Monday, 19 May 2014

A Witch-Hunt.............In The Public Interest?



Due to the misinformation, and invasion of privacy, against Mr. and Mrs. Trevor Pitman broadcast by the local State Media recently. VFC has exclusively interviewed Mr. Pitman in an attempt to, once more, get the truth behind the propaganda. Furthermore to ask the questions the State Media could/should be asking if it did not have its own agenda which has been described as "A Witch-hunt" against those who speak out against the Jersey Establishment.

Readers/viewers might be aware that the Viscount (in an unprecedented move) has allowed the local State Media to publish/broadcast contents of the ( un-finalised) creditors claims against Mr. and Mrs. Pitman following their unsuccessful claim of defamation/libel against the Jersey Evening Post and Broadlands Estate Agents which saw the Pitman's made bankrupt. (more of that in part 2)

In part one of this exclusive, and in-depth, interview we discuss the misinformation being fed to us by the local State Media and hopefully, to some extent, we right its wrongs. We also attempt to discover the meaning of the term "in the public interest." One must bare in mind that Mr. and Mrs. Pitman are members of the public and an extremely dangerous precedent could have been set by the viscount where it would now appear that the public (in Jersey anyway) have no right to privacy (in the public interest).

Deputy Nick Le Cornu, and many others, have described this latest invasion of privacy, and State Media propaganda, as a witch-hunt against the Pitman's. Trevor Pitman sees it as a witch-hunt and it must be said that it is difficult to see it as anything else.

Part 2 coming soon................

46 comments:

  1. They were employed by the public when they ran up their debts, and were declared bankrupt whilst they were still in that employ. How much more of a public interest would you like ?

    And the Viscount hasn't 'allowed' the media to publish anything. Much like anybody with a judgement against them, the information is freely available in the public domain.

    You could at least try and get the facts right.

    This is

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    1. An interesting comment.

      Not necessarily true, given that they're no longer public figures, but even if there were found to be still some "public interest" in pursuing such an overt vendetta against them, the settled human rights core principles of "proportionality" and "legitimate purpose" unavoidably enter the legal matrix. Perhaps if former politicians had incurred bankruptcy through, say, gambling, or had been say, hypothetically living beyond their means as a result of corruption but their source of bribes had dried-up, then yes, you could construct a "public interest" in exposing microscopically every facet of their personal affairs. But no such factor applies in this case. There is no "legitimate purpose", nor "proportionality" in the conduct of the public official known in Jersey as the "Viscount". In fact, with the growing strength of Article 8 ECtHR case-law, combined in this case with pretty undisguisable discrimination based on political views, contra Article 14, it is very apparent this this is yet another of those seemingly endless abuses of power engaged in by the Crown apparatus in Jersey simply because it can, and it's virtually impossible to fight, rather than because there's any merit or faint credibility in the conduct on display.

      But here's the thing.....

      Even if we were to assume there was "public interest" in exposing the Pitmans to such treatment, who decides what constitutes "public interest", and how would exposing the Pitmans in this way stack-up when compared against other topical "public interest" cases in Jersey?

      For example, and bearing in mind the inescapable tests of "proportionality" and "legitimate purpose", how is the Viscount's conduct supposed to be in the "public interest", but, say, exposing a corrupt police officer who allegedly was leaking data to an allegedly conflicted Attorney General not in the "public interest"?

      How is exposing a widely known internet "troll" who routinely harasses men and women, and regularly makes drunken death-threats to people not, apparently in "the public interest"?

      If the "public interest" is so important, it is very difficult to see how exposing civil servants, against whom there are numerous witness-statements of child-abuse and child-abuse cover-ups can not be "proportionate" and serve the "legitimate purpose" of protecting children from risk and enforcing accountability.

      And what greater "legitimate purpose" and "necessity" can there be, especially given the overwhelming strictures of Article 2, the right to life, in exposing a still-registered nurse against who there were credible, evidenced grounds for suspecting serial-killing of patients?

      You see, this is where Jersey's public authorities have collapsed into undisguisable decadence and gross incompetence in the eyes of external observers, and act in the oppressive manner they do in their own little bubble only because they can and are used to getting away with it.

