Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Reviewing the Year: January 2015

Lee Henry conjuring up a return to the States


January saw the battle heating up for the Jersey International Finance Centre, in which Lee Henry said:

“We have 2.8m sq ft of office space in Jersey but very little categorised as Grade A [prime]. We’re hopeful that by creating this dedicated district for finance we will attract a flow of new tenants.”

In fact, a flow of old tenants occurred instead! That may have been necessary to retain the businesses in the Island, but it would have been more honest to say so than to hold the raison d’etre as new businesses. It reminds me of a building for those attending loved ones undergoing heart surgery of various kinds at a UK hospital, which was sold on the basis of parents needing somewhere to stay to be alongside sick children.

In fact, it is mostly older adults and their more elderly parents, or spouses who stay there while heart operations take place. That’s not to say that’s bad, but the funding drive had very different advertising. And the JIFC has a similarly deceptive piece of marketing.

“It remains the position today based on independent professional advice that the JIFC scheme will generate a net return in the order of £50 million for the public.” (Lee Henry)

And what of the substantial returns? In January, I noted that:

“So far, the States Quango – the Jersey Development Company – has produced precious little in the way of returns from the existing Waterfront. The return last year was a paltry dividend to the States of £21,489, and the flow of fund back from the States (for instance in a subsidy on Liberation Station) exceeded that.”

Mark Boleat, who later resigned as Chairman, picked up £40,000 per annum for his 15 days work peach year for the JIFC, which shows that the JDC can make substantial returns, but just not to the States. He has now set up a special Think Tank to gather together the great and the good to come up with innovative ideas for Jersey, like no doubt new Quangoes which pay their Chairman a goodly sum..


“The number of people visiting Jersey increased last year - with arrivals from Gatwick Airport and St Malo providing the biggest boost. A total of 1,069,265 people came through the Airport and Harbour between January and November 2014, a rise of 3.7 per cent on the previous year, according to figures released by the Economic Development Department.” (JEP)

In fact, Guernsey gets much better statistics because it counts people as they leave the island by sample surveys, and excludes those who are locals! And guess what – they use a Jersey company for their statistics.


A look at the Charlie Hebdo Massacre, small scale compared to the horrors that would hit France later in the year.

Dr. Haig Patapan, reflecting on Hobbe’s ideas, says:

“Glory seekers often pursue glory ‘farther than their security requires,’ creating the problem that some seek glory even at the risk of their lives. ... The difficulty of acquiring and maintaining glory, due to our inability to judge or “value” accurately, the problem of construing “signs” of valuing, and the need of the glory seeker to ‘extort a greater value from his contemners, by dommage; and from others, by example’ mean that the glory seeker is compelled to risk himself to show his power.”

The result – as Emmett Gilles notes - is that “the majority suffer from the strife brought on by the selfish competition, diffidence, and glory-seeking of uninhibited individuals.”


A blog which looks at images of the prophet, and shows those which were permitted and accepted in Islam’s past.

It is important to realise that the prohibition of images of the prophet has not been universal, and that past depictions should not be airbrushed out of history. These are portraits by Islamic painters or scholars of the past, and to rewrite the past to fulfil the needs of the present is a principle which is dangerous.


A guest posting on the roots of a grievance:

All terrorism starts with two things. One is a sense of grievance, a sense that things could be better. The other is a sense that the existing methods of trying to reach that better state are unavailable or ineffective.

The situation running up to Charlie Hebdo is, by contrast, not in the gift of the government, but to a large extent in the gift of the people of France. The biggest grievance is that France does not practice equality and fraternity. The opportunities for a young person of Arab descent living in the Paris suburbs fall far short of those for those of native French descent. Tests have been done: identical CV and application forms submitted with an Arab and a French name repeatedly come back with a rejection for the former and a job offer for the latter.


RIP Brian Clemens:

Perhaps he was not a ground-breaking TV writer, like Dennis Potter, but what Clemens did provide was prolific entertaining drama. Here are a few of my own memories of the shows he wrote, and I still think they enriched my life, just as much as a Dennis Potter play. Not everything on TV should be realistic, or serious, and sometimes there is nothing better than to sit back, relax, and enjoy an hour of well-constructed drama.

And, for the most part, Clemens did construct his writing well, hooking the viewer, keeping them watching, wanting to know what happened next, and taking them on a journey which would be thrilling, funny, suspenseful and above all enjoyable to watch. Even when his shows were not quite as good as they might have been, with for example, The New Avengers, they still were fun to watch, and still are. 

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