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Paul Bisson, Lecturer: Five things I would change about Jersey

Paul Bisson, Lecturer: Five things I would change about Jersey

Friday 30 August 2019

Paul Bisson, Lecturer: Five things I would change about Jersey


If this English lecturer could teach one group a lesson, it would be the swastika sprayers.

But Paul Bisson, who has authored three novels and serves as the Vice Chair of the Jersey's upcoming literature fest, also has some valuable words for the rest of the community, from cars to population, and education, education, education.

Putting Festival of Words organisation on pause for one moment, the culture lover - who somehow also finds the time to play guitar and sing in two bands (Juke, and Lauren Ivy and the Engine) - shared his ideas in-depth with Express...

1. Cycle for victory

I used to moan about cyclists daily. Getting stuck behind some mid-lane dodderer on St Clement’s coast road; having some Herbert nip past your wing mirror while sat at the lights; the vulpine, head-bowed packs. And then a few weeks back I had a fume-induced epiphany while crawling round St. Helier in search of a parking space.

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Pictured: Paul used to think cyclists were the problem. Now he's realised the issue is a little closer to home...

It’s not the cyclists that are the problem; it’s me and my car. Our cars. We’re sinking beneath the things. Since then I’ve had an old bike donated to me and I’m resolved to use it as much as my three children and guitar amplifier will allow. Cyclists, I salute you.

2. Sensible population policy

With public services straining, a desperate housing shortage for local families and an environment reaching for the white flag, it’s high time we addressed the current immigration model, balanced the interests of business and the people and found a more sustainable way of making this island a special place to live for everyone.

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Pictured: Time to give the population tap a twist, according to Paul.

Pretty much every other problem we face has overpopulation at its root, and the trends of the past few years are worrying. Let’s give the tap a measured twist, not leave it blasting hot while hoping tomorrow’s towels will soak up the mess. 

3. Fewer Nazis

Or perhaps they’re just jokers. Either way, to whomever it is that keeps spraying swastikas around the place: pack it in.

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Pictured: Paul - who hopes graffiti like this is down to "jokers", not genuine Nazis - wants intolerance stamped out.

Having suffered and born witness to the Occupation, Jersey is uniquely placed to bear witness to the horrors that fascism, intolerance and hatred of ‘the other’ can bring. Any local who considers fascism as a possible career path (or even race-hate as a hobby) needs to have a serious word with themselves. And then a history teacher. 

4. Easier ways off the Rock

With England currently losing its collective mind and air travel rapidly becoming the moral equivalent of blowing smoke into a pram it seems more urgent than ever that we improve our sea links to the continent.

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Pictured: France is "a mere human catapult throw away" - so why is it so costly and hard to get there?

Considering that France is a mere human catapult throw away it seems daft that our sea links are so costly and so delicate. Whether Brittany Ferries make their move or not, something needs to change for the good of locals and our visitor economy alike.

5. Pack in the spin, and score a win for kids' education

Figures released by UNSECO in 2015 revealed that Jersey spent less on education in percentage terms than three of the five poorest nations in the world. Four years later and it still remains badly underfunded.

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Pictured: The government is wasting cash on "misfiring capital projects, swollen Comms units and an endless stream of Pacman-esque UK consultants" - why not spend more on education instead?

The fact that this wealthy island is scrimping on its young and vulnerable while hosing money up the wall on misfiring capital projects, swollen Comms units and an endless stream of Pacman-esque UK consultants is, frankly, shameful.

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

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Posted by Danny Moisan on
Some very poignant points raised by Paul, I have been a bicycle convert for a while now, it's the way forward that or forced car share! imagine if every car with only one person was to take another commuter along with them then we would halve the traffic yes halve .
a cap on population is an absolute must, we are out of control and with no population policy even at a draft stage it is terrifying to try and imagine this tiny rock in twenty years time.
Build a bridge, problem solved just don't let Condor run it!
Well spoken Paul..... time to run for a job in the big house
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