Tuesday, 31 January 2012

St Helier in 1932 - Harbour and Town Church

A few more extracts from the 1932 Guide Book to the Channel Islands...

It is interesting to see a grumble about the "unattractive, bare-looking Harbour approach" - we've had that in the last 20 years, especially when the reclamation work was all going on. It's a lot better now, with a fairly nice avenue past the roundabout and Cineworld car park, but the chief problem today is that it is a long way to go, especially for foot passengers. Guernsey has always had an advantage in this respect - from Harbour to St Peter Port is a short distance.

I remember the Weighbridge Gardens with the statue of Victoria, all shifted to make way for the bus stops. The open space that exists now is perfect for open events, but looks rather bare the rest of the time. It seems a shame that a garden could not have been restored, especially as there is photographic detail of how it looked.

The Post Office is still in Broad Street, but the train offices are long gone, alas!

The history of the Town Church seems to be quite deficient. It certainly doesn't date from "the middle of the
fourteenth century" - the choir and a small part of the nave which show clear evidence of early Norman, tenth or eleventh-century architecture. And the date of the church can be placed before 1066, because William, Duke of Normandy (not yet King of England) endorsed his father's gift of half its revenues to the Abbey of Cérisy la Forêt.

What is more, the North Chapel has a stone-built half-vault which is unique in Channel Island Churches. So much for the dismissive "little architectural interest" of the guide book. The other note that "unlike nearly all the other parish churches, it has retained its square tower". One can only assume that the author of the guide was basing his architectural comparisons on English churches, not Jersey ones.

The restoration of 1863 is covered in more detail on the Parish Church website:

In 1865, The Revd. Philip Filleul Rector and Vice-dean, with the support of the Constable and parishioners, undertook a thorough restoration. A south transept and western extension to the nave, both with galleries, were built, the chancel, altar and font replaced and the church furnished with uniform pews. An organ was installed in the north chapel, which had been used for many years as the town mortuary. In 1930, the choir was raised and new stalls erected and over the years the organ was enhanced to become a first-class instrument. (1)

It is interesting to note that 142 years later, more restoration has taken place, and the burial site of Major Peirson, mentioned in the guide book, has actually been uncovered.

The Town Church is currently undergoing a period of restoration. During 2007-2008 the exterior has been completely re-pointed and re-roofed. Starting in 2009 the focus of the restoration work has moved inside. The work will include the installation of under floor heating, re-plastering, maintenance of the wall monuments, and lighting.

I've not been able to find any major reasons for the mention of tombstones, except that one was a little over 4 years, and the other one over 100 years old. Jean Laffoley, born in 1659, dying in 1759, would have lived though the end of the Republic, when Richard Cromwell was forced to resign, and through the reigns of Charles II (1660 - 1685 ), James II ( 1685 - 1688 ), William and Mary ( 1689 - 1702 ), Anne ( 1702 - 1714 ), George I ( 1714 - 1727 ) and almost to the end of the reign of George II ( 1727 - 1760 )!


Having reached the landward end of the Harbour from the landing-stage on the pier, one passes between the Western Railway Station and the Weighbridge Gardens, a small grass-plot with beds of flowers relieving the unattractive, bare-looking Harbour approach, and containing a Statue of Queen Victoria, erected in 1890.

Facing the sea hereabouts are some of St. Helier's many hotels. Extending to the left is the fine Esplanade. To-
wards the right rises Fort Regent, at which we will presently look more closely, and ahead, leading into the town, are two thoroughfares. That on the right, MuIcaster Street, goes to the Parish Church and to the immediate neighbourhood of Royal Square, both of which can also be reached by way of the left-hand thoroughfare, Conway Street, which ends at Bond Street on the right and Broad Street on the left. A few steps along the latter is the General Post Office. In Bond Street are the offices of the Southern Railway and the Great Western Railway. On the right also is

The Parish Church.

The town church of St. Helier is one of the twelve parish churches of the island. It dates from the middle of the
fourteenth century, but is of little architectural interest.

In 1863-7 it was thoroughly restored. Unlike nearly all the other parish churches, it has retained its square tower.

Stained-glass windows display Biblical subjects. At the eastern end of the south wall is a tablet to the memory of the gallant Peirson, who was buried under the tower.

On the west wall of the south aisle is a tablet removed from the floor near the north door, in memory of Maximilian Norrey, who died in 1591 while serving in the army of Henry IV of Bourbon, King of France and Navarre. The inscription is in Latin. French and English translations are given on adjacent slabs. The Norreys, whose arms are on one of the gateways of Mont Orgueil Castle, were buried in a vault in this church.

The organ, placed in the church in 1922, is the finest in the Channel Islands.

In the churchyard, against the east wall of the church, is a flat tombstone recording in French the death of P. H.
Durell, Jun., on the 31st April, 1755, aged 4 years and 8 months.

On the north side of the church, in a line with the west front, is an upright stone inscribed : " Icy repose le corps de Mtre Jean Laffoley decede le 30eme Jeanvier, 1759 age de 100 ans et quatre mois."

(1) http://www.townchurch.org.je/st_helier_town_church_town_church_jersey_history.htm

Monday, 30 January 2012

Spare the rod?

Experience had taught me that it was no use 'sparing the rod'. If you did, word would soon get about the school that you were 'soft'. Since the object of a caning was both to punish and to deter a boy from reoffending, it needed to be made as unpleasant as possible. The object was to instil a fear of the cane into offenders and amongst potential offenders. (A Headmaster's Recollections)

Though I was small my devotion was great when I begged you not to let me be beaten at school . our parents scoffed at the torments which we boys suffered at the hands of our masters. For we feared the whip as much as others fear the rack, and we no less than they, begged you to preserve us from it.

Smacking children is back in the news once more, and is being cited as one panacea for poor discipline in homes:

Boris Johnson has backed calls for parents to be allowed to smack their children to instil discipline. The Mayor of London spoke after a senior Labour MP blamed his party's partial ban on smacking children for last August's riots. Former education minister David Lammy called for a return to Victorian laws on discipline, saying working-class parents needed to be able to use corporal punishment to deter unruly children from joining gangs and wielding knives. He claimed parents were 'no longer sovereign in their own homes' and feared that social workers would take their children away if they chastised them. Labour's 2004 law did not completely ban smacking, but said a smack should cause no more than a reddening of the skin. (1)

This reminds me of the Duchess in Alice in Wonderland:

"Speak roughly to your little boy,
And beat him when he sneezes:
He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases."

Sweden has a "no smack" policy and has had one for some time, longer than Britain.

Adrienne A. Haeuser made a study about Sweden and how they broke the generational transmission of physical punishment as a childrearing method:

Can you bring up children successfully without smacking and spanking? Sweden appears to be doing just this only a decade after passing a law which stipulates that a child may not be subjected to physical punishment or other humiliating treatment. Initially somewhat skeptical, Swedes now take the law for granted and Swedish children are thriving.

The reasons for the ban were because allowing "discipline" in the home meant in practice that there was widespread child abuse going on there. The problem with trying to limit it was that any form of physical discipline was on a continuous spectrum, and it was almost impossible to fix limits. A smack could be a light tap on the hand, or it could be a heavy wallop. The Swedish authorities decided that the only way to stop the latter was to ban all use of force.

Despite seemingly idyllic conditions for childrearing, Sweden moved into the 1970's with widespread child abuse. Corporal punishment in the schools had been banned in 1958; however, the harsh beatings of the previous era - as well as less severe forms of physical punishment - persisted in the privacy of home life. A major Swedish research project concluded that child abuse constituted one end of a large continuum beginning with physical punishment, and that stopping all physical punishment was the "gateway" to preventing most child abuse

The government's stated intent in passing the 1979 law was twofold: primarily to stop "beatings," and secondly "to create a basis for general information and education for parents as to the importance of giving children good care and as to one of the prime requirements of their care"

This law does not carry penalties - a point that no doubt speeded its passage. When reports of physical punishment are substantiated by social services staff or the police as assault (that is, child abuse) according to Sweden's Criminal Code, the code sanctions apply. Even so, few minor infractions have been reported by spiteful neighbors or children, putting to rest the speculation that such a law would create chaos by turning minor parental infractions into government cases.

We can see how matters have changed even in Jersey. Part of the problem with taking to court those accused - and later found guilty - of child abuse in Haut de La Garenne was the problem of differentiating between what would have been a commonplace in any home as well as a State run institution. It was not uncommon, for instance, in the 1960s for a father to beat his son with a slipper for minor misdemeanors. For example, I know personally of a case where a young boy was beaten with a slipper for reading in bed with a torch after "lights out". Boys at Victoria College were caned for bad behaviour as the ultimate sanction even in the 1970s. This was not seen as abusive or wrong.

So "common assault", for which Morag and Anthony Jordan were convicted of at haut de La Garenne was more difficult to determine because the degree of discipline had to be placed into the context of a background acceptable culture of violence. Nevertheless, they were deemed to have crossed the line on at least 8 occasions:

Morag and Anthony Jordan, both 62, from Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland, were both found guilty on eight separate counts relating to abuse at the Haut de la Garenne home in Jersey. But after deliberating for more than eight hours, the jury at the royal court of Jersey acquitted Morag Jordan on a further 28 counts and Anthony Jordan on four. (3)

If it is thought that a prohibition on smacking is a causal factor in riots, then the question should be asked: why have there been no similar riots in Sweden.

