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I have been most uncomfortable for years, living in a so-called independent country with the head of state being a foreigner.

Worse, the head of state is from the same institution that kept our ancestors as slaves for 300  years then followed up with the vicious, racist colonial experience.

The fact that the modern-day British Monarchy no longer has any real power in the island and hasn’t interfered in our day to day lives has not eased the discomfort and is irrelevant in my book.

It’s the symbolism that’s painful!

Oh no, I have not personally had a problem with Queen Elizabeth II, who has been very circumspect and with whose tenure I could not find a fault.

But believe it or not, she too is human and one thing all us humans all have in common is that we die. 

So, I have been nervously watching the steady deterioration of her health with some trepidation, especially as now that at age 95 she came down with COVID-19.

As she too faces her mortality, she has been diligently putting the succession process in place, so on February 5, 2022, she made the most unpalatable statement (in my book).

“When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me,” she wrote. “[It] is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”

OMG!

Charles King of Jamaica and Camellia the Queen!

Tell me I got it wrong.

Charles, who drove Princess Diana to an early death, and Camellia who interfered in that young lady’s life,  to become the King and Queen of Jamaica?

The fact is, that royal house is not an institution that can be admired in any way, shape, or form and when Elizabeth leaves, not only will that unsavoury couple be our highest-ranking officials, but also carrying along a sibling who reached an out-of-court settlement with a woman who accused him of sexually abusing her when she was just 16 years old.

No sir, Jamaica has to work urgently and quickly to move as far away as possible from that royal house.

Earlier this year, the Prime Minister established a new ministry — the Ministry of Legal and Constitutional Affairs. One stated function was to prepare the country for republican status, something successive PNP and JLP leaders have been promising for decades but doing nothing further,

Since the announcement of the new ministry, we have heard nothing further, not even if a new expensive, fancy office has yet been acquired and furnished and how much it will cost us for this new (unnecessary) bureaucracy, much less what time-table has been set to get us out of this monarchy business and on the path to republicanism.

We, as an independent country, desperately need a head of state that we the people select and not another lazy, underutilized, unresponsive representative of the British royal family, who politicians select on the grounds of religion or whatever.

Has the new ministry been in consultation with the Opposition to decide what the functions of our own president will be, or are we going to just swap one ribbon cutter for another?

These matters need to be urgently put on the table and discussed publicly, not just presented to the public as a fait accompli.

We are a mature nation of almost 60 years and it’s about time we at least get our governmental structure right.

The churches

When are we going start to investigate people establishing churches and holding up themselves as religious leaders? Jamaica is a very ‘churchified’ society in which parents drum into their children that ‘parson spreading the word of God’, etc. As a result of this blind stupidity, hundreds of children have been abused by paedophiles with a Bible.

The church problem has become even more dangerous, as recently it was exposed that one church was operated by a criminal who had been incarcerated in Canada.

He was also demanding human sacrifices.

Just as shocking, now that secret tapes are being played in the Klansman trial, it is being revealed that one parson was not only an alleged member of that bloodthirsty gang, but also actively engaged in endorsing murders, while gospel music blared in the background!

How much scarier must the Jamaican church community become before the authorities realize that they must regulate how churches are established and put in place, ‘fit and proper’ criteria?

I am not at all proposing a ban on freedom of religion, but if the churches are to remain tax-free influential organizations, they must be regulated so that the vulnerable, especially our children, are no longer being influenced by scammers and other criminals who walk around with a Bible.

Joan Williams BSc, is a Jamaican who was educated in Canada, USA, and Jamaica. She has travelled extensively in the USA, Europe,

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