Friday, 23 June 2017

Compare and Contrast.


Senator Philip Bailhache


In our PREVIOUS POSTING we warned readers/politicians to be "careful what (who) you wish for" concerning the Vote of No Confidence against Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst. A vote that he comfortably survived.

Our concerns, as Anti Child Abuse Campaigners, were that if Senator Gorst (who is a supporter of the Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry) was ousted then we could almost certainly end up with Senator Bailhache as Chief Minister. As pointed out in our previous posting (above link) Senator Bailhache is NOT a supporter of this Inquiry and has attempted to thwart it at any given opportunity. We believe that if he had become Chief Minister the COI report would not have seen the light of day. (It still might not)

At this point it should be of interest to readers to note that during the Vote of No Confidence debate Senator Bailhache did NOT speak. He had nothing to say, either in support of his Chief Minister, or otherwise. Could it be that he didn't want to show his hand and reveal that he was after the top job?

The very next day after Senator Gorst was voted to remain as Chief Minister and Senator Bailhache realised that he's not getting the top job just yet. During "arrangement of public business" he (Senator Bailhache) proposed that the in-committee debate to discuss the findings of the Child Abuse Inquiry's report should be deferred. It is due to be debated on the sixth, and if needs be, the seventh of July. He wanted it deferred until the tenth of July. His reasons, apparently, is to give members time to read and digest the report because three days aren't long enough.

We reproduce below the video of Senator Bailhache's short speech making the proposition to have the debate deferred. We ask readers, in spite of the revelations in our previous posting, where we reported that the Senator, while in his role as Bailiff, delivered a now "infamous" speech at a Liberation Day ceremony where he said words to the effect: "Child Abuse is a scandal but the real scandal is the denigration of Jersey and its people by the outside media." When asked by Council to the Inquiry if he had considered the effect this might have on Abuse Victims/Survivors he replied in the negative.

We ask readers (after watching the video below) has Senator Bailhache learnt anything since then? How much compassion for Victims/Survivors does he demonstrate in his reasoning for deferring the debate?

But here is one of the more curious aspects of his proposition. He wanted the debate deferred until the tenth of July. But as Senator Gorst pointed out in his speech (below) during the debate, and indeed another States Member pointed out in their speech, Senator Bailhache is due to be off-island on the tenth of July on what sounds like official States Business (Jersey-London Day). Despite being reminded of this by two States Members during the debate, the Senator did NOT acknowledge it in his summing up speech.

It could be that he completely forgot that he would be off-island on the tenth, and he completely forgot to acknowledge this despite being reminded by two States Members during the debate and did NOT address the issue in his summing up speech. In his defence we must say that the Senator's evidence to the Committee of Inquiry did demonstrate he has a woefully inadequate memory. Under questioning from Council to the Inquiry he could barely remember a thing and was unable to answer many questions.

It could also mean that he fears he is (rightly) going to be heavily criticised in the Inquiry's report and doesn't want to be around when it is being debated?

Readers should compare and contrast the speech of Chief Minister Gorst against that of Senator Bailhache and ask who considers the interests of the Victims and Survivors and who doesn't?











Sunday, 11 June 2017

Be Careful what (who) You Wish for.



Chief Minister Ian Gorst.


Now that the vote of no confidence against Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst has been officially LODGED It's potential implications need to be examined and some pragmatic questions asked should it succeed.

Including Constable Taylor (the mover of the proposition) 14 States Members have signed the proposition and agree the Chief Minister should go. There is a rule of thumb, or an unwritten rule, that if a vote of no confidence against a Minister is brought then the proposer of the proposition should put themselves forward for the post. In this case Constable Taylor has publicly stated that he doesn't want the job claiming he has "the best job in the world" being Constable of St. John. None of the other 13 signatories have publicly declared an interest in the top job either.

So where does this leave us should the proposition be successful? As things stand NOBODY has put their name forward to replace the Chief Minister and 14 politicians have signed a proposition to get rid of him without knowing who his replacement might be. Some names have been banded around who might make a good/competent Chief Minister but none of these people have publicly declared they want the job.

