Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

They were standing under a tree, each with an arm round the other's neck, and Alice knew which was which in a moment, because one of them had 'DUM' embroidered on his collar, and the other 'DEE.' 'I suppose they've each got "TWEEDLE" round at the back of the collar,' she said to herself. They stood so still that she quite forgot they were alive, and she was just looking round to see if the word "TWEEDLE" was written at the back of each collar, when she was startled by a voice coming from the one marked 'DUM.'

'If you think we're wax-works,' he said, 'you ought to pay, you know. Wax-works weren't made to be looked at for nothing, nohow!'
'Contrariwise,' added the one marked 'DEE,' 'if you think we're alive, you ought to speak.'
(Alice Through the Looking Glass)

The peculiar thing about Tweedledum and Tweedledee is although they say "contrariwise" a lot, they actually agree about most things. I was thinking about them when I was looking at two of the country Deputies, Angela Jeune and Anne Dupre whom, I have to confess, I have muddled up at time. They too, tend to say "contrariwise" a good deal, especially when it comes to their voting record in the States, which is mostly "Contre", voting against things. So I'll just let that speak for itself.

In 2008, I looked at the voting patterns over the first 27 votes where there was a significant conflict on votes, rather than those votes which have been carried by everyone present. I counted how many States members vote the same way as Senator Terry Le Sueur, the Chief Minister. The voting patterns below tend to be remarkably consistent thereafter:

26 Deputy Angela Elizabeth Jeune
24 Deputy Anne Teresa Dupre

Both candidates still have their 2008 websites up, so if you look quickly, you can see what they promised in their own words. For example:

Angela Jeune promises "If you, the electorate, choose me as your representative I will endeavour  not to let you down. I will make provision to keep in touch with you and  will use this website as a means of keeping you up to date."

The website has not been altered since 2008, when she was elected.


Council of Ministers' meetings: public access.

This proposition was to request the Council of Ministers to hold its meetings in public, except  when the Council is discussing any matter which, by virtue of any enactment or code, it is entitled to discuss in private.

Both voted CONTRE

"Responsibility/Accountability: States members must take the lead in this by example.  States Members are, in my opinion, answerable to the people of this Island, they are OUR representatives." (Angela Jeune)


Goods and Services Tax: exemption or zero-rating for foodstuffs, domestic energy and fuel paragraph (a)(i) [foodstuffs]
Goods and Services Tax: exemption or zero-rating for foodstuffs, domestic energy and fuel paragraph (a)(ii) [domestic energy]

Both voted CONTRE

"I am totally against GST on food and children's clothes. In 1973 the UK government introduced VAT, but food, children's clothes, books, newspapers and magazines were zero-rated or exempt. We normally follow the UK in a somewhat slavish way, but on this occasion, the States thought they knew best - how wrong they were! The majority of Islanders are against this tax as it affects every single person, from the young to the old. It affects the care homes, hospitals, nursing homes, nurseries etc" (Anne Dupre)

Electoral Commission: establishment as amended

This was to look into the way in which the States was constituted, as Clothier was only partly implemented, to agree that an independent Electoral Commission should be established in Jersey to investigate and report on all aspects of the electoral system and composition of the elected membership of the States Assembly and the election and voting processes for such members.

Both voted CONTRE

Standing Orders: Time Limits on Speeches During Debates paragraph (b)
Standing Orders: Time Limits on Speeches During Debates -paragraphs (a) and (c)

This was to reduce the time speeches could be made to 15 minutes which, allowing for any interruptions on a point of order, would be probably more like 10 minutes. However, the Council of Ministers would have 30 minutes for any of their propositions!

