Monday, 30 April 2018

Inna Gardiner - Standing in St Helier: Questions and Answers

Inna Gardiner is Standing for Deputy, St Helier - District No. 3/4 on a manifesto platform which includes

Fair Deal For St Helier
Community Inclusion
Diversified Economy
Equality of Opportunity

Her background, on her website, shows someone both engaged in local culture and business as well as having some international experience.

Her Vote.Je manifesto is available at

Also see:

I have been looking at some of the manifestoes of those standing and asking questions to clarify what the candidates say, and she has been kind enough to volunteer replies that I can put on my blog.

Manifesto Questions

Self-Employment and Business Start-Up

“I propose that people wanting to become self employed have greater assistance from government departments. I will cut the red tape and create a simple procedure for registering with all the necessary departments and getting the permissions and permits to run a small business in Jersey.”


What do you see as the main kinds of “red tape” which hold up people wanting to become self-employed? Without naming individuals, do you have an concrete examples so people can see what the problems are.


The jump between being employed and self employed is big one. The jump from being unemployed to being self employed is almost impossible in the current climate. I would like to enable the employed and unemployed to become self employed.

The planning, administration and marketing are very time consuming and take up time that could be used for doing the actual paid work. Everybody needs some support/training in at least at one of these areas. Unless you are already self employed you will not have the experience and knowledge to set up and run a business.

I have an example. A lady worked for a business that was shut down. She decided to become self employed. She needed £50K to set up the business. Her bank refused to give her a loan because of the high risk.She needed the money to pay 6 months rent payment in advance and a deposit.

Eventually she found a bank manager who believed in her and she now has 4 years of successful trading and has moved into to bigger premises. She is a very hardworking and determined woman but could easily have become unemployed.

An example of red tape is the time it takes to obtain planning permission to do basic changes to a business. When a business needs to make changes to improve profitability the long wait to get planning could put them out of business.

I have had conversations with young trained tradesmen who are looking to rent workshops to become self employed. The main thing that is stopping them is finding affordable storage/workshop space.

We also have positives, Jersey Business provides an excellent service. We need to make people aware it's not just a service for big businesses it's also a service for people who would like to be self employed.

GP Appointments and Lunchtime Meals for Primary Schools

“I would campaign for free GP appointments for all children under 16 years of age. I believe routine and emergency health care should be available for all children regardless of wealth.”

“I believe that children in nurseries and primary schools would benefit from hot nutritious meals at lunchtime.”

Question: These are worthy proposals, but how do you propose to fund them?



Firstly I have an emotional response to this question, I want children to have the best possible start in life I have children of my own. I feel for families with sick children.

My rational behind it is this, many GP’s, including my own, give free appointments for all children under 16. I would like it if all GP’s did this..

Health budget spending in early years, as a preventative rather than reactive spend saves money in the long term. It makes financial sense to treat acute and chronic illness as early as possible. If someone requires a period of hospitalisation/ or attendance at A&E resulting from unaffordable (unattended) GP appointment, all GP appointment saving are lost.

I would also like to see a review of charges for out of hours telephone consultations.

Some of the pressure on the A&E dept is a direct consequence of these charges.


There has been an increase in childhood obesity from Jersey Health Profile 2016

1 in 5 children ages 4 to 5 are overweight or obese (22%)
1 in 3 children age 10 to 11 are overweight or obese (32%)

Provision of hot nutritious meals at lunch time has been shown to help reverse obesity in other jurisdictions.

Obviously, it should come in combination with physical activity and promotion of healthy living as stated in my manifesto

Unfortunately many of these children are overfed whilst still being undernourished.

The long term health costs for these adults over the next 50 years far exceed the cost of hot meals and children’s playgrounds.

I have worked within Governments, for NGO, and global corporations as a consultant, creating and adapting work practices and processes in order to save money by creating efficiencies. I believe and I have seen first hand how cumbersome and inefficient the States of Jersey has become.

So in answer to your question “where is the money coming from?” rest assured I have no intention of spending money Jersey does not have. I do feel that we should decide where the saved money will be spent before we make changes and when making changes and creating efficiencies realise what the greater purpose is.


“Immigration is a controversial topic and as an immigrant myself I feel I have a lot to contribute. We need a clear balanced immigration policy to maintain a suitably trained, experienced and sustainable workforce.”

“Businesses must have flexibility to employ the right number of suitable people.”


Have you any figures in mind for net (not absolute) migration inwards? What in your mind would a balanced immigration policy look like? Would it have any limits placed on it (for instance by the capacity of the island to supply fresh water etc). Everyone wants a balanced immigration policy, but what kind of details would you give on it? What do you think of the outgoing Council of Ministers’ proposed migration policy which the new Assembly will vote on?


I feel that the proposed migration policy is missing details, such as what the expected number of necessary and skilled employees will be in the next 5 years from our different local industries. This information would allow us to plan local training whilst we will decide what type and number of permits are required.

In my opinion it’s not just about numbers when we talk about immigration, it’s also about quality.

Last year we issued 61 work permits for the Digital industry with an average wage £51K. Each work permit created 2 jobs for locals and brought new skilled people to the island who gave training and experience to the rapidly developing local digital industry.

We need to encourage and retain the permits for a highly skilled, innovative, tax paying workforce.

At the same time we also had unskilled immigrants coming to work for specific tasks for agreed in advance periods of time, and they need to understand this is the case before arriving to Jersey.

