Alan Maclean recently showed his prowess as a master of "Yes Minister" style prevarication. He has lost none of the assured professionalism demonstrated by Estate Agents in providing clever obscufaction. In answer to a question by Deputy Phil Rondel, about defects at the Marina, Maclean comes out with "seek clarification as to what they relate to in the context of the ongoing discussions".
Now if you google "Sir Humphrey Appleby ongoing discussions", you come up with "Yes Minister", and this is a perfect example of a sentence where Senator Maclean is on the edge of comprehension, on the point of heading off into the Twilight Zone of sheer nonsense.
When pressed more firmly about actual assurances - "Will he give us an assurance that within the next 28 days they will be addressed?", he is happy to give "an assurance that within the next 28 days they will be considered" - note "considered", not "addressed".
Alan Maclean is fast becoming a strong contender for the Yes Minister Award for the Arcane Art of Saying Nothing in Many Vague Words.
Here is the exchange reported in the States of Jersey "Hansard":
4.1 The Deputy of St. John:
If I could pass this across, please, to the Minister. In December 2007, I along with others were at St. Helier Yacht Club and put a number of questions to the Minister on maintenance of St. Helier marina. He gave me an undertaking that he would look into this. On a number of occasions during 2008, I wrote to the Minister and asked what progress had been made. As Members can see, I will pass a couple of these around . in fact these photographs were taken, Minister, this week. Could the Minister please explain why the serious defects are still in the public domain, and are a danger to the public, and why they have not been put right?
Senator A.J.H. Maclean (The Minister for Economic Development):
I would ask the Deputy who has written to the department - has written to me and I have referred it to the department to deal with - I understand he has had numerous discussions with the department and meetings. My understanding is that most of the issues that were raised - I think in the first letter the Deputy wrote there was something like 28 particular issues raised on matters pertaining the harbours - have been addressed in full. As far as the photographs are concerned, I am more than happy to take them down to the department and seek clarification as to what they relate to in the context of the ongoing discussions that the Deputy has had over the past 2 years.
4.1.1 The Deputy of St. John:
A supplementary. If I could pass the Minister a copy of my original letter, he will see of those 20 plus faults reported a number of them, even on the front page which are underlined in a highlighter, have not been addressed. Will he give us an assurance that within the next 28 days they will be addressed?
Senator A.J.H. Maclean:
I am more than happy to give the Deputy an assurance that within the next 28 days they will be considered. As far as I am aware, these issues had been resolved and I have asked the Deputy personally as to whether there are any outstanding issues to which he did not give me an answer until this precise moment. Thank you.
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