12 April 2011

Senator Perchard Makes a Funny

On the 30th March 2011 at c.16:20, Senator Perchard treated us to an exclusive stand-up comedy routine, where the comedy was largely unintentional (bar for an initial observation that 'if ever [Deputy Le Fondré] looks for another profession, I suggest he becomes the voice of meditation CDs.' - this did solicit genuine mirth). Tickets were limited to roughly 53 seated(+theatre officials), and one or two lucky members of the public who had managed to sneak past security and the heavy wooden doors to gain a seat in the gallery. Perhaps 100 more were listening on their wireless radios.

Proud Jerseyman Jimmy Perchard tells us why Jersey is the best place
on the planet and why those who suggest improvements are malicious traitors
In a speech which could easily have been written by his mentor, Professor Terry Le Main at the Jersey faculty of Rhetoric and Demagoguery, Senator Perchard sang the praises of the Jersey Democratic model, with its 35-45% turnout rates for elections (20% in some elections) - 70-80% abstention rates (when considering those who are not registered) and the public's inability to elect its own Chief Minister or influence policy direction in a meaningful way. So without further ado, I welcome, Senator Jimmy Perchard [applause]

'It is a long time ago I pushed my red button.  I was off in another place, particularly after Deputy Le Fondré’s speech.  If ever he looks for another profession I suggest he becomes the voice of meditation CDs.  [Laughter]  But I thank Deputy Trevor Pitman for waking me up and, Sir, you for calling my name.  The Bailiff has presided over this Legislature since it developed out of the Royal Court, over 800 years ago.  In essence we have a piece of history here which we are discussing; a piece of fantastic Jersey history and any reform of the Bailiff’s role has to be taken very seriously, and I think we all agree on one thing, and I think it was my good friend, Senator Le Gresley who started this off - and Deputy Maçon and Deputy Trevor Pitman subsequently - we all agree that any recommendation should be put to the people of Jersey for their decision.  This is not an easy decision; we have established that this afternoon.  There are many strongly-held views and I have one.  It is important that however we conclude the final recommendation from P.P.C., a referendum be held on this matter.  I suspect over times of our long history the Bailiff who, as we know, has never been elected, may have politicised his role.  I have no examples of such but over 800 years I suspect there are many.  Until 1947 many of us were unelected and so until quite recently in the 800 year history we had unelected people acting in a political fashion; Jurats and Rectors of course.  The Bailiff and the A.G. and the Dean have survived any transition and I suspect they have survived under scrutiny over the decades, more recently since certainly the 1950s, under scrutiny and they have reformed their role.  The Bailiff, for example, no longer has a casting vote.  The 3 positions have developed a position of neutrality and impartiality and that is why they have survived.  I challenge any Member in recent times to give an example of where the Bailiff when presiding over this Assembly has displayed anything but neutrality and impartiality.  If any Member can give an example - a real example; not a blog site example - a real example, let him stand up today and tell us about it.  I think the proposal to remove the Bailiff from this Legislature is a proposal for change for nothing more than change for the sake of change.  Change promoted by the same people who would have the Constables removed from the Assembly because they are the symbolic head of their Parish police force [Deputy Tadier stamps his foot in approval]  The same people who would probably have the Dean removed from the Assembly [Deputy Tadier stamps his foot again in approval].  The malcontents who want to change Jersey for the better [Deputy Tadier stamps his foot yet again in approval].  Change for change’s sake [Deputy Tadier shakes his head in disagreement].  I am sorry, I call it malcontent and I mean it.  It is people who are constantly dragging Jersey down and criticising the wonderful democracy we have.  Jersey is a great example of democracy; a beacon of democracy that we should hold up high for the world to look at.  Members made reference to the E.U. (European Union) and the Court of Human Rights.  Well, let us look at the E.U.; an institution which allows its M.E.P.s (Members of the European Parliament) to speak for a maximum of 10 minutes and who has a group of unelected commissioners who run the European Union.  What has the E.C.H.R. (European Court of Human Rights) got to say about that with the 260 million people that those unelected commissioners represent.  Let us look at the House of Lords in the U.K.  Members involved in U.K.’s legislative process.  The House of Lords is full of unelected members.  What has the E.C.H.R. got to say about that?  These people are making legislation.  Our Bailiff presides with immaculate neutrality and impartiality over the sittings of this States and nobody in this room will be able to get up and give an example of him doing otherwise.  As I have said, Members seem to have fixed views on this subject.  I suggest the only way forward is for a reasonable, well-considered question to be put to the people of Jersey on this matter.  I will leave it at that, except I will throw a little side-winder into the mix for Members to ponder.  Just diverting slightly; I am surprised that Carswell focused only really on the dual roles of the Bailiff and, as I look across at my good friend the Attorney General, I wonder why Lord Carswell and his eminent group of advisers and committee did not look at the role of the Attorney General and perhaps the conflict of the role of Attorney General.  I know he did but did not make recommendations that perhaps the role of the Attorney General should be split into a role where we had a Chief Prosecution Service who was independent of the Legislature.  I am not sure I would have supported it even if he had, but I think it is quite reasonable that he would have made a recommendation of that type.  Without wanting to repeat myself, this is a change for change’s sake and I urge Members to recognise that it will not be this Assembly that agrees the way forward and it must be the people of Jersey that do it.'

