by Colin Campbell
THE new “Republic of Barbados” emerged on the world stage yesterday, after officially removing Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.
The Prince of Wales and Barbadian singer Rhianna attended the event.
In a speech, Prince Charles acknowledged the “appalling atrocity of slavery” the Caribbean island suffered.
The new era for Barbados ends Britain’s centuries of influence, including more than 200 years when the island was a hub for the transatlantic slave trade.
Speaking as the guest of honour at the event, Prince Charles reiterated the continuing ties between the two nations despite the constitutional status change.
The Queen sent the country her “warmest good wishes” for “happiness, peace and prosperity in the future” and said the nation holds a “special place” in her heart.
The success of Barbados in finally throwing off the yoke of colonialist oppression understandably stirred interest among some nationalists, who believe we are still victims of slavery, brutal and ongoing, under the lash of our English masters.
How could life be any worse? Freedom NOW!
So far their vision of a “free” Scotland has been linked to cold places, like Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland.
They may be prosperous, but they’re chilly. Now they have the chance to insist that we could be like Barbados too. All that round the year sunshine and warm, sunny beaches. What’s not to like.
I’d expect a delegation of SNP MSPs from Holyrood to head off on an official visit there soon to see what can be learned.
And Westminster won’t be far behind them in deciding it’s time to make fresh bonds with the new republic .
I imagine Inverness MP Drew Hendry will be keeping a weather eye open for prospects for that particular jaunt.
His Gibraltar trip with its fine dining and copious quantities of refreshments now seems in the distant past. What’s being an SNP MP for other than to enjoy perks, privileges and sun kissed freebies? And what more alluring destination for someone as totally and utterly devoted to the cause of independence as he is than the new free Republic of Barbados?