Friday, 28 September 2012

Deputy Trevor Pitman Blog TV Recording.

In our second broadcast since its relaunch Deputy Trevor Pitman was our live guest on last night's programme. AS PREVIOUSLY REPORTED the Deputy spoke on a number of issues concerning our island community, some controversial, some not so controversial.

Once more the live and interactive broadcast proved popular with plenty of interaction between viewers, guest and host, which made for a lively, constructive and informative debate to which we thank all participants.

Still a number of questions remain, will "alleged" Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, bring a robust, fit for purpose, TOR's for the Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry, or face a vote of no confidence for not doing so? Who is the real Chief Minister and does he rule through respect or fear? Is Deputy Pitman, or anybody who questions our government and its media, an "enemy of Jersey" or do they love the island and want to protect it from the current Regime? Will the JEP take Rico Sorda up on his CHALLENGE? Will the State Media start telling the people of Jersey the truth so Bloggers (Jersey's only independent media) don't have to? Will you PLEASE sign THIS PETITION so a U.S. author and investigative journalist can research and publish the TRUTH?

Deputy Trevor Pitman (1)- Broadcast your self LIVE

Deputy Trevor Pitman (2)- Broadcast your self LIVE

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Deputy Trevor Pitman Blog TV Guest.

Jersey Politician Deputy Trevor Pitman is the confirmed guest on tonight's live, and interactive, Blog TV broadcast.

The outspoken Deputy will be discussing such topics as the Rule of Law (or not) in Jersey, the Judicial System, policing, Jersey's mainstream media, the "real" Chief Minister, Child Abuse cover up(s), the hijacking of Democracy, Parliamentary Privilege and much, much more.

If you have an opinion or questions on any of these subjects (and others) then come and share them tonight, Thursday 27th Sept at 7pm.

The live, and interactive, show will be broadcast HERE.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Open Letter to Chief Minister Gorst.

Jersey Care Leavers Association has published an open letter to jersey's Chief Minister senator Ian Gorst.

After Verita were asked to draw up suggested Terms Of Reference for a Committee Of Inquiry into the decades of Child Abuse in the island, which they produced, Chief Minister Gorst, for reasons that still remain a mystery, asked Alan Williamson to come up with something, just what he asked him to come up with is still pretty unclear.

Verita's TOR's appeared to most as robust, fit for purpose, and a good starting block. What we now appear to have (although we stand to be corrected) is another "Our Chap" Report coming up, or similar to the "Napier Report" rather than a full and open public Inquiry, or an "In House Job."

What Chief Minister Gorst does with the Verita TOR's or the Williamson.........."Whatever it is" remains to be seen. He (Senator Gorst) tells us he will soon be bringing a proposition  to the States with a Terms of Reference based on the Verita TOR's and the Williamson thing.

Whatever Senator Gorst brings to the States (Jersey's Parliament) will be HIS legacy and we hope that he is ready to say "enough is enough" the culture of secrecy and cover-up has got to end now. Early indications don't hold up much hope for this.

Open Letter to the Chief Minister

25th September 2012

Dear Chief Minister

Thank you for your time yesterday morning and the opportunity to meet with yourself, Mr Williamson and Mr Richardson. We were also pleased and grateful to know that you are committed to a Committee of Inquiry, and sincerely hope that fellow States Members share your sentiments.

We are now in a position to let you know our thoughts on the meeting and the matters discussed. First of all we think it is quite clear, and we can only reiterate that we can only support a fully robust and open enquiry, and we do not feel that Mr Williamson’s suggestion of a three pronged approach is the correct one, and would reject that out of hand. We feel that all should fall under one umbrella of one Committee of Inquiry.

To elaborate on Mr Williamson’s conclusions and what we feel we would make the following observations: –

  1. The COI should not only be looking at the decisions taken by the political and senior management of the Children’s Services in Jersey, but all other service providers also (e.g. H&SS, Home Affairs, Crown Officers and the Education Dept) and also the States and Honorary Police. Furthermore the period should extend from 1960 to the current time and not the cut off point of 1994, amongst other reasons being the politicised and alleged illegal suspension of the Chief of Police at the time of Operation Rectangle, Mr Graham Power. The COI should encompass all the Terms of Reference contained in the Verita Report.
2       We feel very strongly that an independent review should not be undertaken, and this should form part of the Terms of Reference (again as per Verita). To undertake an independent review would mean litigation behind closed doors which could last for years. It would not be compulsory for those who do not wish to give evidence to do so, and those who do wish to can come forward on a voluntary basis, whether they are victims or those accused of being abusers who wish to clear their names. This, as we have said before is not a criminal investigation, but a COI to ascertain the truth. What is being proposed is akin to the Napier Review which was in house and secret and lacked credibility. The public are fed up with the secrecy which now appears to be the hallmark of political thinking and we will not give any support to it.

