Is this minister fit to hold office?

SERIOUS concerns are growing at the highest levels of government that Environment Minister Rob Duhamel is no longer fit for ministerial office.

Environment Minister Rob Duhamel
Environment Minister Rob Duhamel

SERIOUS concerns are growing at the highest levels of government that Environment Minister Rob Duhamel is no longer fit for ministerial office.

An email is circulating among ministers following an appearance by the Deputy before business leaders yesterday at which he has been accused of making a series of inappropriate and misjudged comments which left his audience shaking their heads in disbelief.

Deputy Duhamel disagreed that his talk had been off-topic and said it was for others to judge how his speech had been received.

When asked whether he was aware of the growing concern among the Council of Ministers over his performance as Environment Minister he said he was not aware of any problems.

Comments for: "Is this minister fit to hold office?"

Sir Humphrey Appleby

"When asked whether he was aware of the growing concern among the Council of Ministers over his performance as Environment Minister he said he was not aware of any problems."

Sounds to me like Mr. Duhamel has been taking lessons from the Boy Ozouf, the latter never admitting any short comings either!

If you ask me there is more then one Minister who is not fit to hold office, why is nothing being done about them as well?

mark Aubert

Your choice of using you title in your comment says it all for me.

Ben

Are you so dim that you do not see the humour in that nom de plume?

James Wiley

Well I just wondered who authored an e-mail criticising Duhamel regarding events at a dinner to which only Duhamel and Ozouf were the only States Members invited?

If Ozouf doesn't like him then I say he's doing a great job.

Ben

Firstly it was a lunch and not a dinner.

Further it is an open event that members of the Chamber and their guests can attend.

I was there and to be frank the minister put on a very poor show.

James Wiley

Sorry but that was my main meal of the day and therefore I referred to it quite correctly as dinner.

If however you would have had a larger meal at another time, then it would be lunch.

If you are going to try to correct my English then please understand the distinction.

I don't think that Ministers should be performing for a free lunch. I am sure he has learnt his lesson and will not be entertaining the members of the Chamber of Commerce during any future repasts.

Pip Clement

Vacuum rubbish chutes, seaweed based industries, sea water therapy and a green car plant.

I would say that you could not make it up but it is no worse than Clanger Maclean's Knights of Impossingworth or some of Gorst's or Ozouf's opium pipe dreams.

Scrutineer

The one thing I have noticed is that he seeks to avoid making any decision that might be considered contentious. To be fair, though, he may have been made overcautious by what happened to F Cohen.

Freda

The people who made theatrical gestures while he was speaking should have known better- this is not kindergarten. The "head in the hands" histronics on the part of one of our supposed representatives was particularly over the top.

Jersey seems to be run by suited, stepford, weak-willed stiffs. Anyone who exercises independent thought seems to confuse the limited intellect of these stiffs, with the result that they bahave, as we ave seen, like a bunch of schoolchildren.

Simple Sid

He certainly isn't the only one.

See More

Quite simply, the answer to the question in the headline is a resounding 'NO'.

His decision making appears to lack consideration and consistency, with little or no regard for the Island Plan which he has been charged with upholding. A huge amount of taxpayers' money was spent on consultation and creation of this plan, and at the very least the public and indeed the States deserve someone who can uphold it as was intended when drafted.

Jerry Gosselin

I'm no fan of Duhamel's as he seems to be one of the most pro-development Environment Ministers we've ever had, judging by various decisions he has been taking. Nevertheless some powerful elements within the business community don't agree with me on this and they want him out, so it comes as no surprise that this blatantly media-organised attempt to force his resignation is now happening- it was on the cards ever since Le Masuriers and the Co-op complained about the Planning Department. THEY WANT THEIR OWN MAN IN. I would expect that once they've achieved that, they will then demand a change of civil service personnel at the top of Planning itself. Once all that is done, expect a sudden resurrection of the Le Masurier's development application for the Bath Street area, only bigger and more profitable than last time. I also expect the Co-op to be given permission to demolish those historic buildings in Dumaresq Street. To be honest, this is likely to happen with or without Duhamel in charge. Those buildings have no hope in the current climate. Makes me sick that I'm a co-owner of the Co-op- when did we lose control of the people running it?

