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What If Someone Complains About Me?

It feels wretched being the subject of a complaint as a Deputy, because you feel like you are completely on show. It is very different to a workplace disciplinary, which usually happens behind closed doors. It feels much more like a trial, with the whole of the public (or at least those who are active on social media, or who write to the letters page of the Press) as your jury, and where you have very little opportunity to explain what actually happened.

Of course it is important that there is a formal complaints process. There needs to be a mechanism to hold Deputies accountable for outrageous behaviour – and there is certainly plenty of that. But it has so far been very difficult to establish a complaints process that is felt to be fair, and that isn’t capable of being used maliciously or vexatiously.

At the last States Meeting of the last term, a very important paper on updating the Code of Conduct and the complaints process was nodded through – it will be the responsibility of this term’s SACC to implement it. I really hope that they will follow through.

At this point, I have probably thoroughly depressed you about the complaints process, and left you feeling that your name will be mud. To balance that, I should say that Deputies who are subject to a formal complaint are not usually marked by it outside the States. It can be a hellish process while you’re going through it, but it doesn’t have to be the thing that defines your term.

P.S. In case you’re wondering why I haven’t taken a sterner tone, it’s been my experience that, as with so many things in politics, the complaints process is used – well, politically. It isn’t often used to address outrageous behaviour, because it isn’t actually a very effective tool for doing that, so most of that just goes untouched. It is far more often used, by politicians themselves, to throw mud at political opponents. This post is written on the basis that you are more likely to be worried about an ill-founded complaint (on the basis that, if you are a decent person, you are likely to accept that a genuine complaint ought to have consequences), and to try and explain how that might play out.

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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