Sunday, 26 May 2019

Care Inquiry Panel and "The Jersey Way."

Independent Jersey Care Inquiry Panel

Readers will be aware that the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry PANEL has returned to Jersey as reported by VFC HERE followed by an interview with Panel Member Sandy Cameron HERE. The Panel is over to hear from a wide range of witnesses in order to determine how its eight RECOMMENDATIONS have (or haven't) been implemented.

The Panel held a number of private and "public" meetings. The so-called "public" hearings took place at St. Paul's Centre this week between 21st and 24th May and the list of witnesses/schedule can be viewed HERE.

Firstly, as the selected e-mails below will demonstrate, the title of this Blog Posting ("Care Inquiry Panel and "The Jersey Way") was chosen by the Panel itself. We were hoping for the title to be "Care Inquiry shows humility and allows filming of public hearings."  

We should say that the Panel, up to the point of refusing to allow the "public" hearings to be filmed, had been very open and accommodating to us the New Media (formerly known as Social Media) and has kept us (as far as we know) as up to date with its work/schedule during the week as it has with the old media (formerly known as mainstream media). We have been included in the media mailing list and for that we are grateful.

However, a rather bizarre turn of events occurred, (e-mails below), not so much (as bizarre as it is) that the Panel refused to allow Public/Civil Servants, Politicians, and members of the old and new media to be filmed (at "Public" Hearings). It was "The Jersey Way" style that the Panel went back on its word, attempted to defend the indefensible, and pretend it didn't go back on its word.

Here (below) are some e-mails between VFC, and the panel, which should explain how the title of this Blog Posting was chosen (by the Panel) and why (unfortunately) that title is so apt.

Names have been redacted/changed.

"Panel member."

"(witness to Panel) has contacted me after s/he gave evidence to the panel today. S/He has told me that you/the Panel WON'T be allowing the public hearings to be filmed? I'm hoping s/he is mistaken on what the Panel have, or have not, said to him/her

On the 8th May 2019 (12:56pm) in an e-mail to you I asked:

"Will the media be allowed at the public hearings?"

To which you replied (the same date):

"Yes – the media – including social media - will be welcome. There is no accreditation system or dedicated facilities for media. As we are not discussing specific cases, there should be no sensitive material involved so there won’t be restrictions on reporting."
Firstly I hope that (witness to panel) is mistaken but s/he does seem quite adamant. If this is the case I would ask that the Panel reverse its decision to exclude media, show some openness and transparency and honour your commitment above.

The Panel has gained a certain amount of trust from me and I have continued to encourage Survivors/Abusees to participate in your work. IF the Panel has decided to go back on its word and place restrictions on reporting of (ironically) "public" hearings I can only see this as a retrograde step and will bring with it distrust, not only from myself, but from the public, and more importantly Survivors and Abusees.

I cannot, with a clear conscience, support the Panel's work if it has decided to go back on its word (or lied to me). Further; holding "public" hearings and not allowing filming of them is an absurdity! It's something only the Jersey authorities (one would have thought) could dream up.

What would be the icing on the cake is if the Panel doesn't allow filming of the hearing involving the media. Surely the media is all about openness? How could the panel sell to the public that it is open and transparent if it is going back on its word and restricting media reporting at "public" and "media" hearings?

I am considering publishing a Blog on this apparent turn of events and like any responsible media I am seeking your side of the story as it were.

As I have said, I hope (witness to Panel) has got this wrong. If s/he hasn't then I ask the Panel, in order to keep/gain my, the public, trust and confidence that it honours its commitment in the e-mail of 8th May.

Please consider your reply for possible publication on my Blog.



"Hello (VFC)

As I said in my earlier email we foresee there will be no restrictions on what can be reported – unlike the Inquiry where Frances had to ask for some names etc that inadvertently were mentioned, to be redacted when reported. In looking at how things are reported, we have to take sensible steps to make the environment suitable and safe for the people who are participating.

The sessions will be professionally recorded and transcribed and the transcripts published online. (This is not an overnight service like the Inquiry – it will take a few days). This will provide an accurate and accessible record.