3       A service as suggested by Mr Williamson would be a very welcome addition as any abuse survivor who requires assistance to enable them to talk with a professional person, separately from the COI would feel comfortable doing so. However if this is implemented and a name is required for the service, we would recommend the name be changed from ‘Truth and Reconciliation’ to something which would not be seen as quite so intimidating.

Those then are our thoughts on Mr Williamson’s conclusions, which we hope you will take good account of. There are however, certain other considerations and anomalies in Mr Williamson’s report that we would wish to point out to you.

Firstly, with the exception of Brig Y Don as noted in Mr Williamsons report, not all Children’s Homes have closed since the completion of the Verita Report. La Preference in St Martin’s is still operating.

Secondly, the information Mr Williamson was given by the SoJP is incorrect. The number of convictions secured against HdelaG members of staff was actually only four and not seven as stated. These were Gordon Claude Wateridge, Morag and Tony Jordan and Michael Aubin, who himself as a child in Haut de la Garenne was abused and then turned abuser whilst still in the care of the Home. The other convictions relating to Claude James Donnelly, Ronald Thorne and Leonard Vandenborn were in no way connected with States of Jersey Care Homes.

We are given to understand that some of the abused do not wish to give evidence to a Committee of Inquiry. We suspect that some of those victims have had their day in Court and have seen justice and quite understandably, would not want to go through the harrowing experience of having to give evidence again at a COI. There are however, a large number of victims who have NOT had the satisfaction of seeing their abuser(s) stand in a court of law and would wish to give full and honest evidence to a Committee of Inquiry. Furthermore, this is in conflict with what Verita have said in their report that a Committee of Inquiry is not just about statements from victims

We also fail to see why there would be any conflict with a COI running in parallel with the Redress Scheme, and are puzzled at the mention of ongoing police inquiries. To all intents and purposes Operation Rectangle was closed down very hastily when Messrs Warcup and Gradwell replaced the previous incumbents, and, if it is indeed the case that these ongoing police inquiries involve historical child abuse, it may well be that it would be prudent to extend the closing date for claims.

We note that unlike Verita, Mr Williamson has not given any indication of the likely cost if his recommendations are implemented. Please may we have the estimated cost.  

Finally, we agree that the chair of the COI be totally independent of the Island with no vested interests in Jersey, and be a judge (retired) or senior lawyer. We were pleased to have your assurance that the selection process of the panel would be without political interference, and feel that panel members also should be from outside the Island apart from one who must be neutral and have knowledge of local laws/policing etc. Due to the trust issues the abuse survivors have emphasis must be placed on finding the right person to fill this role.

We hope you take our thoughts and feelings into great consideration. We have said it before and will repeat that this has got to be right, robust and open.

Then - and only then will there be satisfactory closure for all.

Yours sincerely

Carrie Modral
Chair JCLA (END)

The Williamson thing and Verita TOR's can both be viewed from HERE

The Victims/Survivors of Child Abuse and Jersey as a whole deserve nothing less than what is being asked for by the JCLA. 

Has Jersey's Chief Minister got the back-bone to finally do the right thing.........We will find out soon.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Re-Launched. (With A Challenge To Local "News" Editors).

Last night saw the Re-Launch of Team Voice's live and interactive Blog TV broadcast and we are pleased to say it proved fairly popular attracting in excess of 300 viewers, which is a good start for the re-launch but we hope in time the numbers/viewers will grow. Although by the same token we would hope there would be no need for these broadcasts.

Team Voice Member and Blogger RICO SORDA spoke on a number of issues concerning our island, not least, Child Abuse and cover-up, the real Chief Minister, the State Media and their desperation. The refusal of our government to hold Committee of Inquiries, whether they be into Child Abuse or the resignation of the Controller and Auditor General. Rico also went on to throw out a challenge to the editors of Jersey's only "news"paper, which incidentally applies to all island State Media editors.

