This piece I’m reblogging is by Gordon Robinson, one of Jamaica’s best attorneys and a man with few qualms about digging his own furrow, says many of the things I’ve been thinking as I see a string of Jamaicans ‘waking up’ to the reality that has been part of their daily existence for nearly 60 years.
The nation’s politicians chose in 1962 a form of independence from the UK that was limited in many ways, but hung fundamentally to the idea that the new country would give its allegiance to the UK’s monarch. The queen, or whichever monarch, is Jamaica’s head of state and her representative is the Governor General. He’s the extension of her realm. Fighting over the symbols he wears is not a real fight, because it is paraphanalia that is born out of a set of British traditions, that we have signed onto. As Robinson says, it’s nothing better or worse than seeking appellations such as ‘Queen’s Counsel’ and not just seeking them but holding them dear to our hearts. We’ve not released ourselves from having a UK body as our final arbiter on legal matters—the Privy Council—like leaving your parents’ home and then running back there when there’s a big fight between you and your partner. Which part of that never seemed appropriate?
Whatever we may think or say about the USA, when they fought for Independence (and maybe that’s part of the mindset) they held onto to nothing but language.
So, get it straight: the pearls being clutched now about the insignia or the names of things that honour the former colonial rulers are like trying to pick our raisins from a fruit cake: they’re part of the main/essential ingredients. If you really don’t want them then bake another cake.
But, in the waggonist tradition that is also part of modern Jamaica, I’m sure we’ve a few more days of ‘Bun di GG!’ type raling to go.
I’ve noticed the sudden social media astonishment at the details of the Governor General’s (GG) insignia. Really? Seriously? It’s the INSIGNIA that …QUEEN? OR COUNTRY?