Wednesday, 9 October 2019

William Bailhache carries out a Vendetta for his Brother?

Bailiff William Bailhache

Yesterday (Tues 8th October 2019) in a (not so) unprecedented POLITICAL speech by the outgoing Bailiff, William Bailhache, he  attacked the report of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry. He used the "Communications by the Presiding Officer and other announcements" tool to make this attack  knowing he wouldn't, or couldn't, be questioned on his statement like an elected member would. This was a total abuse of his office/position and further demonstrates the need for a separation of powers. The speech can, and should be listened to HERE.

A number (4 out of 49) politicians either objected to contents of the speech or asked that he would take questions on it to which he refused. The four principled politicians were Deputy Mike Higgins, Deputy Montfort Tadier, Constable Simon Crowcroft and Children's Minister senator Sam Mezec.

It is the opinion of VFC that the Bailiff's speech was a vendetta against the IJCI Chair, Francis Oldham QC, for calling his brother (former Bailiff Philip Bailhache) out in her 2017 report. Regular readers will be aware that in 2008 the then Bailiff Philip Bailhache gave the infamous (political) Liberation Day speech which included the words:

"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"
He tried to tell the IJCI that his terminology was "an “unfortunate juxtaposition” of words." That people might interpret what he was saying was that the real criminals were the journalists challenging Jersey and her people and that is not what he meant.

Francis Oldham QC wrote in her 2017 report:

“We cannot accept that a politician and lawyer (Philip Bailhache) of his experience would inadvertently have made what he told the Inquiry was an “unfortunate juxtaposition” of words. We are sure that the way in which Jersey is perceived internationally matters greatly to him. His linking of Jersey’s reputation to the child abuse investigation was, we are satisfied, a grave political error,”

Then when you compare, and contrast, what William Bailhache said in his anti democratic political speech in the States Chamber yesterday one can see that it is almost identical to what Francis Oldham QC wrote about his brother in her 2017 report:

“I cannot accept that a lawyer of the Chairman’s experience would inadvertently have drafted such an unfortunate juxtaposition of words. I am sure that the way in which Jersey receives her panel’s report matters greatly to her. Her linkage of allegations of lack of fairness and transparency in decision taking, by the Bailiff to historic (sic) Child Abuse was a grave error.”

This, on the face of it, looks like a spiteful, petty, vendetta and an attack on Francis Oldham QC and does William Bailhache no favours at all. Abusing his position to make the speech in the first place also does him, and the office of Bailiff, no favours either and adds more weight to the argument that the dual role of the Bailiff should be abolished.

Readers/viewers really ought to watch the spectacle that was his SPEECH and his refusal to take any questions from States Members. Even those who support the dual role of the Bailiff must have difficulty in defending this. Indeed according to Children's Minister, Senator Sam Mezec, (below) some supporters do concede it is indefensible.

Senator Mezec drafted his own speech, in answer to the Bailiff's speech, but was refused permission to present it in the States by..........................The Bailiff! This just makes even more off a mockery of our so-called "democracy" where an unelected, unaccountable, Member of the parliament can make a political speech, refuse to answer any questions on it and then, not only has the power to, but prevents a democratically elected, and accountable Member of the States making a speech.

We asked the Children's Minister for an interview to discuss yesterday's shenanigans in the States which he agreed to for which we are grateful. What is clear in the interview is that the Bailiff has caused further damage, not only to the office of Bailiff/dual role, but to the reputation of the island as a whole and potentially damaged any hard earned trust the government might have been gaining from Survivors of abuse while attempting to implement the IJCI recommendations.

Among much more the Children's Minister tells us (interview below) that if this wasn't the Bailiff's last States Sitting before he retires then Senator Mezec, rather that drafting his own statement, he would have been drafting a vote of no confidence.

Stay tuned for the next part of this series where we have an exclusive interview with former Deputy Chief Officer, and Senior Investigating Officer, of the Police Investigation (Operation Rectangle) into the decades of Child Abuse Mr. Lenny Harper. Who himself was unequivocally VINDICATED by the Bailiff. We get Mr. Harper's reaction to this and much more.............


