Thursday, 31 May 2012


Let’s be quite honest about it - there have been many strange days in the States Chamber, even during the comparatively short number of years that I have been in politics. But Tuesday 29th May 2012 must have been one of the strangest ever. Indeed, so strange were some of the events unfolding that even my 81 year old Mum  -  very ill as she has been - still being an avid follower of States debates subsequently felt the need to phone me up to express her concern about some of my newly acquired political ‘friends’! But more on this a bit later.

Whatever your feelings on Senator Ozouf you have to ask just how much of this campaign to remove him actually has to do with Lime Grove House…

As I wrote some weeks ago that a couple of ‘votes of no confidence’ were being mooted around the Corridors of Misused Power was a fact that everyone seemed to be aware of apart from the Island’s mainstream – or so-called ‘accredited’ – media.

One appears to have been averted, of course, now that Mike Higgins has again shown the necessary resolve to not take William Bailhache’s attempt to prevent the lodging of his proposition to have the Andrew Lewis incident finally made public lying down. The second – the plot from deep within the festering political bowels of the Establishment Party itself - to have Senator Philip Ozouf removed from office is still very much alive however: even after Tuesday’s belated show of support from the Chief Minister.

The JEP up to its old tricks yet again…

Now, while I certainly had to have another good belly laugh at the childishness of my friends at the Jersey Establishment Post completely erasing me from their front page coverage of the questioning of the Treasury Minister on Tuesday – even though it was me who had been the only politician with the backbone to actually lodge the question on the matter – the fact is anyone reading their ‘reporting’ would still be none the wiser to what really underlies all of this.

For trust me – it isn’t nearly as simple as the inappropriateness of alleged political bullying. That these allegations of bullying are the ones that Senator Ozouf really has to address should go with out saying – for they possibly go even beyond the unacceptability of the shambolic, and hugely mishandled process of the Lime Grove House affair itself. This being said, given that the excellent interviews carried out by Voiceforchildren  have done much to make up for the mainstream media’s investigative shortcomings I don’t intend to waste time rehashing the whole of the CAG’s report again here.

As I say the interesting aspect of all this is getting to the bottom of how Senator Ozouf has been transformed from Establishment Party leader-in-waiting to the man half the party’s troops and crucially their attendant media want to see politically buried. After all, if costly, embarrassing shambles are the issue at hand then how come no party witch-hunt to bring about the removal of Home Affairs Minister Senator Ian Le Marquand? Or for that matter Deputy Anne Pryke at Health?

Millions wasted in both cases and at Home Affairs what most fair-minded people would likely view as ‘bullying’ on an obscene level with the Graham Power case. So where did Senator Ozouf go wrong?  What is so different in this latest case? Are his Establishment Party colleagues really as concerned about the bullying allegations as those outside the party fold are? Or is it that someone has decided that Senator Ozouf’s face and style no longer fit?

Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it in for me! (Well, HIM actually)…

Given that those who have been running around in the political shadows asking ‘anti-establishment’ politicians to ‘please not bring a vote of no confidence motion’ themselves - because they want to ensure one succeeds are those whose voting record would generally make Margaret Thatcher look like Arthur Scargil, clear evidence surely that the real issue here is the latter one.

Indeed, add in the JEP’s new hostility to the Senator on a level almost exclusively reserved down the years for trying to politically destroy the likes of ‘lefties’ such as the late Norman Le Brocq; Stuart Syvret; Ted Vibert; Geoff Southern; Shona, Monty Tadier and me and you don’t need to be Jeremy Paxman to work it all out. What is at stake here is the desperation of an Establishment Party that is terminally in decline - even with its apparent current dominance.

A party  desperately trying to ensure the smiling false mask of  a new, caring, ‘moderation’ doesn’t slip off. Slip off to reveal the same old snarl of elitist, ‘we’re alright Jack’; ‘go for growth at all costs and never mind the long-term  consequences’ arrogance that turned Jersey into a precarious monoculture in the first place.

For put in a nutshell what really worries so many of the Establishment – and I acknowledge that even some of the major players are just too plain stupid to see it – is that Philip Ozouf is rightly or wrongly seen by many as the last reminder of the Horsfall; Walker; Le Sueur era – and all of the political policy that went with it. As such there are cracks starting to widen in the right that are potentially more threatening to the Establishment than the left has managed to be in sixty-odd years.

