We are a new, grassroots political pressure group based in Jersey. We do not identify with the tired old “left”/”right” paradigm, instead we are interested in those policies and platforms which seek to maximise our citizens’ personal freedoms and minimise the role of the State in everyone’s lives.
We reject the growing tendency to cultural, legal and political authoritarianism that we are seeing from both the mainstream left and right. Instead we seek more common sense, practical, libertarian/cultural libertarian solutions to Jersey’s many and growing problems.
The initial idea for Alternative for Jersey was born in the autumn of 2015. There was no specific, formative “big bang” event, it was rather a reaction to the cumulative drip, drip, drip of woeful decision making, arrogant statements from high handed Ministers and the intensification of discontent amongst ordinary Jersey voters in the direction and performance of their Government. Many months were then spent researching the role and function of Government in Jersey, deciding which Government departments and policies to make a contribution on, and what better solutions we could offer.
Finally in February 2016 a skeleton Manifesto was ready.
A closed Facebook group was created, it was decided that the format we’d follow was to test each version in stages. The first stage consisted of six people and the brutal editorial process which followed saw the original manifesto reduced from almost 100 pages to just over 40. Each following stage was to have between 15 and 20 people spend
ing two to three months debating and providing feedback. New areas for us to cover were introduced and discussed. Once everyone was satisfied with all the amendments, we would rewrite the Manifesto accordingly, focus group it and then move to next stage.
All in all, the final Manifesto is the product of around 40 individuals all of who freely gave their time and considerable efforts to help create it. We are extremely grateful to each and every one.
From time to time the question is raised as to why we use the term “We believe” throughout the document. The answer is this; it is used because the Manifesto is the product of the collective beliefs and opinions of all those people who helped to make it, and as such, in recognition of everyone’s collective efforts – “We believe” is the only appropriate expression for us to use.
At the end of July 2016 we opened up for full public scrutiny.
We are not a political Party, nor do we have plans to ever become one.
a4j is a grass roots political pressure group, and like all pressure groups the aim is not necessarily to seek power but to alter the direction and focus of those who do, persuading them to get behind or adopt a set of principles and policies, in this instance, ours! With enough people behind us we see no reason why we can’t be an effective counterweight to the undue concentration of political power that currently resides in the hands of a tiny, well placed and barely accountable elite and shift it back.