Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Children's Commissioner, Deborah McMillan, Open Letter to Chief Minister John Le Fondre.

 

Children's Commissioner Deborah McMillan

Dear Chief Minister                                                                                          

12 May 2021


Ref: Minister for Children and Education

I am writing with regard to the role of Minister for Children and Education and seeking reassurance of a commitment to appoint a ‘full time’ Minister as soon as possible following the announcement of temporary arrangements.

On 24th January I received a call from Charlie Parker who said that you had asked him to speak to me regarding your plan to split the Ministerial roles for Housing and Children and to form a combined role for Children and Education.  I provided my advice and followed this up with a letter. My advice was to form a new Ministerial role with responsibility for all aspects of children’s lives that mirrors the new Children, Young People, Education and Skills Department.  In effect, a children’s rights minister with a cross-cutting role to reflect the breadth of children’s rights. This would mean that the Minister would be able to focus on joining up legislation, policy and practice development that seeks to ensure children’s needs are understood and met, and the best interests of children are paramount. I offered to work with the appointee to provide training and guidance on children’s rights as part of any induction, as well as an ongoing close working relationship with the Minister.

Former(?) Education/Children's Minister Jeremy Macon

On 9th February Deputy Maçon was elected Minister for Children and Education, and on 1st March he appointed two Assistant Ministers: Deputy Pointon for CAMHS; and Deputy Wickenden to assist with the education portfolio.

On 24th March it was announced that, as Chief Minister, you had removed Deputy Maçon from these duties and that you would hold the portfolio for Children and Education until further notice. Deputy Wickenden took on additional responsibilities at that time.

I know that you have valued having dedicated Ministers for the roles of Education and Children, and I valued having a close working relationship with the previous post holders, which gave me the opportunity to spend time with them to provide guidance and advice.  However, since January 2021 I have had little engagement with either Deputy Maçon or Wickenden. My first meeting with Deputy Wickenden was on 22nd April (at my insistence) to discuss an urgent issue at Victoria College.

Deputy Scott Wickenden

We agreed to hold regular catchup meetings so that I could go through key children’s rights issues with him; however, Deputy Wickenden failed to turn up to the first of those meetings, with no apology or explanation given. 

I appreciate that both Deputies hold wide portfolios and have a number of competing pressures, but I am concerned that the temporary arrangements that you have put in place have now resulted in a lack of ministerial oversight with regard to children and all aspects of their lives. I strongly recommend that you appoint a permanent role as a matter of urgency. The draft Children and Young people Mental Health Strategy, the Jersey Children’s Social Care Services Plan, and the Children’s Plan all set out a compelling vision and require committed, strong political leadership, particularly as we move into a recovery phase following the pandemic.

I would be pleased to discuss this further with you.

Yours sincerely

Deborah McMillan

Children’s Commissioner for Jersey (END)


Monday, 10 May 2021

Dark Secrets of a Trillion Dollar Island:Garenne (VFC)

 



In continuation of our Dark Secrets of a Trillion Dollar Island:Garenne series where we are interviewing participants of the documentary which can be viewed on BBC iplayer HERE. VFC was interviewed by Jill and George from ONRECORD after they had viewed the documentary and were appalled and astounded at what has, and is still able to, go on in Jersey.

As a result of the documentary being broadcast VFC has been contacted by a great number of people, and not least by Survivors, who have shared their story with us and some for the very first time. A huge thank you to those who made contact and were able to show the trust in VFC by sharing some horrific experiences they endured as a child and continue to endure as adults.

We have also been contacted by a number of YouTubers/Podcasters and asked for interviews to which we have agreed to a couple and will look to publish on this Blog at a later date. We have also been contacted by a number of people across the UK (as a direct result of the documentary) offering us, not only practical support, but also financial support to help carry on our vital work doing what the MSM (Old Media) should have done in the first place and should be doing now. We have politely declined any financial support but have made some very supportive and influential allies that we are keen to work with in the future. So watch this space.......................................

The interview (below) has been published in two parts and covers almost everything people need to know how the how cover-up was able (and still able) to happen.

A big thank you to George and Jill for inviting VFC for an interview and for taking an interest in the ongoing "Jersey Situation."

Part one of this series (interview with former Senior Investigating Officer Lenny Harper) can be viewed HERE.

Part two (interview with former, possibly illegally suspended, Chief Police Officer, Graham Power QPM) can be viewed HERE.





Friday, 19 March 2021

Graham Power QPM. Dark Secrets of a Trillion Dollar Island:Garenne.


Former Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM

Further to our PREVIOUS POSTING where we interviewed former Senior Investigating Officer of the Jersey Child Abuse Investigation (Operation Rectangle) Lenny Harper. And in continuation of our series of interviews with those who participated in the BBC4 Rogan Productions documentary "Dark Secrets of a Trillion Dollar Island:Garenne" which can be viewed on iplayer HERE.

We were granted an exclusive interview with the former Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM to ask him about his thoughts on the documentary and related matters. Regular/long time readers will be aware that we at Team Voice have interviewed Mr. Power on a number of occasions following his (possibly illegal) suspension in 2008. We have covered the story of this huge miscarriage of "justice" for much more than a decade and we continue to do so....................

What is quite often overlooked is that, in the early days 2008/9/10/11 former Jersey politician, and 30-year MET Police veteran Bob Hill was the politician keeping Mr. Power's (possibly illegal) suspension on the political agenda. It should also be said that St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft played a huge part ALSO.

