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tv   Our World  BBC News  December 26, 2021 9:30pm-10:01pm GMT

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ata time at a time when many people are celebrating with family and friends, we have lost one of the most illustrious, courageous and beloved amongst us. the bodies of 16 iraqi kurds who drowned when their inflatable boat sank last month in the channel while trying to reach the uk have been returned to northern iraq. new coronavirus restrictions come into force in scotland, wales and northern ireland — to try to limit the spread of the omicron variant. now on bbc news, it's time for our world — which was filmed in november, in the week before barbados removed the queen as its head of state and became the world's newest republic. british—barbadian daniel henry returned to his ancestral home to find out what islanders make of the move.
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for nearly 400 years, the british royal family has reigned over barbados. but next week, the islands will replace queen elizabeth with a president. my family is british and barbadian. so they have some big questions about it all. change is good. you can't stay the same all the time. i don't accept it. a history of slavery and colonial rule mean some are keen to move on from the past. it was a feudal system. daniel, you must compose yourself. you look as if you are ready to cry. and now the politicians have had their say, i am here to ask barbadians what it means, and why now. some people would say, why should we have an allegiance to the uk when in our hour of need, they were not
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there for us? barbados. a tiny paradise island in the blue—green waters of the caribbean. on 30 november, this commonwealth nation will remove the queen as its head of state and become the world's newest republic. the decision was made without a referendum. barbados declared independence from britain in 1966, but now the government has said it is time for barbados to finally leave its colonial past behind. current governor—general sandra mason will become its first president. the mantle of leadership falls fully to the post—independence generations of barbadians. it is those generations who must now define how our country and citizens will dominate the world stage, create a new vision, and build barbados�* future.
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barbados to me is where my story begins. i was born in britain, my grandparents are from here, it is happy memories, it is the rum shops, it is the people, but everything that my grandparents showed me when i was growing up, seems to be changing. my granddad's story is typical of many barbadians, or bajans, as we are known. he moved to england as a young man, hoping to better himself. but what i didn't know is before he did, he worked on a sugar plantation. so this lane might not look like much, but it is special, because we are walking in my granddad's footsteps.
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and just around the corner is something that ties together the queen, britain, and my family. this is the belle plantation. at its peak, nearly 300 slaves were forced to live and work here. after slavery was abolished, it was bought by a family who were close friends of the queen. she came to visit this place on her last trip 55 years ago. hi! good to see you! good to see you my brother, give me an elbow bump. so this is the belle plantation. sad to say, but it is faded glory. trevor marshall is a historian and a leading pro—republic campaigner. daniel, this is where the bookkeeper, as it was called, this is where he or the manager paid
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the workers on fridays. you know, at the desk. the people lined up out here. they lined up out here like, laughs, like if they come for the dole. they filed in, and got there and bowed... they had to bow before they got paid? yeah, they bowed and scraped. it was a feudal system. i know my granddad worked here at the sugar factory at the belle plantation. you are saying he would have had to come here and bow his head before collecting? not everybody was so deferential, but the average person, it was ingrained in new from the time of slavery. cap in hand, like the typical english labourer, yes guv�*nor, and you know, you are doing yourfavour, you are paying me. daniel, you must compose yourself, you look as though you are ready to cry. careful of the holes here. and you, not only careful
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of this but the ceiling, the ceiling is disintegrating. can you imagine this in its period of glory? all of this, i mean, look at how many rooms. this was magnificent, so to see it degenerate to this point... it may sound strange, it may sound as though i am seized with that same kind of feudal deference, but we looked on the plantation great houses, as symbols of the importance of barbados. do you think that those mixed feelings are do you think that we are seeing them as barbados approaches becoming a republic? if we were to have a referendum now, 66% of barbadians would not want the republic. do you think? as high as that? i can tell you, they don't know what it is.
