and the Politicians
By Guernsey Gwen
Pouques and the politicians
The pouques decided to write a pantomime starring the
politicians in Guernsey.
• There are 38 politicians who sit in the Guernsey parliament
which is called the States of Deliberation.
• The politicians are called Deputies.
• There are no political parties.
• Some politicians chair committees and they have a job similar
• The top politician, a bit like a prime minister, is called the Chief
Minister. The other politicians choose this leader.
• In the last election, Guernsey people had a voting paper which
was over 1 metre long with 119 names on. It didn’t fit on the
shelf in the voting booth. Most people voted by post. They had
to choose 38 politicians.
• Only 8 women politicians got voted in.
• The last Guernsey election took place in October 2020 under
COVID restrictions and the politicians will stay in post for four
A report on the voting in the October 2020 election can be found
Each deputy has been assigned a character for the panto. Guernsey Gwen, the storyteller,
provides her own commentary on each fairy character.
Deputy Aldwell and Deputy de Lisle will play the Norwegian Nisse
or Christmas gnomes.
The Nisse live on farms, and act as the guardian. If treated well, they protect the family and
animals from bad luck and help with farm work. However, they are known to be short
tempered, especially when annoyed, when they will usually play tricks.
Deputy Blin is the Aboriginal Wandjina with lightning hair. He
shouldn't really have a mouth.
The Wandjina created the Australian landscape and inhabitants. The spirits painted their
images on cave walls, and this is what modern humans can now see today.
The Wandjina can punish those who break the law with floods, lightning, and cyclones.
Let’s hope that Deputy Brouard doesn't fall off too many walls like
Humpty Dumpty when he is doing his politicianing.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the Queen’s horses and Lieutenant Governor’s men,
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
One of our few women politicians, Deputy Burford plays the part of
a Danish female troldkvinde.
There are lots of different types of trolls; here is a kindly troll but she needs to avoid sunlight
otherwise she will turn to stone.
Deputy Bury is makes a kindly Guernsey witch.
The Channel Island witches look after their Humans. Each island has their own witch, and
they all have broomsticks that run on renewable power. They play tricks on Humans, but
they also look out for them. They boss the pouques around.
Deputy Cameron and Deputy Dudley Owen make a very Christmas
pair; Russian Grandpa Frost, Ded Moroz and his granddaughter, the
Snow Maiden Snegurochka.
They give out presents at Christmas in Eastern Europe in places like Russia and Ukraine and
make sure the wicked witch, Baba Yaga, doesn’t steal the gifts.
The kindly Swedish tree spirit fairy Älva is played by Deputy De
Älva looks after the woodlands and animals and makes sure the natural cycles on the Earth
keep everything sustainable. She gets cross with Humans who ruin the environment. It is so
much easier to fly, as she doesn’t have to worry about cycling up the hills.
I wonder if Deputy Dyke has ever considered playing Father
Father Christmas, or Santa Claus is well known around the world as a jolly character who
gives out presents. Scientists have even calculated how fast his sled must go to get round to
all the children. He lives in the North Pole and has an elf workshop where they make all the
toys. This year the elves decided to reduce their carbon footprint, so they banned plastic.
This did make it difficult.
Deputy Fairclough plays that naughty Scottish Ghillie Dhu.
Ghillie Dhuor (Gille Dubh) is a solitary male fairy. He is kindly and reticent, yet sometimes
wild in character.
Deputy Falla plays P’tit Jean, a mischievous Guernsey pouque.
The pouques are mischievous shape shifting pixies and each Channel Island has a colony.
They like to play tricks on humans. They never tell humans their real name, so they are all
called P’tit Jean.
Beware of the Chief Minister, Deputy Ferbrache. He plays the part
of the giant winged Asturian serpent Cuélebre.
He lives in a cave, guards treasure, and keeps anjanas as prisoners. Although they are
immortal, the cuélebre age, and their scales become thick and impenetrable, and batwings
grow in their bodies. They do not usually move, but when they do it, it is to eat cattle and
Deputy Gabriel looks a natural as Sinterklaas.
