Thursday, October 3, 2019

Jersey Hemp - A tour with Glyn Mitchell (soil specialist) October 2019

This video was recorded in October 2019.
Glyn Mitchell kindly showed us around so that we can better understand what hemp production means in Jersey in 2019.
Glyn explains how hemp is grown and harvested, how it relates to other crops such as the Jersey potato and the products that can be made from this remarkable plant.
He also explains about the organic nature of the all important soil that is essential for the growth of the finest quality hemp.

The video below follows Glyn around the Jersey Hemp premises at Warwick Farm and shows how it is cultivated and processed ;

This video below shows the shop on the premises where some hemp products can be purchased by the general public ;

Monday, September 23, 2019

Independent Jersey Care Inquiry Panel final report 23 September 2019 - A bang or a whisper?

Frances Oldham QC presented the final report of the  Independent Jersey Care Inquiry Panel today 23 September 2019  at St Paul's Centre, Jersey. This was a "two year review" of progress since their main Report was published.
She spoke for 90 minutes. This has been recorded and can be made available if there is enough interest.
The panel  - herself as Chair  plus Alyson Leslie and Sandy Cameron -  having worked on the problems of children in Jersey for 6 years. They will not return to consider further progress.

Prof Sandy Cameron CBE was available for interviews by the press and bloggers and appears below interviewed by Mike Dun. The interview has not been cut ;

Chief Minister Senator Le Fondre and Children's (and Housing) Minister Deputy Sam Mezec were also interviewed by Mike Dun. This interview is uncut and appears below ;

Alan Collins the English lawyer who has been prominent in representing and fighting for the rights of many children in Jersey for over a decade was interviewed and this appears below. This interview is also uncut and the sound is not perfect.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

More eyewash to treat hearing impairments? Or a new dawn?

This evening 19 September 2019 I attended a semi-public meeting organised by the Deaf Partnership Board.
It was a very good meeting addressed by Minister of Health Deputy Richard Renouf and a team of about 8 persons with particular roles in the "deaf community" of  Jersey.

There was an "audience" of about 60 plus persons many of whom had hearing impairments or had a personal interest in the subject.  There was a very lively and outspoken Q and A session which included many criticisms of services available past and present. All speakers were supported by signers and  visual caption screens that displayed their speeches and presentations.
Unfortunately there were some technical problems with the screens and the hearing loop did not work

I recorded the Minister's address and his summing up and it is linked here but was asked not to record other participants, signers or the public but I recorded one short interview after the meeting with a woman from the audience.

There was much critical comment from participants at this meeting and many defects were outlined that I have encountered over 40 or more years in Jersey.

The range of defects described were extensive and encountered in most aspects of life from babyhood to adulthood, in education at all levels, employment, consulting with doctors, interpretation etc and all manner of communication difficulties.
It was made sadly obvious that  "techno" wizardry is not sufficiently reliable and will not provide all the everyday answers needed. There was  resistance to the use of some technical aids in certain situations.
Time and time again the expressed need was for trained persons to be employed - not machines - with particular "deaf awareness" knowledge as well as BSL skills to level 3 and beyond.
There is a great shortage of such people in the UK to draw upon.
One in Six people are reckoned to have a hearing impairment and there are 6,000 hearing aid users in Jersey.

Videos below - Deputy Richard Renouf's address to the meeting as Minister of Health;
 Below is Richard Renouf summing-up;

Below is an interview with a woman from the audience ;

Discrimination evidently presents itself in many forms in Jersey and such meetings are needed much more often to help combat it and other unfairnesses.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

How to make a socialist.... and end capitalism to save the world....

This blog is dedicated to my father William George Dun and all other socialists who have passed this way.
So far as I know, my father was not much interested in politics at all until Bristol was heavily bombed and much damaged during WWII. That was when he became a socialist I think
So Adolf and his supporters probably enlarged world-wide a political class that his absurd dream was intended to eliminate.

I guess that Norman Le Brocq's Socialist  political views were fermented during that same war too during the German Occupation of Jersey.

For may part, I seem to have inherited my father's political views but I am always curious to know how others became politically aligned - whether to the left or right or any other direction - and it is always especially odd when people maintain no interest in political matters at all.

Here I have recorded a discussion with two very different Jersey residents who are "Socialists." They explain how they formed their political views and how they confront the huge problems of today - especially that of "Capitalism.

The discussion was recorded in "Reg's Garden" in St Brelade. One day I hope he will overcome his shyness and be recorded too -  but anybody wanting to know more about his delightful garden can email him on reg[@] 
It is open to the public free of charge most days.

Below is the discussion recorded on 13 September 2019. It is about 20 minutes.

The participants are Gabriel Carter and Nigel Jones

Anybody who wants to be recorded to express their view should contact me on this blog.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Do you have a complaint about your Jersey government?

It is proposed to scrap the existing Jersey  Complaints Board system dealing with allegation of maladministration by Jersey's governmental departments.
Since hardly anybody uses the process to complain and decisions cannot be enforced this might be a good idea but it is proposed to replace it with a "Jersey Public Services Ombudsman." This will have a wider remit.

This new scheme is currently open for consultation with the general public - but of course very few members of the public will show any interest - although they will complain  if it proves defective.