      The double-standards, the jaw-dropping levels of inconsistency displayed by what many correctly describe as your "oligarchy" would be just too embarrassingly brazen for public authorities to even attempt in any normal Western democracy.

      The conduct engaged in by the Viscount against the Pitmans is another of those spectacular "own-goals" - simply beyond stupidity - that Jersey's establishment seems terminally addicted to.

      Let me put it this way, this latest vicious and pointless act of oppressive malice has done Jersey's "establishment" zero good in any way at all, and rather, has instead helped critics of the island by furnishing them with more evidential ammunition that shows a "system" gone mad.

      Some might say, 'keep it up.'

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    2. The attempt to justify the Viscount's decision to discriminate against Shona and I because we were States Members at the time of the case holds no water whatsoever. Could Birt or the Bailhache brothers be reading your blog, Voice?

      Actually I'm sure they do - even they must know they won't get any facts or truth from the Jersey Evening Pravda, BBC orITV.

      The beauty of this continued abuse of the law is that it can all be used at Strasbourg. Not to mention a project that will 'live' in the early autumn. Love it the Old boys network will not!

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    3. Why the squeamishness in your legal counsel revealing their identity ? It couldn't be that his own treatment of the couple at some point in history has been reprehensible could it ?

      Interesting that he has chosen to ignore the second issue dealt with in your first commenters question, it being that the information was freely available in the public domain, and the press have simply exercised their freedom in publishing it ?

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    4. Re Anonymous@15:59
      The information may be available in a publicly viewable file in a dusty basement behind a locked door but the states 'Churnalists' did not have to go and look for it because they say it was proactively SENT to them, apparently as part of the establishment vendetta.
      This media distribution may be unprecedented, but the vendetta against anyone who challenges the establishment or attempts to thoroughly investigate state sponsored child abuse is certainly not unprecedented.
      Nor is the enthusiasm unprecedented for the local owned media to co-operate with the attacks upon those who have crossed the establishment.
      ......Health minister Syvret
      ......Deputy Police Chief Harper
      ......Police Chief Power (of the multiple evaporating employment contract copies)
      Child protection and the very rule of law is hijacked!


      The Viscounts Department should be apolitical. Is there any element of public administration which has not been hijacked by paedophiles and their protectors on this island?

      The Pitmans have no "legal counsel", as you put it. As a rabid commenter and detractor - why your squeamishness in revealing YOUR identity? -touché?

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  2. VFC, I wonder, could you post an explanation for your viewers/readers of just what & who the "Viscount" - the person who has discriminated against & oppressed the Pitmans - is? Just who is this person, what is this post, why does it exist, what are its powers, what is the background of the man who holds the office, under whose direction & orders does he work, what are the equivalent public posts in, say the UK or USA, is this man accountable in any credible way?

    I'm pretty certain that even many of your readers in Jersey won't really understand who & what the "Viscount" is, and I'm very certain that your international readers won't have a clue. To most people, the phrase "Viscount" means some kind member of the aristocracy, some kind of "nobleman", so what is this title doing in a seemingly very, very powerful and it would appear, biased, yet unaccountable public office in a British establishment tax-haven?

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    1. The Office of Viscount is pretty much an un-known entity. I am aware that former Health Minister Stuart Syvret has had dealings with the office so perhaps he could help?

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    2. It is probably fair to say that the Viscount DOES think of himself as a part of Jersey's Neo Feudal 'aristocracy' - after all we should not forget Philip Bailhache's claim to his promotional people at Pravda a few years ago that Bailiffs are like Royality!

      #Deluded

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  3. Stay strong Trevor and Shona don't let them grind you down.

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    1. I thought they already had?

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    2. Not a chance - neither Shona or I have ever given in to bullies and won't be starting now. It is winning the war that matters not losing a few battles no matter how painful they may be at the time.

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  4. Everyone knows that this is payback for asking difficult questions in the states and not being a hoop kisser. The jersey way.

