25th May 2017
MEANINGLESS CHANGES TO THE REFORM LAW MAKE NO DIFFERENCE TO THE DIRE SITUATION SARK IS IN: MOVING THE DECKCHAIRS ON A SINKING SHIP
Due to the failed Reform Laws of 2008 and 2010, the British Crown Dependency of Sark is a failed state.
Sark is ungovernable because, under the totalitarian rule of the unelected feudal lord Christopher Beaumont, who is accountable to no one yet holds controlling power over the constitution, jurisdiction and judiciary, the Island has developed into a one-party state with more in common with Germany of the 1930s than any representative democracy on earth.
Sark is ungovernable because its ‘government’ consists of an unelected mob who represents no one except themselves and toes the party line as set by the feudal lord and his chosen leaders to secure for themselves the continued benefits of patronage, be they power, status or of a financial nature.
Sark is ungovernable because there is no rule of law. The law is enforced partly by the unelected members of the sham parliament and partly by hopelessly conflicted, short-term amateur constables answerable to the feudal lord and his unelected ‘government’. The law is upheld, supposedly, by an equally hopelessly conflicted judiciary, the members of which are, to a man, untrained and inexperienced in matters of law and appointed by the feudal lord himself and answerable to him for their positions and their income. Despite his lack of training and knowledge, principal judge Jeremy La Trobe-Bateman, feudal lord Christopher Beaumont’s uncle, nevertheless sits alone and has unlimited jurisdiction, including complicated child custody cases.
Sark is ungovernable because Sark’s wholly unelected regime, from the feudal lord himself down to the lowliest seat-filler in his sham parliament, ignore principles of democratic process, ignore principles of good governance, ignore expected standards in public life, ignore the needs and wishes of the people over whom they rule and ignore facts and dates and ignore common sense.
As a result, the Island of Sark is sinking; the economy is broken and the population is shrinking at an alarming rate with many of those remaining facing hardship. Crucially, the people who remain on the Island - there are barely 400 left from a population of 650 only eight years ago - have lost hope of things will improve the future.
The situation is critical. It is patently clear that Sark has no democracy or good governance. The Island’s economy is no longer sustainable, nor is its population. Nor, for that matter, is Sark’s unelected government, which is now unable to find enough recruits willing to fill its unelected seats. A failed state in all aspects, the Island is heading for oblivion - for ceasing to be an independent, self-governing jurisdiction.
Charles Maitland, the self-appointed ‘chief minister’ elected by no one and with a mandate from no one, is spear-heading the one ruling party regime’s solution to its own ungovernability - its own sinking.
This solution does not address the root cause of all that ails Sark, namely the feudal power structure which the Reform Laws failed to remove, thereby making democracy an impossibility. Nor does it introduce law and order or address the broken economy by announcing the urgently needed reversal of the destructive policies that broke it in the first place - as illustrated by the feudal lord’s 49 weeks of silence in response to our appeal opposite. Nor does the solution, soon no doubt to be labelled a “masterstroke” by its instigator, Charles Maitland, do anything to halt the steady stream of people, mostly young working couples and their children, who are leaving Sark for good to build a life for themselves elsewhere.
No, as always, Sark’s one ruling party is once again spending its time and scant resources on shoring up their own and their feudal lord’s unelected powers rather than acting for the common good in accordance with common sense. Pathetically, the unelected Maitland and his unelected colleagues in Christopher Beaumont’s regime are, with their feudal lord’s blessing, planning to avert the inevitable disaster by reducing the number of chairs in his sham parliament.
Much good it will do them. It is very much like rearranging the deckchairs for the orchestra playing on the sinking Titanic. Puppet maestro Maitland is frantically rearranging the seats for his discordant orchestra whilst the ship that is Sark silently sinks.
18th May 2017
ON A DIFFERENT PLANET
On Monday 24th April 2017, the Guernsey Press carried a two-page spread on Lt. Governor Sir Ian Corder’s ‘fact-finding’ tour on Sark, resplendent with colour photographs of his prowess on a bicycle and sprawling headlines proclaiming how business is thriving on Sark.
How can it be, Sir Ian, that the Island is booming when shops are closed and people leave, left right and centre? The fact is, of course that it isn’t true. The Lt. Governor’s visit and the corresponding media coverage was a carefully planned propaganda exercise by Sark’s unelected sham government, choreographed to coincide with feudal lord Christopher Beaumont’s revelation of his ‘vision’ for his Island at a Guernsey Chamber of Commerce event taking place of the same day.
By supporting this propaganda, both that presented in the Guernsey Press and that spouted by Beaumont to his unquestioning audience, all of which seeks to paint a picture of life on the Island of Sark based on lies, misinformation and wishful thinking, Sir Ian Corder declared his allegiance to the Beaumonts and their totalitarian regime. Unlike his predecessor, the late Air Marshal Sir Peter Walker, who refused to be awed or intimidated by Sark’s feudal lord and whose leadership was an inspiration and a great support for the people of Sark, Sir Ian appears to be taken in by the web of deceit presented to him.
Indeed, whilst addressing his deferential audience consisting of the lower echelons of Guernsey’s business community Beaumont as much as admitted that his talk was part of a propaganda onslaught by pointing out that, in support of his various lies and misleading statements, he had brought copies of the triumphant Guernsey Press coverage, which was “available here”.
The Sark Newspaper has already reported in detail on those lies and misleading statements; we have heard all these lies many times before over the last eight years.
The unelected feudal lord wants the world at large to believe his lie that “Sark is a democratic self-governing jurisdiction”. Self-governing, yes, but democratic? How can it be when the Island is led by an unelected hereditary feudal lord who presides over a ‘government’ which is a body of people none of whom have been elected, none of whom have a mandate from the Island’s citizens to govern on their behalf and none of whom represent anyone apart from themselves and their feudal lord - an unelected mob posing as a ‘government’?
The unelected feudal lord wants the world to believe his lie that he is “non-political” despite the fact that he presides over the political decision-making process from a raised dais, has the right to - and does - speak politically and persuade the assembly below him in any way he sees fit and put propositions before them which they are highly unlikely to oppose in view of the feudal lord’s extensive powers of patronage.
The feudal lord wants the world to believe his lie that the unelected ‘government’ of which he is the supreme but unelected leader “presents the lightest of touches” as far as the business community is concerned. In view of that government’s very public vendettas against the privately-owned Sark Electricity Ltd and Sark Vineyards Ltd, it beggars belief that no one in an audience consisting of business people protested.
The unelected feudal lord wants the world to believe the lie that Sark’s public finances are in enviably good order when the fact is that the balance sheet relies on worthless shares in a near-insolvent shipping company and unsaleable assets whilst the meagre budget is balanced by failure to maintain the crumbling infrastructure, failure to educate the children adequately, failure to support the sick and the elderly and failure to invest in the future. All whilst Sark depends on an annual subsidy from Guernsey’s taxpayers of some £2 million a year - twice the Island’s official budget - to function.
What we have also heard before, both from the current feudal lord and from his equally uncaring late father Michael Beaumont, is the Island of Sark portrayed as a utopia - somewhere “most view as a complete idyll”. Anyone from off-Island will be forgiven for falling for this falsehood, but it doesn’t wash with what remains of the local population. Natural beauty, certainly, is abundant, but that is as far as the idyll goes. A casual day-tripper will be blissfully unaware that Sark Islanders are deprived of democracy and subjected to the totalitarian rule of an unelected feudal lord and his unelected ‘government’. An unsuspecting tourist guided to the rose bushes at La Seigneurie Gardens will not be made aware that the people of this Island have no statutory right to social security, welfare or health-care of any kind if they are elderly, become ill or fall on hard times. A cruise ship passenger sitting down for a cup of tea is not likely to dwell on the fact that Sark’s children do not get GCSE-level education unless their parents are able to pay the cost.
What we have never publicly heard before, however, is Sark’s feudal lord belittling the people who suffer because of his self-serving and uncaring rule. In patronising tones the highly-privileged Christopher Beaumont, who recently inherited substantial wealth, highlighted how many Islanders manage “up to seven-part time jobs... seamlessly” as if such a life were desirable and indeed unavoidable. It is neither desirable - seven part-time jobs signifies financial hardship and a total lack of job security - nor is it unavoidable. If Beaumont permitted his Island to develop an economy that sustains the working population, his people would not have to scramble around to find work six hours a week mowing lawns and cleaning windows for seven different employers to be able to, if they are lucky, pay the rent and feed their children. Christopher Beaumont is not just detached from reality, he is on a different planet from the rest of us - and so is the Lt. Governor who fails the people of Sark by lending credibility to their untrustworthy feudal lord.
11th May 2017
WHY WE NEED AN APPLICATION TO THE
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
People get the government they are prepared to accept. Therefore - because the people of Sark accept it - their Island is governed by an unelected body of people whose governance can only be described as mob rule.
