And the Jersey Establishment:
Time for Accountability;
Time for the Facts.
Here is an important question for Jersey voters; which do you prefer?
Transparency, scrutiny and accountability?
Or genteel posturing, omerta and “politeness”?
What you about to read is a considered examination of the record and conduct of Philip Bailhache; a study of some of his evidenced failings – from 1990, to the present day.
And to introduce the subject of the failure of scrutiny and accountability in Jersey – and how the public are conned – I thought it would be helpful to begin with the St. Brelade hustings meeting which took place last Friday – given the presence in the audience of one of Bailhache’s allies, Deputy Sean Power.
There was a good illustration of the inadequacy of our traditional, deferential, “polite” political culture to be observed at that St Brelade meeting. At present, most people in Jersey don’t like the idea of party politics. But – be honest – do you really believe that because the establishment don’t have a declared political party – they don’t organise, and work together behind the scenes – secretly – along party-political lines?
Sat in the audience was former Senator Frank Walker – who has organised and encouraged a slate of candidates in many of the contested seats across Jersey. For example, Walker party candidates include Andrew Lewis in St. John, and the dreadful Kristina Moore in St. Peters. But sat right alongside Frank Walker on Friday was St. Brelade Deputy Sean Power – another Walker party candidate.
But is it not in the public interest to know where all of these secret allegiances lie?
Of course it is. The vast majority of people in the hall, and the rest of the constituency would be far better served if there had been open debate about such matters. But if I had chosen to speak of that subject – there would have been mutterings of discontent around the room. “Irrelevant”, some would have said, “we want to hear about policies that matter”. As though being aware of secret allegiances that lead to your government servicing the short-term interests of property speculators was not in the public interest.
But an even more hostile – yet self-defeating – reaction would have come from the audience had I really striven to serve the public good – by speaking of the conduct and true nature of Deputy Sean Power directly. There is, it would appear, no greater offence in the eyes of the Jersey electorate, than to be “impolite” about other candidates. Which, of course, means that the public – unwittingly – end up protecting a load of rapscallions, chancers, mountebanks, grifters and spivs from the kind of robust and deserving scrutiny only other candidates would give them.
Deputy Sean Power is a liar and a crook. Can people have forgotten so soon his efforts to grift his way into a commercial relationship with the Irish consortium that was in-the-running to develop the Waterfront? The obscenities he wrote to the company in question when they wouldn’t get involved with him? Of course, Sean Power has the blarney – a great actor, to be sure – who can seem interested in your issues, and to be caring – as all good confidence-tricksters and con-artists can. A “man of the people” – who will listen to your problems with social security, over a pint in the Horse & Hounds. But why – when he washed-up in Jersey – leaving an “interesting” past in his wake – and quite a few people in the UK and the Irish republic who would like to have a chat with him – did he change his name from Sean Dooley to Sean Power?
Perhaps the voting public of St. Brelade would have liked to know – so they could ask Sean Power, why, back in the day before he was elected, he would pretend to be friends with another candidate – but be secretly passing all that candidate’s e-mails on to Frank Walker? You see – at the moment, most Jersey voters would regard such a question as terribly “impolite” – but wouldn’t the quality of our political culture be improved with such robust scrutiny?
The voters of Sean Power’s district in St Brelade have a right – and should also have the wish – to see those who are their elected representatives properly held to account for their actions at election time. But alas – such is Jersey’s uncritical and deferential political culture, Sean Power was not asked to explain why he – directly and personally – participated in the straightforward theft of private, personal data – of zero public interest relevance – and then leaked that stolen material to third-parties, and helped to publish it? It would also have been an important public interest discussion, to question why Sean Power was not prosecuted for the evidenced theft of that personal data – data of no public-interest merit – in contrast to the massed police raid, arrest, search without a search-warrant and prosecution mounted against me by Philip Bailhache’s brother, William Bailhache – for the publication of an item of data that I had in my possession legitimately, and which was unarguably a public interest disclosure?
The electorate in St. Brelade would also have been far better informed – had someone explained to them the fact Sean Power writes – anonymously, like the wretched little coward he is – tirades of obscenity-laced abuse on a pro-child abuser web site he helps to run.
