Friday, 31 May 2019

The Jersey Blue Cross 1939 - Part 2

I happened across this copy of the "Official Magazine of the JSPCA" entitled "The Jersey Blue Cross", which dates from March 1939 and shows how long the JSPCA has been helping animals in Jersey.

This is also an opportunity to donate, and please consider either membership or a donation, either one off or monthly to help the work of the organisation. Please enjoy reading this and do consider donating in one way or another.

The Jersey Blue Cross Magazine
March 1939
Official Magazine of the JSPCA

Sir Robert Gower receives the key
of the new hospital


I HAVE nothing but praise for the splendid work which is being carried on in Jersey on behalf of the Animal Welfare Cause.

On my arrival at St. Helier I received a very warm and hearty welcome from the Officials of the Jersey Society, and subsequently was entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Coutanche at their beautiful home, the view from which surpasses description. 

I subsequently had the privilege of performing the Opening Ceremony of the Dogs' Hospital, and I desire to congratulate Mr. Stephens, the indefatigable Manager of the Jersey Society, on the excellent arrangements he had made for this function.

Nurse C Brown admistering radio heat treatment

I was very pleasurably surprised when visiting the Animals' Shelter, including as it does the new Dogs' Home, and although, since I have had the honour to be Chairman of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, I have inspected many similar establishments, I must admit that I have never before visited a finer or better equipped Institution. I was particularly impressed by the arrangements for lighting and heating the Dogs' Hospital, and the department for electrical and radiant heat treatment which I saw. The Officials of the Home appeared to me to regard their work as a labour of love. I most sincerely felicitate the ,Jersey Society on the success which has attended its efforts.

Following the opening of the Dogs' Hospital, it gave me very great pleasure indeed to attend a tea party at the Pomme d'Or Hotel, and to request His Excellency, the Lieutenant-Governor, who graced the Opening Ceremony with his presence, to formally present to Mr. H. E. Stephens the Society's Bronze Medal in recognition of the splendid and devoted work for animals which he has done.

I would like particularly to thank Mr. Coutanche the Bailiff of the Island, for the too flattering observations which he made with regard to me in his speech after the tea.

I was very pleased to witness the enthusiastic way in which Mr. and Mrs. Coutanche are supporting the work of the Society. It must be a source of great encouragement to the Animal Workers to feel that they have the support of the chief citizens of the Island.

I also had the privilege of inspecting the State Abattoir, where I had the pleasure of meeting several members of the Island's Legislative Assembly. I have no hesitation in describing this Abattoir as being of a model nature, and I desire to congratulate the State Committee which is responsible for its management, as also the Inspector, Mr. H. Gaudin, on the efficient way in which it is conducted. Here again, although I have inspected many Abattoirs both in England and France, I have not visited one which is better equipped or more efficiently conducted.

I cannot refrain from recording the great pleasure it gave me to inspect the famous herds of Jersey cattle belonging respectively to Mr, J. A. Perree and Mr. Carlyle le Gallais. What particularly struck me was the very friendly and almost doglike attitude shown by the cattle, not only to towards those who looked after them, but to me " a strange visitor."

I desire to thank Mr. T. Le Q. Blampied, Mr. E. F. Guiton, and Mr. N. A. Allport for the kindness they showed to me during my visit 

It was with very great regret that my stay on the beautiful Island of Jersey was so short. The hospitality shown to me by Mr. and Mrs. Coutanche and Mr. Baal, and others, inspired in me a sense of gratitude.

 I hope to be able to visit the Island again in the near future and to have once more the pleasure of being conducted over Mont Orgeuil Castle by Major Rybot who, like myself, is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

Whilst at Jersey I had an opportunity of attending a sitting of the Royal Court of the States of Jersey, and being myself a Chairman of a Court of Summary Jurisdiction in England, I was very favourably impressed by the manner in which justice was administered.

I left the Island feeling that it would be very difficult to improve upon the time honoured customs under which the Island is administered, and I was particularly gratified at the keenness and enthusiasm shown by everyone, with whom I came into touch, for the Animal Welfare Cause.

Quick Notes

We have noted through the medium of the English Kennel Club Calendar, just issued, that Mr. N. A. Allport, our Honorary Treasurer, has been elected a Member, Congratulations !

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

A Funding Money-Go-Round

A Funding Money-Go-Round

Deputy Morel asked:

As the cost of joining Liberation Square with Weighbridge Place for the Liberation 75 celebrations is now being borne by the States of Jersey Development Company rather the Growth, Housing and Environment Department, will the Minister advise the Assembly of any plans she has for the £2 million that had been allocated in the recent budget to the department for that same work?

The reply by Susie Pinel (Treasury Minister) notes that:

“One funding solution identified being an element of the return due from JDC.’s (States of Jersey Development Company) College Gardens housing scheme. This was identified as an appropriate route, with profits made by the States wholly-owned company being used to pay for improvements in public realm. Officers are finalising this proposal. 

She also adds that because of a more detailed “feasibility study” that:

“I understand from the Growth, Housing and Environment Department that the scheme is now likely to cost £3 million, not £2 million, and I await an explanation of the variations when I consider the recommendation of officers.”

Now the JDC’s College Garden Scheme was to have yielded a dividend to be returned to the States – the first in many years, I should note – as unlike Andium they seem to swallow up all their profits internally.

So what this means is that the income from a dividend to the States from the JDC’s College Gardens Scheme would be reduced by £3 million. 

Effectively, the States would be £3 million worse off, which is the same as if the JDC had given the full dividend, and the States had funded the £3 million!

Saying that the cost of such a scheme – now, thankfully on hold – would be “borne by the States of Jersey Development Company” is very misleading, because of the effect of this money-go-round!

Incidentally, the last Annual Review and Accounts for the JDC are only available to 2017!

Saturday, 25 May 2019


A poem from the "back catalogue" today. This was written in 22/07/2004. The illustration above is
by Salvador Dalí and entitled "Lazare, Veni Foras"


I lie there, in the darkness of the mind
The future dims, and I feel so blind
Around me, enfolding, is a sheet of white
Tightly wrapped around with might
Holding me fast within its clammy grip
A shroud so strong, it will not rip
Despite my efforts to break this bond
There is no give, it will not respond
I let go, and fall into the deep abyss
The darkness closing inwards so amiss
And then the strands part, threads break
With screeching sound like a mandrake
Into dust, the shroud dissolves away
Leaving me free, loosed from its sway
To rise up, and see the dawning light
The new day will be so very bright.

