Thursday, 29 April 2010

A Lose, Lose Situation.

There is a saying becoming ever more prevalent with certain parts of the online community over here in Jersey and it is “never underestimate the stupidity of our oligarchy” and to my way of thinking, never a truer word spoken.

At the last States sitting, Chairman of the Privileges and Procedures Committee, (PPC) Constable Juliette Gallichan read out a statement quoting Article 8(2) of the States of Jersey Law 2005 which disqualifies a sitting States Member from their seat if he or she is resident outside Jersey for a period of at least 6 months, thus forcing a by-election to fill the seat of now “ex” Senator Stuart Syvret.

Here’s how I see things. Our present government, and in particular our Council of Ministers, are to put it mildly, extremely unpopular and have been accused of corruption at the highest level among many, many more unsavoury un democratic activities and are in dire need of bringing the public “on side”.

If I were one of the oligarchs I would have questioned Article 8(2) of the States of Jersey Law 2005, either on a Human Rights basis or something similar and do what I can to enable ex Senator Syvret to keep his seat. By doing this the “powers that be” would be able to claim they are not “out to get” Senator Syvret, and that they are fair, just and Democratic which would not only possibly win over some of the public but would leave the Senator over in London with possibly no hurry to get back and out of the public eye, (well as far as the “accredited” media are concerned). There is a fair argument to be had that the longer he is in London, the more support he will lose from the electorate. Not forgetting he is up for election next year anyway and it is said that he thrives on the attention of the media.

That would have, in my opinion, been the win, win situation for the Oligarchy; they get to look
good Mr.Syvret kept out of the limelight and little damage done to the reputation of the Council of Ministers and Co. everything kept nice and low key and little or no “accredited” media attention.

By taking the route that they have in expelling, or disqualifying the ex Senator, one can’t help thinking they have played straight into his hands and have ensured that maximum damage is going to be inflicted on them no matter what they do now.

For instance if they (the powers that be) attempt to “interpret” or manipulate the “ordinarily resident” Law in order to prevent the ex Senator from standing in the by-election, not only do they run the risk of forcing the spotlight on him, they will also add more weight to the theory that they are “out to get” him and want rid of him at any cost, they are in fear of him, and on top of this, there is now going to be two Senatorial elections as opposed to just the one next year. So there is the possibility of double the limelight for Mr. Syvret and double the trouble for the powers that be.

There is little doubt that Mr. Syvret is going to be firing on all cylinders while campaigning and at the hustings meetings, opening his Blogsite up to a completely new local audience and will have the ideal local platform to spread his word thanks to the powers that be.

Thankfully I am not one of the oligarchs and could have this all wrong, and they really aren’t that stupid but going by their track record they are. It does look to me that they just (as usual) haven’t thought this one through and have bought this lose, lose situation on themselves.

The questions on a lot of people’s minds won’t be, will he inflict damage, it will be how much damage will he inflict? And are they ready for it? Never underestimate the stupidity of our oligarchy!


  1. Some very good points.

    I also found it a bit disturbing the other day that BBC Jersey sort of gleefully published an article - a primer of sorts - on how to stand for the seat.

    Then again, maybe it was just my suspicious nature!

  2. This is a battle about to be fought on a battlefield of Stuart Syvret’s choosing. All sides will be calculating the gamble to engage or simply retire to fight another day.

    What the Establishment do not want is twelve hustings with Syvret sounding off at a time when industrial struggle is about to break out quite independently as a result of government policies to cut spending and public sector jobs. The anger in society and in particular amongst the working classes, could be manifest with a much larger than usual turnout and totally polarized vote. Anti-government sentiment could go to Syvret, even though many have their reservations about his recent conduct.

    So far the Establishment Party has not declared a viable candidate. Clearly Vibert and De Faye are history and could only act as spoilers. Likewise the stamp collector. – Graeme Who?

    The progressives are waiting as well to see what Syvret will do. Will he declare, turn up in Jersey, go to goal, get bail and appear on nomination night in a last minute appearance. That would certainly be dramatic for someone who courts controversy.

    Syvret’s candidature will cause the maximum mischief for the Establishment – and they know it. They cannot afford to cede him a platform to criticise publicly at twelve parish halls and thus appealing directly to the simple folks who only ever read the JEP for information. Similarly they cannot let him in unopposed as that would undermine government credibility.

    One suspects the Crown Officers will be poring over their copies of la Coutume réforme to see if Syvret can be disqualified from standing under ancient precedent.

    On the other hand, there might be a few extra ballot papers being printed……… Incredible; a 99% turnout in the Parish of St ?!!

    Well as they say - All's fair in love and war.

  3. To my mind, "they" are going to have to stop Stuart from running, or at least weigh up the least bad or damaging option.

    If they allow him to stand, how much damage can he inflict on them? If they prevent him from standing, how much damage will they inflict on themselves?

    As the saying goes "never under-estimate the stupidity of our oligarhcy" and it would not come as a suprise if they get the Keystone cops to arrest him and have him locked up to prevent him from standing. The reason it wouldn't come as a suprise is because that option is probably the most stupid of all the options they have, so it's the most likely.

    Home Affairs Minister Senator Ian Le Marquand already has a massive job on his hands trying to convince States Members and the public that we do not have a politicised Police Force, arresting Stuart and preventing him from standing would just make even more of a laughing stock of him and them.

    What to do?

  4. Damned if they do, and damned if they don't!!

    Interesting times.

    Also, the AG's interpretation of 'ordinarily resident' will impact on many other areas in which that wording is used i.e. taxation, housing, social security, income support etc etc., so it will be most enlightening for anybody to whom this term applies.

  5. When will these imbeciles learn that we have had enough of them?

  6. Nice photo VFC. Are you cryptically telling us that ILM, man of god, is actually a lady boy? I say!