Monthly Archives: June 2010

EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT THE WAR IS OVER

EVERYBODY KNOWS THE GOOD GUYS LOST.

MONDAY, 16TH JULY, 2007 –

“I have serious concerns, to be honest, about the whole child protection, child welfare standards of performance of Jersey, not just within my own department, Social Services and the Children’s Service, but across the board. I am aware of a number of issues, this being one of them, a number of cases, a number of incidents that lead me more and more strongly to the conclusion that we are failing badly in this area. I am probably going to be seeking to initiate a major independent review into the whole sphere of child welfare, child protection in Jersey. So if you are asking me honestly, do I believe the performance of certain senior individuals within this field and of the departments generally is acceptable, no, it is not.”

Former Senator Stuart Syvret, Minister of Health & Social Services
In answer to a question without notice, States of Jersey Hansard.

THURSDAY, 17TH JUNE, 2010 –

“Le Gresley Emerges Triumphant in Senatorial By-Election”.

Jersey Evening Post.

I only discovered this many months later, from my sources – but within two-and-a-half hours of me giving the reply quoted above, to a question I was asked in the Jersey parliament – the senior civil servants within my own department – Health & Social Services – and their allies, such as Bill Ogley – were beginning the process of engineering my dismissal as Minister.

That process successfully concluded for them, nearly three years later – as evidenced in the quote from what passes for a “newspaper” in Jersey – in respect of the recent by-election result.

A by-election I brought about – as it was the last feasible action I could resort to within the Jersey political realm to fight back on behalf of the public interest, against the civil service criminals such as Ogley.

Three years – of an existence beyond the imaginings of Kafka; official lies, brazen denials of evidenced facts, other politicians gripped by a kind of emperor’s-new-clothes consensus-trance born of a peculiar admixture of fear and bitter jealousy, obviously criminal civil servants dictating to the cabinet what it should do, broken and shattered abuse survivors being broken and shattered all over again at the experience of seeing the first and only Jersey politician to fight for them being oppressed for his troubles, soi disant journalists quite merrily churning-out the most breathtaking of lies in spite of the fact I’d handed them evidence to the contrary, obstructions by the Bailiff to the publication of parliamentary reports, many months of unlawful covert police surveillance, ten-strong police raids, unlawful imprisonment, home turned over from top to bottom – without a search-warrant, being locked in a windowless police cell for seven-and-a-half hours, being charged with ‘breaking the data protection law’ for trying to prevent my frail elderly constituents from being murdered, denied legal representation, having my relationship wrecked by the pressure, denied access to the evidence I need to defend myself – and if that wasn’t bad enough – at the eleventh hour of the political show-trial being mounted against me, being told that the prosecution had now decided that the evidence necessary to my public interest disclosure defence was “no longer admissible”.

And that is only up to the 21st October, 2009.

There is a quite fitting arc of symmetry between those two dates – 16th July 2007 and 17th June 2010.

The beginning and the end of a process.

Let us call it a war.

And that is not too strong a word.

The power environment of Jersey reminds me of the giant tanks of ultra high-level radio-active acid – used to dissolve the cladding from spent fuel-rods – at the Cap de La Hauge nuclear reprocessing plant; so radio-active the contents have to be kept mechanically stirred and refrigerated perpetually to prevent the liquid from boiling. Virtually all of the island’s politicians, news-editors, business bosses, journalists, senior civil servants, rentiers and the remaining sludge of other assorted grifters and shills having to be kept in a kind of toxic stasis – a condition carefully maintained only by excluding the facts. The instant that equilibrium is threatened by anything or anyone pointing to that looming, but otherwise ignored inconvenience, known as reality, a carcinogenic seething begins, driven and amplified in a chain-reaction amongst the elements that make up the Jersey “polite”.

It was no happenstance that the analogue of environmental disasters was in my mind, as I sat down to write this posting. Since the cataclysm first began, I’ve been following the oil eruption in the Gulf of Mexico with increasing despair – and increasing fatalism. A mood re-enforced having watched BBC Panorama yesterday evening, which reported from the scene.

Two things struck me about the program; firstly, just what a fundamentally weak piece of journalism it was – shallow, hackneyed, the predictable tropes from end-to-end, and an exercise in visual and oral cliché. Name me an oil disaster in modern times that wasn’t reported with a few clips of sea birds being tortured to death by the filth, eye-witness accounts from survivors with mournful background music and a few sound-bites from angry locals condemning the oil business and the government? As though the demand, extraction, and cost-cutting for oil supplies was nothing to do with them.

And that reported and quoted response of the locals was the second thing to strike me. Accuse me of stereotyping if you wish, but the general population of the southern states of the USA never struck me as being generally concerned with such “liberal” considerations as the environment. Nor have they ever been especially noted as supporters of effective regulation – the hated “big government”. This is in many respects, a population who culturally identify with ‘Happy Motoring’, and who are addicted to oil. People who drive four litre Jeeps and six litre Hummers and whose response to the merest rise in pump prices for gas is ‘drill, baby, drill.’

Where, exactly, do they think it comes from?

What other can it be, than a tragic, and fin-de-siècle spectacle – when in the year 2010, people still have so little sense of the direct and culpable links between themselves – their own demands and actions – and the often terrible and pyrrhic consequences?

I know there are many committed environmental campaigners in the GoM states – often people who have striven for years to try and raise levels of awareness. You can read many blogs and campaign group web sites in which the sense of despair is palpable. These people have been fighting a war; not really against big business, but more against the circumscribed immediacy of people’s expectations and demands. And those campaigners have lost their war, just as we have lost ours, here in Jersey.

But, in truth, what other outcome was ever likely? Leonard Cohen nailed it in a song:

“Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows.”

That, indeed, is just how it goes. And I came to the conclusion quite some time ago that so unwinnable is the war, the only meaningful final-stand was to take the truth to the public – do one’s best to confront them with it – and regard the inevitable defeat as a means of escape from the front-line.

Inevitable defeat – because the war is not really against the amoral transnational corporations nor the shysters in blazers who tend to make up the majority of the political ranks. Rather – the war is against the distancing and disconnect between people, their immediate instincts – and the consequences. Consequences made inevitable by a political culture which is shaped by a kind of Darwinian evolution to serve the short-term wishes of the populous.