No one in the outside world is willing to rescue Sark. By openly acknowledging and paying homage to our unelected feudal lord and his unelected sham ‘government’, the outside authorities with a responsibility for and interest in the good governance of Sark - the Crown, the UK Ministry of Justice and the democratically elected government of Guernsey - have made it patently clear that they will not lift a finger to hold Sark’s unelected rulers to account or help implement the democracy which the people of Sark were promised over eight long years ago. It is far more convenient for them to smooth things over and keep up the pretence - the utter falsehood - that Sark is a democracy and nothing is wrong in spite of the overwhelming and glaringly obvious evidence to the contrary.
That does not, however, mean that we, the people of Sark, have to accept being governed by an unelected one-party regime led by an unelected and autocratic hereditary feudal lord and his chosen and equally unelected enforcers. Continuing to do nothing whilst Sark dies under the yoke of tyranny is no longer an option. We must help ourselves.
In Germany of the 1930s tyranny became a way of life because it was too late to oppose or stop the brutal and ruthless fascist regime. It was the rise to power of that regime which created World War II. Despite its clear parallels with fascist Germany of the 1930s, it is not too late to stop the tyranny of Sark’s unelected totalitarian regime under an unelected feudal lord.
There are three ways of making our non-acceptance of the status quo absolutely clear, both to the leaders and members of Sark’s totalitarian regime and to the world at large: by protesting openly and publicly, by refusing to pay the taxes raised by unelected state officials with no mandate from the people to do so and, crucially, by appealing to the European Court of Human Rights.
The European Convention on Human Rights - ECHR - came into being during the aftermath of World War II. Originally drafted mainly by the UK government, it is an important part of international law which is there to protect the individual against abuse of power by the state.
The governance of the British Crown Dependency of Sark is hallmarked by its breaches of ECHR; its people are deprived of their right to self-determination, deprived of their right to justice and law and order and deprived of their right to build a future for themselves. In the western world, today there is no greater example than Sark to illustrate why the ECHR came into being and became law across Europe; there is no greater example of tyranny. A one-party state under an unelected and autocratic leader has forced through a policy of wanton economic destruction and wilfully brought about the mass depopulation of an already sparsely population Island in a process akin to economic ethnic cleansing of which any European fascist state of the 1930s would have been proud.
Over 35% of Sark’s population has left, mainly young working families and their children. In the absence of an economy to sustain the working people with jobs and an income, Sark’s population has shrunk from 650 eight years ago to under 410 year-round residents today.
The root cause of this unacceptable situation is the unelected powers, rights and privileges of one unelected individual accountable to no one, supreme autocratic leader and hereditary feudal lord Christopher Beaumont. He holds unelected powers which, in breach of ECHR, enable the ceaseless abuse of power by an unelected totalitarian state fully deserving of comparison with fascist Germany of the 1930s.
The past eight years have shown that passive resistance to this mob rule doesn’t work. Indeed, passive resistance has proved to be no resistance at all with appeals to the Lt. Governor and the Ministry of Justice leading nowhere, resulting only in fruitless rounds of empty talk and hollow promises off the record. All whilst the wilful and malicious economic, demographic and social destruction wreaked by the self-serving Beaumont family’s self-serving one-party regime has been permitted to go on unabated.
The British Crown Dependency of Sark is now at a tipping point where it is becoming unsustainable in all aspects. The need for change is urgent if this Island is to have a future.
The only solution is for the people of this Island to make their opposition seen and heard; to publicly and openly oppose the tyranny of the unelected and unaccountable feudal lord. To publicly and openly defy the tyranny of the unelected and unaccountable members of his one-party mob who make laws, administer laws and raise taxes without a mandate from the people, last but not least, the people of Sark must make an application to the European Court of Human Rights and have the unelected power that destroys Sark challenged and adjudicated in an international and independent Court of Law.
If we, the people of Sark, are not prepared to stand up for our basic human rights and oppose the unelected and autocratic Christopher Beaumont and his sham parliament, then we must face the inevitable consequences, permanent unemployment, further depopulation, continued despair and no hope of a future.
4th May 2017
IF WE GET THE GOVERNMENTS WE DESERVE, WHAT HAVE THE PEOPLE OF SARK DONE TO DESERVE THIS?
We get the governments we deserve, the saying goes. It isn’t true for the British Crown Dependency of Sark.
The people of Sark are stuck with an unelected and autocratic hereditary feudal lord who cannot be voted out of office but, nevertheless, dominates the political decision-making process because he owns and controls the constitution, jurisdiction and judiciary of the Island.
The people of Sark, who haven’t seen a ballot box for four years, are stuck with a sham parliament that is entirely unelected since not one of its members has received a single vote. A sham parliament which has no authority in the absence of mandate from the people to govern on their behalf.
The people of Sark are stuck with a one-party state, the leaders, officials and members of which rule over their lives without considering anyone’s needs and interests apart from their own and without adhering to the most basic standards of good governance.
The people of Sark are disenfranchised; they have no one representing them, they have no one safeguarding their interests and they are utterly powerless to do anything about it.
Uniquely in the civilized world, the people of Sark have, for the past eight years, been subjected to a relentless campaign of state-sponsored economic destruction undertaken by their own government. Intentional economic destruction carried out with open eyes by those in power, regardless of the unemployment, hardship and suffering it caused amongst the working population. State-sponsored economic destruction which has led to an unprecedented and on-going depopulation of Sark akin to the economic ethnic cleansing of Germany during the 1930s.
How about protests, you may wonder? Only members and supporters of the one-party state can march in confidence. They have no fear of retribution from the all-powerful one-party state and its unelected leaders and members. For them, marching against lawful activities, be it agricultural projects or the free press holding them to account in the public interest, provides them with a badge of honour. A way to prove their loyalty to Christopher Beaumont’s one ruling party state and secure the corresponding rewards of patronage.
Only in a democracy do the people deserve the government they get. The people of Sark have done nothing to deserve a totalitarian one-party government under an autocratic hereditary feudal lord, none of whom have been voted into office.
The only thing the people of Sark have done wrong, their only mistake, was to believe that the Reform Law of 2008 would deliver democracy to the Island. That mistake was also made by the UK’s Ministry of Justice and the Crown, but it is the people of Sark alone who are suffering the dire consequences.
27th April 2017
A MASTERCLASS IN MISINFORMATION AND PROPAGANDA
We now know what feudal lord Christopher Beaumont’s "vision" for the British Crown Dependency of Sark is. He imparted it to an audience at the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce’s monthly business lunch that was held this Monday at the Old Government House Hotel in St Peter Port. An audience consisting of the lower echelons of the movers and shakers in Guernsey’s world of commerce were given an exclusive presentation of his "vision" for his Island. It is a "vision" that Sark's absentee feudal lord has so far refused to divulge to the people of Sark.
The reality is that this was no "vision" at all. It was instead a masterclass in the use of misinformation and propaganda. It was designed to deflect attention away from the fact that Sark is ruled by an unelected autocratic leader, his unelected state officials and his wholly unelected parliament. Try as he might, it was clear that the attendees at Monday’s business lunch were not buying it, including the many Sark residents who had made the journey over to Guernsey to hear their feudal lord speak. Beaumont’s "vision" for Sark is that nothing will change. It is of no concern to him that the people of Sark have not seen a ballot box for four years. He is indifferent to the fact that not one member of his one ruling party state parliament has faced the electorate. Not one member has received a single vote and, like Beaumont himself, not one of them has a mandate from the people of Sark to govern on their behalf.
Eight years of state-sponsored economic ethnic cleansing has seen Sark’s population decimated, from above 650 in December 2008 to below 410 today. This coming week will see yet one more young family pack up their belongings and leave their home on Sark for good. Christopher Beaumont’s "vision" had no words of comfort for them or the 240 Islanders who have had to catch the infamous ‘boat that leaves in the morning’ over the past eight years.
Like his father, the late feudal lord Michael Beaumont, the plight of working men and women of Sark is of no consequence to Christopher Beaumont. The only thing that matters is his own self-interest. He went out of his way to declare that his "vision" for his Island did not include the introduction of a Customs post to open up the tourism industry, Sark’s second most important economic driver, to the vast untapped markets of mainland Europe. He emphatically stated that he would not have a Customs post in Sark and that the UK’s border with Europe started in Guernsey, not in his Island. Beaumont’s "vision" for Sark did not include a single reference to the Island’s principal economic driver, the unregulated financial services sector. Fees of up to £10,000 per directorship are earned by numerous members and supporters of his totalitarian regime. As with all autocratic rulers, it is what they do not say that matters. Sark’s feudal lord’s address to the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce served to show just how much he has to hide from the world in his own self-legislating state.
20th April 2017 -
UNCONCERNED FOR THE
PEOPLE OF THIS ISLAND
HE LIKES THE POWER BUT NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY
At Sark taxpayers’ expense the Island’s feudal lord Christopher Beaumont is currently travelling from his luxury home in England to make one of his rare appearances in Sark. On Wednesday of next week he will take centre stage at a meeting of his one ruling party state parliament. Flanked by his unelected state officials he will look down from a raised dais, whilst seated on a carved oak throne, onto a parliament of which not one member has faced the electorate, not one member has received a single vote and not one member has a mandate from the people of Sark to govern on their behalf.
