Words | Domhnail O'Cathain
In the beginning, we are told, men and women were put on earth. Men were meant to create, to pioneer and to lead. Then, women came along and showed us boys up. In the political world, we should look no further than Maggie Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel and, er, Sarah Palin.
But when it comes to politics in Jersey, it’s definitely a man’s world. With the exception of Anne Pryke, the Health and Social Services Minister, nine of the ten ministerial posts are currently occupied by men. But who are these specimens of manhood who humbly and ably serve the tax-paying public?
Terry Le Sueur
The top dog, the Godfather, the mack daddy. He may look a bit little an aged Billy Bunter and strike as the type who just might nod off in mid-speech, but no one can deny that El Tel has one of the sharpest minds in the States. Cue the Google searches for “Billy Bunter”…..
Economic Development Minister
It’s a poisoned chalice looking after economic development in Jersey in the middle of a recession. Reviving the traditional industries of yore – agriculture and tourism – would require a miracle worker. Sadly, performing acts of God might just be beyond the remit of someone responsible for economic development. How cool would it be if that was part of the job description though? We could have glorious sun all year round, Jersey Royals as big as your head and cows that produce chocolate milk. Friends, it would be paradise.
Ian Le Marquand
Home Affairs Minister
It’s only fitting that a former magistrate step into a role that oversees the legal system, the police, the prison and so on. The problem with a magistrate in charge is that you can never be sure that we aren’t all tarred with the same brush used for years on the speed-demons, good time Charlies, and Artful Dodgers out there. That said, our Ian is probably the only one with a brain big enough to understand all that law drafting jiggery-pokery.
The States Assembly’s token Paddy. An all-round champion of the people, his fight against further taxes on booze and dodgy Dickensian-esque landlords has proven to be a solid vote-winner. Huzzah!
Planning And Environment Minister
Silver-haired with a silver-tongue to match. What else can be said about a man whose steady and unwavering hand has helped turn St Helier into a concrete oasis? The plethora of cranes and high-rises now filling the skyline means anyone flying over town might mistake it for Hong Kong. Before we know it the concept of urban living will expand to us dwelling underground, in the clouds and possibly in an extra dimension.
Transport And Technical Services Minister
Obvious references to his controversial and deceased namesake aside, Mickey is the sole Connétable in the Council of Ministers. Sounds a bit lonely. There aren’t real politicians are they, Connétables? He probably gets the teas in at the Council’s meetings though. If they’re ever short of one, I’m sure he could provide a makeshift table.
Phil Jr. is part of a well-honoured tradition of political dynasties in Jersey (his dad, the late Phil Senior, was Connétable of St Saviour). With one beady eye on the top job when Old Man Terry hangs up his spurs, he is currently busying himself with doing a hatchet job on the public sector budgets.
Social Security Minister
Elected as a Deputy in St Clement back in 2005. He once produced one of the finest moments of sincerity on the election trail when he declared that his “home” parish was his favourite football team. He would have got more respect if he said it depended on who was topping the league on any given week.
Arh, Deputy Reed from St Ouen, eh. A farming man. A proper man who you could go for a pint with. There must be a revolution in teaching methods going on in the classrooms – kids can learn to add and subtract using grubby potatoes, the theory of gravity is proven by cow-tipping, and Animal Farm is the holy grail of the English curriculum.