Monthly Archives: December 2009

LETTER FROM EXILE: # 9

LOOKING INTO THE MICROCOSM

FROM REALITY.

Malfeasances,

Evidence,

And what we’re Up Against.

2007: Anti-Democratic and Criminal Conspiracy

By Jersey Civil Servants:

“Bill Ogley and the others were persistent and I was left with the clear impression that they were attempting to draw me, in my capacity as Chief of Police, into a civil service led attempt to remove a Minister from Office.”

Chief Police Officer Graham Power, July 2007.

1999: Failure to Prosecute

Serial-Killer ‘Nurse M’:

2009: Metropolitan Police Review of 1999

Investigation of ‘Nurse M’:

“4.5.11 Recommendation

It is recommended that the States of Jersey Police carry out an up-to-date risk assessment of the activities of [Nurse M] with a view to prevention of offences against vulnerable members of the Jersey community.”

2009: Most Child Abuse Cases Dropped

With Support of “Independent” UK Lawyers:

“7 Bedford Row”

“In 2003, 7 Bedford Row formed a professional alliance with Jersey-based BakerPlatt”.

Some readers of this blog agree with my views.

Some readers do not.

Some readers look forward to my postings.

Others tremble in fear.

But in agreement or no – I can guarantee you that – even though many deny it – this blog is the most widely read Channel Island politics site.

Politicians, members of the public, would-be politicians, journalists, and business people – it is to this site they look for the real issues.

Indeed, many people, including journalists – nationally and internationally – who follow Jersey events, do so here. And they do so not out of some kind of fan loyalty – but because they know they will be able to read facts here that none of the Channel Islands’ traditional media – including BBC Jersey – would report.

Which is, of course, one of the principle reasons the Jersey oligarchy have acted so crazedley in doing anything they can to try and crush me.

I think someone is going to have to gently break the news to them – it hasn’t worked.

And just in case that fact were not obvious enough already – it certainly will be – after reading this posting.

And – as ever – I must thank my sources – known and unknown.

For newer readers of this site – and, indeed, existing readers – to fully grasp the magnitude of the evidenced facts I explain below, it is necessary to set the scene by way of a little background information.

Although I have been an elected member of the Jersey parliament for nearly 20 years, have the highest electoral mandate of all Jersey’s present politicians, and am ‘Father of the House’ as the longest continually serving Senator – I am presently a fugitive from the “law”.

I am ‘on the run’ – in exile – in London; driven from my family, my home, my friends, my constituents, and my island.

The true reasons for this extraordinary state of affairs are explained – and evidenced – below.

This posting is built around three, evidenced – and truly quite damning – scandals.

Three examples of the sheer decadence of the Jersey oligarchy.

Any one – on its own – of the three issues I’m reporting below, would – if occurring at national level – indeed “bring down the government”, to quote Ogley’s remark.

The three taken together – with the unarguable, supporting evidence – mark what we can now term, ‘The End’ – after over 800 years of a monopoly of power – of the Jersey oligarchy.

Well, certainly, at least, The End of any pretence at respectability, decency and credibility.

If the apparatus of the Jersey oligarchy survives this – and if the senior individuals involved do not now have the basic decency to simply resign – then that intransigence will, of itself, simply serve to further prove the point.

So what are these three scandalous issues; these three disgraceful and immoral failures of public administration?

Before explaining the detail – I will summarise.

1: In the summer of 2007, I was the Minister for Health & Social Services. Because I was striving conscientiously to carry out my statutory duties in investigating child protection failures – the senior civil servants responsible for those failures – in what was, essentially, a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice – led the unlawful engineering of my dismissal. They did this in the belief and hope that by removing me from Office, their malfeasances could continue to be concealed.

I have the proof.

2: In 1999, the Jersey authorities failed to properly, fully and correctly investigate a powerfully compelling case of mass-murder – an episode of serial killing of frail vulnerable patients by a rogue male nurse. I exposed that case earlier this year, and was subsequently arrested in a massed police raid, and am being prosecuted for supposed breaches of the data protection law. The Jersey oligarchy suddenly decided, after months of pre-trial preparation, that my public interest disclosure defence was “no longer admissible”. They did this – because my defence case was proven. The man in question remains a serious risk to vulnerable members of the Jersey community.

I have the proof.

3: During the last three years, Jersey has been rocked by the investigation and exposure of many decades of concealed child abuse. Under the good leadership of Graham Power and Lenny Harper, the Jersey police force had investigated a substantial number of alleged abusers and had submitted the reports to Jersey’s Attorney General for prosecution of the cases. Lenny Harper retired. Graham Power was unlawfully suspended. These events left the way clear for Jersey’s Attorney General, William Bailhache to not proceed with the vast majority of the prosecutions, in a profoundly misguided attempt to “protect” the Jersey oligarchy’s “image” from scandal. In order to confer some “credibility” to his decisions not to prosecute, William Bailhache claimed to have had the cases thoroughly reviewed by “independent” lawyers. The lawyers he employed – 7 Bedford Row – could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be described as “independent”. On the contrary – they are catastrophically conflicted – on both commercial and personal grounds.

I have the proof.

What – in simple terms – do these three disastrous breakdowns in public administration mean?

They mean that: –

Functioning democracy in Jersey has broken down.

The elected representatives of the people cannot pursue policies that senior civil servants don’t like.

That senior civil servants can be incompetent, dishonest, corrupt and dangerous – with impunity.

That they will behave in criminal ways to obstruct a Minister who is attempting to carry out his legal duties and obligations.

That they will connive, manipulate and lie – to protect themselves and their colleagues.

That so ethically bankrupt are they, they will place self-interest over the welfare and protection of vulnerable children.

That so utterly corrupted, self-interested, decadent and out of control is public administration in Jersey – that even mass-murder can be concealed – if that’s what it takes to protect “image” and “reputations”.

That so completely devoid of any functioning checks and balances is Jersey society that your loved ones could be murdered in their sleep – by a man who is a known danger – because it’s just more “convenient” and less “trouble” all round, for the powers that be – to let the man concerned carry on being a registered nurse – rather than prosecute him for murder.

That the proper rule of law and good administration of justice in Jersey have completely broken down.

That the prosecution and judicial systems in Jersey usurp democracy.

That the legal and judicial establishment act as a kind of unaccountable junta – that will stop at virtually nothing – and will misappropriate many, many millions of pounds of tax-payers’ money to protect their image and the status quo.

That those individuals in Jersey who are appointed to enact the law – in the good name of the Crown – are, in fact, so shamefully unworthy of the positions they hold as to spend millions of pounds of public money – employing their friends – to provide them with “legal” excuses – not to prosecute child abusers.

And – that none of the prosecution decisions – be they to not prosecute the murderer, not prosecute the child abuse concealers, and to not prosecute the many child abusers – can now be regarded as safe.

Just as the decision to maliciously prosecute me cannot be regarded as safe.

