Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The States in Tweets

Followed some of the States on the Radio, some on BBC, and some on Twitter.

BBC Jersey politics ‏@politicsjersey
Tribute to former Senator Dick Shenton by the Bailiff-the island had lost a charismatic politician who'd given much of his life to Jersey

Questions raised about the New Bus Timetables. Did the States set an example by using local companies? That's a rhetorical question, of course, because we all know the answer is "No way". It is of course, Alan Maclean, Minister for Economic Development, whose department was not supporting the local economy.

James Rondel ‏@jimrondel
Only 5/10 printers invited to tender for the new Bus Timetables were local companies, none of which were selected #thinktwicebuylocal #govje

James Rondel ‏@jimrondel
TTS Minister passing the buck, blaming parish magazine precedent for not printing locally. #govje #thinktwicebuylocal

The cycle track proposal also got a mention. Apparently £8,000 was spent on the plans.

Nicolas Jouault ‏@NicolasJouault
#govje £8K spent on doomed harbour cycle track plans, that never had the £400,000 funding in place. Basic planning principals ignored.

Nicolas Jouault ‏@NicolasJouault
@NicolasJouault Same officer involved with the Victoria Avenue kerb debacle, this officer surely needs a risk assessment!

As Russell Labey commented in a letter to the JEP:

"This latest harbour plan is not just some notion floated by an office junior, they've already spent money on it, it's got to the planning application stage, did an alarm bell never ring?"

That area is forever the subject of expensive fiascos. Remember the abortive plans under WEB for the area - " A move to create a second waterfront with up to 800 houses at Elizabeth Harbour by moving the port to La Collette is just one of the radical ideas proposed for the Island over the next ten years". And La Folie Inn was to be converted to luxury apartments - with their own moorings, of course, which has now been put on hold. Maybe they could convert it into a lunatic asylum for obvious megalomaniacs with grandiose and nightmarish schemes.

A Tweet from James Rondel reminds me that his Grandfather is still pursuing the lack of main drains. But it's true - priorities are just cock-eyed.

James Rondel ‏@jimrondel
Around 2300 homes still not connected to mains drains and the TTS Minister seems to be more concerned with cycle paths #priorities

And Jim Perchard, in the meantime, sounds a note that I fear is true; more ado about that later.

Jim Perchard ‏@JLPerchard
Depressing listening to the States. 2000 unemployed, 3rd yr of recession. We need leaders not people who like the sound of their own voices.

Meanwhile, CTV is getting an online poll. It's a toy poll, of course, where you decide to vote. By a toy poll, I mean one that is self-selecting, so that all it does do is show the spread of voting opinions amongst people who like online polling. Why don't they spend a little and commission a real poll - a random, stratified sample, by a professional company?

ITV News Channel TV ‏@itvchanneltv
Our poll says you want Senators scrapped -

Listening to the debates, I certainly agree with the next comment, although I think five to ten minutes may be needed, if it was solid argument. For the most part, it is like some of the sermons I heard over 30 years ago at Exeter University - long, meandering, with no structure, and very little idea of where they were going, and lasting around 20-30 minutes.

I think there are far too many States members who have had mirrors for Christmas from Narcissus Enterprises Limited, and who love the sound of their own voices.

Mary O'KeeffeBurgher ‏@MaryBurgher
Surely there should be a Jersey law passed stating that politicians who can not make their point in less than 3 minutes should be fined..

Question, questions, and Senator Gorst is learning the tricks of the trade:

Montfort Tadier ‏@DeputyTadier
Does UK have the legal right to block Jersey's #FATCA with USA? The CM will not give a straight answer @jrf_uk @politicsjersey

SoJ Ringbinder ‏@SoJRingbinder
The chief minister is getting very good at not answering a straight question. Is he learning from the master of unanswered questions? PO

Nicolas Jouault ‏@NicolasJouault
@SoJRingbinder Sorry I now hear "yes, no, or maybe's" are not acceptable answers from the Lord of the Ring chamber.

Now we come to the meat of the debate.

BBC Jersey politics ‏@politicsjersey
Too big a job to translate Jersey Laws into English according to Constables, but how can people understand them asks Dep Higgins

The translation of Jersey Laws into English, and not, as one Deputy (and former Centenier) mistakenly said, the translation of Jersey Laws into French. It comes to something when someone pays so little attention to what they are saying as to get it the wrong way round. I'm assuming that Hansard may discretely be lightly edited to change this; I'll have my eye on that when it comes out!

