Friday, July 4, 2014

"Reform Jersey" - first political party since 1204 registered on 4 July 2014 in the Royal Court - (Samedi Division on a Friday)

Today was Independence Day for about 200 million citizens of the USA. They have enjoyed democratic institutions such as political parties since 1775 when they broke away from British Colonial control...
the process of reform moves more slowly in the Channel Islands but today - 4 July - the Reform Jersey party was registered in the Royal Court.
Apparently the first ever party to be officially recognised in this way although there were vaguely organised parties in the distant  past and some more recent attempts - and of course there are dozens of quasi-political organisations in Jersey today that campaign for or promote policies on many overtly political issues....

The following 3 videos of about 7 minutes each were recorded today. They commence in the Royal Square under the gaze of the golden statue of King George II and the Royal coat of arms that decorated the Royal Court on 28 September 1769 - now remembered by some as "Jersey Reform Day"...when political views were presented in a memorably direct way.

Deputies Southern, Tadier, Le Cornu and Mezec - the founding fathers of the new Party - posed for a photo under the Royal gaze with several supporters.  Three of the Deputies then entered the Royal Court (sitting in the States Chamber) for a simple registration ceremony before the Bailiff and two Jurats etc. along with other more usual Court matters such as the swearing of oaths by Parish officers and suchlike...

The accredited media is also seen interviewing Deputy Mezec with former States member Ted Vibert who was part of a previous, recent political party that existed and failed before the registration process existed...

The videos also feature Deputies Tadier, Mezec and Le Cornu in a three part interview...
1st Part follows below;

2nd Part;
 3rd Part;

Shortly after the Royal Court ceremony I bumped into two other Deputies - progressives by Jersey standards - in the Royal Square and asked if they might be joining the new Party.
The first thought it unlikely but he had not been invited.
The second, walking with his wife, was immediately and generously bombed by a pigeon - but nevertheless thought it unlikely too as he preferred to remain "independent"...whilst mopping up the excrement...

Anybody remember the late Mr Besson aka Bisson who used to hang around the Square some years ago feeding the birds in order to do just this very thing....I wonder if he was reincarnated as a pigeon...



  1. Some hard hitting questions here about democracy in the party that will have to be answered.

    Thanks for an effective interrogation.

  2. Anyone wanting to join Reform Jersey can be added to the membership list by sending the following details to -

    Date of birth
    Telephone numbers
    Email address

  3. I am sorry to tell you that you are wrong, Tom. The registration process was introduced during the life of the JDA, and probably as an attempted impediment to it, and it was the first party to register under the current law. I might still have a scan of the registration certificate on my old computer, as I published the picture on a now-defunct website.

    1. Different people seem to think different things on this.

      When I was in court the Bailiff said that it was the first time the 2008 law had been used. I had thought that the JDA might have been first, but didn't want to correct him.

      When I spoke to some others connected to the JDA, they said that they had registered differently (i.e. as a charity or something like that).

      Do you remember exactly what happened? Did someone from the JDA have to stand up in court and make the application?

    2. Sorry Mike and Sam but the JDA was the first political party registered and I can say this as a fact as it was me that carried out the court process. This actually took place in 2008 and did not happen in 2005 because the law had not been implemented then. As it happens in showing their clear hostility to any kind of official, organised and accountable party political moves the old PPC under the push of the former Constable of St. Clement and the late Senator Mike Vibert as I recall initially attempted to secure, as a proviso, for allowing such a law, that the JDA would have to provide for the Establishment a list of EVERY registered member (not just officials or the 20 needed to secure the process). Had it gone through no doubt all of those on the list would have soon lost their jobs or found themselves in the court on some trumped up charges. They call it the Jersey Way!

    3. Thanks Trevor. I did suspect that we weren't the first and thought it was strange when the Bailiff said we were.

      I've gone over the hansard from the original debates on a political parties register and find it just incredible, though not surprising, that they wanted not just a list of all members, but for that list to be updated every single year!

      Some of the most loyal and longstanding members of Reform Jersey were very adamant that when we reconstituted as a party they could only join if their membership was kept confidential because they did not want their employers to know!

    4. Of course the JDA was the first to register as a political party. Their role in history has been conveniently air-brushed out by media reporting of the Reform Jersey launch as though there were no connection. Reform Jersey will hopefully learn from the mistakes of the past. Lessons often are learnt the hard way.

      In politics there are many false starts. Like the mountaineer who climbs close to the pinnacle and then realises there is no way to the top, the only sensible option is to descend to the bottom and find a new path. This is hard and takes courage but is necessary.

  4. Deputy Sam Mezec said: "they wanted not just a list of all members, but for that list to be updated every single year!"

    Anon replied: A very worrying legalised feudal tool of political suppression to be weilded by the politicised Judiciary representing the interests of the Crown and City of London Corporation.

  5. Deputy Mezec, can you kindly publish the exact wording that refers to the compulsory yearly register of all Reform Jersey members?

    Additionally, will you also specify where this information goes, where it is physically or digitally stored and who has access to the names of Reform Jersey Members?

    This is not good, why did you agree to it?

    Is there any way to have this membership clause removed?

    1. Sorry if it isn't clear from the comments above but there isn't a rule stating we have to provide membership lists, it was just something that was originally suggested in 2008.

      Thankfully the States agreed to an amendment to get rid of that condition and instead require parties to submit accounts.

    2. So what we are really talking about here is the registration of Reform Jersey as a political organisation purely for tax purposes?

    3. Dear Deputy Mezec,

      You stated that you had "gone over the hansard from the original debates on a political parties register and find it just incredible, though not surprising, that they wanted not just a list of all members, but for that list to be updated every single year!"

      To clarify a point, who was recorded on Hansard as saying that "they wanted" a list of all members of a registered political party to be submitted every year?

    4. To the first Anonymous -

      No there is no tax benefit to it. It is to get our name on the ballot paper and to be recognised as a legal entity for bank accounts etc.

      To the second Anonymous -

      The proposition to require a list of party members was lodged by PPC originally, but once a fuss was kicked up about it they changed their minds and admitted it was ill-judged. I don't know who was a member of PPC at the time.

  6. I hope this Reform Party do something to finally kick start the official Reform Day that former Deputy Trevor Pitman did so well to get through the States. Got any news on this, Tom?

  7. yes I hope that Jersey Reform Day is celebrated this year as the States agreed two years ago following Deputy Pitman's proposition. My understanding is that an application has been made for the use of the Royal Square but beyond that my involvement is minimal. I have wasted enough time over the years trying to stimulate interest and when I spoke with CM Gorst recently to remind him of the States' supposed commitment he was not exactly gushing with enthusiasm. Perhaps he would be keener if we organised an event in Dubai or somewhere even further away from the scene of the historic events of 28 September 1769 to which this blog is dedicated...

  8. Wasted a good half an hour searching the for the law regarding registration of political parties in Jersey, does anyone have a link to this legislation?

    1. Anonymous,

      If you want to search for legislation, is the website you want to search, and if you want States propositions and debates, it's that you want to check.

      The political parties law is here -

  9. Tom Gruchy.

    The Jersey Equality March was a resounding success and congratulations to all who took part.

    You, and your readers, can view a glimpse of today's event HERE.

  10. Tom Gruchy.

    Speeches from Deputy Sam Mezec and Senator Philip Ozouf at yesterday's Equality Parade HERE.