Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Final question, Final hustings - but where is the Final Solution?

The final question at the last hustings of the October election was posed by a woman who clearly understood the inequalities and unfairness of Jersey’s housing market.

I was not able to speak with her afterwards because of the crush of the audience leaving the Radisson but whoever she was - would express my thanks for her question and the way in which she phrased it.

It was not the usual moan about the minority of people with housing quals who experience bad housing in Jersey but was an appeal on behalf of ALL people – with or without housing quals – who live in damp, expensive and sub-standard “homes” without any security of tenure. The 10,000 or so working adults without quals who provide so many of the services that are taken for granted yet are largely forgotten, year after year so far as their rights (and those of their children) are concerned.

Jersey’s international image is being dragged through the mud all over the world by reason of finance centre activities and such discriminatory housing and employment policies are further and wholly justified reasons for similar criticisms.

Whether the “Greek TV” team who recorded the final hustings and so much more during their stay in Jersey will focus on such problems is not known – but these are problems that need to be resolved - not hidden from international gaze.

I have campaigned about these very problems over four decades and the disgraceful and discriminatory Housing Law lies at the root of the problem. It is largely useless as a means of ending Jersey’s housing shortage because it actually perpetuates that shortage through discriminatory regulations that effectively remove £millions from the all Island house building funds. It does not give a real advantage to those with quals over those without because there is now no such thing as “affordable housing “and the only useful part of the law – price controls – was scrapped.

The new Migration control under the Chief Minister’s hand with registers of addresses and other details of all residents on an “identity card” is just the same existing bag of discriminatory policies dressed up as something different. In fact, these promise to be even more repressive and are the latest attempt to operate an immigration controlling mechanism through covert means.
I have petitioned the Pricy Council against the new laws being sanctioned.

The video here is a complete recording of the responses of all the Senatorial candidates to that most important final question. It is possible that the order of responses might be slightly different from the night because of my lack of edit skills – but nothing has been omitted so far as I know.

If you experience difficulty loading the video - try clicking the Youtube box.


  1. Hi Tom, Thank you for recording all these answers and posting them so quickly as one edit. Its very useful.

  2. You are SO WRONG with these comments.
    1) The unqualified housing lobby (e.g. The JRA) have completely dominated all housing arguments in Jersey's media/Press/States over the past 15 or so years so THEIRS is the "usual moan", not that of qualified residents, who have largely been ignored (particularly those in the private rental sector).

  3. 2) The new Control of Housing and Work (Jersey) Law 201- is a DIRECT CONSEQUENCE of that earlier JRA lobbying as it brings into effect ideas very similar to those proposed by the JRA to the 1996 Boleat Working Party (which included JRA member Deputy Jerry Dorey). Nevertheless that Working Party denounced the JRA's ideas as not practicable and said they wouldn't have any effect on the population level. However, by 1993, the JRA had managed to persuade the government to run with the idea in The Migration Policy, which, under its new title, is about to receive Royal Assent any day. The fact that a two-tier housing system will continue to exist under the new law was known about (but ignored) right at the start back in 1993 and despite your criticisms that they are "just the same bag of discriminatory policies..", JRA spokesman David Rotherham did not exactly criticise the new laws when he was quoted by Channel 103 on 27th July this year. In fact he seemed to be very happy that they had been approved and reckoned they "would improve tenancy rights in the rented sector" and make "controlling the population easier". Unfortunately, the Chairman of the Corporate Services Migration and Population Sub-Panel, which conducted the Scrutiny, admitted that the new laws would NOT help to control the population. So it would seem that there is a 3-way split developing between the various elements of the powerful immigrants rights lobby, with yourself still not happy and trapped in a mid 1990's mindset, the JRA happy and believing (wrongly) that it will control the population, and the JRA's supporters in the States who have done exactly what the JRA asked them to do, but who KNOW that it won't help control the population so the housing problem will continue to exist.

  4. 3) Take heart that you're not the only immigrants rights campaigner who is struggling to formulate a coherent new policy now that the Migration Policy is about to become a reality- read my comments on poor Suzette Hase's radio 'car crash interview' here: