Saturday, 26 September 2009

Jersey Reform Day 28th September

Where is the memorial to Amice Durell, Jean and Philip Luce, Philip Larbalastier, Philip Alexandre, Clement Gallichan, Francis Le Boutillier, Jean Coutanche, Amice Le Vavasseur Dit Durell, Jean De Ste Croix, Nicholas Arthur or Thomas Gruchy in Jersey?

How is it possible that the memory of these brave Jersey residents and their several hundreds of supporters could be so easily forgotten after they overthrew the rotten Jersey government in St Helier on the 28th September 1769?

Without their revolutionary but wholly non-violent action, which pre-dated both the American and French Revolutions, who can guess when a democratically elected government would ever have been achieved in this Island?

Make no mistake, these brave people risked their lives by their protest because their behaviour was sedition and that was a hanging offence or liable to punishment by transportation with confiscation of all property.

The subsequent removal of the despotic Lempriere brothers who served as (acting) Bailiff and Attorney General with their family of cronies led directly to the creation of a recognisable States of Jersey, took away many powers from the Royal Court and forced the publication of the Code of Jersey Laws in 1771.

Today we take these achievements for granted and don’t remember the reformers’ names or even celebrate the 28th September as “Jersey Reform Day”. It is a scandal and it is significant that the struggle to free this island from autocratic Crown Officers and others who abuse their power continues to this day. The struggle goes on – but we should acknowledge those who have laid the foundation for the freedoms that we all enjoy today.

Yet, it is proposed now to erect another memorial to Major Peirson who was killed resisting the French invasion in the Royal Square in January 1781. Of course this Yorkshireman died a brave soldier’s death but we should remember too that this skirmish was a part of the American struggle for independence from colonial British control too. Following that battle, the corrupt Bailiff Lempriere was finally removed from office and the Lt Governor court-martialled – so the reforming process in Jersey has never been achieved just by quiet negotiation.

There is no need to celebrate only those who died violent deaths. Jersey has plenty of unsung heroes and heroines who struggled for years in order to make this island a true haven for people to live in and we need to be aware of their activities much more than we need to know the names of past Bailiffs and Governors or other imposed rulers.

Those who have ever sat in the public gallery of the States Chamber might have noticed that Sir Walter Raleigh, Governor of Jersey 1600-1603 is uniquely remembered with a plaque which overlooks the whole proceedings. Yet he visited the Island only very briefly and was executed as a pirate in 1617. Why should we remember him today rather than the brave people such as those who protested on 28th September 1769?

Jersey’s history is controlled and used for all sorts of mischievous governmental purposes but the true story of the struggle of ordinary people has not only never been told, it is actively suppressed and smothered by establishment propaganda.

Jersey people should celebrate the 28th September just as the Americans do July 4th and the French July 14th.
Jersey’s little revolution was equally as significant to the people of this Island and should be known by everybody who lives here now and for the future.
It should not be kept secret.

A group of concerned Jersey residents.


Anonymous said...

Will, or rather is, history starting to repeat itself I wonder.

This is a very timely reminder that good people are still attempting to achieve good governance and accountability for all the wrongs of our past and present governments.

The times they are a changing.......

Woody Woodpecker said...

Can't we do an re-enactment each year to celebrate the events of these fine men ?
Could we over throw the States each year to remind them who they actually work for.?
On a more serious note ,what a great result re the Town park vote.A vote for common sense,even though the business conflicted States members thought they had it all stitched up yet again.
What planet do some of these people live in ?
So removed from the majority of people they claim to represent.
Good comment from Deputy Pitman regarding comments made by Deputy Ann Dupre.What does this woman actually do ?
She is being paid under false pretences.
Have followed her political career,after seeing her dire performance at the hustings.
No wonder people have no interest in politics,when the best we can do is this.We lost a very good politician (Deputy Baudains)for this ??(Do not know the man personally,but was good to see him question and stand up and be counted)
He might not have been every ones friend ,but was never afraid to stand up and challenge and debate.
Why did Dupre abstain from the free lunches debate? Watch her voting records and she votes consistently with her sidekick (Jeune),and in line with the Establishment party.
Time for you to realise you are way out of your depth,and go back to your bowling ,netball,or flower arrangements and jam making,or whatever you do best. It is certainly not politics,give someone a chance that can actually do the job at hand in these critical times,if you really care about Jersey and it's future.

voiceforchildren said...

Woody Woodpecker.

You have hit the nail on the head with Dupre. She is (in my opinion) lobby fodder, hasn't got a clue what she is doing and the damage she is doing to Jersey.

When her side-kick Jeune attempted to bring a vote of no confidence against Mike Higgins, FOR DOING HIS JOB, Dupre was one of the few daft enough to put her name to it.

Other than that I couldn't tell you ONE proposition, oral or written question she has brought to the States.

Gerard Baudains might not have been everybody's cup of tea, but like you say, he would "take part", get involved, ask questions of the establishment.

I hope Mr. Baudains will put his name forward in the next elections, Dupre has to go.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what the previous comments have to do with the price of fish - but will the sculpture committee be sponsoring a suitable memorial or the Constable of St Helier or Geraint and the Roads Committee or Senator Fred with his love of sculpture and iconic statements and remembering Occupation inhumanities - who in authority will speak for the heroes of 28th September 1769.....

Anonymous said...

Good to see one of the greenie blogs also commented on the 28th. Are we making progress?

Josh said...

Excellent idea,could be good focal point for our own Speakers corner.As we are hearing a good deal about the usage and promtion of Jerriase.
Would be nice to see other aspects of Jersey peasant culture too.
was taught at school that history reflects the narrative of ordinary men and women .Written by the elite for the elite.
Often have reflected on that when you see the Great and the good commentating on cultural issues.

I'm all for a statute,and an official day of recognition,together with children being taught more of this hidden aspect of Jersey history.

would this fall under the remit of Education sport and leisure department?

Anonymous said...

I understand where Woody was coming from I think?
Very appropriate comment in respect of Democracy.If an elected official is not up to the job,should have the bottle to allow someone who would make a valuable contribution,based on research,public opinion,and not just tag along for the free luches and whatever else they personally get out of it .
these are very difficult times,we do not need lemmings or stooges.

Anonymous said...

"The struggle of people against power, is the struggle of memory against forgetting"

Milan Kundera