Friday, 20 July 2012

He Blew It.

After all the negative National and International Press Jersey has received over the last few years from being labelled as "kiddie fiddlers"  "Paedo's" "paedo protectors" "Tax Haven" "Island of Secrets" "Banana Republic" to name but a few. In a recent GUARDIAN ARTICLE the former Chief Minister of Jersey, Frank Walker, was given the opportunity to show the world that Jersey is none of these things and is willing to engage with anybody who believes otherwise. The Guardian Newspaper asked the Former Chief Minister a set of questions (below) that could help shed some light on the (possibly illegal) suspension of Jersey's most Senior Police Officer during the middle of an investigation into allegations of "STATE SPONSORED PAEDOPHILIA" and related matters.


Did the Former Chief Minister grasp this opportunity with both hands?Unfortunately not. After receiving the questions, he replied to the Guardian stating,  "I am surprised that you are seeking to raise questions which have been asked and answered many times in the years since Mr Power's suspension. I'm afraid I am not prepared to yet again go over such old ground. I will merely say that I was then, and remain today, absolutely confident that Mr Power's suspension was necessary and appropriate. His conspiracy theories are entirely baseless."


The questions put to Frank Walker were not published in the Guardian and we offer them here "un-redacted."


1. In Graham Power's sworn affidavit submitted as part of his request for judicial review, he said that on the day it was decided Wendy Kinnard should relinquish political oversight for the historic abuse inquiry (par 16): “The Chief Minister said that he was 'under pressure to suspend both the Chief and the Deputy Chief'. He did not say where the pressure was coming from but he said this in a way which gave the impression that he was not hostile to that pressure.” were you under pressure to suspend both Power and Harper? And if so, from whom?


2. In paragraph 15 of the affidavit, Power accuses you of a “verbal
attack on the historic abuse inquiry claiming that it was causing damaging publicly for the island.” 

any comment on this?

3. Also in paragraphs 15/16, Power accuses you of “shouting down”
Wendy Kinnard and behaving in a bullying manner and in a way which he
found offensive.
any comment on this?

4. In paragraph 33, Power says: “Taking all of the evidence into account I consider that I am entitled to believe that the decision to suspend me was in fact taken by the Chief Minister and the Home Affairs Minister, probably in collusion with other on the evening of Tuesday 11th November 2008.”
any comment? what role did you play in Power's suspension?

5. Many people believe that you were the real decision-maker and that
Lewis merely "fronted" the exercise to suspend Power.
Do you have any evidence to refute this?
Why were you in the nextdoor room when Power was suspended?
What meetings and discussions occurred between yourself and Andrew
Lewis in respect of Power's suspension? Were these minuted and can we
see the written record?
Why did you attend the press briefing alongside Andrew Lewis on the day on which Lewis suspended Power, given that only Lewis as home affairs minister had the power to carry out the suspension?

6. Did you believe the suspension was warranted at the time, and what
evidence did you have to lead you to that conclusion? Why did you think he was being suspended/deserved to be suspended and potentially disciplined?

7. As you no doubt know, a former States member, Paul le Claire, told
the States on 18 November 2010 that he was party to a conversation in
the States building between yourself and Andrew Lewis. Le Claire said:
“Not long after Deputy Andrew Lewis took over as the Minister for Home
Affairs I walked through the Chamber to the top of the stairs and in
his company was the former Chief Minister, Mr. Frank Walker. They were
discussing the former Deputy Chief of Police, Mr. Lenny Harper. The
Chief Minister at the time said: “Why did you not get rid of him?” I
found that a little strange at the time for that to be expressed but I
entered into the conversation by standing with them and partook in the
conversation. The response - which I think is the important thing, the
key thing - from the Minister was: “We were going to get rid of him but he only had a week to go so we thought it best just to let him go.”
Why did you ask Lewis why he hadn't “got rid” of Harper?

8. In the same speech, Le Claire talked of his reticence of speaking
out: “Why would I want to subject myself to the States and the powerful people that man it and politicise it?” In an interview with the Voice for Children blog
(http://voiceforchildren.blogspot.in/2010/11/culture-of-fear.html) he talked of a “culture of fear” which deterred ordinary people from challenging Jersey's political elite.
As a key player in Jersey's political elite during the period in question, how do you respond to Le Claire's allegation here?

9. In the Napier report, Brian Napier QC said “Whatever view may now be taken of the substantive criticisms that have been made of Mr Power's conduct of the historic abuse inquiry, there was at the time a lack of hard evidence against him showing lack of competence in relation to the rung of the historic abuse inquiry, the basis on which he was suspended on 12 November 2008 was in my view inadequate." do you agree, in hindsight, that the suspension was hasty and relied on in adequate evidence? Do you accept responsibility for failings of a procedural nature in the handling of the suspension of Mr Power. Identified by Napier?

10. Napier said that criticisms of Power which led to his suspension
“found a receptive audience” with you. How do you respond to this?

11. Prior to his suspension, what hard evidence did you have to
suggest that there were concerns about Graham Power's handling of the
historic abuse inquiry which could warrant his suspension?