Friday, 24 May 2019

The Jersey Blue Cross 1939 - Part 1

I happened across this copy of the "Official Magazine of the JSPCA" entitled "The Jersey Blue Cross", which dates from March 1939 and shows how long the JSPCA has been helping animals in Jersey.

This is also an opportunity to donate, and please consider either membership or a donation, either one off or monthly to help the work of the organisation. Please enjoy reading this and do consider donating in one way or another. 

The Jersey Blue Cross Magazine
March 1939
Official Magazine of the JSPCA

Birds Eye View of the Jersey Animals Shelter


A VERY warm welcome awaited our Chairman, Sir Robert Gower, M.P., when he visited Jersey in order to open the new Dogs' Hospital at the Animals' Shelter of the Jersey S.P.C.A.

The Chairman, who was accompanied by Captain Pulleine, Regional Organiser, was met at the quayside by Mrs. Coutanche, Mr. H. J. Baal, President of the Jersey S.P.C.A., Mr. N. Allport, the Honorary Treasurer, and Mr. H. E. Stephens, the Manager of the Animals' Shelter.

His Excellency the Lieut.-Governor, Major- General Sir Horace Martelli, was among those present at the opening of the Dogs' Hospital in the afternoon. Mr. Baal presided at the ceremony, which was very brief. Sir Robert was presented with the key of the hospital by the head nurse.

The party was then entertained to tea at the Pomme d'Or Hotel. The Bailiff, Mr. A. M. Coutanche, said that he had been entrusted with the very pleasant task of expressing a welcome to Sir Robert Gower on his first visit to Jersey. He thanked Sir Robert for having performed the opening ceremony, and said that they were very appreciative of his visit. He then asked the Lieut.-Governor to present Sir Robert with a silver key in appreciation of his kindness.

Sir Robert Gower, who was received with great and prolonged applause, thanked His Excellency for presenting him with the key, a gift which he would always treasure ; he also thanked the Bailiff for his words of welcome. He felt it a very great honour to be with them and to be asked to perform the ceremony, because he realised, and the Council of the R.S.P.C.A. realised, that Jersey and its society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, were in the forefront of the movement. 

He could assure them that on several occasions when the Animal Welfare Group in the House of Commons had met, he had quoted Jersey as being in the forefront of the countries which had passed legislation of a most progressive kind relating to animals.

The Jersey Society was to be congratulated on having Mr. Baal as President, and he was sure that Mr. Stephens was the right man in the right place. A great deal of the success of their society was due to his efforts.

Exterior of the new dogs hospital

"As Chairman of the R.S.P.C.A.," added Sir Robert, " it is my duty to inspect a good many institutions, and I can say that during the ten years I have been Chairman I have not visited a more excellent and up-to-date institution than the one I have seen this afternoon. I have no doubt at all that your society will go on from strength to strength."

Captain Pulleine, in the course of a short speech, expressed the great regret of the Chief Secretary, Captain MacCunn, at his inability to be present.

Sir Robert Gower then asked the Lieut.-Governor to present Mr. Stephens with the R.S.P.C.A. Bronze Medal and Certificate. In making the presentation His Excellency said that lie could not imagine any medal being more richly deserved.

On the following morning a large party, including Sir Robert Gower and Captain Pulleine, after being shown the State Abattoirs and Quarantine Station, were taken on a tour of the Island and were entertained to lunch at Bouley Bay by the President of the Jersey S.P.C.A., Mr. Baal. They were afterwards entertained to tea by Mr. Blampied, the States' Veterinary Surgeon.

In the evening a banquet was given at the Pomine d'Or Hotel, at which the Lieut.-Governor and Lady Martelli, and all the leading people in the island were present. The Attorney-General, Mr. C. W. Duret Aubin, proposed the health of Sir Robert Gower ; our Chairman's response was received with great enthusiasm.

The whole company then went on to a Ball at the West Park Pavilion, at which some 500 people were present.

On Saturday evening the. Bailiff and Mrs. Coutanche gave a large cocktail party to which all the supporters of the Jersey S.P.C.A. were invited. Everyone was introduced to Sir Robert.

Afterwards our Chairman, Captain Pulleine, the Bailiff and Mrs. Coutanche were entertained to dinner by Captain Bolitho. After dinner a most interesting discussion took place as to the possibility of framing further humane legislation on the island.

Jock Receives attention from the nurses


OUR grateful thanks are due to all those Ladies and Gentlemen who entertained, lent cars, or in any other way helped towards the success of the visit to Jersey of Sir Robert Gower and Captain Pulleine.

To Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Baal for the gift of provisions for our Bridge Tea, also to many who sent beautiful cakes, either direct or through the medium of some of our helpers ; to Messrs. Tanguy for the gift of milk and butter ; to all who sent along those lovely prizes ; to the Management of the Ritz Hotel, who once again gave us the use of the luxurious lounge, and also helped us in many other kind ways ; last, but by no means least, to all the Ladies who worked so hard both in the morning preparing tea and in the afternoon, and to Mrs. H. J. Baal, for kindly presenting the prizes. To all, please accept our sincere and grateful thanks.

To Mrs. N. A. Allport for the gift of a number of dog coats for use in our Hospital, which were so splendidly made and are of the greatest service to us at all times.

To our many friends who have sent us in medicine bottles and linen for use in our clinic, and also gifts of old newspapers.

The Manager gives some sound advice


OUR Annual Bridge Afternoon was held at the Ritz lounge, on Thursday, February 23rd, which was again kindly placed at our disposal by the Ritz Hotel Management. There were about 180 players, who all seemed to spend a most enjoyable afternoon.
The special committee responsible for the arrangements was : Mrs. Crawford, Mrs. A. Le Sueur, Mrs. E. P. Marett, and Mrs. F. M. Burrell, who, together with a band of very willing helpers, worked very hard to ensure the comfort of all' concerned. We were very sorry that Mrs. Crawford, who had worked so hard in all the previous arrangements for this function, was unable to be with us that afternoon owing to indisposition, and we are delighted to know she is once more about in her usual health.



We have received the photograph of " Jenny " in appreciation for services rendered. She was one of our 590 hospital cases during 1938, and underwent a very serious operation. After many weeks of nursing she slowly, but surely, recovered. The photograph was taken after her return home.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Jersey Animal Shelter Family Day

I'm very pleased to promote this event which is being held at Reg's Garden. Please do go along!

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Deputy Farley paints grim picture of beach pollution

Some bonus history (not in my regular Friday slot) from the JEP of 1958, a time when St Brelade’s Bay has raw sewage being discharged onto its sands and sea, which is a far cry from the present, where it is one of the best beaches and cleanest in the British Isles. 

