Monday, 28 December 2009

Blogging in 2009

Blogging is still a relatively new phenomena here in little old Jersey. It has been welcomed in some circles and frowned upon in others.
But there is no getting away from the fact that it is growing. Here at Team Voice, over the past year, we have seen our readership more than treble.

Senator Ben Shenton concedes “we are going to have to accommodate them” (Bloggers). How are you going to do this then Senator? Because web streaming of States meetings (as is currently being considered) is nothing short of “State controlled media” we have enough of that already, and that’s partly the reason Blogs exist in the first place. He also concedes “they are here to stay”….well he got that right!!

Because Jersey has no alternative “accredited” media - Blogs are filling a massive void. Blogs and Bloggers seem to be the only alternative to “the party line”.

2009 has seen the “accredited” media absolutely slate retired DCO Lenny Harper for his handling of the HDLG “historic” Child Abuse Investigation. An investigation where he has a 100% record of securing convictions against Child Abusers.

This - one could believe - is what helped put Jersey “Blogging” on the map.

Lenny Harper responded by submitting a 16,500 word, 31 page response with documented evidence “exclusively” to a Blogger. The Blogger - Senator Stuart Syvret - has seen his readership grow to almost a quarter of a million, which could be argued is a much bigger readership than ANY of our local “accredited” media.

Blogging, unfortunately for some, has got to be one of the fastest growing news outlets and can no longer be ignored by our “ruling elite” or our “accredited” press.

One of the only ways to slow down the growth of Blogsites here in Jersey is for the “accredited” press to stop towing the party line and start reporting all the “uncomfortable truths” and expose this Child Abuse Scandal, and many other things, for what they really are, don’t leave it for Bloggers to do.

Below is a short montage of some of our elected representative’s thoughts, or views, on Blogging…….What’s yours?

92 comments:

  1. Is there anything specific on your blog for the whole of 2009 which was an 'exclusive' and ended up being taken by the National/Local Media afterwards or stolen if you like? But this has to be something credible and not just hearsay!

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  2. Anonymous.

    I think you have totally missed the point.

    Might I suggest you read the Blog again?

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  3. Maybe I have but it would be interesting to know whether you can think of something exclusive to this blog for 2009 which was shunned by others but later taken on by them? I know you don't take yourself to slandering people like other blogs do but you do make assertive claims that you are investigating items that other journalists cannot either be bothered to or dare not to; or as been suggested elsewhere media outlets like the BBC or CTV have a strict code of conduct which you are immune to because you are only running a blog. Okay, what is your exclsuive piece of journalism of this year then and whats the next step up for your blog?

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  4. Anonymous.

    I suppose it would be fair to say almost every interview on here is "exclusive".

    Not taken up by "accredited" press? Well again this is part of the reason Blogs exist.

    The next step for my Blog?......who knows?

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  5. Anonymous.

    Might I ask why you come to my Blog?

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  6. Curiosity as to what you have to say next. This blog shows a bit of one sided support for one senator though which is strange concerning his behaviour from October and the backing away of some States Members who used to show open support for him elsewhere.

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  7. Anonymous.

    Thank you for your contribution.

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  8. If you got away from the single subject of child abuse for a change it could be good.

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  9. Interesting - this site (http://www.statbrain.com/www.stuartsyvret.blogspot.com/) claims he gets about 10 hits a day, which would take about 68 years to reach a quarter of a million.

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  10. I don't think statbrain is a reliable source for site traffic.

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  11. Statbrain takes away all the repeat ip addresses going in and out of his blog so I would say it was truthful of the real traffic also basing my observations on the number of posts and the people that are regularly writing them.

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  12. Hi VFC

    "Statbrain takes away all the repeat ip addresses going in and out of his blog so I would say it was truthful of the real traffic also basing my observations on the number of posts and the people that are regularly writing them"

    Dude why do you let this bother you. You don't like the blogs but are always on them you are now looking at stats WHY.

    Why does this bother you why does blogging bother you why always negative

    VFC is a great site is that a biased opinion YES


    Dude blogging is here if you don't like don't read

    rs

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  13. "Dude why do you let this bother you. You don't like the blogs but are always on them you are now looking at stats WHY."

    Because Rankin has a lot to lose!!

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  14. Anonymous - this blog is not about 'exclusive' and certainly not based on hearsay. It offers and alternative angle on important matters, and is backed up by FACTS which are often omitted from our other media outlets.

    You are being afforded the opportunity on this site to put your arguments forward. Would you be permitted to carry on with something that is becoming rather tedious now, on the RAG's comments section? The answer - no!

    Also your assertion that this site is all about child abuse is misguided. If you look back over the last 12 months, there has been diverse subject matter and interviews. Child abuse has, and will remain high on the agenda until justice is seen to be done.
    Meanwhile the victims have not even had an apology from the SOJ, and in all honesty if you feel this is acceptable then as has already been suggested, do not bother to read this blog.

    Citizens media is here to stay whatever form it takes. As far as I, and a lot of other people are concerned it has changed the way we can express ourselves and hopefully keep our elected representatives on their toes.

    Long live Citizens Media - may you thrive and progress into bigger things in the coming year.

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  15. Typical, people express an opinion on blogs and the inaccurate visitor numbers which they are so desperately trying to sell the select few that they then bring up Rankin! Why don't you just admit that you are a closed bunch that cannot stand any questioning of your beloved Syvret and this is why blogging will never be taken seriously whilst it is run like this?

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  16. Anonymous.

    I was in two minds whether to publish the comment containing the name Rankin. I decided to let it through as there was no Christian name, so did not identify anybody specifically

    I do not encourage personal attacks, although it wasn't a personal attack, more of an observation perhaps.

    As for Blogs not being taken seriously, if you don't mind me saying, you do tend to be taking them quite seriously.

    You disagree with them and what is said on them, still you submit comments to them. Comments, I might add, I am happy to publish, which is a little more than I can say for our "accredited" media.

