Monthly Archives: April 2008

BBC UK vs. BBC JERSEY.

Compare and contrast.

Just a very brief post this evening. Tonight, readers – I’m going to set out an exercise – one which I will complete in the next day or so.

But as I describe here briefly what the exercise is, you may wish to have a try yourselves.

We can compare notes.

I am going to compare and contrast the performance of the BBC in the United Kingdom – with that of its hick-town outfit here in the island of Jersey.

This exercise will show that the excellent performance of the BBC from the UK serves as a stark embarrassment to the self-adoring mouthpieces and social-climbers who run BBC Jersey.

I have some truly wondrous material and experiences to recount. Should be quite a laugh actually.

I did, in fact, promise to devote a post to each of the local Jersey media in a post a month or so ago.

So now looks like as good a time as any to pay particular attention to BBC Jersey – given that it merits particular contempt for its spineless, biased and frankly thick approach to political reporting. A standard which is utterly unforgivable as far as a BBC unit is concerned; at least with all the commercial media – we know where they’re coming from and what their agenda is.

A reader has just submitted a comment, which you can find at the comments on my post “Suffering is a Political Issue”, which recounts his experience of complaining about BBC Jersey.

Really rather splendidly – it includes a long response from BBC Jersey boss, Denzil Dudley – a more appropriate person to have the syllable ‘dud’ in his name would be difficult to wish for.

So have a read of that as a starting point for our exercise.

As ignorant, stupid and as riddled with sophistry as Mr. Dudley’s response to the complaint is – it is as nothing compared to some of the laugh-out-loud, cretinous and ethically bankrupt rubbish I have from him.

So let’s look forward to carrying out our exercise during the next day or so.

One has to try and find something to lift the spirits at this time of horrors. So laughing at clowns who, for example, tell their listeners that ‘parliamentary privilege’ does not apply in Jersey seems a good diversion.

Stuart

HAVE A GO.

Fisticuffs in the Jersey Parliament?

Sorry guys – for not getting back re the Chinese state – err, sorry – States of Jersey IT restrictions.

Had a lot of good feedback, but been too busy with child protection matters to post in detail now.

Instead – I thought it might interest regular readers – and even newcomers – to reflect upon another example of How-Jersey-Works.

You can read in my blog post ‘Parallel Universes’ of the disgusting episode during which the States of Jersey – in all its rancid and toxic “glory” – unlawfully stopped my Christmas speech, which was an attempt – the first time ever from a Jersey politician – to express some empathy & compassion to the survivors of child abuse in Jersey.

In a later blog post, called ‘Of Chancers & Spivs’ you can read of the venal self-interest behind attacks on me by shysters such as local “business” man Richard Brocken. Ritchie wrote a letter to Jersey’s only “newspaper” a while ago – in which he exhibited his customary mercenary opportunism to drive forward his business interests. Though ostensibly an attack upon me, and supportive of Big Frank – the sub-text of his letter was all about the fact that I – acting in the public interest – didn’t agree with a “business proposal” of his – which would have compromised Jersey’s health service.

So what connects these two events?

In my post ‘Parallel Universes’ I recounted how I seriously considered punching St. Brelade Deputy, Peter Troy – one of the Jersey politicians who led the barracking against me when I was speaking up for abuse survivors.

Now – what do we think Peter & Ritchie have in common?

Both are Jersey property developers and speculators.

It was, therefore, terribly, terribly witty (you need the encouragement, Ritchie) when you purchased and had delivered to the Jersey parliament building, a pair of boxing gloves and head-guard earlier this week. For the attention of Deputy Peter Troy.

A gift – (if less than £200, he doesn’t have to declare it) – to the St. Brelade district politician.

Sent with encouragement by his fellow property speculator with the suggestion that he ‘takes me on’ in combat.

What a pair of whimps.

Come on, Peter.

I’ll give you a square go outside – if you’re man enough.

And none of this namby-pamby gloves nonsense. It’s bare-knuckle – OK?

Now – I must listen to Jersey establishment figures – such as Pip Le Brocq – and start being “polite”, and stop speaking common like what I do.

This is – after all – what Jersey as a community really needs – just at this moment in its history. “Politeness”.

So – in an effort to be “polite” – I won’t say, “come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.”

Instead I shall say, “Proceed to make an attempt should you consider yourself sufficiently resilient.”

Is that better, Pip? Am I learning?

Stuart.

HELLO STALIN

Well, Well, Well.

Fascinating.

I don’t have the energy or time to go into detail yet – be assured, I will tomorrow – but my moles, including some commentors, one of who’s comments is at my previous post, tell me that access to the ‘comments’ section of my blog has now been blocked by States of Jersey IT.

