Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has reiterated the Jamaica Government’s position on shifting Jamaica further away from its neo-colonial state by putting plans in place to remove The Queen as Jamaica’s head of state.
In an exclusive interview with the Jamaica Observer yesterday, Simpson Miller said that utterances by Shaun Bailey, special advisor to Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, would not throw the island off course in its quest to move away from the monarchy.
“What we said before, we are sticking to it,” Simpson Miller said at the end of the service of thanksgiving for the life of athletics administrator Neville ‘Teddy’ McCook at St Augustine’s Chapel on Kingston College’s North Street campus.
Bailey, who is of Jamaican heritage as his parents were born on the island, is a black Conservative Party official who ran unsuccessfully for a parliamentary seat in Britain’s 2007 general election.
Bailey urged Jamaica to tread cautiously in its mission to abolish The Queen as Jamaica’s head of state, adding that such a move could have negative, far-reaching consequences for this North Caribbean island.
“I would say Jamaica should be careful about doing that (disbanding The Queen),” Bailey, said at last week’s Observer Monday Exchange.
“It gives Jamaica access to a broader world market, a broader world community, and Jamaica is a small place that could be powerful, but not on its own. It needs to be in that. The reason that Britain keeps it going from its side is that Britain can see the benefit in being in that community, and I would argue that Jamaica would feel the benefits of it as well,” Bailey added.
But Simpson Miller remained firm that there ought to be a paradigm shift in Jamaica’s political ideals, and maintained that the time had elapsed for Jamaica to remain cloaked in The Queen’s colonial garments.
“We have got to a stage and a level of our country’s development and independence, having celebrated 50 years of Independence, it is with Jamaicans to take the decision, and the changing times call for changes,” the prime minister said, arguing that she remained The Queen’s biggest fan.
“The Queen is a wonderful, beautiful lady. I have every love and respect for her and I think I am her number one fan, but the decision to replace her lies with us here in Jamaica,” Simpson Miller said.