It should be noted that contrary to some remarks made by one parishioner, raw sewage is not discharged onto any Island beach, including St Aubin’s Bay. Some treated and bacteria free water is sent into the sea, but there is no raw sewage being released. For further details of the process, see:

Deputy Farley paints grim picture of beach pollution
Is tourism publicity honest he asks?
February 6, 1958

When the States met this morning the discussion of the progress report of the sewerage board was continued Part 4 of which was started on Tuesday.

Proposing the adoption of this section, Deputy Farley spoke at considerable length in support of the board's request to be allowed to proceed with the Trunk sewer from St Brelade’s Bay to St Aubin this summer, the construction of the Trunk sewer from Don bridge in the spring of next year and the construction of branch sewers in the Pont Marquet, Red Houses, Airport and Route de Tabor areas in the autumn of next year.

In the report the board also reminded the house that all the necessary documents for the construction of the Dyke-Le Croc section of the Eastern trunk sewer were ready and tenders could be called for without delay.

Deputy Farley said that it was clearly his duty to tell the house why the St Brelade’s Bay work should be treated as of extreme urgency. On Tuesday last the house had the advantage of hearing the opinion expressed by the only member qualified to speak on it on the danger to public health which existed in the bay and he hoped that this morning Senator Avarne would elaborate on the brief statement he had then made for the Senator was far better qualified to speak of the danger to health than he himself was.

From the Civil Engineering point of view he could explain to the house that at present there were two outfall sewers in the Bay. One served St Brelade’s Bay hotel only and discharged at LWST (Low Water Slack Tide) that sounded far enough away but in fact it was a point 100 yards from and in line with the end of the jetty. The other one which dealt with all the sewage from the rest of the Bay discharged above LWST at a point almost opposite Hotel l'Horizon. The result was that at low water the sewage was spent over that portion of the beach and at anytime in the summer members could see, as he had seen, children walking about in crude sewage as it lay on the beach.

There was no need for him to stress how objectionable this was to eye and nose but far more serious was the danger from bacteria. Owing to the shape of the Bay as the tide rose the sewage was carried further up the beach and spread over a wider area. Some very little in point of fact was carried out by the falling tide unless the wind was contrary but the greater part remained for several tides either on the beach itself or in shallow water just off the beach where it was a danger to Bathers.

He held in his hand the tourism committee’s new booklet in which the Bay of St Brelade was described in almost lyrical language. There was a photograph of people on the beach and it must be through the art of the photographer that the outfall was not shown! But it was there amongst those people on the beach.

This was not the time to congratulate the tourism committee on this exceptionally produced booklet but money was never the less being spent on advertising the island in many ways - with a flamboyant display in Piccadilly and in other ways. But he queried was it honest to go on doing that knowing that these people who came here were being encouraged to use beaches where considerable danger to public health existed?

Turning to the question of the drainage of the higher land in St Brelade the speaker said that in the Quennevais and Pont Marquet areas the public health committee had in its wisdom stopped further building on the advice of the experts who held that a danger to public health existed there through insufficient soakaways. But in St Brelade's Bay the same committee had in their wisdom made no such restrictions and allowed almost unrestricted building! 

He had no figures but he believed he was correct in claiming that visitor accommodation in the bay had increased by 20 to 25 in the past 2 years and that at a time when the beach was already the most dangerous from the public health point of view in the Island. 

He did not altogether blame the public health committee which had reason to believe the bay would be drained as the board was proposing now and that it would have been wrong for the house to decide otherwise the board was asking for approval of this scheme so they could go out to tender after the next supply day April 10th.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Language and Xenophobia

Saturday's Jersey Evening Post was full of the story of the rape of a young woman by 5 Farm workers. One of the features which has been picked up particularly on social media is the fact that these Farm workers has all come over from Romania and were all Romanian nationals.

It is not perhaps surprising but disappointing to see some commentators using this as an opportunity to fuel xenophobia. A good example is Mark Baker who wrote:

“Going to cost us over 3 million to imprison them because we won't vet people who come to jersey”

This is from the life improving “guru” who also writes that “Nothing is sadder than an amputated spirit.”

But isn’t his remark worthy of narrow minded amputated spirit?

One of the features of the defence case was that they had had no previous convictions in their own country. So quite how vetting could prevent such a horrific event happening when there were no indicators of previous criminal behaviour is unclear - but it does not stop Mr Baker from propagating his pernicious opinions.

It should be said that the majority of Romanians coming to Jersey are ordinary people like you and me. The trouble with news reports is that they always bring a focus on bad news and we hear very little about those people who go about their daily business in a law-abiding manner.

While there has not been a case of gang rape in the Channel Islands before – I’ve been looking back on cases of previous rapes and one murders after an attempted rapes, and it is clear that (rather as common sense suggests) that nationality is no predicator of such criminal behaviour.

In one case which ended in the murder of a nurse after an attempted rape, the perpetrator was a young Irishman from Belfast. By Mr Bakers curious logic there should be positive vetting of every member of Jerseys Irish population, because whenever they came to Jersey, there could be something sinister in their background!

But of course people coming from Ireland speak English as their native language where people coming from other European countries have English as a Second Language. This is the crux of the matter and where some of the xenophobia is deeply rooted. If it is not skin colour, it is language. It is what makes someone different.

The story of the tower of Babel is of course a miss but it demonstrates a very real truth that languages can cause barriers and ferment xenophobia. We should not surrender to this kind of tribalism which still exists in a secular form even though the tribal gods have been forgotten.

I was told by someone walking through town that they heard a number of people talking on their way to work in foreign languages that they did not understand, but why on earth should they speak English when talking to each other if it is not their first language?

Had a migrant come to Jersey over 300 years ago (before the Napoleonic wars), they would have found that the locals mostly spoke either Jerriais the local patois or French to each other. French was and is still one of the official languages of the states of Jersey. A ban on using Jerriais in schools in favour of English is one of the main reasons for the decline in Jerriais.

It would then have been the locals who would have complained about the migrants coming to Jersey who did not speak either Jersey French or French.

Something to ponder!

Saturday, 18 May 2019


Seeing a recent documentary on Brexit, I was struck by how little was achieved during Mrs May's premiership. She began with empty slogans - remember "Brexit means Brexit" - and the lunacy continued with "We want a Red, White and Blue Brexit". 

Meanwhile, the ardent Brexiteer Ministers, David Davies and Boris Johnson tried their arguments against the European Union, and failed miserably to achieve anything. As was noted, “there can be few more symbolic pictures than the shot of Barnier and his team with large dossiers in front of them, and David Davies and his team empty-handed.”.

