Conflicted, confused and hypocritical Sir Frederick Smith wants a Republic – and his title too

We call upon Sir Freddy to lead the way and ditch his title NOW!

Twenty five years ago, now-retired Barbados justice Frederick Smith received his Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth. In a recent Sunday Sun interview, Sir Freddy Bear says it’s time for Barbados to do away with the Monarchy and become a republic upon the death of Her Majesty.

As his reasons for ditching the Monarchy, Freddy-baby provides the following…

  • Her Majesty is charming and able, but Charles is something else.
  • Our next King, Charles, is a proven adulterer. So was Diana. Charles is therefore unworthy of respect and the position of King. By extension, the whole Monarchy is unworkable and should be ditched.
  • Sir Freddy doesn’t want William as King, because he wants a Republic. Sir Freddy also strongly implies that he doesn’t want William because he is the child of Charles and Diana, two adulterers.
  • Barbados has been independent for 45 years so it’s just time to ditch the Monarchy and become a Republic.
  • Barbadians are sensible so we don’t have to worry about becoming a banana republic or a dictatorship and also we will continue with the British tradition of democracy because that’s how we started off.
  • Barbados gains nothing by remaining with the Monarchy. The UK gives us nothing. There’s a recession, doan ya know!
  • Britain will not punish Barbados for ditching the Monarchy.
  • We just have to get back to the Caribbean Court of Justice and talk with the other Caribbean nations, then everything will be fine.

SIR Frederick Smith should show some integrity of belief

Well, if it’s “just time” for Barbados to become a Republic, Fred should lead the way and return his title now. Why wait for for Queen Elizabeth to die? Does Fred not want to offend Her Majesty? If so he shouldn’t have given the interview, but he did and that’s done.

“Go ahead Freddy, return your Knighthood. There’s certainly lots of precedent for those who feel the Monarchy is too much of a burden or demeaning. Go ahead if you aren’t just shite talking. Show some leadership and integrity. Take a stand, man!”

Where to start in Barbados?

No respect for an adulterer? We have to ditch hundreds of years of history and tradition because the next King, Charles, is an adulterer? And the next King, William, the son of an adulterer?

As to not respecting a leader who is an adulterer… well, where to start in Barbados? How about Prime Minister Owen Arthur with multiple affairs and outside children? Shall we ditch the Prime Minister’s position because one occupant of the position had some outside women? (“Only one PM had outside women?” giggles Shona)

Yes, it’s too bad about Charles and Diana. It was too bad about Henry the VIII too. And, it was especially terrible about a former cocaine-sniffing Barbados politician whose heart couldn’t take the constant 24/7 partying.

It’s terrible that former Prime Minister Owen Arthur got caught stealing campaign funds by putting them into his personal bank account. It’s terrible that former Chief Justice SIR David Simmons unethically accepted an appointment that politicized the courts and brought the justice system into disrepute and mistrust.

If SIR Sleepy Frederick Smith wants to argue for a Republic, he does his fellow republicans a disservice by saying that human failings of the future King are a valid reason for ditching the Monarchy or any institution of government. The same goes for the argument “It’s just time”. Hardly reasoned thinking from what was once a sharp legal mind.

Should SIR Frederick Smith renounce his title, and report success with the Caribbean Court of Justice, then we’ll listen to his republican arguments – if he can think of any valid points.

Sunday Sun editor titles photo “Sir_Frederick_Sleepy_Smith-450×350.jpg”

Check it out for yourself. The editor of the Sunday Sun labelled the above photo “Sir Frederick Sleepy Smith”. Nice touch!

Further Reading

As usual, we’re forced to reprint the Nation articles in their entirety because the Bajan news media often changes history and we can’t be basing our commentary on news articles that dishonestly disappear or change. When The Nation changes its policy, we’ll change ours!

Time to go Republic


Retired jurist Sir Frederick Smith has had a long career of service to Her Majesty the Queen.

The 86-year-old former Justice of Appeal in Barbados, has also served as non-resident Chief Justice of the Turks and Caicos Islands, president of the Court of Appeal of Grenada and assistant Attorney General of Cameroon.
Sir Frederick, who received a knighthood from the Queen in November 1987, has also worked in Jamaica and directly with the Foreign Office in England on revising the Cayman Islands constitution.

