Not all fairy tales begin with ‘Once upon a time’, some begin with ‘When I’m elected’. In Jersey it’s a tale that bears more than an element of truth.
‘What are you going to do?’ would be a fair question to ask any candidate. It would equally be wrong of them to tell you. Due to a lack of a party system one person out of 49 cannot possibly guarantee anything.
What you are entitled to ask and demand an answer to is ‘What can we expect you to stand for, and what principals will govern your thinking?’
My overall policy can be summed up by the philosophy put forward many years ago by Jeremy Bentham in that all government should be based on being ‘for the greatest good of the greatest number’.
Embodied in the above is that in any civilised society (which I hope we can boast of being) there is a wish to take the best possible care of the young, those in need and the elderly. It should on a wealthy island be well within our capabilities to do so.
It cannot be denied that the vulnerable young have been badly let down in past years, and it must be our intention that all possible efforts are made to ensure that this NEVER happens again. In addition, it is important that our education system and health provision provided by the States is sufficiently funded, including University and Further Education.
Taking care of those in need is also paramount and the recent reports of people forced to live in poverty in 21st century Jersey are enormously disturbing. To prevent this we need to have a robust social safety net.
In doing this, care must be taken that it is for those in genuine need and not those who are seeing the system as a way to ensure that they can do as little as possible whilst others support them.
The States it has to be said have provided well for the elderly and hopefully will continue to do so, but with people living longer, more long term care provision will need to be planned for and the difficult financial decisions taken now before it is too late.
We must concentrate on protecting all our industries and the jobs that are dependent on them. We should also encourage new business opportunities. This has not always been the case as we can see with the loss of on-line gaming companies to the Isle of Man and Gibraltar an opportunity we woke up to 5 years too late.
Whilst effort must be made on attracting new industries, it should not be forgotten that the Finance industry needs to be supported in all our interests and NOT as we have seen from certain States members used as a political football.
It’s time to move forward, times are changing rapidly and we need to move just as rapidly if Jersey is to remain the thriving community we enjoy today.