The first step is over. We now have a formal race for the seats of Deputy for St Lawrence.
I was proposed by St Lawrence’s previous Chef de Police, Nicola Parker-Buckle but as she was off-island yesterday, Dave Pittom, one of my seconders, presented me by reading a small speech Nicola had prepared and adding some kind words of his own.
I felt this was not the time to start talking about politics as I had a lot of gratitude to express for my supporters and instead concentrated on thanking my proposer and seconders for their incredible help. They didn’t just give me a signature, their confidence in me and their encouragements were quite overwhelming. I also tried to show my appreciation to my fiancée Amy, without whom none of this would be happening but I am sure I fell short of what she actually deserved.
Our most defining trait is that we are a small community in an enclosed space and we should embrace this instead of trying to ignore it. There are only 3899 registered electors in St Lawrence and I hope to meet every single one of them face to face so they can present me with their problems and expectations as well as learn about me. It is not in me to make generic, wide ranging, and ultimately empty promises.
As an independent candidate I am hoping to uphold Jersey true democracy by bringing your voices to the States Chamber rather than the orders of a party chairman.
This is the choice for St Lawrence: Kirsten Morel, Gregory Guida or the Reform candidate Sarah Westwater.
We are organising hustings at the Parish Hall on the 2nd of May at 19:00 and at St Matthew’s Church Hall on the 5th of May at 15:00 (the latter to be confirmed).
My colleague and friend Deidre Mezbourian was re-elected unopposed yesterday night.
First, I would like to address the notion of being unopposed. Some make a lot of it by saying that it is somehow a failure of democracy. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Jersey is one of the easiest places in the world for members of the public to become politicians. All it takes is ten signatures and you can stand for whichever post you may like, including Chief Minister. There are 3899 registered electors in St Lawrence, any of whom could have stood if they wished to.
What happens is that we are just pragmatic and if somebody is doing their job well, we give them a vote of confidence by not opposing them. Being a Constable is a very demanding role and most of us understand just how difficult it is.
I met Deidre for the first time in 2012 and she immediately impressed me with her sense of fairness, her well researched and educated views and her absolute loyalty to her office. Just a few months later, she had persuaded me to become a Constable’s Officer and I got to know her better through our monthly Parish meetings and the many municipal events.
What I learnt over the years strengthened my respect for her. It is a function of my latin heritage that I will enjoy a good argument but through the volubility and waving of hands, we do listen and are receptive to actual data and logic. She always won with calm application of carefully curated information and impeccable reasoning.
She has my vote and my congratulations for winning the confidence of her Parishioners for another term.
I was born in Paris 55 years ago, graduating from the European Business School in Paris, London and Madrid. After having worked around the world, I could not think of a finer place in which to live than Jersey and moved my home and businesses to the Channel Islands in 2005 . I am now the proud holder of a Jersey passport, having gained my British Citizenship and I have represented the Island at shooting, winning two medals for Team Jersey at recent Island Games.
Since 2013, I have been honoured to serve the parishioners of St Lawrence, first as Constable’s Officer and subsequently as a Centenier. These roles have seen me closely involved in Parish affairs at many levels and have brought me into close contact with many Parishioners. My commitment to public service through the Honorary Police is widely known as I am Vice President of the Honorary Police Association, as well as being a delegate on several planning and emergency groups.
As part of my charitable activities, I am a member of the Rotary Club of Jersey and also a pilot for Helping Wings, a charity that helps disadvantaged children experience the joy of flight. I have also used my skill as a professional wildlife photographer to gift thousands of images to the Jersey Zoo and a number of other local charities.
I strongly believe in preserving the identity and independence of Jersey in relation to the UK and Europe and that we should preserve what makes us different and all the things that work for a small community like ours. I am ready to defend the Parish system against further centralisation and hope to carry the voices of the Parishioners of St Lawrence to the States Chamber. I understand the importance of communication and dialogue and I am eager to organise regular surgeries to listen to Parishioners and discuss current affairs.
As for the many upcoming challenges facing the Island my view is that Jersey has been very good at adapting to major World changes throughout its history and we should be able to overcome our future challenges without losing our soul. I am confident that my diverse business experience would be of benefit to Parishioners and Islanders alike and I would be pleased to serve our new government in its endeavours.