Monday, 28 February 2011

JCLA Request.

The Jersey Care Leavers Association have issued a request to all States Members and is re-produced below in it's entirety (photo's added by VFC). Will (can) our States Members do the right thing?

Request to all States Members – Tuesday 1st March 2011

Today you will debate whether or not the decision to hold a Committee of Inquiry into Historical Child Abuse should be upheld or overturned.

We feel that a decision not to proceed will have disastrous repercussions, not only on the Island’s reputation as a whole which is already at a very low point, but also the general public who are, and will be even more dissatisfied. There is a large groundswell of public opinion that feels that the promised enquiry should be held. However the people who will emerge from this suffering the most damage will be those survivors who have been waiting for this COI to happen to enable them to have their chance to put their side of the story, get answers as to why they were failed by the States of Jersey, and in some small way find justice which they have been denied thus far. This is what the victims want despite the draft report stating that in some instances it will still not suffice.

Then and only then will there be some form of closure for them.

Contrary to Chief Minister Le Sueur’s statement to the States Assembly, the JCLA had not been party to any discussions or given any chance to provide input into the decision to drop the Inquiry Indeed it was at the very 11th hour on the morning that the statement was made that the Chair of the JCLA was made aware. Surely the very people who have been affected by the Historical abuse, and those who support them should have had the opportunity to put a case forward for this to proceed.

Given that a very large proportion of the abused had no faith at all in anything connected with the States of Jersey, this action has confirmed that lack of faith a thousand fold.

If this proposition fails the issue is not going to go away. Like a large boil it will fester and fester until the appropriate action is taken to burst it open.  The survivors have every intention to keep the momentum going. To date we have been very, very patient and acted with dignity in anticipation of this Inquiry and have behaved more honourably than some States Members have in this regard.  However there comes a time when enough is enough, patience is exhausted, and that time is now.

Most of you will be parents/grandparents. Have you ever stopped to imagine if one of your own children or grandchildren were abused, either mentally, physically or sexually? No doubt you would be outraged, dismayed and seeking justice against the perpetrator. Your child/grandchild would turn to their family for support and comfort which is the natural course to take. Have you ever stopped to think that those who were in the care of the States of Jersey had no-one to turn to, no-one to comfort or support them, no-one to try and take some of the pain and hurt away, and now the last hope of attempting to seek some form of comfort and closure is being made unavailable to them courtesy of the Council of Ministers.

How many of you have made any effort to speak to any of the survivors to listen to their experiences and how they feel? We would suspect that the answer is not many.


If these were animals that had been harmed and had cruelty displayed towards them there would be public outrage, yet when it is real, living human beings it appears the CoM dismiss them without a second thought. We are urging you to give serious thought to this today, to examine your consciences and hearts and vote for this Inquiry to be sanctioned for the right and just reasons we have outlined, and not for the wrong reasons that have been given for not going ahead, and really have no valid basis at all.

Finally, we would like to just take a couple of examples from a blog which has approached this issue with a very fair and objective approach. The parts reproduced here are with the permission of the blog owner and are very relevant to the situation in Jersey at this present moment in time.

What is important is we give a voice to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to present their views.” Scottish Government spokeswoman.

“The physical, emotional and sexual abuse that has taken place in Scotland’s residential care homes – perpetrated by the very people who should have been providing support –must never be forgotten. We are demonstrating our commitment through action, and that’s why we are providing a new support service for adults who experienced childhood abuse in care.” Adam Ingram, Minister for Children

The Review pointed to an urgent need to act to preserve historical records, ensuring that former residents could access records and information about their location. Mr Shaw’s recommendations included noting that records, often scattered, should be properly collated: “The Government should commission a review of public records legislation to ensure it is appropriate to meet the records and information needs of Scotland, not least, the needs of former residents and researchers”.. In his conclusion, he addressed the importance to the historical record of the victims being heard, even if those who abused them may no longer be living:

Time and time again in the course of the Review I came upon people, stories and records highlighting the need for us all to recognise and to keep reminding ourselves that children are the most valuable yet the most vulnerable group in society. Our responsibility to respect them, to care for them, to protect them, to acknowledge and respond to their needs and rights can never be taken lightly, or patronisingly. Wherever child abuse occurs it is intolerable, a self indulgence in its ugliest form. Whenever it occurs where children are placed for safety, it is even more despicable.
Those who experienced abuse in the past need to be heard, to know society supports them in speaking out, and that their experiences are recognised and addressed.

“There are many challenges to finding out about our past and the process is even more daunting when those experiences were bad. The reaction to our search can be defensive and cynical. The need to know can be viewed with insensitivity, rather than respect. The past can be dismissed as something which is over and done with, rather than as significant to our present. Learning from our mistakes is a sign of maturity, an indication that we want to do better, to do so for all who were, or are, children in the care of the state.”

I think those words are well worth bearing in mind
. We can too easily dismiss the past as something over and done with, and unless those who have suffered abuse can find a voice, and have their pain respected, we have yet to learn from our mistakes. In the meantime, I would recommend a visit to their website, and see their National Strategy.

In conclusion therefore what we are asking quite simply that you think long and hard, examine the rights and wrongs of this issue, and allow those who have been very sadly let down by the States of Jersey, whether it be 3 years ago, or 33 years ago to see this Inquiry go ahead.