I will now describe in more detail the three scandals summarised above, beginning with the anti-democratic and criminal conspiracy by senior civil servants to engineer my dismissal as Minster for Health & Social Services; an action they embarked upon in an attempt to conceal child protection failures.

Regular readers will recollect my blog posting of the 5th Otober, titled, “The Jersey Authorities: Trustworthy & Ethical? A Case-Study” – which can be read here: –

http://freespeechoffshore.nl/stuartsyvretblog/the-jersey-authorities/

In the posting, I explained – on a carefully evidenced and chronological basis – just how the senior ranks of Jersey’s civil service had unlawfully conspired to obstruct me in my Ministerial duties – and to engineer my dismissal.

I won’t repeat all those facts now; instead, I suggest going to that posting in my archive and reading it in its entirety. But – in summery – the salient points are these.

As the Minister for Health & Social Services, I had statutory duties to fulfil in respect of child protection. I was attempting to meet those obligations, but certain senior civil servants did not want their failures – and worse, in certain cases – to be exposed, so they set about engineering my dismissal; a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice that they ultimately succeeded in.

At that time – July 2007 – none of us – politicians or civil servants – were aware of the covert police investigation, so it appeared to the civil servants that it was just me making a fuss – and if they could get rid of me, the culture of concealment could continue.

Much later that year, after the police investigation had gone public, I made a formal complaint to the police about the conduct of the civil servants. In response, the Chief of Police, Graham Power, formally replied to me – and informed me that he and another officer, Detective Inspector Allison Fossey – had both written file-notes following separate meetings they had attended in July 2007 – at which they had witnessed and heard my dismissal being plotted and engineered.

Indeed, I fully suspect that acting in this honourable and professional manner – and not going along with “The Jersey Way” – strongly contributed to the unlawful suspension enacted against Mr. Power in November 2008 – by the then Home Affairs Minister – and Bill Ogley.

A suspicion which will become all the more understandable – as you read on.

It is difficult to find fresh words adequate to describe these events. I’ve used up all the obvious ones; corrupt, ethically bankrupt, an assault upon democracy, Kafkaesque, lawless, couldn’t make it up, beyond parody?

Yes – it is all of those things – and more besides. But certainly ‘beyond parody’. Not even the TV comedy program “Yes, Minister” envisaged such disgusting subversion of public accountability.

Let alone in order to conceal child abuse.

And in what is a quite staggering illustration of just what it is Jersey has come to – even though the facts have been well-documented for some time in official circles, if not in public until now, the oligarchy keeps in employment certain of the civil servants responsible for these criminal acts, for example, Bill Ogley and Marnie Baudains – amongst others.

And, on the other hand – continues to oppress me.

But what of that file note – written by the Chief Constable of Jersey’s police, Graham Power – in July 2007?

Mr. Power has always been a consummate professional, not given to just handing out official documents. After I raised the initial complaint, he quite properly informed me of the existence of the evidence – but made it clear it could only be made available as part of some form of official investigation or process. A decision I fully respected.

So although I’ve been aware of the document’s existence – I didn’t have a copy.

Until about a week ago.

I don’t know where this copy came from – but there are several copies in existence. I know this – because the note was a part of the evidence I required for disclosure from the prosecution, in connection with my abuse of process application.

The file note is highly relevant evidence – in that it goes powerfully to the proof of a criminal conspiracy against me – and to the proof of an extreme and lawless culture of concealment in public administration – thus justifying my resort to unorthodox methods – to expose information in the public interest.

In response to my request for this – and most of the other evidence, actually, to be disclosed, Advocate Stephen Baker – formerly of 7 Bedford Row – and formerly of the AG’s office – lied to the court – committed straightforward perjury – in asserting it “was not relevant”.

Therefore – it was not officially disclosed to me.

But – as is often the way with such things – I’ve obtained it anyway.

I’m going to reproduce it in its entirety – so readers will be able to see just how toxic, unaccountable and out of control Jersey’s civil service is – and why the Jersey oligarchy just couldn’t tolerate a good, straight cop like Graham Power.

But in particular, I draw readers’ attention to this paragraph:

“BO [Bill Ogley] and the others were persistent and I was left with the clear impression that they were attempting to draw me, in my capacity as Chief of Police, into a civil service led attempt to remove a Minister from Office.”

Here is Graham Power’s file note in full.

“Note book entry made of 25th July, 2007

16.00. I am at HQ having just returned from a meeting of the CMB (Corporate Management Board.) During the meeting BO (Bill Ogley) said that he would wish some of us to remain afterwards to discuss the comments of the Health Minister Senator Syvret in relation to child protection issues. He told the full meeting that it was possible that the COM (Council of Ministers) would pass a notice of “no confidence” tomorrow and ask this to be confirmed by a full meeting of the States specially convened for that purpose. This would result in Senator Syvret having to leave Office. It was also mentioned that the island’s Child Protection Committee (C.P.C) was meeting that afternoon and I was asked if we would be represented. I got the impression that those present saw that meeting as particularly significant, and felt that “something was going on” which others knew about but I did not.

I said that I did not know about the meeting (I would not usually know) and that I assumed Insp. Fossey (Detective Inspector Alison Fossey) who BO knows and we both referred to as “Alison” would be representing the force.

After the meeting, myself, TMcK (Tom McKeon, Chief Officer Education, Sport & Culture) and MP (Mike Pollard, Chief Officer, Health & Social Services) and Ian C (Ian Crich, Director, States HR Department) remained behind. I was handed a copy of a report to Ministers and associated papers, which I have stamped and initialled. The discussion was led by BO who disclosed that the C.P.C would, this afternoon be discussing a vote of no confidence in the Minister. MP and TMcK did not seem surprised at this. MP seemed to be fully signed up to this course of action.

Attempts were made by BO to draw me into this. I was told that my people were “part of” the island’s arrangements and I should show collective support by opposing the criticism made by the Minister. I was taken aback by this but responded in two ways. Firstly I said leaving aside issues of style and manner the questions raised by the Minister were valid. Particularly in respect of the time it had taken for the abuse of a [child] in [a] case to come to the notice of the police and the apparent failure of child protection to give it priority. I said that the SCR (Serious Case Review) was a poor effort which missed the hard questions and I was not surprised that the Minister was not impressed. I conceded that all of the questions might have answers, I just thought they were good questions and ones which a Minister could validly ask. There was also some discussion of the Victoria College and Holland cases which was not central to the issue.

BO and the others were persistent and I was left with the clear impression that they were attempting to draw me, in my capacity as Chief of Police, into a civil service led attempt to remove a Minister from Office.

Having concluded this I then moved on to my second point which was that even if I agreed with everything they said I would still have nothing to do with it. They were engaging in what I saw as political activity and it was entirely inappropriate that I should be involved one way or the other. The fact that “I will have nothing to do with this” was made clearly. At this point BO said “in that case, goodbye”, or something very similar. I picked up my papers. There was no bad feeling or bad words, we just disagreed. As soon as I was outside I rang SDV (Shaun Du Val, Head of Operations) and alerted him to the possible problems at the C.P.C. AF rang me not long afterwards and told me that she had abstained. I told her to put this beyond all doubt by a follow-up e-mail to the Chair. I made this notebook entry then walked over to Ops for it to be timed in the relevant machine.

