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Senator resigns with stinging rebuke for Ministers

Senator resigns with stinging rebuke for Ministers

Tuesday 12 July 2016

Senator resigns with stinging rebuke for Ministers

Today's States sitting opened with a shock announcement from one of the Island's eight Senators - Zoe Cameron told her colleagues she was resigning.

She says she has failed to keep her promises to voters, but has heavily criticised the Council of Ministers for failing to listen, being inaccessible and of being too concerned with "reputation and compensation payouts." She also says she feels fortunate to have flagged-up concerns for patient safety in the health service and escaped "with my career and sanity intact."

Senator Cameron is a newcomer to politics, having been voted in at the last election in 2014 on an island-wide mandate with 10,412 votes, coming in sixth place. Despite that triumph in her first election, the GP stood unsuccessfully for Health Minister, and has subsequently struggled to make her mark in local politics: in terms of States business, she is listed only as a member of the Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophone.

Her declaration of interests on the States website lists her private employment as "Cameron Healthcare - GP Locum East of England".

She is Jersey-born, educated at St Mary's School, JCG and Manchester University, and is now married to another GP with two sons.

She has just issued the following statement:

"It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I stand here today to announce my resignation.

"It is clear now 2 years after my election that I have failed to keep my promises to the electorate. I do not possess the qualities or stamina required to make an impact in Modern day Jersey politics or catch the right kind of media attention.

"I had hoped that my experience as a doctor would be of use to this Assembly, to help herald a new era of openness and safety for healthcare staff and patients. I was not fortunate enough to gain a role on The Health and Social Services team, but hoped that the evidence being brought to The Care Inquiry and Serious Case Reviews would validated (sic)  the problems I was highlighting to colleagues. I hoped that the culture of ‘defense and denial’, of ‘that was then and this is now’ might improve.

"As a doctor working in Jersey I have witnessed first hand the way the system deals with those who raise legitimate patient safety concerns. I have faced alarming disciplinary procedures and when investigations into my care of patients revealed nothing that could be referred to the GMC, then my character was dissected. I consider myself one of the fortunate few to have escaped this process with my career and sanity intact thanks to the amazing support I have received from family and friends.

"Perhaps if the Council of Ministers started answering their own emails and listening like I have, without officers present, to the many legitimate concerns that exist (sic). Without worrying about reputation or compensation payouts, concentrating on what is best for our Island (sic). Jersey would not need to spend millions on lawyers, expert consultants, inquiries and investigations that are driving good people out of Jersey."

There will now be a by-election to find her replacement. 

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Posted by Tim Atkinson on
Well done Zoe I for one am backing you and agree with all you say.....,,
Posted by Michael de Petrovsky on
Me too. Trouble is we can´t get rid of the "Old Boys¨Club" and elect more morally decent individuals. Anyone who cares about the downtrodden gets branded as a left wing revolutionary!
Posted by Gordon Perry on
A sad day for Jersey politics indeed.
This Senator’s actions and her treatment so exemplifies the problems with Ministerial government. We have far too many States members who have no experience in running anything beyond a household budget, who believe that they know better than the civil servants (who receive top dollar salaries) that the island employs. In Senator Cameron, there was a person qualified and experienced to add value to many aspects of the islands Health and Social Services team. Surely, something has been learned after the criticism and initial observations of the historic abuse enquiry. Jersey is a large business and needs competent experienced persons to manage all aspects of the varied divisions contained therein. How much better I would feel if it had been one or more of the anarchy promoting “Reform” group leaving the States today.
Posted by Anne Troalic on
This news is not unexpected. You cannot expect to get elected to the States Assembly with a mandate for change then spend the majority of your time outside the Island, for whatever reason. Unless of course your name is Ozouf and you have the luxury of an appointment that necessitates you working and living mainly offshore. Not sure now I have said that if there is any difference. Surely you should be available to the electorate whatever your post. The comments Senator Cameron makes are hard-hitting and it is to be hoped that someone will sit up and take notice. With the current ministers I don' hold out much hope. This has though presented an opportunity to reduce the bums on seats by natural wastage!
Posted by Terence Roger Tanner on
If this is not flagging up to the electorate that there is something drastically wrong with those who you elected to look after our Island and all its citizens unlike the COM whose priority is keeping the rich richer and the rest of us on the bread line this is the second resignation this year from the States which are so far removed from the lower paid workers of this Island are getting a very raw deal everyone on the COM need to change their attitude to us little folk who thought that they were voting in some genuinely caring people who cared not only about the finances but of the people who pay for all the jollies the benefits your salary and expensive well I for one will not be voting for one of the sitting deputies for St Brelade and the Constable is on shaky ground but he has resigned from the COM as assistant Minister they all seem to forget that we the electorate voted for you to win we can just as easily not vote you in you only have a short time to start helping Lower and middle Jersey or come election time you will be out if people have the sense to take a leap of faith away from the establishment who are making all our lives harder while their lives get easier and richer on our money. Vote Reform it has a social conscious unlike the COM
Posted by david forde on
Gosh Malfeasance by the powers that be! It has sadly become a NORMAL occurrence! There is NO such thing as accountability, in their book.
Posted by Des Pyper on
they will never listen to the truth about what goes on because they are un accountable and the managers work to protect their pensions and jobs
No one in authority has the muscle to sack and make an example of the people responsible ,remember the "golf-Club "incident ,The Eye Consultant etc. etc.Perhaps if they published the names of those responsible for the failures it may result in change.
Unfortunately Zoe is too close to the problem and paid the price because she is one of the few who cares about what she does and is accountable,that just rocks the boat! So Very sad we lost a highly qualified carer and the problem still exists getting worse.
Posted by nigel pearce on
Surely this is an opportunity to trim one member from the States. Is there a need and indeed a want to have a replacement? Everywhere else in the States departments there have been cutbacks. Surely this is an opportunity for the States to become just a little more efficient and save a little money.
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