Friday, 26 March 2010

Senator Ben (P9-26) Shenton and PPC complaint

Senator Ben (P9-26) Shenton has submitted a complaint to the Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC) concerning the conduct of St Martin Deputy Bob Hill (author of P9)


The complaint from Senator Ben (P9-26) Shenton was in defence of Senator Terry (P9-26) Le Sueur, our Chief Minister. And who should be the Chairman of PPC? None other than Constable Juliette (P9-26) Gallichan……does anybody see a pattern here?

Constable Juliette (P9-26) Gallichan doesn’t share all the complaints she receives with her committee, as regular readers will be aware of she didn’t feel necessary to share This one or This one with her committee.

Some might ask, what is a man like Senator Ben (P9-26) Shenton doing complaining about anybody’s conduct when he surreptitiously and secretly records telephone conversations with fellow members of our parliament? Good question, you’ll have to ask him b.Shenton@gov.je

No doubt many of you would have seen and heard, on our “accredited” media bits and pieces of this saga, but are not aware of the fuller picture, including the fact that Senator Terry (P9-26) Le Sueur has only set up this commissioner to look into the suspension of Graham Power because his hand was forced by P9/2010 after he (TLS) had told Deputy Hill he had no intention of bringing any proposition to look into the very “suspect” suspension of Graham Power.

Below is the “offending” e-mail sent by Deputy Hill to all States members and media that caused Senator Ben (P9-26) Shenton to “come to the rescue” of our beloved leader.

Some of my more observant readers will notice that Senator Shenton sent his complaint out on the 25th of Feb at 15.08pm and “quick on the draw Terry” replied to it on the 25th of Feb at 15.19pm Yes that is correct ELEVEN MINUTES LATER! You don’t think he was expecting the e-mail do you? Nah I’m sure Terry always replies to e-mails that quickly!

THE “OFFENDING” E-MAIL.
From: Bob Hill Sent: 21 February 2010 16:36
To: All Elected States MembersCc: voiceforchildren voiceforchildren; 103 (103); Channel TV; Channel TV; JEP Editorial; News (News); Radio Jersey (Radio Jersey); Spotlight (Spotlight)Subject: Chief Minister's Comments-----Response


Dear Colleagues, Last Friday afternoon you will have received an electronic version of the Chief Minister's Comments relating to P9/2009. I believe it would be helpful to read my response which is shown in red. Hopefully this will clarify some of the points made by the Chief Minister and may shorten my speech on Tuesday/Wednesday. 
Regards 
Deputy Bob Hill,
BEM.,Deputy of St Martin.


P9 COMMITTEE OF INQUIRY:
SUSPENSION OF THE CHIEF OFFICER
OF THE STATES OF JERSEY POLICE  
Comments from the Council of Ministers 



The Proposition calls for a Committee of Inquiry to be established to review the manner in which the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police was suspended. Following the suspension of the Chief Officer, Wiltshire Police were commissioned to review the background to the way in which the investigation into the Historic Childcare Abuse Enquiry was managed by the States of Jersey Police and in particular, identify evidence of misconduct by the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police. The Wiltshire Investigation is being undertaken in accordance with the Disciplinary Code of Conduct for the Chief Officer of Police which requires confidentiality to be maintained by all parties throughout the investigation. As a consequence, is not possible to discuss in open debate the background or context to this investigation, much of which might be required in a meeting the Inquiry’s overall objectives as set out in Part (a) of the Proposition.