Graham Power, 16.39, Wed. 25th July 2007.”

Now go to my archive – and read the blog posting of the 5th October – which is, in it’s own right, essential reading to understand the Jersey child-abuse cover-up – here: –

http://freespeechoffshore.nl/stuartsyvretblog/the-jersey-authorities/

Read the detailed chronology there; consider the quoted Articles of the Children (Jersey) Law 2002 – which the very civil servants you pay to protect children – were breaking, in order to protect themselves.

Contemplate the straightforward – breathtaking – lies of Bill Ogley as quoted in that posting – and then ask yourself a few simple questions:

How come Graham Power is suspended – and Bill Ogley is still in post – and just what does that say about public administration in Jersey?

And, how come the civil servants, against whom there is plainly a highly evidenced case, have not been prosecuted, following my formal complaints of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and misconduct in a public office?

And – did a certain UK law chambers – 7 Bedford Row – have anything to do with the decision not to prosecute?

Well – prosecutions or no prosecutions – Bill Ogley and Marnie Baudains – both must resign immediately – or be sacked.

In light of the evidence above, it simply isn’t possible for the States to continue to employ them – and be regarded as a credible administration.

And – as if that episode were not a damming and disgusting enough scandal – we have two more to consider.

Let us now turn to the failure of the 1999 investigation of ‘Nurse M’ – and the frankly lawless, last-minute attempts to prevent me from running my public interest disclosure defence.

I won’t recount many of the facts relevant to this particular episode, as I’ve already written about them in detail several times before.

But in any event – there is no need for me to go into huge detail concerning the oligarchy’s attempts to convict me for exposing the Nurse M case – because the facts are simple.

Barking Bill Bailhache – London appointed Jersey Attorney General – and wholly unaccountable to any authority in Jersey – had me raided and arrested by a squad of ten cops – ostensibly for the supposed “offence” of publishing a 1999 police report into the activities of Nurse M.

Bailhache and the rest of the authorities being adamant that Nurse M was innocent, really a nice chap – and they knew this because he had been thoroughly and comprehensively investigated at the time, and there was no need to charge and prosecute him for murder.

My argument being that no, he was not, in fact, investigated anything like adequately at the time, that he was, in fact, dangerous and therefore it was a statutory public interest disclosure – the ‘official’ systems having all failed.

The prosecution did not accept my public interest disclosure argument – but, nevertheless, accepted that I had the right to run such an argument in court. To that end, the prosecution – eventually – after a considerable period of time – disclosed to me significant amounts of evidence relevant to the 1999 investigation and the activities of Nurse M.

And whilst Advocate Stephen Baker was making millions at tax-payers’ expense in the course of the summer – having been employed by his friend Bill Bailhache to defend the drug gangster Curtis Warren – I, having been denied effective legal representation, set about studying the 1999 evidence myself – with the voluntary assistance of a clinical expert.

The months passed – and gradually the trial date approached. And then, at one of the interminable ‘directions hearings’, and a few days after receiving the expert witness reports of the clinician helping me – Baker – with no prior warning, announced in court – with the apparent approval of the judge, Bridget Shaw, that, actually, they had suddenly decided that my public interest disclosure defence was “no longer admissible”. This – after months of defence work – and a few weeks before trial.

No respectable court in Western Europe would have even entertained such an application. Nor, frankly, would any self-respecting prosecuting lawyer have had the nerve to attempt such a complete and lawless abandonment of due process.

However – this is Jersey – and that was Stephen Baker, of Baker Platt – formerly of the Jersey Attorney General’s Office – and formerly of 7 Bedford Row; a history we shall return to later in this post.

Why did Baker and his Jersey oligarchy friends and pay-masters attempt such a thing?

They did it – because they’d lost. And they knew it.

They simply had no remotely plausible or credible answer to the expert, clinical analysis of the evidence. Their case had collapsed.

The public interest disclosure defence in this case works like this; if I can prove flaws in the original investigation – or even deliberate malfeasance – or I can prove that the individual in question – ‘Nurse M’ – remains a danger to vulnerable people – then that’s the public interest argument – won.

I could quote all kinds of detail from the expert clinical reports, but I won’t – because I don’t need to. Instead I’ll quote from a July 2009 report by the Metropolitan Police – who, as part of my prosecution, were asked by the Jersey police to review the 1999 investigation.

The report is, in many ways, a strange document in its attempts to make excuses for the clear defects in the 1999 investigation. But there is – ultimately – a ‘bottom line’ to the recent Met report.

It is this:

“4.5.11 Recommendation

It is recommended that the States of Jersey Police carry out an up-to-date risk assessment of the activities of [Nurse M] with a view to prevention of offences against vulnerable members of the Jersey community.”

That is – the prosecution case – destroyed.

In that one paragraph.

It is quite scandalous enough, that the Jersey oligarchy were so desperate to harass and silence me, they used this case as the basis for an unlawful arrest, imprisonment and property search – without a search warrant.

Even more scandalous – that when the utter folly of their absurd charges gets exposed – they seek to unlawfully prevent my defence case from being heard.

But, transcending those malfeasances – is the fact that here is a man who is plainly a profound danger to vulnerable members of the community – allowed to go unpunished – and to carry on as a registered nurse – because people like the then Attorney General, Michael Birt – formerly of 7 Bedford Row – and then Crown Advocate Cyril Whelan – now of Baker Platt – were either too incompetent – or politically unwilling – to see the case through to charging and prosecution.

And so non-functioning is democracy in Jersey – and so corrupted is the administration of justice – that I, an elected representative of the people, can be unlawfully arrested and maliciously prosecuted and be denied legal representation – by a coterie of lawyers who appear to be little more than a club of friends – milking tax-payers of money – and abusing the justice apparatus to further their own political and personal ends – not least attempting to hide the fact that their friends and colleagues allowed Jersey to be exposed to a potential serial killer.

In any self-respecting democracy, it wouldn’t only be immediate resignation these people would be facing – it would be arrest.

So – why, then – given the straightforward lawlessness and anti-democratic corruption evidenced above – don’t Jersey’s law Officers – those appointed by London – in the good name of the Crown – in order to protect us from the bad guys by prosecuting them – carry out their duty?

Which brings me to the third fatal blow to the credibility of the position of the Jersey oligarchy.

And this third scandal relates so closely to the first two – that it succeeds in explaining them.

It can be summarised thus:

7 Bedford Row.

Jersey has no independent Director of Public Prosecutions. The island has no Crown Prosecution Service that works solely on prosecutions. Indeed – in Jersey, it isn’t even possible to bring private prosecutions.

There is one, sole, prosecutory authority in Jersey – the island’s London appointed Attorney General.

And, until a few weeks ago – until he was promoted – Jersey’s Attorney General was William – ‘Barking Bill’ – Bailhache. Brother of recently retired ‘Bailiff’, Sir Philip Bailhache.

