Monday, 30 May 2011


• £800.000 ‘Golden Handshakes’ for the boys…
• 17 multi-millionaires paying less than £5.000 tax…
• Yet we can’t afford to help the worst off eat healthily!
• As for a level playing field for those on the ‘hit list’…forget it!

A fairly short posting tonight as tomorrow Shona and I are off for our first week’s break in over a year. After our bereavements and then my mother’s illness I’m quite happy to admit – we both really need it. Yes, so much for those ‘two month summer holidays’ that a certain JEP reporter claims all States Members take! Time to name names perhaps, eh Ben? 
So below I outline a few thoughts on events unfolding around the ‘healthy food’ debate.

Similarly the three written and two oral questions I have lodged for the States sitting of June 7th. Being pretty self-explanatory to anyone who follows local politics I add only the briefest of comments to their background. The old 1970’s hit record told us that there are more questions than answers. Come the next States sitting my ‘Progressive’ colleagues and I had better make sure that is no longer allowed to be the case.

Should I have access to the internet from my Guerrilla camp deep in the jungle I will do my best to field any posts once or twice during the week.. Should this not prove possible, then I’ll just say ‘Thanks again!’ to all of you who have shown an interest whether reading or sending in comments during the two weeks that the ‘Bald truth’ has been up and running….

Are ‘healthy food’ exemptions ‘bananas’ or is the real problem a vegetable?

Isn’t it strange how both in the media; on his blog and during his lamentable performance on BBC Jersey alongside Deputy Shona Pitman Senator Ozouf claims that a GST exemption for ‘healthy foods’ such as fresh fruit and vegetables just cannot be done: ‘there isn’t time’ and anyway its ‘bananas’.

Very strange then, one might think, how not only has the Health Minister in answering Deputy Pitman’s questions in the States just weeks ago advised us that work on achieving such a list is well under way; but Deputy Rob Duhamel quotes the States’ GST Director, Steve Lowthorpe only this month as confirming that the proposition is indeed ‘a viable option’! 

What price that the Minister will be working overtime to ensure such opinion has magically vanished ‘1984’ style by the time the debate comes around?

1 (1) Ks – Truth or Fiction?

Given that we are all having to tighten our belts as Senators Ozouf and Le Sueur have assured us that there really is no other option I hope the Treasury Minister will be focusing all of his attention on the issues raised by the following. Particularly question one – if he, or any of you - have read the quotes from interviews with John Christensen on page 240 of Nicholas Shaxson’s bestselling economics book ‘Treasure Islands’…



“Does the Minister stand by his statement that historically ‘no deals’ were or have ever been entered into with 1(1)(k) residents and, if so, would he categorically confirm that at no time has the Treasury set minimum annual tax levels which were met exactly by the prospective resident, irrespective of their wealth?”


What increase in tax take would result from 1(1)(k) residents being taxed at the rate of 25 per cent rather than 20 per cent, based on the current number of 1(1)(k) residents?

Did the Senators say we all had to tighten our belts? Doesn’t seem that way for some…

I tried to get answers on this subject from the chief Minister some  months ago. That I could not was all hung on that lovely old Establishment Party excuse ‘confidentiality’. Somehow I don’t think that will wash very much longer. And remember, it was only a few weeks ago that my continued questioning drew out the fact that another six former employees also shared more than £255.000 between them outside of contract entitlements. Why?


Will the Chief Minister clarify whether or not the reported 'golden handshakes' amounting to approximately £800,000 were paid/are being paid to two senior civil servants; what the sums are in relation to each individual; from which fund they are to be paid and under what justification?  Further still, how were these sums determined and who ultimately made the decision to pay these sums?

OK. Call me pushy if you like. But just for good measure I also have an oral version on the same very interesting subject…


“Will the Chief Minister clarify the exact sums allegedly paid in the region of £800.000 ‘golden handshakes’ to two civil servants; clarify who was paid which sum and explain why such huge payments were considered justified?”