The consequence of all of this for Senator Philip Ozouf is that if I were him I would be keeping my political enemies very close but my ‘friends’ even closer. For unlike those of the left who regularly fall out over such ‘quaint’ things as values and principles all that matters to Jersey’s right is maintaining their grasp on power. It has always been thus. If the Senator’s continuance  as a high profile Minister is now seen as a risk to hanging on to all this he could well find himself marked as the party’s new Ernst Röhm -  metaphorically speaking of course! 

Meanwhile, on my office notice board I have pinned two sealed envelopes...

The first one (I can share this with you but please don’t tell anyone else!) contains a 2013 Valentines Day card for Lucy Mason. Come on – she has been so fair and nice to me - I just had to! The second one contains the name of the politician carrying the no confidence  proposition ‘silver bullet’ with the Senator’s name on it. You see there are three main plotters and the envelope is part of a wager with a political colleague as to which one we believe will ultimately be carrying the ‘revolver’. Yes, I could name the person now – but that would be far less fun. And besides - I’m very confident of winning that bottle of red…

New ‘friends’ and another small victory for political transparency…

Changing the subject, what triggered all of my dear old Mum’s concern about the appropriateness of some of my new found political ‘friends mentioned earlier was the long-delayed ‘Open ballot’ debate. Though as you may well have forgotten about this so long has the proposition been lodged perhaps I had better quickly explain.
Following up my having won an ‘open’ vote for the public last year to allow them to know who voted for whom in the election for Chief Minister; this time I was seeking to widen this move toward even greater political transparency. This involved seeking to spread this openness further to include all Ministers; all Scrutiny Chairmen; both PAC and PPC Chairmen and also that of the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission. After all – YOU vote them in and pay their wages why shouldn’t you know?

I’m pleased to say I won the vote comfortably by 27 to 18 with one abstention.  A good majority – especially given that four people who I knew would have been supporting me were absent in the end through either ill health; being on States business or away attending personal matters. Of course, much as some people talk hopefully about a new mood of working together in the Chamber I know the only reason I won this in reality was because what I was proposing was such plain common sense. 

Perhaps more importantly still something that should have been impossible to vote against simply because it is the type of transparency and genuine democracy that most people want and that has been promised so many times in so-called Strategic Plans.  But even so I’m under no illusions that the likes of Senators Gorst, Farnham, Routier, Maclean and co; nor Deputies Noel, Luce, Bryans, Pinel; and a few others besides will be voting for all of my future propositions as well – or even inviting me around to their place for a drink. But their support on this is very much appreciated all the same.

As someone who has always voted solely on a proposition’s merits – as I believe my record clearly shows – I just wish this would be an approach the ‘right’ would also always adopt. It is after all simply the way politics should be. Indeed, whatever the faults of the ‘left’ or so-called ‘Progressives’ it is also one thing that has to be acknowledged they collectively manage to do far better than the right.

Bailhache & Baker – Soldiers for Secrecy…
Yet there were still a couple who just could not help themselves from resorting to instinct, of course, speaking and voting as per usual against anything that might be genuinely democratic; or happened to be brought by a non-millionaire ‘lefty’ from outside of the elitist fold of the Great and the Good.

Senator Bailhache did his usual apologist speech for maintaining secrecy and keeping the ordinary public in the dark. It was, however, even less convincing than usual and, perhaps being so short on both logic and substance this time pleasingly fell on deaf ears to a much larger degree than could have been expected.  Everyone is entitled to their own views of course. But as a member of the public texted me to say; the Senator’s actions really do just reiterate how unsuitable he is in terms of understanding and/or commitment to modern democracy to be heading up an ‘electoral commission’ of such importance.

Yet perhaps most revealing of all, however, was the maiden speech – or maiden ‘rant’ to be quite honest – coming seven whole months after his election as it did - delivered by Deputy James Baker. For if the prodigy of Establishment ‘Grandees’ such as Messer’s Horsfall, Walker and Routier thought he was going to swing things with the blustering, Oswald Mosley-esque tone of his speech then he miscalculated spectacularly. In fact what it did do was generate a plethora of chuckles and wry grins that went right across the political spectrum.