So during the last two-and-a-half years of police investigation into historic child abuse, the prosecutory, legal oversight of those investigations has been controlled by Bill Bailhache – and, ultimately, the final decisions as to whether to prosecute – were his.

But the Jersey Attorney General is not only responsible for prosecutions.

The Attorney General is also an unelected member of the island’s legislature, who possesses a variety of highly conflicted roles and powers.

Whilst not possessing the right to vote in the House, the post-holder can, and frequently does, make political speeches designed to influence the outcome of votes in the legislature. He is also the principle ‘legal advisor’ to the States assembly. In addition, he is also principle ‘legal adviser’ to the States executive function.

The post-holder also has an automatic right to attend meetings of the Jersey cabinet, the Council of Ministers, where he participates in discussions and gives ‘legal advice’. This in addition to having an automatic right of attendance at the privileges body of the Jersey legislature, the Privileges and Procedures Committee.

And if that were not conflict enough – the post-holder is also the overall head of all 12 of the parish honorary police forces.

The Jersey Attorney General therefore possesses an extraordinary and highly conflicted range of powers – which include political, legal, policing and prosecutory powers.

The very clear ‘traditional’ approach of Jersey Attorneys General has been to avoid prosecuting cases that are embarrassing, problematic, expensive or politically damaging for the local oligarchy. Certainly, that approach was very well-evidenced on the part of Bill Bailhache’s’ predecessor, Michael Birt – as can be seen from the cases of the toxic waste dumping, the child abuse committed by the Maguires, the child-abuse cover-up at Victoria College and the serial killings committed by Nurse M.

Quite obviously – from the very get-go – the prospect of a substantial number of prosecutions for child abuse – and the concealing of child abuse – often in cases involving States employees and well-connected individuals – and cases that had been known to the authorities for years, without action being taken – was going to be devastatingly problematic for the Jersey oligarchy.

All those survivors, all that evidence, all those abusers – and all those cover-ups – over all those decades.

Plainly – if there were ever a set of cases that “required” the Jersey oligarchy to seriously mobilise in self-defensive cover-up mode – this was it.

But – too brazen and obvious – even for Barking Bill, surely, to simply take the customary non-prosecution decisions?

Indeed.

Instead he would have to employ “independent” lawyers to oversee, thoroughly review, and provide opinions upon, each of the potential prosecutions.

In fact, these lawyers would need to be so “independent” they would have to be based in the United Kingdom.

You know?

To make absolutely certain they were disinterested in the cases – and could therefore be regarded as providing an objective opinion?

Now – just how difficult do we think it was for Barking Bill and the rest of the Jersey oligarchy to identify a suitable legal firm – or set of ‘chambers’, to be pedantic?

One that matched perfectly the requirements of the client?

Which – in this case – meant giving every cosmetic appearance of having supplied an independent and objective opinion on the merits of each potential prosecution – but, also providing the client with exactly the “opinion” they needed?

The required “opinion” being, of course, that there was “insufficient” merit in 95% of the cases to mount prosecutions?

Well – Bill Bailhache and Mick Birt didn’t have to look too hard.

For some reason, they alighted upon the chambers of: –

“7 Bedford Row”.

And, indeed, it’s a very impressive looking outfit – judging from their website.

Lots and lots of terribly learned individuals – with very impressive CV’s.

And some most fascinating case-work on those CVs.

But – oh dear, boys and girls – I fear you’ve grown far too used to keeping very bad company.

I dare say that 7 Bedford Row and its Partners and Associates – and it’s “Door tenants” (hello Stephen) – are all legal masterminds, but – alas – the law – and politics – are not always the same thing – and don’t always mix successfully.

I begin to wonder whether 7 Bedford Row might not have just found itself ‘on the wrong side’. (Look, I know there is no ‘wrong side’ from a lawyer’s perspective, as long as that side is paying, but work with me on this.)

Indeed , so much so, the very name ‘7 Bedford Row’ could go down in legal firm infamy.

Let us take a closer look – at these “independent” chambers – employed by the Jersey oligarchy – to provide “independent” “opinions” on whether to prosecute the child abusers.

A little brief research reveals the following.

7 Bedford Row have extremely close and sustained professional relationships with Jersey’s Attorney General’s Office.

Each year the outfit and/or its partners receive astronomical sums of money in fees from Jersey’s Law Officers’ department – thus destroying any pretence to objectivity and “independence” claimed for the chambers.

How old is the connection with 7 Bedford Row?

How close can you get?

Michael Birt worked at the partnership of 7 Bedford Row – and to this day can be seen regularly dinning (at tax-payers’ expense) with David Farrer, the present head of chambers at 7 Bedford Row.

Guess who else used to work at 7 Bedford Row?

Why – none other than my old friend, Stephen Baker – who left those chambers to take up a full-time post in – this is getting too easy isn’t it – Jersey’s AG’s office – until he had qualified as a Jersey Advocate, then he left, and founded his own practice – Baker Platt.

And – so “independent” are all these arrangements – that another former employee of the AG’s office – Cyril Whelan – left in 2006 – to go and work for – Baker Platt.

And – (you know, this is getting like Friends Reunited) – guess who – along with Mick Birt – played an instrumental role in abandoning the murder investigation of Nurse M – back in 1999?

You know?

When he was a Crown Advocate?

Why, Cyril Whelan, of course.

I’m sure Advocate Whelan has been able to advise Advocate Baker most thoroughly in respect of the latter’s prosecution of me for exposing the serial killer, Nurse M.

I’m sure such a learned fellow as Advocate Whelan must remember aspects of the investigation, some of which are so startling, one couldn’t, surely, forget?

For example, this observation from the investigation team minutes, made by Detective Chief Inspector McGrath: –

“I advised that the UKCC (Nurses Governing Body) were aware of the [minor] charges we had preferred against [Nurse M] but were not aware of the inquiry we had conducted concerning the suspicion that he might have brought about the premature death of patients, albeit patients who were in any event terminally ill.”

You see, Cyril – that really isn’t the kind of thing one forgets – is it?

Where you have a major investigation into a nurse who may well be a serial killer – and you don’t inform the professional governing body of that fact?

And surely a euphemism such as “brought about the premature death of patients” – must stick in the mind?

“Bringing about premature deaths”?

I think you’ll find most people refer to “bringing about premature death” – as “killing”.

And I think you will also find – if you check – that even people who are “in any event albeit terminally ill” – still have a right to live their last 12 months – without being murdered.

But – I digress.

Back to our “independent” extended family of lawyers.

When Advocate Whelan left the Attorney General’s office – to go and work in Baker Platt in 2006, a new lawyer was brought in to replace him, one Howard Sharp.

Do we know where Mr. Sharp came from? Yes we do!

7 Bedford Row.

What may be a little less known is where Mr. Sharp is going – which is widely rumoured to be the post of Solicitor General – much to the annoyance of several Jersey lawyers.

