I'm delighted to publish for the record the recent letter to the paper written by local democracy and Jèrriais campaigner Kit Ashton.
He tackles climate change, Donald Trump and Jersey-based racism, and what progressives need to do to respond.
I write regarding Bram Wanrooij’s perceptive column on the election of Donald Trump and the rise of the populist far right.
Mr. Wanrooij makes some excellent points, and the questions he raises are now paramount not just for abstract debate – but – and I mean this with no intention of alarmism – for the continuing existence of humanity as we know it.
Beyond Trump’s arrogant, bullying manner; beyond his ignorant, fascist, nepotistic, and (partly) anti-Semitic cabinet; beyond his disgusting approval of racism, misogyny, torture, murdering the families of whoever he decides is a terrorist, pre-emptive nuclear strikes, and authoritarian autocracy; there is one policy position that should strike dread in every citizen of Earth: his stance on climate change.
On the same day Trump was elected, the World Meteorological Organization delivered its latest report, which reconfirmed the urgency for action: climate change is happening, it’s devastating, and humans are responsible. The evidence (if you’re a person who will actually weigh up evidence) is compelling.
Yet Trump is planning to defy 97% of peer-reviewed climate scientists, billions of global citizens, and the painstaking agreement of nearly 200 nation states, by tearing up the Paris Agreement, which may have mitigated the worst effects of environmental chaos. This is very bad news indeed.
So what can we do in little old Jersey?
First, I believe we should get our own house in order – Jersey’s slow progress on our carbon footprint, our dependence on petrol cars, indulgent lifestyles, over-population, and our woeful food security must be addressed. This mean us all mucking in.
Second, we can pressure our politicians to act - and to influence Trump’s position where possible.
Third, we need a cohesive community response, public debate, and a positive alternative to the politics of hate, division, and of course climate denial. This has already begun - with Jersey in Transition, Reform Jersey, and other helpful groups.
Finally, the good people of Jersey must remember our history and not shrink back from confronting and calling out the far-right for what it is. Trump’s bigoted allies and supporters are amongst us, though they mostly hide in euphemistic language.
Indeed, judging by his consistent, cringeworthy endorsement of all things Trump on social media, one such person even writes a column for the JEP… I’ll give readers a clue: he’s not from Jersey, he’s got a few quid, and his name is not Bram Wanrooij.