Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Lenny Harper Discusses Child Abuse Report and local Mainstream Media.


Former DCO/SIO Lenny Harper


A day or so after the Jersey Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry published its damming report VFC interviewed former Deputy Chief Police Officer and Senior Investigating Officer of the police investigation (Operation Rectangle) into decades long concealed Child abuse in Jersey Lenny Harper.

Due to a number of other events having taken place subsequently, namely the former Chief Police Officer, Graham Power lodging a criminal complaint against the politician who (possibly illegally) suspended him in 2008 Deputy Andrew Lewis. Coupled with Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC) announcing it was investigating Deputy Lewis' apparent breach of Members Code of Conduct (which it found he DID) and the embarrassing debacle that was the appearance of Senator Philip Bailhache and Deputy Lewis at the PPC Hearing and because of some technical issues we have been unable to publish the interview with Mr. Harper.................Until now.

Regular readers will be aware that Mr. Harper, after years of either being ignored, misquoted, and having Operation Rectangle trashed by the local mainstream media has taken the decision to no longer engage with them. A decision fully understood by, among many others, former Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM. Mr. Harper does however remain committed to getting the truth out there for the Victims and Survivors which is why he engages with  national/outside media and of course Team Voice.

It should be said that we hope the relationship between Mr. Harper, and parts of the local mainstream media can, at some stage, be mended. This will take a strong commitment from the latter to demonstrate that the propaganda, misinformation, burying of vital public interest/news stories is a thing of the past. We believe that parts of the MSM have gone some way to demonstrate this but still have a long way to go. Other parts remain as bad as it ever was.

In our exclusive interview with Mr. Harper we discuss some of his thoughts on the Care Inquiry's report/findings. The (long overdue) vindication of the Victims/Survivors. The (long overdue) vindication of Operation Rectangle. Who has(n't) been held to account. The political interference (or not) with Rectangle and, of course, his decision not to engage with the local MSM and much more.

One of the more poignant points made by Mr. Harper, in the interview, was that the care inquiry "asked the question it didn't answer." The Inquiry's report is very legalistic and stops short of saying what really is being (or should be) said.

From Care Inquiry Report:

"It is clear that there was disquiet among Jersey’s politicians, up to and including the Chief Minister, Frank Walker, about the effect of the publicity being generated by Operation Rectangle. Nevertheless, we find that Frank Walker and the majority of politicians accepted the strong advice of the Attorney General and did not seek actively to interfere. We find that Ministers in general recognised that, however unpalatable the outcome of Operation Rectangle might prove to be, the Police investigation had to be permitted to run its course unhindered."

This (above) paragraph is one of the subjects mentioned by Mr. Harper (interview below). The Inquiry found that "the majority of politicians accepted the strong advice of the Attorney General and did not seek actively to interfere."(With Rectangle)

So what about the "minority" is the question that is on Mr. Harper's lips. If the "majority" didn't seek to interfere then that would/should mean that the "minority" DID seek to interfere?

Further; from the same paragraph:

"We find that Ministers in general recognised that, however unpalatable the outcome of Operation Rectangle might prove to be, the Police investigation had to be permitted to run its course unhindered."

The Inquiry found Ministers "in general" recognised "the Police investigation had to be permitted to run its course unhindered."

Not the Ministers "unanimously" and "unequivocally" recognised  "the Police investigation had to be permitted to run its course unhindered." They (possibly not all) "generally" "recognised" it but didn't "accept" it?




50 comments:

  1. Isn't Lenny something. First priority the victims/survivors and you can feel his pleasure at their vindication.

    Full marks on a very moving interview (when you consider all of the background).

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  2. I do not think it is the situation of victims being believed, most people in Jersey always believed abuse happened, but the problem has always been that abusers never admit to abuse.
    We've had 2 pedophiles due to be sentenced recently and neither showed any guilt and one still acts like he's innocent despite so much emotional testimony made against him.
    Being believed will always be a problem for the abused world wide whilst we have devious paedophile bastards on the prowl. They will do anything to cover their crimes.

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  3. "devious paedophile bastards"

    Couldn't have put it better.

