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READER LETTER: Let's focus on the 'Real Issues of Jersey'

READER LETTER: Let's focus on the 'Real Issues of Jersey'

Tuesday 27 April 2021

READER LETTER: Let's focus on the 'Real Issues of Jersey'

Within a few days of our beloved States Members deciding that we cannot afford to offer our lowest-paid workers a miserly minimum wage of £10 per hour, we now discover that we are going to have to endure another excruciatingly banal TV series featuring the alleged ‘Real Housewives Of Jersey'.

There are those of you who will have taken immediate offence at my apparent conflating of a serious social problem with what some consider to be merely a slice of lightweight and harmless televisual entertainment.

Please allow me to explain why, in my opinion, these two seemingly disparate events are inextricably connected.

For a number of years now, some have warned about the downside of Jersey placing more and more of its economic eggs in the Finance Industry basket.

Whilst it is true that a great many local people have done very nicely, thank you very much, out of this business sector – a truth to which a visit to our ever-expanding marinas or to the more affluent parts of our coast and countryside will loudly testify – the negative effect of all the extra gazillions of not always entirely spotless moolah swilling about our small Rock has had enormously harmful repercussions for both our cost and quality of life.

Rampant inflation has made living here almost impossibly expensive for a great many locally-born people, a problem which has been greatly exacerbated by this and past Governments’ apparent policy of encouraging as many wealthy people as possible to come here and buy up as much property and land as they can afford – whilst offering them tax inducements they don’t really need.

This, together with an almost criminally laissez-faire attitude towards population control in general, has had a hugely detrimental effect upon our local culture, heritage and influence.

Which brings me back to my initial proposition.

The ‘Real Housewives Of Jersey’, in my view, is a symbolic representation of hedonistic materialism, a celebration of wealth and the shallow world of short-term celebrity. The cast - most of whom are neither ‘Housewives’ in any normal sense of the word, nor even from Jersey – represent the sort of people our politicians now venerate and welcome with open arms, despite the ridicule which many believe they bring to our island.

To our politicians, these people are worth a great deal more than those they believe are not worth a paltry £10.00 per hour. Shame on you!

Mike Beaugeard,
Queen’s Road, St Helier

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Posted by Dave Mathews on
Very well said! 10/10.
Posted by Philip Hudson on
Mike @Queens Road
Very Well Put !! Good Letter

Depending on what services or commodities you choose to work in :-
You may choose to work in the financial services industry or maybe the property services industry and maybe become a candidate for the Real Jersey Housewives Series "Please don't take this reality T.V. Series Seriously""
But if you choose the career of looking after needy people you may struggle for £10 per.hour A commodity not really taken seriously....perhaps because of the way people and the population falls easily replaced by another.
Nevertheless humans are judged and very quickly displaced.......
Some people are valued more than others...
this is demonstrated by the work we do and the remuneration we receive.
Non of this equal , nor valued, but it is the world we now live in and politicians as an example have embraced it with open arms.
It makes their job easier.
The Dollar or £ RULES and every day you venture out it is in your face.......
The people who bring compassion, culture, generosity, truth, care and thought&time, are worth less than £10 per hour. So no surprise it is disappearing and rare.
Jersey is a good example of this new way of life.
Posted by Paul Troalic on
Well written Mike.
There appears to be a total disregard fir local unhealthy, I won't say poor, individuals. The rich just get richer etc.
I'm not sure who elected this bunch of baffoons but I was certainly not one of them.
The next election could prove to be a catalyst for the future of Jersey if we elect people that will adhere to what they are elected to do. We must hold them accountable.
The gap between political hierarchy and the normal voting public is extending and this is not good. These persons must be made to listen to us, either by will or by legal force.
What is going on is unacceptable.
Posted by Mark Collar on
'The Real Housewives' is entertainment. The last series presented Kate Taylor, who was just great to watch. She was a credit to the island. The series did the island nothing but good. It made Jersey seem quite a special place to live, which it is. To use the TV programme to make some kind of political point about the minimum wage is pointless. It's not a political programme. It's a good watch on the telly and paints a nice picture of Jersey.
Posted by Bob Wareing-Jones on
This is an excellent and well thought out readers letter and worth commenting on. Many of us have come to the conclusion we have not only poor government, but a government that has no understanding of what it means to govern for the common good. Every year the government pays out millions of Jersey pounds to support thousands of islanders with income support and help with housing costs. Our government, who lacks any imagination or any sense of finding better solutions in support of those on low incomes could, if only it wanted too, consider working with small businesses, who struggle to pay anything above the current minimum wage, with a form of wage subsidy and employer scheme. This could then allow all employees to be paid the current Living Wage which is set at £10.96 as recently announced by CARITAS Jersey. This would not only encourage employment with every employer paying the living wage, it would provide dignity for those who struggle every day to make ends meet. This could also reduce the burden on the Jersey Tax Payer with an opportunity for full employment in the island. Jersey is officially the most expensive place to live in the British Isles and it says a lot about what kind of government we have when it sets the minimum wage below that of our UK neighbours. The author of this excellent readers letter brilliantly highlights the kind of society we have become, a haven for the wealthy and a hot bed of opportunity for the mindless obsession with 15 minute celebrities whose lives, we are told, are worthy of exposure via the television set. However, fortunately we still have the off button and these days plenty of other channels to switch over to. There is not only an ever widening gap between those who are comfortably off financially and those distinctly uncomfortable, we have a whole department set up to make the lives of the richest even better at the expense and huge cost of living for those who cannot afford a home of their own or stuck in rental accommodation with excessive rent because apparently, the market rate is the God our government ministers all worship. Inequality is a growing illness within the island and post pandemic it is time for Jersey Government to wake up and tackle this with a fresh approach and greater understanding of what it means to govern for the common good. I have had the freedom to vote in elections for nearly 50 years, but sadly as we consider the next election, I have reached the conclusion voting is pointless. There is nothing to vote for, no opportunity to vote for the head of the government and no opportunity to choose what the governments priorities should be as we only learn this post election. Year on year wastes huge sums of our money, that is us, the Jersey Tax payers leaving us with little choice but become like so many, apathetic to their actions and without a shred of respect for their efforts. If only they would understand who they are elected to represent and this is all of us! Not just the chosen few.
Posted by Sheila Young on
One of the Real Isues of Jersey is the lack of entertainment venues. We have all this talk of a huge influx of tourists but in reality what is there for them to do. If the weather isn't good there is very little especially for families and there are no entertainment venues for shows. West Park and Fort Regent are sadly missed by those of us fortunate enough to remember Jersey in its heyday when there were places to go and things to do. We desperately need an indoor entertainment venue for children and adults alike with affordable games and shows. We have plenty of cultural and heritage venues that are all very expensive and not what families want. We need a venue that will attract big name stage shows somewhere for all age groups to enjoy.
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