Monthly Archives: November 2008

JERSEY ELECTION SPECIAL II, #3

A MODERATELY GOOD RESULT!

BUT LET’S NOT GET CARRIED AWAY.

The Barricades Have not Been Stormed –

Yet.

Well – something good had to happen – the polar bear I’m hoping to get elected won’t now have to be protected from poisoning itself by eating Guy de Faye.

The voters of St. Helier 3/4 having wisely decided that the States has a surfeit of clowns in any event – without the presence of a would-be stand-up comedian.

And the irony is that the destruction of Guy’s political career has been largely self-inflicted.

As it was with a few of the other casualties.

Celia Scott-Warren, for example.

I was actually a little saddened to see Celia ousted – it should have been Rob Duhamel, but perhaps I should have expressed that view a little more clearly?

But I wasn’t very surprised. Back in 2007 – when Celia stabbed me in the back and resigned as my Assistant Minister at Health & Social Services – without telling me – there was a good deal of anger at the time from ordinary members of the public, who saw such conduct as being a dishonourable way of going about things.

I had dozens of phone calls at that time from people in her district telling me they’d never vote for her again. I did mention this to several States members at the time, Celia amongst them – but such prognostications were airily dismissed – the public could be taken for granted, they thought.

And – frankly – you can understand such utter complacency – given the Jersey public have been seemingly content to be lied to once every three years – and then to be ignored and treated like idiots – until the next election comes along.

To be blunt, I feel quite sorry for Celia – who is a well-intentioned person, if a little naive. And it is because of that naivety she was so easily manipulated and used by people like Big Frank, Terry le Sueur, Ozouf, Pollard etc. They wanted to do me down – so mislead Celia into acting as she did.

I just hope those clowns will apologise to her for having caused the destruction of her political career.

The comet struck – so far as Jacky Huet was concerned – but only a little bit – as her fellow dinosaur, Ben Fox, managed to hang on – just; by one vote.

But – surely – a strong possibility of extinction now hangs over the remaining lumbering, redundant, sauropods?

Yes – but merely that – just a possibility.

I know – I feel dirty and guilty – but I brought a copy of The Rag today – and also watched BBC Walker and Rankine Television.

The angle taken by the local media – and by many of the happily successful non-establishment candidates – is as though some savage revolution had occurred.

As though the heads of PIFCO, Terry le Sueur, Big Frank, Allan – vote for me for GST exemptions – MacLean – were mounted on spikes in the Square – whilst the populace danced and rejoiced.

True enough – by Jersey standards – the result of the Deputy elections were radical.

However – that is ‘by Jersey standards’.

For example – the bastion has been stormed – apparently – because amongst the 53 States members – four of them now belong to an openly declared political party.

And – earthquake – three of the newly elected members are under the age of 30!

These results are great – and I’m not for one instant criticising them.

On the contrary – I’m delighted the victories were won here and there. God – after 18 years of this malarkey – I know just how hard it is to achieve any kind of breakthrough.

But in the cold light of day – what do we contemplate upon sober reflection?

An assembly which comprises 53 elected members – of which 4 belong to an actual political party – and 1 of who belongs to a campaigning group.

In addition to these 5 – we have another two new, young independents, a committed environmentally minded person – and a few other, new members who may – or may not – be on the side of change.

So, we have an assembly of 53 – with, maybe, 10 people of a fresh and different outlook.

To this we add a few existing non-establishment members, like me and a few others. Let us be optimistic – and assume – for that’s all it is, an assumption – that there is now a core of 15 members who will reliably try and bring politics in Jersey back into respectable political territory – after the decades of extreme, right-wing market fundamentalism, greed, short-termism, incompetence, social division and corruption.

53 members minus 15 members leaves the oligarchy with a very healthy block of 38.

Of course – these are very rough and ready guestimates – made even more imprecise by the sometimes fluid nature of allegiances in the assembly.

But – amidst the euphoria of yesterday’s, undeniably good, results – we still have an assembly very heavily dominated by the forces of Jersey’s entrenched, short-termist oligarchy.

So whilst the election results represent a great platform from which to move forward – let us be realistic.

What we now have is a legislature with a small, loose coalition – that might form what could be termed an opposition – as opposed to the largely unchallenged single-party state mode of government Jersey has traditionally suffered from.

Whilst radical by Jersey standards – the barricades have not been stormed.

At least, not yet.

And to those who might form the ‘opposition’ now – and who may, one day, come to power – let there be no illusions.

For all kinds of reasons – the world, and Jersey, is facing a confluence of utterly unprecedented emergencies.

The global financial collapse, poverty, injustice, food shortages, stagflation, war, global climate change, peak oil, ageing societies, the rapidly approaching extinction of much of the worlds marine life, general environmental destruction, destitution, deforestation – and extremism.

We have to be alert to the fact that political extremists – Nazis, communist, fascists, religious fundamentalists – all flourish during times of great societal stress.

The point I make is this – even if the Jersey establishment had been swept from power – and a broad, consensus of sensible people were forming a new administration – the challenges that administration would face are vast – perhaps so vast as to even be insurmountable.

As I have written elsewhere, Jersey is ahead of the curve so far as post-industrial societies are concerned. Therefore, all of the immense, looming, problems the world faces – might just be that bit closer to crashing upon us.

I know; – I’m being a bloody old misery – and raining on the parade.

But we have to be sober and realistic in assessing the changes in Jersey politics – and far more significantly, whether those changes are capable of dealing with the challenges we, as a community, face.

So – what happens now?

The assembly has to elect a new Chief Minister and Council of Ministers – and we won’t really know the shape of our ‘government’ until we see who those people will be.

It still looks like a dead cert for Terry Le Sueur – no matter how disastrous it would be to have yesterday’s man – with yesterday’s policies – at the helm.

And – because of the unambiguous majority the Jersey oligarchy still hold – it is extremely difficult seeing any candidate beating him.

I guess the question is more one of – ‘will he at least be given a serious challenge – not necessarily in terms of defeating him – but a serious intellectual, political and philosophical challenge?’

Will there be a genuine contest of ideas and vision?

Possibly – in fact, probably – not.

There is an immense amount of political haggling, telephoning, e-mailing, lobbying and second-guessing taking place amongst States members as to who might, or might not, be candidates for the post of Chief Minister.

Simon Crowcroft has been mentioned – but a constant stream of ambiguous and mixed-messages come from that quarter.

Some still want Roy Le Herissier to go for it. He has said he won’t – but a week is a long time in politics.

Alan Breckon is seriously thinking about it.

Ian le Marquand is displaying all of the non-committal ambiguity which bedevils such considerations.

Likewise Ben Shenton – says he won’t – says he will – then says he won’t again – but maybe could be persuaded to think about it. I strongly suspect he will go for it – but like many potential candidates – he’s playing these blinkered, political games.

As I have said this evening to a few members – I just do not believe such indecision – such faffing around – is good for the community.

I say to those who know they want to contest the position of Chief Minister – declare now.

Stop the prevarication – the games of double-bluff – and put your cards on the table.

If you can’t be decisive about a matter as plain as whether you’d be a candidate for the post of Chief Minister – then just how good is your leadership likely to be?

We are a matter of days away from a fundamental decision – of great importance to the community – yet the possible candidates are engaged in a curious process of covert horse-trading and haggling – whilst the community waits; – waits in uncertainty.

I’m sorry – but it simply isn’t good enough.

I write this on Thursday evening. If we do not know by early tomorrow evening who the candidates are to be – then what an ineffectual and indecisive shower the new assembly will appear.

So to address the obvious question – as many members of the public have asked me today – where do I stand?

I contested the post of Chief Minister 3 years ago – and was, predictably, defeated by Frank Walker.

This even though he had scrapped-in in 6th place when last elected – and I had come first – having gone to the electorate stating that if re-elected I would be a candidate for the post.

Having grown jaundiced by an assembly dominated by a complacent and unchallengeable establishment, I have said I would not, again, be a candidate for the post.

So, has the shift in the make-up of the assembly made me change my mind? It has certainly made a significant difference. But approaches from the public – and the immensely challenging circumstances of Jersey’s situation – have swayed me.

So let me lead by example – in the hope that the other potential candidates stop fence-sitting and prevaricating – and say that I would be a candidate for the post – if the requisite number of members supported my candidacy.

Which – I have to say – is frankly unlikely; I’m just not Mr. Popular amongst the Island’s politicians.

But, there – I have at least stated my position – and done so primarily in the hope that the other candidates – who know perfectly well whether they’re going to contest the post – stop messing around – and show some decisiveness and leadership to the community.

This is no time for playing silly games.

Stuart.

JERSEY ELECTION SPECIAL II, #2

ANOTHER QUICK LOOK AT A FEW DISTRICTS.

AND A SUMMARY OF MY, PROBABLY FUTILE, RECOMMENDATIONS.

Part 2.

A select Consideration of Some Candidates

In Phase 2 of Jersey’s General Election.

Election Day – when you WON’T VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL (please?)

You know – the more I’ve reflected on what I wrote yesterday, the more I’m genuinely tempted to see if we could run a goose or a donkey in an election?

What do you think?

Perhaps you’d prefer some other fauna?

Personally – I could happily envisage seeing a large, hungry polar bear let loose in the chamber – whilst I watched from the safety of the public gallery – like, obviously, doh!

Though in the interests of animal welfare certain members would have to be removed as they could prove to be toxic to the bear once eaten.

Two-ton walrus? No problem. But certain occupants of the States chamber? Hi-risk of indigestion and poisoning, I would have thought.

Or, if you aren’t keen on animals – some other form or representation?

There are so many computer nerds out there now, how about an assembly modelled on Second Life?

Politics could become a virtuality – in which we controlled avatars from the comfort of our Macs?

Reality wouldn’t matter – you and your avatars could do just what the hell you liked – in a fantasy make-believe world – ‘peopled’ by vacuous and unreal ‘representatives’ – who, when all’s said and done, would be of no consequence – because they were dealing with money which was just pixelated virtual money, of no real substance – and it wouldn’t matter that they would be powerless in the face of the reality of the world – and the avatars and those who controlled them could feel omnipotent and invulnerable – and – err –

Oh crap.

Look – it’s often claimed Jersey is ahead of its time.

See? We’ve already invented Third Life – in which we’ve taken the concepts of virtuality – and made them real.

I’m certain Victoria Sponge could spin this dangerous experiment into appearing as some positive PR: – “traditional Jersey entrepreneurial skills” perhaps?

Let’s face it – before the real world perceives the dissolution of our ‘Matrix’ – there’ll be nothing but smoking economic wreckage out there anyway. So why not give it a try?

But – grimly – let us return our consideration to what passes for “reality” here in Jersey Third Life.

The Deputy elections.

Ah – yes.

May I recommend that you DON’T VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL?

Just in case I hadn’t mentioned that already.

At the end of this post – I’ll run through a quick recap of who I would vote for in these elections – at least, those of them I can be bothered to think about.

We’ve already had a strop from a candidate who got annoyed that I said I didn’t know anything about him – and said so, in a neutral kind of way. So just to make it clear – I won’t necessarily be covering every candidate and every parish.

I know, I know – politicians are supposed to talk crap about subjects they know nothing about – it’s our job – but it’s too hard a standard to maintain constantly.

But – of those I have a view on – here goes:

St. Mary.

David Johnson.

Proposed Juliette Gallichan as Deputy – and had his nomination paper signed by Geoffrey Grime. Nuff said – almost.

Basically – another finance industry man – cut of the very same cloth as those other “masters of the universe” who have helmed the world’s financial system catastrophicaly into the iceberg of reality.

Vote for Mr. Johnson? I’ll take the electric chair, thanks.

David Richardson.

Oh dear. Look, David – I know you’re well-intentioned and a decent enough guy – but your chances in this election are about equivalent to those of Dick Cheney joining Greenpeace.

Like Chris in St. Helier No. 1 – you’re just wasting your time – and you know it.

Daniel Wimberley.

An intelligent, thoughtful man – who would deliver some of what Jersey badly needs – a little counter-weight to the irrational go-for-greed, go-for-growth blinkered, utopian fantasists who have been St. Mary Deputies since the days of Derek Maltwood.

I’d vote for Daniel.

But, perhaps what the voters of St. Mary want is yet more environmental destruction of their tiny parish – even greater tides of concrete to swell over the island?

If so – vote as you customarily would.

St. John.

Difficult one, this.

Each candidate has their merits.

I would not claim that I share either man’s political outlook – but I have to say, each, in their own way, has shown a good deal of independent thought.

Phil Rondel.

He will be well-known to the people of St. John – and many will remember him from his previous stint as Deputy.

Never afraid to speak his mind, ask awkward questions – and retain some independence.

Patrick Ryan.

Again – a man who one would regard as an establishment figure – but not a piece of passive lobby-fodder.

Indeed – was subjected to a great deal of stroppy hostility from Phil Ozouf and his fellow bratarians – when they realised he wasn’t going to passively toe the Jersey Establishment Party line.

For example – Patrick was resolute in his opposition to taxing food.

So – each man has their qualities – I could vote for either.

St. Clement.

Hell – I don’t know.

Look – I do try to be honest in these assessments – but there are only so many hours in the day.

Important work has to take priority over these rather masochistic trawlings through the futile tragedies of Jersey elections.

But, quickly:

Gerard Baudians.

A known quantity – of an exotic substance you either like or hate.

But is his own man – very independently minded. If a little too over-enthusiastic with the dowsing rods for my taste.

Ian Gorst.

A conservative and an establishment man – but, before we condemn him for that, I have to say in fairness to him that after a dodgy first year or so – when he was letting himself get owned by the Ozoufian – ‘greed is good’ – bratarians – he has actually re-discovered his Christian conscience.

Intelligent – but we can never expect anything radical from him – such as ‘change’.

Anne Dupre.

Seems to offer possibilities – has a good CV – and could, indeed, turn out to be a decent States member. Can’t really say more than that – as I just don’t know enough about her.

Philip Maguire.

From what little I’ve been able to learn of him – he does at least appear to grasp such concepts as Sovereign Wealth Funds – and the fact that our traditional glorious leadership – who we’re supposed to believe have been marvellously wise in their foresight – have, in fact, left this community broke, knackered – and in a state or perilous destitution.