So why have there been no summer riots in Sweden? I think it's more a culture thing than a parental one - England has soccer violence (and did have even in Victorian times), other countries do not.

The game of football has been associated with violence since its beginnings in 13th century England. Medieval football matches involved hundreds of players, and were essentially pitched battles between the young men of rival villages and towns - often used as opportunities to settle old feuds, personal arguments and land disputes.

Forms of 'folk-football' existed in other European countries (such as the German Knappen and Florentine calcio in costume), but the roots of modern football are in these violent English rituals. The much more disciplined game introduced to continental Europe in 1900s was the reformed pastime of the British aristocracy. Other European countries adopted this form of the game, associated with Victorian values of fair-play and retrained enthusiasm. Only two periods in British history have been relatively free of football-related violence: the inter-war years and the decade following the Second World War. (4)

The cycle of generational abuse can be broken, but the case of Sweden saw a mass effort by the entire population, rather than a top-down imposition of particular rules, which is why it worked, because it operated by consent. But some aspects of physical violence can certainly be curtailed, and the current law in operation, whereby "a smack should cause no more than a reddening of the skin" would seem to be a pragmatic compromise until such time as our society has changed enough for a complete ban.

In the meantime, we should be aware that the lessons learned by smacking are not necessarily the ones that are indented. It is no coincidence that one of the cases of of Haut de La Garenne - Michael Aubin - found guilty of indecent assault - was himself the subject of abuse. Violence begets violence, and the unintended consequence of heavy smacking are to convey the notion that might is right:

Smacking (perceived by children as one person hitting another) not only gives children the message that it is OK to hit others but also that violence is an acceptable way to solve problems and get what you want. Bullying behaviour may also develop as children perceive such violence as a means of control. (5)

Sunday, 29 January 2012

The Ethics of Exploration

This was written in 1981 as part of an submission at St Luke's Exeter regarding religion and the teaching of religion in schools. This section actually only marginally deals with teaching of religion, although it sets out an ethical framework for such teaching to take place. I thought a Sunday would be an appropriate time to revisit it.

There is a bit too much purple prose in the rhetoric in places, but I'm still quite pleased with it. One of my pet hates at the time was those panaceas to life that offered "self-development"  or "increasing self-awareness" that seemed to be wholly centred on the ego, with roots in Nietzsche and some forms of existentialism; it seemed to lack any ethical dimension or social dimension, and while this nascent New Age has developed some forms in which those are present, there is still a good deal of narcissism there that needs to be pruned away. I was also strongly motivated to look at how fundamentalist Christian groups behaved towards outsiders, or those they ranked as outsiders, having seem some experience of that at Exeter.

The Ethics of Exploration

We are poor, not demigods. We have plenty to be sorrowful about, and are not emerging into a golden age. We need a gentle approach, a non-violent spirit, and small is beautiful. We must concern ourselves with justice and see right prevail. And all this, only this, can enable us to become peacemakers. (E.F. Schumacher, "Small is Beautiful")

In a trivial world, life becomes "a hollow scaffolding of imposed anonymous values.. We are constantly afraid (of other men's opinions, of what 'they' will decide for us, of not coming up to the standards of material or psychological success though we ourselves have done nothing to establish or even verify such standards)"(Steiner(1)).

Even work is absorbed into banality by this 'slave morality'. As Nietzsche so poignantly observes, "it keeps everybody in harness and powerfully obstructs the development of reason, of covetousness, of the desire for independence. For it uses up a tremendous amount of nervous energy and takes it away from reflection, breeding, dreaming, worry, love and hatred; it always sets a small goal before one's eyes and permits easy and regular satisfactions" (2) .

Against the boredom of such settled servility, man often revolts, refusing to be tamed: he seeks something more worthwhile than mind bogglingly dull duties which reap petty rewards. The cry of rebellion is heard: "Live dangerously !" (3)

The philosophy of Nietzsche would rant: "Live dangerously! Yes, this is the way to true expression in existence. Not: live outrageously - that is folly and bad sense. But: live dangerously! Do not be afraid to live; do not be afraid to exist; do not be afraid to face the danger in any living that is to be worthwhile living. So I say: live dangerously Live dangerously, that you might live!"

So rants and raves the hysterical screaming of this revolution. It begins by proclaiming the twilight of the idols (4); then, as if that were not enough, it takes a hammer to the idols, being satisfied only when they are in fragments at its feet (5). It finishes by crying "I am a destiny!"(6); triumphantly, heroically, it shouts "Ecce Homo: I am God!" (7), before it perishes in the madness of its own megalomania.

Such an ethic begins innocently enough, with pleas for development of the personality; it ends in a freely expressed megalomania (8) that knows of no bounds, freely doing all manner of unspeakable atrocities, "things hitherto regarded as disgusting and impious - such as digging up and mutilating the dead" (Lewis (9)) .

Against the 'slave morality' has been countered a 'master morality' (10); an ethic of domination has replaced an ethic of submission. Yet this is not altogether unexpected, because an ethic of submission always has its roots in an ethic of domination. This is clear if we consider the ethical demands of each ethic: the ethic of submission says "you must obey" while the ethic of domination says "you must conquer". Obviously which demand is heard depends upon whether you stand as one of the dominators or not; it depends on which 'side' you are on.

To see how partition calls into being these ethics, let us consider the segregation and discrimination introduced by asking the question: who is a Christian?

Who is a Christian? This creates a boundary: it separates those who are declared as Christians from those who are not. It makes a clear, sharply cut, dividing line. Then the community of Christians is isolated from the world; it becomes a mystery religion with conditional initiation rites. Most clearly this can be seen in the groups which practice "believers' baptism". The baptism becomes an initiation into the group, conditional upon belief. The line is clear between belief and unbelief (11). Those who are on the inside are the "saved", those on the outside the "unsaved" (12).

But by drawing this line, the community cuts itself off from the world (13). Whatever name it gives itself is of no account; it has become a sect (14). So the attempt to define who is of the Christian community and who is not leads to a split between Church and World, in which the World is largely left to its own devices and the Church to its own - except when it ventures forth from its fortified battlements in the name of "evangelism" to capture people from the World.

How comes this division? It comes about because the attempt to define who is a Christian rests largely upon the 'sin mythology' (15).
According to the sin mythology, all men are sinners; there is however an exclusion clause to this: it says "but not Christians"; although not explicitly stated like this, the logic of the situation follows from the understanding of sin as disobedience to God where to be obedient to God is to be a Christian; by this a Christian is 'saved' from 'sin'." (16)

The sin mythology, by branding all men as sinners except Christians, does two things.

Firstly, it provides a scapegoat explanation for the existence of moral and social evils: evil exists as a result of sin. The world is full of evil because it is full of sinners, people who are not Christians. If everyone became Christians, the world would be a better place. If this seems naive, then it is because it is! But it is often found preferable for personal security to take refuge in a scapegoat explanation such as this, rather than admit ignorance and helplessness in the face of our inability to achieve understanding and mastery of diverse and complex moral and social problems (17).

Secondly, it provides a form for "existential cannibalism" whereby Christians could gain meaning for their lives by invalidating the meaning other people gave to theirs (18). This was enacted by the Inquisition (19).

Sin mythology of varying types plays a large role in most groups with totalitarian beliefs. The importance of both to religious discovery cannot be doubted: it is precisely because totalitarian belief and the sin mythology block religious discovery that we can learn from their mistakes.

The failing of both totalitarian belief and sin mythology lies, I believe, in their idealism. In asking the question "who is a Christian?" we seek to find the universal generalisation rather than the particular instance; we avoid reality. People cannot be sharply divided into 'believers' and 'sinners': reality is not so clear-cut; it appears fuzzy. Like Jesus, we should meet not 'believers' or 'sinners' but, simply, people - in all their concrete complexity; as C.E.M. Joad observes: "Here on earth perfection is not to be found;.. good and evil are always mixed and never pure; that every cloud has a silver lining; that the darkest hour comes before the dawn; and that equally there is always a fly in the ointment, a canker at the heart of the rose; these opinions and sentiments are the stock-in-trade of the secular as well as of the religious wisdom of the ages"(20). And we would do well to be mindful of it.

The tension of submit-or-dominate springs from roots in a collectivist idealism (21). And it is clear that it impedes rather than aids discovery (22) ; it is an escape from reality, therefore an escape from exploration. For exploration necessitates freedom for truth, while idealism must deliberately falsify reality at any cost.

But we have had too much idealism: the price tag is too high! It is folly to mindlessly obey: "the man of duty will end by having to fulfil his obligation even to the devil''(Bonhoeffer (23)); it is folly to conquer: "this brings with it an inward rottenness from which there is scarcely a possibility of recovery''(Bonhoeffer (24)).

Those who conquer evade truth; they wish the world as it is to be a lie, their lie, and they would declare this "truth"! An ethic of domination puts an end to truth and exploration ceases; instead myths of race and destiny abound. "The state has, in general," writes Hegel, "to make up its own mind concerning what is to be considered as objective truth"(25). And so freedom of thought vanishes as the ethic of domination (- here state domination - ) takes root (26). Truth is at a discount; exploration ends!