This means H & SS employees cannot now read the sordid truth about their management.

And there was I – thinking we lived in a free and democratic country.

I thought it was only nutty and foul regimes which censored the exchange of information.

Err –

OK, – QED.

But this promises to be terribly entertaining. Remember, I said in an earlier post comment that Health & Social Services chief officer, Mike Pollard, issued to about 2500 H & SS employees, a letter which contained a variety of lies.

As I explained, I wrote a response to it – but within minutes of me getting the bullet as H & SS Minister – my ability to e-mail the entire H& SS group addresses had been blocked – so I was never able to respond.

So – the bosses of this organisation ‘have form’, so to speak, when it comes to the oppressive and fascistic blocking of communications.

I will write more about this once I have done a little research.

H & SS – indeed, any other public employees – keep the information coming. My contact details are amongst the States members pages towards the front of the phone book.

I do so enjoy hearing from people at the coal-face. Otherwise, truth would be a rare commodity in n the political sphere.

Thanks

Stuart.

CIVIL SERVANTS AND ACCOUNTABILITY

The Public Interest and Politicians.

TonyB submitted a very interesting comment, which I reproduce at the end of this post.

Before I deal with his points, I would like to respond to another commenter who asked me whether I was content to let Chris Bright or Rob Shipley – editor & deputy editor of the Jersey Evening Post – reply on this site to the criticisms I have made of them in past posts.

The answer is yes – indeed, Mr. Bright has made one comment response already. Should either man be interested in responding I would be very interested to hear their views. We could have a lively debate.

Something you won’t get in the JEP.

The same commenter also asked whether I had called someone “a bloody idiot” during today’s meeting of the Jersey parliament.

The answer to that question is yes – though the JEP got their report wrong by saying I had said this to Frank Walker.

What, in fact, happened is this: I was asking Frank Walker a supplementary question to the effect that when I was H & SS Minister, senior civil servants had lied to me about the case of Simon Bellwood.

Did he think it acceptable for civil servants to lie to politicians?

Before he could answer, Senator Terry Le Main – Pseudo (Terry, it means ‘false, not genuine, fake’) Working Class Hero and all-round spiv – a person who has disturbed many people in his rabid defence of the culture of concealment – interrupted and began shouting that it was “disgraceful” to ask such a question and that “civil servants didn’t lie.”

Now – reflect upon last night’s Panorama (available at the BBC iPlayer web site) – the victims – their testimony – what they suffered – and how they were utterly betrayed by the civil servants Le Main was leaping up to defend.

In response to Le Main’s interruption I said:

“After last night’s Panorama? You bloody idiot.”

This was an entirely mild response – knowing what I know of the suffering these victims have gone through.

The Deputy Bailiff – Michael Birt (and former Attorney General – funnily enough, the one who dropped the prosecution of the McGuires) said I had to withdraw my supposedly “unparliamentery” words.

I agree to withdraw the word “bloody”.

Turning to TonyB’s questions.

He referred to Anton Skinner – a man named in Panorama as being responsible for the child protection services when many examples of appalling abuse were concealed.

I can most certainly confirm the veracity of the issues as described in Panorama.

Skinner was the head of Social Services in 1999 when I became President of the then Health & Social Services Committee. Due to the sudden ill-health retirement of the then chief officer, Skinner became the acting chief officer for Health & Social Services.

He held this post for a period of time until the appointment of the present chief officer, Mike Pollard. At that stage Skinner retired.

A Committee term is 3 years, and I was President of the H & SS Committee for two terms – 6 years – until I became Minister for a further two years.

As would be affirmed by all of the various other politicians who were, at different stages, members of my Committee – at no stage were we informed of the child protection failures – of the abuses – or of the concealments.

We were not informed of these issues by Skinner – or any other social services manager.

Indeed – important information was wilfully concealed from my old Committee and, more latterly, from me as Minister.

For example, I only became aware of the Blanche Pierre group-home abuses during the summer of last year – 2007.

And even then – only after having the matter drawn to my attention by whistle-blowers.

Following these approaches, I demanded the production of the files relating to Blanche Pierre.

I sat in the H & SS head office and read through two very substantial lever-arch files of evidence, plus one smaller ring-binder.

I could only sit there and shake my head at the horrors revealed by this evidence.

Truly – things you just couldn’t make up.

And such was the extensiveness and detail of this evidence that when the Jersey courts system claim “the case against the McGuire’s had to be dropped for lack of evidence” – the Jersey court system is simply lying.

All of the evidence is now in the hands of the States of Jersey Police Force.