Comment.   
The Chief Minister is attempting to use the confidentiality requirement of the discipline code in an attempt to “close down” discussions about the suspension itself. This argument is flawed for a number of reasons. Firstly, it should be possible without too much difficulty to separate the two.   The terms of reference for Wiltshire Police do not include any investigation of the actual suspension, only my proposition allows such an investigation to take place. Wiltshire has finished most of their enquiries and there should be no overlap. Secondly, the attempt to continue to enforce the confidentiality rule under the disciplinary code implies that some form of disciplinary proceedings are possible. The disciplinary process for the Chief Officer of Police envisages a long and detailed process which consists of an initial meeting, a subsequent hearing with witnesses, an independent appeal chaired by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service and potentially a full debate in the States. Reliable estimates indicate that it could take up to a year to complete. At the time of writing the process has not even started. The Chief Officer is retiring from the service and is currently in his notice period. Allowing for leave he has a little over four month’s service remaining. He has effectively already been dismissed through a process which extended his suspension to a time when a return to work was impossible. If the Chief Minister really intends that there should be even more expenditure on a disciplinary process relating to someone who is leaving anyway, then he should explain how he would intend to progress this in the time available, and what justification he sees for the effort and expense this would involve, other than to provide a thin excuse for opposing the proposition. Finally, the States are fully entitled to have a view on which is the greater priority in these circumstances. Is it more important to pursue a pointless disciplinary process than to establish whether the States, the public, and others were wilfully misled by the statements and actions of those involved in the original suspension? Which would be the greater priority in the minds of the public and which choice would do most to restore confidence in the integrity of government?


Part (a) of the Proposition for a Committee of Inquiry can be split into four particular elements:- 
The manner in which the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police was suspended from his duties on 12 November 2008.
 
The procedures and the documentation used in the suspension process.
 

The grounds relied on by the previous Home Affairs Minister in taking his decision.
 
The role of the Minister and of other parties who were involved in the suspension process.



The issues covered in i, ii and iv above could be investigated by a Committee of Inquiry.  However, item iii requires the background information that led to the Home Affairs Minister to take the decision to instigate disciplinary procedures to be available to a Committee of Inquiry.  Under the Confidentiality Agreement in place with the Chief Officer of Police and given that this line of enquiry is fully covered by the Wiltshire Investigation as part of the Disciplinary Procedure against the Chief Officer of Police, it is hard to see how a Committee of Inquiry can gain access to, and use this information in an open inquiry whilst the Disciplinary Procedure is running that requires confidentiality to be maintained throughout.


Comment 
The Chief Minister appears to be relying on two arguments here, one of which is invalid and the other which is a repetition of an earlier point. What is apparently being argued is that the grounds on which the previous Minister took his decision cannot be within the remit of a Committee of Enquiry because it falls in some way within the remit of the Wiltshire investigation. At the risk of being repetitious, the suspension itself is outside of the Wiltshire remit. What evidence was or was not available in November 2008 is at best a footnote. Wiltshire have been tasked to begin at the beginning and to review the management of the HDLG enquiry from their own perspective and to gather evidence on their own authority. What any other authority did or thought in November 2008 is not totally irrelevant, but it is hardly fundamental to what is essentially a completely new look at the evidence. On the repeated point of any potential conflict with the disciplinary process, the Chief Minister has it within his capacity to remove this alleged difficulty from the table at a stroke. It could be argued that it simply requires a public statement of the obvious, namely that there is now no prospect of concluding any disciplinary process in relation to the Chief Officer and that the process is therefore effectively at an end. This would then “clear the decks” for a proper examination of the conduct of government in this issue which is what my proposition is about. If the Chief Minister will not agree to “clear the decks” for this to take place then States Members, and doubtlessly others, will be entitled to speculate as to his motives.


Consequently a Committee of Enquiry, as proposed, could not commence activities until the Disciplinary Procedure had been completed.

 
Comment 
As stated above. Ministers could “complete” the disciplinary procedure now by admitting that it has nowhere to go, and that all that remains is to examine “how we got into this mess” and to learn lessons for the future. The longer this is put off the greater the speculation, and the harder it will be to repair the reputational damage which government actions have caused.


The Chief Minister has reviewed all correspondence over the past few weeks and recognises that some Members are concerned at the way in which the management of the suspension process was handled by his Department at that time.  As a result, the Chief Minister has given an undertaking to commission a review and report on specific areas as outlined in the attached Terms of Reference. This Review will be undertaken by an independent external expert qualified in Employment Law and the Chief Minister has undertaken to make the findings of the Report public.