I think we’ve established – quite categorically – that – in no way, shape or form – can 7 Bedford Row be credibly termed “independent” of the Jersey Attorney General’s Office.

A veritable Amazon-flow of fees – Jersey tax-payers money – goes to 7 Bedford Row each year – and those who tire of the – err – taxation environment of London appear to have ready-made career opportunities in Jersey – via an ever-welcoming door in the Attorney General’s Office.

But – our familiarisation with this legal fraternity has scarcely begun.

Another alumni of 7 Bedford Row is one Mathew Jowitt – who left those chambers to work in – Jersey’s AG’s Office. However, his time there had to be cut, unfortunately, short because of his role in the illegal aspects of the Curtis Warren case, which saw the AG’s office authorising illegal actions in France and Belgium.

Illegal actions Bill Bailhache was – oh so very neatly – able to blame the police for – even though his Office authorised it.

But, when a chap has to make a sacrifice – as Jowitt did – a chap must be rewarded – so he has been appointed Crown Advocate in an on-going prosecution – the investigations for which are under the control and oversight of – David Farrer and Anwar Nashashibi – both of – 7 Bedford Row.

In all seriousness – I pause at this point to ask readers – perhaps especially those who usually disagree with me – to consider rationally – and in all decency – whether – for one instant – the non-prosecution decisions concerning the child abuse cases can be regarded as safe and credible?

Even vaguely?

The so-called “independent” UK-based legal chambers – which have provided William Bailhache with the “opinions” and excuses he required to avoid prosecuting at least nineteen cases of child abuse – are – in fact – extraordinarily closely linked with the Jersey AG’s office – appear to be almost a part of the same “firm” – serve as a career ‘feeder’ into Jersey law – and gather what may well be millions of pounds in fees each year from Jersey tax-payers.

Fees that would not accrue – if the chambers – 7 Bedford Row – were to fall out of favour with the Jersey oligarchy.

And what appears to be the dramatic dependency of 7 Bedford Row upon fees received from Jersey does not stop at the cases I’ve referred to so far.

Let me just touch briefly upon a few further examples – quoted in Partners’ CVs on the web site of 7 Bedford Row.

Anwar Nashashibi: –

“Instructed by the Attorney General of Jersey to investigate a Kenyan public official for corruption and money laundering worth millions of pounds;”

“AG of Jersey v Michel and Gallichan. Instructed by the Attorney General of Jersey to investigate and prosecute a financial services provider for multi-million pound tax evasion and money laundering. This was Jersey’s most extensive, complex and high-profile prosecution for a financial crime;”

Conor Dufficy: –

“Conor has a broad international business experience from his prior career and has spent a large part of his career at the bar working on civil fraud and trust cases in Jersey.”

Craig Carr: –

“Craig specialises in civil and criminal fraud, financial crime and regulation. He is currently instructed in the largest criminal fraud in Jersey having previously been instructed in a multi jurisdictional commercial trust dispute.”

“AG of Jersey v Bhojwani: trial concerning allegations of laundering US$ 43.9 million through Jersey.”

David O’Mahony: –

“He has worked with Bakerplatt – our 7 Bedford Row Alliance partner – in a number of cases involving civil claims by foreign governments for the return of allegedly misappropriated monies and on a multimillion dollar constructive trust action involving the proceeds of a hedge fund.”

“Re Abacha: Responsible for day-to-day management of Jersey Attorney General’s investigation into Abacha’s money laundering. “AG of Jersey v Bagudu: (Abacha’s chief money launderer), US$ 320 million prosecution, and appeared for the Attorney General for Jersey in extradition proceedings.”

Nicholas Dean QC: –

“Operation Tetley (2001- 2003): a Jersey based investigation into “commission” payments by defence contactors.”

Jonathan Bertram: –

“In 2008 he was instructed by the Attorney General of Jersey, via Baker Platt to act as junior counsel to assist in the preparation of and disclosure in the prosecutions arising from the Jersey Historic Abuse enquiry “Haut de la Garenne”.

He has experience of cases concerning allegations of breaches of financial regulations and allegations of fraud, primarily obtained from his occasional practice in Jersey with Baker Platt.”

Nigel Povoas: –

“In Jersey, he has advised on multi-jurisdictional financial issues and has been regularly instructed in an advisory capacity by the Attorney General of Jersey.”

David Farrer QC: –

“AG of Jersey v Michel & Gallichan [2001-2007]: a multi-million pound money laundering by a trust and corporate services provider.”

Steven Gray: –

“Durant International and others v Attorney General of Jersey [2006] – Instructed to assist the Attorney General of Jersey in judicial review proceedings regarding a decision to disclose information pursuant to letters of request from an overseas jurisdiction. The letters of request concerned alleged political corruption in the context of large-scale construction contracts. Attorney General successful at first instance and in the Court of Appeal.”

Simon Thomas: –

“Simon has also worked closely with Bakerplatt and the Attorney General’s department in Jersey where he has been involved in financial crime cases with an international element, again, both prosecuting and defending. Work in offshore financial centres comprises a significant part of Simon’s practice.”

Collingwood Thompson QC: –

“Recently, Collingwood has been advising the Attorney General of Jersey on two large scale corruption and money laundering cases. The first concerned the ex-mayor of Sao Paulo in Brazil and the second (which is on-going), relates to relatives and associates of the late general Abacha of Nigeria. Both cases involve sums in excess of $250 million.”

Tom Elmer: –

“Instructed by the Attorney General of Jersey to assist in the investigation of an international money laundering case.”

And so it goes on.

And if those links to the Barristers of 7 Bedford Row were not enough – consider what are termed the “Door tenants”.

Stephan Baker – the Advocate who has committed at least 4 straightforward acts of perjury in his prosecution of me. Ex-Bedford Row; ex-Jersey AG’s Office; now of Baker Platt.

Cyril Whelan – ex-Jersey AG’s Office – now Baker Platt.

Howard Sharp – ex-7 Bedford Row, presently Jersey AG’s Office, and widely tipped to become next Jersey Solicitor General, if the poor treatment meted out to the Jersey based applicants is any gauge.

To the best of my knowledge – you would be very, very hard-put to find any major legal case in Jersey from the last decade – in which 7 Bedford Row have not played a significant, or the major – dramatically profitable – role.

So this is the source of the soi disant “independent” legal advice and opinion – that the Jersey abuse survivors, the island’s population – and the world – are supposed to accept as credible grounds for not prosecuting nearly all the Jersey child abuse cases?

Cases that would have been immensely damaging and problematic for the Jersey oligarchy – and its leaders – such as Michael Birt and William Bailhache?

7 Bedford Row, as an entity, clearly has a stranglehold over the Jersey Law Officers’ department – and its Barristers are plainly drawing mind-boggling amounts of money from Jersey tax-payers for case-work – not to mention the, no doubt, huge fees or retainers paid to members of these chambers in an advisory role to the Jersey AG.

Just how many Jersey cases has 7 Bedford Row been involved in?

Over what period of time?

