I'm originally from North Wales (hence the love of rugby) where I enjoyed a bilingual schooling in Welsh and English. I was one of four children in a very politically charged home. Both parents were elected at various times to the local county and town councils; my grandfather was one of the founders of Plaid Cymru (the welsh nationalist political party), whilst my grandparents on the other side were also of strong political persuasion. Evening meals were frequently spent debating politics and with five others to compete against, presenting forceful arguments and demanding to be heard was second nature.
I’m eternally grateful for my Welsh language upbringing, though I didn’t notice it at the time; this has given me a broad world view. I never grew up thinking that there was only one language or one way of doing things, diversity was part of daily life. At this point in time we’re in danger of losing Guérnesiais (the local Guernsey Norman French language) from apathy and a dominant English view, where other languages aren’t valued for their wealth given the broad currency both neighbouring international languages have.
I left Wales to study piano at the London College of Music and have since been an active member of countless orchestras, quartets, choirs and other music groups. I still enjoy making music and recently started learning the harp, though I must confess that my practice has fallen a little behind of late. I continue to sing with the choir of the Town Church of St Peter Port.
I came to Guernsey in the mid nineties to work in a hotel for a summer holiday and fell in love with the island. I then moved into the finance industry where I’ve worked for a number of years in Fund Administration and more recently in IT, eventually becoming a project manager. I know that it’s not to everyone’s taste, but I’ve always been intrigued by work processes and workflows.
The largest project that I undertook though involved neither the finance industry nor IT. As the church warden for the Town Church of St Peter Port from 2006 to 2012 I arranged the re-wiring of the medieval church for the first time in history. Whilst it was no laughing matter at the time, in hindsight it was an exceptional walk through history. It is more than likely that the church was one of the first buildings in Guernsey to have received electricity and some lead cased wires (the type the Germans would have used during the occupation) were apparently still carrying live current. The plaster was blown in so many areas that a number of monuments became unstable, but the greatest challenge was lifting the wood block flooring to place a hearing loop, who knew that bitumen was that persistent. Closing the island’s de-facto civic church for a whole year puts me in league with one of my predecessors who closed the church for restoration work in the Victorian era, though I doubt that they enjoyed the hospitality that we enjoyed from the Roman Catholic church of Notre Dame du Rosaire.
I’ve always been an advocate of centre right libertarian politics founded in the classical liberal ideas of John Locke and then Thomas Paine. My great conversion to this thinking came, as for so many, from reading Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, and flesh was put on those bones from the reading of Milton Friedman and Frédéric Bastiat. I regularly read the work of the Adam Smith Institute and The Atlas Society. It is therefore no surprise that I advocate small government whilst maintaining its essential role in preserving the liberties and rights that are essential for a free society.
Having said all of this, I don’t believe that a free market is the sole answer and align my social thinking with that of the Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in his excellent work The Home We Build Together when thinking of a model of social cohesion.
Unfortunately we’re far from these positions and only a sustained move in this direction will, in my opinion, remedy our current island social and financial issues.
Evidently I’m passionate about politics as well as Guernsey and hope that this website conveys some of that passion.