Jersey’s political culture is so “unfit-for-purpose”, that voters will go to the polls in St. Brelade, with none of those absolutely legitimate public-interest matters having been openly questioned and discussed – and consequently risking unwittingly voting for Sean Power – a liar, con-man and thief.
Those who were present at the St. Brelade hustings meeting on Friday will have seen this culture of silence – this protection of election candidates from scrutiny – at work in a particular example. One candidate was attacked and criticised for daring to question – in the most mild of ways – the performance of another whilst in Office.
Senator Freddie Cohen has, rightly, been criticised for the design of the monstrous Costa del Sol-style apartment block he gave development permission for when he was Planning Minister. Election candidate David Richardson – quite accurately and reasonably – described the resultant excrescence as “architectural savagery”, and criticised the performance of Senator Cohen, to applause from the audience.
What followed was a powerful example of Jersey’s failed and inadequate political culture. Although 90% of the population would agree with Mr. Richardson’s view – when it was Philip Bailhache’s turn to speak, he made a point of saying words to the effect that “the remarks of Mr. Richardson criticising Senator Cohen were quite unacceptable.”
And – amazingly – quite a number of people in the hall applauded the former Bailiff’s words. In many cases – the same people who – only a few minutes earlier – had been applauding Mr. Richardson’s accurate condemnation of the vast building that has blighted their coastline.
But – this example of the failure of accountability becomes even more remarkable.
When it was next his turn to speak again – Mr. Richardson caved-in to the criticism from Mr. Bailhache – and apologised to Senator Cohen.
Do voters really – if they stop to think about it – seriously believe that such a genteel approach to politics serves their interests? Is it really imagined that all of those States members – who most of the population feel dissatisfied with – can ever be properly scrutinised and held to account for their performance if robust debate is considered “impolite”?
The Jersey establishment have carefully maintained and nurtured this defective and inadequate political culture over the years and decades. For as long as real politics – real debate – real scrutiny is considered “impolite” – they are protected from ever being held to account for their failures.
It is no surprise, therefore, that Philip Bailhache often opens his speech by saying words to the effect that he seeks to “reform the States” to put an end to political “bickering” – to bring an end to “time-wasting debates” – and to bring an “end to the division” and the “personal criticisms” between members which – he suggests – have “disfigured” the States assembly.
And in what I’m tempted to describe as “Exhibit 1” in my claim that Jersey’s deferential and uncritical political culture is our greatest problem – those words of Philip Bailhache are often met with applause.
But perhaps I’m being unfair on those members of the public who applaud in the heat of the moment? After all – who likes “division”, and “personal criticisms”, and “time-wasting”, and “bickering”? It all sounds – if you don’t think – like such a reasonable observation, doesn’t it?
But the States assembly is a legislature – filled with politicians – who will express the views of their differing voters (that’s you) by challenging and arguing with each-other – and holding members to account for their actions. It is called democracy. That Mr. Bailhache is so very keen to try and convince members of the public that it is mere “bickering” is a fearful warning to voters.
Elect him at your peril.
In truth, Mr. Bailhache’s words are a very thinly veiled attack upon public scrutiny – democratic debate – transparency – challenge – and, in particular, personal accountability.
And it’s hardly surprising that – of all people – Philip Bailhache should be trying so hard to maintain the fiction that we shouldn’t robustly and directly hold people to account for their actions.
Because Philip Bailhache has behind him, a catalogue of the most disgraceful professional and ethical failures. Truly despicable conduct. Some of which is so bad, as to constitute unambiguous criminal offences. Or, at least would do, if the prosecution authority did not consist of his close friends – and his brother.
Mr. Bailhache does not want the public to be reminded of these matters; he does not want to be challenged; he does not want his performance and conduct to be scrutinised; he does not want the voting public to be fully informed – he does not want to be held to account.
So of course he, and the Jersey oligarchy he leads, are going to do all they can to condemn any such scrutiny and challenge as “unacceptable personal criticisms” and “needlessly impolite”.
Our political culture is not “fit-for-purpose” – because we do not challenge and scrutinise enough. And Mr. Bailhache and his friends very much want things to stay that way.
But unfortunately for Mr. Bailhache – and fortunately for the broad public good – I was honest and absolutely serious when, announcing my candidacy in this election, I said “it was necessary so that there be some meaningful challenge and scrutiny placed upon the former Bailiff; I had to shoulder that public responsibility, because no other candidate would.”
