Well. The Education Requete debate really brought States Members emotions and political leanings to the fore didn’t it? It came close to hysteria for some particular Deputies as they sought to hold on to the 1 school, 2 location model. With a lot of exaggerated sighing, personal attacks and some even challenging the Chair over whether ‘points of order/correction’ were acceptable or not – it was something of a 4-day bunfight. It was a close-run thing in the end and may have gone the other way if the Alderney reps had been present – or if Parkinson had not abstained at the very end. We had already had one of the amendments go right to the wire and lose in a draw at 18-all. But at the end of all the emotion, pleading and regurgitating old arguments – the Requete succeeded by 1 solitary vote. No clearer example perhaps of how this particular assembly is split right down the middle on many issues. Frankly, I am more sure than ever that it is to do with the political leanings of members – rather than representative of our Island preferences – but such is our current mix of (clearly) non-consensus government.
It is yet again a demonstration of a clinging to ideological objectives and an inability to cut Guernsey’s cloth to suit it’s ability to pay, or to live with the inevitable limitations of life on a small Island. How much is a result of the inexperienced, ‘Johnny-come-lately’ arrivals to Guernsey, who have somehow managed to get themselves into government without an historical understanding of how this Island really functions – is hard to say.
For Islanders who have spent decades getting by quite independently, through the economic era’s of Horticulture, Tourism and now Finance, not needing to look to the UK (or anywhere else for that matter) to determine the quality of public services we need to get by – aiming for a Rolls Royce experience in education when we can realistically only afford a small Hyundai is clearly a fools errand. Worse, raising false expectations on behalf of concerned parents and indeed many schoolchildren themselves, through not having a solid plan from the outset, prior to dumping the existing system or describing the full impact of 2 mega-schools as a replacement – is unforgiveable. RIP the current ESC – and good riddance.
How they voted
For: Ferbrache, Gollop, Queripel (Lester), Leadbeater, Mooney, Trott, Meerveld, Inder, Lowe, Queripel (Laurie), Smithies, Green, Paint, Brouard, Dudley-Owen, De Lisle, Prow, Oliver.
Against: McSwiggan, Langlois, Soulsby, De Sausmarez, Roffey, Tindall, Brehaut, Tooley, Le Clerc, Merrett, St Pier, Stephens, Fallaize, Hansmann-Rouxel, Graham, Dorey, Le Tocq.
Absent: Roberts, Snowdon, Le Pelley.