The good life

I REALLY LOVE the outdoors and never feel more alive than when I’m mooching about in the fields. Summer is a great time for moochers and as my television tells me every time I switch it on, Life is Good. There’s always a ‘but’ and mine is that my favourite BBC Guernsey presenter is on her long summer break and I’ve had to find an alternative to listen to.


Not being a great fan of popular music (just about anything released since the ’70s, unless it’s by The Wurzels or Meatloaf) or chatter, I’ve been drawn to some real talk radio. The other day a sky pilot was doing a thought for the day on the Home Service (Radio 4 to any youngsters who stumbled on this by accident) and his words really struck home.

If Deputy Le Tocq is reading this he will be shouting ‘Hallelujah’ now, imagining that I’ve seen the light on my virtual Road to Damascus.

Calm down, sir, it hasn’t happened yet and probably never will.

Religious thoughts for the day, like popular columns, follow a standard format of an obscure but slightly humorous or interesting ramble with no particularly obvious relevance to any serious messages before suddenly segueing into the serious intent of the piece.

You know what I mean.

Well, this vicar opened with a funny statement which he developed into his thought. I’ve completely forgotten his point but I remember his opening funny line, ‘For God loved the world so much, he didn’t send a committee’.

This made me wonder, if God doesn’t believe in committees, who landed us with a government of committees? Satan?

They certainly seem to be designed to torture and divide us so much that when they manage to get a red hot needle under our finger nails (I originally had a red hot poker and another body part in mind but doubted my editor would approve), we cry out in pain and often strike back in anger.

Which is where we find ourselves once again.

Environment seems to have taken a bit of a rest and put the rack away for a while (although the hairs on the back of my neck rose when I heard Deputy Baz Brehaut say on the Oscar Pearson show that he ‘probably’ won’t stand in 2020) and Education has now stepped up to the plate.

The timing couldn’t be worse.

P&R – The One Committee that Rules Them All – unwittingly prepared the ground for this Summer of Discontent, stirring the waters by making a great fuss over governance and directing it at the Iron Maiden of Home.

Setting the governance bar so high was almost tantamount to putting Deputy Fallaize’s neck on the block or painting a target on his back.

As pointed out to me on social media, probably the best thing about this States Assembly is that it only has 10 months left to torture us.

However, there is one thing it has to do quickly and well before we see the back of it. And that is to sort out the schools mess.

Like Brexit, when the vote to abolish selection went through there was no real plan of what to do to implement it.

We are now in a situation where the same number of kids, taught by the same number of teachers (with possibly a few more highly paid senior posts created), need £157m. spent on infrastructure to make it work.

Madness, eh? But that’s where we are and for the sake of the children we have to make the best of it.

The grouse shooting season opened Monday and I suggest that when it comes to the next iteration of the Big Education Debate we warn all grousers (see what I did there?) that they will be metaphorically shot in 2020 if they try to undermine the one school, two colleges model by scoring political points and settling old grudges.

Let’s try for a tiny, weeny bit of consensus on this one and get it sorted once and for all.

This one really affects lives, lots of them.

Argue as much as you want on signing up for rights or conventions on rights but for goodness’ sake get some stability back into the school system.

And if I hear any mention in any speech that Deputy F’s involvement in staff appointments is relevant to the new two-for-one school model debate then I will add that deputy’s name to my Arya Stark list of deputies I will not be voting for in 2020.

We live in a wonderful place. We are a generally happy and contented community which escapes most, if not all, of the major problems that beset the rest of the world. The sun shines, the sea sparkles, the birds sing and the wild flowers grow in the meadows.

The annual shows are opportunities for us all to wander around fields and tents filled with miniature gardens and outsized vegetables. Opportunities to bump into people we haven’t seen since the last show and a chance to gaze in awe at rows of vintage tractors.

We aren’t generally the rich community that we are often referred to as, but even the poorest of us can enjoy a lifestyle better than billions of others we share this planet with.

Our Dear Leader promotes wellbeing and happiness as policies equally important as our economy without ever realising that it is the Assembly of 38+2 that he leads which promotes despair.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Prince of Darkness or the Great Redeemer dependent on your political persuasion, has a catchphrase: ‘For the Many, not The Few’.

I fear the States of Guernsey focuses on the Few and forgets the Many and the Many feel forgotten and unloved.

It is a wonderful thing to focus on improving the lives of minorities, be they the very poor or the very rich or the least able and the most able, but forgetting the great bulk of the people in the middle is proving to be a very divisive strategy, particularly when the Many believe they are paying for or bearing an unfair share of the island’s funding.

Sorting out Education without sniping, back fighting, mud slinging or tale telling is the perfect opportunity to be seen doing something that the Many will appreciate.

If ever there was a time for consensus, it is now.

Deputy Fallaize may not be the Educational Messiah we need right now but he is what we’ve got.

Let him complete his ministry before we crucify him.

You know it makes sense.

And despite the Devilish Committee System of the States of Guernsey, life here is good.

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