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Friday, 25 November 2011

On taking Deputy Southern to Royal Court

Many people were surprised that I initiated proceedings against Deputy Southern following his failure to properly declare his criminal convictions during the nomination meeting for the position of Deputy for St Helier district two.
Deputy Southern
Authoritarian Opposition
to an already Authoritarian States

So let's be absolutely clear on the thinking... it was because it seemed to be the right thing to do at the time.

I'm sure most people don't go through life making decisions based on vague feelings of what the best course of action is, but I do and it works for me. I say this because I am not seeking to re-write history and say it was my intention all along for things to fall into place the way they have, it is just fortunate that they did.

I wrote the representation quickly and submitted it, after a great deal of fence sitting, assurances of action, and lack thereof, by the Constable of St. Helier. Then I read the law.

The law clearly states that the person presiding at the nomination meeting is required to read out the declarations. This of course means that not one person was properly nominated. In fact not one of the Members of the States of Jersey has been elected in accordance with the law since 2004.

I contacted Deputy Southern immediately and told him how to proceed with his defence, a defence he duly and successfully relied upon in Court

Whether Deputy Southern was removed from the running or not was not my primary concern. I do not consider Deputy Southern an effective States Member, nor do I agree with his political position. The role played by Deputy Southern is that of the unelectable opposition. Understand that from my perspective the government is too Authoritarian already and Deputy Southern stands for higher taxation and more government and more regulation and a more generous benefits system which in turn means more people are caught in the net of benefit dependence.

He therefore offers to the Authoritarian government an illusion of opposition, someone against whom they can claim, falsely, to be 'Right Wing' whilst at all times the growth of the government, and its spending, continues unabated and is never called into question because the alternative is even more of the same. This co-dependent relationship clearly serves the Authoritarian cause and the establishment is not so anti-Geoff as they, and he, like to make out. It is all just part of the pantomime.

The truth of this can be seen from the coverage of the case in the JEP and CTV compared with the more accurate reporting by the BBC.

His convictions were not read out properly and thus the law was broken, but that the fault lay with the Constable of St Helier and not Deputy Southern himself. Not that it mattered because the law was so badly written that there was no censure possible against Deputy Southern in any case. Perhaps the events even made the difference between Deputy Southern being elected and not... we will never know for certain.

And therein lies the point to this blog - there was no effective remedy. A salient and clear breach of the European Convention on Human Rights which has been heard in the domestic courts. A stepping stone to Strasbourg.

I followed my intuition and hindsight has proven that this was the correct course of action, even though it was not the logical course at the time.

So when I walk into Royal Court today to discover whether or not the Royal Court considers itself fit to sit in judgement over the compatibility with Convention rights of the conduct of the recent elections it makes no fundamental difference what they decide. The door to a fair hearing overseas is already open.