This isn't democracy- it's a coup d'etat.

Judge Jeffries

The only item missing from your comment is a ' grassy knoll '. Perhaps its because they've all been built on ?

Jerry Gosselin

A very witty response!

bumble

He's not the only one thats unfit for office

Net

Think the same could be said for Deputy Lewis and the farce he calls " an improved bus service" He is definately one who so go, among others I could mention.

lewton

A better headline would be "Are any of our Ministers fit to hold office" none of them have exactly covered themselves in glory recently. I am certainly no fan of Rob Duhamel but circulating and leaking emails seems a particularly inappropriate way of bringing any wayward comments to the attention of the electorate. Smacks of playground politics to me, very cowardly and two faced.

J G

I could not agree more - a very childish way to conduct business.

Methinks Duhamel is going to the the fall guy for Plemont.

Haymarket

That first paragraph ought to read:

Serious concerns remain, after many years, that the highest levels of government are not fit for ministerial office.

sporran

Far too green/left wing

Alan

Hallelujah!

People have finally realised that Rob Duhamel is away with the fairies.

James Wiley

I very much doubt he spends any more time in the company of Ozouf than he has to.

I Pasdenom

“…When asked whether he was aware of the growing concern among the Council of Ministers over his performance as Environment Minister he said he was not aware of any problems”

Head in sand, with his ears plugged with seaweed!

Brian Jacks

It has to be said that he is without doubt a country mile better than Cohen, is intelligent at least and has a grasp on environmental issues.

But he is also a loner and propbably doesn't fit in with the free market economics, growth at all cost mentality of the COM. So unless he pulls his finger out and passes a few major capital developments in town my guess is that's he will be quickly facing a vote of no confidence and John Young will be gearing himslef up for a new job.

Sanity

There is certainly serious concern among the electorate. He has been unable to control his department as can be seen over the rotten window fiasco and the continued increase in planning fees to pay for the numerous empires being built within the department.

Sue

I still cannot believe he voted against Plemont. Unbelievable!

Davey West

In a nutshell Sue, next question who did he offend, Senator Bailhache was carrying the flag supported by CM Gorst.

Emails circulate all the time and we can sure that many are not praising members of Government, somehow this one is used as a story. I dislike the increase in planning charges and the stupid keep the old windows policy, but they were always going to come after Du Hamel for not doing as he was told.

Davey.

Realist

It was Rob Duhamel's clear duty as Environment Minister to abstain from the vote on Plemont.It was an extraordinary decision to take part, following an obvious conflict of interest in his position as Minister of both Planning and Environment.He didn't abstain,tipped the one vote against and that meant that he clearly compromised his supposed Ministerial impartiality.He should go and it is time that the often conflicted Environment and Planning departments were separated and each headed by their own Minister.

Kermit

That s another thing. How come we have the same minister for Environment and Planning departments ?

Perfect recipe for disaster and Plemont is the best example.

truthseeker

This comment is not only true....but also the solution..well said you...

Propaganda

Realist, are you not concerned about all the national trust members that failed to declare an interest and still voted?

Kermit

I am with Sue on that one. Very disappointed of his vote.

the thin wallet

anyone know what was said at the meeting ? and what every one ( ministers are going on about).

Kim

Thin wallet I was there and I have to say the whole thing was absolutely unbelievable. It wasn't a question of pushing throgh schemes or the fact that Duhamel was pushing green issues it was the bizarre way he went about it. A number of people thought he was drunk but I just think as someone mentioned before he was away with the fairies. He spent much time talking about hidden suction pipes for waste in Sweden, he then mentioned another couple of European trips and finished by suggesting we should make eco friendly cars in Jersey. All the way through he said "This minister has supported...., this minister is ...." as if he was detached from himself! His comment to the lady who disagreed with the green properties of wind turbines was frankly disgusting and he was lucky he didn't get a slap across the face.

the thin wallet

cheers kim.

i like the idea of the small car plant .

maybe he was on medication, i would need medication if i was a states member .

