Jersey – post the first

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…

7 Responses to "Jersey – post the first"

  1. Hobbit says:

    I had a peek at the JEP website and found the attitude of some of the columnists and letter writers disturbing.

    One of the letter writers was of the opinion that ‘oh well, there has been bullying since the year dot and why are we making such a fuss’?

    I didn’t realise that two brothers effectively hold four key judicial roles on the island. How on Earth can this be allowed? How can you have open justice when the men at the top are taking nepotism to new heights? And please tell me how you can have a free press when the chief minister is chairman of the company that owns the island’s newspaper?

    One of the columnists on the website pointed out that no one had made a link between the home and Hitler and what she called Jersey’s “Nazi past”. I quote: “So far, no direct link has been found between Hitler and Haut de la Garenne, but surely it is only a matter of time, given what is probably known in tabloidese as our “Nazi past.”

    The fact that she wrote this is wrong on so many levels – she is virtually daring the media to voice the idea of such a connection and she will shout the loudest when some foreign journo does just that. It is an example of a columnist trying to dictate the angle the news should take – something she moaned about earlier in her entry.

    She also seems very reluctant to address the matter of a suspected cover-up, dismissing it as a political side issue. How much digging ha she done. How many people outside the mainstream of local government has she spoken to? None, I suspect.

    Any journo worth their salt knows that to uncover the truth behind a rumour you talk to the tea boy, the girl in the photocopying room, the receptionists – they are not trained to answer media questions and they know nothing about ‘spin’. They will give you answers without even knowing they’ve done so. Once you have spoken to them and slotted a few puzzle pieces into place you start to put more precise questions to the people in power – and if they refuse to answer or refuse to give a straight answer you make damned sure your readers know it.

    You do not dismiss one of the biggest stories to have come out of your community in decades as ‘a side issue’.

    It annoys me that no one has asked the right questions. Complaints have been registered about the home several tims over the years – people were fired – why was no one willing to put two and two together?

    That’s the problem with an island community – independence is a wonderful thing but, as with all closed communities, you have to expect political in-breeding.

    I do not know nearly enough about Jersey to comment further but, should any prosecutions come from this whole affair, then I agree with Mr Syvret – the judges and juries should be pulled from all across the country and proceedings should be held as far from Jersey as possible.

  2. Today (Friday the 7th March) editorial comment from the JEP Online edition. In case your wondering, Ben Shenton, mentioned within, is the guy Syvret mentioned as a possible suitible new Chief Minister….and now the knives are out for him, it seems…

    The inquiry moves forward

    WHEN the national and international media descended on Haut de la Garenne they were reacting to dramatic allegations that the home had been the focus of child abuse for decades. It is clear that they had also formed the opinion that bodies were about to be discovered in what was quite obviously a police investigation on a major scale.
    It would be a distortion of the media’s motivation to say that the reporters and crews who waited for so many bleak hours on the road outside Haut de la Garenne were eager for gruesome discoveries. Nevertheless, that is what kept them there. Now that the investigation is passing into a new phase – in which painstaking behind-the-scenes work will begin to displace diggers, sniffer dogs and forensic scientists – the news teams have gone and the number of column inches and the amount of broadcast time devoted to Jersey will diminish sharply.
    The intense spotlight on what is now one of the most notorious buildings in Britain no doubt helped the police in their inquiries by encouraging more possible victims to offer evidence. Unfortunately, it also spurred a great deal of attention that has done the Island’s reputation nothing but harm.
    Sadly, that harm has been compounded by one of the most spectacular public relations catastrophes of recent times, the determination of some elements to make political capital out of human tragedy, and, to cap it all, an astoundingly naïve, idiotic and insensitive e-mail from current Health Minister Ben Shenton.
    To highlight the bad publicity that Haut de la Garenne and associated matters have brought down on our heads is not to minimise or in any way underplay the principal concern in all this – the impact of horrible abuse on individuals. Indeed, there has been widespread recognition that the media circus, political posturing and political ineptitude, ridiculous background features focusing on the German Occupation, finance and the supposed climate of secrecy here have been mere incidentals, secondary in every respect to the case, its investigation and the human beings they concern.
    But the question that many will now be asking inside and outside the Island is what next? The simple answer is a hiatus. In the absence of evidence of multiple murder – which at an earlier stage seemed on the cards – the slow assessment of evidence and the compilation of dossiers will continue.
    It now seems that arrests and charges may follow more quickly than was initially suggested by the police, but it will still be many months before the whole picture of this sad and deeply regrettable business will be resolved.

    Im again deeply disgusted by the JEP and the way it seeks to control what people think.

