Attending any party conference always involves a little anticipation of who you might bump into. I admit Philip Ozouf, Jersey's finance minister was not high on my list of those I expected to talk to today, but when we were buying coffee next to each other it appeared churlish not to pass the time having a conversation.
Philip's first concern was, almost inevitably, to find out if we were on or off the record. That desire for secrecy runs deep! So for the record, I won't report much of what Philip had to say.
I will, as I said I'd be in the record, report what I had to say instead. I challenged Philip. I said that if he was so confident that Jersey is so transparent and he was so keen to prove it he should invite me over and give me a chance to talk to his officials, to see their systems, to look at how data is supplied (anonymised, of course), to see just how they help other nations, as he claims they do and so form an objective view of the facts.
I can't possibly report Philip's reply. Let's just say I'm not expecting to be packing for a Jersey flight anytime soon. But the real question is why not? If Philip is so confident that Jersey is open and transparent why not show me? What's he worried about? Isn't it cards face up on the table time Philip?