Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Reviewing the Year: February

Reviewing the Year: February

William Bailhache speaks about reclaiming “The Jersey Way” as an expression of doing something well: “To me 'The Jersey Way' means doing something competently, with integrity, fairly and with compassion.”

Yet in the same paper which reported the William Bailhache’s words, there was a witness statement to the care inquiry about someone who went to the police with a complaint of abuse, and discovered later that one of his original complaints had been lost but recorded, and the other did not even seem to have been recorded. He had also been told that the Attorney General would explain to him that the reasons why the case would not be prosecuted, and then was told the Attorney General didn’t have time to see him.

There is not much in that account that displays competence, integrity, fairness or compassion. It does seem shabby. And it is not the only such case like that, of people treated badly.

The Waterfront moved ahead like a juggernaut. But note what Alan Maclean said in 2008 when he stood for Senator:

"I also like the idea of quality public spaces, especially the winter garden. The practical and economic case for sinking the road will join the Waterfront to the town and produce the funds to regenerate St Helier."

But there are no longer any Winter Gardens or "quality public spaces" in the immediate plans./

“At the heart of the JIFC is a new public park that will provide an attractive setting for the new buildings and a valuable amenity for the wider community. The park will be predominately soft landscaped showcasing the varying characters that the landscape of Jersey has to offer. The new park will include a number of semi-mature trees that will provide shade on sunny days and an array of foliage colour and blossom through the year.” (Waterfront Document)

My horticultural expert, Adam Gardiner said:

"The architects and concept artists always show a scene that is considerably overstated and in reality would take 20 years or more to achieve even assuming optimum growing conditions."

"While there are several species of tree that may suit the site, the chances of them growing to the dimensions and shape as often shown is at best hopeful. The soil can be ameliorated to give trees a good start, but beyond the reality is no one gives them any of the attention they would need to be able to achieve anything near their potential - as all too often depicted in concept drawings."

Save Our Shoreline commented:

"The planning conditions that were approved with Building 4 have changed. If the temporary car park works (by the underpass) are done under the building 4 consent, then the JDC should be replacing the car park immediately, on the Esplanade, under the phasing plan they submitted with the building 4 application. The JDC are not replacing the car park, under the new phasing with building 5, now, and this will be at least 10 years before it is replaced instead of the one year promised."

I look at The Seven Deadly Sins of States Members - see the link for all of them. Here is one:


The inability of the States to say no to pay rises, while simultaneously saying there must be pay freezes in the public sector, is a good example of greed. Of course, greed in the modern setting is dressed up in all kinds of excuses, such as having to obey the dictates of an independent body, however much they would like not to, and promises to give that increase to charity.

But there is also a kind of greed that invades everyone’s lives with stealth taxes (such as the proposed sewage tax), more “user pays” etc. That approach is the Treasury greedy for more revenue, the avaricious monster devouring our income.

Look for: more stealth taxes which will be described as “user pays” rather than “user pays twice, once by taxation”, which would be the honest description, and a lot of hand wringing when States members pay increases.

"The current Shipping (Fishing Vessels Safety Provisions) (Jersey) Order 2004 replaced and slightly updated an old regime of triennial Regulations."

Perhaps prompted to finally get something changed by the accident when the Condor vessel struck and destroyed a fishing vessel, and one man died, Jersey is finally getting its act together. Apparently this has been a long time in consultation, but now is ready to go before the States. Much needed, I think.

The sea is treacherous enough, the Grey widow maker, as she is often called, and for once it is not health and safety gone mad, but very sensible regulations needed to keep crews safe.

Food security – while we have not got enough land area to wholly sustain the local population, it is important to keep at least a toe-hold in local produce. The island is dependent on imports, and it is not sufficiently realised that food chain is like a delicate jugular vein, easily ruptured. At present fuel costs have gone down, but as they go up, food prices will rise commensurately.

Education – not enough has been done to educate people about the wasteful nature of our food chain. Food is sourced from many miles away to ensure the same produce is available all the year round. The ethical concerns about this are kept very low key. For a start, long-distance food hauling releases harmful greenhouse gases. It is also incredibly wasteful of fossil fuels to transport food long distances. But while it is cheap to do so, and people buy it, the market trumps ethics.

Since Agriculture and Fisheries became part of Economic Development, it has become the Cinderella of Jersey. Finance has top priority, and tourism moved up with the Visit Jersey initiative. But when he was talking about the future to the Chamber of Commerce, Ian Gorst not once mentioned agriculture.

Guest Post from John Young

The way the trees'- removal was carried out with no advance warning despite a States scrutiny inquiry into the development shows just how powerful our government has become. The dismissive remarks of the chairman of SOJDC about the scrutiny review show that the executive is under instructions to press ahead with the Esplanade development, regardless.

There are other worrying signs, the support of the Council of Ministers for the proposed high-density development of the Gas Works site against the views of residents. They supported the Port Galots development which would have removed the last remaining open view of the Harbour and Elizabeth Castle from the residents of St Helier. It has taken a public outcry to put a`stop to it. We as taxpayers are left with the loss of £400,000.

Today's poem is an acrostic, written in memory of Spock, and the man who brought him to life, and imbued him with wonderful touches - the Vulcan neck pinch, the mind meld, and the Vulcan salute, and turned what could have just been any old alien into a real person. RIP Leonard Nimoy.

Spock Remembered

Live long and prosper, you used to say
In Star Trek, as through the milky way
Vulcan wisdom, imparted with a hand
Ever boldly going, towards a promised land
Looking back at your Jewish past, you said
Only Vulcans live long, but you are dead
Now we mourn your passing, Vulcan lore
Going where no one has ever gone before
And you will be remembered, the pointy ears
Never seeming to age, even in the Deadly Years
Dead, but not forgotten, in memory yet alive
Perhaps that is all we can every wish to strive
Reaching with a mind meld, enter another place
On the good ship Enterprise, trekking into space
Spock, a work of art, an acting masterpiece
Producer, director, actor, poet, you never cease
Easily as Spock though, that you stood so tall
RIP Leonard Nimoy, remembered by us all

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