Monthly Archives: March 2008

BBC PANORAMA.

Revealing the Sickening Truth – and what will Jersey’s Chief Minister Do?

Just a very brief post.

Make sure you watch, if you can, BBC Panorama to tonight 8.30 GMT.

If you’re in other jurisdictions, and can’t see it at broadcast, I’m certain it will be on the BBC Panorama web site shortly afterwards.

I’m nearing the end of my work in this matter – or, at least – as much of it as I can endure.

At 2.30 Monday morning, I e-mailed my 25 page report – plus supporting evidence – to Jack Straw MP. He is the UK Justice Minister – and thus has constitutional responsibility – and powers – for the good administration of justice in Jersey.

I and many of the people I represent – including some victims you will see in tonight’s BBC Panorama program – have, in essence, a simple request of Mr Straw.

That he use his powers to ensure the good administration of justice in Jersey, and compliance by the island’s authorities with the European Convention on Human Rights.

I included a number of MPs in my correspondence with Mr. Straw, and some renowned campaigners for the rights of abuse survivors.

So – hopefully, Mr Straw will take this matter seriously.

I will keep you informed should I get a reply from him.

Actually – I will keep you informed should I not get a reply from him.

Or a meaningless epistle prepared by some faceless mandarin in Whitehall.

As far as Jersey domestic politics are concerned, the island’s Chief Minister, Senator Frank Walker, has made a variety of assertions to the effect that no person who committed abuse – and no person who concealed abuse – would go unexposed and unpunished.

He appears to be particularly keen to meet these objectives – though, thankfully, he abandoned the idea of establishing a public enquiry now – whilst the police investigations are continuing, and when we have scarcely the beginnings of judicial processes.

To embark upon such an enquiry now would have been disastrous – in that it would have conferred immunity from prosecution upon any potentially guilty person appearing before it.

So – we can be pretty relaxed about him ‘getting-in’ his spin to the effect ‘Something Must Be Done’. He has suggested the idea of an enquiry, tabled a report to the island’s parliament – and said that as soon as the prosecutions are over – the enquiry can commence.

Admittedly – this won’t be for three to five years – this being the reason I dropped the idea as soon as I learned of the police enquiry last year.

But at least he has shown that the authorities in Jersey Will Have An Enquiry To Uncover The Truth.

I just wish he had been a little more supportive of the idea back in July 2007 – when I first proposed it.

The police investigation – of which we would have become aware – would have meant parking the idea – but at least it would have been nice to know he took things seriously back then.

So – what of Senator Frank Walker’s brave words – things you will hear him say in tonight’s program – and similar assertions made to the local and international media during the last month?

Let us give Senator Walker the benefit of the doubt.

Let us assume he has seen the error of his ways – and is now – genuinely – determined to root out those who have played any role in committing abuse – or concealing that abuse.

During the next few days I will produce in a blog a summation of Senator Walker’s commitments.

Then – perhaps in a week or so – I will describe all of the obvious, necessary and evidenced actions which need to be taken.

Taken – at least – if one is serious about ripping out the toxic roots of the causes of this disaster.

I will then invite Senator Walker to carry out these actions.

I truly hope he is sincere in what he has said – and that he now shares my anger and disgust at what has taken place.

If so – then he and I would share an objective – one which we would both be working upon during the next 8 months; trying to implement the protections needed by the island’s vulnerable kids.

So – Senator Walker is now ‘talking the talk’.

Let us hope he is also going to ‘walk the walk’ once national and international media coverage has faded away and moved onto other matters.

Watch the survivors on the BBC tonight – listen to the appaling suffering they endured.

Reflect upon the system of public administration which can have failed them so catastrophically.

Pay particular regard to the deficiencies –and worse – of former senior civil servants – one Anton Skinner for example.

And understand – and remember – that talk is cheap in the political environment.

You must judge politicians by their actions – not merely their words.

If Senator Walker is serious about rooting out the systemic failures which have seen generations of vulnerable children in Jersey battered, abused, tortured and raped – then he will join me in recognising that public administration in Jersey is dangerously deficient in meaningful ‘checks and balances’.

He will come around to my view that – finally – the Jersey civil service must begin to be held to account.

I will keep you posted.

Stuart.

HOW JERSEY WORKS:

Decades of the Most Foul Child Abuse;

Nearly all of it hidden;

How did it Happen?

“The Jersey Way”:

“Measured”, “Respectable” and “civilised”.

I hope many of my readers will have been able to see the Inside Out programme which was broadcast by regional BBC television last night. It will be on their web site for a week or so I guess.

Could I also recommend that you try to see BBC Panorama, which will be broadcast this coming Monday. It focuses entirely upon the Jersey child abuse disaster.

If you have been following this crisis in the national or international media – you will be deeply puzzled as to how such monstrous abuse could have been concealed for so long? Why did every ‘check and balance’ in Jersey fail to protect these children?

Why did those in “authority” in Jersey permit this to happen?

To discover the answer to that question, check out a letter published in today’s Jersey Evening Post, Saturday 29th March.

I would post the web address – but The Rag, being so archaic, the letter isn’t on their web site yet.

The letter in question is written by one Philip ‘Pip’ Le Brocq. I do suggest you acquire a copy as it serves as yet further evidence of how intrinsically decadent, stupid and hypocritical the Jersey oligarchy is.

The letter is titled “Senator’s words discredit the island he claims to love.”

It is another assault upon me for speaking the truth – a commodity in profoundly short supply amongst the Jersey establishment – indeed, something they appear to have a nasty allergy to.

I suppose I should be grateful for Pip’s letter – it illustrates so perfectly the very points I make in trying to expose the debased and ignorant self-interest that grips Jersey’s elites like a cancer.

And there is, I should add, an additional advantage in that whilst he’s writing this cretinous and ethically bankrupt nonsense, he doesn’t have time to write the truly appalling ‘sonnets’ he is want to churn out – labouring under the delusion he is some kind of ‘poet’.

As many of the greats have said – the first requirement to write good poetry is a grasp of the truth – not something we see on display in Pip’s letter.

Just how dishonest and stupid is his missive?

Well, let’s have a quick stroll through its nether regions in our quest to understand the monstrous failings and abuses of power in Jersey.

The letter is an attempt to defend the Bailiff, Sir Philip Bailhache – chief judge – and Speaker of the island’s parliament.

Phil gave a political interview to The Rag a while back – which I wrote about in my post “A Last Desperate Throw of the Dice.”

Pip portrays Phil as some kind of towering beacon of wisdom and leadership – a mighty figure we ignorant and frightened proles can cling to in this time of storms.

Well – let us recap the actual – evidenced – “performance” of Phil Bailhache.

This is a man who was Chair of the Victoria College Board of Governors for much of the 1990s – when complaints of child abuse were being made. Complaints which were not reported to the police.

The same Sir Phil Bailhache, who – when I was facing a dismissal debate in the Jersey parliament for having honestly answered a question about child protection failures – prevented my official comments and supporting evidence from being published.

The self-same supposed judicial expert – who was content to allow the political ‘trial’ of me take place – with only the case for the ‘prosecution’ being published.

The same Phil Bailhache who failed to declare a ‘conflict of interest’ given that some of the evidence he was oppressing related directly to the child abuse at Victoria College – when he was Chairman of the Board of Governors.

The self-same Phil who condemns the international media coverage as “scurrilous” – it apparently not occurring to him that the UK media have reported – entirely accurately – such things as his anti-democratic and foul actions in preventing me giving a speech which was the first ever expression of recognition and empathy for the abuse survivors by a member of the States.

The same man who – by frightened and rabid dictat – recently had me thrown out of a members’ room in the island’s parliament building whilst I was in the middle of an interview with a French TV crew.

As I said in my other post – essentially an inadequate, ignorant and foolish little man.

A person utterly out of his depth and possessed of the “wisdom” of a Moss Side alcoholic.

But – I titled this post “How Jersey Works”.

I wanted to explain to you the breathtaking incompetence, decadence, self-interest, greed, megalomania, mutual protection and startling invulnerability of the Jersey oligarchy.

By understanding “How Jersey Works”, we gain some insight into how this island can have had within its midst’s – and under the very noses of its authorities – generations of the most foul concealed child abuse. Because, let’s face it, concealing generations of systemic and appalling child abuse is so clearly the “civilised”, “dignified”, “measured” and “statesman” like thing to do.

