Ministers in online spat over appointment of new harbours director

PUBLIC SERVICES minister Paul Luxon lashed out at political colleague Dave Jones in an online spat over the appointment of the new Guernsey Harbours director.

New harbour director Sarah McGreevy. Deputy Dave Jones called into question Mrs McGreevy’s appointment, causing Deputy Paul Luxon to respond, calling Deputy Jones ‘pathetic’. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 1329228)
New harbour director Sarah McGreevy. Deputy Dave Jones called into question Mrs McGreevy’s appointment, causing Deputy Paul Luxon to respond, calling Deputy Jones ‘pathetic’. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 1329228)

PUBLIC SERVICES minister Paul Luxon lashed out at political colleague Dave Jones in an online spat over the appointment of the new Guernsey Harbours director.

Deputy Luxon attacked Deputy Jones on the This is Guernsey website after the housing minister called into question the qualifications of newly-appointed Sarah McGreevy, brought in by Public Services.

Deputy Jones later posted an apology to Mrs McGreevy as she had ‘applied for the post in good faith’.

The spat began when Deputy Jones responded to a post from a reader questioning how Mrs McGreevy’s 15 years’ experience in the commercial sector qualified her for the role. Deputy Jones replied: ‘I wish I knew the answer to that too? I suspect she was appointed by others who know nothing about harbours either.’

A response from Deputy Luxon, using just his first name, followed less than three hours later. ‘Pathetic Dave, pathetic!,’ he said. ‘You should know better, after all you are the Father of the Policy Council, with all the respect that goes with that. Your “Know Nothing Colleague”, Paul.’

Comments for: "Ministers in online spat over appointment of new harbours director "

stu

Deputy David Jones i think it time you call it a day.

Graham Bates

Why? For asking a very sensible question (in my opinion) as to why someone with no experience in harbour operations nor management has landed this job. I hope at the very least she has a boat!

Dave Jones, whatever next? Will he now be asking how the new chief exec of MSG got the job despite having no experience in medicine?

How very dare he!

Muppet_Show

And exactly what do you know about Mrs McGreevy's background, Stu......?

I know the person in question rather well from a work perspective, and was as gob smacked when she was appointed to this role as I was when an ex radio DJ was employed as our new C an E minister.

God help the harbours, in fact, god help all of us, that's all I can say.

Disgruntled

On the contrary, it's refreshing for us to hear what a deputy really thinks.

If there was not so much lip service paid we may move forward.

Then we may find managers in states departments that oversee failure sacked rather than given consultancy jobs.

islandman

Stick to making bacon buttys Dave..

MP

what with this incident and Kevin Stewart abusing people on Twitter and various email spats between other deputies I think this current states needs to sort out some proper guidance on what they should and shouldn't do on social media and the internet.

It all comes across as children throwing their toys out the pram and quite honestly makes me lose even more faith in these people that were brought in to make change.

Grow up deputies start behaving with some dignity, treat others with respect and if you want to pull somebody up on something don't do it in front of everyone else - after all we wouldn't allow this behaviour in the office so why do you think you are somehow immune?

Matt Fallaize

MP,

There is more than guidance already: there is a Code of Conduct for Members of the States with a well-established procedure for hearing alleged breaches of the Code.

The link below refers:

http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=4669&p=0

MP

Thanks Matt so why aren't they being held accountable then! It looks clear based on that.

"Members shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner which will tend to maintain and strengthen the public‟s trust and confidence in the integrity of the States of Deliberation and never undertake any action which would bring the States, or its Members generally, into disrepute."

Looking at the above quite a few have failed miserably but no action is taken and only the easy targets are dealt with.

I appreciate your response though as you do seem to be a voice of sensibility

Matt Fallaize

MP,

Enforcement of the Code of Conduct relies on complaints being submitted to the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Panel, who is completely independent of States members. He does not have the power to initiate cases against members, but anyone, whether a member of the public or another member of the States, is free to submit allegations of breaches of the Code.

GM

I think its time that our States Members had lessons on how to behave when using social media. A conversation between two people expressing their views should be just that. Why on earth is there a need to have that "conversation" in public on Twitter?

The disadvantages of Twitter seem to far exceed the advantages when used by politicians. It seems to be all downside and very little upside.

Dave Jones

GM

Politicians try to engage with the public and I have done so on this forum for many years, I did not expect to get attacked as being pathetic for views I have made clear privately and then publicly.

I even asked the Minister for clarification of this new role in the States debate on the Ports Master Plan, so I could not have been more open.

Any lessons I have learned is to be more forceful at the time in trying to pin down how appointments are made and what the specific roles are.

My surprise was because what goes on down at the harbours is in the main is subject to strict maritime rules and maritime laws and it is difficult to see how anyone without a grounding in either can do a job with the title of Harbour Director without this essential knowledge. However the appointment has been made and I wish Mrs Mcreevy luck.

Spartacus

In fairness, and with due respect, I think you should have expected to get a reaction when you have publicly criticised the decision making of colleagues over a senior appointment and also implied that the senior appointee, your employee, is unsuitable for the job. That's technically two breaches of your code of conduct.

I'm not complaining because I find it fascinating and am always interested to hear your views but you have roused the rabble. I'm worried that BS&FE and GM are going to spontaneously combust one of these days ;-)

In February it was announced that the reorganisation would entail a commercial role and a harbour role. The same style of reorganisataion has happened at education with the appointment of Jon Buckland who does not have an education background, to work alongside Alan Brown.

Clearly it has been ascertained that top class educationalists are unlikely to have financial backgrounds and similarly, a fully experienced Harbour master is unlikely to have the level of commercial experience required to meet all the requirements of running the port to an optimal level.

Dave Jones

As a member of the Policy Council we should have been part of that decision, this is a fundamental change to the way our harbours are run. Just as the PC were consulted about the change at the top of T&R when the CO resigned his post.

GM

Spartacus

Sorry but you are wrong. Dave Jones is representing the people of this island in asking the very question that many members of the electorate are asking about this appointment. We as members of the public can ask that same question and we will be ignored. Dave Jones can ask that question on our behalf and he is far more likely to get a response. If deputies like Dave Jones don't bother to ask those awkward questions, then other departments and civil servants will become even more unaccountable than they are today (if that's indeed possible). The only potential Code of Conduct breach by Dave Jones (and Paul Luxon) is in relation to the manner of their public spat, and that's probably marginal.

It grates a bit, but I agree with your last two paragraphs.

What I disagree with is PSD going ahead with their recruitment of these people before their plan for the Harbour has even been approved by the States. It is very unwise for any department to assume that their plan will automatically be approved. Who pays for sorting out the financial mess if the budget is not approved and if the department has already committed to committing the employment costs?

Spartacus

Dave Jones

I take your point that you feel the PC should have been consulted over these structural changes at the harbour, I also note that you personally feel strongly that these events will be detrimental in the long term and there are many that trust your judgement on such matters and so we all appreciate that you publicise your views.

However firstly I would suggest that this matter is not comparable to the changes to leadership of T&R, this is a sub department of PSD not changes to the leadership of PSD.

If there has been a breach by PSD of any rules and formalities or lack of requisite permission for these changes then you must surely have recourse through proper channels?

If that is not the case and there hasn't been any breach, then it would seem you simply feel that PC ought to have been consulted. In that case it is perhaps unjustified to vent your frustration on your political colleagues and the employees who are acting in good faith in the course of their duties.

Spartacus

GM

I think it's fine to question proposals and decisions however I believe there are protocols for this to avoid undermining public confidence and reputations of individuals who have no right of reply.

The problem here seems to be that some do not like the answers to the questions.

I can see the benefits to the restructuring, as with education, and it is for Mrs McGreevy to prove herself, if given the opportunity to do so.

Matt Fallaize

Deputy Jones,

I must disagree about one point in all this.

I'm not quite sure why the Policy Council should have been consulted about a reorganisation of staff at the Harbours.

The responsibility for advising the States about the Harbours, and indeed for operating them, falls squarely under the mandate of the Public Services Department. It is the business of the elected political members of that Department.

The States has delegated some overall employment functions to the Policy Council, but the Council's mandate has nothing to do with overseeing or running the Harbours.

GM

Spartacus

How can Ms McGreevy prove herself when the new Ports Master Plan hasn't even been approved yet? In most businesses where a strategic review is being carried out you would finalise what exactly you need, and what your budget is, before you recruit somebody. Otherwise there is every chance of recruiting someone who cannot fulfil the confirmed role.

PSD are presenting the States'approval of its plan and budget as a fait accompli. I still want to know who will bear the cost of unravelling all this is the PSD plan is not approved.

Matt Fallaize

GM,

Any costs incurred in the development of policy proposals - whether those proposals end up being approved, amended or rejected by the States of Deliberation - are borne by the committee or department responsible for developing them.

GM

Matt

Ah..you mean the taxpayer has to foot them. My point entirely.

So - if the plan isn't approved abd PSD have to say to Ms McGreevy and Mr Milner: "Sorry, we didn't get approval, so the job that you've just been hired for doesn't actually exist, so here's a nice financial settlement to compensate oy for your inconvenience etc.." would be for the taxpayer to foot the bill, with no accountability for those whose who jumped the gun by hiring them.

So much for financial prudency, eh?

Matt Fallaize

GM,

I'm not for a moment dismissing your concerns because I think they are entirely legitimate - and, like you, I have not been reticent elsewhere on this forum to remind others that the ports master plan has emphatically not been approved by the States.

However, I would challenge your point about accountability and the presumed lack thereof.

I should think that the Public Services Committee would say that their restructuring of senior management at the harbours is a necessary exercise with or without the States eventually approving some or all of the ports master plan.

However, if it turns out that restructuring was premature and has to be aborted in the event that the States rejects some or all of the ports master plan, and especially if unnecessary expense is incurred as a result, I should think that Public Services would quickly, and perhaps rather brutally, become acquainted with the sort of accountability which on occasion the States is actually quite fond of employing.

Woody

When are deputies going to realise that it is idiotic and childish to argue in a public forum like This is Guernsey or Twitter etc? It's been happening far too often recently, especially over Twitter. All it does is show that they may not be mature and responsible enough to hold a public office.

Matt Fallaize

Woody,

What do you mean when you say that deputies should not "argue" on a forum such as this?

When deputies do not engage with the public, we are criticised for being remote, but our becoming involved in debates on a forum such as this inevitably results in "arguing" for one's point of view at least to some extent.

Are you of the view that it would be better for deputies to leave forums alone period or that those who chose to participate should be especially circumspect in their use of language, particularly to each other?

Field

Matt

I understand exactly what Woody means by 'arguing' and I think most TIG and Twitter users can see when things have escalated from the genuine and constructive debate into a spat.

I would hate to see deputies exit social media. I find most of their comments really enlightening, Dave's included, and they have definitely increased my engagement in politics.

But I too find it uncomfortable and embarrassing for them when they start brandishing verbal swords at each other in public. What on earth do they say to each other in private??

Stewart vs Arditti on this week's Phone-In was another case in point. No doubt they were both proud of their 'robust stance'. They don't see themselves through their electorate's eyes...

GM

Matt

Re your last para, yes please do engage on forums but be circumspect. It is clearly possible to do both

Woody

Sorry I didn't make it clear, I'm happy that deputies are on social media and here to have healthy debate with the public, it's a great way to engage with the people you're representing and get a sense for what we're thinking. What I was referring to is when deputies start having heated childish arguments with each other over these forums which often seems to descend into name calling, it's not the place for it and does not reflect well on the behaviour or maturity of those deputies and the States

Matt Fallaize

Woody,

Ok; I understand. Thanks for clarifying.

Dave Jones

Matt

Because as the FTP rumbles on and the overall cost to the States wage bill is a significant factor in balancing the books, everything that all departments do in terms of employment into senior posts is of huge importance to the PC and the states as a whole.

Matt Fallaize

Well, all members of the States, including members of the Policy Council, regard the FTP as important.

But that does not mean that the Policy Council's mandate is engaged by a reorganisation of staff at the harbours - even it's related to the FTP.

The States has resolved that the Policy Council is responsible only for those parts of the FTP which concern areas of policy or service falling under the mandate of the Council, which actually is relatively little.

The States has also resolved that each States Department in turn is separately responsible to the Assembly for fulfilling those parts of the FTP which concern areas of policy or service under each of their mandates.

Of the £9.2m. FTP savings target for 2013, the Policy Council is responsible for only £440,000. Public Services Department is responsible for £495,000. Of course Health's responsibility dwarfs them both: their political members are responsible for £2,320,000 of the FTP savings target. And Education's target is nearly as great.

Dave Jones

You are right Matt but we are ALL responsible for making sure the savings are made and not taking the easy route of raising taxes.

That is a blanket responsibility which is being led by the Policty Council. Adding highly paid members to the civil service pay roll will not help in that regard and I still maintain that PC members had a right to know that this restructuring was taking place, department mandates not withstanding.