It was when watching news reports and the Panorama programme, that I was struck by the similarities between the normally confidently ignorant NASCAR crackers, suddenly pious in their respect for the environment and startled and angry in their demands for ‘big government’ to kick the ass of big business – and – many Jersey people when simultaneously confronted with their own Armageddon.

Monday, 21st June, 2010.

“Tax Bombshell”

The Jersey Evening Post reports – as though it were some kind of surprise – that the bubble has burst for the usually de minimus approach to taxation in Jersey, and that sales tax, income tax, social security contributions, rates, and duties are all in urgent consideration as targets for increases.

This is, for most people in Jersey, an unpleasant encounter with that entity called reality. But – really – can anyone be surprised?

We have a tax system that has stagnated for decades – taking less revenue out of the economy as a percentage of GDP than any other jurisdiction in Western Europe – with a purpose-built feature for the rich – namely engaging with the payment of tax only as a purely voluntary exercise.

And by way of contrast, we have a colossally expensive, top-heavy and bloated senior civil service – the major players in which are incompetent, unaccountable, frequently corrupt, unsackable yet unemployable, often criminal and generally crap.

So crap – that notwithstanding numerous well-evidenced and very serious examples of gross professional misconduct and other malfeasances by the senior managers within Health and Social Services – rather than them being sacked – and replaced with professionals actually capable of doing the job – we’re about to spend another vast fortune of tax-payers money employing another layer of Health mangers – to do the job of the existing crap managers – whilst those crap managers sit around doing nothing – because they’re too crap to be in charge of a first aid box. A crap first aid box, at that.

The suddenly shocked population of Jersey may bellow for the blood of the politicians responsible for this disastrous end – but, really, just whose fault is it?

Just as the rednecks were hitherto happily burning fuel by the trailer load, content that paradise consisted of a 12 MPG Humvee and a weekend trip to the NASCAR oval via the beer and firearms stalls at Walmart, Jersey punters have happily voted for a collection of really quite obvious gangster and cretins; people who would rather spend taxes on expensive reports to protect even more expensive civil servants – even though the civil servants in question have – on the evidence – engaged in outright criminality, such as conspiracies to pervert the course of justice.

And – who knows – if the public had been a little more discerning in their choices, it is quite possible that our taxation circumstances would not be quite so disastrous. Perhaps with a few less gangsters and halfwits in our parliament, the States assembly would have voted to support the proposition I tabled for debate in 2004 (P.41/2004) which argued for a comprehensive and transparent inquiry into all of the taxation options Jersey faced at what was a pivotal time.

I argued then that the so-called ‘zero/10%’ proposals of the old Finance & Economics Committee were – quite obviously – not going to work; that we had to fully examine all of the options – and that if we didn’t, we would end up with a revenue crises in which our tax policies were insecure and unstable, and would involve a massive transfer of the tax-burden onto the shoulders of middle and lower income earners.

Now, I realise people don’t like this kind of thing, it being considered too “impolite”, and thus an assault upon the “values” of “The Jersey Way” – but – I told you so.

Here are just a few random quotes from my Report of the 9th March, 2004, in which I was arguing against the ill-considered and obviously rubbish tax proposals of the oligarchy:

“There is no evidence in the furnished documentation that a detailed risk analysis has been undertaken. Have representatives of Jersey sat down with representatives of the European Union and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and spoken with them? Have we put our proposed 0%/10% structure before them and asked if it is likely to satisfy them in the medium and long-term?”

And –

“When considered in this light the 0%/10% proposals look more and more like a short-term palliative measure and less and less like the required structural re-configuration of the Island’s tax structure. If there is a real risk of the 0%/10% proposals doing little more than buying us a few years’ breathing space, have we attached sufficient weight to the downside of the proposals? Have we taken a robust enough view of the possible alternatives? Especially when such alternatives may prove longer lived?”

And –

“The community of Jersey already faces central London living costs – and these are inescapable in an island environment where we cannot commute to a cheaper region. What effect will the regressive nature of these proposals have upon the less well-off in our community? Economically, how many more expensive state interventions will be required to enable ordinary working people to simply live in their Island?”

Naturally, my proposition – which only sought that all taxation options be examined in an open and inclusive manner – was rejected. The Frank Walkers, Philip Ozoufs and Terry Le Sueurs of the States – and their obedient herd of passive lobby-fodder – preferring not to even examine the options in a transparent way – lest the plebs start getting ideas.

Oh well – you casts your votes – and you gets your consequences. Enjoy those big, fat tax bills.

Whilst the final three years of my twenty years as a politician were spent fighting the particularly horrifying and demanding war for child protection in Jersey – in truth the entire twenty years were one, long, war.

And it was during these last three years that I realised it was a war that could never be won.

If as a politician you confront the public with hard evidence of the unlawful concealment of child abuse by their expensive public administration – and a majority of the public just don’t care – then the war is unwinnable.

Unwinnable because the complacent ignorances and casual belligerences of people are un-breachable; when they prefer to defend a civil servant who costs them £250,000 a year, rather than the victims of child abuse – they just can’t be reached.

If I’m honest – I knew – just simply knew for a stone fact – the war was lost – from the afternoon of Wednesday the 5th December 2007.

If there was a single point at which my previously optimistic view of what society could be, was swallowed-up by the dark reality of just how disgusting so many people are, it was then.

In fact, that incident made me return to a book I had last read some years before – Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy. I’d always regarded it as a great work, but I felt compelled to read it again – remembering that the horrors depicted in it felt like the truth. And they are. Which is why McCarthy is such a great writer.

The central antagonist in the book is an omnipotent, seemingly invulnerable, child-murdering mutant, known as the judge. He always wins. Remind you of anything?

At one point McCarthy has the judge say –

“It makes no difference what men think of war. War endures. As well ask men what they think of stone. War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. That is the way it was and will be. That way and not some other way.”

Like all truly great writers, McCarthy has an executive-box, full-on panoramic view of the truth; a vista broader, deeper and more crystal-clear than a thousand HD widescreens could ever be.

