Feudal masters

It\’s a little difficult to determine something here.

The Barclays, who live on the neighbouring island of Brecqhou, created employment for up to 140 people by investing £5 million per year in hotels and property on the tiny island, which has a population of 600.

But in an election which was widely seen as a referendum on the Barclays\’ plans to continue investing in Sark, voters largely rejected the candidates who supported the Barclays.

Sir David had said before the election that he and his brother were "tempted to walk away from Sark… if the establishment gets re-elected", and spoke of the "animosity" they had encountered.

Just over 12 hours after the election result was announced, Sark Estate Management, the company which administers the Barclays\’ properties on Sark, took the decision to close down two hotels, a restaurant and other commercial premises, and laid off most of the 140 workers.

Gordon Dawes, the Barclays\’ legal representative, said: "The issues were very clear in this election. It was a vote either for or against the Barclays\’ investment on Sark. The people have expressed their view and the Barclays have responded to that.

Just who are/were the feudal masters here? Vote for me or we fire you sounds a tad old fashioned, at least, doesn\’t it?

17 comments on “Feudal masters

  1. Old fashioned…?

    No, they just sound like today’s toddlers who’ve never, ever had to face being told ‘No!’ in their lives. I’d have paid actual, real money to see a video of them getting the news…! 🙂

  2. “Vote for me or we fire you sounds a tad old fashioned, at least, doesn’t it?”

    Dunno. Sounds like Zanu Labour’s election strategy for 2009/2010.

    “Outreach workers and Real Nappy officers, vote for us or else you’ll all be fired when the Tories win!”

  3. “No, they just sound like today’s toddlers who’ve never, ever had to face being told ‘No!’ in their lives.”

    Bit rough on the ones who voted “yes” but still lost their jobs (rather like Dresden was a bit tough on the ones who hadn’t voted for the Nazi Party, I suppose).

  4. “Vote for me or we fire you sounds a tad old fashioned, at least, doesn’t it?”

    Perhaps, but ‘I invest my money where I choose’, and ‘be prepared to accept the consequences of your actions’ sounds like grown-up libertarianism to me. Very Tim Worstall, in fact.

  5. “Sounds like Zanu Labour’s election strategy for 2009/2010.”

    Exactly the thought that occurred to me when I saw the quote from the Seigneur’s wife about democracy… 🙂

  6. Err…. wealthy investors?

    sounds like grown-up libertarianism to me. Very Tim Worstall, in fact

    What Jack said.

  7. “Can’t wait to see what happens if the Mancunians vote ‘No’ to congestion charging too…”

    The same as the Irish: “go back and do it again until you get it right!”

  8. 5M per year is about 12K per capita FDI, on top of whatever else comes into Sark.

    Any country in the world (3rd world or not) who takes that level of cash has got to expect some strings. Maybe they shouldn’t have taken it in the first place?

    I think the Barclays are not as feudal as they might seem at first glance in this story – wasn’t their big issue with the hereditary positions in the Sark government?

  9. And the De Menezes jury have just come back with an ‘open’ verdict too.

    And the gagging order imposed on reporting what happened in the court when the ‘unlawful killing’ option was taken off the table has now been lifted…

    Oh, dear. It’s a Black Friday for NuLabour, truly it is.

  10. 4:1 against on the ManCon.

    That’s about the same result as we had in Edinburgh a few years ago.

    Didn;t stop the b*st*rds in the council ripping up all the roads to, errrmmm….., create congestion.

  11. The 140 jobs are either in valid businesses or rich men’s indulgences. If they are valid businesses, someone else will take them on. If not, you have to retain the paymaster’s goodwill. 140 jobs lost in a population of 600 must be close to 35% unemployment (assuming 200 are children, retired, etc.).

    What I don’t understand is how a population of 600 can have a parliament of 28? That’s one representative for 21 people – four or five families!

  12. Mr Potarto stole the words from my keyboard in his paragraph 1.

    Why is the electorate vs representative ratio so high in Sark? In a small community you have to minimise bullying and the influence of heads of family making voting decisions on behalf of the rest. One way to do that is to increase the number of representatives, so that patriarchs have to lean on more people.

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