Sinterklaas give out presents to good children in central Europe of December 5/6th. He has
piets (elves) to help him out.
Deputy Gollop looks just the part to play Olentzero, a Basque
Olentzero carved wooden animals, toys, and dolls. When he had a big bag full of toys he
hiked to the village in the valley and distributed the wooden toys amongst the children
because he liked to see them happy. One day as he came down to the village, he found a
house in flames. He ran into the house and freed the trapped children by lowering them from
an upstairs window. With everyone safe he went downstairs, when suddenly the house
collapsed under the fire, burying him. Olentzero now lives forever, making toys for all the
children in the Basque country.
Deputy Inder plays Joulupukki, the Finnish Christmas goat who
turns into a goat man at Christmas.
He rings the bell and enters politely through the door, asking the still-awake families “Onko
täällä kilttejä lapsia?” (“Are there any well-behaved children here?”). He wears red robes
and drives a sleigh pulled by reindeer (who don’t fly), and calls Korvatunturi in Lapland
I wonder what the Deputy will look like as a Golden Guernsey Goat.
Deputy Kazantseva-Miller – The Cantabrian L’Anjana fairy.
These female fairy creatures are the good fairies of Cantabria, generous and protective of all
people. They are seen walking through the forest trails, resting on the banks of springs and
streams which then seem to come alive. They can talk with the water that flows from the
springs. She needs to be wary though of the Cuélebre who will take her prisoner and not call
her by her proper name.
Deputy Le Tocq plays the part from the Brittany Korrigan.
Korrigans can take on any shape and move quickly. They also can transform a leafy forest to
trap humans. Only a ray of daylight can dissolve the Korrigan. If you come across a Korrigan
combing its hair or counting treasures on a Saturday, you should fear for your life.
Deputy Meerveld plays the Isle of Man Moonijer Veggey (the little
The Moonijer Veggey wear red caps and green jackets and are most often seen on horseback
followed by packs of little hounds of all the colours of the rainbow. They are rather inclined
to be mischievous and spiteful. They live in green hillsides. Anyone passing by on a clear
summer's evening would probably hear delightful music; but they must take care not to
linger as they will be captured. Moonijer Veggey are visible to people only when they choose
to be. Some of them are benevolent, curing humans of diseases and bringing them luck.
Others are malevolent, stealing children, even abducting adults, and bringing bad luck.
Deputy Moakes has been given the part of Rudolph Junior.
His famous father, Rudolph senior, is well known for guiding Santa’s sleigh with his large red
nose which fluoresces at night due to bioluminescence.
But do you recall,
The most famous reindeer of all.
Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer,
had a very shiny nose,
and if you ever saw it,
you would even say it glows.
Deputy Murray has been given the part of the Brazilian Curupira
This fairy has bright red/orange hair, and resembles a man or a dwarf, but its feet are turned
backwards. Curupira lives in the forests of Brazil and uses its backward feet to create
footprints that lead to a starting point, thus making human travellers confused. It can also
create illusions and produce a sound like a high-pitched whistle which scares and drives its
Deputy Oliver plays Babushka, a friendly Russian grandmother
One evening Babushka was busy dusting and cleaning away. She had heard about a bright
star in the sky but thought,
“I don’t have the time to look because I’m so behind with my work. I must work all night!”
However, there was a knock on the door. It was the three kings who asked to say the night in
her cottage. When it was time for them to leave, they asked Babushka to come with them,
but she said she had not finished tidying and would follow them shortly. She went to find the
kings later with some toys for the Baby Jesus. She never did and so she now gives toys to
children each Christmas.
Deputy Parkinson plays the fairy frog.
The fairy frog has appeared in all sorts of stories. He is associated with Jewish fairy
tales where Hanina and his wife are rewarded greatly for looking after the frog. Also, you
will read about him as the frog prince, in the German Grimm's fairy tales, who persuades a
princess to kiss him so he can turn back into a handsome prince, released from a witch’s
spell. I wonder who will kiss Deputy Parkinson in the panto?
