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What is the hardest thing I will ever have to do?

Oh, wow.

Other Deputies may have a different perspective on this, and it’s well worth asking them for their views. The recent decisions we’ve had to make about managing a public health emergency have got to rank up there as some of the toughest.

But having watched the States for a few years before becoming a politician myself, I cannot think of anything worse, anything harder, than having to apologise to someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one who died on your watch, and who never should have died.

It could happen almost anywhere. It is most likely to happen if you sit on the Committee for Health & Social Care, with its breadth of responsibility for health and care services. The work is life-or-death by nature, and the reality is that people sometimes get it wrong. And sometimes the buck stops with you as the Committee, for failing to change a culture or to make right a known risk, without which this death might have been avoided.

But it could just as easily be a death in custody under the watch of Home Affairs, or a tragic school accident laid at the door of Education, Sport & Culture, for example. We try to minimise the risk of these terrible things happening, but sometimes they do.

And if you are on the responsible Committee – especially if you are the President – you have a duty to be accountable when they do.

Sometimes that accountability takes the form of stepping down; sometimes of staying on to make things right. That’s something you would have to figure out in the circumstances at the time. But one thing accountability will always involve, is saying sorry to the people who have suffered a loss because of your action or inaction – and there are few tests in politics as hard as that.

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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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