I keep my electoral promises.
So what follows is an examination of some of the failures, offences and inadequacies of Philip Bailhache.
And when reading what follows – consider this; I have twice, in the course of this election, invited Philip Bailhache to have a head-to-head debate with me concerning these, and other issues.
He failed to accept the challenge.
Selling a Crown Property at a Knock-down Price, from under the feet of Sitting Tenants.
In the early 1990’s , a large and very valuable terraced building in St. Saviours Road was in Crown possession when its legal owners could no longer be traced, at a time when Philip Bailhache was the Attorney General, and had a responsibility for such properties.
Without giving the sitting tenants an opportunity to buy their apartments – or even notifying them of an intention to sell – Philip Bailhache agreed to the sale of the building to a multi-millionaire property speculator – via the law-firm Becquet and Syvret (no relation, I think) of which, Edgar Becquet and Ken Syvret were friends of Bailhache’s, and Becquet was the then Deputy for Trinity.
The existing tenants all then faced eviction – and attempting to help them was one of the first major battles I became involved in when elected as a Deputy in 1990.
So scandalous was the nature of the sale and questions concerning the conduct of Attorney General Philip Bailhache that I took a proposition to the States assembly to establish a Committee of Inquiry. I made the proposing speech, and the then Bailiff Peter Crill immediately invited Bailhache to respond – which he did, with a tirade of threatening and intimidatory ranting.
Then – instead of there being a debate – the then Senator Dick Shenton used a procedural device to move to the next item.
That was my first experience of the Jersey oligarchy – and Philip Bailhache – avoiding scrutiny and accountability for their actions.
The Limited Liabilities Partnerships Law – and Illegally Excluding an Elected Member from the Chamber.
In 1996 a long, complex piece of legislation – the Limited Liabilities Partnerships Law – appeared on States members’ desks – as though it had sprung from nowhere. The establishment were very keen to rush this through, but a few of us – former Deputy Garry Matthews and me, for example, were very concerned at the mysterious appearance of this major example of legislation, when no law-drafting time had been agreed by the States, and there had been no ‘in-principle’ agreement for the introduction of such a law. We succeeded in getting the debate delayed for a couple of weeks whilst we researched the matter.
What I discovered in the coming days was nothing less than staggering.
The law in question was being introduced at the sole and express request of the law firm Mourant, du Feu and Jeune – who were being paid by their clients – accountancy firms Ernst and Young and PriceWaterhouse – to secure the introduction of an LLP law in Jersey, so as to put pressure on the UK government to compete, by introducing LLP legislation in the UK. Mourants had even drafted most of the law themselves with the assistance of a London law firm.
This was your parliament – the States of Jersey – being used a “legislature-for-Hire”.
As scandalous and unlawful as that was – it gets worse.
The draft LLP law had had to be tweaked a little by States law drafters. The decision to allocate that public time and resource to the task was made by the then Policy & Resources Committee – the President of which was former Senator Reg Jeune.
Reg Jeune was a founding partner of Mourant, du Feu & Jeune, and retained a close working involvement with the law firm – and a continuing financial relationship with it.
But – quite staggeringly – notwithstanding those direct conflicts of interest – Reg Jeune failed to declare his conflict of interests when the law drafting time request – and a decision to “fast-track” the law – came before the P & R Committee, and he continued to chair the meeting and to participate in the decision.
Equally as bad – during that first debate in the assembly on the LLP law, at which we had had it delayed, Jeune made a speech in favour of the law being adopted. Again – he chose to not declare his direct and stark conflict of interests.
In the coming days I discovered the evidence for what I describe – including a five page letter from Ian James of Mourants, to the then President of the Finance & Economics Committee, that explained their whole request and wish to have the legislation introduced.
When the draft LLP law next came before the States, I raised, as a “matter of privilege”, Reg Jeune’s conduct – said he had a financial interest in the matter which he had failed to declare, and that this was a very serious matter that needed inquiring into. (Consider the current scandal concerning UK politician Liam Fox; the situation Jeune had placed himself in was a thousand times worse. He’d actually used the law-making process and the entire legislature to introduce controversial legislation – for no other reason than his law firm wanted it introduced. This would be immediate resignation from the legislature in any law-abiding democracy – and probable prosecution for corruption.)
