harry and Meghan, we are made aware of racism in what is known as the British Royal Family and questions are swirling around about the monarchy.

Meghan said in the interview last Sunday that when she was first pregnant with her son Archie, there were concerns and conversations  within the Royal Family “about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”

But should we be surprised at the racist remarks ? Certainly not.

A report from London published in this issue of The Caribbean Camera notes that the allegations by  the Duchess of Sussex that she faced racist attitudes from both the palace and the press in the United Kingdom came as no surprise to many Black Britons.

And in many countries in the Commonwealth there has been a similar reaction.

In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made it clear that his government won’t engage in constitutional talks about scrapping the monarchy while a pandemic is still raging and the country faces unprecedented economic disruption.

Trudeau noted, hower, that “if people want to later talk about constitutional change and shifting our system of government, that’s fine.”

According to a  recent poll by the Angus Reid Institute, support for the position of  the Queen’s representative in Canada is in decline, with 43 per cent of those polled in favour of eliminating the position . And 55 per cent of those polled believe that the Royal Family is no longer relevant for Canadians.

Of course, removing the Queen of Canada as head of state will not be an easy process.It will require unanimous approval by all ten provincial legislatures and both houses of Parliament.

But it is high time we start a serious discussion about the future of Canada without a queen – or a king.

And it is certainly high time we say goodbye to the  lady in Buckingham Palace and her Royal Family.