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as a historian i am called upon a daily, nightly basis to explain to people, and to calm their fears. will the currency be devalued, will we be able to travel to england again, are we going to stop the queen from coming here, the queen and prince harry, what about meghan, are we going to become a banana republic, will we be like venezuela or cuba ? it is such a gap from the man that trevor would have been talking about, who would have been working here as my granddad was, to the man that i knew, who made a family in britain, and then came back to barbados and made his life. the fact that that is part of his story means that it is
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part of mine, and being in this building, i am finding that really... difficult to comprehend, really. after he returned from london in 1984, he opened the rum shop. after he returned from london in 1984, he opened the rum shop. it used to be busy and full of life. this picture here, i think really captures the essence. you have got nan on one side, arm around me, protective. you have granddad on the left, chest out, back straight, and then me in the middle, of course. he was never shy of an opinion, he knew what he thought, he liked to have a talk, he likes to debate, with all of these changes in barbados, i know he would have had something to say about it. and you know, it is just,
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just sad that i can't talk to him now. my granddad passed away 14 years ago. i still have family here who knew him well. so we are just around the corner from my auntie marjorie and uncle noel. they were really close with my granddad, and my nan, so if anyone is going to know anything about what they would have made of this, it is them. so it is a good place to start, i think. hello! uncle! good to see you. flowers for you there. thank you! i will give you a kiss, even though i have the mask, i am double jabbed, they tested me, i am fine. they were supposed to come to my wedding this summer, but the pandemic mean they couldn't make it. it's true.
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got some pictures for you. i will show you these. this is the closer one of granddad there. it is funny, because granddad always had something to say. i would love what he would have thought about it all. what all these changes... change is good. you can't stay the same all the time. you've got to move on, you can't say the same all the time. i don't accept it.
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all of my money is in england still. all the pictures and everything are in england. i have assurances, the pension will still be the same. but things don't say the same, changes bring success sometimes. generations of british influence have left quite a mark here. generations of british influence have left quite a mark here. road signs, and institutions mimic their counterparts across the atlantic. the national sport is cricket, played at the familiar sounding kensington 0val in the capital bridgetown. roland butcher was born in barbados and moved to england when he was 13. he became the country's first ever black test cricketer. fellow wrote a poem to me, really outlining what a shame it was to have picked a black
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man to england and so forth and so forth. and the other one was from the west indian fellow, who saw this selection as going back to the days of slavery. exploitation all over again. he has invited me for a knockabout on the beach. roland's debut was against the west indies, right here in bridgetown in 1981. he played most of his career to middlesex, and even met the duke of edinburgh on more than one occasion. what do you think about the republic? what the benefits of being a republic, i don't know. but what i would say is that i think england as a country, the question is, how they really done enough to stay in the game? is it a sense for you that england, because of its... more than 300 years in control of barbados, ended up taking
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it for granted? i think what really was needed was for england to accept the atlantic slave trade, accept that as something that happened. also accept that institutions and individuals in england benefit from it, and i believe in a call for reparations. for me, reparations would be, forgiveness of any debts that barbados has, also the building of some schools, we have suffered in the last two years, and we have been suffering in this region for quite a while. but england really didn't do a great deal, so other people came along and offered their help, and obviously barbados needed it. i think countries like china has been a lot more friendly to barbados. lots of investment and loans, et cetera. so some people would say that why should we have an allegiance to the uk, when in our hour of need, they are not there for us?
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the government says nothing much will be different after next week. however, work on a new constitution is under way. some of the island's public services like the police will also be renamed. one big physical change here is at the parliament. it's having the biggest renovation in its 130 year history. the timing is a coincidence. we are not leaving any stones unturned and we're making sure that this refurbishment is one of the most comprehensive that this building will get. tyrell is in charge of the work. it's the biggest project of his career. it has been degraded to such a point that standing on the ground, you could not see it. we have a severe termite infestation, some water damage.