Comment 
I submit that the reason why the Chief Minister has performed a “u turn” is because I have lodged my proposition. In letters to me dated 13th and 22nd January (see pages 24 & 26 of P9) he stated that he was satisfied with the current arrangements and saw no reason to lodge a proposition in the manner I sought. The problem which my proposition is attempting to address is that of confidence in the integrity of government and the possibility that Ministers and others may have colluded in a way which misled the States and then sought to cover up the truth.   These concerns are hardly likely to be addressed by an informal review established by the very people whose actions must be examined.

 
With the recent publication of the sworn Affidavit by the suspended Chief Officer of Police, it is essential that the Review of the Suspension Process be undertaken in the shortest possible time frame, to enable all relevant facts from all parties to be fully investigated to establish the true position. However, the Proposition as drafted would appear to prevent this course of action being taken as a Committee of Inquiry will not be able to gain access to all relevant information.  The Chief Minister is of the view that if the Committee of Inquiry were to be approved, the terms of reference would have to be amended in such a manner that allows it to perform its function before the disciplinary process has been completed.
The alternative, which is proposed by the Chief Minister, is that an independent expert should be engaged in the shortest possible time frame to undertake this review and report.  The Chief Minister has requested Deputy Hill to assist him in the appointments process and has also asked JACS to assist in the selection and appointment process for the Reviewer to ensure transparency.  Subject to the successful appointment, the Chief Minister will bring a Report to the States advising Members of the individual selected with their background and curriculum vitae.



Comment 
Again, this argument is flawed and to some extent self contradictory. There is still the reliance on the illusion that the disciplinary process can be “completed” when it plainly cannot. It then goes on to argue that a Committee of Enquiry is in some way unable to gain access to the relevant information but that a less formal enquiry would. Nobody familiar with the facts could sensibly dispute that this situation needs intrusive investigative powers. Not some friendly review which relies on the cooperation of the people involved. All should agree that there should be no unnecessary delay, but it is more important that Islanders are convinced that everything possible has been done to get to the bottom of the matter. What is more important is that we get to the bottom of this matter and put it to bed once and for all. Otherwise, it will continue to be an issue which demands our attention. The concern of the Chief Minister for the achievement of a result in “the shortest possible timeframe” is touching, but does not sit easily with the history of a disciplinary enquiry and suspension which have lasted for 16 months without a single disciplinary charge.



The Chief Minister on one hand is complaining that I have not gone through an advertising procedure, yet he is intending to do the same. It should be recalled that he never advertised for a Chairman to review the role of the Crown Officers. If we go down the Chief Minister’s route it will be several weeks before a review could begin. He is also implying that my proposed Committee lacks credibility because its selection process lacks transparency. Yet he is entrusting me and JACS to assist in the selection and appointments process. In my speech I will explain how I was able to find 5 highly respected individuals and that I was assisted by JACS.


The Chief Minister is of the opinion that conducting a review as outlined in his Terms of Reference will be a much quicker and simpler process to that required in the formation of a Committee of Inquiry, but still provides the level of assurance Members are looking for.


Not so, if my proposition is approved the Committee will be able to make an immediate start.  
It is important to recall that last August I lodged P131 seeking States approval to request Verita to investigate the events surrounding the suspension of a Hospital Gynaecologist. As with this proposition the Chief Minister intervened, lodged 11th hour Comments proposing that my proposition be rejected in favour of his external “Expert” which would conduct a review within weeks but no mention was made re costs.  
Unfortunately when my proposition was debated last September it resulted in a tied vote which allowed for the Chief Minister to appoint his expert without seeking States approval. Six months have elapsed, although Verita has published its report which exonerated the Gynaecologist, the Chief Minister’s “Expert” has not published a report and the latest confirmed cost is £40,000.



Members will note however, that the Terms of Reference proposed by the Chief Minister contain a specific clause that asks the Reviewer to establish whether there are grounds for a full Committee of Inquiry. Should this be confirmed, the Chief Minister commits to bringing back to the Assembly a Proposition for a Committee of Inquiry and for the appointment of a panel of members through a formal advertising and selection process in line with best practice. This appointments process is seen to be open and transparent for all parties and in contrast to the appointments process outlined in this Proposition whereby members are pre-selected by the proposing Member.


