Friday, 31 October 2014

Royal Court Challenge. Re-election St Helier Number 1?



Challenge in Royal Court to St Helier District No.1 Election

Deputy Nick Le Cornu and Gino Risoli, candidates in the election for Deputy in St Helier No.1 held on 15th October 2014, are presenting an application to the Royal Court at 10am Friday 31st October to have the election in that District declared void and a new election called, based on high levels of electoral irregularities and manipulations.

A press conference will be held outside the States Building, Royal Square at 11am by both applicants.

Nick Le Cornu said “Jersey’s first General Election has been marred by irregularities in elections across the island and most recently in the Senatorial recount which “found” new votes. New matters are emerging on a daily basis from elections across the island.”

“To the very end I am fulfilling my mandate as Deputy to challenge the way things have been done in the past. That is what I stood for when I was elected in the March by-election. I am morally obliged to take that commitment seriously.”

“I asked the Chief Minister twice during question time and the Chairman of the Privileges and Procedures Committee if election observers would be invited to Jersey’s first General Election and received anodyne answers. The present mess is the consequence.”

“PPC and the Parishes have been found wanting.  Complacency and indifference abound. The absence of rigor and professionalism is matched by a refusal to implement best practice and standards applicable elsewhere. There even appears to be ignorance of the detailed handbooks produced by the Electoral Commission in the UK for the forthcoming May 2015 General Election.”

“During the count in St Helier 3/4 some 261 pre poll votes were not added in before the result of the election was announced. This discovery necessitated a restatement of the numbers.”

“I have evidence of Portuguese people registered to vote being turned away from pre-polling on spurious grounds that their names could not be found. No effort was made to check persons by their address in the street roll of electors”.

“Large numbers of Poles discovered that they were not registered to vote following an extensive voter registration campaign by the supporters of a Polish Senatorial candidate. Forms known to have been delivered to the Town Hall simply had not been processed, denying the right to vote on election day.”

“In the Deputies ballot box of District No.1 there appeared a blank ballot for Deputy in District No.2 St Helier. I suspect this irregularity occurred from a error at pre-polling resulting in the ballot being directed to the wrong polling station. This should be investigated”

“We have to look beyond one little error in one District. There were a preponderance of irregularities and the devil is in the detail. These raise doubts about the integrity of the election as a whole. These things cannot be dismissed as “an accident” when looked at together.”

“Of particular concern to us is that Scott Wickenden was allowed to stand as a candidate and end up being elected a Deputy in District No.1, when his nomination form was defective by virtue of not having 9 seconders, all capable of voting for him in that election. It is inconceivable that the checking process by the Parish of St Helier failed to spot this most fundamental of errors, that one of his seconders was registered in District No.2. Checking is supposed to occur before the nomination meeting, on the night and double checked subsequently. This is gross negligence by Scott Wickenden and on the part of the Constable and Parish of St Helier.”

“The onus is entirely on the candidate to present a valid nomination form at the Nomination Meeting. The absence of 9 seconders on the nomination form invalided the candidate and his election. The candidate only has himself to blame if he cannot understand the fundamental requirements of the election law. These are spelled out in the instructions attached to every nomination paper obtained from a Parish hall.”

“Election disputes are inherent to elections. Challenging an election, its conduct or its results, should however not be perceived as a reflection of weakness, but proof of the strength, vitality and openness of the political system. The right to vote would be merely abstract if the right to sue to enforce it was not guaranteed in law.”

“This is a political issue that must be challenged for the sake of the integrity of the electoral process in Jersey.”

“On the 9th November will be the 25th anniversary of the collapse of states who had other electoral standards than ours. Twenty five years after the non-elected Socialist governments disappeared we cannot get our elections honest.”

“Were this Russia or Ukraine these anomalies would be presented as a “crisis of democracy.”

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry (Jean Neal Guest Posting)

As part of our posts, and interviews, with Abuse Survivor Jean Neil We bring readers an update since she gave live evidence to Jersey's Child Abuse Inquiry.

We have supported, and reported, Jean's brave journey since she first made contact with us back in April 2012 where we were the first to break the story of a little known Jersey "care" home (Grouville Girls Home) PUBLISHED HERE.

After VFC broke the story, back in 2012, the State Media were forced to take note and run with it also as PUBLISHED HERE.

