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Thursday, 27 December 2012

Another year beckons

GOLD! 
The prospect of the world coming to an end on the 21st December left me with a rather tricky dilemma; do I go and see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey just in case or do I wait until 2016 and just buy the DVD extended version box set once it is available at a reduced price and get maximum value from the experience as I did with Lord of the Rings?

In the end I decided that I would re-read the book and go (re-reading the book being essential so I could see what they had changed you understand). Personally I cannot believe they are going to drag it out over three films, but of course the sight of a horde of gold coins appealed to me.

It was a tough choice but I succumbed to temptation and went for my first experience of 3D cinema since they did away with the red and green glasses. I think that red and green glasses are the way to go, the experience was nowhere near as good as whichever Nightmare on Elm Street it was that I saw back in 1991 in bi-colour spectacles. The advert for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria was the best 3D bit.

It was also my first experience of the VIP box, which will hereafter be a necessity should I venture to the cinema which is I guess an experience I limit to every other year. It reminded me of how comfortable the Odeon was when there was just one screen.

I greatly enjoyed Christmas this year but the presents that teenagers get are unbelievable, literally. One thirteen year old has Facebook that they received three sets of clothing, four holidays and not in Europe, an iPhone 5 and £485.00; now maybe it is just me, but I believe that spending £5,000 on a child for Christmas is just a little excessive. Especially when you send that same child to a States of Jersey free school, where on earth are the priorities of these parents?

This child will never get a job which will be able to sustain a similar lifestyle without a proper eduction but is being given unrealistic expectations, so I think that is going to be one unhappy life; unless of course the child is lying - which I hope is the case since I told my step-daughter that without doubt she was.

Whilst we are on the subject, again I am going to seem like a technological dinosaur but since I have a desktop at home and a desktop at work and my life is essentially based around those two locations why on earth would you spend more than the cost of a desktop on an iPad or iPhone which does everything the desktop does but nowhere near as well. I can understand it if you have a two hour train journey to and from work but what is so urgent anyway that you cannot just wait... surely all your friends on Facebook don't need to know that you have just grazed your knee immediately after you do it?

So people spend £500 on the latest gadget which is going to be completely without value in five years time to do something that can already be done and probably done better, or is completely unnecessary to do at all.

This process of selling us goods of ever decreasing usefulness, in ever decreasing increments of technological advance, which may or may not improve on existing technologies appears to be mirrored in many industries; pharmaceuticals are running out of wonder drugs; banks are running out of ways to de-fraud us and governments are running out of excuses for their incompetence. Creating ever more demand which drives GDP growth by encouraging the slaves to work longer hours to meet the ever increasing demands of ever more spoilt children who will grow up to be unemployable but will expect government to keep on giving.

What was good about Christmas was simply having a whole day without business, after 15 consecutive twelve hours days at the grindstone. I'm not employed so the government graciously allows me to work as and when I wish to - and I love work because I do as I please, when it pleases me to do it. All that effort to earn just one day to spend with the people I wanted to spend it with, eating home cooked food that hasn't been industrially processed. That is in my mind what being an adult is. Providing not only of yourself but the people that you wish to.

It is that which I think is worth working and fighting for, the right to draw happiness from the simple things life with no unexpected adventures.

The world I live in is one crazy place, how is it possible for so many people, to get it all, so wrong? Why do so many people prefer to treat every day as Christmas, to be children and be given free stuff that they have not earnt? Free stuff that I am paying for.

Childhood does not always end at 21 and there are too many children in this world, but then again maybe I have just been reading too much Tolkein, a theme to be continued.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Fred Clarke, St Helier's greatest ever Constable

Constable Clarke opens a fair 

As part of looking back to see where the States of Jersey have gone wrong, it is probably beneficial to look back to the times when the States of Jersey got it very right.

Fred Clarke served Jersey and the parish of St Helier for three terms as Constable of St Helier, now apart from the one little problem where a Centenier Pearce was unfairly dismissed  from office in order to cover up the maladministration of the then Attorney General, one Philip Martin Bailhache, later Bailiff and currently Senator, he excelled in the role, and all the while unpaid.

His operation of the parish finances was remarkably similar to the operation of his company C. Le Masurier, he never spent a penny on anything that he didn't have to.

