Disagreeing with someone does not mean a conspiracy

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From Richard Farnham.

I WRITE in response to Nellie Maçon’s letter in the JEP of 11 April, in particular to her assertion that ‘they’ (whoever ‘they’ might be) tried ‘to silence me personally for opposing them at the Senatorial hustings’.

I attended two Senatorial hustings last autumn, the first in Trinity and the second in St Helier. In the Town Hall I was unfortunate enough to find myself in the row behind Mrs Maçon, who constantly shouted down and interrupted the sitting Senatorial candidates.

How ironic that someone who purports to have been the subject of attempts to silence her would behave like this in a forum where every candidate has the equal right to be heard.

Asking my friend who this very vocal woman was, I was told that she was the mother of one of the candidates and that this had generally been her behaviour throughout the hustings.

After further outbursts from Mrs Macon, I leant across and said: ‘Excuse me, please be quiet. We don’t heckle your son, please don’t heckle the other candidates.’

At the end of the evening Mrs Maçon marched up, not to me but to my friend and shouted at her, including the line: ‘I will not be bullied by you. Don’t you dare speak to me like that again.’

In her letter, Mrs Macon states: ‘As a rule I never give in to bullies’, which seems to suggest that she feels she has, on more than one occasion, been the subject of bullying. Her shockingly aggressive bullying of my friend at the hustings reminded me that, on occasion, those who claim to be the subject of bullying are actually the perpetrators.

Which leads me on to Senator Syvret. Mrs Maçon suggests that Senator Syvret has ‘the courage to voice opinions contrary to prominent States Members and those in the higher echelons of society’. Mrs Maçon must have a seriously warped idea of the concept of courage.

On an entry on his blog last week, Senator Syvret said: ‘Come to sunny Jersey! The North Korea of the English Channel.’

Amnesty International refers to North Korea as one of the world’s most brutal states where death camps, forced labour, torture, starvation, rape, murder and capital punishment (sometimes for the most trivial of crimes) are commonplace. It is truly wicked that an educated person, especially a member of the States of Jersey, should liken Jersey to North Korea.

Senator Syvret’s entries on his blog are consistently histrionic and self-righteous. They are also incredibly rude, ignorant and disrespectful of anyone who doesn’t agree with him.

His rantings, both in content and tone, suggest that he firmly believes himself to be better advised and more intelligent than anyone else. In his own mind, is he so supremely brilliant that his purported sidelining in the States must be the result of a conspiracy comprising anyone and everyone ‘in authority’?

Thank goodness those ‘prominent States Members’ (also duly elected by the people of Jersey) think and behave differently.

The good news for the vast majority of us Jersey folk is that history proves that no injustice lasts for ever. Senator Syvret’s cruel behaviour will eventually end, at least in the States. I find it heartening to hear that some voters who helped to elect him in 2005 say they will not do so again.

Our behaviour, in particular how we treat others, has consequences. The Senator’s behaviour, to use one of his quotes, is consigning him ‘to the dustbin of history’, where he firmly belongs.

Mrs Macon and Senator Syvret, just because some disagree with their aggressive tactics, must not assume that there is a conspiracy against them. Perhaps they are simply wrong.

3 La Tourelle,

Route des Cotes du Nord,


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