There is no one solution.

We need to promote an immigration policy that bridges the skills gap we have in Jersey and plan for a managed, sustainable population.

Election posters and Chesterton’s Fence

Posters must be erected at a height of not less than 7ft and must be no more than 15ft at their highest point. My son is 5 ft 8 inches. The photos speak for themselves.

I would just add one caveat: these examples are of one candidate’s poster incorrectly placed, but other candidates are available.

It’s amazing what kind of abuse this sort of post brings out

“The pettiness of this post is unbelievable! All the rules and this island need dragged out of 1900 into 2018, sadly there seems to be a number of folk happy to sit in 1900s still even now!”

“What an entertaining Saturday afternoon you must have had , you really know how to let your hair down eh. I bet you had a clip board to note down all the heights.”

And all because people who comment have never learned the lesson of Chesterton’s Fence.

This is a rather famous philosophical parable by G.K. Chesterton, and it goes like this:

“In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”

“This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious.”

I cite Chesterton’s Fence in my defense of the above photo.

In other words, there are reasons behind the height restrictions. It is not some stupid person making up rules for the sake of it. Indeed, anyone who thinks that has a very strange idea about how most rules are made.

Sadie Rennard, the Constable of St Saviour, said that the St Saviour Honorary Police did send out a warning about this: One reason is that a badly placed poster can block someone’s vision.

A correspondent has told me that two of Kristina Moore’s posters have been removed for this very reason: “The one at the car park between La Haule and Beaumont was a particularly daft one – blocking vision from the exit towards Beaumont.”

And so, like Chesterton’s Fence, we come to the reason for the rule. For motorists, it is visibility, for pedestrians, they can be an unseen obstruction.

Perhaps getting off the bus in the dark – and there are not street lights everywhere – these stick out and could be hit. It is not nice to bang your head on a solid piece of wood which is virtually invisible when your torch (if you use one) is usually shining more downwards. So there is a sensible reason for it. It's not just random nonsense dreamed up by a bureaucrat.

Dublin which has similar guidelines says:

It has been our experience in previous elections that numerous complaints have been received from motorists and pedestrians in relation to safety issues associated with election posters. Our own staff have also raised a number of concerns. The main issues relate to the following:

1) Posters that are obscuring the visibility of traffic/pedestrian signals and traffic signs. Many of the problems are caused by posters that are erected on poles adjacent to signals or signs

2) Posters that are below head height or resting on the ground. These posters can cause obstructions on footpaths and are particularly hazardous to the visually impaired.

I’ve seen some people with visual impairment in St Brelade. In this time when we should be paying more attention to disability perhaps we should not be quite so fickle about dismissing height of posters.

Perhaps before people sound off about what seem to them like stupid rules, they should do a bit of homework first, to find out why the rule, like Chesterton’s Fence, is in place after all.

Jersey's Guidelines, in detail, say the same:

"Posters should be erected at a height of not less than 7ft, so as not to endanger pedestrians or impede vision, and no more than 15ft at its highest point."

And also this one:

"Posters and banners must not be attached to safety critical street furniture such as traffic light poles, directional information/regulatory/warning sign poles, or pedestrian barriers. Pedestrian barrier locations deemed safe for the erection of banners have already been allocated for such use."

Sadly the contenders for the Constable of St Mary, including the sitting Constable, have flouted this rule. 

Sunday, 29 April 2018

The Long Bow

One of my favourite pieces of Chesterton. A story about tall tales and truth, which is extremely funny, and yet has a point about logic in the end. There really is such a thing as truth, even if we may swallow a lot of tall stories on the way. This is about the nature of truth.

Chesterton wrote before this:

"I find myself still sitting in front of the last book by Mr. H. G. Wells, I say stunned with admiration, my family says sleepy with fatigue. I still feel vaguely all the things in Mr. Wells's book which I agree with; and I still feel vividly the one thing that I deny. I deny that biology can destroy the sense of truth, which alone can even desire biology. No truth which I find can deny that I am seeking the truth. My mind cannot find anything which denies my mind... But what is all this? This is no sort of talk for a genial essay. Let us change the subject; let us have a romance or a fable or a fairy tale."

The Long Bow
by GK Chesterton

Come, let us tell each other stories. There was once a king who was very fond of listening to stories, like the king in the Arabian Nights. The only difference was that, unlike that cynical Oriental, this king believed all the stories that he heard. It is hardly necessary to add that he lived in England. His face had not the swarthy secrecy of the tyrant of the thousand tales; on the contrary, his eyes were as big and innocent as two blue moons; and when his yellow beard turned totally white he seemed to be growing younger.

Above him hung still his heavy sword and horn, to remind men that he had been a tall hunter and warrior in his time: indeed, with that rusted sword he had wrecked armies. But he was one of those who will never know the world, even when they conquer it. Besides his love of this old Chaucerian pastime of the telling of tales, he was, like many old English kings, specially interested in the art of the bow. He gathered round him great archers of the stature of Ulysses and Robin Hood, and to four of these he gave the whole government of his kingdom.

They did not mind governing his kingdom; but they were sometimes a little bored with the necessity of telling him stories. None of their stories were true; but the king believed all of them, and this became very depressing. They created the most preposterous romances; and could not get the credit of creating them. Their true ambition was sent empty away. They were praised as archers; but they desired to be praised as poets. They were trusted as men, but they would rather have been admired as literary men.

