Friday, 24 October 2008

Why Blog?

The question "why do people Blog"? has been asked many times by many people including our local BBC. I can only speak for myself but know others Blog for the same reason.

It is widely believed we have a very partisan media over here. We also have, what has been described as, "an elected dictatorship" with none of our elected "representatives" being accountable to anybody for any thing.

Senator Stuart Syvret on his Blog has been publishing items one would believe would make headline news. The internet is full of stories ranging from alleged establishment spin doctors bullying, progressive, senatorial candidates mothers at hustings, to senoir civil servants being served with a notice of disclosure and indeed has named this civil servant in the States sitting which went out live on local BBC radio.

I have been trying to find out if what Senator Syvret is claiming has any truth to it regarding the name of the civil servant allegedly being served with this notice of disclosure. I have gone through, what I believe to be the correct channels in order to do this. I have e-mailed the civil servant directly, I have phoned the civil servant, in order to meet with him/her, not been able to talk to him/her and up to now have only spoke to his/her secretary who up to now will not reply to my request for a meeting.

I have e-mailed the minister responsible for this civil servant to ask if there is any truth in Senator Syvret's allegations, have phoned the minister and have attempted to engage with this minister only to be told "we have a duty of care to our employees" and the minister has made a complaint of harrassment against me.

I have been "forced" to take my concerns to the local media, namely the local BBC. It appears they see nothing in my experiences that deserves to be in the public domain. The fact a Senator and father of the house makes these truly frightening allegations I attempt to find out, through the correct channels, if there is any truth to them and for my troubles? a charge of harrassment made against me!!

So why Blog? well what other choice is there? do I want to be Blogging? hell no! I am living in constant fear, like many others, because I have dared to speak out and share my experiences in the hope others will know they are not alone with the same or similar experiences.

I am no Journalist in fact far from it! so therefore am not familiar with libel laws and everything else that goes with publishing stories/experiences on the internet. I am a father trying to protect his children. It turns out in order to do this I have to run the gauntlet of libel, defemation and harrassment laws.

It has become increasingly apparent if you want any answers to legitimate questions that might reassure you you're children are safe under the "care" of this goverment you'd better be ready to face prosecution, with no help from certain parts of our local media. Indeed having to go to the local media in the first place shouldn't have to be an option, if we had an open and transparent government who put the "duty of care" to the people who elected them and their children before the "duty of care" to their employees there would be no need to involve any media including Blogging.

I am merely a product of my enviroment, this government has propelled me into a position I have absolutely no wish to be in. I believe by being forced to Blog my experiences I have/will become "an enemy of the State" and now an enemy of the local media. I have no wish to be an enemy of anybody least of all such powerful organisations. But it appears my choices are shut your mouth and bury your head in the sand and everything will be rosy, or stick your head above the parapitt and risk having it shot.

In order to prove I believe I have been forced to Blog my latest experiences I shall re-produce my e-mail correspondance with a prominant local BBC Journalist. I don't even know if I am allowed to publish the journalists name as his/her position is not paid for by the electorate/taxpayer. None the less I hope it will prove I have tried to bring this into the public domain without having to Blog about it.

The E-mails.

Dear sir/madam
Thank you for returning my phone-call this afternoon and explaining to me why I am not allowed to repeat what Senator Syvret said in the states sitting yesterday, on the radio.
As I explained to you I was under the belief the BBC and myself were protected by "qualified privilege" and you have now explained to me that isn't the case.
I would very much like it made extremely clear I have no wish to defame anybody. I am merely a parent of two children under the "care" of the said department.
I suffer greatly with anxiety which is triggered greatly when I read and hear that a very prominent civil servant in the said department might be a suspect in an on-going child abuse investigation and nobody will either comfirm nor deny these allegations. One reason being "the States have a duty of care to their employees".
I believe the first "duty of care" should be for the children and indeed the parents of the children. I would like to offer you a news story, I believe deserves to be in the public domain.
It is my story of how a very anxious parent tries to get confirmation or denial of a senior civil servant who might be a suspect in child abuse. I have asked the particular civil servants secretary if I could have a meeting with the civil servant, I have e-mailed the civil servant, I have e-mailed and phoned the minister in charge of the department all to no avail.
As a very concerned parent I believe I should have the right to know if one of the people charged with the "care" of my child is a suspect in a child abuse case. I believe I should have the right to know if the states of Jersey have been issued with a notice of disclosure concerning the said civil servant.
All this has been denied me and possibly many others. Surely this deserves to be in the public domain?
I truly hope you will consider running this story as I believe it is a travesty, that a leading politician can make these allegations, which puts the fear of god into me. Only to discover it appears I have no right to know if his allegations are correct.
Dear voiceforchildren

