Thursday, 8 November 2012

Meddling with "the machinery of government"

You can tune up the car, but still, no-one's going to want to drive the rusty old Skoda.

The proposed changes are a waste of time. You can fiddle all you want but it will change little, apart from throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I'm not bothered by the Constables being in there automatically. I can see arguments for and against, and would probably - if I really had to - say that they were elected to run their parishes (a busy job that few sensible people would want to take on) and if they want to be in the States too then they should stand for election for that purpose in addition. But really, for all the difference it makes, it's hardly worth worrying about.

Having 6 'super constituencies' electing 7 Deputies, for a total of 42 members? Utterly pointless.

Many people will be horrified at the end of the direct link to individual parishes. Me, I just think this place is small enough (drive anywhere in less than half an hour - if there isn't some impaired driver slowing you down to a crawl) and with only circa 100,000 people involved - every issue affects us all. Artificial boundaries are ridiculous when you can easily live in one parish, spend most of your waking+working hours in another, pass through others regularly and spend what leisure time you're blessed with all over the island. Why do we need politicians to be tied to a few thousand people in a couple of square miles - as if they're rooted to the spot and never see the rest of Jersey?

I can't see any good coming from this. The lowering of numbers is worrying, because by the time the brown-nosing toadies find themselves taken into little groups aligned with the ministers (especially attractive to those seeking more pay, if such a thing comes about too), automatically following the 'party' line - it leaves far fewer spare members for scrutiny and 'opposition'. The 'establishment' will be able to get their own way whenever they want, without any effective way to prevent it. That's probably what they're after in proposing these changes, and what we should guard against sleepwalking into.

But, all that aside, if the changes go ahead... ask yourself this : will it increase electoral turnout? Will any of this pointless and expensive messing about actually change the opinions of those who don't vote already? How about surveying the punters, asking why they don't vote - and see if the changes will have any effect at all? Frankly, it will even make me throw in the towel. We'll be going from 10-13 votes per elector (8 Senators, 1 Constable (possibly uncontested), 1-3 Deputies depending upon parish. Or is it 4?) to only 7. What can I realistically hope to influence by turning up at the polling booth?

I know loads of people who don't vote. They say policitians are ********s, ruin everything, only care about themselves and their peer group. Nothing short of mass homelessness and starvation would shake these people into rising up and making themselves heard. And the changes will make ZERO difference. Nada. Nil. Zip.

Stop wasting time!

Friday, 5 October 2012

It's good, it's bad, it's good, it's bad

This is getting ridiculous. I've lost count now, how many times the 'mainstream' media have happily parroted what they've been given from the States as 'news'.
It seems that every couple of weeks there's a story about how the numbers of jobless have fallen, and then a few days later the opposite comes along with job losses, gloom and doom.

For instance, just 9 days ago on 26th Sept, the JEP headline was "Drop in number of jobless".
"UNEMPLOYMENT fell last month with 70 fewer people out of work than in July - one of the biggest drops in the last two years."

Then along came The Bad last night, with Condor Logistics closing, and
"THE number of job vacancies in the private sector hit a 13-year low in June, according to figures released today."

MAKE YOUR FREAKING MINDS UP! It's been flip-flop for the last couple of years. First it's hopeful, then it's not. Can you stick to the truth for once?!

Look, we all know it's bad. The media told us a recession was coming, so we all tightened our belts and stopped spending, firms laid people off or stopped hiring in preparation, and voila - a self-fulfilling prophesy came to pass.

There are a couple of thousand people looking for work, wondering how they will manage, many with no experience of life without a job before, hoping against hope that they can still provide for their loved ones while fearing losing everything that they have worked for all their lives. Homes at risk. Relationships under massive stress. Income Support not forthcoming until you've lost it all and you're on your knees. Social Security contributions grudgingly covered but with the threat that your entitlements may be hit in years to come.

Jobseekers are told off weekly by smug Social Security staff (from the comfort of their safe desks) for not trying hard enough despite competing against 2000+ other hopefuls for every job available. Ignorant idiots (with a nice comfy lifestyle so **** the rest of us!) post comments online about 'benefits culture' as if it makes any difference whatsoever until we every have full employment. Until there's a job for everyone, all it means when one person finally gets a job is that someone else has to go without!

Employers increasingly insist upon a degree for jobs where aptitude and experience would be far more likely an indicator of value, leaving those without further education on the scrap heap. And if you're past a Certain Age, forget it. You'll be in a menial job (unless you know the Right People of course and your face fits) on terrible pay for the rest of your life. Probably Part-Time, or even a Zero-Hours Contract so there's no obligation to give you work on a dependable basis.

Some jobs are advertised when the post is already filled, and they're only going through the motions of making it look like it's fair, when in fact they already knew all along that their old friend has the job in the bag.

People are scared. No wonder the spending is going down, making things worse of course, a self-perpetuating cycle of slippery slope - something like that - so typical of bad government. Even people with relatively safe jobs are cutting back, just in case, and prices are rising, taxes biting hard, is there any way out?

And all the time the idiots in charge of this mess believe that pouring petrol on the fire is the best way forward! Poor economy? Bring more people in! Come on in, Europeans, Jersey's lovely! Jobs galore, the locals don't mind!

So that's even more outsiders placing even more demands upon the infrastructure, more traffic, more use of publicly provided services, making things more expensive and crowded for everyone and taking away jobs that the locals could do!

When will we learn that Jersey is FULL, (stupidly congested now) and we should sort out life for our own people before letting in even more to make things worse? How hard can it be to licence each job and insist upon x years of residence before anyone can apply? Immigration is killing Jersey, because it's leading to mass unemployment, the FEAR of unemployment, lack of spending is taking fuel from the fire of the economy, and the whole thing is slowly imploding!

And the happily-wealthy just shrug - they are OK - and they simply assume it will get better.

I despair.