At last, in an hour of desperation, they formed themselves into a club or conspiracy with the object of inventing some story which even the king could not swallow. They called it The League of the Long Bow; thus attaching themselves by a double bond to their motherland of England, which has been steadily celebrated since the Norman Conquest for its heroic archery and for the extraordinary credulity of its people.

At last it seemed to the four archers that their hour had come. The king commonly sat in a green curtained chamber, which opened by four doors, and was surmounted by four turrets. Summoning his champions to him on an April evening, he sent out each of them by a separate door, telling him to return at morning with the tale of his journey. Every champion bowed low, and, girding on great armour as for awful adventures, retired to some part of the garden to think of a lie. They did not want to think of a lie which would deceive the king; any lie would do that. They wanted to think of a lie so outrageous that it would not deceive him, and that was a serious matter.

The first archer who returned was a dark, quiet, clever fellow, very dexterous in small matters of mechanics. He was more interested in the science of the bow than in the sport of it. Also he would only shoot at a mark, for he thought it cruel to kill beasts and birds, and atrocious to kill men. When he left the king he had gone out into the wood and tried all sorts of tiresome experiments about the bending of branches and the impact of arrows; when even he found it tiresome he returned to the house of the four turrets and narrated his adventure.

"Well," said the king, "what have you been shooting?" "Arrows," answered the archer. "So I suppose," said the king smiling; "but I mean, I mean what wild things have you shot?" "I have shot nothing but arrows," answered the bowman obstinately. "When I went out on to the plain I saw in a crescent the black army of the Tartars, the terrible archers whose bows are of bended steel, and their bolts as big as javelins. They spied me afar off, and the shower of their arrows shut out the sun and made a rattling roof above me. You know, I think it wrong to kill a bird, or worm, or even a Tartar. But such is the precision and rapidity of perfect science that, with my own arrows, I split every arrow as it came against me. I struck every flying shaft as if it were a flying bird. Therefore, Sire, I may say truly, that I shot nothing but arrows." The king said, "I know how clever you engineers are with your fingers." The archer said, "Oh," and went out.

The second archer, who had curly hair and was pale, poetical, and rather effeminate, had merely gone out into the garden and stared at the moon. When the moon had become too wide, blank, and watery, even for his own wide, blank, and watery eyes, he came in again.

And when the king said "What have you been shooting?" he answered with great volubility, "I have shot a man; not a man from Tartary, not a man from Europe, Asia, Africa, or America; not a man on this earth at all. I have shot the Man in the Moon." "Shot the Man in the Moon?" repeated the king with something like a mild surprise. "It is easy to prove it," said the archer with hysterical haste. "Examine the moon through this particularly powerful telescope, and you will no longer find any traces of a man there." The king glued his big blue idiotic eye to the telescope for about ten minutes, and then said, "You are right: as you have often pointed out, scientific truth can only be tested by the senses. I believe you." And the second archer went out, and being of a more emotional temperament burst into tears.

The third archer was a savage, brooding sort of man with tangled hair and dreamy eyes, and he came in without any preface, saying, "I have lost all my arrows. They have turned into birds." Then as he saw that they all stared at him, he said "Well, you know everything changes on the earth; mud turns into marigolds, eggs turn into chickens; one can even breed dogs into quite different shapes. Well, I shot my arrows at the awful eagles that clash their wings round the Himalayas; great golden eagles as big as elephants, which snap the tall trees by perching on them. My arrows fled so far over mountain and valley that they turned slowly into fowls in their flight. See here," and he threw down a dead bird and laid an arrow beside it. "Can't you see they are the same structure. The straight shaft is the backbone; the sharp point is the beak; the feather is the rudimentary plumage. It is merely modification and evolution." After a silence the king nodded gravely and said, "Yes; of course everything is evolution." At this the third archer suddenly and violently left the room, and was heard in some distant part of the building making extraordinary noises either of sorrow or of mirth.

The fourth archer was a stunted man with a face as dead as wood, but with wicked little eyes close together, and very much alive. His comrades dissuaded him from going in because they said that they had soared up into the seventh heaven of living lies, and that there was literally nothing which the old man would not believe.

The face of the little archer became a little more wooden as he forced his way in, and when he was inside he looked round with blinking bewilderment. "Ha, the last," said the king heartily, "welcome back again!" There was a long pause, and then the stunted archer said, "What do you mean by 'again'? I have never been here before." The king stared for a few seconds, and said, "I sent you out from this room with the four doors last night." After another pause the little man slowly shook his head. "I never saw you before," he said simply; "you never sent me out from anywhere. I only saw your four turrets in the distance, and strayed in here by accident. I was born in an island in the Greek Archipelago; I am by profession an auctioneer, and my name is Punk."

The king sat on his throne for seven long instants like a statue; and then there awoke in his mild and ancient eyes an awful thing; the complete conviction of untruth. Every one has felt it who has found a child obstinately false. He rose to his height and took down the heavy sword above him, plucked it out naked, and then spoke. "I will believe your mad tales about the exact machinery of arrows; for that is science. I will believe your mad tales about traces of life in the moon; for that is science. I will believe your mad tales about jellyfish turning into gentlemen, and everything turning into anything; for that is science. But I will not believe you when you tell me what I know to be untrue. I will not believe you when you say that you did not all set forth under my authority and out of my house. The other three may conceivably have told the truth; but this last man has certainly lied. Therefore I will kill him."

And with that the old and gentle king ran at the man with uplifted sword; but he was arrested by the roar of happy laughter, which told the world that there is, after all, something which an Englishman will not swallow.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

The Restless Wave

Thinking of Dave, whose funeral was this week, and his love of boats and sailing and all things nautical, here is a poem all about the sea.

The Restless Wave

In rising tide, sail out to save
A boat adrift on the breaking wave
Below in oceans cold and deep
Shipwrecked craft its secret keep
Poseidon, Sea Lord, Majesty
The ruler of the wave and sea

Shipwrecked craft, and voices heard
“Save me” is their final word
The breaking timbers, surging deep
Poseidon dreams, in restless sleep
And ships seek out the peaceful lee
Calm refuge from the stormy sea

Aeolus speaks, and with his breath
Brings tidal wave and windswept death
He makes the stormy chaos cease
And gave us life and light and peace:
The Wind Lord, ruler, strong and free
Brings the winds across the sea

Now the wave unleashed its power
It struck the coast in danger's hour
From rock and tempest, fast it came
But Master Windkey spoke its name
Be still, be still, so let it be
Let there be peace on land and sea.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Jersey Our Island: Another Glory – Part 3

Published in 1950, this is an interesting snapshot of the Island and its customs as it was in the immediate post-war period, and not without humour. Most guide books of the time give the tourist information, or give the impressions of an outsider to the Island, but this is in "inside view", which is rarer. And a view on Queen's Valley, now submerged beneath water as a reservoir.

Jersey Our Island: Another Glory – Part 3
By Sidney Bisson

After the cold silence of the prehistoric tomb it was a relief to find the warm solitude of Queen's Valley, which lies half way between La Hougue Bie and the sea. It is here, supposedly, that Victor Hugo used to come and write when he could tear himself away from his contemplation of the ocean.

Le vallon oii je vans tous les jours est charmant,
Screin, abandonne, seul sous le firmament,
Picin de ronces en fleurs.

It cannot have changed much since he used to sit here and watch the sheep grazing and the little shepherdess drying her feet on the reeds after she had waded across the brook. There are no sheep left, certainly, but one might still write with equal truth

`if it were not for the sound of the workers in the fields, one might doubt the existence of an outer world.'

First the path  follows the brook, nestling under a bank of honeysuckle and bramble. Then it climbs away behind a shoulder to come out again when you are high enough to see the green valley spreading before you and the brook curling away into the distance through the lush meadows.

From the road at the bottom of the valley you catch a glimpse of Grouville Church, where, if you are anxious to return to St. Helier, you can climb a hill and see a view of which an enthusiastic nineteenth century writer exclaimed: `If a Person can behold the Scene in Spring, Summer, or Autumn without temporary Ecstasy, Science forbid that he should ever attempt to paint, or even criticise, a Landscape.'

Instead I followed a winding road into another green and quiet valley with a tributary brook. Though only slightly less enchanting than Queen's Valley it does not seem to have been deemed worthy of a name.

After this the road climbed steeply to give a sudden and unexpected view of Mont Orgueil and the French coast framed in a farmyard gate. And as we climb the scenery changes. Watered meadows give place to field after field of tomatoes, for this is some of the most productive land in the island. But now and then with characteristic Jersey suddenness the land dips and you catch another glimpse of the sea. To the South this time, just to remind us that we are on an island.

It is from one of these glimpses of the sea that a footpath dives down steeply to the tree-lined Swiss Valley, the last before reaching St. Helier. The immediate neighbourhood on the town side has been much built over, but so far the valley remains unspoilt.

In sad contrast is the Grands Vaux Valley to the North of St. Helier, which I visited another day. Here within easy reach of the town was a walk which the older guidebooks recommended. To-day a clutter of unsightly bungalows straddles the foot of the valley. Further up, the brook which ought to meander through the meadows is confined in an ugly concrete channel, as straight as if it had been drawn with a giant's ruler.

As if that were not enough, a row of unsightly poles carrying electric cables has been planted in the middle of the valley, when they might just as easily have been fixed along the road.

I pushed on sadly, wondering what the next indignity would be. It was revealed as I turned a corner a hideous dump stretching right across the valley, an attempt, apparently, to fill in the floor to make it suitable for building. I had never before felt quite so ashamed of my countrymen who could allow such desecration.'

[My anger was misdirected. I discovered later that a large reservoir was to  be built here not houses.]

As I struck up a road that would take me away from this scene of desolation, my anger was partly appeased by the sight of an attractive eighteenth century granite cottage. Since we have very little domestic architecture earlier than that, it is lucky for us that eighteenth century work in Jersey has something of the charm of English Tudor.

Across the road is a relic of a former resident's consideration for wayfarers (not that many come this
way, I imagine) a drinking fountain with the inscription

`Nornine Del Fons Viatoris. E. Stirling fecit, 1868.'

It is the same Mr. Stirling, I presume, who gave the pretentious name of Stirling Castle to a hideous Victorian mansion which stands a little further up the hill. Whoever he was, he would feel sorry, I am sure, if he knew that his fountain for wayfarers had run dry.

At the top of the hill are two unusually ornamental farmhouses, one obviously modernised, the other decently mellow, with the arms of the Poingdestre family worked into its walls.

Then, after passing a curious mixture of grazing cows and concrete bungalows, the road dips again into the other valley that runs towards St. Helier.