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the very bones of this building affect the way the whole main chamber is laid out. so we are in the house of assembly right now, which is the lower house. right now, obviously everything is gone. but the prime minister would sit on this side of the aisle and the opposition would sit on the other side. the speaker usually sits directly in the middle, and this is where all the great debates and stuff like that happens. almost identical, really, to the uk parliament, in the way that it is set up. it's really incredible, walking around and seeing so many parts of the building that still look and feel british, given the republic and this restoration but, at the same time, what i think
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is quite exciting — if you are from barbados — is that this time, it is by choice. and in sight of the senate is the highest—profile change so far. last year, to great fanfare, the statue of lord nelson was removed. it stood here for 200 years in the area that used to be called trafalgar square. do you think that anything material will change on december 1st? when everyone wakes up? i mean nothing will change for the average barbadian. we will still be who we are. in terms of material stuff, we will know that everything that is here, we own, everything that is there is ours, everything that we look forward to, we have to put in place for ourselves. there is no more dependency, there's no more of this looking to someone else — we are just going to be us.
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there are some people who say "well, �*republic�* means we should tear down all remnants of the british and start from scratch". what you think about that? when you leave home, do you discard your parents? you don't. what you do is that you set up in the new house but you still keep your parents. you understand their role, you understand their responsibilities, you understand where you came from. your whole bloodline is important, history is important. in recent years, there has been increased awareness of the civil rights of black people after a series of events made headlines around the world. in britain, there was the windrush scandal in 2018, when people who'd legally migrated there in the 1940s found they and their descendants being threatened with deportation. some families, after a lifetime in the uk, suddenly felt unwelcome.
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hey, daniel! hey! thanks for the lift! welcome to barbados, man! welcome to barbados. good to see you, denise! denise and her husband paul decided to leave london three years ago, and just bought a house here in fortescue. you see all these dead—end rods — they're just the cul—de—sacs that will eventually have the housing. we are driving up to the cliff edge, it's quite bumpy, but worth it when we get there. look at the potential and the mystery of it. it is so beautiful and awesome. and we will talk about, that is nature, that's natural, right? and then you look across here to fortescue — i mean, it's a very special
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spot, and it put things into perspective in terms of life. it's home. you get a sense of belonging when you are here. denise has set up her own nail bar. so have you got any bajan nail specialities down there? well, um... wow, that is very patriotic! denise's mother spent most of her life in britain. her parents are part of the windrush generation who went over with the promise of work. but in 2001, she decided to return to the caribbean. barbados is about to make this change, removing the queen as head of state. what you think about the decision? i don't have anything personally against the queen and the royal family — i believe they are lovely
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people — but i do believe it is the right time. a sense of identity. a true sense of belonging. you know, there's a lot of things that went on that i think myself, "why is it still an issue because you have a certain background or culture that you are left to feel unwelcome?" obviously, in london, it's great, it's a cosmopolitan city, but there is still an element of you're not quite welcome. with brexit, i think that was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. it was almost like yeah, "if brexit happens, we will get ourjobs back". "if brexit happens, immigration and foreigners are out". it was like that. ijust think this is probably, i am hoping it will be - a good move. yeah. before i leave barbados, i have been invited to the friday fish fry at the busy oistins market.
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i am meeting some of my new friends here, roland butcher and the young crickets from from earlier. what's going on fellas? time forfood? any favourites? again, we have been here a few days and it's not often i've come across people who are as excited about it as you — you two. it does feel like it could be a difference in generation,
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you know, in terms of perspective and who is excited about this and who is not. can ijust get a show of hands of how many of you are thinking about leaving barbados to work somewhere else? ok, that's pretty much — that's all of you. um, with the republic coming up, does that change those ambitions at all? if it does, put your hand up. if it doesn't, then leave it down. they may be excited about the change, but not enough to keep them living and working in barbados.