This will be of no concern to Christopher Beaumont. This is a man who likes the powers vested in him courtesy of a Crown Lease, but not the responsibility that comes with it.
A feudal throwback, he has shown that, despite having inherited powers unequalled in the western world, he has no intention of using those powers to address the needs of the people of Sark above his own self-interest. As Western Europe’s only dictator he holds powers that would allow him to transform the Island’s economy and the future prosperity of its people overnight, yet he refuses to lift a finger to alleviate their suffering.
Eight years of economic ethnic cleansing, instigated by his late father Michael Beaumont, has left Sark a broken society with a broken economy. Not since Germany of the 1930s has Western Europe had an autocratic leader willing to use the power of the state to destroy the lives of great swathes of the population. Family after family have been driven out of Sark yet, like father like son, Christopher Beaumont is unconcerned. His only interest is the protection and retention of his autocratic powers and his absolute control over his own self-legislating Island state.
13th April 2017
CLUELESS AND UNCARING
With no experience in commerce or government, feudal lord Christopher Beaumont does not have a clue how to reverse the downward spiral of Sark’s economy and no idea of how to halt the devastating depopulation of his Island. This is, however, immaterial because the 23rd owner of the Crown Lease of the Fief of Sark simply does not care.
Just like his late father and predecessor Michael Beaumont, Sark’s current feudal lord, Christopher Beaumont, believes that the fewer people there are on his Island, the better.
Just like his late father and predecessor, Christopher Beaumont is totally unconcerned about the Island’s rapidly diminishing ability to pay for itself.
Just like his late father and predecessor, Christopher Beaumont has made it patently clear that the investment and economic activity desperately needed to rebuild his Island’s economy and population is not welcome in the jurisdiction that he owns and controls.
Indeed, unless attending special occasions such as asserting his dictatorial powers by presiding over his unelected sham parliament four times a year or playing the affable feudal lord to visiting dignitaries who come to pay homage to him, as we witnessed during last week’s visit by Minister of State for Justice Sir Oliver Heald QC and Lt. Governor Sir Ian Corder, Christopher Beaumont is never here.
Instead, Sark’s unelected feudal lord, who is accountable to no one and whose power over the Fief of Sark and its population is comparable to that of any European fascist dictator of the 1930s, resides in the UK. In his luxury home in the Malvern Hills he is happily separated from and impervious to the harsh realities of life on his Island.
In return for his "services", Christopher Beaumont nevertheless collects the taxpayer-funded, index-linked ‘stipend’ which is part of the “fabulous legacy” of power, property and wealth left to him by his late father. Established by Michael Beaumont to compensate him for the loss of the Treizième, an unlawful feudal tax of 7.69% on all Sark property sales which he unfailingly collected. Every penny of which went into his own pocket, that ‘stipend’ now amounts to some £36,000 a year, the equivalent to the tax contributed by over 100 of the Island’s basic rate taxpayers. On top of that, the feudal lord’s expenses, neither specified nor disclosed, are also paid from Sark’s increasingly meagre exchequer. Where is the morality in that?
With a radically reduced population, now down to less than 410 from 650 nine years ago, there is less tax revenue for the Island. There is also less money being spent in the shops, many of which have now closed.
Meanwhile, the economy of scale dictates that with fixed production costs and a steadily shrinking customer base, energy prices are relentlessly increasing. Land and property values, conversely, have decreased by over 30% due to lack of demand.
Sark’s ability to pay for itself is further diminished by the fact that tourism, its main economic driver, is collapsing. Visitor numbers have stagnated at around 50,000 a year compared to some 90,000 a year during the 1970s. To compound the impact on the public purse as well as the economy in general, the vast majority of those who still come to the Island are day-trippers and cruise ship passengers from Guernsey who spend very little time here and even less money. The impact of this on the Island’s public finances are mirrored in the steadily shrinking revenues from the Impôt tax, which are declining each year.
THE DECLINE CAN ONLY CONTINUE
With no prospects of improvement to the dire employment situation, with no hope of improvement to the Island’s inadequate education provisions any time soon and with no statutory right to support of any kind for the elderly, the sick and those falling on hard times, Sark’s tax base - the number of people contributing to the exchequer - can only continue to shrink.
As will the number of customers for the Island’s shops. The price for services such as electricity will consequently continue to rise with ever fewer customers to pay for the fixed costs of production. Demand for land and property will continue to decline and so will its value.
There is no one in the outside world willing to invest in Sark, be it their time, their future or their money.
The totalitarian one-party state established by the feudal lord, Michael Beaumont, has become infamous for its lack of law and order. Infamous for its lack of democracy, infamous for its treatment of the working population, infamous for its absence of social and financial security and infamous for its hostility to investment and economic activity that is not under the direct control of the unelected one-party regime.
As an example, they destroyed the viability and forced the closure of the promising new vineyard industry; a major new industry and a major employer, by devising a carefully targeted new tax on the production of wine.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
Don’t expect the 23rd the Seigneur of Sark, Christopher Beaumont, to instigate desperately needed change. He has made it patently clear that, clueless and uncaring, his only concern is for his “fabulous legacy” of power and wealth.
A true poser, the unelected feudal lord shamelessly stood up in his sham parliament and supported his unelected regime’s destruction of the vineyards by lying about the scope of the new tax legislation that was squarely targeting the only new industry in Sark for decades.
Under the late Michael Beaumont’s ownership the Island of Sark suffered through years of a ‘scorched earth’ policy designed to oust outside investment despite the obvious consequences of unemployment, hardship and spiralling depopulation.
It is this ‘scorched earth’ policy which has led to where we are now. The Island’s depleted reserves consist mainly of unsaleable and worthless plant and machinery, unsaleable property that is continuously depreciating and worthless shares in the publicly owned and debt-ridden Isle of Sark Shipping Company. Sark can’t afford to pay off the IoSS’ various loans and the Island’s puny budget is ‘balanced’ by failure to maintain an infrastructure that is so neglected it is a danger to public health. Sark is left unable to invest in itself or its future.
That will, however, not stop feudal lord Christopher Beaumont from continuing to collect his £36,000 stipend and undisclosed expenses every year. With an arrogance matched only by that of his late father, he considers that money is his birth-right.
Instead of building a future for his Island and his people, the clueless and uncaring feudal lord will continue to dominate and control his Fief from the background, happy for the unelected members of his sham parliament to continue scorching Sark’s once promising earth.
Unelected and self-claimed ‘chief minister’ Charles Maitland is certain to uphold the policy of destruction faithfully. A former manager of an old people’s home and a former rug trader, he has neither the will, the leadership skills nor the experience in commerce and politics that’s needed to kick start the Island’s economy. Assisting Maitland in ensuring that Sark has no future is Hazel Fry, who is equally unelected, equally sanctimonious and self-important and equally lacking in relevant knowledge and experience.
This inept duo is in turn overseen and controlled on the feudal lord’s ‘lead committee’ by Sark’s most feared man, feudal chief enforcer Reginald Guille, the former unelected “president” and principal judge who now, as an unelected member of the sham parliament, occupies a seat on the ‘lead committee’ to ensure that nothing can or will change in Christopher Beaumont’s Sark. All whilst unemployment continues to rise, the depopulation carries on, the young have no hope of an adequate education and the elderly and the sick face a very bleak future.
WHERE ALL POWER LIES
On 7th April 2017 feudal lord Christopher Beaumont announced to ITV Channel News about Sark’s governance that:
“There are changes that still need to be made but that is not for me to decide, that is for Chief Pleas to work on.”
Christopher Beaumont knows full well that Chief Pleas - his sham parliament - has no power to change anything. They are not elected; they do not represent the people and they have no mandate from anyone. The only people on this Island with any real power apart from the feudal lord are the feudal lord’s appointees, people like his deputy, the judge and chief enforcer Reginald Guille.
Least of all does Chief Pleas have any power to change the one thing that really needs changing? The existence in Sark of a feudal lord with ownership and power over the constitution, the jurisdiction and his own court - an ownership which is the root cause of Sark’s lack of democracy and good governance.
The Letters Patent of 1565, granting the Crown Lease of Sark, which Christopher Beaumont inherited from his father, and which their ancestors obtained by foreclosing on an unpaid mortgage, is what gives the feudal lord powers that would be the envy of dictators the world over. This piece of paper makes no mention of Chief Pleas or any kind of ‘parliament’ having power to alter or revoke the feudal lord’s position of unassailable power. Beaumont’s statement is pure invention designed to mislead people into believing that his Island is some kind of democracy.
Nothing could be further from the truth, but then again, the Beaumonts have never been known for telling the truth.
6th April 2017
WE THE PEOPLE OF SARK ARE DEPRIVED OF A FUTURE
ONLY ONE MAN CAN CHANGE IT
History has shown that the late Michael Beaumont had no interest in the Island of Sark - neither in its people nor in its future. He ignored 127 appeals by the Sark Newspaper and its predecessor the Sark Newsletter, whilst the unemployment and hardship suffered by the working population due to his neglect went on relentlessly. The result was the downward depopulation of Sark, with individuals and entire families leaving on the infamous ‘boat that leaves in the morning’. The Island’s economy and the welfare of its people were not Michael Beaumont’s concern. His epitaph will forever be the damage he did, both to the Island of Sark’s reputation and to the welfare of its people.
Like his father before him, Michael Beaumont’s son and heir, Christopher Beaumont, inherited immense feudal powers and privileges. He has shown himself to have the same characteristics as his late father. Unelected and accountable to no one, Christopher Beaumont has displayed no interest in the Island of Sark, its people or its future. He was not born here, he spent his entire adult life away from the Island and was so rarely seen here that, before inheriting the Fief of Sark, he was, and remains, a stranger to the population at large.
A piece of paper written in 1565 handed the unelected Christopher Beaumont, who resides in his luxury home in Herefordshire, dictatorial powers over the Island of Sark and its people. His occasional appearances in Sark are purely cosmetic and undertaken for self-serving reasons that have nothing to do with any concern for the welfare of the Island and its people. Yet they have everything to do with maintaining unelected and dictatorial powers and privileges the likes of which have not been vested in one private individual in Europe since 1930s Germany.
What makes Christopher Beaumont cling on to his archaic totalitarian powers? Is it the status of the title of Seigneur, or is it the tax-free income of a Sark taxpayer-funded and index-regulated annual stipend, currently around £36,000, plus unknown and undisclosed expenses? Or is Christopher Beaumont, like his father, attracted to Sark for the ‘unique’ position it retains as a British Crown Dependency tax haven in which highly lucrative but unregulated “offshore financial services” are conducted with impunity?
Christopher Beaumont has no history of having any interest in Sark - its people, its economy and its future. An absentee feudal lord, he has shown no concern for the Island’s children and their right to a full state-funded education. He has not shown any interest in the plight of the numerous elderly, sick and vulnerable residents who have no statutory right to support of any kind. He has shown only indifference to the escalating depopulation which has robbed the Island of 35% of its inhabitants since December 2008. A 30% collapse in land and house prices over the same period has been and remains of little consequence to him. His only concern is to maintain the wealth, status, privileges and powers that he inherited from his father.
The 42 appeals made by this publication on behalf of the people of Sark calling for Christopher Beaumont to use his extensive powers to help them build a future have been met with a wall of silence. An offer by the editor of this publication to meet with him and discuss how he sees the future of Sark was met with an emphatic NO. It is not by chance that the Sark Newspaper addresses its weekly appeal on behalf of the people to the Island’s feudal lord. The people of Sark are deprived of a future and only one man has the power and authority to change it: Christopher Beaumont.
30th March 2017
NO ONE IN SARK HAS A MANDATE FROM THE PEOPLE OF THIS ISLAND TO CHANGE ANYTHING
ONLY THE UNELECTED CHRISTOPHER BEAUMONT HAS AUTHORITY IN SARK
Only one person has the authority to allow any changes in Sark and that person is Western Europe’s only dictator, the Island’s feudal lord Christopher Beaumont. Nothing can change in Sark without his approval and nothing will change in Sark until such a time that he relinquishes power.
Beaumont is the possessor of immense powers, the likes of which have not been vested in one private individual in Europe since 1930s’ Germany. He is, courtesy of a recently inherited Crown Lease, the owner of Sark’s constitution, Sark’s jurisdiction and his own personal court.
In keeping with every dictator who has held autocratic control over people, his lust for yet more power and privileges cannot be sated. Nothing could better suit the aims and objectives of Christopher Beaumont than the many failed attempts since December 2008 to bring democracy to Sark.
Christopher Beaumont, along with his late father before him, the feudal lord Michael Beaumont, has been the chief architect and principal beneficiary of the failure to introduce democracy into their self-legislating Island state. In the wake of last week’s rerun of yet another failed sham election the people of Sark continue to have no democratic political representation. They have no single political representative that they can refer to. There are no political parties in Sark. No Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat candidates that the people can identify with and subsequently vote for. As was the case in 1930s’ Germany, there is only one party in Sark, and it answers to, and is under the absolute control of, an unelected and autocratic leader, feudal lord Christopher Beaumont.
The people of Sark have not seen a ballot box since 4th December 2013. They do not have a single democratically elected representative. Instead they have a one ruling party state sham parliament, the likes of which does not exist anywhere else in the free world. Not one of this 24-member assembly has faced the electorate. Neither has any one of them received a single vote. They have neither a mandate nor the authority to pass laws, enforce laws, levy taxes or collect taxes.
On Monday of this week Sark’s self-styled unelected “chief minister” Charles Maitland told Channel TV news that:
“Perhaps we have got to look at a much more radical solution where we employ more people to do the jobs and perhaps the politicians become more policy, in charge of policy, rather than administration.”
Maitland is deluding himself and in the process misleading his audience. He and his fellow unelected members of Sark’s sham one-party parliament have no authority to speak for and no power to act on behalf of the people of Sark. Just like Germany in the 1930s, only one man, Christopher Beaumont, holds all power and authority. Without him exercising his authority and power nothing can or will change on his Island.
23rd March 2017
THE AUTOCRATIC LEADER OF AN UNELECTED REGIME
The “fabulous legacy” left to Sark’s 23rd feudal lord Christopher Beaumont by his late father consists of great power and wealth, all of which was carefully amassed and jealously guarded by the avaricious Michael Beaumont.
Through Machiavellian manoeuvres behind the scenes during the drafting of Sark’s deeply flawed Reform Laws of 2008 and 2010, Michael Beaumont ensured that he was able to pass to his son and heir not only the Crown Lease giving him ownership of the Fief of Sark but also autocratic powers unequalled by any crowned heads or elected leaders in the western world. Indeed, the botched constitutional reforms of 2008 and 2010 enhanced the feudal power structure controlled by the unelected and power-hungry Beaumont family rather than removing it.
Michael Beaumont used his enhanced powers to establish a totalitarian one ruling party state with undeniable parallels to fascist Germany of the 1930s. Democracy never stood a chance. Although the Island of Sark is a British Crown Dependency, under Michael Beaumont’s autocratic leadership, it became a rogue and lawless state where opposition to the regime is not tolerated. All whilst Beaumont and his chosen enforcers engineered and carried out the destruction of Sark’s economy.
The power inherited by the unelected Christopher Beaumont has not been vested in one private individual since the rise of Europe’s fascist states in the 1930s. The fact that he has shown himself to be a weak and ineffectual man does nothing to diminish those powers. Nor are they affected in any way by him choosing to reside in the Malvern Hills in the UK, far away from the harsh realities of life on his Island. Whoever he is and wherever he resides, the fact is that the owner of the Crown Lease on the Fief of Sark has power over every aspect of life on his or her Island:
POWER OVER THE POLITICAL DECISION-MAKING PROCESS
The Island’s parliament isn’t constituted - it cannot lawfully meet - unless the feudal lord or his chosen deputy is present. He presides over the assembly, controlling it from a carved throne on a raised dais where he is flanked by his appointed state officials.
POWER OVER THE JUDICIARY
Sark’s feudal lord appoints - through an Appointments Committee that he personally approve - each and every member, of the Island’s amateur judiciary from the principal judge and his deputy to the bailiff and the court clerk and their deputies. Consequently, not one member of the Island’s judiciary has experience or training in legal matters and the principal judge, who is currently Michael Beaumont’s brother-in-law Jeremy La Trobe-Bateman, a crane driver, sits alone with unlimited jurisdiction. The people of Sark are deprived of their basic right to a fair trial before an independent judge.
Like in fascist Germany of the 1930s, in Sark justice depends on who you are rather than what you have done under a corrupted and incestuous judiciary fully beholden to an unelected autocrat. The feudal lord is the law in his one ruling party state.
POWER OF PATRONAGE
Patronage is a powerful tool on an Island devastated by economic destruction, widespread unemployment and rampant depopulation. Prove yourself loyal to the feudal lord and his one ruling party and you’ll be rewarded in accordance with your needs, be it taxpayer-funded employment, untendered state contracts, appointments to positions of power or social inclusion. Speak out against this hereditary autocrat and his unelected regime and be prepared to lose your job or your home, have your business boycotted and be shunned. Be prepared, in other words, to be de facto deported from the Beaumont family’s rogue Island on the infamous ‘boat that leaves in the morning’.
Like his autocratic father before him, the unelected Christopher Beaumont has power over every aspect of life on his Island. Like his father before him, he has made it abundantly clear that he couldn’t care less about the neglect of his Island and the hardship suffered by his people. Under Christopher Beaumont’s ownership - and leadership - of the Fief of Sark, the realities of life here have gone from bad to worse. The policy of economic destruction set by his father remains strictly enforced so is consequently the spiralling depopulation - a process of economic ethnic cleansing of which any self-respecting fascist of the 1930s would have been proud.
