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Can I cope with the stresses?

Most of us get to the end of four years and find it has taken some toll on our weight, our general health, and our happiness. It helps to come into this knowing it’s not an easy job (whatever people may think), having a good support network in place, and making time to take care of yourself – I am writing a section on self-care, which I hope will be useful, too.

One really tough aspect of the role, and one that’s fairly unique to being a politician, is the fact that you become “public property”, and that it’s generally publicly acceptable for people to be rude or dismissive of the States, or individual Deputies, without necessarily being in possession of the full facts (or indeed any of them!).

One way or another, I’ve seen that hurt a lot of my colleagues, and I’ve been hurt by it myself. If you have a deeply-felt sense of honour, you’re going to be dismayed by the general public assumption that you, because you are a politician, are acting without integrity. If you take pride in doing a good job, you’ll be rattled by the view that we’re all careless and stupid. If you know you’ve been working your socks off for the good of the Island, you’ll be hurt by the nasty comments on some online forums. You’ll be astonished by how one-sided even traditional media coverage feels.

Those challenges aren’t insurmountable. Each of us learns to cope with them in our own way. But they’re real, and there aren’t many other jobs or life experiences that can prepare you for them, so you deserve to know about them at this stage, and to think about how you will deal with them in turn.

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Guernsey’s iconic women of the future?

Thank you for nominating a young woman or girl for our future iconic Guernsey women campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day!

Nominations close on Sunday 6 March at 17.00.

Please fill in the details below.


Miriam Makeba - South Africa

Nominated by: Christine James

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (1932 to 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. In 2020 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 women of the century. 

South Africa is ranked 12th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 45.8% (source: 

Are you from South Africa? Please email if there is a social or cultural group for people from South Africa in Guernsey.

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The original image “The Hague Jazz 2008 – Miriam Makeba” by Haags Uitburo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 


Jacinda Ardern - New Zealand

Nominated by: Martin Lock

Jacinda Ardern (born 1980) has served as prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. In 2019, she led the country through the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and throughout 2020 she directed the country’s widely praised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern was the world’s second elected head of government to give birth in office when her daughter was born in 2018. ‘An inspiring Prime Minister who brought a nation together with true leadership, empathy and compassion.’

New Zealand is ranked 4th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 48.3% (source: 

Other iconic women: Dame Whina Cooper, nominated by Claire Fisher, and Kate Sheppard, nominated by Anna Cooper.

Are you from New Zealand? You may be interested in joining the ANZACs in Guernsey Facebook group

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