Well, that’s what the Jersey Action Group did last Saturday night. I won’t
go into details about whom they were talking about or what they said, for fear of unintentionally doing their dirty work for them. But it was nasty and lacked basic humanity.
I wrote as much underneath their Facebook post, and they deleted said post within the hour. I give them no credit for doing so, as it shouldn’t have appeared in the first place. But I do thank them for offering an example of the depths they’re willing to plumb to try to win an argument. In this case, it was about the ongoing lifeboat saga.
I won’t rehearse all the arguments, but they – like many others – believe the Island needs an additional Islander-funded lifeboat service as well as the fully operational lifeboat service we currently have.
That JAG highlights perceived failings in the Island is its right. That it intends to support candidates committed to improving things in the Island is to be applauded. But when their attacks are on people rather than policies, especially when those people aren’t even elected representatives, they should pause and take stock of their actions.
Those actions may prove to be wholly effective, but they would be hollow victories wrapped in a moral bankruptcy. I suspect all those involved with JAG consider themselves better than that. With less than two months until polling day, now’s the time for them to both talk the talk and walk the walk.
TALKING of the General Election, I am delighted to unveil my 2018 manifesto and #VoteGary hashtag which has gone viral among literally some people on Twitter.
Vote for me in May and I will commit to just one policy which I will pursue to the best of my ability: I will ban from the road, for life, all those who don’t know how to use the roundabout at the top of Beaumont Hill. You know the ones. They sit there, at the front of the queue, and wait. And wait. And wait. They bring the natural flow of a roundabout, which is reliant on drivers with brains being behind the wheel, to a standstill.
I was considering a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ policy, but I’m now convinced that by the time they’re caught, they’ll already have sinned at least twice. So, in my world, you’d be consigned to the passenger seat or bus stop.
Actually, scrap that. I don’t think political life in 2018 is for me. So if any candidates, JAG or elsewhere, want to nab my policy, they may well get my vote.
AND finally, a few days ago I experienced my first ever parish hall inquiry. I’d received a parking ticket which I didn’t believe was warranted. Never mind #VoteGary, it was time to deploy #FreeTheBurgessOne.
The whole experience is fascinating.
It began with a wait (a long wait) in the small, strip-light-lit waiting room at St Brelade’s Parish Hall. To my left, a lady complaining she was only going a bit fast. To my right, a guy who said
the same and a lady who didn’t have an insurance disc.
They seemed to be admitting guilt in the waiting room, and to add to my anxiety was a big sign on the notice board saying the parish takes a ‘ZERO TOLERANCE’ approach to parking tickets and that if I appealed against their decision at the Magistrate’s Court, I’d likely have to pay their legal costs.
The whole system is designed to make you cave in under the pressure. But one of my many annoying traits is a tendency to dig in when it becomes a matter of principle. This was no longer about a £60 fine (or £40 if I’d caved in earlier). It was about being proved right.
Eventually I was ushered into a grand office. My heart was beating. I was cautioned by the Centenier and a Duty Officer kept notes as we spoke. It was explained that I was in the wrong, and there was photographic evidence to prove it. Case closed, Miss Marple.
And then I presented my evidence: a copy of the law in question, explanatory notes from the States of Jersey website about parking rules, and a wish for the Centenier to apply common sense.
The mood suddenly changed. My evidence was sufficient. I was a free
man and the Centenier was suddenly my new best friend. I didn’t tell him that, but he was a few seconds shy of getting a hug and a kiss from me, such was the relief.
Thankfully, the Duty Officer waved me out in the nick of time.