Comment 
The Chief Minister acknowledges that a full Committee of Enquiry may be required but hopes to put this off until a more informal enquiry has reported. The issues in this proposition are serious and current. Hoping that they can be fobbed-off or will just go away demonstrates lack of vision and leadership. This is a situation which needs to be grasped in a way which is firm, decisive, and reassuring to the public and the outside world. The more the problem is allowed to fester the worse it will get. A firm decision which is decisive and reassuring to all sides is what is called for. The Chief Minister’s position represents none of these things.



Part (b) of the Proposition is unacceptable and should be rejected. For complex investigations such as this where professional reputations of senior ranking officials are at stake, the recruitment and selection process for individuals to form a Committee of Inquiry must be managed in an open and transparent manner. If Members are minded to approve a Committee of Inquiry, it must be subject to the input of an independent body responsible for the recruitment process, the outcome of which will be presented to the Assembly for final approval.


Comment
Standing Order 146 requires names to be put forward for States Approval, It does not prescribe how they are chosen, however it is open for any Member to propose alternative names, no one to date has done so.

I have been attacked and my integrity question by both PPC and the Chief Minister about the selection of the Committee of Inquiry. If both are concerned that Standing Order 146 does not meet a transparent recruitment process why has the Order not been amended? As it is, I have complied with the Order’s requirement and until it is amended both PPC and the Chief Minister should accept that I have done nothing untoward. 
My report and proposition has been prepared by a backbench States Member without any of the professional support and advice which Ministers take for granted. The surprise is not that it may not have reached the highest standards in terms of the selection process. The surprise is that it got to this stage at all. If Ministers want to do something POSITIVE as opposed to rubbishing the good work of others, they should support the proposition. Otherwise it appears that once again they are in denial of the real issues and clutching at technical straws rather then address the legitimate concerns which have arisen.



Financial and Manpower Implications 
The costs shown in the Proposition for the Committee of Inquiry appear to cover administrative costs only and, given the timescale for previous Committees of Inquiry these costs appear to be on the low side. The main cost that is not identified for a Committee of Inquiry will be that of meeting the costs of legal representation for individuals called to give evidence. Providing an accurate cost for this legal representation is not possible but assuming that the key witnesses will be past and current politicians and employees, most, if not all of whom will be seeking legal support, costs could be in the order of £20,000, in addition to those costs identified in the Deputy’s Proposition. If individuals called to give evidence no longer live locally, travel and accommodation will also have to be factored in.



Comment 
It is a bit rich for the Chief Minister to concern himself with the provision of legal funding for those who may be called to give evidence. This is another “U turn” because his proposal is a reversal of the policy so far followed in this matter under which the suspended Chief Officer has been denied any legal support and in consequence has represented himself in both the Royal Court and the Administrative Appeal Hearing. In the former he was opposed by the then Solicitor General in person, and in the latter by a member of the Law Officers Department.  The Police Chief Officer was even denied access to his office not only to retrieve personal items but documents to assist in his pursuit for justice. Had he been a criminal he would have been granted rights and they way in which obstacles were placed before him could certainly not be considered to a “Neutral” Act. The Chief Minister’s new-found regard for fairness in the provision of legal advice and representation is to be applauded but it is very late in the day. The Committee of Inquiry are giving freely of their time and expertise. I have allowed for £15,000 for covering admin and incidental costs. If the figure below is between £5 and £10,000 then there will be very little difference in the costs. However I don’t know what sort of “Expert” the Chief Minister will get for the money and presumably if he considers that witnesses called to the Committee of Inquiry might require legal assistance, so presumably they too may require legal assistance when being interviewed by the Chief Minister’s “Expert” but no funding has been allowed.  
There is of course one other legal aspect which distinguishes the two proposals. A Committee of Enquiry would be able to grant immunity to witnesses in a similar manner to a scrutiny panel.   This protection would enable staff to give evidence which may be damaging to others with less fear of reprisal. The Chief Ministers proposal seeks to withhold that immunity. Witnesses would be required to give an account without the protection of legal immunity, and what they say would be reported to the Chief Minister and his Civil Servants. This is bound to have the potential to create a reluctance to say things which are detrimental to those in senior positions.