We looked at whether the sessions could be streamed (in the way meetings of the States are broadcast) and there were issues which made it problematic. We had considerations raised on behalf of some of the people coming to participate (parents, care experienced people etc) who for very good reasons do not want their full details publicised. Others who are simply attending as members of the public also expressed concern lest they be identified attending. Filming could cause these people distress. We also are alert to potential liability issues arising from filming someone without their consent , in a situation where we cannot monitor what/who is being filmed. 

For all those reasons no filming will be allowed in the room. 

This applies to all media organisations and individuals. We ask everyone in media to be trustful of these sensitivities.

Kind regards (Panel Member)"

"(Panel Member)

I hate to say it but this is a "Jersey Way" response from you/The Panel. You have misled me (and others) by firstly saying:

"Yes – the media – including social media - will be welcome. There is no accreditation system or dedicated facilities for media. As we are not discussing specific cases, there should be no sensitive material involved so there won’t be restrictions on reporting."

You/The Panel have done a 180 on that statement and not even acknowledged it. Rather you have tried to defend the indefensible and pretend you were correct in what you originally stated.

Having done a study/report on our Island you must be aware how important openness and transparency is for the "good" people of Jersey. It is something we have fought for for years and continue to do so. I/we never thought we'd be fighting against a panel who is over here to rid the Island of this secrecy.

This part of the statement from your previous e-mail is about as unambiguous as it gets:

"so there won’t be restrictions on reporting."

Not being allowed recording devices or cameras is a restriction on reporting. I wanted to film part(s) of the hearing and publish it/them on my Blog. But the "restriction" on cameras has "restricted" my reporting. There clearly are restrictions and by denying this further casts a shadow over the integrity of the Panel and shows it in the light of "The Jersey Way."

You either intentionally misled me and others to begin with or you are being dishonest/disingenuous now.

With regard to your latest e-mail and in particular this sentence:

"We had considerations raised on behalf of some of the people coming to participate (parents, care experienced people etc) who for very good reasons do not want their full details publicised."

This is obviously a new dilemma since you first said there would be no restrictions and one that I'm not unsympathetic to. That is a fair consideration. However this mornings hearings were exclusively with Civil (Public) Servants who, incidentally, are answerable to the public and I see no reason why they could/should not be filmed.

After seeing the lay out of the room at St. Paul's I see no reason why a camera can't be pointed at the table blocking out any members of the public. I agree any members of the public who are giving evidence shouldn't be filmed if that's what they wish as I share their fear of repercussions and "The Jersey Way."

Could I please ask:

1) Will you/The Panel accept that you misled me in saying "so there won’t be restrictions on reporting."?

2) Will you/The Panel reverse the decision not to allow cameras in cases of Civil Servants/Politicians and those who have no objections to being filmed?

3) Have any of the island's media questioned your decision on the camera ban?

4) I would like (for the historical record of my Blog) to film when I give evidence on Thursday. There will only be Bloggers and journalists at the table. Even if the Panel refuses to be open enough to allow filming of Civil Servants and politicians what harm can be done filming the media/Social Media?

You will be aware that I was contacted by a European documentary film production who asked me if filming was permitted, at the "public" hearings, and I assured them it was by sending the relevant part of your e-mail:

"Yes – the media – including social media - will be welcome. There is no accreditation system or dedicated facilities for media. As we are not discussing specific cases, there should be no sensitive material involved so there won’t be restrictions on reporting."

They too saw this as unambiguous in that there were no restrictions and travelled to Jersey (at a great cost one should imagine) on that basis. This has turned out to be a waste of time and money for them and is further embarrassment to the Panel.

As I mentioned in my previous e-mail, I am considering publishing a Blog on this subject and including our e-mails, or relevant parts of, as evidence of what has transpired. I am pondering on what the title of the Blog might be and it depends on your answers to my questions, and related concerns, in this e-mail.

The two titles I'm thinking on are something along the lines of;

A) "Care Inquiry Panel and The Jersey Way."

B) Care Inquiry shows humility and allows filming of public hearings.

You will appreciate that I have credited the Panel/Inquiry where it is due and will continue to do so. I will also challenge it where I feel it is necessary to do so and this is one of those times.

Look forward to your reply.