Come onto LIVE broadcast head to head with Bloggers and let's debate hard evidence and fact. Let's see who has the courage of their convictions and who's "evidence" stacks up. Home Affairs Minister, Senator Ian Le Marquand, has backed down to a Head to Head will ANY of the State Media have the courage and integrity to go live, as Bloggers do, and answer questions of the readers/viewers? Will they challenge us Bloggers face to face with a live audience?

Due to the lack of any, what we believe to be, independent media on this island, Bloggers are HAVING to report the facts, and when an independent author and investigative Journalist (Leah McGrath Goodman) from outside of the island wants to research the "facts" she is prevented from entering the island. Regular readers will know that Ms. McGrath Goodman WAS on the island researching and everything was fine. But it was when she revealed that she was researching the atrocities of the decades long Child Abuse that she, and many others, believe everything changed and she was/is not welcome on the island any longer.

Jersey politician and Blogger, Deputy TREVOR PITMAN heard of Ms. McGrath Goodman's and has set up an e-petition in the hope enough pressure can be applied in order that the journalists Tier-1 visa can be restored. We ask our readers to sign and share the petition in order that the TRUTH of Jersey's culture can reach a wider audience and Jersey might start to get cleaned up. The petition can be signed HERE

In the recorded, live, broadcast (below) from last night Rico Sorda gives his "opinion" on what is going on in this island and that's all it is an opinion. It is up to readers/viewers to make up their own minds as to what, or who, they believe, the State and its media, or Bloggers.

If we had a fit for purpose and independent media in Jersey would these broadcasts be necessary?

Rico Sorda Re-Launch 1- Broadcast your self LIVE

Rico Sorda Re-Launch 2- Broadcast your self LIVE

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Blog TV Re-Launch

Tomorrow, Thursday the 20th September 2012 at 7pm will see the re-launch of Team Voice's live and interactive Blog TV broadcast.

After a summer recess the popular show will return with RICO SORDA discussing the hot topics of the moment on political issues covered by Bloggers (Jersey's only independent media) and topics covered by the State Media.

Some of these will include the watering down of Verita Terms Of Reference for the Committee of Enquiry into the decades of Child Abuse in Jersey, Super injunctions, Parliamentary Privilege, corrupt and politicised judicial systems, Democracy, The Rule of Law and last, but in no way least, the banning of U.S. author and journalist Lea McGrath Goodman, from the UK and Jersey after it became apparent she was researching the Child Abuse atrocities and related matters on the island.

Deputy Trevor Pitman has launched an e-petition in support of Ms. McGrath Goodman's quest to have her tier-1 visa restored and we ask our readers to sign, and just as importantly, share the petition which can be signed HERE

If you have an interest in any of these subjects or have a topic of your own you would like to bring then come and discuss it with us.

The live, and interactive, broadcast will be available HERE

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Role Play.

After being black-listed for almost a year, the BBC finally allowed yours truly, on live radio this morning. Although not before I was interrogated by the show's producer, who also told me that Editor of BBC State Radio, Jon Gripton hasn't got a copy of the 62,000 word submission to the Wiltshire Constabulary written by the former Chief of Police Graham Power QPM. The very same document that was given to the editor by former Health Minister Stuart Syvret, apparently on the 22nd of September 2011.

So after my initial interrogation I was allowed on air where the mirror image of the Hillsborough disaster/cover-up, the Jersey Child Abuse atrocities/cover-up and the role played by the mainstream media in both cases was my chosen subject.

Who, or what arm of the "accredited" media, asked any questions of the party line during the Hillsborough tragedy? What part of the mainstream media championed the cause of the Hillsborough victims? Then ask the same questions of the mainstream media's role in the Jersey Child Abuse atrocity?

In 1989 there was not the Blogging fraternity that there is today and the public had to swallow what was fed to them by the mainstream media. Today things are different and documents are leaked to Bloggers (Jersey's only independent media) on a fairly regular basis, notably they are NOT leaked to the local State Media. This demonstrates a complete lack of trust when it comes to the State Media and a show of trust towards Bloggers.

We (Bloggers) have published these documents yet the silence of the mainstream media has been deafening who still just churn out the party line unquestioned no matter how absurd it is just like the Hillsborough propaganda.

