Standing Up For The Jersey Way

"I have often wondered why it is that an insignificant, tiny Island should, from time to time, produce considerable numbers of men and women of outstanding character and ability, wholly disparate to its size. Is it something we have inherited from our Norman ancestors, although diluted over the years by French, English and other strains? Or is it that Islanders, such as we, in their formative years tend to be left to fend for themselves perhaps more than in larger societies? Again, is it that our schools...have maintained a consistency in standards of education and behaviour which other, less fortunate places, have not been able to do?"

- Sir Peter Crill CBE, Bailiff of Jersey 1986-1995

One is appalled to note the proliferation of local websites whose sole purpose seems to be to drag the island's fine name through the mud - or to borrow a phrase, to 'shaft Jersey internationally'.

Thus one has resolved to correct this imbalance. This 'blog' is dedicated to projecting a more positive image of our island, and to celebrating the tireless efforts of the exceptional men and women who have helped make Jersey the stable prosperous and contented community it is today.

Correspondents are encouraged to leave their own messages of gratitude and support for our selfless and devoted leaders...

Sunday, 11 April 2010

The Coming Man

One is somewhat reluctant to fall back on the use of cliches, but one feels obliged to conflate two such in considering the matter of Chief Minister Terry Le Sueur's successor. For if 'all good things come to an end' then it is also true that 'as one door closes, another opens'.

Certainly Mr Le Sueur has won widespread respect as he has proved himself to be a dignified and inspiring leader in the most trying of circumstances; a steady hand at the wheel of HMS Jersey as she navigates choppy and dangerous waters.

That said, given the deep reservoir of talent in the States assembly one is quite sure that his successor will be a man of no lesser ability who will lead the island into a new golden age of prosperity and contentment.

Indeed, several names have already been advanced, most notably that of Senator Philip Ozouf. However whilst one acknowledges and admires his masterful handling of the island's finances during such a difficult period, one does not believe that he is suitable candidate for the highest office owing to what one may term as his 'flamboyant' conduct in his private life.

For if Jersey is to maintain its reputation as a holiday destination, a place where young families would not hesitate to bring their children, then surely its political figurehead must be beyond all reproach: a moral exemplar and a happily married family man - as has always been the case in the past.

Furthermore such a delicate moment in our history calls for a calm head and a safe pair of hands. One urges that the next leader be drawn from the ranks of our wisest elder statesmen, whose proven track record in office inspires the full trust and confidence of islanders.

But he must also be a man of destiny, one comfortable at the most rarified levels of international diplomacy, who can walk into any international conference chamber and immediately command the respect and reverence of all those present.

Therefore one is more than a little surprised that the name of Senator Terry Le Main is not mentioned more.

He is a 'man of the people', one who speaks the language of the decent hard working Jerseyman. At a time of potential strife is best able to guide the man in the street away from the siren calls of the wreckers in our midst, such as those ghastly Anarcho-Bolsheviks of the JDA.

Equally however, one could envisage Senator Le Main deploying all his wit, charm and powers of persuasion on the international stage, for here is someone who is at ease with the 'Great and Good' as he is with the common man.

Moreover he is clearly one who reveres the island's traditions and can be trusted to 'stand up for the Jersey Way' when necessary. One well remembers how it was Senator Le Main who led attempts to restore dignity and order to proceedings following Senator Syvret's typically juvenile attempt to hijack the Christmas 2008 Father of the House speech for partisan ends.

Of course one readily admits that he is perhaps not so much a man of words - not, at least, in a chamber blessed with the supreme eloquence of the likes of Chief Minister Le Sueur and Senator Perchard - but let no one deny that he is most certainly a man of action. One cedes to no-one in one's admiration for the manner in which Senator Le Main has risen from humble origins to become one of our leading political and business leaders.

And at a time when there are so few positive role models for our younger generation to emulate, surely he must be held up as an inspirational example.

One often hears of the 'American Dream'. One believes it is time to talk of a 'Jersey Dream': that on our island any individual can aspire to prosper and to ascend the very peaks of political power solely by virtue of their talents and by good, honest hard work.

Perhaps if we were to do this, then surely we would find the living embodiment of such a noble sentiment in the life and times of Senator Terence John Le Main.

Indeed, the more one contemplates it, the more one is enthused by the prospect of a future Chief Minister Le Main.

He is surely 'the coming man'.

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