In addition, the democratic veneer so carefully maintained by Michael Beaumont to lend credibility to his one-party regime lies in tatters with each and every member of the Island’s one-party government being unelected. Sark is heading for the abyss and time has come for its owner and feudal lord to do something if this Island and its people are to have a future at all. The big question is, will he?
16th March 2017
AN ISLAND WITHOUT A GOVERNMENT
Sark is a British Crown Dependency under the control of one private individual, Christopher Beaumont, an absentee unelected feudal lord who owns the Island’s constitution, its jurisdiction and his own personal court. It is an Island without a government. It has a sham parliament, Chief Pleas, consisting of 23 unelected one ruling party state officials. Not one member has faced the electorate. Not one member has received a single vote. Not one member has a mandate from the people of Sark to govern on their behalf.
Without a mandate from the people to govern no one in Sark has the authority to make laws, enforce laws, levy taxes or collect taxes. This has not stopped the unelected feudal lord and his unelected state officials from riding roughshod over the people and continuing to meet, pass bogus laws and attempt to extort money from the people of Sark under the guise of collecting legitimate taxes. Rather than living in the democracy that they were promised in 2008 the people of Sark are suffering under the rule of the unelected mob, something not witnessed in Western Europe since the rise of fascist Germany in the 1930s.
Christopher Beaumont’s one ruling party’s latest tactic of appointing various supervisory panels, which they are populating with loyal supporters of their totalitarian regime, has nothing to do with democratic government and everything to do with expanding party membership. At the January 2017 meeting of the unelected one ruling party state parliament, the regime’s chief enforcer, Reginald Guille, inadvertently exposed the continuing and relentless expansion of Sark’s totalitarian regime:
“...we have the three tribunal panels of Development Control, Road Traffic and Taxation and between them they require 18 residents, with currently two vacancies to be filled on Road Traffic and one on Taxation. Those 18 persons cannot be Conseillers and, if they stand for election to be a Conseiller and are successful, are deemed to have resigned their seats and need replacing on the panel.
To that list we have recently added a Child Protection Panel - panel members on this panel can be Conseillers; and a Policing Panel, the seven members of which cannot be Conseillers. There are also many other individual appointments that cannot also take the role of Conseiller - the Seigneur and Deputy Seigneur, the Seneschal and Deputy Seneschal, the President of Chief Pleas, soon to be the Speaker, and Deputy, the Prevôt and Deputy, the Greffier and Deputy, the Treasurer and Deputy, and the Tax Assessor and Deputy. I calculate that a total of 39 appointments are required to be filled by persons who cannot be Conseillers at the same time.”
What Guille did not see fit to state was that not one of the individuals appointed to the offices of state or the panels he identified have any authority to act, nor does the assembly appointing them. They are all carefully selected for their loyalty to Sark’s unelected autocratic leader Christopher Beaumont.
The numerous members of the ever-growing number of newly created state panels are appointed by state committees populated by unelected members of the one ruling party state parliament of whom not one person has faced the electorate, received a single vote or has a mandate from the people to govern. They have no more authority to appoint panel members than the panel members themselves have to act on behalf of the state because of the simple statement of fact that Sark is an Island without a government.
The creation of an ever-increasing number of state panels has solved the problem of how to allow power hungry past members of the one ruling party state parliament to continue to exercise control over the people of Sark. Buoyed by the call to arms by Sark’s absentee dictator Christopher Beaumont, they are eager to exercise the unaccountable powers given to them under the Island’s totalitarian regime.
The reality is that with not one single democratically elected member, the Island’s parliament and its various committees and panels have no authority whatsoever to enter Islanders homes to carry out inspections, interfere in the welfare of our children or to fraudulently collect taxes.
10th March 2017
DOES CHRISTOPHER BEAUMONT
HAVE ANY UNDERSTANDING OF THE
RESPONSIBILITIES HE INHERITED?
Reports last week that Christopher Beaumont is considering a sale of his Crown Lease resulted in many Islanders contacting this publication to air their views. It is clear that Sark’s absentee feudal lord and his wife, Sarah Vivienne Rees-Beaumont, are not welcome here. As one reader so succinctly wrote, “Does Christopher Beaumont have any idea of the responsibilities he has inherited or his duty to the people of Sark?” Sadly, for the people of this Island, all of the evidence to date says that he does not.
The willingness with which he is perfectly happy to sit, unelected, on an oak throne on a raised dais and oversee his unelected sham parliament demonstrates he has only contempt for the right of the people of Sark to be represented by individuals who they have chosen through meaningful and credible democratic elections.
Every one of the 25 unelected members of his sham parliament represents an affront to democracy. Not one of them has faced the electorate. Not one of them has received a single vote from the people of Sark. Not one of them has a mandate to govern from the people of Sark. They have no authority to make laws, enforce law or levy and collect taxes. Yet, under the rule of Sark’s autocratic leader Christopher Beaumont, they continue to do so.
Christopher Beaumont has a responsibility to change this, but he won’t. As owner of Sark’s constitution, jurisdiction and his own court, he is only to happy to continue as Western Europe’s only dictator. Since December 2008 the people of Sark have suffered 8 years of state-sponsored economic ethnic cleansing the likes of which has not been seen in Western Europe since 1930s’ Germany. The result is an unprecedented depopulation of the Island, from 650 year-round residents in December 2008 to below 420 today. This is something that Christopher Beaumont has a responsibility to put a halt to but he has shown that he won’t.
Numerous businesses in Sark’s principal economic driver, tourism, have boarded up their doors and windows and closed for good. With the closure of these businesses over 200 desperately needed jobs have disappeared. Hotels, restaurants, bars, cafés and shops have all shut down through lack of trade. Christopher Beaumont has a responsibility to change this and he could do so by immediately allowing Guernsey to place professional dual warranted Customs officers on his Island. This one simple concession on his part would allow direct travel between the west coast of France and Sark, opening the Island’s tourism sector to the vast market of visitors from mainland Europe. This is something that Christopher Beaumont’s could do in the blink of an eye, but he won’t.
Sark’s economy has collapsed and cannot go any lower. Land and property prices have hit an all-time low and the unprecedented depopulation of the Island means that the economies of scale result in higher electricity, gas and oil prices as suppliers try to cover their fixed overheads from ever decreasing sales to fewer and fewer customers.
Unless Christopher Beaumont can demonstrate an understanding of the responsibilities he inherited and use his powers to reverse the decline in Sark’s fortunes, the population will drop below 300 and will no longer be viable as a self-governing jurisdiction.
The future prosperity of the people of Sark should not be subject to the whim of one private individual. The Island is a British Crown Dependency yet one man has powers unequalled in Western Europe since 1930s’ Germany and he uses those powers to ride roughshod over the needs of his people.
In Christopher Beaumont’s Sark our children are denied the basic human right to a full state-funded secondary education. They are the only child subjects of Her Majesty the Queen to be denied a full and proper education but the man entrusted with a Crown Lease, the absentee feudal lord Christopher Beaumont, does not see it as his responsibility. He merely looks the other way whilst at the same time pocketing a £36,000 a year taxpayer-funded stipend plus uncapped and undisclosed expenses. This is money that should be spent on educating Sark’s children rather than subsidising his and his family’s luxury lifestyle in rural Herefordshire.
The list of responsibilities that Christopher Beaumont shows no understanding of having inherited is endless - care for the elderly, rebuilding Sark’s economy and fixing the Island’s infrastructure to name but few. Does he understand the responsibilities he inherited? Unfortunately for the people of Sark, the answer is an emphatic no.
2nd March 2017
A MESSAGE TO CHRISTOPHER BEAUMONT FROM THE PEOPLE OF SARK: RELINQUISH YOUR POWERS AND GIVE SARK A FUTURE
This week the Sark Newspaper carries its 37th direct appeal to feudal lord Christopher Beaumont on behalf of the people of Sark. Word on the street, however, is that the Island’s absentee feudal lord is considering selling the Fief of Sark to an as yet undisclosed purchaser. Any such sale would offer more than a glimmer of hope to the working men and women of Sark who have suffered through eight years of economic ethnic cleansing akin to that last witnessed in 1930s Germany.
However, true to form, Christopher Beaumont is putting his own self-interests before that of his people and he is said to currently be feigning indifference in a cynical ploy to get as high a price as he can for his Fief.
It is obvious that Sark’s current autocratic leader and his wife do not belong here. Along with their children they will never be permanent year-round residents of Sark. The life-style afforded to them in their luxury home nestling in the Malvern Hills is as far removed from life on Sark as one could imagine. No one can see Mrs Sarah Vivienne Rees-Beaumont trading her social life with the Herefordshire county set for a plate of scampi and chips at Sark’s Island Hall, a licensed establishment that has all the air and charm of a 1970s’ working men's club. It is obvious that Christopher Beaumont has his price and would be a willing seller.