But today he is saying enough is enough.

In an interview with Editor-in-Chief Kaymar Jordan, Sir Frederick says it is time for Barbados to do away with the British monarchy and to move to republican status.

He spoke following this week’s royal wedding.

Q: First, Sir Frederick, did you watch the royal wedding?

Sir Frederick: I viewed it. Typically English, in that it went off like clockwork. It was obviously planned and rehearsed and everything went off well. I wish William and Kate (the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) the best of everything ’cause I have been married for 53 years and I hope they will exceed that.

Q: I’m certain you are not alone in offering best wishes. In fact, Barbadians on the whole seem to have time for the monarchy?

Sir Frederick: Oh, there is no doubt about it. Her Majesty is a charming, able [Queen] and she certainly sets an example, which we should all emulate in terms of loyalty, devotion and commitment, but that is Her Majesty . . .

Q: What makes you say that?

Sir Frederick: Well, I mean, Prince Charles and Diana, we all know what happened with them. If . . . the stories told about him in the British Press are true, he committed adultery when he was married and he is the next heir to the throne so automatically he would succeed Her Majesty.

Q: But the current view is that Prince Charles would give way to his son Prince William.

Sir Frederick:  Whether he backs down or abdicates is a matter for him but by law in England and by law under our constitution, he (Prince Charles) would be the next king of Barbados.

Q: But what would be your problem with Prince William?

Sir Federick: I have no problem with William, except that I want a republican government. My view is that as long as Her Majesty is alive I don’t mind the monarchy, but we should be in a position to become a republic the moment Her Majesty abdicates.

Q: Why wait on her?

Sir Frederick: Well, we don’t have to wait on her. All I am saying is I’m compromising by saying that as long as she is alive, I would stay with her, but I certainly don’t want Charles and I don’t want William.
I feel that we have been independent for (nearly) 45 years and it is time that we have our own head of state. You see what has happened to Barbados is that there are some banana republics in Latin America and everybody seems to think that we would become a banana republic too, which is nonsense!
We have the third oldest constitution in the British Commonwealth. Britain has bequeathed us respect for law and order and respect for parliamentary democracy, and Barbadians are sensible enough to make that work. So I can’t see any dictatorship or any nonsense creeping into Barbados and Barbados becoming a banana republic.

Q: So you are saying that Barbados has nothing to gain from remaining with the monarchy?

Sir Frederick: We don’t benefit. They don’t help us to balance anything. We are in the midst of a recession and Britain is in the midst of a recession. They haven’t given us anything. Even before we were independent, we were independent financially, so we don’t have anything to lose.

Britain wouldn’t disown us. I’m sure that Her Majesty would be the first person to agree that we should become a republic ’cause she hasn’t been here for how many years. I mean we would still be members of the Commonwealth.

Trinidad and Dominica are republics and I don’t think the British government hates them or dislikes them. I mean Britain was glad to get rid of us and when we became independent, Britain got rid of us, except that we had the connection of Her Majesty as head of state.

Q: But you notice that Trinidad and Dominica were not included in the list of special invitees to the royal wedding?

Sir Frederick: But they didn’t invite (Tony) Blair and they didn’t invite (Gordon) Brown either – two former Labour party prime ministers. So who makes up the list? (chuckle)

Q: So you think Prime Minister Stuart was right not to attend the wedding?

Sir Frederick: It is not right or wrong. He hasn’t given a reason why he didn’t accept the invitation but if I had an invitation from my worst enemy, once it is legitimate and above board, I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t go.

Q: But you are adamant, we have to get back to this issue of republicanism.

Sir Frederick: We have to get back to it! Just as we have to get back to the Caribbean Court of Justice! Since 2001, how many? Three countries – Barbados, Guyana, Suriname on the original jurisdiction side and now Jamaica has the guts to say that they are going to send a case [against Barbados with Shanique] Myrie to the Caribbean Court of Justice when they wouldn’t join it?

Q: You have a problem with that position being taken by Jamaica?