Deputy of St. John Tracy Vallois' name has been mentioned a few times, not least by her Constable, that she could fill the Chief Minister's shoes. She has since ruled herself out of the running. Treasury Minister Senator Alan Maclean's name has also come up in the mix but he has not said anything publicly about it that we are aware of.

Another name that is strongly rumoured and there is a real possibility (he has previously ran for the post) that former Bailiff and current External Relations Minister Senator Philip Bailhache could put his name forward and has a good chance of winning the vote. He was asked on BBC Radio Jersey recently if he would stand for the position and would not give a categoric "NO." This only serves to strengthen the rumour and possibility of him putting his name forward.

Looking at this as an Anti Child Abuse Campaigner there could not be anything more concerning than the thought of senator Bailhache becoming our next Chief Minister. The former Attorney General and former Bailiff has consistently attempted to derail the Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry. He spoke against giving the Inquiry extra funding HERE. He stands accused of receiving a leaked witness statement and attempting to intimidate WITNESSES to the Inquiry, accusations he strongly denies.  He has employed what have been termed as "scare tactics" by indicating the Inquiry's cost could reach as much as £50m (it cost less than half that amount). Whilst Bailiff he gave an infamous speech at his Liberation Day address saying:

"All child abuse, wherever it happens, is scandalous, but it is the unjustified and remorseless denigration of Jersey and her people that is the real scandal".

A man who seems to believe that children being horrendously abused and tortured in the "care" of the States of Jersey, and elsewhere, is less scandalous than Jersey getting some bad press?

From the TRANSCRIPTS of the Jersey Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry. Senator Bailhache being questioned by Counsel to the Inquiry Patrick Sadd:

Q. Did you discuss the (Liberation Day) speech and the draft with anyone?







A. I usually used my family as a sounding board on these occasions. I find my children to be my most ferocious critics so I would have shared it in the family, but beyond that, no.




Q. Does your family include your brother William?





A. I think not on this occasion.








Q. So aside from your family you discussed it with no one else?





A. No.








Q. Before making that speech, Sir Philip, the suggestion that damage to Jersey's reputation was "the real scandal" {WD009001/2}, did you consider the effect that this might have for instance first on those victims who had come forward to say they had been abused?


A. I think, Mr Sadd, I would have considered all the circumstances in the round. I can't -- I don't think I can say to you that I specifically identified the alleged victims as a group of people to be considered, (emphasis added) but I certainly would have viewed the matter in the round.(END)




Firstly he refers to the Victims/Survivors as "alleged" despite there being a number of convictions against abusers all be it a couple of Lambs thrown to the SLAUGHTER and indeed the numerous cases that weren't taken to a JERSEY COURT by, among others, Senator Bailhache's brother, former Attorney General and current Bailiff William Bailhache. Who has serious questions of his own to ANSWER.

Secondly he states:  "I don't think I can say to you that I specifically identified the alleged victims as a group of people to be considered,"

He is giving a political speech on a Liberation Day about Child Abuse and didn't consider the Victims/Survivors?

Thirdly he should be aware that there are more "ferocious critics"than his family members and he should be using them as a "sounding board" as he is being hopelessly let down by his family members.

Then we come to his apparent desire for Jersey to break ties with the UK and become independent. Quoted in an ARTICLE (June 2012) by The Guardian Newspaper as saying:

"The island should be prepared to stand up for itself and should be ready to become independent if it were necessary in Jersey's interest to do so."