As a result of VFC's coverage of Jean's horrific story she has now been able to make contact with a fellow survivor of the home, after 60-plus years, as a direct result of VFC's involvement as PUBLISHED HERE.

Now that Jean has been through the ordeal of giving evidence to the Inquiry, and due to logistics, Team Voice were unable to interview her, we asked if she would consider submitting a Guest Posting instead. She agreed and we are pleased to offer it below.

"A big thank you VFC for all your support through the Blog programme for me as I have gone through these last two or three years having to put my Jersey Child Abuse story to the authorities.
Obviously what you do is a battle because you and some of the good people of Jersey give the truth and is a threat to the Jersey authorities

On the 2nd of September 2014, whilst on holiday in Jersey I spent three and a half hours giving a written statement to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry also stating that to save the States of Jersey the cost of bringing me over at a later date I asked would it be possible to give my evidence whilst I was in Jersey but I was told they could not do it and they would have to fly me back to Jersey or I could do it via video link at a later date.

I chose to return to Jersey as I had nothing to hide or be ashamed of and would face the court or whatever I had to go through. My abusers are the guilty ones and the Jersey Authorities and the Jersey Welfare that let us all down are equally as guilty.

The enquiry people wanted me to fly over to Jersey on the first flight out from the UK that would have meant I would have had to be up at 4:00am in order to travel to the airport and catch the flight. The enquiry team then wanted to fly me back home the same afternoon after giving my evidence.

I was surprised the team didn’t see how this could be a great burden and stress on my 79-year-old body so I brought it to their attention and was allowed a stopover in Jersey before flying back home.

I came to Jersey on the Wednesday 1st October and gave evidence the following day. I was at the court from about 9.15am being prompted by the lawyer as to what the procedure would be, told I was not to mention any names and that faces in the photographs I had provided as part of my evidence would be blacked out. I must say I did not expect to go through such an ordeal at the age of 79. I felt the ordeal of having to give such personal details to so many strangers was embarrassing to say the least.

On reflecting when I got home I felt although the Lawyer was gentle with me, I felt that some of the things that I had to enlarge on were uncalled for i.e. the “foo foo washing” surely it was plain enough for people to know what it meant?

This level of personal detail was difficult for me to talk about in such a public court room and I have no idea why the lawyer thought this line of questioning was significant to its enquiry. I recall reading that a witness gave a statement accusing the States Of Jersey of accepting a fifty thousand pound bribe from JIMMY SAVILE but the lawyer didn’t ask the witness about it. How can a “foo foo washer” be more significant than an accusation of a fifty thousand pound bribe?

The ordeal of having to give such personal details at such a public forum got all a bit too much for me and I broke down in tears and asked for a break. The panel agreed to me having a break where I was taken to a separate room and accompanied by a member of the media team attached to the enquiry. With hindsight I can’t see why I was not offered any victim support because I clearly needed it and a media professional is not the ideal person TO CONSOLE A VICTIM OF ABUSE having to relive their most disturbing memories of childhood.

I did not feel the impact from the ordeal of giving evidence to the enquiry until a couple of days later where I am now on medication, and therapy, to help me sleep and needing help to come to terms after all the publicity which is still not finished.

I ask the Inquiry Team and myself what will you achieve to help our age group that went through all this, our abusers have got away with it and we have had to live with this all these years. Giving evidence was hard and painful but I hope and pray that through me doing this that others who have been abused in anyway will come forward, why should these horrible people get away with it you are not the guilty ones the abusers are and if they are still alive they should stand trial but if you do not come forward they are laughing and getting away with it, be brave and stand up for your rights."(END)

Jean's experiences, of giving evidence to the Inquiry, are at odds with the Inquiry's. Jean tell's us;

"I did not feel the impact from the ordeal of giving evidence to the enquiry until a couple of days later where I am now on medication, and therapy, to help me sleep"

Yet the Inquiry tells us;

"All the witnesses who have given evidence so far have been positive about both their experience and the support received at the IJCI." HERE

Indeed the Inquiry, after its own major SECURITY BREACH is at odds with itself where it tells us;

"There has been NO (my emphasis) security breach over mail sent by the Inquiry.HERE

But at the same time tells us;

"it is not possible to determine if there has been deliberate interference with the Inquiry’s post" HERE

Things are not stacking up, questions ARE being asked of the Inquiry, but answers are not forthcoming.