BORIS

Many in Government are not fit to be in office,and the same applies for many others on the states pay role !

mark Aubert

As much as you all think you are select and special as far as the human race goes..you need to listen to this man..you may all think he is a mad hatter who missed the party but as much as you may not like it..his opinions are soon to become the way of the world.

AngryOldBean

"Serious concerns at the highest level of government that the Environment Minister is no longer fit for ministerial office" - have they only just noticed? He was never fit to be a Minister.

He should be sacked and all the planning consents he has issued since he has been in office should be reviewed and most of them should be rescinded until they can be re-considered by someone with the intelligence to understand the local context and potential impact on the Island as a whole.

Finding Me;Mo

The sooner we are ruled by the benign independent dictatorship that we are being told we want, the better!

Politicians and the electorate should not be allowed to have unguided thoughts.Shame on us.

Sorry Sir!

Ella

I don't know the man personally so won't comment on his intelligent or personality.

However, this smacks of bullying, pure and simple, as this question could clearly (and should clearly) be asked of every one of our Ministers!

In no way should one Minister be singled out for public ridicule. Let's put them all up here and ask the question of each of them.

Western Belle

I would agree with you entirely Sue, bullying is not tolerated in schools or the workplace, but as he is not towing the line with what "they" want, it looks like his days are numbered either way.

Mo

Seriously are any of the minister fit for ministerial office????

None of them are, they couldn't organise a pppppp up in a brewery as they wouldn't be capable of that either they would procrastinate over it!!!!!

Wrecker

My friend and I worry about the lack of green thinking in the island. Is it really left wing when we are running out of resources? I doubt many of you understand green buildings and use of natural energy. Just good old capitalist, short term Jersey not worrying about the next generation let alone the next 10 years of decline and probably a Finance industry that will never recover. Duhamel was campaigning for industries other than finance 10 years ago...

Captain Mainwaring

Rob Duhamel is a well intentioned and reasonably intelligent man. Sadly, he is utterly mis-guided and has done so little with his life he lacks the basic commercial "nouse" that someone in his position should have.

I listened to him yesterday and it reminded me of Fawlty Towers. I think we have (in general) some good(ish) people in the States. But Duhamel is way out of his depth and should resign. He talkes about Malmo in Sweden as being an example for us to follow! Malmo's main source of revenue is EU subsidy; they state that it is tourism and other minor industries, but Malmo is funded by grants - not by wealth creation and tax revenues. Admittedly, it is a nice town.

Duhamel must resign; it will allow him to leave without too much loss of face. If he doesn't, Senator Gorst will have a problem and leave himself open to attack for being weak.

When he said that he had sorted out Jersey's diversification issues by seeking alliances with French car manufacturers and had "rubbed shoulders" with seaweed farmers in Brittany, i thought he was joking. (Oh, and then there was the slightly suggestive comment to a female member of the audience that she was beautiful). The man is deluded.

This could make or break our Chief Minister - watch this space......

Propaganda

I doubt that very much, ozouf and lime grove, ozouf and ogley, le marquand and power etc etc. None of these huge issues brought down a government so I doubt a dodgy speech is going to!

Jerry Gosselin

"This could make or break our Chief Minister – watch this space……" - Captain Mainwaring.

Thanks for backing up the conspiracy theory I set out at No. 7 above. You seem to be confirming that a campaign is ongoing. It's just a shame that you don't want to reveal your true identity, but then again, backstabbers aren't usually noted for their honesty and bravery!

Slasher

Anyone but Cohen!

In the Know

RD doesnt share my own politics, but I think he is doing pretty well at planning. I have 1st hand knowledge that he has stood up to the Planners when they are acting way out of line with the law (which sadly they do fairly often if you read the Court's judgments). Also, he realises that there is a recession on (good to see Broad Street approved), but doesnt cave in to eg Co-ops plans to ruin Dumaresq St. Good on him for voting against wasting millions at Plemont and causing another £10-£20m to have to go on public sector pay (the inevitable consequence if the States had "found" the Plemont money) - the man deserves a medal !