As I explained on the telephone, we have been working over a prolonged period of time to substantiate the allegations made in Senator Syvret's blog. To date they remain unsubstantiated.
In addresseing your personal concerns and anxieties, you may care to listen to Jersey Today tomorrow morning at five past eight, where we will be able to broadcast the results of our on-going work to date.
After our conversation today, we have again re-visited the story and we have been running the following story this afternoon:
Jersey police served a disclosure notice about a senior civil servant to his employers, as part of their inquiry into historic abuse.
Question were raised in the States yesterday over whether the senior civil servant should have been allowed to continue working.
A disclosure notice warns an employer that one of their employees is being investigated for alleged crimes -but does not imply guilt.
Roisin Gauson reports.
Yesterday in the States, Deputy Roy Le Herissier asked the Chief Minister what happened after the police issued a disclosure notice against one of Jersey's top civil servants.
He suggested such an employee should be suspended as a precaution, in a neutral manner which did not imply guilt.
The Chief Minister Senator Walker said he would not discuss individual cases but was satisfied the matter has been handled in the correct way.
Senator Stuart Svryet then used parliamentary privilege to name the civil servant in question.
Senator Svryet was reprimanded by the Deputy Bailiff who said he was well aware that he should not name individuals unless it was unavoidable.
You can hear more in tomorrow's Jersey Today, at five past eight.
Best wishes.

Perhaps I did not explain my situation thoroughly enough for you so I will try again.

Before I do that I would like to say I took your advice and listened to the today programme this morning. I am sorry to say I found it somewhat "hollow" or perhaps "shallow" and certainly nothing like "investigative". That is not a critisism it is merely constructive feedback from a listener with no journalistic qualifications.

However back to my "situation" It appears the local BBC and myself have the same problem. You have told me you have been either investigating or researching Senator Syvret's allegations concerning a very high ranking civil servant alledgedly being investigated for violent physical abuse on children.

Despite all your researching and investigating it appears you have only ever come across a brick wall and are unable to substantiate any of these claims.

Well you and I both! the severity of these allegations should not be underestimated nor "hushed up" The story I wish you to cover is exactly what you too appear to have experienced.

A democratically elected representative of the islands electorate informs his electorate that the very person trusted with the "care" of our children is (alledgedly) under investigation for serious violent abuse against children and if a parent, and now it would seem a journalist, were to ask for any kind of confirmation or denial of the allegations, ask why the said civil servant has not been named, why the civil servant has not been suspended, who decided the civil servant should not be suspended, how he/she came to the decision not to suspend the civil servant.

I am frantic with worry my children could be at huge risk if Senator Syvret's allegations have any truth to them at all. Nobody in Jersey will do anything to put my mind at ease, seemingly under the guise of "we have a duty of care to our employees". What about "the duty of care" to our children and the people of Jersey? Why does a parent not have the right to know whether their children are safe under the "care" of the States of Jersey?

As a proffessional Journalist, if you are telling me you see nothing here that deserves to be in the public domain, I can only see Blogging and citizen media, in a matter of time, becoming bigger and more popular over here and possibly becoming "mainstream".

On another note I was hoping to phone Roger Barra on the phone in today to unreservedly apologise for my comments yesterday and explain that I must have been ill informed with the "limitation of qualified privilige" and that now you have put me right. Could you tell me if I will be permitted to do this?

I trust and hope you can see a legitimate news item in my very worrying situation, which I'm sure is shared by many, many islanders especially parents.

Dear voiceforchildren,

If you are concerend about the welfare of your children, you must contact the Education Department and or Social Services.

You are always welcome to offer yourself as a contributor to the BBC Jersey phone in and/or Talkback.

You can be assured we are working constantly on this issue and are devoting our investigative resources to the matters you raise.

We work closely with the BBC's legal department and at present they advise us it is "legally unsafe" to name the person in question

I can't but help think you might be taking the p1ss out of me. So I'll not waste too much more of both of our time and effort.

What I might suggest is you look over the e-mail correspondance between us where I have explained I have contacted the said department, the civil servant and more and have only come up against a brick wall. Which again is the story I would like the BBC to cover.