It must be hoped that any prospective purchaser would put the interests of all of the people of Sark before those of their own. If Christopher Beaumont does sell to someone with a true interest in developing the democracy and the economy that Sark desperately needs to have a sustainable future - someone who wants this Island to take its rightful place in the world as an independent fully representative democracy - then the entire nature and tone of the Sark Newspaper would change beyond recognition. The Editor asserts that he merely holds up a mirror to the actions and deeds of those in public life in Sark and, in the public interest, reports in plain English, exactly what he sees.
On behalf of the people of Sark the Sark Newspaper appeals to Christopher Beaumont to get on with it and find someone with the means and determination to take an interest in the future of this Island and its people:
• Someone who understands that the people of Sark want an economy which can sustain them with jobs offering secure year-round employment. • Someone who understands that the people of Sark want land reform which permits them, finally, to aspire to home ownership by way of raising a mortgage against their very own Island property.
• Someone who understands that the people of Sark want the security of law and order; the protection afforded them, their families and their assets by fit-for-purpose, independent and professional law enforcement, border control and an unbiased and independent judiciary able and allowed to deliver justice.
• Above all, someone who understands that the people of Sark want the democracy they were promised would materialise eight very long years ago with the introduction of the Reform Law of 2008.
None of the above will happen until Christopher Beaumont finds a buyer who will meet his asking price. In the meantime Sark faces yet more business closures, further record unemployment and a continuation of the unprecedented depopulation of the Island which has already seen numbers drop from over 650 year-round residents in December 2008 to below 420 today. Christopher Beaumont has a chance to shape history by selling up and relinquishing his powers. In doing so he will take a momentous step: he will give the Island of Sark and its people a future.
23rd February 2017
THE ROGUE STATE OF SARK
WESTERN EUROPE’S LAST DICTATORSHIP
Sark is the last dictatorship in Western Europe - a self-legislating state where no one has a single elected representative in government. It is over four years since the people of Sark saw a ballot box and they find themselves under the rule of Christopher Beaumont, an unelected dictator, his unelected state officials and a 25-member sham parliament of which not one member has faced the electorate, received a single vote or holds a mandate from the people of Sark to govern.
Sark’s absentee dictator Christopher Beaumont is the possessor of powers that have not been vested in one individual since Germany in the 1930s. Courtesy of his inherited Crown Lease he owns Sark’s constitution, its jurisdiction and his own court over which his uncle, the local crane driver Jeremy La Trobe- Bateman presides, alone, despite having no previous experience in law and having no legal qualifications.
From his luxury home nestling on the western side of the Malvern Hills in the UK, Christopher Beaumont collects an annual tax-free stipend equal to the basic tax contributions of 25% of the Island’s adult population whilst using his immense powers to control every aspect of life in Sark. Like his father before him, the avaricious Michael Beaumont, Sark’s current dictator’s fingerprints are never to be found at the scene of the crime. Whilst the economic ethnic cleansing of Sark continues apace, Christopher Beaumont remains ensconced in his UK luxury home.
As was the case in fascist Germany of the 1930s, a dictator cannot hold the people in an iron grip on his own. He needs loyal supporters, people with the same immoral doctrine of putting their own self-interest above the interests of those over whom they rule. A dictator also cannot hold onto power without an efficient and unquestioning machinery of state to implement his wishes as well as maintain and, whenever the opportunity arises, strengthen his position.
In Janet Guy Christopher Beaumont has selected the ideal second-in-command to oversee the guardianship of his dictatorship in his absence. Deeply unpopular with the people, the power-hungry Guy is interested only in protecting Sark’s status as a rogue and lawless state and has been a key proponent of the one-party state’s eight years of economic ethnic cleansing. A former member of the Island’s sham parliament and, up until her retirement, employed by the state as the headmistress of Sark’s school, her betrayal of the working men and women of Sark is matched only by her betrayal of the Island’s children. Not once has she spoken out on their behalf to demand that they be afforded a full state-funded education. The self-serving Guy chose instead to put her own interest above those of others.
Kath Jones, Sark’s senior administrator, is the first line of protection for the Island's absentee dictator. Despite being lauded as an ‘independent administrator’ when selected for her role in October 2013 by the then autocratic ruler Michael Beaumont, she has shown herself to be anything but independent. Her dedication to the one ruling party state was, to the detriment of the people of Sark, instrumental in facilitating a seamless hand-over of power to Christopher Beaumont upon the sudden death of his late father Michael in July 2016.
Although a British Crown Dependency and a part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, Sark is ruled over by an unelected absentee dictator, his unelected state officials and a sham, wholly unelected parliament. It can justly be described as the last remaining dictatorship in Western Europe.
16th February 2017 -
THE UNIQUE TOTALITARIAN ONE-PARTY STATE OF SARK:
EXEMPT FROM INTERNATIONAL TAX COMPLIANCE LEGISLATION
Last week the Sark Newspaper reported on the statement below, issued by the States of Guernsey. In essence, the democratically elected government of Guernsey is announcing two things: • The Bailiwick of Guernsey, including Brecqhou and Jethou, is complying with international tax compliance legislation.
• The Island of Sark, although a part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, is not. It is, for undisclosed reasons, uniquely exempt.
What makes this Island so unique that, unequalled in the western world, it is exempt from international tax compliance legislation? The feeble excuse given by Sark’s unelected ‘government’ for this exemption is that the data required is not collected because the local administration to do so is non-existent. This is a lie. Even the smaller Islands of Brecqhou and Jethou are considered compliant. Sark refuses to cooperate with the outside world, be it with Guernsey or with the international community at large, in the on-going war on tax evasion and other financial fraud and no one outside of Sark has the power to do anything about it. Not the elected government of Guernsey. Not the UK Ministry of Justice and not the British Crown. They are prepared instead to permit feudal lord Christopher Beaumont’s one-party state to remain exempt from international tax compliance legislation regardless of the serious reputational damage that this is inflicting on Guernsey’s ever fragile financial services sector.
Nothing in Sark can be taken on face value. It has taken four pages of this edition to publish, in the public interest, the known directorships, past and current, of a local electrician and employee of Sark Electricity Ltd, Simon Boyd De Carteret, the one ruling party state’s tax assessor. In addition to his day-job and his side-line as provider of unregulated “offshore financial services” De Carteret is also paid by Sark’s unelected ‘government’ to collect the taxes they extort from the Island’s people, despite the fact that not one member of this sham "government" has a mandate from the electorate to make laws, enforce laws, or to raise taxes. Paying the one ruling party’s tax demands is akin to paying protection money to a criminal mob.
A study of people’s lifestyles, in particular the members and supporters of the one ruling party state, reveal all sorts of anomalies when comparing their visible lifestyles and wealth to the income achievable from their apparent livelihoods. This is because Sark, as vividly illustrated on pages 8 - 11 of this publication, remains a centre for highly lucrative unregulated “offshore financial services” of the kind that international tax compliance legislation is seeking to eradicate. It is a small wonder that Guernsey is desperate to protect its all-important reputation as a law-abiding and well-regulated jurisdiction with which it is safe to do business by publicly washing its hands of Sark.
With no border control, no professional policing, no company law or register and no collection of data, not even of who is resident here, the British Crown Dependency of Sark is unique in the western world. Anyone can come here - including criminals just out of prison - and conduct lucrative "business" that is registered nowhere, regulated nowhere, pays tax nowhere and evades each and every piece of international tax compliance regulation in existence.
9th February 2017
SARK’S ECONOMY HAS COLLAPSED
SARK’S POPULATION HAS SHRUNK BY 35%
SARK’S INFRASTRUCTURE IS FALLING APART
SARK’S SHIPPING COMPANY IS BROKE
Over the past eight years numerous small business on Sark, the very life blood of the Island’s visible economy, have closed their doors for good - succumbing to the state-sponsored campaign of anti-business legislation, regulations, bullying, harassment and intimidation. Enforced by 21st century brownshirts loyal to the Beaumont family’s totalitarian regime, this campaign has amounted to economic ethnic cleansing, the likes of which have not been seen in Western Europe since fascist Germany of the 1930s. It has resulted in the people of Sark suffering widespread hardship and austerity. Given the Island’s unique and privileged position in the world, its people should instead have been enjoying a decade of increasing prosperity and year on year rises in their standards of living.
The reality is that on Sark, a British Crown Dependency, the economy has collapsed and the state’s attack on the livelihoods of its own people has resulted in an unprecedented forced exodus of working men, women and children. The number of full time year-round residents has fallen dramatically, from over 650 in December 2008 to below 420 today, a drop of 35%.
Sark’s infrastructure is at breaking point. Year on year the forced exodus of young working families has resulted in less and less residents paying both direct and indirect taxes into the Island’s exchequer. This leaves little money to carry out even basic care and maintenance of a neglected and already crumbling infrastructure. What little taxpayer-funded expenditure there is on care and maintenance is kept firmly within the control of the unelected one ruling party state members and supporters, as is the resulting employment.
