Drop the PR – just be open

Voices | Published:

By Ben Shenton


SENATOR Sam Mézec, Reform Party chairman and Housing Minister, said that the escalating costs in the housing and rental market showed ‘a mature and confident housing market’. This was a strange comment from him – implying that Reform was the party of the buy-to-let. It then transpired that the comment was from the PR unit of the States of Jersey – or was it the PR unit of the Government of Jersey? It can get very confusing.

When Charlie Parker was asked whether he had too much power he replied: ‘I’m the king of the world.’ It later transpired that this was in fact spoken by Jack Dawson, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, in the film Titanic and not Charlie Parker at all.

The Constable of St Ouen, who now appears to live in Broad Street with PR supremo Stephen Hardwick, writes in a letter written for him, that the politicians are not the puppets of the civil servants and they have the ability to run the Island (but evidently not the ability to write a letter). You can tell a letter written by a PR professional because it tends to lack any semblance of PR skill or acumen.

Even the Chief Minister has suffered from these confusions. Evidently when asked to sum up his first eight months in office he did not say, ‘we’re busy doing nothing, working the whole day through, trying to find lots of things not to do’. This was in fact sung by Bing Crosby, and not said by John Le Fondré at all.

The Island is going mad. A bridge to France, a tunnel to Guernsey, a ladder to the moon, trips to the sun (at night of course!). We don’t even have the ability to knock down a derelict swimming pool or manage a hospital project.

And yet there are some very serious issues that need to be dealt with. Brexit, UK interference, increasing mental-health issues, drugs and alcohol abuse, a hospital past its sell-by-date, children starting school without basic communication skills, no proper immigration policy, anti-car policies, anti-young policies, anti-business policies, anti-Jersey policies, etc.

The PR unit of The Government will always be on the back foot because they are out of their depth. When in politics I never complained when I was the subject of media coverage I disliked – you need to take the good with the bad. Get rid of taxpayer-funded PR professionals and just be open, honest, and transparent.


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