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  4. The Northumbria Way - paying child rapists £10,000.00 to be informants.
    You couldn't make it up.

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    Replies
    1. Paying a convicted child rapist as an informant is indeed distasteful.
      (convicted presumably means that he has served his time -thought maybe not enough)

      The police maintain that it was only the recruitment of this stool pigeon that enabled the prosecution (and no doubt imprisonment) of another 18 abusers.

      If that is true, I would accept it as a defensible decision and the police claim that it has saved further victims and even lives.

      What would be problematic is if there is truth in the claim by the informant was asked by police to take girls to sex parties. That would have crossed a line for most people I think.
      I hope that it is a lie rather than a failure in the ground rules.

      That aside, my feeling is that Northumbria Police should be commended for their determination to apprehend abusers and hence to protect the maximum number of vulnerable people.

      In the scheme of things £10,000 is nothing.
      I much prefer the "Northumbria Way" to the Jersey Way which has arguably spent about £40 MILLION on protecting rapists and child abusers!

      Which do you prefer?

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    2. Jersey SHOULD be a place where it is easy to keep people safe.

      This is what the UK has to contend with:
      www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40885353

      Modern slavery and trafficking 'in every UK town and city'

      It said previous estimates of 10,000-13,000 victims in the UK were found to be the "tip of the iceberg".

      Sexual exploitation is the most common form of modern slavery reported in the UK, followed by labour exploitation, forced criminal exploitation and domestic servitude.

      Delete
  5. There is a really good comment piece by Gary Burgess on page 16 of today's JEP. He really hits it on the nail in respect of both Andrew Lewis and Philip Bailhache. Definitely worth a read.

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  6. Lewis and Bailhache are clutching at straws now. Both lying on their backs, kicking out and Lewis, shouting: I am not a liar! And Bailhache, shouting: Leave my Jersey Way alone!

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  7. Lying scumbag traitor Lewis covered up for Bailhache and his Masters , and scumbag Baillhache was just returning the favour. Nice and simple

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  8. The Lewis story is not going to change what happened and whatever lenient punishment PPC have lined up it is not worth talking about. If Lewis stands next May then people have a duty to vote for what is right but we need to draw a line and move on.
    So I am disappointed that Lewis is getting more attention than the rest of the COI Report.
    I hope this changes soon because the Report was not all about Lewis but the protection of Children in our Care.

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  9. Yes. Lewis is a wonderful distraction for The Powers That Be. Off with his head, and carry on. Nothing to see here.

    He's gobbling up limited headline space and attention span, while in the background the real story fades from view.

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  10. I think there are two ways of looking at this. It's true that Andrew Lewis can be seen as a convenient distraction, and therefore arguable that people shouldn't dwell too much an individual who - for all his obvious perfidy - was not personally involved in child abuse.

    However, I tend to take another view. I think it is vitally important that Andrew Lewis is brought to justice. I don't say this out of any personal malice towards him, but rather because his actions amounted to such a deep assault on the heart of our civil society, and the repercussions of his actions so profound, he must be subject to criminal proceedings for misconduct on a public office.

    We can dismiss Lewis as a weak-minded fool, and a patsy used by the establishment, but he was not a bit-part player here. He sought and accepted the office of Home Affairs Minister, and with that he assumed the obligations that come with that office. There can be few governmental responsibilities more profound than being political head of the policing function, and it comes with an absolute obligation to exercise honest and impartial oversight, and scrupulously avoid interfering in operational matters other than in the most extreme of circumstances. In short, if you aren't serious about the job, don't take it on.

    Instead, Lewis sat at is desk, sacked Graham Power on the most egregiously trumped-up, fraudulent pack of lies, refused to follow any sort of lawful procedure, including allowing Graham Power his basic human rights, lied about it to the legislature, and walked out the door with his hands over his ears and a smirk on his face saying "I can't hear you". There are kids flipping burgers at MacDonalds who take their jobs more seriously.

    If we treat Lewis as a weak-minded distraction, then we also dismiss the notion of ministerial responsibility, honesty and probity in public life, political neutrality of the civil service and judiciary, and the operational independence of the police, as being insignificant.