So successful was Constable Clarke in running the parish that the finances remain in reasonably good health in spite of the spiralling bureaucracy which has been created by later Constables Le Brocq and Crowcroft. There was none of Constable Crowcroft's stealth taxation through parking tickets or selling the right to park on public land to the public, I never quite worked out how people didn't see through that little confidence trick. No it was plain and simple - the government should only spend other people's money where it is absolutely necessary.

When the States was filled with successful businessmen, businessmen let's face it who did very well by building a successful economy within the Island, the whole Island prospered. Now the Island is run by petty bureaucrats who depend on the wages they receive and are always looking to improve their lot, at the expense of the people of Jersey.

My attempts to get an answer to what the effective rate of tax in Jersey is, have met with, 'I'm sorry we cannot work that out'.

However the formula is simple, particularly for someone with a doctorate in Mathematics, simply add all the monies received by the States of Jersey in all shapes and forms by every department less all the income received from corporation tax and divide that by the total income disclosed in income tax returns less the income tax returns by companies. Multiply the answer by 100 and voila you will have the mean rate of taxation.

Then apply the distribution curve for the income of families from the statistics already produced and you will be able to infer the effective rate for families in the upper, lower and median quartiles.

So if the mean rate of effective taxation for an average family is calculated to be say 50% then the effective rate in the upper quartile is likely to be around 10% and the effective rate for families in the lower quartile is likely to be in the region of 70%. We know the effective rate for families in the lower quartile in the UK is 73%.

You may ask why the government does not simply levy income tax at 70%, well that is because we would not re-elect them if we knew how much of our time we spent working for the government, we would all be on benefits.

Whatever the result is we should compare it to the effective rate at the time when Constable Clarke and his ilk ran the island, when effective rates of taxation were around 25%.

What built Jersey is what will save any of the indebted nations now; an immediate reduction in the amount of money spent and a reduction in the levels of taxation in all forms.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Has there been a breach of the Jersey Public Markets Trust?

Jersey's Central Market viewed from
the Halkett Place double gate 
Reading old laws is a fascinating business; there is a totally different feel to them and to that end I present the LOI (1885) TOUCHANT L’ADMINISTRATION DES MARCHÉS PUBLICS (the law regarding the administration of the public markets). English translations are mine and are included in brackets after the French.
1  ‎La régie, l’administration et la police des Marchés sont du ressort des États, et seront exercées selon les ordres et sous les directions de cette Assemblée, par le Ministre responsable pour Transport and Technical Services. 
(The governance, administration and policing of the markets are the responsibility of States, and will be performed in accordance with the orders and directions of the Assembly by the Minister responsible for Transport and Technical Services.)
The States of Jersey are solely the trustees of the Public Markets. 
2 ‎Les États ou le Ministre responsable pour Transport and Technical Services, par délégation des États, nommeront un ou plusieurs Inspecteurs dont le devoir sera de faire observer les Règlements qui pourraient être établis de temps à autre pour le meilleur avantage desdits Marchés et ce sous la direction dudit Ministre. Le Connétable et les Centeniers de la paroisse de St. Hélier sont également chargés de veiller au maintien de la paix et du bon ordre dans lesdits Marchés.
(The States or the Minister responsible for Transport and Technical Services by States delegation, shall appoint one or more inspectors whose duty is to enforce the regulations that may be established from time to time to the best advantage of such contracts and under the direction of the said Minister. The Constable and Centeniers of the parish of St. Helier are responsible for ensuring the maintenance of peace and good order in such markets.)
Les États auront le droit d’émaner des Règlements pour le bon ordre, la police et l’entretien des Marchés, et pourront, comme par le passé, louer les boutiques, étaux et emplacements dans les Marchés, afin de subvenir aux frais qu’entraînent l’administration et l’entretien des Marchés.
Les États sont également autorisés à établir des Règlements pour la régie et l’entretien des Abattoirs Publics, ainsi que pour réglementer le débit de viande de boucherie, tant en dedans qu’en dehors des Marchés.
Les Règlements émanés en vertu de cet Article resteront en vigueur jusqu’à leur rappel ou modification. 
(The States have the right to set Regulations for the order, policing and maintenance of the markets, and may continue to rent shops, stalls and markets sites in order to meet the costs that cause the administration and maintenance contracts. States are also authorized to establish regulations for the control and maintenance of Public Abattoirs, as well as to regulate the flow of meat, both inside and outside of markets. Regulations passed under this Article shall remain in force until their recall or modification.)
Les amendes imposées par les Règlements qui pourraient, de temps à autre, être établis en vertu de l’Article 3, seront au bénéfice de Sa Majesté.
(Any fines imposed by the Regulations which may from time to time be established pursuant to Article 3 shall be for the benefit of the Crown.)
Prior to the occupation Jersey did not have income tax per se, it was the Germans who established our 20% tax rate. So every law not only sets out exactly what the States are going to do, but also how it is going to be paid for. In this case the rents from the market stalls are to be used exclusively to pay for the administration and maintenance of the markets. 

