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...

Monday, 8 November 2010

Hell Bent...and Hell Deserving

Those who are not privileged to call themselves Old Victorians can only imagine the pride and sense of entitlement that is imparted on donning the blazer of that most exalted of local institutions; its prestigious golden crest and distinctive yellow braiding clearly mark one out to one's fellows as a member of the island's elite.

Certainly, as one strode home along St Saviour's Road, head held high after a day's hard study one was all too aware even at a tender age, of the respectful - nay deferential - regards it elicited from passers-by.

Alas, one must also add that one's reverie would occasionally be disturbed by reprobates from the nearby St Helier Boys school who would hurtle past on their bicycles screaming such foul epiphets as 'COLLEGE PUFF!' in one's general direction.

One can only speculate, but one would not be in the least surprised if one's childhood tormentors had been put up to their vile deeds by the young Stuart Syvret. For Mr Syvret has spent virtually his entire adult life practising the politics of envy, inciting similar displays of misplaced class hatred amongst his natural constituency of the most gullible and easily lead in our community. Those mentally and socially inadequate malcontents and ne'erdowells who either are unwilling or unable to take advantage of all the opportunities bequeathed them in the free, open and prosperous meritocracy carefully nurtured down the years by our island's wise and far-sighted rulers.

Thankfully however his Walter Mitty fantasies of riding to power on the back of mob rule as Jersey's Pol Pot have been thwarted by the good sense of the island's electorate, who in these times of economic hardship have rather more pressing concerns - such as their own offspring's school fees - than to entertain Mr Syvret's tales of battery, rape and murder in the island's childrens' homes.

One proposes that henceforth June 16, the date of his bye election defeat, be commemorated as the island's second Liberation Day. One need only cast one's mind back to that infamous spectacle at St Helier's town hall in May to realise the nightmarish future Mr Syvret had planned for our island. In scenes reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution, lone dissenting voices of sanity and reason were howled down by a baying mob whipped into a frenzy by his ranting invective and gorging on an obscene cult of personality.

It resembled, in Mr Syvret's own words, nothing less than "North Korea in the English Channel".

Indeed one would go further and suggest that Mr Syvret, as the self-appointed Godfather of sedition and subversion on our island, posed an even greater threat to the rule of law locally than Adolf Hitler himself: for at least the Nazi occupiers respected the sanctity of private property, allowing business to continue as normal so far as possible and even enabling several industrious local families to make their fortunes.

But if his election defeat represented his Stalingrad, surely his current court case represents the Battle of Berlin. Yet even now one finds Mr Syvret ranting and raving in his online bunker, surrounded by only his most fanatical acolytes. Yet even now as he faces his very own Götterdämmerung, he continues to make deluded claims of final victory. One can only be relieved that he does not keep a German Shepherd as a pet.

Of course there are learned and wise voices of one's acquaintance who argue that the current course of action is correct: that even if he owns nothing of greater value than his Che Guevara poster and the complete works of Marx, Lenin and Stalin (KGB edition), Mr Syvret should still be accorded a trial in the finest traditions of Jersey equity. And then once convicted given an exemplary sentence pour encourager les autres.

However one must respectfully disagree. Indeed one's worst fears have been confirmed as he has predictably chosen to use his trial as a platform to flout all norms of civilized behaviour, to advance his sordid and twisted political agenda and to peddle his adolescent conspiracy theories regarding the governance of our island.

If one had the opportunity to cross examine Mr Syvret in court one would ask: had it never occurred to him during his 20 years of what may loosely be termed 'public service', that the reason why there have been no major planning controversies in living memory is perhaps because our island has been blessed with statesmen of unique moral integrity, motivated solely by a profound sense of duty and seeking no reward save the satisfaction of having served the community to the best of their ability?

Men such as Senator Terry Le Main, whose reputation for honesty and fair play was so cruelly traduced in court by Mr Syvret's erstwhile 'partner' (one will leave readers to discern one's absolute revulsion at such domestic arrangements).

One acknowledges that recently there have been some unfortunate misunderstandings over his dealings with certain local businessmen which sadly led to his wholly unnecessary resignation as Housing Minister. But one contends any confusion was surely on the part of those who misinterpreted Senator Le Main's intentions as being anything other than to avoid incurring unnecessary expense for the Jersey taxpayer.

For it is a long standing unspoken convention on the island - one may call it a central tenet of 'The Jersey Way' - that the traditional legal and procedural niceties, those checks and balances sadly necessary in other less enlightened jurisdictions, can be safely bypassed on the word of a trusted public servant of good repute; and who is of greater repute locally than Senator Terence John Le Main?

Freed from the restraint of unneccessary red tape and burdensome regulation such seamless integration of the island's business and political classes has allowed our island to flourish, enabling islanders to enjoy an unbroken vista of prosperity and contentment that is nowadays the Jerseyman's birthright.

Such noble and altruistic ideals matter little to Mr Syvret, who, one suggests has far more to fear than a spell of imprisonment at La Moye. For in waging his campaign of terror over the last 20 years he has surely incurred the wrath of a far higher authority - and one is not referring to our beloved finance industry.

One has remarked previously that Mr Syvret's downfall represents an epic tragedy. That a man who was in the position to contribute (and to receive) so much should instead continue down the path to self destruction.
And if one ago
nizes over the mortal soul of each and every sinner, there no more wretched a sinner than Mr Syvret. Alas, one's prayers for his moral salvation have yet to be answered and one now fears eternal damnation awaits him in the Pit of Destruction.

Divine intervention not forthcoming, the next best course of action must be to beseech one's fellow believer, Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand, to perform a characteristic act of charity and have Mr Syvret committed to what one may call 'protective custody' for his own well-being and before he causes any further damage to the island's dearly cherished image abroad.

How one wishes that renowned comforter of troubled souls, one's much lamented great friend and spiritual mentor, the late Reverend Peter Manton were still with us. He alone, one feels, could have found the words of wisdom that could have convinced Mr Syvret of the error of his ways and shone a guiding light leading back towards the path of righteousness and away from his current course:

Hell bent and
Hell deserving.

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