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News  |  Oct 8th 2010

States ‘to blame for winter’

The blame game at isthisguernsey.com

Contributors to the online forum Is This Guernsey? have launched a scathing attack on the States of Guernsey, who they accuse of ’standing idly by’ as autumn begins to turn into winter.

“It’s happening on their watch,” said one blogger, who goes by the name St Martin’s Martyr. “They sit back and do nothing while the evenings get darker and the weather gets worse. Who runs this Island, anyway – the deputies, or blind forces of nature?”

‘Bouet Boy’ agreed: “I don’t pay my taxes to be held to ransom by the inevitable consequences of Earth’s rotation around the sun. If the States had any backbone they’d have stared down the laws of physics that govern our universe and us Guerns would enjoy an endless summer.”

Opinion was divided as to whether Whitehall, the EU or the health and safety brigade lay behind the States’ lack of foresight/inability to make decisions/chronic in-fighting, all of which have been blamed on Guernsey’s subservience to seasonal variation; but a clear majority of online posters linked the later sunrise and cooler temperatures with the Island’s preferred form of consensus government.

“Are you telling me it would’ve rained so much if our system of governance was predicated on notions of collective responsibility?” – Local To The Death

“It’s been pissing down with rain for 10 days now,” said Local To The Death. “Are you telling me it would’ve rained so much if our system of governance was predicated on notions of collective responsibility? Like hell it would.”

BALANCED CRITICISM

More moderate members of the online community have pointed out that Guernsey is not alone in suffering the effects of seasonal transition, citing evidence that other sub-polar jurisdictions in the northern hemisphere are also experiencing a gradual passage into winter.

But this is not enough for critics, who have added ‘inability to stave off the hibernal equinox’ to their ever-growing list of government failures.

Other locals posting messages on Is This Guernsey? blame the States for civil unrest in Ghana, the reception problems plaguing Apple’s latest iPhones, peanut allergies, the acrimony between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots, the misuse of semi-colons, the enduring popularity of The One Show and erectile dysfunction in the Over 50s.

The most recent bout of States-bashing came after the publication of a damning report by the Burmese Audit Office, who were commissioned to carry out an inquiry after the States admitted that, contrary to the electorate’s wishes, 100% of Islanders were still mortal.

The BAO linked locals’ continued susceptibility to death to the lack of leadership within the States.

“I’ve been arguing for years that the States should do whatever voters in my constituency want,” – Deputy Shill

In reporting the BAO’s findings, the Guernsey Press was careful to adopt a measured, balanced tone: ‘OH, FOR FUCK’S SAKE’, ran Monday’s front page, followed by Tuesday’s sober ‘CHRIST! YOU WHAT?’

ACCOUNTABILITY

A small number of web-literate deputies have waded into the debate and sided with those critical of the States.

Deputy Ian Shill is typical in this regard: posting as ‘Deputy Ian Shill’, he accepts that the States are to blame for everything from toothache to that thing your mum does when she’s cross, and portrays himself as a minority voice of reason.

“I’ve been arguing for years that the States should do whatever voters in my constituency want,” he wrote, “like the execution of ethnics and disableds. While my fellow deputies are afraid of the voice of the people, I’ve found that by jumping onto every passing bandwagon and adopting an aggressively populist agenda I can increase my voting reach by 0.5%.”

Political commentators warned against overestimating the clout of Is This Guernsey?, with many asserting that the States will prohibit winter (or abolish sleep dust, or make hiccuping illegal) until deputies are confronted on the steps of Royal Court House by a crowd of articulate middle class lobbyists.

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