In order to prevent wasting any more of our time and effort. Could you explain to me as a proffesional independent journalist how you see nothing in our correspondance that deserves to be in the public domain?

I understand you may be busy but I am still waiting for a reply and answer to my question(s) in my last e-mail to you (above).

On top of this Senator Syvret has posted on the internet that Jersey does follow England with the law of absolute privilege, and qualified privilige and claims the media are able to report the name of the civil servant. You have told me that Jersey does not follow England with this law. Could you please clear this up for me? in order to help me understand why the media will not name this civil servant.

And naturally I would like to know how you might see nothing in our correspondance that deserves to be in the public domain.
Dear voiceforchildren,

Thank you for your email.

If you are concerend about the welfare of your children, I strongly urge you to contact the relevant authorities. The BBC in Jersey cannot help with private matters between you, your children and the authorities.

I refer you to the BBC Producer Gudielines - avaialble online and in the public library with the regard to the reporting of parliament - like The States.

As I have explained previously, our lawyers have advised us it is "legally unsafe" to name the people involved.

This correspondence is now closed.

Yours sincerely

I am absolutely distraught you see nothing with my situation that deserves to be in the public domain. The fact that you have refused to give me direct answers to direct questions is also very concerning to me.

Our correspondance regrettably only adds fuel to the fire we have a partisan media over here which alarms me even more and leaves me no other option than to Blog about my experiences.

I am sure you are confident with your decision to close our correspondance and see nothing that desrves to be in the public domain from it. However I strongly disagree with you I am a parent frantic with worry and despite all my best efforts have only come up against brick walls from the States of Jersey and now the BBC.

Blogging is the only hope I have left
I have done everything I can to conceal the identity of the said civil servant and the said journalist in order to avoid any kind of prosecution. Also as I am somewhat computer illiterate the paragraphs are not publishing with the same seperations I am writing them, I don't know how to remedy this but hope you the reader(s) can see past this.

Thursday, 16 October 2008


I thought I'd just do a quick post after last night's elections. Unfortunately the result was of no real shock and indeed fairly predictable. That is to say the poor and working class did not come out and vote in significant numbers to make a difference.

The media are going to have their view as to why and how "the establishment" got back in and the rest of us are going to have another. One reason could be that the majority of the electorate are in fact demoralised, they believe they can't make a difference. A demoralised majority (non voting) electorate suits our establishment for as long as they continue not to vote. Make no mistake our "ruling elite" and it's media know there is discontent and unrest with "the peasants" and it is only a matter of time before they rebel and by that I mean start voting.

Citizen Mike Vibert should get a mention as should Senator Phillip (GST28) Ozouf as they have appeared on here in the run up to the elections.

Firstly citizen Mike Vibert. I heard him on the radio today trying to put some of the blame of him losing his seat down to hecklers at hustings. What is so tragic about that statement is I truly believe he believes it, he went on to say "there will be one or two members of that crowd that will be feeling pleased with themselves today".

Firstly I did, and many others, heckle citizen Vibert at the hustings, I also heckled Senator Phillip (GST28) Ozouf, Sarah (GST28) Ferguson, Alan (GST28) Maclean and they all kept their seats. I believe the statement "there will be one or two members of that crowd that will be feeling pleased with themselves today" could have been aimed at me.

To that I would say there's a good chance everybody in that crowd will be feeling a bit pleased with themselves today but not for the reasons citizen Mike Vibert might believe. Speaking purely for myself I believe he has failed our children and failed them miserably. He ran his department with only his and his civil servants interests at heart, regardless of any impact on the children or their families.

I have only asked citizen Vibert questions that any concerned parent should deserve an answer to in order to be assured he is, sorry was, providing their children with a safe place of learning. I was only ever fobbed off and met by a wall of secrecy. I was foced to phone him, and he would hang up the phone on me, I would e-mail him and he would not reply, I'd try and engage with him at hustings and he would tell me he has made a complaint of harrassment against me to the police.

Like I said earlier, the tragic thing is Citizen Vibert is apparently oblivious as to what impact his actions have on others and still seeks to blame others for his downfall. I am not "pleased with myself" in a way that I get satisfaction out of another man's downfall. I am just pleased my children are no loger under his "care" and I can't say I am pleased they are under the "care" of Mario Lundy either but more of that at a later Blog.

