23 September 2011

Jersey's Mainstream Media Show Their True Colours -Again


'It's getting silly now. The JEP and Channel Television are not even trying to appear impartial!'

On Monday, I attended the Hustings at St Clement. It was a fairly boring affair, with predictable performances from most candidates. Lord Philip was very fortunate to have drawn a seat which was dead centre of the table and also to be the first one to speak. This fortuitous position was bolstered by being given front page coverage in the JEP, where Lord Philip's photo appeared with the headline 'Time for Better Government' i.e. time for all of you JEP readers to elect Lord Philip. His photo also had the caption 'Former Bailiff (just in case you had forgotten) and Senatorial Candidate ... criticised States Members at last night's hustings.'

Award-winning Channel TV led in a similar vein, on the Tuesday, showing footage from Lord Philip's opening speech. No such privilege was afforded to any of the other 12 candidates. Then again, with the exception of Dr Mark Forskitt and Advocate Rose Colley, the remainder are mere serfs and should feel honoured to even share a platform with such a chivalrous individual. That they were even allowed to speak in his presence was a step too far, according to some. 

During his speech, Lord Bailhache said that there were too many States Members (agreed) and that 'the devil made work for idle hands.' This is coded language for saying that opposition members who asked questions and brought propositions on valid issues, were time wasters. He went on to dismiss calls for a Discrimination Law and Freedom of Information as 'bright ideas' - not appropriate for Jersey. 'How offensive', I thought,  'they are not bright ideas, rather fundamental pieces of legislation that any civilised, 21st international jurisdiction should have enshrined at the centre of their constitution!' 

The problem is that the political elite in Jersey, thoroughly conservative, both economically and culturally, want to have it both ways: they want Jersey to 'punch above its weight' ('péter plus haut que son cul' as the wonderful French expression goes) economically, whilst remaining a legislative backwater, where issues like discrimination (age, sex, race discrimination; unfair dismissal etc, etc) and access to official information are either not addressed at all (as with discrimination), or dealt with by opaque and non-statutory 'codes', as is the case for FOI. The reason they give, is that Jersey is a small island and that we do not need these cumbersome and costly laws, yet when it relates to promoting the interests of finance, we must be fully up to speed. However, the two should not be mutually exclusive.

20 September 2011

2011 - List of Hustings

The Hustings kick off tonight with the 13 senatorial candidates making speeches and answering questions in the parish of St Clement. Here is a full list of all the hustings for Senator, Deputy and Constable seats:

HUSTINGS DATES - most start at 7.30pm

Parish                     When                     Office                    Where
St Clement               Tuesday, 20 September            (Senator)                   St Clement's Parish Hall
St Peter                     Wednesday, 21 September      (Senator)                   St Peter's Youth and Community Centre
Grouville                 Thursday, 22 September          (Senator)                   Grouville Parish Hall
St Saviour                Thursday, 22 September         (Constable)               St Saviour's Parish hall
St Martin                  Monday, 26 September            (Senator)                   St Martin's Public Hall
St Ouen                    Wednesday, 28 September      (Senator)                   St Ouen's Parish Hall
St Saviour                Thursday, 29 September         (Deputy)                   St Saviour's Parish Hall
St Peter                     Thursday, 29 September          (Deputy)                   St Peter's Youth and Community Centre
St Mary                     Friday, 30 September                (Deputy)                   St Mary's Parish Hall
St Saviour (No 3)   Friday, 30 September                (Deputy)                   Maufant Youth Centre
St Brelade                 Friday, 30 September                (Constable)               Communicare, St Brelade
St Helier (No 3)       Monday 3, October                   (Deputy)                   First Tower School
St John                       Tuesday, 4 October                   (Senator)                   St John's Parish Hall
St Ouen                     Tuesday, 4 October                   (Constable)               St Ouen's Parish Hall
St Saviour (No 2)    Tuesday, 4 October                    (Deputy)                   St Saviour Parish Hall
St Brelade (No 2)    Tuesday, 4 October                (Deputy)                   Communicare, St Brelade
St Helier (No 2)       Tuesday, 4 October                    (Deputy)                   Town Hall
YOUTH HUSTINGS 5th OCTOBER                           (Senators)                YOUTH HUSTINGS
St Lawrence             Wednesday, 5 October             (Constable)               St Lawrence' Parish Hall
Trinity                       Thursday, 6 October                  (Senator)                   Trinity Parish Hall
Grouville                  Thursday, 6 October                  (Deputy)                   Grouville Parish Hall
St Saviour (No 1)   Thursday, 6 October                   (Deputy)                   Georgetown Methodist Church Hall
St Mary                     Friday, 7 October                        (Senator)                   St Mary's Parish Hall
St Brelade                 Friday, 7 October                       (Constable)               St Brelade Parish Hall
Trinity                       Monday, 10 October                 (Senator)                   Countryside Hustings, RJA&HS Trinity
St Lawrence             Tuesday, 11 October                 (Senator)                   St Lawrence' Parish Hall
St Clement                Tuesday, 11 October                 (Deputy)                   St Clement's Parish Hall
St John                       Tuesday, 11 October                 (Deputy)                   St John's Parish Hall
St Brelade (No 1)    Tuesday, 11 October                 (Deputy)                   St Brelade's Parish Hall
St Helier (No 3)       Tuesday, 11 October at 19:45 (Deputy)                   La Pouquelaye Youth Centre
St Helier (No 1)       Wednesday, 12 October           (Deputy)                   Town Hall
St Saviour                 Thursday, 13 October               (Senator)                   St Saviour's Parish Hall
St Martin                   Thursday, 13 October               (Deputy)                   St Martin's Public Hall
St Helier (No 3)       Thursday, 13 October               (Deputy)                   Rouge Boullion School
St Brelade                 Friday, 14 October                     (Senator)                   Communicare, St Brelade
St Brelade (No 2)    Saturday, 15 October *          (Deputy)                   Communicare, St Brelade 
(*NOTE time: 1.30pm-3.30pm)
St Helier                   Monday, 17 October                    (Senator)                   Town Hall

