Thursday, 25 June 2009

Surreal

This instalment deals with, among other things, the poor counselling the Care Leavers believe they have received from the States of Jersey. The fact they don’t trust their councillor(s) is extremely alarming and something that ought to have been addressed from the outset but hey this is a free service given to them by the States they should be grateful for it………………….shouldn’t they?

Senator Syvret also gives his views as to why certain people have not been charged, a view that is shared by a growing number of people, including care leavers.

I have mentioned, a couple of times, the surreal feeling that was felt by myself and the care-leavers. The feeling that the “accredited” media didn’t want to be there. I think it is Elaine Byrne from the JEP or FILTHY RAG as it is known in some circles that asks the question about the counselling. She was given her answer and it wasn’t favourable to the establishment. I do not and will not by a copy of the FILTHY RAG so don’t know if they printed the question and more importantly, the answer, I would hazard a guess they didn’t.

Furthermore to demonstrate the reluctance of the “accredited” Press to ask questions you’ll notice at the beginning of the video there is a pause of 10-11 seconds before the embarrassment got the better of me and I asked one.

It is my opinion our local media have been told by the Oligarchy to put the subject of child abuse to bed and they are dutifully obeying orders. It is also my opinion that children have been brutally abused and horribly failed by the States of Jersey who are trying to put a lid on the matter.

That being the case Citizens Media is the only avenue left for the abuse survivors to tell the world their story, and get their voice heard.

Please support the Jersey Care Leavers on the 4th of July by walking with them from People’s Park to the Royal Square at midday.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Voice for Care Leavers (2)

This is the second instalment of the Press Conference held by Carrie, Dannie (Jersey Care Leavers) and Senator Stuart Syvret. Although it is only a short piece I believe it raises important issues.

The first one being a matter of “trust”. You will see in the video Dannie and Carrie, out of 53States members and an entire Judicial system only trust a very select few. The people , or person, they trust in the Judicial system is/are no longer there, namely Lenny Harper.

It was inspiring to hear there are a few States members they trust, or at least have shown them some support, but such a shame there aren’t more. I hope those that are helping behind the scenes will “come out of the closet” and give all Care Leavers some hope.

I will keep this Blog short and would like to remind viewers/readers the Jersey Care Leavers could really do with your support on Saturday the 4th of July mid-day at the Peoples Park and on Monday the 6th of July in the Royal Square for the swearing in of our new Bayleaf Michael Birt. PS. Notice at the beginning of the video the uncomfortable silence of the gathered "accredited" Press not in a hurry to ask a question. That is not a dig at the individuals who were there as they are probably aware it is pointless asking anything too "Journalistic" as it won't get past their Editors.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Voice For Care Leavers.

This is the first instalment of the Press conference held by Senator Stuart Syvret and two care leavers, Carrie and Dannie. I have shown the video to Carrie and Dannie and have their approval to publish it.

One of my worries was, in the video it is clear they have little or no faith in the two officers Warcup and Gradwell. I explained this might prevent any further victims coming forward to which they said they are not sure they would be comfortable with any victims coming forward to the Police now that Lenny Harper and Graham Power are no longer involved.

As I have stated in an earlier post this Press conference was, to me and the care leavers, extremely surreal. They (the care leavers) and myself had the feeling the Press just didn’t want to be there. It is probable I’ll not be able to capture the atmosphere and the long, uncomfortable, silences waiting for questions to be asked by the Press, and when questions were asked, they were “safe” and in some cases, in my opinion, a waste of time.

However I do believe I will be able to give the care leavers a voice through publishing their Press conference and highlighting their plight and their struggle for justice through the Jersey Judicial system and police force.

One thing is very evident (in my opinion) that is the pain, anger and anguish displayed, not only in the voices of the care leavers, but it is written all over their faces. They are turning this pain and anguish into something (hopefully) productive. They are tired of being “victims” they are tired of “playing ball”. They are tired of waiting to be “told what to do”, told what to say.

They have decided to take the initiative, and take to the streets in protest, of what they and many others believe the lack of justice on this island. There will be a march on Saturday the 4th of July at midday from Peoples Park to the Royal Square. Similar to the recent successful “White March”. Only this protest march will not be silent, although It will be peaceful. There will also be a demonstration in the Royal Square Monday the 6th of July, the day of the swearing in of our new Balliff Michael Birt. Please give them your support.

I will be posting as much of the Press Conference as I can in the lead up to the protest in order to keep this issue alive, as it appears our local mainstream media have “done their bit” and all has gone relatively quiet.
More to follow………

Monday, 8 June 2009

“HARASSMENT”

The Attorney General’s decision not to prosecute certain people in the (ongoing?) “historic” child abuse inquiry has proved, to say the least, controversial. I know it has angered, not only abuse survivors, but most decent folk in Jersey.

This decision was told to the local media (possibly days) before any care leavers got wind of it which was leaked to Senator Syvret who promptly notified some survivors. Who were devastated, not only that a prosecution wasn’t going ahead , but the salt in the wounds, the media knew about it first.

A statement was issued “explaining” the AG’s decision. This left the care leavers, I have spoken to, with even more questions and even less answers. The AG appears to believe a statement is all that is required. If you ask him to explain his decision on camera it is harassment!
I apologise if the AG feels he has been harassed but I have learned, as have care leavers, going through “the correct channels” gets you nowhere, people need answers, they need justice, both are in very short supply over here.
video

Friday, 5 June 2009

"Untouchables"

Yesterday I went to the Royal Square in the hope of filming, or interviewing the Attorney General on his decision not to prosecute a certain couple.

As I arrived in the Royal Square I bumped into Senator Syvret and two very disheartened and angry abuse survivors who were about to hold a Press conference, in the States building, concerning the decision of the AG not to prosecute, among others, the fore mentioned couple. I was invited to the Press conference and was extremely pleased to accept.

I filmed the entire 40 minutes of this very humbling and sad occasion. Anybody with even the slightest bit of compassion would have felt it near on impossible not to burst into tears and give the two ladies who have been through unimaginable torture and torment a hug. However with a room full of “journalists”, along with the strength and courage shown by the two survivors, it wouldn’t have been a good look!

As well as being a very sad and humbling occasion it was also extremely surreal. Once Senator Syvret and the survivors had outlined their concerns and gave, what appeared to me, to be a harrowing account of a horrific childhood and a totally failed “care” system the floor was open to questions from the media.

I thought I’d best not rush in with a question and let the “accredited” media go first which would enable me to see what angle they were coming from. Well, after an uncomfortable silence, and the feeling of embarrassment, I felt I’d better ask a question which I did. This pattern seemed to continue, there were uncomfortable silences and it was almost as if the media didn’t want to be there, it was truly surreal.

As I have said, I filmed the entire 40 minutes of this episode which I hope to publish in the next few days but not only will the editing of the footage be demanding, actually watching it is extremely emotionally demanding but will hope to get something published soon.

At the end of the Press Conference I asked all the media, in attendance if they had asked the AG for an interview, only one had and that was Adam Fowler of CTV. I asked him “what did he say” the answer came back “no” so I said “why don’t you doorstep him”? In fairness to Adam Fowler I believe he did want to doorstep him but isn’t allowed that choice because it’s not “the done thing” in local “news” reporting. If one of “the untouchables” refuse to give an interview then that’s good enough for our local “news” editors who believe it is good enough for the plebs.

It was then asked of me “why don’t you doorstep the AG”? To which I explained that was my purpose of being in the Square in the first place, the Press conference was a bonus.

Back out in the Royal Square I was talking with one of the survivors’ partners, and who should turn up? But the AG. I promptly switched the camera on and asked him to explain his decision not to prosecute the couple from the “care” home. Needless to say he didn’t utter a word.
The entire episode lasted 31 seconds; I switched my camera off and walked away.

The AG then came up from behind me and said “you do realize you have just committed an offence”. “What you have just done is harassment, but I won’t take it any further” and proceeded to walk off. So I asked him if he would mind answering a few questions off camera? Which he ignored and walked off. We must bear in mind I had just come from listening to abuse survivors and their partners describing the horror, they have and are experiencing and the devastation they felt at the AG’s decision not to prosecute the very people who had allegedly ruined their lives, and I’m the one who’s committing an offence????????

Surely the time is coming where the “accredited” Press is going to concede that a statement from one of these “untouchables” is just not going to suffice? There are over a hundred witnesses who have drawn the strength and courage to tell their story to the police. There were somewhere in the region of 60-70 suspects in the “historic” child abuse enquiry including Jersey establishment figures. There has been one conviction of a former HDLG “inmate” (for the want of a better word). The survivors need justice and answers not “statements”. The “untouchables” need to be brought to account; they are paid, in most cases, a six figure sum to administer justice. When it appears they are failing in their public duty, then they need to answer to the public.

Anyhow here is a problem I have (one of many!). The film footage I have of door stepping the AG I have mentioned the couple “by name” he decided not to prosecute. After reading and watching all the mainstream media reports their names have not been published “for legal reasons”. I, with my very limited knowledge of libel and defamation laws, go through great pains not to fall foul of any of them.

It is for that reason I am reluctant to publish the footage. If anybody could advise me on this subject it would be appreciated.

In the meantime my thoughts are with all the survivors of abuse and would love to be able to assure them they will see justice. Unfortunately, through the Jersey judicial system, I can’t do that, but that doesn’t mean to say they won’t get justice it will just have to come from elsewhere.