Kermit

Leave Dumaresq St be a sh.t hole for another 40 years is the way to go. Brilliant !

40 million on Broadband, and not even 10 million to save a piece of land after the Portlet scandal. Lets talk about public money !

I couldn't care less if Le Masurier decided to build a Statue of Liberty on top of the Odeon. The area is in serious need of a re-vamp, the building industry is struggling, hundreds of planning application waiting to be approved, and still building companies are closing down.

He should know better, he needs to speed up the process (that s if he got the time to juggle between is 2 positions of minister) and stop being so fussy, cause Odeon and Dumaresq St, for me, you would have to try very hard to make it worst.

Danny

bring back freddie cohen anyone? err, no.

COM-Mentator

When the establishment do not like you or want you then the rumour mill lets fly and people start behaving strangely in your presence and YOU get the blame.

Happens whenever someone who does not toe the party line (Tax, spend, build, Tax, spend, build) is in a position of power.

Remember Vernon Tomes? Stuart Syvret?

Walkers mates at Dandara do not like Duhamel. Who is Walkers current puppet? The boy Ozouf.

JOHN

Although I do not know an awful lot about this man and his ideas, we as an island need to stop being so ignorant to the outside world and realise we are part of this planet, and maybe a few extreme green ideas will do us a whole lot of good. On an island running out of space, and changing faster than ever we need an enviromental deputy who is going to preserve this island for generations that will follow, passing plans that give away beautiful breath taking places like Plemont, is not preserving, it is destroying our island. But then again, is he keeping the big fish sweet and working on the issues that he may actually have some control over? Im guessing so. As we can see by tonights headlines, he didn't keep them sweet today. Im sure most of you would agree that Jerseys Tourism isn't exactly thriving compared with 20 years ago, and we wonder why?

Jersey is a corrupt place run by, as someone described "suits", people with one intention only, filling there pockets, and funnily enough it seems to be all the members of our "government". As you can see it takes a few hours for someone in the media to be informed and now this gentleman will have a shadow over his name until he is voted out and the "suits" have there way, again. Is the man in the media on a payroll, probably, we as the public are just being ignorant if we think "things like that don't happen in Jersey", they most definitely do.

PHJ

Duhamel has known for some time that the knives have been out for him and this rumour has been circulating for several months since the Bath Street scheme got pulled. He should have kept a closer eye on that and not been so quick to back the dream team at South Hill. He is however the most intelligent member of the COM and is not a team player which means his fate is almost certainly sealed.

The future

When I met him I thought he was a bit off target, then I gave him the benefit of the doubt and decided he was being evasive in a clumsy way.

It seems maybe my instincts were right he was of target.

Well we have such a lot of government we are bound to have some individuals who march to a different drum and I am very pro individuality and including free thinkers within our government.

We just have to ask should those out of step with the majority be in charge of planning. If we are not careful our Island will be shaped in a way the majority find odd.

Jersey Eco Warrior

I still have serious doubts about politicians holding posts for departments for which they are not qualified. Surely for specialist areas like education, environment, immigration you actually need someone with good experience in the area, and some savvy. Or am I just being naive? There is a lot of technical and specialist information involved so how can someone who is not trained in that area comment or worse still be in charge? We have been hearing the same old chestnuts for 30 years and they still don't get it right. Why not? Our world is filled with supposed panels, committees, information and knowledge and we still have enormous problems. Jersey fifty years down the line is going to be a horrible place to live, too many people, too many buildings and a huge gap between the rich and the poor. Is this what we want or need?

Propaganda

Well well well, looks like Deputy Pitman was right after all, Duhamel has upset a few powerful people over Plemont and they are out to get him.

You could have read it all here a month ago!

http://thebaldtruthjersey.blogspot.com/2013/01/dead-man-walking.html

Prince Philip Machiavelli

"Is this Minister fit to hold office?" you ask.

Probably, just about, yes.

I would be more interested if you asked the same question of our Health Minister, a puppet for civil servants if ever there was one.

Readers should go and listen to the Health Scrutiny podcasts. The latest one (January 2013) is just one of many in a long series of mumbling, repetitious, parroting of civil servant doublespeak.

