Monthly Archives: May 2010

DING, DING – ROUND ONE!

Senatorial By-Election:

The First Report.

Citizen Media:

Bringing you what the MSM

Can’t – and Won’t.

I’ve returned home, a couple of hours ago, from the first of the twelve public hustings meetings by which the candidates take their wares to the voting public around Jersey’s twelve parishes.

A fascinating evening – as St.Martins is always one of those parishes in which one can never quite detect the broad mood of its inhabitants; although, one always gains greater insight down the pub afterwards. And a fine hostelry it is, too. I even made a new friend in large and shaggy black dog, who’s name I didn’t quite catch, but seemed quite relaxed at having a mob of semi-drunken politicos milling around, lowering the tone and generally disturbing the usual clientele.

In one corner were Glenn and Karine Rankine – of Rankine Television – chatting earnestly with Jimmy Perchard – whilst Jimmy’s far more discerning brother, Philly, was buying me a drink, as we discussed the wretched demise of Jersey’s diverse agricultural sector.

In fact – at the husting meeting itself, Jimmy, as a member of the audience, asked a question. He wanted to know what the candidates would do to support local business?

After remarking – to some amusement – that there were certain States members who think the best thing I could do for local business would be to “go and top myself” – I responded that I was completely opposed to the introduction of a third giant supermarket chain in Jersey – and all the destruction that would be wrought upon local businesses and our environment by such disastrous policy misjudgement.

Certainly – local businesses must be competitive, and be conscious of the fact that many costs are too high for Jersey consumers – but the very last thing this community needs is another savage blow to what remains of our economic diversity.

So – what of the debate itself? Were any knockout blows scored? Any decisive advances achieved by any of the nine candidates?

I don’t think it unreasonable to say that the candidates represent a mixed field – rather like a horse-race. In fact – I’ve yet to hear the odds which are usually produced for Senatorial elections.

I’d say from my perspective on the platform, it was a tentative first round – with the candidates being fairly cautious – just trying to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents – and – more significantly, the public mood.

However – I’ve no doubt that as the fight progresses, the protagonists are going to start becoming more aggressive in their approach. I expect we’ve all been told by our corner teams what we’re doing wrong, and right – and what we need to do to combat some of the others.

Though quite what one could do to combat Patrick Ryan or Frances Le Gresley – other than swim a few lengths of them, as though they were a swimming-pool – so wet are they – it’s hard to know.

Both were wholly predictable – playing the traditional Jersey establishment card – “vote for me – I’m not right-wing – I’m Mr. Sensible, middle of the road” – yet all the while ensuring their answers did not commit them to any strong non-establishment position.

Most startlingly – both men equivocated heavily concerning the utterly disgraceful maltreatment meted out to John Day and Graham Power.

A question that was not even ambiguous – and to which I was genuinely startled not to hear in response, a unanimous condemnation of the establishment from all of the candidates.

Mr. Day and Mr. Power have been treated disgustingly – in fact, let’s make no bones about it – criminally – by the Jersey oligarchy. O.K. – the casual observer – who relies merely upon such laughable sources as the Jersey Evening Post or Channel Television – could be forgiven for not having a clear understanding of the facts. But if you are a Senatorial candidate – and you wish to be taken seriously – you ensure that you know what the facts are – by following citizen media.

Of Mr. Ryan and Mr. Le Gresley – in addition to that surprising equivocation, each caught my attention in another, separate way, during the evening. Mr. Ryan has obviously been spending too much time and money upon hopeless spin-doctors – probably Glenn Rankine – for the safety of his credibility.

During the opening five-minute address of each candidate, when his turn with the microphone came, he insisted on walking off the platform and casually striding about the front of the audience – in an effort to “bond” with them. Patrick – this is a Jersey by-election – not a sea-to-shining-sea US Presidential debate.

Apart from his support for the current States Employment Board – in its disgraceful treatment of good men such as Mr. Power and Mr. Day – Mr. Le Gresley made one other note-worthy comment all evening – when answering the question about whether the candidates considered citizen media to be making an important contribution to political debate in Jersey.

He recalled the candidates’ meeting with the Connétables, which took place immediately after the public nomination meeting – and he referred to himself as having “mediated” in the argument between the candidates and the Constables as to whether independent media would be “permitted” to follow the election proceedings. Which was a surprising recollection of events – as the only real flash-point of anger in that meeting that I recalled, was when Frances suddenly demanded of Mr. Le Cornu – who was questioning the Connétables’ decision – “is this how you intend to conduct yourself during the campaign?!”

Hey! – with an attitude like that to ‘mediation’, Mr. Le Gresley will be a serious competitor in my job application for the diplomatic service.

So, what else happened?

I told the assembled electors that I didn’t want their votes. At least – I didn’t want their votes – if they wanted ‘business–as-usual’. My fellow candidates – the audience – and the election process – only being gathered and taking place at all – because I have had enough of the customary unaccountable and ethically bankrupt nonsense that passes for public administration in Jersey – and had thus triggered the by-election to place a challenge and a question before the people of Jersey.

I had also had time – just about – to thrash out a few pages of election leaflet, in which I explained the un-ignorable breakdown in governance in Jersey, and to which I appended Chief Constable Graham Power’s July 2007 file-note – in which he had formally recorded the anti-democratic and criminal conspiracy he had witnessed, which was led by Bill Ogley, and designed to engineer my dismissal from Office, in order to prevent me from exposing the gross child protection failures of Jersey’s civil service.

Indeed – expanding upon that point – I took the opportunity to explain to the audience just what a shameless and evidenced crook Bill Ogley is – and – in exchange for which “service” – they pay him around £300,000 P/A.

In fact – it shouldn’t be forgotten that Ogley – as head of the paid service – is also ultimately responsible for the disgraceful behaviour towards Mr. Day.

Oh yes – I also ensured that my leaflet clearly referenced and referred to eleven of the crucial – highly evidenced – investigative blog-postings I have produced.

Blog-postings for which I could only have obtained the evidence whilst outside of Jersey’s jurisdiction – and – most certainly – which I could only have published outside of Jersey’s jurisdiction – without being subjected to another massed raid by Weirdcop’s police, and another oligarchy prosecution.

In fact – I didn’t get around to David – Weirdcop – Warcup during this evening’s discussion; he being the illegal usurper of Mr. Power’s rightful position. Perhaps I will this Friday evening?

Well – if nothing else – an awful lot of people across Jersey are going to have found their way to all of those blog-postings of mine – and all of the rock-solid evidence they contain – by the end of this election.

Which is very heartening indeed; doubly so – because if asked to identify a clear loser from tonight’s political collision – I’d say it was the Jersey oligarchy mainstream media.

As much as I would have liked to hope for such an outcome – I never predicted the ‘vibe’ of sheer cynicism and contempt that was palpable – from what was broadly a conservative and traditional audience – when the subject of the local media was raised. Whilst certain factions in the audience – not least those involved in citizen media – could have been predicted to huff and tut at mention of the Jersey Evening Post and Channel Television – there was definitely a sense of the temperature dropping in the room – like when a vampire appears in some old horror-movie – at the mere mention of the local propagandists. Even middle-class ladies could be observed nodding in weary agreement at the sheer dereliction of duty exhibited by what passes for the Fourth Estate in Jersey.

And – bonus! The Rankines – of Rankine Television – spin-doctors to the Jersey oligarchs – and their “editor” Eric Blakely were present. And so was Ben Quérée of The Rag, and big mate of Phil Ozouf.

So apposite – that such people should be present – when the beginning of the end of the local msm should be so suddenly palpable – and in a conservative parish at that.

Perhaps Jersey is now entering a new era of the truth?

Let’s hope so.

Round two – Friday night – Communicare, St Brelade.

I was told by my corner-people I was too tame during the first round; got to show more aggression in the second.

I’ll see what I can do.

Stuart.

YOUR BATTLE COMMENCES

People of Jersey –

It Is Your Call.

A Report From the Front-Line of Jersey’s

Senatorial By-Election.

An Election that has the Makings of the Most Entertaining –

For Generations.

Forgive – or welcome – the brevity of this posting. Too tired to report much now.

This evening we had the beginning of the Senatorial by-election triggered by me – so that certain matters of fundamental principle get put to the people of Jersey.

Before I go on, I really must thank – more than they can know – all those who have helped and supported me. I know we are a team effort – all pulling for the same causes – but fronting things up is desperately demanding in ways that are hard to communicate unless you’ve been there and done it.

People of all ages and backgrounds have shown their principles, and I’m honoured to have had their support.

I have been asked a number of questions on the blog, in e-mails, by text, and face to face about tonight’s nomination meeting – so I’ll quickly try and cobble together a response.

I guess the only real surprise of the nominations was that there weren’t more candidates.

The mood of the presiding Connétables seemed somewhat subdued – perhaps because of a sense of apprehension in respect of the candidates’ meeting which was to follow the public nomination meeting – and certain – err – ‘interesting’ – views the Connétables were hoping to impose on the candidates.

The speeches by each candidate’s proposer were pretty much as one would have expected – no great surprises. Although, the Connétables had decided that each proposer’s speech would be limited to three minutes; not much that can be said in that time – so a number of candidates were not able to have their proposer deliver a full, balanced account of their candidate’s qualities. Indeed, my proposer, Tony Legg, had to abandon several paragraphs of his speech – but, not to worry, I reproduce it in full below.

I’d have hoped that the local mainstream media would go on to produced the speeches for all candidates – in full – but – for reasons I’ll come on to – I doubt very much that will happen.

I have been asked to reproduce my proposer’s speech in full – and the names of the ten signatories to my candidacy – and I will do so. But before – I’ll answer a few of the other questions I’ve been asked.

Yes – after the public nomination meeting, as is customary – the candidates were called together by the Connétables, in order to agree arrangements for the twelve hustings meetings – one for each parish – that will take place during the next couple of weeks.

I had the strong impression before tonight’s meeting – but have it even more strongly now – that this election campaign is going to be the most exciting, impassioned, intense – and entertaining – that Jersey has seen in many generations.

For in that candidates’ meeting, with the Connétables – after the public meeting – the gloves were already off – and there was nearly (metaphorically speaking) blood on the walls.

And it didn’t even involve me in any prominent way.

A lengthy and heated discussion took place – triggered by one – quite startling – factor.

Those parish Constables present announced – quite casually – to the assembled candidates – that “they” were “not going to permit any ‘un-accredited’ media to photograph, record or video in any of the public hustings meetings”.

You just couldn’t make it up.

Here was a last desperate throw of the dice – by the Jersey oligarchy – to cling on to their media monopoly – and stop free people from photographing or videoing – in order to report – public political meetings – whilst only allowing their own, oligarchy media to report proceedings.

I absolutely objected to this – pointing out its utter non-compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights.

The response of the Jersey Connétables?

Essentially – ‘none of that human rights stuff matters – they are our parish halls – and if we decide that only our friends from the mainstream media are allowed to report – then that’s what goes.’

There followed some heated discussion – and I was not even a lead protagonist in it – with Nick le Cornu rightly stating how outrageous this was – and Frances Les Gresley, of all people, responding in a somewhat tempestuous manner, in which he demanded of Mr. Le Cornu whether “this was how he intended to conduct himself during the campaign?”

Mr. Le Cornu responded – in essence – by saying ‘yes’ – that he would challenge authority and require that it justified itself.

