When All Unite to Crush Dissent
Dark Days Cannot be Far Away.
Last Thursday, the Jersey parliament debated a proposition which asked the legislature to, essentially, express concern at the implications for private communications between elected representatives and their constituents. Indeed, the privacy of communications between politicians – and the right of people and their elected representatives to freely work together – without facing intimidatory and unlawful police harassments of the kind one might expect to encounter in a banana republic.
The proposition – which can be found in my posting of the 16th April – was, naturally, heavily defeated.
To the great self-satisfaction of the Jersey Establishment Party.
It apparently not occurring to them that the States of Jersey is certainly the only legislature in western Europe that would have expressed satisfaction at the fact that one of its members had been arrested and held in police cells for 7 hours – whilst his home was turned over – without a search warrant – by the police who took and copied privileged communications between him and his constituents – all because the member was doing an effective job in holding the executive to account.
And they wonder why so many people around the world regard Jersey as a failed jurisdiction?
Still – the outcome was predictable. The “thinking” of the oligarchy politicians being well-know beforehand.
As far as the detail of the debate is concerned – so very fascinating is that that I will write a posting in which I will analyse the content of the debate – and one or two other issues – later this week.
In the interim, a few reflections on the Politics of events.
A number of States members have been saying, both publicly and privately to other people that the police raid and search of my home without a warrant was – somehow – “justified” as some form of “punishment” or “retribution”.
That it was “high-time Syvret was punished for being so rude about establishment people on his blog.” And no – I’m not making that up.
Yes – a majority of Jersey politicians seriously believe that because someone is critical of the government of the day and rude about senior establishment figures – they get what they deserve if raided by the police without a search warrant and held in locked cells for 7 hours.
As a significant number of older Jersey people have said to me, “the last time they remember that happening to anyone because they had annoyed those in power, was during the Nazi occupation.”
For example, when I spoke during the debate of the police raid and search of the office and home of Damien Green MP, the predictable round of giggles and huffing and puffing went around the oligarchy benches. The mood seemed to be that Mr. Green is a respectable Conservative MP, which, indeed, he is. And I, by way of contrast, was – well – just some kind of anarcho-commie prole who refused to respect his social superiors – so the action against me was just fine.
The fact that the action taken against Mr. Green – and the action taken against me are qualitatively identical was of no interest to the Jersey Establishment Party.
In fact, we must draw two disturbing conclusions concerning the “thinking” of most States members. A number of them will have understood perfectly well the threat to parliamentary democracy which arises from the police-state-type action – but were quite indifferent to such considerations – and only really interested in the debate as a vehicle to vent their visceral hatred of me. Fear, you see, breeds hatred.
And of greater concern – the importance of the fundamental issues clearly went completely over the heads of a substantial number of members; they just didn’t “get it”.
The degree of political illiteracy displayed by a majority of States members will appear quite startling to any thinking person with a grasp of the workings of representative parliamentary democracy.
The action against Mr. Green elicited very, very substantial cross-bench support for him from all the main political parties, and attracted heavy criticisms from all sides of the House. In fact – with the exception of the Labour cabinet, it’s junior Ministers and a few other Labour apparatchiks – you would have been hard-put to find any MP who was not deeply concerned about the dramatic implications of the police action against Mr. Green.
Yet, the States Assembly showed itself to be incapable of likewise setting aside partisan politicking – instead just viewing the issue as yet another occasion for the dominant party to endorse the abuse of power against minority members.
The States of Jersey is the only democratic legislature which positively revels in the intimidation, harassment and oppression of minority members. A frequently exhibited tyranny by the majority – enthusiastically supported and facilitated by Phil Bailhache & Michael Birt.
It was openly said by a number of members after the debate that if the target of the police action had been any member except me, they would have voted in favour. A fact which, again, tells us a great deal about the non-existent capacity of these people to make competent decisions.
I was a politician for nearly 20 years – and during that time had some pretty – err – fractious relationships with political opponents, and was frequently on the receiving end of various insults, oppressions and obstructions from them.
But I could confidently state under oath that I have never voted in the chamber in a way I felt was wrong – just because to have done so would have been an opportunistic dig at political opponents.
Look – I even spoke and voted against a censure motion brought against Frank Walker.
I did so, because in my opinion, the censure motion was undeserved under the circumstances. And this was not that long after he had organised and led the unjustified efforts to have me terminated from Health & Social Services.
We carry a great responsibility for this community – which is why, as far as I’m concerned, personal antagonisms get left outside the chamber – and I speak and vote for what I genuinely believe to be the right decision.
There are a number of other States members of whom the same could be said.
However, they’re in a minority.
And that fact was illustrated yet again in Thursday’s vote.
The presentation of the debate by The Rag was very, very interesting – it dripped fear.
“Syvret Arrest: States Back Police” – screamed the headline. As though to have objected to the unlawful action against an elected member of the assembly and his constituents would have been some form of anarchist up-rising against the forces of law and order.
When the JEP displays such comical desperation to prop-up the establishment, you know they’re worried that the oligarchy may have gone too far this time. Well, they have – but that’s for another occasion.
Speaking of the Jersey media, I had to have a little chuckle when reading Rob Shipley’s A Backwards Glance column, in which he condemns my ‘imaginative invective’ – and begins to trot out – under the cover of an innocent musing – that tired old Jersey oligarchy device “patriotism”. That infamous “last refuge of the scoundrel”.