You can listen to it here:

http://www.scrutiny.gov.je/Podcasts/Pages/HealthSocialSecurityHousingPanelPodcasts.aspx

What you have to remember is that Rob Duhamel is responsible for a tiny budget and a tiny number of staff whereas Anne Pryke, who can't answer a question she was given several days notice of, is responsible for 25% (!) of all States spending.

As Rob Duhamel points out, developers are sitting on tons of permits already; it is the market that is preventing building. House prices have gone down for third year running. the demand just is not there, and that is not his fault.

Annie Du Feu

An excellent point about health minister but she's in with the big boys.

roger phlegm

Of course he's not up to the job. But here's the crux: how many States members have held a senior management position before joining the States?

Of the top of my head, I can think of Pip Bailhache, Alan MacLean and Gerard Baudins, but the truth is they all had fiefdoms over which they had total control. They didn't work within teams at a high level to agree strategy and deliver results.

So if you give people jobs for which they have no experience, you have to expect them to fail.

Sod the referendum, just give us politicians who are up to the task.

twob

So clanger maclean, spin boy ozouf and most of the others ,are fit to hold office? Do me a favour

truthseeker

Clanger Maclean's latest is a Beezer...who will stop this boy ...who will start an e mail campaign against him....

D De Jersey

He upset Ozouf, Big Head Baillache and the JEP over the Plemont thing.

Front page humilitiation a coincidence? I don't think so.

Don't get me wrong though, it appears he has little control over his department and the slippery civil servants he has to preside over aren't known for being the easiest bunch to control, he's out of his depth.

Who would take over though? Planning minister is political suicide cos you can't take any decision without upsetting somebody.

Chris

I suggest the Electorate want two basic things from the Planning Department: 1)Protection of the Countryside, Coastline and Historic building heritage 2) Certainty and consistency of policy , fairness, transparancy, timely decisions and enforcement of the law.

In respect of 1, the Minister has failed to protect or support restoration of Plemont headland, clearly state historic building including their windows are part of our heritage and not made it clear converting derelict greenhouses to residential use is against the Island plan: the answer is derelict greenhouses should go back to agricultural use otherwise a loophole will be opened up.

In respect of 2 the evidence would suggest clear failure.

The Electorate has had enough of this mismanagement. This has nothing about the business lobby v the Greens. It is about meeting the Planning Law and policy.

Mjolnir De Jersiaise

What a farce! Just because he refuses to cave in to the incessant demands of the construction industry and 'business leaders', their allies, in the States, begin a campaign to cast doubt on his sanity.

As always, the construction industry needs the government to rush more building projects through the planning process, in order to supposedly protect local jobs. Seeing as most of this industry consists of immigrant labour, if there's not enough work the simple solution is that they may all go home. Why should Jersey's natural beauty be destroyed simply to line the pockets of property developers and construction industry bosses?

Was there

You should have been there and heard the speech, he shot himself in the mouth - no-one else did that for him.

Teresa

His cards were marked from the day he authorised housing at Plemont. Some states members have been waiting for him to make a faux pas.

Lucy

I always thought he was taking on a poison chalice. He only has to say a speech that a few greedy business men don't like and- with the help of the local media, he is toast. The establishment will love it as it deflects focus from their inadequacies. The interim Minister won't be blamed and will be a 'yes man' like Lewis was and he take the oligarchy's planning agenda forward. The real faults goes back to Cohen's era, and before that too. And yes, Jersey is corrupt and the men in suits win every time. One day the masses will turn against them. Good.

Overpopulated

I agree, I think it is the developers who are whining - they see to have had free rein in the past and now are complaining.

We are fed up with the amount of development that has been allowed, they need to push off and go a ruin somewhere else, enough is enough!

Nick Palmer

All you commenters aren't being shown the whole picture. The JEP story was that an "email is circulating" because of Minister Duhamel's "reported as disastrous" speech at this dinner. If anyone cares to look back at Trevor Pitman's blog you will clearly see that this knife in the back was planned weeks ago. Unless certain other Ministers have access to a time machine that all rather blows the convenient cover story the JEP has been fed completely out of the water.