I was able to copy two documents from amongst the files. One was the 1999 Dylan Southern report – an excellent document which examined the wretched history of the abuse episode and the concealment of that abuse. The second was a letter written by Iris Le Feuvre in 1990 – when she was a member of the island’s parliament and was President of the then Education Committee which had responsibility in those days for child protection.

The letter written by Le Feuvre was a truly nauseating letter of “thanks” to the McGuires on their “retirement”.

As I read through all the large files of evidence – the anger I felt, I could scarcely describe. I kept having to stand up and walk around the large board table – and look out of the windows down into Gloucester Street.

If I had to describe the key moment when I realised the full, horrifying futility of politics – it was at this moment.

I was reading files of extensive evidence which described years of the most foul abuse throughout the 1980s – and the civil service of the day – in a report from 1990 – conceded that the conduct of the McGuires had been “unacceptable” – “but by way of mitigation it was a stressful job”. But – no problem: “Mrs McGuire agreed to retire voluntarily from running the group-home – and would, instead, come and work in the Family Development Centre.”

When discovering this stuff – and other appaling things – in the summer of last year I recognised that such approaches as “politeness” – and “discretion” – (please note, Pip le Brocq and others) – were the very last things we needed.

What we needed – what the generations of victims were crying out for – was the truth.

Skinner had been retired for several years by last summer.

Had he not been – I would have told him to clear his desk and get out of the building immediately.

Skinner is amongst those I have made formal complaints of to the States of Jersey Police Force in respect of possible criminal offences such as Perverting the Course of Justice.

But Skinner is not alone.

The conduct, attitude and culture he displayed is endemic throughout the higher reaches of the Jersey civil service.

Even many decent, professional civil servants are of this view – it is has often be they who have told me of some of the appalling deficiencies within public administration in this island.

It is a culture of self-interest, mutual support, ethical bankruptcy, incompetence, gross unprofessionalism, unaccountability – and complete invulnerability.

It is inimically hostile to the public good.

Some time ago a comment was submitted to this blog which suggested that by saying the Jersey civil service was bloated, incompetent, inefficient and unethical – I was merely adopting some kind of right-wing popularism.

No. I have come to my conclusion about the true nature of the dangerous and defective civil service in Jersey after learning of the type of things you saw in last night’s Panorama.

Having spent much of last year discovering a variety of the most appalling horrors inflicted upon vulnerable children – and having discovered the culture of concealment and cover-up – I have come to the conclusion – or, rather, the victims, whistle-blowers and I have come to the conclusion – that what is needed is a fundamental change in the structure and operation of Jersey’s civil service.

And we share the view that this isn’t a right-wing or left-wing issue – not pro or anti-establishment.

What we require is very simple: acceptable standards of professionalism, ethics, accountability and discipline amongst the very expensive upper-reaches of Jersey’s civil service.

But this – entirely reasonable objective – still – even today – meets implacable opposition from the Jersey political establishment.

Even now – when it must be obvious to the most disinterested observer that, in large measure, the blame for the catastrophic failure of child protection in Jersey falls upon the civil service.

Just this morning, Jersey’s Chief Minister, Senator Frank Walker, answered questions concerning the oppressions inflicted on Simon Bellwood by the Jersey civil service.

He simply repeated, unquestioningly, the manifest and demonstrable rubbish churned out by senior civil servants like Bill Ogley and Mick Pinel – to the effect that their case against Bellwood was correct – but it utterly collapsed because of “technicalities”.

What this situation demonstrates is that even now – even today – the self-same culture of mutual support and concealment of the truth, still grips Jersey’s civil service.

The phrase “too rotten to repair” comes to mind when one casts a weary eye over the blighted landscape of moral cowardice, lies and self-interest.

Is there anything we can do about it?

Probably not.

Let’s face it – many of the senior public employees who have lied and concealed – who have betrayed vulnerable children in the name of self-protection – remain working as I write.

Just by way of example, Marnie Baudains, Phil Dennett and Mike Pollard.

These people are not even suspended – notwithstanding the fact that Jersey is gripped by its worst peace-time disaster in 800 years as a self-governing jurisdiction – that they exhibited the very culture of concealment and self-interest that has caused the lives of generations to be blighted.

And notwithstanding his brave words about rooting out the concealers – Senator Frank Walker appears to be content to carry on defending these clowns.

Stuart.

From TonyB.

I believe Anton Skinner, mentioned several times in the Panorama program in connection with how the Maguires were treated is now with Jersey Focus for Mental Health. He was acting chief executive of the Health Department during your time. Were you aware of any of these allegations as made in Panorama, or was it kept from you?