I like political trials. I would have loved to have been at the trial in Paris in 1926 of the assassin Sholom Schwartzbad who shot Simon Petlura five times and was acquitted. Instead, this morning, I attended the mock re-trial of Deputy Geoff Southern before the Royal Court on a representation by Senatorial candidate Darius Pearce. Apparently there is some bad blood and political differences between the two. Both are thoroughly nice chaps.
Petlura was the leader of the Ukrainian government during its short history of independence between 1918 and 1921. His crime in the eyes of his Jewish assassin was that he instigated various pogroms against Jews. Pogroms were a form of Ukrainian sport at that time. The Jury agreed that Petlura was a thoroughly bad fellow and responsible for much trouble and decided that his assassin was right to have fired those shots. To Ukrainian nationalists today, Petlura remains a thoroughly nice chap and indeed something of a hero, especially as he was not a nasty Russian Bolshevick.
The representation in the Royal Court was all about whether or not Deputy Southern had or had not made an appropriate declaration during his nomination as Deputy in District No.2 St Helier. There was embarrassment all round.
No one had any evidence if Deputy Southern’s Proposer had read out the declaration correctly. The BBC and CTV had all switched off their cameras at the time or the audio quality was impossible. Everyone had amnesia.
The Connetable was embarrassed because the Comite Des Connetables had been following the wrong procedure, none having ever read the Electoral Law. The Jersey Way of make it up as you go and doing whatever is most convenient had triumphed again. Smack wrist, but otherwise business as usual and don’t do it next time.
Darius we were all reminded in Court had a number of convictions himself for upsetting his father in law whilst doing a Romeo and Juliet impression around at the old man’s house.
The whole world, including residents of No2 St Helier all know now, in case they did not already, that Deputy Southern has convictions in relation to assisting widows and orphans to complete postal voting applications forms, contrary to every Article of the Lets Get Geoff and Shona (Jersey) Law 2008.
William Bailhache , brother of the Senatorial candidate, gave judgment that was predictably political. In turfing out Darius with a flea in his ear, it was an opportunity to tell everyone and no doubt the JEP reporter present that, yes, Deputy Southern has convictions. Smack wrist and next time make sure its all video recorded and everything is Kosher according to the Law. In 2014 we will all have to listen to list of twenty convictions being read out for roughly the same offence. After that five minute sleep break, we will hear Deputy Southern’s Proposer give a speech telling us he is, yes, a thoroughly nice chap.
If I were a voter in No.2 St Helier, I would not be voting for Senator Terry Le Main as the next Deputy, even though, unlike the wicked Deputy Southern, he has no convictions of any sort, shape or colour.
Where is my water pistol; I have a Petlura feeling coming on?