Nick Mann

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Comments undermine sensible discussion of refugee decision

Use of the word ‘Islamophobia’ by the chief minister last week has instigated a slew of coverage in the national media and attracted the attention of a few far-right groups. But if there are sound reasons for the island not to take in Syrian refugees any debate on the issue is now going to be difficult following his ill-thought-out comments...

It is not just approving new laws that needs speeding up

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A suggestion that new laws should be ratified on-island and be sent to the UK Privy Council only for review sounds like an attractive proposition from the point of view of getting these laws approved quickly. But Nick Mann wonders if doing this really will speed things up and points out that the States’ record is far from good in getting new laws drafted in the first place

Lobbying shows power of liberating the people’s voice

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Lobby groups have proved very effective in influencing debate during this political term – from Enough is Enough’s demonstrations on taxes to Liberate’s successful efforts on same-sex marriage. But with the island having no referendum legislation, Nick Mann argues that there is still a democratic deficit when it comes to everyone having their say

States meeting set to make big changes to island life

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Decisions made by the States this week are set to have a major and almost immediate effect on life in Guernsey. With the return of the subject of Sunday trading deregulation and proposals to legalise same-sex marriage, members are facing issues that have galvanised some sections of the island and ignited heated social media discussion. But, writes Nick Mann, it’s healthy to have pluralist arguments and differing viewpoints

Population report says little about growth consequences

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While removing any actual numbers from their talk of population growth might leave ministers thinking they’re onto a winner, Nick Mann suggests that this will leave the next Assembly with an abstract policy with no idea of exactly how many people the island needs to keep it running. But perhaps they could look back at the 2007 population report to get an idea...

States policies subject to fraught money wrangle

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With the Treasury department effectively saying no to any new funding requests in an attempt to balance the books, and likely to continue with that stance through to the end of the political term, States members have been left in the unenviable position of putting favourable proposals on the back burner

Population demographics must accommodate youth

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In light of recent debate on population targets and what shape the island should take demographically, Nick Mann writes that although the States has signalled the need for a vital and productive working population, it may be striking the wrong balance when it comes to policy consideration and not focusing on the aspirations of younger generations

A time of contradictions as spin cycle kicks in

Everyone gets along and looks for new friends and allies at the start of a States term, but after a couple of years these alliances may end up broken – and there may even be calls for resignations from boards at the heart of controversial policies.

With the next general election a mere six months away, Nick Mann takes a look at the life cycle of the Guernsey States, starting with the honeymoon period where everyone is getting along but not much happens, through to the time after the first big embarrassment and people have declared it the ‘worst States ever’ – and then the Assembly enters maximum spin cycle...

States’ sweeping statements are too often set on sand

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A quick glance at the annual business trends survey released in the summer reveals a drop in confidence in the economy, one that is at odds with Treasury minister Gavin St Pier’s view that general business optimism has become increasingly positive

No magic bullet for the demographic time bomb

Alderney is the subject of a specific policy in this year’s Budget, in an effort to help it during a time of economic decline.

The Annual Fiscal Policy Review is out today, and while these things are not known for making gripping reading, there are some sobering comments between its pages, warning of the economic impacts of an ageing population. This, writes Nick Mann, will not be offset by simply increasing the pension age and is likely to involve cuts to services

Budget failures show a legacy of broken promises

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A detailed look at the latest Budget makes for grim reading – and the string of failures and Treasury’s intention to stall voting on £120m. of projects until next term is a big blow to public confidence. People who had hoped that this would be a ‘States of Change’ probably didn’t expect those changes to be for the worse...

Budget’s sting will need good arguments behind it

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With the release of the 2016 budget today, the island will begin to get an inkling of whether or not the States has made all the savings it promised during the last year. Nick Mann predicts that the minister is going to face a lot of questions over plans to raise extra funds through new taxes, even if the controversial GST is off the table...

C&E not convincing over need for shiny new toy

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The jokers liken sea fisheries protection vessel the Leopardess to the Olympic flame – it never goes out. That’s a bit harsh, but, says Nick Mann, Commerce and Employment has a job on its hands to convince States members that the island should spend nearly £3m. to replace a boat which was given another 10 years’ service just three years ago

Candidates could learn from Labour leadership challenge

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In the run-up to Guernsey’s general election in April, Nick Mann looks forward to a period of electioneering and heightened pressure on our current politicians – and points to the recent Labour leadership challenge as a way for candidates to be more electable

Roll up for election time

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The opening today of the electoral roll is the first step in the process that will culminate in the general election next April. But before that is a by-election for St Peter Port North, and anyone who wants to vote in that will have to make sure they get their name on the roll soon. Nick Mann wonders how many will do so, given the district’s poor turnout in the past

There is one answer to Sunday trading question

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The thorny subject of Sunday trading returns to the States next month, but the discussion will not be helped by the C&E minister having to represent a board divided over which path to take. Nick Mann believes that there is only one answer to the question of whether shops should open – and a unified approach from the department supporting that would lead to a cleaner debate

A lack of trust is no laughing matter

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The Environment Department’s refusal to go public over the expert advice given on the Town Quay road layout and courtesy crossing has given islanders even less reason to trust their elected representatives. And, says Nick Mann, it makes people wonder what else may be hidden

Time for the States to get to grips with housing

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When it comes to the housing issue it seems as if the government hasn’t yet figured out its approach – but it’s time that it did, writes Nick Mann. If the States really wants to ensure that young people remain in the island it needs to make sure that they can afford somewhere to live and put down roots

Deputies will have to keep eyes on the big picture

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The days when a politician got involved in minor parochial matters are about to end, with the impending slimming down of the States likely to mean that all members will have work of a far more important nature. But, writes Nick Mann, while the new breed of deputies will need to discipline themselves to stay out of such things, it could be an opportunity for the douzaines...