Comments for article


As a lover of Sark and visitor for many decades, I continue to watch what I think is a certain degree of self-inflicted destruction from a proud but ridiculously stubborn community.

When the wealthy twins bought Brecqhou and then started buying into Sark, who were the people benefiting from the sale of the land and the businesses? Certain Sarkees profited from these transactions, probably with offers too good to refuse. They saw a quick buck and took it.

When the new investors started heading down a route the locals did not like (despite cashing in) things started getting fractious. This is probably when the infamous Sark newsletter (now newspaper) was born. The twins found a mouthpiece willing to stir the pot and tell some home truths.

Probably the most concerning long-running truth is the fact that the Sark Lark has never really been tackled. The twins wealth means they can finance ongoing investigations into how an economically frail (tourism, agriculture) and ageing island (population) can keep its head above water.

A thin veil of democracy was introduced, ultimately run by the island's owner. Doesn't sound very democratic to me. I agree with Col. Guille that the civil service does not need expanding. I think it doesn't really even need one to be honest. Sark is effectively a parish and just needs a collection of volunteers to oversee that no-one is doing anything daft.

While I continue to love Sark, there is seemingly a massive amount of hypocrisy when it comes to money. The generational families appear to have it so 'I'm alright, Jack'. The directorship specialists will never want for money. Whether some of this arguably immoral income is shared somehow among the larger community, we'll probably never know. While the Sark 'core' remains, there will continue to be a stalemate.

Old and new need to come together to find some progressive steps that earns money for each party and maintains the historical, throwback essence of Sark. I fear it might be 40+ years until a semblance of normality will return. Why 40+ years? Because that will be how long it might take for the generational stubbornness to die out on both side of the argument. I fear I'll be gone too before a reconciliation takes place.





Gashtag's interesting post contains some factual errors :

1 Sark's democracy isn't a veil hiding something devious. It is simply 28 members chosen by the people on the electoral roll, in a process entirely open to public scrutiny. There is no secret 'owner', unless he (or she) is referring to the queen?

2 Guernsey Financial Services Commission has for many years now been responsible for overseeing Sark, so if gashtag has any information about questionable activity, he needs to contact GFSC immediately.

3 Sark isn't a parish, any more than Guernsey is a county. Plenty of volunteering does take place - every Chef Pleas member, the Constable and Vingtenier, for example, but sometimes you need professionals too.

4 Economically frail? What other government, apart from China, has no budget deficit?


It is just my interpretation of the situation. Obviously, I am an outsider looking in and I cannot appreciate what the real story might be.

1. 28 elected members to help run an island of 400 or so full time residents seems massively excessive to me. My interpretation of an owner would be the Seigneur.

2. Morally questionable is probably my point here rather than legally. I and many Guernsey people working in finance could be accused of the same though. Many of us are employed to protect and structure the monetary affairs of the wealthy into the most favourable taxation position.

3. I wasn't saying Sark is a parish, nor meant my comment to be belittling in any way.

4. Your point isn't a denial. I agree that global governments run deficits to various scales but that shouldn't mean that running that position should be considered acceptable. With a declining and ageing population, what is the government and community doing to secure income generation for future generations? The one quick win I see is to accept French visitors directly rather than having to route them through Guernsey or Jersey for customs purposes. I would like to see some of the investor's establishments re-opened so that both sides can benefit from additional footfall.

I really want to see Sark thrive. I'm not here to argue - I'm just airing frustration at the state of play. Sark offers a peace not found elsewhere in the Channel Islands. I enjoy each visit.

What practical steps do you think can be taken to move things along?



Ever anxious to learn, from the views of 'the better informed and more learned, " Sarkee', I read with interest your one "post" to date. Hence, I assume you are already aware of the description "The Sark Lark" ? and, the now much out dated "Feudalism" concept. ? The old "Country Squire in small societies system.! Would you please make clear just 'where you stand' in these regards. ?

Gail Suzanne

As a member of the electorate of Sark that has once again been denied my democratic right to listen to, or read the candidates opinions before an election (the rest of the world would call this a manifesto) and then make in informed choice at the ballet box I would like make a few points about Conseillier Guille's personal Statement.

1. Instead of complaining about what was or what might have been, he should be putting up a balanced manifesto that addresses the current state of the economy on Sark, health and old age care, education and transport links to name a few.

2. And by stating that Sark is a fiscally successful jurisdiction without a national debt, fails to recognise that without the huge financial support of Guernsey, Sark would be effectively bankrupt.

3. It is hypocrisy to defend 'Sark's way of life' and then advocate land reform just because it suits his personal circumstances.

Politicians are normally expected to put aside their personal opinions, to represent the views of the electorate. That would be the reason why they were successful at the ballot box.

Sark's residents haven't seen a ballot box in 4 years.