    In my view, if Lewis is ever brought to justice in a court of law, the fall-out will be seismic and will force positive change on the island. Even if the only lesson learned is that the island's public officers can be held to account for criminal misconduct, it will be a profound cultural shift.

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    Replies
    1. Can we bring his Lewis thing back to reality.
      We know Lewis cannot be prosecuted for any of this.
      We know PPC have virtually no power to discipline him.
      We know none of this will change things as they stand and we know Lewis in holding limited responsibility in the States has pretty well nothing to lose.
      We also know he can stick around till next May, do nothing and continue to be paid.
      If Lewis decides to stand again, we can then re-open this, but really we should think about moving on and stop speculating about what could or should have been, but will never be.

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    2. I don't agree that Lewis cannot be prosecuted. I think it's very, very unlikely he will, but not impossible. If you think the limit of Lewis's misconduct is telling lies while under parliamentary privilege, you might well be right. However, that ignores the wider actions of Lewis in taking a leading role in what was clearly an unlawful conspiracy to suspend Graham Power.

      Jersey's chief of police is retiring, and who knows - maybe there will be a miracle and we get a proper chief who isn't just counting off the days to his pension, and is serious about tackling the very obvious corruption in Jersey's public life. Such a person might very well think Lewis is worth a couple of hours of robust questioning down at the station. I'm sure he or she might even let Sir Philip have a mug of cold coffee while he waits outside.

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    3. Misconduct in public office is a criminal offence under Jersey Law - it took a 2008 decision of the Court of Appeal to determine that this is so. [2008]JCA188.
      Misconduct in Public Office would be committed if a public officer, acting as such, wilfully neglected to perform his duty and/or wilfully misconducted himself to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust in him.

      Delete
  11. In case anyone was wondering why there are fewer comments these days, it's because it's August. This is an extremely good blog having recently been praised as instrumental in getting an inquiry on the BBC report by Zoe Clough. Also as Polo said on thread recently, the quality of comments is also (trolls aside) very articulate. Thanks VFC. I hope you and Team Voice are enjoying well deserved summer breaks and relaxation.

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  12. Good questions to the CM on the radio today Neil. I was gobsmacked to hear the CM preaching the green manifesto. I can think of better people to deliver the Inquiry findings and carry us towards a sustainable future. Stuart Syvret and The Doctor for starters.

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  13. Anonymous @ 12:15

    I agree with everything you say. I was just pointing out that the concentration on Lewis to the exclusion of equally if not more deserving characters suits some people.

    For instance, the Inquiry report effectively lets Ian Le Marquand off the hook despite his connivance in keeping Graham Power on ice. Also person 737 and those who should have been investigating him.

    This all follows from the Inquiry deciding (wrongly in my view) that Power's suspension was outside their terms of reference.

    The fact that Lewis is weak, and his lying testifies to this, is no excuse. He did the deed and should suffer the consequences.

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  14. Oh, don't get me wrong Polo. I'm not saying Lewis should be the only focus of attention, and you are absolutely correct that there are others who are at least as deserving of opprobrium at best, and quite possibly criminal investigation as well.

    You are also quite correct to refer to the fact that Ian Le Marquand stuck limpet-like to the obvious lies peddled by his predecessor, and displayed an absolutely shocking and willful disregard for basic due process and fairness. How appalling to think that such a patently unfit person sat as a magistrate for years.

    And then there's Terry Le Sueur who - let's not forgot - showed such courage and tenacity in trying to keep hidden the rather awkwardly pre-dated letter by which Lewis suspended Graham Power. A Chief minister, no less, who bravely fought to hide a lie and a conspiracy.

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  15. As this posting relates to Lenny and the Jersey media, we must not forget the villification that Lenny, Graham, Stuart Syvret,Trevor and Shona Pitman and others suffered, not to mention the destruction of careers and lives because of their efforts in exposing this most dreadful lack of any sort of accountability by all concerned in the 'care' of children in Jersey. Had Lenny and Graham followed the Jersey Way we would not have the CoI with the damning report which has caused a lot of cages to be rattled and reinforced what many people thought all along. Can Jersey make a fresh start? I do so hope it can, but.........and it is big but indeed. If the likes of Philip Bailhache want to Island's reputation protected drastic changes must follow because there will be a lot more focus on the Island and its politicians now.

