Monday, 22 April 2013

‘Ten Constables say they will vote to keep their £50,000 salary’ – A-TEAM Democracy Rally – Royal Square, Saturday 20th April

It was glorious Spring weather as we made final detailed preparations for the A-Team Rally in the Royal Square on Saturday. This was the culmination of a successful campaign in support of Option A. Overall the event was a great success with speeches by A-Team supporters and some excellent music by the Badlabecques and another band playing Irish Folk

The contrast could not have been starker than between a handful of States Members supporting Option C giving out leaflets in King Street at the same time as the Rally by the A-Team was proceeding in the Royal Square. The difference was that we were a cross section of Jersey civil society, bonded by a desire to see reform and democracy established in the Island, whilst those States Members in King Street seemed rather embarrassed at having to engage with the public in the common thoroughfare. It was probably the first and last appearance of the C Sense Campaigners on King Street. At least they were making an effort, albeit something of a forlorn hope.

Option B – going forward ever looking in the rear mirror

To my knowledge Option B never attempted to engage directly with the public on the street. This reflects the oligarchic nature of that section of the political class backing that campaign. Their influence is informal within the circles of power and then relayed by the “tom toms” to those who take their lead from those they choose to lead and protect their social interests.

The B campaign never spoke in the language of democracy, fairness or equality. Their slogans were those of efficiency and stability, essentially conservative and financially motivated. These conservatives seem not to have understood the wisdom expressed by all wise conservatives faced by changing circumstances – For things to remain the same, things must change.

Option B is consciously more reactionary than the present status quo – it gerrymanders the electoral constituencies so as to favour wealthy rural parishes to the disadvantage of the urban and by reducing the number of States Members, yet retaining Constables, creates a block vote for the Executive leading to autocratic government.

Today, as I drove a friend into the airport, I saw a very revealing sight; an Option B poster was being erected on the main roundabout by two Portuguese men. As we know the Portuguese community is one of the most difficult to motivate politically inspite of it being long established. I imagine none of those men would be voting on Wednesday for Option A, C or indeed Option B. These men were not volunteers; paid hirlings I muttered under my breath as we passed by. Money is a wonderful way to buy an election. The hard work can be done by others.

A little bird, high up the tree, whispered in my ear saying “If I were you, I would see Option B as right-wing conspiracy”. Not my words, but ones worth pondering.

Here is my speech:


The Badlabecques:


Sam Mézec:

Deputy Montfort Tadier

Ted Vibert



1 comment:

  1. My take on things - it's just silliness - if I'm allowed my point of view :)