18th October 2019

THE SARK NEWSPAPER

COMMENT

On Wednesday morning the main protagonists in the Sark Electricity Disaster that has resulted in Islanders having to pay 85p per unit for their electricity gave in depth and extensive interviews to Jenny Kendall - Tobias of BBC Radio Guernsey. Sark Electricity Ltd, Chief Pleas and Sark’s Electricity Prices Control Commissioner all engaged with the program. Today we publish, in the public interest, a full unedited transcript of the interviews.

In the wake of comments made by the Island’s de facto unelected Chief Minister Peter aka Samuel La Trobe - Batemans attack against Sark Electricity Ltd when he used parliamentary privilege to accuse them of being “Greedy” and “Mad men with switches” it was left to the democratically elected John Guille to put Chief Pleas Case. What ensued was 45 minutes of attack and counter attack that ultimately distilled down into two opposing camps blaming one another and claiming that none of the ongoing threat to the Island’s electrical supply was their fault. Neither for that matter were either side responsible for the eye watering 85p per unit of electricity that all Islanders, rich or poor, are currently being forced to pay.

Each of the contributors to the program is correct. John Guille has only been a member of Chief Pleas since January of this year. Neither David Gordon - Brown nor Anthony White have ever sat in the Island’s parliament. None of these three are responsible for the decade of state sponsored economic ethnic cleansing that has resulted in an unprecedented depopulation in Sark from over 650 year - round residents in 2008 to below 390 today. None can be held to account for the fact that Sark Electricity Ltd.'s revenues have fallen by over 35% during this period whilst its fixed costs have remained static. This is why the cost of 24 hours a day, 365 days a year electricity service is such an expensive necessity.

The Sark Newspaper asks on behalf of Islanders one simple question of each of these individuals. What price would a unit of electricity cost in Sark if Chief Pleas hadn’t spent the past decade destroying the Island’s economy and with it the customer base of Sark Electricity Ltd?

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