There’s something rotten in the State of Jersey

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I had a very interesting conversation with a person who lives in the Channel Islands last week. He did not come from Jersey. The person in question has a strong reputation as a seasoned observer of society in the United Kingdom, and as a cogent commentator on matters relating to finance, but I cannot disclose his identity.

We spoke for some time but I might summarise what he said very simply. Indeed, I have already for it is in the title of this blog. He said that at a distance from which he observed Jersey it was apparent that there was something very deeply wrong with its society, the way in which it was being led and the way in which he conducted his business. He blamed a small elite for its malaise but did not believe it had the capacity to heal itself at present.

He had not read my materials on the black hole facing Jersey. He was however familiar with the financial problems facing Guernsey. He thought that the analysis was accurate in both cases. He believed the prospects for growth in either island nonexistent. Recession was much more likely.

His summary of the situation was simple. Jersey would inevitably implode over the next few years. Guernsey might well follow. He treated the suggestion that Jersey might become independent as laughable. He felt it a last gasp of a regime (and he used the word) seeking to hide its pernicious behaviour. In his view (and I think he knows that something of these issues) the EU will not bail out in Jersey. Its only option will be to turn to the UK. Like me, he thinks that is inevitable. I said it might happen within five to seven years. He thought the timescale shorter than that.

In that context I was then interested to know that a letter that has appeared in the Jersey Evening Post. It starts by saying:

WITH reference to the last week in the States in which we witnessed a vote of no confidence against the Council of Ministers and a vote of censure against the Chief Minister, I have to now ask whether it is time for some politicians to step down?

I listened to every speech live and in particular I noticed that neither Senator Stuart Syvret nor members of the Jersey Democratic Alliance had anything good to say about the Island. You have to ask what their purpose is within the States now, because they basically have no power anyway?

The writer makes it clear who he thinks should run the island:

[I]n an Island where we have almost full employment, is now the time to really be complacent while we watch the UK being hammered by recession?

He goes on to laud the finance industry. In his conclusion he castigates anyone who as alternative suggestion on the future of Jersey. What he in effect proposes is a one party state.

Jersey already has that. But now it wants to make its control absolute, and at the same time remove all the checks and balances that the UK continues to provide. This is the ultimate capture of the State.