And, at the last, it is that truth I have to acknowledge defeat by.

In fact – so implacably grim are the prospects for the world, that I read an American commentator who recently suggested – only half-jokingly – that Cormac McCarthy should be the next President; the thinking being that only a man who has written such works as No Country for Old Men, The Road, and Blood Meridian could look at the vast confluence of unprecedented epochal economic, social, fiscal, environmental and global disasters befalling the USA – and not be overwhelmed by the bleakness.

I don’t think he’d want the job, somehow. He would know already just how futile it was.

I found myself wondering if he will write a novel based on the events of the oil eruption catastrophe? The southern USA is his part of the world – and if anyone could encompass and truly understand just how bad it really is – it would be him.

How bad is it?

A lot worse than you would understand from platitudinous broadcasts such as the Panorama program. It now appears that the flow of oil into the Gulf waters is dramatically greater than original estimates – and some expert observers mount credible arguments to suggest it could actually take several years to fully close down. As with all such incidents, there are some off-the-wall stories as to just how bad it could become, but it is feasible that the cemented well-bore could be corrupted beyond repair in several places many hundreds of feet below the seabed, allowing the oil to emerge directly from the sediment around the well-head.

If you’re a pensioner, whose fund might have been invested in BP – I would be worried.

Very worried.

The company has – effectively – accepted liability – and committed to paying the full costs of the disaster – economic and environmental.

Not – of course – that any amount of money can now recover that beautiful part of the world from the consequences of our demands and expectations. Over twenty years after the Exxon Valdez, communities up and down the coast of Alaska are still uncovering patches of oil. They say on a hot day, when the tide is out, you can smell it – the air reeks of petrol. Some species that were wiped-out in the spill have never recovered.

But set aside the environmental destruction – and just consider the economic and real-estate damage done by the spill – a spill which, in my estimation, we can already describe as the worst oil disaster in human history. The income and assets of ten BPs wouldn’t get close to meeting that cost.

Expect BP to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection within the next four to six weeks.

Alas, the planet – and human society – has no such devices to enable shelter from reality.

The environment has lost its war with us.

Our children’s futures have lost the war with our immediate demands and gratifications.

Jersey tax-payers have lost the war with their selfishly intended voting habits.

Vulnerable children have lost the war with the collection of over-paid gangsters who control Jersey’s civil service.

The straight cops have lost the war with the bent cops.

The poor, bewildered rednecks have lost the war with a failed – as in now over – life-style – and no amount of yee-haws, Budweiser and handguns loaded with hollow-tip ammunition is going to fill the gas tank on the hummer for forty bucks – nor restore the destroyed environment of the Gulf.

We’ve all lost the war.

And it was an inevitable defeat.

Because the war was with our own natures.

Stuart.

CHOICES:

Who Wants to –

Or Who Can –

Continue to Live

With “The Jersey Way”?

I remarked a long time ago that I was going to enjoy this by-election.

Well – perhaps “enjoy” isn’t quite the right word – as I’m resigned – in deep sadness – to the fact that our community is in the iron grip of a nakedly corrupt establishment – who are virtually impossible to combat – and whose malign stupidity and unashamed wickedness has done so much damage to Jersey’s future.

When I wrote that I would enjoy this election, what I meant was that I personally was unconcerned at the result. And, indeed, such freedom has enabled me to achieve one of the main objectives I had in triggering this by-election; namely – introducing some of the plain truth to the voting public during these weeks of campaigning.

For example – at the Grouville husting a question was asked to the effect: ‘whether the recently departed Housing Minister, Terry Le Main, was correct to have resigned?’

Of course the candidates all said ‘yes’ – but several of them expressed sympathy for Le Main, suggesting that “he hadn’t been allowed a proper defence”.

Being free to tell the truth – I was able to answer – to applause and the laughter of recognition – that three-quarters of the population of Jersey had known perfectly well for decades that Le Main is a brazen crook and text-book example of a spiv – who should have been prosecuted years ago – never mind remaining as a States member.

I was also able to briefly compare and contrast the “right to a defence” that some believed Le Main had been denied – with the absolute denial of any such right to me during several examples of straightforward, unlawful political oppression I have been subjected to by our oligarchy over the years.

And – by happy co-incidence – who should be sat at the back of the audience but former Bailiff Sir Philip Bailhache.

I was able to point at Phil and state –”there is Philip Bailhache – that man unlawfully prevented the official publication of my Ministerial Notes, which were to be tabled as my defence against the engineering of my dismissal as Health & Social Services Minister.”

A statement of fact that even he could make no attempt to dispute.

We only have sixty seconds to answer each question – but had time permitted, I would also have recounted in detail Bailhache’s absolute and unlawful denial of any opportunity for me to defend myself when he had me unlawfully suspended from the States for six months – back in 1996 – because I had discovered and exposed a friend of his, then Senator Reg Jeune, engaging in straightforward corruption.

Though the decent population of Jersey know perfectly well that corruption is the very flesh and bones – and the very fuel – of power in the island, the climate of fear which the oligarchy have so carefully maintained over the decades prevents most people expressing that knowledge publicly.

The corruption is never combated because we do not make it an issue of public political concern – because we’re too afraid to openly state its existence. People look at what the Jersey oligarchy are able to do to people of no-less seniority than the Chief Constable of the Police Force, Graham Power, and the senior Senator, me – and they think, ‘my God – if the crooks can get away with such obviously unlawful oppression of people in positions of power – what will they do to me and my family if I upset them?’

But our problem is doubly bad. Not only are we a community in which the public cannot lead the campaign for a clean-up, because decent people live in fear – we also cannot look to our police, prosecution system, judiciary, media or politicians to root-out the corruption for us – because all of those entities themselves are contaminated with the sleaze.

Of course, there are many decent and honest people in the police – and even a few decent and honest politicians. But when the people who call the shots – who wield the power – want the bent status quo to remain in place – a decent silent majority can be powerless.

Which is why – especially in light of the gravly serious revelations of the last three years – I have had to shoulder the burden of becoming Jersey’s first ever political anti-corruption campaigner; a nightmarishly difficult task, that I’m not prepared to undertake – unless I have the clear support of the people of Jersey.