  1. After all this timeBailhache still does not get it. For a man reputed to have a fine legal brain he misses the point completely. The Inquiry was careful not to get deeply into the realities of decision making. They said that the structure of the legal system and sometimes the behaviour of those involved created a perception that it was biased against those outside of the establishment.

    They even printed the work perception in bold. *Perception* is important. If people at large are suspicious of the system then it cannot inspire the confidence of those seeking justice no matter how sound the decisions might turn out to be.

    By his behaviour yesterday the outgoing Bailiff has just made that perception as lot worse. It will take a lot of work to undo the damage William Bailhache has caused during his time in office.

  2. Good interview VFC, on the case as usual
    The word VENDETTA says it all
    For those of us who attended the inquiry and witnessed the questioning of the brothers,we were able to witness two men who were clearly affronted at having to answer questions regarding their roles and past actions. They were patronising, supercilious,evasive and prevaricating.Their body language and tone of voice clearly demonstrated their opposition to the care inquiry.Who were these people coming over here and telling us how to do things,no matter if it is wrong as long as it is the Jersey way," that is our way".Their transcripts are on line and are worth a read ,to get a sense of who and what they are.They have clearly been harbouring resentment against Frances Oldham and see this as an opportunity for pay back.
    Much time has passed and it is easy to forget all the times they have failed in their duty to protect vulnerable children, it would be a worthwhile exercise to list them,should a vote ever take place regarding the dual role it is important that the facts are made public and do not disapear in the mists of time.

  3. as usual it is the brave few who dare to challenge the bailiffe, the scary thing is the foot stamping lackey's of the constabulary.They have got to be kidding,what future does Jersey have with politicians like this.
    good interview on channel news by Gary Burgess

  4. As usual Mike the fearless Higgins has a go

  5. Well, well. If ever there was a classic case of being hoisted by his own petard this is it. Judging by what most people are thinking and saying he has shot himself in the foot by showing exactly what The Jersey Way is and how it is still in force as large as ever. Frances Oldham Q.C and her Panel members were honorable people who came, saw and delivered. 'How dare they'? said the Bailhache Brothers. Well they did 'dare' and thanks to them the whole stinking mess was exposed. The abuse, the cover-ups, the untold damage done to people's lives, not only the survivors, but brave people in public life. The decent people of Jersey the survivors all owe them a huge debt of gratitude. William Bailhache yesterday confirmed that it without a doubt.

    Am I angry? Yes, and we all should be.


    Part 1

    Let me offer a re-statement of certain core facts characterising this crises - The-Jersey-Situation - all of which are obvious - have been repeatedly stated by many over the years, and have repeatedly been shown to be true and accurate. As today, with the conduct of William Bailhache.

    We must begin from an acknowledgement that the polity of Jersey is - entirely - a Potemkin village. This small island - because of obscure and obsolete accidents of history - is able to claim to be a "democracy" - claim to have a "judiciary" - claim to have a "policing-function" - claim to have a "free" media - claim to have an impartial "prosecution" function.

    But none of it is real.

    It's all make-believe - non-functional - fake - a chimera - at the most basic of glances, in no way compatible with modern principles of governance, the effective rule-of-law, impartiality, of Human Rights.

    So let's ask the basic question at the heart of these issues: was it possible for this foggy, obsolete pretence to survive, into the 21st century? Could the façade have been maintained - could it have escaped the attention or notice of the real world, of modernity?

    Possibly - just possibly. But if so - above and beyond all other qualities and habits - the Jersey arrangements required discretion. The place had to do its utmost to remain invisible - keep its head below the parapet - come what may, avoid controversy. Especially controversy which thrusts Jersey's paper-thin 'legal' credibility - the essentially fake nature of its "democracy" - onto international centre-stage. Maybe, by remaining invisible, Jersey might have continued to duck modernity and the real rule of law for another 30, 40, 50, 60 years? But frankly, such survival in the modern world was somewhat unlikely, at best.

