Perspective: Will Jamaica Ever Dump The Monarchy?

(AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
(AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

Jamaica has been talking about leaving the Monarchy for some time now, but we either do not want to make the plunge or are afraid we may drown if we do.

Portia Simpson Miller in her inaugural address, when she was first appointed Prime Minister after the retirement of Percival James Patterson, said to much fanfare before a packed King’s House gathering that “Time come” Those words were met with thunderous applause. They graced the front pages of our dailies. Alas! Just empty talk, it is now 2016, almost 2017 … she was in office for 4 years, 2012-2016 and guess what, we are still in the Monarchy.

The JLP has also spoken publicly about leaving the Monarchy. It was felt that Portia had dreams or ambitions to becoming Jamaica’s first ceremonial president.

Portia said inter alia “The queen is a good person but time come” There was much commentary and social media was a blaze like the Fort McMurray, Alberta wild fires. The wind of possible change fanned the announcement as if it were an impending announcement of an Independence Day.


The Opposition JLP was in agreement to leave the Monarchy behind, so there is bipartisan support. There is no need for a Referendum. Just a motion in Parliament and a vote, then possibly formal negotiations to sever ties with the British Monarchy as our head of State.

David CameronCommonwealth

You can abolish the Queen as head of State and still be in the Commonwealth. Trinidad & Tobago is now a Republic, they left the Monarchy behind but is still a member of the Commonwealth. So it is not a complete divorce should you decide to dump the Monarchy. There is the misguided view that you will be banished from all the clubs which you automatically had membership in once you leave the monarchy behind. This is not so at all.

Grants & Bilateral Treaties

There are undeniably good benefits for having the Queen as head of State. Technical Assistance Grants, free money which you are never asked to pay back. Technical and cultural bilateral treaties. Such goods tend to tie countries from severing head of State ties.

Police Assistance

Millions is Grant Assistance to train police, provide tactical gear and other related help goes along with having the Monarchy in your camp. It is friendship with benefits. So people do not leave freeness in a tough economy easily. Where freeness exist it is folly to resist.

With balance of payment challenges and unable to balance national budgets, on can see the reluctance to sever certain ties from the Motherland. Do not forget we were former colonies of Britain.

David Cameron

Former PM David Cameron addressed a joint sitting of Parliament in Jamaica about 2015 or so, sadly he refused to apologise for the atrocities of the savage slave trade. Instead he offered more trade and an offer to build a prison which has been rejected. He wanted to deport more Jamaicans back home. It was widely felt he showed no “Respect” and his posture lacked “sensitivity.”

Will Jamaica ever dump the monarchy?

Only time will tell. Let us hear from you, as usual the verdict is yours.

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is senior international correspondent & photojournalist for vision newspaper Canada.

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