After the desecration of Grands Vaux I was prepared for anything in the Vallee des Vaux, as this other one is called. I remembered from my childhood ducks swimming on a brook and a picnic when we called at a farm for milk and were given goats' milk to the indignation of the adults in the party. That, I think, was when I first heard of the curious custom of the young people of St. Helier who during the month of May used to get up very early in the morning and go in parties to the nearest farms to drink milk warns from the cow.

My spirits went up when I rounded the corner. The brook still runs along the roadside, and under it, and out again on the other side. What is more, it is still a home for ducks. It is true that it has a rather tired look, as if it knew that before long it was going to suffer the fate of its neighbour. Still, it manages to stay above ground, and in a more or less natural channel, until it reaches the outskirts of St. Helier when it is excusable for it to disappear into the bowels of a laundry.

Not only did the brook stay by me all the way ; the whole valley remains pleasantly rural with its grassy slopes well dotted with gorse and trees. My friend Godfrey has since told me that the preservation of this valley so near St. Helier is due to the interest which the National Trust for Jersey has taken in it and the public spirit of its owners. The Trust, I gather, is seriously handicapped by lack of funds, a strange state of affairs in an island where appeals for charities are usually overwhelmingly successful.

What is wanted, of course, is a law scheduling the most beautiful parts of the island as perpetual open spaces, but my fellow Jerseymen object strongly to being told that they cannot build where they please.

If I had been writing a guide book and not taking a holiday, I can think of lots of other places I should have visited. There arc other valleys besides those I have written about, other hills besides those I have climbed. I have not been in all the parish churches, nor described all the archaeological curiosities. But nobody on a holiday wants to see everything, and I am not going for any more excursions. Unless, perhaps, I lean back in my armchair, prop my feet on my desk, and take an excursion into the future.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Present but Absent without Leave

While politicians are to be commended for being present at the start of the day, when the roll call of who is present is taken, that is not the whole picture. Some of us with long memories will remember a former politician (whom I won't name) who was often present so not "en default" at the start of a States sitting, but then would bunk off to their business on a fairly frequent basis. It's a bit like being present at the start of the school day, to be there for the register, but then to play truant.

Politicians can be absent from the States Chamber, for example for personal reasons or for official business, but that is legitimate and recorded accordingly. Just missing a vote by being absent from the Chamber - "not present" - essentially either not bothering to be there, or being lax and failing to arrange official absence - is also as important as being "en default". While emergencies can mean sometimes it is not possible to arrange absence from a vote, or sickness may come within a States sitting (it is recorded at the start), this cannot account for more than a small number of instances.

So here are some of the figures. These politicians turn up for roll call - they are never "en default" - but that doesn't mean their record of attendance is spotless, especially where larger numbers are concerned and the emergency random element cannot have happened every time.

Present but Absent without Leave:
States Sittings - 2014-February 2018

Never "En Default" but sometimes "not present for vote".

Graham John Truscott                             
Michel Philip Sydney Le Troquer                  
Jeremy Martin Macon                              
Robert David Johnson                             
Terence Alexander McDonald                       
Andrew Kenneth Francis  Green M.B.E.             
Tracey Anne Vallois                              
Samuel Yves Mezec                                
John Edward Le Maistre                           
Jacqueline Ann Hilton                            
Ian Joseph Gorst                                 
Christopher Hugh Taylor                           
Peter Derek McLinton                             
Kevin Charles Lewis                              
John Alexander Nicholas Le Fondre                
Juliette Gallichan                               
Louise Mary Catherine  Doublet                   
Leonard Norman                                   
Lyndon John Farnham                              

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Deputy Truscott: A Word in His Ear

Deputy Truscott: A Word in His Ear and a Commendation. 

I came across this video of a public meeting attended by Deputy Graham Truscott, in which he is seen to refuse to use a microphone, saying he would prefer to “project” over a protest by Mike Dun, who points out that one in 6 people has a hearing impairment (it's now one in 5). The caption for the video is Deputy Truscott, Assistant Minister at Social Security "ignoring the deaf".

I showed it to a friend who is deaf and uses a hearing aid, and she was quite shocked when she saw it.

In my email to Deputy Truscott, I explained that the problem with “projecting your voice” rather than using a microphone is that in a busy hall, the acoustics make it hard for a person with a hearing impairment to hear.

Modern microphones, like the one used in the clip, and the one used in the hustings, are designed enable people to hear better, not only because it amplifies the sound better in all frequencies, Projecting a voice, however well it is done, cannot do whole audio spectrum amplification. It is a matter of physics.

So I decided to contact Deputy Truscott to find out whether he would commit to use a microphone in future in a public space, and it turned out the truth of the matter was not quite as it appears.

Deputy Truscott explained the microphone used at Communicare is well known for being faulty from time to time. He said:

“The microphone at Communicare is renowned for ‘drop out’. John Le Fondre that night abandoned using it during his speech because of the ‘drop out’ issue. If you check the recording, you will hear that I asked the small audience if they could all hear me before continuing. I have been a supporter of the Deaf Society over many years – supplying computer equipment and services at reduced rates through my business.”

“I do regret repeating what Mike Dunn uttered to me - if I did offend anyone I do apologise and have taken note of your experts advice.”

So I asked Deputy Truscott:

1) Provided the microphone works, can you confirm you will use it in preference to “projecting” at public events?

