Comment - page 2

Reading the signs for life

IT is one of the most misunderstood of learning difficulties, despite affecting in some way around 10% of the population. Yet for those managing their dyslexia every day, that is just one of the challenges they face. Here in Guernsey, thanks to a valued local charity now celebrating its 30th year, much work has been done to explode the myths surrounding the condition – a specific reading disorder, which can also affect numeracy but does not reflect low intelligence.

Who’s thinking of Guernsey’s future?

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Growing nostalgic for the penny-pinching Guernsey politicians of the past, Nostalgia Party founder Horace Camp issues a 2017 challenge for Gavin St Pier: keep the island great, learn from the past and shelve the idealism

Voting for more transparency

IT’S becoming a hardy annual that just refuses to go away as this year, once again, States electronic voting returns to some agendas. As the selection debate – which featured a manual recorded vote – clearly showed, islanders care very much how their representatives vote. What is less clear however is whether they are interested in absolutely every decision, or just the so-called ‘big-ticket items’, such as the 11-plus.

Scrutiny can shine a light into shadow of overspend

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News that the work at Salerie Corner junction would cost some £80,000 more than budgeted has overshadowed what should be seen as a positive step, writes Nick Mann. He hopes that some light will be shone on the overspend by the Scrutiny Committee, but it would have been reassuring if Environment & Infrastructure had taken a more proactive stance and revealed why it was investing in things such as CCTV. Its failure to do so means that the heavily-criticised transport strategy has got off to an inauspicious start

Festive boost for Town traders

CHRISTMAS is a make or break time of the year for high street retailers. Even more so given the option that people now have to shop online from the comfort of their homes. So anything that makes it easier for people to hit the shops in Town must be welcomed.

Salerie lessons must be learned

AT LEAST Environment & Infrastructure are well prepared for one aspect of the Salerie Corner project. ‘We are more than happy with any level of criticism we receive from Scrutiny and the public over the expenditure,’ committee president Barry Brehaut told reporters as he prepared islanders for news of a huge overspend. That criticism is sure to come and is justified. The days of States projects going massively over budget are supposed to be in the past, consigned to history with memories of the airport terminal and the harbour jetty disasters.

Making new friends after EU break-up

IF THE precise meaning of ‘Brexit means Brexit’ is proving hard to pin down in the UK it is no surprise to learn that the Bailiwick of Guernsey is having to be nimble on its feet to keep up. It appears, however, from an excellent briefing to the States by the Minister for External Affairs that at least the islands are not short of partners in this dizzying political dance. Ireland, Jersey, the Isle of Man and even France and Estonia have taken Guernsey’s hand in friendship as each strives to understand the implications of June’s referendum vote.

Government steers away the gunboat

TUCKED away in Room 14 of the Palace of Westminster a debate of much interest for the islands took place. Ostensibly, the MPs were gathered in the committee room to discuss the Criminal Finances Bill, in particular an amendment moved by Labour’s shadow minister for the Home Office, Rupa Huq. It became instead a much wider examination of how much power Westminster should expect to wield over the Crown dependencies and the UK’s overseas territories.

Search is on for our next ambassador

THE search for the Guernsey Press Ambassador of the Year 2016 has begun. Celebrating the endeavours of those who have, through their individual or group efforts, helped take the name of our islands to a wider audience, the accolade is also viewed as ‘the Bailiwick’s Award’. An historic feature of the prestigious Awards for Achievement, the tribute has gone to some of the finest in our community over the years.

Selection: vote for hope not discord

THE islands stand at a crossroads with a simple choice: to select or not. That choice, however, encapsulates so much. It is a decision whether to settle for the current level of educational achievement or to take a leap into the unknown. It is a decision to remain safely rooted in the past or to look boldly to the future.

11-plus debate must rise above post-truth politics

US Election

Tomorrow’s selection debate will result in a vote like few others because of its fundamental impact on the community, both now and how it will evolve, requiring deputies to weigh up the evidence, rise above the rhetoric and make informed judgements

Deputies must look to the evidence

THERE is hope and expectation but also doubt surrounding Wednesday’s States debate on secondary education. The hope focuses on the prospect of certainty. After years of confusion, teachers, pupils and parents deserve to understand what system they will be operating under, potentially for decades to come. Deputies should be under no illusion that this is the moment, this the opportunity to draw a line under the education debate, set a course and stick to it.

Cruising towards the potential

GUERNSEY’S cruise industry is maligned and celebrated in equal measure. It is one of the few growth areas reported in the tourism visitor statistics, yet is a cause of complaint for those whose parking in Town gets disrupted or who can’t get on a round-island bus when a ship visits. So far, the island has failed to fully exploit the opportunities it presents.

Never mind The Plan – here’s how to get happy

The key to happiness may just lie in ignoring social media and news streams.

It may have turned him into an even grumpier old man but, paradoxically, a painful right hand also made Horace happier – eventually. Here he explains how true contentment can be attained by zoning some things out...

Islands must box clever to co-operate

IT WAS like a one-two punch. Leading with the left was Policy & Resources president Gavin St Pier, followed with a quick right from Jersey’s Chief Minister Ian Gorst. When Deputy St Pier spoke about inter-island co-operation to the Jersey Institute of Directors last month the message could not have been clearer, the political will was there.

Condor try to draw support from States

THOSE looking for easy answers and quick fixes will be sorely disappointed by Condor’s service review. In exhaustive detail, the report tells anyone willing to wade through its 212 pages that while it recognises the demands of the public and politicians for a more reliable, flexible and resilient service that can only come at a cost. So while the ferry company is working hard on customer care, turnaround times and communication, more fundamental changes such as buying new ships or more convenient departure and arrival times are not going to happen without States backing.