13 September 2011

Deputy Tadier - A Manifesto in 200 words

Monty Tadier

Below is a short manifesto which describes a few of the things I have done in the last 3 years as Deputy for St Brelade No. 2 and some of the priorities I hope to address if re-elected. My and other candidates profiles can be seen on the channel 103 site


Presently, we have a Council of Ministers and a majority of States Members who do not represent the interests of ordinary people. We need an urgent change of direction if we are to address current and future problems such as unaffordable housing, population growth, peak oil, adequate health care and unemployment. In order to do this, we need to elect competent and compassionate States Members who represent the interests of ordinary people, workers and families, and not simply the interests of the very wealthy.
During the last 3 years I have been very active as a Deputy, both in the Parish and in the States. I have been involved on several Panels – including Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny. I have fought for greater equality and fairness in society and pressed for the introduction of a discrimination law. I have consistently opposed GST and its increase.
If re-elected, I want to address the fundamental problems of affordable housing in Jersey. As a young States Member, I am very much aware of the crippling nature of high rents and the difficulty of securing a mortgage. I will also seek for greater priority to be given to mental health issues and youth development.

12 September 2011

10 Establishment Candidates Returned Unopposed (Political DNA - part 3)

Deputies Eddie Noel and Anne Pryke were returned unopposed

Deputies Roy Le Hérissier (left) and Bob Hill face contested elections

Apologies for the delay in this final part of this series in my blog; The past two weeks has proved even busier than expected!

The  nominations have now taken place and we are now know who all the candidates are who will be  contesting  the 26 deputies, 4 Constables and 4 Senatorial Seats. One thing that is notable is that of the 11 uncontested seats, 10 can reasonably called Establishment and/or (Jersey) right-wing candidates. Only one - Constable Simon Crowcroft can be said to be part of the loose grouping of 'progressives'.

Meanwhile, all the seats currently held by (mildly) progressive deputies (and the other marginally less reactionary Constable of St Lawrence) are being contested. And they are being contested by official and unofficial candidates of the Black and White Party.

Thus 'old school progressives', in relatively safe seats, such as Deputies Le Hérissier (St Saviour No 3) and Bob Hill, are facing contested elections, whilst deep reactionary types like Deputies Anne Pryke (Trinity) and Eddie Noel (St Lawrence) are given a 'free ride'.

So what does this tell us?  The Establishment are more organised. Their success does not rely on the popularity of their policies (just as well, as they do not have any explicit ones), rather their ability to mobilize and fool those who turn out to vote for them, whilst their unrepresentative power base and policy direction only serves to alienate would be progressive voters further, leading to huge abstentionism which permits the Establishment's to secure a sufficiently large 'minority' of votes, which under the flawed 'first past the post' system, is enough to get them elected.

They put candidates up in 'safe' seats held by progressives (i) because there is nothing to lose and (ii) to 'make them work'. It is time the progressives (or what passes for them) started to do the same.