On the 20th June 2021 we held our first press conference to launch our new political party – The Jersey Alliance. It is an exciting time for Jersey politics; we want to be as inclusive as we can to keep you abreast of developments.
Sadly, due to COVID, we had to keep our launch to small numbers. We had all of Jersey’s media in attendance: BBC Radio and TV, Channel TV, JEP, Bailiwick Express, and Channel 103. We would like to thank them all for coming.
During the press conference we had some introductory speeches which you can ready below.
Jersey Alliance launch speech
Welcome, and thank you for being here today.
I understand the biggest question today is going to be that of our intentions, our policies, our manifesto. I am going to give you an answer much deeper and more detailed than that of our competitors. But also, one you might have expected.
Our manifesto is the Government Plan. It is what we are doing now and it is a good plan. What it definitely isn’t is an easy plan. It is difficult, it requires courage, and it requires resolve from all of us. Not the quarrels, not the political posturing, not the wavering that we have had to go through instead.
Most governments would have considered it a hard term to do their business as usual and the Island Plan in the same four years. Maybe throw in building a school or a waste plant and everybody would have had their days filled. This government started in the middle of several crises of a magnitude not seen since the war and still had the courage to tackle all the additional work it thought needed to be done.
- The Child Care Enquiry was finished before the present term but we are the ones actually doing something about it.
- Our Hospital.
- Brexit – we’ve all felt the sting of that, but trust me, it gives no sense whatsoever of the magnitude of that particular crisis and the amount of work needed to avert it.
- The Island Plan which alone would keep any normal government busy for a whole term.
- Fort Regent, which was way overdue, but someone needed to make the hard decisions again
- St Helier Regeneration finally taking a holistic approach to make best use of the town sites
- The Fire and Ambulance Station.
- The Housing Deficit which we are now tackling hand in hand with the Population Policy.
- School Infrastructure – we built Les Quennevais and we will be launching one or two additional projects this term.
- The Government Offices.
- The Government Model (One Gov) inherited from the previous government but for which we had to suffer all the disruptions and will still have to do all the debugging.
- The Climate Emergency introducing effective policies.
- The Jersey Care Model was launched by this government.
- The Education Reform – started by this government
- The Population Policy – started by this government
- The transition to Current Year Basis and Individual Taxation – both massive projects that needed a lot of courage to implement.
- Active Places – the rejuvenation of all our community and sports infrastructure, started this term.
- Covid – one of our crises.
We will bring to fruition a fuller manifesto early next year. It will be centre-right, it will be about balanced budgets and replenishing reserves, and it will also be about investing in all the services we have neglected in the last 15 years.
To continue do this, we needed a Party and a Party we created.
My colleague Deputy Ash will tell you about the genesis of the Alliance.
Jersey Alliance launch speech
Good Afternoon and firstly thank you very much for joining us for what I hope will be a historic moment in Jersey’s Political History.
I hope we can answer many of your questions today and as the Membership Secretary I’ll be happy to tell you of how we came together and maybe some of the why we find ourselves in front of you today. I’ll let my colleagues fill you in on the what, where and who and we will then have 20 mins of questions you can ask of any of us.
Okay so let’s start with who started this Alliance. I can honestly say it was not one person at a given moment rather it evolved over time. Speaking personally, I have felt for some time that for various reasons something had to be done and I had discussions with other States Members including those in the Progress Party. Unfortunately, we had differences that I and others could not overcome. I then received a call from Rowland Huelin who said that Gregory Guida was keen to talk if I wanted to move the idea of a Party forward.
The rest is history so to speak, or, I hope, will become history. It was remarkably fast. We asked around, we met a few times and the Alliance was suddenly formed. We ended up with a group that had similar ideas and points of view but more importantly, that was already used to working together: myself, Deputy Huelin, Deputy Guida, Senator Le Fondré, Deputy Raymond, Constable Le Sueur, Deputy Martin, Deputy Pinel, Constable Buchanan and Deputy Wickenden. That we could work together was confirmed as we laid out the foundations of our Alliance. We are a very varied group and there were all sorts of ideas around the table, but we were quick to agree on the useful and practical ones. One of them was that we immediately wanted to recruit potential candidates and active supporters; but Mary will tell you more about this.
So that’s the “Who”. What about the “Why”?