However – to the great credit of the candidates virtually all agreed upon transparency – and disagreed with the Connétables – and rejected the ludicrous and ultra-vires attempts to restrict free reporting of the political debates. And included in that number supporting free democracy were Mr. Le Gresley and Mr. Le Cornu.

The Connétables – seeing the writing on the wall – agreed with the candidates – and accepted they couldn’t restrict independent media whilst permitting the establishment media access.

All-in-all – a good outcome – and indicative of the slow but steady move towards functioning democracy in Jersey.

But – as I said – for a few minutes there – the gloves were off!

And in that disgraceful attempt to restrict free media access to nothing less than the democratic process – we see the influence of Jersey’s msm (Glenn Rankine was present in the public meeting) – and why we almost certainly won’t get to read the full speeches of all of the candidates’ proposers.

After twenty years in politics – I had become somewhat fatigued with public political meetings – but I very much get the impression that this round of hustings could be the best entertainment you’ll find – outside of a world-title boxing fight.

First round – St. Martin’s parish hall – this Thursday night.

And where could be more appropriate – than the scene where I had to enter Frank Walker’s press-conference – in order to defend myself against the lies of his spin-doctors!

And – home-parish of Jimmy – ‘why-don’t-you-just-p*ss-off-and-slit-you-wrists’ – Perchard!

Be there or be square!

In the mean-time – here to be going on with, is my proposer’s speech in full.

Bear in mind that – as with several other proposers’ speeches, the full text I reproduce here had had to be truncated somewhat on the night, because of the wholly unrealistic time-restriction imposed by the Connétables.

But – I’d pay attention to this by-election – it has all the makings of a classic.

Stuart.

PROPOSERS SPEECH FOR STUART SYVRET:

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen –

This evening I am proud to be proposing as a candidate, the man who has given up his seat as Senator – on a matter of principle – so that the truth can be taken to the public – and without who’s bravery and integrity, this by-election would not be occurring.

Of course, I speak of Stuart Syvret.

Before I say a few words about our candidate, I address the formalities: –

Stuart Syvret is proposed by –

Myself – Tony Legg

And –

Yvonne Perchard

Caroline Modral

Philip Brown

Daniella Jarman

Mark Forskett

Enrico Sorda

Simon Bellwood

Neil McMurray

And Duncan Wilson

Stuart Syvret has read and signed the nomination paper, as required of all candidates and he has no criminal convictions to declare.

I will say a few words, but Stuart needs little introduction.

Whilst there are many worthy candidates in this by-election, that one might vote for in a general election – on this occasion, the community of Jersey faces a more profound choice than would usually be the case.

This is a most unusual occasion.

I cannot remember another occasion on which a States member effectively gave up their seat over a matter of principle, in order to cause, and then contest the resultant by-election.

Many thousands of people across Jersey will not be surprised that it is Stuart who has become the first States member to exhibit such bravery and integrity. Because – although Stuart Syvret possesses many fine qualities, including a willingness to deeply research facts, and a formidable natural intelligence – when speaking with fellow islanders there are always two outstanding qualities that people recognise in him. And those are his bravery – and his plain-spoken honesty.

And, of course, it is those very two admirable qualities that get him into trouble with “the-powers-that-be” in Jersey. But if we as a community want our political systems to have integrity, we need our “Stuart Syvrets” in the States.

Stuart was elected as a Deputy at the young age of 25, and was elected as a Senator three years later, in 1993 when he came second in the poll only to the late Vernon Tomes.

He topped the poll in 1999 – and did so again in 2005, on that occasion openly seeking public endorsement for his candidacy for the position of Chief Minster.

Strangely, since 2005, we have had two Chief Ministers, from a total of four candidates for the post – but only one of those four States member candidates actually went to the public – in an election – and openly sought – and received – public endorsement for his candidacy as Chief Minister.

That man was Stuart Syvret.

From the age of 25 – to 45 – Stuart has given the best years of his life in service to this community – and who would have thought, all those years ago, that this young man would have risen to the position of Father of the House – and yet – remarkably – still have retained all of that commitment and political integrity that so attracted voters 20 years ago.

Those of us who follow Jersey politics closely, know that those 20 years have not been easy for Stuart. Being as he is, he has attracted the unceasing hostility of the political establishment – and has been consistently treated with bias and hostility by the local media.

But yet – despite all such hardships – he has continued implacably to do exactly what we, the Jersey public, elected him to do – that being to apply his intelligence, integrity, compassion and bravery to the often complacent environment of island politics.

As a Jersey person, frankly, I deplore the way Stuart has been treated by our establishment during those 20 years – and I, for one, am saying ‘enough!’ The time has come for our political establishment to start treating Stuart Syvret with the respect his qualities and integrity so obviously deserve.

But – whether that will happen is now largely in the hands of the public.

In Stuart Syvret, we have a man who has done exactly as we would have expected of him – he has fought like a lion for the victims of child abuse – and fought against a stale, self-protecting and unaccountable States establishment. And he has bravely done so – regardless of the torrent of dishonest nonsense written against him in States reports and in the local media.

Of course – there will be many different issues of public concern during this by-election, not least the serious economic challenges we face. But as much as some people would prefer to ignore this fact – the by-election caused by Stuart is, fundamentally, a challenge and a question placed before the people of Jersey:

“Do we want a politics of bravery and integrity?”

I believe we do.

Which is why – if Stuart Syvret is not rightly returned to Office by an overwhelming majority – it will be a grim day for the Island.

We bemoan our politicians constantly.

Well – here is one with honesty, courage and integrity.

It is now up to us – the voting public – to reward those qualities – by re-electing Stuart Syvret.

Thank you.

THE FACTS DON’T GO AWAY.

The Real Issues Remain.

In amongst the many e-mails I’m receiving, a reader asked me a question this evening – in effect, expressing frustration as to why the real facts and evidence concerning the child abuse controversies had not been sought-out and exposed by other States members.

The reader drew my attention to a previous blog-posting of mine – dating all the way back to December 2008 – in which I de-constructed a great deal of the absolute rubbish spoken by David Warcup, Mick Gradwell, the Jersey establishment – and certain strange – very strange – bedfellows to be found amongst the ultra-libertarian extremist Left who occasionally peddle their ‘message’ in the national media.

Having re-read my previous publication – I thought it a very, very appropriate time to re-post it.

Although it is one of my old articles revisited – since I wrote it, the facts have become even more powerfully evidenced – and – the political challenges that face the community even more stark.

The article was written and published by me on the 21st December 2008 – in response to a great deal of nonsense that had been spoken and written at that time – in the immediate wake of the unlawful suspension of the Chief Constable of the Jersey Police, Graham Power.

The Jersey authorities were peddling falsehoods, in a desperate attempt to rubbish the child abuse investigations – and in attempting to do so, had “got into bed” with some very dodgy characters – whose barely disguised dubious attitudes, happened to coincide with the purposes of the Jersey oligarchy.

I hope readers will read and reflect upon the analyses I wrote – back in December 2008 – because if you believe the abuse of children to be wrong – and if you believe it to be crucial that child abuse should be investigated with the utmost rigour – after reading this article, you may have a more informed understanding of just why I had to force this by-election.

Stuart.

What follows was written and posted by me on the 21st December 2008.

A CHRISTMAS QUEST FOR THE FACTS.

Some Reading for Those

Who Want to Understand.

The end of the year approaches – and because the Jersey oligarchy continues to disgrace itself in absurd and futile efforts to bury the truth – now seems an opportune time to re-familiarise ourselves with some facts.

What follows is a detailed examination of the assertions by the Jersey Evening Post, and those of odd-ball contrarians such as Mick Hume, who recently wrote an article for The Times.

Both these sources of “information” have just lately been parading themselves as purveyors of the “truth” – and depicting those who do not agree with them as fantasists.

I truly wish I could agree with them.

But I can’t.

As I will explain – ‘the jury is out’ – and none of us yet know what the facts are.

Briefly, let us consider some of the chronology and facts – so that my position is clear.

I first became seriously concerned about child protection failures around early February of 2007. At that time I was the Minister for Health & Social Services, therefore a few people began to approach me with concerns about poor – or extremely poor – practices.

Taking these concerns seriously, I investigated still further – and consequently came in contact with yet more whistle-blowers – and, ultimately, victims.

By around the end of May, 2007, I had been forced to conclude that Jersey had harboured – over a period of decades – a near-complete and catastrophic breakdown in its so-called child “protection” apparatus.

In July, 2007, I gave an honest answer to a question I was asked in the island’s parliament; in essence, saying, ‘if I’m being asked do I have any confidence in the child protection apparatus of Jersey, frankly, I have to say no – and I’m going to commission an independent review.’

Those responsible for the failures to prevent the abuses, and who had concealed the abuses – then set about engineering my dismissal in a desperate attempt to maintain the culture of concealment.

I was sacked from my post on the supposed grounds that, by publicly criticising the service, I was “undermining staff moral”.

This episode was a significant local political controversy during 2007.

Of what relevance is that, brief, history of events?

I give that explanation to show that I have no particular political stake in the outcome of that part of the investigations dealing with potential, unexplained child deaths at HDLG.

Such allegations were never raised with me. Very serious cases of abuse? – Yes; possible child deaths? – No.

I wish it wasn’t so – but the political war I have fought throughout 2007 & 2008 to expose systemic child protection failures in Jersey has been necessary because of a sadly well-evidenced catalogue of abuses, malfeasances, perversions of the course of justice and self-interested concealment on the part of the island’s authorities.

So having learned of many horrifying examples of abuse – and the utterly extraordinary concealment of that abuse – when I heard, early this year – of the possibility of child deaths at Haute de la Garenne – I was not in the least surprised.

Sadly – in the absence of any reassuring evidence – I have had to keep an open mind concerning that grim possibility.

The things I uncovered in 2007 leave me in no doubt of what the Jersey oligarchy is capable of.

Which brings us to the Jersey Evening Post – and certain strange bedfellows, such as Mick Hume.

The JEP, commonly known as The Rag, has always used its stentorian and pompous editorial leader comments to con people into believing its partisan assertions are nothing less than statements of plain fact.

Mr. Hume – along with a very small band of like-minded journalists – heaps derision upon child abuse investigations, such as that concerning Haute de la Garenne.

The Jersey Evening Post and people like Mr. Hume have striven to undermine and trash the investigation.

But of course – The Rag – and its new-found, but somewhat unlikely, allies in the defunct rump of the Revolutionary Communist Party – could not have embarked upon their attempts to spin and manipulate without some raw material to work with.

That raw material was delivered by David Warcup & Mick Gradwell – the “new management” of the States of Jersey Police Force – when they issued a five page press release which had been co-authored by Frank Walker’s spin-doctors.

Those interested in a detailed response to the Warcup & Gradwell spin-doctoring exercise should read my blog post of the 13th November, titled ’37 Questions for Offices Warcup & Gradwell’.

It is worth noting that not one of the 37 questions has been answered.

A fact from which we can draw conclusions.

The only response I received was a 6 paragraph letter from David Warcup, dated 25th November, in which he said this:

“Should you have any doubt in relation to the conclusions which have been drawn by Mr. Gradwell and myself, then I would ask you to consider the fact that the very same conclusions have been reached as a result of an independent review by the Metropolitan Police.”

Fact: – on the date that letter was authored by Mr. Warcup – and so far as I know, to date – no such report by the Metropolitan Police existed, or yet exists.

