Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Chief Minister To Face Vote of Confidence/Censure?

Further to our in-depth and exclusive interviews with Senator Sarah Ferguson and Treasury Minister Senator Philip Ozouf, including a Press Release concerning a vote of Censure against the Treasury Minister following a damming Report from the Controller and Auditor General, in the Minister's conduct. We bring you an in-depth interview with one of the signatories of the Censure Motion Deputy Roy Le Herissier.

Where we Bloggers (Jersey's only independent media) differ from the island's State Media is that we question Press Releases, not just churn them out, in a copy and paste fashion. Part of our questioning involved asking who is responsible for the £500,000 golden handshake received be former CEO Bill Ogley? What part did the Treasury Minister play, as opposed to Former Chief Minister Frank Walker? Are there those more culpable than the Treasury Minister? Why isn't the finger being pointed at them?

We also question as to why the Treasury Minister is being held to account and people like the Home Affairs Minister, Housing Minister(s) (perhaps not the current one) and the Health Minister don't get called to account? There is no doubt Senator Ozouf has got some serious explaining to do, and considering the evidence against him, he's got it all to do. There are those of us who believe he should have either faced a Vote Of Confidence or resigned and stood for re-election. The Censure Motion, in our opinion, will serve little purpose but will give the Minister the opportunity to fight his corner.

VFC can exclusively reveal that there are States Members who believe this Vote of Censure should have been directed at the current Chief Minister Ian Gorst. If the buck stops at the top, then since the Chief Minister has given his support to the Treasury Minister, the "top" is now the Chief Minister. Deputy Le Herissier tells us should the Vote Of Censure against the Treasury Minister be successful then the Chief Minister could very well be next in the firing line.

You heard it here first........Because we ask the most obvious questions!

Whether a Vote Of Confidence in the current Chief Minister will be a good thing, we are not so sure, considering it could open the door to Senator Bailhache. There are those that believe Gorst is the best of a bad bunch.


  1. Credit for not jumping on the anti Ozouf bandwagon and asking the questions that should be asked by the state media.

  2. Very very good interview VFC, and Roy has it bang on, excellent work.

    Let us hope that no door opens for Bailhache through all this!ebibine 1

  3. Do you know where we can find the two CAG reports that Deputy Le Herrisier refers to?

  4. This comes back to what I have been saying for some time now and that is this Government is not fit for purpose.

    They can't bring a vote of no-confidence because there simply isn't anyone who could be treasury minister if it was successful. What a disaster the States Assembly is. This comes back to the level of representation we have in the states. The last election was a disaster for Jersey. There simply isn't the quality of politician to lead Jersey during these troubled times.

    Where are or who are the ones to lead us forward? Yes, we have some decent members but the States as a whole is failing. They can't even lodge any written or Oral questions let alone a proposition. The states again is filled with a majority of button pushing lackies and it scares the hell out of me.

    Gorst has sent a shot across the bow of the JEP. He has told them that he and his ministers make the decisions, not them.

    The Chief Ministers statement to the States concerning the treasury minister was plainly awful. What amazed me more was the fact that he thought that he could get away with bringing it - and did.

    People need to start looking at the states as a whole

    People need to seriously look at the level of representation they are getting


  5. I can imagine Sir Philip rubbing his hands with glee to get a vote of no confidence in Senator Gorst. If successful he could be on for a second bite at the cherry. I can also imagine certain members of the States being advised which way to vote ...

    Are these votes held in secret or are they open to scrutiny by the general public?

    The Beano is not the Rag

  6. Beano.

    Thanks to Deputy Trevor Pitman's recent proposition, all votes will be made public. However that has, thus far, only been agreed in principle.

    That said, I think votes of no confidence, are public anyway, it's the votes FOR Ministers that were secret.

    It will be interesting to see if Senator Bailhache will be present in the house for the vote of censure against the Treasury Minister, which some are predicting he won't be. If he does turn up it will be VERY interesting to see how he votes!

  7. A vote of censure is a cop out. The deputy is correct about senator gorst's statement. This rubbish about stress and the chief becoming a councillor is beyond belief. How sad is that they can't remove a minister because there isn't anyone who can replace him. Treasury minister Ozouf now finds himself in the clear and the chief minister finds his position compromised lol what a government.

  8. If Chief Minister Gorst is the corporate sole of his department how come ILM couldn't look at the original suspension of Graham Power stating he couldn't do so as he was the corporate sole? Does anyone know how ministerial government is meant to work?