Who, as individual lawyers, have been involved?

What “advisory” services have been provided by members of these chambers?

What have been the individual case-fees?

What is the total sum of money to date – spent by Jersey tax-payers on employing the lawyers of 7 Bedford Row and associates?

What is the likely value of future “business” from Jersey?

Have all business transactions between the States of Jersey and 7 Bedford Row been fully compliant with the Public Finances Law?

Given the immense sums of money flowing from Jersey tax-payers to 7 Bedford Row and its various members – and the residency and career doorway into Jersey provided by the Attorney General’s Office – and the extremely cosy and mutually beneficial relationship with private practice in Jersey – such as that of Baker Platt – can the “work” of 7 Bedford Row be regarded as objective, impartial – and safe?

The answer to that last question is no – of course it cannot be regarded – for one instant – as safe.

Plainly – what has been unmasked here is a profoundly toxic and deeply unhealthy relationship.

A set of financial and personal conflicts of interest so brazen and extreme – every prosecution decision advised upon by anyone involved with 7 Bedford Row must now be discarded.

All of the cases reported by the police in the course of the historic child abuse investigation must be re-opened.

But – who could oversee and determine such a necessary exercise? Certainly no one involved with Jersey’s Law Officers’ department.

What we see evidenced above, represents nothing less than the stark reality of a breakdown in good governance, the rule of law and good administration of justice.

The very circumstances in which London has both the power – and the duty – to intervene.

But – for mystifying reasons – London always seems reluctant to do so.

Perhaps Whitehall retain 7 Bedford Row too?

And that’s not even a joke.

But – the circumstances for intervention could be far easier for London this time.Let’s face it – when your two most recent and senior Crown appointees in Jersey – Bailiff Michael Birt – and Deputy Bailiff William Bailhache – both have to announce their resignation during the coming weeks – it furnishes you with an ideal opportunity to finally clean the stables.

But – no matter that the Jersey oligarchs and their crooked regime will probably continue to enjoy the inexplicable and mind-boggling protections of London and the FACAWs – what cannot be protected any longer – because it is smashed forever – destroyed by citizen media – and our ability to share the evidence above – is the “reputation” of these clowns and their institutions.

Henceforward – there will be no hiding from, nor escaping the fact that whenever London supports and protects the Jersey oligarchy – actually – all that is being supported, in truth, is a small claque of self-interested, dangerous and frankly inadequate individuals – who are nothing more than a stain upon the good name of the Crown.

Serial killers – not prosecuted.

Child abusers – not prosecuted.

Concealers of child abuse – not prosecuted.

Criminal conspiracies against child protection – not prosecuted.

Corrupt civil servants – not prosecuted.

Bent judges and Crown Advocates – not prosecuted.

Criminal conspiracies by civil servants against democracy – not prosecuted.

The Jersey oligarchy – and its protectors: rotten, twisted, stagnant and decadent.

Given lawyers feature so heavily in this posting, it seems apposite to finish with some Latin:

Quod erat demonstrandum.

Merry Christmas.

Stuart

LETTER FROM EXILE: # 8

LOOKING INTO THE MICROCOSM

FROM REALITY.

Old Blog Postings Revisited: # 1

Myth vs. Reality.

In comment discussion under the previous posting, a reader repeatedly asked me how my efforts to rid Jersey of its corrupt and stagnant oligarchy would help most of the island’s population?

The argument being – apparently – that hitherto Jersey has been brilliantly managed, politically and economically – governed by geniuses – and therefore, any change to the customary “Jersey Way” must, axiomatically, be bad for the island, bad for people’s livelihoods and security.

It is curious that – even as we survey the smoking wreckage of Jersey’s future – with dramatically increased tax-bills landing on people’s doormats – and growing numbers of unemployed – so many people still cling to the fantasy that the collection of vacuous posturing clowns who have led us during recent times were, in fact, towering Elder Statesmen.

So I re-read a posting of mine from 22nd February, 2008.

The posting was/is, I believe, a very accurate ripping away of the myth and propaganda – to expose the very different reality beneath the surface. So I thought I’d re-produce it – as the first in an occasional series of old blog postings revisited.

But – before we take a look at the myth – and contrasting reality of two of Jersey’s recent Glorious Leaders – news of an up-coming event.

A few readers have arranged to meet here in London, just for an informal chat, this coming Saturday afternoon.

The plan is to meet at the British Library at 2.00 pm – near the Magna Carta.

I think I’ll buy a copy from the gift-shop and send it back to Jersey – with an idiots guide to those modern principles of democracy and justice which can be extrapolated from it.

After all – the Jersey oligarchy have a soft spot for King John – so they really should familiarise themselves with the document. An act which shouldn’t be too difficult – as the original was drawn-up and imposed upon John by a collection of self-interested feudal Barons.

So there ought to be a natural affinity for the document, there.

Until Saturday, then; in the mean time – read the posting below – if you want to really understand that which passes for “good political leadership” in Jersey.

Stuart.

THE HORSFALL/WALKER YEARS:

Behind the Curtain of the Wizard of Oz.

The worst episode of government in the entire 800 year history of Jersey as an independent jurisdiction.

In these posts I’ve often written about the opinion management industry, and in particular its immense power in the island of Jersey.

You may ask, ‘What is the opinion management industry? How do I define it?’

The opinion management industry is a broad term which describes all of the media, advertising agencies, spin-doctors, politicians, PR agencies, corporations and so-on. Just imagine it as any person or entity who wants to, or actively does, attempt to massage, mould and lead public opinion.

This blog, for example, is my own, small and ineffectual attempt to influence people as a counter-weight to the vast tracts of bilge, irrelevancy and effluvia we are fed by the mainstream media.

As I’ve explained previously, the management of public opinion is even more important in democratic societies than dictatorships. For in democracies, you can only govern by consent – or, at least through passive resignation – on the part of the people.

In Jersey, the traditional ruling elite have recognised this for a very long time. In fact, until the arrival of a local BBC service in the Channel Island’s, the Jersey oligarchy actually owned all of the local media.

We can see the effects of this massive control by the opinion management industry manifested in many ways in the microcosm of Jersey. For example – and this is really quite extraordinary when you think about it; a truly remarkable achievement on the part of the Jersey oligarchy – a majority of Jersey people still regard – in the year 2008 – the concept of organised politics – of political parties – to be some kind of anarcho-commie threat to society.

The resultant “tradition” of independent candidates, of course, leaving the covert, de facto political party of the Jersey establishment unchallenged.

To those who live in a party-political environment, I can see that the arrangement may have some superficial appeal. But does the Jersey system lead to a parliament largely peopled by independently-minded, strong-willed individuals? An assembly which more accurately reflects a cross-section of society than would a legislature filed with party apparatchiks?

I’m sure I don’t really need to answer that question directly. You know – yes, you know – the answer right now.

I will though illustrate the situation a little. The Jersey parliament, ‘the States’, consists of 53 elected members. Consider this: a significant majority of those members are property or cash millionaires; in many cases both. Many are multi-millionaires.