Many people played a big part in keeping Mr. Power's (possibly illegal) suspension on the political agenda and indeed continue to. The problem with attempting to name them all is that one might forget somebody and create a resentment which is why we won't try and list them all here.

Former Deputy Bob Hill

Former Deputy Hill DOES deserve special mention because his pursuit of the truth and justice for Mr. Power and Survivors of Abuse almost certainly cost him his career and contributed to his near fatal stroke. Back in 2015 Bob, and his family, were delivered a severe blow when he was struck down by a stroke which we reported HERE. We followed some of Bob's progress HERE and HERE. We were pleased that the documentary (Dark Secrets of a Trillion Dollar Island:Garenne) used the footage, supplied to it by VFC, of Bob up at Haute de la Garenne showing Gradwell and Warcup to be "less than authentic" when they tried to tell us that the cellars at Haute de la Garenne didn't exist. The film footage of Bob was taken from HERE.

Mr. Power, in the interview below, gives Bob a mention and we thought it was high time we did. Readers can view Bob's Blog HERE.

Mr. Power, just as in the case of Mr. Harper in our PREVIOUS POSTING, first, and foremost, pays tribute to the Survivors of unimaginable abuse that was covered up by the Jersey Establishment for decades. He points out how the State Media got people talking about how much Mr. Harper spent on a prawn cocktail in a London Restaurant and other such mundane diversionary twaddle. It (State Media) took the focus away from the decades of suffering, and covered up Child Abuse, that Lenny Harper (and the Operation Rectangle Team), under the leadership of Graham Power, was trying to investigate. How did that happen and just as importantly "why" did it happen? How and why did the State Media turn a story of a police investigation into decades of covered up Child Abuse into a story of the lead investigator asking for a second helping in a restaurant?

Francis OldhamQC

Further discussed in the interview is the fact that neither Mr. Power, nor anybody else (who wasn't involved in it) knows why he was (possibly illegally) suspended. Fourteen years later and we are all none-the-wiser. We do know that Judge Oldham QC, Chair of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry (IJCI), found that Andrew Lewis, who (possibly illegally) suspended Mr. Power, lied to both the States Assembly (the Island's parliament) AND the IJCI with his "reasons" for the (possibly illegal) suspension.

The irony is (discussed in the interview) that Mr. Power was ready to retire from the police force. He was well past his retirement date and had they have asked him to resign then he would have walked away. They chose the route to suspend him or "SCAPEGOAT" him which clearly was not the wisest of moves - or to quote Mr. Power from the interview: "it was a damn stupid decision." he further goes on to remind us: "This is not just a legal, political, academic point. While they were showing no political interest, people were suffering life changing harm. It's about real blood, real pain and real suffering that they allowed to happen"

Plenty more is discussed in the interview which we hope will open the eyes, or educate viewers, of what has been allowed to happen and what is allowed to continue to happen in this island that I was once proud to call my home. 

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Lenny Harper. Dark Secrets of a Trillion Dollar Island: Garenne


Former Senior Investigating Police Officer Lenny Harper

Last night (Mon 15th March 2020) saw the broadcast of the long awaited (four years in the making) documentary "Dark Secrets of a Trillion Dollar Island:Garenne. It was broadcast on BBC4 and can be viewed on iplayer  HERE. For those having problems getting on iplayer it can be viewed on YouTube HERE.

The documentary told the story (as best as it could in ninety minutes) of the Child Abuse scandal/cover-up (and much more) that put Jersey on the world stage for all the wrong reasons back in 2008 onwards.

This documentary sought to sift through all the myths and complexities surrounding the abuse, the cover-ups, and tell the story from both sides of the fence. The film (in the opinion of Team Voice) was (rightly) Victim/Survivor focused and, with thanks to people like Survivor/Campaigner and Former Chair of the Jersey Care Leavers Association, Carrie Modral. Survivor Marina Cremin, many other Survivors including the late, and great, sorely missed Dannie Jarmin who appeared in the documentary. The bravery of ALL Survivors shone through in this film which is a tribute to its makers and the Survivors.

We, over the next few weeks, will be interviewing some of the film's participants and indeed we have been granted an interview with its director/producer Camilla Hall early in April.

Today we interviewed/talked with former Senior Investigating Officer of the Jersey Child Abuse police investigation (Operation Rectangle) Lenny Harper (video below). Both, he and I, being participants in the film discussed our opinions of it. We both agree that it is impossible to tell the "The Jersey story" in ninety minutes but this documentary did as good a job as could be done while attempting to be fair to all those involved.

Hopefully the interview/discussion will help viewers understand some of the "stories" given by some of the participants from the perspective of the Senior Investigating Police Officer and long time Anti Child Abuse/Anti Cover-Up campaigner.


Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Dark Secrets of a Trillion Dollar Island: Garenne




"Dark Secrets of a Trillion Dollar Island: Garenne tells the extraordinary story of the child abuse scandal that erupted on the idyllic island of Jersey in 2007. For a long time, the victims’ voices had remained unheard, but when widespread allegations of sexual abuse resurfaced in the late 2000s, Jersey’s then health minister Stuart Syvret spoke out about the scale of this historic child abuse and the damage done to the victims.

Syvret’s words sparked a moment of reckoning for the small community, whose leaders were determined to protect the island’s reputation, home to a trillion dollars in offshore investment. This discreet offshore tax haven found itself in the middle of a major police investigation as the world’s media descended on the island, creating a media circus. In the midst of all this, the community became divided, with one group fearful that the scandal would drive investors away, and another demanding justice for the victims.