For such a review of the investigation to be credibly undertaken, the evidence would need to be meticulously re-examined, the methodology reviewed, and an understanding of the modus operandi of the key investigators and other witnesses gained.

Fact: – yet at the time of the infamous press-conference, Mr. Warcup, Mr. Gradwell nor Mr. Brian Sweeting of the Met had, between them, interviewed Lenny Harper – not even once.

Mr. Sweeting of the Met did – eventually – interview Mr. Harper.

Fact: – the first and only interview with Mr. Harper was undertaken as a panicked afterthought; and even then Mr. Sweeting’s questioning exhibited a startling ignorance of child protection issues.

Before we get into examining the leader comment of The Rag – let us remember a few salient points concerning this journal.

For 118 years it has been the implacable mouth-piece of the island’s oligarchy.

At absolutely any and every moment of crises for the Jersey establishment – the JEP distorts, manipulates, lies and conceals.

For example – substantial amounts of important evidence of child abuses and child protection failures has been given to The Rag by me.

Every single piece of it has been buried and suppressed.

Given the overt propaganda function of The Rag, we shouldn’t be surprised at its rabid determination to defend the status quo.

And even less surprised – given that in recent times I have discovered a dark and festering canker in the heart of the JEP leadership – and I’m not talking about Frank Walker.

Let us make no mistake; as even the most cursory examination of its history and conduct shows – the Jersey Evening Post is simply an enemy of this community.

With that thought in mind, let us consider the leader comment The Rag published on Friday 19th December.

It states of Mr. Harper’s opinion that he is being smeared in an attempt to justify the unfolding cover-up:

“As anyone with respect for the facts as they have plainly been revealed will appreciate, this is a distorted view of the present situation and the events leading to it.”

Let us consider a few of the “facts”.

Fact: – officers Warcup & Gradwell have not revealed the ‘facts’; on the contrary – they have refused repeated request to do just that.

Fact: – all that Warcup & Gradwell have “released” is a 5 page press-release – co-written with Frank Walker’s spin-doctors.

Fact: – the aforesaid press-release is riddled with distortions, half-truths, omissions – and outright falsehoods.

Fact: the press-release and associated comments by Warcup & Gradwell sought to convey the impression that a detailed, scientific peer-review had been completed by the Metropolitan Police. It had not. And so far as I’m aware, no such report is yet completed.

By way of example of the falsehoods in the press-release, it is stated of certain of the finds in the voids that, “There is no witness evidence or intelligence which indicates that these should be described as shackles or that shackles resembling this description have been used during the commission of any offences.”

Fact: that assertion is simply a lie.

I know for a stone fact that witness statements and intelligence did indicate that these items may be improvised shackles.

Indeed – that description was not one invented by the police – it was given to them by witnesses.

The Rag continues in that vein:

“We now know that scientific opinion that would have given the lie to the most lurid accounts of what was supposed to have happened at Haut de la Garenne was withheld in favour of allowing continuing exaggeration.”

Fact: we do not know what the scientific opinion is – nor will we ever – until and unless all forensic evidence, especially the scientific analysis – was published and available for professional peer-review.

Fact: the scientific method depends utterly upon transparency – and the production of testable, demonstrable, repeatable results. Assertions such as the “just trust us” type we see in this episode simply do not constitute science.

And there can be no credible excuse for not publishing the scientific reports – and answering the 37 questions I put to Mr. Warcup & Mr. Gradwell. For if such reports do – as is claimed – scientifically show there to have been no unexplained child deaths at HDLG, there is then no longer any evidential purpose or function to be served by the reports; publication would not affect any prosecution – therefore they can be published.

Indeed, if – as is claimed – the idea of possible child deaths at HDLG has been simply a distraction to the abuse enquiry – then the work of the police, and the cause of justice for the victims, would be greatly helped by the definitive publication of any evidence which closed the book on the possibility of deaths.

But instead – mystifyingly – we encounter a profound reluctance actually publish any such scientific documents – and a complete refusal to answer reasonable questions asked on behalf of many of the survivors.

The JEP leader comment goes on to make this assertion:

“We also know, through the evidence of our own eyes, that objects that Mr Harper was happy to see referred to as ‘restraints’ and ’shackles’ were no more than an uncoiled upholstery spring and the sort of ironmongery that many Jersey people would immediately recognise as old wall fittings for holding pipes and cables.”

I fully understand what old-fashioned guttering down-pipe fixings look like; I’ve even fitted a few when I worked as a carpenter.

Fact: but never – ever – have I seen two such items – joined together with a short length of chain.

Nor could any thinking person be remotely surprised that – after 30 years of laying on the earth in a damp floor-void – the items have become “rusty lumps of metal”.

As I said in an earlier comment, the Jersey Evening Post has taken a profound risk. Having staked so much upon maintaining what may yet prove to be an insupportable fiction – the collateral damage to its credibility could be substantial.

The comment of last Friday actually serves as evidence for the validity of Mr. Harper’s concern – namely that justice won’t be done – and as an excuse, the Jersey oligarchy are trying to frame him.

The Rag says:

“But there is deep tragedy in all this. As a result of the muddying of the waters at Haut de la Garenne, the true extent of the crimes that were without doubt committed there may never emerge.

Far from encouraging more useful witnesses to come forward and building up a web of corroborative evidence, Lenny Harper’s high-profile strategy has produced an investigative mess in which fact and fantasy have melded into each other and which might have severely prejudiced the course of justice as well as dragging Jersey’s good name through the mud.”

The truth is that if any actions have “muddied the waters” – those actions have been undertaken by the Jersey oligarchy, officers Warcup & Gradwell – and the Jersey Evening Post.

For if the aforesaid agents were genuinely interested in clarity – evidence – facts – they would be doing all to ensure that the scientific evidence was published – and that all other questions, such as those I’ve asked on behalf of my constituents, were answered.

Instead we witness spin-doctored press-releases masquerading as “scientific reports”; complete falsehoods peddled as though they were statements of fact – and quite extraordinary banana republic style – unlawful – actions to depose the Chief Constable of Jersey’s police force.

But, should that not be sufficient grounds for according The Rag its just degree of contempt – consider this.

In its comment, the JEP seeks to portray itself as being fully supportive of the investigation and exposing of child abuses which “without doubt” were committed – and how saddened it is that this very important objective may have received less priority because of concerns over child deaths.

How seriously do we take the claims of the Jersey Evening Post to be fully committed to the exposing and punishing of those who have abused children and concealed such abuse?

We cannot take such claims seriously – not for one instant.

Why?

Because The Rag has repeatedly been furnished with important, robust and key evidence of child abuses – and the concealing of such abuses – yet it has flatly refused to use that evidence.

On the contrary – we need only look at the conduct of The Rag during 2007 – when, as far as we knew, we were dealing with abuses – not the possibility of child deaths.

During that period, the JEP engaged in its customarily brazen bias, it refused to print evidence – instead preferring to print the unchallenged vacuous assertions of establishment politicians, it refused to publish substantial numbers of letters in support of those of us who were trying to expose the abuse scandal – and it printed several, frankly deranged, editorial comments which heaped lies and contempt upon people like me.

Fortunately, in this age of citizen media, the power of The Rag is rapidly diminishing.

Such displays of brazen hypocrisy and dishonesty can only accelerate its demise.

The Jersey Evening Post – enemy of this community.

One could not come to such a conclusion in respect of The Times – which recently published Mr. Hume’s article. The Times is a reasonably robust and broad journal – indeed, it has, this year and last, carried a number of important articles concerning institutional child abuses committed by the Jersey authorities.

So, unlike the Jersey Evening Post, we can say of The Times that it carries a broad range of views.

Unfortunately, in the case of Mr. Hume, those views happen to be anti-intellectual, unevidenced – and disturbingly biased.

Why should this be?

I will explain some of the political history of Mr. Hume later, but let us now take a brief look at certain of the assertions he makes.

Probably the only useful observation he reports in the entire article is this:

“Throwing a miniature rugby ball around his cramped office in Broadcasting House, the run-down former BBC centre that now serves as a police HQ in Jersey’s capital, St Helier, Detective Superintendent Mick Gradwell is one policeman whose lot is not a happy one.”

For in this reportage, we gain an all too realistic view of Mr. Gradwell – slouched in his office – throwing a miniature rugby ball around – as though he were fantasising about being some hard-bitten cop in an American crime drama – toying with a baseball whilst he ponders the devilishly clever schemes of the gangster boss.

And it is not an inaccurate picture.

For when we closely analyse the spin-doctored press-release issued by Mr Gradwell & his boss, Mr. Warcup, on the 12th November – we cannot come to any conclusion other than he simply had not read the evidence available to him.

Why else would he issue a press-release – which contained professionally destructive falsehoods?

Mick Hume in his article says:

“When he and the new deputy police chief, David Warcup, reviewed the case of suspected child murder in the former home, they were shocked – not so much by the evidence as by its absence.”

Well – when Mr. Gradwell asserts that ‘there is no intelligence to suggest that the recovered items may have been improvised shackles’ – and he asserts that acts of abuse could not – for a fact – have been committed in the voids – because they’re only around five feet high – we cannot come to any conclusion other than that he simply has not examined the evidence.

Mr. Hume goes on to say this:

“They announced that, contrary to many reports, no children were murdered and no bodies hidden or burnt there. Further, microscopic examination had found no blood in samples detected by sniffer dogs in an old concrete bath, as initially expected; and of the three very small bone fragments found that were possibly – but not definitely – human, two had been dated to between 1470 and 1670, and the third dated from sometime between 1660 and 1950.”

It is in assertions of this nature that we can see that whatever Mr. Hume’s grounds for writing what he does – an analysis of the science is not amongst them.

Mr. Warcup & Mr. Gradwell state – as though it were proven fact – that there were no unexplained child deaths.

At the time of their infamous press-conference – no robust, scientific peer-review of the evidence existed.

On the contrary – we know that even the so-called review by the Metropolitan police was not completed.

Yet Mr, Hume ends his article by saying:

““We now know that there is no evidence of suspicious deaths at Haut de la Garenne”.

No. On the evidence – we know nothing of the kind.

On the contrary, we have a significant amount of evidence of human origin – fragments of bone – and many children’s teeth – which simply remain wholly unexplained.

Would that we did have evidence that no suspicious deaths occurred at HDLG.

Instead, let us remember – all that Mr. Hume is speaking of amounts to a 5 page press-release – co-written with Frank Walker’s spin-doctors – and which contains many startling omissions – and certain outright falsehoods.

And if Mr. Hume were serious in his claims to be only interested in a sober reflection upon the facts – surely he would have asked what happened to all the other bone fragments? Where is the scientific analysis of them?

Why focus only on the three fragments – and not the substantial remaining number of fragments?

Where does Mr. Hume demand of Warcup & Gradwell answers to the question ‘have they undertaken full radionuclide testing on all of the bone fragments to determine whether they originate after the nuclear weapons era?

Why do we not see Mr. Hume pressing for the radionuclide testing of the substantial – and quite bizarre – quantity of human teeth found in the voids?

Such testing would show us definitively whether the teeth originated from people who were living in the post-war nuclear weapons era.

Mr. Hume goes on:

““Police officers became concerned at the number of people in positions of authority who were being connected with paedophile crimes,” Lenny Harper told The Times. “We don’t yet know how the child came to meet his or her death. We can’t say that it was homicide but have to treat it this way.”