I’m not, incidentally, one of them – merely being some scum-bag uppity prole from the back-street slums of St. Helier – the kind of place you never saw on the TV series, ‘Bergerac’. And, having devoted my working time entirely to politics, I’m stony-broke. Consisting largely of multi-millionaires, the Jersey parliament has never bothered with such trifling matters as a rudimentary pension scheme for members; hell, not even lawful social security treatment. So my political life, from the age of 25 to 42, has delivered me no security at all.

You might snort, ‘But only a damn fool goes into politics and doesn’t find a means of minting it?’ Yeah – maybe. But I’ve never taken bribes or kick-backs; haven’t supported the passage of legislation being introduced at the sole request of my own firm (I don’t have one); never engineered development permissions for friends and family; never been offered the “company directorships” which used to be the cash-cow of Jersey politicians; and never used my political influence to obstruct investigations into illegal activities at a bank of which I happened to have been a non-executive director.

So it’s my own damn fault. If I had taken the establishment shilling, kept my mouth shut, toed the party-line, not rocked the boat, been obedient to the whims of the oligarchs – maybe, I too could have shared in some of the riches which wash around the higher levels of Jersey society.

But there are important up-sides to my situation. I remain uncorrupted, answerable to no-one but myself and able to do and say what I believe to be right.

And, of course, there is another tremendous advantage to my position. In the immortal words of Bob Dylan:

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

I can, therefore, treat the Jersey oligarchy with all of the cynicism, contempt, insolence and satire it so richly deserves. All these silly little men have no power over me; well, apart from assassination, obviously. And I’m fairly equanimous about that too; if I have to listen to many more speeches by Paul Routier or Mike Vibert – getting whacked with a few rounds from a Glock could begin to seem quite attractive.

But – in public perception – at least on the part of pro-establishment individuals – I remain some kind of toxic reprobate – and my political opponents are the shining beacons of “statesmanship”, Or, at least – that is the mythology.

And in that regard, the Jersey oligarchy – which includes the local media – have been startlingly successful in propagating and maintaining the mythology. I say startlingly successful, because so divorced from facts – from reality – are the accepted assumptions about the Jersey establishment; so wholly divorced from the evidence and consequences we see around us – that it could even be regarded as one of the most successful propaganda exercises in any post-World War II democracy.

Let’s just take a look at a few of those myths; and there are many more which I will, maybe, address in later posts.

1: “Jersey has customarily been well-governed; marvellously so; in a way that party-political jurisdictions can only dream of.”

2: “Jersey has been governed with tremendous economic competence and foresight. Public finances have been well-managed – as could only be achieved by politicians who are experienced businessmen.”

3: “Jersey has been immensely fortunate in always having amongst its politicians, the necessary high-calibre, business-minded ‘Elder Statesmen’ needed to lead the key government functions, such as managing public finances and producing effective taxation and economic policies. People who have used their tremendous wisdom and foresight to guide this community to a secure and happy future.”

4: “Anyone who challenges the above nostrums is a dangerous threat to society.”

So, as the “threat to society” de jour – accompany me as I rip back the curtain – like in the Wizard of Oz – to reveal hiding behind it the weak, frightened, bumbling and vacuous little men desperately trying to work the apparatus.

Step forward Pierre Horsfall and Frank Walker.

Pierre Horsfall used to be a Senator in the Jersey parliament. He played many key roles, and occupied several positions of power throughout the 1980s and 1990s. These included President of the old Finance & Economics Committee and the old Policy & Resources Committee.

Frank Walker is the present Chief Minister. From 1990 to the present day he too has been a central figure in the States of Jersey, having been, at various times, a member of, Vice-President of and President of, both the Finance & Economics and Policy & Resources Committees.

The virtually unchallenged mythology – the spin – the propaganda – is that these two “Elder Statesmen” – these two blazing stars in the firmament of Jersey politics – have been super-competent; wise and firm hands on the wheel of the ship of state during the last two decades.

The reality?

If anything, their uncertain grasp upon the tiller of the crumbling and leaking gaff-cutter of Jersey’s destiny has served only to drift us ever closer to the rocks – like a week-end Lombard yachtsman at the mercy of a 13 metre spring-tide.

Ah – where to start listing their deficiencies? There are just so many – of so many different kinds – that I could write a book about it. Actually, I am – but that’s for another day.

For today let’s just look at their performance on their own terms. Let us examine their “performance” in those areas of responsibility, those policy domains, which were their supposed strengths.

We in Jersey were – apparently – blessed to have two political leaders such as these men because of their great ability and skill in dealing with such important topics as taxation, public spending, economic policy, strategy and diplomacy.

And even today – 90% of Jersey politicians, journalists, pro-establishment individuals and businessmen still believe this manifest rubbish; – in the teeth of all the evidence.

These two particular ‘emperors’ are naked – the marvellous new cloths they wore – supposedly only visible to the “wise” – in fact just don’t exists. They stand, reputationaly, as naked as a tanked-up and bladdered bridegroom stripped and tied to a lamppost on his stag night.

So, we say these emperors have no clothes.

We pull back the curtain, as in the Wizard of Oz, and find lost and insecure individuals, thrashing around in a panic like a drunkard at the controls of a 747 after the flight-crew have all had heart attacks.

Let us look closely.

What do we see?

An economy crippled by a finance-industry equivalent of the hydrocarbon-driven “Dutch Disease”.

The resultant astronomical inflation of the cost-base in Jersey – rendering all other productive industries unable to compete for accommodation, resources and staff.

A cost-of-living that is higher than that in central London.

A de facto mono-economy – with at least 80% of Jersey’s GDP being dependant on, and arising from, the finance industry.

The immense strategic vulnerability of Jersey, given this dependency upon an inherently unstable ‘industry’.

An unbridgeable gap between the haves and have-nots.

An employment sector in which, if you work in the finance industry, law, the accommodation industry or the senior civil service – or you are merely one of the parasitical rentiers – you have done just splendidly financially.

And everyone else who doesn’t fit into these categories struggles desperately to provide for themselves and their families in an environment which has living costs higher than central London.

A bloated and burgeoning civil service – which is out of control, unaccountable and completely invulnerable.

A political leadership which has always been so weak and frightened that senior civil servants are never sacked – no matter how grave the gross incompetences committed.

A public sector annual spend now in excess of half-a-billion pounds.

A Social Security scheme which has built into it – as a structural feature – a mechanism to enable local businessmen, company owners and the rich to dodge their just obligations.

A resultant need to take over £50 million from tax payers each year to, in substantial measure, make up the resultant short-fall in the scheme’s income.

The ruinous plundering of the island’s very small environment by ‘development’.

A population which is already manifestly in excess of the actual economic carrying capacity of the island. A reality we are likely to run up against very soon.

The repeated failure to use fiscal mechanisms to dampen inflation by taking money out of the economy.

The operation of a taxation policy and structure which has actually been designed to enable the rich to pay zero tax – should they so choose. As many of them do.

