Jersey – post the first

  on March 4th, 2008

I’ve kept quiet on here about recent events in my home island. I’ve been trying to look between the lies and lines, see through the spin and the arguments. As it is, for the moment, have a post from the Econimist…It should go some way towards explaining why there’s accusations of a cover-up…and rightly so, I hasten to add….Someone said to me that the States of Jersey (the local government) are as bad as Crawley Council. I can only reply that Crawley Council are still in the nursery compared to the Jersey Establishment.

Child abuse in Jersey – Not seen, not heard

A grisly discovery raises questions about the offshore haven

FED on salmon and insured for £4.5m ($8.9m), Eddie is a prince among springer spaniels. The police sniffer-dog justified his lavish lifestyle on February 23rd, when he led officers to a spot at an old children’s home where, under concrete, lay the remains of a child’s skull. Police are digging up six more patches in the grounds of Haut de la Garenne, a Victorian “industrial school” that was a children’s home until 1986. The excavations are part of a probe into child sexual abuse going back to the 1940s. Officers have taken phone calls from more than 160 people who claim to have been mistreated there, and fear that the home could reveal more bodies.

The discovery is the more shocking because it was made on Jersey, an island of just 90,000 inhabitants. Islanders, who hold British passports but are geographically closer to France and elect their own government, find it hard to believe that children could simply vanish without anyone knowing. Stuart Syvret, a former health minister, has put together a dossier of abuse in schools and care homes that he thinks has been hushed up for decades by “the establishment”, from social workers to politicians and judges, whom he accuses of being more worried about spoiling Jersey’s reputation as a pretty place for offshore banking. The island is livid with rumour: backhanders, paedophilic cults and Masonic conspiracies are among the wilder theories swirling around.

Eddie and his colleagues have days of digging ahead of them. But the focus on Jersey has already exposed features of island life that could make abuses of all sorts more likely, and the reporting of them less so. One is the constitutional conflicts of interest that result from Jersey’s small size. In his role as the island’s “bailiff”, Sir Philip Bailhache is both president of the legislature and head of the judiciary. His brother, William, is the attorney-general, a role which on Jersey includes the job of chief prosecutor. Doubling-up such as this is partly why abuse has not always been rigorously pursued, Mr Syvret reckons. He wants judges to be flown over from the mainland for any trials that emerge from Haut de la Garenne, to ensure impartiality. On February 27th a group of British MPs backed his calls. The British government has yet to show its hand.

A lack of decent facilities—another consequence of Jersey’s size—may also have contributed to some of the milder malpractice cited. Until recently, young offenders were remanded to a small converted farmhouse with windowless rooms and dingy attics. Those who tried to abscond were locked up in isolation—to punish them, according to a whistleblower from the mainland who was sacked last year, or because there was nowhere else secure to put them, according to social services. A new £3.5m home, opened in 2006, should improve matters.

At the root of many of the island’s problems is its halting democracy. Though politicians are elected, voters have no say in who forms a government, since assemblymen are voted into ministerial posts by their peers. That is true in Westminster too, of course—but in Jersey almost all parliamentarians are independents, making it hard to know what sort of coalition will emerge from elections. Frank Walker, chosen as chief minister in 2005, had won fewer votes in the island-wide elections than Mr Syvret, who is now a backbencher. Voters are giving up: at the last election, in 2005, six deputies were elected unopposed, on a turnout of less than 40%. (On neighbouring Guernsey it was 63%.)

The arrival of dozens of journalists on Jersey is not welcomed by all, though it is good news for hoteliers and publicans. But there may be benefits to opening up the island to outside scrutiny. Links between government and the local media have caused many islanders unease before now. Until 2005 Mr Walker was chairman of the company that owned the island’s only newspaper, the Jersey Evening Post. (Its reporters deny any bias, but say that there were regular arguments with Mr Walker over content.) Disaffected readers can always tune into local radio, of course—where they may hear the news read by one Fiona Spurr, who also goes by the name of Mrs Frank Walker.

see what I mean? I used to be proud to say I came from Jersey – as some of you will know, lol. But now I’m ashamed. Ashamed and disgusted at whats crawling out of the woodwork. Oh, the childabuse is most certainly terrible. But, sadly, that happens everywhere. What’s really eating away at me is the cover-up and the fact that we’re finaly, as an island, rrealising, slowley, that the island is run to keep the finance industry in clover….have a latest bulletin from the Jersey Evening Post…

Bumper year for finance industry

By Christine Herbert

JERSEY’S finance industry has reported another bumper year, with both funds and bank deposits reaching new highs.

