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Comment: A little less consultation and a little more action please!

Comment: A little less consultation and a little more action please!

Thursday 07 March 2019

Comment: A little less consultation and a little more action please!

Thursday 07 March 2019


Not enough is being done in the States and there is a simple reason for it: politicians are too worried about being re-elected and not enough about getting the job done, as unpopular as it might be.

In reality, politicians shouldn't be afraid of ruffling the feathers of a minority of islanders if it will make a majority happy.

That's the view, anyway, of Express commentator Kevin Keen...

"Over the years I have met quite a few politicians. Whilst I have disagreed with many of them on various issues, I can genuinely say there are very few that I dislike as people. I have also been happy to vote for people who made a decision I disagreed with. I make my election decisions in the round, like most people. This article is not a criticism of politicians as individuals - they are mostly good people who do a difficult job. My frustration is what happens when they all get together in the States Assembly.

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Pictured: Express commentator Kevin Keen says politicians should take a leaf out of Charlie Parker's book.

Politicians in Jersey tend to get elected for promising popular things, usually leaving the detail of how their policies might work until later.

Of course, once elected it is very different, getting anything done especially important stuff like a new hospital, a workable population strategy, cheaper housing, electoral reform or even what to do with Fort Regent stumbles from one consultation to the next expensive review with little to no progress.

The only big issue I can see where something is finally happening is public sector reform, but the main reason for that is it has been delegated to the new Chief Executive, who is clearly not worried about being popular, which is probably a good thing. 

Part of this decision-making paralysis seems to be the fear of making unpopular decisions so our leaders decide to kick the can down the road and have a review or consultation, ultimately making themselves even more unpopular.

town shops retail shopping population st helier high street

Pictured: "You can't please everyone," says Kevin Keen.

For sure, people who have a particular interest in a decision can be pretty noisy especially compared to the silent majority who have busy lives and elect and pay for politicians to get on with the job, including making decisions which maybe unpopular with the not so silent minority.

For those politicians concerned about whether they will join the ranks of the unemployed in 2022, my advice would be to stop worrying about getting elected and just get on with the job.

If that means upsetting a few people so what, it is the many not the few you need to worry about. After all, if you try to please all of the people all of the time there is a real danger you will achieve nothing so end up pleasing nobody.

Dust off those manifestoes and go to the next States meeting with a determination to get some important decisions made. Consider forming a party if that's what it takes to get things done.

Kevin-Keen.jpg

Pictured: Kevin Keen.

Of course you need to consult, do research and consider advice when it is offered but at the end of the day, done is better than perfect. You maybe get some unkind comments on social media but we, the silent majority, will reward you, not for Facebook likes but for action to make Jersey an even better place."

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and not of Bailiwick Express.

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