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  17. "As for Blogs not being taken seriously, if you don't mind me saying, you do tend to be taking them quite seriously."

    Not really. Your blog seems to treat the Gradwell revelations's of earlier in the year though as if they don't exist at all which I find encredibly biased for so called reporting. You cannot just cut and paste statements to try and make a news story "just to your liking", the public will not swallow it.

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  18. Anonymous.

    I think you'll find I have "cut and paste" very, very, little on here, unlike the "accredited" media which is basically all cut and paste.

    Gradwell basically didn't "reveal" anything for me to "cut and paste" furthermore he had front page spreads and double pages of the FILTHY RAG to tell everybody his "revelations" as well as a 3 part interview with CTV and the BBC.

    This is where we get back to what I said to you earlier you seem to have completely missed the point of the posting.

    I am offering an alternative, what would be the point of me repeating the party line along with our "accredited" media?

    If people, very much like yourself, disagree with what I publish then I offer you the chance to submit comments, which you do and I publish them. Our "accredited" press are not that un bias.

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  19. Anonymous.

    If you would like to furnish me with "revelations" from Gradwell then I will happily publish them.

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  20. Your troll's agenda seems desperate. Wonder why.

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  21. "Gradwell basically didn't "reveal" anything for me to "cut and paste" furthermore he had front page spreads and double pages of the FILTHY RAG to tell everybody his "revelations" as well as a 3 part interview with CTV and the BBC".

    No VFC you just did not like the report. Your comments about the JEP, BBC and CTV are too childish for me to even rebound a comment on. Just read it back to yourself mate, it sounds paranoid and silly.

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  22. Anonymous.

    Gradwell did have 3 part interviews and many, many, column inches with all, or most of our "accredited" press. How can you call me "silly" for stating that fact, oh and "paranoid" as well?

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  23. Yes but until you produce something that even remotely equals or is origial in comparison to the BBC and CTV then what you are saying is silly. You said on another blog that you don't read the rag. Well their sales aren't going down for sure.

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  24. Anonymous.

    You can't say i've not indulged you. You can't say I have not published your comments. You can't say I haven't offered you the opportunity to publish Mick Gradwells "revelations".

    Now your saying that I should try and be equall to multi million pound "news" empires.

    I think we've taken it as far as it can go, so thank you for your contribution.

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  25. "You said on another blog that you don't read the rag. Well their sales aren't going down for sure."

    According to Wikipedia "The Jersey Evening Post's audited daily circulation as of July 2007 was 21,376, a decline of 2.2% on the previous year. In 2008, the newspaper's circulation fell by 4.9% to 20,070."

    I'm no expert on the calculation of sales figures but I think there's a clue in the use of the words "fell" and "decline"?

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  26. It is quite ridiculous that a Island such as Jersey with a population akin to a London Borough has only 1 'newspaper' - one that is total controlled by the Jersey 'firm'.

    Compare this to the UK where typical London boroughs have 2 or 3 local papers some left wing some more right leaning and though the local councils like to control the local media to some degree by threatening and in some cases actually withdrawing some of their custom, the local rags are a lot more independent than Jerseys one and only rag.

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  27. "Okay, what is your exclsuive piece of journalism of this year then and whats the next step up for your blog?"

    Name me an exclusive piece of journalism in either the JEP or CITV. Their content is almost totally the result of public information or press releases by government or non-governmental organisations, or they have to publish stuff because it has already been published elsewhere and cannot be ignored.

    When was the last time a JEP reporter made themselves unpopular with any Jersey grandee by digging into their business, doorstepping them, then publishing and being damned? Oh yes, Ted Vibert and Stuart Syvret, but they don't count as 'grandees' do they.

    To me, blogs are not about investigative journalism, they are about voicing opinions that you will not hear in the official media. They can also present facts that are not known to or revealed in the 'official' media.

    Look at the work that tonymusings did on Harcourt, checking court proceedings in Las Vegas and the Caribbean and publishing information that the JEP and CITV never went near.

    Who would have known about the police investigaton into a suspected serial killer at the hospital if it hadn't been for a certain blog? And yes, I know that was buried, but the original investigation did happen.

    Who would have known about the existence of 7 Bedford Row and the flow of money from the Jersey government into that practice, and that they were the supposedly non-conflicted, independent arbiters of the HdlG prosecutions?

    How would we have realised the surreal absurdity of Montfort Tadier's position when he was found sleeping in the States building if it hadn't been lampooned on this blog? Well, we all knew that one anyway.

    I agree that blogs will not replace 'official' News businesses but in many respects they are a lot more informative. You may as well not waste your time on 90% of all News content, although like Soviet citizens used to do with Pravda, you need to read between the lines and use your hermeneutic powers to deduce what the real story is behind what you are being told.

    When blogs start usurping the role of news - financed, with full-time investigative reporters -, well they won't be blogs any more. But that doesn't mean they are not currently an alternative source for information and opinion, which is basically all a newspaper is.

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  28. Rob Kent, before I answer your post I note you are down as 'not from Jersey'. Please clarify where you actually come from first? As for me to respond to an outside critic who is none the wiser as to what is really going on in Jersey apart from what he reads on Mr Syvret's Blog would be a waste of my time.

    On the subject as well, I note that tonight Mr Syvret is now saying it maybe 5 years before his 'oligarchy' is tumbled. Well with comments like that, I think it is time for him to be more honest and realistic with his blog readers as to the real strength of his case against them because as the days and weeks go by it appears weaker and weaker.

    Paul L

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  29. Well the JEP certainly will not publish some stories. In November I invited two so called journalists from the JEP to my husbands appeal, telling them what had happened - the police transcribing statements wrong - which resulted in a conviction for my husband in 2008. One had offered me the chance to set my story straight as they had published a rather inacurrate article, I said I would love to but after my husband's appeal as I did not want to prejudice his appeal. They did not turn up at the appeal, they have not contacted me to set the story straight and also have not published any article on the appeal eventhough it was released for publication in November.