  3. Dean says:

    Thought you should know there is a cover up going on at this moment in time involving the Senior Police & Government Officials which do not want things to come out, We have many people in Jersey who have & are trying to make complaints against several people but they are untouchable due to the way the laws have been put in to place by the corrupt Jersey Government, if these complaints were allowed to be followed up several people would lose there positions & possibly face serving time in jail, we have the proof but no where to take it,

    We have tried every way possible in Jersey, Tried the UK Press, Government & Police but keep getting told sorry we can not get involved due to Jersey having there own Government or having to pass there stories via the senior police first, If we lived in the UK these complaints would be looked in to & action would be forthcoming but Jersey looks after there own (officials that is) not the people who matter,

    Lets hope we are able to remove these members from power to start a change & clean up our island, lets get honest people in power who have to answer to some one else if they make a mistake or cause some one else harm, get these cover ups out in the open.

  4. Dean, thank you for your comments. I’m sorry it’s taken a little while to reply to them, but I’ve been somewhat busy (my father is over for a visit – the poor man is having to put up with my ranting about things).

    Anyway, may I suggest, if you haven’t already, going back to the police now? I have a feeling they may well listen this time around. Also, contact Senator Stuart Syvret. No matter what you may think of him, I’m sure you’ll get a sympathetic ear and some damn good advice about what to do. His blog is

    or, of course, there’s the phone book, lol.

    I’m still trying my best to do the little I can over here…posting on forums, sending emails…Ill be phoning Radio Jersey sometime soon, once Ive sorted a few facts out. They seem to be getting in trouble as I note a complaint or two has been sent to the BBC over in the uk about political bias from the jersey office re: the way certain things have been reported and the ‘accidental’ giving out of an incorrect time for the rally last Saturday.

    The JEP online edition does seem to be finaly treading a thin line between being Walker’s lapdog and keeping the slightest crumb of credibility by posting up critical letters…none about the JEP itself, of course.

    good luck to you, Dean and do feel free to keep in touch.

  5. Christian says:

    Thanks for your Blog 🙂 God Bless you

  6. foursgiant says:

    Malice in Sunderland…………the total and complete Silence of politicians, media and the law is hiding the truth from this nation.
    The electoral registers for Sunderland North contains incorrect voter registration numbers printed in the columns alongside voters
    names. Sometimes the Registers are printed with the same error numbers year after year, one particular period from 1958 to 1961
    shows that these numbers cannot be common human error as during this period the housing estate was covered by two separate electoral
    wards and both of these wards show the same and also similar errors for this one particular housing estate. Some people have even received
    a wrong electoral number more than once in their voting lifetime and nearly all of the electoral registers that I have looked at dating
    from about 1950 to 1972 contain errors, errors placed in such a way that they can only have been put there for a reason or purpose
    beyond their normal intended use. I suspect that the error numbers continue into the early 1990’s

  7. natjer says:

    yes massive cover up but what has changed here, we jersey poeple are aware of abuses in the care system , who is protecting who. will justice ever be acheived here, recently an ex teacher has been found grooming children via the internet ,so very pleased he was caught. think of it this way if he was still employed by the states would have been dealt so fast , doubt it ,he probably would have been protected as not embarras the well done on that one but it does not impress us when there are 40 suspects of child abuse happily living their lives most still in jersey . yes around 40 suspect child abusers been protected from prosecution because they were employed by the states of jersey at the same time they were abusing our children .there is more than enough victims statements to bang these sickos up for their crimes .god what will it take to get vcitims the justice they deserve.then there is the other matter put the name JASON SWIFT in ur search engine. he was a vitim of a peadofile ring in islington london 1980s . he was murderd along with 8 others boys that they know of .when hundreds of children disapear whilst in care no one notices. so how many lost children could have been victims of peadofile rings. any way back to peadofile rings , this one in london was connected to haut la garenne. 2 staff from haut de la garenne became workers in islington childrens home ferrying children to and from jersey on HOLIDAYS lucky them.! ! ! THERE ARE DIRECT LINKS . as most of the records have been destroyed, lost or tampered with we will never know the whole truth. a friend of mine recently applied for records to prove he had been resident here all his life. was told all his records from that time had been destroyed.after aproaching another dept in the sates was given written confirmation he was resident at le chenne , a.lthough the dates on this letter confims his birth took place in 1980 he was at the naughty school in 1981-1985 he must have been the youngest pupil at the age of 1 years old to be put into le chenne for behaviour problems . you could not make it up.we found this quite amusing as they obviously dont have a clue .if ur going to bullshit us make sure ur damn good at it ,nothing suprises me any more ive lost a few friends to suicide because of child abuse i am a survivor my self, i am one of the lucky ones , i am alive !

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.