Matt Fallaize

Fair points, Dave. I don't dispute any of that when you express it in those terms. As you will appreciate, I am just eager to ensure that the vigilance employed to guard against the creation of an overly-powerful 'executive' at the centre on the staff side is replicated with a similar vigilance about the risks of the same happening on the political side.

klausfluoride

Don't have a go at Dave Jones, he's one of the few that speaks his mind candidly. The reverse side of that coin is that sometimes you can overstep the mark, but give him his due, when Deputy Jones does that he is always quick to hold up his hand & apologise, which is more than you can say for some of the wheedling, self-interested, publicity-seeking, non-entities we currently have in the States.

bella

dave, you stick in there, one of the very few who say it as it is

pyer

Dave Jones was brave enough to say what many others were thinking about apparent lack of suitable experience.

However, only time will tell if this was a bold forward looking appointment or not.

One thing though Sarah, once the North Beach parking area that the Harbour 'borrowed' for a temporary freight park has been returned, please don't consider taking away any of that area from us, the parker.

Dell

Oh dear! Deputy Jones appears to have made a blunder with outspoken comment criticising a fellow Deputy's department. Not the best way to conduct business and embarrassing for Mrs McGreevy. Is there a code of conduct issue here?

alan

Stick to digging holes dave

jsimpson

Childish and unprofessional. What qualifies Jones for being a "politician"?

Disgruntled

The question you should ask is what qualifies any of them to be a politician.

Matt Fallaize

Disgruntled,

It's a fair question but I suppose that in Guernsey, just like in every other democracy around the world, the only answer to the question is that politicians draw their legitimacy (or, to use your words, their qualifications to hold office) from having been elected by the public.

I appreciate from the tone of your post that you may believe that all, or at least most, of us are fools and unfit for public office, but is there any other way of doing it in a democracy?

Disgruntled

Matt, I suggest you reread my post, I accuse no one of being a fool. I pose the question what qualifies them. I guess the only qualification that is relevant would be a politics degree.

A more fair question might be what qualities should elected deputies bring to the table for ministerial or committee they represent.

Deputies are by my understanding representatives of the electorate, they are elected on the basis of manifesto.

Bert Le Page

Although Dave has gone about this the wrong way (posting on this forum etc) at the end of the day he is right to question the role, whether the person is right for that role (I've not read any real detail to suggest she has or has not got the requisite experience/skills although from what I have read her CV appears a little light), what the benefits & costs are etc etc.

Geoff

Why should Deputy Jones call it a day? He made some valid points in his response. At least he comes on here and puts his points over with the electorate. Like him or not, and I haven't always agreed with his responses, he is one of the best we have. Many times he puts over views that a lot of the electorate can relate to so he must be doing something right which is more than I can say for a lot of this sorry bunch we have elected.

Unsurprised

This is what happens when two people who think they're something special disagree.

Both of these characters have opinions of themselves far higher than anyone else has, and quite why they consider themselves so special is beyond me.

Johno

stu

God help us if Dave Jones calls it a day. he is the only left with ANY common sense.

guern abroad

Agreed.

Better to be seen to say the wrong thing then be seen to follow the direction of the stongest wind blower.

mrspinthepantry

Mr Jones definitely has a problem with women.

After saying that I write "drivel" he called me a "sniverling, spineless indevidual [sic]"

Moi? Seriously darhling?

Maybe he was right

Sounds like he got your number very quickly!

Normally it takes days for people to work that out about you ....

Mocking Bird

I think it is extremely unprofessional of both people, and just shows you what calibre of states member we have. It's all very well styling yourselves as "men of the people", but thank goodness these guys don't deal directly with the big players out there in the real world. They would be laughed off the stage with their gaucheness.

bcb

You mean like Bush who re elected?

bcb

Sorry i mean got re elected

Mocking Bird

Elected as a puppet, by muppets.

bcb

Yes have to agree with you there but a very dangerous puppet.

Dave Jones

Mocking Bird

I have met several of the big players as you call them over the years and I have been just as forthright with them as I am with our own elected deputies.

It is no good wringing your hands with these people ,you have to leave them in no doubt what your views are. We need more plain speaking not less. The people feel powerless to stop the relentless goverment machine and expect us as their Deputies to at least make sure the machine is working for them not against them.

If of course those views don't concurr with the majority of your electorate then you will soon find yourself in early retirment.

stu

mark B Why did i say call it a day, because i am sick to death of the states deputies the way they think and the stupid decisions they make.

Graham Bates

Ah Stu, this article is about Dave Jones challenging a potential "stupid decision". He didnt make the appointment and so, by your comment, is exonerated from any "stupidity".

Try picking up the other end of the stick buddy.

AD Locke

Jonesy speaking his mind?

Well why not? In this mad world of political correctness it's nice to have some straight talking from a politician.

Dave has put himself up for re-election several times and always come out around the top, which I guess he can proudly claim to be his qualification as a politician.

On the flip side New harbour director Sarah McGreevy can try to prove Dave wrong and i wish her the very best of luck with her new job.

In a few years and with hindsight we will see who is correct?

But don't critisise someone for having an opinion especially DJ, we need outspoken experienced politicians not just ones that sing from the same sheet!

'Tim'

AD Locke for CM,Pete for DCM and Disgruntled, klausflouride, bella and Geoff can share all the soon to be harbour director-of-this and director-of-that job titles amongst themselves

Dave Jones' wording could / should have been better and no doubt Paul Luxon regrets posting before the red mist had cleared but I suppose TIG would be pretty dull if it ever descended into just discussing dog poo and fish and chips

Johno

Couldn't agree more.

Much rather have a deputy who actually says what's on his mind (whether it be right or wrong) rather than procrastinating as the vast majority of the others do.

I honestly believe that if we had more deputies like DJ we would not be in the mess we are in.

He doesn't suffer fools.....nothing wrong with that!

Pete

Of course Guernsey politicians are unprofessional and at times very naïve, Bernard Flouqet illustrated that perfectly. But it’s much better than having the unreachable dishonest professional liars that infest politics elsewhere in the world. This spat story to me is a typical none story, a column filler.

As for Mrs. McGreey not knowing anything about the harbour,one could say the same about all Deputy’s, what do they know about their first appointments when they get them. She’ll learn about the harbour as she goes, which is in many ways better than her going in with preconceived ideas.

'Tim'

GP - Just to check - is there more than one 'Paul' that publishes his views in this forum or can I assume that there is only one? Can multiple people use the same 'Name'?

GUernsey Press

The name may be the same but the Gravatar (symbol) will be different. Hope that helps. GP.

guern abroad

The gravatar is driven by a unique email, if the same email is used regardless of name then the same gravatar will show.

Sam

You keep asking questions Dave, a new harbours director should be extremely experienced in all matters to do with marine and harbour management, it is a vital necessity if you are going to direct a busy area like St Peter Port and St Sampson's and I assume those you chose this lady are not fools and would have had that quality as one of the required qualifications.

All Dave has done is question that in the public interest, and quite rightly. Perhaps Deputy Luxton could give him a straight answer instead of insulting him.

