Saturday, 19 June 2010

Mayonnaise Jar & Two Beers..

A wise parable I was emailed:

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him..

When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly.

The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full.

They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.

Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed..

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff.

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you..

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children.

Spend time with your parents.

Visit with grandparents..

Take time to get medical checkups.

Take your spouse out to dinner.

Play another 18.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter.

Set your priorities.

The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.

The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.'

The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

Please share this with someone you care about. I JUST DID!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Relief and Disappointment

The by-election result has given me plenty of food for thought, and not all of it as gloomy as the campaign made me feel.

Four or five weeks ago, I would have said Francis le Gresley was very likely to win by a country mile, on the strength of his CV being so much better than anybody else's. But, when he did in fact do so, I was actually quite surprised. He did not have a particularly good campaign, and his lacklustre hustings performances were well reported on the local blog scene.

So, I think my first lesson is that campaigning counts for less than it should – a decisive proportion of voters are going to vote according to their preconceptions of the candidates, and Francis le Gresley's public standing has been very high for a very long time. And a second lesson is that we bloggers are taken much less notice of by the general public than we like to think.

The upside of impotent blogging is that the vociferous clamour of the Syvret loyalists did not translate into enough votes to let him take any more long holidays at our expense. Now he can put his abject failure as a politician behind him, I hope he can make something of his journalistic career. Although he is an unpleasant man and a crushing disappointment to meet in person, he does have some real abilities, and could make the world a better place if he could only find an effective channel for them. By Election Day, I thought, from all the noise of his fans, that he was going to win, and I am glad to be wrong.

And on the subject of abject failures, I am upset to be proved right about the utter folly of Geoff Southern's campaign. Now it is too late, even he realises that people were not going to like the idea of voting for him when he is already in the States. He campaigned far better than Francis, but, as I said above, campaigning counts for less than preconceptions. And on the other hand, forcing Syvret voters, who had been JDA voters too, to choose has alienated a hefty chunk of the JDA's core vote. For the next couple of elections, the JDA may have to be a behind-the-scenes alliance again, as it was in the Deputies' round of the 2005 Election, until it has lived down this fiasco. Having put years of hard work into the JDA, I am most displeased by this setback.

Two more good things were that the turnout was far higher then I expected, and the lightweight candidates all did far worse than I thought they would. In particular, I thought Peter Remon-Whorral's cheeky charm was striking a chord with the public. However when it came to casting their votes, his lack of serious policy was overwhelmingly rejected. He may be well-liked, but almost nobody made the mistake of making that a reason to vote him into office.

I had better not be too dogmatic about campaigning not counting for much. Patrick Ryan was as good as Geoff Southern on the stage at Trinity hustings, and he managed to run Syvret a close third. I think he could be a Senator and Minister come 2012.

All in all, a lot better than I dared to hope for.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Depressing Guessing

Having been to my parish hustings, and followed the buzz on the internet and a bit of good old-fashioned word of mouth, I am starting to get an idea where the Jersey by-election is heading. And I want to be wrong!

I reckon that there will be quite a low turnout, except amongst committed Syvret supporters, who will make sure that they endorse their man. All the rest will split each other's meagre votes.

So my prediction is:-
Syvret to win with about 3,500 votes
le Gresley runner up with about 2,500
Southern 3rd with about 2,000
Ryan 4th with about 1,500
Whorall, everybody's favourite dark horse, with about 1,000
Baudains, capable but lacking charm, with about 900
le Cornu maybe 700
Risoli perhaps 500
and Maguire, clever and thoughtful, but selling himself badly, with just 200 odd.

I want Syvret out, but I don't believe it will happen.

Roll on Thursday morning! Let us see how much better than this reality turns out to be.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

I Never Said It Was All Lies, Although I Wish I Didn't Believe This One

While my commentators still have not convinced me that I should ever vote for Stuart Syvret again, I do continue to keep up with his blog. It needs a sceptical approach, as I am sure that not all of is true, but I am equally sure that over half of it is. And this morning, on the current comment thread
he revealed a new take on the outrageous police raid on the home he used to share with Deputy Carolyn Labey. Maybe just another plausible lie, but this one has a horrible believability about it. Not proven beyond all reasonable doubt, but certainly reasonable grounds for suspicion and a case to answer.

The gist, is that Deputy Labey had gathered evidence of corruption involving someone who was a minister until very recently, and a police officer whom Syvret regularly accuses of also being grossly corrupt used Syvret as an excuse to try and snatch Deputy Labey's evidence and dispose of it. Go read Syvret's own version.

I think investigative journalism is a much apter vocation for him than politics ever was. I do not see voting for him as part of the answer to this kind of problem, but he is doing a fine job in raising the questions. It will be interesting to see whether anyone, who has not been silly enough to throw their seat in the States away, picks this ball up and runs with it. I hope so.