Thank's to Jean, and all Victims/survivors/witnesses/whistleblowers for attempting to get the truth out there. We will continue to do the same.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

A Referendum Broadcast on Behalf of the "YISS" Campaign.

If you believe the Carrot Industry will survive without the Constables in the States, as an automatic right, and that single mothers will not have to foot the £1m Constable bill, then VOTE "NO" on the 15th October.

Lord Reginald Hamilton Tooting-Rawley-Jones III. FRSA. MBE, VC. NVQ Level 3 spells out the case for voting YISS (no) in the referendum.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry (Contradiction)

Fellow Blogger, and member of Team Voice, Rico Sorda published a Blog Posting two days ago revealing what almost certainly is a major security breach involving the statement, of former Senior Investigating Officer, Lenny Harper, posted by the Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry for him to check and sign off.

Parts of the Island's State Media picked up the story from Rico's Blog and ran with it (without crediting him) and it made headline news on State Radio.

The crux of the story is that the Child Abuse Inquiry Team sent Mr. Harper's statement to him by unregistered post and when he received the statement the envelope had been "damaged" (opened) meaning his statement containing the names of Abuse Victims/Survivors as well as corrupt Jersey officials and paedophiles could have been copied and now be in the hands of many. Rico's Posting can, and should, be read HERE.

VFC e-mailed the Inquiry Team asking for a copy of its posting policy and if they would keep me informed as to how its investigation, into the incident, would progress. In the meantime the Media Team, from the Inquiry, put out a statement which was dutifully regurgitated by BBC State Radio where the Inquiry stated;

"There has been NO (my emphasis) security breach over mail sent by the Inquiry." Well the obvious question is how the hell do they know there has been no security breach? A statement turns up, in the (unregistered) post already opened and the Inquiry team knows nobody else has read/copied it? How? But like I said, the BBC just regurgitates this nonsense totally unchallenged. The full statement can be read HERE.

While, on the other hand, (largely unsuccessfully) I HAVE been attempting to gain some answers from the Inquiry Team (through e-mail) and they did drop this little nugget;

"The envelope containing documents for Mr Harper was damaged in transit, but it is not possible to determine if there has been deliberate interference with the Inquiry’s post, which would be a criminal offence."

So the Inquiry Team put out a statement saying there has been NO security breach, dutifully regurgitated by the BBC, without any questioning. Then in an e-mail to me they (Inquiry Team) say;

"it is not possible to determine if there has been deliberate interference with the Inquiry’s post"

I have asked the Media Team how on earth they can marry the two contradictory statements? I received an uncharacteristically swift reply where the Inquiry has said;

"The Inquiry is in contact with the witness concerned and does not intended to release any further information on this matter."

My two questions remain unanswered (posting policy and investigation above) and now the Inquiry Team refuse to explain how it can marry the two contradictory statements and STILL the State Media question none of it.

This is how the decades of abuse over here was allowed to carry on, and unless the State Media starts challenging some of the nonsense put out by the Child Abuse Inquiry, then it will enable that abuse to carry on still.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Jersey Referendum Question Debate.

On the 15th October 2014 Electors are being asked to go to the polls and vote in Jersey's first ever General Election. (although a third of the Assembly has already been elected unopposed)

As part of this election there is also a referendum question that electors are being asked to vote on and that is "should the Constables remain as members of the States as an automatic right?" Electors are being asked to tick either the yes box or the no box.

There has been very little media coverage of this referendum, and indeed what coverage it has received has, in some cases, been misleading. This is NOT a question asking if the Constables should be in the States or not. It is asking if they should be there as an automatic right of their Office.

Due to the lack of State Media coverage concerning this crucial referendum vote, VFC invited a member from the "YES" camp, James Rondel (Committee Member for YES campaign 2014), and a member of the "NO" camp, Deputy Sam Mezec, (Deputy St. Helier No.2) to discuss the issues surrounding the referendum question, and hopefully generate some interest in it. Thankfully they both agreed and were appreciative of the opportunity to make their case for and against as I was appreciative of their engagement.

This is not so much an interview but a discussion between both camps. I did not challenge anything said by either James or Sam as it was up to them to make their case and up to readers/viewers to decide who set out the best stall.

Hopefully readers/viewers will find the debate below both engaging and informative and might get inspired to cast a vote on October 15th? The discussion is published in its entirety as this is the service offered by Citizens Media not available with the State Media.