Dave Jones

Sam

I understand "Marine experience" was a requirment on the initial job description for this post but it was later removed.

Dave Jones

Just to clear up a couple of points, I may have been a littlie clumsy in my initial response but then none of us are perfect. My main concern is over the creation of this post rather than who fills it.

We used to keep things simple in Guernsey that is what made us so different from everywhere else. Over the last 20 years or so we have been busy trying to emulate what happens elsewhere and just like elsewhere it has been quite frankly a disaster. The bigger and more complicated the structure, the more it costs and as governments don’t have any money of their own it can only come from you and me.

We have two Harbours and a Harbour master and deputy Harbour master to oversee the running of these facilities, it has been that way for several decades and has worked extremely well. Below that are other managers who oversee the Harbour workshops where things are repaired and serviced and the management of the marinas, freight and passenger operations.

Now we are building in a whole new level of bureaucracy into the management of the harbours that in my view we simply don’t need.

It is true the present Harbour Master and his deputy are coming up for retirement at roughly the same time but it should not be beyond the wit of us as a government to manage that issue.

As I understand it we have already appointed a new local Harbour master when the present one retires and I find it incredulous that in a strong maritime community such as Guernsey a local deputy Harbour master cannot be found to continue as we have always done.

What is it about us that we have to complicate everything? The public end up paying every time we add another level of management to our structure and this example will be no different.

If you don’t believe this is true, just think of all the so called examples of “improving things” which have ended up costing us all a lot more?

The utilities are just one example, a whole regulation industry sprung up out of that decision and in any event it has proved to be a toothless tiger in protecting the Guernsey consumer which is what we were told it would do. It also costs 8 times what we were told it might cost in the first place and it has added significant amounts to everybody’s bills as the utility companies pass the costs on. On top of that we now have paid board members where deputies once served on these utility boards free.

Remember the Health promotion unit, the President of Health at the time asked the States for £14,000 or whatever it was in order to employ a Health Promotion officer, Dep Ron Le Moignan warned the States at that point that if this post was granted, in a few years it would end up as an entire department, he has been proved absolutely right. The Civil service is the only growth industry in Guernsey right now when everyone else is cutting back.

These new changes, we are told will not cost any more than it does now, well my view is it most certainly will and as charges and costs are raised at the Harbours to pay for this new management structure, it will cost every islander more.

One other thing the States is very fond of doing and that is sending people we have just employed away on courses and other training programmes, mostly from what I can see to get those they have employed the qualifications they needed to get the job in the first place, all this has significant cost for the taxpayer so when we are told that it will cost no more than it does now to set up this new structure I simply don’t believe it.

As I said before, we should be reducing bureaucracy not adding to it at a time when we are cutting public services and raising taxes and charges on the already overstretched taxpayer and I will continue to raise these points however uncomfortable they might be for some.

B*llsh*t_an_Fag_ends

AGREED all the way, DJ, though interestingly, you failed to apply these observations to yet another recent 'new role' in the form of Mr Holme's re-employment, for as you say,

'In my view we simply could not afford to loose him to the private sector and I am glad someone had the good sense to attract him back to another role......'

Sure, Dale has experience, whilst Mrs McGreevy does not, but if your argument is against additional layers of management and the costs thereof, does that mean then that just because he has experience, he is any more entitled to be re-employed at some considerable expense in a newly created CS role (the essential nature of which is rather questionable, in these austere times, as you would point out), inevitably adding yet another level of management over Head teachers and the Education dept staff who know the business (as the Harbour masters do), inside out......?

errrrr. really......?

'As I said before, we should be reducing bureaucracy not adding to it at a time when we are cutting public services and raising taxes and charges on the already overstretched taxpayer.....'

Agreed, and of that, I am surely glad, but who is paying for Mr Holmes lucrative new consultant role, exactly? The Chambers teabag fund....?

As I have already commented, I am with you regarding the questionable nature of Mrs McGreevy's appointment to this post. In my opinion, having worked with her, I would say she is the very last person who should be taking on this role, and can reassure Mrs PintheP it is absolutely NOTHING to do with whether she's a woman or not, but simply that her skill sets would be better suited elsewhere, as those under her - and we - will regretfully discover.

Seems to me that wafts of the ol' boy's network pervade your thoughts regarding the Holmes debacle, DJ, and perhaps knowing him as one of the good ol' boys has clouded your judgement.

It's either what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, or it isn't. You can't have it both ways.

Island Wide Voting

Fag Ends

Just one thing about the Dale Holmes appointment.I understood that this is a consultancy post rather than an additional full time civil service job which would entail all the sick leave/holiday pay/pension etc,very much like the Mulkerrin consultancy I suppose

I think Mr Holmes is on a three month ? contract to do a specific job for Education and when that is completed the consultancy ends

If he does a splendid job of course it won't harm his chances of gaining future consultancy positions with other States or private organisations

Dave Jones

Ray

I scrapped my response to Fag Ends as you have summed up the true situation with Dale Homes appointment perfectly

B*llsh*t_an_Fag_ends

Hi there, IWV, Dave.

As I said, I agree with many of Dave's salient points,however, I don't remember seeing anywhere that Mr Holme's contract was only for 3 months.....

Dave, is that the case, then....?

I also agree with you, IWV, that this is most probably the start of a new and illustrious career in States contracts for Mr Holmes, the CS back door not being closed, but left carefully ajar in this case, for one of their own.

Dave. I remember some time ago me complimenting you on the fact your department never employs consultants as many other departments do, something that many people consider questionable, to say the least, and in many cases, an unnecessary expense.

I also say it like I see it...

consultants DO 'add another level of management' - and expense - temporary or no...

and Mr Holme's rapid reemployment back into the CS fold on a lucrative consultant contract, so soon after his enforced resignation from the same organisation for a massive boo-boo, is distinctly whiffy.

To put it more succinctly, Dave, that would NEVER happen in the private sector.

The question of whether Mr Holmes new position was advertised, or put out to tender, to ensure the best person for the job, also remains unanswered....

so Dave, please explain, why did none of us apparently see this contract advertised, and States process duely followed, as it is for other 'temporary' contracts....?

Consulting. If you're not a part of the solution, there's good money to be made in prolonging the problem, as they say.......

As all consultants, Mr Holmes will have to be briefed by those who already know what's going on and are most probably better qualified to deal with it (at NO additional cost), then he will have to aquaint himself with all the other facts and figures that the Education staff are more than acutely aware of, then further familiarise himself with the current system and way of doing things which most of them could probably write a book about, and then, gain a proper understanding of the big picture (which will take considerable time, and time is MONEY)......

then, and only then, he can start his project.

You can dress one of our porcine chums in a Gaultier, but it's still just a pig in a dress, and in the case of Mr Holmes, Dave, it's jobs for the boys, an' I think you know that.....

