Committee needs to show more style

ITS latest antics raised a smile and a few column inches, but members of the States Assembly and Constitution Committee should perhaps start to take less of a look at their fellow deputies and pay more attention to their own behaviours.

Sacc, as political devotees will know it, has been around in some form or other for decades. For many years it largely kept itself to itself.

More recently it has flexed its muscles more often and took a significant role in the development of a system of islandwide elections.

That has brought the committee into the spotlight, and the accession of higher-profile and media-friendly deputies to the presidential chair has also been a factor.

So too, the decision to stand alone as a committee of the States and open up its meetings to the media.

Most no longer bother to attend, but this newspaper almost inevitably does so. And hence, we learn about such developments as the response to ‘seatgate’ and the scandal over the ‘burgundy Wranglers’.

Anyone who shopped in Gabriels in Fountain Street during the 1970s will immediately know about Wranglers. The American jeans manufacturer is not the force it was. The detail obsessives on Sacc will know about the finer points of Wranglers. The rest of the public gave the impression this week that while they enjoy the laugh, they don’t care on such issues.

Even political colleagues have started to despair.

This is where Sacc needs to be careful. Its membership appears to have been carefully designed for deep inspection of the minutiae of public life, but its apparent obsession with this kind of stuff, descending into nonsense, is damaging its reputation and that of the wider States.

It might have a minor point on standards of dress, but that the topic is outside of its responsibilities anyway, with dress code resting with the Bailiff.

Discussions on more social events for deputies, and the need for tea breaks in the middle of three-hour debating sessions, are in laughing stock territory.

It appears that the committee’s style is bringing itself into disrepute.

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