How do we know that rents may only be used for this purpose, exclusively? There is a simple rule of legal interpretation which states that only those items listed apply (and it is for this reason the phrase including, but not limited to is included in so many statutes).

Therein lies the problem for our money grubbing modern day States of Jersey, they cannot fully exploit the site without changing the law and destroying one of the greatest examples of Victorian engineering in Jersey.

Everything from the cellars (which are cool in summer, warm in winter for meat storage) to the roof is an engineering masterpiece and designed for a purpose, even down to the central fountain which regulates the humidity. A structure designed to prolong the life of meat, vegetables, flowers and fish from the days before electricity and refrigeration.

The 1885 law makes it clear that the property belongs to the people of Jersey and the States merely administer the building, they do not have the right to sell or alter the property in any way. Maybe it is time to look into the rest of the properties before we (the beneficiaries) have our property sold by the States of Jersey (the administrators) to be used merely to pay their own employees. Maybe the time has come for us to appoint new administrators before our ancestors (the settlors) wishes (that the markets should be there to benefit the people of Jersey) are surrendered and the gift provided by the 19th Century residents of Jersey is stolen in a 'breach of trust' by the States of Jersey.

Many of the public markets have already gone, Sand Street is now a car park and the Cattle Market is now the property of Jersey Telecoms Ltd. Whilst you cannot object to much needed car parking, the Cattle Market has already been given away by the trustees when they had no legal right to do so. Trustees may not sell property held in trust except to benefit the beneficiaries and I don't remember receiving any part of the proceeds from the sale.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Chinese assault Gold markets

Kitco reports that the Chinese have forced down the price of gold on the markets and following the price today has made interesting reading, the price plummeted all the way down to the London PM fix at $1692 before rebounding sharply once the fix was in to back over $1700 then ending the day at $1696. The interesting thing will be to see how much physical metal was purchased today from the LBMA.

It was a crazy day for bullion sales. I personally had my entire inventory purchased, with additional orders placed and booked. A quick tour of the jewellers and antique dealers revealed that gold coins for sale are near to non-existent.

It is refreshing to see that many people in Jersey are heeding the warning signs of the impending end of the Anglo-Saxon domination of the world. The number one present this Christmas is going to be gold and silver bullion and coins.

There is an increasing disconnect between physical sales and market prices however, physical sales continue to rise whilst the market price continues to be held at around $1,700.

The United States confirmed that it is going to continue with zero interest rates for the next three year; this on a day where it was confirmed that the US has now outstripped Stalin's Russia in terms of the percentage of people incarcerated and that the government now plans to place microphones on public transportation to record conversations.

The outlook on the UK economy was cut from Neutral to Negative suggesting that a credit downgrade is coming which will bring in its wake increased interest rates or massive quantative easing, either of which is terrible for those invested in property in the UK and those areas which use the pound such as Jersey.

In EULand the news of the appointment of a bank supervisor to oversee the Eurozone banks with a market capitalisation of over $30 billion, which leaves most of Germany's banks still regulated by Germany, but other nations banks overseen by Germany. This clears the way to a central European bank, overseen by... yep, you guessed it, Germany.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, Germany having had its experience of hyperinflation where the cost of one egg reached 4 billion marks has a much more traditional approach to expenditure... don't buy it until you can afford it. With its recent requests for the repatriation of its US held gold, it certainly looks set to be a potential future world economic hegemon. All it would take is a war between China and the US and such a future would be the likely outcome.

If the future for the UK (and thus Jersey) is a choice between living with the increasingly fascist United States or with the Germans; then I am going to start learning to speak German.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Which States Member will ask what the effective rate of tax is in Jersey?


UK families get less back and pay more, it is official. Whilst Germany has an effective tax rate of 40% and the Netherlands 48% and the best place to live in the world is Chile where effective tax is just 20% the average family in the UK pays 73% of their earnings in tax.

At the last election I tried to calculate what the effective tax rate in Jersey was, but Dr Gibaut (whilst quoted constantly by Senator Bailhache through the hustings) would not provide the figures for me.

