Change is seductive – but hard

ONCE again, we see evidence that Guernsey and Jersey are, inevitably and irrevocably, poles apart.

True, the ‘other island’ voted for change in its general election last week, just as Guernsey did in autumn 2020. But where the Guernsey election was seen as a swing to the right, first impressions of Jersey’s new politics is of a shift to the left – a political manoeuvre that one wouldn’t expect to see mirrored in Guernsey any time soon.

In the period 2016-2020, Guernsey voters – and some of their deputies – grew tired of a steady flow of left-leaning ‘strategies’ when they wanted action. So they voted emphatically for change.

This new Assembly has tried to deliver that, but so far largely disappointed. This week’s Government Work Plan debate is a test of the views of those on the inside over their successes, while the electorate remains deeply cynical about meaningful progress.

Now, particularly when the plaintive cry from government is ‘we have no resources’, a concerted Guernsey focus on yet more social policy is unlikely.

Jersey may be dominated by a strongly left-wing young politician for the next four years. But will Sam Mezec be able to influence change and help take Jersey in a new direction?

Jersey at least has the confidence to believe it can solve its own demographic challenges without raising taxes, but thoughts here of a brave new dawn 20 miles away should be tempered by reality.

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