Thursday, 24 November 2016

Yes Chief Minister

Best Political Home Made Fudge

Deputy Kevin Lewis asked: "Do you, Chief Minister, believe you have a realistic population policy in place? Following a recent statistics unit report, the population of Jersey will grow to 160,000 by 2065 if current migration levels from the last three years carry on."

The Chief Minister said: "We are looking at how we can be even more robust in the delivery of that population policy because we recognise that for a number of members of our community, population is an important factor and we are always trying to balance the value of immigrants, be they economic or social, coming to the Island.”

"We will look again at the balance of delivering economic growth and protecting and preserving our scarce resources, in particular what we need and what we enjoy about Jersey. They are difficult equations, but we have to bring these two together with as much up to date information as we can."

In other words, business as usual. Empty words! I can’t think of a more vacuous answer to a question that this. Ticks all the right boxes – “robust”, “important factor”, “balance”. This could be a script from Yes Minister with the hapless Jim Hacker blathering on.

Here is Jim Hacker in full flow, and it sounds remarkably similar to Ian Gorst in the same way it rambles on with generalities:

“The plain fact of the matter is, that, at the end of the day, it is the right - nay, the duty, of the elected government, in the House of Commons, to ensure that government policy, the policies on which we were elected and for which we have a mandate, the policies, after all, 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, you know, we can't pay ourselves more than we've earned - are the policies ... I'm sorry, what was the question again?”

As the “Yes Minister Diaries” say:

“Years of political training and experience had taught Hacker to use twenty words where one would do, to dictate millions of words where mere thousands would suffice, and to use language to blur and fudge issues and events so that they became incomprehensible to others.”

Senator Gorst is fast catching up!

Money Given to Logfiller Flushed Away

"No one likes to admit that they made a mistake. We have an ingrained reticence to do so, a near-primal response that little kids learn probably before they can speak. Admit your mistake, get punished. Don't, and maybe you can wiggle your way out of it." (Philip Bump)

Government funding for new business ideas is set to continue despite the loss of over £600,000 of Jersey tax payers money by a failed software company. The States auditor is reviewing how the Jersey Innovation Fund was run following the collapse of a company called Logfiller which received a loan worth half a million pounds in 2014. The fund is currently being managed by a local firm of accountants while the review is carried out

Meanwhile OctoInsight is doing remarkably well in the USA, as I reported in my blog, with an identical product and what appears like the same principals:

PR Newswire even made this connection:

"A happier day is dawning for PC users and IT managers as the universal divide between the two is being spanned by a versatile new technology, Layer8, from OctoInsight Inc. (formerly Logfiller)."

But we have been told by Philip Ozouf that some businesses must fail, and that’s the risk with giving money away. When other companies are so similar to defunct local ones that a news agency confuses the two, one has to wonder where the paper trail from the money led, and if the software, as an intellectual property of Logfiller cannot be claimed as an asset of the now defunct company. Certainly the product has not failed, and is selling well!

I hear that Advocate Tim Herbert has apparently resigned as Chairman of what appears to also be a now defunct States Innovation Board.

Ben Shenton, in the JEP, meanwhile, is blaming Mike King, but perhaps he should look more towards politicians who were perhaps over eager to make a name for themselves and encouraged lax due diligence to get a product off the ground, and a Board which also failed to ensure proper guarantees were in place.

And meanwhile, no one is actually admitting they made a mistake and messed it all up.

Maybe they should take a lesson from Ronald Reagan. As David Keene noted:

"What is becoming increasingly clear is that neither the president nor his Republican counterparts have learned the lesson that served Ronald Reagan so well during his career. Like every candidate and elected official, Reagan made mistakes. He sometimes got his facts wrong or headed down a road that could lead to political disaster."

"However, Reagan seemed always able to backtrack, admit his mistake and even apologize. The American people found this admirable trait human and endearing. Most politicians seem incapable of admitting mistakes and fail not because of some bone-headed decision, but because they continue to defend their actions when everyone else has concluded they were wrong."

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