To cut a long story short – rather than supporting me and the high standards of parliamentary behaviour and conduct that he claims to endorse – the then Bailiff, Philip Bailhache – attempted to criminally coerce me into withdrawing my complaints against the illegal actions of Jeune (a senior Jersey Freemason) and tried to coerce me into apologising to Jeune.
Philip Bailhache demanded a meeting with me – at which his threats were made. The conversation went like this:
PB: ‘You will have to withdraw everything you have said concerning Senator Jeune and apologise to him and the assembly.’
Me: ‘Why on Earth should I do that? Everything I said is true – and evidenced.’
PB: ‘I don’t care about that; you will have to withdraw everything and apologise.’
Me: ‘Senator Jeune’s actions are very serious and appear to be a breach of the States of Jersey law. This should be reported to the police and he should be prosecuted.’
PB: ‘That’s a hell of thing to do to a man at the end of his career.’
Me: ‘Well, that’s not my problem. Senator Jeune should have thought of that before engaging in this corruption. He’s used the States as a legislature-for-hire.’
PB: ‘Look, you are going to withdraw everything and apologise – or there will be very serious consequences for you.’
ME: ‘Upon what basis do you make that threat? My actions are correct and proper and Jeune’s are unlawful. What might those consequences be?’
PB: ‘Never mind that! Just take my word for it; there will be very serious consequences for you. And that would be such a pity as you had such a lot to offer as a States member.’
That conduct of Philip Bailhache was a straightforward criminal offence.
It is illegal to try and interfere with States members, to coerce them, and to try and prevent them from fulfilling their Oath of Office – all of which Bailhache was doing to me in an effort to protect his friend Reg Jeune from the consequences of his corrupt actions.
Philip Bailhache’s conduct also constituted a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice – and of misconduct in a public office.
Because I refused to give-in to Bailhache’s reprehensible blackmail – he carried out his threat. He tabled a proposition in his own name before the States – to have me “named” – and excluded indefinitely from the States assembly until I gave into his threats. Unless I abandoned my public duty, and resiled from the true, evidenced facts concerning Jeune – and lie to the States by saying he was “innocent” – Bailhache would have his proposition debated – and I would be thrown out.
I refused to be cowed by this criminal coercion.
Philip Bailhache put his proposition to the States assembly – and refused to allow me to speak in my defence – he refused to allow any other States member to speak in my defence or even ask questions. He put the matter straight to a vote, and, of course the oligarchy carried it.
What is even more remarkable about this episode – is that Bailhache was ignoring the rules of the assembly, and instead just inventing “procedures” to suit his purposes. There was no provision – at all – in the standing orders of the States assembly, for “indefinite suspension”. The indefinite suspension imposed upon me was just an unlawful act of coercion invented by Philip Bailhache in an attempt to help rescue his friend from the consequences of their corruption being discovered and exposed.
In the end – I was illegally prevented from taking my seat in the Jersey parliament for six months as a consequence of this corrupt action by Philip Bailhache. That was six months – of direct, unlawful, anti-democratic attack upon the rights of my then constituents to enjoy my representations in their parliament.
Philip Bailhache is an anti-democratic criminal.
When Philip Bailhache speaks of his wish that politicians “should not personally criticise colleagues” – and that States members should be “polite” – and that ““standards” in the assembly should return to an earlier era” – what he is really saying – is that he wants to turn the clock back – to the era of people like him and Reg Jeune and others – when it just “wasn’t the ‘done’ thing” – to “expose a chap’s malfeasances”.
Unlawful Interference with my Mail:
During that unlawful six-months suspension that Philip Bailhache caused to be imposed upon me – under his orders – all mail – including some letters from constituents – that was sent to me via the States Greffe, was illegally retained there, and not given to me. Some of the letters in question had even been opened and obviously read.
Interfering with anyone’s mail is a very serious criminal offence. Even more so when the mail in question is from constituents to their elected representative.
I gave a detailed formal statement of criminal complaint to the police.
The report went to Philip Bailhache’s friend and close colleague, then Attorney General Michael Birt – who ignored it completely.
