Tuesday, 1 January 2013
BTR - Review of 2012 - Part One
Sorry, but if this is the type of nonsense that makes up your top ten happenings or arising issues of the past political news year then you're best logging on to one of the local main stream media (MSM) sites. Because you won't - and never - will find any of this type of 'news' reporting here!
In BTR Episode 12 - or 'The review of the year - part one' I talk briefly only about some of those key highlights - or all too often, lowlights - that really have said something about where Jersey politics/democracy now finds itself at the end of 2012. Of course, in a 15 minute video you can't cover everything of note. But between this and the second part of the review that will be posted at the end of the week I'll nevertheless flag up a good deal of what really does matter.
You know, boring old stuff like justice; the mishandling of our economy; political transparancy; shooting the messenger, and the dangerous erosion by an inept Council of Ministers of essential frontline services.
Can we really afford to have the health and even life of damaged or vulnerable individuals being put at risk simply because all too many in government today do not understand that socio-economic policy and, indeed, values must go hand-in-hand to make things work to the best interests of all? Unimportant? Well, just consider the appalling tragedy of the Rzeszowski killings as unfolded in Jersey's Royal Court in 2012.
And what is the real reason for the devasting collapse of our Fulfilment industry as signalled in April? Are those at Westminster really the 'bad guys' behind this hammer blow to the livelihood of so many decent, ordinary men and women here? can it be that black and white? Or is it that our political 'giants' of the recent past were actually incredibly foolish in even promoting the building of such an industry on foundations that everyone could see were made of sand?
Lime Grove House. This saga rumbled on for month after month. There were threats of all kind of political repercussions. Yet what had actually changed at the close of the year? Did the Council of Minister stand up and take their shortcomings on the chin - or did they just close ranks and shoot the messenger? Something it has to be said that the Jersey Establishment has made an art form with the colussion of a largely 'on message' main stream media.
The truth is that what Lime Grove revealed was that the Establishment party attitude to the role of the CAG - Controller Auditor General is very much the same as it's attitude to Scrutiny: fine - so long as they are not saying, or even looking into subjects that the COM do not want highlighted.
Why is it that every time something is put forward in the interests of enhanced democracy and transparent, accountable government Senator Philip Bailhache will be opposing it like there would be no tomorrow? Open votes for all positions within the States to allow the public to see who does or does not keep their election promises. A fully 'independent' Electoral Commission to finally cut out all of the temptations of vested political interest. And is there any link within all of this to the Senator's other obsession of attaining 'independence' for Jersey?
Throw in the biggest issue of all that we Progressives need to tackle in the coming twelve months - overhauling a justice system that simply isn't fit to bear the title and I think this first 15 minute review really should provide some food for thought.
After all, what kind of democracy allows the kind of person who would refuse to look at evidence against a sickening paedophile then happily argue that 'there may be no case to answer' to sit as a Jurat in the Royal Court for 14 years? What kind of democracy similarly allows individuals with clear and blatant conflicts of interest to sit in judgement on both court cases and judicial reviews? And I don't even get on to the appalling resistence of some of our 'senior' politicians to a full and independent Committee of Inquiry into the 'historic' - or more acurately, on-going child abuse scandal until Part Two!
Truth is - the Bald Truth! - that the time has come when those of us who really care about justice, democracy and political transparency; and have the Testicular Fortitude to stand up to a bullying and corrupt Establishment party need to joing together like never before to take these abuses off island. Sad maybe - but true.
As for Part Two of the review? Well, there's the blank cheque of taxpayers' money campaign to buy Plemont; beginning to make the 'diversification of the economy' more than just an election sound-byte; the well merited success of finally getting the events of September 28th 1769 officially recognised; the truth about who controls the Council of Ministers; Leveson and the local media and more.
Meanwhile, have a Happy New Year and try not to cry! Unlike the Jersey weather - It can't rain (politically) all of the time...