And Establish a Compensation Scheme.
But – does that mean real justice for the survivors?
“I have serious concerns, to be honest, about the whole child protection, child welfare standards of performance of Jersey, not just within my own department, Social Services and the Children’s Service, but across the board. I am aware of a number of issues, this being one of them, a number of cases, a number of incidents that lead me more and more strongly to the conclusion that we are failing badly in this area. I am probably going to be seeking to initiate a major independent review into the whole sphere of child welfare, child protection in Jersey. So if you are asking me honestly, do I believe the performance of certain senior individuals within this field and of the departments generally is acceptable, no, it is not.”
Stuart Syvret, Minister for Health & Social Services
In answer to a question in the Jersey parliament – 16th July 2007.
In answer to a question in the Jersey parliament – 16th July 2007.
So – here we are.Over four and half years of political and legal apocalypse later. And finally the States of Jersey admit to that which was plain and evidenced – and discovered for them – and told to them – in an honest answer, given in the island’s parliament.
Over four-and-a-half years ago.
Being an honest person in politics is an immensely difficult – and thankless – path to take.
But one can take some crumb of comfort in being correct.
I was right, too – when I described the States assembly as largely a collection of gangsters and halfwits – in a TV interview – after they had shouted-down and halted my Christmas speech – in which I was attempting to express some recognition and empathy towards all those decades of abuse survivors.
The first time ever, that a Jersey politician had spoken of them.
And I’m right, too – when I say you have the government you deserve.
This is the confidential file-note, written by then Police Chief Graham Power, on the 25th July 2007 – after an attempt was made to involve him in the illegal conspiracy to engineer my dismissal. The senior civil servants – with the support of people like Frank Walker and the Attorney General – hoped that by oppressing me, they could keep the child protection failures hidden.
“Note book entry made on 25th July, 2007
16.00. I am at HQ having just returned from a meeting of the CMB (Corporate Management Board.) During the meeting BO (Bill Ogley) said that he would wish some of us to remain afterwards to discuss the comments of the Health Minister Senator Syvret in relation to child protection issues. He told the full meeting that it was possible that the COM (Council of Ministers) would pass a notice of “no confidence” tomorrow and ask this to be confirmed by a full meeting of the States specially convened for that purpose. This would result in Senator Syvret having to leave Office. It was also mentioned that the island’s Child Protection Committee (C.P.C) was meeting that afternoon and I was asked if we would be represented. I got the impression that those present saw that meeting as particularly significant, and felt that “something was going on” which others knew about but I did not.
I said that I did not know about the meeting (I would not usually know) and that I assumed Insp. Fossey (Detective Inspector Alison Fossey) who BO knows and we both referred to as “Alison” would be representing the force.
After the meeting, myself, TMcK (Tom McKeon, Chief Officer Education, Sport & Culture) and MP (Mike Pollard, Chief Officer, Health & Social Services) and Ian C (Ian Crich, Director, States HR Department) remained behind. I was handed a copy of a report to Ministers and associated papers, which I have stamped and initialled. The discussion was led by BO who disclosed that the C.P.C would, this afternoon be discussing a vote of no confidence in the Minister. MP and TMcK did not seem surprised at this. MP seemed to be fully signed up to this course of action.
Attempts were made by BO to draw me into this. I was told that my people were “part of” the island’s arrangements and I should show collective support by opposing the criticism made by the Minister. I was taken aback by this but responded in two ways. Firstly I said leaving aside issues of style and manner the questions raised by the Minister were valid. Particularly in respect of the time it had taken for the abuse of a [child] in [a] case to come to the notice of the police and the apparent failure of child protection to give it priority. I said that the SCR (Serious Case Review) was a poor effort which missed the hard questions and I was not surprised that the Minister was not impressed. I conceded that all of the questions might have answers, I just thought they were good questions and ones which a Minister could validly ask. There was also some discussion of the Victoria College and Holland cases which was not central to the issue.
BO and the others were persistent and I was left with the clear impression that they were attempting to draw me, in my capacity as Chief of Police, into a civil service led attempt to remove a Minister from Office.
Having concluded this I then moved on to my second point which was that even if I agreed with everything they said I would still have nothing to do with it. They were engaging in what I saw as political activity and it was entirely inappropriate that I should be involved one way or the other. The fact that “I will have nothing to do with this” was made clearly. At this point BO said “in that case, goodbye”, or something very similar. I picked up my papers. There was no bad feeling or bad words, we just disagreed. As soon as I was outside I rang SDV (Shaun Du Val, Head of Operations) and alerted him to the possible problems at the C.P.C. AF rang me not long afterwards and told me that she had abstained. I told her to put this beyond all doubt by a follow-up e-mail to the Chair. I made this notebook entry then walked over to Ops for it to be timed in the relevant machine.
Graham Power, 16.39, Wed. 25th July 2007.”
When we speak of the culpability – the guilt – of the States of Jersey, in respect of all those decades of child abuse – of ruined lives – we are looking at such a startling level of turpitude – of breathtaking dishonesty and reprehensible corruption – that it even transcends some of the more infamous examples of child abuse concealment to have emerged globally in the last decade or two.
Which other jurisdiction – on the face of the planet – sacks a Social Services Minister – for trying to protect vulnerable children?
Which other jurisdiction - on the face of the planet - illegally suspends the Police Chief - in order to sabotage a child abuse investigation?
Not even Zimbabwe or North-Korea or Putin’s Russia or Iran have acted in such ways.
Yet, here in Jersey – even though the illegal conspiracy is exposed – what action is taken against the perpetrators?
Bill Ogley – who should be in prison doing ten years straight – has been paid-off – with over half-a-million pounds of tax-payers money – plus solid-gold pension.
And the abuse survivors?
Those people who were criminally failed and betrayed by the States of Jersey?
The best most could expect from the recently announced compensation scheme, might be enough money to buy a cheap car.
Tony has written a thoughtful article concerning the subject:
Innocent victims of your government – people who were failed and betrayed by expensive civil servants – children who were treated savagely - are not going to receive anything like sufficient compensation.
Meanwhile – the gangsters and halfwits you choose to elect – will happily spend over half-a-million pounds of your money – paying-off one of those civil servants.
A civil servant who – evidencedly – engaged in a criminal conspiracy to sabotage democracy – and to obstruct the first ever States member to have recognised and spoken out against the child protection failures.
A civil servant who then engaged in another criminal conspiracy to unlawfully sabotage objective policing and to engineer the illegal suspension of the Police Chief.
A civil servant who then destroyed the contemporaneous notes before they could be verified.
A civil servant who perverted justice – and who should be prosecuted.
Over £500,000 – plus gold-plated pension – to Bill Ogley.
Whilst the innocent victims might get a pittance.
The government you deserve.