Promise to hold Public Inquiry Broken
In this posting I re-produce a press-statement issued today by the Jersey Care Leavers Association. They are responding to the news that the Jersey government has betrayed its promise to hold a public inquiry into the Jersey Child Abuse Disaster.
I’ve often written on this blog that power in Jersey is corrupted, out-of-control, not subject to any functioning checks and balances and that the public have no means of holding the authorities to account.
Sadly – the evidence for that being so just keeps on accumulating.
There are certain immutable facts; for example – the fact that Jersey’s entire system of public administration failed – for decades – to protect vulnerable children in its care from suffering the most monstrous cruelties and abuse. Only now – forty years too late – have some of the abusers been convicted. Not one single part of Jersey’s public authority ever did the right thing, until recent times. On the contrary – the evidence is overwhelming that those working within the child “protection” apparatus – pro-actively defended each other from scrutiny and accountability.
What conclusion must we draw about the standard of governance in Jersey – given that there is no other administration in the western, democratic world that would avoid a public inquiry into such matters?
Given that all of the relevant parts of Jersey’s public administration so disastrously failed – and given that so many of the culpable individuals found mutual cause in covering things up – can we really be surprised that the island’s government now refuses to establish a public inquiry?
Back in the early part of 2007, when I was Health & Social Services Minister – I became the first and only Jersey politician to recognise what was going wrong – to investigate it – and to seek to combat it. I wanted to establish an independent external investigation back then into the failure of Jersey’s child “protection” apparatus. I mentioned that fact when answering a question in the island’s parliament.
The response of the Jersey oligarchy was to have me sacked – for “undermining staff morale”.
Given that the Jersey oligarchy – even then – preferred to become the only jurisdiction on the face of the planet to sack a Social Services Minister for trying to protect vulnerable children – we can’t – sadly – be that surprised that the last thing they want to do is hold a public inquiry into just how it was that so many children were subjected to so much abuse by the Jersey government.
It is increasingly clear that the legal actions I’m attempting to take forward represent the last chance survivors have of getting to the truth of the failures and cover-ups by Jersey’s public authorities.
In the meantime – we should all share in the sense of anger and betrayal felt by the survivors.
And we should all be asking ourselves the question, ‘if – even now – our government can’t behave honestly and ethically over such an important matter – just what malfeasances and other failures are they hiding?’
PRESS RELEASE FROM JERSEY CARE LEAVERS ASSOCIATION
TUESDAY 1ST FEBRUARY 2011
It is with the utmost dismay that we hear today that the Council of Ministers has reneged on a promise made in 2008 to hold a full Committee of Enquiry into the Historical Abuse enquiry.
This really has to be the final straw for us, and the anger felt towards the Council of Ministers over this decision is beyond comprehension.
Time and again we have been let down by the States of Jersey, from our childhood right through to this very sad day.
Contrary to what Senator Le Sueur has implied, there has been NO consultation with the JCLA over this; indeed we seem to be the least important people in all this. However may we make it quite clear that we demand a full and public enquiry that was promised into all this, and nothing less will suffice.
Senator Le Sueur has stressed that such an enquiry will be costly and not be of any benefit at this moment in time. What was costly was the expense of ‘rubbishing’ the enquiry and the reputations of Mr Power and Mr Harper who were so supportive of us, and replacing them with Messrs Warcup and Gradwell who took approximately 71 days to entirely ‘trash’ the investigation, and sabotage the abuse enquiry. May we remind you that Mr. Harper and his team acted on information they received from both the survivors and witnesses, had they not acted, they would have been held accountable.
This broken promise means that again we feel abused – not in the physical or sexual ways that we encountered in States care, but emotionally inasmuch as we have been ignored and cast aside once more.
The lack of caring and the clear intention of the Council of Ministers to not bring closure to this matter, means that exactly the opposite will happen and the public will still have grave misgivings about the whole handling of this affair and the now so transparent cover-up of the historic child abuse investigation.
There is no justification for this decision at all.