    But to remain camouflaged - to have any hope of surviving - required of the island's leaders, it's establishment, the very highest standards of diplomacy, tact, care - of low-profile and humble conduct. The scrupulous avoidance of controversy - and especially any sign of corruption, abuses of power, conflicts of interest, of political suppression.

    It used to be possible that Jersey could have achieved that. With the correct and appropriate and wise figureheads.

    But Jersey ceased to have access to that possibility - it was over - annihilated - thrown away - the instant Philip Bailhache was ever let within a country-mile of any kind of appointed public-office. Jersey's ability to occupy its discrete niche in the wider world - ceased - at that instant.

    This is already the verdict of grown-up, international historians.

    The possibility of Jersey navigating the perilous waters of modernity ended, the very second the decision was made to appoint Philip Bailhache as Solicitor General.

    The chaos and collapse - the slide into lawlessness - the lunatic abuses of power - the brazen conflicts of interest began with him - and were amplified by him - again and again - not least by bringing - of all things - his equally deranged brother into power as Attorney General.

    Two more manifestly inadequate, dysfunctional, and personally unfit occupants of powerful public office could not have been imagined this side of an actual dictatorship.



    Part 2

    Just reflect on the sheer and undisguised sociopathy exhibited by William Bailhache today. This man is what passes for a chief-judge on Jersey - and the uncountable head of the legislature. His response to a "public-inquiry" - which - plainly - let him and his equally fatally conflicted brother off-the-hook? Juvenile trolling.

    But - this is how deranged he and his brother are, the "public-inquiry" was and is on their side. It was structured and run to protect them, shield them from meaningful scrutiny, defend them from consequences.

    The criticisms made of Philip & William Bailhache by the supposed "public-inquiry" are the weakest & vaguest of cosmetic admonishments. But even that, apparently, intolerable to two individuals seemingly never on-terms with reality in their entire adult lives.

    Consider, the "public-inquiry" went out of its way - acted unambiguously unlawfully - in refusing to give the key witness against the Bailhaches from with the polity - me - legal representation. The "public-inquiry" structurally excluded me - so as to shield Philip & William Bailhache from damning testimony and evidence. The "public-inquiry" rigged itself to as to ensure people like the Bailhache brothers were shielded from resourced and expert cross-examination.

    And - reflect upon this. What was - in many important political and legal ways - the most central child-abuse cover-up - the Blanche Pierre atrocity. A matter which contained terminal conflicts of interest for both men, their former law-firm Bailhache LaBesse, and the transnational law-firm they sold it to - Appleby Global.

    I attended to watch both men be examined by the supposed "public-inquiry".

    How many questions were they asked about the Blanche Pierre case by the "public-inquiry"?


    Not one. Between them.

    Former constituents of mine are dead because of the Blanche Pierre atrocities and cover-ups.

    Yet not so much as one question to these two deeply conflicted men about that child-abuse and those cover-ups.

    Jersey's equanimity is destroyed. Over. There's no turning the clock back from any of this. In truth, can we be surprised that, at the last we were engulfed by such decadence? All communities sometimes have the misfortune to find solipsistic, dangerous, sociopathic individuals, devoid of humility, humanity and empathy in positions of public power.

    But respectable, safe, civilized jurisdictions have the necessary safeguards and checks & balances to cope with such situations.

    Jersey did not. Jersey does not."Our" establishment failed us - failed to have the competence or basic decency to shield us from their deranged lieutenants - failed to have the courage & authority to step in and say "No. This is not acceptable."

    Stuart Syvret
    Investigative journalist, historian, international anti-mafia activist.

    1. Sorry but complaining that the enquiry didn’t question the Bailhache brothers on evidence that was not given to them doesn’t stack up. You should have at least agreed to give that evidence.

