Thursday, 4 June 2015
Democracy Rally Press Release.
Deputy Montfort Tadier has said that, now more than ever, Democracy in Jersey is under threat and is asking for all people across the island, and across the political divide, who value and expect the basic values of honesty, accountability and good governance in politics to take to the streets to support Sunday's protest at the handling St Helier's Esplanade Development.
The St Brelade deputy, who is now serving his third term, said, 'On Tuesday this week in the States, the Council of Ministers hit a new low point and their use of political spin is now unprecedented to the point where it is simply insulting the public's intelligence. There was a clear rush to sign a tenant before the Scrutiny Panel have been allowed to report back with their findings. In their haste, SoJDC and their Ministerial puppets have reneged on repeated assurances that the building work would not start unless 200,000 sq ft had been taken up; to say that this undertaking was a 'mistake', which they only realised this week, must not be believed. If and when the situation changed, it was incumbent on the Treasury Minister, as the shareholder representative, to come back to the States to let the Assembly know. This never happened, at it is now time for the Treasury Minister to consider his position.'
'We also learnt, on Tuesday, that there was an attempt by SoJDC to have the Scrutiny Panel sign an unusual non-disclosure agreement, which would have made them personally and financially liable if information had been leaked. This is nothing short of scandalous. Not only did such game playing have the effect of delaying their work, it also sought to undermine the Parliamentary Privilege of elected members to carry out their work effectively - scrutiny is a democratic function of the States Assembly, and adds value to the public by ensuring good decision making.
Speaking on Sunday's event, Deputy Tadier says that he was initially skeptical about the event: "I am not opposed to development, per se - although I do think there may be better social and cultural uses for the site. What I have always believed, is that we should not be rail-roaded into a development whose funding - whatever the Treasury Minister says - IS ultimately underwritten by the public. We should have waited for scrutiny to report back and SoJDC should have also waited for this. What has happened is the exact opposite.'
'On Sunday, we have a choice: we can stay at home an let the principles of democracy, accountability and honesty be further eroded, or we can stand up together and say that we believe our government has lost its way and that it needs to do better. For my part, I know where I will be on Sunday afternoon.'