Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Review of the Year's Blogs - January

As Trevor and Shona Pitman are declared bankrupt, I take a look at other jurisdictions and bankruptcy, most of which have a mechanism for politicians to leave office.


“On the duration of disqualification from office, while Jersey has a period of five years, in the UK it is until the individual is discharged from bankruptcy, which may be as little as 12 months (or less, if they come into sufficient funds to discharge all debts). But it can be extended if required”

A look at political clichés, starting with Testicular Fortitude, a favourite among one Jersey politician, and its origins in the USA


“Freya Jones provided a strong feminist critique of the phrase. She wrote:

"Paul Gipson's introduction of Hilary Clinton back in 2008 where he said (of political leaders) that 'I truly believe that that's going to take an individual that has testicular fortitude.' Gipson was inherently saying that to be a successful female political leader one must have "balls". One must think, talk and act like a man would in that same situation and Clinton couldn't have been happier to hear it. Why is it that at a time when women are finally beginning to rank amongst the world's most powerful, that they must adopt a masculine approach?”

A look at drink driving limits in Jersey


“One of the problems with reducing the limits is how it will effect the margin of error on breathalyser results. If the margin of error is an absolute, reducing the limits means that the likelihood of error may increase. This is very much what happened in British Columbia in 2010, when stricter drink driving regulations were introduced”

A look at Ian Gorst and Rob Duhumel, and how the conflict was resolved


“The resolution lacks the spectacle of a political punch-up, and let's be honest, it is pretty clear that there was a certain voyeuristic element in the impending vote of no confidence. How could it be otherwise, with a public weaned on the "Celebrity" game shows which thrive on sadism? Some of the comments I have seen suggest that the public feels cheated of the fight”

The Anglican Church in Jersey’s oversight was transferred from Winchester to the Bishop of Dover (under the Diocese of Canterbury). I look at how trivial this is compared with the Reformation split fom Coutances:


“The thrust of the headlines are that "Jersey's church is breaking away from the Diocese of Winchester - ending 500 years of historic links between the two institutions." But it is only five hundred years, compared with the split from Coutances after seven hundred years, and Jersey is staying within the Church of England, so the effect on the average man or woman in the street will not be noticeably different. The services will remain the same, christenings, marriages and funerals will take place as before, and very little will really change.”

Tony’s Newsround looks at “The Internet of Things”


Smart refrigerators will let you know when the milk is on the turn, or when you need to buy more ketchup. Smart toilets will monitor the frequency and consistency of your bowel movements, and tell you whether you ought to book an appointment with a dietician – or worse, a clinician. Meanwhile, the microprocessor manufacturer Intel last week unveiled a circuit board named Edison, so small that it can be sewn into clothing, ensuring that you will never wear odd socks to work again.”

The worry is that such devices can be hacked.

A look at the latest in the Canbedone Productions saga, which would go on, with no one – Minister or Chief Officer taking the blame for the fiasco:


"Film producers Canbedone Ltd have been given a £200,000 grant of taxpayers' money towards the costs of creating 'Knights of Impossingworth' in Jersey and could start filming within months."

It never happened.

A look at events in Ukraine:


“Russia evidently feared an EU-Ukraine trade deal would damage its economy, and that it is being sidelined by the EU. It has the potential to restrict fuel supplies to Europe, and sees the increased expansion of the EU as a threat, not perhaps without cause. The EU has been expanding into the former Soviet territories and brings with it an internal protectionism, while a recent study suggests that Russia has intensified its own protectionist policies.”

“Ukraine is caught up in the middle, a pawn between the two power blocks, and the recent political turmoil in that country reflects the attempt to stifle internal debate on the matter. The ending of the anti-protest laws should not, however, lull the outside viewer into a false sense of security. While the repeal has eased tensions for the moment, the economic and political battleground fought over Ukraine may well reignite protests.”

Guest post on population by Daniel Wimberley


“Readers might like to consider why, on this issue, what we get is not an honest debate but a succession of lies. It is almost as if the purpose is to ensure that the policy of increasing the population is so important to the ruling group that nothing will turn them from that course.”

My look at immigration, and why the debate avoids difficult areas:


“It is an illusion to assume that adopting a strategy of immigration to curb problems over an ageing population. Assuming the bulk of the immigration is within the working age span, that will increase the total in that bracket and mitigate the problem of support for the retired people. But in time, those new immigrants will increase the retired population, because they themselves age. But now there are more within that age bracket to get older and retire, and the only solution is more immigration.”

“It's rather like taking out loans to replay loans plus interest, and the interest cumulating, so that higher and higher loans are needed. The more the size of the loan increases, the greater the interest to pay, and the greater value that another loan would need to be to repay it.”

“If we follow the adoption of a migration strategy to mitigate ageing population, then at 2050 we would be left with exactly the same challenge now of adjusting to an ageing society, but with a vastly greater population. In the long term it is a Ponzi scheme, paying dividends for the present by burdening the future with the real task of tackling the problem.”

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