St Clement Hustings

It felt like a bit of a cold start all round for the St Clement hustings.  Sen Cohen didn't get any applause at the end of his 4 min speech. The constable rather pointedly ignored one of his constituents who wanted to ask a question all evening. I was last to speak - not a position in which one can make much impact , especially when you are half masked by a drape.

Some things have become clear. Rose Colley is far closer to Mr Bailhache and co than I had hoped or expected. Linda Corby struggled a bit keeping focus, but her instincts seem good. However the biggest howler to my mind was made by Mr Bailhache in his 4 minutes , there he decried States members who bring propositions of no importance. It is not his position to determine what is or is not important. That is for the representatives to decide, and ultimately their electors through the ballot box. But the press won't pick that up because he speaks with a nice educated voice and it sounds reasonable at the time.  That won't happen unless we have reporting that applies political analysis to the content of what is said rather than trite pieces on the superficialities of  candidates' personalities.

We had a question on Radon, which most candidates talked about granite houses, rather then the geology. Few had anything to offer other than following the new building bye laws. I think I was alone in callimg for monitoring in public buildings, like schools and hospitals.

There was a question about whether candidates would help constituents redress injustice, a pointed comment re Mr Gorst. All said yes of course, but it was for Stuart Syvret and myself to point out that it had not happened over 40 years regarding child abuse, so what had all those politicians been doing?

There was a question about whether candidates thought referenda should be binding , and should we have one re 1.1.k taxation.  I understand the problems of making referenda binding, and the possibility of getting inconsistent policy that way, but in a democracy the will of the people has to mean something.If it is to be binding the bar must be high, at least 65%

The best question of the evening in many ways was whether the candidates believed in  equality of opportunity for youths and what would they do about it.  Most candidates dived straight into education of course.  I was last and was alone in pointing out you need diversity in the economy to give broader opportunity too.  If you have children in cold damp flats who get ill often and so miss school it matters not how good the teaching they are not getting equality of opportunity.  Similarly, children who arrive at school hungry cannot focus or concentrate on lessons no matter how bright. We need to tackle these social issues if we are to come anywhere near equality of opportunity.

Some people still seem to be under the illusion that the media have a duty to be fair and impartial in their reporting. That applies in part to the television, and specifically to the BBC under its charter, but for commercial newspapers like the JEP that is not the case.  Two small examples today will show you the sort of accidental  things that occur with a tedious regularity.  The BBC radio today had a problem with the phones, and the usual number to call in to ask candidates questions was not working. Pure coincidence that it was the day Mr Bailhache was on and thereby ordinary callers could not put their awkward questions to him.  The other is a large spread in the JEP on social media and elections by Ben Queree. There is a box with a list of the election candidates who are on twitter, but strangely omits one candidate who is active on twitter, and even followed by Ben. Yes you've guessed, it is one of the overtly non-establishement candidates.

If last time is anything to go by, expect a rather curtailed report of the hustings, and the more interesting questions to be omitted altogether.

Tomorrow night St Peter.

Video of  three of the candidates giving their initial speeches, including me, can be seen at   Tom Gruchy


Anonymous said...

The local media should be ashamed of themselves.
Good luck in the election, you have all three votes from this house !.

Anonymous said...

"If you have children in cold damp flats who get ill often and so miss school it matters not how good the teaching they are not getting equality of opportunity. Similarly, children who arrive at school hungry cannot focus or concentrate on lessons no matter how bright. We need to tackle these social issues if we are to come anywhere near equality of opportunity."

I totally agree. I was a child who was brought up in very damp housing and have ill-health to prove it. My parents were very poor and managed to survive on very little. But I never lacked happiness as my parents were very young and hardworking and did their best and I had a happy home. God Bless Them Both.

But you are so right to bring these important issue to the fore.

Calimachon aka ahimsa

Anonymous said...

Mr Bailhache and the title 'Sir'.. Well I have had a bee in my bonnet on the title game of Sir and Advocate.. Sir is Sir, but an Advocate isn't really a title.. You can use the title Dr, but the state media rend to forget to use peoples titles correctly, but use establishment titles like advocate.. Despite making complaints to the JEP and Channel TV they still omitted some and award others... Jasen

alane said...

Good to hear about it all. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mark. I am unable to get to the hustings and so appreciate your comments. How are the seating arrangements decided? Hope you won't be sidelined and last to speak again.

The "youth" question is very pertinent. Was it to do with education, for it seems to me that it was more to do with the lack post-education opportunities in accommodation, employment, etc..


Anonymous said...

You did well last night Mark. Your observations are interesting.

Catherine said...

Well done, Mark, you were excellent. Overall though, I thought the quality of the candidates was very poor.

GeeGee said...

Good analysis Mark. I thought that the Constable's ignoring of VFC who had his hand up all evening was most improper, the reason he gave being that he thought he was 'the media'! Oh how they can change their tune to suit.

Rose Colley most definitely Establishment and a fence sitter to boot. Someone who uses the words 'however' or 'it could be said' when answering a question is clearly trying to keep all side happy. No vote from me there.

I had already pretty well made up my mind which three (not four) candidates I was going to vote for in any event and on last night's showing there was nothing to make me change my mind.

Mark Forskitt said...

Thank you all for the kind words and comments. I will try to reply when time permits. There is only an hour and a half between getting home from work and getting to the hustings tonight. Right now I have to get ready for the St Peter Hustings.

Nick Palmer said...

I see Mr Bailhache totted up the number of questions asked in the States, then and now. Five times more now - and he portrayed this as a bad thing...

Some would say that those in power now face some enquiring minds in opposition to their complacent "Daddy knows best" approach to politics, and some would say the noted increase in questioning is a very healthy sign.

Mark Forskitt said...


The order is done by ballot each hustings, nothing sinister there.

The youth question was open ended, certainly not education specific, and I agree the narrowness of our economic base is an issue when it comes to youth employment opportunities.