    Housing is a mess

    Health is a mess

    Home affairs minister is a disgrace

    Yet the shambles just keeps on marching on into oblivion.

  9. Madame Fifi has foreseen this very situation, looking through the clouds in her gazing ball, yet perhaps those clouds are merely feathers, ruffling...ruffling always, in the final struggle between the forces of Oz and the Man Who Would Be King. It is a delicate dance they sway to, for they have so much, so very much knowledge of the darkness of each other's secrets.

  10. If we take all of the evidence and all of the propaganda statements from every side and every source, we can only come to the conclusion that this power struggle is about preventing the COI.

    Bailhache will never ever allow that and he will remove anyone or anything standing in the way of his cover-up of what really happened at HDLG. No one in his camp has had any problem with ILM's millions spent on what VFC describes as a personal vendetta against the former Police Chief. To Bailhache, the money is always entirely irrelevant, although he will be the first to use money as the first excuse for avoiding a COI.

    Because he has been so frequently identified by your independent journalism as the most conflicted authority in relation to a COI, he will have to restructure a bit to place his minions front and center of opposition to a COI, with the PLan B being an "Our Chap" Report, if some sort of enquiry becomes politically unavoidable.

  11. Let us not forget that this isn't just about HdelaG it is about all the Jersey Care Homes as the Verita Report suggests.


  12. This is what I said back in November 2010

    I would like to say well done to the Deputies and Senators who stood up and delivered brilliantly well researched speeches. The fact that these speeches had no bearing on the debate or votes is again a very bad indictment of our state of government. One of the main reasons for P166/2010 failing is the personal issues our government has with Graham Power and Lenny Harper. In their eyes these two people are the enemy of Jersey and their crime was exposing institutional child abuse. They blame Graham Power and Lenny Harper for bringing the International Media to Jersey, but show absolutely no condemnation of the perpetrators of such heinous crimes.

    In November of the year 2010, can anyone honestly say where Jersey is heading? We seem to be losing our social and moral conscience by the day. My government believes it's OK to illegally suspend the Chief of Police, QPM, in the middle of an international child abuse scandal. They too believe it is totally fine that the Chief of Police is offered none of his rights as required under the States of Jersey Police Law 1974. They also believe it is OK for the Chief Executive to destroy the notes of the suspension meeting and consider this to be good practice. They also believe it is OK for the Chief of Police to have no right of response to the allegations made against him when his only crime was investigating child abuse.

    Where does that leave us as a functioning democracy?

    The 18 states members and constables pictured below voted against all 7 points of proposition P166. I can safely say, hand on heart, that these politicians and constables, and there are more to follow on the next couple of blogs, are a danger to me, the people of Jersey and most importantly to every child who is presently in the care of the States of Jersey.

    I say this because they are allowing personality politics to get in the way of good governance... and we are screaming out for good governance. I will finish by saying part (v) was won and there were many members who voted in favour of that part but against the remaining 6. They will be named and shamed. Here is the code of ethics I believe a government should strive to abide by and are currently failing at every possible turn.

  13. You can read the blog posting here


    Everyone shouting the walls down over the actions of the Treasury Minister but where were these people when ILM was being down right outrageous in a public office over the suspended Chief of Police.

    This is the idiotic shambles of government that makes me so angry.

    Christ, we are talking about the decent cops who did something.


  14. Roy Le Herissier's performance in this interview is pathetic.

    And what he is doing, is so transparent, it could be used in a course on how to spot spin-doctoring.

    It's a good - or bad - example of the fake, cosmetic "political debate" that the Jersey oligarchy require to maintain an appearance of being a functioning democracy, with a credible legislature.

    Look, if the CAG report into Ozouf does - as Le Herissier claims - raise such serious and credible issues - then the public good axiomatically requires - requires -that the island's parliament be forced to debate whether it has confidence in Ozouf.

    Whether a no-confidence vote would be won or lost is almost besides the point.

    If there is to be the "accountability" that Le Herissier claims to want to see - then you don't decide not to table such crucial votes - merely because a bit of chat in the tea-room has indicated you might not get a majority when the question is put.

    Don't you see - the whole tea-room chat and pressure and lobbying to NOT table a no-confidence vote - is the very "avoidance of accountability" that is the problem - with the "accountability" being avoided by most States members - who don't want to be put on the spot, and be forced to nail their colours to the mast.