Sir Frederick: I do have problem with that. As a matter of fact, my problem is that if Trinidad does not come in (to the CCJ), my view is, and I have said this before, I would move the court from Trinidad. Give them a time limit. If they don’t come in by year 2012, out goes the court and give it to Guyana, give it to anybody except Trinidad.

Q: I understand what you are saying in principle but would you have the same position had you been given the post you are known to have wanted for some time – that of Governor General of Barbados?

Sir Frederick: Indeed, I had ambitions but I am too old for that now. I wanted to make Government House relevant to the people of Barbados. Not like Buckingham Palace. People are dying day in and day out and never seeing where their governor general lives from colonial days. So I would open it up.Naturally, a lot of English-background people want to have the Queen but when you look at Independence and what it means to you, you want to be an independent country, not with the Privy Council as your final court of appeal or the Queen as your head of state.

I agree that economically, I can’t see that you would benefit anything, but when that flag was lowered Independence night, I felt a feeling come over me that I never felt before. I was independent. I had a flag. I had an anthem. I was an independent person. I wasn’t a British subject and therefore it is similar with head of state. I think we have reached a stage after 45 years when we should give serious consideration to becoming a republic.

Q: But isn’t the problem that Caribbean people themselves don’t want to break the umbilical cord with the monarchy?

Sir Frederick: Well, I mean if you want to test that, have a referendum. Just as Bermuda had a referendum on whether they want to have independence, Australia had a referendum on whether they want to be a republic. It would cost a little money, but it would settle the matter once and for all.

Hero, no!

BY KAYMAR JORDAN | SUN, MAY 01, 2011 – 12:05 AM

LEGENDARY CRICKETER Sir Garfield Sobers should not be referred to as National Hero.

This is the view of retired jurist Sir Frederick Smith who, in a SUNDAY SUN exclusive following Thursday’s commemoration of National Heroes Day, argued that the island’s highest honour should be reserved for people after they have died.“

Suppose a maid writes and says that [Sir Garry] didn’t pay her her wages and puts [him] in court or somebody out of spite did, it wouldn’t look good for a National Hero,” Sir Frederick explained.“I mean he [Sir Garry] might win the case but the point is that the idea that somebody, while he is alive, can accuse him, wrongly or rightly of some offence would bring the whole question into disrepute,” he added.

In the same vein, he questioned the late Sir Frank Walcott’s inclusion in the official list of ten National Heroes on the basis that he was named while he was alive.

Sir Frederick also said he was in a quandary over the naming of Sir Frank Worrell, whose image is replicated on the $5 note, since, in his estimation, no clear distinction had been made between “distinguished Barbadians” and “heroes who had advanced Barbados from being a village to an independent country”.

Despite the inclusion of Sarah Ann Gill, Sir Frederick also argued that nothing had been done to honour the contribution of white Barbadians.

“We haven’t got a white hero at all. You mean for all these 300-odd years we have been in existence, some white man didn’t do something prior to the riots in 1937?” he asked.

The other heroes are Sir Grantley Adams, Errol Walton Barrow, Bussa, Charles Duncan Oneal, Clement Payne, Samuel Jackman Prescod and Sir Hugh Springer.

Sir Frederick said while National Heroes Day was a nice idea, it was wrongly conceived for political purposes. He said going forward the people should have a greater say in the process.

The former Court of Appeal judge also said it was “complete foolishness” to have two public holidays for heroes as he called for the national celebration of the birthdays of Errol Barrow and Sir Grantley Adams to be meshed into one.

“Don’t put it [National Heroes Day] on either birthday if it is going to offend any party or anybody,” he suggested. “My view is that one holiday for everybody would be good. Even though that Barrow was the leader of the DLP [Democratic Labour Party], I feel that one holiday is enough.

“Our productivity is dropping and we need less holidays than we have, but we have two holidays for two sets of heroes – Barrow and Heroes Day. It’s complete foolishness,” Sir Frederick said.


Filed under Barbados, Politics

20 responses to “Conflicted, confused and hypocritical Sir Frederick Smith wants a Republic – and his title too

  1. John

    Hang on a minute, didn’t Sir Sleepy put forward a case why he should have become Governor General after Dame Nita’s death?