Former Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM


The former (possibly illegally suspended) Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM wrote in his (BURIED BY THE MEDIA) interim defence case to the Wiltshire Constabulary:

"Such views are not confined to the older elements of the honorary service. They can be found, albeit in a more developed form, in the senior levels of government and the legal establishment where some notable figures favour an eventual severance of links with the U.K. and would see the ready acceptance of U.K. working practices as running counter to this agenda. I recall that in 2007 I assisted a small working group which included, among others, the Bailiff Sir Philip Bailhache and the Attorney General William Bailhache. The purpose of the group was to prepare a draft contingency plan for complete independence. I submitted papers to the group on the implications for law enforcement, and used some contacts from my previous role to offer suggestions as to who outside of the island, could assist in developing such a plan. I provided contact details of key figures in the Scottish Government and Administration including the Scottish National Party. I recall that some of the advice and contacts I provided were in an email I sent, probably in July 2007. This and other experiences reinforced my understanding that there was a tide flowing against closer association with the U.K, and a strong local agenda to develop working models and solutions within the island."(END)

VFC can also confirm that Senator Bailhache does NOT have the confidence of the Jersey Care Leavers Association (JCLA) or any Victims/Survivors we have spoken to. Senator Gorst on the other hand DOES have the confidence of the JCLA.

The Jersey Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry is due to publish its final report within weeks and it is anticipated that those in power at the time, both judicially and politically, are going to be heavily criticised.

Chief Minister Gorst has been a supporter of the Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry, firstly by voting for it to happen in the first place (Senator Bailhache was absent for the vote) and secondly for bringing the successful proposition to grant the Inquiry further funding. (Which Senator Bailhache spoke against but did not vote because of conflict.)

We don't know for sure that Senator Bailhache will throw his hat in the ring for the top job or indeed if he will achieve enough votes to get the job. What we are saying is that it's not worth the risk. (In our opinion)

Readers (including politicians) should seriously be considering what the implications could be of getting rid of Gorst. We are not saying that he is the perfect person for the job and that he hasn't got questions to answer concerning his leadership. What we are saying to politicians: You need to find out who might end up with the job if Gorst goes before you cast your vote. To readers/members of the public; don't lobby your States Member to get rid of Gorst until we know who his replacement might be. Be careful what (who) you wish for............................

Monday, 5 June 2017

Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry Panel will stay tight lipped.





The Jersey Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry (IJCI) has sent the below e-mail to the mainstream media and, we believe, Interested Parties, which has got to be its most outrageous, and alarming, statement thus far.

It explains that the report will be published on its website (apparently no hard copies). It will not be answering any questions from the media (or Bloggers). It seems to be saying that cameras won't even be allowed at the Press/public statement (where no questions are allowed). It states: "A pool arrangement will be in place to provide video footage and photographs of the report’s launch and will be made available as soon as possible after the event."(END)

It's difficult to know how much of the Panel's blunder after blunder in its Press Releases are down to outright incompetence or is there a more sinister motive behind this?

How can it be with such a high profile review/investigation/report that the media are going to be so shut out and the panel can be so tight-lipped? 

 


Statement/e-mail from Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry

The IJCI Panel on Monday (5 June) issued further details about the publication of its report on July 3 2017. The public launch will take place at St Paul’s Centre, Dumaresq St, St Helier.

Interested Parties will be given access to the final report two hours before its publication. This is in line with paragraph 19.6 of the Inquiry Protocols: General Procedures.Interested Parties and their legal representatives are invited to attend St Paul’s Centre at 1300 to consider the report. They will not be allowed to speak to anyone else, including the media, at this time.

At 1500, St Paul’s will be open to the public and the media. There will be a statement from IJCI Chair, Frances Oldham QC. The Panel will not be taking any questions or giving interviews. A pool arrangement will be in place to provide video footage and photographs of the report’s launch and will be made available as soon as possible after the event.

The report will be published on the Inquiry website at 1500 on July 3 2017.(END)

It's absolutely bonkers that the media (and Bloggers) will not have a copy of the report before the Panel Chairman Francis Oldham QC delivers her statement. Then again it would be pointless having a copy because questions are not allowed in what must be an unprecedented move.

This latest move by the Inquiry Panel does not inspire confidence. This is/was the biggest Child Abuse Investigation/Inquiry in Jersey's history. As Victims/Survivors and Campaigners will be only too aware silence is the paedophiles biggest ally. Now the Chairman of this panel wants to remain silent? 

Team Voice is reserving its judgement on the Panel's work until we have read the report. We are not impressed with its (or lack of) media presence during the time it has been running up to this date.