Like being savaged by a dead sheep

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Frank Walker, the Chief Minister of Jersey has responded to yesterday's Observer article by placing comment in the Jersey Evening Post, the only newspaper in the island. His comments are available here (the JEP web site is so bad it's not worth linking to).

Unsurprisingly the paper gives Walker a free hand to say what he wishes. After all, he used to own the paper and even now many people in the island refer to it as the Daily Walker, so effective is his apparent control of it, which says a lot for the state of democracy in the island. Harrry McRandle, the journalist who wrote the story knows exactly how to contact me. We have spoken on quite a number of occasions. He did not call. The Observer, I should add, sought a more balanced approach.

And as for Walker's claim that 'there was little point in asking for a retraction' - I think it's a safe bet to say that on this very rare occasion he and I are agreement. I can see very little chance of the Observer retracting comments which are so obviously true.

Somehow though I can't see Frank changing his tune about me, or John Christensen. He's prone to claim on BBC local radio that neither of us are friends of Jersey. He's wrong, yet again, on that point. We are very good friends of Jersey, we're just no friends of his. Frank's mistake is that elementary one of so many politicians who think they rule with almost dictatorial power - he confuses his interests with those of the place he governs, and for Jersey that's just not true.

Still, being abused by Frank always reminds me of that old quip of Dennis Healey's when referring to an attack on his character from Sir Geoffrey Howe - that it was like being savaged by a dead sheep. Only in Frank's case the dead sheep has a lot of lambs who still only know how to go baah.