Those who submit evade truth: with the timidity of a frightened rabbit (27), they avoid the question of truth; they avoid the risk of discovery. Instead, they seek refuge in a pitiful pragmatism, where any commitment to exploration is greeted with questions such as "Will it make me happy?" "Will it help me'.'" "What's in it for me?" - but never is it asked "Will it discover truth?" ! Such pragmatism can only be the basis for the fearful faith of an intellectual ostrich. Of this Nietzsche scornfully observes: '"Faith' means not wanting to know what is true" (28). Truth is concealed; exploration ends!

So while domination silences truth, submission evades truth; one stifles exploration, the other ducks the issue. Neither is an ethic of exploration; for in each is a cowardice that would not know truth.

For exploration and discovery, above all we must prize freedom of thought and the love of truth; this is the ethic of exploration. It demands humility; it demands honesty; it demands reality! But we cannot greedily grasp discovery; there are no easy paths to truth. If we are to discover anything, if discovery is worthwhile, then we must not lose sight of this ethic.

"Man has created new worlds - of language, of music, of poetry, of science," writes Karl Popper, "and the most important of these is the world of the moral demands, for equality, for freedom, and for helping the weak" (29). If we lose touch with these human realities, then discovery ceases; we are captive in a dreamworld of our own making: for in these moral demands set forth by man, and only in these bounds, is the space and freedom to discover: the ethic of exploration knows of no moral vacuum.

Notes on Text
1. G. Steiner "Heidegger" (1978), p.92
2. Kauffman (1975), p.125
3. This was the slogan of F. Nietzsche
4. "Twilight of the Idols" (1977) by F. Nietzsche is alluded to here; justifiably because he is one of the best representatives of this revolt against triviality.
5. The subtitle of "Twilight of the Idols" is "How to philosophise with a hammer."
6. Title of last chapter of "Ecce Homo" (1979) by F. Nietzsche is "Why I am a destiny"!
7. "Ecce Homo" was an autobiography of sorts by F. Nietzsche; this being a deliberate blasphemy on his part. It was written only weeks before his complete mental collapse.
8. "Ecce Homo", the most megalomaniac book Nietzsche ever wrote, has the subtitle, "How one becomes what one is", or in more vernacular speech, how one develops one's personality to the full! And certainly my rendering is in keeping with his intention, i.e. he does assert his personality prominently throughout the book, with chapter headings: "Why I am so wise", "Why I am so clever", "Why I write such excellent books", "Why I am a destiny".
9. C.S. Lewis, "The Abolition of Man"(1978) p.46
10. "A Nietzsche Reader"(1977), p.106ff for detailed analysis.
11. Against this T.F. Torrance advocates infant baptism as a sign of "unconditional grace" - source personal letter from Professor Torrance.
12. This may be modified to "insurance", i.e. inside the Church you can be sure of salvation, but outside you would be uncertain - why take the risk? Against it may be mentioned K. Barth and F.D. Maurice, among others, who hold to an open position on all men. "Peculiar Christendom" says Barth, "whose most pressing problem seems to consist in this, that God's grace in this direction should be too free, that hell, instead of being amply populated, might one day be found to be empty" (quoted in R.L. Short (1974), p.149)
13. Against this, John Taylor, in the "Winchester Churchman" says: "If the Church draws a circle round its regular members, the rest of the community will treat us as a sect. But if the Christians allow themselves to belong primarily to the local community, then everyone begins to feel they are members of a circle whose natural centre is the Church. This is the opposite of a rigorist attitude on the part of the Church, but it does not mean a lowering of standards. When ordinary people are allowed to feel that they belong to a circle whose centre is the Church, they expect that centre to have its standards and make its demands. They realise that they themselves may be nearer to that centre or further from it, either moving inwards or outwards, as the case may be. But near or far, they will be inside the circle, because the circle is the whole community."
14. I am not going to quibble over true meanings of the word "sect", my convention, which relates to the function of the group, is given in the text. If another word is sought, I suggest "elite".
15. I am not denying moral imperfection! What I explain and criticise is this "sin mythology" as outlined in the next paragraph.
16. For confirmation that this logic holds, even if not explicitly stated, see Barr, "Fundamentalism"(1977) p.27ff, p223, p.317ff, p.326f.
17. T.S. Szasz (1977) p.193 on "scapegoat explanations"; also Szasz (1974), pp.47-69 on "the rhetoric of rejection"
18. T.S. Szasz (1977), p.315
19. Szasz (1973) provides many examples.
20. C.E.M. Joad (1952), P.53 "The Recovery Of Belief" (1952) p.63; also Joad remarks "that all of us are wicked in some degree, all of us wicked on occasion, and that we are so because strands of evil are inextricably woven into our fundamental make-up" (same page).
21. For this see K. Popper "The Open Society & Its Enemies: Vol. 1" (1974) on "Totalitarian Justice" pp.86-119; also Vol. 2 (1977) p.24f, and :p.276f where he describes it as "a romantic, combination of egoism and collectivism".
22. A point made by Sydney Smith in his "Mostly Murder" (1959) p.292 about the Nazi war crimes: "The experiments were not merely carried out with gross indifference to the value of human life and callous disregard of human suffering, but were incompetent in both conception and execution from a purely scientific point of view"; see also note 21 above.
23. D. Bonhoeffer "Ethics" (1978) p. 48
24. D. Bonhoeffer "Ethics"( 1978) p.57; see also p.54ff .
25. quoted in Popper( 1977) P43
26. Note the comment of Nietzsche in "Twilight of the idols"( 1977) p.40 on Plato: "I, Plato, am the truth". This is a perfect summary of what happens to truth in the Republic, as confirmed by Popper (see n.21 above)
27. See C.S. Lewis "God in the Dock"( 1979) PP-67-73, ch. entitled "Man or Rabbit" for an analysis of this issue with regard to the truth of the Christian faith.
28. quoted in Kaufmann( 1975) P. 19
29. Popper "Open Society: Vol. 1" (1974) P.65; note the consistency of this with Popper's remarks on education in Vol. 2(1977) p.276: " 'Do no harm' (and, therefore, 'give the young what they most urgently need, in order to become independent of us, and to be able to choose for themselves') would be a very worthy aim for our educational system.. Instead, 'higher' aims are the fashion, aims which are typically romantic and indeed non-sensical, such as 'the full development of the personality'".

Saturday, 28 January 2012



Upon his throne, and between two pillars
Here is the mightiest of arbitrators
Justice adorned in crimson robes
With searching mind that ever probes
The foundation of organic law
Wherein his mystery he once saw
The balance of all human kind
Equilibrium now here we find.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Funny Old World 10

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 perhaps a pity.

The size of households in Jersey is shrinking, new figures in the 2011 Census reveal. The results show there are now on average 2.3 people per private dwelling in the island - that is down on 2.4 people ten years ago, and 2.5 twenty years ago.

Our reporter went out in search of the 0.3 of a person. "It can be difficult at times," said Miss Thora Third of La Moye Cuttings, St Brelade, "as we are still expected to pay full taxes and social security, which is not really fair." Another 0.3 of a person said "I'm a young person, and the media are always picking on young people as troublemakers, but as 0.3 of a person, they should note I'm quite armless."

Duncan Le Figure at the States Statistics Unit said: "That number we've recorded over the decades actually, through census, has been declining. The part-people are shrinking, and if you wanted to remake the Disney cartoon in Jersey, it would be Snow White and the 3 1/2 dwarves."

Inflation in Jersey rose by 5% during 2011, says the States Statistics Unit. The report shows that politician's egos expanded during the election campaign last October and that was a key contributor to inflation. "There was a lot of extra hot air", said a spokesman, adding that "cheesy and processed politicians increased by more than 15%. But there was a decline in vegetables, caused by some older States members retiring or failing to be elected. "

Accountancy firm firm Scrooge and Marley has boosted the part of its practice that deals with business failures as a result of buying part of a rival service provider. The firm, whose headquarters are in Kensington Place, has bought the insolvency and restructuring arm of Beggars Traynor in the Channel Islands. The other arm, legs, torso and head are still available for sale to any bidder.

Police in Jersey will be targeting known criminals. Officers said they hoped Operation Hornet would help deal with an overall increase in break-ins in the island. A spokesman said that "The release of a special squad of a thousand hornets will be trained to seek out burglars and sting them on their fingers. Then all we have to do is to capture them when they go to Accident and Emergency, where they will be caught red-handed."

A Christian group in Jersey is set to buy a former cinema to turn it into a community centre. The former Odeon cinema, on the corner of Bath Street, in St Helier, has fallen into disrepair since it shut three years ago. The Freedom Church is now planning to buy the cinema. Pastor James Bond, a spokesman for the church, said: "Our vision is to re-generate and transform the landmark building. It will once again become a hive of activity, with as we will also be training the police hornets under someone called Q in our secret service."

Politicians must wear badges with picture warnings to be in Jersey from Wednesday. The health department said politicians have had a year to prepare for the new regulations. Health Minister Deputy Anne Pryke said: "We hope placing warnings on politicians will put young people off from voting." The health department said adding a picture to the existing warnings on politicians had encouraged some voters to quit.

The head of health improvement at the health department, said: "States members continue to be a significant cause of avoidable death and disease. It is important that these measures are put in place as they will reinforce existing support to help people give up voting."

The planning authorities have turned down a scheme for homes on the site of a former Jersey campsite.They rejected plans for four houses. According to a leaked memo from planning, the design would be too sympathetic to the environment because (1) it was only four houses and not ten flats (2) it was tucked away in a quiet area overlooking no one and not at Greve Le Lecq overlooking the entire bay.