    I'm sorry VFC - but you are in danger of being taken for a mug by these people.

    Ferguson, Ozouf, now Le Herissier. They're running rings around you - and you have - unwittingly - become a part of their spin operation.

    What Le Herissier and the rest of the oligarhcy are doing is "going-through-the-motions" - making a bit of "sound and fury" to give the public the impression that "something is being done" about Ozouf and the CAG report - whilst in reality avoiding the one thing that would impose a degree of accountability on most of the politicians - namely, forcing a vote of confidence.

    This interview is very clear and stark evidence of why there is no meaningful accountability in the Jersey parliament.

    There is no accountability - because fakes like Roy Le Herissier don't want there to be accountability.

    Don't misunderstand me - it's good to interview these people. But don't let a kind of 'gratitude' - that they've spoke to you - cloud your judgment.

    Understand this: Ferguson and Ozouf - neither of them will have agreed to do your interviews - without first having sat down and discussed the pros and cons with other oligarchs - probably spin-doctors too - and made a calculated decision that it would be to their advantage. The Jersey establishment has recognised - as it would inevitably have to do - that it has to start "populating" citizens media - start having a "presence".

    Time for Jersey citizens media journalists to lose the innocence.


  15. Rico, what you said is absolutely true. The care home situation in Jersey has been abysmal. The poor care of vulnerable children in various other settings goes to that same government mindset of allowing generations of child abuse at HDLG to go unchecked and uninvestigated.

    The reason HDLG remains in some ways a category unto itself is because the abuse there was less about lapses and blind eyes, and more about active State Sponsored Paedophilia involving very high level officials and wealthy, powerful men.

    Consider the problems and discrepancies with the inexcusable lack of the children's names in official residency records, the mysterious absence of routine health and dental records, the sinister absence of clear documentation of staff records, and utter accountability for the authority and supervision of the facility. They all lead to a conclusion that many are hiding far more than has been disclosed.

    When Lenny Harper made clear that no specific murders would be claimed, it seemed there was simply not enough thoroughly tested forensic evidence of murder since his police investigation was conducted with obvious integrity. Of course, it has always been clear from the demonstrable evidence that some remains of human children were buried there and that multiple acts of extreme abuse took place there regularly.

    Now though, with Jersey's subsequent investment in
    such vast resources to disparage Operation Rectangle, how can we believe that would make sense without a much more sinister history being hidden at HDLG? Jersey has certainly not been properly forthcoming about the child abuse in more contemporary settings, but in no way do I see a whitewash of other care homes where the level of concealment and official panic is as evident. Something more happened at HDLG and it has too many highly placed individuals paralyzed with fear.

    I, for one, believe that Senator Bailhache is very much behind this current power play to consolidate his influence before any government reform or COI can take place, which could lead to the eventual HDLG-linked downfall of many still powerful players.

  16. vfc is no mug... it's the population of jersey who are the mugs. I agree with 90% of what syvrret said in his comment. It is a joke the government issue in jersey is a joke.

  17. Senator Le Marquand was two votes short of winning the Treasury position so why are they saying there is no one to take Ozouf's place? He didn't have the full backing when he retained the job. lol. 2.5 million in wages and no one can do te job.

    Matron, the drugs plaease.

  18. Stuart has a point. Citizens media has to be more confrontational and hard-line with these frauds instead of pussy footing around them. Roy Le Herissier's interview is much like his politics and amounts to nothing but fence sitting again, so Ozouf gets away with it again.

  19. Stuart why do you have to attack people in a personal way all the time and as if your politics of 20 years ever got anywhere?

  20. When has any opposition’s politics gotten anywhere on this island? While we have a State Media keeping the public so ignorant, non-challenging and little more than “churnalists” Bloggers (Jersey’s only independent media) might just have to start upping their (our) game.

  21. VFC is neither 'innocent' or naive. In fairness Team Voice are doing a magnificent job whilst trying to maintain balance and fairness.

    Let us not forget that these are not trained journalists, but ordinary members of the public who are trying to furnish us with all the facts and the truth that we do not have the benefit of from our MSM.

    Credit where it is due Stuart please, even though you do make some valid points especially about a vote of no confidence.

  22. Hi Stuart,

    Very interesting comment. The only bit I don't agree with is this part.