Hence this by-election – and the opportunity it affords me to engage in some plain speaking.

So – at the hustings at St. Saviours and at St. Peters – I used my opening five minute speech to inform the audience of the conduct of Terry Le Main – his friend, Geoff Noel – and associates – and a bent land-rezoning exercise.

A nakedly corrupt enterprise so large-scale and brazen – and consequently damaging to the oligarchy, should the truth emerge – that they have done everything in their power to conceal it.

Those actions have – so far – included a bent cop unlawfully leaking to the then Attorney General William Bailhache, correspondence from the person making the criminal complaint. Bill Bailhache in turn, unlawfully leaking that correspondence to his brother – then Bailiff Sir Philip Bailhache – who then further broke the law by seeking to intimidate and harass a States member contra Article 47 of the States of Jersey Law.

No matter how bad you imagined the corruption – it is, actually, worse.

For example – and though I’ve published this before, it bears repeated contemplation – just consider this quote taken from a secret file-note written by the Chief of Police, Graham Power, in July 2007, in respect of senior civil servants trying to stop me from exposing child protection failures: –

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

What greater corruption can there be than the concealment of child protection failures; the concealment of child abuse?

Yet the corrupt and criminal concealment of child abuse – is what Bill Ogley and the other civil servants were engaging in – to the disgust of Graham Power – back in July 2007.

But – Graham Power was unlawfully suspended – and the evidenced crook, Bill Ogley, continues to be in your employment as the fourth most expensive civil servant in Britain.

Very strange, no?

As I sit and write this – in June 2010 – there is more than enough published evidence to show any thinking person that the Jersey establishment corruptly sabotaged the child abuse investigation – and that unlawfully oppressing Graham Power was a necessary part of that conspiracy.

But there were also other motives; other pressing reasons why the Jersey oligarchy just had to remove Graham Power from his post. After all – when you have been as corrupt and malfeasant as the Jersey establishment has, for so long, been – what could be more frightening than a straight, tough, nationally respected Chief Constable?

And it is one of those other reasons that I am going to recount in this posting.

I want to begin by reminding readers of something I wrote in my blog posting of the 21st April: –

“However – in the catalogue of errors that has been the Jersey oligarchy’s conduct throughout the child abuse scandal – there are three disastrous misjudgements – three terminally suicidal actions – that there was never, really, going to be any recovery from.

Firstly, the decision by the Jersey cabinet – to join with the corrupt civil servants in the deliberate concealing of child abuse – and their engineering of my dismissal as a Minister.

Secondly, the – frankly insane – action of corruptly and improperly suspending the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police Force. A nationally respected Chief Constable and holder of the Queens Police Medal. And doing so – in support of, of all things – the sabotaging of a major child abuse investigation.

Thirdly, the crazed, Mugabesque, police-state arrest, searching and oppression of a prominent opposition politician. The theft of his constituents’ private data, the denial of his human rights, the refusal to provide legal representation and attempts to prevent him from even adducing the evidence he needs to defend himself.”

Those three criminal and anti-democratic acts of the Jersey oligarchy have several characteristics in common.

However, there is one, shared, characteristic that is more noteworthy than the others.

Behind each of those bizarre and, frankly stupid, acts – there is one, prominent individual – who has been the same controlling and driving force at the centre of each of the three malfeasances.

That individual is William Bailhache.

Former Attorney General – and now Deputy Bailiff.

An evidenced liar and crook.

Back in 2007 he provided a great deal of ‘legal’ ‘advice’ and ‘guidance’ to the then cabinet, in their efforts to engineer my dismissal. He also failed to warn them of the criminality of their actions, and those of the civil servants involved – indeed, he joined in with those criminal actions. He also directed and used then – as his successor as Attorney General continues to do to this day – the Data Protection Commissioner to unlawfully harass and oppress me.

However – it isn’t those events of 2007 that I want to focus upon. Instead, I want to examine some – seemingly – unconnected events that occurred in 2008 and 2009; the events I have briefly explained at a couple of the hustings meetings.

During 2007 and early 2008, the Deputy of Grouville, Carolyn Labey, was growing increasingly concerned at plans to re-zone a significant number of areas of open land across the island. Designated in the legally binding planning policy as ‘country-side’ or ‘green-zone’ land, the many fields in question were – supposedly – protected from development.

Jersey is a very small island; around 45 square miles. Land is at a premium. With a population of around 100,000, demand for property is very high. For example, a standard, three-bedroom family starter home, of the kind a newly married couple might buy, cost an average sum of over £500,000.

There is also a tremendous amount of money in Jersey – albeit poorly distributed. Those many people on lower and middle incomes often struggling to make ends meet in an environment that has a cost of living at least equivalent to central London. And the cost of accommodation is the major part of that financial burden.

So – land in short supply; huge demand for homes; the off-shore finance industry injecting lots of money into the local economy – and lots of developers and property speculators – often including local oligarchs – looking to make fortunes in a feeding-frenzy of development.

A market in which a piece of green-zone land might have its already high value – multiplied thirty times – in the course of a single afternoon – if the States can be persuaded to re-zone in favour of development.

There we have a picture of Jersey’s second-largest economic sector: the accommodation industry.

Now – here’s a funny thing. Did you know that during the last four decades of immense economic expansion in Jersey – we have never had as much as one, single case of planning corruption?

Which is quite amazing – when you think about it – because of all the types of corruption to be found at local and regional government level, throughout the developed world, planning corruption is – by far – the most common. One reads of prosecutions and convictions whenever one studies the subject.

Jersey is a small island with a limited supply of land – some of the highest property values to be found anywhere on the face of the planet – with billions and billions of dollars floating around in the island, vast fortunes to be made, and no central government to monitor the conduct of the local authorities. But – in-spite of that seemingly toxic amalgam of ingredients – which could have been assembled for the sole purpose of breeding corruption on a massive scale – Jersey has never – ever – had as much as one single example of planning corruption.

Isn’t that just brilliant?

Now – there are two possible explanations for that state of affairs.

1: Jersey property speculators – and the island’s authorities – have all been people of superhuman moral perfection – thus causing Jersey to be unique in the entire global history of modern, developed societies – in having no planning corruption.