Based on previous independent reviews of this nature, the Chief Minister believes that the cost for the review as proposed in the Terms of Reference would be in the order of £5-10.000 

Recommendation 
Members are urged to reject this Proposition on the basis that it will become a lengthy process and as presented, does not provide the required level of transparency in terms of the selection of a panel to form the Committee of inquiry. Members should instead support the proposal from the Chief Minister to commission an independent review, with the safeguards as outlined in this report and if the findings are of such magnitude, the Chief Minister commits to bring a Report and Proposition to this Assembly calling for a full Committee of Inquiry.


Comment 
Lest anyone forget, this proposal attributed to the Chief Minister comes from individuals who, with all of the strength, finance, time and resources they could muster, have at every stage and with every sinew, opposed, obstructed and sought to deflect, any enquiry or investigation whatsoever, into the actions of Ministers and their advisors in November 2008. The Chief Minister now offers this concession, not because he is persuaded that it is a good thing. He does so through clenched teeth because he is now cornered and can think of nothing else. Why should anyone trust the Chief Minister to deliver anything which is impartial and fair now? He has opposed fairness, justice, and transparency at every turn. I regret to say that he does not deserve to be trusted, and nobody should accept his assurances. His ineffective proposal should be rejected and a proper, independent and robust Committee of Enquiry be established in accordance with my proposition.



APPENDIX

A review of the management process that led to the suspension of the Chief Officer of Police.

Commissioner


The Chief Minister wishes to appoint a Commissioner to undertake a review of the manner in which the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police was suspended from his duties on 12 November 2008. Given the length of time that has elapsed since the Chief Officer of Police was suspended, and the concerns raised by States Members particularly following the publication of the Affidavit from the suspended Chief Officer of Police, the Chief Minister is proposing to commission an independent review to assure himself and States Members that the management of the process was conducted correctly.


2. Terms of Reference 
The purpose of the Review is to:- 
Examine the procedure employed by the Chief Minister’s Department and the Home Affairs Minister in the period leading up to the suspension of the Chief Officer of Police on 12 November 2008. 

Review the manner in which senior officers collated the information and presented it to the Home Affairs Minister that ultimately led to the suspension of the Chief Officer of Police. 

Investigate whether the procedure for dealing with the original suspension was correctly followed at all times including:-

The reason for the immediate suspension of the Chief Officer of Police

Whether there were any procedural errors in managing the suspension process.

Review all information relating to the original suspension procedure including relevant sections of the published Affidavit from the suspended Chief Officer of Police

The Report should highlight any areas where in the opinion of the Commissioner sufficient evidence exists that would support in the interests of open government a full Committee of Inquiry into the manner in which the Chief Officer of Police was suspended on 12 November 2008.


In the Chief Minister’s reply to me on 13th January (see page 24 of P9) He states “I am aware of comments made could be subject to challenge in terms of accuracy and these will be fully addressed by the Wiltshire Constabulary.” As Wilts Police is not investigating the reasons relied on by the previous Home Affairs Minister and the Chief Minister shares my view that there is some inaccuracy in the information disseminated, why does he need to go to the time and expense of employing some one to confirm a matter which we both agree on. Therefore it makes sense to support my Committee of Inquiry which will get to the heart of the matter in an effective and cost efficient manner.


3. Report 
A Report should be prepared for the Chief Minister. The Commissioner must be aware that the entire disciplinary process for the Chief Officer of Police is conducted under his Terms and Conditions of Employment which include a Code of Conduct for Disciplinary Process. This Code requires confidentiality to be maintained by all parties throughout the disciplinary process. As such, the report should therefore be in two parts:-
Part I should consist of matters appropriate for immediate publication to States Members and the Public;

Part II relating to those matters specific to the Chief Officer of Police which under his Code of Conduct have to remain confidential until the disciplinary process has been completed.