Last but not least the strange case of BDO…

Well, where does one begin on this fascinating subject? I’m yet to hear if this question has been accepted! You could easily write a whole post on this alone. But far better I’ll just refer you to the blogs of Mr. Rico Sorda and Voiceforchildren…


“Did PAC ever examine the report written by BDO/Alto into the management of the Historical Abuse Inquiry expenditure; if not why not, further still, would the Chairman undertake to scrutinize the expenditure incurred by the Wiltshire Constabulary in their investigation(s) into the Historic Abuse Inquiry (also including Operation Blast) and submit a report to the Chamber with their findings?”

Given that the Home Affairs Minister is also up for questions without notice on June 7th I have a sneaky feeling this subject might come up more than once!

Keep the faith


Tuesday, 24 May 2011


Part One - Candidates 3-6 to come .......
Favourites; Outside bets & Senator Ben Shenton?

Tonight in the first of a three part posting I look at the question of who will succeed Senator Terry Le Sueur as Chief Minister after the October election. Of course it would be very easy to write reams about this subject and the plethora of other issues that underlie it. For example the desperate need for a reformed ‘open’ Chamber vote.

But keeping this to the style I am advised best suits the internet .  I’ll be keeping this short and (occasionally) sweet within a few brief self-explanatory headings.

I will, of course, be discussing all of this in much more detail nearer the election. But in part one we start with the two alleged favourites. Senator Philip Ozouf and Senator Ian Le Marquand.

Candidate 1:
Senator Philip Ozouf

Betting odds

Inclusive government rating (out of 10) 
Minus 1

Political direction
Though this may surprise many people I actually get on very well with Philip. We both respect that the other works very hard and, like me, he at least wears his political colours on his sleeve. This I will always respect over the spineless populists who appear to have no real political perspective other than rampant populism and/or head-nodding subservience in the hope of getting re-elected and gaining office.

I’m nevertheless forced to be quite honest. In my view should Philip be elected Chief Minister Jersey will, as a consequence, get the most right-wing, free-market fundamentalist driven ‘government’ in our history. Those of us on the inside know that Philip already pulls nearly all of the strings – and believe me, he is very adept at it too. Awarded the official mandate of Chief Minister, however, policy direction will quickly make Margaret Thatcher look like a Socialist!

Consequence of election
Jersey will continue on its present course – a course based entirely on the doctrine of unregulated, free-market fundamentalist political ideology. Issues such as whether or not such policy is really appropriate and workable for a small jurisdiction; and one with an increasingly at risk main industry will be simply swept aside. Diversifying the economy will likely remain just words on a Strategic Plan. Commitment to population control will be non-existent.

Finance and wealthy tax evaders – both overt individuals and those hiding behind ‘non-local’ companies etc will continue to be the tail that wags the political dog. Public services will continue to be eroded and ultimately destroyed to be privatised. Public sector workers’ terms and conditions will be hugely undermined. The living standard of the ‘average’ man and woman in the street will reduce. The elderly will find it ever more difficult to live rather than simply ‘exist’.

All of the above in the interest of cosseting the super wealthy and big business from the real world - or should I say ‘from a fair world’.

Cabinet certainties
If re-elected (let’s hope not for Jersey’s sake!) Deputy Eddie Noel to be Treasury Minister; Angela Juene to be Minister for Health & Social Services! If these prospects don’t frighten the life out of you in themselves then I strongly suggest you visit your GP to check that you are not already dead! Elsewhere Senator Alan MacLean to continue at Economic Development. Senator Paul Routier at…Education!

Achilles heel to gaining Chamber support
May not be able to get over the finishing line due to many – even on the political right – not liking his domineering style, Many such Members, of course, would never have the backbone to tell Philip this to his face. The fact that the Chamber vote is still currently in secret, however, may be the thing that finally scuppers his ambition.

Would I serve in a Senator Ozouf led Executive?
Only if Philip stunned us all by appointing ‘Progressives’ to a full 50% of Ministerial posts.  Well, we can always hope…

Candidate 2:

Senator Ian Le Marquand

Betting odds

Inclusive government rating (out of 10)

Political direction
Ian is someone that I have always got on well with even before the 2008 election. Hence my huge disappointment that he allowed such a partisan, one-sided mess of an ‘investigation’ into the suspension of Graham Power. Indeed, before the election Ian always made a point of telling me that he was a ‘mixture of left and right’. And, so he said, had much in common politically with me

Perhaps should he actually become Chief Minister he will be able to regain some of the significant ground lost with those of us committed to genuine social justice and rise above the limiting, right-wing ‘group think’ that dominates this present Executive.  We need to see some hard evidence of a commitment to both Discrimination laws and Freedom of Information.