Edric Baker, Paul Williams, Colin Golds, Peter Byrne, Robert Cottle, Antony Dunks and Cormac Scott are just a few of the unelected members of the one ruling party state parliament who award themselves tax payer funded state employment. Along with their fellow members of the one ruling party state parliament, not one of them have faced the electorate, not one of them have received a single vote and not one of them have a mandate from the people to govern on their behalf. Like the fascist dictatorships of Europe in the 1930s, Christopher Beaumont, Sark’s autocratic leader, uses his unelected chief enforcers Janet Guy, Reginald Guille and Edric Baker to ensure that every member and supporter of his regime, all of whom are wholly unelected follow the dictator’s code of:
“All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”
The Island’s monopoly-operating Isle of Sark Shipping Company is broke with no contingency for replacing its ageing fleet of ships. Repeatedly it has been deferring paying back the hundreds of thousands of pounds of outstanding unsecured loans which the Sark taxpayer has lent it for as long as anyone can remember. There isn't a bank on the planet that would lend the company a penny, an appalling testimony to the mismanagement of a company operating free of competition on its passenger and freight services in and out of Sark.
Each year the Island of Sark returns a budget deficit of £2 million, a figure confirmed and validated by the late Lt. Governor of Guernsey, Air Marshal Peter Walker. Despite the reputational damage which Christopher Beaumont's lawless and unregulated state causes to Guernsey’s principal economic driver, the financial services sector, successive Guernsey governments have, for unknown and unstated reasons, seen fit to syphon off £2 million of their taxpayer’s money each year to fill the hole in Sark’s public finances to shore up the Beaumont family’s one ruling party state.
How much longer will the taxpayer of Guernsey be willing to bail out the morally and financially bankrupt Island of Sark? It is an Island run by unelected state officials who have not faced the electorate, have not received a single vote and have no mandate to govern. The fact that a majority of Sark’s unelected state officials have a documented involvement with the very same unregulated “offshore financial services” that now pose a significant threat to the survival of Guernsey’s own regulated and law-abiding financial services sector is lost on no one, least of all Guernsey’s hard pressed taxpayers.
2nd February 2017 -
GOVERNMENT OF THE ONE RULING PARTY
STATE FOR THE ONE RULING PARTY STATE
These three individuals, absentee feudal lord Christopher Beaumont, his chosen deputy Janet Guy and their carefully selected senior administrator Kath Jones, form the top of the governance of the totalitarian one ruling party state of Sark, despite the fact that not one of them is elected, and not one of them has a mandate from the people of this Island to govern.
Indeed, the people of Sark haven’t seen a ballot box since 2012. They’ve only seen business closures, unemployment, hardship, depopulation and rising taxes - as well as soaring household expenditure as a result of the economy of scale pushing up prices for electricity, gas, heating oil and the weekly shopping bill.
Whilst the unelected leaders and members of the one ruling party state award themselves taxpayer-funded employment and patronage, the people over whom they hold totalitarian power go without. Illustrated by the fact that two more families, four adults and six children, will be leaving Sark by Easter, maintaining a life on this Island is becoming increasingly difficult. Unless, of course, you are a member of Christopher Beaumont’s one ruling party government. Comfortably insulated from the consequences of their own actions through inherited fortune, unregulated “offshore financial services” and / or state patronage. The unelected leaders and members of Sark’s fascist one ruling party government continue down the path of economic destruction because it suits them; they don’t need to acknowledge that this Island is in crisis because they are well provided for regardless.
With his opening speech to the one ruling party parliament on 18th January this year, absentee feudal lord Christopher Beaumont showed his true colours by lying about the background of the closing down of Sark Vineyards Ltd and openly displaying scorn and hostility towards the budding new industry that was also his Island’s largest employer.
Whether or not Beaumont took his cue from the deeply unpopular Janet Guy, his chosen deputy, is unclear but not unlikely. The best-knowing Guy, a one ruling party hard-liner, was, after all, prominent amongst the one ruling party state members demonstrating and petitioning against the vineyards (and against the free press) in the first place. Senior administrator Kath Jones has so far been careful to operate in the shadows provided by the closed doors of Sark’s government. Last week she also showed her true colours - and her one ruling party credentials - by circulating falsehoods and lies surrounding the vineyards presented as facts without bothering to check their veracity. So much for the “objectivity” and “independence” of a civil servant parachuted into Sark by the UK Ministry of Justice to introduce good governance.
Under the leadership of the unelected trio consisting of Christopher Beaumont, Janet Guy and Kath Jones, the British Crown Dependency of Sark continues to be governed by self-interest - by the one ruling party state for the one ruling party state. Whatever the consequences for everyone else.
27th January 2017
OUR 32ND APPEAL TO FEUDAL LORD CHRISTOPHER BEAUMONT ON BEHALF OF THE PEOPLE OF SARK:
THIS IS YOUR ISLAND;
IT IS YOUR CONSTITUTION,
AND YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
Sark's economy is in a state of collapse. Over 225 jobs have been lost and most of the unemployed have had no choice but to leave the Island for good and make a life for themselves elsewhere. Many of those remaining are suffering hardship, having difficulties paying the rent and putting food on the table. Shops and businesses, big and small, have closed down, others are on the verge of bankruptcy.
The lives of many families have been devastated and over 230 Islanders have already left and others are in the process of leaving simply because they have no other choice. The fact that the Island’s resident population has dropped from 650 in 2008 to below 420 today and is still shrinking rapidly speaks for itself.
Sark is losing its life-blood, its people.
The Island’s cash reserves are depleted, consisting mainly of worthless shares in the Isle of Sark Shipping Company, whilst swingeing tax increases are continuously imposed on a diminishing number of taxpayers. As matters stand, your Island is not sustainable - neither its tourism-dependent economy nor the population which depends on that economy for their livelihoods. Without a dramatic change - without a viable economic plan which includes the border control that will give Sark direct access to the European tourist market and without a fundamental reversal of policy to restore investor confidence - the Island has no viable economic future.
You have the power to implement that change and we appeal to you, on behalf of this Island’s people, to do so before it is too late.
For 137 weeks the late feudal lord Michael Beaumont ignored our appeals on behalf of the people of Sark. Following in his father’s ignoble footsteps, so has his heir Christopher Beaumont for 32 consecutive weeks. Michael Beaumont didn’t want to help the people over whom he held enormous unelected power. Neither, we must conclude, does Christopher Beaumont.
Beaumont claims to be concerned about the recent loss of 25 jobs with the closure of Sark Vineyards Ltd but that concern rings hollow indeed in view of the fact that he has expressed nothing but scornful hostility towards the enterprise itself. For 6 months he has owned the Crown Lease on the Island of Sark, its constitution, jurisdiction and judiciary and he has shown that, like his father before him, he is unwilling to support the introduction of border control in his jurisdiction. A simple measure that would give Sark’s tourist industry - and consequently its economy - a fighting chance. Instead, like father, like son, Christopher Beaumont is willing to preside over the continuing depopulation of his Island due to the economy being wilfully destroyed by the unelected and unmandated totalitarian regime over which he proudly presides. Sark’s current feudal lord is, like his predecessor, an uncaring man incapable of concern for the welfare of others.
19th January 2017
FEUDAL LORD CHRISTOPHER BEAUMONT’S
ONE RULING PARTY STATE:
AN UNLAWFUL GOVERNMENT IN BREACH OF THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
The introduction of the European Convention on Human Rights after World War II came about to protect the individual against the powers of the State following years of oppression under fascist dictatorships and Nazism across Europe.
Despite being a British Crown Dependency and therefore a signatory to the Convention, the Island of Sark has been allowed to be in breach of the ECHR for decades. Indeed, Sark has never complied with ECHR laws. The Island was headed by one unelected individual, feudal lord Michael Beaumont, for over 40 years and more recently by his son Christopher Beaumont, who inherited from his father, ownership of the Island’s constitution, jurisdiction and judiciary, which is a complete contradiction to the ECHR laws. The Island’s parliament is merely a sham to give the impression to the outside world of a democratic government. It is presided over by the unelected Christopher Beaumont along with the Lt. Governors of these Islands to give it legislative credibility, but the reality is that it’s a one ruling party system of government with no opposing party politicians as alternatives.
The people of Sark are deprived their right to self-determination under ECHR because no one in Sark’s parliament represents the people. Not one of its members and not one of its leaders are elected. The parliament therefore has no mandate from the people to govern. In breach of ECHR, Sark’s parliament has no mandate to pass laws, no mandate to enforce those laws through their committees, no mandate to raise taxes and no mandate to collect them.
The Island of Sark is run under the authoritarian power of feudal lord Christopher Beaumont by an unelected mob which can only be liked to the brownshirts of fascist Germany of the 1930s. This unelected mob has destroyed Sark’s economy and consequently depopulated the Island by 30% in a process which can fairly be described as economic ethnic cleansing. The Island is left with no future. Only those chosen for taxpayer-funded employment by the one ruling party state and the unelected members of the unelected ruling elite who continue to make substantial amounts of tax free money for themselves by operating thousands of unregulated offshore directorships of letterbox companies, serving no obvious commercial purpose and other unregulated “offshore financial services” which enable tax evasion, money laundering and other financial crimes, to survive in Sark.
