Despite the gloom there is hope in Jersey

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My friend Pat Lucas in Jersey has been at it again, writing an excellent letter to the Jersey Evening Post today:

WHEN I look at our Government I see that, apart from a couple of exceptions, the Council of Ministers at the top of the States Assembly and those with power, wealth and influence who work closely with them to run this Island stand shoulder to shoulder with one another like a solid wall of steel.

This is what I would like to say. They rarely listen to anything of importance that ordinary residents of Jersey have to say. They see themselves as the Extremely Important Ruling Party. Anyone who dares to contradict this absolute truth runs the serious risk of being ridiculed, rubbished or discredited.

Please tell me why most of you ignore the needs of our people who struggle to keep pace with the high prices of property, rents and goods and services? And now you want to hike up the Goods and Services Tax to five per cent. What are you trying to do to our people?

Introduce a fair corporation tax onto UK and foreign companies so that they pay the same rate of tax as our Jersey companies have to pay.

Why do you close your ears and your minds when our people ask you to stop covering large parts of our Island, including the Waterfront, with concrete eyesores? We love our beautiful Island and it breaks our hearts to see it ruined a bit more day after day.

Don’t talk down to us. We see the unfairness and the gross injustices inflicted on this Island and its people and we would appreciate a few straight answers please.

Don’t take what I’m saying too personally. It’s not about you as individuals, it’s about our Island. Our whole system of Government is a mess. It doesn’t work, it’s not going to work and needs changing as a matter of urgency. Perhaps taking another look at the Clothier Report might help.

I am appealing to the Allies — those States Members working for democracy and fairness — to look for a way of working together much more closely than you are doing at present. Perhaps the ideal way would be to form yourselves into one single, strong, highly disciplined party allowing for just a few independents that support you whenever they feel they can. That would be the basis for an honourable opposition; goodness knows we need one if you are to penetrate that wall of steel without knocking yourselves out entirely.

I’m asking you to stand shoulder to shoulder with your colleagues whenever you possibly can. You really have to present a solid, strong united front or risk being far less effective than you could be. Together you will be strong. That is what so many of us are expecting from you. Please do this for us.

As for the rest of us — the ordinary people of Jersey — I believe we must do much more to support those States Members who work on our behalf. Some of them have really put themselves out, in their own time and at their own expense, for individuals in their constituencies and those people still didn’t bother to vote. How would that make us feel if the boot was on the other foot?

Let’s tell them what we want. Phone them up, e-mail them, take an interest in what is going on in our Island and learn all we can. United and working together we will be strong.

Good for Pat, and all people of courage like her.

The world needs people like Pat. And thankfully she’s not alone — even if I bet she feels like it sometimes.

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