Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Plemont Debate in Tweets

My last post on the Plemont debate is more or less that debate compressed into tweets. There is something exciting though, if you follow the debate by Twitter, because instead of the long winded speeches (apparently they were told to keep them short, but it did take most of the day), you have brevity and pace.

One somewhat belligerent Facebook poster will have to dine on humble pie tonight. He grumbled angrily online at the start of the debate:

"Think that they are going to listen.... It has to be bought by NT only, even if they have to borrow from the the states (us)..... by the time dust has settled on this saga, it will have cost over £10m.... anyone voting to buy this package unconditionally, will NOT BE GETTING MY VOTE AT THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION. .... and I would encourage others to do the same."

As there was one abstention, and 11 against, some of whom are not even in his district, he will be rather hard put to vote for anyone in the next election. He will be able to vote for Deputy Sean Power, who voted against it, and probably for none of the existing Senators!

As I predicted, the core of the debate was not to buy Plemont, which was pretty much a foregone conclusion, but how to fund it, and whether Senator Ozouf's mechanism was legitimate. Apparently, according to the Solicitor General, it was, which opens a whole can of worms by way of setting precedent for this kind of "money-go-round", and also suggest that money could have been funnelled in this way for the historical abuse inquiry if that indirect route had been suggested.

I still stand by my words in my last blog:

"It is not exactly money laundering, but it seems very close to that, moving money from one place to another to conceal its point of origin. It is certainly setting a dangerous precedent to allow 'earmarked funds' to be moved around by the Treasury Minister in such convoluted ways as to 'grab' the cash into other projects or intentions."

Notice, please, that perhaps unlike some others, certainly on Twitter, I never said it was money laundering but shared a family resemblance to that. I do choose my words carefully.

In the end, it was a tussle between the poetry and the prose, and the poetic won over the more prosaic. I think members realised that Philip Ozouf's mechanism for funding was not exactly satisfactory, but in the end, they took the pragmatic decision that it was better to look at the bigger picture, rather than worry too much about the murky mechanisms for getting there.

I do hope that schools organise trips to walk round the headland once it has been restored. There are certainly kids in town schools who never get out into the countryside much, and who have probably never ever visited Plemont. If Plemont is to be a legacy to our children, it must be a legacy that all Island children have the opportunity to visit, not just those who have the means to do so. Heritage must be for everyone, and only then will it be worth while.

Plemont Debate in Tweets

christianrmay @NatTrustJersey Members declare themselves in the States as the debate gets underway...

Channel103News 12 States Members declare an interest as members of the @NatTrustJersey at start of #plemont debate

DeputyTadier Plémont deb8 is 1 of the most important ever. Unfortunately, it will be dominated by legitimate concerns over the convoluted funding method

Athena_Kallias @DeputyTadier If any of them have an ounce of morality, they will vote for Plemont, I understand the implications of the funding method

nelsonpk75 @DeputyTadier I understand the point. The principal is whether to approve the grant, not where exactly the funds come from.

DeputyTadier @nelsonpk75 fundamentally disagree. The proposition is badly worded and PO has made it controversial with an inflammatory funding mechanism

CarolynLabey Wearing green. It's Plemont.

christianrmay Public in Public Gallery reminded by DB that Standing Orders prohibit clapping and other audible support of speakers during debate.

DeputyMacon Quite a full public gallery in the States today for the buying of Plémont proposition. The debate behind.

christianrmay Senator Bailhache succinctly lays out his Proposition for grant to NTfJ to purchase Plemont. Dept. Duhamel on his feet to give counter.

RussellLabey Senator Bailhache "it's the duty of the States to protect agricultural land"not alas in St Ouen with the contemptuous proposal for field 622

christianrmay Over @ChangeJersey there is a opinion article written by Christopher Harris of @NatTrustJersey on their position re Plemont. Take a look!

JEPnews 1/2 Environment Minister Rob Duhamel is the first to speak during today's #Plémont debate. He is opposing the move to help buy the land.

JEPnews 2/2 Deputy Duhamel says that according to the 'Jersey grapevine', another potential #Plémont buyer also wants to buy the site.

SamMezec Environment Minister says he has heard of a potential buyer for Plémont who wants to build just one house and give 95% back to nature.

christianrmay I think precedent being set using COCF (vicariously) as source of funds for Plemont will raise the most concern in the coming debate.

JEPnews Deputy Duahmel says he does not support using tax payers' money to help buy #Plémont because its not good 'value for money'.

christianrmay Members supportive f the purchase of Plemont but not in favour of the funding method - I can see this being repeated several times today.

seanpowerjersey Plemont debate started. The funding will be the main issue.

seanpowerjersey First time in 9 years in the States that I have seen so many lobbyists in the gallery

JEPnews Deputy Gerard Baudains supports the buying of #Plémont, but not the proposed indirect funding from the Criminal Offences Confiscation Fund.