Or –

2: Planning corruption has been rampant and endemic in Jersey for decades – but the island’s oligarchy have rather liked things that way – hence no charges or prosecutions; it being just another example of “The Jersey Way” at work – a bit like the child abuse. A lot of people know it’s going on – but they’re involved in it – or they consider it too “impolite” to mention it – or they’re too terrified of retributions from the powers-that-be to do anything about it.

I invite readers to weigh-up the probabilities for themselves.

Meanwhile – back to our narrative.

From September 2006 discussions took place amongst a group of people, including the Planning Minister, the twelve parish Connetables, certain property developers and the then Housing Minister – Terry – Tel Boy – Le Main.

These discussions had the supposed objective of identifying land suitable for development to provide “essential” housing for the over-55s, and eventually led to the production of a ‘white-paper’ which was then presented at a number of public meetings.

At face value, this exercise might seem perfectly reasonable; after all, perhaps there genuinely was a pressing need to create such housing.

However – upon closer examination, the exercise had a number of deeply puzzling characteristics.

For example –

• The eight large sites identified for such housing – just happened to be in the countryside-zone or green-zone.

• The twelve Connetables – in “surveying” the populations of their parishes to gauge the supposed “need” for such housing – used different criteria – or even no criteria – from parish to parish, leading to random and amorphous results – the veracity and consistency of which could never quite be pinned-down.

• No methodologically sound, verifiable analysis of the supposed “need” for this housing has ever been produced.

• This open land was being proposed for development – over and above far more suitable ‘brown-field’ sites – such as some redundant glasshouses; the island’s tomato growing industry having declined.

• Strangely, the re-zoning of these eight pieces of land was being rushed through – even though a fundamental review of the island’s planning policies and zoning had begun. Far more rational, surely, to wait twelve months, and examine the need for such housing – and any resultant need for land re-zoning – within the broad policy of planning in Jersey, the ‘Island Plan’?

• Notwithstanding the absence of any methodologically robust justification for, or analyses of, the supposed “need” for this specific type of housing – nor any meaningful contextualizing of it within a broad housing strategy – the then Housing Minister – Tel Boy Le Main – was rabid in his insistence that the “need” was ‘urgent and pressing’ – and in using his political influence to ensure that these eight sites be re-zoned to enable development. Indeed, when bringing forward the proposals for debate, the Planning Minister made it clear he was doing so only because of the insistence by the Housing Minister that the re-zoning for this type of housing was essential.

• Of the eight sites brought forward for re-zoning, a certain property developer – a Mr. Geoff Noel – had a heavy commercial interest in at least five of them.

• Mr. Noel happens to be a personal friend of the then Housing Minister, Terry – Tel Boy – Le Main.

• The same Housing Minster who had to recently resign – for having sought to use his influence to have a prosecution of another friend of his, dropped.

In early 2008, being deeply concerned at the seeming irrationality of this exercise, and alarmed at what may well be the needless destruction of environmentally important open land, Deputy Carolyn Labey brought a proposition for debate before the States (P.33/2008) in which she argued strongly that the proposed re-zoning made no sense ahead of the Island Plan review; that there was no consistency or method in the assessment of the supposed “need” for such housing; and that, in any event, if such need did exist, the States should first look to such brown-field sights as certain redundant glasshouses.

The major part of her proposition was that the re-zoning of the eight sites should not be proceeded with, and, instead should be considered as a part of the overall Island Plan review.

The debate took place in April 2008, and that central part of the motion was heavily defeated – there being a Jersey Establishment Party ‘three-line-whip’ to vote against it.

Subsequently, the re-zoning proposition – P.75/2008 – was tabled, debated – and approved – in July 2008.

However, the two debates – as is often the way of these things – were of particular interest to quite a number of members of the public, who contacted the Deputy – and provided her with information that made the whole re-zoning exercise appear even more dubious.

Deputy Labey then spent some months investigating the matter further, and gathered more information.

What she learnt so alarmed her – she reported the matter to the police.

And not just any police officer – but the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police, Graham Power, Queens Police Medal.

Mr. Power considered the Deputy’s information and agreed that it could be a very serious matter, and that it did, indeed, merit full and thorough investigation.

He handed the case to a senior officer to carry forward – one Dave Minty.

Minty approached the investigation with what appeared to be complete intransigence.

Notwithstanding repeated requests from Deputy Labey to know what progress was being made, nothing appeared to happen. Indeed, Minty flatly refused to formally interview certain willing witnesses, who were prepared to make statements.

Nevertheless, unable to simply ignore the complaints totally, they were instead referred to the Controller and Auditor General.

Earlier in this process – with rumors of investigation beginning to circulate – Le Main is known to have had a meeting with the then Bailiff, Sir Philip Bailhache. It was shortly after this meeting that the investigative process seemed to come to a virtual halt.

Deputy Labey again e-mailed the Chief of Police, Mr. Power, to express concern that the powers-that-be might be slowing the investigation in order to protect Le Main, and/or avoid a major scandal for the States. Mr. Power – quite properly – added the e-mail correspondence to the case-file. The case being supposedly investigated by Dave Minty.

By now, the date was early November, 2008.

It was around this time that Mr. Power – before leaving the island for a short break – was in communication one evening with the then Attorney General, William Bailhache.

Mr. Bailhache raised the issue of the Deputy’s complaint with Mr. Power – and strongly expressed to him the view that it should not be taken seriously. He said “the Deputy’s judgment couldn’t be trusted; one only had to look at who her partner was.”  [at that time her partner was me – Stuart Syvret – the leading opposition member & senior Senator and the person who had lead the whistle-blowing against Jersey’s endemic & systemic child-abuse cover-up; a cover-up in which William Bailhache and his brother Philip Bailhache were long-standing – evidenced – participants. The pressure and stress of the various oppressions we have both suffered having since driven us apart, but at that time, I was her partner. These words & conduct by William Bailhache, as stated by Chief Police Officer Graham Power, re-enforces and further evidences the long-obvious rabid fear and hatred felt by the London & Crown-appointed William Bailhache & his brother Philip Bailhache towards Stuart Syvret.

