'Does the PPC Chairman accept that both of the amendments to Option B being put forward (by myself and Deputy A.K.F. Green) ensure much fairer, more equal representation in regard to parity of weight of vote for St. Helier in comparison to other parishes ad, further still, that both more strongly protect the functioning of the so-called 'Troy Rule'?'
The oral question to the Chairman of PPC detailed above leads in to what is not only the last debate before the summer recess; but also something of a rarity for this Assembly - a full and important week of debate. I say this even with my Ministerial Mole's tip off that Chief Minister Gorst suddenly pulled his pitch for a fully fledged Foreign Minister until September because he knew he was on a hiding - not least because of the embarrassment of Bailhache-Gate.
He is, according to the Mole, hoping all will have been forgotten by then. It won't of course and I'll be making sure of that this very Sitting. Not only are there rumours that Senator Bailhache will nevertheless finally make a personal statement next week (I sincerely hope he does) but I am also asking the PPC Chairman why - given that they do not even need an official complaint - he hasn't yet initiated an investigation into the matter.
Fact is its high time Senator Bailhache dropped the petulance, made his apologies to the two businessmen and then resigned. No, he need not apologise to me for his slurs and insults. An apology from a man with zero political credibility like the Senator is something I can live quite happily without.
St. Helier's representatives truly under the spotlight...
Still, though the big debate of the week certainly is the aforesaid Option B proposals truth be told there is actually very little that hasn't already been said about why Option B in its unamended form simply must be blocked by progressives at all costs. To be fair its also equally true that just as many hares have been set running by Bailhache, Ozouf and the Constables in the hope of managing to slip it through.
Thus my only point - OK, two inter-related points actually - for people to be clear upon are these.
If Philip Bailhache gets his way then the people of St.Helier - a third of Jersey's population let us not forget - will have their say in what happens to this Island politically hamstrung for at least a generation; possibly even two. They will, at a stroke, be made second class voters wholly at the mercy of the smaller. less populated country parishes dominated by self-interested Establishment supporters.
The second point to remember is this. The 10 St. Helier Deputies and the parish Constable, Simon Crowcroft, together have both a chance and an obligation to vote for either my or Deputy Green's amendments and thus, just perhaps, save the day for democracy. This is, after all, about protecting the interests of the people we are meant to serve.
Alright, our capital's fate is not in our hands alone.. But what is true is that any St. Helier representative who fails to vote in their constituents' democratic interests next week; but instead bows to Emperor Bailhache's '3 line whip' for legal dictatorship needs to be driven from office come 2014. Driven from office if needs be with flaming torches and pitchforks.
Will any be that foolish or hypocritical? Word in the States is that the only St. Helier representative who will definitely stab his constituents in the back will be St. Helier No. 1's Deputy James Baker. Yet beware: there are also whispers that Rod Bryans and even Constable Crowcroft may bend the knee to Emperor Philip and join him in the hope of future patronage.
Let's hope this is wholly incorrect. Though it must be said such action would certainly be a Godsend to any candidate wishing to stand against one of them in 15 months time...
The 'secret court case' against former Senator, Stuart Syvret and the hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money no one in authority wants to be held accountable for...
On Friday morning I had a meeting with the Attorney General. He wished to clarify that neither he nor his office have any control or involvement relating to the shed loads of taxpayers' cash - our cash - that's been handed out so four private individuals could bring a secret Data Protection Law case (in reality a glorified defamation case) against former Senator Stuart Syvret.
Always happy to correct my position I would flag up here that I was grateful to the Attorney General for his clarification; and am equally happy to say sorry if I got any wires crossed on the involvement of his office. Yet the fact is one clarification only creates even more questions in a case like this.
Questions like: who is ultimately responsible for complying with requests from the Data Protection Commissioner's office that result in monies in excess of its entire annual budget being made available?
According to the Attorney General this used to come under the Treasury Minister but now comes under the control of the Chief Minister's office itself. OK then, Senator Gorst - looks like come Monday all eyes will be on you! But I have also asked Senator Ozouf as well. Will I get a full and proper answer to my questions?
Who can tell - and if the Chief Minister once again hands answering this written question over to Senator Routier the likelihood is that we'll all be even more confused than when we started! Yet if the plan is to once again fob us off with vague waffle I trust the Chief Minister (and Treasury for that matter) will also consider this.
If I don't get some proper answers we'll just have start all over again come September. And keep on asking the same questions until we do. After all, I know a whole army of taxpayers intrigued to know if any kind of background checks were carried out - this to ascertain if one particular 'man' and alleged 'victim' afforded financial assistance at their expense actually has complaints against him of Internet bullying and abuse longer than a proverbial toilet roll!
Keep the Faith
Note: My full list of questions - both oral and written - for next week's Sitting can be read on the States Assembly website.