RicoSorda Housing Minister forgets to mention the funding #plemont cooking the books is not worth a mention. lol Carry on up the states.

Channel103News Environment Minister claims another buyer for #plemont is waiting in the wings and wants to build 1 house and return 95% to nature.

Channel103News Dep Baudains says he can't support #plemont purchase because cash confiscated from criminals will be used. 'Improper use of fund'

Channel103News Dep Andrew Green berates Environ Min for expressing a view against #plemont purchase and urges States to support it.

JEPnews St Helier Deputy Judy Martin says that most Islanders she's spoken to don't want the States
to spend £3.575 million to help buy #Plémont.

RicoSorda Deputy of St Martin supports cooking the books. What a government #plemont Carry on up the States @SamMezec

SamMezec Looks like funding mechanism for Plémont purchase is proving controversial. Unsurprising. Very strange method proposed.

christianrmay Dept. Martin highlights serious plight of St Clements residents who packed in so tightly they cant turn around without hitting each other.

christianrmay But, on a serious note, the issue arises again that the process of funding is 'fraud' or 'money laundering'.

JEPnews 1/2 St Helier Deputy Mike Higgins has questioned the lawfulness of using the Criminal Offences Confiscation Fund to help buy #Plémont.

JEPnews 2/2 But the Solicitor General has ruled that the method outlined is lawful. #Plémont.

Channel103News SG has been quizzed about the lawfulness of using confiscated proceeds of crime for #Plemont purchase. Howard Sharp says it's ok.

JEPnews 1/2 Here's how the Treasury Minister has proposed to fund the States portion of the #Plémont purchase...

JEPnews £3.5m from Criminal Offences Confiscation Fund > new police station. £3.5m from that project > Chief Mins Dept > National Trust for Jersey.

JennBridge @JennBridge Look at the history of successful applications for moneys from the funds - very narrow & specific

christianrmay @JennBridge @JEPnews Relying upon de Smiths Judicial review of Administrative Action "If the actor has in truth used his power for the ½

christianrmay @JennBridge @JEPnews purposes for which it was conferred, it is thus immaterial that he was enabled to achieve a subsidiary object 2/2

JennBridge @christianrmay @JEPnews Indeed. So let's call it a "mechanism" then.

seanpowerjersey Yet again the debate on Plemont splits the public and the Assembly. Suspect this debate will win or lose on use of COCF funds.

seanpowerjersey Treasury and Treasurer are in an impossible position with Plemont funding. Can only imagine the discussion behind the scenes at CLMH

JennBridge @christianrmay @JEPnews As PO would say "If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck....."

JennBridge "Clapped out" is not parliamentary language but "on its last legs" is OK. Is there is list somewhere?

christianrmay @JennBridge less Wikipedia there is! UK gets as extreme as "Git" or "Tart". Canada much more fun with "trained seal" & "Canadian Mussolini"

Channel103News Dep Southern: Crime confiscation fund use for #plemont 'a fix and a fiddle' for Treasury Minister's 'pet project'

seanpowerjersey Southern: on Plemont; this is like bend it with Beckham except in this case (COCF funds ) bend it like Ozouf

JennBridge ...and yet when they were looking for funding for the CoI - no one suggested this type of "mechanism".

LeahFergusonITV Major sticking point in buying Plemont debate is where money is coming from. Treasury plan to use criminal confiscation fund to free up cash

LeahFergusonITV Treasury's idea of moving money from criminal fund to pay for Plemont in round about way dubbed 'money laundering' by some politicians.

JEPnews St Clement Constable Len Norman says he's had 20 or 30 emails, calls and letters that were evenly split on the move to help buy #Plémont.

JEPnews St Ouen Deputy James Reed was asked by the Deputy Bailiff earlier to remove a 'Love #Plémont' campaign card displayed on his desk.

JennBridge Deputy of St Ouen speaking. I have to disagree. Key difference is that Town Park is in the densest part of town with least open space.

DeputyTadier Deputy James read tells Health Minister to 'Get her act together.' @bbcjersey @itvchanneltv

SoJRingbinder I wish States Members would stop referring to Sen Maclean's ringbinder voting for the Town Park. I voted for the Town Park in my own right!

JEPnews It wasn't going to be long before someone suggested that offenders help clean up #Plemont. Constable Sadie Rennard says that could be done.