Just a pity Philip has come along 40 years too late. That isn’t a criticism of him – but, frankly, only a miracle could save us now.

Jez Strickland.

I’m not sure what to make of Jez. A while ago – under various avatars – was constantly attacking me. Basically, from what I could work out – because I had come to the conclusion that Health & Social Services senior management are a collection of ethically bankrupt, lying clowns.

And Jez does work in H & SS management – though, I stress, there are many good people there. I know – as I regulalry speak to some of them – albeit in peril of their bosses finding out.

But – maybe he has now gained a broader view – and is more realistic about the glaringly obvious failings of some of his senior colleagues?

Just don’t know.

St. Saviour No. 2.

Unfortunately, in this district you won’t be able to NOT VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL because he is in St. Saviour No. 1. But you can still think about it – on your way to the polls.

But – what of the candidates in this district?

Kevin Lewis is a dead cert.

Has shown himself to be independently minded – does what he believes to be right – as opposed to what the oligarchy tells him to do.

Which – of itself – is an automatic colossal advantage over 90% of candidates.

Resolutely voted against taxing your food and domestic energy costs.

So – who else, then for the remaining seat?

Glenn & Cliff – hmm….how very mountainous.

Both nice guys, I’m sure – but in over-subscribed district like this – one has to make hard choices.

Tracy Vallois.

[Post-script: since writing what follows, I’ve been assured that Ms. Vallois is in no way associated with Phil Ozouf – and, instead has the support of good people, such as Alan Breckon. I would like to apologise unreservedly for writing such a dreadful slur as to associate her with the bratarians.]

Could be potentially a good States member?

But could equally turn out to be an Ozoufian bratarian?

If that last guess is doing her an injustice, I’m sorry.

But the problem is – her candidacy is just altogether too mysterious.

We simply don’t know enough about her.

Christine Papworth.

As remarked previously – the states is dangerously politically extreme and unbalanced at present – indeed, has been for decades.

It’s just too unbalanced towards the Right-wing – which will inevitably – perhaps quite soon – lead to serious political instability.

A few more working-class people – who could be relied upon to keep the oligarchy on its toes – is what Jersey needs.

So, Kevin & Christine would get my votes in that district.

But, if resident in the parish of St. Saviour – I’d far prefer to be voting in No. 1 District, where I’d be able to NOT VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL.

2 seats – 4 candidates.

Who would I vote for?

Consider Celia Scott-Warren – the sister-in-law of Big Frank’s wife, Fiona.

Celia – who stabbed me in the back at H & SS – without so much as a text-message telling me she was resigning.

I’d vote for her – without hesitation – IF IT MEANT KEEPING ROB DUHAMEL OUT.

So, that leaves Tony Nightingale and Jeremy Macon.

Tony – sorry – you might be a good guy – but I just don’t see you bringing anything remarkably new to the mix.

(And, forgive me for this, but your web photo makes you look disturbingly like Terry Le Main.)

Of the 4 candidates – Jeremy Macon is the only one I feel any great enthusiasm for – he’s young, intelligent – and his mum it pretty good at hand-bagging Philip Ozouf and his spin-doctor, Glenn Rankine when they tried to bully and intimidate her during the Senatorial hustings.

But, seriously – some people say of Jeremy – ‘he’s too young’.

But just consider what the average age of States members is? Again – it’s a very unstable, misbalance – weighted far too heavily towards the older generations for political comfort.

And, let’s face it – it isn’t as though the “Old Guard” approach – which has dominated for decades has done us much good. Jersey is financially knackered – and has been led to this state of affairs by older States members most of whom – to add insult to injury – proceed to vote against the interests of ordinary pensioners just as soon as they get elected.

Witness Ben Fox and Jacky Huet – just by way of example. Campaigning as the ‘pensioners’ friends’ – whilst voting to tax the food and heating bills of the elderly.

We, as a community, need – and I don’t use the word lightly – need – a few of our younger people in the States.

Let’s get the vote out for Jeremy.

Basically VOTE FOR ANYONE BUT ROB DUHAMEL.

The most ineffectual, dithering, time-wasting do-nothing, get-nowhere clown in the modern history of the States.

Claims to be some kind of ‘environmentalist’ – which would be great – if he ever actually delivered on any useful environmental policies.

He doesn’t.

A complete waste of time and space.

But, in case you’re wondering why I ask DON’T VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL (please?) is that this is the man who – in the company of 6 other States members – said he was going to vote FOR exempting food and domestic energy from GST – and then promptly voted against both exemptions.

This resulted in a tied vote – 25 for – 25 against – so, procedurally, the proposition was lost.

Had he kept his word – the outcome would have been 26 for – 24 against – and the propositions would have been carried.

ROB DUHAMEL – THE MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FACT YOU ARE NOW PAYING TAX ON YOUR FOOD BILLS AND HEATING COSTS.

Please – DON’T VOTE FOR HIM (did I say, please?)

Well – I’ve summited after that long and dangerous north-east face climb.

It’s cold and dark.

I’m out of water and I’m eating snow.

The head torch batteries have long-since expired.

But from a faint slither of moonlight, I can now see the descent-route – but it’s all I can do to save my energy to stagger back down and cross the glacier.

Only a couple of features remain – and little time or energy to stand and contemplate them long.

St. Lawrence.

As a very clever reader remarked – there are two vacancies in the parish – one of them being John Le Fondre – a man who could redefine the word vacant.

A multi-millionaire – but essentially thick – spoilt bratarian – who inherited his wealth from his father.

Like Ozouf – is one of those States members who – because they had the good fortune to inherit vast fortunes – suddenly start thinking their wealth makes them Jersey’s answer to Donald Trump.

But – I get the impression that that’s just the kind of candidate that St. Lawrence often favours – so I expect we will have the “pleasure” of his “charisma” for another term – which is about how long it will take people to realise that the accountants have brought us to ruin.

Which brings me on to Eddie Noel.

An accountant – like – that’s just what the States needs, right?

Another bloody accountant?

Look – we’re on the rocks and shipping water – and it’s this milieu of “Business Men – Therefore Geniuses” characters – who have brought us to this end.

Oh well – if you want to wreak the final destruction upon Jersey – go for it – a few more money-men should deal the terminal blow.

Nick Palmer.

Highly intelligent, independently minded, not afraid to stand up to the powers that be.

Genuinely committed to protecting the environment – as opposed to the fake, plastic, make-believe-at-election-time environmentalism as peddled by 95% of candidates.

The states desperately needs its average IQ raised significantly – especially with an enquiring and independent mind.

In fact – if I were voting in St. Lawrence – apart from being disappointed that I couldn’t NOT VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL – I would cast
one vote – and one vote only.

And that would be for Nick Palmer.

I’ve avoided death in the crevasses – and can see in the distance the window-light of the mountain hut.

The sun is just beginning to scythe across the very tops – the Matterhorn on my left – the Breithorn on my right – from which I’ve just descended – with an eccentric Dutchman – from whom I’ve learnt the dangerous and painful lesson – never – ever – let someone else do the navigating when you’re in the mountains.

Especially a man from a country as flat as a billiard table.

OK – wise-guy – it’s easy to be smart after the event.

It’s getting light now – and sanctuary beckons.

St. Brelade No. 2.

Exhaustion, dehydration, sunburn, hypothermia and hunger – after 36 hours of continuous effort.

So – there isn’t much left I can do – except prise near-frozen, woody feet out of plastic mountaineering boots, try and get some feelings back into my hands – drink pints of water – and crash into the sleeping bag – and briefly think, before slumping into unconsciousness – ‘why the bloody hell do I do this?’

What to say.

Sean Power.

Oh boy – has that man got the ‘Blarney’.

Name a populist cause – and there he will be – in a flash.

Strives to give the impression to as many people as possible – that he is resolutely on their side – whilst really being on nobody’s side but his own.

A confidence man.

Remember his attempts to get into bed with Harcourt? All a bit embarrassing, no?

I know I can be too diplomatic sometimes – perhaps a bit too subtle – but look at it this way – if I consider the present 53 States members – and had to single out the one – the only – I consider to be the most dubious – the one I wouldn’t trust as far as I could throw him – it would be Sean Power. (Apart from ROB DUHAMEL, obviously.)

Yes – I can say this in all honesty – I’d rather see people like Philip Ozouf & Frank Walker in the States than Sean Power.

Consider this, should you not realise just how cynically opportunistic that man is – remember Ted Vibert – the man who shook-up the States – and tried in a big way to mount a serious challenge to the Jersey oligarchy.

It suited Power’s purposes then – to be associated with Ted – who was popular with many people.

Power duped Ted Vibert into thinking he was an ally of his – and then relayed every single thing Ted Vibert said and told him – straight back to Frank walker.

Sean Power – the man who writes letters to Irish newspapers – in support of a States Chief Officer – who remains working – despite being under serious police investigation for many years of violent child abuse.

I wonder how many of the people Power has canvassed in his district understand that this is a man who has rabidly voted against exempting food and home energy cost from GST?

In fact – so dreadful is this little creep – I’m almost tempted – very nearly, actually – to say I’d rather see him slung out than ROB DUHAMEL (but not quite, though it is very close.)

Look at it this way – if you said to me – ‘you have a choice – you can have Phil Ozouf, Frank Walker, Allan MacLean etc in the States – OR Sean Power – I’d say sling out Power – without hesitation.

That’s how dreadful he is.

So – who would I vote for in St. Brelade No. 2?

No competition from where I see it.

Martha Bernstein.

I should point out that her and her husband, Julian Bernstein are friends of mine – but there is no escaping the fact that Martha has just the kind of energy and drive needed to shake-up the States.

For example – I think she’d frighten a lot of very under-worked and over-paid civil servants at the Education department if she were an Assistant Minister.

And God – do they need frightening.

Montfort Tadier.

What needs to be said about this principled and intelligent young man?

Articulate, well-educated – politically honest – and genuinely on the side of the poor and the vulnerable – and understands the grave seriousness of the economic challenges we face.

Jersey – you need a few people like Montfort in the States.

Right – I’m now trying to sleep-off the exhaustion and hypothermia – and can do no more.

I know – I haven’t examined every candidate nor every parish – but, for good or ill – those are my thoughts, insights and recommendations.

Make of it what you will – as you vote today – and remember – people get the government they deserve.

Especially those people who don’t turn out to vote.

Finally – to avoid any ambiguity – DON’T VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL (please? Look, I’m begging you.)

See you for the autopsy – maybe on Thursday.

Stuart.

JERSEY ELECTION SPECIAL II, #1

A QUICK TRAWL THROUGH THE KEY DISTRICTS:

MY THOUGHTS & RECOMMENDATIONS.

Part One.

A Select Consideration of Some Candidates

In Phase Two of Jersey’s General Election:

Will the Outcome be any Better this Time?

So – here we go again; the second part of Jersey’s general election process.

Let me say now that I’m too busy doing important work to write exhaustively about every candidate and every district.

I mean – it’s not as though some of the electoral battles are remotely inspiring.

The three candidates in St. Brelade No. 1?

Give me a break.

I’d far prefer to vote for one of the geese who live in the harbour.

In fact – that’d be pretty good; you know? Like one of those Mexican villages who elect a donkey as mayor?

The voters take the view that, at least it’s honest – all it wants are carrots and a bit of hay.

And I don’t recollect seeing a goose in the Square – though having said that, I do recall seeing quite a few jackasses.

Back in October we were electing 6 Senators via an all-island vote. This time we’re electing 25 Deputy’s by district, or by parish in the more rural areas.

The results of the Senatorial round were – let us speak plainly – bloody catastrophic for Jersey.

Of the 6 elected – only one – Alan Breckon – is of any merit. The remaining 5 represented Just More Of The Same.

But as a lot of people pointed out – it was possible to find some crumb of comfort from the vote, in that it showed a very dramatic swing away from the Jersey establishment Party candidates in terms of voter percentages.

‘Possible’, certainly – but not entirely convincing.

But will the result be different this time around?

I strongly suspect not – and the Jersey Establishment Party will retain most of their seats. I confess – the last 2 years have done little for my sense of optimism.

But – here goes.

DON’T VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL.

Whilst the Senatorials attract a much higher profile, the election is only for 6 of the 53 elected members.

There are 29 Deputy seats in the assembly – therefore these elections plainly have the scope for a far larger democratic impact.

Of the 29 seats, 4 have been returned unopposed – those being Grouville, Trinity, St.Saviour No.3 & St. Ouen. It was also expected that St. Martin would be unopposed, but Bob Hill is facing a challenge. I can’t say I see any credible outcome in that parish other than a resounding victory for Bob Hill – though that isn’t to knock his opponent – who would actually make a very good States member. I just feel he has chosen the wrong parish/district to challenge in.

Whilst anyone challenging in Grouville or Trinity would simply have been blowing 3000 quid in costs – and spending freezing, rainy November evenings canvassing from door to door – only to receive a humiliating drubbing in return – I was almost surprised that St. Ouen Deputy James Reed didn’t face a challenge.

The vibe in that parish is that his credibility – well, what little of it he had – has waned dramatically. Even people who were once his supporters are to be found muttering in the corners of the Farmers’ Inn about what an ineffectual dope he has turned out to be.

Obviously – a parish like St. Ouen is unlikely to ever elect a member of the SWP – but I think in a two-horse race, a traditionally “credible” candidate would have beaten him. Perhaps quite handily.

So that leaves us with 25 seats – in which there is everything to battle for.

I don’t have the time to take a look at every candidate in every one of those contests, so below I’ll be casting a weary eye over a few of the key parishes and districts – and taking a look at a few of the – err – interesting candidates.

But – before I begin – remember – DON’T VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL.

ST. HELIER No. 1 DISTRICT.

Brian Beadle.

Do you think Jersey has been well-governed during the past 20-odd years?

Do you think that the establishment have done a great job?

Do you think that the medium and long-term challenges which face our community have been well-prepared for by our glorious leaders?

Do you think that what we really need in the States is yet another “business man” – who will carry on “business as usual”?

If your answers to these questions are ‘yes’ – then Mr. Beadle is your man.

Personally – I wouldn’t vote for him if I was on fire – and he had an extinguisher in his hands.

Katy Ringsdore.