12. It is now known that the “Interim Met Report” was never intended
to be used to justify any disciplinary proceedings but instead was a
review – and a half-finished one at the time of Power's suspension. It was a standard critical appraisal, fairly common between police forces, and was never intended for any "disciplinary" use. Would you accept that it was a mistake for so much emphasis to be placed on the report when justifying Power's suspension?

13. Given that no charges of misconduct were ever proven against
Graham Power – before or after his retirement – would you accept he was wrongly suspended?

14. Graham Power sees himself as a victim of a corrupted island in which the powerful elite “scratch each others' backs” and turn against anyone who asks difficult questions of those in power – in particular a police officer investigating very serious allegations made against “a number of people who, currently or recently, held positions of seniority or influence in public services.” How do you respond to this allegation?

15. The suspension set in motion a chain of event which has cost the
Jersey Taxpayer millions of pounds and almost four years later is
still causing contention, political debate and media interest. In
light of this, do you now regret Power's suspension? And do you take
responsibility for the cost and reputational damage to the Island
which has resulted from the actions of your government in November
2008?(END)



In the good old "Jersey way" Mr. Walker refuses to answer the questions, put to him by the Guardian, and labels "evidenced" allegations as conspiracy theories.


If Jersey wants to stop receiving bad National and International Press then it had better start "opening up" or as some might put it "coming clean." 


The opportunity was afforded Mr. Walker to help clean up Jersey's image, show everything is/was above board and there is nothing to hide..............He blew it.



28 comments:

  1. Andrew Lewis is a villain but also a victim. The establishment spotted him as a naive and vulnerable minister who could be pressurized to do their bidding. But when it all went wrong they characteristically deserted him and now he is on his own attempting to defend the indefensible. A person of greater character and integrity would have come clean, admitted that he was "used" by others and named names. Instead he is left attempting to juggle with a problem made by others and slowly sinking while the real decision-makers move on and quietly regard him with contempt.

    Frank Walker is nowhere to be seen (unless he is in a quiet corner polishing his gong.)

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  2. "I am surprised that you are seeking to raise questions which have been asked and answered many times in the years since Mr Power's suspension. I'm afraid I am not prepared to yet again go over such old ground".

    Why surprised Mr Walker? You are surely aware that the answers given in the main have been untruthful and are therefore still being asked as more and more of the truth emerges.

    As for not being prepared to 'go over such old ground' I read this as saying you do not wish to answer the questions put to you for obvious reasons.

    As for 'such old ground', it is really not that old in the grand scheme of things, and old ground does need raking over from time to time.

    Yes VFC - he blew it alright.

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  3. If we ever actually get a Committee of Inquiry Walker will be required to go over the old ground again.
    Any surprise that there is such resistence to having a COI?

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  4. One of the most fundamental reasons why there will never be an effective, real public inquiry into the scandal - is because it is already plain and obvious what the truth is.

    A real inquiry has to start with the already obvious, known and established facts - and take matters from that point. But, to do so, would be to recognise and accept the various stark criminalities of the Jersey oligarchy. And that just wouldn't do - because that would be to acknowledge the overtly corrupt and failed nature of what passes for a prosecution function in Jersey.

    And another huge problem with any effective public enquiry - having terms of reference that were directed at the real, plain issues - is that it would make it impossible to engineer and run the customary spin and whitewash operation.

    I mean, if there was a real inquiry - that examined the real, central questions at the heart of how so many children were able to be abused for so many decades - the inquiry would be focused upon how and why was the Chief of Police illegally suspended - and how and why was the Social Services Minister illegally dismissed?

    How was it possible?

    Who is culpable - for the direct attacking and undermining of THE TWO key public authorities who vulnerable children should be able to look to for protection?

    And - in particular - there is one, core, question at the heart of the matter - one central question, which, if there was only one question that could be asked - is the question:

    "Why has The Crown - through its Office of Jersey Attorney General - participated in the concealment of child abuse - and the illegal oppression of those who strive to protect children?"

    It's as simple as that.

    If we were not looking at stark, Crown failure - none of this disgusting and wretched disaster would have occurred.

    Stuart

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  5. I hear from a very good source that 'the bat' has engaged in some charity work of late, and is pulling out all the stops to get knighted.

    Apparently, he has been advised that to get knighted he must do this, his name will then be put forward by none other than Phil Bailhache for a knighthood.

    Sad little man.

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  6. Interesting! The Guardian has apparently leaked these questions to you. Unlike the local State Media Machine, the real investigative journalists at the Guardian know the only equivalent reporting of evidence in Jersey is via blogs like this. I think you now can claim mutual professional respect from their journalists.

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  7. Frank Walker won't be interested in any of this anymore, he is retired!

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  8. " I think you now can claim mutual professional respect from their journalists."

    We have an acknowledgment, if not respect, from a growing number of off island (real) journalists that we are a credible news source.

    Jersey's State Media is starting to become somewhat of a laughing stock in the journalistic world. This posting alone begs the question why weren't/haven't these questions been asked/answered by the State Media?

