Comment - page 2

Half-hearted apology won’t make amends

SEARCH for ‘Guernsey Islamophobia’ in Google and you will get a horrifying 80,000 hits. Page after page after page indelibly links the island with racism and intolerance.

Rocky road – destination unknown

Delays. Uncertainty. Cost rises. Guernsey’s waste strategy has had more changes of direction than the San Bernardino pass but its destination is nowhere near as clear.

Comments undermine sensible discussion of refugee decision

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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...

You can trust States to shirk responsibility

RESPONSIBILITY is a theme to which this newspaper frequently returns. All too often the blunder is obvious – undeniable even – but who is responsible is always less clear.

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Even if there had been more time for us to get to grips with them, Education’s proposals are lacking in the detail we need if we’re to weigh them up properly, says our columnist, Horace Camp. But actually, that’s not his greatest concern about the whole thing...

Do not hide behind Pfos legal advice

SORRY is the hardest word to say sometimes. While the chief minister was forced into a meek apology of sorts this weekend as the harsh light of the global media was on him, those at the heart of the Pfos case cannot yet get themselves past disappointment.

No objections to planning transparency

IN THE long history of Town how many people have said ‘I’ll see you outside Weighbridge House’? Apart from a few developers, architects and planners, probably no one.

When three into one does not go

NEWS that the three biggest hitters in our States had talked about forming an alliance at this year’s election shows just how far the local political scene has come this term. It is almost disappointing that, after thinking about standing on a joint manifesto, the heavyweight trinity of the chief, treasury and commerce and employment ministers ultimately decided against the move. Voter response and ensuing developments would have been fascinating.

Make way for the eager beavers

stopwatch for Horace

There’s a ‘school’s almost out’ air of excitement about the Assembly these days but our columnist has a question. Why, in the final days, are members overloading themselves with momentous decisions that apparently only they feel qualified to make?

Pick and mix consultation loses its way

FOR ambition, fresh-thinking and diversity Education must be congratulated for its consultation on the future of secondary schools. Not content with getting 4,000 islanders to fill in an online survey the department set up 28 focus groups of everyone from business leaders to charity workers and used technology to create a ‘closed crowd’ where teachers could debate freely and without fear of repercussions.

Misplaced secrecy a stumbling block to effective government

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Two critical, if dissimilar, issues were propelled into States debate last week – the matter of herbicide glyphosate in local streams and the reciprocal health agreement, both topics where greater clarity would have led to a far quicker and better-understood conclusion

Ramsar eco status a boon for all islands

WITH Herm, Jethou and The Humps all gaining Ramsar status, the Channel Islands’ USP has been given a boost. The combined clutch of designated wetlands sites puts the islands in an unsurpassed situation – all isles now have at least one area of international importance. How many other archipelagos can say the same? Only the Azores come close, putting the CI in a distinctly niche market. A great place to start for tourism promotion.

End the humiliating pay ritual

STATES members endured their four-year exercise in self-flagellation this week as they decided how much the job should be paid. It was a disappointingly familiar debate. An independent panel comes up with a set of proposals which the majority of members want to nod through without comment, visibly squirming in their seats at how this all plays out with the voters on the eve of an election. But they can’t, because there is always a strong rump that wants to tweak things for all sorts of seemingly laudable reasons – and because it is a debating chamber.

States cannot engage with an empty hall

ALMOST a year ago, on another chill winter’s night, the Grammar School echoed to the sound of politicians explaining the personal taxation and benefits review. A largely empty hall was told how important the review was and how the burden of taxation had to be shifted away from income and onto more dependable means such as property.

Helping the show to go on

IT IS one of our greatest summer institutions, yet once again the North Show faces a perilous future. Rooted deep in Guernsey’s traditional growing industries, the show – first staged at The Track in the early 1900s by the Northern Agricultural and Horticultural Society – has long been a highlight in the island’s calendar, featuring as it does the historic Battle of Flowers.

Lack of scrutiny only adds to housing policy failure

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With the average property costing 15 times the average salary and a housing market that has all but completely stalled, Nick Mann says a body independent of the Treasury and Housing departments is needed to scrutinise the issue of housing and what has become a failed States policy