My marvellously inventive readers have christened Katy “Victoria Sponge” – light, airy – and with just a little dusting of sugar on top.

She expects you to regard her as some kind of “sporting icon” – because she is rich and idle enough to pay to take part in the Clipper Yacht race.

One of those curious and dangerous hybrids of journalist – well, disk-jockey, actually – and professional spin-doctor. She actually says of herself:

“I am 24 years old and run my own successful Marketing and Communications business.

If elected, I would seek to improve communication in Jersey between you and the States.”

Yes, Katy – it’s amazing what having well-placed parents can do for you.

But – should you be so masochistic as to vote for her – you cannot say you had no idea what to expect. “Marketing and Communications”?

Wants to “improve communication” – between you and the States”?

Oh well – perhaps as well as being manipulated by the oligarchy’s spin-doctors – you want to pay them 40 grand a year as well?

Actually – I thought communication between the public and the States was pretty good. I mean anyone talking to people across the community will have no difficulty in understanding – loud and clear – what a lot of the public think of the States.
If there is a communication breakdown – the fault, surely, lays with the States – in never really listening to the public.

But – when you read of someone who wants to “improve communication” between you and the States – the phrase is easily translated into its real meaning: – “You’re just not paying enough attention to us – YOU THICK PEASANTS!”

So – prepare to be spun.

Sadly – it appears pre-ordained that this particular vacuous spoilt brat is getting elected.

I mean – why else would the powers that be have included her entry – already – in the States of Jersey e-mail address system?

So fascinating was this discovery that I took the precaution of taking a couple of screen-grabs of the entry. (One never knows when this kind of material will come in handy.)

I was most curious about this fact. I thought, ‘well – perhaps they’ve up-loaded all the candidates details – just to be ready for the results, after which they’d remove the details of the unsuccessful candidates?’

So I checked this theory. Are the other candidates on the States system?

Nick Le Cornu? Nope.

Jeremy Mason? Nope.

Dan Wimberley? Nah.

Montfort Tadier? Of he too, not a sign.

Trevor Pitman, perhaps? No – not him either.

Well then – perhaps Katy – Victoria Sponge – Ringsdore is on the States e-mail system – because she works for the media?

So – I checked how many other Jersey titans of the Fourth Estate are on the system?

Allan Watts of Rankine Television? Nope.

Chris Bright, editor of The Rag? Negative.

Ben Queree – “political correspondent” of said, august journal? Nah.

Denzil Dudley of BBC Walker perhaps? Nope.

Mathew Price, his colleague? Does not compute.

So – this is a real mystery – ain’t it?

Katy Ringsdore has her very own States e-mail address entry.

Unlike all other non-States member candidates.

And unlike all other local hacks.

So – were forced to conclude that the oligarchy have decreed that – come what may – Victoria Sponge is getting in – regardless of such piffling matters as actual voter preference.

You know? A bit like 3 years ago – when they determined that Allan MacLean – their latest Great Right Hope – would defeat Roy Travert in St. Helier No. 2 district?
Another, mysteriously, pre-ordained outcome.

And if you’re still not fully conversant with the goods you are purchasing with your vote – remember – Katy wants Phil Ozouf to be Chief Minister.

Nuff said.

Chris Whitworth.

A nice guy – but, hell, Chris – you know you’re just wasting your time.

You’ve got about as much chance of getting elected as I would have of beating Joe Calzaghe in a fist-fight.

Nick Le Cornu.

As previously remarked – a strong and politically honest candidate. You could at least vote for him secure in the knowledge that he would stick to his beliefs – and wouldn’t join the oligarchy – unlike 90% of other candidates.

Whether his politics are to your taste is a matter for you – but I would make this observation; you’ll often hear the establishment banging on about “stability” – and “balance”.

But in truth – the States has customarily been so unbalanced towards the political Right – that political instability is guaranteed – sooner or later.

The assembly badly needs a few more voices on the Left just to provide some balance – and rein-in the neo-Thatcherite, “greed is good” policies of Ozouf and his fellow spoilt bratarians.

Hey! Is that a new word, ‘bratarians’? If so, I’ll have to add it to my collection of invented words – it will fit right in with ‘obnoxia’.

So – how would I vote if I lived in St. Helier No. 1 district? What are my recommendations?

I would vote thus:

1. Judy Martin.

Naturally intelligent – and what makes her doubly-effective is that most of the oligarchy – given their snobbery – can’t get their heads around the notion of ‘intelligence’ residing in a person who speaks as though they came from the cast of East-Enders – and doesn’t say backside in Latin.

You will hear a load of guff from all candidates – about how they understand the needs of pensioners, the less well-off, those who struggle with the immense costs of Jersey – etc.

Yet you know – through bitter experience – that in the case of 95% of candidates – it is just that – guff.

Judy Martin will not betray you. She will work tirelessly on behalf of ordinary people. And she will continue to be, as she has been, effective as a States member.

2: Paul Le Claire.

Paul is honest, sincere and politically reliable. He has not been afraid – unlike 95% of States members – to challenge the often profoundly unhealthy power and lack of accountability which infects the senior reaches of the civil service.

Has also been one of the few members who has taken seriously the need to support and assist abuse survivors.

He’d get my vote for that alone.

3: Trevor Pitman.

As already remarked – the traditional make-up of the States is dangerously extreme and unbalanced – in favour of the political Right.

A few more dissenting voices are desperately needed to bring – even a little bit – of balance to the assembly.

In the absence of such balance – the oligarchy are not kept on their toes – and have become complacent and incompetent.

And look at it this way – the establishment hate him.

So, that’s a lot of reasons to vote for him.

Before going on to St. Helier No. 2, did I mention – DON’T VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL?

ST. HELIER No. 2 DISTRICT.

This is difficult. You see, there are three seats available, and they’re being contested by 7 candidates – 6 of who I could seriously consider voting for.

It’s when you see such a concentration of good candidates in one district – it makes you wonder why we can’t find one, single, solitary inspiring candidate to contest St. Brelade No. 1?

Or why the highly vulnerable James Reed of St. Ouen isn’t being challenged?

I said I could possibly vote for 6 of the 7 candidates – which leaves one who – if I had to vote for – I’d be wishing the oligarchy would hurry up and get me whacked. A couple of bullets from a Glock seeming a preferable forfeit.

Can you guess?

It’s Rod Bryans.

Jesus – where to begin? Actually, no – I just can’t be bothered even writing a load about him.

If you’re voting in St. Helier No. 2 – and you want to vote for him – good luck.

Remember 3 years ago?

When you ‘chose’ to ‘elect’ multi, multi-millionaire estate agent Alan MacLean – who pledge to support certain exemptions to GST – and then promptly spoke and voted against exemptions?

Some people are just gluttons for punishment.

To those of you who say ‘won’t get fooled again’ – a couple of brief observations on Mr. Bryans.

He is a Jersey Establishment Party man, through and through.

I’ve looked at his vacuous and platitudinous web site – look, someone has to do these things, for Christ sake.

Actually – his web site is a very strong contender for the most empty, hackneyed and cliché-laden collection of utterly meaningless cobblers I’ve ever seen proffered by a Jersey election candidate – and that’s saying something.

First observation: any candidate who makes such a shameless and opportunistic attempt to piggy-back on the victory of Barrack Obama as US President should be discounted immediately.

Especially when they write about “Barrack Obama’s legacy”. Look, Rod – he hasn’t even taken Office yet – and nor have the rednecks yet assassinated him – so I think it a little premature to be writing of his “legacy”.

Second observation – and this is a serious point I draw to your attention – because of what it says about Mr. Bryans’ understanding of issues – and his powers of recall.

On his web site, Rod writes this:

“To be honest no one could have forecast the great global changes that have gripped the world over the last few years. Few had the foresight to see the latest crash in the financial markets.”

Err – Rod? Actually – an awful lot of people have been predicting just these very events.

Many people around the world – admittedly, not the kind of people you’ll find writing for the Economist and the FT – have been warning of the inevitability of just such problems.

And – you know what? These problems were even unambiguously predicted by one Jersey politician.

Do you remember who that was, Rod?

It was me. I explained the inescapable mathematical limits to growth, peak oil, economies like Ponzi schemes, environmental collapse, the manifest unsustainability of Jersey’s economy – and similar, related issues.

Do you remember when that was, Rod?

It was when I gave a speech to the Jersey Chamber of Commerce (first time I’d ever been invited to speak at one of their functions in 17 years) in early 2007. I still have a copy of the speech, I think.

To my great surprise, quite a number of people who spoke with me afterwards said how thought-provoking and important were the issues I raised.

In fact – there was only one dissenting voice, as I recollect.

A person who stood up when the time to ask me questions arrived – and who said “all we’ve heard from you is a load of disjointed, irrelevant nonsense – we have come here to listen to what you propose to do for us!”

Is the memory coming back, now, Rod?

Do we remember who it was who so dismissively brushed aside my warnings?
Yes – it was you, Rod.

But – sadly – I guess such a display of “convenient” forgetfulness – and brazen hypocrisy probably indicates that you were made for a career in Jersey Establishment Party politics.

So what, briefly, of the other candidates?

As I said – I could possibly vote for all of the remaining 6.

Each of them is bringing something to the table of genuine worth.

But, as time is pressing, I won’t write of each; instead I’ll just offer my recommendations as to who I would vote for if I lived in St. Helier No.2.

1: Gifford Aubin.

The States is filled with older people – very few of who have ever tasted real hardship and struggle. So we can’t be surprised that notwithstanding the trust struggling pensioners place in them – they betray that trust – time after time.
Gifford actually represents something the assembly badly needs – an experienced and wise head – who actually understands the realities of the struggles some people face in life – and who has the respect of younger people as well.

Gifford fits the bill. He has bravely spoken of his brutal experiences in Haut de la Garenne – and has worked with and earned the respect of people far younger than himself.

Equal 2nd: Geoff Southern & Shona Pitman.

It is no secret that I’ve had my differences with Geoff – but one needs to set aside personal considerations – and do what’s best for the community. Geoff works extremely hard – and does an immense amount of research – to a degree that would put most States members to shame.

Geoff & Shona have been – and will continue to be – reliable in campaigning for the policies and principles in their manifestos.

We are so used to being duped and conned by the average Jersey election candidate – that when we get decent candidates who have at least – whether we always agree with them or not – performed ‘as advertised’ whilst being States members – that fact must be recognised by the voting public.

So Gifford, Geoff & Shona would be my three votes.

But as I remarked – the other three candidates – in different circumstances, perhaps against a less strong field – would certainly be on my shopping list of candidates.

ST. HELIER No. 3.

Ennui is beginning to settle upon me – like a cloak of ash and darkness – so even though I’ll be voting in this district – I look at the prospect with that kind of sense of resignation you get when setting out to climb a mountain which you just know is beyond you.

Like doing the TD grade route up North-East face the Breithorn – by mistake – in avalanche conditions – and knowing there is no retreat.

You know there is no choice – you just have to do it – but you know that, even if you succeed – it just ain’t going to be a pleasant experience.

So – having nearly run out of energy getting across the bergshrund – and fending-off hypothermia – a quick look at the remaining prospect before us.

Perhaps the quickest thing I can do is take a look at the four incumbent Deputies.

Guy de Faye:

A typical Jersey oligarchy States member. Much like the kind I’ve warned against above.

Originally went to the voting public as a fresh, sceptical candidate – a person who was going to bring something new to the mix of customary States members.

However – from the moment he got elected 6 years ago – has been a rabid stooge of the Jersey Establishment Party. For example – I really wonder just how many of the people of St. Helier 3/4 actually want to be paying tax on their food and heating bills?

No? Well – you have people like Guy de Faye – and ROB DUHAMEL – to blame for such essentials being taxed. Indeed, de Faye was overtly rabid in his opposition to the exemptions.

It is also plain that he has missed his true vocation in life – which is to be a moderately entertaining after-dinner speaker – the ‘wit’ of whom really comes across when everyone is absolutely bladdered – especially him.

A buffoon and a total waste of space.

But – you know what? There are two candidates who I feel even more strongly about.
Two sitting Deputies – who one looks at – and can only shake one’s head in disbelief that people carry on voting for them.

Jacky Huet and Ben Fox.

It may be a cruel description – but I can think of none more apt – dinosaurs.

Two States members – of the text-book kind – who have you praying for a comet impact just to finally nail down their extinction.

Both are a total waste of space politically. Not an original nor independent thought in their heads – combined.

Neither brings anything useful to the political arena.

Both simply do what they’re told by their Jersey Establishment Party bosses.

But, I think what most irritates me about candidates like these two is the essential hypocrisy of their stance.

In this campaign they’ll, have been targeting older voters – the very people who have put their trust in them previously – and been selling those voters the same old cobblers as last time.

“Oh, we’re pensioners – we know just how hard things are – we understand – we’re on your side – you know – you can trust us.”

And the tragedy of the situation is that many, many hundreds of trusting older people will be taken in by this guff.

For example – if you are less well-off – and are a struggling voter in St. Helier No. 3/4 – before you fall for all their cobblers again – fix this fact in your mind:
Both Deputy Fox and Deputy Huet – have consistently and rabidly supported taxing the food on your table – and the energy needed to heat your home.

Compare and contrast that fact – with the “nice, friendly, approachable old Jersey person” shtick you’ll have had from these two during the campaign.

Will you be fooled again?

So what, briefly, of the remainder?

Certain of the candidates I know very little about – so couldn’t really commit myself – one way or the other.

But a few, brief observations.

Steve Beddoe:

I know him reasonably well – he having been a member of the Town Park Support Group.
I would like to be able to recommend him – but I can’t. He has gone very soft on the Town Park – now preferring schemes which – no matter how utterly unrealistic – attach vastly greater priority to the car parking element – than he does to the actual Park – which is, of course, the prime purpose of creating the new Town Park.

There is also the fact that large car parking schemes are now utterly redundant and obsolete – as massed private motoring will be an historic artefact within 10 years – if, indeed, it takes that long.

That’s another prediction for you, Rod – do try and pay attention this time.

Andrew Green is a nice enough guy. But I’m just a little concerned that if elected – it wouldn’t take him long before he found himself swept along in Ozouf’s bratarian tide.

But – of David Beuzeval – Michael Higgins – Colin Russell – look, I just don’t know right now.