“Walker, who has since retired from office, counter-accuses the former deputy police chief of misleading the administration; in May, Harper sent him a “secret” e-mail revealing that more remains had been found, of recent origin, and that a homicide investigation would probably be necessary. “That e-mail was never retracted.””

Were Mr. Hume remotely interested in the facts, he would know that the e-mail in question has been completely misrepresented by Frank Walker and David Rose, another contrarian journalist who specialises in trawling the country for opportunities to rubbish child abuse investigations.

There are many media accounts of what Mr. Harper actually said – for example, the BBC News website of 31st July under the heading “Jersey murder enquiry unlikely.” In that article Mr. Harper is clearly quoted as saying that in the light of the carbon dating then “should the evidence stay as it is, it is obvious there will be no murder enquiry.”

Why have Gradwell, Warcup, and Hume, like David Rose before them, ignored this?

Elsewhere in his article, Mr. Hume states:

““Police officers became concerned at the number of people in positions of authority who were being connected with paedophile crimes,” Lenny Harper told The Times. “We don’t yet know how the child came to meet his or her death. We can’t say that it was homicide but have to treat it this way.”

Here – taken from an article in The Times itself – we see a plain and unambiguous example of what Mr. Harper was actually saying.

Fact: the remains of a child or children – in the form of many teeth and bone fragments – were recovered from the building.

We do not yet know the age or origin of those remains – nor will we until ALL of the scientific evidence is published. And what Mr. Harper says is entirely, 100%, consistent with those facts.

He said, “we do not know how the child died” – and he went on to say – “we can’t say that it was homicide but have to treat it that way”.

Contrary to the spin and lies of the Jersey oligarchy – Mr. Harper’s words are entirely factual.

Indeed – imagine what people would think if the police had uncovered these artefacts originating from children – and had not conducted the investigation as though the possibility of homicide existed?

The actually quite astonishing failure of Mr. Hume to grasp the difference between science – and politically motivated spin – is revealed in these words of his, when speaking of the media presentation given by Warcup & Gradwell:

“And the critical analysis that it presented of the forensic evidence gathered at Haut de la Garenne looks irrefutable. That analysis, after all, was based largely on the first full public presentation of detailed scientific tests carried out by the very experts that Harper had consulted.”

Once again – there is no scientific, detailed, critical analysis of all the forensic evidence.

It simply does not yet exist.

All that Warcup & Gradwell furnished the media with was a five page political press release – co-authored with Frank Walker’s spin doctors.

A document which, moreover, contained obvious errors of fact, omissions – and outright falsehoods.

Yet Mr. Hume – and those who share his agenda – seek to portray themselves as sticklers for “evidence” – hard facts – over and above sensation.

Such posturing is wholly incompatible with the indecent eagerness displayed to seize upon any old garbage – screeds of vacuous and intellectually feeble spin – rather than engage in a forthright and sober examination of the actual evidence.

Mr. Harper has said recently that he is of the opinion that he and Graham Power, the Chief Constable of the States of Jersey Police, are being set-up as fall-guys for the inevitable “failure” of what passes for judicial process in Jersey to hold the guilty to account.

And we can see the absolute correctness of Mr. Harper’s concerns when reading this from Mr. Hume’s article:

“As one source puts it: “If you’re a defence lawyer with evidence that a senior investigating officer has been misrepresenting the facts, it will be open season, won’t it?” Walker goes so far as to say that, if guilty people now walk free, Harper will have “a hell of a lot to answer for””.

For here we see displayed – quite plainly – the efforts of Frank Walker & Mr. Hume to set the scene for just such an outcome. “If the guilty walk free, Harper will have a hell of a lot to answer for”.

Let there be no mistake.

If any of the guilty walk free – the blame for that fact will lay with people such as Jersey’s Attorney General, William Bailhache – who has rabidly obstructed the charging of the accused people from the very outset of this episode.

And – in particular – it will lay with David Warcup & Mick Gradwell.

Should they be too thick to grasp that fact, let me explain.

If anything is going to provide “open season” for defence lawyers – it is the words and actions of Warcup & Gradwell.

What more could a defence lawyer require – than being able to stand up in court and assert that the prosecution case is garbage – because the police work which underpins it was carried out in an incompetent manner – and “Look! That isn’t just defence opinion – no less figures than Officers Warcup & Gradwell have publicly said the standards and general competency of the police work was rubbish!”

Accused? Home & dry. Case dismissed.

Let me be charitable – and assume that both police officers are simply extremely stupid and ignorant.

Even assuming that to be the case – they will still be largely to blame for the abusers – and those who concealed abuse – getting away with it.

You cannot be a senior police officer – and publicly set about the task of rubbishing your predecessors – and still then expect the cases they were working on to remain credible.

Frankly – if I were in the shoes of Mr. Warcup or Mr. Gradwell – I would already be seeking to salvage my reputation from the utter folly I’d committed – by resigning forthwith, returning to the UK – and explaining how I’d been conned into acting in an utterly insupportable, politically motivated manner.

I said in my previous posting that I would explain the political sub-text of where Mr. Hume is coming from; why he should be ideologically driven to pursue the agenda he does.

Before I do so, let me refer you to these words taken from his article:

“But more importantly, it fed off a national obsession with child abuse.

Fear of the predatory paedophile has become a morbid symptom of a society where we do not trust one another. As we lose faith in our humanity, the dark side of the human condition comes to the fore in the public imagination – and there is nothing darker than child murder. Haut de la Garenne is perhaps the flipside of the Baby P story: we might seem unable to see brutal abuse before our eyes, yet we seem ready to believe tales of mass murder in a island children’s home.”

“There is a sordid record of abuse in children’s homes. There is also a record of moral panics and false allegations, especially when the police begin trawling for victims.”

Child abuse – a “national obsession” – “a morbid symptom” – dark “imagination” – a record of “moral panics”.

Such phrases give a good indication of Mr. Hume’s thinking.

To understand the strange political views which drive Mr. Hume, what follows is extracted from an e-mail I wrote on the 21st November, concerning a fellow-traveller of Mr. Hume’s – one Richard Webster – and the web site, “Spiked” – of which Mr. Hume is the “Editor-at-Large”.

Spiked is the internet-era reincarnation of a magazine called Living Marxism, or LM, as it later became known. The now defunct LM was the house-journal of a bizarre political sect called the Revolutionary Communist Party.

LM magazine was bankrupted when it was sued for defamation by ITN – who it had accused of fabricating its story and footage of the Serbian massacres of the Bosnians during the Balkans war.

The political thinking behind LM and the RCP is well-ilustrated by that crazed attempt to act as apologists for the old commie regime of Serbia.

Mr. Webster and his fellow-travellers and contributors to Spiked would have the world regard them as The One True Voice of factual, honest and straight reporting – and that the mainstream media – and all who may agree with them – are a load of superficial clowns.

I could, actually, find a great deal of sympathy with that view of mainstream media – were there any great countervailing display of intellectual robustness, detailed research, rational argument or responsible ethics in the output of Spiked.

Unfortunately – there isn’t – and I will later give some examples.

But before I do so, I offer Mr. Webster and his fellow Spiked writers a challenge.

Mr. Webster would have the world believe that the HDLG investigation has been a “sorry saga”. He has determinedly sought to damn the credibility of the investigation, its competence, indeed, its very basis.

But when doing so, he, and other contributors to Spiked, are always very careful to assert that they oppose child abuse as much as anyone – that they want “real” abusers brought to justice – and write to the effect that ‘if only a calm, rational, evidence-based approach were brought to bear’ – of the kind they profess to deliver – ‘we would more rapidly and accurately get to the truth’.

So let us take Mr. Webster, and people like Mr. Hume, at their word.

They – purportedly – want the unvarnished facts to emerge; the hard evidence. Very well. Here is the link to my recent blog entry – “37 Questions for Officers Warcup & Gradwell”.

http://stuartsyvret.blogspot.com/2008/11/37-questions-for-officers-warcup.html

If Mr. Webster, Mr. Hume and Spiked wish to see the facts exposed – I challenge them to obtain full, verifiable, answers to these 37 questions from the States of Jersey Police Force.

Were all of these questions to be answered, fully and frankly, I for one would be a good deal more assured, in many respects. When I first discovered, in early 2007, the true breakdown in child protection in Jersey, I had no idea that there may have been a possibility of unexplained child deaths at HDLG. That suggestion only emerged early this year – and my feelings remain today as they were then – I very much hope for actual evidence and robust analysis which shows the concern to have been unfounded.

But sadly – we have no such evidential finding. Instead – all we have been supplied with is a vacuous five-page press-release – written by a spin-doctor in co-operation with the police. Moreover – a press-release which contains some startlingly obvious and deliberate falsehoods.

Many questions remain.

Consider the mysterious 65 teeth. For example, if all of the radionuclide tests I describe are undertaken by accredited, independent laboratories – and the peer-reviewable results published – and a pre-WW II origin for the remains were to be robustly and scientifically established – then we could gain some form of “closure” – so far as possible post-war unexplained child deaths are concerned.

But in the absence of such tests – the issue remains obscure, uncertain and suspicious.

Turning to the Revolutionary Communist Party, its house-journal, the now defunct Living Marxism – and its off-spring, Spiked. Readers can research for themselves the Leninist, Trotskyite history and tactics of this collective – the well-documented belief in sowing the seeds of confusion and contradiction – and in Leninist fashion, adopting policies which hasten the collapse of established societal order – the quicker to established some mass, libertarian utopia in its place.

Given the strangeness and wilful obscurity of their beliefs – this ‘movement’ can only be assessed by considering the sub-text to what they say; reading between the lines, as well as the mere printed words.

We can go to the web site of Spiked – right now – and find it dominated by a set of views and opinions which I advise people to familiarise themselves with – before deciding, metaphorically, to elope with Spiked and it’s miniature band of contrarians.

To give you a flavour of Spiked thinking, you will find the site laden with lame excuses for polemics – which, in fact, are little more than:

Apologist articles for Russia and its renewed militarism.

Apologist articles for Serbian war-crimes.

Significant outpourings of support for the Communist regime of China.

Contemptuous dismissal of the cause of the Tibetan people and endorsement of the Chinese occupation.

A range of articles pouring scorn and contempt upon President-Elect Barak Obama.

And – most disturbingly – a significant number of ultra-libertarian, very thinly disguised defences of child abuse.

Given that Mr. Webster makes such strenuous efforts to distance himself from such views – I’ll quote some of them.

In an article titled – “Time to Tear-Up the Sex-Offenders’ Register” – one Rob Lyons writes a piece in which he makes excuses for teachers and such like – who form abusive relationships with teenagers. I quote:

“In most of these cases, the parties involved regarded themselves as being in a relationship. There is no suggestion of forced sex. While it is quite clear that these people have failed in their responsibilities and probably should not be allowed to teach again, it is far from clear why they should have to be monitored by the police for years to come.”

Ask yourself a question – would you want your 14 or 15 year-old to be the lawful sexual target of 30 year-old teachers? Would you want a 35 year-old teacher who had in the past formed abusive “relationships” with 14 or 15 year-old children to be able to ply their profession – as they could do, in the absence of monitoring?

I didn’t think so, somehow.

That is why those who have displayed such irresponsibility need to be monitored to ensure that every effort is taken to prevent them exploiting children in such ways.