1. No
2. No
3. No
4. No

You are of course free to publish whatever you wish and we will defend to the death your right to do so."(END)

As readers will see from question, and answer,  No.3 if the Panel is to be believed. None of the Island's media questioned the Panel's decision to restrict the reporting of the Hearings. This, we argue, is a major part of "The Jersey Problem." The old media (although it has improved in some areas) is inherently compliant. It (old media) should not only have challenged this assault on the so-called "Free Press" it should have called the Panel out and publicly challenged it in order to fight for the freedom of the Press (as we have done). Apparently its immediate reaction is to comply and not challenge.  It appears that the ONLY Jersey media to question the "no cameras restriction" is the new media (this Blogger). We are aware that the Panel was challenged by media who were visiting from off-island who clearly aren't as compliant as the local media.

As mentioned in the e-mails, we see this secretive and "Jersey Way" style of the Panel as a retrograde step in what we believed to be a much improved relationship between us, the public and them.

We maintain that "no reporting restrictions" means "no reporting restrictions" no matter how you try to dress it up.

Stay tuned for the next Blog Posting on the hearing where the old and new media were the witnesses and who had the courage to turn up and who didn't................................................

Monday, 13 May 2019

Deputy Mike Higgins. (The Jersey Way)

Deputy Mike Higgins

In the week that the Jersey Independent Care Inquiry (IJCI) PANEL return to the Island to review how its RECOMMENDATIONS have, or haven't, been implemented. We thought it would be a poignant time to reflect on a speech (or two) given at the last States Sitting (Tues 30th April 2019) by Deputy Mike Higgins.

Being debated was the Draft Commissioner for children and Young people (Jersey) LAW. Basically this was putting into (dodgy) legislation the position of the Children's Commissioner. The Commissioner now has little more rights than the man on the street in having access to official documents. Although like everybody else she's not allowed to know what advice is given by the conflicted Attorney General's Office.

Deputy Higgins has been instrumental in bringing about the Jersey Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry, campaigning for Survivors/Abusees and speaking out against judicial and political corruption since he was first elected in 2008. It was Deputy Higgins who managed to copy the transcripts from the in-camera (secret) debate where the then Home Affairs Minister, and Deputy, Andrew Lewis told the States Assembly when giving one of his different "reasons" for (possibly illegally) suspending the then Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM:

"I HAVE READ AN ALARMING REPORT FROM THE METROPOLITAN POLICE which led me to this decision in the first place."

Regular readers will know that this statement was found to be a lie by the Jersey Independent Care Inquiry. Deputy Lewis was subsequently Censured by the parliamentary watchdog the Privileges and Procedures Committee. Reported by VFC HERE. with proposition lodged HERE. The transcript, copied by Deputy Higgins, was leaked to Bloggers (not by Deputy Higgins) who had the trust/confidence of survivors/Abusees and Whistleblowers and was subsequently published HERE. It's fair to say that without the deputy's diligence this "lie" could have remained un-noticed and never have been discovered.

William Bailhache

During the States debate (Tues 30th April 2019) Deputy Higgins reminded States Members, and the viewing public, of a number of troublesome aspects concerning the cover-up of Child Abuse and alleged abusers still at large. He was able to do this due to his extensive knowledge and campaigning for Survivors over the years and attending many of the IJCI public Hearings.

In the Chair was Bailiff William Bailhache, who has some uncomfortable questions of his own to ANSWER, concerning his time as Attorney General. The Bailiff asked Deputy Higgins to clarify who (which AG) he was talking about during his speech and the Deputy was happy to oblige by reading from the Care Inquiry Report and nailing his brother Philip Bailhache.

The second part of Deputy Higgins's speech deals with (according to the Deputy) alleged abusers who have not faced justice (The Jersey Way) despite evidence given to the Jersey Independent Care Inquiry against them. He made a very compelling and correct statement during this part of his speech when he said:

"We will never put this matter behind us and get the support of the people who have been abused until we address these issues and bring these people to book."

What Deputy Higgins did with his speech was to demonstrate that the Attorney General's office could "credibly" be  accused of cover-up. He showed that there are people who still appear to be above the law or even more people need to come forward to give evidence against them. If all is accurate in Deputy Higgins's speech then he also demonstrated "The Jersey Way."

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Interview with Independent Jersey Care Inquiry Panel Member Professor Alexander (Sandy) Cameron.

Professor Sandy Cameron

As a result of continued communications with the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry Panel (IJCI) and of our  PREVIOUS POST. VFC was offered an interview with Panel Member Professor Sandy Cameron to which we gratefully accepted.