So – How Jersey Works:

You see – what Philip Le Brocq neglects to mention in his epistle is that he once was a teacher at Victoria College.

He somehow also forgot to mention that he is a personal friend of Phil Bailhache.

And – very forgetfully – he fails to inform readers that he is the husband of one Sally Le Brocq – formerly Sally Harrison – multi-millionaire scion of the family which owned the Guiton Group – parent company of Jersey’s only “newspaper” the Jersey Evening Post.

Remember the Guiton Group? Its boss and chair of the board was one Frank Harrison Walker – now Jersey’s Chief Minister. A man who attaches greater importance to defending senior civil servants than he does to child protection.

Pip also neglects to mention another fascinating example of How Jersey Works. He fails to tell us that his multi-millionaire wife, Sally Le Brocq, is one of the 12 ‘Jurats’ – lay-judges – of Jersey’s Royal Court.

Now – regular readers of this blog will remember – even if Pip doesn’t – the name of another of the 12 ‘Jurats’.

That being one ‘Jurat John Le Breton’ – the man who had to resign in disgrace as Vice-Principle of Victoria College for having failed to inform the Police Force of complaints of child abuse – and who even went so far as to attempt, with the Principle, Jack Hydes, to intimidate and humiliate two of the victims in to withdrawing their complaints.

So – there we have a quick lesson in How Jersey Works.

How its entrenched, nepotistic and incestuous power-claque ruthlessly work together at the merest hint of a threat to their lucrative grip on power in the island.

Pip moves towards a close by bemoaning the fact that I am returning to my “immature” days of an enfant terrible – rather than being “admirable” in “gaining the wisdom and dignity of an elder statesman.”

These fascinating assertions require a few questions.

And I really need answers to these questions, Pip, as – obviously – I am clearly so out of step with the “reasonable and polite” conduct of Jersey’s traditional establishment.

Admittedly, about 95% of the rest of the planet seem to share my views – but, of course, it is simply axiomatic that the Jersey Establishment is Never Wrong.

So most of the world, most of my readers, and I have clearly become profoundly confused; we’ve lost our way, Pip. And we need your guidance to regain touch with the truth.

So, tell me, Pip, I take it that your definition of “dignified” includes the terribly, terribly “respectable” “elder statesmen” who raped orphans in Haute de la Garrene?

Would that be the kind of “wisdom” and “dignity” displayed by “elder statesmen” who have repeatedly attached greater importance to the “image” of their oligarchy and the size of their bank accounts than they have to the battery and torture of vulnerable children?

Pip, would the “civilised and measured” behaviour of which you speak include the peddling of lies and oppressions against those trying to protect vulnerable children?

Do you, Pip, include in your definition of “civilised and respectable” behaviour, the unlawful preventing of the publication of evidence which demonstrated the truth of the Jersey child abuse disaster?

Pip, do you consider it “statesman” like to assault democracy and justice in this way, as your friend Phil did – whilst failing to declare a ‘conflict of interests’ – namely him being Chairman of the Board of Governors of Victoria College when that institution was concealing child abuse?

Do you mean the “civilised and measured” behaviour exhibited by Phil when unlawfully stopping me from making a speech in the island’s parliament in which I was attempting to express some empathy and compassion for the Jersey abuse victims?

Well, actually Pip, you needn’t bother replying – your answers to these questions must surely be “yes”. Why else would you have written such cretinous and despicable rubbish?

And, even though your answer is “yes” – well, I’m sorry – but I’m just going to have to carry on being – and choose your appellation according to your tastes – “reprobate scum”, “a communist”, a “McCarthyite”, an “anarchist” or – famously – someone who is “trying to shaft Jersey internationally.”

I’ve been called all these things – and worse – in the course of the last 12 months.

My “offence”? Trying to root out and stop the abuses of power that enabled child rape and battery to remain concealed for generations.

So – in fact, being opposed so totally and rabidly by people like you, Pip, your mate Phil and the rest of your Jersey oligarchy friends, actually makes me feel pretty good.

For if I was regarded by people like you and the rest of the Jersey crypto-fascist feudalists as “one of us” and a “respectable elder statesman” – I would develop a compulsive disorder which would require me to go and shower every 30 minutes in an effort to cleanse myself of the sensations of filth and rot.

Pip concludes his missive by likening me to the protagonist of ‘A Picture of Dorian Gray’ – destroying myself through self-delusion.

Let me invite readers of this blog to decide for themselves.

Given what we know about the child abuse disaster in Jersey, who, do you imagine, has been unceasing in their efforts over the years to maintain and project a healthy and desirable “image” to the world – whilst the decay, rot, festering canker and corruption boiled out of the picture hidden away in the attic?

Me – or Philip Le Brocq’s beloved Jersey establishment?

The answer is self-evident – so – as I said in a previous comment – give me honesty over “politeness” every single time.

Stuart Syvret.

THE END APPROACHES.

On a TV Near You: Child Abuse – as Supported by the Jersey Oligarchy.

[UP-DATE – this brief posting was written & published on 28th March 2008 – and it remains an important record of that time – that brief time – a few months only – when we had turned the BBC – at national level only – away from blind-eying child-abuse & cover-ups – and had got the BBC to do some ethical, real journalism. Alas – and predictably – it didn’t last – and a matter of a few months later the BBC were active co-operants in the illegal suspension of Jersey’s good Police Chief Graham Power, Queen’s Police Medal, and the smearing of the child-abuse investigation. Another very important historic feature of this posting is the evidence it re-produces of Jersey’s senior civil service  mounting an anti-democratic assault against political authority and public power, and instead attacking the interests of vulnerable children and child-abuse victims.]

Tonight BBC Southwest regional television will show another “Inside Out” documentary which further examines the Jersey child abuse disaster.

A further, more extensive, examination of the issues can be seen in this Monday’s forthcoming Panorama documentary, which will be broadcast nationally.

Whilst I don’t know precisely what footage will be shown – I do know – very well – the subject matter.

Things are nearing the end now – the shackles will be closing upon the guilty – the truth will emerge during the coming weeks and months. As painful as it will all be for the victims – many of them will be able to move on with their lives.

I have come to know some of the victims interviewed in these BBC programs. I was able to establish contact with some of them last year. Through a process of networking and gradually gaining their trust I came to know what they had endured.

Watch these programs – listen to what these children suffered – absorb the full, awful horror of it.

These are the kind of experiences people were relaying to me throughout much of 2007 when I was working with the support of whistle-blowers, witnesses and many of the victims themselves. During the early part of last year I had no knowledge of the covert police investigation and neither, at that stage, did a number of the survivors.

But we knew the truth. And we battled accordingly.

The things described in these two films are appalling – in so many ways.

Yet the island’s parliament – which would have itself an effective, respectable legislature – knew of some of these abuses last year. Its members knew – because they received my response to the dismissal proposition against me – along with 14 appendices of evidence.

Even though Jersey’s Bailiff – chief judge and Speaker of our parliament – unlawfully and anti-democratically prevented this material from being officially published.

Nevertheless photocopies were distributed to States members. Amongst these appendices was the Report by Dylan Southern into the abuse episode you will see examined on television.

So watch these broadcasts – and reflect upon the fact that Jersey’s politicians knew of these abuses last year – next time you hear them proclaiming their undying commitment to child protection.

Regular readers of this blog will be aware of the unceasing political assaults made upon me by Jersey’s political establishment, its media – and the collection of shysters and spivs that comprises much of its “Business Community”.

Remember Brocken’s letter?

If you don’t have that to hand, read tonight’s Jersey Evening Post, where you will find another load of letters condemning me to the furthest pit of Hell for being rude about the Bailiff, Sir Philip Bailhache.

It is in such things observers can see – finally – the festering and utter decadence of the Jersey establishment. A microcosm of every kind of venality, ignorance, stupidity, moral turpitude and naked self-interest.

Unassailable power which is rotting this community from the top-down.

The Bailiff – let us remember – being the man who –

1: Unlawfully prevented my official comments from being published.

2: Unlawfully and undemocratically stopped me from giving a speech of empathy for the victims last December.

3: Unlawfully had me thrown out of the island’s parliament building a matter of days ago whilst I was in the middle of an interview with a French TV crew.

Short of torture or actual assassination – it is difficult to see what these decadent morons could visit upon me next.

But even though I was beyond caring a long time ago – if there are any of you resident in Jersey who still cling to the notion that some kind of redemption is possible for this island – remember these events.