Comment
Apart from the general ineffectiveness of what is proposed there are two obvious flaws. The first is the fiction that there is some form of continuing disciplinary process which constricts the scope of any enquiry into the suspension. The second is that the report should be “prepared for the Chief Minister.” This requirement is made irrespective of the fact that it was the Chief Minister himself who, over a period of many months, sought to prevent access to the information relating to the creation of key documents, which is one of the key factors leading to my report and proposition. Any fair and independent enquiry must inevitably examine the actions and motives of the Chief Minister and his advisors in this matter. An enquiry commissioned by him and reporting to him will strengthen, rather than diffuse, the suspicions of a “cover-up” which have characterised this affair. The failure of the Council of Ministers to recognise this reality, even at this stage, is in itself a matter of concern and a further indication of their failure to grasp the nature of the situation to which they have brought themselves.


THE COMPLAINT


-----Original Message-----
From:Ben Shenton
Sent:25 February 2010 15:08
To: Michael De La Haye (States Greffe)
Cc: Terry Le SueurSubject: Complaint


Dear Michael,

I wish to make a formal complaint about the conduct of the Deputy of St Martin who has impugned the reputation of both the States Assembly and the Chief Minister.

Standing Orders clearly state –

Elected members should at all times conduct themselves in a manner which will tend to maintain and strengthen the public’s trust and confidence in the integrity of the States of Jersey and shall endeavour, in the course of their public and private conduct, not to act in a manner which would bring the States, or its Members generally, into disrepute.
Elected members should at all times treat other members of the States, officers, and members of the public with respect and courtesy and without malice, notwithstanding the disagreements on issues and policy which are a normal part of the political process.

In a document circulated to All Elected States Members, Channel TV, Radio Jersey, Spotlight, JEP and other media, dated 21/02/2010, he wrote;

“ The Chief Minister now offers this concession, not because he is persuaded that it is a good thing. He does so through clenched teeth because he is now cornered and can think of nothing else. Why should anyone trust the Chief Minister to deliver anything which is impartial and fair now? He has opposed fairness, justice, and transparency at every turn. I regret to say that he does not deserve to be trusted, and nobody should accept his assurances. His ineffective proposal should be rejected and a proper, independent and robust Committee of Enquiry be established in accordance with my proposition.”


Furthermore the JEP Headline dated 25th February, 2010 reads “They want it swept under the carpet”.

In a comment on a debate held ‘in-camera’ Deputy Hill outlined issues to the journalist  that had been raised in the confidential debate and is quoted as saying – “There will be a cosy in house inquiry with the leading players saying what they want.” The headline and story casts doubt on the reputation of every Member that voted against the proposal of Deputy Hill.

An allegation of a Government cover-up by States Members when there is no evidence to support the claim is a very serious matter. Similarly the assertion that the Chief Minister “does not deserve to be trusted, and nobody should accept his assurances” undermines the whole of the States Assembly and in particular the position of the Chief Minister and reputation of the Council of Ministers.

Please advise the correct procedure in order that this complaint may be lodged.

I have copied this e-mail to the Chief Minister for his information.

Many thanks,

Ben Shenton

Senator Ben Shenton


ELEVEN MINUTES LATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


-----Original Message----
From:Terry Le Sueur
Sent: 25 February 2010 15:19
To:Ben Shenton; Michael De La Haye (States Greffe)Subject:
RE: Complaint

Dear Ben, Many thanks for springing to my defence. I have wondered whether the comments in his e-mail of 21st February merited any action. I came to the conclusion that although I believe they went further than was reasonable, it is in the nature of politics to express oneself robustly. With hindsight I do accept however that in relation to the code of conduct of States members, there may well have been a breach, and I therefore welcome your approach, which I consider to be reasonable and proportionate. I imagine it is for PPC to take this up, and should they require a formal request from me to do so I would be happy to do that, althugh in my view your e-mail should suffice. Yours sincerely, Terry

The “summons”

Privileges and Procedures Committee
Our ref: 1240/9/2(67)Deputy F.J. HillCâtel CottageRue du CâtelRondinTrinityJE3 5HA17th March 2010

