Two days ago (23rd September 2019) saw the publication/presentation of the IJCI two year review REPORT. It was presented at St.Paul's centre by former Panel Member Francis Oldham QC and filmed in its entirety (approx 1h 15mins) by VFC and others. Should readers/viewers wish to see the presentation let us know and if there is sufficient interest we will upload it to YouTube.
The review/report was to gauge the progress (or otherwise) of the eight RECOMMENDATIONS made in its original damming REPORT. From what we have read of the report it does seem fairly balanced in that it is critical and complimentary but we are not sure of how equal a measure.
Team Voice would like firstly and foremost to pay tribute to the brave Survivors who could muster up the courage to tell their story one more time to this Panel and finally be believed. The Inquiry did not get the Survivors any justice and that could be down to the fact that "JUSTICE" doesn't exist in Jersey. Your evidence is there for all to see and for the authorities who failed you to wallow in shame, the Inquiry vindicated you. Hopefully one day your abusers WILL face that justice.
We would also like to give a special mention to a special lady, and heroic Survivor, who sadly lost her life on the 18th of December 2015 Dannie Jarman. Dannie gave her evidence to the Inquiry, with the support of Rico Sorda and two other courageous ladies and stalwarts of fighting for Survivors Jill Gracia and Carrie Modral. We are sorry, firstly for the tragic and untimely loss of Dannie, and sorry she never got to see the Inquiry's final report(s).
Following the address from the Panel Chair, Francis Oldham QC, VFC was granted an interview with Panel Member Sandy Cameron who we have interviewed PREVIOUSLY. We discussed the latest set of recommendations from the Panel, whether Jersey is a safer place as a result of the Panel's recommendations, were any positive changes, supposedly made by the implementation of some recommendations overshadowed by a lady in the audience who proclaimed "The Jersey Way" is still prevalent on the Island?
The lady made a number of allegations against Children's Services/Social Workers and the "care" of children, by the State, in General. Claiming continued cover-ups, being stonewalled and her child(ren), along with herself being failed by a system that's trying to protect itself.
You could hear in the lady's voice and see in her demeanour that she was at the end of her tether, possibly after being sent from pillar to post and coming up against brick walls. We are aware that Deputy Mike Higgins is helping her with her case and appears to be the only politician/person willing to help or listen to her. We believe that after Deputy Higgins's involvement the lady now has a meeting organised with Children's Minister Senator Sam Mezec. We are told that she will only attend if Deputy Higgins is present. We filmed around eight minutes of the lady's outburst but have decided for the time being NOT to publish the film footage until we can edit it to a standard where her family members/service users can't be identified. We might follow up on this case and will keep readers/viewers posted. It certainly does suggest she, and her family, are victims of "The Jersey Way."
Among other subjects discussed in the interview, including "The Jersey Way" secrecy of the Attorney General's Office, the possible more secrecy from the new role being discussed of an Ombudsman, we discussed the role of Bloggers/New Media in holding power to account. We are humbled to learn that the Panel is supportive of our work and recognises "the key role played (by New Media) in exposing key issues in Jersey." Bloggers/New Media are also referred to favourably (and quoted) in the latest Review/Report:
"The events that gave rise to the investigations of‘Operation Rectangle’ and led to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, fostered the growth of social media commentators in Jersey who determinedly advocated for victims and for transparency in governmental and criminal justice operations and continue to do so vigorously."
VFC was also humbled to be invited, by the Panel, to meet for an informal chat and a coffee, the day after the presentation (yesterday) of its Report/Review. The invitation was gratefully accepted where we were able to chat freely about our agreements/disagreements, mutual respect in certain areas, and the need for New Media/Campaigners to continue being a voice for the voiceless. We thank the Panel for its continued support.
In the coming weeks we intend on publishing excerpts of the Report which we think will be of interest to our readers/viewers.
In part two of this series we will publish the interview with Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondre, and Children's Minister, Senator Sam Mezec.