Remember it – like I will remember listening to the victims; giving them secret reports which described their betrayal by Jersey’s authorities; accompanying them and watching them be interviewed by the BBC.

Trying to grasp the awful magnitude of what they went through – what they endured because of the inherent corruption and decadence of power in Jersey.

And trying to reconcile their suffering with the crushing hatred and oppressions visited upon people like Simon Bellwood and me as we fought for child protection.

Well, I’m sorry – I can’t write much more now. Like I said – things will be coming to the end soon.

Though sadly not for the Jersey oligarchy – which has some unique immunity to the consequences of its own evil failures.

I’ll be writing to Jack Straw in the next 24 hours. He is the UK Justice Secretary and has ultimate responsibility for the good administration of justice in Jersey. In theory he should take certain, clear actions – but don’t hold your breath.

As I said – the Jersey oligarchy seems to exist in some kind of computer game – where it has infinite lives and complete invulnerability to all weapons.

In the meantime, let me leave you with the e-mail I reproduce below.

Watch the films. Then when considering the suffering – and the betrayal by the Jersey authorities which permitted that suffering to go on so long – re-read this e-mail from one John Noel – Customs and Immigration officer and head of Jersey’s civil service association.

He was objecting to my condemnation of the kind of grotesque failings described in the films.

It isn’t unique – sadly – just another reflection of the fact that 95% of senior civil servants in Jersey labour under the delusion that the services exist to provide them with jobs – rather than to meet the needs of the community.

It says all you need to know, really, about the ethical bankruptcy of the Jersey oligarchy.

Remember the e-mail from Noel – as you contemplate the full horror of the suffering these children endured – as recounted  by them – in the TV programs.

—–Original Message—–
From: John Noel (Immigration)
Sent: 19 July 2007 09:45
To: Ian Crich
Cc: John Moulin
Subject: JEP 17.07.07

Dear Ian,

The comments attributed to Senator Syvret as published in the JEP on 17 July have caused great concern to the Staff Side of the Civil Service. A number of our members have expressed both their distress and anger that a Minister of the States should, if indeed that is the case, give vent in this way to his feelings about Civil Servants.

The Civil Service should be supported by and enjoy the public confidence of the Council of Ministers. Outbursts of this nature from a Minister do not help foster the good working relationship which needs to exist between the employer, the States of Jersey, and its employees. The Staff Side would therefore like to know what action the Council of Ministers proposes to take in the present situation.

Yours sincerely,

John.

John Noel
Chairman Civil Service Staff Side

ANOTHER LAST – EVEN MORE DESPERATE – THROW OF THE DICE?

CHILD ABUSE: IS THE JERSEY ESTABLISHMENT TRYING TO SABOTAGE PROSECUTIONS?

Those following the Jersey media will have seen that Senator Frank Walker, Jersey’s Chief Minister, has decided that now is the time to begin proposing the establishment of a ‘Committee of Enquiry’ – a quasi-judicial process which can be instigated by the island’s parliament, and would work somewhat like a UK parliamentary ‘Select Committee’.

The purpose of this exercise would be to undertake a detailed examination of all the issues concerning the Jersey child abuse disaster.

On the face of it, this may seem a good idea; ‘why shouldn’t there be a public enquiry into this catastrophe?’

The answer to that question is all about timing.

As explained in previous posts, I spent much of the first half of 2007 pursuing my own investigations into child protection failures. These efforts ultimately prompted the Jersey oligarchy to dismiss me from my post as Minister for Health & Social Services.

During that episode, I had concluded that a Committee of Enquiry would be extremely useful. However – at that stage I was not aware of the covert police investigation; rather, I had reached my own conclusions concerning the catastrophic state of child protection in Jersey following extensive communications with whistle-blowers, victims and witnesses.

A public enquiry seemed – rightly – back then to be a good means of exposing the truth.

However – when the States of Jersey Police Force took me into their confidence in November of last year – and explained in detail what they had been doing – it was immediately apparent that they were going to expose the truth – and that there would be prosecutions.

Therefore – so as not to jeopardise that process, I parked the idea of seeking to establish a Committee of Enquiry.

Not because the polity in Jersey does not require such ruthless scrutiny – it does. And we must, indeed, have such an enquiry – but only when the timing is right.

At present, the Police have only made one arrest in connection with their major investigation into historic child abuse. They have stated publicly that they are going to make a substantial number of further arrests.

In theory – at least – this should lead to prosecutions – and in the case of the guilty, appropriate punishments.

But – that process – arrests, prosecutions, appeals – will take perhaps three years – and even that might be optimistic.

So – why not establish a Committee of Enquiry soon? There are lessons to be learnt, surely, and we need to discover the facts – and make necessary improvements as soon as we possibly can?

Well, there are several – extremely good – reasons as to why a Committee of Enquiry should not be spoken of now. Not least because the causes of the disaster – and the failure of public administration to deal with it – are already obvious to any thinking person. We know – even if Frank & Co don’t – what changes must be made.

But dealing with the main issues. Firstly, the public enquiry would be a quasi-judicial process. We must ask, therefore, how appropriate would it be to establish such a body which would be working in parallel with the on-going police investigations, charges and prosecutions?

Obviously – it is quite impossible to see these two processes working on the same subject matter – simultaneously – without badly damaging the prosecutions.

Such an exercise would risk seriously distracting from – and more significantly, contaminating and hindering – the efforts of the Police.

But – even if the Committee of Enquiry was not actually put into action now – but instead its establishment was simply agreed – this process – the public discussion – and the political debate in the islands parliament – would seriously run the risk of furnishing defence lawyers with a variety of reasons for asserting their clients wouldn’t get a fair trial.

Further – even if the suggested Committee of Enquiry were to be established – surely we should have a good understanding of the facts – an informed grasp of the issues – to enable us to draw-up appropriate Terms of Reference for the Committee?

We could only be fully informed of these considerations – after the conclusion of any criminal trials. For it will be, in court, that a great deal of the important information will emerge.

So – on these grounds alone – now is simply the wrong time to be even speaking of a Committee of Enquiry.

But – there is a far more profoundly worrying dimension to this proposal. .

Now, brace yourselves – I don’t think Frank Walker is culpable for this huge error.

He will have been advised to take forward the concept of a Committee of Enquiry by various – very senior – Jersey establishment figures.

And one can – very easily – speculate as to the motives behind such “advice”.

Forgive me for going into boring, technical matters – but these are of fundamental importance.

I am going to quote some pieces of Jersey legislation.

And my reason for doing so is to demonstrate a stark – and profoundly disturbing – fact.

Which is this:

Any person summoned before a Committee of Enquiry, or who gives evidence to such a committee – immediately gains immunity from criminal prosecution for any matter being considered by the Committee.

So – have a quick read of the law quotes below – and understand this:

If – by some chance – the States were to embark upon a Committee of Enquiry – before all of the judicial processes were exhausted – potentially guilty people – maybe abusers, or those who have perverted the course of justice by concealing such abuse, or who have committed Misconduct in Public Office – will become beyond the reach of the Law – beyond justice by dint of the immunity from prosecution conferred upon them by the Committee of Enquiry.

Here are some of the relevant legal quotes:

34 Immunity from legal proceedings:

No civil or criminal proceedings may be instituted against any member of the States –

(a) for any words spoken before or written in a report to the States or a committee or panel established under standing orders; or

(b) by reason of any other matter or thing brought by the member before or within the States or any such committee or panel by petition, proposition or otherwise.

In plain English this means that any member of the States of Jersey – and this includes – really rather fascinatingly – unelected members of the States, such as the Law Officers – will become immune from prosecutions.

But of greater concern is the following piece of legislation which has the same effect – that of conferring immunity from criminal actions – upon any member of the public – this including public employees and senior civil servants, for example – who comes before a Committee of Enquiry.

8 Privileges and immunity of person appearing before or producing documents to a committee of inquiry:

(1) A person asked or required to give evidence or produce documents before a committee of inquiry shall be entitled, in respect of such evidence and documents, to legal professional privilege and privilege against self-incrimination.

(2) An answer given by a person to a question put to that person, or an oral or written statement made by that person, or a document produced by a person in the course of his or her appearance before a committee of inquiry shall not, except in the case of proceedings for the offence of perjury or for an offence under these Regulations, be admissible in evidence against that person in any civil or criminal proceedings.

(3) Paragraph (2) shall not apply to evidence given or documents produced by that person which he or she knows to be untrue.