Biased Interrupting of Speeches:
There are so many occasions, it would be impractical to list them – when Philip Bailhache has interrupted me (as he has frequently done to other non-establishment members) and tried to improperly interfere with, deflect and obstruct me when making speeches. This would usually occur when he knew perfectly well the establishment politicians were in serious difficulty – or I was about to use information that would be deeply embarrassing to the oligarchy.
Biased Obstruction of Questions:
Similarly, and in many ways even more powerfully evidenced than in the case of speeches – Philip Bailhache would frequently interrupt questions – or “disallow” perfectly good questions, when it was clear the questioning was dangerous for the establishment. Again – I and my constituents were not the only victims of his repressive conduct in this matter; several other non-establishment States members suffered in similar ways.
Interference and Obstructions to Propositions, Amendments and Questions:
It may not be commonly understood, but the Bailiff and Deputy Bailiff have the power to vet – and to “approve” – or “amend” – or “veto” – the wording of any proposition, amendment or question tabled by any member.
On many, many occasions Philip Bailhache misused and abused this power to water-down, emasculate, obstruct and to block entirely, propositions and questions from me. The grounds upon which the power can be used are – in theory – very narrow – and limited to issues of ‘order’ and coherence. But the use of the power has been abused and stretched far beyond that function – and into the territory of straightforward denial to you, as constituents, of your right to have your concerns debated in your parliament via your elected representatives. I will now turn to a particular example of such conduct by Philip Bailhache.
States Members Business Interests and Secrecy:
With the move to Ministerial government, the new States of Jersey Law (2005) was under development and debate. I studied it very closely, and tabled a range of amendments to it. Amongst those amendments of mine was a serious strengthening of the requirement upon States members to fully declare all of their business interests.
In researching that matter, I studied the rules of the parliament of the Isle of Man. Their requirement used a well thought-out form of words that would capture all kinds of business interests – thus ensuring members could not dodge around the requirement to disclose and declare business interest by using such devices as nominee directors, proxy-shareholders, trusts, etc. The wording the Isle of Man used was “effective economic ownership” – with the emphasis on the word ‘effective’ – to describe any kind of business or asset that must be declared. An entirely reasonable requirement and wording – already in use in a jurisdiction similar to Jersey.
I duly wrote that wording into my draft amendment, in the hope the States would agree to adopt it in Jersey.
Philip Bailhache vetoed the words.
He refused to let me table an amendment that used the phrase “effective economic ownership” to describe when a States member would be required to declare an interest or asset.
Quite aside from his interference being obviously designed to maintain a system in which States members could declare certain things – but keep others secret through arm’s-length “ownership” – it was also unlawful, as the wording of the proposition was perfectly “in order” – so he had no power to so obstruct it.
Unlawfully Protecting the Connétables from Scrutiny:
Most people in Jersey may not be aware of this – but the twelve parish Connétables are able to receive additional financial support of one kind or another – from the public moneys of their rate-payers. Some Connétables also receive financial support and benefit from central sources – such as the budget of the Law Officers’ Department – and the Criminal Offences Confiscation Fund.
I can’t be precise – because it is such an opaque and mysterious area.
Which is why I decided that I should – in the public interest – table some questions concerning the subject of Connétables and public money. I duly prepared some questions and – in accordance with standing orders, submitted them to be answered by the Chairman of the Committee de Connétables.
The relevant standing order is 9 (5) which says this:
“A question relating to a function or official responsibility which each Connétable has in his or her parish shall be addressed to the chairman of the Comité des Connétables.”
Quite extraordinarily – and without any authority or power to do so – Philip Bailhache simply refused to let the question be asked, issuing an order to the States Greffe that the question not be processed.
These are the actions of a dictator.
Clearly – my curiosity about the Connétables – and their receipt of public money from other sources – had absolutely hit the target. So Philip Bailhache was motivated by a wish to protect the Connétables – the hard-core of the Jersey establishment – from what might be a deeply embarrassing series of public revelations about a flow of public money from various sources into their pockets.
This is one of the reasons all of the Connétables have a clear interest in obstructing and repressing me.
Reg’s Skips and “Voisinage”:
Philip Bailhache – when Bailiff – was judging a case involving ‘Reg’s Skips Ltd.’ (RSL) – the small local firm who were facing eviction and immense legal expenses due to failures by the Planning Department. Even though the parties seeking to close down Reg’s Skips were family friends of the Bailhaches – Philip Bailhache persisted in hearing the case, failing to withdraw because of this conflict of interests.