    At the time of Operation Rectangle the media coverage was indeed dire and biased. However, credit where it is due and the JEP under a new editor have certainly upped their game, as have the other media outlets in Jersey May this keep improving and hope that they do not revert to being Establishment mouthpieces again.

    However - the real credit must go to all bloggers who investigated, gave us the facts and the truth in many different forms, but all invaluable to those who read what they had written, and hopefully will continue to do for a long time to come.

    No surprises then that Lenny and Graham will only put their trust in them and thanks to both for still giving their input. Let's face it - this is only Chapter 2 of the story.

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  16. Well said Gillian. As Lenny has said in a couple of previous interviews he only really became aware of Trevor Pitman being attacked by the establishment when his outspoken support of the victims began to make the news every week.

    His previous comment that what happened to Trevor and Shona was due to their support for justice and confronting the powers that be was spot on. Now knowing as we do that the Jurat who cost the Pitmans their seats in the States and their home was a dishonest shyster acoording to an honest ex-cop the whole case should be declared null and void. An ideal case for Gorst to finally prove his mettle?

    It should also be noted that for those who wonder about Operation Rectangle all they need to know about the truth can be found in the Scrutiny review Trevor Pitman chaired. Nails the Jersey msm to the wall in spectacular fashion.

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    Replies
    1. Thought Shona and Trevor appealed the Jurat sitting on their original case and it was dismissed by an outside Judge because they failed to challenge the actual detailed judgement?

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    2. They weren't allowed to take it to the Privy Council. And this was even before we learnt at the Care Inquiry that even the Police considered the Jurat to be wholly unfit to hold office. Bullying at least one abused school boy in to silence should be enough to see anyone removed from presiding in a court one would think. But this is Jersey of course.

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    3. I make no claims to be a lawyer like one or two who comment on this blog but I do have a law degree. This gives me confidence to say that Jersey's alleged Appeal Court is not only dysfunctional it is clealy not even compliant with the ECHR.

      Appeal Court processes are required to be separate and independent. I know Jersey hides behind our British Queen appointing the judges but this is complete tosh. The judges are chosen by the chief judge in Jersey along will a little panel of goons who are hardly likely to disagree with him.

      I don't know all the ins and outs of the Pitmans' case. But I can say with equal confidence that in contrast to what is said above the Pitmans were apparently told that the Privy Council had no jurisdiction on their appeal.

      This means that they were not allowed to exercise their full legal rights. Not least because in such a case individuals could then not go on to the, admittedly useless, court at Strasbourg. All of this in its self means the Pitmans case was, in Stuart Syvret's time honoured words, completely ultra vires.

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    4. Has any Politician ever won a libel case against a Magazine or a Newspaper for a satirical Cartoon anywhere in the World?
      It would be helpful if there was an example.

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    5. Not really relevant as the cartoon wasn't in any way satirical. Basically just a rather sad attempt by a third rate establishment newspaper to smear politicians they did not like. What is satirical about wrapping successful candidates in an election rostte of banknotes and falsly telling their reader that the candidates are getting a four times increase in their income? Only in Jersey.

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    6. Not quite the same but George Galloway won his libel case against the Telegraph after claims relating to pay. They said Galloway was getting monies that he didn't from Saddamn Hussain.

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    7. Anonymous @ 11:11

      Agree completely. Was contemplating making exactly the same point.

      That cartoon was malicious, and as I've said before, I'm convinced it was intended to set up the Pitman's, given Trevor's known penchant for shooting from the hip.

      Sure, his reaction was a terrible call, particularly with his knowledge of the Jersey "justice" system. But even Homer nodded and the the Lord badly needed a break on the seventh day.

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    8. Are you equating Trevor with the Lord? I know he was good, damn good but that would be over the top praise don't you think? Have to concur on there being nothing satirical in Broadlands cartoon. The Pitmans would have won in an honest court and certainly with a jury instead of two court members deciding.

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    9. He's not the Lord/Mesiah he's a very naughty boy!

