Last week the Guardian columnist, author and activist Owen Jones came to Jersey to give a talk at the Arts Centre on 'the Politics of Hope'.
The event was sold out with many people disappointed to not get tickets, and once Owen got into his stride it became very clear why.
Aside from being incredibly likeable and articulate, the message which Owen was here to spread is one which the people of Jersey have desperately needed to hear for a long time.
Jersey is a wonderful place with a beautiful environment and strong community spirit, yet we have been plagued by bad governments which have seen so much of our potential squandered.
Despite being one of the richest places in the world, we have rampant relative poverty. One third of pensioners live in relative low income, as do 58% of single-parent families. Over the past 5 years the poorest 1/5 of Islanders have seen their standard of living drop 17%.
Financially, our government situation is a complete mess. We are facing a budget deficit of £145m because of government after government failing to make investments in education and health when they were needed, our social housing stock has been privatised after decades of neglect and, despite promises to the contrary, ordinary families are about to see their tax bill rise by between £1,000 to £2,000 (I'd like to be more specific on that figure, but even the government don't know what they're doing yet).
All of this happens whilst 70% of the electorate do not take part in the democratic process, boycotting elections and repeating the same old line "why bother voting, it won't change anything".
The Politics of Hope is about believing that we can do much better than this and that if you can tap into discontent and concentrate it's power into enthusiasm for a positive programme for change, then anything is possible.
It's about saying that one of the richest places in the world with some of the most sophisticated expertise and talent does not have to accept poverty as an inevitability and that we can and should look out for one another using the government as a positive tool to help create an environment in which anyone is able to achieve their potential, uninhibited by the circumstances of their birth and where we can together pursue our aspirations as a community.
Owen made the point that the current political status quo puts off ordinary people. Most people don't think in terms of left or right, they care about issues and how it affects their lives. Few politicians have been able to articulate their case in a way which genuinely inspires people.
This is how Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Bernie Sanders in America have been able to inspire so many people who were previously apolitical to get involved, because their authenticity and values count for so much more than what mainstream politics has considered normal for too long,
That is why Reform Jersey does not define itself as left-wing.
After all, what's left-wing about wanting everyone to pay a fair rate of tax? What's left-wing about saying people who do an honest day's work should be paid a fair wage? What's left-wing about saying our democratic process should be open and fair, allowing everyone to have an equal say on the future of their community?
Reform Jersey represents a progressive vision for an Island run on principles of fairness.
The real extremists in Jersey politics are the Council of Ministers.
They are pursuing an economic strategy which has been shown to be a total failure in literally every single example of it being used since the 1920s. That is utter madness. They have cut £10m from the budget which is ring-fenced to protect the most vulnerable people in society. They are threatening to sack hundreds of public sector workers described by their own £650 a day advisor to be the "best value for money" out of all of our workers, whilst creating new £120,000 a year management jobs.
As every month goes past and we receive more news about how the government is trying to shaft the public, whether it's the outrageous theft of People's Park (the clue is in the name for goodness sake!!), the cuts to support for pensioners or the sleaze which is now associated with collective responsibility, we are gaining more members and finding more people who have not been turned off by politics but who have been spurred in to fight even harder.
We may now have the most right-wing government we have ever had, but I firmly believe that it is also the most right-wing government we will ever have, because the next election will see a democratic upsurge against the status quo by those who have never voted before and by those who have been fooled for too long.
There is hope. We can and will change things.
Thank you so much to Owen Jones for his support and his inspirational words last week.