It gets worse. Philip Bailhache advised that the party use an ancient, feudal property law, known as ‘Voisinage’, upon which to base their application to halt the business’s activity.
Not only did Philip Bailhache advise the party in that way – he also found for them when the case came to a conclusion. He later went on to award costs against the defending party, Reg’s Skips.
This one act alone would be a resigning matter for any UK judge.
Anti-Democratic Blocking of Ministerial Comments:
Although, as explained above, there is a provision in the States assembly rules that creates a power to edit or veto the words of questions or actual propositions – there is no such rule, provision or power that gives to the Bailiff the power to edit, veto or censor the words written in reports to the assembly.
Nevertheless – much like his decision to invent a non-existent “power” to cause “indefinite” suspension of members – Philip Bailhache also invented and took to himself a non-existent “power” to edit and sensor member’s reports.
He improperly interfered in that way with reports of mine on several occasions.
There is, however, one case that will always stick in my mind for the sheer unlawful, repressive and anti-democratic nature of what Bailhache did.
In the first half of 2007, I discovered and uncovered many examples of concealed child protection failures – and many examples of concealed child abuse. And it is worth noting that the vast majority of these issues did not – at that time – involve Haute de la Garren. The many and differing issues and cases that had come to my attention and been investigated by me, involved places like Le Chenes, Greenfields, Heathfield, Blanch Pierre and others – and a number of specific, individual examples of contemporary grotesque failures by Social Services.
I revealed these concerns of mine in July 2007, when giving an honest and frank answer to a question I was asked in the States. I discovered – only much later – that within two and half hours of me giving that answer, the senior civil servants at Health & Social Services and elsewhere had set about engineering my dismissal in an attempt to stop me exposing their failures and to discredit me.
Much later still, I obtained dramatic and powerful evidence of this unlawful plot, in the form of a file-note written by no-less a witness than good, straight Police Chief Graham Power, who the civil servants had attempted to draw into their conspiracy. In the July 2007 file-note, Graham Power wrote this:
“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.”
Nevertheless, in the mean-time Frank Walker and his Council of Ministers – including Philip Ozouf and Freddie Cohen – had decided to help the corrupt civil servants cover-up child abuse.
They tabled a proposition seeking my dismissal as Health & Social Services Minister. I therefore knew that I had only the summer recess to do as much work as I could on behalf of the survivors and to investigate as much as I could.
When dismissal propositions are brought, the person who is the target, has the right to table an Official Report – the case for the ‘defence’, as it were – in response to the no-confidence proposition. I wrote a report and appended to it sixteen appendices of documented evidence that prove my case – that showed numerous examples of child protection failure, examples of child abuse that could have, and should have been stopped, examples of gross incompetence, examples of the unlawful suppression of whistle-blowers – and hard evidence of cover-ups.
I was working closely with many different survivors, and a number of them had previously been utterly failed and ignored by Jersey’s authorities. I was the first person – ever – in any position of authority in Jersey who had listened to them, and taken them seriously and tried to help them.
They were upset that I was being persecuted and oppressed for my troubles – but nevertheless, I told them to take heart – at least we were – for the first time ever – going to get significant documentary evidence that showed the failures of the authorities placed permanently on the public record in the form of my Official Ministerial Comments, which would be published as a States of Jersey Report.
I received an e-mail from the Greffier on Monday 10th September 2007 – the day before the debate – informing me that Philip Bailhache had ordered that my Official Ministerial Comments not be published and tabled.
This is without precedent.
It has never happened before – or since.
Philip Bailhache had zero power to block and prevent the tabling of a formal parliamentary document. But he did it anyway.
He should have had zero involvement at all – because he was directly, personally conflicted.
He had been a member of the Board of Governors of Victoria College when that institution was concealing complaints of child abuse. The evidence – “The Sharp Report” – was one of the evidential appendices that he improperly prevented from being published.
It was bad enough that I was unlawfully denied the right to have my ‘defence’ published – and that a criminal plot by corrupt civil servants was going to be supported – directly counter to every public interest consideration; far worse was the impact on the survivors I was working with.