So what does all this mean?

It means that perhaps dozens of potentially guilty people – abusers and those who concealed abuse – will – with one mighty bound – become immune to prosecution for their offences.

The victims will – again – be betrayed.

It’s a very “clever” wheeze – isn’t it?

I could name a variety of people who will be praying for the States assembly and the Jersey Council of Ministers to be that stupid.

Frank has claimed that he simply wants to get agreement to the establishment of such a Committee; not actually launch it whilst the criminal and judicial processes are continuing. But there is simply no point – absolutely no good could come of – the States even debating the topic now.

Of course, Frank’s motives are probably quite “innocent” in that it’s a text-book move from the political spin-doctors hand-book:

“Government in crisis? Right – let us show our mastery of events by establishing an “independent inquiry””.

I’m inclined to believe that Frank is guilty of the spin – but not the more dangerous objective of compromising prosecutions – and conferring criminal immunity upon those who should feel the full weight of the law.

I could not, though, express the same opinion of those who have advised him in this matter.

Their motives – I am sure – are altogether darker.

The Jersey Council of Ministers is meeting tomorrow, that is, Thursday, 27th March, and will be considering the idea of the Committee of Enquiry.

Let us hope that wiser council will prevail – and they recognise that such a Political – quasi-judicial – investigation must be put back upon the shelf – until such time as the criminal aspects of this disaster have run their course.

A process likely to take several years.

Stuart Syvret.

A QUEST TOWARDS THE BALLOT-BOX.

A QUEST TOWARDS THE BALLOT-BOX.

Your Elected Representatives: The Guilty Parties.

I know it’s premature – the Jersey elections only take place at the end of this year. But I thought there’s no harm in enabling you to begin your appraisal of your elected representatives early.

Below I reproduce the vote record of members of the Jersey parliament when agreeing with Frank Walker’s proposal to remove me from Ministerial office.

For those of you not familiar with the arcane procedures of ‘the States’ let me explain that the vote was ‘for’ or ‘against’ Senator Frank Walker’s proposition.

Given our French heritage the words ‘pour’ – for, or ‘contre’ – against, are used.

So let me make a few observations.

The primary “grounds” for dismissing me were that, by saying publicly that I had no confidence in the child protection apparatus of Jersey, I was – allegedly -“undermining staff moral”.

And that by speaking out against obvious failings in the child protection apparatus I was – allegedly – “putting children at greater risk”.

As explained elsewhere, these two assertions were – and remain – ignorant and contemptible nonsense.

A very substantial amount of the information which caused me to be concerned was, in fact, brought to my attention by good, principled, front-line staff.

Good staff whose “moral” was being seriously “undermined” by having divisional bosses who were incompetent, lying, dangerous clowns.

And one doesn’t need to be any kind of expert in child protection to just know, instinctively, that any failings, neglect and dangers to children should be publicly exposed.

Secrecy, “discretion” and concealment – these are the watch-words of child abusers.

You would have to be a complete idiot to believe anyone who tried to say “now, we mustn’t speak of child protection failures” – “it should be our secret” – and “would you like a sweetie, little girl?”

Yet – such catastrophic misjudgements were the preferred choice of my “esteemed colleagues”.

Take my former Assistant Minster, for example, Deputy Celia Scott-Warren – and sister-in-law of Frank Walker.

She resigned – without saying as much as one syllable to me first – instead preferring to side with the very senior civil servants who are responsible for failing to prevent and expose these atrocities against children.

But she is not alone; as you can see from the voting record, 35 members of Jersey’s parliament voted – effectively – to support the culture of cover-up and concealment.

15 members supported me – including some who are not natural political allies of mine. That they came to the debate with a sufficinetly open mind is to their great credit.

One member, the Home Affairs Minister, Senator Wendy Kinnard – Bollinger Bolshevik and supposed trendy-lefty – “declared an interest” and withdrew; a cowardly retreat. I have marked her as an abstention in this list.

Whilst she has tried desperately to have it both ways, in many respects – her position is the most contemptible of all.

Initially endorsing Big Frank’s wish to get rid of me – as soon as she realised things were going to become profoundly controversial, she retreated from the arena.

At least with people like Frank Walker and Philip Ozouf you know where they are coming from – ruthless market fundamentalism and implacable partisan politicking.

In the case of people like Wendy – it really is tragic – as well as contemptible – to see a former friend and supposed ‘right-on’ lefty destroy their own credibility so comprehensively.

She always aspired to becoming a ‘Jurat’ – a lay-judge in Jersey’s Royal Court. She won’t, of course. Firstly, her contemptible actions and deficiencies in this case would – one might like to imagine – militate against her election. But having said that, the Jurats include amongst their number – in John Le Breton – a man who concealed child abuse – so we couldn’t be surprised.

We will have to console ourselves with the thought that there won’t be ‘Jurats’ in a few years time.

Instead we will have the proper administration of justice.

Now – remember – as I have remarked elsewhere – even to this very day not one, single, solitary, one of the 35 who voted to support the concealment of abuse has apologised to the victims.

Not one has recanted in any way.

People are fallible – we all make mistakes. But when the evidence becomes unavoidable – perhaps we should expect individuals to exhibit a little contrition?

Well – none of these 35 States members has yet done so.

Even those who fondly imagine themselves to be Christians.

And it’s not as though they can plead ignorance. For even though, Phil Bailhache illegally and undemocratically prevented my formal response to the dismissal proposal from being officially produced, each member was ultimately provided with a photocopy of my comments – plus 14 extremely important appendices of evidence which demonstrated my case to be correct.

Whilst I doubt that many of them actually read the material – it included such evidence as the Sharp report, the Dylan Southern report into an appaling episode of concealed and unpunished abuse – and it included the evidence which showed the letter to Big Frank demanding my sacking – was written by the principally culpable civil servant – Marnie Baudains.

All this evidence – and more besides – was in the hands of members at the beginning of the debate. 35 of those members chose to ignore the evidence, couldn’t be bothered to read it – or just didn’t understand it.

But evidence they had; so there can be no excuse – there can be no hiding place.

So – here is your ‘cut & paste’ guide to how Jersey politicians voted.

Remember it carefully.

I promise to post any recantations here – should any be forthcoming.

But don’t hold your breath.

Stuart Syvret.

THE STATES, adopting a proposition of the Chief Minister, and, in accordance with Article 21(4) of the States of Jersey Law 2005, dismissed Senator Stuart Syvret as Minister for Health and Social Services.

Members present voted as follows –

POUR: 35

Senator L. Norman
Senator F.H. Walker
Senator T.A. Le Sueur
Senator P.F. Routier
Senator M.E. Vibert
Senator P.F.C. Ozouf
Senator T.J. Le Main
Senator F.E. Cohen
Connétable of St. Ouen
Connétable of St. Mary
Connétable of St. Clement
Connétable of St. Lawrence
Connétable of Grouville
Connétable of St. Brelade
Connétable of St. Martin
Connétable of St. Saviour
Deputy R.C. Duhamel (S)
Deputy J.J. Huet (H)
Deputy P.N. Troy (B)
Deputy C.J. Scott Warren (S)
Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier (S)
Deputy J.B. Fox (H)
Deputy S.C. Ferguson (B)
Deputy of St. Ouen
Deputy of St. Peter
Deputy J.A. Hilton (H)
Deputy G.W.J. de Faye (H)
Deputy J.A.N. Le Fondré (L)
Deputy D.W. Mezbourian (L)
Deputy of Trinity
Deputy S.S.P.A. Power (B)
Deputy A.J.D. Maclean (H)
Deputy of St. John
Deputy I.J. Gorst (C)
Deputy of St. Mary

CONTRE: 15

Senator S. Syvret
Senator B.E. Shenton
Senator J.L. Perchard
Connétable of St. Peter
Connétable of St. Helier
Connétable of St. John
Deputy A. Breckon (S)
Deputy of St. Martin
Deputy G.C.L. Baudains (C)
Deputy J.A. Martin (H)
Deputy G.P. Southern (H)
Deputy P.J.D. Ryan (H)
Deputy of Grouville
Deputy S. Pitman (H)
Deputy K.C. Lewis (S)

ABSTAIN: 1

Senator W. Kinnard

THE POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT OF JERSEY.

Can We Rely Upon Them? A Simple Test.