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    1. "Pour encourager les autres"

      The Beano is not the Rag

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  5. Your first comment on this story is obviously a plant for those who are abusing the Pitman's just as they have abused so many others. The Viscount - one Michael Wilkins - is an establishment placeman who has held the post and carried out his friends amongst the Oligarchs bidding for around 30 years. There is no justification for breaking established best practice as Mister Wilkins has done. It can be seen as nothing more than naked malice with the objective of wearing two people who won't go away down. Clearly the Pitman's are still scaring a hell of a lot of people that what goes on here is one day soon going to blown out of the water. Best of luck to them and you for telling us the truth.

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  6. Hang on, didn't the Pitmans attempt to declare themselves bankrupt and, in doing so, already declared their debts publicly?

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  7. Members of the oligarchy may be well travelled and familiar with other places by virtue of fancy junkets and luxury holidays but they are oblivious to how they appear to anyone outside their kiss-up circle, especially anyone unfamiliar with the Jersey way. Their mistreatment of the Pitmans is indefensible on every level. Of course they can claim that a bankruptcy of public officials during their terms in office could be in the public interest but it is the reason for that bankruptcy and reason for the Pitmans leaving office which is in the real public interest. For that, the oligarchy is to blame and the state media egregiously complicit. The public interest was always best served by the Pitmans remaining in the positions they were elected to hold, in service to the voters who placed them there.

    That public interest topic won't ever be discussed honestly and transparently by the oligarchy and shameful state media. It would dredge up the establishment's obvious pretense of caring about the Pitman's creditors, who were not served by the forced terms of the bankruptcy either, and the disenfranchisement of the voters. Only the oligarchy benefitted from the outrageously conflicted judicial, political and state media actions surrounding this saga.

    Fortunately, those who prefer evidenced information have the independent blog journalists to inform them, creating a vital subset of better informed citizens and outsiders who cannot be surprised by this typical oligarchy/msm retaliation against ex-politicians who refuse to be silenced.

    Elle

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  8. Once again, if you are going to try and muddy the waters at least try and make your argument credible. The two matters are entirely separate. I would suggest the comment about the viscount just doing his mates' bidding is pretty much spot on.

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  9. A timely reminder of the warning given by the former Chief Police Officer, Graham Power QPM, which fits neatly into the witch-hunt against Trevor and Shona Pitman.

    "And if, reader, you consider this all very amusing and distant from your own concerns, then remember what has been said by many from the very beginning of this saga. If they can do this to a Chief Police Officer and get away with it...............think what they could do to you. Then it might not be so funny."

    From HERE.

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  10. I am not aware that I have a 'legal counsel' saying anything on here. Mainly because we don't have one. Our legal advice now is thanks to the continent where disbelief at the corruption in Jersey's 'justice' system is growing by the week.

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  11. Just catching up with this. Someone's suggested the decision to single out the Pitmans for this treatment was because Mike Wilkins was ordered by the Bailhache brothers, Birt or Timmy Le Cocq to give the OK for the media to use the data? Well, if that's right then someone in the establishment needs to make the Bailhache brothers go back on their medication. Jeez, what blunder. This does so not look good on the Jersey powers that be.

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  12. Nothing better for the Jersey 'Establishment' and all their lackeys than kicking them while they are down (but not out). Look how many times this scenario has reared its ugly head since the child abuse investigation started. Good, honest people who have had the courage to challenge and question from the ex-Chief of Police to decent, moral politicians, all damned, vilified and destroyed for seeking and exposing the truth. Such is the Jersey Way in all its glory, but it is now becoming so embarrassingly obvious for even the most committed un-believers what goes on when you don't 'toe the line'. Trevor and Shona could have remained as States Members, earned an income and repaid all their debts in full over a period of time - a win/win for all concerned, but no the Establishment set out to destroy them, but their fight goes on.

    I am at a loss to understand why their debts are any more of public interest than anybody else's? Oh I forgot, they had the courage to speak out and give a voice to those who maybe did not have the wherewithal to do so. This is deemed a crime in Jersey.

    And to the commenter who rightly said that they were paid for by the Jersey taxpayer, we must not forget that they were also VOTED for by Jersey taxpayers!