A faster planning process would secure the future of Jersey's building industry, says the chairman of the construction council. Builder Mr Floyd Pink said projects getting under way more quickly would help improve the economy, especially builders, as they were often pillars of society. Economic Development Minister Senator Alan Maclean said the States was supporting the construction industry as best it could, and wanted to cement contracts in place.

Senator Maclean said the States injected tens of millions of pounds into the building industry two years ago and that there were others projects in the pipeline. But Constable Philip Rondel complained that he hadn't seen any more pipelines or main drains in the Parish of St John for many years.

Meanwhile builder Mr Floyd Pink released a musical single to raise awareness of the plight of the building industry:

We don't need no competition
We don't need no planning control
No luxury flats - now that means gloom
Planning give us building zone
Hey! Planning! Give us building zone
All in all it's just another brick in the wall.
All in all you're just another brick in the wall.

I don't need no red tape around me
And I don't need no listed place, see
I have seen the writing on the wall.
I need planning projects or I'll fall
And no shops much in Liberty mall
All in all it was all just bricks in the wall.
All in all you were all just bricks in the wall.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Mikan Grove

And now for something completely different. Here is a short story from Annie Parmeter which I came across by accident yesterday. It was written when she was 11, and in year 6 at Moorestown College, St Peter - an independent school that, like so many others in Jersey in the 20th century, is now closed. It was written in 1973, and already shows a strong command of English.

If anyone wonders what "mikan" is, it is a kind of orange, technically called "citrus unshiu", which is a seedless and easy-peeling citrus. It is also called cold hardy mandarin, satsuma mandarin, satsuma orange, and tangerine. In Japan, this is known as mikan or formally unshu mikan.

One of the English names for the fruit, "satsuma", is derived from the former Satsuma Province in Japan, from which these fruits were first exported to the West. It is not the only province where they are grown, however, but it is the province from which they came to America in 1876. The towns of Satsuma, Alabama; Satsuma, Florida; Satsuma, Texas; and Satsuma, Louisiana were named after this fruit. But in the 1930s a cold spell wiped out the industry in North America.

The Mikan Grove
by Annie Parmeter

As the rising sun spread her rosy fingers over the mikan grove, the Matsumoto family made their way to their orchard, chatting all the while, carrying their great iron cooking pot to cook their breakfast, and baskets to harvest the tangerines.

On reaching the field, the grandfather began to make a fire and put the tripod and hook over it. When it was time for breakfast, he would fill the cooking pot with water from an icy mountain stream, and hang it on the tripod and hook to boil.

By now the members of the family were scattered over the orchard and had begun the harvest.

The trees seemed to slumber in the grove and, as the delicious orange moons were plucked from their branches, each tree reacted as if it were being woken up, by the pulling of its boughs. Dead leaves were falling off and revealing new tender green shoots, so that the trees looked as if they had been given a new coat of paint.

A little further down the road a majestic cypress reposed, as if frozen in time. Below, on the rocks, a fisherman tried his luck in the azure waters, poised like a heron, waiting for the fish to bite.

Out in the bay a tako-fisher laid his lines of jars from his agile craft, then moved on without even marking the place.

Even to this day, I am left wondering how he remembered where it was.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

States Jobs in January: An Analysis

When he was in the States, Deputy Paul Le Clare laboured in vain to get organisational charts for States departments.

This was one kind of reply

As members should be aware, Departmental Business Plans contain organisation charts which are updated annually and are available on the States of Jersey website.

but of course, those give only the basic structure, and very few fine details - and if more detail was wanted

"To help and assist the Comprehensive Spending Review, would the Minister provide an organisation chart of his department identifying every post, the post holder's duties and responsibilities, the salary grade and whether the post is currently filled or vacant and, if possible, if any of these post holders are suspended?"

The Deputy's request for the detailed information listed above has not only been directed to the Treasury and Resources Minister but also to the Chief Minister, Social Security, Planning and Environment and Health and
Social Services. Taken together these departments employ some 2960 staff out of a total of 6000. The Deputy is asking for information to be provided on each one of these posts. That would take a massive amount of time to collate and present in a meaningful format

In other words, no one can get a "big picture" and drill down to fine details - although Senator Sarah Ferguson did precisely that for the health department - not in terms of salaries, but in terms of positions for individuals, and produced a set of charts which gave precisely that kind of picture. It highlighted, incidentally, the large number of human resources posts at Health and Social Security - despite the States having its own centralised Human Resources department, and begged the question: what have those to do with healthcare?

But one of the results of this deficiency is that we cannot look at States jobs advertised and see the following questions. They have to be asked, instead:

1) is this a new position, or a replacement of an existing post?
2) if a new post, why is it required?
3) is there a major shortage in staff in a particular area, and what are the reasons for this?
4) is there any in-house scheme whereby people can be trained up to take on positions rather than sourcing from outside of Jersey?

It is interesting to look at the January jobs advertised and see any trends or matters arising.

There are an overwhelming proportion in the Health and Social Services department, including 5 senior staff nurses and one head of nursing. One wonders why there are suddenly so many of those posts advertised, and if something could have been done to address the situation by ensuring the previous incumbents (assuming they are existing posts) could have left in a staggered timetable. Instead, all seemed to have left around the same time. Perhaps advertising is a formality, because there are trained nurses who are looking for advancement who will apply, if no other applications are forthcoming? Or perhaps there is a serious staff shortage? Not enough being paid - even a Head of Nursing at £54,015.00 - a post requiring medical expertise and knowledge - people's lives are in your hands - is lower than the administrative posts. It's a topsy-turvy world.

Posts that seem to possibly be newly created include the Procurement and Contracts Manager (£52,775.00) and the Senior Manager Business Support Group ( £66,461.00) and the Data Security Officer (£58,004.00).

They are also notable for rather vague job descriptions, which suggest in the case of the Senior Manager, than there is no information technology strategy in place - otherwise why say "will determine the strategy". Likewise the Data Security Officer is "responsible for developing the States approach to security", which again suggests something needs to be developed and is not in place. 

It is most probably the case that the writers of these blurbs simply doesn't understand ordinary English, which is I suspect an endemic problem with people who work in human resources. Why look for the right word when the you've been trained and qualified to use ready-made but nonsensical stock phrases?

The legal posts all have "negotiable" salaries, which give no idea at all what the cost to the public purse will be of these posts. The job application doesn't give any details either. Perhaps you need to be in the inner circle of lawyers to know the code for what might be expected as a salary for any given experience, but it is hardly a good example of "transparency" on behalf of the States.

And for a really good "holiday job", the Law Officers department is offering a limited number trainee lawyers who are University students an internship for four weeks at £500 per week, which comes to £2,000. That's some holiday work experience!

Senior Manager Business Support Group
Salary:            £66,461.00 p/a
The Business Support Group Senior Manager will determine the information technology strategy of the Health and Social Services Department and oversee the delivery of the strategy.

Head of Nursing - Unscheduled Emergency Care
£54,015.00 p/a
Health Care Assistants (Special Needs)
Salary:            £11.07 p/h
Senior Staff Nurse - Gynaecology
Salary:            £34,870.00 p/a
Senior Staff Nurse - Intensive Care and HDU
Salary:            £34,870.00 p/a
Senior Staff Nurse - Orthopaedic and Trauma Unit
Salary:            £34,870.00 p/a
Senior Staff Nurse - Private Patients Unit
Salary:            £34,870.00 p/a
Senior Staff Nurse - Surgical Ward (Portelet)
Salary:            £34,870.00 p/a
Travel Officer
Salary:            £13.61 p/h
The successful applicant will arrange travel for staff and patients for Health and Social Services and maintain accurate accounts on an access database.
Assistant Legal Adviser (Children)
Salary:            Negotiable
The Law Officers' Department has a vacancy for an Assistant Legal Adviser in the Children's Section of the Civil Division assisting in public law work, representing the Minister of Health and Social Services in care proceedings.
Finance Manager
Salary:            £52,775.00 p/a
The Taxes Office is looking for a dynamic, motivated Accountant to join their Finance Team
Financial Analyst (Home Affairs)
Salary:            £37,098.00 p/a
A Financial Analyst is required to support criminal investigations through the research and analysis of financial intelligence and evidence.
Forensic Accounting Support (Home Affairs)
Salary:            £37,098.00 p/a
Intelligence Administration Officer (Home Affairs)
Salary:            £26,284.00 p/a
An Intelligence Administration Officer is required to process and input financial crime information and intelligence.

£26,284.00 p/a
An Administrator is required to provide administrative support to the JMAPPA (Jersey Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements)Coordinator and Officers in the Offender Management Unit.