Mrs McG, on the other hand......

as I've said before, NO idea how she got that role, presumably the removal of the requirement for any actual experience in that field assisted greatly (!), but the look on her face in that picture says it all....

batten down the hatches, there's some stormy seas ahead, my friend......!!

Spartacus

Dave Jones

I wonder if your frustration is unfounded and your criticism of the decisions of your colleagues perhaps requires being substantiated with some evidence of your concerns.

Clearly they seem to have appointed Sarah McGreevy to do the Harbour Master role. Would you have been happier if she was called the Harbour mistress? The harbour master job title will be taken up by someone of a lesser rank to do the job previously done by the deputy harbour master. Where is the extra layer of bureaucracy you speak of?

2 people are leaving and 2 people are being appointed in their place. Unless you know something else which we don't?

Island Wide Voting

Sparty

I think only time will tell on that one

guern abroad

Brilliant Dave.

Agree with everything you have said and also agree that this was seen coming that these changes you gave as previous examples would cost more and bloat.

This is why I am so fearful for Sark as lo and behold forced into a corner of employing a civil servant and wait how long will it take to bloat that to two people and so it will go on.

The sad thing is that Guernsey was doing better with the previous structures and the so called do gooders with their UK and other developed country ideas have injected a level of rot and procrastination that is now costing the Island and if not stopped will continue to do so.

So why has this occurred is it that we had a few incomers with UK model blinkers that carried more weight so got the ideas through.

Big mistakes I can think of include the regulator and selling off Guernsey Telecoms and the total lack of common sense and the continued need for consultation papers on top of consultation paper, and the current one that I feel will hit hard is the recent lack of sea fortification maintenance and why, because the consultants have not done enough papers so procrastination continues and the expense builds.

Guernsey can not afford these levels of bureaucracy and the procrastination it brings.

bcb

Excellent post Dave.

SF

Why is it Dave Jones, you have to publicly criticise an appointment by a fellow deputy ie. Mr Luxon who is in charge of a strategy for the Harbours and should have the confidence of fellow deputies surely or is because you want his job?  Adopting your standard, would mean deputies openly criticising other department appointments so in your case, the housing department. It might make for an entertaining forum but it trivialises important decisions like the future of the Harbours which need to change with the times. As others have said, there are the right approaches ie. phone or email for communication with colleagues.Guernsey is involved in trade with other areas and cannot remain in a time warp with outmoded management structures as global demands and EU rules change etc. It's a competitive world we live in, this is no place for dinosaurs. 

Dave Jones

SF

The Policy Council is deemed to be the "Employer" the first I knew of this appointment was by word of mouth and a fleeting reference to it by the Minister of PSD in last months debate on the Ports Master Plan.

Of course the Harbours need to change with the times but that does not mean we need a whole new level of bureaucracy to manage what we have done perfectly well for decades, especially at a time when we should be slimming down the Civil Service not expanding it.

Your point about trade is a red herring, we have always traded through the ports for hundreds of years and we have adjusted to suit those changes, for instance from the majority of craneage from vessels to Roll on Roll off and there will be other major changes in the future in the way we handle fuel and liquid gas shipments all of which I support.

I have been in private correspondence with the Minister on the issue of the harbours and commercialisation for several weeks. I also supported many of the things suggested in the PMP in the states last month, I just don’t happen to agree that we need more civil servants to do it.

Spartacus

Please can you clarify what you mean by "the policy council is deemed to be the employer" I thought "States of Guernsey" was the employer of all civil servants.

Matt Fallaize

SF,

You wrote: "Mr Luxon who is in charge of a strategy for the Harbours..."

Is he really?

Can you direct me to this strategy please?

Spartacus

I gather from this document that it is being formed. The smiley photo indicates Mr Luxon is in charge.

http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=58450&p=0

SF

Matt, no I can't. I just presumed there was one but perhaps the new appointee is supposed to help devise it. I don't work for the States so am none the wiser.

Jez

Dave

Absolutely right to question this appointment

And its not just about the post it is about the candidate who is employed especially when we read about redundancies and rising unemployment almost daily.

It is clear she has no senior experience as the report in the press didn't name any of the other posts she had held in any detail and was determinedly vague.

Further if the new Harbour plan/structure is not approved it would seem premature to be appointing such senior positions...?

Also is she from outside the island and been allowed a 15 year licence - can someone confirm if this is the case?

If this is the case it would be a double kick in the teeth for the locally qualified working population.

guernseyfairy

We used to keep things simple in Guernsey that is what made us so different from everywhere else. Over the last 20 years or so we have been busy trying to emulate what happens elsewhere and just like elsewhere it has been quite frankly a disaster. The bigger and more complicated the structure, the more it costs and as governments don’t have any money of their own it can only come from you and me.

So why are we paying Consultants exorbitant amounts of money to try and change everything within the Civil Service? Also, what about the FTP? That is something that will fail but the States are still ploughing money into it.

Gary B

Dave

You are absolutely right. There is nothing else to say.

A.J.

Well said D.J.At least some common sense, from someone who is not only open but,also one of the few that we can trust.

Dave Jones

One other additional point and that is the idea that there will be a reduction in personnel.

We have just employed Mr Ian Milner formerly Condor’s local director of operations. We will have a new Harbour Master and now a commercial director and I will lay money that we will eventually end up with a Deputy Harbour Master and a deputy commercial director. It won’t happen straight away but give it time and you will end up with five replacing two.

I believe that this is all about getting the Harbours ready for commercialisation and the extra appointments we will be told were a “commercial” decision made by the new management board, in addition we will have of course more salaried directors and yet more cost passed on to the public.

The newly appointed Harbour director has already said in a BBC interview that she sees her role as driving forward the new Harbour Master Plan, except of course the States last month only agreed to note the plan while we wait for PSD to furnish us with the details of what they would like to do.

So at present there is no funding allocated to this new plan nor has it got final States approval.

GM

Dave Joes

This is deeply worrying. All very presumptious and premature by PSD. How much would it cost to get rid of these people if the PSD plan is not approved by the States? Or is the tactic meant to be that the plan has to be approved because of the cost of getting rid of these people?

I hear that Derek Neale is working full speed on a rebuild of La Mare de Carteret school - yet the recently announced review hasn't even finalised exactly what La Mare will be, or even that a new high school is definitely needed. Only the States can make that decision.

Once again, its evidence that the civil service, not the States, run this island. Truly frightening.

Who do the Chief Officers report to? Mike Brown. And who does Mike Brown report to? Mike Brown only by the looks of it. No wonder the FTP is failing.

The lunatics have taken over the asylum, but the people elected by us to run the asylum either don't realise this or simply don't care.