As bitterness and enmity drag on and the press desert Jersey, two unlikely bloggers decide to reignite the smouldering, unresolved issues. Teaming up with former police officers, survivors and supporters, they fight for the voices of the survivors to be heard, digging up past evidence and recording first-hand testimonials. In the process, they force the island to confront its past."

Monday 15th March 2021 10pm


Saturday, 13 February 2021

Chief Minister Appoints Jeremy Exotic as New Education Minister. (Satire)

 
Jeremy Exotic
 

Chief Minister, John Le Fondue has used new powers that were given to him in the dying days of CEO Charlie Anorak's  tenure to appoint a Minister from outside the island.

He has also rebranded what was CYPES (Children, Young People, Education and Skills Policy) to ELFS, Education, Large Felines and Students.

Up until January, it was necessary for anyone holding a Ministerial position to be an elected member of the Jersey Parliament (States Assembly) first, however, the new rules mean that the Chief Minister may, with the agreement of the Chief Executive, appoint someone from the outside if he sees fit without seeking permission of the Assembly.

The new powers are similar to those used by Presidents in France or the USA, where Ministers do not need to already hold political office.

Jeremy Exotic, who will be known to many readers as The Tiger King, from the Netflix series of the same name, was chosen by Chief Minister Le Fondue after a chance encounter with the TV star at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington in 2017.

Speaking exclusively to Team Voice, Senator Le Fondue said, ‘I am a big fan of the show and have always respected Jez for his libertarian politics and measured delivery. So, I was very pleased to be introduced to him at an NRA fringe-event at President Trump’s annual prayer breakfast, when I was in Washington.’

From there, the friendship between the two men blossomed; ‘We have stayed in contact regularly ever since, and when it was apparent that there was going to be a vacancy for the position, I contacted Jez straight away to see if he would be interested. I cleared it with Charlie Anorak first, of course.’

Senator Chrissy Baskin

However, some have criticised the new appointment. Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel Chair, Senator Chrissy Baskin said the job should really have gone to a local politician; that the Chief Minister had disregarded the Assembly and the Scrutiny process; and that the whole thing stank to high heaven.

Defending the move, Senator Le Fondue said, ‘I wanted someone I could trust, but I also firmly believe in a merit based system. You choose the best man for the job irrespective of where he is from - period. Jez has a great deal of political experience  - he ran for President of the USA for God’s sake and received 962 votes in Colorado alone. That’s more than most constables and many deputies! Granted he's no ABRAHAM GORST but still....... Along side that, he has a lot of transferable skills that will stand him in good stead. Anyone who can handle those big cats will be able to manage even the most militant teachers when we come after their terms and conditions, next year, to pay for COVID. Who better than a celebrity lion (tiger) tamer to do the job? As soon as the teachers realise he has been on TV, they will forget their industrial action and be queuing up for selfies with him. Everyone’s a winner.’

Mr. Exotic will take up his new post in March and will be housed in a special wing of Government House, with sufficient space for 5 of his favourite big cats.

Constable Carol Rennard-Le Sueur

Speaking about the new comer to her parish, Constable Carol Rennard-Le Sueur said that Jez was very welcome in St Saviour. ‘I too am a big fan of the show. I love animals and I love Jez. I have already invited him to one of our Country Line Dance evenings at the Parish Hall as soon as this bloody COVID fiasco has come to an end, my love. He is going to make a wonderful Minister, and we are delighted to have him so near.’

'That doesn't men that I am a fan of all his work. Although he has a beautiful singing voice in the video at the bottom of this post, his ditty about the lovely Carol Baskin (below) isn't quite so appreciated!"

Disclaimer: This is a satirical post poking fun at our elected representatives, in a light-hearted way........................................ While it is still legal!!

If you have not watched "The Tiger King" on Netflix then you are really missing out. (And probably won't understand this post.)



Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Tribute to the late Chris Wakeham. (Guest Posting from former Deputy Shona Pitman)


Chris Wakeham


"In 2005, I was first introduced to Chris (Laura Clarissa) Wakeham (née Hollings), with the view to be endorsed by her for my nomination for election as a St Helier No 2 Deputy, with the Jersey Democratic Alliance (JDA).

In a tiny State's (Council) flat in Caesarea Court, stood this tall, statuesque woman, in her early eighties, waiting for me with tea and biscuits already prepared.  We sat down and talked, and it didn't take long before her rebelliousness, defiance, intelligence and attunement to what really mattered in life – humanity and social justice, beamed through.  Knowing little at the time of this woman's huge part in Jersey's modern local socio-political history, I still felt awe struck and great respect as I listened.

Chris came to Jersey in 1946 in her early twenties, as a qualified and experienced Nursery Nurse, from Aberystwyth in southern Wales.  She had already spent a number of years there, caring for orphans in a large country residence that had been converted for this purpose during the war.

After the war and four years of Nazi Occupation, Jersey found itself short of many essentials.  As numerous children had lost their fathers, and some had lost both parents, there was obviously a great need for Nursery Nurses.  Whilst caring for children in the country house in Wales, Chris and her friend had seen an advert for qualified Nursery Nurses, placed by the Jersey authorities.  