Below the discussion video is Sam Mezec with his "piece to camera" explaining why he believes people should be voting "NO" in the referendum and below that is James Rondel's piece to camera explaining why he believes people should be voting "YES" in the referendum.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry. (Team Voice Discussion 2)

Sunday morning, just passed, Team Voice sat down to chat about the ongoing Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry and where we are at with it, what our concerns are, and how our confidence, in the Inquiry, isn't as high as we would have hoped.

The video below is the continuation of that published by Rico Sorda HERE.

In this part of the video we discuss the role of the local State Media, who thus far, have exclusive rights to the media room, at the Inquiry building, after Bloggers (Jersey's only independent, and trusted, media) were very suspiciously, and dubiously, banned from using the media room, and its facilities, as we previously reported HERE.

We ask if the local State Media is STILL betraying the victims, and survivors of abuse by not doing, what any self respecting journalist should be doing, and challenging this Inquiry rather than just repeating whatever the Inquiry wants it to.

Jimmy Savile at Haute de la Garenne.

Serious questions need to be asked about the Jimmy Savile alleged £50,000 bribe as revealed in witness "Mrs A's" statement to the inquiry yet no questions were asked of the witness when she gave live evidence to the inquiry. How could this possibly be? We asked some questions HERE. How was it possible for The Sun newspaper to report on the alleged bribe, when it had NO reporters at the Inquiry Hearing? Why did the local State Media (who did have reporters at the hearing) bury this revelation? We asked those questions HERE. Alongside that, in Witness "MRS A's" LIVE EVIDENCE she Said "I do not trust the media on what they put out now and that's a very very sad part of life." Which wasn't questioned by the Inquiry Team nor was it reported in the media. Considering the Inquiry is aware that the local State Media stand accused of complicity in the Jersey cover-up it's even more alarming that no questions were asked as to why the witness/victim did not trust them.

When another witness, giving LIVE EVIDENCE to the Inquiry, spoke of how, after speaking out at an anti Child Abuse rally in the Royal Square, (in 2008) he was scared of being arrested.  Why was a line of questioning, by the Panel, or its lawyers, not pursued on this? An abuse victim STILL scared of speaking out, in 2008? If the culture of the Island is different now surely there should be no fear of speaking out? If that fear still exists then this could show that there has been no change of culture and those who speak out still fear being punished. The Inquiry should be picking up on this as it might go some way to explain why so many victims/survivors/witnesses/whistleblowers are so reluctant to give evidence to this inquiry.

Recent history has shown us that these kind of Inquiries should be challenged/scrutinised at the time, not years later. By challenging this Inquiry now we hope to avoid a repetition of past ("accredited") media failings that allowed all kind of Inquiries to cover up the truth. Stephen Lawrence, Hillsborough, Bloody Sunday, to name but a few.

The victims/survivors, and the good people of Jersey, deserve the truth. Since we don't have an independent mainstream media who will ensure we get to that truth, then once more it is left to the Bloggers.

Inquiry Spin Doctor Liz Mackean.

We want this Child Abuse Inquiry to succeed but in order to do this we have to publicly challenge it. We (Team Voice) have remained too silent for too long regarding the huge short-comings of this Inquiry and will now set about making all these short-comings (there are many) public in the hope it will force the Inquiry Team to up its game. Behind the scenes we have been attempting to gain answers from the COI, for months, and have consistently either been ignored or fobbed off. We have consistently tried to work WITH the Inquiry, and still wish to do so. But for reasons only known to the Inquiry/media Team they refuse to work with us and make life as difficult, and humiliating, as they possibly can for this BLOGGER. In stark contrast Eversheds, and Liz Mackean (Spin Doctor for the Inquiry), are arranging interviews for the State Media with Abuse Victims (didn't see anything about that in the protocols). I was told today, by a member of the Inquiry, that a "special chair" has been ordered for me so I can use my ipad (but not the internet) in the public hearing room after the humiliating, and dubious, banning of Bloggers some six weeks ago from the media room. I have also asked that they order a sign/placard with an arrow on it and the words "Spot The Cripple" just in case the "special chair" isn't humiliating enough for them/me. I'll let readers know how this progresses.  The time has now come to make all these short-comings public.........The Victims, and Survivors, deserve nothing less..........Much more to follow.