22nd February 2019
UNIVERSAL CONDEMNATION FOR REGINALD GUILLE’S RETURN TO POWER THROUGH THE BACK DOOR
“I WILL NOT BE APPEARING BEFORE ANY CODE OF CONDUCT PANEL.”
“MR SPEAKER, YOU MAY STAND YOUR CODE OF CONDUCT PANEL DOWN AS YOU WILL HAVE MY LETTER OF RESIGNATION AS A CONSEILLER OF CHIEF PLEAS AT THE END OF THIS MEETING TO BE EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.”
With these words, delivered by Reginald Guille to the Christmas meeting of Chief Pleas on 16th January 2019 the people of Sark thought they had seen the last of his dominance of the Island’s government. Despite having not faced the electorate, having not received a single vote and not having a mandate from the people to govern, Guille had dominated Sark’s government since the introduction of the hopelessly flawed Reform Law of 2008 which promised to deliver democracy to the Island.
Instead of embracing the prospect of a fully representative democracy Guille instead adopted a ‘siege’ mentality and formulated and executed government policies designed to deliver division and entrenchment. He was the chief architect of a decade of economic ethnic cleansing, akin to that last witnessed in Europe in 1930s Germany. On 16th January 2019 the people of Sark finally had something to celebrate, Guille was gone. However, his exit from Sark governance was not courtesy of the ballot box. Guille had only weeks earlier witnessed the Sark electorate reject his ‘second-in-command’ Edric Baker along with his wife Diane. Guille would not make the same mistake.
Instead he went for a piece of pure theatre, putting himself, as always, centre stage, and chose to flounce out of Chief Pleas in a knee-jerk reaction to being told that he was to be summoned to stand before a code of conduct committee to defend himself from the serious accusation of bullying a candidate in last Decembers’ general election. His was a fitting exit for a man who believes his status to be above that of all of his fellow Islanders.
Two days later on 18th January 2019 this publication summed up the mood of the people when it observed:
‘WITH REGINALD GUILLE GONE WE CAN MAKE THE CHANGES THAT WILL DELIVER A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR THIS ISLAND AND ITS PEOPLE.’
A week later The Sark Newspaper showed, not for the first time, that it has its finger firmly on the pulse when it comes to what passes for politics here in Sark when it reported:
“Word on the street is that at next Wednesday’s meeting of Chief Pleas Reginald Guille will be seconded to the powerful Policy & Finance Committee as a non-Chief Pleas member. A greater travesty of the principles of democracy would be harder to imagine.”
The unelected Reginald Guille was duly nominated and selected as a co-opted member of the Island’s most powerful committee of state, the Policy & Finance Committee. The travesty of the principles of democracy confidently predicted by this publication only three weeks earlier had become a reality.
In days gone by such an event would have passed without barely a comment from the media. Guille and his associates would have issued a brief summary of the latest meeting of the Island’s parliament that was little more than state propaganda and an unquestioning press would have merely regurgitated it and reported it to its readers as ‘News from Sark’.
Those days have gone, and they are not coming back. Amongst all of the current media coverage of the unelected Reginald Guille’s re-emergence as a member of the Island’s most powerful state committee, it is the Guernsey Press who has come as close as any news outlet to articulating what the free press in Sark has been reporting on for over a decade:
‘The transparency of government is tarnished while the democratic accountability is non-existent.’