"There are many areas of the way that we operate as a legislature, some ways that we operate as a Government, which need modernising, which need to change so that they have the appropriate democratic overlay and we can be seen to be democratic, open and transparent, and “accountable” arises from that, absolutely, we cannot be accountable without those things being in place."
That was said by one of the Council of Ministers, and note the buzz words - "modernising", "democratic overlay", "open and transparent". I'll let the reader guess which one.
I was reading about the insidious way in which pretentious jargon infiltrates politics. Problems are no longer considered problems, they have morphed into challenges. Over just 5 States sittings, the word "challenge" seems to have become a firm favourite, and Ministers have morphed into James Hacker of Yes Minister. Here are a few choice morsels:
Senator Ian Gorst:
...the challenging decisions that we are asking Members to make in the M.T.F.P.,
But if we look at the sectors where those jobs have been created, that gives us the challenges that I spoke about in questions on notice earlier about the balance of supporting businesses to increase their productivity.
It is why we did the jurisdictional review looking at the threats and the challenges that faced us and looking at how we could protect our core markets and yet at the same time build into new markets and new products.
That leaves us with a challenge and that challenge, I believe, is for us to think of creative ways, which will mostly be about residential, of transforming that secondary office space.
As some of the Members have said, there has already been an increase in the number of health visitors, but the challenge is: are they in the right area?
We all know that the development that is going to take place in this area means that it needs more open space, the challenge is how are we going to deliver it and being informed before we make that final decision of exactly how and, for example, if it is that site which bits or whether it is all of it is going to be delivered.
The reform programme will help us keep spending under control. It will help us to develop a flexible public sector that is ready for the challenges ahead. The challenges facing the Island over the next few years will mean some difficult choices.
We are not taking things for granted. But be absolutely clear, challenges remain.
Senator Paul Routier:
I think that is the issue that we are challenged with.
I agree it is a real challenge for us to make decisions with regard to the decisions that we are being asked to make by the business community to ensure that they have the right staff within the Island.
But it is a challenge, I do not deny the fact.
I do recognise that there would be challenges for the agriculture and tourism industry
Deputy Graham Truscott:
The Government is dealing with financial challenges, a black hole, a structural deficit of £145 million.
Deputy Rod Bryans:
One of the challenges that the staff face is providing sufficient car parking spaces.
Deputy Louise Doublet:
The panel has been challenging yet fair.
Deputy Steve Luce:
I have already explained and as difficult as it is, personal circumstances can play no part in what are often sometimes extremely challenging decisions.
In addition, those renewables also displace high carbon sources of energy like oil and gas and if they do that will help us to meet the carbon reduction challenge.
We have also agreed that an event should take place over a weekend in May at the Town Hall, this work of all of which will inform the new masterplan and will provide a platform for an objective assessment of all the issues, challenges and opportunities for urban regeneration.
Senator Andrew Green:
The challenging landscape of the public sector reform and the need to ensure that cross-organisational initiatives and delivery occur in a timely fashion, as well as in a consistent manner, has led to this proposed change.
Good governance demands challenge and transparency.
Current times are challenging but that does not mean that we can neglect to plan for our future.
Senator Alan Maclean:
Its reasoning for such a positive response to the significant challenges relating to scale that it faces in the market is the access to wider sales channels and the opportunity to properly leverage the significant international capability of the Airtel business and its owners to grow J.T. and deliver greater value for consumers and Islanders.
We have talked in questions earlier today about some of the challenges faced in this particular issue, and they are much broader than just this particular panel and this particular matter.
The importance of Jersey Airport and Jersey Harbours cannot be underestimated, but it is an unavoidable truth that these capital-intensive businesses face significant challenges both now and into the future.
Deputy Andrew Lewis:
Where the money comes from, hopefully it will present the Council Minister with a challenge, that may be planning gain. Getting that sorted will be the challenge and will be the outcome, and that can only be a good one.
Deputy Susie Pinel:
At a time when all benefit expenditure is under review I do not think it would be sensible to pre-empt these challenging decisions by reviewing any one component of income support in isolation for the overall levels of support available to a household.
Members are now fully aware of the size of the financial challenge that we face and it is incumbent upon the Council of Ministers to explore all options to ensure that the final proposals put forward in the M.T.F.P. 2 will be achievable.
Deputy Tracy Valois (the mouse speaks):
I would strongly argue that this amendment is the sensible, pragmatic way of ensuring that we do produce an M.T.F.P. which ensures that the States agree detailed funding allocations in the short and medium term which are robust and stand up to scrutiny and meet the changing States structures which are required to meet the challenges the Island Government is currently encountering.
Senator Philip Ozouf:
Yes there are some challenging decisions to be made on resources...
I hear ourselves talking about the inability of being able to solve the challenges that we are setting out.
Because this Assembly has in so many times in the past promised to do things without knowing the costs and, therefore, when the costs are known and the challenging offsets of how to deliver it are then not possible to discuss because there is no vehicle to do it, the project languishes.
We have faced challenges before.
I compliment and again express publicly my absolute support for in the way that he is dealing with the challenges that he has found himself with or the challenges, more accurately, that he will find himself with unless we take corrective action in order to rebalance our finances.
The Constable of St. Saviour may be tired with me speaking, but we have a lot more to do in terms of providing new services, and that is the challenge.
Senator Lyndham Farnham:
Innovation, enterprise and competition are not restricted to the digital industries and a new challenging enterprise strategy should and will recognise this.
It is challenging for E.D.D. One of our economic objectives is to encourage small business and it is very difficult to encourage small business when you cannot always find the right staff for them to employ.
The challenge is to ensure we deliver productivity, among other things, and there is a very big challenge in doing that.
We are developing a new and challenging enterprise strategy and we are going to develop a new innovation strategy to build on the success of the Innovation Fund.
Constable Simon Crowcroft:
And here is a piece from "Yes Minister":
Interviewer: How will you extinguish local government bureaucracy?
Hacker: It's a challenge I'm looking forward to.
Interviewer: Would you agree there's even more bureaucratic waste there than in Whitehall?
Hacker: - Yes, that's what makes it a challenge.
Interviewer: - How will you meet the challenge?
Hacker: The broad strategy is to cut ruthlessly at waste while leaving essential services intact.
Interviewer: That's what your predecessor said. Did he fail?
Hacker: Let me finish. Because we must be absolutely clear and I'm going to be quite frank with you. The fact is that, at the end of the day, it is the right, the duty, of the elected government in the House of Commons to ensure government policy, the policies on which we were elected and for which we have a mandate, the policies for which the people voted, are the policies which, finally, when the national cake has been divided up...And may I remind you we, as a nation, don't have unlimited wealth? We can't pay ourselves more than we earn. ...are the policies...I'm sorry, what was the question again?
Interviewer: I was just asking you whether you would agree that your predecessor had failed.
Hacker: Certainly not. On the contrary. It's just that this job is an enormous...