LETTER FROM EXILE: # 3

LOOKING INTO THE MICROCOSM

FROM REALITY.

STRIKE BACK AT THE HEART OF DARKNESS:

PUBLIC PROTEST.

10.30 ONWARDS.

MONDAY 2ND NOVEMBER.

Bill Bailhache’s Swearing-In

As Our Latest Unaccountable Feudal Baron.

Whilst it is difficult to know, with certainty, I would estimate that the great majority of decent people in Jersey do not like the ruling political establishment.

In fact, that’s probably another “offence” on the charge-sheet. A brazen breach of the Protection from Understatements (Jersey) Law October 2009.

People see incompetence, an absence of strategic thinking, a broadly very poor degree of senior management in the public sector – which frequently hinders, rather than helps, the front-line work force, ruination of our environment, increasing tax burdens on the less well-off and a States assembly in which the majority of members seem to lose all awareness of the public’s existence a week after the election.

In nearly all walks of island life – apart from a narrow grouping who find the status quo extremely beneficial – you come across dissatisfaction and exasperation with the States.

But here, our flimsy speculations founder upon the intellectual rock of the Jersey oligarchy.

‘What nonsense’ – our lords and masters say – ‘the great majority of people in Jersey are perfectly content with the political establishment. Why, if they were not, there would be political expression of that dissatisfaction. But look – a majority of the same type of States member gets returned at every election – and voter turn-outs are extremely low, less then 30% in some urban areas. That must be because people are broadly satisfied. If they weren’t – they’d turn out to vote.’

Whilst those of us familiar with Jersey know that around 85% of the population would not agree with that argument – we must concede, it possesses a certain crude logic.

We are, after all, a democracy; people could decide to try a different government, if they wanted. So why don’t they?

We never succeed in changing the Jersey government – because we are fragmented and divided.

We fail to see that certain issues which may anger us as individuals – inflation, job-insecurity, destruction of the environment, too much tax on the poor and not enough on the wealthy – and a hundred similar issues – are all symptoms of the same problem.

A shallow, short-termist and stagnant political environment which – for decades – has grown stupid and complacent through an absence of competition.

Some of us may protest to protect our coastline from over-development; some may protest at nurses not being paid a realistic salary; others protest to make the establishment deliver the Town Park; others still may protest at being taxed on basic food-stuffs; some will protest at the failures of our judicial system to protect abuse survivors and punish the guilty; many will protest against construction in the green zone – and any number of other causes.

What we are very poor at doing is recognising the interrelated nature of all such problems – and the need to unite to combat that which causes them – namely a failed, stagnant and unresponsive power-structure.

Which is why I hope a few people will come to the Royal Square at 10.30 – 12.30 this Monday morning – to take part in the public protest at the swearing-in of William – Barking Bill – Bailhache as Deputy Bailiff.

I could write at very great length indeed about this man’s many, many malfeasances.

I could also write at great length – cataloguing many of the monstrously brazen Political abuses he has made of his unelected position as Attorney General.

I could go into very well-documented examples of his various denials of justice to abuse survivors.

I could explain in considerable detail how this man is so, frankly, divorced from reality – to the point of being irrational – as to think it appropriate, desirable or sustainable to abuse his position and powers to engage in direct, calculated political oppression – of a kind that wouldn’t be out of place in the former East Germany.

I could point out his brazen breaking of Article 47 of the States of Jersey Law – which is designed to protect your elected representatives from blackmail, menace, obstruction and threats.

I could refer to the fact that he – apparently – thinks that he knows best who should sit in the States assembly – your parliament – and if he thinks that you – the voting public – have “elected the wrong person” – he will “put right” that “mistake” by oppressing and obstructing your democratically elected representative.

I could point out just what a lying, posturing, paternalistic, self-regarding, dangerously megalomaniacal, neo-Victorian nincompoop and buffoon Mr. Bailhache is.

I could point out that – for the “utility” of employing this man – who lets-off real criminals – and instead oppresses your democratic freedoms – you will be paying him around £300,000 per year – plus vast final salary pension.

I could elaborate upon all of those things.

But I won’t.*

*Not today, anyway.

I won’t – because to do so would be to fall into the same traps that usually work for the Jersey oligarchy – namely:

‘Divide to rule’.

And

‘Get people narrowly focused upon a symptom – so they don’t see the real underlying cause.’