In an article which is a quite startling apologist rant in thinly disguised support of child porn, one ‘Barbara Hewson’ quotes what she describes as a “carefully balanced observation”, this being the comments of a very minority academic, Max Taylor who said this at a conference:

“‘The relationship between adult sexual interest in children and child pornography is complex and poorly understood. Not all convicted child-sex offenders express an interest in child pornography. On the other hand, very many people who have no criminal record, and who seemingly have no known sexual interest in children, demonstrate an interest in child pornography by accessing and downloading images.’

‘The relationship between collecting child pornography and sexual assaults on children is also not clear.’ (4).”

The remarkable sophistry and dangerous – perhaps wilful – ‘naivety’ of that statement can be no better illustrated than by considering a quote of Hewson’s own, taken from the same Spiked article:

“No law-abiding person condones children being raped or abused, on camera or off it. Clearly, in situations where children are sexually assaulted and the assaults are recorded, the photo or film is a record of criminal acts.

But it is misconceived to argue that the record ‘is’ the abuse. It is neutral.

It is bizarre to argue that someone who downloads and views a picture of an assault later on – perhaps 40 years later – is somehow complicit in the original assault. This makes no sense. We do not say that someone watching the destruction of the World Trade Centre on TV is complicit in the hijackers’ acts. Even if that person believed that the Americans got what they deserved and cheered, he could not incur criminal liability for the crimes perpetrated on 9/11.”

The above quote is extremely illustrative of the type intellectually feeble and self-indulgently contrarian garbage which characterises Spiked.

Have you seen footage of the 9/11 atrocity?

By Hewson’s “logic” – you’re complicit with, and allied to, Bin Laden.

Such a conclusion is, of course, garbage. And Hewson knows it – hence her attempt to make the downloading and viewing of child porn analogous to witnessing a terrorist attack.

Perverts down-loading child porn? In Hewson’s world they’re no more harmful or guilty than you are – when you sit down and watch the evening TV news.

The falsity of her argument and that of Max Taylor, who she so favourably quotes, is clear. Children are vulnerable, naive, and unable to protect themselves from adults who have power over them. Therefore any credible and realistic risk to children should be resisted by any civilised society. Even were it true – as Taylor attempts to imply – that most child porn voyeurs do not themselves go onto attack children – they most definitely are complicit in the abuse of children – because their ‘demand’ creates a market for pictures of children being abused – often in the most horrific of ways. It is true that, these days, some child porn images are manufactured using computer technology – but many aren’t – and instead involve the actual abuse of real children – often to death. Whether the images are faked or real – the ‘market’ demand will drive real atrocities.

Do you agree with Hewson that being a punter for such horrific material is harmless – and in no way complicit in the suffering of children?

Then you’ll feel right at home with the festering remnants of the Revolutionary Communist Party – Living Marxism (or simply LM, as it came to be known) – and Spiked.

Should my opinion of this bizarre cult not be sufficient, the respected author and science and environmental journalist, George Monbiot wrote this:

“On one issue after another, there’s a staggering congruence between LM’s agenda and that of the far-right Libertarian Alliance. The two organisations take identical positions, for example, on gun control (it is a misconceived attack on human liberty), child pornography (legal restraint is simply a Trojan horse for the wider censorship of the Internet), alcohol (its dangers have been exaggerated by a new breed of “puritan”), the British National Party (it’s unfair to associate it with the murder of Stephen Lawrence; its activities and publications should not be restricted), the Anti-Nazi League (it is undemocratic and irrelevant)

The two organizations share a strangely one-sided conception of freedom, celebrating and defending the “freedom to” of those with the power to act, while dismissing threats to the “freedom from” of those who might be affected. So, limiting the scope of racist publications insults our humanity, even though they might incite racists to beat up black people, while restricting car use is a fundamental assault on liberty, even though being hit by cars is now the commonest cause of death for children between the ages of one and fourteen. “It is those who have suffered the most,” LM tells us, “who should be listened to the least.”

Both organizations also appear to believe that the weak and vulnerable are best served by being allowed to fend for themselves, without interference from “do-gooders” and “puritans”. Left to their own devices, both adults and children are capable of resisting tobacco advertising, alcopops, paedophiles and pornographers, whatever the imbalance of power between perpetrator and victim may be. Indeed corporations, LM appears to suggest, should be free to do whatever they want, except sueing LM for libel.”

As I said – these are strange days – in which The Rag finds itself allied to a bizarre political sect – a strange and immature libertarian cult – of the kind which produces Spiked – of which Mike Hume is the Editor-at-Large.

None of us involved in this debate yet know what the facts are – we’re simply in no position to have a thorough understanding of the evidence, and what conclusions could be drawn from it.

The only possible way in which the issues, questions and doubts can be resolved is through the transparent and factual analysis of the evidence.

To those who genuinely want to walk that path to a rational understanding of events – let me invite you to write to officers Warcup & Gradwell – and ask them to answer the 37 questions I posed. Whilst by no means definitive – an immense amount of confusion and ambiguity could be readily resolved through such transparency.

Let me leave you with this thought.

We have seen attempt after attempt to rubbish the work of Lenny Harper – and to pour hatred and contempt upon me.

Let it be noted – that both Mr Harper and I am ready and willing to state our case – and be cross-examined on it – under oath in court.

Perjury is a very serious offence – as Jeffrey Archer and Jonathan Aitkin could attest.

Those of us who are on the side of the truth are ready to state our case without fear.

How many people in the Jersey oligarchy do you think could say the same?

Stuart.

VALUES –

AND VALUE.

Do You Get Either

From Jersey’s Establishment

And its Media?

Well – what a welcome back I’ve received. At least, that is, from the public.

Naturally every aspect of power in Jersey has greeted my return with the predictable noxious tide of hatred and fear.

Jolly good.

I haven’t lost my touch then.

Of course – how the Jersey establishment’s media were going to handle these events was always going to make a fascinating study – so in this blog-posting I’ll be touching upon, as I do occasionally, some of the lies, spin and propaganda of Jersey’s mainstream media – or msm – as it’s known these days.

My apologies if I haven’t responded to your e-mails yet – there’re just so many, and so much to do in preparation for the campaign, which starts on Tuesday.

Whilst I was working in London, I wrote in one blog-posting about the personal costs of having to fight – singlehandedly – against the corrupt Jersey establishment; not an aspect of doing politics that I often write about. I suppose a useful metaphor is to imagine two Stuart Syvrets. The ordinary human being – and then the person who has to encase himself in a kind of suit of armour in order to withstand Jersey politics.

So – before I armour-up and swing into battle – some personal words.

I’m extremely grateful to all of the people who turned-out to our meeting on Monday night. Looking at the photos – and the video footage that Channel Television won’t show – there were probably around 250 people at peak attendance, and the overwhelming feeling was one of support for me and the survivors.

After months and years of having to fight a hard war – one that should not be necessary if our establishment were civilised human beings – we do need the occasional moral-boost. The survivors and I had no idea at all how many people would come, nor what their views would be. But to have received such support from so many people reminds us that how the Jersey oligarchy think and act – does not reflect the attitude of the great majority of decent islanders.

So – do I now feel as though I want to try and get back to ‘business as usual’?

Do I just want to get re-elected – and carry on – much as I did before?

No.

I do not.

I tried to explain why that was in my previous posting, where I wrote:

“If you believe – that in the year 2010 – the traditional “Jersey Way” of dealing with scandals – waiting until the dust has settled, then just brushing it all under the carpet when no one is looking – is the correct approach, then do not place your cross next to my name.

I do not want your vote.”

I meant that when I wrote it – and I mean it even more now.

And the reason I have that view, is that – after twenty years of abuse, lies, obstructions and oppressions from the Jersey oligarchy – I’m not at all interested in enduring anymore of the same.

Jersey’s community, its welfare and its future have been betrayed – and virtually ruined during the last four decades by the entrenched establishment.

I have no intention of seeking re-election – just to join the States again as a token rebel.

A questioner at Monday’s public meeting asked me how I would work with the existing States members if I was re-elected.

I will work with them – to the extent that duty and public necessity require.

But I am not seeking to re-enter politics to work with these people.

I’m seeking to re-enter politics – to remove them.

Jersey’s next general election is in October 2011.

Should I be re-elected in this by-election – between now and 2011 – a number of concerned islanders – who share a common resolution to finally rid us of these clowns – will contest the 2011 election on a party-political basis.

As I said at Monday’s meeting, in answer to the question – “why do the Jersey establishment hate you so much?” – after a moment’s hesitation – I replied, ‘my honesty’.

I have always told it like it is – and the Jersey oligarchy hate that.

So, as is my habit – I am being quite honest with readers now – when I say, unless you want a new, more honest, transparent and accountable style of government after 2011 – do not vote for me in this by-election.

From a personal perspective – I just don’t need it – any more.

I have been repeatedly lied about by the Jersey establishment.

I have been obstructed.

I have had my reports and propositions to the States blocked and censored.

I have been illegally excluded from the States for 6 months – back in 1996 – simply for pointing out the fact that a former Senator was engaging in an act of straightforward brazen corruption.

I have been consistently smeared, misrepresented and excluded by Jersey’s mainstream media.

I have had criminal acts committed against me.

I have been subjected to unlawful police surveillance and harassment.

Illegal police raids.

Unlawful searches of my home – conducted without a search warrant.

Unlawful imprisonment in a tiny, windowless police-cell for over seven hours.

Prosecuted – for publishing the truth – as though we were a banana-republic.

Been denied legal representation.

Having my relationship destroyed by the illegal police harassment.

Being denied access to the evidence I need to prove my defence.

Being threatened with being shot through the head with a 9mm pistol.

Being promised that I’m going to have my “face slashed with a (expletive deleted) Stanley knife.”

Having to leave Jersey – to avoid more of the above criminal police abuses – so that I could obtain and publish further public interest information on behalf of my constituents.

And – when I return – be immediately subjected to the same old banana-republic lies and nonsense from Jersey’s media.

I have given the best twenty years of my life – from 25 to 45 – to this island – have been honest and diligent – yet have had nothing but hell in return – and have nothing to show for it.

But for all that – my efforts being recognised by decent people – and knowing within one’s self that one has done the best one could – are great sources of strength.

But could I continue in the same manner – for years into the future? No – I could not.

Which is why – I either leave Jersey politics – or I change Jersey politics.

And if I am to leave Jersey politics – whilst fearful for Jersey’s future – given the gravity of the challenges the island faces and the intrinsic intellectual and ethical bankruptcy of its polity – personally – it will be a release.

So – that’s my personal perspective.

Now, for the rest of this blog posting – I put on the metaphorical suit of armour, and enter political battle mode.

Whilst there is so much of it – we can barely scratch the surface in one posting, we are taking a look at the anatomy of the spin of the Jersey oligarchy; something we’ll be doing throughout the election – so don’t worry if I don’t cover it all now.

There’ll be plenty of further analysis.

When perusing the Jersey oligarchy’s media – and in particular their multi-trolled web site comment sections – I can do so for reasons of pure entertainment. Because – whilst no thinking person I know believes such comments to be representative of the broad opinion of Jersey people – even if it so happened they were – I’m personally indifferent to the electoral outcome that such views might deliver.

I mean – what can one do – other than simply laugh at Channel Television when, having sent a full crew to film most of Monday’s meeting – they then make zero reference to it – the meeting having been an immense success – to the great distress of CTV’s bosses and their friends Philip Ozouf and Frank Walker.

Indeed – Eric Blakely was even reduced to lying to complaining members of the public, by falsely claiming that broadcasting regulations prevented any reference to the meeting – because a by-election is going to occur. It, apparently, eluding him that no such regulation takes effect until the election process has begun.