    Isn’t the Governor General the personal representative of the monarch Queen …. or King?

    I could be mistaken and maybe my memory is playing tricks on me but I seem to remember that.

  2. David G. Brooks

    I really wonder about this talk of adultery where Prince Charles was concerned, if he had been allowed the marry Camilla instead of being sent of on military career none of this would be the case. I think the Royal Family, like others, have realised to stop meddling in each others love lives and let things happen naturally as they should and whatever the consequence down-the-road.

    Secondly which politician (and others) in Barbados who use this basis for not wanting Charles as King, can really point fingers or cast the first stone. Hypocrites the lot.

    If our politics was like there are in other countries – especially the USA – where reputations (in particular private life) has to be squeaky clean, all or most of of them around here would have to resign.

  3. J. Payne

    Barbados is going to turn into a Banana Republic. The court system already broke down now they want to create a new post of President and break that branch of government now too???
    Has anyone look at the upheavel the Parliament in Dominica has had? Or when Trinidad and Tobago kept having a hung parliament?

    These leaders don’t know anything about putting measures in place to form procedures for when the “President” doesn’t want to do what the Prime Minister says or vis versa. So I think Barbados is pretty much doomed. Go fix the law courts first. Then hold a referendum…

  4. J. Payne

    He’s fooling himself when he talks of “independence”. The world is an inter-connected world. There is no more independence. You still have to abide by OECD, WTO, World Bank, IMF, UN and all the rest of those bodies when they form a new treaty so get rid of that notion of “independence” because it is a myth now. Barbados doesn’t depend on the UK anymore for aid because it has switched to depending on the Americans and their agencies for aid.

  5. Natty the Nutter

    ”If our politics was like there are in other countries – especially the USA – where reputations (in particular private life) has to be squeaky clean, all or most of of them around here would have to resign.”

    Bilge….like Chappaquidick? The longest serving politicio in the house?

    Like that thing they call ‘lobbying’ aka bribery?

    Like burglar backer Nixon?

    Like ‘Halliburton gets the contracts’ Cheney?

    Or like Thatcher’s son the arms dealer?


  6. J. Payne

    There are many laws in Barbados that need modernising. IMHO I feel the entire Attorney General’s office should be upgraded into a “Ministry of Legal and Constitutional Affairs”.

    This gentleman spoke of the CCJ. While thumbing through Barbados’ laws I came across Chapter 201 “The Foreign and Commonwealth Judgements (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act”. If this hasn’t been repealed. It means judgements throughout the commonwealth would have to be considered in Barbados’ courts. In other words Barbados might as well had kept the British Privy Council like the rest of the islands and saved its money.

    It states:
    “An Act to facilitate the reciprocal enforcement of judgments and awards in this Island and other parts of the Commonwealth, to make provision for the reciprocal enforcement of judgments in this Island and in foreign countries and for other purposes in connection therewith.”

    and goes into detail when judgements from elsewhere in the Commonwealth should puertain

  7. Silly Season

    Elections must be just around the corner…Usually seemingly sensible people start making foolish statements, this is a brilliant example. Others leave a city seat for a stroll in the country but looking to get on the other side. Thas a politician for ya! They will give a wicker basket to bring water.

  8. Sir frederick Jackass Joker

    Well, well, well. sleepy really is a real joker fuh tru. education aint common sense and he like he get more fooish in he old age. He aint know the history of the royal family…. adultery ainty nothing new to them.

  9. J. Payne

    Somehow my last contribution was posted before I was ready, or even decided if I wanted to make that point. In a nutshell Barbados has way more to worry about. The B’dos Prison Service recently has been speaking out about the old outdated legislation in place. That should be tackled as a priority. ( Legislation needs updating — )

    I so think maybe Barbados could put together a think-tank and having a national debates on what should be the powers of a “President”. It needs to be fleshed out over time.

  10. Bulldozer

    Barbados can never be truly independent

  11. Mark L. Fenty

    My friend, when you used the word “never” you are in essence using an absolute, that was mentality of some before America became a Republic. And America is look upon today by many as the one of the greatest democracy in the world, is it perfect, it depends who you are talking to.

