Professor: ‘All of Britain’s sovereignty is removed from an independent state’
March 16, 2012
Professor: ‘All of Britain’s sovereignty is removed from an independent state’

The swearing of allegiance to the British monarchy is one that offends constitutional reform advocate Professor Simeon McIntosh.{{more}}

McIntosh, who was here in St Vincent last week to present the inaugural St. Vincent and the Grenadines Bar Association Agnes Cato Memorial Lecture, said that swearing allegiance to the British monarch, in his opinion, is ‘one of the most obscene political acts’, and should not be performed, since the countries of the region have already gained their independence.

“I’ve said this over and over again…. I’ve said, listen, when our governor general, our prime minister, our chief justice or whomever swears allegiance, we are all joined together, but you cannot explain it because we have never been able to explain how it is that we have gained independence from this imperial power.

“We have not grasped our sovereignty, hence the reason why we believe that in some way we need to be connected to the British monarchy….We lack dignity when we swear allegiance to the British monarchy.”

The oath of allegiance here, as well as in other Commonwealth territories, is made when members of parliament and judges, among others, are sworn into office; with the individual making the oath swearing loyalty to the British Monarch, their heirs and successors.

Speaking on the topic Constitutional Reform; scription of nationhood, the Grenadian born educator said that the countries’ independence from Britain over the years, should make them free from swearing allegiance to the British Monarchy, which currently sees Queen Elizabeth II sitting on the throne.

McIntosh said that being independent members of the Commonwealth, the Queen remains the countries’ head of state. However, she is not their monarch, neither are they her subjects.

“….At independence, all of Britain’s sovereignty is removed from the country, which is now an independent sovereign state. And given that the British crown is the ultimate symbol of British sovereignty, then it is removed from that which has become an independent sovereign state as well.

“In other words, the British Crown or monarchy cannot remain a constituent part of the new sovereign state, and of course, one sovereign state cannot appropriate the political institution of another sovereign state….”

According to the lecturer, the swearing of allegiance to the British monarch is celebrating colonialism, which still lingers and is not being paid attention to.

“Colonialism like slavery, is predicated on the premise that the colonizers are superior to the colonists. Colonialism therefore, is always in breach of the fundamental principle of human reciprocity; the recognition of other as equal. So it is not an essential good.”

The lecture, which took place on Thursday, March 8, at Frenches House in Kingstown, was chaired by President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Bar Association Dr Linton Lewis. Immediate Past President of the Bar Kay Bacchus-Browne moved the vote of thanks.(JJ)