But – since then – he must have remembered that the restrictions didn’t actually apply until next Tuesday evening – because he broadcast a news item tonight featuring an interview with a declared candidate.

Oh well – I’m sure – now that he has remembered – viewers will be able to see the report of Monday’s meeting during the CTV bulletin tomorrow evening?

And what could the innocent reader of The Rag have learnt of the meeting – had they not been present?

Certainly not the true numbers of attending members of the public; nor the fact that 98% of the questions asked and comments made were favourable.

Nor – fascinatingly – that both Mark and I made specific references to the vast economic and fiscal challenges faced by Jersey.

Huge financial problems – that are the very fruits – of the self-same establishment, who have conned the Jersey public into thinking that they are the “safe pairs of hands” who know how to mange financial and economic policies well.

They didn’t – and don’t – of course – as anyone with a modicum of sense can see when considering the history of Jersey’s financial leadership.

Who has been in charge of the purse-strings during the last four decades?

Who has been managing and planning Jersey’s economy and public finances?

People such as Reg Jeune, Pierre Horsfall, Frank Walker, Terry Le Sueur and Philip Ozouf.

The result?

Not only does Jersey face a financial black-hole – we face a financial black-hole every bit as bad as the rest of the world – precisely because those clowns responsible for Jersey’s economic mess – are adherents of the very political and financial philosophies that have brought the world to ruination through the re-cycled debt-based hallucinated economy that’s disintegrating about the aggregate ears of the world’s financiers.

Not that that will bother most of them, given they’ve made their fortunes, cashed their chips – and sailed happily into the sunset – leaving us – the world’s plebs, to stagger around, trying to shoulder the wreckage.

I’m told there was recently a luxury yacht show in Jersey, at which various pirates of the cerberean gathered to display and barter the wages of their buccaneering sorties across the vast ocean of pixilated nothingness, the stormy sea of raging electrons that swell and break across the computer screens of Tokyo, London and New York that we are told is something called “The World Economy” but which we could more usefully understand as a blank spot on one of those old maps, marked only with the words “Here be Monsters”.

The assembled tribes of gaudy privateers were seeking to display, through such vulgar excess, their ‘bravery’ and ‘skill’ at helming the vessels of credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations and various skiffs for the laundering thereof, across an oceanic frontier of grifterdom and Ponzi schemes previously unimagined in human history.

But, even though the vast black-hole that now grows where once the pyramid-scheme of the globalised economy stood – with all the strength of an £9.50 tent from Millets – we still have this real difficulty with the entity known as “reality”. That thing which we’re going to have to become acquainted with as, even whilst I write, it devours pension funds, jobs, health-provision, and currencies – and, frankly, God knows what else.

But in the meantime – we were able to stroll along some of our property – St. Helier’s harbour – and gaze wistfully at just how big a lump of crassness £20 million can buy you – and fantasise about us maybe, one day, “getting lucky” – and being up there – midst the toxic fibreglass and plethora of navigational electronics you don’t know how to operate – double gin and tonic in one hand – and woman young enough to be your daughter in the other – whilst the bamboozled hordes who you’ve conned, look adoringly upwards.

But such pacifying strolls could only be taken along certain parts of our property – because other parts of our property down at the harbour, have been security-fenced off – made into a gated-community where those who have shorted half of your pension-fund out of existence, and ‘settled’ the ‘ownership’ of their companies outside of Jersey – thus paying zero tax here – are able to park their galleons, frigates and triremes – suitably distant from the unwashed mob who were dumb enough to have paid £25 million to build this pirates’ enclave in the first place.

And if one gazed carefully enough into this restricted realm of floating robber-barons – one could catch a distant glimpse of Frank Walker – and his £40 million yacht.

I was reminded of the reports I received of this scene, when asked whether the salary I was paid when working in London for six months represented good value for money for Jersey tax-payers.

The answer to that question is “yes it does” – as I have done more meaningful and important investigative journalism during those six months – than all of Jersey’s mainstream media has – combined – in all of the post-war years.

Researching – obtaining – and publishing – on behalf of cohorts of my constituents, for example, the survivors of the Blanch Pierre child abuse atrocity – the rock-solid evidence that proves they were criminally betrayed by the Jersey authorities – three times over.

In 1990.

In 1998.

In 2008.

And – additionally – obtaining and publishing a lot of other evidence besides.

For example – the four reports of the Association of Chief Police Officers.

All of which prove that the historic abuse investigation was perfectly well-run and professional.

Contrary to the lies of the Jersey oligarchy and its mainstream media.

Hard, documented evidence – that I would not have been able to obtain in Jersey – and nor would I have been able to publish from Jersey – because I would have been subjected to further unlawful massed police-raids, arrests – searches without a search warrant – and would have been jailed – again.

That is why such work had to be conducted from London.

Personally – I’m pretty confident – and those constituents of mine – who were tortured, battered and raped as children – are absolutely confident – that having done that vital work – work that every single other States member – combined – in all the last thirty years has not even attempted to do – does, actually, represent very good value for money.

But, I’m a very strong believer in value for money. I believe tax-payers should, indeed, be able to see what their money is spent on – and to be able to determine whether that expenditure meets their wishes.

Which is why – when thinking of Big Frank’s very expensive yacht – I just couldn’t help but wonder what percentage of it has been paid for by you?

Because – for a very – very – long time – many, many decades in fact – the law has required that public notices – such as those by the States and the parishes – must be published in the Jersey Gazette section of the Jersey Evening Post. Now – of course – maybe fifty years ago – when there was no other ready means of publishing important facts – such a law might have been necessary. But those days were over – a very long time ago, and such a cost-burden on tax and rate-payers has been redundant for many, many years.

But having a law that makes it compulsory for the States and the parishes – to pay extortionate sums of money to the Jersey Evening Post – year in – and year out – to print official notices in their gazette section, means that vast fortunes of cash have been siphoned-off from tax-payers – and rate-payers – and placed into the bank-accounts of Guiton Group share-holders over the decades. Of course – in theory – the company was sold to ownership outside of Jersey a few years ago. They do say a bit of luck is required to succeed in business, and Frank and his fellow shareholders were blessed with good fortune – as that sale occurred shortly before the ‘Zero/10’ tax era began, thus making the sale commercially attractive, and the then owners neatly avoiding the impending “look-through” provisions of the new tax regime. Some people are just born lucky, I guess.

But anyway – that change in ownership status doesn’t make things any better for Jersey tax and rate-payers. On the contrary. At least when The Rag was owned locally – we, the general public, were taking some tax from the company (I hope) by way of small recompense for the vast sums of money we’ve poured into it over the decades. But now – with the JEP being ‘owned’ off-island – we don’t even get that.

Which is why – I hope when those lucky few were able to catch a distant glimpse of Frank Walker’s multi-million pound gin-palace – they wondered – “which parts of that have I paid for?”

The luxury, en-suit bathrooms?

The gold-plated taps?

The Jacuzzi?

The on-board cinema?

Because – over the decades – all those millions of pounds that have gone from tax and rate payers’ pockets – to subsidise Frank’s business empire – have certainly paid for some of it.

Do you think that was good value for your money?

I see my mistake now.

Perhaps if I had just clocked-on at the States – to doze contentedly – and used my last six-months pay to spend on a diamond-encrusted cricket-bat – instead of working to expose child abusers – I’d have satisfied the “values” of the Jersey oligarchy?

Oh well – I never did understand the intricacies of “The Jersey Way”.

But – let’s hope most decent islanders don’t share those toxic attitudes of our ruling establishment?

This by-election is – in effect – the referendum which answers that question.

And because of the stage I personally have reached with Jersey politics – I have a simple message for the bad guys:

Be afraid.

Be very afraid.

Stuart.

GOVERNANCE IN JERSEY –

AND ITS MANY FAILURES.

PUBLIC MEETING – MONDAY 17TH MAY.

7.30 p.m – TOWN HALL.

Everything is changed.

Nothing changes.

Those were amongst the thoughts which occurred to me during my first week back in Jersey after six months of investigative journalism that could not have been conducted in the island.

Both my perception, and my knowledge of the true nature of power in Jersey had changed – giving me an entire different understanding of the real magnitude of just what it is we’re up against. So much so that I now occasionally fear for my life.

But, on the other hand, Jersey is sunny, beautiful and the people great. I didn’t expect to, but I felt happier than I had done in months. A fact made all the more intense by the numbers of people who have stopped me in the street and welcomed me back.

Amongst the things that have been said to me are many greetings, the usual words of advice about trying to be a little more diplomatic, questions about what I’ve been up to in London and why I had to go, encouragements to contest the by-election, and, most interestingly, a request from one gentleman, who asked towards the end of our conversation, if I knew anyone who might be able to help him obtain a rocker-box cover for a 1970 Morris Minor. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to assist.

There are just too many issues to cover in one posting, so during the coming days and weeks I will be writing in greater detail about what I believe to be the fundamental failings with the traditional approach to politics in Jersey, and answering some of those questions; though, I confess, probably not the one about classic car parts.

But of all the issues I have been working on, the one which is most important, will be the subject of a public meeting.

‘Why – and how – has all of Jersey’s very expensive public administration so badly failed – to protect so many vulnerable children – over a period of so many decades?’

And – though even I found this very surprising when thinking about it – it will actually be the first public meeting – during the entire controversy of the last three years – at which we will be discussing how and why the States of Jersey failed, so badly and for so long, to protect vulnerable children.

As a community, we have yet to have that discussion.

FAILURES OF GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY

WITHIN JERSEY’S PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION.

PUBLIC MEETING –

MONDAY, 17TH MAY

7.30 PM – TOWN HALL.

I and one or two other people will be explaining the facts – and some of the evidence that you will not have heard about in the local media.

As well as answering your questions, we can discuss why the States of Jersey failed – and what we need to do to make sure our government consistently works for the public good in future.

It is actually quite remarkable in many ways, that notwithstanding the events of the last three years – the gross failures of politics and governance that have characterised the establishment’s response to the child abuse crises – the attempted cover-ups that have generated such controversy – there has not been as much as one, single public meeting at which people could consider the underlying Political dimensions of the child protection failures.

Not one meeting – to discuss the Politics of the situation – in the whole three years.

Well – on the evening of Monday 17th May, we will address that absence.

Perhaps I was naïve in imagining during the last two years at least, that Jersey’s politicians – elected and unelected – would actually come to their senses – sooner or later – and stop shaming the community with their refusals to face the hard truths. But sadly, not only have they failed to do that – they have, instead, compounded their many serious errors of judgement by continuing to heap folly upon folly.

Contemplating the conduct of the Jersey establishment during these last three years has been akin to witnessing a group of men trying to douse outbreaks of fire – with buckets of petrol.

And there is no indication – at all – that the madness is going to end any-time soon.

On the contrary – the Jersey oligarchy persist in the insanity of refusing to see that David Warcup, their place-man as acting Chief of Police, is simply finished.

And he is finished.

So finished – than even some of the more sensible establishment States members will not vote to appoint him as permanent Police Chief, because they can see the Political contaminations of Warcup and the controversies that embroil him, make his position simply untenable.

There is real doubt that the proposition would even secure a majority in the House.

But even if it did – it is almost a certainty that around twenty of the 53 members will vote against him.

