Just in case there was any confusion concerning the Joke of the Post which accompanied my last post, ‘Anatomy of a Spin #4’, I wish to make it perfectly clear that this joke did not refer to any judge in Jersey.

This is pretty obvious when you think about it.

There would never be a trial in Jersey for ‘political corruption’.

Indeed – as far as I am aware from the last few decades, there never has been a trial for ‘political corruption’ in Jersey

This notwithstanding the fact that to my certain knowledge – and that of others – there are at least one or two occasions when Jersey politicians should have been ‘cuffed & stuffed’.

No – we will have to wait upon the, admittedly remote, possibility of anti-establishment politicians getting into positions of power before we see such a spectacle.

Only then – we could be sure – would the Jersey prosecutory and judicial authorities swing into full battle mode – examining every action with microscopic intensity – ready to savage non-establishment politicians for heinous offences – you know – stuff like taking a packet of office biscuits out of the tea room.

Stuart Syvret

Book of the Post:

Sleaze: The Corruption of Parliament, by Ed Vulliamy and David Leigh.

Joke of the Post:

A Jersey politician is rushing across the street to get to the bank before it closes. Tragically, they are hit by a monstrous SUV and killed outright.

Their soul slowly coalesces and drifts up above the streets of St. Helier – obviously taking a little longer than would be the case for a ‘civilian’ – before arriving at the pearly gates.

There, in his majesty, stands St. Peter, ‘Welcome to Heaven’, he says. ‘Now – we’re a little non-plused as to what to do with you. It’s so rare for us to find a politician seeking admission to the Kingdom of Our Lord.

‘Don’t worry’, says the politician, ‘I’m used to having no idea what I am supposed to be doing, making things up as I go along, and pretending to understand what is going on. I’ll fit right in.’

‘Well’ – says St. Peter ‘yes, I can see that you have a natural talent for faking it. But in Heaven, we need a little more rigour. So, before we admit you, we need to test which environment most suits you – Heaven or Hell; we’d like to hear your assessment.’

‘So – we will give you a day in Heaven and a day in Hell. You could think of it as getting chosen to represent Jersey at a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association AGM. You could end up with taxpayers flying you – business class – to Sri Lanka for a week or two – or flying Aurigny to Guernsey on a wet November weekend. Are you starting to get the picture now?’

‘Yes’, says the politician. So St. Peter takes him to a dark, deep shaft – and down he drifts – slowly filing with trepidation at the prospect of entering Hell. The doors open – and he finds himself on a beautiful coastal golf course, marvellous greens, and, at the end of the course, an impressive club-house with not an irritating prole in sight. In fact, the only people around are the politician’s friends and colleagues from the world of politics – fellow politicians, senior civil servants, spin-doctors and news editors. They all look enthusiastic, confident and attentive. They play a happy and relaxing game of golf, and when finished, they dine on fresh Jersey lobster and caviar – all washed down with the best Champaign. Even Satan – who is the resident professional – appears to be a reasonable guy who likes to exchange anecdotes and have a good laugh.

Time flies buy, and soon St. Peter summons the soul of the Jersey politician up to Heaven. ‘Now’ he says, after your 24 hours in Hell – you can experience 24 hours in Heaven.’

So the politician spends a day possessed by the most unusual feelings of spiritual purity, cleanliness and wisdom as he drifts across the clouds of Heaven, playing his harp.

Suddenly, the politician is back at the gates – St. Peter standing before him. ‘You have seen Heaven and Hell – we wouldn’t usually do this, but because you are a politician – and used to making decisions which can either inflict misery or deliver happiness to people – we will allow you to choose where you will spend eternity.’

The politician doesn’t need long to think. ‘You know, Heaven is indeed, a marvellous place, but – you know – Hell just looked a bit more pleasurable – and it certainly appeared to have more property development opportunities. So – I’ll take Hell.’

St. Peter nods and gives a knowing smile. Back down a long shaft of darkness goes the politician – but this time, when the gates of hell open – all that can be seen is a blasted and barren waste-land of reclamation sites filled with carcinogenic toxic ash, decaying concrete ruins and slums. Here, all his friends – all the politicians, editors, spin-doctors and senior civil servants are shuffling around picking up rubbish, being forced to look at the Waterfront Hotel and having to pay Goods & Services Tax on each breath of the rancid, cadmium and dioxin-laden air they breathe.

The shocked politician now sees his eternal doom. And across the wretched toxic waste-dump comes Satan.

‘What’s happened,’ says the politician, ‘this was not what I voted for. Yesterday this was a beautiful golf course, with a wonderful restaurant – and all my friends from the world of politics seemed happy and relaxed?

Satan looks at the politician and says ‘Yes – but yesterday we were just campaigning – today – you’ve voted for us.’

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