The end of year figures show a 37% increase in funds value, to £246.1 billion. Bank deposits rose by 11.9% during the year, to £212.3 billion.

Geoff Cook, chief executive of Jersey Finance, said: ‘While 2007 was an excellent year of growth across all sectors we are particularly pleased with the continued growth in new entrants to the Island, which illustrates the attractiveness of doing business in Jersey.’

During the year the regulator approved two new banking licences, for EFG Private Bank and Investec Bank.

New fund administrators authorised included Saltgate Ltd, Nordic Capital, Rathbone Fund Services Jersey, Horizon Trustees, Pentera Trust Company, Walbrook Fund Managers, and Investec Trust.

thats from today’s online edition – the JEP is only now starting to print letters opposing the local establishment and, I suspect, only doing so to try to avoid any more accusations of being the States’ very own Pravda. Here’s a thought….

Fake Keith knows a thing or two about newspapers, lets see what she can make of this taken from Stuart Syvret’s blog…

In a comment piece in Monday’s JEP, The Rag’s “political” correspondent – Ben Queree – wrote that he was a mate of Frank Walker’s and that he thought he was basically a good guy.

Remember – Ben is the lead reporter for the Jersey Evening Post for political issues.

Yet here – with a remarkable lack of embarrassment – he admits he is mates with the Jersey Chief Minister; and goes on to imply that anyone who judges Walker harshly is being terribly unfair – and it’s really that Stuart Syvret who is a bastard.

Now – we are supposed to take this reporter seriously as an objective reporter of major Jersey political stories.

You couldn’t make it up.

This simply illustrates further the utter incompetence – and pro-establishment bias – in the Jersey media.

Now Stuart does tend to come across as a man with a mission…and his credibility is very ever so slightly damaged by the fact they sacked him – now, he was sacked for apparently undermining his staff when he was a minister…he claims it was because he tried to blow the whistle on aeverything that was happening. However, I do feel that he is truthfull enough, well, for a politician anyway, lol.

Ive been getting very frustrated that there hasn;t been any organised protests etc…however, it seems that finaly, things may change a little….I don;t hold out much hope..the local media will no doubt rubbish it, but well…heres this from ‘Is this Jersey?’
An informal consensus-based organising group now exists to pull together the publicity and other arrangements for the gathering/vigil/protest in the Royal Square – we hope it will be an expression of community outrage after the recent terrible news. In particular, its an opportunity to show support for the victims of child abuse in Jersey, failed by the public administration system, and to register concerns about the need for change. No cover ups and to ensure this never happens again. No more overlap between judiciary and legislature. No more culture of secrecy. Please tell your friends, publicise where you can. Anybody who wants to help in the next few days, please ring or text Jersey Solidarity on 07797844358. There’s plenty to do.

Tell your family and friends – Saturday 8th March Royal Square 12 noon.

copy this message and put it on other sites – facebook, Planet Jersey, any you can think of. Any small help – ringing Radio Jersey Phone-ins, putting ad in JEP, even a small one in personal column, promoting on web, helping with posters, leaflets, creating a telephone tree, turning up in numbers on Saturday, all help is needed and valued. Let’s come together as a community and say things have got to change.

WEAR OR BRING A DAFFODIL – a flower of Spring, a new beginning, of truth.

lets keep our fingers crossed

Vivre La révolution…



Official Staggering Stories warning

  on October 31st, 2007

Dear viewers. It has been brought to my notice that the podcast below – series one, number seven Escape to Danger/Dalek Special can cause vehicle damage and personal injury.

Especially if its being listened to on a motorway slip road. One apparently ends up facing the wrong way.

Viewers are advised that we take NO responsibility for any injury or damage to persons or possesions that may happen whilst our podcasts are being listened to.

Especially if its the bit about ‘Eddie’s Hoover Accident’….

love and kisses




The New Order – Rule Six!

  on August 17th, 2007

The Isle Of Man shall hereby be cut off from any other landmass. No boats or planes shall be allowed to leave and all internet, phone and other stuff, like, ya know, ain’t allowed innit.

Or Something.



The New Order – Rule Five!

  on August 16th, 2007

All future podcast recordings to last no longer then one hour.

No…really….this last one is a beast!



The New Order – Rule Four!

  on August 15th, 2007

Right, weakling scum…No more Head Of Pertwee…..the bloody thing gives me the creeps. It sits there on RPG evenings, atop it’s spike and….stares at me……It ain’t right, I tells you….BURN IT!