The meeting on Friday evening at St Brelade Communicare was dull. What it lacked in verve in comparison with St Saviour, was made up for by some considered analysis of the various options and none more so that by Dr Jonathan Renouf, a former Electoral Commission member and that evenings A-Team lead speaker. Here is his opening speech:
For seasoned observers of the wily ways of the Jersey media, there is a worked example in their treatment of Dr. Renouf. For a member to the Electoral Commission to come out in favour of one of the options is surely a newsworthy event. When Sir Phillip Bailhache, the EC Chairman announces his official support for Option B, there will be a front page in the JEP and the other media will carry the measured cadences of L'homme providential.
Such deference was not accorded to Dr Renouf at a press conference to make clear his position. Only BBC radio turned up and to their credit ran with the story from mid-day Friday on the hour. The JEP and CTV seemingly boycotted the event, no doubt because falling advertising revenues have cut the compliment of writers. The other explanation may be that they did not want anyone else from the Electoral Commission upstageing Senator Bailhache when he comes out in favour of Option B next week.
Christine Vibert gives her reply from the platform as A-Team speaker explaining how with Constables back in their Parishes, the Parish and Honorary system will be strengthened. Constables will be doing what they do best – running their Parishes, without the burden and challenges of States work.
A straw poll was taken by the chairman of the meeting at the beginning and end of the meeting as to whether those present had made up their minds which way to vote. It was disappointing that having listened to the speakers there were so many still undecided at the end of the meeting.
Giving out leaflets in the market today, Saturday, I encountered a couple who as it turned out live in my district. They complained that they did not fully comprened the various options. One said that their opinion changed depending on which letter they had read in the JEP that evening. The issues were not clear. I suggested that they would be better off reading the government's literature produced for public distribution as this was far superior to the misinformation they would find elsewhere.
Dr Jonathan Renouf has explained in his Town Hall interview (previous blogpost) that the issue is not really that complicated. A little time spent reading the EC Report or its Summary would soon lead one to the conclusion that only Option A embodied the universal principles of equality and fairness.
Option A - Toujours en avant!