They could be great candidates – but I just don’t know enough about them – and fighting the forces of darkness just doesn’t leave me with enough time and energy to find out.

Well, at least for tonight. I’ll give some thought to my fourth vote tomorrow – and include it in tomorrow’s posting.

So – what, then, are my recommendations to voters in St. Helier 3/4, for the time being?

1: Gil Blackwood.

I proposed Gil – and I can guarantee that he is a man of genuinely great humanity and compassion – as well as being colossally intelligent.

I have to say that of him – because he wouldn’t say it himself.

He is a quite, modest, unassuming man – a person who is thoughtful – and who listens.

And, before his recent retirement as a Consultant psychiatrist, he was also amongst that brave band of senior public employees – who have done the right thing – and defended the public good – to the immense hostility of certain self-serving claques of senior civil service managers.

A man of integrity and great worth.

2: Jacky Hilton.

Jacky, too, I have known and worked with for a long time on the Town Park project – a cause for which she has worked tirelessly – and has remained committed to the creation of a genuine, open, green space for the heart of Jersey’s poorest and most neglected area.

Jacky wants a Park – not the concrete excrescence as proposed by some opportunistic carpet-baggers – with a bit of soil and grass chucked on top – to serve as a ‘park’ in the manner of an after-thought.

3: Suzette Hase.

Has worked professionally and effectively as an officer for Jersey’s Consumer Council. Knows and understands the real issues and challenges faced by ordinary people.

Will be politically honest. If elected – her concerns for pensioners and ordinary, working people will not turn out to have been a charade – unlike, say, Deputies Fox & Huet.

Suzette campaigned against GST.

New blood needed; and she’s just the kind of candidate we need to send the unreliable dinosaurs off to their museum.

Well – there you have it – for what it’s worth (probably very little if the catastrophic Senatorial results are a measure) those are my recommendations for St. Helier – plus a few other observations on a few of the other constituencies.

The election is on Wednesday – so I’ll post the remainder of my thoughts tomorrow evening.

Check it out tomorrow.

And, Oh – did I mention – DON’T VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL.

Stuart.

THE JERSEY EVENING POST

AND THE MYSTERIOUS JOHN AVERTY.

A BRIEF CONSIDERATION

OF THE CONDUCT OF THE RAG.

Plus a Few Other Topical Questions.

Well – my mates would owe me a good bottle of red – had any of them taken the bet.

I’ve explained previously how we play this game – ‘write the JEP leader comment’.

We each try and predict and write what Jersey’s only newspaper, the Jersey Evening Post – commonly known simply as The Rag – will write in its leading editorial comment.

But, disappointingly, it’s become so easy; the fun is going out of it. On this occasion, we put into a folder our various takes on what The Rag would write following the publication of the Howard League report. And we did this some months ago.

I was right – well, in fact, we all were. With a little copying and pasting we could actually assemble the comment as it appeared this evening.

“IT’S ALL STUART SYVRET’S FAULT! YOU PEASANT SCUM!”

OK, I exaggerate a little – but only very slightly.

I won’t go into great detail now – as I will be writing a series of blogs on the Grand Prix system – the survivors – the Howard League report – and all of the startlingly shameless lies peddled by Frank Walker – and The Rag – in the coming weeks.

But tonight – I want to seek some feedback – some info – some contacts from the community – as I am immensely curious about a long-time boss of The Rag:

John Averty.

But before I express this curiosity – a few other points.

Check out Simon Bellwood’s blog – and do it tonight.

There is some dynamite information on it – which is exactly the kind of material which proves – as though more proof were needed – of what a pathological liar Frank Walker is – as anyone with a brain would attest after hearing his BBC Jersey interview this morning – in which he was given – metaphorically speaking – a comforting cuddle by Jersey’s answer to Rush Limbaugh – Roger Barra.

Also – dear readers – I’ll be doing a few more Jersey Election Specials in the coming days, as the second round of Jersey’s general election is rapidly approaching.

So please network and spread the word about the blog.

For the time being – please note two strong and obvious recommendations I make:

DO NOT VOTE FOR KATY RINGSDORE.

DO NOT VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL.

Ringsdore is a fully-fledged member of the Jersey Establishment Party – and would like Philip Ozouf to be Chief Minister. Nuff said.

Rob Duhamel has proven himself to be the most dithering, indecisive, ineffectual and time-wasting member in what is – quite possibly – the entire history of the States assembly.

And do not let us forget – were it not for the unreliability of this man – his untrustworthiness – which led to a tied vote – you would NOT now be paying tax on your food and your domestic energy costs.

The man’s a hopeless clown – quite in addition to being an enemy of the poor. He is one of the many who should be politically terminated.

And moving on to other matters – the events of last week – as referred to in my previous blog – continue to reverberate.

Not so much as an acknowledgment to my questions.

And yep – predictably – not one, single, solitary Jersey hack has taken up the cudgels in an effort to get the questions answered.

Also – a rapidly growing confirmation of my view that the attempt by the Jersey oligarchy to get rid of Jersey’s Chief Constable, Graham Power – in what is akin to a coup in a South American banana republic – will yet prove to be the most catastrophic blunder they’ve made.

So – plenty of very interesting subjects for us to explore in the coming days and weeks.

But – as is the case with most of the ever-growing catalogue of disasters which befall this community – all roads lead to the local media.

I’ll be applying some detailed, close, forensic analysis of the performance of The Rag in respect of the Jersey Child Abuse Disaster soon.

But to give you a brief taster of just how “reliable” and “honest” The Rag is, consider this statement, in reference to me, which concludes their predictably cretinous leader comment today:

“The Senator can certainly be credited with launching an independent and insightful inquiry into youth justice, but just why it took him so long to form the impression that an unacceptable regime was being run on his watch remains an enduring mystery.”

Err – no John, Rob, Chris and Ben.

The enduring mystery is why all of you guys – stalwarts of The Rag – chose to report NONE of the evidence, documentation and other material which showed these failures – and worse – when I supplied you clowns with it – in September 2007?

And an “enduring mystery” is why – when I leaked you stooges the Sharp report in the year 2000 – you chose to print not one of the key – and previously unpublished – revelations in it.

There is – incidentally – a link to the Sharp report in my links list on the right. I suggest anyone who isn’t familiar with that document, should follow the link and read it – and then draw your own conclusions about the conduct of our establishment – and the concealing collusions of the Jersey Evening Post.

[Up-date: since this posting was written and published, my original Blogger account was shut down by Google following Google’s corrupt collusion with the Jersey government’s child-abuse cover-ups. Therefore the link to The Sharp Report is to be found here: –

http://www.no2abuse.com/index.php/news/comments/the-sharp-report-jersey-abuse-download/

But the plain fact is – as will be obvious to any thinking person – totally unacceptable and utterly unlawful practices were routinely inflicted on children in the care of the States of Jersey – for decades upon decades.

From at least 1945 – probably far earlier – the so-called child “protection” apparatus of Jersey has been a horrifying and catastrophic failure.

And – most certainly – some of that occurred on my ‘watch’.

But – you know, what distinguishes me – from the occupants of the approximately 140 political seats who have had a hand in child “protection” in Jersey from 1945 until I became involved in Health & Social Services?

The difference between me – and that huge number of political predecessors with responsibility for child protection – is that I alone became the very first – and so far only – politician involved in child protection in the island to identify the problem, speak out against it – and try and do something about it.

But in the deeply bizarre world of illogicity, lies, cover-ups, collusions and corruptions of Jersey’s media – of which there have been vast quantities – their “performance” in respect of the Jersey Child Abuse Disaster stands out.

I mean – even by the wretched standards of The Rag – their position and conduct has been insupportable, unprofessional, immoral, unethical – and, frankly, barking mad in many instances.

Why?

Why should that be?

For many years, Jersey’s Chief Minister, Frank Walker, was the boss of the company which owned the Jersey Evening Post.

Many people considered – quite rightly – this gave him an immensely unhealthy amount of power.

To this complaint, Frank would always say: ‘I never tell the editor what should go in the paper.’

This oft-repeated assertion might be true – but given it comes from a man who humiliates himself almost on weekly basis by making utterly false and contradictory statements – we can’t be sure.

But I know what did happen vis-à-vis Frank’s influence.

He usually wouldn’t tell the editor what to do – instead he would tell his right-hand man, and general all-round thug – John Averty – what he wanted the paper to say – who, in turn told the editor – and low! So it happened.

John Averty was a Senator in the Jersey parliament some years ago; before my time. He retired from the assembly – though not politics, obviously – on being recruited by Frank – in order to run The Rag for him.

A man of some mystery to an awful lot of Jersey’s population – many of who, these days, will never have heard of him.

But be under no illusions – he was the power behind the editor’s throne at the Jersey Evening Post.

And under his “guidance” The Rag has slipped ever further into a quagmire of ethical bankruptcy, quite startling – even by the standards of Jersey’s wretched Fourth Estate.

And as the meticulously recorded and forensically documented history of the exposing of the Jersey Child Abuse Disaster will show when written – this episode is – without question – the second-worst stain on The Rag’s 118 year history.

The worst – in case you’re wondering what could be worse than playing a pro-active and deliberate role in the concealment of child abuse – being the Lord Haw-Haw style churning out of Nazi propaganda during the WW II occupation.

An activity which turned an immensely healthy profit for The Rag’s owners.

But why – in these times – in the year 2000 – in the year 2007 – in the year 2008 – should a “newspaper” – moreover the only newspaper on the island – take such a shockingly irrational, dishonest and immoral stance in respect of sexual crimes?

It’s mystifying – isn’t it?

So – to try and get to the bottom of this mystery – I want to explore some of the history – some of the key figures – of power and influence at The Rag.

And this is where you – dear readers – come into play.

We are starting with the mysterious John Averty.

Although an obscure figure to the average Jersey person – he will still be very well known – perhaps going back some decades – to a not insignificant number of Jersey men –  and women in particular.

And I ask this question – because I’ve been asked to ask it – by some constituents – does anyone out there have any enlightening material?

Anything which could shed some light on the obscure past of Mr Averty?

If so – you are not alone.

I repeat – you are not alone.

So – let that message go out – that we are beginning our examination of the festering reality of the Jersey Evening Post – AKA, The Rag – with one of its more mysterious and obscure figures – John Averty.

Feel free to contact me privately if you wish – st.syvret@gmail.com

I think, perhaps, next time, we’ll take a close look at Rob Shipley – but for the time being – search your memories and experiences for any recollection of John Averty.

Like I said – you are not alone.

Stuart.

37 QUESTIONS FOR OFFICERS WARCUP & GRADWELL

NEW LEADERSHIP OF JERSEY COPS

SOME SERIOUS QUESTIONS FOR THEM

FOLLOWING THEIR COUP.

Below is a pretty self-explanatory – albeit lengthy – e-mail to Mr Warcup – as of yesterday morning, Jersey’s acting Chief Constable – and his sidekick, Mr. Gradwell – the officer now leading the investigations into the Jersey Child Abuse Disaster.

I will leave the e-mail from me to speak for itself; but a few preliminary observations.

In collusion with Jersey’s establishment politicians, Warcup & Gradwell used yesterday to set about trashing the work of the historical child abuse investigation team, the enquiry, the evidence, witness testimony – and in particular, Lenny Harper.

As I predicted – this call to arms by the Jersey oligarchy was enthusiastically met by Jersey’s indigenous media.

For example – I watched the Channel Island’s independent TV network this evening (known as Rankine Television) – and virtually every one of the dopey hacks participating in their OTT coverage repeated – mantra-like – “the previous claims and evidence have now been proven to have been false!”

The whinge from the media is:

“we were mislead by that nasty Mr. Harper who made assertions to us – which we took at face value – but for which, at the time, we were shown no actual, detailed evidential reports.”

Question?

How many Jersey hacks – do you suppose – have recognised the fact – for it is a fact – that the stuff they were fed with yesterday by Warcup, Gradwell, Walker and Lewis – is actually far worse than anything allegedly said by Harper, in terms of being nebulous?

What was served-up yesterday was completely unevidenced, unproven, vacuous – and simply not backed by any scientific – let alone credibly scientific – studies.

That doesn’t mean, of course, what was said was necessarily wrong – it may be correct.

But if you’ve just been having a big-time strop as a journalist – for supposedly being fed allegedly unevidenced material – surely – unless you’re a complete halfwit – you learn the lesson?

You don’t – immediately – run crying into the arms of people who are simply dishing out an opposite – yet at least equally questionable – ‘line’?

But – that’s what happened.

Two cops – Warcup & Gradwell – presented a five page press-release – written by a spin-doctor – with no accompanying, forensic, scientific evidential papers – and talked to a few PowerPoint slides.

And suddenly – in the eyes of the assembled Jersey hacks – “this is the kind of hard evidence and facts they were previously denied!”

Just how thick do you need to be to be a journalist in Jersey?

Look – all Jersey hacks – I’m a carpenter. I left school at the age of fifteen with no academic qualifications.

I have had no training in journalism or investigation.

Yet the issues I raise with Officers Warcup and Gradwell in the e-mail below just seemed kind of obvious, you know?

Well – let’s see if as much as one, single, solitary Jersey journalist takes up the questions below – and demands answers for them?

Stuart.

From: Stuart Syvret
Sent: 13 November 2008 16:17
To: Warcup, David; Michael Gradwell
Subject: 37 QUESTION FOR THE JERSEY POLICE: URGENT
Importance: High

Mr. Warcup & Mr. Gradwell

Notwithstanding repeated efforts by me to gain answers to some key questions over a period of some weeks, you have both steadfastly refused to respond to me – even with so much as an e-mail of acknowledgment.

However – given that you both willingly became public components of a political spin-campaign, which was mounted yesterday by yourselves and Jersey establishment politicians – you must both, surely, now recognise that it is no longer credible for you to refuse to answer the questions I ask on behalf of my constituents?

To persist in refusing to communicate with me would now constitute an even bigger example of politicised and biased behaviour than that which you displayed yesterday.

You will – no doubt – have read my blog postings on these issues, so some of the questions I have raised there I will be putting directly to you in this e-mail. But I will begin with some additional questions.