What was the main reason for this?  No, not the ironic gobbledegook about people ‘fighting for democracy’ but the bit about the Deputy apparently ‘not coming into the States to have his time wasted’ by such propositions. Truly priceless given that Deputy Baker has not thus far ‘wasted’ or even positively utilised very much of his time in the Chamber at all since his election. In fact it was just so plan foot-in-mouth funny you just had to smile and give him a ‘Brownie point’ anyway for sheer effrontery.

Don’t let the ‘electoral commission’ become an even bigger sham than it is already…

The only really disconcerting thing about all of this, of course, was that here was another politician sitting on the ‘electoral commission’ even though on evidence so far he clearly wouldn’t recognise the meaning of true democracy if it were to bite him on the leg. All I would thus say to people as a consequence is make sure you follow the lead of people like Sam Mezec and Voiceforchildren and get your views on genuine democratic reform sent off to the ‘commission’ as soon as you can.

Just as important – make sure you copy any submission made into another politician that you know you can trust. This will help ensure submissions that go against the already decided ‘findings’ that the Constables must stay forever; the huge weighting of votes in favour of smaller country parishes is perfectly fine; and that Deputies – urban Deputies of course – must be reduced don’t end up mysteriously being ‘lost’ in the post.

Keep the faith



  1. Nice one Trevor good to see you back. The establishment are out to bury Philip Ozouf for sure. If I were him I would look on this vote of confidence from Gorst in the same light as those given by Roman Ambroamavich to the last half dozen Chelsea managers.Worthless in a couple of weeks. Baker's speech attacking you was hilarious. Who wrote it for him I wonder?

  2. Hi

    Just to give quick apologies with regard to the fact that, having not updated the site for some three weeks or so, I am not going to put up any of the old postings over that time - other than ones relating to links etc. No offence intended to anyone as all posts are obviously appreciated. Well, apart from the Troll's...


  3. Well done on winning the open ballot vote. I was worried that Sir Philip Bailhache's speech might have swung a few crucial votes the other way so pleasantly surprised. Can't believe that Carolyn Labey voted against you. What is happening to people like her and Crowcroft?

  4. Who are the mysterious three? Come on, Deputy tell us. I am already gussing and I keep finding myself concluding that one of them is probably young Miss Valois. Am I right?

  5. Jayne, you are not the only one who is wondering what happened to people like Carolyn Labey and Simon Crowcroft, Carolyn Labey told us she had compelling evidence regarding corruption within the Planning Department, this was of course prior to the last elections, I, for one, was anticipating the whole show, since the elections, NOTHING.
    I think she should explain.

  6. Firstly welcome back Trevor, and I too am delighted your proposition was approved. Delighted but surprised because it seems to me that it is very often a case of not how strong the proposition is but who is bringing it to the house. Sad but true.

    I too would also like to join this competition - who will bring the vote of no confidence? I hope and doubt that for the above reasons Geoff does not, but I will but you a bottle of red (state your choice!) if I am wrong. I will give my answer to the gentleman you are meeting tomorrow at lunchtime to give to you!!

    This is probably going to cost me a bottle of rouge.

    Hope Shona gets better also.

  7. I am disgusted with Labey, since the planning corruption alleged by her she has truly shown her own colours by letting it be swept under. Now she votes against democracy as well, what a truly untrustworthy, unreliabe, undemocratic woman whose little ounce of integrity i thought she may have once had has completely vanished. Not a fan of hers as you can guess.

  8. No matter what people think of GST Philip Ozouf, what the JEP has done to him over the past 2 weeks is nothing short of disgusting, in fact most people can't believe it. They even chucked in a cartoon on Saturday and that on top of a personal character assassination in the middle pages. There are not many people happy about this and the JEP is actually being looked upon as an enemy of everybody, regardless of political standing, because they are playing God at the moment.

    1. Yet you've never noticed the same with any progressive or anti-establishment politicians? How peculiar.

      Your writing style seems familiar...

  9. The hypocrisy of Philip Bailhache.

    On Tuesday, he stood up in the States chamber and made his speech in favour of secret voting. He said "the only true vote is a secret vote".

    Today, I received the leaflet from his captured Electoral Commission.

    On the back page the leaflet says "Your submission will be made public and will be attributed to you unless you request confidentiality, in which case the reasons for non-disclosure will need to be accepted by the Commission."

    You could not make this guy up if you tried.

  10. If anyone truly doubted that some of your colleagues in the States are two cans short of a six pack then they only need to consider the actions of Constable Crowcroft on Tuesday.