    "Ferguson, Ozouf, now Le Herissier. They're running rings around you - and you have - unwittingly - become a part of their spin operation."

    If you listen to the interview with Deputy Le Herissier you should have noticed that VFC asked the questions that were straight to the point. It is the politicians that are making mugs out of us with their answers and non action. They are running rings around the electorate. Deputy Le Herissier just stops short of saying the assembly isn't working.

    This isn't about the players as such this is about the shambles that is the States of Jersey. An entity that is failing like never before. The money is drying up and the hicks are left looking stupid. The last election saw an influx of deadwood - more on them later.

    This is how that bastion of toxic trash up at Five Oaks thought they still held the power to remove the Treasury Minister. They are scared that he will cut their advertising so thought they would try and get him removed. Gorst showed them that he is boss - not them.

    The power of the Conservative Jersey right is splitting. It is splitting for the simple reason that all the heavy guns have left the chamber - they are old - no succession planning - why do you think Philip Bailhache had to come back instead off pickicking up £200,000 a year as a Commissioner and doing the roses. They have no one to fill the gaps. They have no one apart from Sir Philip to keep things hidden. There is a natural cycle heading our way and it can't be stopped. The march of time has caught up with the "Jurassic Park" of the Channel Islands.

    It won't be fast it never is but its coming

    Is there an old Jersey Law that a member of the [public can use to put an end to this shambolic Government.

    Christ there is problems in every ministry yet no one apart from about 6 members can ask any questions.


  23. Alas there is no quick fix.
    The failure of Jersey's population to form political parties is still the central problem.
    Keep on arguing whilst the establishment rolls on.
    We all have it within our power and ability to reform the rotten institutions but as always we remain isolated prima donnas.
    SSTAG is holding another public meeting at the Eastern Good Companions Club from 3pm on Thursday 14 June.
    ALL are welcome to attend - even Deputies, Senators and Constables from the past, present or future.

  24. All you get when you brow beat the subject of your interview is one-time-only access to that politician. If your interviews are combative, and consist of more trial by interviewer than fact finding mission, no other politicians will agree to be interviewed. A skilled interviewer can ask probing questions without accusations, and can then follow up with factual analysis, which is the forte of most top political journalists.

    So far, VFC has asked good questions, far better than the state media ever would, and he has not been co-opted into the establishment simply because his interviews have not been overly accusatory.

    The politicians are taking a greater risk than VFC, because any political establishment acceptance of this form of journalism signals the end of an era of state media monopoly. These politicians can't so easily reverse themselves to move this increasingly popular journalistic enterprise back to the margins of obscurity.

    I trust VFC to remain true to the values he has displayed as an outstanding advocate against child abuse and the abuse related corruption of the government, and as a leading member of the new independent journalism movement in Jersey.

  25. The more insults that fly around the more isolated everybody becomes and if Citizen's Media wants to lose interviewers over night then Stuart is doing all the right things to encourage them not to bother.

  26. Anon.

    "I trust VFC to remain true to the values he has displayed as an outstanding advocate against child abuse and the abuse related corruption of the government, and as a leading member of the new independent journalism movement in Jersey."

    Your trust is well placed and thank you.

  27. "Keep on arguing whilst the establishment rolls on"

    The establishment is wobbling more than rolling.

  28. Stuart is unfortunately doing more for the establishment than any spin doctor could hope for.

    Trying to coerce you into conducting your interviews in the manner he would suggest is the surest way to enable them to dismiss you again. You can imagine the quotes:

    'I tried to engage with them, but they just insisted on being rude to me' and back to the mainstream media they go.

    Given his record of 'achievments' in recent years, I would treat Stuart's advice as just another attempt to prove he is brighter than anyone else because he sees things others don't. Unfortunately only the second half of that sentence has proved to be true however, whilst the first part has left him isolated in more ways than one.

  29. Why are we talking about Stuart Syvrret when all is crumbling around us?

  30. @Rico:

    "Is there an old Jersey Law that a member of the [public can use to put an end to this shambolic Government."

    Could Graham Power return to Jersey and do the Clamour? (spelling)

    The Beano is not the Rag

  31. ''Don't you see - the whole tea-room chat and pressure and lobbying to NOT table a no-confidence vote - is the very "avoidance of accountability" that is the problem - with the "accountability" being avoided by most States members - who don't want to be put on the spot, and be forced to nail their colours to the mast.''