Little did she know at the time of course, that before very long she would find herself fighting for the rights of islanders against social injustice and the then still rampant impacts of poverty, something which would often involve confronting Politicians and Parish Officials. This would all eventually lead to her standing for election. Chris Wakeham would accordingly become a local household name and be well known within political circles for generations.                                                                                                             

Chris told me how she believed people learnt best by actually 'doing'; and so it was that, whilst she and her friend worked their profession in Jersey, she gained a deep insight into the family lives of these children and the very poor living standards that had  been placed upon them.  With this, grew a passion as fiery as her auburn hair, to fight to eradicate these inequities.

Early on in her undertakings, Chris would regularly find herself faced with Parish bureaucrats whilst standing in welfare lines with prospective applicants.  Very rarely it seemed in those days, would such individuals be pleased to see her. She would tell me how she was once actually told by one of these male officials that: 'we are the educated one's here, so we know best as to how to deal with these people'.

In truth, the Parish Officials regularly treated welfare seekers with disrespect and disdain, even whilst Chris joined them in defiance. But she never wavered in support of these families, individuals and children: what they needed were simple basics - she knew.

Chris soon became politically active in a wider sense, involving herself with the Communist Party and she also became a member of the Jersey Democratic Movement (JDM), the forerunner of the JDA, founded by (former Senator) Ted Vibert in 2005.  Though some may immediately associate Communism with the ideology of insidious malign corruption, the only social/political groupings at that time fighting (together) against social injustice for the ordinary classes, were the Communist Party and the JDM.

It was via her involvement with the Communist Party, where Chris would meet the young Norman Le Brocq - the only Communist Politician ever to be elected to the States of Jersey (Parliament) and well-known for his decades in office as  one with a strong social conscience; and another truly formidable female campaigner for social justice, Stella Perkins.

At that time, politicians were not paid, so the Party would collect from each of it's members a small contribution to make up a wage for Norman, who even then would need to keep up additional work as a skilled stonemason.  But being involved with these political groupings came a price – public ignorance and contempt fuelled by political propaganda and a bitter resentment on the part of the island's long-entrenched right-wing establishment.

I remember Chris once recalling a night, when she and Communist Party members were putting up posters around St Helier (Jersey's capital) advertising political meetings.  They were spotted and subsequently chased by a gang of men, hurling abuse and threats at them because they were communists. They were ultimately pursued all the way to a house in Hue Street, rented by Chris and her partner.

Assuming they would be helped by a Police Officer patrolling his beat nearby, the Officer however shouted to the pursuers: 'good for you lads, I would be there with you if I wasn't in uniform'!  Locked in there house, suddenly bricks came flying through windows, also without a word from the Policeman.  Fortunately no-one was hurt.

On another occasion, Chris described how when the JDM held open air meetings, people would often drive past in their cars and throw missiles made of wood, tomatoes and other rotten foodstuffs at the speaker. It was thus decided at Chris' suggestion, that she should get up and speak because she thought that as a woman, some people might think differently and actually listen to what was being said.

Things did improve it seems, but Chris did not allow any missile to get in her way; and later she became Chairperson of the JDM and stood for election in the 1970s.  Sadly for Jersey, she was not elected. However, unsuccessful in her attempt against the mighty force of the political male establishment and propagandist backers or not, there is triumph to be talked about when it comes to Chris Wakeham and the positive impact of her long life on Jersey.

Grands Vaux Youth Centre (the largest on the island) and the Women’s Refuge – were both co-founded by Chris; and she also founded the now famous Centre Point Trust (a children's nursery/charity, which was the first of it's kind in establishing professional standards when working with children). Seeing  to date, thousands of islanders accessing these facilities.

And there were the people she so riled by her refusal to be intimidated. The landlord's whom were charging their tenants high rents for poor, often appalling accommodation; by organising the very first rent strike in Jersey.  The petty officials and bureaucrats likewise, who would need to learn to think again before assuming that their decisions were gospel.

Further, in her mid-80's, so Chris once told me, she had even had Jersey's first Chief Minister by the tie for daring to say 'hello' to her.  I cannot remember the exact reason given for this, but I have no doubt that it was the steel-conviction of her principles that took him off his feet, and stumbling off a step!

It was only at the age of 31, that I really learnt of Chris Wakeham, Norman Le Brocq, Stella Perkins and a number of others and their importance to the island, because I was becoming directly involved in 'front-line' left-wing politics.

I feel a little ashamed of this looking back. Yet at the same time, the reality is that I was given no chance to learn about these brave and very important people, and such movements, at school nor in any other institution in Jersey.  For as time moves further away from the lives of these influential figures and events that positively shaped the social and political fabric of Jersey, what will remain in our collective memory?

What will remain are the memorial statues and names, in the streets of St Helier and throughout the island of historical figures of huge wealth, high power and position.  Many of these can only be seen as wholly unworthy of such memorials if one is prepared to examine true history. And what can they really mean to the ordinary passer-by, someone who may well be one of the thousands of islanders who have benefited from Chris Wakeham's work?

The good that left-wing political figures such as Chris bring to a society, is often painted over by right-wing disinformation, turning it into something dark or erased completely.  Yes, there will be those members of the great and good who have earnt their name engraved in stone, but Chris Wakeham warrants this mark in Jersey history too.  The very people Chris fought so long and hard to help achieve a better life are testament to that.

As to me, if I were to immortalise Chris in stone, I would say this:

Many women whom are recorded in history for their great contribution to society, are remembered too often only for their compassion.  They are more than this. Compassion and principle fired up Chris Wakeham's courage, defiance, intellect, unconformity and a deep connection with the human spirit, to fight for what was right and good.  Without these attributes, one could not make the historical changes  to Jersey's social psyche of why we, a community, should be looking after those in need i.e.  the public provisions for young people, children and vulnerable women, that she played a major part in establishing; and all the lives she helped improve, with the endless cases of individuals and families she took upon herself to support and fight for throughout her time in Jersey.