That Monday evening – and I remember having to steel myself to do this, to this day – I had to telephone several of them – and explain to them that we were now not going to get any of the evidence of States failure and cover-up published. They had been denied justice – again.
At least two of them wept in despair. One was so wracked with sobbing, I was worried for their welfare.
Philip Bailhache had no right – simply no right at all – to do that to those people.
He unlawfully obstructed parliamentary procedure in order to protect himself and his establishment friends.
The Christmas Speech:
Later in 2007, the police went public with what had been their covert investigation into concealed child abuse – thus vindicating everything I had said, showing that I had been right – and humiliating the Jersey establishment.
At that time I was ‘Father of the House’, so come December, it fell to me to make the customary end-of-year Christmas speech. I chose to use the occasion to express some empathy and recognition towards the survivors of child abuse – and one or two who didn’t survive – and to acknowledge failures by the States of Jersey. This was the first occasion – ever – when any States member had attempted to make such an acknowledgment.
I was interrupted, barracked and shouted-down by people like Frank Walker and Terry Le Main. They had no legitimate reason for any such interruption; nothing I was saying was out-of-order.
Quite staggeringly – Philip Bailhache – rather than acting as any decent Chair would have done – and tell the interrupters to shut up and sit down – joined in with them – ordered me to stop – cut my microphone – and adjourned the meeting.
Again, an act of barbarism by Philip Bailhache that reduced some survivors to tears.
The Liberation Day Speech:
Not content with doing all he could to assist in concealing child protection failures as described above – we then come to Liberation Day 2008.
The day Jersey celebrates Liberation from the Nazis is the most important day in this community’s calendar. It is not – in any way – a day for politicking, divisiveness or political manipulations. It is – or should be – a day of happiness and unity for all people in Jersey.
In an act of frankly breathtaking barbarism, Philip Bailhache chose to hi-jack Liberation Day and Liberation Square – for his own political purposes – to mount a disgraceful attack upon the investigation of child abuse in Jersey, and those who were helping the victims and fighting for justice for them.
It was an occasions that now lives on – in infamy – in the history of the celebration of Liberation day.
Philip Bailhache never apologised for that disgusting act.
Coercing States Members in an Attempt to Conceal Planning Corruption:
In November 2008 – shortly before the illegal suspension that was carried out against Graham Power, largely at the instigation of his brother, then Attorney General William Bailhache – Philip Bailhache made an illegal direct, personal attempt to coerce and intimidate a States member into withdrawing complaints to the police concerning allegations of planning corruption; complaints that had been made to them by their constituents.
Philip Bailhache – in engaging in this act of intimidation – had illegally come into possession of the States member’s e-mails to Police Chief Graham Power. Philip Bailhache had been unlawfully given those e-mails by his brother, William Bailhache, who had, himself, improperly obtained them.
No-less a witness than the former Police Chief himself refers to this episode in a sworn-statement he prepared for me. I quote some of it here:
““I had some email and telephone exchanges with the Attorney General about the above allegations. …….
……..In any event the outcome was that we could not agree, and the exchange finished with what I took to be an angry email from the Attorney General expressing apparent frustration at my perceived failure to sufficiently oppose the criticism of his brother the Bailiff, [Philip Bailhache] and finishing with a phrase something like “so be it,” which I read as having a threatening tone. So far as I can recall, that was the last email I received from the Attorney General. Not long afterwards I was suspended. Initially it was claimed that my suspension was as a result of information relating to the Historic Abuse Enquiry which was received on 10th November 2008. It is now known that this is untrue because the suspension notices were in fact prepared on the morning of Saturday 8th November 2008, which implies that the actual decision to suspend must have been taken in the week-ending 7th November 2008. So far as I can recall this brings the decision close to my exchanges with the Attorney General regarding the need to investigate allegations of corruption at the heart of government.”
The Child Abuser Roger Holland:
In 1992, the convicted child abuser, Roger Holland was elected to the St. Helier Honorary police.
The legal procedure for preventing any such person from taking-up the Office involves the Royal Court, when they appear before it, to be sworn-in. At that stage, the Jersey Attorney General – who is the head of the island’s honorary police forces – must make any representations or observations to the court concerning the suitability of the candidate to take Office as a police officer.
The Attorney General at that time was Philip Bailhache.
He failed to make any representations to the court concerning the fact Holland had convictions for sexually abusing children.