Until the elected members of the States grow a pair and deal with the senior civil servants, this island will continue to sink. Our elected members have no say in most things. The unelected and unaccountable call all the shots.

Correct?

Matt Fallaize

Deputy Jones' point is key: the States agreed only 'to note' the Ports Master Plan. The rules of procedure state that "a proposition the effect of which is to note the report shall be construed as a neutral motion, neither implying assent for, nor disapproval of, the contents of the report concerned".

The Ports Master Plan has no status other than that the Public Services Department might think parts of it are a good idea.

Nobody has any authority to implement any part of it.

I assume the Department know that though.

Spartacus

Am I missing something?

Obviously there is a plan and if that plan is not approved by the States there will be a plan B and if that plan needs amending it will be amended until everybody is happy and Director Greevy will drive the final agreed plan forward.

Surely there is not a choice between implementing this plan or having no plan at all? That would be nonsense surely.

GM

Spartacus

And what if Plan B is so materially different that Ms McGreevy is not the right person to implement it, or is not needed? Basic logic suggests that the plan should be approved by the States before anybody is specifically recruited. To do otherwise is just plain wrong.

Spartacus

If plan A is to maximise harbour revenues while protecting the people of Guernsey from undue inflation of essential imports & services, what could be in plan B that is so radically different? I'm intrigued.

GM

Spartacus

The truth is that we don't know, and neither do PSD at this stage. So why fill the positions until they do know?

GM

Matt

The Department will know but they won't care. After all, its not their money and they will never be held accountable for the financial consequences of the plan not being approved.

SF

Dave,

I think you are comparing Public Services dept. to other departments within the States. PSD runs the island’s Water works, Sewerage, Roads, Waste disposal, Landfill plus the Airports and Harbours. It’s a massive department compared to others. The last two divisions alone according to States accounts brought in revenue of £11.6 million and £7.8 million respectively and that is without realising their potential. Effectively as far as the Harbours are concerned, you have the Harbour Master and Assistant HM running a department but accountable to PSD. The Harbour Master and Assistant HM should be focused on operations and a Senior Manager dealing with the commercial side of the Harbours and I think that is the objective of this appointment. While they might not admit it, in reality Public Services is completely over tasked and the Airport and Harbours should be managed as separate entities. This is not a revelation it was recommended by Fisher Associates amongst others. These operations have nothing in common with the other department operations which are essential services.

You complain about commercialisation of the Harbours. How else can they operate? Unlike Housing and Social Services, the Harbours are revenue earning ie. they trade and earn revenue from port fees, moorings, tenancies etc. There is a definite distinction to other departments within the States which perhaps the Policy Council doesn’t realise either.

I almost feel sorry for Public Services, they have so much on their plate and they get grief for making a commercial appointment.

Dave Jones

SF

I am not confused at all over what fits where and just how big PSD’s mandate is, I am not even opposed to having a commercial director if PSD see this as an asset but I have been around the States long enough to know that this will inevitably lead to mission creep and we will probably end up with more Civil servants doing the same job, also I guarantee we will be paying much more for it, especially at a time when the States have not yet agreed any Ports Master Plan nor has it allocated any funds towards such a plan.

I complain about commercialisation because it has a very poor history in Guernsey of improving on what we once had, we have spent millions and cost the public many more millions on fixing something that was never broken in the first place, all to try and emulate what happens elsewhere, imported policies by people who never understood how Guernsey worked and aided and abetted by weak and ineffectual politicians.

It not satisfactory to me either, to pass on large chunks of your mandate to unaccountable managers keeping the real accountability through elected States members at arms length, this is where the public gets so frustrated, things just happen and costs to them go up but nobody can find out why or who it is they can hold to account and quite frankly I have had enough of it.

It is even less satisfactory as far as I and it would seem a great many others are concerned to make the new and existing Harbour Masters accountable to someone who does not have their long hard earned experience in marine matters, marine law or Port regulations.

The Harbour Master should be autonomous in my view, just like the Chief of Police, accountable only to their political masters who make the laws they administer on our behalf.

This is all about the gradual removal of elected politicians from the responsibilities of overseeing the public’s interests of our strategic assets, such as we saw with our utilities and now the Water Company and the Harbours and Airport have been earmarked for the same.

Civil servants and outside vested interests eager to get their hands on theses assets, keen to remove elected deputies from the equation altogether, it is no more complicated than that.

You have already seen this happen with Electricity, Post and of course the catastrophic sale of Guernsey telecom( you are now paying for your own bills to be printed) Deputies now have absolutely zero influence with any of these utilities on behalf of the public who elected them and who with exception of the Telcol Company own the assets.

I am often told that T&R represent us as the shareholders, however every time I have asked them to intervene on the public’s behalf I have been told by all the T&R ministers that they cannot, as these are “commercial” decisions.

Why is this important? Well at the moment it is only the elected deputies that act as a safeguard against profiteering and poor service, my view is you will see both very quickly should these vital assets are commercialised and we will be powerless to do very much to protect the interests of the consumer, we will be told very firmly that it is not our job to interfere in a commercial board.

By placing all these vital assets in the hands of Commercial boards and managers, they have been and will be able to increase charges almost at will and the Politicians who allowed this mess to happen will then say that it is “nothing to do with us guv” “it is a commercial decision” the Regulator will do nothing as usual and will prove to be just as useless at protecting the consumer as it has been in the past.

The net result of this commercialisation will be much less accountability and significantly higher charges to the people of Guernsey in order to furnish the commercial boards with the profits they need to pay their directors,their bonuses and other expenses.

Of course the other massive down side to this commercialisation is that the taxpayer will still be responsible for maintaining and renewing all the expensive bits of kit, vital to the running of these Ports and I suspect on top of everything else their taxes will go up to pay for it.

I repeat what I have said before often and that is there is nothing in any of this for the people of Guernsey, poorer families who are trapped on the Island already because of the high cost of travel will find it much harder when the costs go up again to pay for this brave new world.

Food and all other goods will increase in price to pay for higher freight charges passed on by the super markets and other traders.

It is a disaster in the making, we will spawn the same kind “fat cats” in my opinion that you see in the UK and you will pay.

Matt Fallaize

The following three paragraphs of Deputy Jones' longer post are not idle speculation. What he describes is happening and I suspect will gather pace in this States term. Anyone with an interest in politics and government in Guernsey should consider whether it is a future they find attractive.

"The Harbour Master should be autonomous in my view, just like the Chief of Police, accountable only to their political masters who make the laws they administer on our behalf.

"This is all about the gradual removal of elected politicians from the responsibilities of overseeing the public’s interests of our strategic assets, such as we saw with our utilities and now the Water Company and the Harbours and Airport have been earmarked for the same.

