Let’s just cut out the negative vibes

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It was, after all, a foregone conclusion that once the true picture of the quite extraordinary bank finances emerged following the merger, staff cuts were inevitable, simply because total labour costs are usually a major part of any firm’s outlay.

That said, I was heartened to read a comment from one of the Lloyds staff who outlined precisely what they had been told. The most important thing is that nothing would happen this year. In addition, there was a good chance that with an increase in business (and he pointed out that ‘new to the bank’ business this year was greater than ever before) job losses would not result. I sincerely hope that will be the case.

I am repeating that not in order to minimise the gravity of a situation in which so many jobs are at risk, but simply to state what this employee had to say. He added a shot across the bows – several of them, actually – at those who use the online forum provided by this newspaper for expressing negative attitudes, purporting to speak for others, dissatisfaction with their own employers and dislike for the Island.

Having been taught by Herself the vagaries of the internet and thus able to read many of the comments relating to items in this newspaper, I have to agree with him regarding some of the ill-informed (not to mention untrue) observations people send in.

Indeed, many of them seem to use every single article to have a pop at whoever is in their sights as being not flavour of the month as they write.

As this chap from Lloyds said, if they think this place is going to the dogs, why are so many of these contributors against the population increase? ‘Comments for the sake of being negative and not based on any facts’ was his parting shot.

Having spent the last few weeks since learning my newly acquired skill studying these online observations, I couldn’t agree more. In fact, as soon as I see some of the pseudonyms, I can predict the tone of the comment without reading the content.

What disturbs me most is how some people – online and in the pub – seem to rub their hands with glee whenever any redundancies in the finance sector are announced. These idiots – I make no apology for the use of the expression – seem to think (and often say) that it’s only ‘J-category’ (essential employees) who are affected and infer that the sooner they all get the boat or plane back from whence they came, the better.

I heard it in the pub at the weekend when the redundancies at a law firm were announced, and similar comments were made when Lloyds said that they were doing the same, only this time it was more than ten times as many as Ogiers.

Do these people really think that all 200 or so have been brought in as essential employees? If they do, it just shows the paucity of knowledge they have about exactly who works in the Island’s biggest industry.

Take it from me, from what I’ve gleaned from friends who are well and truly in the loop, the majority of those affected are either long-term residents or were born and educated locally.

What is also disturbing is how easy it seems to be for a vocal minority to tar everyone in a certain group with the same brush. While it may well be the case that some of those in the essential employee category have been motivated by greed and the prospect of the quick buck, it must also be acknowledged that many more have become valued members of this small community.

I can think of a number of them over many years whose contributions to the administration of charitable organisations and things like the honorary police have been made in the same spirit as they would have been had those concerned had a tradition of such service going back many generations, as of course many local families do.

Putting it bluntly, they have done what many with Jersey ancestry going back many generations have declined to do. But of course, that’s the principal reason we have immigration – to carry out the tasks those born and bred here don’t fancy doing.

Following my comments last week supporting the call for an immediate States committee of inquiry into the Operation Blast carried out by the States police, the attempt at justification does little to alter my view that serious questions need to be asked of the police.

Leaking memos – no matter who is doing it and why – is not the way in which this matter should be dealt with. Those with the information should retain it until such an inquiry is established, and then put it in the public domain properly.

Doing otherwise simply suggests that the ‘leaker’ is being extremely selective about what is being leaked.

AND finally …

Despite the fact that I consider seagulls in urban areas to be both a dangerous menace and a type of winged vermin, no one in their right mind would fail to condemn the wicked cruelty of taping such a bird’s beak in order to do nothing but starve it (and possibly its young) to death.

That said, the incident again focuses attention on the general and often dangerous nuisance gulls have become in urban areas, as well as the abject failure of that lot in the Big House, their hired help and the tree huggers who persuaded them against a cull to do anything at all about what is now a major problem.

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