To add another and important facet to Chris's character, in the word's of one of her greatest heroes whom was born of her generation, no less than Che Guevara.  In commenting on women fighters, he says:

'In the tough life of the fighter, a woman is a comrade who brings the qualities peculiar to her sex but with the ability to work just as hard as a man.  She can fight, she is weaker but no less resistant than he is'.

This was Chris Wakeham.

I will always admire her as much as she admired Che Guevara, and feel so very fortunate indeed that I knew her personally.

Many of our Political figures are notoriously known for forgetting the gravity that arises from caring for children, young people, the sick, elderly people and those who find themselves in exceptionally hard times.  Chris Wakeham never did.  Even in her nineties after a bout of bad health, she would fervently tell my husband and I, laying in her bed with a raised fist, that she wanted to be up and fighting.  She never forgot.

Remember her.  Chris Wakeham – 1923-2021."

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Lenny Harper and VFC Live on the Raw Report.


Former SIO Lenny Harper

Last Friday (20th Nov 2020) both Lenny Harper and VFC were interviewed (video below) in a live broadcast on THE RAW REPORT by investigative journalist, and Documentary filmmaker, Sonia Poulton.

 Long time readers of this Blog might recall that Sonia interviewed Mr. Harper back in November 2013 which we published HERE. She also interviewed other high profile victims of Jersey Justice/The Jersey Way, former Deputies Trevor and Shona Pitman which Trevor published on his Blog HERE.


Sonia Poulton

Sonia Poulton, for those not familiar with her work, is a fearless journalist (remember them?) who attempts to hold power to account through researched journalism and being a voice for the voiceless. She is a critic of what the Old Media (formerly known as MSM) has become which is essentially a mouthpiece for the rich and powerful. She looks behind the Old Media headlines and stories, or "The Party Line" and does her own investigating in an attempt to uncover what the Old Media might be hiding. She doesn't swallow the propaganda and lies fed to us by a complicit Old Media which is why she continues to take an interest in "The Jersey Situation" and talk to those who uncovered the truth. She has questioned the official narrative concerning the high profile disappearance/death of Madeleine McCann, the role of the Old Media in the case and exposed how it (Old Media) has blood on its hands. Her McCann documentaries can (and should be) viewed HERE and HERE.


Old Media

So it will come as no surprise to readers that she would take an interest in The Jersey Situation since she last spoke with former Senior Investigating Officer of the Jersey Child Abuse Investigation (Operation Rectangle) Lenny Harper and indeed VFC. The Old Media has consistently peddled propaganda and conspiracy theories involving stories of disappearing baths, disappearing COLLAGEN, Tooth Fairies, gaps in floorboards and disappearing CELLARS.  The Old Media has has denied the former Chief Police Officer, Graham Power QPM, the right of reply by keeping documents BURIED that could/would shed light on the truth behind the lies peddled by Jersey Government, Crown Officers, and the Old Media Itself. Indeed what has been described as "The Most Defining Report of its Era, the Old was exposed by a Scrutiny Sub Panel, Chaired by former Deputy Trevor Pitman HERE and HERE.


Disgraced former Home Affairs Minister Andrew Lewis

We also know now that the former Chief Police Officer was (possibly illegally) suspended on what looks to be a pack of lies, first exposed by Citizen Journalist, (and kept buried by the Old Media) Rico Sorda HERE. The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry labeled the disgraced former Home Affairs Minister, Andrew Lewis, a liar after he gave EVIDENCE to the Inquiry. It also found that the disgraced former Minister lied to the island's parliament (his "reasons" for possibly illegally suspending the Police Chief) and he was later CENSURED. A criminal COMPLAINT was also lodged against him by the former Chief Police Officer

Of course this all but scraping the surface of what went (and is going) on in the Jersey corruption/cover-up scandal but it has been exposed by Citizens Journalists and and buried by others.

We thank Sonia Poulton for inviting us on to her show and for taking a continued interest in "The Jersey Situation." We also thank Mr. Harper for continuing to support the Survivors of abuse and indeed the truth.

The full version of Friday night's Raw Report can be viewed HERE and we credit Sonia Poulton for our recording.








Monday, 9 November 2020

Senator Sam Mezec (VoNC) Interview.


Senator Sam Mezec

Further to our PREVIOUS POST  earlier today where we published the resignation letter (of now former) Children's and Housing Minister Senator Sam Mezec. Ahead of tomorrow's Vote of No Confidence (VoNC) against Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondre, we were granted an in-depth interview with Senator Sam Mezec (below).

We wanted to ask; "if the VoNC is successful, then what happens?" "How likely is it to happen?" "Are we heading for an Ian Gorst, by proxy, Government should Chief Minister Le Fondre lose the vote?" "Are the numbers there to dethrone him?"

We discussed the "government within a Government" as mentioned by Deputy Inna Gardiner on State Radio this morning but first brought to our attention back in 2010 by (possibly illegally) suspended Chief Police Officer GRAHAM POWER QPM. where Civil Servants, and Law Offices, are running the show, usurping the democratic process with complete impunity. Will the new Chief Minister (if there is one) tackle this huge problem of a government within a government?