The truth from colleagues I talk too is that the jury is still out following the Power/HDLG affair. Has the opportunity to make a real and hugely beneficial change of political direction for Jersey by pulling away from the discredited and redundant elitist policies of the Horsefall/Walker/Le Sueur & Ozouf clique. Could he do it? Only if he is big enough to appoint on the tandem basis of ability and social awareness rather than right-wing cronyism as has been the case since 2005.

Consequence of election
As I indicate above, this very much depends on Senator Le Marquand’s willingness to attempt to bring about genuine inclusive government. There are a significant number of very capable people in the States who have been completely frozen out – quite deliberately so – under Senator Terry Le Sueur. This simply because they would not be willing to support the shameless policy of appeasing the Finance industry at every threat; likewise the Island’s super wealthy. Should Ian not have that political backbone then the sad reality is that Jersey will continue on its present course and the opportunity will be lost.

Cabinet certainties
There are only three certainties if Ian becomes Chief Minister. Deputy Jackie Hilton (if re-elected) would be offered her choice of either Home Affairs or Housing. Senator Philip Ozouf would be offered to stay on at the Treasury. Deputy Ian Gorst (if re-elected) would continue at Social Security.  The big question of whether it would be a bright new future or simply more of the same would be who fills the others…

Achilles heel to gaining Chamber support
As indicated above - lost a huge amount of confidence from the twelve to fifteen ‘Progressives’ due to his handling of the Power suspension. In what is likely to be a close run thing those twelve to fifteen votes (if all re-elected) will make or break his appointment

Would I serve in a Senator Le Marquand led Executive?
Yes. However, a first proviso to me saying this is that I really want to see Senator Le Marquand put down some markers. Firstly, with firm commitments on Discrimination and Freedom of Information. Secondly, the official publication of Mr. Graham Power’s ‘defence’ to a ‘prosecution’ that never resulted in any charges - yet was portrayed as unquestionable fact. Thirdly, to quickly answer some very serious doubts regarding issues such as the Wiltshire Report expenses and the involvement of BDO. Lastly…I want the ESC Ministry (if re-elected) as I’m honest enough to say that I believe that I am the best person for the job!

Saturday, 14 May 2011


Trevor's Website 
Never mind ‘Tweeting’ in the Chamber…
                            there may be ‘Bats in the Belfry’

Look, let’s get one thing in the open straightaway. Not only do I loath 99% of Senator Sarah Fergusson’s political views I’m equally sure that unchecked pursuit of them could lead only to that final slide over the edge of the economic and social Abyss. Just a few hours analysis of the writings of Ha-Joon Chang - highlighted in my last post - make that quite clear.

Nevertheless, as much as you can do with someone who actually stands up in the States and talks about “the so-called poor” in Jersey with a straight face - on a personal level I actually get on pretty well with Sarah. Why? Well, firstly unlike all too many in the States Chamber whilst she is happy to dish it out in putting her right-wing views across she is also equally willing to take it: and take it without running to teacher to blub about how horrible those nasty Progressives have been in challenging her politics.

Secondly, Jersey’s answer to Margaret Thatcher also has a decent sense of humour. I only mention this last fact because this sense of humour is surely just as well given her bonkers amendment 26 to P48 (the Island Plan) i.e. seeking to remove all reference to climate change/global warming from consideration due to it apparently being pseudo-scientific! She is just having a laugh surely I can almost hear you say? Sadly, like Eddie Noel’s contention that making multi-millionaire tax-evading parasites even wealthier with tax breaks makes us all “better off”, the Senator is not!

If the public doubt the States’ credibility now they sure will if we debate this!

Now, I have absolutely no intention of boring readers here with a few thousand words of my own analysis of the ‘for’ and ‘against’ arguments on global warming. Firstly, because there are a myriad of sources which put this across far better than I could. Secondly, because even leaving aside the dreaded ‘experts’ the argument is so obviously cut and dried. A basic fact: for every one report dismissing the concept there is at least three fully in support.

