In choosing to make the statement he did, Senator Perchard apologised for using inappropriate language on the floor of the House – the gutter would have been a more appropriate place but I doubt the premises have one – but that is as far as he chose to go.
As his erstwhile neighbour – Senator Ben Shenton has now offered to keep the two apart – pointed out, the boy from St Martin did not address the deeply offensive remarks he made on another occasion regarding suicide; something which, if the public utterances on this are anything to go by, were capable of causing considerable distress to a particularly vulnerable section of society.
Just as crucial to this unsavoury little episode, I’m afraid, is Senator Perchard’s failure – in continuing to claim that Senator Syvret misquoted him – to disclose precisely what was said.
So, instead of jumping rather than run the risk of being pushed, Senator Perchard appears to have decided that rather than take what to many was the only proper course of action open to him, he is prepared instead to hope that the result of what can only be a squalid little debate which will drag down the quickly diminishing reputation of our government even further will be in his favour when the votes are counted.
In this simple country boy’s view, all this will do is add more fuel to the sordid mess this has become – a mess from which there will emerge no winners but tens of thousands of losers.
Senator Perchard described his actions as ‘unstatesmanlike’. I remain astonished that he has yet to learn that only a resignation will make then even remotely statesmanlike.
T here should be nothing but praise for the public spiritedness of people like St Lawrence resident Ansell Hawkins, who recently made history by agreeing a covenant with the National Trust for Jersey, the terms of which are intended to safeguard a small meadow in St Peter’s Valley from development.
Herself and I spent a few days recently in the colony and you only have to drive around Guernsey for a short while to appreciate the relatively large area of unspoilt land which we are blessed with over here.
I do not subscribe to the popular view that St Peter Port is one of the most quaintly beautiful towns there is. While that might well apply to the view of it as you approach the harbour in the 21st century equivalent of the mailboat, the reality is that once there much of it looks like many other coastal towns in the British Isles.
Years ago, one of the first ports of call on my (infrequent) visits used to be the fish market which, while probably having the same sort of produce on sale as we used to have here (before Jersey Telecoms highjacked half of the Cattle Street end for a convenient car park) there was something about the place that made me and many other visiting crapauds feel just a mite envious.
All that is now a thing of the past because what used to be a wonderful market now houses a Co-op supermarket and what appears to be a host of retail outlets in buildings more appropriate to the main street of Basingstoke than to a historic place like St Peter Port. Indeed, the only feature of St Peter Port now which could command a measure of envy from me is that superb flagpole feature where the harbour meets the town that greets visitors arriving in the island by boat.
And, for those of you who haven’t visited in a while – well, Murattis aren’t what they used to be – once you get out of town it all becomes much, much worse. There is ribbon development on virtually all the roads and the signs of a now almost dead glasshouse industry are there for all to see – some of them disused for so long that weeds, wild plants and trees grow through the broken glass.
Most of us moan like anything about the state of affairs here and in many respects we’re probably right to do so but at least there remain considerable areas – very many vergées, not to mention the dreaded acres and hectares – that add considerably to the natural beauty of this place.
With one small proviso, I think that this covenant scheme with the National Trust is great and I sincerely hope that many more landowners like Mrs Hawkins consider entering into such agreements.
The small proviso I have is that while the declared objective of such a scheme is said to be a permanent safeguard against development without the Trust’s consent, the reality is that that lot in the Big House have the power to override such objectives, almost at the stroke of a pen, as they famously did when acquiring Trust land in order to flood Queens Valley.
That said, I think the likelihood of something similar happening these days is perhaps more remote than it was – I certainly hope so.
And finally, I see from a Youth Court report that a 14-year-old who caused £200 worth of damage to a Housing department door was ‘punished’ by being given a probation order to run concurrently with a current one.
In a separate report a 15-year-old who committed a grave and criminal assault on someone also admitted breaching an existing probation order. I have no idea why probation does not appear to have worked in these cases but it clearly didn’t. Are there no real sanctions available to this court?