Now for Senator Phillip (GST28) Ozouf. He, like citizen Vibert and others, was heckled at hustings, and has been the subject of a couple of my Blogs. The difference between the Senator and ex Senator (on a personal note) is Senator Phillip (GST28) Ozouf sought to engage with me!

He chose to do that after a hustings one night when I was sat at a table in the local bar. I was sat with a group of "anti establishment" people. Senator Phillip (GST28) Ozouf came through from the other bar for whatever reason and spotted us. He had no hesitation in coming over to "the lions den" and said something on the lines of "I see I made it on to your Blog" (my last post). He opened up a dialogue with me and was ready to discuss ANY issue with me, didn't ignore me or threaten me with an harrassment charge.

I found, and have since found, him to be very aproachable and, on a strictly personal level, easy to get along with. On a proffessional level I totally disagree with his policies, his voting, his unsustainable population and economic growth policies and his taxing of the poor and needy in order to fatten up the already fat cats.

One must give credit where it is due, as a politician he is good, let's face it he kept his bl00dy seat!! I believe he is a good enough poltician to realize these elections were a warning shot across his bow, topping the poll in his last election and coming in fifth at this one, he has had to pull out all the stops to get re-elected and has had to work like probably never before to keep his job in the states.

He has told me he will give me an interview on camera (mind you that was before the election results) so I shall seek to hold him to that. But that will be after I have attempted to get an interview with one Terence (GST28) Le Main.

On that note, thanks to the people who have e-mailed me questions you want putting to him and if anybody has any more questions please e-mail them

I won't analyse any more of the election results as the bottom line is, "the establishment" have won this battle, but the war has a long way to go!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Camera shy?

Here is my attempt in trying to engage with Senator Phillip (GST28) Ozouf. Again I know my technique is not that of any "proffessional Journalist" but quite honestly going by our local media I have no-one to learn from.

This latest bit of video is of myself trying to get one of our very "accessable" democratically elected "represenatives" to answer one pretty straight forward question. This particular clip was shot at the St Martin hustings where I believe the "establishment candidates" took a "severe beating".

Senator Phillip (GST28) who usually appears to be quite happy on camera for CTV and "local" BBC seems somewhat camera shy when it's anybody else behind the camera.

I can't prove we have a "partisan media" but it does add a little fuel to the fire when politicians, who are rarely off our telivision screens, refuse to answer a question from one of the people he is supposed to represent but appears quite happy to answer any questions from his, sorry our local media

Senator Phillip (GST28) Ozouf is telling, anybody that will listen, at the hustings that we need capable and experienced politicians to steer us through the tough economical times ahead. What he neglects to mention is Mike Higgins drafted legislation for bank depositers protection back in 2003. Our current crop of "capable and experienced" politicians have completeley ignored it for FIVE YEARS!!

I believe our current "ruling elite" are steering a ship fully loaded with greed, self preservation, taxes and policies to keep the rich rich and the poor poor and Senator Phillip (GST28) Ozouf is firmly at the helm and if he gets re-elected, when that ship hits the rocks, he and his fellow GST28 ship mates will all be in the liferafts, The rest of us? we'll all be floating around in the wreckage trying to salvage what pittens there might be left for us!

Anyhow enjoy the video and if anybody has a candidate they would like me to engage with on camera, let me know and I will see what I can do.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Open and transparent?

For those readers of this blog who live outside of Jersey and for any new readers. I hope this item might go some way to explain why our island has been qoted as "island of secrets" "culture of concealment and cover up" along with many more qotations along the same lines.

Senator Mike (GST28)Vibert is our minister for Education Sport and Culture. He is also a minister who voted For the regressive GST, he voted AGAINST exemptions on school books and school clothing. He also voted AGAINST free milk for our school children.

You might note by the e-mails below he is not in the business of putting a parents mind at ease and refuses to answer some very valid and frightening questions. The answers of which seriously do need addressing.

It is said here in Jersey we have "a very partisan media". It is believed our entire local media are extremely bias in favour of our "elected dictatorship" to the point our only local "news"paper is suspected of writing spoof letters in it's "letters to the editor" page to support our "ruling elite"

Our elected "representatives" claim they either are, or support, openness and transparency in our "elected dictatorship". So in order to give them this "openness and transparency" and to offer their electorate an "alternative media" I have taken my video camera to the hustings that are now taking place in the hope of getting an interview with sitting states members up for re-election.