BUT IN PARTICULAR IT IS QUESTIONS 22 TO 37 – WHICH DEAL WITH RADIONUCLIDE TESTING – THAT I DRAW YOUR ATTENTION TO.

1: You chose to issue a 5 page press-statement – one couldn’t credibly describe it as a ‘report’ – which consists largely of unevidenced assertions, a number of lacunae, a great deal of overtly political spin, some clearly misleading errors, some issues which are rapidly and glibly skated over, misrepresentations of what has actually been said in the past, and a number of diversionary and irrelevant issues.

A number of journalists have agreed with me that the approach you have both displayed in issuing such a blend of politically motivated spin, misleading assertions, and wilful and deliberate misrepresentations of previous comments – is – as a matter of obvious fact – far worse than the very supposed errors in approach and methodology you criticise Mr. Harper for.

In fact – far worse – because your comments have been plainly politicised and co-ordinated with the establishment politicians in the desperate political attempts to divert attention away from the report of the Howard League for Penal Reform – which, I’m given to understand – concludes that the so-called “Grand Prix” regime of punitive and coercive solitary confinement – which could see children being kept in solitary confinement for weeks and months at a stretch – was unambiguously abusive and illegal. Contrary to all Jersey oligarchy assertions.

Please explain why you engaged in such a politically motivated attack upon the previous investigation, why you did so on the basis of empty assertions – and no published evidence – and why there are so many obvious flaws in your 5 page document?

2: You and your political allies, in a carefully co-coordinated PR stunt, have now shown to the world that you are not “non-political police officers” – focused only on the investigation – but are, instead, highly politically partisan.

For example – no matter that the approach adopted by Mr. Harper has been condemned by yourselves and your political allies – he kept press-conferences and public pronouncements entirely within the bounds of policing – and did not engage in the partisan, political alignment with senior political figures – of the kind you both displayed yesterday.

Given that you have – effectively – destroyed your credibility by displaying such overt politicisation – could you explain how you imagine survivors, whistle-blowers and real journalists can now regard you both as anything other than political components of the Jersey oligarchy apparatus?

3: Who actually authored the 5 page press-release which was issued by you both?

4: Why does it contain so many brazen misrepresentations of what was actually said by Mr. Harper – as opposed to what may have been said by some parts of the media?

5: Why does it repeat certain statements made by Mr. Harper – as though they were your own – and thus imply that what Mr. Harper had said was somehow completely different?

6: Given that much of the overt criticism of his approach made by you both – and your political allies – alleges that Mr. Harper was “premature” in his various announcements – that some of the evidence was not yet firmed-up – how can you consider it even faintly credible for you to have been briefing against Mr Harper for weeks – and making your public pronouncements yesterday – when neither of you – or your review team from the Met – have carried out even an initial interview with Mr. Harper? Not one?

If there have been any ‘premature’ announcements during the whole investigation – the general view amongst survivors, and it is a view I share – is that your exercise yesterday has been by far the worst.

7: Though very cleverly and equivocally worded, the clear purpose of your press statement is to convey the notion – as though it were demonstrated fact – that there were no unexplained child deaths at HDLG – nor any attempts made there to dispose of human remains. You use such phrases as “do not indicate”, and “nor is it believed” – thus providing yourselves with equivocal ‘get-out’ clauses.

I very much hope – as I have done throughout this aspect of the Jersey Child Abuse Disaster – that we could prove to ourselves that there had definitely been no unexplained child deaths at HDLG. Which is why I am deeply concerned with the fact that you have appeared to make your assertions on the basis of a few pages of deeply politicised PR material – and a few PowerPoint slides – as opposed to detailed examples of peer-reviewable evidence. Evidence which could, presumably, be made public – now that the possibility of child deaths has been dismissed by you both – and your political bosses?

Presumably – as you are both such consummate professionals – as opposed to Mr. Harper – who you would have us believe rushed into making premature and misleading statements – all conceivable scientific and forensic tests have now been completed?

That you now have – in peer-reviewable form – a definitive set of scientific documents which completely discount the possibility of any unexplained child deaths – and any attempt to dispose of human remains?

8: Is it not the case that if the answer to the last paragraph of question 7 is, ‘no’ – you have committed a grossly premature blunder – far worse than any Mr. Harper is alleged to have made?

Indeed, far, far worse – in that your premature and half-cocked media stunt was engaged in, in an entirely politically partisan manner?

9: Are you really quite certain that the items referred to as shackles were not, in fact, ever used for such purposes?

After all – iron implements which may have been used as improvised shackles would, indeed, be “rusty lumps of metal” – after laying in the ground for 30 years.

What of the bed-spring which has plainly been straightened – and had the two end-loops adapted in such a manner as they could have been used to restrain human wrists or ankles?

10: Are you really quite certain that there is “no witness evidence or intelligence” which describes these items as possible shackles? Because that is not my understanding of what the police have been told in certain statements.

11: Again – your press-statement strives to give the impression that the bath under the floor voids was never used in any offence or offences against children – but the wording you choose is very careful and equivocal when you say “there is nothing suspicious about the bath”.

Of themselves – baths are not customarily suspicion-raising items.

But are you confidently able to state that the bath was not used in any offences against children – and that you have “no indication” that it was used in any offences? If so, is this not somewhat surprising when you have witness testimony which accurately described the bath in the voids and the uses to which it was put?

12: Your references to the space beneath the floor being voids – and as being of insufficient height to enable an adult to stand up in – is one of the examples of irrelevant, diversionary and misleading twaddle in your press statement. No one – to the best of my knowledge – has ever claimed these spaces were high.

So why put this irrelevant and diversionary assertion in your press statement?

Are you seriously attempting to suggest that because an adult in these voids would have to bend down a little – that fact renders the abuse of children in these spaces somehow impossible?

That it is only physically possible for an adult to abuse a child when the adult is stood in a fully upright position?

13: The most serious, evidential material which emerges from the search are the 65 teeth. Yet you skate around this is in 5-and-bit brief lines of text.

Are you seriously suggesting that finding such a concentration of human teeth in one location – a quite mystifying find – can be brushed aside in one, brief paragraph?

But even what is said in your paragraph could hardly be described as a confident dismissal of the possibility of foul play being behind this discovery.

The teeth come from children – possibly a large number of children – who’s age-range may have been between 6 to 12 years. “There is ‘wear’ on ‘some’ of the teeth”; is this fact not a matter of concern? If signs of wear exist on ‘some’ of the teeth – but not on others – does that not suggest a most curious set of circumstances – which would lead to a significant number of human teeth being discovered – with no appreciable signs of wear?

14: Have all of the bone fragments been subjected to multi-laboratory, independent testing, when attempting to determine whether they’re human or animal? If not – why not?

What methodology was used in assessing the age-range you quote for the bone fragments?

15: Have all the bone-fragments been subjected to radionuclide dating – which would demonstrate whether the remains come from animals or people who were living before – or after – the dawning of the nuclear weapons age?

16: Do you really expect to be taken seriously when you duck around the issue of the two mystifying pits – in one-and-a-half lines of text in your press release?

Why would the institution commission a man with a digger to come and excavate two holes in the grounds – with the instruction to come back the next day and fill them back in again – once a layer of lime had been placed in the bottom?

Even though these pits – in your own words – “are unexplained” – you still feel sufficiently confident to deliver a political press conference dismissing their relevance – even though this problematic and deeply mysterious feature remains totally unexplained?

You assert “nothing suspicious was found in them” – but surely the greatest “suspicion” that arises from these two pits is the actual fact of their bizarre construction and existence?

17: In your summary, you list 5 bullet points in which you seek to dismiss and discredit the notion that any murders may have taken place. The five bullet-points in your press release are:

• No people are reported missing

• There are no allegations of murder.

• There are no suspects for murder.

• There is no specific time period for murder.

• We are satisfied that there is no indication or evidence that there have been murders at HDLG.

Do you not accept that the first 4 of these bullet points are simply statements of the obvious – and could apply to a 1000 examples of potential crimes, such as murder, which are initially not evidenced – nor even apparent – but are subsequently shown to have occurred?

In respect of the 5th bullet point, do you not accept that absence of evidence – is not evidence of absence? And do you not accept that notwithstanding your assertion – there remain a number of deeply mystifying and concerning issues in respect of HDLG? For example – the 65 human teeth, the unexplained pits excavated in the grounds one day – then filled-in the next?

Could you explain to me how the claims made in those five bullet points contradict what was said by Mr. Harper? Because, going from memory, I do not recollect him ever making statements which contradict the views expressed in the bullet points?

On the contrary – my recollection is that Mr. Harper was always careful to draw a distinction between saying what possibly may have occurred – those possibilities being the point of the investigation – and statements which categorically said “we have murders”?

18: Remaining with the subject of your bullet-point summary – you state “no people are reported missing”. As police officers, you cannot claim ignorance of the interpretation that people will place on this statement – which will be that – ‘oh, that’s OK then – because if no one is missing – there can have been no murders.’

I know this – so I’m quite certain you both must know it as well – it is entirely feasible for children to have disappeared – for there have even been no official record of their existence. Do you accept that that is so?

Do you agree that vulnerable children – especially orphans – who may have been moved around the country in, say the 1950’s, 1960’s and even 1970’s – could very easily have vanished off the radar-screen – especially given how poor to non-existent record keeping was then?

19: Why do you make the particular assertions concerning Jersey’s Crown Officers – when it is a matter of documented, public record, that the Attorney General, William Bailhache, did obstruct the charging of certain individuals – just as he has failed to extradite certain suspects?

20: Do you not consider you own credibility to be at risk – well, what little of it remains – in being quite so friendly with an Attorney General who is hopelessly conflicted in these matters – because he was the senior partner in the law firm which, in 1998, was – supposedly – representing the interest of the victims of the abusers who he will not now extradite – at the time of the second (judicial) cover-up of that case?

Do you not consider that this monstrous and brazen conflict of interests should have made him withdraw from any involvement in these cases?

21: Given the unevidenced assertions you both have made in yesterday’s politically motivated stunt – combined with the glib, brief assertion made in your press release that “There will, however, not be the number of court cases or prosecutions which were originally reported” – do you fail to see just how catastrophically you have damaged the trust of survivors and whistle blowers in the investigations?

Perhaps that was, precisely, your intention?

I will now turn to the subject of radionuclide dating – this being an area of enquiry I have been – unsuccessfully – pursuing with the States of Jersey Police for many weeks.

There is a central – and definitive question – which arises from the human remains found at the site – fragments of human bone and around 65 teeth.

Were the individuals who these remains originated from living in the period prior to WW II – perhaps even far earlier?

Or – were they living in the post-WW II era?

In modern decades?

Are the remains pre-war – or are they post-war?

For this – central – question has been at the heart of the debate over the remains.

Why is this question important?

If the remains predate World War II – whilst still something of a mystery – we would then be justified setting aside the concerns we have that children may have died through foul play at Haut de la Garenne during modern times.

However – if the remains originate post- WW II – then we, as a community, have to confront the possibilities of what may have happened to vulnerable children in HDLG.

For if we are faced with the knowledge that the remains originated from people who were living, say, during the 1950’s, 1960’s or 1970’s – Jersey faces an altogether more serious – and deeply disturbing – situation.

This is why that simple question – are the remains pre-war – or post-war – is so important.

If pre-war – we can gain some form of “closure”.

But if post-war – we cannot so easily set the matter aside.

But to gain that “closure”, we need – I need – hard evidence; evidence that is reasonable, and within the bounds of being practically able to be produced.

Deeply disturbingly, the States of Jersey Police Force has – so far – refused to state whether these tests have been carried out – notwithstanding repeated questions from me.

You both – Mr. Warcup and Mr. Gradwell – will now – presumably – have no difficulty in answering the questions – now that you’ve shown yourselves ready and willing to engage with politicians?

I will describe some of the forensic tests which would need to be carried out in order to make us reasonably confident that none of the children’s teeth found on the site originate from the post-war years.

Human remains – such as bones and teeth – can be readily assessed as originating pre-war – or as originating post-war – because of the use of nuclear weapons.

From the first megaton nuclear explosions – and for a sustained period during the 1950’s and 1960’s – the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons spread around the world a range of novel, radioisotopes which, prior to the nuclear weapons era – were present in the Earth only in minute quantities – or were not present at all, instead being the ‘man-made’ isotopes introduced into the atmosphere via nuclear bomb detonations.

Traces of these novel, radioactive substances are now found in all of us – in our bones, our teeth and other parts of the body.

By way of contrast – if a person was living, and died, before the onset of the nuclear weapons era – no internal contamination with these novel isotopes would be found within that individual’s bones and teeth.

Therefore – testing for radioisotope contamination of human bones and teeth is widely recognised as a forensic method of determining whether the remains are pre, or post the nuclear weapons age.

Due to my environmental campaigning against nuclear installations, I have specialist contacts who have been able to furnish me with some observations and questions concerning radionuclide contamination.

22: Plutonium 239 is a man-made transuranic – with a half-life of 24,100 years.

Small traces of Pu239 would have been distributed to a limited extent through the very early nuclear detonations of 1945. However, Pu239 will not have been heavily and widely distributed through the atmosphere until the first megaton explosions around 1952 or possibly later, through to the 1960’s.

It is, therefore, possible to test for the internal presence of Pu239 in bones and teeth and conclude – definitively – whether the remains come from people who were living after the dawn of the nuclear weapons era.

Pre-war – no such internal contamination with this isotope would be found.

Post-war – especially if the individual were living in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s – then yes, such internal contamination would be present in teeth and bones.

Has this test been carried out? If so – will the scientific papers be published in peer-reviewable format?

If not – why not?

23: Strontium 90, I am told, would be an even better ‘tag’ for determining whether human remains such as bones and teeth were from the modern era. This isotope was also spread throughout the planet’s atmosphere via nuclear weapons testing from 1952.

The highest levels of this contaminant would originate from the years 1960 to 1965.

Strontium 90 is also easier to detect and analyse than Pu239 – especially in bone fragments.

Have these tests been done? If so – can the papers be published?

If not – why not?

24: Carbon 14, although occurring naturally – was very widely distributed – in a heavily detectable ‘spike’ of contamination, during the period, mid-1950 until mid-1960.

However, I’m told that the detection or measuring of Carbon 14 is more challenging as it has to be done by concentration, which can prove problematic.