Deputy Queripel is Le Grand Colin, a senior member of the
Guernsey fairy folk.
The older members of the Guernsey fairy folk can get annoyed with the boisterous
youngsters. However, Le Grand Colin still feels he can compete with the youngsters when it
comes to playing tricks on the Guernsey humans.
Deputy Roffey plays Giljaguar, one of the Finnish Yule lads.
Giljaguar, “Gully-Gawk” comes down from the mountains on 13th December– he hides in
gullies, waiting for a chance to sneak into cowsheds and steal milk. If children have been
good, then he will put sweets int their shoes. I am sure Deputy Roffey will enjoy tasting some
creamy Guernsey milk in the panto. I expect one of the pouques will change into a cow.
Deputy Soulsby plays the wise old Gran’mere du Chimquiere.
She is a menhir outside St Martin’s church and has been around for thousands of years. She
is in charge of the Guernsey fairy folk and played a big part in deciding how the pouques
could look after the Guernsey humans during the pandemic.
Deputy St Pier has been given the role of the mischievous Irish
Solitary by nature, the leprechaun lives in remote places and makes shoes. You can tell
where he lives by the sound of hammering. He possesses a hidden pot of gold; if captured, he
might reveal its hiding place. But usually, the captor is tricked into glancing away, and the
Deputy Le Tissier plays the pantomime dame, La Grande Mabelle.
She may be a senior member of the Guernsey fairy folk, but she is just as mischievous as the
younger ones. She is often pretending to be someone else in order to play tricks on not just
the Humans but also the other pouques. In this picture she made a feather duster to keep
the other pouques two metres away from her, but she helped herself to the cockerel’s tail
feathers whilst he was asleep; he was not pleased!
Deputy Trott plays the Tio de Nadal
The Tio de Nadal is the Christmas pooping log. Young children feed the log during December.
On Christmas Day, little Tió is put into the fireplace and ordered to defecate. The fire part of
this tradition is no longer as widespread as it once was since many modern homes do not
have a fireplace. In modern day, to make it defecate, little Tió is beaten with sticks by merry,
singing children. If they have been good, he poops sweets for them.
Deputy Vermeulen has really got into character as a Scottish Haggis
There are two species of Haggis, Lowland and Highland. This is a Lowland Haggis – you can
tell as the legs are the same size. The Highland Haggis has legs of different length so that
they can walk around the hills more easily.
Deputy Taylor plays that naughty bunny, Peter Rabbit
Peter lives up in Cumbria and his rise to fame occurred in the Victorian age when a kindly
woman, Beatrix Potter, interviewed him and write stories for children telling them all about
Peter’s adventures. Peter has a penchant for lettuce. When he eats it, it has a soporific effect
on him, and he falls asleep when he really should be alert. This, and the fact that he is
always trying to help himself to the contents of the vegetable garden, often gets him into
Deputies Leadbetter, Helyer, Mahony and Haskins make a
majestic sight towering over us at the top of the cliffs
playing the presidents.
Representing important events and themes in US history, Presidents George Washington,
Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt were selected to be carved in
the hills of Rushmore national park. Each face is approximately 60 feet in height and with
noses longer than 20 feet. Their mouths are also about 18 feet wide. These deputies are
obviously destined for a very important part in the panto.
Deputies McKenna, Prow and Matthews are playing the
island fairy folk, the naughty pouques.
They have joined P’tite Jeanne pouque and her Majesty in sailing across back from the Isle of
Man where they went for Tynwald day, pretending to be historic Viking invaders. Aurigny
was full because the air bridge was so popular, so they found another way to get home. They
were all seasick because they didn't check the weather forecast first and sailed into some
rough times. Luckily the Queen knew what she was doing and took over the navigation, so
they did eventually arrive at their destination.
And finally…….. here they all are decorating the wassailing tree.
Well, children, I can't wait for the panto. The pouques have all year to write it and I hope it
will be ready for release next Christmas.