Isn't it time one of our representatives asked Dr Gibaut to provide the answer?

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Oh unions, unions, I want to support you but


When will unions make arguments that
everyone can support, a policy idea 

Working for the government is for the vast majority basically being on 'benefits plus', they offer no more to the community and economy than those who choose not to work but live on income support or disability benefit due to 'depression' a 'bad back' or other unconfirmable but at the same time undeniable 'illness'.

Changes to terms and conditions are needed; an end to paid sick pay, a reduction in paid holidays to two weeks a year, a change from final salary (or average salary) pensions to a personal pension account with a defined value.

There also needs to be some evidence. We need an independent review of public sector wages taking into account: ease of recruitment into a range of jobs in the public sector versus the private sector, job comparability with a range of private sector jobs (but taking true accountability into account – businesses go bust if manager makes a mess), job security versus the private sector, ease of retaining staff in the public sector, overall sickness and absence comparisons with the private sector, and pensions comparability. Only when this is done will there be a proper picture of how the public sector compares.

If such a review were undertaken it would clearly demonstrate that most of the Civil Service is overpaid, most but not all...

It seems that accountants in the Civil Service are underpaid compared to their private sector counterparts and so too are Nurses, who are underpaid even compared to similar grades in the Civil Service and they actually provide a service which benefits the public.

The JEP reports
FURIOUS unions are threatening industrial action after the States’ negotiating body broke off pay talks and imposed a controversial wage settlement on thousands of workers.
In a statement yesterday, Chief Minister Ian Gorst said that after nine months of negotiations, all attempts to resolve the pay dispute between the States Employment Board and the unions had been exhausted. 
And he said that the board now had no option but to impose its final offer of a 1% one-off payment this year, 1% rise and one-off payment next year, and a 4% rise in 2014 dependent on workers accepting changes to their terms and conditions. 
But in a strongly worded joint statement, seven public sector unions said that the forced public sector pay settlement had ‘severe implications for future negotiations’, and warned that they are now seeking legal advice.
Now I have no objection to 1% pay rise I do not object to for those on lower grades (1-2), but a 1% pay rise for the Bailiff is £3,600 per year or £300 per month.

Something needs to be done to flatten the pay grades for the upper echelons which are out of control.

I would like to see pay hinged at say grade 7 (whose pay would remain unchanged) with grade 1's getting a 6% rise, grade 2's getting a 5% rise and so on  with grade 13's and up getting a corresponding 6% decrease down to grade 8 getting a 1% decrease.

How is it fair to decide that one man's work is worth £1,350 per day (the Bailiff) whilst another man's work is worth just £70 per day (grade 3), why are the unions not complaining about this? In many European countries there is a rule that the highest paid worker in an organisation can get paid no more than 10 times the salary of the lowest paid worker. It is time such a rule was introduced in Jersey. Are any of our States Members going to bring such a proposition? I would imagine it would be a crowd pleaser...

Where are the unions when it comes to making demands such as these which everyone can support?


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Enjoy this Christmas, it will never be the same again

I have noticed on Amazon that many sellers are selling goods at less than cost price and, this being an unusual state of affairs, it is important to ask why they are doing this and what the longer term consequences are going to be...

The watch retail business is an interesting case study; everyone wants to sell Rolex and if you sell Rolex any brand will be desperate to put their range in your shop - of course selling Rolex is not easy, you have to have an invitation to even step onto their stand at the trade shows. The trend is for fewer and fewer Rolex agents and losing the agency is the death knell for that business, take C.T. Maine's for example. With a minimum spend of £250,000 per year of the models selected for you by Rolex (rather than the ones you want), it can be a double edged sword.

There are the 'branded' watches; the Armani's, D&G's, Police etc of this world which when you open the case are £20 watches using old Citizen mass produced Miyota movements, which are sold at a massive mark-up because people are stupid enough to pay those prices. I would not buy Rolex jeans so why people buy Armani watches is beyond me, but that's people for you. If that is the price of fashion, you can keep it! The old adage is true, there are many people who know 'the price of everything, but the value of nothing'. Geoff Southern's views on Plemont seem are the perfect example of this.

Then there are the traditional watch manufacturers; the Swiss makers (Rolex, Omega, etc), Citizen (Miyota) and Seiko. Virtually every other watch you buy will have one of these movements in.

Now I am Seiko's golden boy of the moment when it comes to the junior brands, but because my shop is in the Central Market and not the high street I cannot stock Seiko, it's a harsh world out there.