    I'm fed up with hearing - i did not see it in the JEP (Jump Everyone Please), well no you wouldn t because then social services would have to admit they kidnapped my son for absolutely no reason what-so-ever. You can see the headline now - 'boy taken from parents for being lawfully punished for his bad behaviour'.


    Well done VFC for providing an alternative!

    Happy New Year!

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  30. Re: "It is quite ridiculous that a Island such as Jersey with a population akin to a London Borough has only 1 'newspaper' - one that is total controlled by the Jersey 'firm'."

    You might be right about London boroughs but I think you have to compare Jersey to a provincial town of a similar population.

    I used to believe that the local UK press was in a better state than Jersey, but I don't think it's true.

    Brighton, where I live, has a catchment area of about 250,000 people and only has one newspaper that does no investigative reporting that I can see. It publishes press releases from the council as if they were gospel and I'm sure that local businesses who advertise with it are not going to be given a hard time.

    Independent local press has been decimated in recent years, for well-known reasons, which is exactly why we need well-informed, awkward blogs such as this one, to at least question the spin and lazy reporting we're offered by other media. They're not a replacement for traditional news but they have become a necessary part of how citizens get their information.

    I even heard a policeman on this morning's Radio 4 Today programme say that 'every citizen is now a journalist', so it must be true.

    I don't think it's just political blogs such as this one though - I work in software engineering and everyone depends on blogs for in-depth coverage of the technology - in many ways they've replaced the technical documentation that used to be produced by vendors at large expense.

    What would be interesting to me would be to see a 'meme chart' of a town's blogs in order to get an idea of what the place is like socially and culturally. I did a rough comparison of Jersey to Brighton and found that nearly all of Jersey's blogs are concerned with political matters (including the environment). Brighton's on the other hand have very few political ones and are very eclectic and whimsical, with a heavy bias to music, art, and alternative therapy, which is pretty much like the town itself.

    Now what does that tell you?

    PS While doing my five minutes research for this posting (like all good citizen journalists), I discover that Brighton has a blog about online journalism. How apt.

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  31. Re PaulL: "Rob Kent, before I answer your post I note you are down as 'not from Jersey'. Please clarify where you actually come from first? As for me to respond to an outside critic who is none the wiser as to what is really going on in Jersey apart from what he reads on Mr Syvret's Blog would be a waste of my time."

    Firstly, it saddens me to think of the wisdom you're never going to impart to me. Secondly, use your nous and click on my profile to see who I am and where I live. You can even email me if you want, visit my website, and come around and visit me at home if you download my CV with my address in it.

    But who are you and where do you live, and why does it matter?

    We've been over all this many times on another blog. You don't need to live in a place to have an informed opinion about events there. But for the record, I grew up in Jersey and spent 27 years of my life there (in fact, weren't we at Vauxhall School together, unless you're a different PaulL who blogs on the JEP under your full name?). I visit several times a year and closely follow events there, and speak weekly to friends and family still living there. In fact, members of my family often rely on me to tell them what is happening because they don't read the JEP or read the local blogs.

    Regarding your other comment, I was discussing the ability of blogs to reveal information you will not find in other places and I gave a few examples. I'm not responsible for what Stuart Syvret thinks or says about the oligarchy: you'd better take that up with him personally. And since you think Stuart is wrong about everything, you shouldn't have to worry about revealing your identity. I don't suppose you're going to jeopardise your job or position on the island by saying how well governed it is, that everything is rosy in the garden, all Stuart's evidence is fabricated, and that none of those kids in HdlG were abused or battered.

    PS What do you think about the war in Iraq, or aren't you qualified to discuss it because you don't live there?

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  32. Re 'PaulL':

    Also, I find it highly amusing and ironic that someone who hides behind a pseudoynm should imperiously demand that I reveal myself. It is even funnier that I am already public.

    Since you are anonymous, how do I know you are even 'PaulL' or, should you be someone who could rightfully designate themselves as 'PaulL', that you even live on Jersey, or that you are even a real person?

    How do I know that I am not speaking to a Turing Machine programmed to visit blogs and divert them from their valid subjects?

    So, unless you are prepared to reveal your identity, and prove that you have 'Qualies', I would suggest that you have forfeited your right to comment.

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  33. I watched an absolutely heart wrenching documentary last night on the Tsunami that hit Thailand, Sri Lanka, Boxing Day 2004.

    The 90 minute documentary was only possible to make because of "Citizens Media". Almost all of the film footage of the Tsunami was taken by "Citizens".

    The "accredited" press relied "exclusively" on "Citizens Media" in order to report the riots, almost Civil War, in the Iranian elections.

    Citizens Media plays a very big part in reporting "news" in the 21st century. Not only for what they capture on film but the "accredited" press, over here at least, are starting (slowly) to accept if they don't report a "news" item then a Blogger or Citizen will. The Citizens are "raising the bar".

    The cut and paste "accredited" Journalism in Jersey is going to have to raise its game or it is going to be left wanting.

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  34. Re VFC: "Citizens Media plays a very big part in reporting "news" in the 21st century."

    The main news stations almost rely on it. They are desperate for people to send them reports and footage - they even have a form at the bottom of every breaking news page on the BBC News site so that you can submit your content.

    The policeman on the Today programme was saying how they had had to change their behaviour as a result. He said that they used to have six hours before the cameras arrived at an incident - now the cameras are there first, not only filming the event but filming the police's handling of it.

    I guess that's why it is now illegal in the UK to film the police. And if there weren't people who are prepared to break that law, we would never have known that Ian Tomlinson did not simply die of a heart attack during the G8 demonstrations.

    Keep up the good work.

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  35. The RAG could have a new name.

    How about:

    The Jersey Evening Press-release?

    or

    The Jersey Evening Photocopy?

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  36. Rob.

    Do you know if any charges were brought against the police for the Ian Tomlinson death?