Thank you (End)

Let us hope that the States members will examine their consciences before voting! 


  1. I think a lot of people feel that way VFC, and not only the survivors. A lot of people I have spoken to were appalled that the promised enquiry did not proceed, and moreso that the decision was taken by the Council of Ministers alone, people who could have no comprehension as to whatfurther damage this must have caused the abused. There must be something they want to hide and there are far too many unanswered questions still to allow this to be dropped.

    Still, tomorrow will tell who has a conscience or not.

  2. It sickens me that the JCLA have been put in the position to pleed for help again. The need to address States members in this manner is demeaning to the victims. I hope that all States Members have been emailed with the statement issue from JCLA.

    Senator Terry Le Sueur
    Senator Paul Routier
    Senator Philip Ozouf
    Senator Terry Le Main
    Senator Ben Shenton
    Senator Freddie Cohen
    Senator Alan Breckon
    Senator Sarah Ferguson
    Senator Alan Maclean
    Senator Ian Le Marquand
    Connétable Ken Vibert
    Connétable John Gallichan
    Connétable Mike Jackson
    Connétable Graham Butcher
    Connétable Peter Hanning
    Connétable John Refault
    Connétable Juliette Gallichan
    Deputy Ben Fox
    Deputy James Reed
    Deputy Jackie Hilton
    Deputy Ian Gorst
    Deputy Phil Rondel
    Deputy Angela Jeune
    Deputy Ann Dupré
    Deputy Eddie Noel
    Deputy Andrew Green M.B.E.

    It will be telling to compare how many of the above mentioned that voted against a COI on the illegal suspension of Graham Power will also vote the same way on the decision to hold COI into the historical child abuse investigation?

  3. once again the JCLA have expressed themselves eloquently, how any states member can vote against a COI I do not know but I dare say we will see the lemmings in action again.I for one do not want this matter to be dropped or swept under the carpet,I am a Jersey resident and taxpayer and I want to live in an island that I am proud to call home.
    keep going JCLA,VFC,Rico,Bob Hill,Trevor Pitman and all the others fighting for this just cause.
    we not let this matter rest

  4. Some States members may feel they are enhancing their profile with the hierarchy by voting against this COI.

    This vote to me is decisive.

  5. Indeed all States members have received the request to read this message. It will remain until tomorrow to see which ones have the decency and courage to do the right thing.

    This is not about the cost of an inquiry, it is not about compensation, it is not about revenge - it is all about JUSTICE.

    Word verification - wi(erd)cop!!

  6. Early indications suggest the COM will agree to Senator Le Gresley's proposition. But one must remember what the proposition is asking. It's only asking the COM to re-consider their decision not to have a Committee of Inquiry.

    The real meat on the bones are Deputy Hill's and Tadier's amendments. That's the votes people should be keeping an eye on.

  7. justice & closure

    we will see tomorrow won't we

  8. Can any one tell me what time the debate is likely to be held and can you go in at any time?

  9. The debate, should start just before they break for lunch (12.45) and will continue after lunch (2.15). Yes you can go in at any time.

  10. VFC, Rico seems to think it will start around 11.15am?

  11. Ian.

    By the time they have done role call and order of business which will be approx 9.45 there is then two hours of questions. Then Statements, of which I believe James Reed has got one protecting Mario Lundy. So could/should be not too long after 12 before the debate begins.

  12. "Then Statements, of which I believe James Reed has got one protecting Mario Lundy."

    WTF??? Email me!!!

  13. Ian Le Marquand is an absolute disgrace and an embarrassment to politics. How he feels he's got the right to launch a personal attack on former deputy Chief Police Officer, Lenny Harper, during a States debate is staggering.

    Knowing full well, that Mr. Harper (now a member of the public) has no right of reply. Le Marquand is, in my opinion, an out of control "loose canon" who PPC should be reprimanding with their strongest sanction (slap on the wrist).

    You are an absolute disgrace, not only to the legal profession, but now to politics Senator Le Marquand.

  14. Hear hear VFC.

    A disgusting performance from Ian Le Marquand who is an disgrace and embarrasment to his position in the States.

    One amongst four who showed they were not fit for purpose today, the others being our Chief Minister, Deputies Pryke and Reed.

  15. "Ian Le Marquand - now how anyone can give him such high odds is a mystery to me."

    Sorry VFC had to get that one in. ILM? "A very frightening man"

  16. Where did the recent GCSE results scare story come from? Was it manufactured to divert attention away from the call for the CoE?

  17. I would just like to make a comment, it is not only the JCLA who have made this Enquiry happen. There are a lot of HDLG Victims who have been fighting this on there own behalfs. Yes JCLA have done a good job, but it is not wholly all there doing. So please don't just sing there praises their are a lot of Victims who have fought this by themselves.

  18. The JCLA welcome and include victims from all areas of care run by the States of Jersey, not only Haut de La Garenne. For 3 years they have been stalwart in their resolve and organised rallies and marches. They were also in evidence both inside and outside the States Building both yesterday and today.

    The victims who have fought this alone may find strength and comfort in joining ranks with the JCLA now to find a united voice, as we are all working towards the same aim.

    As the saying goes, strength in numbers, and anybody is more than welcome to join.