We also had the Constable of St Mary telling us that important laws, like the branchage, are rendered in English on Parish websites, and booklets, and in the JEP notices, so that landowners know their obligations. Actually, Juliette, it is occupiers who are obliged to do the branchage, not landowners, which is something I was put right on last year. But I'm not a Parish Constable who should and probably does know better. Again, it's sloppy speeches, not listening to what the speaker is saying themselves. I'm surprised we haven't someone speaking in their sleep yet. One day....

I shan't mention much about Trevor Pitman, except to say that he's been drinking deep of Chateaux Gino Risoli, a speech which began asking lots of rhetorical questions about transparency. He's the Brian Blessed of the States of Jersey, a politician who comes across as very loud, not in his speaking voice, but certainly in his manner. But perhaps not as pleasant. I rather like Brian Blessed.

SoJ Ringbinder ‏@SoJRingbinder
Oh dear! Chief States Angry-Man Deputy Mike Higgins has clearly upset Constable Rondel. This looks like a time-wasting debate. #baldgit!

SoJ Ringbinder ‏@SoJRingbinder
It's the ringbinders' enemy Big Bad Trevor. He's so depressed, so are we! Thank God he's sat down. Oh no. Now it's Southern! #Arghhh

Jim Perchard ‏@JLPerchard
@LucyStevoJSY Dep Southern speech just drove me to despair. Showboating, dictionary scoffing member of the awkward party !

SoJ Ringbinder ‏@SoJRingbinder
Hello hello. Can someone ask deputy Southern how we'll pay for this stupid proposition? I hope they're not thinking about stationery cuts?!

SoJ Ringbinder ‏@SoJRingbinder
Sit down Deputy Higgins. You've had your moment and no one cares. Try and learn our lingo. Click here for help

Montfort Tadier ‏@DeputyTadier
I detest the expression 'there is a boat in the morning.' It implies that if you were not born here, you cannot be critical of anything.

And I agree wholeheartedly with Monty. While griping about stock phrases like this, I might mention that I also dislike the phrase "The Mainland". That, to me, should be Normandy, 15 miles away, and not the UK, which is a much greater distance. Which lead me to a question for which I have no answer. Do people who live in the Falkland Islands ever use the term "The Mainland" to refer to Britain? And by the way, there aren't many early boats in the morning now; the early Sealink ferry on which married couples could depart on honeymoon has passed into history.

So in the end, 6 people voted in favour of Mike Higgins proposition, which seems to have taken up most of today's States sitting - probably why the Tourism Shadow Board went through so easily, as everyone was exhausted. It was pretty obvious that Mike's proposition was something of a non-starter at the outset, and any States members who stayed the course without escaping for a coffee break or smoke should be congratulated for their endurance.

BBC Jersey politics ‏@politicsjersey
Visit Jersey rebrand still only an idea/concept - Sen Maclean

BBC Jersey politics ‏@politicsjersey
Jersey's government discuss setting up a body to advise on where tourism should go next. Politicians told it's a vital part of the economy

Lucy Stephenson ‏@LucyStevoJSY
'You have managed to make a speech without referring to the board once' Bailiff on Dep Southern's contribution RE tourism shadow boa

As I expected the Tourism Shadow Board vote went through virtually on the nod. Now it can tackle thorny problems like how to "to define the optimum operational and governance structure" and "to ensure the optimum performance of the sector". How anyone could vote for such an incomprehensible piece of twaddle is beyond me, but 48 members of the States did.

The only part that was comprehensible was the remuneration. It sits once a month, the Chair gets £12,500 per annum, the non-exec directors £5,000, plus, of course, expenses. A nice little earner, as Arthur Daley might say.

And the strangest of Tweets:

Lucy Stephenson ‏@LucyStevoJSY
If anyone is listening, can you pls turn off the air coming into the States press box?! it's freezing! Didnt even know there could be air

How could you be cold, dear Lucy, with so much hot air coming up from the politicians below?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Again, it's sloppy speeches, not listening to what the speaker is saying themselves.

You mean like "jobs for local people"?

Oh, and having had dealings with certain local printers, my sympathies on the bus timetable are (on this occasion only) with ED, not Jim Rondel.