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    10. Anonymous @ 15:24

      Let me put it another way: it could happen to a bishop. :)

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    11. The Bishop's Finger is pointing at Liar Lewis. When are PPC going to announce what happens to Walker's glove puppet?

      Delete
  17. Anonymous @ 14:08

    I had nearly forgotten about the metadata saga. Material there for a whole Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.

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    Replies
    1. Nice one Polo! The metadata saga is a further manifestation of the Jersey Way that was not addressed in the Jersey Care Inquiry Report. Neither was the matter of the disappearing employment contracts for Graham Power which gave him a right to representation, subsequently denied.

      It is now clear that some of the individuals who were/are still mired in the Jersey way are Philip Bailhache, Frank Walker, Andrew Lewis, Ian Le Marquand, Terry Le Sueur and most of the rest of the Council of Ministers in 2008. Bill Ogley and Ian Crich facilitated many of the above in their deeds. Only a police inquiry can now get hold of Ian Crich to give evidence. A police inquiry will get to the bottom of what truly happened in the run up to the suspension of the Police Chief. The pointers seem to be misconduct in public office, which is a criminal offence. It would be for the police to decide who, if anyone, is fully implicated.

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    2. Just in case anyone thinks I'm joking about Gilbert and Sullivan, I'm reproducing below a section from a post I had done elsewhere, which illustrates the lengths the administration will go to in order to cover its tracks :


      This is really well illustrated in the attempt by the administration not to reveal the dates of the original drafts of the letters mentioned above. I suppose that this aspect appealed to me because it was a saga in an attempt to get access to information. I have operated Freedom of Information legislation within the Irish administration and the antics of the Jersey administration in this one were really something to behold. Jersey did not have FOI legislation at this time but there was a code for access to information which more or less amounted to the same thing.

      After going unsuccessfully through a number of hoops Power ended up at the States of Jersey Complaints Board (on administrative decisions) which, to give them their due, found resoundingly in his favour. But what really caught my fancy was the Minister's varied and ridiculous reasons advanced for refusing access.

      In the first place he claimed that the information was not information in the sense covered by the code because it was on a computer. Then, to give it to Power it would have to be transcribed and that would then be different from the original, something newly created, and which would not be covered by the code. And if that failed the Minister was claiming that it was legally privileged. And remember this was effectively metadata relating to documents in Power's possession and it was also germane to his (original) judicial review. When the Complaints Board had some difficulty understanding the legal privilege objection, the Minister explained that the the time intervals involved could possibly have allowed Power to figure whether legal advice had been obtained or not. Now Power was only looking for three specific dates, and nothing more. As I said he got them in the end and they were devastatingly significant.

      The Jersey administration had tied itself up in legal knots along the way, with the Minister even abusing the concept of corporation sole to avoid overturning the original suspension decision, but that is sort of another story.

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    3. The report of the Complaints Board is here:

      Link

      or just its conclusions here:

      Link page 12

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    4. Thanks for the links and reminder of this embarrassing debacle during Terry Le Sueur's tenure. Arguing that Graham Power couldn't have the information he was entitled to because it wasn't "information" was another scraping the barrel moment. The embarrassment only equalled by Philip Bailhache defending Andrew Lewis at the PPC Hearing reading from a dictionary trying to convince people that Andrew Lewis (according to the Dictionary definition) didn't tell lies.

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  18. I should clarify that the meta data saga involved Terry Le Sueur as Chief Minister and the Corporation Sole justification for refusing to review the suspension decision involved Ian Le Marquand as Home Affairs Minister.

    Sorry for any confusion. I have now clarified this in my original post also.

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  19. The "defence" of Lewis against the accusation of lying seems to rely heavily on a lie being a WILFUL effort to mislead and of Lewis not having any such intention nor any motive for it.

    This is rubbish. His motive is clearly in that, having committed a mortal sin, he needed some heavy evidence for his absolution. Hence the invocation of the original (interim) MET report. Which, according to the Inquiry, he accepted he should not have used.

    And he's still digging with Philip Bailhache keeping him well supplied with shovels.

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  20. Lewis on the front page of the Rag again today for lying.
    Any news is good news as they say.......