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  13. VFC, a reader asks at 13:29 above: -

    "could you post an explanation for your viewers/readers of just what & who the "Viscount" - the person who has discriminated against & oppressed the Pitmans - is? Just who is this person, what is this post, why does it exist, what are its powers, what is the background of the man who holds the office, under whose direction & orders does he work, what are the equivalent public posts in, say the UK or USA, is this man accountable in any credible way?"

    and you replied at 14:11, saying: -

    "The Office of Viscount is pretty much an un-known entity. I am aware that former Health Minister Stuart Syvret has had dealings with the office so perhaps he could help?"

    An important - deeply important - subject.

    Indeed - one could state that the whole notion and status of the "Viscount" - Michael Wilkins - is of central "public interest" importance now - "public interest", as in public safety - and the very rule of law.

    When I have time, I'll do what I can to explain the situation.

    Stuart

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  14. I sympathise with Shona and Trevor. When I was en desastre the Viscount changed the locks on my home without my knowledge. I am still fighting a legal battle against more than one Advocate for negligence. No retreat. No surrender.

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  15. I have had several conversations this past weekend which have involved Jersey politics, what with it being an election year, it's a topical subject. I have to agree with some of your readers. The decision to single out Mr & Mrs Pitman for this exposure has been disastrously counter-productive for the Jersey 'Establishment'. I'm what you'd describe as a Jersey conservative, and tend to move in those circles. Unbidden by me the universal response to the detailed exposure of the Pitman's financial affairs has been one of condemnation and of fear.

    Some surprising individuals expressed unreserved condemnation of the decisions and conduct of the Crown Officers in this case. Not, admittedly, because they were all disposed to be on the liberal, law-abiding, democratic side but more because they were alarmed by the jeopardising folly evident. More than one person said words to the effect, 'we need to get our money back from whichever spin-doctors had a hand in this.'

    A Jersey conservative.

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  16. Both the Pitmans were excellent deputies asking the questions that tried to hold the government to account. For any readers who think Jerseys Government is a paradise of honesty and integrity see below. Two members of the public have personal details published. No doubt the data protection princess is hiding in her office probably busy shredding like other states departments. The Pitmans gave a voice to the people of this island in the states and had to be shut up.

    We all have voice and a choice about who we want in the states come the October elections.

    http://therightofreply.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/jersey-start-shredding-before.html

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  17. Voice/Stuart/Trevor

    Can you address the earlier comment regarding the point that lists of creditors are routinely published in bankruptcy cases please.

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    1. The fact is they are not addressed in the same way as this as you should know. Indeed, interesting to recall one of Jersey's top businessmen once went bankrupt yet no such details interested the media. Then again, to be fair the individual is a friend of a number of top judicial and political figures.

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  18. Lists, as far as I am aware, are able to be viewed at the Royal Court Building. They are not, as a rule, published by the State Media.....Another dangerous precedent has been set.

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    1. It was Home Affairs Minister, Senator Ian Le Marquand, who started the trend of DANGEROUS PRECEDENTS.

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  19. The papers will be sent to AG for whether there will be prosecution or not.

    "Not in public interest" will be odds on result from AG!!

    re Police car crash 5.30 am this morning, not on emergency but overturns car, papers to be sent to AG. Above is my comment to CTV website as usual JEP has NO comment box to this story see if CTV allow it!!!

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  20. 'They are not, as a rule, published by the State Media' - Interesting. What Trevor seems to be protesting about therefore is the press's ability to make a judgement call on what feely available information they determine to be in the public's interest ?

    Perhaps Trevor, or one of his supporters, would care to explain how what they are seeking is anything but press censorship ?

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    1. Hi States Propagandist at 13:13

      Indeed these records are generally available for view but not generally for copying.

      But don't just take my word for it, listen instead to fellow States Propagandist CTV report available on the video at

      http://therightofreply.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/pitmans-pounded-again-by-tell-lie-vision.html

      Opening with a toe curling atempt at humiliating the ex oposition politicians CTV states at 15 seconds in " ...... £600,000* in dept! How do we know that figure? Well the States Viscout has take n the UNPRESEDENTED decision to release to the media ......."
      they have released the information because, they say, it is in the public interest .........."


