Tuesday, 16 August 2016
An abandoned generation
It gets far too hot in the middle of the day for me to be working in the field. So I took the opportunity to watch the first by election hustings over a long lunch. I wish I hadn't - it was unsavoury, unappetising and nearly made me wretch. I'm not referring to the food. The video is at St Saviour husting
I won't run you through a critique of all the opening 3 minute speeches. I'll cut straight to the answers given to one very good question from the floor. What are the three greatest challenges to Jersey over the next 20-30 years?
I'll summarise the responses in the order candidates gave their replies. There was a time limit to answer jointly two questions so some could not give three priorities.
M O'K B Brexit, economy, education
AA Economy . immigration (no third)
HR Brexit, (no second, no third)
JY Brexit, finance sector growth, population growth
SF Brexit, banking industry, falling productivity
MD Brexit (no second, no third)
CM Diversify Economy, education, ageing population
NleC Alternative for finance industry, Brexit, Inequality, Constitutional reform (YES That is 4!)
SM Culture of Complacency, Brexity, population
GdeF Transport links, creative thinking (no third)
SO Establishing a film commission , Brexit.
I'll happily accept population, and diversifying the economy is a tolerable answer, but as to the rest, I have to ask really, I mean really? Brexit may not even happen. If it does we cannot yet foresee the impacts or manner of it happening, it may even be beneficial. Compared to the certain increasing challenges of climate change, food security, resource depletion, ecosystems collapse over the same timescale, I want to ask the candidates what f**king planet are you on? It is certainly not mine!
OK so you are not really internationalists, but what about local issues? Does no one expect or hope for any major impact of the COI over the coming decades. The evidence is there we had kids in care abused over decades, but it is now just sweetness and light , all dealt with , is it? Justice? Is there really no challenge or change required in our justice system over the coming decades? What about the galloping rate of science and technical change and the impact it will have - the surveillance and personal intrusion of having everything tracked and monitored? Have we no ambition on renewable energy, self reliance for the coming decades? What about inclusion, participation, democracy itself?
My overall assessment. FAIL , the lot of them. I'm bitterly disappointed in Sam Mezec and John Young who I had hoped might have a grasp on a few of these issues and be prepared to take them on. The best prospect on those criteria based on the St Saviour hustings was Christian May. He mentions climate change in his vote.je profile (as does Hugh Raymond). He talks of standing up the COM and power, but he uses all the CoM current buzz words and favoured topics (like ageing population and digital). When a One Nation Tory (as I believe he probably is) is your best bet you now things are pretty dire.
And as for my children's generation. They have been abandoned by our aspirant politics it seems.