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what the guys had to say really challenged my perspective on this whole republic thing. i mean, who is it really for? who is going to benefit? is it gonna stop young people wanting to leave the country in search of opportunities, like my granddad had to do 55 — 50—odd years ago? i set out to discover what the birth of the new republic means for bajans, and ifound a genuine desire for a new start here. if the move to a republic creates confidence in the country's future, then who knows what barbados can achieve? hello. understandably in the lead—up to christmas, there's
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a lot of talk about snow, and whilst there has been some for more places, there's been some heavy, soaking rain around. very wintry scene, though, for boxing day morning in county durham, parts of the pennines and scottish hills that started the day with some snow. but in terms of rain, since christmas eve into early boxing day, katesbridge in northern ireland, nearly 60mm of rain. northolt in north—west london, about a half a month's worth of rain has fallen in that period, plenty of standing water and spray on the roads. and we have got more rain to come in the week ahead. this area of low pressure running close to the southern parts of the uk will bring some more rain into wales and england as we go on through monday. whilst much of scotland and northern ireland will be staying dry, we'll also see some patchy rain and showers around the northern and western isles. a lot of low cloud, mist and fog to begin the day, and this area of rain as it does move further north and east through england, it is going to turn lighter as it does so, but quite breezy particularly across south wales and southern england, where we have the mildest air, round about six or seven degrees in scotland. now, as we go from monday into
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tuesday, that system heads away. we'll see another one racing in from the atlantic, and that's going to bring some more rain. it looks like the central swathe of the uk will see the heaviest rain on tuesday, from northern ireland through southern scotland, northern england, north wales, and the midlands, before that slips away. to the south of the system, through wales and southern england, although some places will stay dry with some sunny spells, they will have the strongest winds, the chance of some gusts around 40 to 50mph, this though is where we have the highest temperatures. and talking of temperatures, from midweek all parts are going to turn much milder, as this system takes that milder air further north. now, it does come with a lot of rain, but the source of the air is from a long way south and south—west of the uk, lifting temperatures well above average for the time of year. as i mentioned, it does come with some rain, and it is going to be heavy, it does bump into some cold air in scotland, so there will be some snow in the highlands out of this. behind it, clearing through to sunshine and showers. look at these temperatures, though. there is the chance of 17 degrees
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somewhere towards the south and south—east of england, but even into southern and central scotland, we'll see temperatures heading into double figures. and another warm front moving north on thursday. it's going to bring further cloud and outbreaks of rain but maintain a very mild feel to things. and i have to say, notjust by day, overnight, quite widely, away from the northern half of scotland, we'll see overnight temperatures holding in double figures, really exceptional for the time of year. and this is what daytime temperatures are going to be on thursday, just lerwick sticking out there at seven degrees, but no—one can say that's cold for the time of year here. another area of low pressure into friday. strong winds close to that, especially in scotland, bringing a risk of gales as we see out the year. an early band of rain will clear through quite quickly then. it's blustery with sunny spells, and the chance of seeing some showers and perhaps another spell of rain just edging in towards western areas as the year comes to an end. and for the first weekend of 2022, well, got low pressure towards the north—west of us, a weather front moving through. then there is a little gap, a little, drier, brighter gap and then we'll see another system edging in from the south—west later. and you get the idea that
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things are unsettled. we are going to see spells of low pressure moving through, we are going to see from that, wet and windy weather at times, with drier, brighter interludes. the main theme of the weather in the week ahead is how much milder it will be by day and by night, and it looks like the occasionally wet and windy weather, but also mild weather, will see us well into the start of 2022.
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this is bbc news. i'm lukwesa burak. these are the latest headlines in the uk and around the world. tributes pour in for archbishop desmond tutu, nobel laureate and veteran of south africa's struggle against apartheid, who has died at the age of 90. at a time when many people are celebrating with family and friends, we have lost one of the most illustrious, courageous and beloved amongst us. hello and welcome, if you're watching in the uk or around the world.
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tributes have been paid from around the world


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