Monday, 4 May 2009

JERSEY’s own MEP in a Liberated Europe

Glynn Ford MEP is just one of the seven South West of England and Gibraltar MEPs.
There are 3 Conservatives, 1 Liberal, 2 UKIP and Labour Party man Ford who are all elected as members of the “Gibraltar Group” to represent the 28,000 residents of the “Rock” at Strasbourg and Brussels. The South West constituency runs from Gloucestershire to Cornwall and the Scillies and Gibraltar.

This year the EU Elections take place on June 4th and in accordance with further enlargement under the Lisbon Treaty when Bulgaria and Romania become members, the South West and Gibraltar group will be reduced to 6 MEPs although the UK overall will gain another seat.

Glynn Ford says that Gibraltar residents should elect their very own MEP - which seems an unlikely proposal with such a small population - but they could certainly give it a try.
By way of comparison, Luxembourg, population 480,000 elects 6 MEPs (about 80,000 people for each).

Jersey, with a population of 90,000 and Guernsey and the Isle of Man with about 70,000 each would seem to be just the right sort of size to be brought within the EU electoral system and it would be logical for Gibraltar to join in with such a grouping because of so many shared interests. Say 3 MEPs for the Channel Islands, the IOM and the Rock?

Electioneering has now commenced in Gibraltar and all the UK parties are sending over top brass to meet with the resident population and soliciting votes – besides learning about local problems and peculiarities.

Of course, the people of Jersey can struggle on with the ever deteriorating system of government with its lack of competence and pretence to be an “international” player. But, the reality is that Jersey just simply does not produce enough political talent to be an independent territory or to be able to support the necessary self governing administration in a rapidly changing world.

For the people of Jersey the post-war party is, in any case, nearly over. Liberation Day on May 9th is a marker for the passing of opportunities. The rest of Europe is slowly throwing off the various burdens of the 2nd World War and economic cooperation will be a guiding principal in the future reconstruction. Tax Havens must die just as surely as war veterans and their nostalgic memories and antagonisms.

So, why not scrap the men in their funny colonial hats and put their Governors’ premises, resources and staff to better use in the service of islanders and make Liberation Day truly an annual celebration of the break with the inglorious Imperial past?

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.

No comments: