Thursday, 26 January 2012



DATE:  JANUARY 25th 2012

CONTACT: 07797 824243

"Given that a letter summarizing damning criticism allegedly contained within the ‘interim Metropolitan Report’ led to the suspension of the former Chief of Police and severe criticism of the Senior Investigating Officer of the Historic Abuse Inquiry, will the Minister be apologizing and/or resigning now that the Independent Police Complaints Commission have confirmed that no such criticism of the two officers was contained in the ‘interim’ or final reports?

Deputy Trevor Pitman has lodged the above oral question to be put to the Home Affairs Minister, Senator Ian Le Marquand at the next States Sitting on Tuesday 1st February. This question follows on from e-mail correspondence relating to the findings of the Independent Police Complaints Commission sent by the former Senior Investigating Officer, Mr. Lenny Harper to the Home Affairs Minister and also copied to local media.

The essence of the relevant findings by the IPCC is that it appears to destroy once and for all the stated justification for the original decision – taken on the back of a letter from the former Acting Deputy Chief of Police Mr. Warcup - to suspend the former Police Chief Mr. Power and which initiated the tirade of sweeping criticisms and inaccurate reporting of the handling of the Historic Abuse Inquiry by both men.

Sweeping inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have largely been laid bare by the recent Scrutiny Sub-Panel review of which I was the Chairman; and which have even been acknowledged by the Home Affairs Minister himself.  Of course, as the Scrutiny Sub-Panel also made clear there is no doubt that some elements of the investigation were not nearly as good as they should have been.

However, the content of Mr. Harper’s e-mail raises serious questions that go to the very core of the democratic process for which government is responsible. As such I have been shocked – if sadly not surprised - that I am yet to see or hear any reporting of this by any one of our four local mainstream media organisations. 

Since the issuing of our report - while the extensive findings contained within were largely ignored by all mainstream media - we have in contrast incredibly already witnessed the appalling attempt by some to reinvent an officer  confirmed by the Minister as having leaked misinformation to the UK media during a live child abuse investigation as some kind of ‘whistle-blower’.

I find myself asking: will our mainstream media now simply also sweep this emerging new evidence under the carpet too because it conflicts with the picture already painted? As you will all be aware, I am one of the few politicians who have taken the time to follow this sad and sorry saga in Jersey’s history from the beginning. Not only followed it but persevered in researching and asking questions in the hope of helping those rightly angered and determined members of the public bring the whole truth to light no matter how long it takes.

Persevered while so many of my colleagues (former and present) have simply kept their head down out of fear of being attacked, ridiculed or misrepresented for their commitment to natural justice. So I also ask our media in this statement: is there really any surprise that a lack of trust in so much of Jersey’s government as you all regularly report is likely surpassed only by the profound lack of trust in much of  the accredited media itself? The role of professional media should not be about suppressing, let alone spinning or distorting history I hope all would agree?

It should be about simply investigating and  reporting; fairly, squarely and without prejudice or favour to any party regardless of allegiance. If that demands asking difficult, even potentially damaging questions to those at the very heart of power than surely the courage to do so must be found. We have enough cowards within politics – we cannot afford more in the other key arena on which the ordinary public must rely so heavily for accuracy of information and integrity.

I appeal to the media: please do start asking the uncomfortable questions that clearly need to be asked about this. If simple ‘bloggers’ – just members of the public can find the resolve then surely there is no excuse for any of the rest of us if we ultimately want to be able to hold our heads high in years to come. The victims of abuse who continue to put such faith in the two former officers who initiated the police investigation surely deserve no less.

Answers or more spin?  It seems to me that there really is only one choice to pursue…

Deputy Trevor Pitman

As I advised readers yesterday to avoid having the question blocked as falling foul of Standing Orders it had to be re-worded as follows to first 'enquire' whether or not the Minister had actually seen the findings . The naughty word 'damning' relating to criticisms also had to go! Readers shouldn't worry about this too much. As new Members will quickly learn it is regularly the case that when a question relates to something a bit contentious you have to ask what you really wanted with your first supplementary follow-up to get it on the Order Paper. The question's new 'fluffier' wording now reads:

"Is the Minister aware of the report of the Independent Police Complaints Commission into the complaint from Mr. Lenny Harper and, if so, would he advise whether it states that the interim Metropolitan Police Report, that was a factor in the suspension of the former Chief officer and allegedly criticized the former Senior Investigating officer, contained no such criticisms and, if so, will he apologize or resign?" 

Saturday, 14 January 2012



Below I list the oral questions that I have on the Order Paper for next Tuesday 17th January. Pitched to both ‘Chief Minister’ Ian Gorst and Chairman of PPC Constable Simon Crowcroft not surprisingly they both focus on the appalling attempt to sell out the States large majority decision of only March 2010 to put reform in the hands of a fully independent Electoral Commission.  See my last post for the full details.

QUESTION 1: Deputy T. M. Pitman of St. Helier will ask the following question of the Chairman of the Privileges and Procedures Committee –

“Will the Chairman advise whether the recent decision by the Privileges and Procedures Committee at its January 4th meeting to seek the agreement of the States to reverse its majority decision to have a fully Independent Electoral Commission and allow it to be chaired by a States Member was made unanimously and if not would he advise which Committee Members voted in favour of the proposal?”

QUESTION 2: Deputy T.M. Pitman of St. Helier will ask the following question of Chief Minister 

“What justification does the Chief Minister have for withdrawing his support for a fully independent Election Commission, and proposing instead that his Assistant Minister chair the Commission, especially given that this was a factor in garnering the support of several Members in his election for Chief Minister, and will he now be offering his resignation as a consequence of going back on this commitment?”


Forget the rubbish about a clear four to two vote that was claimed in the JEP. If my good – but clearly misguided friend, Simon Crowcroft says anything other than the truth i.e. that the decision to risk sacrificing all of Daniel Wimberley’s excellent hard work on the alter of Senator Philip Bailhache’s colossal ego actually was passed by just one crucial vote – that of Philip Bailhache - then the words ‘Sir, the Chairman is misleading the House!’ will be echoing around the Chamber. I’m sure I will have no need…

As for ‘Chief Minister’ Gorst it is really quite difficult to imagine what his response will be. It should be something like a short and humble: “I’m really very sorry. I apologise. I have gone back on my word about inclusive government. I have gone back on my word about revealing the details of the disgusting ‘golden handshakes’ paid out under by predecessor. I have been pressured to go back on my word to support a fully independent Electoral Commission. But today I am going to show that I do have some backbone and say “Sorry Philip, I’m not going to let you hijack this after all!” Should we hold our breath? Sadly I doubt we should…


QUESTION 1: Deputy S. Pitman of St. Helier will ask the following question of the Minister for Social Security –

“Will the Minister advise whether there have been long-standing problems within his Department concerning the loss of documents, data being mislaid and conflicting information given out to the public from different members of staff, if so, what measures will he be implementing to resolve this situation?”

QUESTION 2: Deputy S Pitman of St. Helier will ask the following question of the Minister for Housing –

“What action if any, is the Minister taking to ensure that Housing Trusts take responsibility for maintenance matters?”


The only answer to Shona’s first question can really be an emphatic yes – and it really isn’t acceptable. It is also equally true to remember that this problem has not been of Senator Le Gresley’s making. It has been inherited from the former Minister, Senator Ian Gorst who proved wholly ineffectual in both accepting this and rectifying it. To be fair this was probably not helped by him choosing an Assistant Minister who was spectacularly useless, the now thankfully ousted by the public, former Deputy Angela Jeune. 

Hopefully Francis can give some assurances that he is finally going to sort things out. I mean, promising young cancer victims that the Department will meet the cost of resultant dental care – then going back on this. Just how low can government sink?

