Thursday, 28 July 2011

An unconvincing united front.

I'm amused and bemused -
(as usual - Jersey politics is only good for amusement, it doesn't work effectively for its intended purpose of running the island very well, and those of us with lives too busy to devote 100% to politics haven't a hope of influencing anything meaningful with our feeble minority voting 'power', so we can only watch helplessly from the sidelines and let off steam by running down the States at social gatherings - which, if you believe the Ministers, doesn't happen. Maybe because they don't mix with normal people like I do)

- intrigued, even - by the curious (or not) new found support that Deputy Trevor Pitman is showing for Ted Vibert. Having stood near Ted at a husting or two, hearing his views, observing his demeanor and manners, I would rather let one of those four inch and orange-striped garden slugs crawl along my stomach than vote for the guy to represent me in the Ego Chamber.

Ted, if you recall, caused a rift amongst the 'progressives' at the time of the last by-election (for ex-Senator Stuart Syvret's 'vacated' seat) to such effect that the only political party - the JDA - fell apart with calls of 'Ted being a liability', leaving us the rib-tickling spectacle of Geoff Southern being a party of one! Trevor being one of those who left, for ideological reasons.

Yet we are now supposed to believe that the progressives can all pull together to defeat the Goliath of the Establishment?! Granted, the progressives usually vote the same way on many issues that are perceived to be The Workers v The Priviledged, but they just don't seem to be able to get on - certainly not BETWEEN elections! They make no attempt to draw up a simple manifesto of supporting the underclass, and then stick to it, in a strongly cohesive party. Divided by clashes of politcal personalities (the worst kind!) and subtly different outlooks and motivations, whether it be pure idealism, bleeding heart niavety, union-led sabre rattling, or the Green movement.

They don't even seem to be capable of pulling together in support of the most crystalised issue of the day, when it comes to fighting the system - Stuart's attempt to prove that the island's management is as bent as the road around Westmount Hill. Some of them pick up some aspects of the case and doggedly fight that part of the cause, others pick their parts while barely concealing the personality clashes, and others stay silent for fear of reprisals or losing their seat. There are newcomers who promised at the last election to fight the incompetence of The System who have ended up voting along with the crazier of the ministerial propositions - I have to wonder at their chances of re-election. It would be soul destroying to watch, if I actually believed that there had been a real chance to change anything for the better, but that these hopes had come to nothing. I expected nothing, and haven't been disappointed. It's a shoulder shrugfest as usual. The world is mad, Jersey even more so. I feel helpless, so I just watch and sigh.

While I can see that presenting a unified face to the electorate - divided we fall and all that - is the only way to fight a stronger power, isn't it fundamentally dishonest to con the voters that there's a cosy togetherness that can save the day, when there plainly hasn't been - and won't be once the election is over, once the hustings chairs have been re-stacked and the parish hall floors swept clean?

If Trevor and Ted share a contempt for Stuart's approach, and are close in outlook again, why not rejoin the JDA and be honest about it? Why not work to reform the party (or form an alternative if that's too hard), change its internal systems so that they can come up with a joint manifesto that pleases the majority, and get on with a more believable united front. We would have more faith in an opposition party than we ever can in a mottley collection of bristly and unpredictable individuals all pulling in different directions and in the same heading only now and then, seemingly at random?

Nothing will ever change unless there's a really strong party in which we can have faith. Politicians are, by and large, either selfish slime or more selfless but too complex to work well with others (combined with a massive arrogance personality defect on the whole). It's only when they bury their differences and work together towards a common cause that we can have just a little more belief in any possible effectiveness/efficacy (delete as pedantic).

Come on, provide us some real political entertainment, while we watch here from our comfy chairs with a beer in the hand. Party on!

Hmmm. Yeah. Nothing will ever change.