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 Change.org 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. 


  1. Putin's Russia has nothing on Jersey and that's why I have signed the petition and hope many others do before it's too late.

  2. The unelected lawyers of the judiciary are the real power running this island, and the sick fact is, they are not fit to run the judiciary let alone the government.


  3. Copied & pasted VFC, and thank you for the write up :)

  4. We hope to have a video interview published soon with Ms. Goodman. Thanks to the Jersey Bloggers who have shown solidarity in spreading this very important message by pasting it to their Blogs and we hope more will follow suit.

    Please sign the petition and spread the word. The petition takes seconds to sign and we know people live in fear over here and might be too frightened to sign it in fear of repercussions.

    You do NOT have to have your name published on the petition if you so wish. There is an option so please use it.

    The petition can be signed HERE

  5. Signed and shared VFC. Your comment that people live in fear here says it all, and more reason than any other to sign this petition.

    After today's stand off between Monty and William Bailhache in the States Chamber where WB attempted (but failed)to get Monty to admit to saying something he had NOT said. and the exchange with Trevor Pitman ref the Victoria College abuse, also please you people out there do not be afraid but be STRONG.

    People power will win eventually.

  6. As Jersey is being compared with Putin's Russia, is it time for Jersey to form a politically oriented all girl rock band? Something with a vulgar name to bring international awareness to the stupidity and corruption of the neo-feudalists - who will surely ban or imprison them for singing about it? Just an idea.

  7. Our good friend, the WEB GURU is here for us again.

  8. LMG on youtube is well worth a watch.

  9. Team Voice will be returning to their live and interactive broadcast a week tomorrow Thursday 20th August 2012 at 7pm HERE

  10. I think you mean September VFC!, but good news anyway.

  11. Jill.

    Yes I did mean September.

    For those who have not yet signed the petition please do as we want to reach our next benchmark of 500 signatures by the end of the day. It takes seconds to do and your name doesn't have to be public. It can be signed HERE

  12. Hi VFC.

    I have been thinking about the way the Cover Up of Hillsborough was aloud to continue through the Media NOT investigating the Government Line, It shows the little people can win.

    Keep up your good work. I just put up some questions from yesterdays States Meeting, you & your Reader's can Listen HERE

  13. How many signatures are actually required on the petition as the figure keeps changing. It started with 250 needed then 500?

  14. See Leah on the Max Keiser show


  15. Why hasn't the JEP or CTV publicised this:-

    @ukhomeoffice: Restore the Tier-1 UK visa of journalist Leah McGrath Goodman #FreeJersey

    Surely it is of huge public interest!

  16. VFC.

    Good to hear you on the radio.

    Well said, but should have put the reporter on the spot by asking her why they havenot published Powers 62,000 word document?

    Would love to of heard her bumbling reply.