But being on the subject what I would like to flag up briefly as a result of this nonsense being put forward for debate is this. How desperately we need this next election to bring us more support in the Chamber in terms of people able to actually focus on, and work toward the bigger picture.

After all, one of the really disappointing outcomes of the last elections in 2008 was that only Daniel Wimberley of the four ‘Green’ candidates who stood got elected. For all of his now legendary over long speeches – make no mistake - Daniel has been a real breath of fresh air for anyone, who like me, really cares about Jersey’s long-term future.

Indeed, from what I saw of them, and I spoke to each at some length during the 2008 Senatorials and quite often since, Chris Perkins, Mark Forskitt and Nick Palmer would all have been equally welcome additions to a Chamber where a few of us are constantly fighting against the ‘quick buck today – tomorrow will never come’ mentality of the crackpot, free-market fundamentalist Establishment.

If nothing else this madness flags up how government needs a reality check.

And why that little bit of faith in me that hasn’t yet been curdled to utter cynicism after two years in the Chamber whispers that - surely we won’t be that stupid to vote Senator Ferguson’s amendment through - I can’t help thinking that just to be on the safe side we really could have done with Chris, Mark and Nick in there with us to be on the safe side.

As I have said more than once, I have never believed in what was the so-called ‘move to the next item’ motion but I must admit, faced with a two day debate on this amendment I could almost be persuaded otherwise. It is quite frankly a complete joke.

A silver lining for every cloud?

But ever looking for positives the way I see it there can only be two possible plus factors as we draw nearer to the Island Plan debate. One is that through a lengthy series of informed speeches as a final result some of the numpties who will usually vote for anything – so long as it isn’t being put forward by a so-called ‘leftie’ - will actually wake up and smell the coffee of political credibility brewing! It is election year after all…

The second is that the amendment may not even get debated at al. Rumour has it that the Senator may actually be out of the island investigating another Thatcherite antipoverty proposition: this being that the “so-called poor” who can’t afford Jersey’s inflated bread prices can actually survive by buying cake instead…

Keep the Faith!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011




If anyone still doubted just how inadequate and completely morally bankrupt this Council of Ministers is then surely Assistant Treasury Minister, Deputy Eddie Noel’s stand-up comedy routine last month should have torn the last strands of wool from such people’s eyes. .

Unable (as usual!) to answer even the most straight-forward of questions on 1 (1) Ks convincingly Deputy Eddie Noel had then proceeded to tell the Assembly that a report - which he had claimed “verified” that our super-wealthy tax evaders benefited the rest of the community by between £50 and £70 million - was in fact so secret and so sensitive that not only could Members not see it…they couldn’t even be informed as to who had complied and written it!  

Such a publication it seemed would lead quickly to Armageddon! I really wish that I was joking about this but I’m not. As a former colleague was often want to comment: you really couldn’t make it up.  

Of course, I’ll be looking at the sham and semantics of the politics of tax evasion and avoidance (don’t get hung up on the manufactured differences!) at length as we build towards the most important election in Jersey’s history. But for now let’s just briefly look at perhaps the most basic of myths spun to make this sickening hypocrisy half-palatable to ordinary working people all of these years…

This being the pure fiction that allowing the wealthy a bigger slice of the pie across the world  automatically always leads to everyone else being better off.

The politics of stupidity & greed

The States Chamber is not the first legislature to be treated to the despicable antics of free-marketeer ‘politicians’ trying to keep straight faces whilst deadpanning through their teeth that – far from the natural, ultimate consequence of such greed-based ideologies – the economic meltdown of the past three years is in fact all really down to over-paid and bloated public service workforces. Oh...and those damned 'lefties' of course!

Indeed, how many times have we heard the likes of Senators Le Sueur, MacLean, Shenton, Ozouf - never mind his political glove puppet - infer this garbage whilst screaming cut, cut, cut and cut again? No mention of incompetence on the part of Ministers; the waste caused by inefficient little empires created by untouchable, very senior Civil Servants... Many of these politicians and the sycophantic head-nodders who support and keep them in office do know better, of course, but we’ll talk about that and why they keep so quiet in a future post?