  12. Grabbler

    Sir Sleepy is trying to divert attention from his party’s inability to get the job done. Well learned judge just propagandising politically. Is he too old to become NO1 for the position as President of the Republic of Los Barbadoes should that stream be chosen? I see the logic not for one self but for all. Laugh out loud na.

  13. bajandave

    I thought the Republic thing died with the Arthur Administration. Is Sir Frederick raising it now because he wants to become the first President of the Republic of Barbados, in the same way that he made a case for his appointment as GG in the early 1990s? In terms of National Heroes Day, these same concerns were voiced in 1998 when the holiday started, so there’s really nothing new here.

  14. J. Payne

    Peter Wickham summed it up.
    “We maintain the office of Governor General, but do not contribute to the maintenance of the British monarch and still receive knighthoods from the Queen and invitations to royal weddings.

    The British pay just over US$60 million for this privilege which is skilfully marked there as a per capita cost of less than one pound per person. We instead spend our US$60 million paying the economic cost of students at the University of the West Indies so we can happily enjoy the euphoria of their (British) party while we get on with our own business.”

    Very true. If Barbados drops the Monarchy Barbados will have to factor in paying a President annually and- provide for them money to host events and or travel.

  15. Traveller

    Why a Republic anyway? What’s the difference? Some politico gets to call himself President, while the rest of us need to seek visas to visit the UK? And who will pay for all the changes to the legal documents, etc.? I suppose the same people who paid to have Nelson turned around.

  16. just want to know

    Sir Frederick is an old man who enjoyed all the pleasures of his youth with The Monarchy. He even asked Owen Arthur and gave reasons why he should be GG, received a knighthood, and now in his 86th year want a Republic? Truthfully, I think he is beginning to be senile, and let us leave it at that. What he should be doing now is going on some more cruises, that will give him some more enjoyment in his old age.

  17. John

    Sir Sleepy could, if he was minded, take a leaf out of Colin Hudson’s book.

    Colin had no problems returning the honour bestowed on him by the Queen when Iraq was invaded by Britain.

    “In 1975 Britain recognised his services to Barbados by making him a Member of the British Empire (MBE) (which he was to return in 2003 in protest against the British Government’s war against Iraq). In 1994 Barbados awarded him the Gold Crown Merit.”

  18. John

    I see Hammie-La is supporting Sir Sleepy.

    At 60, he is fed up swearing allegiance to the Queen.

    This is a slightly different from Sir Sleepy who loves her takes but the two of them arrive at the same conclusion albeit by taking different routes.

  19. bajandave

    Is Hammie looking for the President of the Republic job as well? Things must be slow at “The Nation” that they are printing this old cliched rhetoric and calling it news. And in response to John above, do you really see Sir Frederick returning his knighthood? As Natalie Cole once said, “When the snow falls on the Sahara!”

  20. J. Payne

    With the slowing of CARICOM integration, Anguilla may have to back-off seeking independence and may need to seek to work with Britain on working out direct representation in the British House of Commons and other measures. This would place them on a path similar to Martinique, and Guadeloupe with France.

    Article: Anguilla – independence within CARICOM dimmed? – By Sir Ronald Sanders
    Date: June 2, 2011
    Source: – Barbados’ Caribbean 360 news


    BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday June 2, 2011 – The Chief Minister of Anguilla, Hubert Hughes, has repeated a call for his small Caribbean island of 90 sq km and 13,600 people to become independent from Britain whose colony it has been since 1650. He is doing so in the worst of economic times for Caribbean countries and during a period of great uncertainty in the world generally.

    The leaders of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), to which Anguilla has Observer status, have put their countries economic integration arrangements on hold, deciding that it would be “best to pause” efforts to create a Single Economy and to “consolidate the gains of the Single Market” before taking any further action on specific matters “such as the movement toward a single currency”. Indeed, it is understood that the Heads of Government at a special meeting in Guyana from 21 to 22 May, agreed that a single currency “should be moved off the immediate agenda”.