Further explored is the idea that Chief Executive Officer Charlie Parker might be trying to cure the island of "The Jersey Way" and like all others before him (who have tackled the issue) is becoming a victim of it as a result? We need only think of Stuart Syvret, Lenny Harper, Graham Power, Shona and Trevor Pitman to name but a few.

Much more is discussed in this very informative interview such as the "choice" we have should John Le Fondre lose the vote. So far we have three options (sic) on the table for Chief Minister. They are:

Option 1 A right-wing Conservative, and staunch supporter of "The Jersey Way." (John Le Fondre)

Option 2 A  right-wing Conservative, and staunch supporter of "The Jersey Way." (Kristina Moore)

Option 3 A  right-wing Conservative, and staunch supporter of "The Jersey Way." Lyndon Farnham (if as rumoured he will be throwing his hat in the ring)

Could we have a fourth option of a left-wing socialist throwing their hat in the ring...........................................? Watch the video and find out.........................







Reform Jersey Support Vote of No Confidence.




The leader of Jersey's only political party (Reform Jersey) Senator Sam Mezec has resigned his positions as Minister for Children and for Housing in the lead up to the vote of no confidence against Chief Minister Senator John Le Fondre which is due to be debated in the island's parliament tomorrow (Tues 10th November 2020)

Fellow party member, Deputy Montfort Tadier, has also resigned his position as Assistant Minister for Economic Development.

Reform Jersey, which has five elected States Members, will all be supporting the Vote of No Confidence against the Chief Minister. Those five votes could prove to be pivotal.

Below is the Press Release published by Reform Jersey and below that is the resignation letter, sent to Chief Minister John Le Fondre, by Senator Sam Mezec.

Press Release – Embargoed until 6am on Monday 9th November 

Reform Jersey to support ‘Vote of No Confidence’ in the Chief Minister


Following recent events surrounding the Chief Executive Officer of the Government of Jersey taking on a non-executive directorship for a UK-based real estate company, and the failure of the Chief Minister to show adequate leadership, Reform Jersey’s elected States Members will be supporting the Vote of No Confidence on Tuesday.

Senator Sam Mézec and Deputy Montfort Tadier have formally resigned their roles as Minister for Children and Housing, and Assistant Minister for Economic Development, respectively.

Party Leader Senator Sam Mézec said “Reform Jersey members have played a constructive role since the last election, both in and out of government, to implement our manifesto pledges, and we are proud of our record. We have spoken out in recent months about our concerns that the government has been failing on its commitment to ‘Reduce Income Inequality’ and that there is an undemocratic culture in parts of the civil service which sees elected members obstructed when trying to carry out their policies.”

“Last week, I, alongside other ministers, made clear our view that the CEO should not also hold a non-executive directorship with a private sector company. A week has gone by, and this decision has been treated with contempt. If the Council of Ministers was in charge of the island, this decision would have been implemented by now, but it has not. The Chief Minister exercised poor judgement in allowing this in the first place, and by allowing the States Employment Board to give retrospective permission for this appointment, he has tied our hands and left us in an untenable position.

Deputy Montfort Tadier said “We do not take this decision lightly, but it has come to the point where we can no longer support this Chief Minister with a clear conscience. He has been weak or absent on key policies such as the landlords register, electoral reform, and reducing income inequality. This latest development is the final straw.”

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Resignation letter of Senator Sam Mezec.


Senator Sam Mézec

States Assembly Morier House St Helier
JE1 1DD

8th November 2020

Dear Chief Minister,

I write to you with regret, in accordance with Article 22 of the States of Jersey Law 2005, to resign my position as Minister for Children and Housing.

I confirm that I have the support of my Reform Jersey colleagues in doing this, and that it is our intention to support the Vote of No Confidence motion being debated by the Assembly on Tuesday.

As you know, I have felt for some time that our government has fallen short on the commitments we made in the Common Strategic Policy to Reduce Income Inequality. After two years of nominally including this in our work programme, I believe there is no evidence at all that this has been achieved. Where I have pushed for our policies to go further to achieve this aim, I have met constant resistance both politically and administratively.

Reforming our social housing rents policy was a cornerstone of the manifesto I was elected by the public on, but I have felt obstructed by officers who I ought to be able to rely on to implement my policy decisions. I have received more support from bodies outside of government than inside and have constantly had to manoeuvre through the civil service to have my policy positions accepted. When fighting for an Andium Homes rent freeze over the last few months, I discovered officers had pursued a funding arrangement for this which I had explicitly ruled out. This should not be the case in a democracy.

I was extremely disappointed earlier this year when the Environment Minister was let down by yourself and other government colleagues in the States Assembly when, after a year of hard work, he brought forward regulations to introduce a landlord licencing scheme to improve housing standards for renters and to protect their health and safety. Before the debate, your support was sought, and you declined to tell us that you would not support us, leaving us to discover this during the debate itself. Because of this, I can have no confidence that I will not be treated the same way if I attempt to see through my ambitions to establish rent stabilisation measures, which are evidenced throughout Europe to improve affordability of private rental housing, but which will inevitably concern investors. A government should always be on the side of the people, not investors.

On top of this, a refusal to back moves to increase the Minimum Wage and achieve progressive tax reform (amongst other missed opportunities) shows that the governments commitment to Reduce Income Inequality’ is in tatters.

But now the Assembly is asked to decide whether we have confidence in you as Chief Minister, after recent events surrounding the Chief Executive Officer taking on a non-executive directorship for a UK company.

Last weekend, the government made clear our view that the CEO should not hold a private sector NED for a UK company. We are now a week later, and there are no signs that this view will be respected. Statements which have been published have said nothing of value and have clearly angered the public.

