Protest was wrong and pointless

IN PENNING an open letter to the media revealing that faeces had been left on her doorstep, an assumed ‘protest’ over the DPA decision to allow housing at Pointes Rocques, Deputy Victoria Oliver struck a very measured tone.

It reflects well on the president of the DPA that not only did she make public this attack, which has united islanders in condemnation, but that she was apparently relaxed enough to accept criticism which comes with being an elected representative. And doesn’t that vilification pour down on our deputies? It’s not just ‘worst States ever’. On almost every platform there are those ever-ready to dish out personal insults.

‘I, like every other human, do not like all the negative comments and people being rude, especially knowing my family are also potentially reading it, but understand that emotions run high and they are just words,’ she wrote.

A very mature assessment of an inevitability which every candidate for public office must know is coming their way. Deputies should – indeed must – face criticism, questioning and scrutiny. Some should be facing more of it rather than dodging it.

But there is a line here which the ‘dirty protest’ aimed at Deputy Oliver clearly crossed. States members have a frequently thankless role and this doorstep action is deeply counter-productive. For better government, islanders need to engage with their deputies as adults on equal terms, and stop pointless, squalid and anonymous attacks on individuals.

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