Regular readers will be aware that the relationship between the Panel and VFC has not always been as amicable as it is now, not least when were were banned from its MEDIA ROOM and  ITV/CTV,was NOT BANNED.

We are pleased to say that our relationship has come a long way since then as we are working towards the same goal(s) in that we want Survivors, and interested parties, to supply the Panel with evidence/information concerning the "care" of children in the Island since the publication of its (IJCI) REPORT and RECOMMENDATIONS Those who wish to submit evidence/speak with the Panel can do so by visiting its WEBSITE, taking part (anonymously) in its SURVEY or by e-mailing them at

The Panel, during its evidence gathering and public hearings stage did some excellent work, not least by giving a voice to the Survivors/Abusees, vindicating them and those of us who have been fighting their corner and attempting to hold the guilty to account.

William Bailhache

As a result of the Panel's Hearings we learnt that former AG and current Bailiff William Bailhache has some very uncomfortable questions to ANSWER in his "reasons" for not prosecuting an alleged paedophile. We also learned that William Bailhache sent an e-mail to the then Chief Minister, Frank Walker and then States Chief Executive, Bill Ogley on the eve of the (possibly illegal) suspension of Chief Police Officer Graham Power advising them not to suspend the Chief Officer. Notably he didn't send the e-mail to (or copy in) the only man who could suspend him, the Home Affairs Minister at the time, Andrew Lewis. We also learned that William Bailhache withheld this evidence from the Napier Review.

Philip Bailhache

We also discovered, as a result of the IJCI, that former AG/Bailiff/Senator and brother of William, Philip Bailhache was accused of withholding, and asking the then Education Chief Executive, John Rodhouse, to withhold evidence from the police concerning a now convicted paedophile.

Excerpt from John Rodhouse statement to Inquiry:

"it concerned a volunteer youth worker. The then Attorney-General, Philip Bailhache, called me to tell me that a named volunteer youth worker had acted improperly with a boy. The boy's father was an (redaction) and did not want to involve the police. Philip Bailhache wanted me to investigate and take action. I protested that it was a matter for the police but Philip Bailhache said that the parents would not co-operate and that if I did not act nothing would happen. I interviewed the man who admitted the offence and with the help of the Youth Officer, the man was effectively removed from all youth work in Jersey. As far as I was concerned I was caught between the legal authority of the island in the person of the Attorney-General and what I believed to be my professional and moral duty. I have since learned that the man was some time later convicted of a similar offence and subsequently faced a further charge."

So if anybody is considering giving evidence but are not sure, you might see merit in having the historic record documented for current and future researchers. It demonstrates the the Inquiry has done good work in some areas and without witnesses coming forward this, and much more, evidence wouldn't be available. To be clear the Panel want to hear about current practices and how its recommendations have been, are, or not being implemented.


Regular readers will also be aware that VFC was invited to submit evidence to the Inquiry which we did HERE and further invited to appear as a witness which we did HERE. Despite our many differences, with the IJCI in the past, VFC has always considered the plight of Survivors/Abusees past, present and future, is the primary concern. Rooting out the corruption (either perceived or otherwise) in States Departments, Law Offices Department, Attorney General's Office and the old media (formerly known as Mainstream media). We have been striving for the Care Inquiry's RECOMMENDATION 7 before it existed and we continue to do so. Putting differences aside for the greater good has enabled VFC and the IJCI to hopefully bring more witnesses forward, to document evidence, and give a greater picture of what has been allowed, and possibly continues to be allowed to happen,  that enables children to be abused on the Island and for the abusers to be protected (more about that in an up-coming Blog)

The Panel has further invited VFC to submit evidence, and to appear at a Public Hearing, to discuss the role of the media (as mentioned in the video below) both of which we have humbly agreed to and look forward to the opportunity.

Further discussed in the video below are subjects of who can make contact with/give evidence to the Panel, how to make contact (links above), Do witnesses need to be on-island? what its purpose is of this visit. Will the hearings/meetings be transcribed for the historic record and along with documents provided to the panel, will they be uploaded to the website/given to Jersey Archive? The controversial  taking down of the website, and its alleged reasons, are also (very briefly) discussed.