I believe that the fault for this lies with you. You exercised bad judgement in verbally approving the request from the CEO to take on another role (in contrast with the Deputy Chief Ministers position on this) and then in allowing the SEB to provide retrospective permission, before properly consulting with the government. This is a mistake which could cost the public.

I find myself asking the question who runs Jersey, the elected government or the civil service?” That question should not even be fathomable in a democratic society.

I am deeply disappointed that I have to relinquish my role as minister in order to make this stand, but my conscience will not allow me to do otherwise. To not do so would be to act as if nothing is wrong.

I am proud of all that I have achieved as Minister for Children and Housing. I believe I have exceeded the expectations of those who believed I was not capable of working outside of political opposition, and I believe both of my portfolios are in a substantially better position than when I inherited them. The team I have worked most closely with (in CYPES, IHE , SPPP and the MSU) have been outstanding public servants who have given their hearts and souls to Putting Children First’ and I know they will continue to do so. I am also grateful for the support Andium has given me, and I regret how badly they are often let down by undemocratic government processes.

Where some may have lost faith in me, believing I had gone to the other side” or watered down my principles in order to hold office, I hope that my actions will show that, for me, the public of Jersey always have and always will come first.

Monday, 28 September 2020

Jersey Reform Day 1769-2020

Tom Gruchy

Today (17th September) is Jersey Reform Day, and as we have, in the past few years, we mark the (251st) Anniversary by reminding readers/viewers of its significance and ask the questions: "What has changed?" "Don't we still have the same so-called "democracy" we had back in 1769 that Tom Gruchy, and fellow islanders, were protesting about?" "Who really runs our Island? Many more questions are asked and mostly answered in the exclusive interview below.


This years interview with local historian/Human Rights Campaigner, and BLOGGER Mike Dun has an added twist due to the current Corona Virus measures/laws being introduced along with the police wanting all police officers to carry Taser Guns. How (as in 1769) are we able to gather in large numbers to overthrow a corrupt Royal Court or similar corrupt institution?


Former Deputy (and victim of its "justice" system) Trevor Pitman

For those not familiar with Reform Day, and how it came about, please visit THIS POSTING which gives you a brief history and includes a link to the successful PROPOSITION brought by former Deputy (and victim of "Jersey Justice") TREVOR PITMAN.


For those who ARE familiar with Reform Day, and its origins, what, in your opinion, has changed for the better, as a result of the original overthrowing of the corrupt Royal Court and indeed the adoption of former Deputy Trevor Pitman's proposition?




 



Wednesday, 9 September 2020

JEP Editorials. Compare and Contrast (2)




Back in August 2009 while Jersey's biggest Child Abuse Investigation (Operation Rectangle) was still live, Bloggers were publishing the evidence and facts that the Old Media (formerly known as MSM) was trying to bury.

We (Bloggers) were being trashed by the Old Media, discredited at any given opportunity, in a desperate attempt by the Old Media to churn out the Party Line and bury the truth. Survivors/campaigners/whistleblowers and the cops, (particularly SIO/DCOLenny Harper) were all either silenced or ridiculed by the Old Media, pedophiles, pedophile protectors and supporters of the regime.

Back then (August 2009) Jersey's only newspaper, The Jersey Evening Post, published an Editorial attempting to ridicule Bloggers/Citizen's Journalists and hold onto the immense power it had back then (but was rapidly losing).

We published that editorial HERE where we asked readers to "Compare and Contrast" the opinions of the JEP Editorial and that of a (then) senior journalist working for another Old Media outlet. Readers should read that link in order to grasp how far things have come, how wrong the JEP was and how it is because of the JEP (and all island Old Media) that Bloggers became so trusted and were proven right and totally vindicated whether it be by SENIOR POLITICIANS, Former SENIOR POLICE OFFICER(S) or the Jersey Independent Care Inquiry ITSELF. Even former Attorney General/Bailiff WILLIAM BAILHACHE (through gritted teeth) HAD to vindicate former SIO/DCO Lenny Harper.

We, on this Blog, have (rightly) exposed the JEP for its (shall we say) "failings" over the years, and indeed we've exposed the rest of the Old Media as well. But I digress, regular readers will know that we try to be as fair and balanced as we can be on this Blog and like to give credit where it is due.


In 2014 Andy Sibcy took over the editorship of the newspaper and we have repeatedly given him, and the paper, credit where it has been due and we are pleased to say that has been more often than not. He gained a lot of our respect when he came to the Jersey Independent Care Inquiry to sit alongside BLOGGERS to discuss the role of New and Old Media. It should be noted he didn't have to attend and ITV/CTV as well as The BBC didn't have the courage to come and defend their (indefensible) reporting, and non reporting, of the Child Abuse cover up(s).

We found that Sibcy was humble, at the IJCI hearing, approachable and willing to take onboard constructive criticism/feedback as readers will see by clicking on the above link. The paper (since Sibcy took over) has (in our opinion) become almost unrecognisable since the bad old days. That's not to say that it now practices any kind of investigative journalism, or such like, but you are now seeing articles/opinions published that would never have seen the light of day pre-Sibcy.

In this Blog Posting we want readers to compare and contrast the JEP's opinion from today's EDITORIAL and that of 2009.

Before we do that we need to give readers some context behind today's editorial.