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  21. Digger's got a Tiddler12 August 2017 at 18:21

    Lenny and Graham should be given housing rights to live here like Noel has apparently disgracefully given Gameshow Mike. Not that they would want to live in such a corrupt place. The pair are legends.

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    Replies
    1. It would be interesting to know more about this Bowron/quallies allegation.

      If the allegation is true, it would also be interesting to know which one of these categories he now fits into:

      https://www.gov.je/Working/Contributions/RegistrationCards/Pages/ResidentialStatus.aspx

      It is possible to grant "quallies" on hardship grounds but I doubt such grounds would apply to him.

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    2. Inquired about it and its a load of rubbish.

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    3. Care to expand?

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    4. Basil's thrilled with his tidler13 August 2017 at 10:56

      Bowron has been a disaster for Jersey. His only notable contribution being the amount of money he must spend in Queen Street coffee shops. Not fit to tie GP's shoelaces.

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    5. Demands a question in the States to clarify. Hopefully just a rumour because outrageous if true.

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  22. Mr Bowron would not doubt quote that no one is above the law.

    The question is obvious.

    Does that not include himself regarding the housing or residential status law - now that Mr Bowron is no longer essentially employed but retired. As a get out clause they could make him a police special consultant. This of course would reflect badly on the new head of the police force who if need of a retired wing man to make sure he does his job properly should not be in the top job. As was the case for Mr Bowron when he was offered the top job.

    The more one thinks about the one law for all, the more one takes on the seriousness of favours for so called " special ones" the more the island will been seen as corrupt by the international community. If Mr Bowron has been given permission to stay it will also have implications on his his large Jersey pension. Being resident in the UK he would be taxed 45% on his income. On Jersey as a resident only 21% would be due.

    Let us see which decent States deputy will ask questions in the assembly. If he is staying as a resident, the public have a right to know on what grounds ? Will the same argument be used for immigrant nurses, teachers etc when their contracts have finished ?

    Boatyboy.

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  23. Mr Bowron will be charged big tax his retirement income ( after £38k−40% after 90K 45%) in the UK and 21% as a Jersey resident.

    Questions clearly need to be asked by a decent Jersey Politician in the assembly regarding this situation. Mr Bowron as the Chief of Police would no doubt quote the well used line that " no one is above the law " does that not include himself as police chief heading for retirement.

    Further more if an exception is made for Mike Bowron then will this also be used for other essential employees like nurses, teachers etc when their contracts end ?

    After the damming child abuse report highlighting a government unable or unwilling to look after vunerable children over decades, it would not look good to the international community, if it is seen that Jersey gives special treatment by adjusting or ignoring the law to serve high ranking people esspecially the Police Chief about to retire.

    The obvious question that would be asked is what favours did he effect to get such special treatment, side stepping residential status laws on the signature of one Government minister ? Obviously ministers feel they are to above the law.

    None of this may be true of course. Is this why Jersey's mainstream media are not reporting the story ? Are they looking the other way ?
    If it is true, then some serious questions need to be asked esspecially in the states assembly

    Boatyboy.

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  24. Please bear in mind that there is nothing to stop Mr Bowron from continuing to live in Jersey and pay his taxes here rather than the UK. He needs no special dispensation to do this.

    The point in question is purely one of his housing qualifications, and whether he is being given special treatment that is not available to any other person with similar circumstances to his own - for example, a retiring nurse or teacher who resided here for just 7 years.

    If he is being given special treatment, then the minister responsible for granting tne dispensation really does need to have a pretty damn good justification (and "recognition for outstanding service to the island" simply won't wash). Without adequate explanation, it would be very easy to reach the conclusion that it was a quid pro quo for "going along to get along".

    Perhaps the rumour is untrue. I have also heard it said that he plans to stand for election, which would add a certain piquancy to the situation. Again, this might just be idle speculation.

    So yes, this really is a question that needs to be asked in the states.

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  25. You have got to remember that it was on his watch that he overlooked or missed giving a Copper with kiddie fiddling tendencies, the ironic job of going around our infant and junior schools preaching: "Prison me no way". Ironic because that copper is now in the nick serving time.

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