Both voted POUR (in favour of this reduction)

Historical Child Abuse: request to Council of Ministers as amended

This proposition by Francis le Gresley  was to set up an public enquiry as promised by former Chief Minister Senator Frank Walker, which had been dropped without debate by Senator Terry Le Sueur, who appeared not to want to be committed to promises made by the States previously.
Both voted CONTRE

Jersey Post: petition:

This was about the cutting back on deliveries and postal collections, and a fair playing field for all postal operations.
Both voted CONTRE

Millennium Town Park [in St Helier]
Both voted CONTRE

"We are very privileged to have such wonderful open spaces in our Parish [St Brelade]." (Angela Jeune)

Roads and Pavements: Legal Liability in Case of Negligence

To rectify the fact that the States have no obligations if a road develops potholes and someone injuries themselves because they haven't repaired it

Letter from Transport and Technical Services after one case: "We are sorry to hear that you were injured and hope you are progressing swiftly towards a full recovery. Our understanding of the Law in Jersey is that in the absence of an express statutory provision (and there is none), the States of Jersey cannot be held legally liable for injury to a third party as a result of failing to maintain a public highway in a good state of repair. There is no equivalent Highways Act in Jersey. Whilst we are sorry to hear of your injury, we regret that we have no offer to make in the way of financial compensation on behalf of our insured."

Both voted CONTRE

School Milk: Restoration of Funding

Proposition Notes: "Good habits, started in the primary years, may be developed into secondary school. The drinking of reduced fat milk is one such good habit. When a glass of milk replaces a packet of crisps and a can of coke, not only will it be contributing to a reduction in the worrying levels of obesity in our young people, it will be helping many to concentrate on their studies. Furthermore, if our young people are not encouraged to drink milk as part of a balanced diet, then where will the future customers for Jersey Dairy come from? Support for free school milk can be seen as a much-needed assistance with marketing for our dairy industry"

Both voted CONTRE

"We are also fortunate to see fields with our famous Jersey cow, sheep and pigs."(Angela Jeune)

Draft Civil Partnership (Jersey) Law 201- (P.85/2011): amendment. (to allow religious texts or songs)
Both voted CONTRE

Draft Civil Partnership (Jersey) Law 201- Third Reading (final version)

"I am compassionate, considerate, caring" (Anne Dupre)

Differences of Opinion

On these matters they differed, with Angela Jeune taking the Council of Ministers "Party" Line

Compulsory wearing of cycle helmets paragraph (a) (children under 18)
Angela Jeune: CONTRE
Anne Dupre: POUR

Recycling of waste materials: identification of suitable sites.
Angela Jeune: CONTRE
Anne Dupre: POUR

Minimum Wage Level as a Percentage of Average Earnings as amended

Proposition brought because "the level of the minimum wage, whilst clearly being an economic decision, was also one which was legitimately also a political one. In establishing a minimum wage the States have quite properly committed themselves to the protection of our lowest paid employees"

Angela Jeune: CONTRE
Anne Dupre: POUR

"Not all young people want or are able to work in the finance sector, and we need plumbers, mechanics, electricians, carpenters etc. We should encourage apprenticeships to be available for them. If we are developing the skills of our own folk we should have less necessity to recruit from elsewhere."  (Angela Jeune)


rico sorda said...

They also sit next to each other in the States and ask Gorst which way to vote if there not sure. These two would follow Ozouf over a cliff only to find when they hit the bottom he wasn't there.

Have voted with Ozouf 99.9% of the time

Jeune didn't even bother asking any questions until this year, check Hansard

rico sorda said...


Anonymous said...

Question: what relationship, if any, is there between Deputy Jeune and former Senator Reg Jeune?

(Given that there are a number of political families in the island, it seems a fair question to ask).

voiceforchildren said...

Rico said.

"Jeune didn't even bother asking any questions until this year."

Ann Dupre still hasn't! She also got elected (like Ozouf) by deceiving the voters with her anti GST stance when seeking election.

She got the old "do you want to be an assistant minister arm" of Ozouf put round her and the rest is history. As hopefully she will be after the next election.

L'Office du Jèrriais said...

On a nitpicking literary point: only Tweedledee says "contrariwise" in the canonical text. His brother says "nohow". It's one of the things which distinguishes them (and is reflected faithfully in the forthcoming Jèrriais translation).