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The year Reform peaked?

Voices | Published:

By Mike Seguss

Mike Seguss

CONVENTIONAL wisdom maintains that Senator John Le Fondré’s allegedly secret agreement with Reform Jersey before the election for Chief Minister was unwise, even disingenuous. Superficially, this argument carries some weight.

Why should the aspiring Chief Minister have courted, even appeased, a political party which, outside its heartland areas, was emphatically rejected by voters? Remember, Senator Mézec scraped the eighth Senatorial place by just 123 votes, Deputy Tadier came within 47 votes of being ousted and 13 out of its 18 candidates were defeated.

Criticism of Senator Le Fondré for lack of transparency is certainly justified: but neither is Reform Jersey itself blameless. States Members voting in the election for Chief Minister were entitled to know of the agreement’s existence and implications: yet both parties, seemingly, chose not to disclose it.

That apart, however, the new Chief Minister is perhaps more astute than he is being given credit for.

Reform Jersey’s relative ‘success,’ such as it is, has so far been cultivated from the luxury of constant opposition, without ever having to bear any responsibility for either implementation or consequences of their Left-leaning policies.

Occupying ministerial office, they may find such contact with reality uncomfortable.

Take the joint pledge to work towards a £10 per hour minimum wage: evidently, some still believe the state can arbitrarily raise the floor-price of human labour without employers either using less of it or finding a non-human substitute.

But in Seattle, the move towards a $15 per hour minimum wage is seeing high-wage labour replaced by non-wage automation. McDonalds, meanwhile, will be 100% self-service kiosks in half of all its US outlets by the end of 2018.

In ministerial office and directly responsible for their introduction and operation, Reform Jersey’s politicians will be tainted, and blamed, when any adverse effects of their misguided leftist policies emerge, instead of being conveniently insulated from them as now.

They may well find their own popularity suffers. 2018 might even prove to have been their peak. If so, the Chief Minister’s ‘mistake’ may turn out to have been a masterstroke.

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