For the vast majority of these Seiko junior brand watches I am the UK online market leader (i.e. I have the lowest price) and for those of you in Jersey the price is even lower in store. I get the maximum discount with only John Lewis/Debenhams, Argos and H Samuel selling more watches, but then they have more shops than me.

There are some interesting points to note... for example Argos have their own special range of watches made just for them (initially) these have very high RRP's and of course are then sold at 50% off, which is still higher than the price for similar watches in the main range. I am beaten on a few prices on a few models the reasons are due to grey imports, bankrupt and clearance stock and lets face stolen goods being sold online.

There are interesting developments in the watch world, manufacturers are dedicated to their retail stores (and most will not supply you if you intend to sell on the internet only) and they are also dedicated to protecting their brand, which means that the priority of supply, goes to those who maintain reasonable prices and do not price gouge. They cannot tell you what price to sell at but they do not have to supply you.

In my first business venture as Space-Craft I successfully sold Games Workshop products to the point that they are no longer allowed to be sold on the internet because it was destroying the brand, now watch companies and other manufacturers are catching on and the internet trade is more strictly controlled.

Realistically the prices of goods online should be higher than in store, there is the postage cost, the cost of buyer fraud, the cost of buyer returns and of course, like employees, it is the buyer who is overly protected by statutory protections.

Why do manufacturers want products in stores? Well firstly because the retailer acts as an effective filter to stupidity - I can show you how to push the crown in on your watch to make it go, without you having to return it to Seiko under guarantee. I can tell you that all that is needed is to change the battery. I can adjust the watch bracelet so it fits you. More importantly there is no advertising that compares to a shop window.

So we are back to the issue of some retailers selling goods at less than cost, now this has always occurred. The simple reason is that if I can sell 1,000 things at 99p without any problems then my 'customer metrics' on eBay or Amazon are always going to be within their parameters so if there are problems then it is only with a tiny proportion of my sales. If I only sell 50 watches at £1,000 each and two have problems then Amazon and eBay are on your back tell you to buck your ideas up. If I have sold a 1,000 things and have problems on nineteen then that's fine, it's all about gaming the system.

But for people to start selling £50 watches at a loss is a new development and points to desperation; they are risking their agencies with the very manufacturers who ensure their long term survivability and a lot of this is going on this year.

This is a short term purple patch, that consumers would be advised to take advantage of. Very soon the weak hands will be shaken out, go under or sell up and once that happens prices are set to rise and fast. Hyper inflation is just around the corner, I only have to look at the cost prices of the this year's models against those from previous years to see that.

Forty one jewellers and 100,000 people in Jersey, the market seems over-saturated... I wonder whose lease is expiring this year, maybe they are the lucky ones.




Monday, 3 December 2012

Breaking News: Royal Bank of Canada to set up in Singapore Jan 2013

Jersey's largest private employer and heart of the finance industry in Jersey, is to establish a 'branch' in Singapore in January, senior managers were informed last weekend.

For those of you who have been following the posts on this blog which have highlighted Singapore as the favoured jurisdiction for those few people left with anything worth stealing by the banking/government colossus of fraud and exploitation may still be surprised to learn that plans are already underway for Jersey's finance industry to move its operation to this location.

Of course the move will not happen all at once, expect things to happen gradually in small unnewsworthy, and thus unreported, tranches over the next 24 to 36 months until the office in Jersey is little more than a letterbox.

Royal Bank of Canada employs approximately 1,000 of Jersey's 18,000 private sector workforce (out of a total workforce of 42,500 when the unproductive, make work States of Jersey, and its subsidiaries, jobs are included) but all these jobs are those of the upper quartile in terms of earnings which will likely gradually drift off, closer to where all the money is, India and China to the new office in Singapore where wages are a lot lower than here.

The question also follows, where will the Royal Bank of Canada pay its taxes, Jersey or Singapore? I'm sure they have done (or will soon do) a deal with Singapore that will see a large proportion of the profit taxed in Singapore at a favourable rate.

Expect this to be reported as a 'positive development', if at all, by the JEP. In the long term this is a positive development, we are closing in on the day the States of Jersey goes bankrupt, the price of housing will fall and government expenditure will finally have to be reined in to somewhere closer to simply unrealistically high from its current level of ludicrously high.