Mr. Power grew angry at these words and conduct by William Bailhache, and informed the Attorney General that his remarks were wholly inappropriate; that the Deputy’s complaint to the police was the proper thing to have done, and that the matter did need inquiring into.

However – unbeknown to Mr. Power and Deputy Labey, police officer Dave Minty – rather than investigating the matter objectively and ensuring his work was not contaminated by the involvement of people in his work the purpose of which being to investigate those people and their behaviour – had instead simply been leaking everything – including the Deputy’s e-mails to Mr. Power – directly to William Bailhache, a target of the investigation. This in direct and flagrant violation of the Data Protection Law – not to mention the many legal obligations upon police officers and a police force.

And – in turn – William Bailhache was leaking at least some of this data – to his brother – the then Bailiff, Sir. Philip Bailhache – also a conflicted party. Again – this leaking of data – and its receipt – both being unambiguous criminal acts. For not only was the Data Protection Law being broken – it also amounted to a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

That this unlawful leaking of data was taking place was discovered by Deputy Labey – or rather it was revealed to her – in subsequent events.

On the 5th November, 2008, the Deputy received an angry message from the Bailiff’s chambers [“Bailiff” Philip Bailhache, brother of Attorney General & sole prosecuting authority in Jersey, William Bailhache] – demanding that she attend his office that day, as there was an issue he wanted to speak with her about.

Although intimidated by this, the Deputy refused to attend that day, as she had other commitments relevant to the Deputorial elections she was preparing for, and not wanting Philip Bailhache to disrupt her re-election campaign. She did agree to go to his office the next day – the 6th November.

As soon as the door was closed and she was alone with Philip Bailhache he attempted to coerce and intimidate her; “he threw across the desk” at her, “a copy of one of her e-mails to Graham Power, and angrily demanded that she explain her actions in making the complaint, and demanded that she write a letter of ‘”Apology” to Graham Power “for having “misled” him with her e-mails’”.

The actions of Philip Bailhache were unlawful in many respects. Not only was he in breach of the Data Protection Law – he was also breaking Article 47 of the States of Jersey Law – by attempting to intimidate and harass a States member.

Shocked, intimidated and very upset at these events, Deputy Labey – with reluctance – wrote an e-mail to Mr. Power, but not one of ‘apology’; instead it, essentially, just informed him that the meeting had occurred, and what had been said to her.

Mr. Power, by this stage, was on leave in the United Kingdom for a few days. No doubt – once preliminary investigations, and the work of the Controller and Auditor General had been completed – the Police Chief would have then ensured a full investigation into the Big Money planning zone designation corruption did take place.

However – the Chief of Police was unable to see that this happened.

At 8.44 a.m on the morning of Saturday the 8th November – William Bailhache – or someone working to his authority  – wrote the first draft of the letter of suspension that was to be served on Graham Power – without warning – by Bill Ogley and Andrew Lewis – on the morning of the 12th November 2008.

That being the supposed “emergency” suspension – the letters for which, having – supposedly – been written only in the preceding twelve hours before the meeting on the morning of the 12th.

The “official” version of events went like this: the recently appointed Deputy Police Chief, David Warcup, received an “interim report” by Brian Sweeting, of the Metropolitan Police. This supposedly being a peer-review of the historic child abuse investigation.

The report by Sweeting allegedly contained such criticism of the child abuse investigation, that it merited the immediate suspension of Graham Power.

This notwithstanding the fact that four reports by the Association of Chief Police Officers – ACPO – had thoroughly endorsed the historic abuse investigation – and Sweeting did not even interview the two, central figures relevant to the conduct of the investigation – Lenny Harper, and Andre Baker of ACPO – until the 18th November.

That being eight days after Warcup received Sweeting’s “Met report” on the 10th November 2008.

And ten days after William Bailhache – or his agent – wrote the first draft of the suspension letter – on the morning of the 8th November 2008.

Mr. Power strongly suspected that the “official” version of events was not true, and he strove to obtain the evidence.

Eventually – after nine months of official lies – and absolute determined refusal by Terry Le Sueur to disclose this information – Mr. Power eventually succeeded in obtaining the electronic data that showed the true date and time of when the key letters were first created.

Not on the 11th November – as the “official” version of events had it – but on the morning of the 8th November.

Two full days before the “interim Met report” was received by David Warcup.

Plainly – the Jersey oligarchy had many pressing motivations to remove, and attempt to discredit, the Chief of Police – not least their urgent wish to ridicule, in the eyes of the public, the historic child-abuse investigation – before the island’s politically crucial Deputy general election later that November.

Mr. Power is firmly of the view that amongst those establishment motivations for ‘neutralizing’ him – was his attitude to the planning corruption issues raised by Deputy Labey – and his defense of her in response to William Bailhache’s denigrations.

But – no doubt to the distress of the establishment – the question of planning corruption was not terminated with the unlawful suspension of Mr. Power.

Deputy Labey, in response to constituents’ concerns, continued to research the subject, and press for a full investigation.

In March 2009, I made an unrelated public interest disclosure, by posting on this blog a police report concerning a matter of the utmost seriousness. However – not withstanding the fact that the report in question had already become a public document following its tabling as evidence in the Royal Courts of Justice in London – (or – perhaps because it had been so tabled, and the immense City of London Corporation interests in maintaining the fabulously profitable Jersey tax-haven status-quo were threatened?) – the Jersey oligarchy decided to use the report’s internet publication by me, as an excuse to mount an unlawful massed police raid against me. At that time I shared the home of Deputy Labey with who I’d been in a happy, stable relationship for some years.

I stepped from the door of the house shortly after 9.00 a.m, and was immediately descended upon by three unmarked police cars, each carrying two non-uniformed officers, who leapt from the vehicles and surrounded me – informing me that I was under arrest for a supposed breach of the Data Protection Law. In addition to those six, another two officers were present to take part in the search, and another two had been waiting in a van in the road outside, equipped with a battering-ram – of the kind used in drugs raids – “had it become necessary to effect a forced entry”.

I spent seven and a half hours locked in windowless police cells – whilst the police turned over the Deputy’s house from top to bottom – including the children’s’ bedrooms.

The police had no search warrant.

