I graduated from Business School in 1985 and after having worked around the world in activities as diverse as computer-based training and wine making, I moved my home and businesses to the Channel Islands in 2005 to be with my Jersey-born fiancée.
During the last term, I have been honoured to serve the Island as Home Affairs Minister and assistant Environment Minister. I have been a member of 19 different committees, boards, or groups, as our government endeavoured to tackle all the issues that needed attention. We especially focused on the long-term projects that had been neglected so far, like pay equality, government offices, sport and community facilities, Fort Regent and States pensions financing. All were multi-generational projects rather than quick wins, but we were, of course, still taking care of the “clear and present” issues like housing, mental health, education, and the hospital. All this had to happen in the background of some of the most serious crises in the history of Jersey: Brexit, Covid and now war in Europe. We’ve been busy.
For the Parishes
I am always ready to defend the Parish system and I fought desperately against the electoral reform that diluted them into districts and lost us the Senators. I hope a wiser Assembly will reverse this decision and I would like to be given the opportunity to continue to carry the voices of the parishioners to the States Chamber.
I believe strongly in preserving the identity and independence of Jersey. I am still dismayed at the efforts to change it in a misguided hope that being more like the UK or more like France will make us better. We can find a Jersey solution to Jersey problems, and we need to empower our civil servants to reduce their dependency on U.K. consultants.
For the economy
My experience is that businesses work better when left alone. We don’t need to fund start-ups, we just need to make it easy for them to start and easy to operate, which is less and less the case.
Agriculture and fishing are essential to the character of our Island. We should support them as much as possible and help them transition to a post-Brexit world.
The next revolution in Jersey will probably come from technology and science and we will have to nurture them. We already started.
We still need to reduce the impact of Brexit on Jersey and take advantage of its opportunities. I am proud to say that I was a part of the solution and helped negotiate for our side.
For the environment
Jersey needs to preserve the diversity of its terrestrial and marine environment. Providing for the protection of species and habitats should be a standard feature of any new policy.
We are a small community, and we should embrace the advantages it gives us over the bureaucratic nightmare of having to manage millions. We can still solve people’s problems one by one.