Saturday, January 28, 2017
FORMER DEPUTY DANIEL WIMBERLEY SHARES SOME THOUGHTS ON P133/2016
FORMER DEPUTY DANIEL WIMBERLEY
DANIEL RESPONDS TO MY BLOG POSTINGS ON P133/2016 AND MY TAKE ON THE DEPUTY LEWIS / REFORM JERSEY LOVE IN.
I HAVE A LOT OF TIME AND RESPECT FOR DANIEL.
DON'T AGREE WITH ALL THAT HE SAY'S BELOW BUT IT WAS GOOD TO HEAR FROM HIM.
This will be a rather long post but some have said that that Wimberley fellow would say NO to P133. with no evidence to support this claim apart from the fact that I warned people away from being on the Electoral Commission a few years ago now, and did the interview about that Commission, which was indeed hijacked disgracefully by the powers that be..
First, a minor point, but it allows a bit of context. You write that P15/2011 was “unanimously passed” – if only. Just for the record you wrote that a bit too fast. It was a good majority, no recounts required, but it was not unanimous! The vote was 29 to 18 for my proposition AS AMENDED.
And there’s the rub. The amendments of Ben Shenton got big majorities. At the time I was suspicious that their purpose was to wreck the idea further down the line, but I had to vote for some of them because it looked like they could not be stopped. Some of my colleagues told me categorically that the wrecking of the Commission would happen if the amendments were passed.
And they were right. Shenton’s amendments made possible the shenanigans of Sir Philip and PPC and eventually killed the intention of the proposition. One lesson therefore is do not trust Shenton who is a populist and sometimes sounds appealing but is dangerous and also on occasion talks serious tosh!
Now to the serious stuff.
First, PLEASE everyone on here cool down !!
We have Sam slagging people off and calling them liars. And on the other side we have people talking tosh and saying for example that Sam is “getting into bed with” Lewis. He has said many times that he isn’t – and that for example he will highlight any criticism of anybody who has failed when the COI report is published (which will presumably include Lewis, unless it is a total whitewash and no one is criticised at all, which I doubt, but which is possible).
Sam says for example (rightly) that if Lewis brought a proposition tomorrow to raise the minimum wage he would support it for the same reason – that it is better than the present situation, a lot better, and that the possible rehabilitation effect for Lewis is outweighed by the benefit of the proposition. This is a reasonable position to take.
The only people who are happy with what is going on over here on your blog are the powers that be, who are quietly rubbing their hands in glee. Why are the left so good at tearing each other up? And please everyone be aware of the trolling which is undoubtedly what some posts are. They are carefully angled to prey on people’s prejudices and spread misinformation about RJ and Sam in particular.
Here is an example; “The arrogance of deputy mezec goes beyond belief after supporting reform and after reading he's comments I will never support reform again and now none of my family and friends will either it's as other people are saying he's just a boy with no real life experience stand down deputy it is my belief you have lost so much support over this you will do more harm then good to the party.“
Think about it – does this ring true or does it sound like someone seeking to paint RJ and Sam in a bad light regardless of what the discussion is really about? To my mind this is (pretty obvious) trolling.
Second, the key issue is how the States system actually works.
Sam writes, for example: “I worked with Philip Ozouf on the gay marriage proposition, then signed a motion of no confidence in him as Treasury Minister just a few weeks later.” This sums up how Jersey’s system works exactly.
There are no overt parties in jersey, Yes there is the establishment party, or the COM + loyal poodles, and many issues are decided along those lines – COM vs the rest.
But there are many issues where people vote more freely. Two examples from my time in the States:
We won the Electoral Commission (to my surprise) because enough members voted with their conscience and respected the strength of the arguments, so while the COM party voted against we still got enough votes to win comfortably.
Of course there was something else going on, which was that Shenton’s amendments had weakened the proposition as I described at the beginning of this post. But the Powers that Be could not know that everything would turn out hunky dory. For example Sir PB was not even in the States. The hard establishment still voted against having a Commission.
We won the vote to force TTS to take hazardous waste out of the waste stream at Bellozanne and not burn it. The COM were pledging, in the Strategic Plan, to take the toxic waste out when environmental taxes were put in place. “NO” we said - it had to be taken out now, no ifs no buts no conditions, the environmental taxes might never happen. And again this was won, comfortably, because people voted against the COM because the COM’s position was indefensible.
Now look at this statement of Sam’s again:
“We are not supporting P.133 in return for anything. It's not our style. We look at a proposition on it's merits, irrespective of anything other than the propositions content, and we've reached an independent conclusion that P.133 is in line with our election manifesto, so we should keep our promise to the public and vote accordingly.”
P133 is better than what exists now, and there is a real possibility that it weakens the position of the Constables enough. For example with fewer members it will become less and less tenable for a reduced States Assembly to “carry” so many unproductive members.
Yes it is a pity that RJ did not bring the proposition, and even something better still. However a) a really good proposition would not win (that is why I spent so much time to set up a real, independent, robust Electoral Commission whose process and conclusions would be effective in preparing public and States for real change, and I saw this as the ONLY way to get democracy in Jersey) and b) the SAME proposition as Lewis is bringing might not win if brought by RJ.
So yes hitch on to the bandwagon, you never know, P133 might get through. Embrace and use the resulting change, Feel absolutely free to say and do whatever is right about Lewis when the COI report comes out. Probably bring a vote to sack him from PAC as being unfit to hold that office, and /or act to remove him from the States which he has disgraced.
All that is for later. My open letter about the Electoral Commission was then, my interview was then and I stand by them. But at the same time they are history.
I am not sure what I would do now if I was in the States. Perhaps campaign long and hard in public to create a climate which would prepare the ground for a proper reform proposition. There are certainly better solutions than P133, I did one myself, never got debated even due to the usual shenanigans.
It is here:
I do not have the time to work out what I would actually do. It would take days. But please please do not play into the hands of the other side in all this. Keep it civil. Keep together. Remember our common interests.