Monday, 15 June 2015

Reg's Senior Moment

“No Socialist Government conducting the entire life and industry of the country could afford to allow free, sharp, or violently-worded expressions of public discontent,” said Winston Churchill on 4 June 1945 in the first radio broadcast of that year’s general election campaign. “They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance.”

This “Gestapo” reference came up in a recent BBC documentary about the Labour victory of 1945, and how it certainly cost him votes. Churchill’s biographer described his remarks as “hostile and injudicious”

As Richard Toye commented: “Some might say that the case it advanced was intellectually defensible, but, from the point of view of actually persuading undecided voters, it was a fiasco. It also did serious damage to his reputation.”

I was reminded of it when I saw Reg Langlois’s poster above. This purports to describe a peaceful, orderly demonstration, cheerfully conducted, with no baying for blood, just saying “No". It is an extraordinary intemperate and injudicious remark, and bears no resemblance to the protest.

A few comments on Facebook show the perplexity of people when Reg made this remark. I post these in the hope that Reg will think twice before posting anything which will damage his reputation as a kindly gentleman, and not a political version of Victor Meldrew!

Lee: A black Sunday? never seen anything like it? Did something other than a peaceful protest occur that I wasn't aware of?

Patricia: Oops Reg was that a Senior Moment?

Mike: What a load of bollox Reg. 2000 people sitting in the sun making their point. Nobody died. Black Sunday indeed. There was more venom, more aggro in the past with the social security laws

Mark: Blimey, sounds like a massacre took place?

Mike: And as for not the Jersey way Reg, what about the bread riots? What about the old style Jersey elections? For once the usual apathy was absent and people - albeit not a huge number, and largely of a certain age - made the effort to turn out just to register their point of view to a Government which holds us all in contempt.

David: Peaceful demonstration Reg Langlois..... Jersey people fought and died in WW2 to give us that right.

David: Democracy is being able to express an opinion. As in all things, I may not agree with a particular viewpoint, but everyone should have the right to express it. With that goes the right for someone to be held to account for libel or slander.

Paul: What would have been the jersey way then reg ? Please enlighten me and any others that find that post a little ridiculous to put it politely.

Jayne: From media coverage looked pretty civilised to me. Holding up a no sign is not exactly a hanging. Once again misinterpretations of the truth where have I heard that recently

Jacqui: What is the 'Jersey Way' then? I thought it was all very good-natured.

John: The people have an absolute right to question their governments' decisions and to take them to task when they believe those decisions are wrong That's the beautiful thing about democracy.

Paul: Reg, please could you let me know what the Jersey Way is? Cheers.

Reg Langlois Kindness and consideration to others, for a start.... oh! and patience of course.

John: Patience? Reg? so why the rush to start building without the pre-lets and other promises made in the states, broken and ignored? Why the rush to start before scrutiny finish their report? Why the tactics to delay that same report and feed false information to other states members? No kindness, No consideration, no patience for fair and democratic process. Thats the Jersey way! Lie for personal profit!

John: Reg Just because you keep posting that B&W Black Sunday Poster it doesn't make it any truer

Paul: Kindness and consideration to others is not The Jersey Way, that is how people should behave at all times. If it is the Jersey Way then it is not very considerate to those who had a kind and peaceful protest to then accuse them of witch hunting, a very exaggerated description if I ever heard one. The Jersey Way, as many people know it, is epitomised by your poster which as per usual Jersey Way tradition denigrates people who do not agree with the established party politics. Thats not kindness and consideration in my book.

John: Why would you think anyone was threatening to harm anyone at that peaceful protest, Reg? Its people upset with lies and broken promises. Are you suggesting its fine for an elected member of the States to promise something to the rest of Government, then ignore that promise? To lie to Government and hide the truth? No one was "after blood", we simply want a Government that does not blatantly lie.

Maria: Isn't the right to protest a part of true democracy? To quote Reg Kindness and consideration to others, for a start.... oh! and patients of course. I agree and that message should be sent to the Dictators who are presently running this Island into Bankruptcy! Although I am unsure about the 'patients' we cannot meet the needs of them in our Hospital system at present ( wink emoticon )

Ollie: Not sure why you have such an issue with people peacefully using their democratic and human rights to protest something they feel unhappy with Reg? Also, the language you use to describe that protest interestingly says more about you than the actual protest.

Sharon: Reg must have a very short memory because the crowds in the Royal Square when they removed Vernon Tomes from office , now they were angry and very vocal .

In conclusion….

I don't think anyone was after blood, just proper due process. There were no effigies burnt of Alan Maclean, no figures of Lee Henry to be hung in his absence - both of which have happened in Jersey's past in the 17th century to some people.

The overblown rhetoric of Reg doesn't do him any favours, any more than Churchill's cheap gibe did in 1945.

Let's hope it was a one off, as one commentator put it, a "senior moment".

The irony is that there were around 3,000 people who turned out to oppose the golf course at Les Creux in a peaceful demonstration to say "No" to the States’ plans – and Reg was one of them!

1 comment:

James said...

I don't think anyone was after blood, just proper due process. There were no effigies burnt of Alan Maclean

Ah, but did they burn any ring binders? :-)