    On another note, I am actually Blogging "reluctantly" I really wish there was no need for me to be doing this. Can you imagine if I, or anybody over here, were to have the willing and a few resources to do this "for real"?

    It would probably be the end of our "accredited" media overnight!

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  37. Do you know what? I have grown fond of the name "FILTHY RAG" but the two other suggested names above are just as apt, and likeable.

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  38. The first Tomlinson inquiry by the IPCC has ended I think and one officer is facing criminal charges. However, two more investigations have been launched into suspected perjury by officers at the original inquiry.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/nov/30/ian-tomlinson-family-metropolitan-officer

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  39. Rob.

    Thanks, will have a look at the link shortly.

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  40. Paul L - Why on earth would you not wish to respond to someone's post just because 'they are outside Jersey'!! That is a very insular comment.

    Just because someone is 'outside Jersey' does not mean that they could or should not take an interest, or pass comment on what happens here (and let's face it there is a lot to comment on).

    I was not born here either, but my education and upbringing were in the Island. I moved away for a brief period of 6 years a short while ago, but still took an interest in local affairs by looking on line. My locally born daughter who is now settled in Brighton, and never wants to return to Jersey still looks on line daily to see what is happening here.

    I take an interest in national and international news, in fact anything that grabs my attention, not just local events. I think that is called broadening the mind!

    Reverting to the Tsunami programme and the Tomlinson affair, we should also remember that a lot of the footage of 9/11 was amateur film and has been extensively used. A world changing event captured by Citizens Media.

    Keep up the excellent work Neil.

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  41. Looks like Paul has scuttled back under his rock. Either that or his Ipod is charging!!!

    In....Out.....

    They really can't cope with intelligence and common sense. Well done Rob.

    Happy New Year VFC. Will be following you avidly in 2010.

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  42. Am I the ony one who is amused by someone repeatedly venting his frustration that someone else dares to keep up a web log expressing a different political opinion?

    The obvious solution for this Paul is to create his own blog and watch its popularity soar as it honestly captures all the truly groundbreaking, hardhitting original Jersey news.

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  43. All the best for 2010.

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  44. Londoner.

    All the best for 2010 to you also.

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  45. Happy new year to the voice

    keep up the great work,Neil
    really enjoy your blogs

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  46. I am only interested in reading something factual on a blog that is not covered in the national media. All I ever read nowadays is political mud slinging together with character assassination and because it is not covered by the regulated media I have so say that I have major doubts about a lot of its' accuracy.

    Paul.

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  47. Paul.

    Could you tell us what "facts" you have seen in the "accredited" media given by Mick Gradwell?

    Lenny Harper presented the best part of 16,500 words of "facts" to a Blogger, did you read any of them in the "accredited" media?

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  48. I would argue that Lenny Harper has had a fair share of media attention already and I would agree with Senator Le Marquand that neither he or Gradwell have acted in a professional manner in making such sweeping statemenst to the media.

    I am also a little surpsied that people still mention him in the uncredited media because it is after all yesterday's news and there is nothing 'new' in what he has to say.

    Going back to blogs, I was a little surprised to see a facebook group on so called Human Rights. Peoples Human Rights are trashed on a daily basis as far as some blogs are concerned. I think some politicions fail to see the bigger picture sometimes.

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  49. Paul.

    As said before, if you have ANY "facts" given to the "accredited" media by Mick Gradwell concerning the HDLG investigation, I will willingly publish them.

    Furthermore if you have ANY "facts" that say the suspension of Chief Officer Graham Power was legal, then I will happily publish them also.

    If you can give us "facts" that say 7 Bedford Row are the ideal people for the AG's office to employ to look at the Abuse cases I will publish them also.

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  50. We desperately need a public enquiry into the police handling of the whole thing if only just to put it to rest. I mean you have made your views pretty clear on what you think of Gradwell and he has made his own thoughts pretty clear about what he thinks of Harper. Personally I think the digging up of HdlG was an abscene waste of public money and I find Harper's defense of his work pretty weak. He raised peoples hopes up far to high and they have suffered for it.

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  51. Paul.

    I'm assuming that last comment was from you.

    So no "facts" then? I am pleased to give you the opportunity to Voice your "opinions". However haven't you stated on a few occasions that you were going to start up your own Blog? Or am I thinking of somebody else?

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  52. I may start a blog later in the year but I want totally original subject matter and I don't want slanging matches. Too much agression on the Net and its not even constructive debate. We have to get away from back stabbing and spitting at people. We are a democracy and we should have some level of decorum even if these blogs are difficult to police.

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  53. Paul.

    Which is exactly why I offered you the opportunity to present me with "facts". We could then have a reasoned debate involving only "facts"

    It just seems that when people start mentioning "facts" (and here is where I agree with you) others start slagging the people that mention "facts" about there spelling and grammar and appear to have no argument against the "facts.

    I'm pleased we are in agreement and look forward to reading your Blog.

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  54. @Paul "I am only interested in reading something factual on a blog that is not covered in the national media. All I ever read nowadays is political mud slinging together with character assassination..."

    (sorry for being so verbose, but this is in two parts)

    Part one:

    There are blogs and blogs, then there are the comments posted on blogs, and sometimes - I agree with you - it don't make a pretty picture. Private Eye have nailed that side of it pretty well in their Blogosphere column, along with the hilarious collation of the best comments on spEak You're bRanes.

    But the Internet is just a medium. You could make the case that 90% of the books published each year are not worth reading and are a waste of trees, but it's not an argument against Gutenberg.

    Most blogs are expressions of opinions on publicly available, albeitly little-known, facts. Not many of the them present new information, but a blogger with time, resources, or good sources can reveal facts that might not otherwise be revealed.

    Also bloggers have now replaced foreign correspondents as the primary source of information for news coming from war zones and other places too dangerous for reporters to enter. How many media organisations have correspondents inside Gaza, Tehran, or Yemen I wonder. Truth is, the journalists who specialize in those areas are watching blogs, normally with a translator by their side.

    It's true that ostensibly the national media has to observe higher standards of accuracy than a blog but it doesn't stop them printing lies and distortions that suit their or their owner's agenda. You get a lie on the front page in 48 point type and then an apology on an inside page a few weeks later in 10 point Garamond.

    continued...

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  55. (actually, three parts, it appears)

    part two:

    But the biggest criticism of 'accredited' news organisations is that they often do not touch major stories; they are part of what the late Edward Said called "ideological communities" - they just cannot help being on the side they are. You only need to contrast the coverage of Palestine on French state TV and the BBC to see how tacitly nice to Israel the UK is. During the bombing of Gaza last year when the BBC were saying that nobody could get in to find out what was happening, French news had a correspondent speaking to camera in a Gaza street with explosions all around him. When the Israelis were building their wall through Palestinian communities, separating farmers from their fields and schools from their playgrounds, French TV were running nightly reports showing the effects of it while the BBC correspondent was reporting from Jerusalem and speaking to Israeli spokespeople. You get a different perspective on a demonstration if you are reporting it from behind police lines.

    Leaving aside the national media (read Nick Davies' "Flat Earth News" to disabuse yourself of its reliability) and turning to the JEP: the JEP presents a highly compromised, ideological and tendentious account of what it thinks islanders should be told. A couple of examples: have a brief look either at Syvret's last post (sic), "Letter From Exile #9" or the source of his information on the '7 Bedford Row' site and note the large number of major anti-trust and fraud cases that Jersey has been involved in, some involving figures of a quarter of a billion stolen by dictators and other crooks. The JEP does not tell you when those cases are being heard. In at least one of them (the Saudi one, I think) they took over a hotel in Jersey and heard it in camera.

    continued...

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  56. part three:

    Why don't the JEP write about all of these massive fraud cases being prosecuted in Jersey? I'm speculating but my guess is because it is bad for the image of the island. But shouldn't you, as a citizen, be informed that your island is the hub for transactions involving billions of stolen money that result in conviction in your courts? When a drugs trial takes over your pages for a week, you'd think that a fraud case big enough to warrant the private hiring of a hotel would receive equal coverage. It's possible I missed it but the trial of "Raj Bhojwani, an Indian businessman charged with three counts of concealing or transferring some $44m (£21.5m) alleged to be the proceeds of criminal conduct" didn't make the front page (or any page?) of the JEP during May 2008, which was a busy news month with GST, HdlG, the Waterfront, Harcourt, etc.

    A more recent and possibly trivial example, which shows how little initiative is shown or spade-work done by the JEP, is the 17 million pound proposed spending on the harbour. That 17 million was buried on about page 54 of the States spending proposals. It was noticed by some vigilant members of the Jersey Boatowners Association and drawn to the attention of Sean Power (who admitted he hadn't noticed it - had any other States member?). At the meeting called to discuss the plans to turn the Old Harbour into a marina for super yachts, someone asked what were the 'pink areas' on the plan if they weren't being reserved for apartments, which was denied at the meeting. Then, lo and behold, someone discovers on the the architects' website drawings with luxury flats overlooking a nice forty-foot high-tide marina, with no mud or small boats in sight. The architects have now said this was just one of their designers using his poetic imagination and getting carried away with the AutoCad software. What do you think?

    But, and here is why I say you cannot rely on newspapers to discover the real truth about what is happening in your world, the JEP only reported that after it had all been revealed by members of the public and could not be ignored. Doesn't the JEP employ a business correspondent whose job it is to examine the financial plan? Didn't they notice the 17-million spend or look at the plans, which reveal that the raison d'etre for this development is to sell luxury flats overlooking a spanking marina full of luxury yachts? Why didn't the JEP ask why Jersey tax payers should pay 17 million pounds for a scheme that will enrich private developers and please wealthy super-yacht owners (who have simultaneously been allowed by Jersey to evade EU VAT) while depriving small-boat owners of their moorings?

    Now ask yourself, whose interests does the JEP have at heart when it omits to cover stories that are of immediate interest to ordinary Jersey people? If that omitted (suppressed) information can now be found on blogs and other web sites, doesn't that represent an increase in democracy and provide a means for ordinary citizens who do not own newspapers to get facts into the public domain? When those facts become an occasion for name-calling and mud-slinging, it's a price worth paying, I think. Just learn to scan quickly.

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  57. Re facts and rebuttals.

    Unfortunately facts are never the end of the argument but I do find it odd that the critics of Stuart Syvret never refer to the substance of his criticisms but resort to attacks on his style and character.

    It seems that the litmus test of this is the recommendation in the Chapman Report that it is the responsibility of the States to publicly rebut the allegations he has made while 'bullying' its employees.

    Since then he has gone on to repeat, reenforce and extend those allegations but so far there has been no sign of any attempt at rebuttal from the SEB. That strikes me as very unusual, given that they presumably paid a lot of money for that expert advice and have a number of distressed employees who are suffering psychologically as a result of the allegations.

    Given that he has also impugned the reputation of the '7 Bedford Row' barristers - accusing them of croneyism and not acting objectively or independently in the advice they gave regarding the HdlG prosecutions - you would imagine that to be tantamount to libel and, given the UK's notoriously protective libel laws, if there is one group of people who are in the position to rebut his facts, it is them.

    No doubt writs are flying as we speak.

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  58. Rob.

    Anyone who only gets their "news" from our "accredited" media could be forgiven for thinking the Chapman Report told Senator Syvret to "put up or shut up"

    This is because our "accredited" media afforded Terry Le Sueur the opportunity to spout this to anybody who would listen.

    Where, as you have quite rightly pointed out, the Chapman Report recommended the SEB "put up" They haven't and nothing mentioned about it in our "accredited" media.

    The headlines across our entire "accredited" media concerning the Chapman Report was "Syvret the Bully" but it appears as though not one of our esteemed "journalists" have asked any questions involving the allegations made by Senator Syvret.

    If there is ever a need for Citizens Media it's right here in Jersey.

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  59. Yes, maybe they are planning further legal action on behalf of their employees or the Privileges and Procedures committee are keeping their powder dry, but whatever they do, I suspect it will be another face-saving exercise that avoids discussing the substance of his allegations.

    If you go back to the JEP's coverage of the Chapman Report, they chose their quotes from the Syvret blog selectively and didn't tell their readers his real allegations. You could have been left thinking that all he had done is spout verbal abuse in a non-specific way without realising that he has accused a dozen individuals of either illegal or unprofessional behaviour. He has accused at least two current States employees of being child abusers, several others of covering it up, and several others of engaging in criminal behaviour to subvert justice. Pretty serious allegations.

    But in many of those cases he has published documentary evidence to support the allegations. He also claims that if it came to court, he could provide witnesses to support the others, such as the child abuse ones. Those sort of accusations are slightly more serious than mere yah-booh-sucks name calling, which is what somebody who only read the JEP might have concluded.

    To quote the JEP: "Chief Minister Terry Le Sueur has forwarded the report to the Privileges and Procedures Committee in charge of States standards and discipline, asking them to take action. And he has accepted all the recommendations."

    One of the most significant recommendations of the report is: "it is the responsibility of the SEB as the employer to refute publicly any such allegation that is made in clear, unequivocal and firm but moderate language that the allegation is baseless. On each occasion the statement should be backed up wherever possible with the evidence refuting the allegation. In addition to making the denial as widely available as possible staff should be made aware it has been done and the material widely disseminated. It should be posted on the blog. If the Senator refuses to accept the posting that fact should also be publicised."

    Leaving aside the ambiguous punctuation throughout (should they only rebut an 'allegation that is made in clear, unequivocal and firm but moderate language' and ignore the opaque, convoluted and intemperate ones?), it is absolutely clear that the SEB have a duty to respond, and not respond simplying by shutting him up (if that was possible) but by refuting his allegations.

    The fact that they have shown no signs of doing that, makes you wonder why. Is it because they can't, or because his blog is so big they have set up a special team to document and rebut each individual claim? Or is it because that in order to rebut those allegations they would have to repeat them and give the much more publicity than they get on his blog alone? I suspect it is a combination of 1 and 3.

    Aside from throwing him in prison and making sure he doesn't have an Internet-ready mobile phone, I really don't see how they can silence him. So out of respect and duty to their employees, they should at least rebut the allegations.

    The blog of the comment of the post.

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  60. "Unfortunately facts are never the end of the argument but I do find it odd that the critics of Stuart Syvret never refer to the substance of his criticisms but resort to attacks on his style and character".

    The trouble is that he does not give anybody the opportunity to defend themselves and his blatent hatred of some people is disturbing and this is where (in my opinion) blogs fail.

    The Chapman Report highlighted that two people which were arrested following allegations were never charged with anything, now what does that tell you about the accuracy of his postings? We keep on hearing the words 'Cover Up'. Maybe things in Jersey many years ago were covered up, I do not know but for so many people to be involved in a modern day cover up of any kind is really a difficult pill to swallow. His supporters should not be so defensive of his actions unless they know for certain that what he is saying is true. Now this is where we go into a grey area and seeing as nobody has been charged from his blog since it started you would be crazy not to question the credibility of his information which I think more people are doing now.

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  61. Rob.

    Funny you should mention PPC, because they, along with Scrutiny, are just a complete waste of time.

    In the case of PPC I would say as an entity is as spineless as it is toothless.

    More will be revealed concerning the waste of time that PPC and Scrutiny are (in my opinion) in the not too distant future.

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  62. Re "The Chapman Report highlighted that two people which were arrested following allegations were never charged with anything"

    Yes, you are right, but isn't that the substance of his accusation, that there is/was sufficient evidence to charge numerous people but they were never charged? Lenny Harper, who saw it happen, is a credible witness and supports this allegation in at least one well-known case.

    Syvret has recently gone further and suggested that the reason many people who should have been charged weren't is because the UK solicitors asked to judge the evidence are in no way independent because they have a conflict of interest: they have numerous personal links with the Jersey government and are annually given a lot of work by Jersey.

    If what he says is true, they are not, as the AG has suggested, in any way equivalent to the CPS in the UK. In that case, he must also be right to say that those decisions not to prosecute should be reexamined.

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  63. “The Chapman Report highlighted that two people which were arrested following allegations were never charged with anything, now what does that tell you about the accuracy of his postings?”

    Oh, believe me, Stuart was very, very accurate with his postings on these two despicable people, I should know!!

    Rob, VFC, some great postings going on here. Keep it up and all the best for 2010.

    Carrie
    Word verification Calis!!

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  64. Carrie.

    I and many others do believe you.

    All the best for 2010.

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  65. "Yes, you are right, but isn't that the substance of his accusation, that there is/was sufficient evidence to charge numerous people but they were never charged? Lenny Harper, who saw it happen, is a credible witness and supports this allegation in at least one well-known case."

    Well we were made aware that many of the accusations were too weak to even proceed with. Anybody over 35 will remember kids being belted in the classroom so you know where do you draw a line as to what should be challenged? I also tend to think that if his accusations are truthful then why waste them on a blog?

    If Carrie is so sure he is being truthful then she should make a statement to the police. Otherwise innocent until 'proven' guilty and that is the law.

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  66. Re "Anybody over 35 will remember kids being belted in the classroom "

    You are right, that was common at a lot of schools until the 70s at least but it is not what we are talking about.

    The particular allegations are rape and violent, prolonged assault, in one case involving the use of weapons.

    The original police inquiry was started not because of victims complaining of school discipline - it was people complaining about rape and other forms of abuse.

    It is outrageous to compound those people's suffering by refusing to believe them.

    You are right that we are all innocent until proven guilty, but what about when justice fails and is known to be corrupt?

    What about the ones who were innocent until they were abused, were told that justice would be done, but now see their abusers and apologists laughing in their sleeves having got away with their crimes?

    They still deserve justice, don't they?

    Along with innocent until proven guilty goes justice being seen to be done, and I don't think blogs like this one and Syvret's would have even come into existence if justice had been seen to have been done in the HdlG inquiry. They are a response to a failure of the judicial system.

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  67. "You are right that we are all innocent until proven guilty, but what about when justice fails and is known to be corrupt?"

    I thought the police Press Conference by Gradwell cleared a lot of this up? I get the impression that there is a witch hunt here and some former children in care just want some heads to roll which is fair enough, but the process still needs to be followed and if we get outside police officers coming in and saying the evidence and statements were miss-leading then what can you do about it?

    The problem I have with Stuart's blog is that he has blown some cases up out of proportion and you argue it is just attention seeking.

    At the moment he is claiming that we have untouchables in Jersey's system and they have such power that they can effectively blackmail others if charged with anything. But again this is only hearsay and probably impossible to prove.

    There have been a lot of allegations to date yet little in the way of proof beyong reasonable doubt though at least some people have been charged.

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  68. Paul.

    I'm asuming this is still you?

    "I thought the police Press Conference by Gradwell cleared a lot of this up"?

    Just to remind me what "facts" did Mr.Gradwell give us at this press conference?

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  69. Yes it is me.

    Because Gradwell made so many claims against Harper I can only attach the link. Now why is his opinion so bad?

    http://www.channelonline.tv/channelonline_jerseynews/displayarticle.asp?id=446258

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  70. Paul.

    That's exactly what it is "an opinion" I've seen the best part of 16,500 words, 31 pages of "evidence" not "opinion" from Lenny Harper and yet not one single solitary word of "evidence" from Gradwell, we all have an "opinion" but we can't argue with the "facts".

    On another note, do you not find it a little strange that Gradwell (on your link) was not questioned ONCE by the "journalist"? 5 minutes and 47 seconds of saying what he wanted without being questioned on any of it?

    I believe there were another 2 "interviews" on CTV very much of the same "quality" not a single question asked.

    That has got to be the strangest piece of "journalism" ever witnessed. All in my "opinion" of course.

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  71. I know and can see that you are trying to keep this story alive but this interview was pretty hard hitting and because Harper has refused to be interviewed by BBC, CTV & the JEP I think you will find the majority of the public have now made their minds up on this. There is a lot of critism of wasted money here and thats one the main gripes a lot of tax payers will have. Things like that £600.00 a day dog is bound to annoy a hell of a lot of people.

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  72. “If Carrie is so sure he is being truthful then she should make a statement to the police. Otherwise innocent until 'proven' guilty and that is the law”

    Paul

    I did, they were arrested and it was agreed that there was enough evidence to charge, not just my statement, but others. The duty Centenier having read the statements also agreed there was enough evidence to charge, but for some reason, the Lawyer Simon Thomas apparently changed his mind and gave instruction not to charge, a lawyer who supposedly specialises in financial crime, not child abuse! The whole thing stinks of corruption and yes, they are most definitely guilty.

    Carrie

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  73. Paul.

    Could I ask you which of these two theories you believe.?

    Theory 1. The children's teeth discovered at HDLG which still had root attatched to them could not have been shed before death.

    Theory 2. The children's teeth discovered at HDLG which still had root attatched to them were left out for the tooth fairy.

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  74. Hi VFC

    I have an exclusive

    Ref Gradwell interview

    While i lived in london i had the pleasure of eating at the chain of indian restaurants Bombay Brasserie and if lenny did eat there i congratulate him on his choice.

    If i remember it was £45 ahead, and this new year eve was £65 top nosh and always a good night.

    If any of your readers are over in london check them out

    http://www.bombaybrasserielondon.com/

    rs

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  75. Theory 1. The children's teeth discovered at HDLG which still had root attatched to them could not have been shed before death.

    The over riding problem they have is that they do not have a name of a potential dead child so where do you begin?

    Theory 2. The children's teeth discovered at HDLG which still had root attatched to them were left out for the tooth fairy.

    I have never heard of that one but I am sure the forensics who have studied these teeth are qualified to know what they are doing.

    (Cheers for now, I will be back later in the week).

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  76. Paul,

    all you have is what is written in the JEP, CTV & BBC. Show us where any 'facts' are quoted or written. All that you write is opinion. Which of course you are entitled to the same as every single one of us.

    And in my opinion, if you are prepared to believe all you read in the local media, despite them showing obvious bias and only ever printing the opinions of their editors and never the facts, then that's your choice. Of all the media, blogs have provided more evidence for their stories than any accredited media outlet.

    Look at the recent editorial in the JEP, the editor say s that HDLG is nothing but 'Lurid Fantasies'. Sorry? The facts for this statement are where? This is the opinion of the island's only newspaper. A truly shocking state of affairs.

    I'd rather read the local media, citizens media, the states website, national media and anything else I can access, then make my mind up to which of the two sides I believe. Every story has two sides, and if detailed well enough, both are plausible. And from what I have seen or read or heard, the HDLG never existed and our image has been damaged brigade have by far the weakest argument in the history of any scandal.

    Knowledge is power. So the more facts that come into the public domain will decide this whole story. And I have a feeling that those affected are prepared to do whatever it takes to get justice. And it does not matter one hoot how long it takes.

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  77. Carrie, is that Simon Thomas of '7 Bedford Row', who was referred to by Lenny Harper on Stuart's blog?

    The AG in Jersey said that they were his equivalent of the CPS in the UK. The CPS Code, paragraph 5.13 states:

    "It is important that a victim is told about a decision which makes a significant difference to the case in which they are involved."

    So you should have been given an explanation as to why the prosecution did not proceed.

