Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 7:38 AM

Happy Independence Day Bahamas!

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Bahamas Flag V3

The Bahamas celebrates 45 years of independence today. I heartily join in hailing our motto: “Forward, Upward, Onward Together” … my Bahamaland!

We are a relatively young nation of only 377,000 people. Yet not even the hegemony of the United States can chasten our national pride.

Except that this Promethean pride cannot disguise the mockery we are making of our “independence.” After all, we are still pledging allegiance to the British queen as our head of state, and appealing to the British Privy Council as our court of last resort. Whereas surely, after all these years, we should be referring to Her Majesty as nothing more than a fairy godmother, and limiting appeals to a Supreme Court of The Bahamas.

I’ve been pleading the latter case for years to no avail, including most recently in “For Independence Sake, Caribbean, Abolish Privy Council,” February 1, 2016. And, with all due respect to the Caribbean Court of Justice, I’ve always maintained that there’s no point in ridding ourselves of a colonial arbiter of our legal fate, only to subject ourselves to a regional one.

Then, alas, there’s the silly way we look aping the royal pretensions and appurtenances of our former colonial masters. My pet peeve in this regard is having to wear those stupid white wigs in court. I decried this folly for the sake of my profession in “Hey, Tony, What’s Up with the Brothers Wearing White Wigs,” March 2, 2007.

But this shame is surpassed by the contempt I have for compatriots who covet British honorary titles; you know, like Sir before their names or OBE after them. I decried this putting on airs for the sake of all former British colonies in “Australia Bans British Honors. Other Commonwealth Countries Should Too,” November 3, 2015.

Remarkably, the subjugating contradiction inherent in coveting such titles seems lost on most of our people. Not to mention that these “queen’s birthday honours” are often based more on a bribe given than any merit earned. I ridiculed this corrupt practice twelve years ago this week in “Pardon Me, Sir, but How Much Did You Pay for Your Knighthood,” July 14, 2006.

As it happened, the London Daily Mail threw this covetousness into shameful relief two years ago today. Specifically, it published a report on Dominican-born Baroness Scotland – who now serves as Commonwealth general secretary – under the banner headline “Stop Posing as a Knight, Palace Warns ‘Baroness Brazen’ Sidekick,” July 10, 2016. That report spoke volumes.

In any event, the time has long since passed for us to sever the umbilical cords of colonialism. We should be standing proud as a people – beholden only to ourselves, and completely free of British pretentiousness.

Only then would we be able to take unencumbered pride in our independent song, “March On, Bahamaland.”

Related commentaries:
Abolish Privy Council..
Idle-minded debate
Hey Tony
Ban British honours
Your Knighthood

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