The most appalling spectacle of the documentary, however, was Mrs May bounding onto the Conservative Party platform, dancing to the tune of ABBA's Dancing Queen. The EU team didn't say much - they didn't need to, the sense of embarrassment was palpable. Even the fictional Jim Hacker never attempted anything so vacuous. As a writer noted, it was "a tribute act bereft of ideas, principles or basic competence".

So here is a poem about her downfall, and the vultures waiting in the wings, ready to take her place, as with for example Boris Johnson,  who was recently seen punching his fist in the air in which seemed like a deja vue, as it brought back memories of Donald Trump, another demagogue populist, doing likewise.


Once she seemed strong and stable
Determined, confident, and proud
But little by little, became less able
As clamour to leave became so loud

Time wasted, and the years slipped by
The National Interest was her creed
A Dancing Queen, left high and dry
Ignoring Scots, but wearing tweed

And in the wings, the vultures wait
Greedy eyes, and grasping hands
Rich pickings as she meets her fate
Each come with their adoring fans

Brexit: she will leave without a deal
And now funeral bells begin to peal

Friday, 17 May 2019

Lions Club Jersey - February 1971 - Part 4

My mother having a sort out of old bits and pieces came across a “Lions Club” magazine for Jersey, from February 1971, which has some interesting material in it. Here’s a selection and some of the advertising material.

Visit of the Sealed Knot

LION ADRIAN TROY provides us with these brief notes notes on the siege of Mont Orgueil Castle, a dramatic scene which will be enacted by some 150 members of the Sealed Knot on May 15th. This will take place at Gorey during the afternoon.

In the morning the battle for Elizabeth Castle will be witnessed from West Park sands.

15.00-THE SIEGE of 1643

a. The commentator will give the opening narrative and the Royalist defenders of Gorey Castle (Lady de Carteret and son Philip) will be seen entering the castle to salutes of the garrison.

b. Major Lydcott, the parliamentary Lt.-Gen. of Jersey then arrives with his forces and recces the castle, the guns fire at him and he retires, having failed to persuade Lady de C to surrender.

August, 1643.

c. A boat appears bringing supplies from Carteret for the castle.

d. Lydcott returns and invests the castle. Cannon fire is exchanged and then a determined sortie is made by the Royalists who overrun the parliamentary earthworks and capture Lydcott's guns.-

September, 1643.

e. Lydcott returns with more men and guns, seige resumed. f. The " reinforcements " are seen to arrive from France (a trick to deceive Lydcott). This deception is successful and there follows a strong sortie which drives Lydcott away and captures his guns, etc. Jersey is then free of parliamentary rule as Lydcott, Lempriere and others flee the Island.

October-November, 1643.


a. Captain George de Carteret has taken over command and imprisons Dean Bandinel and his son (they are seen being led to the castle in chains).-November, 1643.

b. The garrison make merry on the green, but someone discovers the body of Dean Bandinel-who had fallen to his death when escaping the previous night. -

February, 1644.


a. Prince Charles visits the castle with great ceremony. Royal salutes, etc.-April, 1646.

b. Prince Charles is proclaimed King Charles II.-June, 1646.

16.51-THE SIEGE OF 1651

a. Parliamentary Commander General Haynes arrives with large force of Roundheads, engines of war and many guns.

After a fierce bombardment, smoke is rising from the battlements and the Roundheads make their first assault with an engine of war at the main door. There are terrible casualties, the engine is set on fire and the Roundheads retire.

October, 1651.

b. The guns open fire again and soon the castle appears to be on fire (smoke pots) in many places. As columns of smoke rise from the battlements the Roundheads swarm forward to the cry " God and Parliament." Using scaling ladders they carry the outer defences and enter the castle. Firing then ceases and de Carteret surrenders with due ceremony. An article of Capitulation is signed. The Roundheads then enter the castle with all cannon etc. and the pageant ends as the great doors close behind them.


WE feel sure that all Lions will offer congratulations and best wishes for the future to Lion Mike Rumfitt on his appointment to the Board of Directors of the " Jersey Evening Post." Mike has occupied the " Hot seat " of News Editor in this newspaper for some years and his elevation to the Board is a well deserved honour.


AS we go to press we learn that President John Stilwell is not in the best of health. We all wish John a speedy return to normal.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

The Medium Term Financial Plan: An Electoral and Democratic Straight Jacket

The Medium Term Financial Plan: An Electoral and Democratic Straight Jacket

At the Chamber of Commerce Lunch on 15 May 2019, I asked Susie Pinel what she thought about the Medium Term Financial Plan, and how it constrained the budget until a new one is passed, which will be well into 2020, nearly two years after the general election. This is something, I noted, which you will not find in the UK, the Isle of Man or Guernsey.

She said that some kind of continuity was needed until a new MTFP was passed, but that doesn’t really answer the question, which is why other countries manage perfectly well without this constraint.

Moreover, voting when there are rigid fiscal constraints, and whoever is voted in will not be able to make changes, is not conducive to democracy. Why vote for change, if change is blocked by the MTFP until well into the lifetime of a new States?

It is useful to consider what has happened in the UK when there has been a significant change of government from one party to another. Obviously, when a party retains power, no budgetary changes are made early in the lifetime of a parliament, but when there is change, the new party introduces a new budget – usually very early in the lifetime of the parliament.

As can be seen from the historical examples set out below, below, sometimes there is a modest change, sometimes hardly any changes, and sometimes what might be termed a seismic shift, as when Mrs Thatcher came to power. Just imagine if she had been constrained by Denis Healey’s budgetary policy for two years after 1979! The mandate on which she stood had indicated a significant change of direction, and not to permit that – whatever you think of her or her policies – would have been a punch in the face of the electorate.

The important thing to note is that while a new party in power may only make minor changes to their predecessors budget, they do so with due speed, not delay, and they have the freedom to make whatever changes they want, even if they decide to follow the previous budget.

In this way, the electorate, when they vote for change, gets change and gets it early on in the lifetime of Parliament, not over a third into a term of office. Democracy is wells served by this.

Contrary to what the Treasury Minister said, the UK - and indeed other small Crown Dependencies - manage perfectly well with this kind of arrangement. It is Jersey which introduces an element of rigidity which stands out from tried and tested practice elsewhere.

Now Jersey does not have parties, but nevertheless, with John Le Fondré we saw a significant break in continuity. The previous line of incumbents as Chief Minister were Frank Walker, Terry Le Sueur and Ian Gorst (twice), and both Terry and Ian had been Ministers in their predecessor’s government. 