Contrast that outcome of the vote – with that which would be achieved by a man of Graham Power’s stature – or, for that matter, any non-politicised, professional Police Chief. You may always get two or three States members voting against them – but such is the cross-spectrum appeal of a non-Political, professional police officer, they would always secure an overwhelming vote of support from all shades of opinion in the chamber.

Is it even vaguely credible for Jersey – for the reputation of the island – to have a Police Chief who is – essentially – a party-political figure? An individual so mired in serious controversy, he can barely secure a majority vote in the island’s parliament?

The very prospect is madness.

Yet – the Jersey establishment’s approach to this disastrous state of affairs, is the same kind of refusal to face reality we see in the child abuse disaster – and the same absurd belief that if they can just hang-on long enough – it will all blow-over and be forgotten. But – for all kinds of reasons – that is not going to happen. Not this time.

And we have to ask the question – can a Jersey parliament still so dominated by men who believe that things can be covered-up – as though this was 1970 – not 2010 – really be expected to pilot Jersey through the looming financial crises?

Can a political establishment so insular, parochial and out-of-touch with the reality of unceasing close scrutiny in the international arena, lead Jersey through the necessary engagement with the international community – when they can’t even deal with the child protection failures of the past – and are happy to allow senior civil servants to conceal child abuse?

I pose those questions – because as central and as serious as the child protection failures are – they can also be viewed as a symptom.

A symptom of a fundamental political illness.

The child abuse disaster – and the frankly corrupt indecency with which the ‘old-guard’ have tried to conceal it – whilst by far the worst failure – is just one failure amongst many.

Consider some of the others –

Poor decisions leading to an incinerator that is both around 15 years too late as a replacement for the filthy old plant – and grossly excessive in size.

Atrocious economic mismanagement.

A “zero/10” fiscal strategy which many of us said would not work – and it hasn’t.

Growing inequalities – with significant numbers of people in our rich community living in relative poverty.

Many young families unable to purchase a three-bedroom starter home – because they can’t hope to pay the average price – of over half-a-million pounds.

A St. Helier Waterfront that is, essentially, a vast, sea-porous toxic waste dump.

A decade-long failure to deliver the Town Park – the island’s “millennium project” – and the on-going political attempts to destroy it by building across half of the site – whilst lying to the public by claiming the resultant fragmented bits of lawn will still be the Town Park.

£49 million of capital project over-spends during the 1990’s.

Failures to protect our environment.

Perilous vulnerabilities to public-sector employee pensions because of a failure to properly address the deficits of the schemes.

No energy strategy.

And – notwithstanding the last four ‘gold-rush’ decades – Jersey has no sovereign wealth fund worthy of the name – instead, merely a ‘strategic-reserve’ – that is so inadequate – it could not fund one year’s worth of current public-sector expenditure.

Symptoms – all are symptoms of a fundamental political problem.

The Jersey establishment has too much power – concentrated into too few hands – and that same narrow grouping control all arms of the state and of public administration; the legislature, the executive, the judiciary, the prosecution system, the senior civil service.

Too much power – too little accountability.

No effective checks and balances – and all of the complacency and stagnation that flows from having a political power-structure grown far too used to simply always getting its way – and never being held to account.

That is the fundamental problem that the community of Jersey is presented with, when considering our obsolete polity.

And only by addressing that central problem will we succeed in ending the succession of governance failures that have so blighted the public interest.

Of course – no miracle cures exist – the island faces many serious challenges. Anyone who tells you our problems can be addressed easily – or quickly – is either a fool or a liar.

But – to address those problems, we do have to make a start.

And what subject could be more deserving of our most urgent and serious attention – than the protections of vulnerable children?

If a society cannot protect its children – then it can’t protect anything – including itself.

It is for that reason I decided to cause this by-election.

It would not be honest of me to say that I had not seriously considered other possible ways of pursuing the necessary political changes.

But, no matter what permutations of strategies and tactics I considered, there were always two inescapable and dominant factors – which always pointed to the forcing of a by-election.

The first – and less important – is my own personal weariness – after twenty hard years in politics.

There is a limit to just how many decades of constant obstructions and denigrations any person can tolerate. So – in many ways – deciding to give up my seat was no sacrifice.

Frankly – from my personal perspective – if I don’t get re-elected, it would, in many ways, be a relief.

But, having said that, I still want to try and drive the necessary political improvements for my home island. And the most effective means of doing that – was the second, and more important of those two factors that drove my decision.

That factor is this.

I believe the public need to be confronted – to be challenged – with their own responsibility for how it is their government behaves.

I explained in detail my philosophical reasoning for this view in a recent posting – ‘Letter from Exile # 22’ – published on the 30th April. It’s there to be read in my archive – so I won’t repeat those thoughts now.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I believe there is a lot of truth in that old saying – ‘people get the government they deserve.’

I was reminded of that saying when I spent a couple of hours this Tuesday morning in the public gallery of the States chamber – watching question time.

There are honourable exceptions.

But broadly, what was on display was a roiling toxic soup of presumption, egos, privilege, ignorance, bumbling incompetence, directionless political wallowing, unaccountability, out-right dishonesty, inarticulacy and a stultifying absence of wisdom.

I have always believed in political honesty. But perhaps it is the absence of honesty in politics that excuses the public from being to blame for so many examples of bad political representation. Maybe it isn’t entirely fair to blame the public for the standards of government?

Perhaps because existing politicians and other candidates are often not honest with the voting public concerning their real political views – the public can be excused from being associated with the actions of politicians once they are in power?

That may be so.

Therefore – in this by-election, I want the public to understand clearly the significance – of the choice they make when deciding where to place their cross on the ballot-paper.

No doubt, in the by-election, there will be a range of good, bad, and indifferent candidates. Who knows – there might even be twenty – perhaps more? I’ve certainly heard mentioned the names of at least twelve. But if twenty – around sixteen will be using the election process to boost their public recognition prior to next year’s elections. And there might be four serious candidates – in with a real chance of getting elected to the single Senatorial seat on offer.

Why the possibility of so many candidates for a single Senatorial seat? Because unlike previous Senatorial and Deputorial elections – the system has been changed – and the two sets of elections that would usually be held perhaps five weeks apart, will, next year – both be held on the same day.

Which means potential candidates will have to choose one election – or the other. The ability to run in the island-wide Senatorial election to garner publicity – and lose without worry – as they can then just run in the Deputies election a few weeks later, will be gone.

Therefore – this by-election represents the last chance that many candidates will have to gain some zero-risk publicity – before having to commit to one election – or the other – on the same October general election day in 2011.

And it is, of course, their perfect right to stand as candidates in this contest.

But this is no ordinary by-election.

It very easily need not be happening. But I have brought it about deliberately and voluntarily by triggering the vacancy.

This by-election is – effectively – a referendum.

The people of Jersey are being presented with a chance to decide which political policy they prefer. Accountability, and the proper protection of children – or – the Culture of Concealment.

If the population support the meaningful protection of vulnerable children – I will be re-elected. If the population prefer the traditional concealments of the establishment – then some other person will be elected instead of me.

And – yes.

It is – that simple.

Which is why we can’t look at certain of the supposedly more ‘caring’ and ‘progressive’ candidates without experiencing a degree of cynicism as to their real motivations: the public good of child protection – or a quick round of free publicity ahead of the general election next year by piggy-backing on the issue?

Of course – on the platform – there will not be one single candidate who will not proclaim from the rooftops their commitment to child protection.

But how do you, as a voting member of the public, decide just how serious and strong is such a generally proclaimed wish to protect children – when every single member of the current States assembly – would make exactly the very same claim – but largely fail to match such easily given words – with real action?

How do you know that the people on the election platform won’t all be largely the same as most of the current assembly – once elected?

For example – if many of the current States members were truly serious in their claims to want to stop the child protection failures of the past – the Chief Constable, Graham Power, Queens Police Medal, would, by now, have been restored to the post he was unlawfully suspended from.

And the Chief Executive to the States, Bill Ogley – who unlawfully conspired with other civil servants to conceal child protection failures – would have been sacked.

But no – as those two examples show – talk is cheap.

If you – as an ordinary member of the public – are serious about the need to protect vulnerable children – and you recognise the absolute overriding and fundamental importance of ensuring that such protection is real, and not just make-believe – there will only be one candidate on that platform who has shown absolute commitment.

The first ever States member – in all the post-war years – to recognise, and speak out against the child protection failures. Me.

A subject I feel so strongly about – I have given up my political seat, when I need not have done so – in order to take the matter to the public – for them to vote upon.

And I have a very – very – clear and honest message to voters as they approach the by-election.

That message is this.

If you disagree with me – if you do not support my purpose in bringing about this by-election – I do not want your vote.

Please – do not vote for me.

If you do not agree with me that the many decades of child protection failures – and the disastrous breakdown in responsible governance that permits such things – must finally be faced – and the rot removed – then vote for one of the other candidates.

If you believe – that in the year 2010 – the traditional “Jersey Way” of dealing with scandals – waiting until the dust has settled, then just brushing it all under the carpet when no one is looking – is the correct approach, then do not place your cross next to my name.

I do not want your vote.

If – on the other hand – you share my view that the disgraceful failures to properly protect vulnerable children must be addressed – and that a clear message needs to be sent to those who have failed – then you will vote for me.

I feel I must, in the interests of honesty, state the situation that starkly because unless the people of Jersey share my priorities and endorse my views – then, frankly, there would be no point in me being a States member. That is why I will not be going to the public with any kind of toned-down, diluted message.

On the contrary.

Should I be re-elected – what you will get from me is more of the same – only more so.

I have nothing to be apologetic about.

If – like a lot of Jersey traditionalists – you prefer “politeness” – over the truth – then my advice is cast your vote elsewhere; I’m not your man.

And should the public not want that which it is I bring to the political table – then all well and good. I will be released – to no small personal relief – my conscience satisfied. I will not seek re-election at a future date.

But if islanders want Jersey politics to be given a long overdue clean-out, then I’m prepared to lead that task – beginning with that highest of priorities – proper standards of governance and accountability for our child protection systems.

Given the experiences of the last three years, I will explain what needs doing, and why, in further postings during the coming days and weeks.

Many people reading this blog may be genuinely confused as to the real, underlying issues behind the child protection controversy of the last few years. And it is very easy to understand why that should be – given how little of the evidence that I have uncovered and placed in the public domain, has been reported by the local mainstream media.

To those people, who may be uncertain about the issues – who may not really understand the arguments concerning the States of Jersey’s child protection failures – I ask you to come to the public meeting, which is taking place at 7.30 pm on Monday 17th May, at the Town Hall in St. Helier. Anyone with an open mind will gain a new understanding of the issues.

And as grave and as dramatic as the child protection failures are – the same, underlying weaknesses in our systems of governance cause us as a community many other serious problems – be those problems of economics, of unemployment, of public finance, of environmental destruction, of cronyism, of corruption. Of course – there are no miracle cures – but we can make things a great deal better. And if we are to do that – then we have to make a start.

And what more important subject can there be – what higher priority can we, as a decent community have – with which to begin fixing the failures in our systems of governance, than to ensure the proper protections of vulnerable children?

As I wrote above – if a society cannot protect its children – then it cannot protect anything – including itself.

Stuart.

LETTER FROM EXILE # 23

THE UK ELECTIONS:

VOTE GREEN IN BRIGHTON PAVILION;

CAROLINE LUCAS

FOR REAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES.

AND VOTE LIB-DEM EVERYWHERE ELSE.

