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Before I Start … Should I Have A Plan For The Term?

Yes, I think so.

You can’t map out your term in minute detail. So many things in politics are out of your control. You can’t even single-handedly decide which Committees you’re going to be on – that depends on what the President wants, and what your fellow States Members vote for.

But it’s precisely because political life is so unpredictable, that I think a basic plan is worthwhile. Take some time, while you are still fresh from the campaign trail, to think about the issues that drove you into politics, or the things you learned on the doorstep that feel like burning injustices in need of change.

It will help to have a sense, for yourself, of what you want to leave the States having fixed. That list will change and grow as you learn more about all sorts of things. But it can help to keep you focused even so.

The demands on your time as a States Member are immense. You’ll have such a variety of emails, media demands, Committee papers and States’ business to cope with, you can find yourself pushed in all directions and just reacting to the most urgent things all the time. You can feel extremely busy without ever making progress on the things that matter most to you.

I had a piece of A3 card covered in post-its, which was my personal priority list. (I like post-its because you can take them off and scrumple them up when a task is finished – a very simple satisfaction!) It’s quite battered now. Every now and again, during the term, I’d take it out to remind myself, and check what I was doing against it. I was almost always wildly off course. It was a useful chance to stop and re-set, and often reorganise my time and effort a bit so that I could pursue the things I wanted to.

I didn’t finish my whole list, but there were one or two big things I’d said from the start that I wanted to achieve. In the end, we achieved one, and made real progress on the other, I think. Both were big, complex, and required me to give them my time, energy and concentration to a far greater extent than if I had just passively waited for them to come up on a Committee agenda. Mapping them out as my priorities from the start meant I was able to do that effectively.

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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