The Lawrence family got to the truth and now the Hillsborough victims have got the truth. Those who have been complicit in the Jersey Child Abuse cover-up should be feeling very vulnerable right now because no matter how long it takes the TRUTH always comes out.

The eyes of the world are once more focussing on Jersey thanks to the courage of Deputy Trevor Pitman and U.S. Investigative Journalist Leah McGrath Goodman, please read/sign and share the petition HERE

In conclusion, although it might be another year before I am permitted back on BBC State radio I will leave you two questions when it comes to the Jersey Child Abuse cover-up.

What role have the media played?...................What role have YOU played?

VFC would like to credit, and thank, TJW for this recording.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

#FreeJersey: Please Help Us Restore Democracy To Our Beautiful Island.

Today is not a day to focus on right-wing versus left-wing politics, but the difference between right and wrong. 

When a democratic government abuses its substantial legal, legislative and financial powers to crack down on journalists’ freedom of speech, force policemen and elected officials from their jobs and systemically dismantle its own checks and balances so as to deny each of its targets due process, clearly it is a government that has lost its way.

Jersey, the jewel in the crown of the Channel Islands, may be one of the world's leading offshore financial centres, but it has begun to use its clout against its own people – and it is keeping the rest of its population in the dark about it. This is now a place where court and legislative records – those that are public anyway – can now be redacted. This is an island where secret trials are now allegedly taking place and elected officials are forced to debate key issues in secret. Web content is banned and journalists booted out. This is not the way a democratic government is supposed to be run.

Again, this is not about politics. It is about standing up for truth, honesty and integrity. It is about restoring the good name of our beautiful island whose reputation has been dragged through the mud by those attempting to cover-up the facts surrounding some of the most heinous crimes known to man – crimes of violence against children. Crimes the vast majority of islanders would never defend, yet most of those who stand accused of committing them have not been brought to justice and continue to walk among us and our children. Worse, these alleged perpetrators remain entrenched in some of the very highest echelons of Jersey’s government – working in departments that focus on children! It is beyond comprehensible.

On an island where children in need of care have been let down by the government for decades – and continue to be let down – we cannot afford to ignore or repeat our mistakes. More broadly, challenging the government’s current decisions, particularly when not made in the best interest of the public, should not require bottomless financial resources and friends in high places. We are supposed to be a democracy, right?

With our checks and balances hamstrung, the international and independent media may be our last chance at reclaiming our democracy and re-establishing rule of law.

Today, Jersey politician Deputy Trevor Pitman launched an e-petition on in support of the return of U.S. investigative journalist and author, Leah McGrath Goodman, to the island to continue her research into decades of child abuse at Jersey’s state-run “care” homes and allegations of cover-ups in the wake of the government’s removal of the chief of police and shut-down of the entire investigation.

One year ago today, Ms. Goodman was banned from the UK and Jersey for two years after revealing to the Jersey Customs and Immigration Service during a voluntary meeting that she was writing a book on atrocities against children at Haut de la Garenne. According to the UK Border Force, she was flagged by Jersey Immigration authorities for removal upon her next border crossing – and that is exactly what happened. After the intervention of UK Member of Parliament John Hemming, the ban was reduced to one year and it expires today, 11 September 2012. That said, the UK and Jersey have so far declined to restore Ms. Goodman’s visa or allow her cross the border to continue her research. In order to do so safely, she will need to have her Tier -1 visa status fully restored – hence, the reason for Deputy Pitman’s e-petition today.

Leah McGrath Goodman should be permitted to complete her work in order that there is an accurate record based on the available facts and evidence. Jersey needs to confront the failings of its past so it can redress them and, most of all, ensure the safety of our children’s future.

We ask readers who care about the island’s children, who care about the island’s reputation, who believe in a free press and who want the truth to be told to sign Deputy Pitman’s e-petition. We also ask fellow bloggers to copy and paste this blog onto their own Web sites so that we may show the world that Jersey wants the best for its future and its children. It is time to leave our island’s culture of secrecy behind and demand the kind of free and open society our island deserves. Those who would do otherwise are not representative of the majority of islanders.

Please spread the word and sign this petition (ten seconds). The Internet is the one thing Jersey authorities have not been able to lock down.....yet! The petition can be signed HERE

For those who tweet this campaign, please use the #FreeJersey hashtag. While Jersey may try to keep journalists out, it cannot keep us for letting the truth in.