Because no matter what a toxic, power-crazed, deeply unpleasant and, frankly, dangerous man is Bill Bailhache – he is a symptom – not the cause.

The cause is the intellectually and ethically bankrupt, stagnant and unchallenged monopoly of power we have let the Jersey oligarchy enjoy.

And it is because such characters as Bill Bailhache are symbols and figureheads of that corrupt system – that we should protest against them.

Those who don’t follow Jersey politics in a close way may not have picked-up on the nuances – but make no mistake – the small protest that was mounted against the swearing-in of Mick Birt – protector of child abusers and serial killers – as Bailiff was like a dagger in the heart of the traditional oligarchy.

You see – protesting against people like Terry Le Sueur – or the Chief Minister, Phil Ozouf – whilst always a worthwhile thing to do – just doesn’t have any lasting impact upon the real forces of power in Jersey.

People like me – and the establishment States members are – when all is said and done – just here today-gone tomorrow politicians.

Convenient ‘safety-valves’ perhaps – upon who the public can vent their dissatisfaction and anger occasionally – whilst the real power at the centre of “The Jersey Firm” remains unseen, unchallenged – and simply carrying on as usual.

But, for the first time in 800 years – for there to have been a noisy public protest at the swearing-in of a Bailiff – when the usual course of events would have been for us ordinary people to be lined-up outside – in awe-struck deference at the sheer majesty of the clowns in fancy dress and their plastic pageant – shook the Jersey oligarchy to its core.

You see – being narrowly focused on our individual concerns – and certain symptoms of States failure – we would usually not see the real problem.

Instead we – the peasants – would be gathered in the Royal Square – expected to doff our caps at these oligarchy lynch-pins – grateful that they have taken on such a burden for us – and only charging us £300,000 a year.

Plus pension.

I mean – if they didn’t – well, who else would protect various States departments from prosecution for their variously corrupt and criminal failings?

Who else would shoulder the burden of giving legal advice to the oligarchy States members – to enable them to stitch-up the public interest and taxpayers – again?

Who else would use their Oxbridge connections in the British judicial old boys’ network – in order to ensure the Jersey oligarchy remain free of any democratic control or legal accountability?

Who else would sit there, in the States chamber – ready at a second’s notice – to come charging into battle like the Seventh Cavalry – to rescue the Jersey Establishment Party from a looming defeat?

So grateful – and ignorant – are we supposed to be, that we’re not meant to notice these oligarchy characters’ anti-democratic ascension into power.

We’re not supposed to notice their politicisation; we’re not supposed to notice the fact that they always protect the oligarchy from the broad interest of ordinary people; and we’re not supposed to notice the fact that we pay these people vast amounts of money to – essentially – oppress us.

But at Mick Birt’s swearing-in – for the first time, people did finally begin to focus their anger at the real core of power in Jersey. Which is why that small protest so rattled the Jersey Establishment Party.

They worry, that they are, perhaps, seeing the first stirrings of a growing awareness on the part of Jersey people that we have been taken for a ride; utterly betrayed – and that our various and fragmented problems are all just symptoms of a bent and rotten system.

Which is why the oligarchy are doing all they can to minimise public awareness of Monday’s protest.

Which of the Jersey media have reported it?

Has BBC Jersey given any coverage at all to the protest – and the reasons for it?

Perhaps they will interview one of the organisers at 7.10 tomorrow morning, to ask why the protest is happening?

Though, somehow – and I can’t for the life of me quite put my finger on it, but I just have this distant suspicion – I doubt it.

It is a Monday morning – 10.30 – 12.30 – and most people will be at work, so it’s difficult to get there – but if you do have a bit of time on your hands tomorrow morning – try and get along to the Royal Square. If you can’t make the whole 2 hours, 11.30 would be a good time to show up – or perhaps come along in your lunch break.

If the States and the Jersey oligarchy generally, have ever angered you – if you’ve felt betrayed by them – if you feel they’ve led Jersey to ruination – tomorrow represents a chance for you to express those views.

Express them at a time and place which will cause the maximum possible irritation and annoyance to the Jersey Establishment Party.

STRIKE BACK AT THE HEART OF DARKNESS.

10.30 ONWARDS.

MONDAY 2ND NOVEMBER.

You know it makes sense.

Stuart.

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