I thought regular readers of this blog might find this e-mail interesting. I have written it to Jersey’s Chief Minster, Senator Frank Walker, his Council of Ministers and his Chief Executive – who has responsibility for the “performance” of the senior civil service of the island.

Whilst the awful truth is obvious to any decent, thinking person – the culture of denial and concealment persists – even to these days – amongst Jersey’s leaders.

So – as an experiment – lets us see if – even at this stage – they can accept the truth.

To quote Bob Dylan: “let us not talk falsely now, for the hour is getting late.”

Stuart Syvret.

______________________________________________
From: Stuart Syvret
Sent: 22 March 2008 18:14
To: Frank Walker; Council of Ministers; Bill Ogley
Subject: Child Protection: The Reckoning.

To Senator Frank Walker, Chief Minister of Jersey, each member of his Council of Ministers, and his Chief Executive, Bill Ogley.

Chief Minister, Jersey Ministers and Chief Executive.

As you may know, I have been writing a blog for some time now.

I hope you have found it interesting.

I must say its readership is beyond any imagining of mine. 13,821 unique site users – and 31,644 hits – so far.

But in addition to the blog – I am to begin uploading a variety of information and reports onto several campaigning websites based in other jurisdictions. So, with luck, the truth will receive an even wider audience.

This approach will, of course, also have the added advantage of placing the dissemination of the truth in the hands of those who will champion it – quite regardless of whatever oppressions you and your child-abuse-concealing judicial cronies may visit upon me.

My purpose in writing to you is to remind you that Senator Walker has noticeably failed to respond to my e-mails of the 7th January and the 18th January.

Whilst both e-mails constituted a detailed account of the various gross incompetences and profound misjudgements manifested by the Jersey Council of Minister throughout the child protection disaster, I thought I would give each of you – another – opportunity to address the key question within both e-mails.

And I do so because that question – and what its answer reveals – is of central importance to the objective of improving child protection in Jersey.

That question is quite simply: “Do you, Senator Walker, and each of the other Ministers, and the Chief Executive still stand by the assertions and arguments you relied upon in seeking my dismissal, as detailed in your proposition P.115/2007?

I have been carefully collating and re-reading all of the archive e-mail correspondence from this episode. The degree of stupidity and absurdity manifested in your various communications to me – and your dismissals of my warnings – would be funny – were it not for the fact that this Council of Ministers chose to engaging in what was simply another horrifying display of the culture of cover-up and concealment.

The very ‘cultural’ attitude and response which has seen over six decades of the most foul abuse go unreported and unpunished.

You know – I know – and you know that I know – as does every impartial observer – that the report and proposition you relied upon in engineering my dismissal was a farrago lies, distortions, half-truths, omissions, irrelevancies and politically opportunistic betrayals of child protection.

It was in a league of it own in terms of Cabinet incompetence, idleness and ethical bankruptcy.

I am, as time permits, going to begin posting the archive e-mail correspondence – with commentaries – either on my blog or other sites.

So I thought I would offer each of you an opportunity to re-appraise your actions in the light of the awful knowledge which must, surely, be graspable by now.

Do not let anyone say I’m unfair. I have given you months to respond to my initial e-mails – and even now I am giving you yet another opportunity to recant.

In order to help you all a little – as your grasp of these issues is clearly so poor – I will give you just two, brief, examples of the unsustainability of your current position. Two fundamental points which constituted the very foundations of your case.

1: The punitive and coercive use of extended periods of solitary confinement against children when held in Les Chennes and Greenfileds was – clearly – illegal and abusive. Contrary to the assertions in your report, this fact was obvious and evidenced – from the moment I first raised the subject. Simon Bellwood was totally correct in having this opinion. Should you require further evidence, simply reflect upon the fact that the management case against Bellwood collapsed at his recent employment tribunal – and the man whose assertions you relied upon in defending the “Grand-Prix” regime is now suspended.

2: In reckless and ignorant abandon – you blindly accepted the self-serving assertions of Marnie Baudians, Directorate Manager of Social Services – in her letter signed by Iris Le Feuvre – to the effect that ‘to publicly speak out against failing systems was to place children at increased risk’. A few moments research would have demonstrated to you the fact that every respectable child protection organisation in the UK takes the directly opposite view – namely, that it is, ultimately, always preferable to speak out against child protection failures. To illustrate just how plain this fact is, even Andrew Williamson – although it was like extracting teeth – finally admitted under questioning that we all have a duty to speak out if we are aware of failures and abuses.

Although you almost certainly will not have grasped this fact yet – the denial of obvious truths, the indecent instinctive reaction to conceal failings, the oppression of those who speak out against incompetence and wrongdoing, the ‘lets-all-stick-together’ culture of invulnerability amongst civil servants – all are fundamental reasons for the decades of abuse against vulnerable children Jersey has permitted in its midst’s and the awful fact that 95% of such abuse has gone unreported and unpunished.

The polity of this community needs to learn that lesson – if we are to root-out such systemic failure and protect children in future.

The decisions and actions of this Jersey Council of Ministers were catastrophically wrong – at every turn.

So let’s see whether – when faced with immutable truths – the Jersey establishment can acknowledge errors and learn lessons.

Senator Stuart Syvret
States of Jersey.

OF CHANCERS AND SPIVS.

Ah – the joys of cyberspace.

The ability to express oneself as – and how – one feels. No burdensome and restrictive mediation of what one wishes to say by the conventional media.

A natural environment for someone like me – who says it how they see it.

As regular readers may have gathered – I do not have a reputation for my skills in tact and diplomacy.

I have, by the standards of politicians, been pretty honest throughout my ‘career’. The consequence of this approach has been to bring down upon myself virtually total hatred from most other politicians and other members of the Jersey oligarchy. (Hello, Phil.)

The flip-side of this has been a pretty high level of public popularity which manifested itself in me coming first in the poll during my last two elections.

But that was back in the days when I used to run for election; when I thought being a politician could be a good thing.

Thank Christ those days are over.

So, in addition to the freedoms of citizen media – I am also in the happy position of, officially, “Not Giving A Monkey’s” in respect of what consequences – what further oppressions – the Jersey oligarchy can visit upon me. They simply have no power over me any more.

In the famous words of Bob Dylan:

“When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose”.

So I simply have no further need to humour the collection of shysters, cretins and over-promoted megalomaniacs of which the Jersey establishment is comprised.

So – I was pleased to see that an old adversary of mine has a letter published in tonight’s Jersey Evening Post.

(By the way, Ritchie, thanks for giving my blog a ‘plug’. First ever mention in The Rag. I look forward to my readership increasing.)

Check out the letter and read it for yourself. Here’s the address:

http://www.thisisjersey.com/comment/showletter.pl?ArticleID=000424.

The letter is, in various ways, comically inaccurate, partial, wilfully misleading – and replete with straight-forward lies.

I will, when priorities permit, write a detailed response to it – but somehow I doubt The Rag will print it.

In which case – I will post my reply here, so watch this space.

But for the time being, let me inform you of a really rather key set of facts which the author omits from his epistle.

The man in question is one Mr Richard Brocken – now a multi-millionaire property developer and speculator – but who, apparently, had little wealth when first moving to Jersey.

He made his fortune here.

An admirable effort, I say. Nothing like a bit of initiative and drive to improve one’s lot.

Just a pity that – back in those early days – his “business” – err – habits were somewhat unconventional.

These included stealing other firms scaffolding, for which he was convicted. It is also well-known amongst the Jersey construction fraternity that he wasn’t averse to collecting his debts with the help of a length of 2 x 4.

Essentially – he is a typical example of that specie, the Latter-Day Jersey Spiv.

Speaking of which – very good friends – indeed – with the Housing Minister, Senator Terry Le Main – himself a man whose business methods have, in days gone by, included such approaches as importing stolen cars – and forging people’s signatures.

Mr. Broken spent around £2.3 million in purchasing a knackered old flea-pit of a hotel which adjoins the Jersey General Hospital.

His plan was to re-develop the site as a private hospital – a scheme which his own advisers said would only be viable if “the risk was shared” with the public hospital.

His plan was to be thus relived of having to bother with the inconvenience of building his private hospital with the full and necessary range of facilities and services a stand-alone medical centre would need.

Instead, the decades of investment by Jersey tax-payers in their health service would enable Mr. Brocken’s scheme to piggy-back upon the public services of the Jersey General Hospital.

But – in a further example of Mr. Brocken’s undoubted entrepreneurial skills – this wasn’t the only “clever” aspect of his plans.