In this kind of situation, the development of a Medium Term Financial Plan - because of the element of continuity - made sense as a means of preventing short term solutions. The downside was that it prevented change when the electorate and the States Assembly indicated they wanted change. This was the unexpected consequence which we saw in 2018.

John le Fondré was a significant change, having not been a Minister previously, and appointing a Council of Ministers with only two previous Ministers (Lyndon Farnham and Susie Pinel), and no existing Assistant Ministers apart from Steve Pallet. Like the Chief Minister, most of his Ministerial colleagues were new to the job.

While the lack of an election mandate meant that a policy statement had to be produced as a first task, there was really no reason why the December 2018 budget could not have been an opportunity for a change in direction, except that the Council of Ministers agreed to be bound by the Medium Term Financial Plan. And yet former Minister Kristina Moore was now quite happy to have it set aside to enable the new Council of Ministers to achieve some flexibility. 

That is not to say that it should be set aside on an ad hoc way, as both Kristina Moore and Geoff Southern have advocated, but as we have seen, the bar for change is very high. What would surely be preferable would be that the Treasury Minister would have, as in the UK and elsewhere, greater flexibility in her first Budget, to retain or change it, prior to, but in line with, the development of the next MTFP.

It can be seen that if nothing changes, the new plan will, like its predecessor, act as a fiscal straightjacket for whoever is elected in 2022. It seemed like a good idea in its day, just as Collective Responsibility once did, but it needs to be repealed because it is too rigid and because of that too damaging to democracy. As in the UK, the new Treasury Minister needs to freedom to remain within the constraints of the MTFP or make changes to them.

If at any time in the future, a party system or the rudiments of one, develops in Jersey, which might be likely if Russell Labey’s proposals were accepted by the States (and I am not in any way endorsing them), it could lead to a nightmare scenario where the first two years of an incoming government were forced to follow a fiscal regime laid down by their predecessors, regardless of how the electorate vote, or what they had in their election manifesto. Democracy is poorly served by this.

In election years, after a change of Government, a Budget will usually be introduced by the incoming Chancellor of the Exchequer, even if the outgoing Chancellor has already delivered one.

Budget: 1979 April 3
New Budget: June 1979
Changes: Complete Change of Direction

What was announced: Known as the "caretaker Budget", it came shortly after Labour government lost a vote of confidence in the House of Commons, triggering an election.

Prime Minister Jim Callaghan still had to keep the business of government going and Chancellor Denis Healey's statement was designed to ensure taxes continued to be raised until a new administration was elected.

What happened next? After Labour's defeat, the new Conservative government delivered an emergency Budget in June, marking a major change in economic direction.

Budget: 1996 November 26
New Budget: July 1997
Changes: Minimal

What was announced: Although the 1997 general election was held in May, the Conservatives - trailing Labour badly in the polls at the time - opted to announce their final Budget nearly six months earlier, at the end of November 1996.

What happened next? Following Labour's landslide, Mr Clarke stood for Conservative leader but was defeated by William Hague and had returned to the backbenches by the time Gordon Brown delivered his first Budget in July 1997.

Labour had already said it would stick to Conservative spending plans for the first two years and it left a number of other measures in Mr Clarke's final Budget untouched.

Budget: 2010 March 24
New Budget: June 2010
Changes: Mixed Changes

What was announced: In the run-up to his third Budget, Mr Darling ruled out any pre-election giveaways, saying his package would be "sensible and workmanlike.

What happened next? Mr Darling stood down as chancellor five days after the general election when the Conservatives and Lib Dems formed a coalition government, although he remained as shadow chancellor for a further five months.

In his "emergency" Budget in June, the new chancellor George Osborne reversed some of his predecessor's measures, including the 10% tax on cider - although Labour had already effectively ditched the plan due to opposition. However some other measures in Mr Darling's Budget - including a four-year freeze on inheritance tax thresholds - survived the change of government.

Budget: 1970 April 15
New Budget: 1971
Changes: New Tax proposed but not introduced until 1973

What was announced: Labour Chancellor Roy Jenkins pledged a "modest stimulus" to an economy that was still recovering from the devaluation of sterling three years earlier. New tax reliefs worth £220m were announced as was a cut in interest rates to 7%.

What happened next: Labour surprisingly lost the election to the Conservatives. In the 1971 Budget new Chancellor Anthony Barber announced a new value added tax (VAT) would come into force in 1973.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Liberation 75: Why Occupation Islanders need free transport

Reg Langlois was on Facebook the other day, asking what was being done for those who were here during the Occupation. While it is important that if Liberation day is to continue, it must engage with everyone who has made Jersey their home, young and old alike, he did have a point.

I told him that there was an event on in our own Parish: “Come to the Parish Hall at 3.30 pm. St Brelade is doing something. Wartime era songs from the Optimistic Voices. Be great to see you there!”
His reply:  “Big deal...........I am sure that the Optimistic Voices are very good. But I think that most of us will not be here ten years time, and I think that something special should have been done for all of us that's left, now.........I would like to suggest that we were treated to a slap-lunch (war time food) and war time style entertainment at Fort Regent with free transport both ways.”

Now there is a certain amount of nonsense in this remark, for as he well knows wartime food in Jersey would have hardly been able to provide anything like a slap up lunch!

Even at the start of the Occupation there would have been rationing.  By the time we get to 1942 or 1943 we find that food substitutes are becoming the order of the day.

As the Occupation Society archivist Colin Isherwood noted in 2015, “'Substitute foods were essential to help bolster ever-dwindling rations during the Occupation. People were forced to improvise. By 1942, food and general goods were in such short supply that a black market emerged and bartering became the most popular method of obtaining produce or supplies.”

Parsnip coffee, carrot tea, were the order of the day by 1941, and at that time, only 1 lb of jam was available on ration, and only then once every eight weeks.

The food situation in Jersey - especially after the Normandy landings and the supply chain being cut off - was considerably worse than in England. As Colin notes, “By the end of the Occupation, an adult in Jersey was consuming just 1,137 calories per day compared to an average of 3,500 calories per day on the mainland).” Not much chance of a slap up meal with that war time food.

Now every year, the Town Hall in St Helier provides of course a special breakfast for those who were here during the Occupation.  This of course is a precursor to the Liberation ceremony in Liberation Square for which seats are available for those who were here during the Occupation should they wish to go.

But this brings me to a very real point where I think Reg does hit the nail on the head, and I do agree with him!

Most of those who were here during the Occupation are elderly, frail and unable to drive themselves to Occupation events.  Moreover even should they be fortunate enough to be close to a main bus route, the bus service on Liberation Day is a Sunday service - with the limitations that that entails.