The near-complete failure to plan properly for harder times. For example, the Jersey equivalent of a Sovereign Wealth Fund, our strategic reserve, presently stands at about half-a-billion pounds – virtually walking-around-money to some island residents – yet not so much as enough to even meet one year’s public sector expenditure.

Allowing the ‘gold-rush’ decades to pass – to very “Life Enriching” (that’s Jersey’s official slogan. Apposite, no?) effect for the elites of one or two generations – but leaving an exploited, ruined and asset-stripped environment behind that hasn’t even taken as much as a couple of billion towards the island’s communal security.

The total and disastrous failure to ever comprehend and tackle “economic leakage” from the island – resulting in it being little more than a piece of money-making apparatus for over-seas investors.

Utter incompetence in managing public sector capital projects. Anyone believe that blowing a total of £49 million of tax payers’ money equals financial competency? No – I didn’t think so.

The astounding failure – even to this day – for the States of Jersey to have in place an appropriate capital accounting system.

A public administration which refuse to subject itself – its own accounts – to modern, rigorous accounting methodologies.

A government who will do this – yet deny the real reason – which is that if certain, modern and rigorous accounting methods were used – Jersey would be shown to be insolvent. Far – I’m sure you will agree – from the mythology of financial brilliance which we are routinely spoon-fed by an unchallenging and passive media.

The catastrophic accruing over the decades of terrifying public sector pension scheme debts. I forget the precise figures – but going from memory the combined debt of the two major schemes was approaching half-a-billion pounds last time I checked.

The gross irresponsibility of keeping such debts “off-balance sheet” in order to maintain the fiction that the States of Jersey is a model of financial competence amongst administrations – and that we aren’t actually insolvent.

The accumulation of these debts, which are – let us be frank – never going to be cleared.

The “development” of a waterfront land reclamation and development zone – which is now covered in hideous, cheapskate carbuncles.

The self-same land reclamation sites being, essentially, giant toxic waste dumps, having been the receptacle for about half-a-million tonnes of toxic incinerator ash – replete with dioxins, furans, PCBs and poisonous heavy metals.

So – this is what we find when we rip back the curtain – when we recognise that the emperors are naked.

Essentially – we are confronted with a catastrophic – bloody – mess.

Some time ago I declared that I would not again be a candidate for the post of Chief Minister. The above list is one of the major reasons why.

What do you think I am – bloody stupid or something? OK, OK – I asked for that.

But not so stupid as to be taking the helm of the ship of state – just before it ploughs into the rocks; at a time when the architects of this destiny have all sailed off into the sunset on their gin palaces. Wreathed in glory and plaudits by Jersey’s ‘churnalists’.

In all seriousness – it’s a sad and grim prospect – one I am forced to observe, but helpless to control – like watching a train-wreck.

But still those responsible for the disaster remain on pedestals – lorded and promoted by the island’s opinion management industry. As I said earlier – it’s actually a truly remarkable ‘achievement’ in the black arts of propaganda.

That people so manifestly incompetent – should be largely regarded as exemplars of modern statesmanship and economics.

Pierre and Frank always put a great deal of effort into their image – their appearance – their plausibility. Both always acted the part of the “Elder Statesman” – really quite brilliantly. The cultivated gravitas, the bespoke suits, the statesman-like jetting around on politically “important” junkets.

Both men recognised that politics – first and foremost – was a confidence game. They had to tick all the boxes on the “Safe Pair of Hands – Elder Statesman” check-list.

Both, being confidence men achieved this sleight-of-hand extremely well.

But – tragically for this community – being “plausible” – being a good actor – was just never going to be enough. We needed substance behind the façade.

Instead, we are left contemplating two decades of ruinous political and economic mismanagement of this community’s destiny.

Two decades.

The Horsfall/Walker years.

Remember that – when times get hard.

Stuart Syvret.

Book of the Post:

Aristotle and an Aardvark Go to Washington: Understanding Political Doublespeak Through Philosophy and Jokes, by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein

Joke of the Post.

An “Elder Statesman” Jersey politician comes home and discovers his house is on fire. He rips out his mobile phone and calls the Fire Brigade and shouts, “Hurry over here. My house is on fire!”

“OK,” replied the fireman, “how do we get there?”

“Say, don’t you still have those big red trucks?”

LETTER FROM EXILE: # 7

LOOKING INTO THE MICROCOSM

FROM REALITY.

A Brief Reflection

On the Political Spectrum:

And Where I Might be Located.

It is often said that one’s political views move to the Right as one ages.

I’m beginning to think that might have happened with me.

Well – it’s either that – or a very, very strange form of political bedlam has gripped Jersey – where the obsession with “Health & Safety” has now gone so far it seeks to forbid the criticism of very expensive civil servants – who fail to protect children from child abusers, and who cause the deaths of patients.

It is – believe it or not – a “Health & Safety” issue – because, to hold people to account – causes them “stress”.

As previously remarked – I do wonder, though, at the stress, harm and suffering caused to those who have been victims of these civil servant’s failings, conduct and malfeasances?

But – here is a sign of rescue from the madness!

Leader of the Opposition – David Cameron MP – in a story taken from – of all august Journals – today’s edition of the Jersey Evening Post: –

“Cameron’s war on health and safety”

DAVID Cameron will pledge today to crack down on Britain’s ‘over-the top’ health and safety culture.

The Tory leader is to hit out at Labour for allowing a blanket of bureaucracy, suspicion and fear’ to descend on the country.

He will announce a wide-ranging review of the ‘all-pervasive’ problem in a speech to the Policy Exchange think-tank.

Those who act in ‘good faith’ could be given grater protection from being sued or prosecuted, while small businesses and voluntary organisations could have their health and safety responsibilities reduced.

Mr Cameron is to say that there are often ‘noble’ intentions behind health and safety rules, and admit that legislation has saved many lives. But he will add: ‘I think we’d all concede that something has gone seriously wrong with the spirit of health and safety in the past decade.

‘When children are made to wear goggles by their headteacher to play conkers. ‘When trainee hairdressers are not allowed scissors in the classroom. ‘When office workers are banned from moving a chair without expert supervision. ‘When staff at a railway station don’t help a young mum carry her baby son’s buggy because they are not insured. ‘When village fetes are cancelled because residents can’t face jumping through all the bureaucratic hoops, it is clear that what began as a noble intention to protect people from harm has mutated into a stultifying blanket of bureaucracy, suspicion and fear that has saturated our country, covering the actions of millions of individuals as they go about their daily lives.’

Mr Cameron will blame bureaucracy from Brussels and Westminster for many of the issues. The ‘fear of transgressing all these rules’ sometimes caused people to ‘stand aside when others need help’.

He will cite the death of Jordan Lyon in September 2007 as an example, saying the 10-year-old ‘drowned in a pond, having rescued his young sister, because officers were told not to intervene as they hadn’t undertaken their ‘water rescue’ health and safety training’.”

I’m joining the Conservative Party.

Stuart.