After a reader directed my attention to Senator Farnham's letter to the JEP I felt compelled to write my own, which I have published here. It'll be interesting to see if it gets printed and what reaction it stirs.
EDIT - The JEP printed my letter on the 5th April and can be found on page 11. I'll just point out that they did remove the very last line about Senator Bailhache, but perhaps we can assume that was for space reasons rather than a conspiracy...
As someone on the left of the political spectrum who thus abhors discrimination in any form, I have become dismayed over the past few weeks of what I have seen as a serious "anti-UK" sentiment that is growing in the island, and being fuelled by the certain politicians in conjunction with the JEP. I mainly talk about the reactions we have seen in relation to the LVCR debacle and the news that our passports will now be printed in the UK.
But after reading Senator Farnhams letter in the JEP, I just feel as if I cannot let his points go unanswered.
What we are seeing is the mother of all smoke screens. A classic example of something we regularly see in history of a government in trouble trying to create a scapegoat to distract us all from their own incompetence and it is utterly contemptible.
This deal with our passports is a total non-issue. I urge you to go to the opening pages of your passport and check section 6 of the notes which says "This passport remains the property of Her Majesty's government in the United Kingdom". Jersey has no right to issue our passports, further than the rights that the UK voluntarily bestows upon us. We don't possess Jersey citizenship, we have British citizenship and it is the British governments right to decide how that arrangement works. We may have an argument if the UK was taking away our right to decide to who gets the Jersey variant passport, but as Senator Farnhams letter said, that is not the case. It also isn't a big deal if our passports will take a few days longer to arrive, because Jersey can still print emergency travel documents. A total non-issue.
Yet we are seeing words like "fight" and "defend" used as if it was some sort of noble quest to heroically defend our moral principles against an evil invader. This is just a nonsense. He also describes Jersey as "a small island nation", but Jersey is not a nation, Jersey is British. This idea of Jersey as a nation is just to try and further create a "them and us" feeling to blindly rally us round the flag.
And with LVCR, we have seen a UK government act entirely within it's rights to close a harmful tax loophole. Yet, Senator Farnham describes it as "prejudice". No, it isn't prejudice because the Channel Islands were the only jurisdictions that were materially causing a problem, and therefore it was proportionate and it is worrying to see a politician not understand that important distinction.
The recent challenge of the UK Chancellors decision was doomed to failure from the start and was nothing more than an expensive PR exercise to try and save their necks and make people forget about the incompetence that led to this in the first place and portray our government as our defenders when they are really no such thing.
Jersey is in trouble. Our economy has been shrinking, public services are being cut and we face rising unemployment. But this has been happening for years and is not the fault of the UK government. It is the Jersey governments fault and it is therefore them that we should be directing our anger towards. They are simply trying to whip up tension and create an enemy figure in the UK so that out of a defensive instinct we will rally behind them out of fear for being accused of being a traitor and unpatriotic should we dissent. But as Dr Johnson said "patriotism is the final refuge of a scoundrel" and we should not be standing up for Jersey but standing up for what is good and right.
I wonder how long it will take before Senator Bailhache starts banging the drum for independence?
4 Le Jardin a Pommier
La Rue de Patier