On Wednesday 10th December the very first democratic elections were held on Sark since it was made a fiefdom by Elizabeth 1st, 443 years ago. The result was a rejection of the Barclay brothers, owners of nearby Breqhou, and their ideas for radical changes to this tiny Channel Island. By a large margin the population of 600 voted to retain a semi-staus quo, though now, with directly elected members to the Chief Pleas, the island parliament. Carrying out their threat to close down island hotels and shops, should they lose, the Barclay's did so within an hour of the result, thus making 20% of the staff employed by them, unemployed. This, just two weeks before Christmas, as my childhood friend, the seneschal, or judge Reg Guille told me just after the election results were announced. Elation, he added has turned very quickly into deep concern for local families thrown out of work.