But nevertheless, man-made volumes of Carbon 14 appearing in human bones and teeth are used as a measure to approximately date the remains to the pre – or post – nuclear weapons era, by forensic anthropologists.

Have tests for anthropogenic quantities of Carbon 14 been undertaken?

If so – can we have the scientific papers?

If not – why not?

25: We can be categorically certain that any human remains which have internal contamination of the above-described isotopes originate from people who were alive during the nuclear weapons era. Do either of you dispute this?

If so – please explain your argument?

26: In the event of bones being burnt, it is strongly probable that any Strontium 90 would remain incorporated within the bone-matrix. Do either of you dispute this?

27: Burning any human remains would be most unlikely to remove or destroy the radio isotopes described above. Do you agree?

28: The sample size required to test for Strontium 90 or Plutonium 239, I am told, is around 20 grams – perhaps 3 or 4 teeth, or a similar weight of bone. Do you dispute this? If so – please explain why?

29: Many labs would undertake testing for Strontium 90 and Plutonium 239. Do you agree that laboratories capable of undertaking these tests are readily identifiable?

30: My understanding is that it would costs around £300 to undertake alpha spectrometry to detect Pu239 in a few teeth. Could the States of Jersey Police Force afford this sum – or might that mean eating into the Chief Minister’s £300,000 budget for spin-doctors?

31: A similar sum would be required to fund the chemical separation and Beta spectrometry needed to detect and measure Strontium 90 within teeth or bone matrix. Maybe a little more costly – but again, presumably if the Attorney General who earns approaching £300,000 per annum can be given a free parking place – we could scrape the funds together somehow?

32: If the tests I describe above – which are crucial to determine that key question – are the remains pre-war or post-war – have, in fact, been carried out – why the secrecy?

33: If the tests have not been carried out – why not?

34: If the radionuclide tests I describe above – or similar such tests – have not been carried out – do you recognise that it will appear in the eyes of many – that your political press-conference of yesterday – would be the most disastrously premature and ill-judged action the SOJP will have displayed since the beginning of this entire episode?

As I have said throughout this whole episode – I really hope for such definitive, scientific evidence which would show that the human remains did not originate from the post-war era.

But I do not believe we can gain “closure” on the question of whether the human remains recovered from Haute de la Garenne are pre-war – or post war – until such tests have been undertaken – and the results published in peer-reviewable form.

I hope very much that all such tests would prove to be negative.

But they simply have to be carried out.

35: Have they been?

36: If so – where are the peer-reviewable results?

37: If not – why are the Jersey establishment so indecently – and prematurely – ready to seize upon a few vacuous sound-bites, five pages of rubbish cobbled together by a spin-doctor, and some PowerPoint slides – as grounds for dismissing the whole episode?

Mr. Warcup and Mr. Gradwell?

We await your answers to all of the above questions.

Thank you for your time.

Senator Stuart Syvret
States of Jersey.

SIMON BELLWOOD & STUART SYVRET

The Men Who Got it Right:

Solitary Confinement Regimes for Children

Utterly Illegal.

Just a very brief post to remind people to look out for the independent report of the Howard League for Penal Reform – published at 2.00 pm, this Friday.

And in particular – start checking out Simon’s blog. (link on the list on the right.)

I will be doing a more substantive post later this evening – which is of particular interest – given yesterday’s key-stone cops farrago of unevidenced, spin-doctor written cobblers from Warcup & Gradwell.

I will do a detailed posting on the Howard League report once it’s published.

In the mean time – let’s have some fun. Let’s refresh our memory of the Jersey oligarchy spin which will – and has been – levelled against the report – and how key parts of it will be ignored, or down-played.

The Howard League accepted an invitation from me to come and do their stuff in an investigation into Jersey’s whole youth justice and child custody system.

Issuing a formal, Ministerial invitation to them was one of the last-ditch acts I was able to undertake before the oligarchy sacked me as Health & Social Services Minister.

Like pretty much every single other aspect of the Jersey Child Abuse Disaster – what it is the establishment say on the surface – and what they do and say behind closed doors – are frequently two very different things.

Publicly – the investigation by the Howard League was welcomed – albeit through gritted teeth.

But – behind the scenes the Jersey oligarchy was fearful and terrified.

My understanding is that the report – as was its purpose – takes a broad look at the youth justice & child custody issues of Jersey.

I’ve no doubt they will have had found some examples of very good practice, which they commend.

For example – I’d be very surprised if they didn’t endorse the “parish hall enquiry” system of Jersey – which I’ve always supported as it’s an effective means of responding to troubled children and youths – but in a way which keeps them out of the actual court system.

But – deeply problematically for the Jersey oligarchy – way back in last spring – Simon Bellwood had been sacked – basically for whistle-blowing against the obviously unlawful and abusive solitary confinement regimes. He came to me – I believed him – so they sacked me too.

Throughout that entire episode – from July 2007 – to pretty much the present day – people like Frank Walker, Bill Ogley, Philip Ozouf, Mike Pollard, Marnie Baudians, Jimmy Perchard, Ben Shenton, Phil Dennet, Madeline Davies, Mario Lundy, Mike Vibert, Joe Kennedy – etc – have all rabidly and unremittingly asserted that Bellwood and I were wrong – that there was no problem with the so-called Grand Prix policy, and similar regimes – and that all these Jersey oligarchy people were right.

The establishment put all their chips on the gamble, “no problem with the solitary confinement regimes – all perfectly legal and proper” – and they’ve blown it.

My understanding is that the Howard League report concludes that the regimes which were defended by Walker, Ogley, Ozouf, Pollard & Co were “illegal”.

And, axiomatically, what me and Bellwood were saying was right.

And – what is even more devastating for the establishment is that they cannot claim ignorance.

An initial, four page, legal assessment was prepared at my request by Chris Calendar of the Howard League – in which he explained the simply criminality of such polices as Grand Prix.

He did this last year – before I’d even been sacked. I passed on this opinion to Frank and the rest of the Ministers – who all took not one scrap of notice of it – instead preferring to assist certain civil servants in their oppressions of people like Bellwood & me.

I’m given to understand that that initial, four page legal assessment, is included as an appendix to the main report.

How much more damning do you need?

The entire Jersey cabinet – and 90% of the senior civil servants – conspiring to cover up a manifestly unlawful and abusive child custody practice – which was taking place up until the end of 2006 – and oppressing those who tried to speak out against it and stop it.

Were it not for the fact the elections are imminent – the Jersey Council of Ministers would have to resign en mass over this.

And – comically – but in a kind of tragic way – we see some of these self-same politicians now banging on about the need for better checks and balances.

It, apparently, escaping their attention that that is precisely what I’d identified as THE gross failure with Jersey’s public administration early last year – but, for saying so, simply got oppressed by these very same people – who now attempt to lay claim to the concept that Jersey needs better checks and balances.

You couldn’t make it up.

Check out Simon and my blogs tomorrow, after publication.

Stuart.

The Haute de la Garenne Investigation and Related Matters.

Comments Issued by Senator Stuart Syvret

In Response to the Jersey Establishment

12th November 2008.

To those who read my previous posting – and to those who haven’t, I ask, please do – I offer these comments on today’s events.

And please note that a lot of this posting consists of the response document I thrashed out today over lunchtime and issued to the media this afternoon.

I’ve tidied it up a bit – corrected a few errors & typos – and expanded on the issues a little – so I hope readers find it useful. Any journalists – feel free to copy and paste anything from this should you want quotes from me.

And please note and remember these two, crucial, issues:

The imminent publication of the report of the Howard League for Penal Reform.

The issues I raise below concerning radionuclide dating.

As I predicted, two Jersey oligarchy press conferences were held today – the first by the new leaders (and very new, at that) of the States of Jersey Police Force.

The second by Frank Walker and current Home Affairs Minister, Andrew Lewis.

Again – my speculations as to what would be said, why, and by whom, were generally on the money.

The response of the Jersey oligarchy’s media too, was very easily predicted.

I carried out my promise to deliver a press conference in response to today’s events, in St. Helier’s Royal Square this afternoon.

I have to hold such press conferences outside, as the Bailiff, Phil Bailhache – brother of Attorney General Bill Bailhache – has issued orders to the ushers of the Jersey parliament building to have me thrown out should I take any journalists in the building with me.

Yes – things really are that absurd.

When I last tried to give an interview with a French TV crew in one of the interview rooms, the ushers burst in, and threw us out. It made great TV.

But that should give you an idea of just what a profoundly dangerous banana republic Jersey has been made by its oligarchy – when an elected member cannot carry out a media interview in a small room in the island’s parliament building.

There were two interesting features of the hack response to my press conference.

Firstly – there appeared to little, if any, recognition on the part of the assembled hacks that the insubstantial and un-evidenced ‘line’ fed to them by Gradwell, Warcup, Walker & Lewis suffered from even worse versions of the supposed flaws of Lenny Harper’s approach.

Secondly – I was repeatedly asked whether I was pleased that “my demand” that Jersey Police Chief Graham Power “be sacked” was being taken seriously?

I had to repeatedly point out that I had made no such “demand”.

All I had done in last night’s posting was to extrapolate – and take to a logical conclusion – the spin that the HDLG investigation ‘had been a farce’.

That conclusion being that if – I repeat, if – the HDLG investigation proves to have been so badly wrong as Walker, Warcup & Gradwell are now claiming – then the buck had to stop with the Chief Constable, Graham Power.

This was merely a logical observation – not a “demand”.

Personally – I’m extremely pleased to see that Graham Power had the integrity to turn down the Jersey oligarchy’s nice and easy “offer” of “early retirement” – and has instead taken the suspension from his post – and will fight all allegations against him.

I suggested last night that this episode could prove to be the greatest PR cock-up yet by the Jersey establishment. Events such as trying to crush and silence Graham Power strongly reinforce that conclusion.

So, two separate, but obviously co-ordinated, press-conferences have been given by the new leadership of the States of Jersey Police Force, and the Chief Minister, Senator Frank Walker.

These exercise had two, plain and transparent purposes – one of which was explicit – the other less immediately obvious.

Firstly, what we have seen today represents serious and concerted attempts by the Jersey establishment to discredit the investigation into Haute de la Garren; an exercise which has not – tellingly – confined itself solely to doubts over the issue of possible, unexplained child deaths.

Instead, determined efforts have also been made to discredit many aspects of the abuse allegations made by living survivors.

That aspect of the comments made today by the new leaders of the States of Jersey Police cannot be regarded as anything other than deeply disturbing.

Secondly – and less obviously – this precise moment for these press conferences has been carefully chosen by the Jersey establishment and their spin-doctors in order to create a diversionary media storm – calculated to divert and distract attention away from the imminent publication, this Friday, by the Howard League for Penal Reform, their report into youth justice and child custody practises in Jersey during comparatively recent years.

Those few parts of the Howard League report of which I am aware are unambiguously utterly damning of the States of Jersey policies which saw already troubled and vulnerable children being subjected to lengthy periods of punitive and coercive solitary confinement – isolated imprisonment in cells – which, in some cases, lasted for months.

This criminal conduct has always been strenuously denied by the States of Jersey – even up to today; the actual politician with responsibility for child protection, Jimmy Perchard, has been denying the truth and desperately trying to rubbish the work of the Howard League. But the definitive report by the independent Howard League shows the entire edifice of official denials – made over a 20 month period – to be literally incredible.

So apocalyptically damning of the Jersey establishment is the report that it generated an overwhelming Political imperative to spin-doctor some form of hi-profile distraction – hence the timing of these two press-conferences.

And we are forced to draw this conclusion because it cannot be regarded as anything other than mystifying as to why the attempt to discredit the Haute de la Garenne investigation should have been launched now – quite extraordinarily – before the Met review team, Mr. Gradwell or Mr. Warcup have even interviewed certain key figures – such as former Deputy Chief Constable, Lenny Harper.

It is simply astonishing that such a fundamentally important subject should be dealt with in such a deeply premature and cavalier manner – to the extent that the key figure previously involved in leading the investigation has not yet even been interviewed as a part of any supposed review of the investigation.

Turning to the question of the forensic claims now being made by the States of Jersey Police.

I am not yet in any position to offer any authoritative comments on the forensic claims being made by the present leadership of the States of Jersey Police Force.

Nor is anyone else outside of the Force – so far as I’m aware.

To offer a detailed response, one would have to have unimpeded access to the actual, scientific evidence, the documentation – and the forensic reports themselves.

Quite plainly – a few sound-bites and a few PowerPoint slides delivered by the Police officers at a press conference – cannot be remotely considered sufficient evidence to satisfy ourselves that no unexplained child deaths occurred at HDLG.

Indeed – perhaps the most striking feature of the comments made today by Officers Gradwell & Warcup – is that the approach they adopt is actually far worse than the accusations they make today against Lenny Harper.

Worse in that they have they rushed into making public comment on the basis of non-scientific, untested, vacuous assertions – and have glibly done so without even speaking with the central, living witness in their ‘investigation’ – Lenny Harper.

To Mr. Gradwell and Mr. Warcup – all any thinking person can say is – ‘physician, heal thyself’.

For me, personally – the failure of the Police to make all the forensic evidence openly available for professional peer-review is deeply disappointing.

For as I have always stated since the possibility of child deaths at that place were first raised earlier this year – I really hoped we would receive definitive evidence to the effect that no such deaths occurred.

I have always hoped that we could set aside such grim possibilities – and, instead, focus upon the survivors – and the more recent cases of institutional child abuse.

I have wanted the community to gain “closure” as far as the possibility of post-war, unexplained child deaths are concerned.

To that end, I have repeatedly, during recent weeks, asked the States of Jersey Police a number of questions concerning the forensics.

I repeat – I have, on behalf of my constituents, and of my own initiative – asked perfectly reasonable questions of the Police in respect of the forensics.

However – disappointingly – and quite disturbingly – they have flatly refused to engage with my queries.

Indeed – I have not succeeded in recent weeks in even gaining so much as an e-mail acknowledgment from Mr. Gradwell or Mr. Warcup of the questions I have asked.

I just hope those journalists – the Jersey hacks – and one or two of the sceptical national journalists, such as David Rose, who like to imagine themselves working on an ‘evidence-based’ approach – will apply the same standards to the vacuous assertions being made by the Jersey establishment today.