To hear the audio visit: the jerseyway blog


  1. Along with Cohen

    Doomed at the next election

  2. If the retail sector were beholden to tradition in the same manner as Government, our shops today would be stocking not much more than vegetables and clogs.

    And the infamous "boat in the morning"? That could take up to a week to reach the mainland, dependant upon the wind.

    Government exists to govern, and exists to do so to the very best of its ability and capability. It exists to govern a society constantly in flux socially and economically. In the modern world a mere decade can see immense changes in those respects.

    Any Government which in the face of that places anything approaching a primary concern on preserving tradition, is a government which is failing its fundamental duty to the public.

  3. It was my understanding that Senator 'Portelet' Cohen was never intending to stand again. Maybe Senator Perchard has done enough with the fee paying schools to secure the necessary votes. Who do we have at the moment? Ted Vibert, Ian Gorst, Ben Shenton and Senator Perchard, Lyndon Farnham, Patrick Ryan (?)Françis Le Gresey running. The long knives will be out. There are only 3 seats after Françis walks it. For once we will see the long knives come out and a bloody fight ensuing amongst the right-wing candidates

  4. Deputy Tadier;
    You are wrong to malign such a selfless politician as Senator Perchard. We in St. Martins revel in his panglossian rhetoric (Terry Le Main was beaten by Voltaire) wit and sharpness of cutting reposte ,if you know what I mean.
    Have you not noticed how,in recent months he has lead from the front on a number of issues that have enraged and engaged the public (one may say the bleedin'obvious but that would be churlish) Private School Cuts, St.Saviours Field etc. For you to suggest that this is anything but that done by a 'true man of the people' is just sour grapes.
    I for one will try and vote for him but I keep getting lost in St.Martins trying to find the public hall, everywhere I look there are illegal road signs that point to Farmers Cricket Ground sponsored by Scary Olsen( whoever he is?) and I end up in a perfectly good agricultural field with nothing in it.

    A la prochaine Jimmy

  5. Yes Francis will walk it.

    Regarding past Bailiffs all being good eggs - people just don't know local history. Here is Hoste Nicholle (from the book "Jersey Wonders", 2004); it is a genuine story about a Bailiff who was, quite frankly, a scoundrel who perverted the course of justice!

    For the Guernsey record, I suggest looking at the case of Perotine Massey, burnt for being a Protestant Heretic, giving birth as the flames burnt, and the Bailiff consigning the newborn back to the flames as a Protestant heretic too! It is unbelievable, but very well attested historically.

    The Wicked Seigneur

    (A Tale of Longueville)

    About five hundred years ago, this tale is told
    Hoste Nichole was Bailiff, but so bad and bold
    Upon his father’s death, to Longueville came
    As Seigneur, to the title’s everlasting shame.

    Now there was a poor butcher called Antoine
    Held a lease given by Hoste’s father, not his son
    Came with right of way though main court yard
    This Hoste Nichole cursed, and found so very hard.

