Sark Newspaper 08 November 2019

11 ther of the unelected ‘chief minister’ who an- nounced the ‘identification’ of Mrs Bougourd as the ideal candidate for heading up Sark’s civil service. This indicates that she was acquainted with the La Trobe-Bateman family, along with, presumably, other members of Sark’s old guard ruling elite and there is every chance she was “identified” as the woman for the job a long time before the announcement was made. We also note La Trobe-Bateman Jr’s disturbing assertion that Sark “now” has “a Civil Service Office that supports the Conseillers and the pub- lic, which we did not have before.” All of Kath Jones’ efforts over five years are thereby to be erased from the collective memory. It can only mean that the “we” who “identified” Mrs Bou- gourd consider themselves to have appointed a Chief Secretary who will not upset the Chief Pleas applecart; a Chief Secretary who, as op- posed to the troublesome Kath Jones, lacks the qualifications, experience and wherewithal to challenge their authority or their way of seeing and doing things and who is unable to offer ad- vice, guidance or evidence on the basis of which Sark’s legislators can make informed choices and sensible decisions for the benefit of all. Once again and as ever, Chief Pleas has tried to outsmart the Ministry of Justice and everyone else advising Sark to establish the small but pro- fessional civil service that it clearly needs by pay- ing lip-service to the advice. In reality, by ensur- ing that control over the administration of the Island remains firmly in the hands of its law- makers, Chief Pleas, without any separation of powers whatsoever, once again Chief Pleas has wasted not only valuable time and resources but also a golden opportunity to do something right. The smallness of Sark as a jurisdiction is imma- terial. The Island is facing enormous problems - governmental, economic, demographic and social as well as environmental and infrastructural. Chief Pleas lacks both the expertise and the ca- pacity to tackle them. If they continue to refuse to accept the guidance of someone who can, a professional civil servant, Sark will not for much longer remain a self-governing jurisdiction.’ Three months have passed since that was writ- ten. Has Ms Bougourd done or said anything in the meantime likely to persuade the public that she is, after all, qualified and capable of guiding Chief Pleas in a professional manner? No. Has she done or said anything to convince anyone that she is qualified and capable of ensuring Chief Pleas adheres to the basic principles of good governance taken for granted in a British Crown Dependency? No, absolutely not. The jury is no longer out, in fact it never was. With the appointment of the hopelessly under- qualified partisan Ms Zannette Bougourd as its most senior civil servant, Chief Pleas has ac- quired a light-weight one-party state faithful who lacks the experience, qualifications and knowledge required to fill the role to which she has been appointed at taxpayers’ expense. Chief Pleas’ ultimate controller remains to this day the unelected and unaccountable ‘old guard’ power- monger Reginald Guille, rather than the senior civil servant supposedly appointed to introduce a semblance of good governance in Sark. SARK’S BELEAGUERED BUILDING SECTOR REMAINS IN THE DOLDRUMS