"The Bald Truth" blog predicted this coup weeks ago.

Matthew

Nick - I think your comment is wilful magnification of Deputy T Pitman's awesome powers of foresight.

Read Clever Trevor's post again. He alleged that Senators Bailhache and Gorst were plotting to oust Deputy Duhamel in retaliation for his planning decision in relation to the proposed housing development at Plemont.

In the event, Deputy Duhamel didn't need any help from the Senators (or anyone else) to sign his own political death warrant.

Unless you think that maybe Bailhache and Gorst wrote Duhamel's bonkers speech for him and administered tranquilizers before steering him in the direction of the podium with his large glass of red wine and instructions to finish it before the end of his speech. Which he did.

He didn't need any help or conspiracies to dig his own political grave.

Propaganda

Matthew, do you seriously believe a crap speech warrants a flurry of leaked emails and a front page headline "Is this minister fit to hold office"?

When you consider the monumental and costly gaffes by other ministers in recent years that NEVER got a front page like this.

Are you seriously saying you do not smell a rat here? You really think it's all based on a duff speech and nothing to do with Plemont as predicted by Trev?

Nick Palmer

Matthew. You must agree the timing is, at least, highly coincidental. I think your comment is wilful diminution of the principle of plausible denial. Most commenters were not at the speech and only have a cherry picked press report of it to go by. Deputy Duhamel never was famous for the scintillating quality of his speeches and he has come out with some apparently surprising statements in the past but most of these are explicable because he is, as many have pointed out above, very intelligent - a lot smarter than most, if not all, the Council of Ministers, and way above the rank and file back benchers. He is also, very significantly, highly knowledgeable about both environmental and planning matters both locally and, importantly, internationally.

Like many smart, knowledgeable people he too often forgets that the majority won't "get" what he is saying, particularly local reporters who, regrettably seem to be more and more adopting a shock horror tabloid tone to their stories.

As a consequence, his utterings, as they are reported, can often look wild or arrogant.

If we take your attitude an assume it was a crazy speech, so what? Every dog is allowed one bite. What about the rest of what he has achieved for example when he prevented the Treasury Minister from selling of the Jersey College for Girls building to a developer for a pittance (£1.8million). Instead of denigrating his maverick nature, you should be celebrating it and wishing that others from the ranks of the dull disposable political clones shared it.

Does he have problems? Yes he does. So do most States Members, albeit different ones. He is too arrogant, stubborn, a bit detached from "ordinary people" and he doesn't seem to feel the need to defend his record, so people never notice it. Is he a great guru on environmental and planning matters? Not completely. I know a fair bit about those and I think he is wrong or misguided in some areas. He too easily favours technological or construction type solutions to problems. But he is better than all the rest, who are completely barking up the wrong tree, particularly the Ozoufs and Macleans and their acolytes.

Nick Palmer

Matthew. A lot of the hysterical response to this speech is because the Chamber of Commerce didn't here what they wanted to hear. That is probably why Ozouf & co theatrically buried their heads in their hands (who would really do that unless they knew they were being watched and reported on!?).

What the CoC, particularly the construction sector wanted to hear was some simplistic "answer" to the depression such as that Minster Duhamel had decided to open the development floodgates and allow all the construction projects in the pipeline permission to spark off economic growth and save us all. Very naive. Most of the so called red tape that businesses whinge about is actually there to protect the majority against the worst excesses that an unregulated "free market" can create. Very ignorant of them and just shows that too many in the CoC have no real appreciation of the true nature of the economic and environmental crises that face us and the world.

The construction faction of the CoC just seem to think we need to re-engineer the white hot development orgy of the 80s, 90s and early 00s and paradise will be restored. Well, Newsflash! That particular asset bubble has burst and the current size of the industry is too large for the "normal/natural" level of construction and refurbishment around. They expanded during the yuppie years when way too many luxury flats and "prestigious developments" were built were built as the population was jacked up and up and now that bubble has ended the COC are blindly thinking that the same behavioural patterns that worked in the past will continue to work again. Those industries that grew fat on it will contract to a more appropriate size. As far as employment goes it has to be said that that that expansion was enabled with a lot of immigrant labour so the contraction, handled right should not impact on local employment opportunities too much, indeed the longer term prospects should favour local plasterers, carpenters, tradesmen etc.