ECHR legislation was introduced for the very purpose of ensuring that fascism would never again rise in Europe. Until such time that the Crown enforces the introduction of the principles of the ECHR on Sark, for which the British government is responsible, the citizens of this rogue Island will, in blatant breach of ECHR, remain oppressed by an unelected mob, subjected to a regime which can only be described as fascist.
The hypocrisy of the UK government is there for all to see. Although a founding signatory to the ECHR and despite being responsible on an international level for the good governance of Sark, they have allowed this Crown Dependency to function under the powers of one unelected Michael Beaumont and now his son Christopher Beaumont in obvious breach of the Convention. They have permitted the Island of Sark to develop into a fascist dictatorship under the unelected Beaumont family; a dictatorship with a sham one ruling party parliament, the members of which are not elected by the people, do not represent the people and do not protect the interests of the people but are instead chosen by the unelected feudal lord and his inner circle to represent the views and protect the interests of the unelected feudal lord and his one ruling party state members and supporters.
In breach of ECHR, Sark’s unelected government is itself unlawful. As are the decisions it makes, the legislation it votes through and the taxes it attempts to raise taxes to fund its own continuation.
12th January 2017
FEUDAL LORD CHRISTOPHER BEAUMONT:
STANDING BETWEEN DEMOCRACY AND MOB RULE
Christopher Beaumont was proud and pleased to inherit a lawless Island where the unelected members of the one ruling party state parliament make up laws and regulations in accordance with his constitution.
He is proud and comfortable with being the owner and an unaccountable ruler of a lawless Island hallmarked by the mob rule of unelected people who, like himself, have no mandate to govern, no mandate to pass legislation and no mandate to raise taxes.
SARK'S MOB RULE IS FUNDED BY LUCRATIVE UNREGULATED "OFFSHORE FINANCIAL SERVICES"
As the owner of the Crown Lease on the Fief of Sark, feudal lord Christopher Beaumont is the Island’s undisputed supreme leader. Although a private individual accountable to no one, courtesy of his inherited lease Beaumont owns the constitution and the jurisdiction of Sark and he appoints the judges and officials of his own court. He holds dictatorial powers not seen in Europe since the rise of Hitler's Germany in the 1930s.
These are the same powers and privileges which his father Michael Beaumont managed to retain under Sark's deeply flawed Reform Laws of 2008 and 2010, through Machiavellian manoeuvrings behind the scenes and powers which he exercised, with the indispensable assistance of his right-hand man Reginald Guille and his left-hand man Edric Baker, to establish his Fief as a totalitarian one ruling party state in which he, like Hitler in 1930s’ Germany, was the unassailable and undisputed supreme ruler. The Crown Dependency of Sark became subject to mob rule instead of the democracy its people were promised.
Along with the position of supreme ruler with powers and privileges that are incompatible with democracy in any shape or form, absentee feudal lord Christopher Beaumont also inherited from his avaricious father substantial wealth in the form of property and money. Property and money which the late Michael Beaumont amassed partly by exercising his feudal powers and privileges to the full - by assiduously collecting his Treizième, his personal 7.69% tax on all property sales. All of which went straight into his own pocket, partly by claiming for himself all property and worldly goods of Islanders dying intestate, partly by preying on the weak and vulnerable and, most notably, by trading on his status as Seigneur of Sark and prostituting his Island by signing on as director with thousands of letterbox companies in far flung tax havens around the world. Over 650 directorships in Panama alone - shell companies that serve no commercial purpose and exist only to facilitate financial crimes such as tax evasion, laundering the proceeds of crime and the funding of terrorism.
Regardless of the huge reputational damage he thereby caused, both to Sark itself and the Channel Islands in general, the "Sark Lark" made Michael Beaumont a rich man, a "fabulous legacy" now enjoyed by his son and heir. Whether his son Christopher also inherited lucrative positions in offshore shell companies is an open question.
Where Sark's autocratic feudal lord leads, his inner circle of supporters - and anyone else deemed worthy to be invited into this exclusive club - will inevitably follow. The "Sark Lark", and later its more modern permutations of unregulated "offshore financial services" provided Sark's leading families with easy money. As an illustration, one single directorship can today pay £10,000 a year.
Not only the highly privileged Beaumont family, but close feudal / fascist supporters like the extended family of Reginald Guille, members of the Beaumonts’ unelected one ruling party parliament like Paul Williams, Sandra Williams, Alan Blythe and William Raymond, court officials like deputy judge Ewan de Carteret and Greffier Trevor Hamon or such as state officials like treasurer Wendy Kiernan, committee secretary Caroline Robins or state tribunal member Bertha Cole. The ruling elite of the Beaumont family’s totalitarian one ruling party state jumped onto the lucrative gravy train of “offshore financial services” operated well below the radar of international regulators.
The political decision-making process as well as the administration of the British Crown Dependency of Sark is endemically corrupted by unregulated lucrative offshore activities, the proceeds from which are untaxed, unregistered and uncontrolled on Christopher Beaumont’s lawless Island. Sark’s unelected and unmandated rulers, from the Beaumont family down to their lowly servants on the various one ruling party state tribunals, are free to destroy the Island’s economy because, unlike the population at large, they don’t depend on it to provide the income that funds their lives here.
Sark Electricity Ltd’s quarterly update, circulated to Island households this week, states that in 2014 there were 7 empty commercial properties in Sark. In 2015 the figure had grown to 11, and in 2016 to 16. Now, in January 2017 there are 23. A record 7 commercial enterprises have closed their doors for good on this tiny Island over the past year alone, and today the news broke that Sark Vineyards Ltd is closing down too. As SEL director David Gordon-Brown so succinctly puts it, "the exodus of business from Sark continues". The economic cleansing of Sark by an unelected and unmandated totalitarian regime, the likes of which has not been seen in Europe since Germany of the 1930s, is near complete.
An unelected mob akin to Nazi brownshirts has created a political climate in which commercial enterprise cannot survive, let alone make a profit, unless it is state-owned or state-sponsored. An unelected mob which has shown it will stop at nothing - be it creating targeted legislation or devising punitive taxes, or be it state-sponsored boycotts or state-condoned vandalism - to destroy all commercial or financial interests that are not their own. With the encouragement of the unelected Christopher Beaumont and funded by lucrative unregulated “offshore financial services”, a self-serving and unelected fascist mob has destroyed the Island of Sark - its economy and its future.
6th January 2017
THE CHIEF ENFORCERS
OF MOB RULE AKIN TO FASCIST GERMANY OF THE 1930s
Feudal lord Christopher Beaumont inherited the Crown Lease on the Fief of Sark from the 22nd Seigneur of Sark Michael Beaumont. Like his father before him, Christopher Beaumont, an unelected private individual, is thereby owner of the constitution, jurisdiction and judiciary of the British Crown Dependency of Sark. Also like his father before him, Christopher Beaumont has clearly no intention of giving up his autocratic power over every aspect of life on his Island. He has, with his actions and words, made it patently clear that the apple does not fall far from the tree - Sark’s 23rd feudal lord will not under any circumstances give up the unelected powers and privileges which ensure that his Island remains a totalitarian fascist mini-state instead of developing into the democracy his people were promised eight long years ago.
In one respect only Christopher Beaumont differs from his father. Although publicly boasting of the "fabulous legacy" of power, status, property and wealth left to him by his avaricious father - and although having no hesitation in collecting his annual, taxpayer-funded, index-linked stipend, currently over £35,000 a year, plus unpublished expenses in return for unspecified duties - Christopher Beaumont clearly has no intention of living in Sark.
Someone must hold the fort whilst the feudal lord resides comfortably at a secret location in the UK. Christopher Beaumont picked the deeply unpopular feudal fundamentalist Janet Guy to act as his unelected deputy and exercise his autocratic power in his absence - a choice obviously made under the guidance of his father’s chief enforcer and right-hand man Reginald Guille, to whom the new feudal lord has openly admitted he turns to whenever he needs advice.
However extensive deputy Seigneur Janet Guy’s powers are, and regardless of how much she knows best, she alone cannot be trusted to ensure that nothing and no-one is permitted to threaten the totalitarian one ruling party state so carefully established by the late Michael Beaumont and his chief enforcer Reginald Guille.
That is why Guille, who only "retired" from the position of unelected "president" of Sark’s one ruling party parliament a couple of months ago, has stepped into the arena again, still unelected but this time, we are meant to believe, as a mere member of the assembly over which he ruled for 16 years with a rod of iron.
No one is fooled. For 16 years this Island has been under the jackboot of the unelected and unmandated Reginald Guille acting on behalf of his feudal lord, and he is not giving up any time soon. Alongside Janet Guy, Guille will continue to be the chief enforcer of the mob rule of Sark’s feudal lord, ensuring that Sark remains a rogue fascist state with frightening parallels to fascist Germany of the 1930s.