 Legal Adviser (Police HQ)
Salary:            Negotiable
The Law Officers' Department has a vacancy for an experienced criminal lawyer to join the team working at Police Headquarters, advising the States and Honorary Police forces and appearing in the Magistrate's Court.
Procurement and Contracts Manager
Salary:            £52,775.00 p/a
Reporting to the Category Manager for Professional Services, you will assist with shaping the strategic direction of this category and lead on corporate cross cutting contracts for goods and services.
Taxes Collection Manager
Salary:            £47,375.00 p/a
We are recruiting for a Collection Manager to lead on tax collection strategy and debt recovery for the entire Taxes Office.
Customer Services Manager
Salary:            £37,098.00 p/a
The postholder will have excellent customer services skills and at least 5 years experience of delivering customer services in a complex organisation
Data Security Officer
Salary:            £58,004.00 p/a
The Data Security Officer will be the principal advisor and compliance manager for Data Security across the States, responsible for developing the States approach to security and ensuring appropriate compliance.
Trainee Planner
Salary:            £29,067.00 p/a
Applications are invited for a professional Town Planner to join our busy Development Control team, dealing with planning applications and related matters.
Anticoagulation Nurse
Salary:            £17.82 p/h
A Registered Nurse is required to work in our nurse-led dosing service within the area of anticoagulation
Pharmacy Assistant
Salary:            £21,484.00 p/a
Salary:            £17.82 p/h
A Registered Nurse is required to work as a Phlebotomist for our Private Patients Service.

Internships Programme
Salary:            £500.00 p/w
The Law Officers' Department is able to offer a limited number of internships to students who are in their second or later year of an initial degree course and who are considering a career in law or who will complete their law conversion or professional training in 2012. The internships will be for periods of four weeks and are available during the Easter and Summer vacation periods.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Deputy Daniel Wimberley's New Year Wishes

I make no apologies for posting former Deputy Daniel Wimberley's letter to the JEP from 7 January 2012, as somehow it was one of those which failed to get to the online version of the paper, as indeed, so far, has Ben Querree's article which attacks his integrity.

Of the points which Daniel makes, humility is certainly one which has been singularly lacking. Immediately there is any criticism of the States, the immediate reaction is one of defensiveness. There is still a fortress mentality present.

This can be seen in in the report mentioned by Deputy John Le Fondre which apparently shows significant losses for the Waterfront project, even with a private contractor. What is the position with regard to the States now having the Jersey Development Company (formerly WEB) now running the project themselves?

We have been told that the unpublished report, commissioned by the Treasury, says that taxpayers could end up footing a bill for £50 million in connection with the Esplanade project.

It might be better to own up to a past mistake than to try to bury it.

And the same is true with the golden handshakes to departing Chief Officers, where again information is concealed under the guise of privacy. But as "Yes Minister" says, ""The Official Secrets Act is not to protect secrets, it is to protect officials."

Yet somehow the States accounts will be fudged to conceal these payments, and there seems no desire to investigate who produced the contracts and who signed the contracts, and we are simply told "it will not happen again"!! No one seems to want to pursue this within the Council of Ministers. This is not humility.

On the electoral commission, the States are moving away from Daniel's proposal to a largely "in house" commission, chaired by Sir Philip Bailhache. This will not mean consensus, or something that Islanders want, although it may mean proposals that can be pushed through by enough States members and forced on the Island whether the population want it or not. That is hardly a good start to dealing with electoral apathy.

Daniel's comments that "the media have a role to play here too" is important, because Ben Querree recently impugned his integrity, saying that Daniel would be much less annoyed if the commission was headed by someone from the left. It shows how the media have their own take, and simply have often lost the ability to listen; it says more about Ben Queree's cynicism that he thinks Daniel Wimberley's motivation might be as venal as he imagines it to be.

I work near the Town Park, and the Le Seeleur building is a total disgrace. Boarded up, decaying and no one apart from Simon Crowcroft shows the slightest motivation to do anything about it. In his will the former owner, builder Harold Le Seeleur, left his town workshop to the island decades ago. But it has been lying idle ever since is falling into disrepair.

We are told that the terms of the Trust prevent anything much being done with the property yet that didn't stop the States managing to do something positive with the Howard Davis Farm, despite that being subject to a covenant. Perhaps a Royal Visit to the Town Park would focus minds wonderfully?

Letter from Daniel Wimberley

HERE are my H is for Happy New Year wishes for the States (or should that be, the ministers?). What are yours?

Honesty: about population.

Ask the public genuinely what they want on this most important of issues. Describe the issues fairly and plainly. Reach all parts of the population not just those who shout the loudest. Abandon the mind-set which says: 'my ideology must win at all costs' and the spin and deception which goes with it. The process of trying to reach an honest consensus will lead to better policies and a more united Island. Try it.

More honesty: the other major issue-in our politics is: how much should we spend on our public services? And exactly the same considerations apply as set out above. So we have to be open in saying that our public spending is way below that of all other advanced countries, we have to stop claiming that low public spending leads to poor economic performance, when this is simply untrue, and we have to put real choices to the public instead of heaps of spin..

Humility: a big dose of this, please. It should be OK in 2012 to say: 'I got it wrong, sorry.' And this implies that others have the grace and right spirit to say 'fine, thanks' and resist the temptation to make political capital out of the apology.

The triumphalist 'we never get it wrong' grates on the nerves. Its purpose is to gain political advantage but it only does this by undermining politics itself, leading as it does to unrealistic expectations of our politicians and creating mistrust and apathy when reality does not match the absurd rhetoric.

If people and government are to work together to face our problems we need to understand what is going on, not have spin and propaganda thrown at us. Note: the media have a role to play here too.

Healing: the Committee of Inquiry into Haut de la Garenne must proceed, and in a format which is acceptable to all stakeholders. The results may be painful in parts, but it is the only way forward - for the individuals, agencies and departments involved, for the politicians, for all of us. It will no doubt take honesty and humility (see above).

Honesty again: an Electoral Commission set up to be transparent and independent aiming to achieve a voting
system for Jersey which ensures that, we are all represented in a fair and equal way, and to ensure that the people of the Island have a decisive influence in who ends up with political power (or, if that turns out not to be possible, with decisive influence on the policies pursued).

And finally, let's see some "aiming high", or ambition, instead of just a no-can-do feeling of being tired and
depressed. Some examples:

. We could return Plemont to nature, paying a fair amount of money for a derelict building and lots of bracken and gorse.

. We could get maximum value out of the fantastic asset which is Fort Regent. This will probably take public investment. The waterfront is a lesson to us all in what happens if you set out with Frank Walker's words: 'No public money will be spent on this.' What you get is what you pay for.

. Help a genuine democratic community group to form which would run the Le Seelleur building as the community focus for the new Town Park.

That's enough to be going on with - what's your wish list?

Monday, 23 January 2012

St Helier: 1932

A dip into the past today, with some details from the 1932-33 Ward Lock and Co Guide to The Channel Islands and Parts of Normandy and Brittany.

It is interesting to see how the topography of St Helier was considered a mess even back then! There was no Howard Davis Park, and the Triangle Park where bands played on a Sunday is that strip of green land beside the Grand Hotel where Queen Victoria's Statue now resides. The site of the Howard Davis Park was only purchased by T.B. Davis in 1937.

The population was 26,314.  The population is now 97,857, and the population of St Helier at 33,522 (2011) exceeds that and even did so in 2001 when it was 28,310. So this was a very sparsely populated Island.

Some of the amenities are present today. Despite mergers and name changes, the main banks listed are still pretty much where they were in 1932. The Havre des Pas Swimming Pool is still open, although it doesn't make admission charges any more except for use of lockers, showers etc. The West Park pool having recently been closed, doesn't look as if it will re-open in the near future, but the site is still visible.

The main library existed, but only as a reference library. It's amusing to see the precision of the number of books held - exactly 20,000!

For other libraries, people would take a subscription. The best known (but not mentioned in this guide) was probably the Boots Lending Library. The first library was started in 1898 by Florence Boot, who was greatly interested in art & literature. My mother remembers in the 1950s having a subscription as a birthday present to the Boots Library.

By 1903, 143 of the 300 Boots shops had a library. You could pay a yearly subscription of 10/6 for one book at a time or 42/- for 6 & 7/- for each extra volume. Alternatively you could pay as you read , leaving a deposit of 2/6 & paying per day that you borrowed the book - the price depending on the category of book; the most popular being the more expensive. The cleanliness of the books was a key point in advertising - makes you wonder what state the books were in from other commercial libraries. The major city branches had desks & chairs as well as notepaper & flowers. The extra services available included reservations, much like today, & also the ability to leave a wish list & the books to be reserved when they came in. There were all sorts of additional memberships for holiday periods only, juniors & arrangements for those in the country. Boots also had library sales to sell off the older & less popular books. The shield on the front cover was crossed through when the books were sold. (1)

There was a lot more diversity of local newspapers available to Islanders which is amazing considering the smaller population. But then we must remember that newspapers were one of the main outlets for news and stories to read, without the myriad magazines and other forms of media available today from abroad. One newspaper catered for the French speaking population; we forget how large that was in comparison to the whole population.

There was a French consulate, and perhaps more surprisingly one for the United States!

A good sales gimmick was the discount available to travellers from England on day trips to St Malo, thus generating extra passengers for that service. It would be interesting to know if it would be viable today for Condor to bring in.

With regard to the boats, the early boats left in the morning, and that's when honeymooners would depart. It also became a stock phrase when I was growing up at people from the UK who grumbled about the Island - "there's always the early boat in the morning."  That is, alas, no longer the case, and nowadays day trips to Guernsey - like those I used to enjoy as a boy -often leave very little time to explore St Peter Port.

Until the demise of Sealink, the railway and boat links were run by the same management, which was very good for matching up as the timetables would be arranged to facilitate the visitor, or the traveller to the UK. In 1932, the railways had not been nationalised, and there were two lines both touting for passengers to and from the UK.

And when you arrived, there was a porter available, something we do not have now. I love the idea of a porter taking your luggage "to any part of St Helier"!

