13th December 2019



Boris has done it, as he said he would, and he’s done it in style. Inflicting the worst defeat on the Labour Party since 1935, Johnson has secured a mandate from the British people to deliver Brexit and to see off the spectre of a Marxist government of Corbyn, McDonnell and Abbott.

The congratulations and plaudits that are currently being showered on Boris Johnson and his team pale into insignificance when compared to those due to the British electorate. They have demonstrated via the ballot box what anyone with a modicum of common sense understood all along. The Corbynistas may have been able to fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but could not fool all the people all the time.

Johnson represents the polar opposite of the homogenised Westminster professional politician. Rather than trying to be all things to all people, he is a conviction politician and the UK electorate have acknowledged this by delivering a landslide victory comparable to that of Margaret Thatcher’s 1987 victory. The sooner the political class take this lesson on board, the sooner the country can benefit from having a credible opposition party that can hold the new Conservative government to account. Corbyn and his Marxist allies must be banished to the annals of history and the Labour Party must regroup around the free market socialist ideals that saw them dominate Westminster politics during the early part of the 21st century. A democratically elected government without a formidable opposition, regardless of the size of their majority, is detrimental to democracy.

In Sark the only opposition to the one-party state is the free press. Chief Pleas remains heavily influenced by unelected would-be politicians who, unlike Boris Johnson, have not faced the electorate, have not received a single vote and have no mandate from the people to govern on their behalf.

The Sark Newspaper has done more than any other institution to drive the transition from Sark’s feudal style of government to a fully representative 21st century democracy. In the absence of any opposition to what, in effect, remains a one-party state, the free press fulfils the role of the opposition by holding the democratically elected and unelected members of Chief Pleas to account.

More than this, The Sark Newspaper has, through years of campaigning, proved itself as the greatest defender of the people of Sark’s autonomy, independence and right to self-determination.

Boris Johnson has staked all on delivering Brexit and reasserting the UK’s right to self-determination. He has rightly demanded that the British people are freed from the interference of unelected Brussels bureaucrats. The Sark Newspaper respectfully asserts on behalf of the people of Sark that, if these principals are good enough for Boris Johnsons’ electorate, they are good enough for the electorate of Sark.

We are not part of Boris Johnsons’ United Kingdom but are possessions of the British Crown with independent administration, and not answerable to him or his Westminster politicians. We had no vote in yesterdays’ historic elections nor do we seek one in any future elections. We have no political representation in Johnsons’ government of the UK, nor do we seek any. No one in Sark has a vote in the UK parliamentary elections nor do we seek one. Not one member of the UK government, not even the victorious Boris Johnson, holds a mandate from the people of Sark to govern over them.

In recent years there has been too many attempts by the UK government under the auspices of the Ministry of Justice to interfere in Sark’s affairs. The governance of Sark is far from perfect, but it is for the people of Sark to address, no one else.

Good advice from the UK government or those of the Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey, or the Isle of Man is welcome, but it can never be more than that. The people of Sark have an inalienable right to self-determination enshrined in a Crown lease held by our Seigneur, Major Christopher Beaumont. The heavy handedness with which the UK Ministry of Justice has tried to bully and cajole the people of Sark in recent years must stop.

If Boris Johnson understands anything, it is the wrong in a people being told what to do by Ministers and bureaucrats who have no mandate from the people to do so. Johnson must call off his attack dog, Lord Keen of Elie, the UK’s Minister for the Crown Dependencies, and make it clear that he has no right to interfere in Sark’s internal affairs.

Sark’s government may well be influenced by unelected would-be politicians who have not faced the electorate, have not received a single vote, and who have no mandate from the people to govern on their behalf. However, last December, with the support of the free press, Sark held its first contested democratic election since December 2012. In 12 months’ time a second general election will be held and The Sark Newspaper will play a major role in ensuring its success. Importantly, regardless of who wins and who loses, it will continue to scrutinise the actions of Chief Pleas, and, in the public interest, hold those in power to account. Today is Boris Johnson’s day. A time for him and others on and off Sark to reflect on the need for the electorate to the deliver a mandate to govern via the ballot box. The UK government holds no such mandate from the people of Sark, something they would do well to respect.