Roger Holland then – when in post as an honorary police officer – committed further offences.
Philip Bailhache claims not to have been aware of Roger Holland’s previous convictions at the time of Holland’s swearing-in.
However, when a public inquiry was later held into this scandal – the evidence and witness testimony that the Committee received was altogether more ambiguous.
I quote here paragraph 4.1.19:
“4.1.19 There was a conflict of evidence regarding the requirement to inform the Attorney General of the criminal records, if any, of prospective honorary police officers. The then Attorney General insisted that this was a matter for the Connétable, and correspondence from his successor supports that understanding. However, in written evidence to this Committee, the then Clerk to the Attorney General paints a different picture. She stated that: As a matter of routine, all prospective honorary police officers were automatically checked out with the Criminal Records Office, both by the Greffier on behalf of the Town Hall and by myself on behalf of our department. My requests to the Criminal Records Office were made by telephone and that office would fax the records through to us with no other paperwork being created. Criminal records are not usually kept on file as a safeguard against a Data Protection breach. She also stated: Should I or one of my colleagues have omitted to do this, it would have been picked by the Attorney General or Solicitor General before going to the Samedi Court for the swearing in process. However, in written evidence, the Attorney General has challenged that recollection. He stated that it would have been impractical to have undertaken such checks as a matter of course because of the short time between receipt of notification of the elections and the appearance of the officer before the Royal Court.”
Of those two directly conflicting accounts – I know which one I consider to be the more credible. And it is not that of Philip Bailhache.
In any event – Philip Bailhache could not deny that he definitely did become aware – shortly after the swearing-in of Holland, of his previous criminal convictions. But rather than doing what he should have done – make a representation to court to have Holland stripped of office, Bailhache chose to remain silent, and do nothing. Holland, of course, went on to commit further crimes.
Seeking Holland’s dismissal from office by the court would, of course, have meant publically acknowledging a mistake by Philip Bailhache. He would have had to accept publically – and to the court – that he erred in not making a representation to the court at the time of Holland’s swearing-in, concerning Holland’s record of offences against children. But that – surely – would have been the professional – the responsible – the ethical thing to do?
After all – failing to do so, meant leaving a man in a position of significant public trust – where he may get access to vulnerable people; a man who was a convicted child abuser – with all the associated risks that brings.
Philip Bailhache chose to do nothing – and instead remain silent.
The rest is history.
Many times – and not only during this election – we hear and read claims by the Jersey establishment that it is “impolite” to challenge people – to examine the performance of those in positions of public authority – and to expose their failings.
It isn’t difficult – is it – having read the above catalogue of grotesque failure, authoritarianism and inadequacy by Philip Bailhache, to understand why they should seek to condemn those of us who have striven to uphold the public interest. Indeed – expect more such condemnation and suppression to be heaped upon me before this election is over.
Our political culture is too deferential – too polite – too genteel – and lacking in accountability, to properly serve the public good.
And there could be no better illustration of that problem – than the candidacy of Philip Bailhache in this election.
I did challenge Philip Bailhache to a head-to-head debate in respect of all these evidenced matters. Unfortunately he lacked the courage and integrity to face such debate – instead preferring to hide behind pomposity and empty rhetoric.
As we are considering the true nature of power – of ‘real’ power – in Jersey, I invite readers to imagine what fate would have befallen me – had I committed even one-quarter of the misfeasance of Philip Bailhache as described above?
I wrote earlier in this article:
“Our political culture is not “fit-for-purpose” – because we do not challenge and scrutinise enough. And Mr. Bailhache and his friends very much want things to stay that way.
But unfortunately for Mr. Bailhache – and fortunately for the broad public good – I was honest and absolutely serious when, announcing my candidacy in this election. I said ‘it was necessary so that there be some meaningful challenge and scrutiny placed upon the former Bailiff; I had to shoulder that public responsibility, because no other candidate would.’
I keep my electoral promises.”
I have done my public duty in attempting to bring the true nature of Philip Bailhache to the attention of the public.
Behind the ‘emperor’s new clothes’ of Philip Bailhache, there is nothing more than a corrupt and fundamentally inadequate individual; a dangerous and silly little man.
Should he be elected – it will be another example of Jersey getting the government it deserves.