    Mr. Le Le Herissier is man enough to brush off one opinion on his performance being pathetic his a politician for heavens sake less of the pretend outrage.

  32. Both sides of this argument over journalistic interview technique are understandably asking for the media to hold authorities accountable, but expecting far too many opposing things from any one individual.

    VFC can't and shouldn't try to be all journalistic things to all people, and he can't - alone - make up the ridiculous gap that exists between what the Jersey public should know and what the state media will accurately cover.

    Stuart Syvret's heroic advocacy for political change and for justice brings with it a style uniquely his own. Without someone of Stuart's passionate adversarial outspokenness, less progress could have been made in the emerging independent media, which he helped found with his critically important blog. He is justifiably outraged at the co-opting of so many weak pseudo-progressives and without him Jersey's veneer of democracy would be all the thinner.

    We know he has listened to personal tales of child abuse horrors, watched back-stabbing progressives become turncoats, and observed policemen and court witnesses change previously honest statements to comply with establishment wishes. He has seen little to convince him of most people's courage under pressure. I have seen Stuart's predictions proved right on a great many issues, when the evidence was not initially apparent. I would never bet against Stuart's vindication in the long run, nor expect him to transform into a consensus oriented man.

    A democratically functional system demands a Stuart Syvret. He has risen to the call of the times he lives in, and despite the many well meaning demands that he become more conciliatory, his strengths and weaknesses may simply be the two sides of the same fiery sword. I would say that his unbending nature has been, overall, to the strong advantage of those abuse survivors, especially, on whose behalf he has suffered.

    I have no doubt that Stuart Syvret would be a very different kind of interviewer, should he be in a position to ask the hardest questions of politicians, the ones we most want answers to. But, he would run rings around them with his fierce intellect and his challenging style and they would not come back for more. Would I love to see that? Yes, the one time he could corner someone long enough to properly interrogate them. But that is not a sustainable style, journalistically, in a small community.

    Jersey also requires the kind of independent journalism of VFC, who conducts serious interviews to elicit more than the usual brief msm political soundbites for answers, without permanently driving off the guest. This will, I am confident, propel on-line journalism in Jersey to a more accepted status, and tempt a new and vital audience to consider something beyond state media for a news source.

    VFC has done nothing that I have seen, which would bring his integrity into any question. When guests agree to an interview format, they are even within their rights to ask that the topic be limited to the ones agreed on in advance. On-air interviews with invited guests have an expected professional protocol. VFC's strength is that he is so well informed on background details that he can bring forth information from his subjects that would not be expected from Jersey's msm interviewers, and he aims far higher.

    Everyone has a role to play in the struggle against the feudalistic corruption of Jersey power. VFC, and Stuart Syvret's blog play vital roles which are linked, but not the same. Rico Sorda has developed a stunning role as Jersey's best investigative reporter with the level of tenacity and evidence gathering not seen in Jersey before. These are all very different but complimentary roles. That is their strength. These people do not lack anything, and shouldn't be held to each other's standards. Jersey just needs additional individuals to step up.

  33. Thank you for that well thought-out and considered comment. I LITERALLY couldn't have put it better myself.

  34. How can Stuart Syvret's blog play a vital role when it never changes anything? It failed to stop Philip Bailhache getting elected and its failed to get numerous people into the dock to be accountable. The problem has always been his way of doing things and the Bull in a China Shop Method fails everytime, surely he must admit mistakes have been made especially the trip to London he made?

  35. I would add to that an appreciation of the other local Jersey bloggers who serve the public in their own ways. The Jersey Way Blog for one, provides a much needed service, as does Cover Up Jersey, Jersey Evening Propaganda, Crapaudverload, Tony's Musings, Bob Hill's Blog, The Bald Truth and the local Environmental blogs. I know I have have missed a few others.

    Each of these empowers the other blogs to varying degrees. With so many on-line information sources, it will become impossible for independent political journalists to be dismissed simply because of their online format. With the power of the internet, we do not have to see independent voices moving backward just because they are increasingly popular.

  36. The comment at 20;17 is absolutely bang on the money


  37. More wishful think then fact Rico.

  38. "How can Stuart Syvret's blog play a vital role when it never changes anything? It failed to stop Philip Bailhache getting elected and its failed to get numerous people into the dock to be accountable."

    OK, so can you tell us what - exactly - you are contributing to the solution? No, of course not. You would prefer to rant against anyone who is.