Monday, 6 January 2014
I suspect the following news will not come as a surprise to many of you.
Following discussions with my friends and family, plus messages of support from people in and out of politics, I have decided to contest the by-election in St Helier No. 2 district.
I have been campaigning for close to two years now for improvements to Jersey’s democracy. During this time I have spoken to people in all parts of our Island for whom things have gotten tougher and tougher over the past few years.
Unemployment is the highest it has ever been. The cost of living has been rising, with wages stagnating. The Islands population is growing and politicians do not seem to have a grip on it.
A survey at the end of last year revealed that 75% of people in Jersey do not have faith in the States. Most Islanders also choose not to vote.
I believe that democracy should offer hope to people that they are able to take their future into their own hands and choose a government that they can have faith in to always stand up for our interests as a community and not the interests of a few at the top. I believe that the way we do politics in Jersey needs to drastically change to be brought up to a 21st Century standard that is fit for purpose to address the needs of Islanders in a way that is in line with our values as a community.
My politics puts ordinary people at the forefront of what I believe in. I believe in a society in which wealth and power are in the hands of the many, not the few. I will robustly stand up for anyone in Jersey who is struggling to get by and is in need of help. But I hope that even those in Jersey who live comfortable lives will understand the points I make and realise that Jersey can be made better for all island residents by the changes I will propose.
I was born in Jersey and it will always be my home. Being a Jerseyman is a huge part of my identity. I am grateful for having been lucky enough to be born in such a fantastic part of the world. Nothing I will ever do will be done with the intention of making Jersey a worse place.
During the referendum campaign last year, I spent the bulk of my time campaigning in St Helier and I really grew to feel for the voters who I believe have drawn the short straw in Jersey’s democracy. Their vote is not worth as much as a voter in any other Parish and I believe that, now more than ever, St Helier needs politicians who will not accept anything less than full equality for St Helier voters.
I understand that some people, whilst they might agree with much of what I say, will consider my relatively young age to be a disadvantage, but I believe it is a virtue. I am not tainted by any past mistakes or associations. I have not been beaten into cynicism by defeat after defeat. I am full of energy, enthusiasm and idealism. There are plenty of States Members with varying degrees of experience, and throwing in another grey-haired businessman is not going to change the way politics is done in Jersey.
In the coming weeks I will release a detailed manifesto and hit the streets to get the message across.
Any help that anyone can offer, be it blood, sweat and tears, or even just a donation to help me pay for posters and leaflets, will be gratefully received. I cannot win an election by myself and will need a team of people behind me who share my enthusiasm for what Jersey is capable of.
I hope that even those of you who may not agree with my politics will be able to respect the campaign I run and at least consider me a candidate that may be worth backing, if only to send a message to the current States Members that politics in Jersey has to change.