    2. Bloody hell, Jersey oligarchy supporters are so thick; truly, any moderately intelligent person would be too embarrassed to display such ignorance.

      The key point of a public inquiry is that it is a neutral body - with the powers to obtain evidence - and - crucially the power and function to be directed by parties towards areas of evidence - and to thus obtain that evidence.

      A central utility of a public-inquiry is that it empowers the usually disempowered to direct the seeking of, and obtaining of, evidence. People such as the survivors, and whistle-blowers would - at any lawful public-inquiry - have full-time legal representation to require the express "discovery" of evidence and the obtention & disclosure of that evidence.

      Pretending to be a "public-inquiry" - as the Jersey charade did - and say "bring us your evidence" is not how public-inquiries work, dummy.

      Instead concerned parties make formal representation to the public-inquiry - through their properly funded and independent legal representation - and say, "according to our knowledge of events, we believe that A, B, C areas of activity - and X, Y, Z, persons will possess relevant knowledge, testimony & evidence, and we hereby require the public-inquiry to obtain that evidence and testimony through the process of formal disclosure, and the taking of sworn statements."

      Then that obtained evidence, and testimony is subject to public scrutiny and cross-examination.

      This is the key function of a public-inquiry - enabling relevant parties to be empowered to direct an evidence-gathering power.

      Very usually, the parties who become so empowered - such as the families and victims of major public-scandals - will become so empowered for the first time ever and finally have a level-playing-field against powerful organisations with deep pockets and records of abusing authority & failing client-groups.

      That ability - to empower the usually disempowered - to direct an evidence gathering power - is The Purpose Of Public-Inquiries.

      To expect people such as survivors and whistle-blowers, people like me, to just turn up and provide all the evidence we believe should be obtained, under our own steam - as Jersey's fake "public-inquiry" did - was not only unlawful, it was also staggeringly incompetent, even from the bad-faith perspective in which it was run, because the instant they decided not to deliver that key function of a public-inquiry - providing the powerless with the power to direct evidence-gathering - they demonstrated to the world the Jersey "public-inquiry" was fake.

      The stupidity was astonishing. Interested observers around the world now see and know the Jersey polity to be nothing more than mafia-turf, not least because of its utter corrupt inversion of the core purpose of public-inquiries.

      Stuart Syvret
      Investigative journalist, historian, international anti-mafia activist

    3. We will never get a Public Inquiry of that magnitude, with that much testimony and with that much money allocated on the subject of historic child abuse ever again in Jersey. Bear that in mind.

    4. Yes we will.

      Because we haven't had a public-inquiry.

      The people who ran the fake "public-inquiry" acted with gross illegality - beyond mere ultra-vires.

      The public who contracted for a public-inquiry - but instead received a "public-inquiry" are entitled to full recovery of all their embezzled monies - plus interest - plus damages.

      Then we will hold the public-inquiry.

      And that is what is going to happen in the fullness of time.

      Because we are bringing the real rule-of-law to Jersey for the first time in the place's history.

      Naturally, no easy task.

      But the tide of history is with us. This is - fundamentally - simply - an anti-mafia task.

      And never before in international history has the tide of events - of recognition - and of anger - and of determination to act - against the kind of mafia-activity rooted in, and hosted from dark-money "jurisdictions" like Jersey - been as clear and as strong.

      As I said in an earlier comment, maybe - just maybe - The-Jersey-Way could have survived - with leadership of the utmost wisdom, discretion, and probity.

      Instead, Jersey got Philip Bailhache as Solicitor General. The rest is history.

      It's all over now Baby Blue.

      Stuart Syvret
      Investigative journalist, historian, international anti-mafia activist.

    5. But what about all the good things, all the positives, that have come out of the public enquiry. So much dirty laundry given a public airing ... Lewis found to have lied ... the Bailiffs position called into question ... the appointment of a children’s minister and children’s commissioner ... not to mention the public exposure of decades of abuse and the victims’ testimonies. And by the way, insulting people who hold a different viewpoint from your own does you no credit or make your argument more valid.

