[First published on 27.02.2008 – during the height of the Jersey child-abuse cover-up scandal – this posting is a key insight into the sheer, brazen, magnitude of British Establishment ethical bankruptcy – dishonesty – corruption – and undisguised contempt towards the vulnerable.]
My apologies for not posting once every day or so.
Those of you who are familiar with the present dreadful child abuse issues emerging in Jersey will understand that mere blog posts have to come a distant second in time rationing.
I’m writing this at 2.30 AM – many more days and nights like this and I will look even more wrecked.
I hardly know what to say – it’s been such a desperate odyssey. Children raped, battered, abused – possibly murdered.
It would be hard enough to deal with in ordinary circumstances; but I say, frankly, from a personal perspective – these have been very difficult days – well, a difficult year, really.
The international media attention which has turned upon Jersey is a very demanding thing to deal with. I must have had 100 missed calls on my mobile today alone.
But – I’m not complaining. As painful, as ugly, as the issues are – it is through such independent scrutiny we will better protect the vulnerable.
In order to facilitate the expression of the truth, I held a kind of press conference this morning. I came out of the doors of the Jersey parliament building – expecting maybe five TV crews and about ten print journalists. I was taken aback at the sheer size of the media scrum. It was pretty daunting in many ways.
The twenty copies of the confidential report I had with me, were devoured within a minute by the assembled mass of journalists.
I feel I should touch briefly upon that report – not for its contents – at this stage – but because of how my publishing of it was received by the Jersey media – and what further dreadful illustration that response gives of how these awful things were able to happen to vulnerable children – for decades.
Those who have read my blog regularly will know that I hold the Jersey media in extremely low regard – a view now comprehensively justified by events.
We must ask – is there another jurisdiction in the democratic world which would have these terrible abuses of children taking place – for decade after decade – right under the noses of the local media – and there be no meaningful exposé?
In, at least, six decades?
I have said publicly that the Jersey media are actually a part of the problem – a component in the cover-ups and concealment.
Consider the Jersey Evening Post, for example. Today I explained to the national press how I had leaked a copy of the confidential Sharp report to the Jersey Evening Post in the year 2000. They were very keen to get hold of a copy at that time – so when I gave the editor, Chris Bright, the deputy editor Rob Shipley, and the reporter, Dian Simon a copy of the report – face-to-face – in the JEP offices – I expected them to run a series of detailed articles.
The report is so damning – so apocalyptically bad – that no respectable newspaper would get a document like this and not run it.
The JEP didn’t print a single sentence from the report.
They attempt to defend themselves from my criticisms in Tuesday’s edition of The Rag.
It is truly pathetic stuff. But setting aside that which is merely lame in their response – let us instead look at a simple lie told by Rob Shipley – and one, incidentally, echoed by BBC Jersey and Channel Television.
So shamed – so embarrassed – are the Jersey media, at what is clearly an almost unbelievable failure of journalistic ethics and integrity – that even now, they can’t face the truth.
Shipley – like BBC Jersey and Channel Television – have asserted that they didn’t bother running the report story, back in 2000 – because the report had been published already, by the time I gave them a copy.
This is an utter and really quite tragic lie. The report was never “published”; it was guarded like gold-dust by the powers-that-be in Jersey.
Not sure who to believe?
Take up this simple challenge: find ANY publication of the Sharp Report – or as much as one paragraph of it – anywhere – not only prior to the year 2000 – but at any time prior to 2007?
Let me save you the trouble. You will find no such publication – because none took place. All of Jersey’s media are thus evidenced – overt – liars.
It demonstrably was not published. When people like Shipley at the JEP and BBC Jersey and Channel Television casually assert ‘it was published’ – they are simply lying.
The document was Top Secret – because it annihilates the Jersey Establishment.
The JEP recognised this – and being the ‘house-journal’ of the Jersey oligarchy – they buried it.
They buried it to protect the Jersey establishment.
Rob Shipley is simply a liar when he claims it had been ‘published’; lying – as an excuse for the disgusting collusion by the JEP in the cover-up when they failed to report any of the key facts from the leaked copy I gave them.
Let us look at some of the sophistry engaged in by the Jersey media.
They all claim that the ‘findings’ and key-issues had already been reported.
No – they had not.
The conviction of the perpetrator; the failure of the other individuals involved, who had had to resign, was already public knowledge – prior to The Sharp Report even being concluded. So when the Jersey media attempt to pretend that “there was nothing new – no revelations – in the report” they are simply lying.