The Data Protection Law clearly stipulates a due process for investigating any alleged breach – part of which includes the requirement to obtain a search warrant should any raid become necessary.

The police chose to ignore that law – instead relying – unlawfully – on an emergency search power. This was a tactic quite deliberately – very deliberately – settled upon by the Attorney General, William Bailhache, and David Warcup – because had the raid been conducted under a search warrant for the purposes of the Data Protection Law, the search could only have been undertaken to the extent reasonable and proportionate for the purpose for which the warrant was issued.

And that just wouldn’t do.

The raid and search had many motivations. Not least amongst them, enabling the theft of my constituents’ private data and communications with me – and attempting to identify and intimidate my various sources.

But – also this.

The Attorney General, William Bailhache and his brother, the Bailiff Philip Bailhache, were increasingly alarmed at the continuing interest of Deputy Labey in the question of possible planning corruption. Clearly – he and the rest of the oligarchs were determined to bury it and protect the establishment from a scandal. But – was a continuing cover-up feasible? What if the Deputy simply had too much information?

Only one way to find out.

The Deputy and I worked from the same office on the premises.

Amongst the files searched and copied by the police during the raid was one of her large file transfer cases, in which she kept some of the information related to the planning corruption.

The box in question was left with its lid open, in a disturbed state on a table in the office.

On the day of the raid and during the next day, the police officer responsible for the operation was quoted in the local media.

He was Dave Minty.

The same man who was prevaricating over investigating the Deputy’s complaints.

The same man who unlawfully leaked the Deputy’s e-mails to Graham Power – to William Bailhache – all those months earlier.

But – Minty suddenly vanished from all – apparent – involvement in the unlawful raid – a couple of days after it took place.

And – even more strikingly – even though it is a matter of public record from the media reports of the time, that he was involved in controlling the operation – his involvement has been repeatedly – dishonestly – denied.

The Advocate prosecuting me for supposed breaches of the Data Protection Law – Stephen Baker, formerly of 7 Bedford Row – and a former employee of William Bailhache – has repeatedly committed perjury during preliminary court hearings, by denying Minty’s involvement.

Why – we must wonder – should the establishment be quite so desperate to pretend that Minty was not involved in the planning or controlling of the unlawful police raid?

And why should the politically motivated prosecution being mounted against me – initiated by William Bailhache – have repeatedly refused to disclose to me the evidence necessary to my defense?

Well – look at this way; such a unique and impressive record – as “having had no planning corruption in Jersey during all the post-war years” – doesn’t get maintained by accident.

That, then, is one case-study of just how corrupt and defective governance in Jersey is.

This by-election is happening for one reason – and one reason only.

Because I and others have fought against such corruption; fought against it above and beyond the call of duty. But in the final analyses – we few can’t defeat it.

Only the people of Jersey can do that.

But, do they want to?

The out-come of the by-election this Wednesday answers that question.

And no matter what the answer – if I win, or if I lose – Thursday morning is a bright, new start.

Stuart.

ROUND TWO – AND-A-HALF!

And a few Foul Blows.

Apologies for not producing the score-card for round 2 of the Senatorial hustings earlier; bit time consuming fighting an election campaign – so been very busy these last few days.

But – my – what an interesting few days it’s been – what, with some of the predicted fisty-cuffs breaking out amidst the battling candidates – and other political issues hitting the news in Jersey.

Of the former, we’ve had Saturday’s youth hustings at the Arts Centre – the half-round as it were – with some of the ‘needle’ between candidates spilling-out into cyber-space-hosted grudge-matches. (I’m having my go below.)

Of the latter, we have the terribly curious case of the Housing Minister – Terry – Tel Boy – Le Main – suddenly finding himself embroiled in a scandal, because a prosecuting lawyer revealed to the court that Le Main had attempted to intercede with the prosecuting authority – Jersey’s Attorney General – in an attempt to get charges against a friend of his dropped.

A particularly embarrassing intervention – as the charges were for breaking Housing regulations – the law Le Main’s department is responsible for administering.
And what is so terribly curious about this case is – why?

Why now? Why Le Main? Why all the fuss – at all – given such favouritism and intervention on behalf of one’s friends, family and “business associates” has long been a part of the accepted culture of “The Jersey Way”?

Why not – for example – a similar geyser of outrage – when I exposed the fact that Sarah Ferguson and Colin Egre had been entertained in a private, secret meeting with the then Attorney General, William – Barking Bill – Bailhache – during which they sought the holding-off of charges against a friend of theirs – tow-truck proprietor Mr. Boschat – who had already admitted in court bribing cops for call-out business?

In fact – even more curious – it was the same Attorney General involved.

Why – we have to ask – if such a political intervention into the prosecution process by Le Main is now deemed outrageous – why was it then – and does it remain – perfectly acceptable in the cases of Ferguson and Egre?

Indeed, we have to ask just why it is poor old Tel Boy who has been singled-out for such exposure – when Political abuse of the prosecution process in Jersey has been wide-spread for decades – both in respect of seeking to prevent justifiable prosecutions from taking place – or unjustifiable prosecutions – such as those against me – being carried out?

Well – it could be that the Jersey establishment have finally become just too embarrassed by Tel Boy’s conduct; but come along, guys – this is twenty five years too late. What gives?

It couldn’t be all the highly profitable land-re-zoning-for-housing – err – do-da – that’s about to undergo a distributive interface with the proverbial ventilation device – could it?

Or – frankly – any of dozens of other – um – embarrassments?

Well – perhaps we can look to Round Three of the election fight for a few questions – and answers? The venue is St. Saviour’s parish hall. The time-keeper’s bell will sound at 7.30. Who knows – it might be tonight – after the first couple of cagey opening rounds – that the fighters come out punching with bad intentions?

I said there had been a few issues in the news – so I suppose one has to make reference to BBC Jersey – in which case the dramatic scandal involving the Minister for Housing, no-less – writing in his official capacity to Jersey’s Attorney General – demanding that the Minister’s friend be let-off criminal charges of breaching housing regulations – only becomes ‘news’ 72 hours after the story has broken everywhere else.