Cab fares are also interesting - by horse! While motorized buses were making headway on the Island's roads, the principal other form of transport available to hire was literally "horse power"! I wonder what state the roads around St Helier were in, and who cleaned up the horse droppings.

And with Eastbourne trying to steal Jersey's crown, even in 1932, it was "sunny Jersey". I've not heard of the name "St Martin's Summer", for the Autumn weather, which is perhaps not surprising, because it has dropped out of common use:

There was a time when all of Europe understood the phrase: only the British, with our expansions into occident and orient, displaced it with another saying. Indian Summer has nothing to do with India. The phrase was used by European colonists in North America in the 18th century to describe the bright, still season in which native raids ceased and the warriors went home to harvest. The precise chain of inference between the season and the Native Americans is lost in etymological dispute. There are hints of treachery in it, perhaps because ''Indians'' were held to be treacherous, and the magical season was brief and unreliable.(2)


A  LARGE harbour ; a maze of streets, busy and prosperous;. a huge fort rising perpendicularly above the town ; good shops ; numerous places of worship ; a miscellaneous assortment of carriages and well-appointed motor-coaches, plus a general air of comfort and well-being, are the prominent features of St. Helier.

So irregularly is the town planned that we shall not attempt precisely to describe its topography. Suffice it to say that the chief buildings of interest are in the vicinity of Royal Square (near Fort Regent), and that the best shops will be found in Queen Street, King Street, Beresford Street and Halkett Place.

General Information.


By steamer from St. Peter Port, Guernsey, 25 miles ;from Southampton, via Guernsey, 140 miles ; from Weymouth, via Guernsey, 100 miles ; from Plymouth ; from St.Brieuc, 50 miles ; from St. Malo, 42 miles ; from Granville, 30 miles ; from Carteret, 18 miles.


Local bands play in the Triangle Park or in the neighbouring pavilion on Sundays, and occasionally during the week.

Banks (closed on Wednesday afternoon):

Lloyds, Broad Street ; Westminster, Broad Street ; Midland, Library Place and Hill Street; Barclays, Library Place; Jersey Savings Bank, New Street.

Bathing - Excellent.

Two extensive pools of sea-water-one known as Victoria Marine Lake, and controlled by the West End Bathing Co., near West Park Station ; the other at Havres des Pas  -are retained by circular walls. Bathing in the pools is safe and convenient at all states of the tide, and mixed bathing is permissible at all times. Single ticket at the Victoria Marine Lake, tickets, single ticket 6d. At Havre des Pas, single ticket, 6d.  Admission for non-bathers, 2d. 12 tickets 5s. 6d. At First Tower there is good bathing from machines.


On the western side of the Harbour, St. Aubin's Bay presents at low water an extensive stretch of sand, perfectly safe when the tide has receded. This beach is flanked by a solidly-built granite promenade and a fine broad thoroughfare called Victoria Avenue and Fort Regent the sandy bay and beach of Havre des Pas is studded with rocks. Around the various indentations of the beach is a broad stone and cement walk, with seats at intervals.


Owing to the deadly nature of the coast and the strong tides, sailing or rowing boats venturing beyond St. Aubin's Bay should be accompanied by a capable man.


At Westmount (near People's Park), 4d. per hour, and at the Recreation Ground, Greve d'Azette.

Bus Service.-See page 28.

Cab Fares.-By distance : For each mile or fraction thereof, 1s. 6d. By time : (one-horse vehicles) : Each half-hour or portion thereof, 2s. ; vehicles with two horses, each half-hour or portion thereof, 3s. For luggage outside the cab, 3d. each package.  From the boat to the town, or vice versa, 3s.

Chief Buildings of interest to visitors :

Elizabeth Castle. Open daily, Sundays included, 6d.

Royal Court House and States Chamber, Royal Square. The attendant will show visitors over these fine buildings (free).

Public Library, Royal Square. Open (free) 10 to 1 ; 2 to 9.

Town. Hall, York Street. An attendant will show visitors over the buildings, which include a picture gallery (free).

Police Court, adjoining Town Hall. Open at 10 a.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Parish Church of St. Helier can be seen daily.

Museum of the Société Jersiaise, 9 Pier Road

Markets. The buildings in Halkett Place and Beresford Street are well worth a visit.

Climate.-" Sunny" Jersey is the familiar appellation, for this is the sunniest spot in the United Kingdom. The air is equable and mild, bracing on the high ground, but less so in the valleys. A long, sunny autumn, called St. Martin's Summer, begins about October 10. Excellent water supply and drainage.

Clubs.-The Victoria has an imposing house in Beresford Street ; United, Royal Square ; Cesarean, King Street ; Y.M.C.A., with debating and chess clubs, New Street ; Rotary; Mechanics' Institute, Halkett Place ; United Services, Queen Street ; Y.W.C. Association, Société Jersiaise, Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club, etc. Clubs for golf, cycling, archery, lawn tennis, rowing, cricket, and many other sports.

Musical. Jersey Choral Society and Jersey Musical Union.
Consulates.-French, 24 Hill Street ; United States, 15 Royal Square.
Croquet.-At Recreation Grounds, Greve d'Azette.

Cycling.-Highly popular on account of the fine roads and convenient runs. Many machines are brought over by visitors, but those who do not propose to spend a large proportion of their time a wheel will find it more convenient to hire a machine. Every cycle must bear a number plate obtainable at the police office.

Early Closing Day.-Thursday. Banks close on Wednesday afternoon.


The current attractions are advertised in the Jersey papers, and in the Visitor's Guide, weekly, gratis.

On the eastern side of the Harbour Triangle Park, (or, if wet, in the West Park Pavilion), concerts, troupes, etc.

Opera House (Gloucester Street), Alhambra (Phillips Street), the Picture House (Don Street) and West's Picture Palace (Peter Street).

Springfield Grounds and Pavilion (off St. Mark's Road), concerts, shows, sports.


Fair-not so good as formerly. Motor launches and yachts put out daily from Albert Pier at 11 a.m. Lines and
bait supplied.

Libraries.-The Public Library is in Royal Square (Reference only ; 20,000 volumes). Open 10 to 1, 2 to 9, free. There are several Subscription Libraries in the town.

Museum.-9 Pier Road, near the Parish Church. Open, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 10 to 12, 2 to 4. Admission 6d. And May to September, free, on Thursdays from 2.30 to 5, by  the main entrance, Caledonia Place.

Newspapers.-The London papers are on sale in the town shortly after the arrival of the morning boat. The local papers are Evening Post (daily), Morning News (daily). Twice weekly : Les Chroniques de Jersey (French). The Weekly Post, Jersey Critic (weekly).

Passport Office.-Office of the Lieut.-Governor and District Staff, Rouge Bouillon.

Population.-Census 1921: 26,314.


For taking luggage on or off steamer, 3d. ; when taken at the steps from the boats to the landing-place, 6d. ; to any part of St. Helier, 1s up to 100 lbs. ; one-third more up to 200 lbs.; double over 200 lbs.

Railway Stations.-The Western Railway terminus (for St. Aubin and Corbiere) is at the Harbour end of the Esplanade. The terminus of the Eastern Railway (to Gorey and Mont Orgueil Castle) is opposite Snow Hill, to the rear of Fort Regent.


Several yachts and motor launches advertise sailing excursions at moderate prices.


From about the middle of July to the end of September there is a daily service (Sundays excepted), via Guernsey, to Southampton, from the Albert Pier, at 715 a.m., and to Weymouth, from North Quay, at 7.45 a.m.
For the rest of the year, via Guernsey, to Southampton, from Albert Pier, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30 a.m. ; to Weymouth, from North Quay, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 7.30 a.m.
Return tickets are available by either route.

Southern Railway Office, 6 Bond Street ; G. W. Office, 9 Bond Street.

There are also frequent sailings, particulars of which are advertised locally, from St. Helier to Granville and St. Malo. Less frequently to St. Brieue (Hare Steamship Co.), and from Gorey to Carteret.

Passports must be procured before embarking for France. District Office, Rouge Bouillon.

Excursions to Sark and around the Island during the season.

Particulars will be found in the local press.

Passengers holding the return halves of Great Western Railway or Southern Railway tickets can obtain tickets for St. Malo or Granville at reduced rates.

Tennis Courts.-At the Recreation Ground, Greve d'Azette, one mile from Royal Square, two minutes from Greve d'Azette station on the Eastern Railway. Two grass and ten gravel courts. 2s. per hour. And in Victoria Avenue, at the Lower Park, and Le Chat Noir.

(1) http://www.dnsmedia.co.uk/posts/view/63
(2) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/6243586/Indian-Summer-No-its-the-sunshine-season-of-St-Martin.html

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Evidence Based?

There have been a number of recent letters from humanists in the JEP, mostly adopting a rather belligerent tone, and calling for beliefs to be "evidence based". And yet there are a number of beliefs which we all take for granted, as basic axioms, or "common ground", as the lawyers would state it, which philosophers know cannot be proven but have to be taken for granted. These cannot be "evidence based", and yet they form the basis for living together on this planet; without taking these assumptions largely for granted, it would be impossible for society to function. I do wish some of those letter writers studied a few philosophers before putting pen to paper, and thereby shooting themselves in the foot.