The Rag is nothing, if not predictable. I’ve been bombarded with this particular weapon by the JEP on too many occasions to remember during the last 20 years.
I make a critical remark – and even use a metaphor perhaps – to attack our stagnant oligarchy – and in JEP world – ‘it’s a traitorous attack on Jersey!’ “Syvret – the enemy within – insults Jersey!”
Look, Rob, there is this literary device called “metaphor”. The word is derived from the Latin, metaphoria, which is itself derived from the Greek terms for ‘transference’, ‘to carry over’, ‘to bear between’.
A metaphor is produced by a writer, say, for reasons of dramatic effect, hyperbole, economy of words or the making of a powerful connection between different things. Thus metaphor uses one word or phrase – to describe another, perhaps even unrelated, thing.
So when I described Jersey as the North Korea of the English Channel – I was using a “metaphor”, intended, with admitted hyperbole, to alert people to the dangers of excessive, abusive and intrusive policing being used by the establishment as a political device to harass and intimidate opposition politicians.
I don’t, actually, recollect – even indirectly – suggesting that the Jersey oligarchy have a growing stock-pile of nuclear warheads and are about to start testing an inter-Channel Island ballistic missile to take-out our odd-toed ungulate cousins upon the neighbouring rock.
For such devices would be terribly expensive – so why bother with them – when we can just send over Matt Banahan?
When you consider the oligarchy media and its various internet forums, you will read the out-put of their spin-doctors – who have evolved into trolls, and now sit desperately thrashing away under 20 different avatars.
You can tell it’s text-book spin – fresh from the production-line – because the tactic embodied in it is one of the oldest tricks in the book, namely, the diversionary counter-attack.
Ignore the real issues – and instead try and draw fire from your malfeasances by mounting a largely irrelevant attack on your opponent.
Thus in oligarchy-world the decades of the concealment of child abuse, the demonstrable lying and cover-ups by certain of today’s politicians, the many gross malfeasances of senior civil servants, the efforts being made to stitch-up the survivors – again, the use by the oligarchy of the police force to mount an illegal search on a politicians home and the consequent theft of a great quantity of constituents’ data – all virtually irrelevant.
The far, far more important subject being – apparently – what a rude bastard that Stuart Syvret is.
Certainly, my approach to my political work is a good deal more forthright and passionate than that of the average States member.
But before I be condemned for that, let us reflect on my political history.
I was elected as Deputy in 1990, at the age of 25, and three years later was elected as a Senator, a position I still hold 20 years since first getting elected.
Throughout that period, I have been entirely consistent, honest, reliable and determined in my representation.
The reality of politics in Jersey is, essentially, that of a single party state. And battling the greed, incompetence and short-term self-interest of the entrenched elite has been my work for 20 years.
The consequences for me personally of honestly representing my constituents – and trying to do what is right – have been 20 years of untrammelled abuse, smears, defamations, biases, insults, oppressions and lies.
I have had to put up with this kind of treatment at the hands of The Rag, BBC Jersey, and the rest of the unprincipled clowns and shysters – with no real or effective means of fighting back.
Until, that is, January 2008 – when I began blogging.
Citizen Media has finally empowered me, as it has millions of others, to get our voice heard – despite the old-fashioned control by the powerful over the traditional media.
We can no longer be silenced.
The fear and hatred this has evinced on the part of the traditional hacks does, I confess, produce a certain schadenfreude. Times were bad enough for traditional media in any event. But with the economic meltdown and the drying up of advertising – sites like this are helping to hasten the long over-due demise of the Jersey oligarchy’s propaganda rag.
But – I must say this for the Jersey Evening Post.
If my blog is aggressive, insulting, rude, upsetting to its targets, unfair – etc. – I must confess I learnt everything I know from the JEP.
Before I started this blog, I had been subjected to over 18 years of lies, smears, abuses and bias by The Rag.
So if what I write now seems belligerent, just reflect upon the fact that during these last 14 months I have simply begun to fight back – to give as good as I have been subjected to – for 18 years.
Do you know how many absurd, dishonest and biased – and anonymous – Rag editorial leader comments I have been subjected to over all those years?
I confess I’d have to search my archives – well, at least those the police haven’t stolen, to get the number quite right – but take my word for it – it’s a very large number.
In fact, I’d guess second only amongst all Jersey politicians to the avalanche of hatred and oppression heaped upon the late, great Norman Le Brocq.
For example, when I was illegally thrown out of the States Assembly for 6 months – by Phil Bailhache for exposing his mate as a shameless crook – The Rag printed no less than five editorial leader comments attacking me during that episode, as though I were the villain of the piece.
In fact – so comical, ignorant, Warsaw-Pact and, frankly barking-mad were these leader comments, I copied them and put them in a frame.
Much like today’s episode – when a corrupt, entrenched, stagnant oligarchy exhibits quite so much undisguised terror, and attempts to crush political dissidents – you know you must be doing something right.
Later in the week we’ll take a look at what emerged during the States debate, and consider the legal and political ramification for power in Jersey.
Until then – if you are a supporter of the Jersey oligarchy, just remember – concealing, and thus supporting and condoning, child abuse – is just fine – as far as your leaders are concerned – provided you’re terribly “polite” about everything.