I remember that for the 70th Liberation Day celebrations in 2015 (which were held both in Liberation square and in the People's Park) that there were some special coaches put on to take people from parishes into People's Park. Indeed I remember helping one elderly lady with a wheeled walking aid to negotiate the curb and get back to her coach afterwards.

It seems to me that as next year will be the 75th anniversary of Liberation and therefore a significant milestone that thought should be given by each of the Parish Constables or by the States themselves to providing some kind of transportation by coach to any of the events.

This even includes events in their own Parish because it is hard for elderly pensioners to make their own way there - and I do not think it is fair that they should be expected to pay what in effect would be bank holiday rates for taxis. 

They were here during the war and some due respect should be shown to the fact that they are our last living link to those times.

I would hope therefore that with the plans - as they begin to progress later this year - that thought is given to some kind of transportation probably by coach or minibus so that those who wish to attend events who were here during the occupation can contact their parish hall and get transport allocated to them.

This to my mind would be a far better use of funds than the permanent closing of a road next to Liberation square which seems to me to be nothing but a vanity project and a chance for someone to get their name immortalized on a stone commemorating the event.

As that was to have cost at least £2 million, I am sure that funding would be better spent ensuring that those who were here during the Occupation have suitable transport to enable them to enjoy events, including the breakfast at the Town Hall, should they so wish. 

After all this will probably be one of the last biggest events for the surviving islanders from Occupation times. They need to be given the help they need to take part, if they wish to do so, and you may be surprised how many would like to, but are unable to because of lack of transport.

Elderly people are too often captives in their own homes, unable to move too far because of mobility issues and can feel quite isolated. Putting funds into such a worthwhile transport project would indeed be a mark of liberation!

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Liberation Perspectives

This wonderful drawing by Natalia Borovkova illustrates the central them of liberation, which is not just about freedom but also about the freedom to live in peace, and the importance of reconciliation with nations that had been enemies in past times.

This poem looks at the first Liberation day from two perspectives, that of the Islanders, and that of the Germans. In 1940, the Islanders faced an uncertain future, but in 1945, it was the German troops who faced the uncertain future.

Liberation Perspectives

We are free at last, our captivity over
Now Churchill’s speech, heard at last
Vera Lynn sings, White Cliffs of Dover
Our spirit unbroken, remained steadfast

Captivity now, at the end of the war
Surrender signed, soon time to go
A last look back at the Island shore
A future uncertain, nothing we know

Liberation day, and reconciliation too
On Noirmont point, a wind blows strong
A time for memory, and for hope anew
Wreaths are laid, and we sing our song

Liberation day, free as a white dove in flight
The wind blows strong, may peace be in sight

Friday, 10 May 2019

Lions Club Jersey - February 1971 - Part 3

My mother having a sort out of old bits and pieces came across a “Lions Club” magazine for Jersey, from February 1971, which has some interesting material in it.

What is remarkable in this report is that they are prepared to drop a fund raising proposal by a tobacco company because of the dangers of smoking, and put principle above funds. I found that admirable.

Here’s a selection and some of the advertising material:

January Monthly Meeting

John Stilwell

THE Monthly Dinner commenced at 8.10 p.m. and the business session was called to order by President John Stilwell after the loyal toast at 9.00 p.m.

The president started by welcoming Lion George Lillington from Bristol, Andrew Millett of the Jersey Tobacco Company and Chris Sheehan, the candidate for induction.


The induction of Chris Sheehan then took place with Douglas Begg reading the Code of Ethics and David Ratel reading the ideals of Lionism.


The President then presented John Wishart with the badge awarded for introducing Ralph Renouf during the January meeting of last year. Members were reminded of the visit by the Nantes Club to Jersey on the 17th and 18th April. The President appealed for as many Lions as possible to assist in returning the hospitality which was given to Jersey Lions when they visited Nantes.


Harry Clarke explained the Cash flow and budget statements; he also commented on the rather unhappy position of the Administration Account. The cost of production and distribution of the Magazine being considerably increased was a contributory cause. With regard to the Magazine, Jim Scriven explained that the increase in magazine costs was partly due to the fact that some 250 copies were sent all over the world. He then went on to say that if however the members wished to " ignore " this aspect of the magazine, he, as the person who was responsible for the considerable amount of work in addressing and dispatching of the magazine, would welcome their decision.

Johnnie Johnson then queried the Convention cost. The President replying said that this year this could be £150.

Bill Watkins enquired about the club supplies figure, which was afterwards explained as being due to the cost of bannerettes, an expenditure which would not recur for some years.

In reply to a question by Les Read, Harry Clarke then explained that the figure of £303 outstanding to the club was due for dinner moneys and advertising. Leslie Read suggested that these debts should be chased up. The treasurer reported that all dinner moneys were now in hand.

Johnnie Johnson however congratulated Harry Clarke on his explanation of the accounts.

Commenting on the financial situation of the club, the President forcefully recommended that members should go out to make the club pay and not be complacent.


The President announced that he had received a cheque for £110 from Mr. John Gay, the owner of the Savoy Hotel, as a donation for club charities. Mr. Gay then was asked to come forward and was greeted with standing ovation by club members. He accepted the President's invitation to join the members at their next dinner meeting.


Stan Clayton was then congratulated by the President on behalf of himself, the District Governor and Club on the formation of the Leo Club.


Adrian Troy reporting, firstly added his congratulations to Stan Clayton on the formation of the Leo Club. Continuing, Adrian reported that although the kindling wood project had yielded 140 bags of wood, the disappointing nonattendance by some Lions obviously affected the result. The wood, plus 140 bags of coal which were donated anonymously, were all kindly delivered by the Jersey Coal Distributors.

The erection of a fence in the garden of an elderly lady at Five Oaks was successfully carried out by members with Alan Le Feuvre in charge.

The next activity is the manufacture of cardboard " boulders " for the use during the re-enacting of the battle of Mont Orgueil Castle which is to take place on the 15th May. All members are asked to make at least four each and deliver them either to Keith Bower or preferably to George Pallot at Tantivy, 10 The Parade.

A rosta for other requirements would be circulated to members. Referring to support for activities, the President deplored lack of effort made by some members with regard to the Social Security Survey.

Jim Scriven reported that he was now Secretary at Brig-y-don and that there were certain gardening requirements and he was appealing for plants. The President suggested that Stan Clayton might make this a job for the Leo Club.


Colin Journeaux stressed the need for more effort in getting members for the '500 Club.' At the moment they were 120 members short-and as the draw must take place, this could have serious effect on the Club resources.