These assumptions were enumerated long ago by G.K. Chesterton in his article "philosophy for the schoolroom", and here they are, as he put them, because I probably could not do it better, and certainly without the wit that he brings to the argument. But they have been the subject of debate and concern among professional philosophers from Plato to David Hume, from Hume to Bertrand Russell and Karl Popper. Here they are - matters which are not "evidence based", and can never be:

All of us believe in St. Paul's Cathedral; most of us believe in St. Paul. But let us clearly realize this fact, that we do believe in a number of things which are part of our existence, but which cannot be demonstrated. Leave religion for the moment wholly out of the question. All sane men, I say, believe firmly and unalterably in a certain number of things which are unproved and unprovable. Let us state them roughly.

Every sane man believes that the world around him and the people in it are real, and not his own delusion or dream. No man starts burning London in the belief that his servant will soon wake him for breakfast. But that I, at any given moment, am not in a dream, is unproved and unprovable. That anything exists except myself is unproved and unprovable.

All sane men believe that this world not only exists, but matters. Every man believes there is a sort of obligation on us to interest ourselves in this vision or panorama of life. He would think a man wrong who said, "I did not ask for this farce and it bores me. I am aware that an old lady is being murdered down-stairs, but I am going to sleep." That there is any such duty to improve the things we did not make is a thing unproved and unprovable.

All sane men believe that there is such a thing as a self, or ego, which is continuous. There is no inch of my brain matter the same as it was ten years ago. But if I have saved a man in battle ten years ago, I am proud; if I have run away, I am ashamed. That there is such a paramount "I" is unproved and unprovable. But it is more than unproved and unprovable; it is definitely disputed by many metaphysicians.

Lastly, most sane men believe, and all sane men in practice assume, that they have a power of choice and responsibility for action.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

The Victory of Death

Some Greeks (and Romans) thought death the complete end; most, however, envisaged a continuing, shadowy existence in Hades. Homer, for example, tells of a murky world full of witless, gibbering shadows that must drink sacrificial blood before they can think straight, let alone talk. This poem represents that kind of sensibility, a pessimism that not even atheists have today.

The Victory of Death
There we came together, in that place
In which we meet death face to face
Marble columns rising to great height
And here we came to celebrate the rite
Our friends, our lovers, now no more
Into the land of shadows, death's door
And down to that darkest river below
Of forgetting all that they do know
Who shall pay the ferryman? Not I
Until the day comes when I too die
And take my place among the shades
Cut off from life by sharpest blades
And down the tunnel, into the dark
No more the singing of the lark
Night falls, Hades takes his throne
A land of ashes, of defleshed bone
And into that dark land, none return
Whether buried, or bones that burn

Friday, 20 January 2012

Funny Old World 9

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 perhaps a pity.

The States of Jersey police are changing the way it deals with people who have been arrested. At the moment the custody unit is run by the response department. A new dedicated department will decide whether they should be detained overnight, remanded in custody, or shot on the spot, which will free up the response officers for their main duties.

And crime in 2011 was at its lowest level for 10 years, according to a report from the States of Jersey Police. The police said high-profile policing, targeting prolific offenders and shooting them on the spot had all played a crucial part in bringing down crime.

Allowing States Members to sit on the new Electoral Commission would be a "disgraceful betrayal". Former Deputy Daniel Wimberley has asked the States to stick with an independent commission and urged them not to appoint Senator Philip Bailhache as chairman.

Last year it was agreed to take the matter out of the hands of States Members, and put it in independent hands. But Privileges and Procedures Committee changed the original plans to allow politicians to sit on the commission.

The Committee President explained "The States has a long tradition of failing to reform itself, and we had to ensure that we didn't avoid all the wrangling and bickering that has scuppered previous reform efforts. Sir Philip Bailhache is the right man for the job. If it was in independent hands, something might actually get done."

And the States of Jersey has decided to delay a debate on government reform as the group responsible needs more time. The Privileges and Procedures Committee said it was looking at a wider review. It said it would be setting up a sub-committee to look at all the issues over the next few months.

A press release explained: "We recommend setting up a committee with broad terms of reference, so we're in a position to think through the various implications and decide based on long-term considerations rather than rush prematurely into precipitate and ill-conceived actions. As far as one can see, in the fullness of time, we will bring propositions to the States, but Rome wasn't built in a day, you know."

Reports came in that the Chief Officer was cancelled at Jersey Airport because of fog. Thick fog on Wednesday meant the figure for the payoff on the resignation of the Chief Officer could not be seen in the States sitting. The poor weather conditions meant that at one point on Wednesday all Ministers were ensuring the question was either delayed or on hold. Other Chief Officer retirement bonuses were also lost in the fog. Meanwhile, on Radio Jersey, Roger Bara put on the song "Pay Misty for Me".

Married women in Jersey to have access to tax affairs. Changes to the tax return form mean married women can get access to their tax affairs. For years, married women have suspected liaisons between their husbands and female clerks at the Income Tax Department at Cyril Le Marquand House, but now those affairs can be made known to them.

The tax return form includes a new box which a woman's husband can sign to give her permission to access their tax husband's tax affairs. There was also a new measure to allow spouses to have separate tax affairs, presumably with male clerks at Cyril le Marquand House. The tax department said it would allow "autonomy and privacy" in conducting their tax affairs.

Jersey Tourism is looking for German-speaking islanders to become tour guides this summer. Jersey Tourism said the island had seen a 23% increase in the number of German visitors in 2011.

A local tour operator has offered to pay for guides to do a tourist guide course at Highlands College. Albert Speer, director of tourism, said: "We had 13,000 German visitors last year and... we are expecting that number to rise." And Charles de Gaulle, the General Manager of tour operator Bonjour, said: "Most German visitors come as part of an organised tour and already we have had more requests for German-speaking guides."We are looking for people who speak German, are confident with people, have good customer service skills and are able to take charge of a group.

Customs Officials have already been trained with a repertoire of questions translated into German, which can be fielded at suspicious looking Germans. They will stop anyone with the name "Adolf" and ask "Halt! lassen Sie mich die Unterlagen für Ihren Schnurrbart sehen", which in English translates to "Halt! let me see the documentation for your moustache."

Other German words for tourist guides include:

Abfahrt - departure

Autofahrt - car ride

Bootsfahrt - boat ride

Butterfahrt - trip to buy duty-free merchandise

Busfahrt - bus ride

Extrafahrt - additional ride

Fahrtenmesser - travelling knife

Fahrtroute - travel route

Fahrtwind - airstream, air turbulence

Familienfahrt - family trip

Gratisfahrt - free trip

Kaffeefahrt - cheap bus trip combined with a sales pitch

Kamerafahrt - tracking shot

Klassenfahrt - field trip

Lustfahrt - pleasure cruise

Radfahrt - bike trip

Seefahrt - navigation

Sternfahrt - car rally

Tagfahrt - day trip

Taxifahrt - taxi ride

Testfahrt - test drive

Trampfahrt - sea cargo hauling to multiple ports

Thursday, 19 January 2012

An Enterprising Look A Like

Constable Patrick Stewart
of St Ouen (a Hamlet)

Star Trek Actor Michael Paddock (in Hamlet)

Is it just my imagination, or does Constable Mike Paddock look like Actor Patrick Stewart?
To boldly goes where no one has gone before - the wilds of St Ouen!

Look A Like Horror

Senator Ian Gorst
Chief Minister of Jersey

H.P. Lovecraft
Famous writer of horror stories

Is it my imagination or does Senator Ian Gorst, Chief Minister of Jersey, look like H.P. Lovecraft, who wrote "At the Mountains of Madness"?

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Planning Trends

Richard Rondel asked the following question:

"Would the Minister make available a list of residential planning applications for three properties or more that are currently waiting to be determined together with the dates that the applications were submitted to the department?"

There are a number of fields which have planning applications, but apart from that, I'd suggest that there are three main trends.

One is the demolition of single dwellings, and their replacement with apartments. There are not a huge amount of those, but the trend is clearly to fit as many people on as small an area per person as can be done. This is obviously very profitable for the developer, as the sale price of each portion can be significantly higher when totalled than the single dwelling would fetch on the market.

The second trend is the the demolition and loss of hotels which continues to take place. It would be interesting to know how many hotels actually still exist, and how many have been lost each year over the last five years. Is this a trend which is diminishing, as the number of hotels begins to match the demand from tourism?

Or is the kind of hotel which survives largely likely to be one which sources a good proportion of its income from the Island internally, by way of health facilities, swimming and like amenities, and conference centres for both out of Island but equally importantly local conferences and business related seminars?

It is, I think, notable that a some of the hotels that have planning applications, and are on the way out, are those who have good facilities in terms of locality, and proximity to bays and beaches. The entire stretch along the promenade at Havres des Pas will soon be largely denuded of hotels, the La Plage being the first to go, now some time ago, and all being replaced with apartments. The bucket and spade tourism is still here, but it is not nearly such a significant factor as it was in the golden post-war heyday, and out of town places away from main roads are more at risk of going.

The third trend is for businesses to close, and their premises to be developed into apartments or dwellings. The most notable example of this is Jersey Potteries, although that has also suffered from the decline in tourism. I think that there is also a tendency (over the past five years and perhaps longer) for out of town businesses to get less trade in their locality, as strapped for cash customers tend to shop around a lot more. But there is quite a variety in those listed, the common factor being that they are out of town, and hence the residential buildings taking their place will fetch a fairly substantial price.