Deputy Mike Higgins

Yesterday, (8th September 2020) in the States (parliament) sitting, Deputy Mike Higgins asked two questions of the children's Minister, Senator Sam Mezec concerning possible criminality within the Children's Services, certainly underhanded, and dangerous tactics allegedly employed by them and it appears the Minister is more inclined to protect the system than he is to hold it to account and protect its users/clients.

Video of the questions and "answers" (sic) can be viewed HERE and HERE. It should be noted that not one other politician had a single question to ask on the back of Deputy Higgins' question. That should put fear into anybody who thinks politicians (other than Higgins) are looking after Children's best interests, or protecting them in any way.

Former Health Minister, and whistleblower, Stuart Syvret

Deputy Higgins, just like Stuart Syvret (and others) before him is going up against the establishment trying to be a voice for the voiceless, trying to root out any wrongdoing and rot, before we have another Child Abuse atrocity on our hands because of Ministers protecting their Department/staff instead of protecting those who are allegedly being abused/failed by it/them.

Regular readers will know that whistleblowers, in the States (like Stuart Syvret) were always portrayed as troublemakers or conspiracy theorists and we thought after the Survivors/whistleblowers/cops and Bloggers were all vindicated by the IJCI that this would end. Well we know it hasn't, as demonstrated by Current Home Affairs Minister LEN NORMAN who tried to portray Deputy Mike Higgins as a troublemaker/conspiracy theorist just as others did before him to (vindicated) Stuart Syvret.

So, finally on to the compare and contrast of the JEP editorials.

JEP EDITORIAL 2009:

"RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS
THE proposal that the States should be televised live on the internet should remind us that, as time
marches on, the media of mass communication evolve. A certain amount of hoo-hah over who should be allowed to video Scrutiny panel hearings also reminds us that a new breed of media person is abroad – or would like to be abroad.
Citizen journalists, as they call themselves, believe that they should share the same rights of access as
more traditional media such as newspaper reporters and TV or radio broadcasters.
In itself that sounds like a reasonable idea and a potential enhancement of democracy. The new kids on the block, however, must realise that if they want privileges they must play by the rules – and that involves signing up to codes of conduct and refraining from defaming everyone who is framed in the view finder or splashed all over a blog.
Until that sort of agreement can be negotiated and finalised, citizen journalists are about as welcome as citizen brain surgeons, citizen airline pilots or, indeed, citizen bricklayers."

JEP EDITORIAL 2020:

"THE Independent Jersey Care Inquiry evidenced beyond doubt that  victims and those who were in desperate need of support did not trust government departments which were supposed to provide it. There was also distrust on the other side of the fence – a reluctance to believe people who said that they were abused by those in positions of authority and responsibility.

As a consequence, marginalised Islanders turned to anti-establishment politicians and bloggers outside of the mainstream who they trusted. They became their champions and ensured the spotlight shone on things that others wanted to ignore or forget.

Long-serving backbencher Deputy Mike Higgins was one of those who used his position in the States to give voice to victims who felt unable or were unwilling to seek redress through more official channels – or who simply were not listened to.

In the wake of the inquiry report there were promises of action and better funding, of putting children first and taking steps to make sure mistakes were not repeated. And yet still there are stories of failings, of case-loads which make providing a good service impossible, of mistakes and cover-ups.

And still those fighting against the system turn to people like Deputy Higgins.

There will, no doubt, be people reading today’s front-page and issuing a sigh – irked by or not interested in what the St Helier Member has to say in his questioning of the Children’s Minister.

But to dismiss the allegations would be to demonstrate that the lessons of the past have not been learned.

Assertions of anything from abuse to malpractice and incompetence must, of course, be tested in appropriate ways, as not all allegations will be fair or true, but it is critical that people with grievances and complaints are empowered to speak out, to blow the whistle and to be heard.

In her opening remarks summarising the panels’ findings, chairwoman of the Independent Care Inquiry Frances Oldham QC quoted the 2008 words of the Howard League for Penal Reform after it reviewed Jersey’s youth justice system. She said: ‘Powerful interlocking networks may exclude and disempower those outside of the groups and make it hard for those outside of those networks, who have genuine concerns, to raise them or make complaints in an effective way. This is likely to be particularly true of deprived, disadvantaged and powerless children.’ The powerful networks of today might be different to those of the past, but they remain and there is still a gulf between them and the powerless. It is through that lens that we should read Deputy Higgins’s comments.

Editor: Andy Sibcy editorial@jerseyeveningpost.com" (END)

It is clear that the JEP has learned some lessons from the past. It's editorial today is not attempting to silence or ridicule the whistleblower, (Deputy Mike Higgins) it is (rightly) telling us to listen to him before the "mistakes" of the past are repeated.

The editorial appears to acknowledge its own (and all island Old Media) mistakes of the past when it concedes that trying to cover up the truth will only push people towards those who/were are telling it (Bloggers)

Quote JEP:

"As a consequence, marginalised Islanders turned to anti-establishment politicians and bloggers outside of the mainstream who they trusted. They became their champions and ensured the spotlight shone on things that others wanted to ignore or forget."

A line I wrote from the 2009 EDITORIAL:

"Citizens Media is here and it is here to stay, get used to it Shipley, you helped create it/us."    

So credit where credit is due. The JEP (evidenced by the two editorials) has come a long way since 2009. Unfortunately The BBC and ITV/CTV remain where they always were, untrusted, unreliable and completely silent (as far as we are aware) on the concerns raised by Deputy Higgins in the States yesterday. It was the (Old) Media's silence that helped the cover-up(s)...........History (in some cases) repeating itself.