We shall see.

There is a central – and definitive question – which arises from the human remains found at the site – fragments of human bone and around 60 teeth.

Were the individuals who these remains originated from living in the period prior to WW II – perhaps even far earlier?

Or – were they living in the post-WW II era?

In modern decades?

Are the remains pre-war – or are they post-war?

For this – central – question has been at the heart of the debate over the remains.

Why is this question important?

If the remains predate World War II – whilst still something of a mystery – we would then be justified setting aside the concerns we have that children may have died through foul play at Haut de la Garenne during modern times.

However – if the remains originate post- WW II – then we, as a community, have to confront the possibilities of what may have happened to vulnerable children in HDLG.

For if we’re faced with the knowledge that the remains originated from people who were living, say, during the 1950’s, 1960’s or 1970’s – Jersey faces an altogether more serious – and deeply disturbing – situation.

This is why that simple question – are the remains pre-war – or post-war – is so important.

If pre-war – we can gain some form of “closure”.

But if post-war – we cannot so easily set the matter aside.

Yet – so far as I am aware – the forensic tests required to answer this single, definitive, question have not been undertaken.

I say ‘so far as I am aware’ – because disturbingly, the Police Force has refused to state whether these tests have been carried out – notwithstanding repeated questions from me.

I will describe some of the forensic tests which would need to be carried out in order to make us reasonably confident that none of the children’s teeth found on the site originate from the post-war years.

And I very much hope that any self-respecting journalists will put these issues to Gradwell, Warcup and Walker.

Human remains – such as bones and teeth – can be readily assessed as originating pre-war – or as originating post-war – because of the use of nuclear weapons.

From the first megaton nuclear explosions – and for a sustained period during the 1950’s and 1960’s – the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons spread around the world a range of novel, radioisotopes which, prior to the nuclear weapons era – were present in the Earth only in minute quantities – or were not present at all, instead being the ‘man-made’ isotopes introduced into the atmosphere via nuclear bomb detonations.

Traces of these novel, radioactive substances are now found in all of us – in our bones, our teeth and other parts of the body.

By way of contrast – if a person was living, and died, before the onset of the nuclear weapons era – no internal contamination with these novel isotopes would be found within that individual’s bones and teeth.

Therefore – testing for radioisotope contamination of human bones and teeth is widely recognised as a forensic method of determining whether the remains are pre, or post the nuclear weapons age.

Due to my environmental campaigning against nuclear installations, I have a number of specialist contacts who have been able to furnish me with some observations and questions concerning radionuclide contamination.

1: Plutonium 239 is a man-made transuranic – with a half-life of 24,100 years.

Small traces of Pu239 would have been distributed to a limited extent through the very early nuclear detonations of 1945. However, Pu239 will not have been heavily and widely distributed through the atmosphere until the first megaton explosions around 1952 or possibly later, through to the 1960’s.

It is, therefore, possible to test for the internal presence of Pu239 in bones and teeth and conclude – definitively – whether the remains come from people who were living after the dawn of the nuclear weapons era.

Pre-war – no such internal contamination with this isotope would be found.

Post-war – especially if the individual were living in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s – then yes, such internal contamination would be present in teeth and bones.

Has this test been carried out? If so – will the scientific papers be published in peer-reviewable format?

If not – why not?

2: Strontium 90, I am told, would be an even better ‘tag’ for determining whether human remains such as bones and teeth were from the modern era. This isotope was also spread throughout the planet’s atmosphere via nuclear weapons testing from 1952.

The highest levels of this contaminant would originate from the years 1960 to 1965.

Strontium 90 is also easier to detect and analyse than Pu239 – especially in bone fragments.

Have the tests been done? If so – can the papers be published?

If not – why not?

3: Carbon 14, although occurring naturally – was very widely distributed – in a heavily detectable ‘spike’ of contamination, during the period, mid-1950 until mid-1960.

However, I’m told that the detection or measuring of Carbon 14 is more challenging as it has to be done by concentration, which can prove problematic.

But nevertheless, man-made volumes of Carbon 14 appearing in human bones and teeth are used as a measure to approximately date the remains to the pre – or post – nuclear weapons era, by forensic anthropologists.

Have tests for anthropogenic quantities of Carbon 14 been undertaken?

If so – can we have the scientific papers?

If not – why not?

4: We can be categorically certain that any human remains which have internal contamination of the above-described isotopes originate from people who were alive during the nuclear weapons era.

5: In the event of bones being burnt, it is strongly probable that any Strontium 90 would remain incorporated within the bone-matrix.

6: Burning any human remains would be most unlikely to remove or destroy the radio isotopes described above.

7: The sample size required to test for Strontium 90 or Plutonium 239, I am told, is around 20 grams – perhaps 3 or 4 teeth, or a similar weight of bone.

8: Many Labs would undertake testing for Strontium 90 and Plutonium 239.

9: My understanding is that it would costs around £300 to undertake alpha spectrometry to detect Pu239.

10: A similar sum would be required to fund the chemical separation and Beta spectrometry needed to detect and measure Strontium 90 within teeth or bone matrix.

If the tests I describe above – which are crucial to determine that key question – are the remains pre-war or post-war – have, in fact, been carried out – why the secrecy?

If the tests have not been carried out – why not?

These are the fundamental questions which any self-respecting journalist should be asking Gradwell, Warcup, Walker and Lewis.

As I have said throughout this whole episode – I really hope for such definitive, scientific evidence which would show that the human remains did not originate from the post-war era.

But I do not believe we can gain “closure” on the question of whether the human remains recovered from Haute de la Garenne are pre-war – or post war – until such tests have been undertaken – and the results published in peer-reviewable form.

I hope very much that all such tests would prove to be negative.

But they simply have to be carried out.

Have they been?

If so – where are the peer-reviewable results?

If not – why are the Jersey establishment so indecently ready to seize upon a few vacuous sound-bites and some PowerPoint slides as grounds for dismissing the whole episode?

I suggest that there are several answers to that question – not least the imminent publication of the Howard League report.

Do not be distracted – the report of the Howard League for Penal reform is published this Friday, 2.00pm, at a press-conference in Jersey.

Somehow – I very much get the impression that the Jersey oligarchy aren’t going to like it – not one little bit.

Stuart.

“IT WAS THE TOOTH-FAIRY WHAT DONE IT, SARGE”.

STATES OF JERSEY POLICE:

BACK TO BUSINESS-AS-USUAL

FOLLOWING RETIREMENT OF HARPER.

Replacement Cops Join Jersey Oligarchy

And Try to Put the Lid Back On

Jersey Child Abuse Disaster.

Well – it had to happen, didn’t it?

Leopards don’t change their spots – and so it is with the Jersey Police.

Following decades upon decades of appalling child abuse – during which the Jersey Police were plainly a significant part of the problem – to the extent that they went beyond merely perverting the course of justice by covering things up, to actually having amongst their number several child abusers – Danny Wherry, for example – it looked as though things had changed.

For a few brief months, maybe a year or so – it looked as though the culture of concealment had been broken by the decency and commitment of Lenny Harper.

But Lenny’s retirement date arrived, and he departed Jersey’s shores.

A very substantial number of the survivors, whistle-blowers and campaigners like me were filed with trepidation at the prospect of Lenny leaving – fearing that things would rapidly revert to the Bad Old Days.

But, nevertheless, hope remained; perhaps the changes initiated by Lenny had been so great that there was no reversing them. So the replacements were given a chance.

Sadly – yet, I guess, predictably – the co-ordinated back-peddling being displayed could have won for Britain a gold medal in going-in-reverse cycling, had the Olympics had such an event.

Notwithstanding the clear impossibility of the task – the Police and their customary Jersey oligarchy friends and allies – who they’ve kissed-and-made-up-with – are attempting to get the djinn back in the bottle.

Such a vast, carefully co-ordinated and heavily media-managed attempted cover-up is a wonder to behold.

I’ll try and explain some of what’s going on.

Truly – you just couldn’t make it up.

Firstly – the States of Jersey Police Force are holding a major press-conference tomorrow.

This will be followed by a wonderfully choreographed second press-conference which will be given by Jersey’s Chief Minister and the Home Affairs Minister at 2.00.

I’m going to be available at about 3.15 in the Royal Square if any journalists (not the local hacks, obviously dur!) wants to get my take on things.

A little quiz for regular readers of my blog:

Why do you think these two press conferences are happening tomorrow?

Why the sudden panic?

Why the burning need to manufacture a hi-profile story right at this particular moment?

You don’t need to be a senior player in Burson Marsteller to figure it out – do you?

The Jersey oligarchy need – desperately – really, really need – a big diversionary storm to marginalise and distract attention away from the publication of the independent report of the Howard League for Penal Reform – which, it just so happens, is to be launched by the Howard League at a press-conference in Jersey this coming Friday.

Clever, no?

No – actually; pretty thick. This kind of spin-doctoring works, of course, with the Jersey hacks – who will fall for it hook, line and sinker.

But so crassly obvious is this stunt that some UK journalists who have contacted me are already falling about laughing at it.

Why the need to marginalise and distract attention from the Howard League report?

The Howard League has undertaken a detailed, independent investigation into youth justice and child custody issues in Jersey. A study which has examined the evidence, looked at the law, spoken with victims and whistle-blowers – and – particularly problematically for the Jersey oligarchy – the era they’ve been examining is comparatively recent.

The late 1980’s, 1990’s and up until 2006 and the present day.

An era, in fact, which is so recent that many of the key figures involved – for example many senior civil servants – are still in post.

But even more problematically for the jersey oligarchy – amongst the issues the Howard League have examined are the concerns raised by Simon Bellwood and me – which were the central feature of the Jersey child abuse controversy when it first erupted early in the summer of 2007.

From those days – up until the present – people like Frank Walker, the senior civil servants and his oligarchy colleagues have repeatedly – rabidly – asserted that the victims of the punitive and coercive solitary confinement regimes, and people like Bellwood and I were wrong.

And that the so-called Grand Prix policy – and even worse practices which preceded it – were perfectly acceptable – and not, in fact, criminal acts.

Even though this stance was manifestly ignorant, immoral, bloody stupid and ethically bankrupt – nevertheless, the Jersey oligarchy carried on asserting that black was white – because they always get away with that approach in Jersey.

Unquestioning and uncritical deference is all they’re ever offered by the local media – which they “own”, in any event.

But, disastrously for the Jersey oligarchy – real journalists have been involved in covering this story – who never swallowed the spin and lies.

So the publication of the report of the Howard League this coming Friday represents a terrifying and profoundly damaging prospect for the Jersey oligarchy.

Because the Howard League have concluded that people like me and Bellwood were right – and, axiomatically, it follows that – all of the tirades of lying assertions made by Jersey establishment politicians and civil servants over the last 20 months were wrong.

Oh dear! Crises and disaster! What do we do about this?

First trick in the spin-doctors’ manual – create a bigger, diversionary story.

Damage-limit the consequences of the Howard League’s findings by making sure they get lost in a blizzard of other controversies.

That’s why the two press conferences are being held tomorrow.

And being held extraordinarily prematurely – as I will explain later.

So – having established that – we then have to ask:

“What could the Jersey Cops and their Friends Reunited – the Jersey oligarchy politicians – do to manufacture a sufficiently significant media-storm to divert attention away from something so fundamentally crushing of the Jersey oligarchy position as the Howard League report?

Another little quiz:

Who does the Jersey oligarchy hate the most (apart from me, obviously)– and what major issue has that person been involved in?

Again – it ain’t difficult, is t?

Lenny Harper – and the Haute de la Garenne investigation.

Controversial figure – and a controversial issue.

Bingo!

What could be a better spin-doctors’ diversion?

So then we come to the content of tomorrow’s press-conferences.

The obvious purpose of both carefully co-ordinated conferences is to smear Lenny Harper – and attempt to dismiss and marginalise the investigations into the possibility of child killings at Haut de la Garenne, and to pour doubt on victim witness testimony in respect of some of the serious abuse claims.

But that isn’t the only purpose.

This strategy delivers the Jersey oligarchy two birds for the proverbial one stone.

They divert and distract attention away from the Howard League report – published this Friday, remember?

And they can rubbish and marginalise the whole Haute de le Garenne investigation and their nemesis – Lenny Harper.

But what is the Jersey oligarchy going to say?

Well – I don’t know for sure – but I very strongly suspect it will be something along the following lines.

Firstly – a guess at what the Police are going to say:

The Police have spent weeks briefing against Harper – doing all they can to rubbish him and his methods in the most aggressive of ways.

As this approach filtered back to me, it became clear that UK journalists were simply not swallowing it; the new Police approach simply screamed “cover-up!”

So the SOJP have rowed-back from many of the ludicrous assertions they’ve been making – and toned down their “message” for tomorrow’s press-conference.

But – being a bit thick – they appear to have forgotten that the extreme and hostile briefings they’ve been giving against Harper are firmly noted and lodged with the national – that’s real – journalists they spoke to.

So – somehow – I just get the impression it’s the original recent Police smear campaign – in all its ugly extremity – and the motivations for it – which the nationals are going to bear in mind.

Nevertheless – the States of Jersey Police “message” to be delivered tomorrow – although dramatically toned-down – will still be fully capable of being interpreted as a condemnation of Harper.

You see – that way – the Jersey Police can appear to have moderately clean hands – and leave the real battering of Harper – and the crowing over the “inconsequential” HDLG investigation – to politicians like Frank Walker when he gives his press conference in the afternoon.

But returning to the Police, they will criticise Harper’s approach, his methodology, his transparency in being too open with the media – all will be criticised by the States of Jersey Police – but in a gentlemanly “professional” manner – if you get my drift?

The Jersey establishment have always been desperate to find excuses for not extraditing, charging and prosecuting many of the significant suspects – so they’ll blame Harper’s media strategy for making trials “impossible” – though such pre-charge publicity rarely ever interferes with charging and prosecution in the UK.

They’ll assert that the forensics were never clear enough to make comment about the putative human remains.

They’ll assert that the voids under the floors at HDLG – because they weren’t high enough for an adult to stand up in – could not have been used to imprison or abuse children.

They’ll assert that items recovered – such as the shackles – had “innocent” uses.