Vote for Your Children’s Future Environment;

Vote for Reform;

Vote for Democracy.

As a number of my readers have asked for my thoughts on the UK general election, here – for what it’s worth – is a quick posting.

People are generally disgusted with politicians.

‘So what’s new?’ I hear you say.

Well – in the United Kingdom, people have even more reasons than usual to be disgusted with the political classes. There has been the world-wide financial meltdown – largely brought about by a failure of politics. And in the UK there has also been the MP’s expenses scandal – which has seen members of the British parliament claiming on expenses, such costs as “having their moat cleaned out” – and “purchasing floating duck-houses”.

There is no doubt that the public mood – which is generally one of hostility to politicians – is, under the current circumstances, even more angry than usual.

Do politicians deserve this degree of opprobrium?

Very often – yes.

Though I was a politician myself for twenty years – I have always said to people, “all those suspicions, and instinctive hostility you feel towards politicos? As a rule-of-thumb – you’re right. Often – politicians are every bit as bad as you imagine.”

But, having said that, there are – believe it or not – many decent politicians – who are principled people – who do care – and do strive to do their best – in what is, unavoidably, a naturally toxic environment.

Which is why I always say to members of the public – when considering politicians in general – a useful guide is to always approach with caution.

Politicians should be regarded as guilty – until proven innocent.

But having said that – as I have often observed before – there is an awful lot of truth in that old saying –

“People get the government they deserve”.

But – for the moment – let’s assume you are the average British voter. And – for the reasons touched upon above – you want to punish the political classes generally; you want to make them pay – you want to teach them a lesson they won’t forget.

You want to make them experience what a first-home re-possession feels like – never mind losing the capital gain on a fake ‘flipped’ second home.

But, of course, with honourable exceptions, career MPs are rather like the scabs produced by an embarrassing skin condition; no matter how many times you might pick at it, in an effort to make it go away – another one will emerge to take its place. So – if the replacement candidate happens to be one of the bad ones – simply replacing your existing MP, with another, just will not convey to the political classes just how serious and unforgivable the failures of the last few years are.

There is only one, realistic, means of doing that; only one option open to you – that will empower you to deliver that earthquake beneath the complacency of Britain’s political establishment.

And that is to ensure a hung parliament by voting Lib Dem in every constituency where they have a fighting chance of taking the seat – except – of course – Brighton Pavilion – where their just share of the grief can – and should be – inflicted on the Lib Dems by voting for the Green candidate – the fantastic Caroline Lucas.

Before going on to explain my thinking, I’ve always believed in being honest with the public – so will begin by explaining where I am coming from politically.

My personal politics are Green. I used to be a member of the UK Green party, but my membership lapsed – not through any deliberate decision on my part – just too many things to do – too much political work going on in Jersey, where there isn’t a tradition of party politics in any event. I shall, actually, renew my membership – as soon as circumstances permit.

And as regular readers of this blog will know – the Jersey survivors and I have had strong support from the Lib Dem quarter – especially John Hemming MP and Lord Wallace.

But even if those connections of mine did not exist – my recommendations would be exactly the same.

Because if you want real change to be the result of this election – the thing you have to do is – finally – break the stagnant, complacent – and frequently corrupted – power-blocks of two-party duopoly.

And – uniquely – this election offers the voting public of Britain the very likely possibility of doing exactly that.

If enough people across the country vote for Lib Dems in those seats where they are in with a shout of wining – apart from Brighton Pavilion, where the vote should be Green – the result will be a ‘hung parliament’ – which means that no party will have sufficient seats to command an overall majority.

Therefore – the big-two – Labour and Conservative – will have to seek the co-operation of the Lib Dems in order to secure a guaranteed majority on important votes in the House.

And in exchange for their co-operation – there are certain policies of the Lib Dems which their coalition partners would have to commit to supporting; certain policies which, if not supported – would be deal-breakers.

And one such Lib Dem policy – is a referendum in short order – on electoral reform – in which the public of Britain will be asked to endorse a change from the old first-past-the-post voting system – and, instead introduce proportional representation.

I have no doubt that a change to proportional representation is desperately needed, and that the public would support such a change once there had been an informed debate, of the kind that would occur during the build-up to a referendum.

That outcome – fundamentally changing the way Britain does politics – making the system more democratic – and more accountable to the public – is the one thing you can do, to really punish the political establishment.

We may not be that familiar with proportional representation in the UK – and one will often hear the two main parties and their members criticising the system. They will point to the frequently chaotic and unstable politics of Italy – and claim that the UK system is far better – as it produces “stability”.

Be afraid. Always be afraid – when you hear politicos from established and entrenched political machines – extolling the “virtues” of “stability”.

It sounds good – doesn’t it – ‘stability’?

What’s not to like? How could anyone not want ‘stability’?

Of course – as is so often the case with politics – words are used to convey one idea – when the speaker in fact means something quite different; it is as though they were speaking in a kind of code.

When you hear people from established political power-blocs – such as the Conservatives and the Labour Party, speaking about “stability” – in truth what they’re trying to sell to you – is your own disempowerment.

By “stable” – they mean the system at present virtually guarantees that they will remain in power. Thus the system is “stable” – in that the voting system offers you – the voting public – so little meaningful power – that you are helpless to change those in charge – even if you want to to.

But not this time.

This time – because of the political mood – the voting public have an opportunity – an opportunity that may well not come around again for a very long time – to take the power back from the political classes.

So if you really do want to make a difference – this time – vote Lib Dem if you live in a constituency where they’re in with a chance of winning – except Brighton Pavilion, where – for very good reasons – the vote should be for Caroline Lucas of the Greens.

For with no working majority for the big two – and a sizable presence for the Lib Dems – in a year or two, you get a referendum – which will enable you to vote for a permanent change to a more democratic voting system.

And with such a voting system – the need for the type of tactical voting I recommend above will fade away to a large extent. Under a PR system – no matter where you live – you will be able to cast your vote for the party of your first choice – secure in the knowledge that it won’t be a wasted vote – and it will, instead, count towards your party’s majority.

And if you are not convinced about the need for proportional representation – just consider a few facts. Actually – most western European countries have had types of PR voting systems for a very long time. The result is a far more rational, balanced, proportional – democratic – parliament. The confusions of Italian politics are the exception; and given that country’s political history and the presence of so much organised crime, one has to wonder whether any political system would work well.

A fact which should appeal to lots of British people – tired of being conned by the meaningless pantomimes that are proceedings in the Commons – is that PR systems actually require political parties to find ways of agreeing – and of working together. Mature, adult co-operation – as opposed to the play-ground bellowing that passes for debate in the House of Commons. Of course – such practises wouldn’t be entirely removed – but just how many sensible people believe that only one political party or the other – can have a monopoly on good policy ideas?

The very idea is an insult to the intelligence. Yet – that is what the die-hard supporters of the current two-party monopoly are, in effect, arguing.

But at least as important as producing better systems of government – proportional representation produces a more democratic form of government.

Consider just how much attention is focused on this election. People across the nation will imagine – as they go to do their democratic duty by voting – that their vote counts. Well – it so happens that this time – unusually – it just might – so what ever else you do – make sure you use your vote.

Remember – people died so that you have that right.

Don’t disrespect their sacrifice by just not being bothered to go to the polling-booth.

And to those who say “why bother? – they’re all as bad as each other”, realise this; even if you really dislike all of the candidates – and all of the parties they represent – still – go and use your vote – and vote for the party and candidate you dislike the least.

Because if you don’t – the candidate you hate the most might get in instead.

But wouldn’t it be better to have a more positive reason to use you vote?

A bigger choice of credible parties? The knowledge that your vote would not be “wasted” – as it often is at present if you live in a safe-seat for a political party that you don’t support? Political parties being required to co-operate? And – above all – a democratic outcome?

Because what happens under the present UK voting system might be described as many things – but it certainly does not meet my definition of democratic.

How could it be?

Because of the perversities of the first past the post system – and the distribution of populations and seats – we have a situation whereby one political party – can secure only 33% of the vote – and yet gain 100% of the power.

It’s madness – and has no place in a modern, western European democracy.

And under the present UK system – there is so little you can do about it. Usually – if you want your vote to count, to have an actual effect, it has to be cast for whichever party is in first or second rank in your constituency. And even then – only in those seats which are regarded as “marginal” – thus winnable for more than one party – will you stand much chance of making your democratic will felt.

Under the presents system, UK elections – though ostensibly fought at a national level – are, in truth, fought over – and decided – in a handful of ‘swing’ constituencies – those where the outcome is uncertain – and could return a crucial MP for the respective parties.

Frankly – the political classes – though they would never admit it – view the rest of the nation – where the seats are ‘safe’ – with contempt. They are taken for granted.

So I say again – if the voting public really do want to send a very loud and clear message of disapproval to those political classes – we all need to vote for a reforming parliament. And only a hung parliament will deliver to us real, functioning democracy.

And – in broad terms – that is going to require a vote for the Lib Dems in those seats they have a chance of winning.

Except Brighton Pavilion.

And I say that not only because my politics are, essentially, Green.

I believe the leader of the Lib Dems, Nick Clegg has – under the circumstances – done extremely well. However – his leadership is not perfect.

And I believe his failure to require his Brighton party to, effectively, back the Green candidate, Caroline Lucas, is a serious tactical – and ethical – error.

There is a certain degree of over-lap between Lib Dem and Green policies; certainly, the two parties could work together – although it is not correct to suggest – as one of my readers recently did – that the three main parties – and I include the Lib Dems in this judgement – have serious and effective environmental policies. They don’t. Only the Greens are facing facts.

But by caving-in to local political ambitions – and not supporting a collaborative approach with the Greens in Brighton – Mr. Clegg makes two profound misjudgements.

Given the seat is a four-way marginal – with the outcome by no means assured – there is a very real danger that the potential vote of Caroline Lucas will be weakened by votes going to the Lib Dems.

That could – very easily – have the effective of seeing a Conservative candidate returned.

Secondly – and, in some ways more profoundly – the Lib Dems – are likely to do very well across the nation – and if they do so – it will be because of their promise to deliver a new style of collaborative, co-operative politics. Why then – fail to set an example – in this election – by not forming a sensible, strategic alliance with the Greens in Brighton Pavilion?

Because if there is one thing that a new style of politics is going to have to require – it is the curbing of the dominance of the narrow, personal ambitions of party apparatchiks in individual constituencies. It would have been far batter for the Lib Dem party – and more significantly, far better for the country – if Caroline Lucas was the candidate for a Green/Lib Dem pact in Brighton.

I believe – that for making such a crass misjudgement – one that is not even compatible with the new approach to politics they espouse – the Lib Dems deserve the punishment of the voters of Brighton Pavilion – who should throw their weight behind Caroline Lucas, and cast aside the Lib Dem candidate.

After all – as much as the Lib Dems are our great hope for democratic reform – in the context of this election – at a national level – it wouldn’t be healthy to begin conferring upon them the same kind of blind allegiance that has so led the big-two into complacency and disrepute.

And, finally – I can assure the voters of Brighton Pavilion that in Caroline Lucas – they have a candidate of exceptional quality and calibre. Her intelligence, articulacy and ethics are obvious to anyone who has seen her taking part in TV debates, or listened to her on the radio. Not only is she a great candidate – who will be a fantastic MP for you – you will also be doing the nation a service.

Britain needs a Green presence in parliament.

The voters of Brighton Pavilion can lead the way.

Stuart.