His private hospital would have siphoned-off the profitable private medical treatment provided in the General Hospital – and which generates an income for the public purse. This would have deprived Health & Social Services of an important source of income.

I and my Committee considered Mr. Brocken’s “proposal” – and rejected it.

Every single piece of professional advice we received was absolutely clear – the Brocken proposal brought no meaningful benefit to the public interest – and worse – it would have been harmful to the effective running of the General Hospital, and would have deprived the public service of an important source of income.

So Mr. Brocken gambled – and lost.

He blew £2.3 million of his money in buying the site – in the misguided belief that I would respond in “The Jersey Way”; essentially – apply zero rational thought – and passively role-over to his demands because it was a “Business” proposal – and therefore “A Good Thing”.

So, unfortunately for Mr Broken, he had the grave misfortune to be the first local “Le Business Man” – to have a big-bucks speculation thwarted by an honest politician.

£2.3 million – blown on a pile of crap – and the culture shock of not receiving the customary and expected surrender of the public interest.

Naturally – he has waged unremitting war on me ever since.

It is actually quite funny – but useful as well – in that it illustrates so perfectly the festering malignity of naked self-interest, greed, stupidity, philistinism – and contempt for the public good which characterises the unchallenged and absolute power of the Jersey oligarchy. (Err- did I say ‘hello’, Phil?)

I think that being sued for ‘defamation’ – and thus bankrupted – would actually be a rather splendid way of signing-off from politics.

Apposite, no?

My political demise at the hands of spivs – who are supported by your “traditional” politicians – and given “justice” by a judicial apparatus which cheerfully includes amongst its number, people who concealed child abuse and individuals who failed to prosecute those guilty of that concealment.

As I said, I will write a reply to Mr. Brocken’s missive – but it isn’t a priority.

I have two main tasks upon which I am concentrating.

Firstly, attempting to ensure that the courts in Jersey are capable of meeting the test of the ‘appearance of objectivity’ essential to any respectable judicial process.

Secondly, helping to establish a Jersey branch of the Care Leavers Association in order to provide direct and much-needed assistance to the survivors of the Jersey child abuse disaster.

I will write more concerning this second initiative in the next couple of days. Real support for abuse survivors is desperately needed here. And in that respect, I am happy to report that not only have I had an initial discussion with the Care Leavers Association – I have also had a much-appreciated offer of legal support and representation for the victims.

So – the important work continues.

As for Ritchie, Tel-boy, Phil and Frank – they, or others like them, will carry on wielding the power in Jersey.

The rest of you? – well, good luck.

You’re going to need it.

Stuart Syvret.

SOME MORE LIGHT RELIEF.

Wonders will never cease. A written reply from Phil Bailhache. Ok, his reply is wrong and insupportable in many ways – but, hey, it’s a start.

Now, if this progress continues, maybe – eventually – I will be able to extract from him a written explanation of his “reasons” for not permitting me to table a question to the Chairman of the Constables’ Committee concerning disbursement of parish funds to each Constable.

But don’t hold your breath.

Anyway, as something to be going on with – below is his reply to my e-mail – and immediately below is my response to it.

Stuart Syvret.

From: Stuart Syvret
Sent: 18 March 2008 19:11
To: Bailiff of Jersey
Cc: Lieutenant Governor
Subject: RE: Your Abuse of Power.

Bailiff

Thank you for your reply. It is, as you intimate, a rare thing for me to ever obtain any response from you; even entirely mundane questions concerning your ‘rulings’ – when disallowing propositions and parliamentary questions from me – are, apparently, too complex and demanding an exercise for you – because I have the temerity to respond and question your frequently irrational decisions. And, of course, responding would be such a monstrous burden – beyond the call of duty – given you are only paid about £250,000 per annum.

So then, turning to your novel response – and, you know, you really should begin to actually think about things – and consider the facts carefully – before rashly committing yourself to unsustainable positions.

When entering or leaving the building, I nearly always use the States members’ entrance which faces the statue. There is absolutely no sign whatsoever prohibiting photography outside of these doors; nor is there any such sign on, or around, the next, internal doors; nor is there any such sign on the door of the members’ room at the bottom of the stairs; nor is there any such sign within the members’ room itself. All omissions which – no doubt – will now be speedily rectified.

There is a written notice – a scarcely noticeable sheet of paper within the glass-fronted notice cabinet – mounted outside of the public entrance to the States building. Amongst the text which covers the page, there is, indeed, one sentence which warns members of the public that photography from the public gallery of the chamber itself and the proceedings is not permitted.

Therefore, whilst one could very easily be forgiven for not noticing this tiny, single notice – I was, in fact, aware of the prohibition of photography within the chamber itself unless “permission” had been obtained.

That is why – as you note – I informed another French TV crew that if they wished to film the chamber, they would, indeed, need to obtain permission.

But that – however – is the chamber itself. As already explained – there are, in fact, no signs indicating that a member may not be photographed or interviewed away from the chamber, in one of the suit of rooms available for elected members.

Your ex cathedra pronouncement was doubly surprising as I, and other members, have occasionally given interviews in these rooms – for some years now. Personally, I may have given 20 interviews in the room in question during the last month alone?

Indeed, I have facilitated interviews with victims – several of which were filmed in the room.

None of these interviews within the building ever attracted any indication of prohibition – that is, until yesterday morning, when the usher – under your instructions – required the journalist and I to conduct our interview standing outside on the pavement.

As I said – really rather splendid from a PR perspective.

But – sadly – and in all seriousness – the year is 2008 – not 1878. It really is time you began to come to terms with the fact that elected members are not some accretion of presumptuous courtiers – attendant in the building at your grace and favour as though you were some Tudor monarch.

You and other Jersey oligarchs will find my communications to exhibit a significant degree of contempt; of ‘insolence’, of ‘insubordination’. Indeed – I confess that that is so.

But how could it be otherwise when I – and thus the people I represent – have endured years of contemptuous treatment at the hands of you and other members of Jersey’s ancient regime?

The age of automatic and unquestioning deference to our “social superiors” was over – a very long time ago.

The people of Jersey own that building; it is their parliament. And, for good or ill, it is the domain of their elected representatives – until such time as the people of Jersey decide otherwise via the ballot-box.

So next time you order your troops to have me thrown out of the Jersey parliament building – just remember – I, at least, have a democratic mandate to be using the rooms. A mandate, I think you will find, that you do not possess.

Stuart Syvret.

_____________________________________________
From: Bailiff of Jersey
Sent: 18 March 2008 12:27
To: Stuart Syvret
Cc: Lieutenant Governor
Subject: RE: Your Abuse of Power.

Senator –

Usually I do not, as you know, reply to abusive emails. I am making an exception to deal with the point raised in your first sentence. It is unfortunate that your interview was interrupted but the ushers were doing no more than enforce a standard prohibition against photography in the States Building without prior authorisation. There is a sign prominently displayed at the entrance to the building which states “No photography permitted in this building without prior permission”. You must have been aware of that prohibition because you procured the necessary authority for a French TV crew to film inside the States Chamber.

Philip Bailhache
Bailiff

THE EMBARRASSMENT CONTINUES.

I thought regular readers of this blog might enjoy the Beckettitian black-humour of the latest tragic display by Jersey’s oligarchs.

Read it and weep.

From: Stuart Syvret
Sent: 18 March 2008 11:03
To: Bailiff of Jersey
Cc: Lieutenant Governor
Subject:Your Abuse of Power.

Bailiff

I was wondering – probably hopelessly, I know – if you could explain your actions in ordering the ushers of the States building to have me thrown out of a members’ room yesterday morning when I was in the middle of an interview with a French TV crew?

I don’t criticise the ushers – they were, let’s face it – “only obeying orders”. Speaking of which, I don’t imagine that the sheer embarrassment of your position will prevent you from attending the forthcoming ‘Liberation’ Day celebrations? No – I didn’t think so somehow.

The room in question was otherwise empty so no disturbance to any other member was occurring.

Let us remind ourselves – you are an un-elected official, appointed via an arcane process by the authorities in London – after “the taking of soundings” from certain select members of the Jersey oligarchy. In no way, shape or form are you accountable to the people of Jersey.

By what, then, deranged megalomania and arrogance do you presume to take to yourself the supposed “power” to dictate to elected representatives of the people of Jersey how they may use the rooms provided at taxpayers’ expense?