Personally I have lost count of hearing this desperate mantra of protecting the status quo at all costs; all too often in tandem with this standard right-wing tactic of shameless ‘guilt or blame transference’. But it’s not as if this smokescreen even ends there. For hand-in-hand with such garbage always go the groundless barbs hurled at any like me and the other ‘progressives’ in the States - who believe equality and social justice should actually be more than just words on a Strategic Plan - that such criticisms are based on envy; ‘not understanding’ or plain old ‘Socialist’ embitterment!  Worst of all any critics must be anti-Jersey!

Confronting the propaganda

Oh but you would say that you might respond? Well, fair enough. So just to clarify the reality far from relying on the word of one of us so-called ‘radical lefties’ let us instead briefly consider the findings of a true, renowned expert in the field: award winning economist Ha-Joon Chang.

Chang isn’t anti capitalism – he is anti unregulated, free-market capitalism. Because he is acutely aware that .the spin peddled out of elitist self-interest that making rich people even richer still automatically make the rest of us richer too is demonstrably untrue!

Let’s put it this way. Chang knows, and illustrates in his writings adroitly, that alleged wisdom that ‘we must give the rich a bigger slice of the pie’ because it will then automatically benefit us all is absolute tosh! No, not an anti capitalist message at all: Chang just knows - as many of us ‘progressives’ here in Jersey know -  that there is simply a much better way to operate it.

We’ll look at what this needs to entail in future posts over the coming months. Likewise the ethics (or lack of them) that allows many of the politicians you and me have elected in good faith to then go on to sell ordinary, hard-working people short: down the economic river in fact. For now let’s just end with a snippet of what Jersey’s ‘Establishment’ Party, like their counterparts around the globe, hate and fear so very much: facts. And what interesting facts they are!

Some very inconvenient facts

Utilizing data from the World Bank Chang points out that whilst the world economy used to grow in per capita terms at more than 3% during the 1960s and 70s, since the 1980s it has been growing at around 1.4% per year. (For the record Chang’s data is from 1980 – 2009).

Put in a nutshell what Chang demonstrates is that while since the 1980s the rich have globally been given a bigger slice of the pie due to the right-wing spin that they would automatically create more wealth and help us all by making the pie bigger – not to mention giving the rest of us a bigger slice - they have actually slowed down the pace of the rate which the pie is growing!

Of course, what needs to be secured by politicians to even make such a concept potentially begin to work is to ensure that those lovely tax evaders/avoiders actually invest more as a result of their wholly unjustified tax breaks courtesy of world governments. Which brings us neatly back to ‘Eddie’ Potter and the Chamber of Secrets?

Would you buy a secondhand car if you couldn't look under the bonnet?

A report has been written which in the limited case of 1(1) Ks apparently demonstrates this very thing. Only… politicians elected by the ordinary people of Jersey are currently not allowed to read it for themselves. No – just the chosen few who advocate such policies in the first place…. Makes you proud. And to think - we haven’t even considered the matter of morality yet!  

But would Treasury Minister Ozouf offer more ‘enlightenment’ when I followed up, questioning him in the States this very Tuesday? Would the Bald Truth (sorry, couldn't resist it!) finally reluctantly unfold if we kept the pressure up? Would the Council of Minister’s protestations of a solid commitment to openness, transparency and ‘political inclusion’ turn out to be of any more substance than America’s proclaimed commitment to supporting democracies that don’t accept that their interests must always come a poor second to that of the USA?

Well, judge for yourself…

Earth-shatteringly we finally got to know who wrote this most Top Secret of reports! But more on this particular angle in the near future…And we also got the promise that we could even have…an ‘executive summary’ of the report!  But as for the report in its entirety and quite possibly sight of all the bits that don’t quite back up the Establishment party spin… What do you think?  Nah. Don’t be silly! This is Ministerial government - Jersey style. Asking for that…well, anyone would think I was an elected Member of a democratic government or something!

And yet perhaps the most interesting development of all was not the contents of the report itself at all. No. It was the fact that the cold, hard World Bank data that I gave - that I have given now on two or three occassions - telling us that pandering to bullying and spin from mega-rich parasites and their apologists with tax breaks doesn’t actually automatically benefit those of us who have to live in the real world wasn’t  even disputed! Now you might have thought that the JEP might have picked up on that within their report on Thursday...

Never mind. Trust me. This one will run and run…