2) Will you look into the issue of the microphone at Communicare in your capacity as Parish Deputy?

And he replied:

“I do always use a microphone out of preference – it’s just the Communicare microphone is renowned for drop out. I will check with the manager if the system has changed – certainly at the Senatorial hustings the microphone behaved itself.”

I think Deputy Truscott is to be commended, both for apologising for his somewhat curt response to Mike Dun, and for engaging with me regarding that clip, as well as going to look into whether the microphone at Communicare is fixed or still “flakey”. We can all make mistakes, but when a politician owns up to one, they always go up in my estimation.

Meanwhile, while researching this, I noted that the forthcoming Deputy Hustings is to be held at St Bernadette’s Church Hall.

Now one great advantage of a microphone is that it goes directly to a hearing loop system if one is in place..

A hearing loop (sometimes called an audio induction loop) is a special type of sound system for use by people with hearing aids. The hearing loop provides a magnetic, wireless signal that is picked up by the hearing aid when it is set to the ‘T’ (Telecoil) setting. For those with impaired hearing, loops sound systems must be now included in plans for new public buildings.

This is great because it is like having the speaker directly by your ear with no acoustic interference. The Chamber of Commerce also makes sure people asking questions have a “roving microphone” so that everyone can hear – and it can be picked up on a loop system.

Sadly those choosing Hustings locations have neglected to see if this is the case, and while Communicare and the Parish Hall (St Brelade and all Parish Halls) have loop systems, I have since discovered that St Bernardette’s Hall does not.

Hopefully by the next election, with the Disability Discrimination law being enacted, more thought will be given to hustings locations with loop systems.

Loop systems in the Jersey are listed at:
This may not be a fully comprehensive list. If you know of any others, please let me know.


My correspondent Alan Gardiner, has a bit more information on problems with the Communicare microphone.

The Communicare microphone does not just ‘drop-out’. It’s largely  the way people hold it.

"The on/off slider  actually has three positions. Off, Standby and On. For ‘On' there is a definite ‘click’, but if you depress the slider through gripping the microphone too tightly, it it goes into standby - effectively ‘Off’. It;s a quick method of stunning the mic should you need. Similarly to avoid feedback (that high pitched squeal you sometimes get) the mic is uni-directional which means that if you don’t talk directly into it or hold in close enough proximity to your mouth, it may not pick up a signal."

"The desk-top mics they use at the hustings are omni-directional so will pick up the signal so long as you are close enough, and will filter out anything with a weaker sound signal."

"However, in his defence I might add, that no-one gets any instruction in ‘microphone technique’, or advised of any standby feature. I believe the ‘roving mic' at Communicare was updated some time back and switch is now located in the base. It nonetheless still requires that you hold it correctly to your mouth to pick up the signal."

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Parish Matters – Focus on St Brelade

Parish Matters – Focus on St Brelade

Today I thought I would focus on the local issues. We all know the main Island issues, and the manifestoes are full of that, so I thought I would concentrate on seeing how Deputies addressed their local Parish or District and anything to do with that.

Of those Deputies standing - in No 2 - Tony Pike has a huge amount of his manifesto devoted to local matters, although it has to be said that a bit of it is gimmicky - "poop watch" indeed!

Monty Tadier goes for an almost "minimalist" approach, where the new Les Quennevais school appears, but almost in a "supporting role".

Graham Truscott has a tightly focused look at two things he has achieved in the Parish, but not a huge amount on tasks for the future.

Garel Tucker has a concentration on traffic matters around the school, and road safety and also what to do with the Les Quennevais school site.

Of course one issue for Reform is that their manifesto is a document mainly on central governance, so that Parish issues have to be squeezed in to the website, whereas other candidates such as Tony Pike and Graham Truscott can have a whole section devoted to "Parish Matters. On the other hand, it is unlikely that their focus on Islandwide issues will be quite as comprehensive as Reform.

Do people vote primarily for Parish matters or for Island matters? I would have said that in the past, the focus on Parish matters was definitely more of a factor in determining votes. I'm not so sure that it does quite the same way now. It will be interesting to see what transpires at the Hustings.

Tony Pike

St Brelade has some of the most beautiful beaches and coastal areas to be found in the world. Our natural and irreplaceable places are where tourists and locals alike go to relax….

However, Les Blanches Blanques (Sand Dunes) is a veritable minefield of dog mess.

I would propose introducing a “Poop Watch” warden to patrol here, Noirmont, and other public areas with the power to issue a warning, and possibly on the spot fines for repeat offenders who do not have poo bags in their possession. Hopefully, this warden would have more of a deterrent effect than anything else.

I am totally against any further development on our coastline.

St Brelade’s bay is under threat from developers wanting to maximize profit over the small remaining areas that are left , just a stones throw from the beach! This cannot be right. St Brelade’s bay has seen more than it’s fair share of property development over the past thirty years in particular. I say enough is enough, not just in St Brelade -but to the rest of Jersey’s coastline.

In St Aubin’s bay we have this problem that reoccurs every year, that simply must be addressed. Work must be done to eliminate the scorce of nitrates flowing into the bay which cause the problem, both from farmers fields and Bellozanne. I support the SOS Jersey idea of placing oyster beds in the bay to help clean the sea of these nitrates. The blight of sea lettuce every year does absolutely nothing to attract visitors to our shores- it must be tackled as a matter of urgency.