As is clear from your consistent political activities, you would have the world believe that the processes and habits of government in Jersey demonstrate it to be a modern, respectable and effectively functioning democracy.

Tell me, then – how many other western legislatures, do you suppose, would see an unelected and unaccountable mere public functionary like you delivering ex cathedra dictats – without any prior discussion or warning – to the effect that the elected members may not use their facilities as they see fit – unless they first obtain “permission” from you?

You won’t, obviously, know the answer to this question, so let me explain.

No respectable western legislature would tolerate such anti-democratic effrontery – such brazen personal and political interference with the activities of its members by an inconsequential apparatchik who possesses precisely zero public mandate.

Don’t misunderstand me – it made great television – couldn’t have planned it better even if I’d had the services of Frank’s spin doctors. As with your every utterance and action in this child abuse crisis – it served simply to re-enforce every point made by the victims and I in respect of the abuses and unaccountability of power in Jersey.

But – trying to look at it from the perspective of you and your fellow oligarchs – it just really let the side down – again.

What is remarkable is that you seem utterly incapable of ever learning from your errors. Remember when you had me illegally and unconstitutionally thrown out of the States assembly – for 6 months – and prevented me from saying as much as one word in my own defence – simply because I was doing my public duty by pointing out a straightforward act of brazen corruption by your Jersey establishment friend, former Senator Reg Jeune?

Phil – the Jersey establishment have clearly prevented this island’s polity from becoming a modern, functioning democracy – and it is you, actually, who are one of the principle causes of that stagnation.

Let me give you some advice, Phil; you are clearly a man out of his depth – and out of his era. Your dictatorial and paternalistic near-fascist approach to dealing with the polity is as out-of-place and bizarre as a dinosaur transported through time to stand blinking behind the bars of a zoo. You have repeatedly failed the island. You are simply an embarrassment and a liability to this community. You should – really – recognise ‘the game is up’ and resign whilst you could still leave office with a few tatty fragments of credibility behind which to conceal your various embarrassments.

Should you require further instruction in subjects you clearly find difficult – such as democracy, political discourse, accountability, free-speech, pluralism – and real support for abuse survivors – could I suggested you read my blog? Don’t worry – it’s free – and the people of Jersey, would, I’m sure, value the improvements such study might bring to your neo-Victorian posturings.

Regards

Senator Stuart Syvret.

Check It Out: http://stuartsyvret.blogspot.com/

Senator Stuart Syvret
States of Jersey

E-Mail: st.syvret@gov.je

A LAST, DESPERATE THROW OF THE DICE.

Arrogance and Stupidity: Phil, You’re Just Embarrassing Yourself.

Let us be clear about a fundamental issue.

And it really is so obvious that any thinking person would have to accept it.

In any established, western democracy the government would have fallen over such an inescapably disastrous and systemic failure to protect vulnerable children.

Decade after decade after decade of the most appaling abuse – 95% of which has gone unreported and unpunished.

As the facts show – in Jersey we are not facing mere failure – we must also confront the fact of the wilful concealment of abuse; a manifestation of the overriding imperative of the Jersey oligarchy to protect itself and its members from the taint of controversy.

And it is not just past administrations which are guilty of such derelictions of duty. As much as they are desperate to assert otherwise – the members of this, present, administration have also manifested the culture of concealment.

They did this in their oppressions of Simon Bellwood.

And they did it in their oppressions of me.

That much is plain to any impartial observer.

What, then, are we to make of the response of the Jersey establishment to the awful revelations? The appaling suffering of the victims?

Defenders of the Jersey oligarchy are insisting – even to this day – that what has occurred is not an implacable failure of checks and balances in the island.

Even now – they cannot – or will not – acknowledge the truth.

What Jersey now has to come to terms with is not “one or two maniacs within what is otherwise a respectable system of governance.”

On the contrary.

What we must acknowledge is that the abusers were able to have their crimes concealed and unpunished for many, many decades through the incompetence and the wilful collusion of the island’s public administration.

Even if we wanted to – could the community of this island seriously continue to place any faith in politicians and judges who still will not acknowledge this fact?

When even now – when the concealment of abuse is demonstrated – they will not accept the truth?

Although these days I try to avoid it whenever possible – occasionally I have to attend meetings of the States. I sit there and look around the chamber and observe the collection of passive non-entities, senior oligarchs and other assorted charlatans – and a shiver goes down my spine.

The community’s destiny is in the hands of this collection ignoramuses, deluded egotists and clowns.

People who – as recently as last December – preferred to attend Christmas lunch – rather than listen to an expression of compassion for the victims of abuse.

Even the Dean – head of the Anglican Church in Jersey – declined to support me when I was shouted-down, and my speech stopped; when I was recounting the words of Christ when he said “suffer the little children”.

The same man – the Reverend Bob Key – proceeding to use these same words of Christ -without apparent embarrassment – a couple of months later, after – belatedly – recognising the full horror of the offences being investigated by the police.

As I said – I physically tremble when sitting in the States chamber these days; the horror – the appaling decadence and stupidity of these people billows about the place like a malign sea.

Fortunately, I plan to give up politics – and perhaps take up a post in the Diplomatic service – where a natural career surely awaits me.

In its structure, habits, culture, and the “calibre” of its ‘leaders’, we see the awful culpability of the States of Jersey for the suffering of vulnerable children.

And in the reactions of the oligarchs we can see that fact simply reinforced – again and again.

The Jersey Evening Post of Saturday 15th March carried a substantial political interview with Sir Philip Bailhache, Bailiff of Jersey.

‘The Bailiff’ being the head of the island’s judiciary and the Speaker of its parliament.

For if you need yet further evidence of just how low-calibre, ignorant and utterly out of their depth are Jersey oligarchs – one need only read the interview.

Phil Bailhache was never terribly bright, to be honest. And that’s probably putting it politely.

For all of the expensive education, pomposity, megalomania and overweening arrogance of the Bailhache brothers – the ignorance and stupidity revealed in their actions almost beggars belief.

Phil, and his brother, Bill – Jersey’s Attorney General – are both implacable class-warriors; scions of the Jersey moneyed rentier elites. Profoundly politicised and possessed of an expectation of deference and a paternalistic philosophy that would not be out of place if transported back to Victorian times.

A detailed account of both their various multiple failures and inadequacies can wait until another occasions. Today, I would like to focus just upon the interview with Phil Bailhache. Let us take a look at the key assertions he makes – and then test them against events.

And this will not be a complex exposition, as the issues really are quite simple.

1: Bailhache claims that the authorities are doing all in their collective power to ensure the truth comes out and that wrongdoers are punished.

Really?

Could, by some chance, these be the same authorities who politically oppressed me for telling the truth – in an answer I gave in the island’s parliament?

The same authorities who, in the person of William Bailhache, obstructed my Committee’s access to important information back in 2003 when I was attempting to review child protection systems?

The same authorities who asserted I had to be sacked for publicly stating that the island’s child protection apparatus was seriously defective?

The same authorities who – to this day – still cling to the lie that to speak out against failing systems is to put vulnerable children at greater risk?

The same authorities – in the person of Bailhache himself – who, extraordinarily and unprecedentedly, prevented the printing of my ‘Official’ response to the dismissal debate?

The same authorities – in the form of Bailhache and establishment politicians – who, last Christmas, prevented me from speaking of the suffering of the victims?

2: Bailhache describes the national and international media coverage of this disaster as “a barrage of abuse”.

On the contrary – the national and international media have played a vital and immensely important role in ripping the lid off these monstrous crimes.

Something which would never have happened had things been left to the Jersey media.

But – of greater, indeed, profound, significance – must be the fact that he and his Jersey oligarchy colleagues still – even now – see the “problem” as being “the bad publicity.”

It, apparently, still not occurring to these idiots that “the problem” is, in fact, many decades of the foul and concealed abuse, torture, battery and rape of children –not the consequent stories in the world’s press.

3: Bailhache asserts that the courts of Jersey are “well capable of dealing with any” of these cases which come before them.

Really?

Would this be the same administration of justice which has repeatedly failed to prosecute abusers – and those who concealed the abuse? On the grounds that prosecutions would “not be in the public interest”?

The same judicial apparatus – in the person of Bailhache himself – that sentenced a disgusting old paedophile who had attempted to rape three teenage girls – to “two years probation”?