  8. Brilliant camera, the Lieutenant Governor ought to have vomited.
    Stunning ,stunning,inciteful journalism.

  9. From Bangkok Pimp Phil to Wild Bill we now look forward to nice but dim Tim. The future looks bright.

    Excellent interview.

    The dinosaurs look at the meteorite in awe.

  10. What did you expect? Ron always used to stand up for Reggie.

  11. Good to see the JEP has covered this story HERE.

    One of the more encouraging sentences in the article is this:

    "The Bailiff was unavailable for comment. A Saturday Interview, which the JEP had previously agreed with Sir William, and which was due to be conducted on Wednesday, was cancelled by the Bailiff."

    I know there are readers who can't forgive the JEP for its past reporting/non reporting particularly across the Operation Rectangle days. We believe it deserves a chance under the new Editorship and see that sentence as a huge step forward.

    In times gone by, after such a disgraceful, and damaging episode, as the Bailiff's political speech, he could always rely on the JEP to smooth things over. Particularly at the end of his term of office where there would be the big obligatory spread saying what a wonderful man he is/was and gave so much of his time for the island.

    The fact that he (William Bailhache) wouldn't give the JEP a comment, and pulled out of the big spread "Saturday Interview" would suggest that times they are a changin' and he can no longer rely on the JEP complicity and he knew he would have faced some challenge.

    There has certainly been a visible change, for the better, since Sibcy has been at the helm and the fact that the Bailiff is keeping away from the paper can only give it some kudos.

  12. Clearly the Chief Minister should be pressured to make comment critical of the Bailiff's conduct. Not to do so would be a humiliating acceptance of political subordination to the Crown Officer of the Elected government. The Democrats will advance...

  13. Dear VFC would it be possible to post a link to a past posting re William Bailhache, 1st Feb 2016 "The curious incident of William Bailhache in the night (and the day time)" an excellent posting and relevant to today.
    Lest we forget

  14. A twenty sec clip of up-coming interview with former Senior Investigating Officer LENNY HARPER.

  15. I tried to post this on the Jersey Evening Post Site after reading the deeper story and analysis on here.

    A tale of two speeches: ‘Draw own conclusions’ on Bailiff’s words, backbencher says

    “ Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article “.

    Another cop out, Tadier ,Higgins and Mezec and other blogs are not afraid to criticise the Bailiff’s political statement, but the JEP are afraid to offer their notice board so that public opinion is represented. A Bailiff paid £340,000 ( over £200,000 as a pension ) a year from public taxes, and a newspaper that relies on public purchase, then you wonder why the public are getting less keen on you both ?

    1. There's plenty of comment sites for those who want to froth and foam so no loss if they don't want it on their site. It's been a JEP approach for some time now to avoid allowing comments on any sort of topic that could quickly turn into a flame fest. Its much easier to deny comments than it is to moderate or censor comments that might be legally tricky.

    2. Froth and Foam you say at 15.08.
      I see nothing in the comment at 14.43 that would cause a legal problem.

      You are correct, the Jersey MSM are weak and feeble and it is easier for them to deny comments or even end the interesting BBC radio talk back programme rather than hold politicians and public figures to task. I enjoyed that show as many politicians properly questioned by the public gave abysmal childish answers and explanations.
      Up there game no - just go hide behind the 40 staff at the States spin doctor department.

      This is probably why VFC is the leader in debate.


  16. I sometimes think Stuart Syvret goes too far in his comments, but on this occasion he is on-the-ball:

    Syvret is correct. Bailhache is a scumbag. The fact that he has enjoyed, and continues to enjoy, a privileged position in society makes him more, not less of one. He is not fit to clean the shoes of survivors. He is not fit to clean the shoes of ordinary citizens, survivors or otherwise. It is Jersey's structurally unusually corrupt nature which has elevated him to his position. He does not deserve it.

  17. Full response from Lenny Harper to the Bailhache speech has been recorded. Part one can be viewed HERE.