After an email he sent to deputies was made public, Matt Waterman has released a statement explaining his motives.
In a subsequent email he said; "I wish I had more time to deal with this brouhaha" before referring to his "current state" which included a number of personal difficulties he was experiencing on New Year's Eve when he sent his fateful 'bile filled' email.
The email, which was sent to a wide mailing list including politicians, local journalists and members of the public, refers to health checks and trouble with his computer and a work van.
Some will say that doesn't excuse the content of the email though, with Deputy Gavin St Pier revealing it publicly earlier this week to much disgust. He linked it with the national media coverage of Nazi slurs thrown at UK MP Anna Soubry and other abuse aimed at politicians elsewhere.
We stand with them. Sadly, even in beautiful Guernsey, some members of our community think calling for the early deaths of elected representatives is legitimate comment. This bile is unacceptable; it mustn’t be tolerated; it cannot be ignored; it must be called out by democrats. pic.twitter.com/nN6uZe1DMN— Gavin St Pier (@gavinstpier) January 8, 2019
Matt Waterman has insisted however, in his latest 'Intermattent' (what he calls his emails) that members of the electorate are able to communicate with elected politicians in such a way.
Pictured: Part of Matt Waterman's follow up email, after Deputy Gavin St Pier publicly released one sent on New Year's Eve.
In a statement issued by Mr Waterman, which is reproduced in full below, he also questioned Deputy St Pier's motives in publicising the email - which centred on Mr Waterman's opposition to the opt out organ donation plans.
He also asks; "as a quick and instinctive aside, if Gavin St Pier thinks that shortening people’s natural lives (and I enlarge on this particular comment in the subsequent email which Gavin has chosen not to refer to) is so bad, then why did he propose to introduce euthanasia?"
Deputy St Pier and other politicians have expressed a desire for zero tolerance to the New Year's Eve email which Mr Waterman sent, which included a desire for some of Guernsey's States Members to die early deaths, in response to them voting in favour of the opt out organ donation scheme.
The matter has garnered debate across social media, with many people also finding the email abhorrent, while others have argued Mr Waterman is protected by freedom of speech.
Yes - but (of course) it is not acceptable to most just because it does not (yet) cross a threshold for criminal liability.— Gavin St Pier (@gavinstpier) January 9, 2019
Guernsey Police have looked into the matter too - although officers won't be taking any action. A spokesman said they'd already been made aware of the letter and had decided no further action was necessary.
However Guernsey Police did say that freedom of speech does not allow threatening or abusive language to be used.
“The letter was shared with us before its wider release online. We have reviewed its content and in this instance it did not require further police action.
“We would remind people that freedom of speech is not a mechanism for allowing threatening or abusive language to be directed at others – and if a line is crossed, Law Enforcement will take action against those behind the communications.”
Not all feedback Guernsey's politicians receive is negative though...
As Guernsey Deputies we receive some unpleasant mail and calls as has been documented this week - though I don’t think that one even makes my “worst 5” - but we also get some very positive feedback and the CfH&SC and support Officers received one such card todayJanuary 9, 2019
Mr Waterman's statement in full:
I seem to have touched a nerve or two here.
I’m not as convinced as Gavin St Pier is that the deputies are that they were legitimately elected. After all, some members of the community were offered (and some received) state assistance when it came to learning how to run for election whilst others were not. But if they were democratically elected then why is it apparently necessary to remind some of them once again that it is the public who employee the deputies, not the other way around? If an employee of a company posted the sort of tweet about his employer which Gavin St Pier has posted about my email of 31stJanuary he may have been fired for insubordination. https://twitter.com/gavinstpier/status/1082722012915793930
We, the public have the absolute right to communicate with deputies in any lawful manner which we choose. Whether we are right to exercise that right at any given moment is a slightly different matter, and a matter of opinion, but it is sad to see Gavin St Pier indicating that he would support the criminalisationof the sort of email he refers to, and in the name of democracy too! It’s also disappointing that Gavin’s postings do not, from what I have seen anyway, include any reference to a subsequent email which I sent to the deputies expanding upon and setting into context what was written in the email which he has posted on twitter.
Politics is all about timing and the timing and nature of Gavin’s reaction is interesting, (I suggest that the Anna Soubry case could be related). Deputies have received, as have I and many others who are “politically active” more aggressive communications than this one, usually anonymously, in the past.
I expect Gavin and others in the UK to make political capital out of this sort of thing for wider purposes –ie reducing the power of people to object to the state view. I would rather we stuck to the point about the organ donation decision. I am in the process of drafting a letter to the Guernsey press on the matter (which is at the heart of this), but before I can do that I need to have a look at what is in my inbox, and I have been without my computer for 3 days. I only picked it up at lunchtime today and it doesn’t appear to have been fixed either, so the letter is not imminent, unfortunately.
As a quick and instinctive aside, if Gavin St Pier thinks that shortening people’s natural lives (and I enlarge on this particular comment in the subsequent email which Gavin has chosen not to refer to) is so bad, then why did he propose to introduce euthanasia?
As far as I am concerned if West Bromwich Albion score with a handball against Leeds United then Leeds United should have no qualms about equalising in the same manner. If some States members think that my email was in whole or part too personal, aggressive, offensive etc and “over the line” then they should consider the fact that they set that particular ball rolling.My silence is not theirs to take as consent, and my organs are not theirs to take. Their decision to write these acts into legislation were gross infringements of personal and human rights and as a result of these decisions, combined with the fact that we have no constitution, the “rules of engagement” with them, so to speak, have changed.Hence the nature of my recent email.
Given the old adage “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me”, I ask who is throwing the sticks and stones and who is simply throwing the words around, exactly?
As I have previously explained, the States could have achieved their objective of making organs more easily available without an opt out scheme or writing “deemed consent” into the lawbook. They have apparently compounded this awful behaviour by not adequately considering how anyone wanting to opt out of organ donation can do so. After the organ donation debate, when I raised the matter of how to opt out with the deputies, I was receiving emails from them like “how to opt out is indeed the next question”. Incredible! It transpires that the only way to do this is to register a wish with the NHS which is an organisation which is totally unaccountable to the people of Guernsey. Furthermore, I believe, for reasons which are mostly included here https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/nhs-common-purpose-towards-million-change-agents that the NHS has been sabotaged, corrupted, is unreliable and is doomed to fail.
Locate Guernsey, which claims to be a point of contact within local Government states that “The healthcare system in Guernsey is different to [sic] that of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.” So why have the 23 deputies decided to force me to either give up my organs to complete strangers at their discretion, or alternatively register my contrary intent with the NHS which is an organisation which is not accountable to me and which I have every right not to trust?
Neither of those will happen. So as I matter of public record I state again that the destiny of my organs will be written into my will and if anyone acts contrary to that, I will leave very clear instructions with my estate to sue those responsible.
Thanks you for your time
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