Friday, 25 November 2011

Funny Old World

Health Warning: what follows is not news, any more than the middle section of Private Eye is news, or The Impressionist is news, or Spitting Image was news. It is a light hearted spin on the real news, which can be found on genuine news sites, such as BBC Jersey. Other news sites are available. This is not one of them. None of the individuals mentioned have ever said anything quite like the words attributed to them. Which is a pity.

Finding information on Jersey politicians 'is easier'

It will be easier to find out what proposals politician are bringing to the States according to the States Greffier. The States Assembly website has been re-designed to make it easier to keep track of politicians. A clever filter technique allows you to generate 600 blank pages, which represent all the "in Camera" secret debates over the last five years. These can be spooled to an Adobe file, or printed out to be read at leisure.

A GPS tracking device also allows you to track politicians via their laptops. Are they really in the States Chamber, or have they popped out for a coffee break, a smoke in the Royal Square, or even gone off to run a business elsewhere? It is now much easier to keep track of politicians.

The Greffier, Michael de La Haye said, "It has often been difficult getting politicians back in the Chamber, but as long as they are carrying their laptops around with them, we can locate them." He said they were also looking at whether to live stream webcams from the laptops in the Assembly site, so that you could scrutinise them, and see if the politicians had fallen asleep in the States Assembly.

Meanwhile a pan-Channel Islands forum will investigate blocking adult content on young people's mobile phones. John Curran, executive director of the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority, said he supported the move. There are currently are no restrictions in Jersey on what material someone under the age of 18 can access. It is thought that using the new States Assembly site, with its ability to generate thousands of pages of speeches from Hansard, mostly from a former Deputy of St Mary, Daniel Wimberley, could seriously damage the developing brains of youngsters with information overload. "We must ensure the phone companies are socially responsible," said Mr Curran, "and access to long Hansard debates could cause young, impressionable minds to become suicidal."

Public money is being used to pay for a private security firm to patrol Jersey's new Town Park at night. Concerns have been raised by local residents about anti-social behaviour at the St Helier park. "There are still all these diggers, and builders puffing away on cigarettes over the site" said one resident, Mrs Ena Sharples, "and we had the Minister for Transport here officially opening the site some three weeks ago. What are all these people doing digging it up and putting up scaffolding? It's antisocial vandalism!"

Deputies in charge of Guernsey's new waste strategy are coming under pressure to reveal more details. They have already told islanders they want to send some of their rubbish to Jersey's incinerator. "There are really too many politicians in the States, and sinecure pen-pushing civil servants," said an informed source, "and we could ship them off to Jersey, so dealing with all the extra waste and rubbish, with their incinerator". In Jersey it has sparked a whole host of questions, particularly how the ash from Guernsey's waste will be dealt with. The Transport and Technical Services Minister, explained that the ash could be sent back to Guernsey to dispose of, as if it was composed of surplus politicians and rubbish civil servants, it might be quite toxic.

And finally, Jersey Heritage are offering islanders a chance to win a two night stay at one of their spellbinding sites if you take part in an online questionnaire to help them improve their service. The organisation has already seen an increase in visitors this year with a revived interest in our heritage and the importance of preserving it. The most popular location to stay is the Hermitage Rock on Elizabeth Castle, although the axe-wielding re-enactment of the death of St Helier has meant that there are not a great many repeat bookings.

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