I think we were brought together for various reasons. We were amazed at how left leaning and populist the Assembly had become. We expected Reform to be true to their manifesto, but we were surprised at those who voted with them the majority of the time after having been elected on very different pretences. Having to use a label, a Party, should show the Island what you really stand for.
Others among us understood that after the massive electoral reform we are going through, it would become very difficult to stand as an independent, without any help. We also realised how much more difficult and expensive it would be for new candidates to canvass and run an effective campaign.
All of us realised that we had no other choice but to organise if we wanted to thrive in this new world of Party Politics.
We also agreed that we needed to send a clear, common message to the People of Jersey of what we stand for and what we intend to do and to give them a clear choice for a Party that will steer an ambitious but sensible course for the Island.
I hope that the People of Jersey will welcome the Alliance and join with us in fighting for this wonderful place in which we are privileged to live.
Jersey Alliance launch speech
Become elected into the assembly is a daunting experience. For those, like myself, who come from a commercial background you quickly learn it is a totally different world. I’m sure all who seek election do their best to try and understand what the job will entail, however it is only when in the job that the real learning starts. You also learn that you are very much on your own. You may be on a panel or a committee, but the reality is you go as an individual from one task to the next.
I recall clearly thinking, in autumn 2018, whilst observing the Assembly, that it was like watching seven-year-olds play football. All chasing the ball without any clear strategy as to how best to use space and the strengths and weaknesses of your fellow players.
As time progressed, I realised that our Island needed teamwork. It needed a group of like-minded individuals with common ideals who could operate as a strategic unit. There are many examples in business, arts and sport where the best outcomes and successes come from the unity of a team, as opposed to a group of disparate individuals.
Not only we were lacking teamwork, but our half-hearted conversion into a Ministerial Government ensured that that Government would remain a minority no matter who was in it or how it was formed. We had created an opposition system that would always be larger and more powerful than the leaders the Island had elected, and the Assembly adopted. How could we expect anything to happen?
What we needed was teamwork in a group that could use the responsibility given to it by the Island. You, the voting public, we hope to engage more fully. What we need is a true majority, following party goals, with the scrutiny of the people, but without the empty, personality-led bickering, without the selfishness and the political expedients this Assembly has seen so much of.
This is my vision, and I am delighted to have, so far, nine fellow members of the Assembly who think the same way. You will hear this often from us: we want to ensure everything we say, and everything we do is in the best interest of the island we serve.
Early next year, we will reveal our vision for 2022 as an Alliance, as a team that will seek a majority to deliver what the Island needs.
Jersey Alliance launch speech
My colleagues mentioned recruitment – I am the best placed to tell you about this fundamental aspect of the Alliance.
Like many, I have been frustrated at the standards of some of the propositions that are being put forward to our Assembly, for instance, getting rid of the Senators; the most democratically elected politicians on our Island.
People voted for Senators with an expectation that they would form the majority of the government and that, somehow, that government would be allowed to make the decisions it thought were right. I was disappointed to see that was not the case.
When the Alliance contacted me, I knew that something had changed. They were already working as a team, and they were seeking like-minded candidates in a very strategic and careful fashion. It was nothing like the cannon-fodder candidates of other parties. If you were chosen, it was because you were the right candidate for your district, and they would support you from start to finish.
From the beginning I have been welcomed and involved in discussions and planning of the Party and I am delighted to have been asked to be Party Secretary. It is clear that this group of both veterans and new politicians wants to expand quickly and strategically. I will introduce you to our growing team of fresh new candidates very soon.
As Party Secretary, I would also like to introduce some of our most important principles:
- This is an Alliance of equals.
- We are diverse and experienced. Our members are Senators, Deputies, Connétables but also people who weren’t even considering politics a month ago.
- We will not use populism and demagogy; we will present policies that are realistic and achievable.
- We are ambitious, and we want to form a majority so we can govern effectively and efficiently.
- We will be an accountable government standing on a common platform.
Our website will go live today, as well as our Facebook Group. We will update them regularly to keep everyone appraised of our development. We will have a large celebratory launch as soon as the Covid restrictions allow us and we will present new candidates then, and maybe even additional members of the Assembly.
We also intend to have a large Party Conference early next year where we will choose a Party Leader, and our nomination for Chief Minister, for the 2022 Elections.
Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the Jersey Alliance.