      LOL

      So there you have it. Their errrr.... 'public interest' politicised agenda has led them to proactively promote the information which they see as damaging.
      '
      Very odd how this public interest disclosure and reporting of the case did not extend to cover the 'criminally' conflicted and child-abuse-enabling-hiding [Ex.]Jurat Le Breton** who sat on the Pitman's case


      Is this the lowest that CTV has ever sunk? ....... Far from it, Try the three CTV news distortions at
      http://ricosorda.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/scrutiny-review-findings-myth-of-20.html

      where they join with the corrupt police officer with leaks and lies to trash the good police enquiry into decades of horrific child abuse and to prepare the public for non prosecution of perpetrators who remain at large and potentially dangerous.

      Would you like to know WHY Channel TV might be so enthusiastic allies of the failed cryptofeudalist elite and it's child molesters ????????

      Always helpful to bring the threads together
      Look forward to your reply ;-)


      *£600,000 a misleading lie, as not offset against value of their house to be sold
      ** Shall we talk about what other 'sensitive' cases [Ex.]Jurat Le Breton was selected to sit on ...........?

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  21. Apologies but you seem keen to twist what we are concerned about. The fact is the rules must be applied for all and have not been. To be fair I don't know why John Gripton and his poodle Jo Baker, similarly Leah Ferguson for Rankin Inc bothered - why not just make it up as they did and have always done.

    But speaking about press censorship perhaps you can explain why such people censor matters such as Jurat John Le breton's documented history of disregarding evidence against paedophile friends, not to mention entertaining directors and shareholders in a defendants (JEP) owners?

    Funny that...

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  22. Ah, if only the likes of Rankin Inc, Not so Bright newspapers and Gripton Hate Site promotors would employ a journalist with your evident ability to get to the facts and confront them!

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  23. I'm actually not trying to twist anything. You are upset that the media have decided to publish details of your bankruptcy but the media haven't broken any 'rules' in doing so. They have merely taken a decision to do so, on the basis that they believe the public would be interested in those details. They are under no obligation to print all, or any, similar details of other bankruptcy proceedings, however they may decide to do so in the future if they considered those details to be of public interest.

    I understand your feelings have been hurt by their decision, but unfortunately, your feelings are neither here nor there when it comes to the legality of their decision to report this freely available information. (Unless of course they have reported details of your creditors which are untrue, which I don't believe you are claiming). You might or might not ponder this issue of 'feelings' when you decide to mock others (as I notice your are still doing), because you are directly benefitting from their inability to do anything because their feelings have been hurt.

    You also obviously feel they are punishing you for your past conduct, and that may well be true. Unfortunately, there is little you can do about this, other than learn a lesson and maybe change how you treat others going forwards in the hope that you might be better treated yourself.

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    1. Oh dear - you sound like a rather worried lawyer or perhaps bullying 'businessman'? Or could that be a State Media lackey feeling a inadequate that you don't have the TF to stand up the editor? No wonder the only respected media in Jersey are citizens Media outlets such as this. As for 'not being able to do anything' dream on dear coward. All more relevant material for Strasbourg - not to mention something very interesting for September/October...

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  24. What a most interesting debate.

    I've just read some of the twitter threads & see - contrary to the impression given in some of the assertions above - that the detailed information concerning the Pitmans was not, in fact, some randomly public data that the local msm happened to 'stumble across' & so decided to report.

    As, in fact, confirmed by at least one local hack, they were expressly "given access" to the data - by the "Viscount's Department" - who were promoting its publication on what the Viscount's Department had decided was in the "public interest".

    Well.

    So the Viscount's Department understands and appreciates "public interest" disclosure - and media scrutiny - of public office.

    Excellent.