    Yet, if a tiny country like Anguilla is to seek independence, with all the costly requirements that come with such a bold step, it would have been better-off doing so within the framework of a Caribbean Single Market and Economy where it would benefit from economic integration, sharing in arrangements such as the Regional Security System operated by Barbados and the seven countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, joint regional trade negotiations as exists in CARICOM, and joint diplomatic representation with one or more CARICOM countries. Within a CARICOM framework, Anguilla’s independence from Britain would not leave it swimming alone in the ocean of international relations without even a meagre life belt.

    But, CARICOM itself does not now offer an enticing prospect.

    With the Single Economy off the immediate agenda and a decision to consolidate “the gains of the Single Market” which have not been significant, CARICOM is now marking time. The prospect it once held out of a Single Caribbean space in which Caribbean citizens would be able to travel, live and work is now dimmed. The idea that, together, the countries of CARICOM could become a strong entity providing better global representation for its people than its individual states also now appears remote.

    Many independent Caribbean countries, much larger and better resourced than Anguilla, are finding it very difficult to survive as sovereign states. The cost of overseas representation, even if this were to be kept to the barest minimum, will add to Anguilla’s recurrent expenditure of US$40 million. When the additional costs of defence are thrown into the mix, the island’s recurrent revenues of US$47 million will prove to be inadequate.

    There is also not much elasticity in the island’s capacity to increase its revenues. Highly dependent on tourism, the small size of the country, and the absence of an international airport, cramps its capacity for much more large scale tourism development. Further, the actions of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Financial Action Task Force and the International Monetary Fund to impose costly new rules and regulations on offshore financial centres have all but crippled Anguilla’s nascent financial services sector.

    Borrowing on commercial terms will not be an easy option for a sovereign Anguilla government if it wishes to maintain existing physical infrastructure or build new capacity. Burnt by poor investment decisions that created the global financial crisis that began in 2008, financial institutions are now far more cautious than they were even in lending to governments. And, an independent Anguilla will not have the back-stop support of the British government that, in the past, gave comfort to institutions that lent money to governments of British colonies.

    Anguilla will also continue to be exposed to problems of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, drug trafficking and small arms smuggling, crime, security, global warming and sea level rise that now severely challenge all Caribbean countries. These are problems that no one CARICOM country can cope with alone.

    As a British Overseas Territory, Anguilla has a right to expect British assistance on all these issues. But an independent Anguilla will find that such assistance is not automatic, not even at times of natural disasters created by hurricanes.

    Additionally, citizens of Anguilla will lose their British citizenship which gives them full rights in the United Kingdom and in European Union countries with which Britain has reciprocal arrangements, to live, study and work. This is bound to add pressure to the unemployment rate in Anguilla and to the expansion of the areas of poverty that exist within the island. Its present per capita income of US$9,700 may very well decline as well as the double digit growth rates that its economy has experienced in recent years.

    Independence for Anguilla is, therefore, a tough call. It is one that the majority of the people of Anguilla must be free to determine once all the advantages and disadvantages are placed before them and they fully understand the choice they will have to make.

    Chief Minister Hughes cannot be unaware of these challenges. However, from statements he has made, it is clear that he believes facing-up to these challenges, however overwhelming, is better than continuing to live as a British Overseas Territory where the British governor exercises certain powers that the Chief Minister finds unpalatable. For instance, Mr Hughes has declared: “Will we be a people with a culture and identity that distinguishes us as an entity in this place we call our world, or will we let the erosion of all that we hold dear to us as a people continue, leaving us being simply absorbed culturally, religiously and socially by a greater administrative power?”

    The desire for self-determination is perfectly understandable. But, does the choice have to be independence with all its almost insurmountable challenges and costs, or could improved structures of governance suffice?

    If CARICOM had continued to move to the realisation of a Single Caribbean space where each country pools its individual sovereignty for the greater good of all, it would have offered Anguilla – and other territories like it – a viable option for independence.

    Since this option is now to be delayed, the Anguillan government should engage the British to improve the system of governance giving the local government a bigger say on those international issues that affect their economy and their culture. Representation in the British parliament and a permanent Council of ministerial representatives of the British government and the governments of their overseas territories, such as Anguilla, might be a good start.

    The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Sir Ronald Sanders. Sir Ronald Sanders is a Consultant and former Caribbean diplomat.[-End]