"Civil servants and outside vested interests eager to get their hands on theses assets, keen to remove elected deputies from the equation altogether, it is no more complicated than that."

Island Wide Voting

Dave Jones

"we have spent millions and cost the public many more millions on fixing something that was never broken in the first place, all to try and emulate what happens elsewhere, imported policies by people who never understood how Guernsey worked and aided and abetted by weak and ineffectual politicians."

You could just as well be talking about our new multi-million pound waste strategy.Let's fill up our dangerous water-filled holes in the ground until there are no more left

Matt Fallaize

SF,

Good points.

I wonder whether the operations of the ports might be better overseen by a separate Ports Authority which could combine elected States members and what we call non-States members appointed for their business or organisational experience outside of politics?

Strategic policy which incorporates the ports could still be formulated at a purely political level, but might a Ports Authority with more focused, discrete operational oversight address some of the concerns expressed in your post?

SF

Matt,

You're spot on.

Indeed this body should combine States members and non-States members with relevant experience.

It would create the focused management necessary for the safe, effective running of the Ports with less bureaucracy contrary to Dave's concerns.

Matt Fallaize

SF,

I wonder if it's a model that could be extended elsewhere across the public sector?

1) Discrete, more focused 'authorities' or 'boards', or whatever their appropriate title would be, making policy specific to their area and hands on, overseeing at the operational level and combining political and non-States members;

2) perhaps three of four policy committees who could make joined-up 'cross-departmental' policy at a higher level, e.g. one for social policy, one for environmental and infrastructure policy etc.

I wonder whether distinguishing between operational oversight and strategic policy development in that way might improve government at both levels.

SF

Perhaps but I would concentrate on the more immediate concerns ie. the Harbours and the Airports, let us walk first before we run. I mean the Harbours are such a crucial part of the island's existence, effectively the heart and lungs of the island, responsible for 99% of goods coming into the island.

Matt Fallaize

SF,

In this context I'm not sure that the ports are more immediate concerns actually. Across government there is a need to find better ways of politicians making joined-up strategic policy and at the same time diligently overseeing at the operational level. Indeed, the imperative may be greater in areas such as health, social services, education and economic development in view of their size and complexity.

SF

Matt,

I see your point but surely we need vibrant trade and commerce to fund the economic development in which to support the areas of health, Social services and education? That was my point about the Harbours in essence. Our deficit will get greater if we don't prioritise because of our increasingly ageing ie. non working population

Billythefish

Hands up, the man who knows nothing about the current structure of the Harbour!!!! Yes, Minister, that's you, that is!

Island Wide Voting

So we now have a Mr Ian Milner on the books!

That's No 1 and No 2 of the new empire sorted.Stand by for further developments

Spartacus

So that's the succession planning sorted out then for when the Harbour master and his Deputy retire.

The rest of the sorry scaremongering on this thread seems to be pure conjecture and speculation. Shame.

Island Wide Voting

Sparty

That would be correct if Mrs McG and Mr Milner were to take up those two roles but aren't PSD on the lookout for someone extra to carry out the hands on duties of the retiring deputy harbour master?

Spartacus

Correct me if I'm wrong but I deduced that the Harbour Master (Mr Milner) will henceforth carry out the hands on duties of the retiring deputy harbour master.

This restructuring and rationale was announced back in February.

http://www.gov.gg/article/107951/New-management-structure-at-Guernsey-Harbours

Island Wide Voting

That's a very good link Spartacus.. well worth reading to fill in a few gaps

Mrs McG will replace the Harbourmaster (Capt Gill)with the new title Harbour Director

The new name on the block, Mr Milner, will replace the retiring Deputy Harbourmaster. Mr Milner will have the title Harbourmaster but will report to Mrs McG

The title of Deputy Harbourmaster will cease and his duties will be re-allocated ( re-allocated ... hmmm scope for more recruits there possibly)

The biggest anomaly in the link is the February 2013 job description and CV requirements for the Harbour Director post which appear to be far removed from those of the successful applicant Mrs McG

BobF

You're on a sinking ship here Sparty. Milner is calling himself Commercial Manager. Strange title to adopt if he's the future Harbourmaster (who supposed to handle the maritime side of affairs).

Spartacus

Yes it states that "It is expected that the successful applicant will have extensive experience of business and port management".

The crux of this spat is the lack of port management experience of Mrs Mc Greevy, however perhaps a person with such experience, eg Mr Milner, would not have the diverse business experience Mrs McGreevy brings to the table. Or perhaps he just wanted the hands on harbour job. Perhaps there were no other applicants whose experience combined the two different sets of credentials. We can only surmise.

Perhaps there is scope for more recruits but I'm guessing there are already people employed in lesser roles, and the new management will in due course inevitably be making their own tweaks to the staffing structure but with the same budget constraints as the outgoing management, unless the States decide to give them more!

Spartacus

BobF

Thanks for that snippet of information.

Maybe I deduced incorrectly about Mr Milner's role, and I assumed he had maritime expertise but maybe I was wrong on both counts, we will see. However Captain Gill and Captain Pattimore have not retired yet.

We can only surmise then who will take up the Harbourmaster position. They could appoint someone new or give the role to an existing employee.

Watcher

IWV

You can bet your boots that both appointments came about with little or no political involvement, other than agreement to what was no doubt described by the officer presenting to the Board as "absolutely essential to the fulfillment of Plan A (or Plan B) that of course you, the Board Members, have all signed up to ".

Cue wise nodding of heads. Job done.

Sam

I think you will find that the new Harbour master has nothing to do with Milner and that he is a seperate appointment. It appears that the new harbour master is going to be expected to cope with a huge amount without having a deputy to fall back on.

As Dave Jones said, The system wasn't broken, a Harbour Master and Deputy Harbour Master were doing the job more than adequately. This is totally empire building which will end up with the taxpayer even more out of pocket and eventual commercialisation.

For heavens sake, we thought this new government we put in was going to improve the situation from the last. Things are rapidly going downhill and its time they took a grip before the Civil servants take over completely.

What Dave and Matt have said rings so true and we are failing to learn from the past.

Island Wide Voting

All these damaging rumours and counter rumours could so easily be cleared up via a statement from someone at PSD

I they are not inclined to voluntarily provide such a statement perhaps the Guernsey Press could arrange an interview .... should be enough material there for a full page story

Mrs McG must be wondering what she has let herself in for!

B*llsh*t_an_Fag_ends

...and of course, IWV, we'd believe every word they said on the basis it was entirely unbiased and the absolute truth...;)))) LOL !!

Don't worry about the good lady, she has the comfort of a huge wage and various other benefits to fall back on. She'll be fine maluv. In my experience, she always is...

