As promised, we have now published our definitive statement on our departure. This press release, from 10pm, 15th August, is as much as we wish to say on the subject. Now we shall move on.
"In the light of the press release of Friday 13th August from the JDA Honorary President we believe it to be necessary to clarify the following:
Due to a growing difference of opinion between leading JDA members regarding issues of strategy and political direction all JDA Council Members and the party’s membership were contacted on the 11th August to advise them that JDA Deputy Chairman, David Rotherham, Deputies Trevor and Shona Pitman and Deputy Debbie De Sousa were resigning from the JDA as of this date.
Though this was a difficult and painful decision to make given the number of years of blood, sweat and tears that we have given to developing the JDA, we took this decision in the hope of preventing irreconcilable differences developing into, or being spun as an acrimonious public quarrel. To this regard we intended putting out only the briefest of statements to the media.
All four of us believe passionately that to ultimately bring about the change our island so desperately needs, we have to engage a wider cross-section of Jersey’s ordinary working people in line with our centre-left political principles; as opposed to allowing ourselves to be wrongly portrayed as representing the interests of only a certain section of society.
Unfortunately, even in the light of the Honorary President’s surprising press release we perceive this narrow base to be the current direction of the JDA pursued by a minority Council. This is simply not the political ideology that we signed up to when we joined, and is not what we have worked so hard for. It is also certainly not true of the diverse constituent base that Deputies S. Pitman, T. Pitman and De Sousa all work with on a day-to-day basis.
Nevertheless, though existing on a number of levels it is fair to say that these internal differences have been brought to a head by two key events. The first of these was the split decision to support the JDA standing a sitting States Member, Deputy Geoff Southern, in the recent Senatorial by-election; a decision driven through even though it was clearly apparent to a number of us that this would be a politically muddy campaign where a skewed and split vote was inevitable.
The second has been the recent press release and media interviews given by Deputy Southern regarding the union alternatives to the Council of Ministers proposals on taxation and cut backs. Whilst it must be reiterated here that we are all wholly committed to recognition of modern Trade Unions as an essential check and balance to ensure industrial best practice, the fact is that neither the proposals nor our stated collective support for them was discussed with or agreed with us or any other JDA Council Member beforehand. This we find wholly unacceptable.
Viewed in the current wider political perspective we have thus come to the conclusion that for the immediate future the best way forward to achieving positive change is via way of a political coalition with other similarly minded States Members; and, indeed, like-wise motivated individuals outside of the States - a coalition where all members are willing to sign up to, and work together to achieve a small number of clearly defined principles. Having already been involved in such initiatives this is what we will now be striving to do.
A constituted ‘party’ on the other hand, as put forward in the JDA Honorary President’s press release with people of both left and right political leanings brought and held together only by a desire for reform we simply do not believe can work and is something we will not be involved in. We nevertheless wish all our former colleagues in the JDA the best of luck in their endeavours for the future. Whilst we can no longer agree on the path forward we fully recognise that they too want only the best for the working people who are the backbone of Jersey’s success; and who, indeed, make Jersey the special place that it is.
We shall not be making any further comment.
David Rotherham (Deputy Chairman) Deputy Shona Pitman
Deputy Trevor Pitman Deputy Debbie De Sousa"
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