Virgin voters on Sark won’t be bullied

Seneschal (chief judge) Lt Col Reg Guille said: “The last time the people of Sark were told how to vote was in 1940.
“We got our independence back in 1945 at the point of a bayonet. The people have voted. They’ve chosen their government.”

Democracy especially when new minted is a beautiful thing but less so when it returns the “wrong” result, as all Irish voters know. On Sark, old money but less of it seems more preferable than pots of new money. The Daily Telegraph carefully reports the failure of their proprietors to win the first Sark elections on their own terms which seem precious like a takeover and not democracy at all. The immediate closure of the hotels looks like a severe case of intimidation. If they made money, what did they have to lose, except their pride and lust to dominate? The virgin voters of Sark have decided not to swap rickety feudalism for economic dictatorship. The Barclays are exposed as bullies. I hope their wider reputation suffers.

The BBC have opened one of their new local interactive websites on the Sark issue. The comments should be interesting because very local.

  • bollix

    I find it amusing that people organising to vote against the barclays canditates are accused of “orchestrating” matters, or guilty of “block voting”. Surely that is precisely what democracy is?
    The Barclay brothers don’t appear on the electoral roll, they don’t stand themselves for election, they don’t attend Chief Pleas (the parliament) instead getting their lawyer to go in their stead. They bankroll a newspaper written by an editor who remains anonymous and doesn’t even live on the island (the newspaper which accuses opponents of being “feudial talibanists”). They go to great efforts to promote democracy, then when the first democratic vote goes against them, they inflict a collective punishment on voters. This is Borat-standard fantasy “if you vote for him it will be good, if you do not, he will CRUSH you” (i’m sure you can trace the clip on youtube).

    It really is as blatant as bribing the electorate. Vote for us, you get cash. Vote against us, we screw you. It is sailing very close to an attack on the entire democratic process. A fair response to an attack on the economic life of the island would be to freeze assets of those doing the attacking. Or raising a tax on vacant property owned by non-residents etc etc.

    Well done to the people of sark. A good slap in the face to money buying principles. Just a pity that they will now be suffering from the petulant schoolboys who are taking their ball away after they lost the game.

  • Shirley McGuffin

    Good on them for taking their money out. Teach these plebs a thing or two. Of couse, comment elsewhere is not as crazed or as bitter as it is here.

  • Rory Carr

    Wasn’t it F Scott Fitzgerald who wrote in The Great Gatsby something to the effect that “the very rich are different from you and I”? About none such a pair would this observation be more apt than if applied to the Barclay Brothers. I shouldn’t really be bothered about their “wider reputation” suffering overmuch by their latest escapade.

    It is the strange irony of this pair posing as champions of democracy battling the old windmills of seigneurial authority, as efficient wealth-creating Roundheads against oppressive, lazy, corrupt Cavalier bullies and demonstrating their commitment by punishing most fiercely those who fought hardest on their side in this battle which they have lost – those Sark employees of theirs now dismissed.

    But what else is to be expected from a pair who have been busily sacking anyone on the Telegraph who was ever any good, displayed any talent or facility for thinking? Craig Brown and A.N Wilson are the latest of a long line. I shouldn’t be surprised if Matt is next to find that he wil suddenly be drawing his last Telegraph paycheck.

    What is it with these guys? Jesus! they already have an island all to themselves and now they want another one. And they are a miserable pair of buggers by all accounts, while I, poor and decrepit, am content to live in the tough inner-city where:

    Wiv a ladder an’ some glasses
    You could see the ‘ackney Marshes
    If it wasn’t for the ‘ouses in between.