Thursday, June 27, 2013

Battle of Jeremy Deller and the Genuine Jersey Brand 1781 - 2013

St Helier wasn't burned to the ground in 1781 and probably won't be either in 2015 - so sleep easy in your bank vaults. But seriously folks there is no need to get over excited about Jersey's reputation being damaged by Jeremy Deller's paintings at the Venice Biennale British Pavilion because we have Senator "Foreign Secretary" Bailhache out there gunning on our behalf plus Deputy "Culture Minister" Bryans protecting our domestic rear.

In fact, Senator Bailhache was talking Jersey Revolution and the use of gunpowder with Chinese help at yesterday's Skipton Studios J Arts event organised specifically to address the Venetian Deller threat - so I hope GCHQ is not listening to his 'phone calls.
Another speaker referred to her visit to Venice and how she was questioned about the printed material that she was visibly reading on the returning aircraft... sounded ominous.

It was all a bit ironic because both Assistant Ministers Bailhache and Bryans had voted against the proposition to make 28 September officially recognised as 'Jersey Reform Day' in the States last year or to vote a penny towards it or some related cultural requests for minimal funding. As it was - the proposition - which is intended to remember the Jersey Revolution of 1769 (and the brave people of this Island over the centuries) was adopted. The historic  and most important event  actually led to the creation of the States and more. So 28 September is now officially recognised on the Jersey calendar - but nobody seems very keen to do anything about it but  seemingly would rather sit around at the Weighbridge discussing a painting on show in Venice!

Below is a video showing some of the discussion that took place among the eighteen or so people present. The few minutes at the end features Chris Clifford speaking at an Architecture Week (AW13) event on Monday 24 June which seems video time about 20 minutes I think from memory. I played the part of the talking grass.

At the conclusion of the discussion I distributed a few leaflets about a possible plan for a Jersey Reform Day celebration this year (in the Royal Square and at Reg's Garden) - but by this time Senator Bailhache had already left for another meeting.  Since he has not  replied to my previous e-mails on the subject (along with virtually all his States colleagues) I don't suppose it will make much difference...perhaps some of the 'Arts' organisations represented at the meeting will respond? Unfortunately time is running out very quickly now and if Jeremey Deller's prediction in paint comes true....well it does not bear thinking about...but no doubt there will be some artists around to make suitable images and comments on the conflagration.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Jersey office in Thailand?

With Jersey extending its international identity and offices being opened all over the place to promote Jersey's name and our economic diversity - we took the opportunity to interview Mai and Mike....
They live in Bangkok and so know something about Thai matters besides which Mike is from Jersey...
So they could be useful people for Senators Bailhache, Maclean and Ozouf or Geoff Cook to consult when their next Asian jolly is being planned...

We had hoped to include some pix of Thailand and adjacent countries among the words here but the editing department has gone contrary and similar problems arose with the interview...
so if that does run out of sequence or repeats itself then the blame rests with the technophobes who try to produce these blogs to the best of our limited ability...
but if anybody has skills and spare time we would welcome any assistance.

Thanks to Mai and Mike for their time and the partygoers on the floor below for joining in and as always we welcome any comments... we will interview all people who have something to say... you only have to make contact and ask.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Accessible Architecture or pretty Jersey buildings...what are awards for ?

Here we return to an old theme because progress and improvement are so slow.
How is it possible that some buildings - especially important public buildings - are still so inaccessible in 2013?

This short video looks at the Planning and Environment HQ at South Hill which is where the minimum standards for new or altered buildings are laid down and administered. Yet this building achieves the worst standard of any government public building in Jersey.
It is simply scandalous of course.

But it is not just that disabled people find it impossible or at the very least, difficult to get past the front door but the facilities within are totally inadequate too. Thus, there is not even a hearing loop on the reception desk....and we must remember that disability can strike at the employees in this building just as much as the general public who might want to consult a planner or other building expert. There is no accessible toilet in this building for the use of employees or visitors - so the whole "employment of disabled persons" policy of the States of Jersey is reduced to a farce by such  omissions.

We spoke with the chief Building Inspector but he would not be recorded which is a great pity - especially since he kept referring us to "others" with supposed responsibility for access.

We have asked the Minister for an interview and invited any architects to come forward too to show how Jersey is facing up to the challenges of an ageing population and  so many injured people surviving accidents and illnesses with "disabilities".
Good design is not just about the way a building "looks"

It is no longer enough to accept  only the minimum standards as laid down for new buildings. Architects and designers should be exceeding the basic and striving for much higher aspirations in  ALL classes of buildings. Important buildings and public places need to be updated and modernised so that discrimination against those with disbilities or other differences is constantly challenged.

In a few years we are promised that anti-discrimination laws will apply in Jersey so that it will become illegal to provide services to the public from buildings that fail to achieve universal standards. This building like so many others will be fit only for demolition.

So here we are again with another Jersey Architecture Week being organised to look at the best of design in buildings - but who is really setting the pace on functional design in this Island? Will any architect or designer respond to this invitation and show the public the high standards of universal accessibility that can or should be achieved in the 21st century?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

G8, UK Select Committee and much much more - can we the electorate participate please?

As usual the general public are being kept in the I emailed this simple request to all 51 of our elected States' Members today....

18 June 2013

Dear States Member

In view of the continuing international publicity about “Finance Centres”, the proceedings of the G8 conference, the meeting of Chief Minister Gorst with the Prime Minister and the forthcoming visit by the UK Select Committee under the chairmanship of Sir Alan Beith M.P. besides many other matters of concern,
I write to request that the Council of Ministers be required to call a public meeting or meetings, so that the electorate of Jersey can be better informed about the discussions and negotiations that have already taken place and to discuss what is proposed for the future.

Also, that the general public might be better informed about the task of the UK Select Committee and that the membership might be encouraged to meet with the electorate of Jersey in a public forum to explain the purposes of the Select Committee directly, and to engage in discussions with and receive oral and written submissions from the people of Jersey both privately and in public.

Michael Dun

CC to all elected Jersey States’ Members.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Jersey's battle of the little big yawn - aka Option "C"s last stand...

Ever since 24 April 2013 the PRT - Post Referendum Trauma - has been evident among some States Members but there is remarkably little enthusiasm for the resulting "Option B victory" anywhere in the Island.

Even Senator Bailhache seems to have found more Godly pursuits to occupy his attention.

Whether the "Option A Team" will regroup to continue the campaign has yet to be seen but in the meantime Senator Lyndon Farnham is continuing to resist the "B" outcome.
Here with fellow supporter Deputy John Le Fondre he explains current thinking.

"Option B" is not yet a done deal....

The video below runs about 16.5 minutes.