Friday, November 11, 2011

Why I signed Senator-elect Bailhache's nomination paper for Chief Minister

Seems a few eyebrows have been raised over this so I will explain for the curious. Firstly, it seems to me that the person who tops the poll in the Islandwide election and who decides to stand for the top job on the strength of that is worthy of consideration. True, Deputy Ian Gorst, who came second, announced during the campaign that he would stand as Chief Minister whereas Philip Bailhache didn't, but the latter didn't, as I recall, rule it in or out.

Secondly, Senator-elect Bailhache took the trouble on two occasions after the election to discuss with me what I felt the key issues facing St Helier are, whereas I didn't hear from Senator-elect Gorst.

Thirdly, Senator-elect Bailhache ran for office with a specific objective of sorting out the States Assembly, and it should be clear to anyone who listens in to the States, or watches from the visitors' gallery, or reads it on Hansard, and who has heard some of my (now infrequent) interventions, that I am really fed up with the amount of time we waste in there; we are testing the system to destruction and I am fully signed up to reforming the States so that those of us with other things to do as elected members, and in life, can get on with doing them.


Anonymous said...

You obviously haven't read the Sharp Report or listened to his 2008 Liberation day speech.

Darius Pearce said...

Simon you are a notorious fence-sitter, I like the new braver, bolder Constable who is prepared to take a stance.

As it happens Bailhache is my preferred candidate, but only because I want all of Jersey to know how badly they were misled during the election campaign.

James said...

There are many ways of reforming the States so that it works better; we see this from the way other similar assemblies have been reformed in the past. For example, the Reichstag after 1933 - a very efficient body, got things done...

voiceforchildren said...


"Thirdly, Senator-elect Bailhache ran for office with a specific objective of sorting out the States Assembly"

That alone should have had you running a bl--dy mile! He has been put in there, not only to rein Ozouf in, but to stifle dissent. Jersey is going back to pre 1769 Tom Gruchy time.

Is history set to repeat itself????????

Anonymous said...

Are you fully signed up for States reform to the extent of getting rid of the Constables?

This would get rid of their block voting strategy, which is clearly used to maintain the status quo. In reality there is no chance of improving democracy without this.

This must surely be the first thing to change?

Also, Mr Bailhache stated this week that "the only true vote is a secret vote". ie: for the CM.

Does he also mean that naming the "Pours" & "Contres" after each vote should also be made secret? This is not a secret vote (yet). Is that long held States tradition invalid & up for reform? Did you ask him?

Do you agree with Mr Bailhache that more secrecy is the way forward?

Care to comment?

Anonymous said...

But what about the Abused Children of Jersey?

Tom Gruchy said...

Well of course you - as a Constable - should not be in the States at all. It would be much better for Jersey if the 12 parishes received the full attention of their elected Constables. They should be encouraged to take on fuller responsibility for many of those matters that waste so much time in the States Assembly - such as parish policing or organising a bus service, providing homes and making information and advice accessible.
Your salary should also be paid and fixed by your own parishioners.
If you want to have a Committee of Constables that meets to discuss matters of common concern that is ok - but your agenda should be fully published and public participation encouraged.
Unfortuntaely Philip Bailhache wnats to retain the Constables in the States yet still wants to prune the assembly down to 42 members. Obviously he does not see the Constables as a part of the unruly faction that must be curbed. He wants to suppress dissent at source and he also wants to be able to dismiss any Ministers that disagree with him too.
In fact, the States Assemebly, with its local, "national" (all Island) and international roles will be incapable of providing effective, democratic government even with 100 members. The task is simply too great for an Island that has embraced a high profile, high cost, international finance way of life. This Island may have the mentality of an agricultural community in the country parishes but the reality is totally different.
So if you have signed Philip's paper because you expect to participate in a more docile and cooperative system of government I hope you won't be holding your breath.
The problems that started with the closing of Woolworths and promise to grind through the basic fabric of this little community over the next few years - will not be addressed by Philip's brand of optimistic but privelege based democracy.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but you will live to regret this. Bailhache got voted in not because 17,000 people wanted him but because lots of well known Jersey family leaders forced their relations to block vote. Listen to his voice on RJ before the election. You will hear a man who knows he was going to win. He plans to eliminate the growing voices of dissident by re-arranging the furniture and then make Jersey independent. You might feel Ok about this but there are many many who don't. He will make TLS seem quite popular. You also have to question why he resigned from being Bailiff?
Ghorst is more in tune with the people. You should vote for him to redeem yourself.