The President then introduced Andrew Millett of the Jersey Tobacco Company, who was present to explain the project for raising money by collecting the tops of Players No. 6 cigarette packets. The Jersey Tobacco Company guaranteed a donation of £450 for up to 108,000 tops collected and 1d. each over this quantity, the monies to be used for playground facilities for Brig-y-don, Sacred Coeur and La Preference.

Answers were given by Mr. Millett to several questions raised.

Bob Smale

Bob Smale, with much force, recommended that the members think again about this project, bearing in mind the recent report on the harmful effects of smoking, and the example the club would be setting for children and the public in general.

The President commented that although this idea was conceived before the report, one should be practical and not just panic in the light of a shock report.

At this point, Jim Scriven said that if the Club adopted this form of fund raising, he would resign and have nothing more to do with Lionism.

Mike Troy, Les Read, Dave Ratel and several other Lions said that they would not wish to be connected with this idea.

Harry Clarke asked how far the club was committed with this project - explanation that it was decided upon by the Directors last November was given by the President.

Colin Journeaux agreed that now even he had doubts as to the advisability of proceeding with the idea.

The President then apologised to Andrew Millett for the change in mind of the club, as he saw it. Mike Rumfitt suggested that the club re-imburse the Jersey Tobacco Company for any expenses in preparing this project, but Andrew Millett said this would not be necessary.

Jim Scriven then proposed that the club should have nothing to do with the project; this was seconded by Bob Smale. The vote was taken and proved overwhelming in favour of the proposition.

Colin Journeaux then returned to the matter of the '500 Club.'

David Miles stated that £3,000 had been placed on deposit with Williams and Glyn's Bank Ltd. At 6 per cent. Humorous comment was made as to the reason for only 6 per cent, which was explained by Ray Sidaway as being due to the fact that the deposit was on a 7 day call basis.

The President then thanked Bob Smale for the £10 6s. (£10.30) donation which his children had been able to make as a result of their carolling efforts.


Philip Daubeney expressed disappointment at the support for the Charter Night, although a profit of £30 11s. 2d. (£30.56) had been made.

The Christmas party had been well attended and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Special thanks to Bob and Daphne Smale, and Johnnie Johnson for acting as M.C.

The President asked everyone to make a special note of the dates for the Nantes visit 17th/ 18th April and the visit on the 15th May by the Sealed Knot.

Also, the Charter Night for the Leo Club would be the second Monday in March, which would also be the visit of the District Governor.


John Wishart reported on work done. Mike Troy made special mention of the gift by one of the dockers of a radio to an old lady at St. Clement. The President expressed his appreciation at the support the club always received from the dockers in these matters.


Mike Troy informed the members of the discussions held at the Centre concerning the rental liability which it was established was the responsibility of the Management and Finance Committee of the Centre. Explanation was also given as to how finance was raised through rentals.

Johnnie Johnson offered his services as Secretary to the Finance Committee of the Centre. Assistance was also offered by Jim Scriven and Colin Journeaux and was gratefully accepted.


Stan Clayton reported that all was going well.


John Abraham reported steady progress.


Jim Scriven appealed for magazine material. He also apologised that the magazine was not available for the meeting owing to pressure of work at the printers, out that it would be circulated as soon as possible.


The President outlined the basic ideas and requirements which have already been mentioned during the Activities report.


Explanations were given for the projects as reported in the December magazine.

Harry Clarke said that as the M.O.H. has similar plans for a Health Centre for the Aged, he thought this idea should be dropped.

John Wishart explained the Youth Hostel idea. Visiting Lion George Lillington recommended that someone should visit the centre at Porthcawl, South Wales, to see what had been done there. Alike Troy then suggested that this project might be handed over to the Variety Club.

Ray Bellows commented on the idea for a Home for Aged Gentlemen, saying that of all the facilities for Aged People in Jersey, very few catered for these requirements.

Johnnie Johnson suggested some thought be given to what appears to be a lack of playground facilities in the east of the Island.

The President then requested that any other ideas for major projects be sent to the Editor of the Magazine for publication. George Pallot suggested that before any further project concerning help for Mentally or Physically Handicapped Children be considered, some research should be made into requirements and what is already available on the mainland.

The business meeting was then closed at midnight.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Islanders Health during the Occupation

By way of something off the beaten track, here's the report on the health of the Islanders during the occupation, published in 1945, after the war had ended.

There are some interesting counter-intuitive results. 

1) The decline in population with less births than deaths was the continuance of a trend which had existed before the Occupation, and looked likely to continue after. While our population, mainly because of net inwards migration, has increased, that trend is still with us today.

2) The corrected death rate (for the demographic during the Occupation) shows no great rise from that which preceded it.

3) The illegitimate birth rate was also in decline in parallel to the general birth rate. Mention should also be made that the number of children with German fathers was only around a 100.

4. Infant mortality was decreasing - again part of a general trend - over the Occupation years.

In this, the first post-war annual report, not only will the year 1945 be considered, but also the years of the Occupation, when no reports were published. The year 1945 opened sombrely with the Germans still in occupation and our supplies of food and other essentials at their lowest ebb.

If it had not been for the timely relief brought to the Island by the International Red Cross, famine conditions would have undoubtedly prevailed.

The relief brought in the S.S. Vega tided us over the supply shallows until V.E. day put an end to our troubles with the arrival of our own victorious forces.

The food position in Jersey is dealt with in a separate report: “Survey of the Effects of the Occupation on the Health of the People of Jersey ", and so will not he discussed in detail in this report. But there were many other points of interest outside the scope of that report which can be dealt with here.


The estimated population mid-year 1939 was 51,080. The census population July 1940 was 41,101, a loss of, approximately 10,000 between these dates. Many left to join H.M. Forces in the months following the declaration of war, and many left at the general evacuation immediately before the arrival of the German Forces. A very large proportion of those who left were at the young and active ages, leaving the Island with an even larger proportion than usual of the very old and the very young.

This change in age distribution of the population brought about a definite rise in the uncorrected death rate.

During the Occupation there was a marked fall in the birth-rate so that there was an actual loss of population from the excess of deaths over births. In addition, there was the brutal deportation of some 1,200 of the population in 1942, including people of all ages from a few months to 70 years and even some of the weak and sickly. 

As a result of these factors, the population fell during the Occupation so that in mid-year 1944 it was 35,955, a further fall of approximately 2,000. The figures from 1943 are actual figures obtained from the Food Control, and indicate ration strength on the dates mentioned. I am greatly obliged to the staff of the Food Control for their courtesy and help on all occasions.

The population at mid-year 1945 shows that even at that early (late the population was swinging back to its old figure, which it has almost attained at the time of writing.