Dear Deputy Hill, I write to advise you of a complaint concerning your conduct received by the Committee from Senator B.E. Shenton (correspondence dated 25th February 2010 enclosed).The Privileges and Procedures Committee received the complaint at its meeting on Tuesday 2ndMarch 2010. The Committee is required to investigate a possible breach of the code of conduct for elected members in accordance with the procedures set out in Standing Order 157 of the Standing Orders of the States of Jersey, and agreed to invite you to discuss the matter at its next meeting. I understand, however, that you did not receive the correspondence inviting you to attend. I would therefore be grateful if you could attend the next Committee meeting on Monday 22ndMarch 2010 at 10 a.m. in the Blampied Room, States Building. Alternatively, the Committee will also meet on the morning of Tuesday 30th March 2010, should this be more convenient. In accordance with Standing Order 157(9) you may be accompanied by a person of your choice. Please let me know whether you are available to attend.
Yours sincerely,


Connétable de Ste Marie Chairman, Privileges and Procedures Committee
jg.gallichan@gov.je


States Greffe Morier House St Helier Jersey JE1 1DDTel: 01534 441033 Fax: 01534 441098 email: jg.gallichan@gov.je





  

15 comments:

  1. Let these idiots carry on digging, I say.

    They simply provide yet further proof of the breakdown in functioning democracy and good governance with each and every one of these stunts.

    Consider: it is our contention that Jersey is not a functioning, lawful democracy - but rather a type of gangster fiefdom, which functions as a single-party state - and routinely oppresseses and harasses opposition politicians and other 'dissidents'.

    You can take the actions of Shenton, Le Sueur and PPC as simply yet further proof of that contention.

    In any mature, normal, functioning democracy - it would Shenton who would be being investigated by the privileges body - for surreptitiously recording his colleagues.

    This episode proves - very clearly - that the Jersey oligarchy cannot - and will not - tolerate opposition.

    Morons like Shenton would have it that it becomes some kind o "offence" to criticise the 'Glorious Leader'.

    As I wrote some months ago - come to Sunny Jersey - the North Korea of the English Channel.

    Stuart

    ReplyDelete
  2. States of Jersey criminals colluding, nowt new there then!

    Perhap Deputy Hill might like to ring the Father of the House, and get some handy tips jotted down as to how best to survive the inevitable (Syvret Treatment) that is destined to come his way.

    If not, he may prefer to consult Commical Terry and get some good advise (Chapman) on how to deal with stress and bullying in the work place.

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  3. What is Shenton after?

    A knighthood, Chief Minister, or just re election.

    Ben, not even re election.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Shenton - what can we say about this appalling pathological excuse of a man.

    The Standing Orders read:

    "Elected members should at all times conduct themselves in a manner which will tend to maintain and strengthen the public’s trust and confidence in the integrity of the States of Jersey and shall endeavour, in the course of their public and private conduct, not to act in a manner which would bring the States, or its Members generally, into disrepute."

    This bunch of words relies upon one fundamental underpinning - it is based on one gigantic assumption. That is that the States, and members generally, actually have unblemished integrity and are genuinely worthy of the public's trust and confidence. If this condition is not met, how dare Shenton abuse the letter of the law of Standing Orders to crush Bob Hill. It's slimy, it's crass, it's ugly and it's evil.

    The most established types all act as if their integrity is beyond question, and squeal with offended righteousness like stuck pigs when anyone suggests, or shows hard evidence, that this is not true. They too often react like all megalomaniac Emperors who are challenged by small boys pointing out that they have no clothes. They react, not like in the famous cosy old story, but rather they have the boy arrested for impugning the Emperor's character and send him to an asylum in some Gulag for re-education so the poor boy can learn to perceive the reality they apparently believe in.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Re the code: "Elected members should at all times conduct themselves in a manner which will tend to maintain and strengthen the public’s trust and confidence in the integrity of the States of Jersey..."

    This seems only to apply to 'opposition' members, that is, ones who take a strong stance against what they see as unethical or illegal behaviour by ministers or their departments.