Make no mistake, the financial, resource, environmental and strategic situations that face us will not be easy to navigate. We are no longer in the same waters as we were. Ahead is uncharted territory, but blindly calling for more of the same old same old to "solve" things is futile and ultimately destructive. So is demonising one of the very few in the States whoseem to be aware of and acknowledge this situation and are open enough to hint at it in their public communications.

Nick Palmer

Actually comment 33 links to the relevant blog where you can all read about the (alleged) Machiavellian activity.

Richard - St. Helier

Concerns are growing because Deputy Duhamel doesn't follow the party line. Simple as really. One only has to look at the JEP's comments after the Plemont debate to see that the knives are out for him. Shame really - I think he is a good Planning Minister, certainly better than the previous one.

Michaela

I am the woman that the Minister referred to as "beautiful". I think that I should make it clear that the question that I actually asked was "How much research has been done into windturbines and their green value as it takes their whole life span to pay for them and then a huge amount of money to dispose of them, therefore not making them particularly green! and apart from that they are ugly" the responce that the Minister gave me was in respect of this. He then asked me what we should use instead and I said "water turbines".

I am not particularly offended by his comment as it can be taken several ways.

archi

#45 Well said Michaela, I am not a fan of windturbines because of what you said they are not ecofriendly/green.

I would go for water turbines, I would even bring back water mills (traditonal granite ones) and use the water power that is wasted in Jersey, then feed this power into the system.

He was aked to 'talk about the economy', he did an alternative economy to the ailing finance economy.

Spend a few of the millions finance get on an alternative economy.

Can't people see it, Jersey as a centre of finance as it was is gone for ever.

Yet Ozouf and those who would like to believe finance has not changed can't accept this fact.

We need alternatives to finance!!

dave

I saw the headline and was shocked.

Shocked the photograh was not of

Senator -200K Maclean.

Nick Palmer

Re my comment at 42. If any one wants to see the rest of it that the JEP didn't print, it has been sent to various politically focussesd local blogs too.

Michaela. You must have been reading anti wind farm group propaganda which is not exactly the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

You are correct that functional ocean turbines would have greater promise but consider this possibility, as it was suggested to me by someone high up in the Jersey power supply industry.

Imagine 80 wind turbines offshore Jersey - in a line to France - with tidal turbines in between. The relatively slow tidal movement around our shores would be accelerated by the constrictions to a useful speed. We could engineer a causeway/bridge to France as a freeby. Maintenance of the turbines, wind and water, would be a lot easier and cheaper as they would effectively be land based.

Such a setup would generate such a colossal amount of predictable reliable power that we could become a major exporter of green energy to the European grid.

Foundations of the turbines could easily be designed to make a vastly increased fish and shellfish marine habitat and we could also design a deep water harbour, reachable by the new road, that could offer berthing facilities to the largest cruise liners and the largest cargo ships, which might reduce our high shipping charges and thereby one f the excuse for the high cost of living over here.

Could Jersey afford the full investment? Probably not - it would be a joint project with France.

Kermit

I like your thinking...

Finding Me;Mo

Agree Nick, but I have a feeling the dire inertia within the civil service would much prefer the totally biddable .

That said I am sure there are many 'right thinkers' that will appreciate Senator Farnhams' "appreciation of the financial context" of Malthus-lite development.

Ironically such a multi-purpose bridge would negate the 'boat in the morning 'riposte.

James Wiley

Actually Nick it would be easier and cheaper to build a tunnel to France by sinking ready made concrete sections into the sand and joining them up with regular passenger trains.

This would have the advantage of allowing cables to be run through the tunnel.

Jersey can afford to build this (as long as the States don't do their usual trick and pay 2 or 3 times the going rate to some company some of the senior politicians are on the board of).