The death rate for 1945 and the Occupation years is best studied in the perspective of the rates prevailing since 1930.

The uncorrected and corrected rates for these wars are given in the table below. The correction factor was changed as from 1940 to fit with the changed age and sex distribution which prevailed after that date. 

From these figures, it is obvious that it cannot be said that the Occupation had any effect on the death rate. The rise in the uncorrected rate was entirely due to the change in age distribution of the population. Our sufferings during the Occupation were not such as to produce death, though serious enough in other respects.


These two rates will be considered together as obviously they are related, and they both fell heavily during the Occupation. 

Last year, 610 deaths were registered, and 475 births - a loss of 135. The rise of the marriage rate to 7 per 1,000 may indicate a return to pre-war conditions, but although the birth rate will probably rise above the very low Occupation level, I doubt very much that it will ever again balance for long our death rate. In this matter it is the crude death rate which must be considered.

There was a slight fall in the birth rate during the First World War, but nothing like so marked in extent. Since 1900 there has been a slow but steady decline in the birth rate, and even before 1940, the excess of birth: over deaths was very small, and indeed, in 1932, the deaths exceeded the births. The effect on our population may for some time be masked by the return of-old residents and immigration

But in the long run it will produce marked changes in the age distribution of our population.

The illegitimate birth rate declined during the Occupation in proportion to the general decline of the birth rate. The actual number of children born to German fathers was in the neighbourhood of 100, a fact which refutes the silly slander about thousands of German babies.

This figure represents the number of children who die within the first year of life for each 1,000 births. The figure for 1945 is the lowest on record in Jersey, but as the total number of births each year is very small the figure for any one year is liable to serious chance variation. For this reason, in considering the infantile death rate over a series of years, it is best to average the rate over five year periods. If we do this with the figures since 1913 when the rate was first recorded in Jersey, we can see how great has been the fall in this index. 

The steady fall in the infant death rate continued unchecked during the Occupation, in spite of the absence of orange juice and the shortage of vitamin C. The causes of this steady fall are the better education of parents, smaller families leading to greater care of the child, greater medical knowledge, and the work of the Infant Welfare Clinic. 

Even the most foolish of mothers nowadays does not feed her baby with unsterilized artificial food, so that infantile diarrhoea is almost unknown. 

It has been stated (I hope incorrectly) that Sir Truby King said babies were dying because of the large fat globules in Jersey milk. Our babies did not die on it during the Occupation, in fact they flourished exceedingly.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

What the Papers Said

It was rather fun to be able to go on BBC Radio Jersey this weekend and review the papers

One of the quirky stories - albeit short - that would appeal to people from Jersey was a cartoon in which a lady was on the telephone to Ladbrokes wanting to place a bet on the name of the royal child that is expected soon. her suggestion for the name was that it should be called “Baby McBabyface”. Clearly broadcaster James Hand - now back at BBC Radio Jersey - still has a lot to answer for after his suggestion Boaty McBoatface for the British Antarctic Survey research vessel came top of the polls.

The Daily Mail as is usual making its moral case, decided to castigate Emma Thompson for jetting from New York across the Atlantic. Emma Thompson of course is a major supporter of initiatives to help prevent climate change but aircraft are one of the main causes of climate change with the amount of greenhouse gases they release into the atmosphere. When jet fuel is burned, the carbon in the fuel is released and bonds with oxygen (O2) in the air to form carbon dioxide (CO2).

The Daily Mail branded her a hypocrite. however by their strange convoluted logic this means that everyone can ignore climate change rather than making the case that she should not be doing that but everyone should be playing their part including her. I suspect the Daily Mail has a certain degree of affinity with climate change denial.

The mirror reported on Kevin Webber who is on a pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago and how this pilgrimage from France to Spain is a melting pot for all different kinds of people of race and religion those of faith and those of no faith.

I remember enjoying the recent BBC programme about the pilgrimage although I have to say that I was even more moved by the pilgrimage to Rome where the degree of diversity included not only a Catholic but also a Muslim woman and also a gay man, Stephen K. Amos.

Amos, grieving the recent loss of his mother and twin sister, told the Catholic Church leader he’s “looking for answers and faith, but as a gay man, I don’t feel accepted.”

“Giving more importance to the adjective than the noun—this is not good,” Francis responded, as seen in a clip from the series. “We are all human beings and have dignity. It does not matter who you are or how you live your life, you do not lose your dignity. There are people that prefer to select or discard people, because of the adjective. These people don’t have a human heart.” Francis then embraced Amos, who whispered “thank you.”

A new dossier on Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is something of a headache for Jeremy Corbyn. This is reported in the Sunday Times. It has been carefully collated from tweets, emails, recorded utterances, snapshots of Facebook posts – and there are around 15,000 pages documenting this solid evidence.

There can be little doubt that anti-semitism is a major problem within today’s Labour Party, gnawing at its moral roots, and one which Jeremy Corbyn seems unwilling or unable to address. Aa notable resignation after many years of Labour Party membership has been the writer and actor Tony Robinson who has simply been fed up with the lack of strong moral leadership in this area.

Let’s be clear. This is not some conspiracy to attack Corbyn, as some of his defender’s allege, it is his complete failure to act that is causing display from long term Labour supporters. He needs to take strong action, like Neil Kinnock did when he weeded out the pernicious entryism of Militant within the party. Otherwise Corbyn will be tainted with accusations of anti-Semitism, or of tacit support of the anti-Semitism within his party.

I didn’t have time to pick up on the Sunday Times which reported that British Telecoms was thinking of charging more for rural broadband because of the difficult nature of providing it to outlying districts in terms of the costly infrastructure required. I wonder what we would think if Jersey telecoms or other broadband providers locally decided to charge more to the inhabitants of St John or St Mary! I suspect that Hedley Le Maistre would be up in arms about it.

BBC Radio 4 programme The Reunion includes Angela Rippon this week who is reported in the papers talking about an incident which occurred when she was a newsreader. Apparently one of the technicians off to the side of her pretended to undo his flies and wave around something which in fact was just a part of his shirt but was not easily visible to her clearly. this is one of a number of shameful incidents which the BBC in the past was prone to and which were covered up or kept quiet. it is high time this kind of behaviour was exposed but not literally!!

On a lighter and concluding note, Harold Wilson's widow has left a number of items up for auction belonging to Harold himself. Unlike some prime minister's who are quite bland, Harold Wilson was well-known for a number of what might be termed prime minister's props. Included in the auction are his celebrated gannet Max his pipes and I believe also a bottle of HP Sauce - his favourite!