What the Jersey Evening Post didn’t report was the clear and un-ambiguous disgusting failure of those involved – their failure to protect children.
If this was not the case – could someone please produce for me the JEP leader comment which said John Le Breton – the then Vice-Principal who, rightly, had to resign in disgrace – should not be elected as a Jurat (a lay-judge in the island’s court)?
The evidence of the Sharp report is plain – and unambiguous. It demonstrates – in all its hideousness – the culture of cover-up and concealment on the part of the Jersey establishment.
And the failure of the Jersey Evening Post to use the report serves as another clear illustration of the fact that the Jersey media is actually a major part of the problem – a component of the cover-ups.
Would a community with respectable media suffer at least six decades of concealed and foul abuse of children – with virtually all of it going unexposed and un-punished?
How come the national and international media are tackling this subject with professionalism – and the Jersey media are still – even now – lying about their culpability in the cover-ups?
The simple dishonesty exhibited by the Jersey media was echoed in comments made by Senator Mike Vibert. He asserted that ‘the report had not been published’ (somewhat contradicting the Jersey media angle that it had) ‘because it would have identified the victims’.
This is completely untrue.
None – not one – of the victims are identified in the report.
The plain fact is that the cause of effective child protection would have been massively advanced by the publication of the report. The Jersey authorities decided it would be Top Secret – and quite disgracefully the Jersey media went along with that approach – even when I furnished them with the document in the year 2000.
Considering another interesting feature of Tuesday; it was a scheduled meeting of the island’s parliament, during which Senator Frank Walker – Jersey’s Chief Minister – was asked some questions – for example, concerning his catastrophic performance on BBC News Night on Monday evening.
In one of his answers he re-asserted his, apparently, routine tactic in response to the real appaling truth of events. He re-stated that I was merely motivated by nothing else other than a wish to “shaft the island”.
What was remarkable about this answer was not that he said it, – even now – when it must be plain to even the most disinterested observers that we are dealing with an extensive tragedy.
What was starkly revealing was that when Senator Walker repeated this personal attack upon me – it was greeted with the foot-stamping applause which is customary in the Jersey parliament.
If anyone sought an answer as to how things can have gone so badly wrong in this island – how so many children can have been failed – they could begin their contemplation with this event.
What does it say about the Jersey parliament?
We are at a stage when – clearly – multiple despicable abuses, crimes and neglects have been perpetrated against children – over a period of decades.
Even to the extent that the Police Force are searching for the bodies of vanished children.
And the States of Jersey?
They applaud a political, personal attack upon a member whose ‘offence’ has been to fight strongly for the safety and rights of children.
Another despicable voyage to the lower-depths by the States of Jersey.
The irony is, many States members will have attended the special church service on Tuesday evening which was an inter-denominational gathering to offer prayers for the victims.
In the morning – applauding Political attacks on the only States member to have really fought to expose the crimes against children – and in the evening, shuffling along sanctimoniously to church, to pray for the victims.
Only the members of the States of Jersey could be so stupid and so hypocritical.
Sadly, a fact which goes someway to explaining the concealment of these tragedies for decades.
The service was lead by the Dean – Bob Key – the head of Jersey’s Anglican community. In a television interview he quoted the Bible thus:
“And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name received me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea”.
I spoke this passage in a speech to the Jersy parliamnet before Christmas. I was shouted down, barraked, ordered to stop – and eventulay had my microphone cut.
Amazing – isnt it?
I say these words in December, as an expression of empathy for the victims of child abuse – and to speak of such things brings down damnation upon me from the States of Jersey.
Now – a little over two months later – the Dean Bob Key – a manifestly inadequate and contemptible little man – oppressor of the vulnerable – and worming friend of the abusers – quotes these same words – and suddenly they are the most aposite expresion of compasion for child abuse victims.
It’s just contemptable – isnt it?
Shortly after the time of my speech being stopped, in correspondence with me, the Dean Bob Key was extremly equivical in his comments; he clearly didn’t support what I had said – or even – or even especially – my right to say it.
Why the sudden change of heart, Bob?
I didn’t go to the church service – resigning myself to the inevitable PR assaults upon me by the Jersey establishment for my non-attendance – because I was doing something vastly more important; I was meeting with some victims; listening to them; offering them support.
Now – as these events unfold – their story will be heard – soon.
And what their sufferings say about the Jersey ‘system’ is more stark and truthful than a hundred church services.