They’ll assert that the HDLG investigation was ‘badly flawed’.

They’ll assert that the serious and historical Haute de la Garenne allegations are insubstantial, unclear and/or insufficiently evidenced to be taken seriously – so, conveniently, that part of the enquiry is being shelved.

They’ll assert that they want to do this – so they can – oh-so considerately – focus attention, time and resources on covering up the recent abuses and conspiracies to pervert the course of justice – err – no – sorry – I meant spend the next 12 months prevaricating in their attempts to bring the guilty to justice – before finding that that’s all a bit too difficult as well.

And senior Officers will get their Jersey ‘Housing Qualifications’, their full pensions, won’t have their wives told about the affairs they’re having – and who knows – maybe a big “performance bonus” as well?

Then we turn to what Big Frank and his various troglodyte Jersey political allies will be asserting in the afternoon.

They’ll be crowing about how Lenny Harper cocked it all up.

How useless he was.

How there never – ever – were any realistic grounds for believing that child killings may have occurred at HDLG.

That they were “right all along”.

How this isn’t even their view – “It’s actually the States of Jersey Police who say the whole thing was a mess”.

Though quite how this assertion can be made without the summary dismissal of the Chief Officer Graham Power remains a total mystery – as it was his Force – and Harper worked under his direction and oversight.

They’ll assert how “all of the denigration of Jersey and her people has been “proven” to be rubbish”. (That’s the “patriotism” card, you see.)

For appearances sake – they’ll make a few sympathetic noises towards the “genuine” victims of abuse – though almost certainly forgetting that they shouted-down my Christmas speech of empathy for the victims at the end of last year.

They’ll assert that “now all this “erroneous” and “distracting” HDLG stuff is out of the way, the Police can now concentrate on dealing with the “real” cases” – err – except, obviously, Lundy, Wherry, McKeon etc, etc, etc; well – it goes without saying, yeah?

And – there you go!

Sorted!

“Harper’s a useless bastard.”

“Never any possibility of child killings at Haute de la Garenne.”

“The Jersey oligarchy are wonderful.”

“The national media are peddlers of fiction.”

“And a nice big juicy political and media storm to distract and divert everyone’s attention away from that oh so pesky and inconvenient Howard League report.”

Do you reckon Burson Marsteller will give me a job?

Look – I know it would mean working amongst scum – but I kind of get the impression the last 18 years has prepared me for that.

But – But – But – ?

There are, at least, one or two serious flaws in the above described co-ordinated spin campaign.

I’ve all ready mentioned the very determined efforts made to discredit Harper by the Police in secret briefings to journalists – and how some of it was so transparently dishonest and absurd as to have journalists falling off their chairs laughing.

I’ll come back to an example of that absurdity when I conclude – just to give you a flavour of the “you couldn’t make it up” syndrome.

Michael Gradwell and David Warcup were already setting about trying to rubbish Harper and his work from the instant they got involved in their new jobs with the States of Jersey Police.

Indeed – so quickly – it cannot be viewed as anything other than a pre-meditated plan.

But – there are two hugely inconvenient and deeply problematic obstacles to their objective.

Firstly – as already referred to – the Chief Officer Graham Power.

It simply is not remotely credible to condemn such a major and deeply significant investigation – without looking at the man who was in charge of the Police Force whilst the enquiry was in full-swing – who Harper was working to, and was under the direction of – his boss, Graham Power.

Significant problems with the Haute de la Garenne investigation?

Then Power has to go.

His position as Commanding Officer is simply untenable.

Secondly – and of far greater importance – the three ACPO reports.

ACPO is the Association of Chief Police Officers – and amongst other functions, it acts as a kind of peer reviewing mechanism for major investigations.

I have not seen those ACPO reports – though I have asked the Jersey Police for copies, but they won’t give them to me.

But the impression conveyed was that ACPO – and Lenny’s boss, Power – were satisfied with the quality of the investigation.

Not once – but three times in the case of ACPO.

Hmmm……Big problem for Gradwell & Warcup. Thinking caps on!

They alight upon the idea of going to some friends of theirs in the London Metropolitan Police in order to get the HDLG investigation “reviewed” by them.

As is well-known amongst journalists, the “findings” of this “review” by the Met are already “written”.

However, two problems remain. Firstly, how do the Met produce the goods needed to stamp on the credibility of the HDLG investigation – without going flatly against ACPO – and attempting to overturn the three previous reports?

I’m really not sure just quite how they’re going to mange that.

But I’ve no doubt they’ll have a damn good try.

Secondly – and profoundly problematically for the Jersey Police and their Friends Reunited in the Jersey oligarchy – the Met – even though its “findings” have been very widely touted around national journalists – have not yet interviewed the key figure – Lenny Harper.

I’ll just repeat that – in case it’s just too extraordinary to sink in on first reading.

Lenny Harper has not yet been interviewed by the Met review team.

Indeed – he hasn’t even been interviewed by Gradwell or Warcup.

So let’s get this straight – a very carefully structured and co-ordinated campaign of media-manipulation, “official” smears, spin, lies and omissions – has been cobbled together for rushing out tomorrow – without any formal interview of Lenny Harper having been undertaken.

The national press-pack have been summoned to Jersey to listen firstly to the States of Jersey Police – and then Frank Walker and others – condemn Harper, his methodology, the investigation, the witness testimonies of victims – and bellow on about what rubbish it all was – and how Jersey’s oligarchy is the finest administration in the world – on the basis of a set of “conclusions” – for which no completed, prior report exists.

For no such report could be remotely taken seriously without full interviews with the key figures.

And they expect national – real – journalists to take this cobblers seriously?

Oh well – that’s the Jersey oligarchy for you.

Always were a bit thick.

And they get noticeably even more stupid – when the panic sets in.

It having been pointed out to the Jersey Police that if they expected to be taken even faintly seriously in their efforts to rubbish Harper via the Met review – they would at least have to go and interview him.

So – with great reluctance – a date has been set for one of the Met “review team” to go to Lenny’s home and interview him.

But – disaster!

That interview will not take place until around the 17th of November!

But that’s NO BLOODY USE!

The Jersey oligarchy need to manufacture their media storm NOW!

NOW! Do you hear!

They simply MUST have their diversionary and distracting spin delivered a day or two before the Howard League report is published!

How else would they divert attention away from it – and its conclusions?

Conclusions which show that people like Big Frank, Bill Ogley, Ozouf, Pollard, Baudains etc were totally wrong – and people like Simon Bellwood and me were totally right.

That the use of punitive and coercive solitary confinement regimes – which would see children held in cells in isolation for weeks – and months – at a stretch – was simply a corporate act of criminal child abuse.

An unlawful practice – which the Jersey oligarchy desperately tried to cover-up by firstly oppressing Bellwood – and when I believed him – oppressing me.

So – the Jersey oligarchy – in desperate need of one big, diversionary media storm – right now.

But – act in haste – repent at leisure.

Launching the attempts to rubbish Lenny and the HDLG investigation – disastrously prematurely – before the Met team have even interviewed Lenny Harper – in an act of simple and transparent desperation to keep attention away from the Howard League report – is the very height of folly.

You know – I just get the feeling that this could yet be the greatest PR cock-up by the Jersey establishment during this whole, wretched episode.

Oh, for sure – the Jersey media will all kiss Frank’s rear-end – and go along with the farrago; the oligarchy will have their couple of days hi-profile spin.

But somehow – I just don’t think this particular, brazen media-management stunt is going to prove to have been effective in the medium and long-term.

Like I said – thick.

I said I’d conclude with an example of the kind of remarks that have been made by the Jersey Police in recent weeks in their efforts to rubbish the investigation and Harper – and it really has been this absurd.

You couldn’t make it up.

You remember the 60 teeth found amongst the rubble in the voids beneath the floors at Haute de la Garenne?

“No killings” – remember – so that’s pretty weird – isn’t it?

How would all those kiddies teeth have ended up there?

It was the Tooth-Fairy.

No – really.

Amongst other garbage, the Police have been telling serious journalists that the teeth were largely milk teeth from other children – which kind-hearted parents donated to Haute de la Garenne – so if a kiddie needed cheering up – you know, maybe after something like getting punched in the teeth by one of the staff and loosing a few – this stock of teeth could be drawn upon so that they could be placed under the child’s pillow – and the Tooth-Fairy would visit in the night and place sixpence – or 5p – under the pillow.

So – you see!

No mystery at all!

“It was the Tooth-Fairy what done it, Sarge.”

Stuart.

THE HOWARD LEAGUE:

REPORT TO BE PUBLISHED

AT PRESS-CONFERENCE IN JERSEY

FRIDAY, 14TH NOVEMBER.

Children in Custody In Jersey:

Let us Prepare to Compare & Contrast.

In this post I want to take readers back to those days far & lost in the mists of time. Well, at least it seems like a lifetime ago.

Back to the first half of 2007, before I was sacked as Health & Social Services Minister.

During that period, a few good men and women had explained to me that what I thought was a moderately competent and sometimes ethical senior management structure, was, in fact, a boiling cauldron of lies, incompetence, self-interest, deceit, nepotism and ethical bankruptcy – about as toxic as one of the radioactive acid ponds at the Cap de la Hague nuclear reprocessing plant.

Amongst those few good men who contacted me was Simon Bellwood, the social worker who had been recruited from the UK to manage the child secure unit known as Greenfields. He had immediately recognised that the use of extended periods of coercive and punitive solitary confinement against children was harmful, abusive – not to mention simply illegal.

Naturally enough, Simon had set about changing this regime to something lawful and more constructive. However – this had the decided disadvantage of actually requiring senior managers such as Joe Kennedy, to actually do some work.

So Simon – in a very – very – well-documented conspiracy, was driven out of the work-place, put on “gardening-leave” for months – and eventually sacked.

At this stage, Simon was unknown to me, amongst the 2500 employees of H & SS. I didn’t know him from Adam. But, as I was the Minister, he drew his case – and the practices he had taken a stand against – to my attention.

Even though I have no qualifications in social work, child protection, human rights or the law – within about 20 seconds of beginning to read the so-called “Grand-Prix” document I could see that what it described was a manifestly unlawful, abusive and harmful regime.

So I took up Simon’s case with my senior managers and began to ask questions about the illegality of this solitary confinement regime, and how it had come to pass that Simon had been sacked?

This triggered two events; firstly, a tsunami of outrageous lies from the inter-departmental claque of senior civil servants responsible for the conspiracy to conceal the illegality of the system they had been so incompetently running, and secondly, a determined and ruthless campaign on their part to have me removed from Office as Minister.

It is true that there were other serious child “protection” failures from the 1990’s I was unearthing, which added to their motivation to remove me in an effort to maintain the culture of concealment. But so recent – and so extensively well-documented – was their conspiracy to oppress Bellwood, that naked panic gripped them. They simply had no choice other than to get rid of me as well.

With me not being a part of the establishment, the Jersey oligarchy politicians needed no second invitation to have me removed from the cabinet.

So – with that little bit of history explained, I think we should set about refreshing our memories as to what the Jersey oligarchy have said in the course of the last 18 months in their various attempts to defend the Grand-Prix system – and how they’ve striven mightily to hide the truth – namely that the very recent practices of imprisoning children in solitary confinement for long periods of time were abusive and unlawful.

Now – it just so happens I’ve kept meticulous records of the many and varied assertions made by Jersey oligarchy politicians, the senior civil servants they are terrified of – and the local media.

And I, for one, am very much looking forward to comparing & contrasting the above disgraceful and contemptible stinking effusion of lies, half-truths and gross incompetence with the forthcoming independent report.

I never thought I’d say this – but I’m almost disappointed that Frank Walker is departing from the States – and that Mike Vibert has been sacked by the voting public.

I am in the process of co-authoring a formal report on the recent solitary confinement regimes, which will be laid before the States assembly. This report will be drawing on the independent, professional, expert opinions of a number of individuals and organisations – the Howard League amongst them.

The report – which will be professionally reviewed – will be taking a very close look indeed at all of the documents produced by the Jersey oligarchy which relate to Grand Prix – and the even worse practices which preceded it in the 1990’s.

Assertions by civil servants.

Statements by politicians.

Reports and propositions put before the States assembly.

Biased local media comments.

Assertions made in the media by politicians and certain civil servants.

E-mails.

Reports by civil servants.

Basically, the entire, festering ethically and intellectually bankrupt dung-heap of disgraceful and despicable rubbish is going to be incinerated.

So, it’s such a pity that Mike Vibert & Frank Walker won’t be in the States assembly when my formal report is published.

But speaking of Big Frank – who could forget his disgraceful outburst captured on TV cameras when he was shouting abuse at me – and said “you’re just trying to shaft Jersey internationally”.

What isn’t known is that that was just one, brief example from the tirades of abuse he subjected me to that day. In a state of near-breakdown, he would simply carry on shouting at me – “you’re wrong! You’re wrong! Ha ha ha! You just wrong! We’ll see, when the truth comes out! You’re just wrong ha ha ha – so wrong! We’ll see! Mark my words! You’re wrong”.

The infamous TV clip was captured at lunch time, but what wasn’t captured was an earlier, frankly deranged, tirade as described above, which he subjected me to as we waited in the news room, in the presence of journalists, to pre-record a short piece for BBC Radio 4’s Today program.

But the truth was always a very malleable concept in Frank’s mind. Even as more – and yet more – evidence has emerged over the months that people like me and Bellwood were right about the abusive solitary confinement – and he, his oligarchy colleagues and their civil servants were wrong – he has continued to assert – in the teeth of all accumulating evidence – that he was right; that black is white.

Even in this October’s edition of a local jobs magazine, which carries an interview with Frank, he asserts that, “Jersey will be seen to have acted properly and appropriately in all respects.”

A remarkable assertion – that the Jersey authorities have acted correctly in ‘ALL’ respects.

Yet he makes this assertion – even though his own “independent” expert, Andrew Williamson, has all ready stated in his report that the solitary confinement regimes “were never acceptable.”

So let’s look forward to the publication of the Howard League report.

And then reflect upon why an approach to imprisoning children deemed utterly unacceptable in the UK report of 1990 into the so-called ‘Pindown’ practices – was able to persist – and be enthusiastically supported by Jersey civil servants and States members up until they were forced to change in October 2006?

Stuart.