    Nichole tried to get the man to give up his lease
    Kept on and on at him, and would not cease
    But Antoine stuck firmly to his granted right
    For the lease was fairly done, and watertight.

    So night Nichole and a servant killed two sheep
    Hung them in Antoine’s slaughter house to keep
    Then raised the outcry for seeming theft of these
    Called for all places to be searched for the thieves.

    Poor Antoine made all welcome to see his grounds
    And there all saw the dead sheep out of bounds
    He called to God as witness to his innocence
    But in vain, and was found guilty of offence.

    The jury were twelve men of Nichole’s Fief
    Followed the mob’s lead, and called for death
    The judge presiding was Nichole as Bailiff
    So there was little justice for the plaintiff.

    In those days, the punishment for such a crime
    Was to be hung before sunset in three days time
    So Antoine was condemned, and such his fate
    Because of Hoste Nichole’s greed and hate.

    But as he left, he turned to Nichole and said
    That of this Court, Nichole was the head
    But would answer to a higher judge and pay
    In three weeks time, from that very day.

    Three weeks passed, and the servants found
    Nichole dead in his room, his mind unsound
    He had taken his own life, his guilt too great
    And was buried in cross roads, an apostate.

    But ever after, the tale was told this way
    That the Devil came on the appointed day
    Saw the stricken man, terrified, aghast
    And took Nichole, body and soul, at last.

  6. The difference Monty between most of the people you mention is that they do not need a States salary and they will continue to influence government whether in or out.
    For members of the right club there are always seats on this or that board or panel to ensure that government (in it widest Jersey form) stays in the hands of those who can be trusted to change nothing.

    We should not be mesmerised by the Jersey election process or kid ourselves that a bunch of vaguely leftist prima donnas are a threat. There is no need for long knives. There is no challenge from within.
    The only effective challenge to Jersey's entrenched establishment is from outside the Island - whether in the form of a EU directive or the collapse of the Irish or Portuguese etc banking system.

    Where is the Jersey Reform Party or whatever it is called this week? If concerned residents cannot even organise a party among themselves then they have no legitimate claim to be fit to govern.

  7. If there are any clowns in the States they are you and Pitman. When are you going to do some actual work and stop behaving like a jerk? Literally every States sitting you say something stupid.

  8. "Jersey is a great example of democracy; a beacon of democracy that we should hold up high for the world to look at."

    So that's why 80% of the populace do not vote? They are contentedly basking in the bliss of our wonderously fantastic political system.

    I believe it's time voting was made compulsory in Jersey. We would then have an accurate measure of just how content the public are with our current "democracy".

  9. Can you explain THIS Monty, I find it stunning!

  10. 'For once we will see the long knives come out and a bloody fight ensuing amongst the right-wing candidates'

    Sorry, but every motion you lefties raise is humiliated by a massive majority regularly. Stop trying to kid yourself and the handful of people who come on blog land because on the States website its recorded.

    You have had 2.5 years working in this circus and and what have you achieved?

    Look I am being honest here but if you seriously want help or want to pool ideas I may close middle to right ranks but cut the mick takes of others states members right now, its not professional.

  11. You know Montfort, when Jimmy (funniest thing out of him is a fart) Perchard asks this bit

    " I challenge any Member in recent times to give an example of where the Bailiff when presiding over this Assembly has displayed anything but neutrality and impartiality. If any Member can give an example - a real example; not a blog site example - a real example, let him stand up today and tell us about it."

    Why did no member stand up and say something, one incident springs to mind when he cut off Stuart Syvrets microphone when he spoke about the abuse issues many years ago. You could have mentioned that as an example, no?

    I am hoping you will be able to put me to right on this because as I see it at this moment I am right royaly miffed that nobody stood up and said anything. How are you going to make a change if you all sit there and miss an opurtunity like that.

  12. The disgusting language of Jess Dunsden

  13. Montfort.

    Interview with Rico Sorda part 2 OF 2

  14. montfort will not answer anything that is to hard for him like why did you not stand up and say something about the syvrets and bailiff example to busy with hes garden ?

  15. Montfort.

    Part three of in-depth and exclusive interview with former Deputy Chief Police Officer LENNY HARPER