Monday, 3 December 2012
The Leveson Report & Jersey: no ‘higher moral ground’ for an ‘accredited’ media that brought it on themselves + The UK ‘negotiations’ relating to American ‘Facta’ tax policy that aren’t & even an exclusive interview with Jersey’s most cowardly and notorious internet troll… it can only be the Bald Truth Review Episode 10!
On the surface it would be quite easy to be fooled that it has been a fairly quiet week for politics in Jersey, wouldn’t it?
After all our Establishment Party Mandarins have long deluded themselves that they can continue along their 800 year merry way of perverting the ‘justice system’; of blatant character assassination of all and any who dare ‘rock the political boat’ – not to mention passing policies that make the ordinary man and woman in Jersey foot the social and economic bill for the millionaire tax-dodgers – company or otherwise – who should pay their way but don’t.
Yet if one only looks to the wider political landscape it is quickly apparent that actually this week has not only been busy it has the potential to be ‘climate’ changing – and I’m not talking about the lousy Jersey weather! What am I talking about? Well, let’s start with the first BTR 10 segment on Leveson.
To read the front page of the Jersey Evening Pravda and its familiar headlines attempting to give the impression that nothing more untoward than a wet towel across the bottom ever happened at Haut de la Garenne you could be forgiven for thinking that somehow our Island’s only ‘newspaper’ remains piously untainted from all traces of the worst excesses of UK tabloid journalism. Yet the reality, of course, is that nothing could be further from the truth.
Disagree? Then let me simply refer you to the Scrutiny investigation I chaired into the BDO Review of the financial management of Operation Rectangle. A more misrepresentative re-structuring of the truth in an attempt to undermine the Child Abuse investigation and trash the reputation of the two senior police officers trying to clear away the dirt of ‘the Jersey Way’ you could not have found bettered if you had been reading the old News of the World itself rather than a local ‘media’.
No – we don’t want government controlling the media per se via new legislation – hell, the two are already quite interwoven in Jersey already by means of simple incestuous self-interest. But what we do need is Deputy Tracey Vallois’ vision of a fully independent media Ombudsman to help ensure decent standards by possessing the regulatory ‘teeth’ to hit those who abuse their power where it hurts. President of the Scrutiny Chairman’s Committee the Deputy said that she was simply awaiting the publishing of Lord Justice Leveson’s Report prior to further investigation of this possibility. Well, it’s here now Deputy so we guess it’s over to you…
Then, of course, we have also had the most unwelcome - to the Establishment Party Mandarins - intervention by Westminster into our cosy little ‘Facta’ (that’s Financial Account Tax Compliance Act to the uninitiated) tax agreement with the United States - who not unsurprisingly in ever more difficult economic times want to know just who and how many of their citizens are making use of Jersey’s ‘Off-shore’ facilities to hide their millions.
Did even our motley crew of third rate businessmen in the Council of Ministers genuinely imagine that a UK economy reeling from crisis to crisis under George Osborne would see this all happening and not wade in with an opportunistic ‘we want a bit of that too’? Perhaps they did? But whatever the truth as the video spells it out all of the confident Executive spiel about us demanding ‘negotiations’ should be taken with a very large dose of salt…
Next? Just when you had begun to think that a little common sense might prevail on the issue of States Member’s pay given almost everyone – be they politically Left, Right or simply ‘Confused’ (the majority!) - had confirmed that they would not be accepting the 2013 pay rise recommended by the Independent Review Board up pops this year’s desperate populist political non-entity, the Constable of St. Saviour.
Defending her sudden conversion to lodging propositions – not to mention breaking her vow of virtual Assembly silence Constable Renard quite rightly tells us that she ‘didn’t come in to politics to get Christmas cards from other States Members – but to represent her constituents’. Well, Amen to that Comrade Renard – I couldn’t agree with you more.
Only trouble is most of us political Progressives know that ‘representing our constituents’ by definition should mean fighting to maintain or bring about the policies/changes that we had promised to attempt during our election campaigns. This in turn surely also means challenging Ministers; asking questions; making your case to try and win debates. It means lodging propositions and amendments. Being a ‘politician’ after all isn’t just about pressing the ‘contre’ button. Yet how much of this ‘representation’ has our suddenly vociferous Constable of St. Saviour done in the 12 months she has been a States Member? Just watch the video and find out…
And then, of course, we have the horrible modern day disease that is the internet troll.
So let me lay my cards on the table: internet trolls are scum. They are pathetic, inadequate, cowardly bullies. Basically the sort of people who would be muggers – if only they were that ‘brave’. They thrive on hate and hurting innocent people for no other reason than they are jealous of any who have the drive to try and do what they so despise – make life better both for themselves or even worse - for others. Yet what is the best way to deal with such despicable maggots?
A good sturdy piece of 2 x 4? Maybe. But then again…cast your mind back to the mocking satire in the face of oppression during the Second World War. If that seems a bit too much like hard, historical work then even think back to the brilliant deconstruction of the ‘master race’ as portrayed in the wonderful old ‘Allo, Allo’ TV series. Then watch the interview with one of Jersey’s most notorious trolls.
No. Don’t get me wrong. The evil of internet trolling needs to be stamped out – even if here in Jersey our current police leadership and Home Affairs Minister couldn’t give a monkeys about dealing with it no matter how many complaints they receive against Jersey’s most revolting ‘wreckers’ – one maggot in particular. Mark my words – ‘trolling’ can and does ruin lives. It has even led to deaths. But let’s also show these scumbag trolls up for what they are: a joke…
So there you are – the Bald Truth Review Episode 10 – and I haven’t even mentioned the short segment on the current value of Scrutiny! Nor the fact that the end of this week will finally also see the extended and long-promised analysis of what our Bailiff’s Office. Senator Bailhache and other Establishment Party apologists would try and pass off as Jersey ‘Justice’.
Yes, do ‘Keep the Faith’ and do get involved. Because trust me: if you don’t DO politics – hey, just watch the video!
Please sign the attached link to the e-petition to restore banned U.S. journalist Leah McGrath Goodman’s visa status to re-enter the island democracy forgot. http://www.change.org/petitions/ukhomeoffice-restore-the-visa-of-banned-journalist-leah-mcgrath-goodman-freejersey