    A word to describe Jersey's State Controlled Media was suggested to me the other day and it just about sums it up......................"Presstitute."

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  9. A reader says:

    "Frank Walker won't be interested in any of this anymore, he is retired!"

    But he doesn't have criminal immunity.

    So I suspect he is interested - in any issue that might lead to the restoration of a lawful Crown prosecution function in Jersey.

    Stuart

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  10. Frank Walker is nowhere to be seen (unless he is in a quiet corner polishing his gong.)

    Chairman of jersey plants direct based in david place & still pi..... off the gong was not a knighthood!!!

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  11. "...was necessary and appropriate"

    Yes Mr Walker, necessary and appropriate but for whom?


    The Beano is not the Rag

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  12. Let us not forget that at the time Mr. Walker was asked these questions by the Guardian, this was not known either.

    The Former Home Affairs Minister told the island's Parliament (in a secret session that was never meant to see the light of day) regarding his suspension of the Former Police Chief.

    "As far as the accusation you raise about the Metropolitan Police, when I saw the preliminary report I was astounded. So much so that my actions, I believe, are fully justified. If the preliminary report is that damning, Lord knows what the main report will reveal.”

    That statement, From Andrew Lewis, one can only surmise, is telling the secret parliament session that this "preliminary Report" by the MET Police into the Child Abuse Investigation is a damming indictment on the investigation under Mr. Power's control and he had no other choice other than to suspend Mr. Power.

    But running alongside that statement we have, in the subsequent Napier Review in paragraph 101;

    "As previously has been noted, neither Mr Lewis nor Mr Ogley saw the Interim Report. Neither did they seek to see it.”

    We now also know, thanks to the tenacity and determination of the Senior Investigating Officer of the original Child Abuse Investigation, (Operation Rectangle) Mr. Lenny Harper to ensure the truth behind the lies are told that, and quoted from OPERATION TUMA "In the Heads of Complaint made by Mr Harper he states that the review criticised a number of areas of the investigation. The review does not criticise the investigation. The Review does not criticise any individual involved in Operation Rectangle."

    The "official version" of Mr. Powers suspension just does not stack up.

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  13. VFC.

    Was Frank Walker really confronted with these questions from The Guardian?

    Love to have seen his reaction at the time.

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  14. To the States.

    Who is in charge of the clattering train?
    The axles creak and the couplings strain,
    and the pace is hot and the points are near,
    and sleep hath deadened the driver's ear,
    and the signals flash through the night in vain,
    for death is in charge of the clattering train

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  15. Old Frankie Walker, only has two options:-

    1) answer the questions.

    2) ignore the questions.

    ----------------
    If he believes its going over old ground, why not take the opportunity to reiterate the facts as he recalls them and answer the question!!

    I guess there are possibly two versions:-

    1) the absolute truth
    2) bull sh1t and cover up


    If he selected 1) he would sink the whole ship and end up in court.

    Selecting 2) means he might not tell quite the same story and get caught out lying.

    So the easy option for him was of course, ignore the question and try to change the story to going over old ground (a bit like those who sifted through it!!)

    He blew it alright....

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  16. VFC

    On the subject of Frank Walker are you aware that in the magistrates court on either 28.6.12 or 5.7.12 one of his son's was on a DIC charge (for the third time) and managed to dodge jail!
    Not only that for some reason this was not reported by the JEP - wonder why?!

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  17. The term presstitute is powerful, as is the term state media. Words are power. Information is power. Control of information is power. Bloggers are powerful in Jersey. More power to you.

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  18. I am concluding we are ruled by despots and eunuchs, and the media is controlled by Goebbels.

    I will accept correction gracefully if I am mistaken.

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  19. These unanswered Guardian questions tie in perfectly with Rico's publication of the In Camera transcript, showing all of us why Frank Walker can't afford to tell the truth. Like his mafiosa cronies, he can't lie anymore either. You, Rico and Stuart have him bang to rights. The ones who can't escape publicly answering very hard questions - eventually - are the state media. I would hate to be a reporter associated with that.

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  20. A tip of the hat to your acquaintance for the suggestion of "Presstitute," a perfect description of the Jersey state media hacks. It is getting around.

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  21. 10 months and four days BBC Jersey have had this document STILL they keep it BURIED.

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  22. Hi VFC,

    Arrived at Magistrates Court today @9:45am for my 10am hearing.
    The £10 million man (Falle) presiding, he announced at 1pm that he was leaving and Bridget Shaw would hear my case later,presumably because she has a bigger pair than him.

    You can imagine that I was not best pleased with this, so I asked the Court when BS would be there - no response, thats right our so called Public Servants couldn't even be bothered to answer my not unreasonable question.These pompus overpaid underworked people treat us with contempt, so naturally, everyone being equal in the eyes of the law,I did the same, but did tell the ushers I was leaving and would not be back today.

    I do hope the Police have a proper bench warrent, signed by a Judge under the authority of their oath of office and complete with a court stamp, when they come to throw me in Jail.

    cyril

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