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Should I be worried about skeletons in my closet?

Well, that depends what they are. If you have done something actually Bad, then yes, the time you become a public figure might well be the time it comes back to haunt you. And probably deservedly so.

But I don’t think there are many people who fall into that category, and I very much doubt you’re one of them.

If you’ve sneaked a look at this question, I suspect you might be worried that embarrassing photos of you from student days, or from a boozy stag or hen do, might make their way into the Press; or political opinions you’ve long since grown out of might be dragged up from the depths of your social media account; or someone you’ve crossed at work might go public with a devastating character assassination of you … Something like that?

So, first things first. You don’t see that happen much over here, and that’s certainly not because we’re better behaved, as people, than politicians anywhere else in the world. We’re just very lucky not to have a gutter press of the kind you see in the UK.

Very early on in my political term, I joked with a journalist about being doorstepped, and they were quick (and kind) enough to point out that would only happen “if something went very badly wrong.” Thankfully, our media doesn’t usually waste its time taking pot-shots at people’s colourful pasts or private lives.

Of course it might all change in future. Sadly, if it does, I think it’s likely to be politician-led. If we see parties form on a similar model to the UK, we’ll probably see the same pattern, where almost as much effort is invested in gathering up mud to sling at one’s opponents, as it is in developing and delivering one’s own agenda.

All I can say is that it’s not like that right now. You can be grateful for your colourful past, because it’s shaped you, and because you’ve learnt (sometimes painful) lessons from it that you shouldn’t have to repeat in future. And you can be fairly sure that, here and now, it’s not likely to be weaponised against you – and long may that continue.

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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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