This consultation presentation was video recorded on 10 September 2019 in St Helier.
The principal speaker here is  Rebecca Young - the identity of the other is not known.
About 8 people occupied the public seating at this presentation. There were questions and some discussion took place.

The video is presented in two parts;
Part one below is about 12 minutes and will be far too long for most people to watch

Part two below is nearly 15 minutes so it is extremely unlikely that anybody will even attempt to watch it;

This is how government typically works in Jersey.
The public moans about almost everything and the "government" of 49 elected representative and an army of civil servants churn out endless reports and consultation papers and then either throw them into an enormous waste paper basket or converts them into laws and regulations.
When the public realises that they should have joined in with the consultation process - but that it is now too late - they moan again.
That's how democracy works.

Enjoy the show.
If this does not interest you do not worry because there will be something even more  boring to consider soon and the government will be happy because this is how consultation works.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The English and the Channel Islands in 1885 - a "French" point of view?

“The English in the Channel Islands”

The 1885 version
The same old complaint – Time to change the record?


Henri Boland “a native of Guernsey” devoted an article in the “Revue Internationale” to proving that the Channel Islands are rapidly being Anglicized “and that this archipelago essentially Norman is losing its characteristics very rapidly.”

 His article was republished  in the London “St James Gazette” of 8 October 1885 and picked up by many CIs and other journals such as the Guernsey “Star” and Jersey “Independent” that same month.

 Henri was French speaking and described himself as a journalist or author and he did pen many volumes and articles during his life from 1854 to 1909 but he seems to have followed a busy and somewhat erratic lifestyle – and was not shy of presenting political views.

During 1883 he was accused of a major bank fraud in Belgium at a time when such things seemed to be an everyday occurrence but was acquitted by the Liege court.

The next year he was officially delegated by the people of Guernsey to lay a wreath on the coffin of the recently deceased Victor Hugo in Paris.

 His 1885 Channel Islands article could have been written today because it expresses so many of the same sentiments that have become so tired after yet another 13 decades and two world wars….

 He wrote:

 “The climate, the soil and the produce of the latter cannot of course change, but the Norman race is being absorbed by the English and the English language is elbowing out the Old Norman dialect which has been in use for six centuries.”

 “Jersey holds its own to a certain extent thanks to its regular communications with France  and the number of French tourists who visit it, not it seems that Guernsey will be completely English by another generation unless the remnants of the French population in the Island bestirs itself.”

 “The French language is dead in the urban portion of the Island and is on its last legs in the rural districts. The only reason why English is not already the official language of the Island is that the rural voters are in a majority.”

 “When English has become the official language of the archipelago the French laws will cease to be intelligible and will have to be translated into English. If the laws are in English it will be only rational to have English judges to administer them.”

 “But the municipality carries on its discussions in English and has substituted English names in the streets for the old French names with the brutality of Vandals and iconoclasts. Education is given in English although French is supposed to be taught in schools.”

 The “Jersey Independent” interpreted some of his views for the local readership;

 “M. Boland was much vexed upon commencing a conversation with a boy who had obtained a prize for proficiency in that language to receive the answer Not Much to some question which he had asked.”

 Letters in the Guernsey “Star” tried to counter some of Boland’s arguments;

 “He has fallen into several inaccuracies. The native language is not French but a Patois which probably M. Boland would not understand and therefore to speak of French as dead in the urban portion of the Island is wrong.”

And regarding substituting street names;

 “The Mill Street has been called Mill Street as long as anyone can remember and below that name, at the street corners, the authorities have written Haut Pave which was the Norman name…”
Captain Webb swam the English Channel the same week that Boland's article appeared

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Island Plan 2021-2030 Strategic Issues and Options Workshop 17 July 2019 St Helier

And lo and behold it is ordained that every 10 years Jersey shall have a new Island Plan.
In fact it won't be much different from the previous one or even the one before that and it won't address the ever increasing problems of the Island either - but its a ritual that must take place because we need to justify our capitalist voyage.
Of course there are no manufacturing industries in this little Island and these have virtually not existed since they built sailing ships on the beach.
Nowadays the diminishing Finance sector is the major employer but most of the talk at this workshop was really about preserving the agri-industry even if that means growing hemp aka cannabis.
Like the previous Plan (that had a picture of cows on its cover) this whole exercise is not really about the well-being of 106,000 people at all but is really about the 5,000 bovine beasts and ensuring that their pastures are not diminished. Some hope!

Today's workshop had about 26 male and 11 females attendees who stayed for the sarnies but the free food is evidently not enough to attract many reborn Suffragettes or others who clearly have much more important things to do. After all, who really can find the time (9.30 am until 3.30pm) to save the planet? Obviously men have at least double the female appetite on such occasions...

Linked here is a video of about 18 minutes of Planning officer Kevin Pilley explaining the mysteries of the current Island Plan and he certainly knows how to make a bland  subject boring.

I must admit to giving up before the final curtain although I did attend the evening discussions from 6pm where a similar futile effort to render Jersey's capitalism appear to be sustainable prevailed - although this was organised under Rob Duhamel's banner as Chair of the "Island Plan Public Interest Panel."

The Plan is fundamentally flawed - why do we waste our time discussing it?