Looking forward to her rich experience in telcos and finance having any benefit or bearing whatsoever on the harbour, and boldly implementing a plan that hasn't even been discussed by our politicians yet....

the thought processes that worked that appointment out must be waaaay above and beyond the capabilities of we mere mortals, but one thing's for sure, her somewhat premature appointment for the task by the CS, despite the fact our government haven't actually agreed the plan she's there to implement, somewhat proves the tail sure is waggin' the dog over y'ere, ay...?

I almost feel sorry for DJ. 'All the responsibility and none of the authority' - not even port authority (!) - as they say.

Dave Jones

I had a very frank and detailed discussion this afternoon with Deputy Luxton the Minister of PSD . We discussed at length the changes to the management structure of the Harbours and while I still have some reservations, It is clearer now to me what PSD are hoping to achieve.

I have accepted that there is a very vibrant commercial arm to the harbours and I am also prepared to accept that might need a different kind of management model in the future.

The huge revenue the harbour generates has been collected and accounted for in the same way for decades and that section which is largely administration needs updating and organising to make it more efficient.

The minister went over some of the areas that are in urgent need of updating and I found it difficult to disagree that in this modern age we need up to date systems.

I have also agreed with the Minister that It is clearly not the most productive way to discuss this issue through the media or on this type of forum and we have both agreed that we will continue this discussion around the proper tables.

I will therefore not comment further on this particular appointment or the other structure that is being put in place, history will show whether the changes will benefit the harbour and the people of Guernsey.

Jsimpson

Bluster, grandstanding and huff-puff....ooh there is some humble pie Dave....I see you are having some.

Dave Jones

Jsimpson

Not at all, I have agreed a way forward in these discussions and that is what politicians do, I make no apology whatsoever for asking the questions in the first place or for raising my real fears about commercialisation of the Ports.

toe_in_the_line

Noooooooooo, Dave, don't do it.....!!!!!!

Too late. Nothing but politically correct white noise in that post.

Gutted.

Dave Jones

titl

At some point you have to either agree to disagree or accept the situation for what it is,

I am content that my concerns are being taken seriously by the Minister of PSD and I have to move on.

Ted

Whatever the rights and wrongs of this appointment what will be the reaction of a prospective future harbourmaster? I can imagine suitable candidates for the job considering whether their title will be a misnomer.

Watcher

I have a feeling that the Harbourmaster has to be a sea Captain. Certainly the present incumbents are both Captains and I recall previous holders of the post also having the title "Captain" . I imagine they call on their seagoing experience to carry out the function as Master of the Harbour, controlling the movement of ships in the neighbouring waters as well as the harbour itself. Shuffling papers across a desk would not seem adequate training for the post. Perhaps somebody could clarify?

Alexandra

It is a great pity there is only one Dave Jones in the States he is a dying breed as opposed to the spineless PC Politicians throughout Great Britain.

Dave is admired and respected in many parts of the British Isles and Guernsey is lucky to have him.

Matt Fallaize

Would even he recognise your description of being "admired and respected in many parts of the British Isles"? I mean, traditionally we're not a terribly pretentious lot over here.

Besides which when we know that 80% of folk in the UK cannot name their own MP, it's difficult to imagine that great swathes of them up and down the country are quite as captivated as you might think by one of our politicians.

But don't worry, Alexandra. I can assure you that he does have quite a following over here and many of us in the States are very fond of him...most of the time anyway :)

Sam

Matt,

You don't even have to go to the UK for people not to know their politicians, going by the Guernsey Press very few Guernsey people know their Politicians, so heaven help us with a population that takes so little interest in what is going on in their island

Dave Jones

I can do no more than thank Alexander for his comments.

I did spend some time a few years ago during my summer leaves for a couple of years at least going round the country with Nigel Farage and a very old freind Gerard Batten MEP speaking at UKIP conferences, all very tub thumping stuff to do with the rights and freedoms of the British people not to be shackled to a country called Europe.

Other than that I am deeply flattered and hugely relieved that I am not considered to be like many of the UK politicians who have allowed their sovereignty to be handed over to the unelected in Brussels.

I thank Matt for his comments and while we disagree strongly on some issues, I try to maintain my independent thought and to represent as he does those who elected us to the best of our abilities.

Alexandra

I should have said Dave Jones is very well known to many Politicians, members of the Lords and MEP’s in the British Isles and also certain academics in America many times he been asked to speak at functions.

Most people admire his strength and passion in standing up for Guernsey and without doubt many times is the only Politician that has had the balls to confront Richard Murphy who has been a thorn in our side for years.

Dave Jones

Alexander.

I have turned down several invites as I believe my job here takes priority over everything else.

I was invited recently to speak to the Freedom Association.

Also we now have a Brussels office so making public speeches while a senior politician in our government about the shortcomings of the officials in Belgium may be seen as somewhat undermining our position and making their job of building trust between us that more difficult.

However I do like to hear the speeches of others and the arguments over Europe because believe it or not what happens from here on in will have an effect on us.

Dave Jones

For those of you who might be interested and who want to be bored witless for a few mins you can see one of these speeches on You Tube ( I don’t know how to do these links) anyway It's the 2007 UKIP conference in London and I am one of the last speakers.

I did other speeches at Bristol, Bournemouth London and fringe meetings around the country.

Island Wide Voting

Very much like Tony Webber did in his younger days

Dave Jones

IWV

Please don't put me alongside TW

vic gamble

@ Dave Jones....are you actually saying that the UKIP are totally removed from from the National Front?

They sleep in a similar bed, only with a softer political mattress in an attempt to fool us all. You are definitely in the same ranch as Tony Webber if you have that political innocence.

Guernsey people sometimes do not recognise the undercurrent of smiling fascist UK politicians. Please do not smile along with them. Grin somewhere else!

Matt Fallaize

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNPDOjspPdw

Dave

I had not seen this before. It's at the link above. It starts at about 48:00.

Island Wide Voting

WOW!

Excellent speech Dave Jones

Dave Jones

Vic Gamble

That is the first time I have ever been called a racist or a political innocent.

I am most definitely neither.

I believe like tens of thousands of other people that the UK should leave the European Union. That is an honestly held view.

UKIP are a party that is open to everyone, whatever your colour or creed and I know that they abhor the actions and mutterings of the far right as much as anyone else.

They do however want a grown up discussion on immigration and that is in the best interests of everyone.

Pete

Don't be like that Dave about TW, I always had a laugh listening to all the moans and groans in the chamber when he got up to speak. Also icould go and make a cup of coffe

Pete

Don’t be like that Dave about TW I used to have a laugh listening to all the moans and groans in the chamber when he got up to speak. I could go and make a cup of coffee or even my lunch when he was going on knowing I’d miss nothing meaningful.

And when I’d get back he was still at it accompanied with still more moaning and groaning. Oh the good old days when listening to the States had it’s fun side.