Wednesday, February 22, 2012

RESULT St Clement Four 16 Ex Bailiffs Eleven 0

The special St Clement Parish Assembly called to consider Deputy Le Herissier’s amendments to the PPC Electoral Commission proposals turned out to be a very special event.
First things first - the vote went in favour of supporting Le Herissier’s amendments with none voting against - which was amazing in all the circumstances.

We recorded the Deputy’s address and this appears here but it was touch and go whether the somewhat grumpy Constable would allow him to speak at all.
Clearly Constable Norman is not at his best health-wise so we must make allowances but it was always a bit odd to have a member of PPC chairing this particular Assembly. He did appear to be hostile at times towards the four St Clement Parishioners who has signed the unusual request under the 1804 Law to summon the proceedings. He had also laid down some quite severe restrictions on the scope of matters to be discussed or who could speak.

It would have been useful to have somebody from PPC to present the official line but the Constable declined to do so and nobody in the audience came forward. If Senator Sir Philip Bailhache had turned up it would have been interesting to see if he was denied the right to speak. Unfortunately, neither he nor anybody else out of Jersey’s 100,000 population volunteered – so we shall never know.

None of the accredited media could be bothered to attend either, although CTV had said they were sending a crew. Roger B had interviewed Parishioner Tom Gruchy aka Mike Dun on Monday morning (7.45am) about the forthcoming assembly but the BBC carried no further information on news bulletins on today’s (Wednesday) morning programme. Tom (Mike) phoned the studio and offered to go on air to give the result etc but the offer was not taken up. Wonder why?
Channel 103 broadcast an interview on Tuesday and have a follow up on the result going out today.
The JEP did not speak with any of the four Parishioners who called the Assembly directly but cobbled together a piece from stock material with photos of two on Tuesday, but no reporter attended to observe the event and there was no mention in Wednesday's edition.

Fortunately Neil recorded Roy Le Herissier’s presentation which the Deputy proposes to deliver again at the coming St Helier Assembly on the 29th if allowed by Constable Crowcroft (who also chairs PPC). It is thus now available on You tube in case any others should want to view it.

The attendance at St Clement was very good.
16 Parishioners voted for Le Herissier and 11 abstained (so total 27). About a similar number of others, including States members, were also there but could not vote.
St Clement Deputy Gerald Baudains spoke very well in favour of the amendments but curiously declared that he had a policy of never voting at Parish Assemblies (although he was legally entitled to do so as the Constable confirmed). If he did vote it would have been for.
Deputy Susie Pinel the other newly elected Deputy for St Clement (and Assistant Minister already at Social Security) remained silent and could not be drawn into participation.  
This was also curious because (as she explained afterwards) she did not know enough about the subject to make a decision. Yet in her election manifesto she had promised;

“States Regeneration: reduce the number of members; cut waste from the public sector; undertake a full review of Ministerial Government; re-focus on the major issues; improve the quality of decision making and cut out personal attacks.”

Sir Philip might well have written that for her! As it turned out she joined the abstainers which was a mathematical curiosity in itself. How was it possible that eleven people ALL decided to abstain whereas not one voted against?

Was this the St Clement mafia at work?

Clearly their spokesperson on the night was Advocate Sue (“Superman”) Permain who had come with a ready prepared lengthy script based upon the wonderful and ancient traditions of Jersey etc. Typically too (even as a Jersey lawyer!) she protested ignorance of the PPC proposals and thought that the St Clement Four should educate her!
Fortunately even the Constable soon tired of her monologue and invited her to sit down and shut up but it is always interesting to see the covert lines of support emerging at such gatherings.

As Susie Pinel warned in her election leaflet;


How true – but be doubly warned about who you vote for - and we must ensure that even those we have been minded to elect do not sit on the Electoral Commission.

Next – possibly our final chance – to save our meagre level of democracy is at St Helier on Wednesday 29 February. It will be the first item on the agenda commencing at 7.30pm.

Make sure you are there… IF YOU CARE.


  1. Tom Gruchy.

    Sue Permain, IMO, should have been told to sit down and shut up long before she was. Quoting all sorts of incomprehensible legal Jargon as to why the Assembly shouldn't have taken place. She appears to have NO comprehension of the word "democracy."

    Deputy Pinel claimed not to know enough about the subject, offered nothing in the way of discussion, not to even ask a single question that might have educated her a little on the subject and subsequently abstained from the vote.

    Shall be listening carefully to hear what she has to say when it is debated in the States. Surely she wouldn't just vote (for the establishment) without so much as uttering a word? That's what Ann Dupre used to do and it didn't get her re-elected.

  2. It seems to me that the Office of Constable is compelled to follow the wishes of the Parish as directed by the Parish Assembly.

    Perhaps at St Helier, the vote could be worded along these lines or a second proposition made to the Assembly with the requirement for the Constable to follow the vote?

    It probably is without precedent but that doesn't mean we can't set one.

  3. Tuesday' meeting at St Clement Parish Hall 21s Feb was very informative. With Deputy Le Heriser explaining his Amendments to voters of that Parish,along with others who chose to be there showing interest as to what the electoral reforms and amendments entailed. Indepentant Commission to decide on being the important subject.
    It does'nt bear well for Democracy in this Island.As other politicians who attended, In fairness, admitted along with the amendments at this meeting Felt it was not their right as politicians to automatically sit in on an Indepentant Commision electorial reform. Or the possibility of Senator P. Bailache a politician himself, or any other politician for that matter should take upon themselves to Chair these meetings.
    These well intended Reforms put forward by D.Wimberly, Could yet be at risk to Democracy, by being watered down and total waste of taxpapers money. Others may wish to put their own point of view as next Meeting held at the Town Hall Wednesday 29th Feb at 7.30pm.