    If you are such a minister and you bring the House and Jersey into disrepute by such unethical or illegal behaviour, the PPC are strangely silent.

    The recent report that caused the Health Minister to apologise "to children who suffered years of abuse while social services, schools, courts and police failed to protect them" totally vindicates Stuart Syvret.

    Back in 2007 he stood up in the House and proposed an independent inquiry into Social Services because they had failed generations of children, a claim he has made repeatedly since. The police, civil service, and senior politicians conspired to engineer his dismissal.

    We now all know the history of how this story unfolded, of how they did the same to Graham Power. Amongst all the solid evidence - emails, letters, court proceedings, dated electronic documents, official reports - there are multifarious examples of ministers and senior civil servants lying or taking actions that bring the government into mistrust and undermine its integrity.

    In none of those cases has the PPC been involved. Only against Stuart Syvret and Bob Hill. Coincidence? I don't think so.

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  6. Can someone please enlighten me about this recording business? I have no idea what it's about but have seen it mentioned a few times now. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Re "Can someone please enlighten me about this recording business?"

    It's a long story involving a planning application regarding Reg's Skips, which has ended up in court.

    Ben Shenton secretly recorded a phone conversation between himself and Senator Cohen during which Senator Cohen admitted that the planning application had been handled badly, or words to that effect.

    Shenton sat on this recording until the recent court case when he made it public.

    This would probably be illegal if he had done it in the UK where it is only legal to record somebody without telling them if it is for your private use.

    If you record somebody with the intention of providing it to a third person, you have to tell them, or if you later decide to release it to a third person, you have to inform the other party and ask their permission.

    However, it seems that this may have been a States phone. It is possible that calls are routinely recorded, in which case he may have breached the data protection act by releasing it.

    However, this is Jersey, where it is probably still illegal to drive a cow through Rue de Maupertuis on the third Sunday before Easter, so who knows what is legal and illegal, unless your name happens to be Bob Hill, Graham Power, or Stuart Syvret, in which case you are obviously guilty.

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  8. Stuart says to let them carry on digging their own graves, and they seem just blind enough to do exactly that. Things are finally crashing down around too many people with a whole lot to lose.

    It is hard to know how to interpret the scandal that is Jersey today, without sounding like something from George Orwell's 1984, but today there is new room for hope.

    Even the Jersey "accredited" media is finding it impossible to keep the lid on how utterly corrupt things really are. That is quite a change.

    Chelloise

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  9. Jimmy Perchard got a bit upset with you this morning didn't he!

    He shouldn't of talked to you like that. Conspiracy or no conspiracy these reports are raising questions as to why nobody's head is on the chopping block because somebody somewhere has to be accountable surely?

    We all listen to you on the phone in and whilst, contrary to belief, this subject is not my number one favourite as I am more interested in Jersey economical matters, but if you want to phone in everyday and raise your questions then that’s entirely up to you. People can just switch the radio off if they are going to get that het up about it!

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  10. Neil,

    You have got past the stage when they would dare not cut you off.

    There are too many people listening and on your side now.

    BBC Local Radio are probably saying: That honest and passionate Neil bloke is doing wonders with our rating figures.

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  11. I agree with JTM (!!!).

    He was out of order Neil and he does have the option not to listen in 'if' he has better things to do. Trevor hit the nail on the head, what the **** does he do and what the **** is he doing on the programme?

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  12. Is Jimmy pilchard up for election next year ? If so I reckon he'll be looking for a proper job .

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  13. I just re-listened to yesterday's outburst. Talk about signing you're own political death warrant live on radio.

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  14. Overseas Class Room is on vacation for Spring Break, but we may try to use this BBC Radio program as a primary focus of our media/free speech discussion in the upcoming weeks.

    Your recently published hearing transcripts have offered us fertile fodder for analysis and critical thinking and several kids have expressed strong views which they would like to share with you.

    Students may not submit comments to you individually until they have been reviewed in class, and we will not reconvene until next week.

    I must say - you gave us more than enough material to work with during our brief class time during March, and is has kept us well engaged.

    O.C.R.

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