Perhaps the best way to judge whether I’m worth your vote is to look at what I stand for. Even if you don’t agree with everything I’m setting out in my manifesto, knowing who I am, how I work and what I value means that at least you know what kind of representative you’ll get…
First, I’ve always tried to be open and honest.
I believe in transparency, in sharing information and in honest engagement. These are values that run through me like a stick of rock.
I believe in these values because I know personally how much I resent it when I feel information is being withheld, or even worse when I’m being told lies. We all have the right to make decisions about our lives based on the best information available. It’s a principle I carried through my TV career – when you trust people with information, they’re much more likely to come with you.
From a political point of view, being open and honest means setting out the arguments and relevant information in full view. It means exposing yourself to questions and criticism. It means arguing for what you believe in. Unfortunately, our current Council of Ministers seems to have the opposite approach – the lack of transparency within government is frankly outrageous. The result is that trust has been lost, cynicism abounds, and resistance to government policies has mounted. It is all so counterproductive and so unnecessary.
Second, I believe in fairness.
Everyone deserves a fair chance in life and it upsets me to see people held down by circumstances that are beyond their control. Removing barriers to opportunity is vital – not just for moral reasons, but also because as a community we all need everyone to be able to contribute their best. Everyone has something to give, everyone has creativity and imagination, but it’s hard to be your best if you’re living in squalid housing, if you’re struggling to feed your kids, or if you’re beaten down by a bullying boss.
The greatest pleasure in my career has been in helping others to achieve. I wouldn’t say I got it right every time, but experience has taught me that the way to liberate the potential in all of us is to create a supportive environment and remove the barriers that stop us from contributing. That means committing resources to fighting poverty, tackling housing affordability and investing in education and training.
I built my career on my reputation for always delivering – my TV projects were creatively ambitious, but they also came in on time and on budget. I’m proud of my professionalism, my commitment to get things done and done well. You cannot survive in television without the ability to react quickly to events, make decisions fast, and prioritise to achieve a goal that may be in danger of slipping away. My years on Newsnight meant I learnt how to stay calm under the intense pressure of producing a daily news programme.
Politics in Jersey could do with some level-headed, common-sense decision making coupled with determination to see a project through. I think I have those qualities.