Here are some of the examples of these trends, given in reply to that question.

Single Dwellings to Apartments

Tamaris, La Grande Route de la Cote, St Clement
Demolish existing dwelling. Construct 4 No. apartments.

Ker du Pons, le Mont du Petit Port, St Brelade
Demolish existing dwelling. Construct 5 No. apartments and 2 No. dwellings.
Model Available. AMENDED PLANS: Construct 4 No. apartments and 2 No. dwellings.

Victoria Cottage, La Rue des Boulees, Trinity
Demolish existing dwelling. Construct 3 No. dwellings. Model available.

Hotels to Dwellings / Apartments

Les Charrieres Hotel, Le Mont des Charrieres, St Peter
Demolish existing hotel. Construct 10 No. dwellings.

Beau Couperon Hotel, Le Mont de Rozel, St Martin
Demolish existing hotel and restaurant, retaining registered walls. Construct 10 No. apartments with basement parking.

Cheval Roc Hotel, La Rue des Charrieres, St John
Convert existing hotel into 22 No. flats and construct parking area to the West of Condora. Various external alterations. AMENDED PLANS: Elevational changes to existing building. Parking layout alterations. Transport statement submitted. FURTHER AMENDMENTS: Demolish part of building to West. Reduce number of units to 19, and alter mix to 12 No. 1 beds, 5 No. 2 beds and 2 No. 3 beds. Alter parking layout.

Hotel des Pierres, Le Mont de la Greve D'Lecq, St Ouen
Demolish existing hotel and construct 3 storey apartment building comprising 13 No. apartments with covered parking. AMENDED PLANS: Amended design. Number of units reduced to 10.

Le Chalet Hotel Site, La Rue de la Corbiere, St Brelade
Construct 3 No. 4 bed dwellings and 1 No. 5 bed dwelling

Mont de la Rocque Hotel, Le Mont de la Rocque, St Brelade
Demolish hotel. Construct 9 No. apartments with associated landscaping and parking. Model available

Businesses to Dwellings / Apartments

Big Deal Carpets, La Rue de L'Eglise, St Peter
Demolish existing building. Construct 12 No dwellings and 8 No. apartments to include basement parking. Create new vehicular access. AMENDED PLANS: Construct 12 No. dwellings and 3 No. apartments. Model Available

Former Cleveland Garage & Heather Lea, St Clements Road, St Helier
Demolish existing garage and dwelling. Construct 16 No. dwellings with basement parking.

Jersey Pottery, Gorey Village, Grouville
Demolish existing buildings. Construct 53 No. houses and garages. Model Available

Guardian Nursing Home, La Rigondaine, Grouville
Demolish nursing home. Construct 4 No. dwellings.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Websites I Like: Paleobabble

Paleobabble is a website compiled by Mike Heiser.

He's a well qualified individual, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (M.A., Ancient History) and the University of Wisconsin- Madison (M.A., Ph.D., Hebrew Bible and Semitic Studies) who is familiar with an assortment of ancient languages, such as Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Syriac, Ugaritic, Phoenician, and Egyptian hieroglyphs. His academic expertise is divine beings (gods, angels, divine assembly/host of heaven) in ancient Israelite and Canaanite religions.

The blog deals with what he terms "cyber-twaddle and misguided research about the ancient world".


The day to day content is links and comments. What is interesting is the kind of material that comes up time and again. Heiser puts links to the material supporting his comments, and it is an excellent port of call for the latest "paleobabble" coming onto the Internet.

Why do people believe such things? The picture promoted originally by Von Daniken in "Chariot of the Gods" was of a maverick amateur who was unearthing material that upset the conventional archaeology of the ancient world, and which they tried to ignore or explain away because it was too startling and amazing, and they didn't want to believe that, for instance, alien astronauts were at work in the past. It's a very clever picture, because it defuses criticism before it even begins - "they would so that, wouldn't they".

It is, I think no coincidence that the rise of such ideas comes with the decline in traditional religious belief, and the rise of New Age movements. This can be seen mirrored in bookstalls where over the last twenty years, the science section has steadily diminished, while the New Age section has exploded.

In the 1970s, science and academia was the way forward, and books like "The Secular City" were being written. Religion was on the way out, burnt up in the white heat of the technological revolution. But that kind of arid, dry, humanism left a void, and that was filled by New Age spirituality.

Archeology also suffered with academics coming under pressure from "alternative archaeologies" which were much more in tune with the New Age, and apparently  well-established results were called into question. In part this was a presentational problem, as with science in general. Paul Feyerabend noted how:

Scientific "facts" are taught at a very early age and in the very same manner in which religious "facts" were taught only a century ago. There is no attempt to waken the critical abilities of the pupil so that he may be able to see things in perspective. At the universities the situation is even worse, for indoctrination is here carried out in a much more systematic manner.

The gap was in the explanatory text, of how scientific theories developed from problem solving. Science was instead becoming a new mythology, and alternative theories, like alternative archaeologies could be claiming "equal time" in their presentation, however bogus they might be. The skeptical element was missing.

So we need people like Mike Heiser, who provides a good overview of all the alternatives out there, with a very healthy dose of skepticism.

Here's a selection:


Yesterday I received an email containing some pictures of alleged giant skeletons. PaleoBabble readers know that I've posted before on this topic before, noting how Photoshop is certainly the solution to many of these pictures you see circulating on the web. Whenever I get photos like these (see below), I wish I had the time to comb the web for the originals that were used to create the hoaxes. Sometimes you find someone who's already done that work (like my earlier post, linked above). But this sort of thing could take dozens of hours. Fortunately, among the two photos sent to me are two that are easily demonstrated to be fakes

Can you spot the problem?  Look at the skulls side by side... See it? What are the odds that two skulls, at two allegedly different archaeological digs, would be missing the exact same teeth?  A billion to one, I'd say. Take a closer look at the comparison picture. You can see that the fracture lines on the two photos at the bridge of the nose are also exactly the same. It's the same skull, photo-shopped into two different pictures, with adjustments made in tinting. You can find these pictures on several creationist websites.


The Fictional Roots of the Ancient Astronaut Myth

All of those interested in PaleoBabble should be aware of the work of Jason Colavito. Jason has done a lot of work tracing the common ancient astronaut motifs back through science fiction of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His primary focus is H.P. Lovecraft. You can read a fairly lengthy overview on his site, entitled, "From Cthulhu to Cloning." It's fascinating stuff. Check out his book: The Cult of Alien Gods: H.P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture.

I've got a copy of that book, and it is indeed fascinating. Science fiction and gothic fiction seems easily to morph into a presentation of the same themes as real, whether it is ancient gods who are in fact aliens (Lovecraft to Von Daniken), or Ron Hubbard, who started writing science fiction and then promoted scientology (a bastard offspring of his science as science fact.


I recently discovered a book that I can't wait to read called Adam's Ancestors: Race, Religion, and the Politics of Human Origins (author: David Livingstone; Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008). The book is about how, in response to Darwinism, certain 19th and 20th century preachers and biblical scholars came up with the idea that there were races *before* Adam. They justified the idea with some truly bizarre Bible interpretation. Whether theologically conservative Christians and Jews who imbibe such ideas realize it or not, much of this is similar to "root race" theories peddled by occultists like Helena Blavatsky, whose esoteric teachings were one thread in the racial theories of people like Adolf Hitler. (And in case you think these ideas aren't still around, spend some time on the internet).



I'm sure you've heard of the crystal skulls before. They are allegedly ancient Mayan artifacts capable of mysterious powers, like inspiring a terrible Indiana Jones movie.  Turns out they aren't ancient (I know-what a shocker). But look on the bright side. Maybe George Lucas will retire from script writing now.



Ron Wyatt and Those Egyptian Chariot Wheels

I've complained before about the poor quality of Ron Wyatt's "research" (loosely defined) before. While he may have been well-intentioned (his aim was to defend the Bible's content), there is no excuse for the kind of paleobabble he has become notorious for. What follows is a simple but telling example (though to be fair, this one comes from Mary Nell Wyatt, whom I presume is Wyatt's wife).

Wyatt's name is well known on the internet for touting the Nuweiba location for the crossing the Red (Reed) Sea. It was in conjunction with this investigation that Wyatt allegedly found Egyptian chariot wheels under water in support of his theory.

Did Wyatt ever bring one of these out of the water? The link below claims so, but (as is so common with paleobabble), no independent peer-reviewed examination by archaeologists and other specialists (to see if they were merely coral formations) was ever conducted and published. But aside from that, there are the obvious logic problems:  If it was a chariot wheel, how would one know it was Egyptian? If Egyptian, how would one know it was related to the exodus event? And if it was from that event, didn't anyone notice the incongruity of the sea floor *not* being littered with these wheels?


Dogon Debunking from an Unlikely Source

I recently blogged about the so-called Dogon "mystery." Readers will recall that it has nothing to do with alien contact. I utilized several scholarly articles where anthropologists went back to the Dogon people to check the original reports that made the Dogon so popular with ancient astronaut theorists. Turns out it was bogus (insert surprised look here).

I recently came across an older debunking of the Dogon issue from, of all places, the "Above Top Secret" website. It's well worth the read. If a source like this can think clearly and critically about the sacred Dogon cow, I would hope that others can embrace the effort that went into the piece. It doesn't seem like a biased source from people corrupted "by all that establishment book learning."