The same judicial apparatus which has – amongst its members, as a ‘Jurat’, John Le Bretton – a man who pro-actively concealed child abuse when Vice-Principle of Victoria College?

The same court system which saw a judge sentence a 19 year-old – thoroughly messed-up – victim of institutionalised abuse at the hands of the States of Jersey – to 3 years in prison for dealing in ecstasy – but about two weeks later saw the same judge sentence a “prominent local business man” to 240 hours of community service – for conspiracy to import a substantial amount cocaine?

And – is this the same court system which swore into office an honorary policeman – even though the then Attorney General knew him to be a convicted paedophile? The then Attorney General? Step forward Phil Bailhache.

4: Bailhache claims that “allegations against the ‘establishment’ were easy to make and not easy to rebut because nobody knew exactly what ‘the establishment’ was.”

He and the other oligarchs who make such assertions must be amongst a tiny handful of people in Jersey who do not know who ‘the establishment’ are.

As 90% of people in Jersey would cheerfully confirm – the establishment are: people like him, his brother the AG, the Deputy Bailiff Michael Birt, the rest of the judiciary, about three quarters of the elected members in the island’s parliament –especially their leaders, such as Frank Walker, Philip Ozouf etc., – the ranks of senior civil servants, all of the news editors across the Jersey media, the business and rentier elites – and their power-organisations, such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Institute of Directors.

That is the establishment.

A cosy confluence of entrenched self-interest, mutual support, paternalistic tradition, ignorance, short-term avarice, social-climbing, stupidity and megalomania.

5: Bailhache re-asserts the Jersey establishment spin that ‘no children are at risk today because of any deficiency in the child protection system.’

In making this claim he relies upon some vacuous assertions from Andrew Williamson – the “independent expert” – chosen by the Jersey Council of Ministers – to undertake a review.

At the suggestion and request of many of the victims, I am preparing an open letter to Mr Williamson which will state that we have no confidence whatsoever in him; this following his pitiful performance at a pro-establishment PR stunt in the last couple of weeks.

During this episode, he falsely stated that he had had no complaints of solitary confinement; and he refused to agree with the obvious fact that the coercive and punitive use of solitary confinement for extended periods of time was harmful to children – and thus unlawful.

When the letter is completed, we will publish it on this blog.

But there are two key points which need to be made in respect of the establishment assertion that “everything in the garden is rosy – today”.

Their consistent and deliberate use of the present tense has been a calculated part of their spin since the beginning of this controversy. The alarm – the profound concerns many of us had – and the resultant controversy – originated some time ago – when the child protection apparatus was anything but safe and reliable.

When considering any assertions from the Jersey establishment – pay particular attention to their deliberate use of the present tense when speaking of child protection in the island. It is diversionary spin.

And, in any event, for reasons which will become clear in the fullness of time – we couldn’t even be confident about the safety of the child protection apparatus today.

Yes – we can say – so far as we are aware – no child is in imminent danger. If we were aware of such danger, the police would be alerted immediately.

But not being aware of a child being at immediate risk – is most certainly not the same thing as believing the child protection apparatus can be regarded as safe in general terms.

As part of the culture of concealment – Bill Ogley, States of Jersey Chief Executive, and Mike Pollard, Health & Social Services Chief Executive – have repeatedly attempted to extrapolate a general endorsement of the Jersey child failure apparatus from people not being aware of a child in immediate risk.

Sadly – just further evidence of the ethical bankruptcy of these people – and just how quickly they “go native” once recruited from the UK.

Phil finishes his interview by claiming that he recognises the suffering of the victims, and that “when this case is over, something ought to be done to bring closure” for them.

Unlike Phil – I actually regularly speak with a significant number of victims. And I can confidently tell him that his avowals of recognition and sympathy for them have been met with bitter laughter, tears and anger.

Some may say that I am being too harsh when I describe Phil Bailhache as a half-wit.

But the facts speak for themselves.

If this man possessed any particular intelligence and wisdom, would he be giving a political interview to The Rag – and by doing so confirming every objection to his position – and display a startling lack of embarrassment concerning his own role in the culture of cover-up and concealment?

Let us explain the situation simply – so even they can have no excuse for failing to understand.

The concern shared by very many of the victims, whistle-blowers, witnesses and I is that the Jersey judicial apparatus is politicised, conflicted and incapable of constituting an “impartial tribunal”.

Judicial proceedings must be – and must be seen to be – completely objective.

Any individual who, or entity that, has a clear interest in a case – or who has expressed prejudice prior to proceedings – cannot remotely be regarded as meeting the test of the appearance of objectivity.

Phil Bailhache – head of the island’s judiciary – and brother of the Attorney General – has compromised himself – and thus his judiciary – by giving a highly partisan Political interview to the island’s only newspaper.

On that ground alone he cannot remotely expect to meet the appearance of objectivity test.

Therefore Jersey’s judiciary are profoundly conflicted. They have chosen to render themselves incompetent to deal with any of these cases by engaging in the politics of this crisis.

The fact that Phil Bailhache gave a Political interview demonstrates the politicisation of the Jersey judicial apparatus.

QED.

And if that fact was not stark enough – consider his own role in this wretched episode.

And just what it says about his claims to oppose the cover-ups.

Let us finish by reminding ourselves what that role was; of events in the States chamber in December last year.

As ‘Father of the House’ it falls to me to give a Christmas address to the assembly at the end of the proceedings.

I wrote a speech that drew upon the sufferings; damage; disregard experienced and shattered lives of many of the victims as told to me when meeting with them. In recounting their experiences, I became the first States member ever to publicly acknowledge the crimes against these people and to express some empathy with them.

I got about a quarter of the way through the speech until I was interrupted, barracked and silenced by establishment politicians in a disgusting display of near-fascistic intolerance and political self-interest.

It was – without question – the most despicable episode in the entire history of the island’s parliament.

And Phil Bailhache – against every principle of democracy and of parliamentary procedure – joined in with these thugs and halfwits by ordering me to stop my speech and then cutting my microphone.

The first time ever that a States member acknowledges the wrongs done to the victims by the States of Jersey – and in another display of the culture of concealment – the speech is unlawfully and undemocratically stopped. Halted in an attempt to protect the establishment’s “image”.

And this contemptible exhibition – this attempt to conceal the truth – was led by the man who appears in Saturday’s JEP asserting that the phrase ‘culture of concealment’ is “scurrilous” and without basis.

Frankly – if he didn’t so richly deserve the misfortunes of which he has been the author – one would almost feel embarrassed for him.

States members who are still in office; people who are expected to deal adequately with the political issues arising from the child abuse disaster – politicians who are now falling over themselves to proclaim their sympathies with the victims – despite having oppressed criticisms of the system a mere seven months ago – would now have us believe they can be taken seriously as leaders of this community.

So – I come back to the question – “what signs are there of contrition?” What indications can we glean that, at least some of these members can now see the fact that they were wrong? Do they exhibit any signs of learning the necessary lessons?

No.

To this very day not – one – single – solitary – States member who opposed me and thus sided with the abusers and concealment of abuse – has apologised to the victims; admitted they were wrong in dismissing my concerns; wrong to shout-down my Christmas speech – and wrong to support defective senior civil servants instead of abuse victims.

No acknowledgement of error – no apology to the victims or to me.

And in this fact – as starkly emphasised by Phil Bailhache’s interview – we can see the utter inadequacy of the Jersey polity.

The fact that it is congenitally incapable of recognising errors, of admitting mistakes and of embracing the necessary changes.

Phil Bailhache likes to imagine himself to be the civic leader of Jersey; some kind of towering figurehead – an embodiment of wisdom – wisely leading this community whilst the poor, benighted proles clutch at the passing hem of his robes of office.

Yet he continues to exhibit – and personally manifest – the very ignorance, lack of wisdom, deficiencies, arrogance and stupidity which has led this community to what is its gravest ever peacetime crises.

If this were not the case – rather than re-asserting the now literally incredible establishment spin and misinformation – he would instead be publicly apologising to the victims and to me for his crypto-fascistic silencing of my Christmas speech.

And he would be recognising that the centuries of accepted jurisprudence concerning the good administration of justice – had finally caught up with the dubious chicanery of Jersey’s “judicial” system – as implacably and as unstoppably as an avalanche.

This time – there is going to be justice. This time – the Jersey establishment have lost.

They are a defeated force.

They cannot see that yet – but any thinking person with the faintest grasp of the principals of natural justice most certainly will.

Stuart Syvret.