Though, no doubt, BBC Jersey’s late decision to cover this story was driven by the BBC Jersey Charter and local broadcasting regulations – which stipulate that a misbalance must be maintained at all times in favour of anyone opposing Stuart Syvret – especially if an election is taking place. Thus Geoff Southern’s opportunistic bandwagoning of the Le Main situation suddenly rendered the matter “newsworthy” in BBC-world.

Still – I suppose one can’t blame Southern for such desperation; both the JDA and his election campaign are disintegrating about his ears – as angry former JDA supporters take to cyberspace in wholesale condemnation of him and Ted Vibert; both men having now clearly revealed themselves as self-interested egotists whose misjudgements have damaged the interests of ordinary people and, effectively, assisted Jersey’s establishment. Ted Vibert’s “contributions” in particular have been quite brilliant to observe for those who take sadistic pleasure in witnessing political self-destructions. He and Southern touting themselves as the One True Voice of progressive politics in Jersey – whilst having devoted 80% of their output to attacking – not the establishment candidates – but, instead, fellow progressives.

Ted Vibert’s fulminating diatribe of lies and aggression against a respected female representative of the abuse survivors being a particularly telling example of both the real political motivations of Southern and his JDA – and the generally toxic misjudgements of the JDA leadership.

Let’s face it – one does not require the political nous of Alistair Campbell to perhaps recognise – in Jersey – in 2010 – in an election – that is only occurring because a politician is so disgusted at the child abuse cover-ups, that he has triggered a by-election – that to focus your political attack on the said politician – by heaping derision and abuse upon a female survivor – just might not be entirely the most appropriate means of “getting your message across”.

Especially when your own JDA candidate just so happens to be an – err – allegedly embarrassed ex-teacher – who won’t be able to get a job back in teaching – when he’s plain old Mr. Southern again after next year’s election – if the information recently coming into my knowledge is anything to go by.

Still – it is not only the survivors and I who have attracted the – perhaps literally – deranged flood of bile and lies from the Ted and Geoff Show. Not content with falsely accusing me of lying – and accusing the survivors of lying – they also accuse Mr. Le Cornu of lying, when he claims to have done a great deal of the important background legal work necessary to enable the redundant Woolworths’ workers to secure redundancy compensation.

He did.

As the evidence shows.

I confess I find the Southern/JDA/Vibert approach to this election somewhat curious; it seems to embody a phenomenon I’ve never witnessed before in electoral politics. A bizarre kind of amalgam of both negative and positive campaigning – in which they thrash around for any positive political issue, idea or campaign to have emerged during the last ten years – sing its praises – whilst inflating their association – however tenuous – with the said campaign – then, in the next breath heaping damning negativity and insults upon their opponents, several of who have done more work in the very campaigns that the JDA seek to lay claim to as their own.

In my case, for example, to hear him speak, you would think the Town Park was a Southern/JDA idea and project. Somehow – the fact that it was my idea – and lots of ordinary people, myself amongst them, spent several years in tireless grass-roots campaigning for the scheme and raising a 17,000 signature petition – before Southern became involved – has been airbrushed from “history” – as writ by the JDA.

Not sharing the “values” of the JDA approach – nor their extremely distant acquaintance with the truth – I’m more than happy to state that Southern and other JDA members have – in more recent times – contributed to the campaign for the park – as have a significant number of other people. In similar terms, the JDA members have, indeed, engaged in some important political campaigns.

But such good works have, I’m afraid, fallen from public view – washed away by the torrent of misjudged campaigning. Thinking about it – it isn’t only the curious blend of positive negativity – or negative positivity that is so contradictory in the JDA offerings. (Shall we call it ‘positnegivity’? I’m open to variations.) One sees a very similar and insoluble paradox in the characters of the two-headed mutation that is Ted Vibert and Geoff Southern. (I have some name suggestions for this phenomenon – shall we call it – ‘the Tedoff’? Or ‘the Viberern’? Or the ‘Tedberern’? I suppose it depends upon which half one considers the top, and which the bottom – and out of which end of this fantastical beast one thinks the most substantive noises emit?) Both men noted – especially recently for – bellowing at anyone unfortunate enough to be in the same room, that they – and their JDA – exemplify “teamwork” – and all the attributes so required – such as a calm and moderate disposition, a willingness to sit reflectively and willingly consider the views of others, an ability to accept that sometimes one’s own perspective may be inaccurate, an ability to keep in check what might otherwise be overbearing and tempestuous personal traits, so as not to intimidate the less strong-willed – and – an absence of egotism.

Now – correct me if I’m in error here – but neither man ever struck me as being particular exemplars of those characteristics?

In fact – I was reminded of Ted’s – err – personality traits when taking part in last Friday’s hustings at the Communicare centre in St. Brelade. That being the same venue where – some years earlier – I had taken part in a meeting organised by Mrs. Minihane for senior citizens to ask questions concerning housing, health and social care issues. Ted was in the audience and wanted to ask a question. Mrs Minihane declined his request, pointing out that this was a meeting for senior citizens to ask questions, not those involved in politics.

When the meeting ended – and whilst there were still a number of people milling around the hall – Mr. Vibert – face an alarming shade of beetroot – confronted poor Mrs Minihane, the organiser of Age Concern, and literally screamed in her face that she was – and this is an exact quote – “running a fascist organisation!”

I confess I’d never previously equated a concern with bus fares, prescription charges and continuing care fees with a desire to dress-up in black uniforms, bomb Guernica and assassinate Lorca. But, perhaps only “teamwork” – such as that exhibited by the Ted and Geoff Show – is capable of producing such an insight?

Yes – the by-election is becoming more entertaining already.

But what of the other candidates – are they stepping-up-to-the-plate – and giving their dues in gladiatorial battle?

Hmm…A bit disappointing so far – but tonight is only Round Three – so there’s still plenty of time for our Peramble around the Parishes – to turn into a Thriller in Manila.

There yet could be the right hooks of logic and the cracked ribs of ignorance – the uppercuts of truth and the broken jaws of falsehood. We warriors might yet spill the blood of policy in the arena of leadership.

OK – we might begin to be a little more forthright with our diagnosis’ of a failed administration and the policies we prescribe to fix it.

Hey, look, it’s a start.

Stuart.