Anonymous said...

Is very happy as I like how your not vote in line with the other cunstibales.
Now i am not sure becase im thinking this philip bailche man is not a good person. Sorry but I tell you the troth.

Anonymous said...

What a mess. Jersey heading from the frying pan into the fire.

Anonymous said...

Simon, I have always had a lot of respect for you and what you have achieved as constable of St Helier. I must admit I was surprised to see you had signed Sir Philip's nomination.

Personally, if anyone who has read his manifesto does not see it as the most dangerous threat to democracy we have seen they cannot understand English.

If he is succesful in fulfilling some of his wish list the island will be a lot worse of for many of us. Some other will be very happy but many like me will not be.

I agree with Darius, if he gets the job and applies his manifesto successfully I think a fair few will regret voting for him.

St Helier resident said...

Well Simon if you go by the CTV poll you have chosen to lie with the one the public DOESN'T want.

We know that Bailhache is a feudal right-winger and Gorst is a centrist so with your caring?? social conscience I was really surprised that you chose to support PB "just because he came and spoke to you and IG didn't!"

My opinion of you has plummetted massively

An EX supporter and St Helier resident

Anonymous said...

Another example in the EP this evening,with the editer suggesting to the readers that bailhache is the right one for chief minister,he should keep his views to himself on subjects such as this, if I were Mr goust i would complain most strongly.

Anonymous said...


Your not stupid.

You hand him the rope.

Method in your madness.

Anonymous said...

Your improvments for St Helier have on the whole been good and I'd always hoped one day you'd stand for Senator.
But on nominating Sir Philip for CM, I'm suprised with you on this. Gorst is young, consensual, wants more transparency, he seems much more intersted in average Jo to me. Bailhache strikes me as someone who is the opposite of the above.

Nick Palmer said...

Philip Bailhache is not bad, as feudal "sense of entitlement" types go.

Gorst at least has a moral compass which points vaguely in the right direction but Sir Philip's is skewed by his authoritarian streak.

I wanted you as Chief Minister!

Anonymous said...

Let's face it neither of them is really up to the job but then which States Member is?

What has Gorst actually done?

1. Raised taxes and in the worst possible way - through social security increases which disproportionately hit those worst off.

2. Made bad investment decisions on the Social Security fund.

3. Initiated lots of expensive but ineffective back to work programs.

4. Started a spy on your neighbour and tell us when we have made a mistake hotline.

5. Whatever Ozouf tells him.

There is no easy choice here Simon, but I think you have made the right one- you are just not going to be able to please everyone or even a majority whichever way you went.

Anonymous said...

I'm a RATIONAL progressive and think you've done the right thing. Unhappily so many progressives in Jersey dwell in la la land (e.g. Syvret with Ian and Cyril and their "freeman on the land" bonkers reactionary stuff -- Google it; "Tom Gruchy" ... don't get me started). Philip Bailhache is the kind of one-nation conservative that is the least worst option for the next 3 years, given the complete inability of progressives to work together. Record: understanding that life is about more than money (arts, civil partnerships); reform of the legal system (yes, really); years of work in rebuilding trust with Germany; on the campaign trail, one of the few to raise the condition of agricultural workers; questioning this 20 means 20 policy.

Anonymous said...

Mr Constable! Good to see you are blogging again. the reasons you have given for supporting PB seem perfectly logical to me. Crack on!

Anonymous said...

You want to be a prolific popular and long serving politician. The truth is that the public are being fed the warts and all truth by the blogs supported by objective facts that not even the JEP or other lame media can spin. You were correct in supporting Graham Power, I for one admired you.

Pick your side carefully Simon. No threat intended but please just remember who puts you in office. Look what the voters did to Le Brocq it may be your turn next time.