Les Quennevais Precinct: The precinct has over the past few years taken on a very run down look, with currently six retail outlets not let out to new business. These issues reflect badly on our parish and needs to be addressed with some imaginative thought on how it could be made more inviting and pleasant to shop around.

Monty Tadier

If re-elected, I will focus on the key areas of Housing, Health Care and Education, including championing the new Les Quennevais School.

I will also champion environmental issues in the parish and in the island.

Graham Truscott

I negotiated with the CI Co-Operative Society, for a much needed bus shelter to be erected on their land at Red Houses. I thank the Society for also agreeing to pay for half the costs from their Community Scheme Fund.

As Assistant Minister for Social Security: with political responsibility for the Back to Work Initiative I instigated an ongoing work experience programme for the long term unemployed to help maintain the Railway Walk.

New Les Quennevais School: I’ve been involved with the project from the beginning and will continue to support it through to its opening. I’d favour a mixed housing development on the old site.

Garel Tucker

When I moved to St.Brelade, I was struck by the friendliness of the community and made to feel very welcome. It is a great place to work, live and bring up a family. I feel that now is the right time for me to give something back to the Parish and the island that I love. If elected as Deputy in St Brelade no. 2, I intend to be a visible and active part of our community, in the parish and in the States.

In Les Quennevais and La Moye, traffic flow has become an increasing problem. This is in part due to the popularity of the area, the success of its schools, and a general increase in the island’s population. I have petitioned the States to have a Pedestrian Crossing installed outside of La Moye School. Traffic along Route Orange can be very heavy at times, frequently with speeding vehicles. The department for Infrastructure has agreed in principle to a crossing, which I believe will greatly improve road safety, reducing speeding, as well as providing a convenient, safe amenity for the many residents who cross for the school, the shops, the golf course and the country park.

The new Les Quennevais School has been long overdue and will finally give students the building they deserve. I am keen that the community is consulted properly on the use of the old school site before any decisions are made.

Mike Jackson

I shall give active support to the Schools, Clubs, Churches, societies, charities and organisations based in the Parish and promote their future development as well as that of our rich heritage.

I will ensure continued investment in our roads and infrastructure in an environmentally sympathetic manner as well as improving paths in the interests of walkers and cyclists.

I am presently a Centenier and shall continue to encourage recruitment to the honorary police to ensure this backbone of our way of life continues to prosper and adapts to modern needs and be conscious of world events and the effects of extremism.

Marylin Carre

I love my Parish and would like to see a number of contentious issues revisited and brought to a healthy resolution. These include parking in St Aubin’s Village and all the anomalies which surround this; licencing of premises where appropriate, and regulation of noise pollution.

John Young

A compromise solution proposed by the Constable to the problems of car parking in St Aubin did not find support at the recent Parish Assembly. The Parish has been given notice by the Infrastructure Department that the Parish Hall car park must loose its free disc parking and pay cards introduced. This unsatisfactory decision has to be reviewed and choices will be required balancing the competing interests, which can only be achieved by more consultation with local residents and village businesses. A safety audit of St Aubin’s shared vehicle/pedestrian junction is also required in the light of the tragedy in St Helier. I am concerned about the safety of cycles using Mont Les Vaux and would like explore improvements.

The recent planning decision to allow the despoliation of Wayside in the coastal strip of St Brelades Bay which will reduce open views and public access to the sea, is further urbanisation of our coastline. Such ruination, following on from the overdevelopment of the former Zanzibar site next door for a wealthy resident in the bay will lead to Costa del Jersey if allowed to continue unchecked. The decision overrides the amendment to the Island Plan which I successfully brought in 2014 to protect the bay from over development. If elected I will ensure (by seeking office or bringing propositions) that the power of planning law is used to PROPERLY protect our coasts as it is intended to do. Our coastline belongs to us all and is not the exclusive province of the wealthy.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Rich Immigrants: Better Vetting Needed?

I came across a recent of information request from April 2018 which highlights the vagueness of the tests relating to of foreign nationals coming to Jersey as high worth value residents. The reply gave the current policy as follows, and I give the reply before the question so it can be seen how lacking it is in specifics compared to the much more stringent approach taken by Philip Ozouf when he was tasked with looking at some potential applicants. 

Current Position (as per FOE request 28 November 2017):

The States of Jersey (Economic Development, Tourism Sport and Culture - Locate Jersey) carry out background checks on all individuals who apply for High Value Residency. This includes Thomson Reuters World Check, Jersey Financial Services Commission, States of Jersey Police and open-source checks. As part of their application ‘pack’, applicants are required to provide a clean police (DBS) check from their country of residence plus two business and two personal references. Applicants must also provide a financial statement showing their wealth as well as tax returns for preceding years. Full transparency is expected.

In addition to checks carried out by the States of Jersey as part of the application process, ordinarily, applications are prepared on behalf of applicants, by legal or accountancy firm who also carry out due-diligence as part of their 'take-on' of the client.

Any existing wealth that a High Value Resident transfers to Jersey would be scrutinised by their acting intermediary firm as part of their AML/CFT 'Know Your Client' procedures and would also be subject to any controls imposed by the Jersey Financial Services Commission.

FOE Question 

Given the recent issue of foreign nationals coming to Jersey as high worth value residents formerly 1.1K, are Senator Philip Ozouf's tests (which he applied when he was vetting applicants) still in use?

