ACCORDING TO “THE JERSEY WAY”.
Bill Bailhache Strikes Again.
I reproduce below a statement signed by 11 members of the States of Jersey in which serious concerns are expressed in respect of the naked bias and political motivation of Bill Bailhache – Jersey’s sole prosecutor – in prosecuting anti-establishment candidates – and not pro-oligarchy candidates.
Sadly – The Rag have had this statement for some time – and have taken a “decision” not to inform the public of this important expression of concern by a significant minority of States members.
Though having differing views in many respects, the signatories below all recognise the profound danger and threat to the public good which arises from such overt appearances of bias by Jersey’s prosecution service.
The statement is self-explanatory.
If a law is to be applied – then it must be applied to everyone.
That is how things should be if Jersey is a respectable democracy.
What we cannot tolerate is the biased application of a law against irritating, uppity plebs – and a simultaneous failure to apply the law to Jersey oligarchy candidates.
I’m not a member of the JDA – and don’t agree with all of their views.
But no matter what your political persuasion – all decent people will see that the law must be applied equally and without either actual – or apparent – bias.
It speaks volumes of the Jersey oligarchy that they believe they can cast aside standards that are accepted as givens in respectable democracies – and instead act like the junta of a banana republic.
Support the fair and unbiased application of the law.
STATEMENT ON THE NEED FOR ELECTORAL CONSISTENCY
We the undersigned, being elected members of the States of Jersey, wish to register our concern at the Attorney General’s admission that he has been selective in his decision to prosecute breaches of the Public Elections (Jersey) Law 2002.
Of particular concern to us is, firstly, the Attorney General’s decision to prosecute Jersey Democratic Alliance Deputies, Shona Pitman and Geoff Southern in St. Helier No. 2 District for breaches of Article 39A, yet not an ‘independent’ candidate now acknowledged by the Attorney General to have committed the same offence: this being to assist in either the completion or delivery of application forms to register elderly or disabled people requesting a postal vote.
We are aware there is also evidence suggesting a second ‘independent’ candidate or agent also committed such a breach within the district.
Secondly, we question why no prosecutions have arisen from allegations of actual electoral fraud in St. Helier No. 1 District where an unsuccessful candidate is reported by the Judicial Greffe to have attempted to secure a postal vote for an individual no longer living in the island. Thirdly, why no such prosecution has been pursued following complaints to both Police and Judicial Greffe of a successful candidate in St. Helier No. 3 District breaching the Public Elections (Jersey) Law 2002 by the offence of ‘treating’ an elector to secure a vote.
Both of the above, we can’t help but note, are far more serious allegations than that of the instances within St. Helier No. 2 District now being brought before the Royal Court.
While it is clearly a decision for the States Assembly itself to take, as to whether or not a law is proven demonstrably flawed and should thus be rescinded we nevertheless make no comment on this issue here. Our present concerns arise directly from the clear anomaly that if a law is viewed as significant enough to warrant prosecution at the island’s Royal Court, then the said law clearly must be applied across-the-board to all election candidates (party or independent) or not at all.
We believe that argument to the effect that it can be in the public interest to prosecute one candidate’s breach but not another’s is entirely without merit and simply untenable. Indeed, without such an even-handed approach the Attorney General’s decision to prosecute Deputies Pitman and Southern, but not another candidate for breaches of the same election law can only serve to profoundly undermine the democratic process and the public’s confidence in this. We believe there can be no room for suspicions of political prejudice.
In the light of the above we call on the Attorney General to either prosecute all candidates who have committed breaches of the Public Elections (Jersey) Law 2002 during the 2008 elections or none at all.
Senator Stuart Syvret
Senator Alan Breckon
Deputy Mike Higgins
Deputy Tracey Vallois
Deputy Daniel Wimberley
Deputy Judy Martin
Deputy Montfort Tadier
Deputy Debbie De Sousa
Deputy Jeremy Macon
Deputy Trevor Pitman
Deputy Paul Le Claire