    Paragraph 2.2 of the CPS's Code also states:

    "Crown Prosecutors must be fair, independent and objective... They must not be affected by improper or undue pressure from any source."

    In the light of recent revelations about the personal and commercial links between the Jersey government and the '7 Bedford Row' chambers, are you happy that they could be 'fair, independent and objective'?

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  78. Although some readers may decry blogs, Google's ranking methods, although somewhat shrouded in mystery, are a good indication of the importance of a web page in relation to your given search terms.

    They use citation indexes, popularity, validity, and other algorithms to determine how high in the rankings a site should come.

    Anyone searching for '7 Bedford Row' is now going to see Stuart's blog in third position.

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  79. "Anyone searching for '7 Bedford Row' is now going to see Stuart's blog in third position."

    Not any more Rob. I can't see Stuart's blog in the results. Why is that?

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  80. Sarah, it's still there for me. If you click on the link I posted above, your screen should look exactly like the one in this link.

    If not, something funny is happening, so send me an email - I'll look into it.

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  81. Sarah, it's not a mystery. Google applied a customisation to raise the Syvret site in my rankings because it was one I'd visited or searched for in the past. So your results will probably be different.

    Damn, Google are too adaptive.

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  82. Oh OK thanks Rob, I've got SSS bookmarked and when I try to search it does not come up in the same way as your screen shot does. Google sure is clever if it's that adaptive (except I notice now that the spell checker in this window doesn't like it LOL).

    Nothing in our accredited media about SSS's latest blog post. What do you think we should read into that? Are they doing their own research? The JEP website is badly managed today. Are they all out investigating?

    Don't laugh, it's plausible!

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  83. Re Sarah: "Nothing in our accredited media about SSS's latest blog post. What do you think we should read into that?"

    One of my insiders told me that they are busy preparing a colour supplement containing long interviews with Stuart and Lenny, accompanied by moody, chiaroscuro shots of them in atmospheric outdoor locations shot through with a steely winter's light.

    She also told me that the editor suffered some kind of conversion over Christmas and his heart was softened by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

    I think you can expect a radically different line from the JEP in future weeks. I know for a fact that they have sent a request to the Law Officers Department asking for a breakdown of how much in fees has been paid to 7 Bedford Row barristers.

    Hang on, maybe I just dreamt all that stuff. What year is it?

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  84. Have you been on the brandy butter ma luv?

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  85. I would expect that there has been tacit media consensus that the historical child abuse story has been consigned to history, along with Stuart Syvret, and that they are not going to confer any dignity on his preposterous allegations by even mentioning them.

    But, since the media in Jersey in no way drives the political agenda and only reacts to information that has been made available to them through official channels, it doesn't matter at all what they print or say.

    Okay, they can possibly convince large members of the public that it was all a 'lurid fantasy' concocted by several dozen damaged individuals, a few incompetent coppers, and a vengeful politician but, ultimately, that doesn't matter either.

    The truth will out or it won't out. Justice will be done or it won't. But in either case it will be absolutely nothing to do with the JEP, BBC Jersey, or Channel TV. They just do not initiate events and break stories.

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  86. is this guy taking the p*ss or is he serious? Made me laugh anyway

    http://proudjerseyman.blogspot.com/2010/01/arisesir-frank.html

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  87. The questions posted here by someone disputing all aspects of VFC, the survivors and Stuart's case for corruption are carefully crafted to avoid examination of the various, most logical answers. Is this really an attempt by a sincere questioner to learn something new? As if! Or might the questioner actually be enjoying a pay check for all this sport? It is becomming all too transparent to be worth that much so one hopes it is not tax payer money funding this.

    Sling

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  88. Sling said "Or might the questioner actually be enjoying a pay check for all this sport?"

    I must say I was thinking along the same lines. After all it is funny that similar posts should turn up here and on Stuart Syvret's blog on the first working day after the Christmas/New Year holidays.

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  89. “Carrie, is that Simon Thomas of '7 Bedford Row', who was referred to by Lenny Harper on Stuart's blog?”

    Rob, yes the very same!! The police told me that those in power decided that my case did not pass the “evidential test” and was therefore closed, end of!!

    Carrie

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  90. Carrie, hopefully all those decisions will be looked at again someday.

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  91. Despite what I said about local news in general, I was surprised to read in our local paper The Brighton Evening Argus an article about the upcoming demonstration against the Edo arms manufacturers, who are situated just outside Brighton.

    There has been a long running campaign to close the place down since they make weapons used against Gaza.

    The police were found to have been colluding with the owners and tipping them off about the demonstrators, even supplying them with names of people to take legal action against. The SmashEdo campaign won its case and substantial damages.

    As a result of that collusion, the campaigners have stopped cooperating with the police, refusing to tell them the routes of their demonstrations etc.

    It's a contentious issue but it was good to see that the Editor's Choice article came out strongly on the side of the protestors. I was trying to imagine the JEP in any circumstance backing protestors against the police.

    Here's the conclusion of the article:

    "The law requires protesters to notify police when they intend to demonstrate, not to co-operate.

    There is an important difference between obeying the law, which most see as their responsibility as a citizen, and simply doing as the police – or Government – ask.

    It would be easier for those in authority simply to be able to tell us what we could or could not do but that would not mean it would be desirable.

    Rights such as those to assemble or speak freely are not immutable and permanent.They are the legal equivalent of a disputed territory which, if left undefended, could easily fall to the deliberate or unintended consequences of policy and legislation.

    It is up to each individual to obey the law, the police’s job to enforce it.

    Behaviour cannot be pre-judged and if crimes are committed, we have courts to try the defendants.

    Until then, those who wish to exercise their freedoms to the full must be allowed to do so, whether we agree with them or not."

    Maybe I'll start buying it again.
    (http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/commentandanalysis/4833473.How_Smash_EDO_s_Brighton_protests_raise_important_questions_over_freedom_of_expression/)

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  92. In addition to my comment about the SmashEdo campaign, a link to their site.

    ReplyDelete

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