Who knows maybe our States Members will act now to avert the looming financial crisis by actually cutting expenditure instead of talking about doing it? Yeah I though that was funny too!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Common Law is not the same thing as Customary Law

"All nations who are ruled by laws and customs are governed partly by their own particular laws and partly by those laws which are common to all mankind." Emperor Justinian

COMMON LAW - This was used in Roman Times to denote the laws which were common between the City of Rome and the various regions of Italy. It was also used by Alfred the Great to denote a 'Common Law' of England which was based upon the ten commandments which would stand above the local customs and baronial courts. In a very real sense then the Common Law is superior to the regional and subordinate laws of 'the Island of Jersey and its Dependencies' having been adopted into Jersey as part of the apocryphal 'Constitutions of King John' which, whilst the basis of Jersey law, were never actually written nor given to Jersey by the King but borrowed from Magna Carta.

CUSTOMARY LAW - This is different to Common Law in that it represents the customs of a particular region, it should include, but it is not limited to, Common Law. Jersey uses a number of customary laws (or did or bases current laws upon) Norman Law which are not part of the Common Law.

The Jersey Courts will refer to customary law, they will never refer to common law.

LEGAL FICTION - (Latin fictiones) Certain Roman proceedings were conducted under various fictions, such as that the parties were citizens of Rome rather than foreigners in order to give jurisdiction to the Court. So by saying I do not wish to be recognised as a citizen of Rome, but as a foreigner, you are saying that this Court does not have jurisdiction.

CIVIL LAWS - These are the laws which are particular to a nation (or body of people). The City of Rome had its own law as did each of the various states of the Italian peninsula at this time. In order for the Laws of Rome to apply to non-Romans, the Court acted often under the fiction that the party was a Citizen. England did not have a 'legislature' for several centuries after Alfred the Great. Though it would later come back to defining a 'civil code' of laws instead it used what is known as Maritime Law. The majority of non-English based legal system use a civil code.

MARITIME LAW - As opposed to the Common Law which can only be applied to those things possessed of life, an animus (or spirit) whether human or animal, the maritime law has within it a form of 'limited liability' in that the most which can be confiscated in damages is the ship and its cargo. This was on the basis that of all things inanimate a ship was the most life-like. For example if a cart pulled by an ox ran someone down then the owner of the cart could be compelled to surrender the ox (which is possessed of life), but not the cart (which is lifeless and therefore cannot be held to be at fault), under common law. Damages for those lost at sea were limited to the confiscation of a ship and its cargo. It is Maritime Law which is the basis for such things as 'Company Law' or any form of limited liabilty, all Statutory Law (as it deals with an organisation, the States of Jersey, rather than the individuals who comprise the States of Jersey) is also derived from Maritime Law. Finally all international law is likewise based upon maritime law


Have we ever GIVEN States members a pay rise?

The man who thinks he should be paid £75,000 per year
The Constable of St Saviour has lodged a proposition which has been reported in the JEP as 'Don't give us a pay rise'.

Now I find this an exceedingly interesting use of the English language and fundamentally a false statement.

Firstly the use of the word 'give'. I cannot recall ever having 'given' the States members a pay rise, indeed I am with my good friend and business neighbour John Farley, former member of the States of Jersey, in believing that things started to go down hill when States Members started getting paid. If it were left to me they would not be paid at all. As an alternative those who were not of sufficient private means should be awarded income support, albeit without the need to have to look for work. Stuart Syvret served us for many years on this basis before paid States Members, for some reason, that they should be paid was about the only thing that all States members could agree on from the Clothier report but was not a particular priority of the people of Jersey.

The truth of the matter is that our money is stolen from us by hook and by crook and some of it finds its way into the pockets of our representatives, some of this money they even openly admit to taking.

Yes they TAKE it from us. 

They even go to great lengths to show that they have nothing to do with their own pay. They appoint the members of a board which determines how much they should be paid and usually they then decide that they cannot argue with the decisions of the 'independent', yet totally dependent body. That the members are totally dependent on them for a nice little earner on the side and how much the members of the board are paid, of course, does not factor into their deliberations one bit.

Fundamentally it is wrong that members like Senator Bailhache who is on a £240,000 States pension already is given another £40,000 on top. (I mean it is both wrong that he was paid so much as Bailiff, more than the combined salaries of the Lord Chief Justice and the Speaker of the House of Commons combined, and thus qualifies for such a pension and that he takes the £40,000 on top of that). He may of course feel that the drop from £365,000 to just £280,000 per year is a very generous gesture on his part, he does suffer so, from delusions of mediocrity.