18 June 2011

Temps Passé

'The difference between the tourism industry and the finance industry: one is driven to provide the most happiness for the greatest number; the other to create the most wealth for the fewest number.' - Anon

Tonight I saw two videos which should be a mandatory part of all Jersey history lessons. This very artistic and political video (above) sums up poignantly (and, appropriately, without words) the unspoken sadness that many islanders share for the decline of the tourism industry (for those of us who can almost remember its hey day). The second is a more nostalgic look at the Fort Regent cable cars. Back then they were an expedient way to get to a vibrant Fort Regent.  Now they would be considered an attraction in their own right.

Enjoy, if that is the word...


  1. Monty,

    This highlights something of what I felt about the Jersey History in the school syllabus - The Castles, The Battle of Jersey, the States, The Royal Mace, and the Occupation.

    Apart from the Occupation, none really lent themselves hugely to social history.

    The Battle of Jersey is a true adventure story of Rullecourt's daring and Pearson's bluff, and if properly presented, could be engaging for school children, and it is significant.

    But the Royal Mace, while important, is so far removed from ordinary lives as to be forgettable!

    Something like the decline of tourism, with films such as these, would let them look at the social fabric of our society in a very sharp way, and look at how people lived in Jersey. They could write an essay, e.g. I was a cleaner at Pontins etc.

    But it won't happen, because education is often designed to be deliberately neutered for political debate. That in itself, of course, is an agenda in favour of the status quo.

    “There neither is, nor has ever been, an educational practice in zero space-time—neutral in the sense of being committed only to preponderantly abstract, intangible ideas.”
    Paulo Freire

  2. Nostalgia is not what is used to be.

  3. Tom Gruchy says
    Interesting images from the archive but so much of this Island is being turned into a silent momument by the "heritage lobby."

    How many more buildings that could and should be in active use are to be demolished or converted to "museums?" The long term ( even short-term) burden of preserving castles, forts, churches, "farms" and open land is not supportable. Even recent central office buildings are now becoming vacant - but are listed.

    Elizabeth Castle - for example - will have to be turned to some commercially viable use if it is to survive. It can be allowed to become like Pontin's as this Island sinks into economic decline - but it is not inevitable.

    The Island Plan is such an inadequate document on so many grounds it might be assumed that Cohen has already signed the Island over to Chinese or Indian developers!

    Unfortunately the "preserve the green countryside" brigade in Jersey have such a limited vision so far as the whole population is concerned. For so many, their own personal and financial interests are secure behind their doubled gated entrances.

    With the closing of so many "heritage" activities in Jersey the message should be obvious for all to see. But even the Scrutiny Panels (of which you Montford have been a part) are just so blinkered and narrow-minded when it comes to understanding culture, or heritage and the entertainments that could/ should be encouraged in Jersey in the 21st century.

    Somehow Jersey's culture/heritage has to be re-united with everyday social and economic activities. This is exaclty what happens with Tourism and Agri- related economies. They are an integral part of everydy life - warts and all.
    This is in total contrast to "Finance" which operates in secret - behind closed doors and remote from the real life of a genuine community.

    Art exhibitions and ballets sponsored by some remote lawyers office or finance house may well be entertainment and employment for some - but they are not as important as a concert at Pontins or a ride in the cable-cars, to most on an everyday, real-life basis.

    Jersey is dying in so many ways.

  4. Tom Gruchy has several very good points there. I often do not agree with the political commentary at A view from the West, but nowhere else do I see even a semblance of a vision for the tourist agri aspects of the economy.

  5. Hi Monty.

    For your reader's, the Audio of our Home Affair's Minister blaming Gradwell for leaking that report to a Journalist that used it to trash the Child Abuse Investigation.

    You can Listen to it HERE

  6. mr tadier
    why did you not back up deputy pitman over what ilm was saying other things on your mind ring any bell,s cat,s away?

  7. Anon, the reason I did not 'back up' Mr Pitman, was because I was not around to do so. As I explained to Rico, when asked, the question time session was brought forward by half a day. Whilst I was there for the earlier part, I had a prior obligation to attend my parish surgery which had long been arranged for that day at 5:30pm. Trevor did very well on his own. He is more than capable of holding his own, but I am certainly working with him closely as our panel is carrying out a review on this very issue, at my suggestion.

    Lastly, it should be pointed out that some are quick to make unfair judgements without knowing all the facts. Often, me and my progressive colleagues are busy working hard 'behind the scenes'. Most of what we do does not get publicity, but it is important and does (hopefully) achieve results.