    *cracks knuckles*

    Stuart

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    1. I believe the Pitman's were correct in assuming they were 'libelled' in the 'cartoon' placed in the JEP by Broadlands.
      I do not know the Pitman's, although Shona Pitman did knock on my door to aske for 'my vote' in a forth coming election. I told her I would not vote for her because I had already made my mind up to vote for others standing.

      As for Mr Pitman, I've never even seen him other than on TV or in the JEP and I've never spoken to him. Now had this case came before a Jury which I was sitting on, I could only come to the conclusion/judgement which would have favoured the Pitman's. I do believe that the Pitman's were 'set up' by the Establishment Party' because they asked awkward questions, some of which I did not agree with, but that said I still believe they were wronged not once but more than once.

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    2. This subject is discussed in part two of the interview which (hopefully) will be published tomorrow.

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  25. I envisage a scenario of, the viscount ready primed the PR handing the conveniently spun debt story to the State media. I don't believe the State media need look for news.

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  26. This isn't good, obviously, for Trevor & Shona Pitman, but if it's any consolation to them the rest of us in the wider community have gained a kind of enjoyment in seeing the Establishment blunder so amazingly and shoot themselves in both feet. It's being said by many people that for the Establishment side to so obviously bully and trample two people who are already down & suffering just shows them up to be thugs a bit like Putin.

    Most of my aunties & uncles are as traditional Jersey as you like and not one of them, not one, has had a good word to say about the Crown officers & Viscount over this. People just don't like to see bullying and kicking people when they're down, especially when these are basically good people, not like they've done anything wrong, just maybe made some mistakes in fighting against those in Jersey who are too powerful anyway.

    This is a big big mistake and like Syvret says if it's ok publish stuff in the public interest well that's got to go both ways. You can't have double standards.

    Jersey girl

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    1. It's revealing as to what the State Media see is in the public interest and what isn't. It appears that the financial affairs of two members of the public IS in the public interest yet THIS ISN'T

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  27. 40 odd comments seems like when important stories like this get broken by citizens media the blogs are probably bigger than ever. Keep up the good work Voice.

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  28. Tony's Musings
    Jersey Historic Abuse Inquiry: Guest Posting - Today, with permission from Carrie Modral to re-post, I have a guest posting from her regarding the Jersey "Historic" Abuse Inquiry.

    http://tonymusings.blogspot.com/2014/05/jersey-historic-abuse-inquiry-guest.html

    It is an appeal for all witnesses to come forward.

    Like any Establishment inquiry it is organised to minimise the embarrassment (and the effectiveness) and probably skewed to achieve the outcomes favouring the paymasters (vis Hilsborough)

    Retired Deputy DW and others have serious concerns regarding the protocols and the terms of reference

    It is a very expensive inquiry due to the set up, with culpable officials and the "great and good" being provided with near unlimited legal assistance at taxpayer's expense, but witnesses such as the whistleblower Ex Health Minister being given none, and also still being subject to superinjunctions and much evidence only being taken behind closed doors.

    Ex Health Minister Syvret raised some early concerns at:

    http://freespeechoffshore.nl/stuartsyvretblog/the-publics-inquiry-into-the-public-inquiry-starts-here/

    There seems to be a dilemma whether to co-operate with the inquiry given it's faults.
    Indeed the shysters write the rules and run the show but my feeling is that a boycott or partial boycott of the inquiry just plays into their hands.

    Perhaps bloggers and interested parties should get together with a view to formulating a united front. Perhaps witnesses could ensure that their evidence is not "lost" or ignored by providing a written summary of it to trusted bloggers such as VFC, Rico or Stuart.

    Also perhaps the shortcomings of the inquiry can be presented to the inquiry ........ They can ignore this evidence but at least it's presentation can be documented by bloggers.

    Something else that bothers me is that my understanding is that those who have been in receipt of compensation are subject to a gagging clause. Is this the case?

    In short GIVE EVIDENCE[?] This could be tho last best chance. Discuss..........

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    1. It is imperative that the COI receives as much evidence that is available. There are a few concerns regarding some of its protocols etc but these can be ironed out. Victims/Survivors who have received compensation are NOT gagged in that they CAN give evidence but are not allowed to divulge how much compensation they have individually received.

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