From Gino Risoli
I HAVE been reading recently of evidence and events leading to the Iraq war.
What seems quite certain to me is that evidence supplied by the intelligence services was deliberately distorted to give a reason for the war. Briefly, for reasons never properly explained by Tony Blair, he colluded with the lies put together by Geoff Hoon and Alistair Campbell duping parliament and the people of the UK, leading to the war.
Why is this important to Jersey? Our government will discuss freedom of information shortly. Secrecy is the scourge of good government. Secrecy breeds a lack of trust. It prevents the democratic process even taking place. It is also dangerous. Over half a million civilians killed to date in Iraq as well as the 150 UK soldiers. All because a minority are able to act in secrecy. We have to end this madness.
The government of Jersey is the property of every citizen of this Island and it must become properly accountable. There are those who express client confidentiality. Let me say to those people who do business with our government, ‘If you feel the need for confidentiality, you may take your business elsewhere.’
We need to change our ethos. Jersey’s community has become splintered by the lack of equal opportunity. We have kept patience for far too long. These are difficult times and we should not wait for civil unrest to occur to effect change. Openness will allow the best in Jersey to come to the fore. It will allow for trust and integrity, imagination and creation on every level of society. We can easily beat this recession if we have the courage to trust in one another. Our government must take the first steps to allow this to happen.
Freedom of information on every level will naturally produce continued prosperity for this Island. Without it, we may experience more than we bargained for. We have no time to lose. Let this be this government’s number one priority. There are those in power who may want to put obstacles in the way. You have that choice, but with that, you must accept personal responsibility.
34 Queen Street,