    Two weeks ago he tried to get your open ballet proposition wiped off the books. His reasoning was that it was apparently premature with wwork being undertaken by his PPC.

    Tuesday I listened when the votes pour were read out and almost fell off my bar stool. Low and behold Constable Crowcroft had now gone and voted for you! Bonkers in the first degree.

  11. Maybe everyone should write in to the PPC Chairman given that he stated that apparently 'mainstream' media can be held accountable?

    Of course, given that the 'press complaints' authority (or PCC)folded on account of it being toothless and useless it would be very, very interesting to know just how the Chairman Crowcroft thinks this can be done?

    Surely he doesn't think ordinary people using the court system is a viable option??? That so called Citizens' Media could be held to account more easily is surely obvious?

  12. When in November he was selecting his preferred Council of Ministers, Gorst did not even want Ozouf on the Ministerial team.

    Yet here were are a mere seven months later and Gorst is backing Ozouf to the defence of him retaining the same Ministerial position he'd managed to cling on to despite Gorst wanting him out of the job?

    That's one heck of a radical about-face in an astoundingly short timeframe. I'm left intrigued.

    Trevor, do you have any theories about this?

  13. Gorst is really showing just how weak he is. Does anyone really believe that he calls the shots? I don't. You are right about one thing for sure. The political right is in total free fall.

    If only you could get others from outside of the "tent" to rally to you we might start to get somewhere.But we won't because too many of your colleagues have egos that would prevent it. Shame.

  14. Hi

    To the person who asked but didn't want his post put up due to the other info contained - yes, I quite agree. This censure motion is a waste of time.

    You have to ask why individuals who have all been talking about votes of no confidence for weeks and weeks have now bottled it - if they really thought a no confidence vote was what was needed.

  15. It's all about Bailhache.

  16. I hear the Filthy Rag is close to going bust.

  17. I recommend any readers who cannot abide the rag to try Jersey Today . There is an archive facility top left to view previous editions.

  18. Any media outlet being propped up almost exclusively by those at the heart of a government cannot be a good thing. Time this was brought to an end. Taxpayers money should not be so used.

  19. Ive missed a few deaths I would have liked to have known about, because I dont want to buy that disgusting rag anymore.

    Why should they get the monopoly of local deaths?

    There should be another way for us to be able to check without us paying out for the rag.

  20. If what is said is true ie Ozouf did bully staff and civil servants then the T/G/W union must stick to their guns calling that he should be removed from office,otherwise they will be seen to be weak in all situations.I actually think the unions could be the key to sorting out a lot of the islands problems.

  21. After 60 years you would think Her Majesty would start taking a bit more notice about what has been done to the justice system here. Maybe we should all write to her about it. The stealing of our Electoral Commission would be a good place to start.

  22. Hi

    Just to say that I hope to get a new blog and my oral questions for next week up by the weekend.

    As for the 'stealing of the electoral commission' posting. Yes, UK intervention will almost certainly be needed at some point. Inroads have already been set in motion here but in the meantime...

    People who are concerned that the weighting in favour of voters in small country parishes against the likes of St. Helier will not be rectified etc should make their concerns clear in writing to the commission.

    As I have also said before - make sure submissions are copied in to reform minded politicians as a safeguard. These can then be checked.

    The other thing to remember is that whatever is suggested by the commission (and let us hope that we are all taken by surprise and the recommeendations are good and fair)not only can we get something off to the UK then - politicians can also not be stopped from amending the proposals.

    The Senator did try to scupper this but it can't be done - yet...


  23. Hi

    Firstly, just to say thanks for the two people giving the additional information on the Jurat situation. Please understand that I will not put it up here just yet given what is going on behind the scenes.

    But believe me it really is very much appreciated and I look forward to meeting up with you to get the information recorded properly. Added to what we already have it is very helpful indeed. Suffice to say that I am going over to Westminster to meet with a couple of MPs again at the end of next week.

    Secondly, apologies for not getting the promised post up. It is 75% written but unfortunately I couldn't resist the temptation of watching the matches in England's group tonight. Still, given that we appear to be moving toward States debates so short that even Lucy Mason's favourite invisible St. Helier No. 1 Deputy might not find them too taxing on his valuable time I will hopefully get it completed and put up tomorrow.

    Keep the faith