Nick Palmer

James Wiley. True, but then you wouldn't get enough predictable lucrative green energy to power a third of Europe for 100 years

Harry

Rob Duhamel is probably the most intelligent minister.

Always remember this he is guided or mis-guided by over paid and not necessarily intelligent civil servants. I am not saying all civil servants are not intelligent, but for sure the Planning dept seem, judging by past results, to have a high number of the unintelligent.

I recon the top echelons of the civil service in Jersey are more 'akin to the Mafia', they way they treat us, yet after all they are merely servants, like the laundry woman, cleaner etc.

davey West

Harry,

Userpays was brought in as an insurance policy to keep their wages and pension funds solvent.

They worked for the islanders before userpays being paid from general tax revenue. Now we are managed and have to pay them, that is why planning charges are four times ( and just increased by 2%) than the UK of even Guernsey.This goes to a fund a large part of the departments budget of mainly wages.

Sidney

Is Ozouf fit for office? What about members who vote for multi-million pound projects using a ring binder?

Concerned.com

I like a man whose ideas include diversification of the economy is a sustainable way.

Building now solves only the problem of now and once a building is up there is nothing more it can add to the economy like this Minister we must try to think longer term.

PS Surely we all agree the asbestos should be exported and treated rather than buried to come back to haunt our children

Finding Me;Mo

If a balance was needed it is this..

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-jersey-21565803

here Deputy Duhamel is being taken to task by a heritage pressure group for being too developer influenced !!!

Could this ministry, as with others, be 'poison chalice' that also explodes in your face !!!

Michaela

Nick Palmer - thank you for your comment but I can confirm that my source on the information about the turbines which I provided was knowledge I gained from someone in the field who is a very dear friend of mine I dont comment on things in public that I have no facts on nor do I buy into propoganda. I do agree however with your idea of water turbines as we do have the right tides for it.

Nick Palmer

Sorry Michaela, your friend in the field has probably been swayed by the propaganda. It's very pervasive and sounds very plausible

What you wrote:

"How much research has been done into windturbines and their green value as it takes their whole life span to pay for them and then a huge amount of money to dispose of them, therefore not making them particularly green!"

was utter rubbish. Large, well sited, wind farms now produce energy cheaper than coal and, if all the costs of coal/oil etc that are not normally counted on the bottom line are accounted for, they are much cheaper than coal. China has just built so many wind farms that their capacity is now greater than the whole Chinese nuclear industry. If you look at how wind power is growing exponentially world wide the sheer market forces in play show clearly that the propaganda against them is mistaken at best and deceitful at worst.

Particularly bizarre is that you claim they cost "a huge amount to dispose of". Utter rubbish with sugar on top. First, why would you need to dispose of them? Largely made of metal the basic structures can last for many decades and, at the end of their long life, virtually all of them can be easily recycled, unlike conventional powerplant.

Your friend might be referring to the situation with rare earth elements that are used, in some designs, for the generator magnets. Propagandists point to the pollution associated with their extraction and loudly mouth off about this as some sort of smoking gun that wind turbines are not green. It is deceptive for several reasons

1) Most rare earth elements are sourced from China (97% ish) which has a cavalier attitude to creating pollution. It is not that using the material unavoidably creates pollution - it's just that they currently allow it to and there is not enough done to reduce it yet. There are lots of illegal mines in China that pay no attention to reducing pollution

2) Some rare earth elements are not actually mined directly - they are obtained as a "side effect" from the mining of other metal ores which creates the majority of the pollution. Propagandists attribute all that net pollution to the very small amount of rare earth elements mined, without accounting for the rest, to blacken the name of wind turbines. Imagine if diamonds were found as a side effect of coal mining and someone who wanted to blacken the name of diamonds attributed all the waste and pollution and required energy to mine the coal solely to the diamonds. Unreasonable, no?

3) Rare earths are also used in plenty of other products that seem not to attract the same vociferous propaganda such as smart phones, the dozens of small motors in modern cars, headphones, laptops, bicycle dynamos, cordless tools, fork lift trucks, camping generators and myriads of industrial uses etc