I readily admit my technique of trying to obtain an interview might not be quite what it could. Hopefully I will be able to improve on that. By the same token I believe if our local media were doing a good job, people like myself wouldn't have to try and do it for them!

So below is my e-mail correspondance with Senator Mike (GST28) Vibert and my attempts to be given an interview. A couple of things need to be taken into account here. Nobody has , either the power or the willing, (to the best of my knowledge) to get any of my questions answered by him.

This man could get elected for another 6 YEAR term! One of his election slogans is "a safe pair of hands" well I'll let you, the reader(s) decide if that's an apt slogan. I prefer the slogan "a quick pair of feet"

I would also like to add I live in constant fear of the reprisals I might suffer for exposing our "ruling elite" I have edited the e-mails below, only taking out the names of the civil servants, although they have been published elswhere I am told I can be prosecuted for libel if I were to publish them. I don't want to break any laws I just want to expose the truth and bring a little accountability to those who have none.


You spoke to me at the St. Clement hustings yesterday evening about an e-mail you had sent to me. Unfortunately I have not received any such e-mail. I believe it may be being blocked by the States e-mail filtering system.
You intimated the e-mail concerned unacceptable behaviour by a former States employee. If you have any evidence of such then I suggest you contact the States of Jersey Police, as they are the correct authority to investigate any alleged unlawful conduct.

I have copied and pasted the e-mail for you below. I would very much appreciate if you could put my mind at least at a little bit of ease.
Personally I have no proof of any of the allegations. But the fact remains, either Senator Syvret, like yourself is a democratically elected senator and representative of the electorate, is a liar or fantasist, or his allegations do hold some merit. If it is the latter I have every reason to be concerned.
Here is the e-mail please don't "skate over" any of my truly frightening concerns.

The original e-mail.

After reading an article on Senator Syvrets Blogsite I have become even more horrified (if that's possible) as to the goings on in your department.
Senator Syvret claims the notorious "Pinball wizard" is none other than (an ex senior civil servant), who was employed during "your watch". If what has been published is correct this would indicate the said ex senior servant has participated in what would (or should) amount to physical, and possible, emotional abuse on minors and extra marital affairs.
Could I ask what you, or your department, are doing to look into these very serious and alarming allegations?
I have also read on various news articles on the web a current civil servant employed by E.S.C. not only worked at Haute De La Garrenne but has been interviewed by the police investigating alleged child abuse at the home.
Could you let me know if this civil servant was interviewed as a witness or a suspect? and is he/she indeed under any kind of investigation or suspicion by either yourself or the police?
As I have 2 children under the "care" of your department I hope you can appreciate my concerns.

I repeat, all allegations and any evidence to support them should be reported to the States of Jersey Police who are the only body authorised to deal with them and answer any of your queries.

I can not understand why the Minster for Education Sport and Culture can not (or will not) put a parent's mind at rest by either confirming or denying these frightening allegations?
Surely you would (or should) be in the ideal position to do this, as you are responsible for your department and it's employees. Further more I would have thought you would be very eager to put a parents mind at ease.
Also how do you deem it is my responsibility to inform the police of these allegations, surely if it's anybody's responsibility, it's your isn't it?

I do not know anything about these allegations. It is the responsibility and duty of anyone who believes they know anything that could be construed as unlawful to inform the Police of their concerns.

Although I asked you not to "skate over" any of my concerns perhaps I should have also asked you not to "completely ignore" my concerns as well.
The concerns you some how managed to "completely ignore" were the very valid and worrying ones of the current civil servant being (or not) interviewed by the police investigating the "alleged" child abuse at HDLG and other institutions within the states of Jersey "care" system.
For the avoidance of any doubt my questions are.
1) Was the current civil servant employed at HDLG?
2) If so, for what time period? and what was his/her job title?
3) Has the current civil servant been interviewed by the "historic" child abuse investigation team?
4) If so, was he/she interviewed as a witness or a suspect?
5) Are either yourself, the current civil servant, or anybody employed by E.S.C under any kind of suspicion (by the "historic" child abuse investigation team) for either participating in child abuse (physical, sexual, or emotional) or covering up for anybody who might have participated in any such heinous acts?
The current civil servant is also copied into this e-mail so I hope between the two of you, you will be able to put my mind at ease.

I have given you my reply previously. I consider this correspondence closed and will not be replying to any more e-mails on the subject