These were:

1. What passport does holder have. If one of their passports is from a country on the UK Foreign Office ‘High Risk’ list, and the holder of the passport has been resident in the UK for more than 5 years but only holds a passport from the high risk country - major concerns and questions should be asked (presumption of non-approval being more than 50%). In demonstrating a continuing allegiance to a high risk country, serious questions arise as dua l nationality would be a demonstration of a staged or planned exit from the high risk country.

2.Of the net assets that the applicant can evidence, what percentage of those assets remain based or derive from business activities in the high risk country referred to in 1. If more than 50%, even greater presumption for refusal or in potentially high profile or even serious diplomatic outcomes best option may be a ‘non-decision’.

3. Of the percentage of assets domiciled or originating from the high risk country, what percentage of the assets are derived from extractive sectors, eg mining, oil etc or activities which require specific Government high level sanction. If the percentage is within a range of 30-60%, then the presumption is that the application should, for reputational safeguarding, almost certainly result in rejection or a non-decision because of the risks associated in the individual’s past, present and ongoing links with what is inevitable a political regime that has serious corruption, security and other financial crime concerns which would blemish Jerseys gold standard reputation.

If these tests are not applied, what other tests are applied? Can these be detailed?
Who is the Minister responsible for checking applicants?


The policy for 2(1) (e) applications is outlined at:

The Chief Minister is responsible for the Control of Housing and Work (Jersey) Law 2012, and delegates these powers to the Assistant Chief Minister.

Further information on the relevant checks is also included in:

Those are the checks outlined at the start of this blog.

In the States sitting of 21st March 2018, Senator Bailhache (as Minister for External Relations) did say that:

‘As far as the admission of Russian nationals to the Island is concerned under 21E of the relevant law, one must bear in mind that all such applicants are subject to very stringent inquiries by a number of relevant authorities in the Island before a decision is taken by the relevant minister to admit that person to the Island as a so-called wealthy immigrant."

"I think it is fair to say that the recent developments involving certain very rich individuals resident in the United Kingdom will lead to even more stringent approaches by the relevant authorities in Jersey, when such applications are made under article 21E.’

And when Deputy Mézec asked whether having close links to the Russian government should become ‘grounds for refusal’ to be accepted as a 21E, the Senator replied:"I think that all relevant considerations, and the Deputy has mentioned one of them, would be taken into account in making such a decision."

However, that was on 21 March 2018, the Freedom of Information request was made around the 20th April 2018, and there is no sign at all of any "more stringent approaches" of the kind which were in place when Senator Ozouf was an Assistant Minister. I think this shows a lax approach, either to informing the public of any changes (in the FOE request) or of actually doing anything to improve matters.

It is likely that not much will be done until after the elections in May, but it is to be hoped that the new house will ensure that any External Relations Minister follows through on the unrealised promise of Sir Philip Baihache and bring in more stringent vetting, perhaps using Philip Ozouf's questions as guidance.

It would be also be interesting to know where those trying for Senator in those elections stand on that matter.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Discuss in the Dark

This Sunday, one of my favourite short pieces by G.K. Chesterton. It is a kind of modern parable, but it highlights an argument that Chesterton wants to make, which is just because a great many people want to change something, for a variety of reasons, they should first discuss what it actually is there for, and the basic philosophy behind it. But as often with Chesterton, he does it with a story...

Discuss in the Dark
by G.K. Chesterton

Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. 

A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, “Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good–” 

At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush for the lamp-post, the lamp-post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmediaeval practicality. 

But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. 

Some thought it not enough of a lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. 

So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, to-morrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light. 

Only what we might have discussed under the gas-lamp, we now must discuss in the dark.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Sorrow Song

Rather tired this week, so I'm taking a poem from my "back catalogue". This is from the 8th May 2005.

Sorrow Song

I heard a voice crying, and it said sing
Sad music to tell of the sorrow I bring,
Song of sorrow, full of sadness, tears
Of our life, of seventy or eighty years;
If strong, yet full of troubles, sorrow,
Life is soon over, gone the morrow,
Laughter may hide sadness, and so
When happiness is gone, left sorrow.
And I ask, how long must I endure
How long is there trouble, no cure?
But sorrow fills my heart both day
And night. How long, must I say
I have nothing but sorrow to eat?
A large cup of tears bittersweet,
For my sorrow cannot be healed;
I am sick at heart, but concealed
In exhaustion, and silent weeping,
Shortens my life, my heart beating
But weak, bones wasting away:
An exile of laments, time to pray,
As my heart breaks, and a wave
Of sorrow over my soul, I rave
As chaos comes as flood roaring,
And sorrow cascades thundering
Like waterfalls upon the Jordan;
So watch with me, for my lifespan,
That I may in your presence belong
For your love is so sure and strong
Then you will surely remove the cloud
Of sorrow hanging over like a shroud;
The time for sorrow and for mourning
Will be over, instead joy and dancing;
You will comfort all who sorrow still
And turn mourning into joy, your will
For happiness, dance, a time to rejoice
Sorrow into gladness is then our choice;
Those who trust in you, will surely find
Their strength renewed, not here to bind,
But to rise on wings like eagles, so rising
To be free from sorrow, end of grieving;
Now we sing the sorrow song in which
An exchange is made, no magic witch,
But deeper magic comes from beyond
A promise of light coming, of a bond
Between you and us, and joyful song
Of promised land where we belong.