JEPnews St John Constable Phil Rondel managing to link his favourite topic - mains drains - to the #Plémont debate.
Tue, Jul 01 12:02:44 from Twitter Web Client

seanpowerjersey Flail rattling speech by Deputy of St. Ouen on supporting Plemont. Saliva deposits highly likely on bald dome of Deputy Green in front

Channel103News Const Rondel: Can't support #plemont purchase while 'middle Jersey is still hurting'
Channel103News States Members praised for a good debate so far, but now asked only to speak if they have something new to add.

bbcjersey Public gallery very busy, fifty plus people, who have been asked not to applaud or make other noise during debate on Plemont ^cs

bbcjersey Most of the members objecting are unhappy with how it would be funded. Fudge, fiddle and fix says Deputy Southern ^cs

bbcjersey But constable Len Norman is the first to say he believes it will go through

JennBridge @SimonCrowcroft makes a good point about the environmental problems of (re) introducing buildings/humans & pets e.g cats into the area.

christianrmay Proposal under Standing Order 84 to close the debate and move to vote likely in next 30mins now notice given

JEPnews Chief Minister Ian Gorst is speaking about legacy and asking Members to support #Plémont so it can become part of the Chamber's record.

seanpowerjersey Fairly certain that this Plemont proposition will go through now with a clear majority.

bbcjersey Senator Ozouf's funding proposal for Plemont is a good one, says Chief Minister

seanpowerjersey Treasury use and recommendation on use of COCF funds for Plemont is a very creative use of funds. Treasury and SG reluctant warriors here

JEPnews Environment Minister Rob Duhamel has 'left his heart behind' in opposing a plan to help buy #Plémont, Deputy John Young has said.

edwardjnoel Happy to support Plemont prop as 2 core issues now addressed, comp purchase and certainty of purchase price, hope those members ....1/2

edwardjnoel 2/2 hope those members who support Plemont 2day will support capital funding for fort regent in the next assembly when 2016/19 MTFP debated

JennBridge @johnyhil Deputy Young reminds the Chamber that we only spend 1% of Jersey's budget on the environment. He says "it's not an or it's an &".

TheVoiceJersey Aquiring #plemont thru a Robert Mugabe style land-grab was not palatable 2 most States Members. Will acquisition thru money laundering work?

Channel103News #plemont debate has broken for lunch. Back at 2.15pm.

lyndonfarnham I predict strong support for Proposition to assist @NatTrustJersey with funding to acquire the Plemont headland:

christianrmay Hoping to to hear @philipozouf speak on funding Plemont. Treasury found a viable & legal solution to an urgent demand for funds from COCF.

bbcjersey Make sure islanders with less ability to express their needs are heard, amid well educated Plemont debate - the Dean

bbcjersey If necessary I will look again at where to get the money for Plemont, but it must come from somewhere; Sen. Ozouf

christianrmay Treasury Minister @philipozouf makes it clear that it is not a binary choice between Plemont grant OR Healthcare.

hannahwalkerCI Treasury Min @philipozouf says he backs the plans to buy Plemont and says members should think of what the 'right thing is for Jersey'

JEPnews A brief pause in the #Plémont debate just now to find the off switch of a flickering light above Deputy Bailiff Willam Bailhache.

Channel103News Senator Le Gresley says tourists come to the island to see our coast & Plemont should be bought for the people of Jersey, and the tourists

christianrmay Proposition to close debate on Plemont and move to vote defeated 25 - 17. Debate continues.

JerseyJustice23 You've been warned States members ..Don't upset the Deputy Bailiff by making your own submissions to the assembly if he deems them irrelevant

bbcjersey Deputy le Herissier is tempted to change his mind and support Plemont plan, if he gets public access guarantees

hannahwalkerCI @NickLeCornu 'if we can find £3.5 million for Plemont, why can't we deal with poverty in the island?

Channel103News Senator Sir Philip Bailhache is now summing up. Vote on Plemont is imminent

seanpowerjersey Did not speak as everything has been said and everyone has made their minds up. Legacies like Plemont will come again with demands for funds

seanpowerjersey The next Plemont type legacy problem site may well be in St. Brelades Bay. Another clamour for public funds will no doubt happen again soon

JEPnews #Plémont vote coming in the next few minutes.

bbcjersey It was approved! Only eleven members voted against, 35 in favour - Plemont will be returned to nature! Cheers from the public gallery.

seanpowerjersey Assembly supported the Plemont site by a sizeable majority. Future approach to using public funds to acquire problem legacy sites unclear

seanpowerjersey 11 of us voted against Plemont and method of using COCF funds to assist NT Jersey in acquiring this legacy site of historic poor planning

LeahFergusonITV BREAKING: Jersey States votes FOR buying Plemont. 35 in favour, 11 against.

Channel103News States Members have voted to buy Plemont by 35 votes to 11, with one abstention

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