The second question is one that should have been tackled way back when the ‘partnerships’ with Housing Trusts was first set up. It wasn’t and I and a number of others have spent a great deal of time lobby the various Housing Ministers over the last three years to put it right. I am actually confident that Deputy Andrew Green will do what his predecessors failed to do so badly.


Given the JEP’s disgraceful and desperate attempt to reinvent Det Sup Mick Gradwell as some kind of ‘whistle-blower’ these three questions to Home Affairs Minister, Senator Ian Le Marquand about the ‘Abuse Enquiry’ are a nice little wake up call. I say ‘Abuse Inquiry’ rather than ‘Historic’ Abuse Enquiry because we really shouldn’t be buying into the media PR nonsense that this is all something old and long ago that doesn’t matter any more.

It isn’t. It is current. Just ask the victims still suffering everyday while clowns like Ben Shenton, Jimmy Perchard, Sean Power and co try to muddy the waters with innuendo about the News of the World. Which reminds me?  Come on boys, you had a lot to infer about Harper and wholly un-evidenced ‘leaks. Surely you would like to write in and condemn what we now know about the behaviour of Mr. Gradwell? Or is that…different?

I’ll leave further comment until after we have the answers. Though the one about how much of our taxpayers’ money the Minister has spent and how many convicted/disciplined Police Officers we have had as a result looks like it may be absolutely fascinating…

As for my other written question to the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee this is an issue that I have pursuing for a long time, Not that you would know it from the JEP reporting! I will obviously be supporting Deputy Roy Le Herissier’s proposition but I think this work needs to be championed by PAC too. It is, after all, our taxpayers’ money that the Establishment Party is giving out to keep the silence of so many failed senior Civil Servants. It needs to stop and politicians and whoever else be held accountable.


“As a part of the Historic Abuse Inquiry did the investigators research and consequently obtain a full list of all individuals who were, at any time, on the Board of Governors of Haut De La Garenne (whether in paid or purely voluntary roles) under each of the various authorities under which the facility operated during the period of investigation?

Were all those individuals still living subsequently interviewed and, if so, will the Minister provide Members with a full list of those interviewed or advise where such information can be viewed?”


“Will the Minister provide details of how much money has been spent on external inquiries and reviews in respect of alleged disciplinary issues since November 2008 and how many police officers, if any, have been convicted of any criminal or disciplinary charges as a consequence?”


“What investigations, if any, have taken place in respect of the allegations that States of Jersey Police officers acted illegally during the investigation of the case of Curtis Warren and others; and if there has been an investigation, what was the total cost and the outcome?”


“Will the Chairman advise whether the Public Accounts Committee intends to investigate and subsequently publish a report into the amount of taxpayers’ money used under the last Council of Ministers, under Senator T.A. Le Sueur, to provide ‘golden handshakes’ to senior Civil Servants leaving their posts early; further still, will the Committee be investigating the absence of detail on such payments within published States accounts?”


Disappointed that instead of improved transparency the new ‘critical friends’ running Scrutiny are going to make all of their non-hearing meetings closed to the public? Perhaps I can suggest an alternative? Get down to the next PPC meeting instead. Why? Well, if nothing else you will be able to see that regardless of what he spouted on the hustings, lecturing States Members about ‘respecting’ others what Senator Philip Bailhache says in public is very, very different to what he actually does! 

Indeed, no wonder he wanted the media – and just as importantly Daniel Wimberley and I who were also watching proceedings - removed before he would speak! Luckily this demand was challenged by Deputy Judy Martin or we would still not know exactly the low and underhand manner in which this horrible, arrogant little coward really works.

What am I talking about? Well, not content with trying to hijack the independent Electoral Commission (as documented in my last post) now Bailhache even wants to try and dictate who can sit on other sub-committees! Worse, sub-committees only being set up because he is too lazy and pompous to include them in the Electoral Commission’s work as Daniel Wimberley had set out in his successful proposition! Even worse again, of course, he wanted to try and have another member prevented from participating but wanted it done in secret so no one would be any the wiser! So much for all that pious talk of ‘respect’ eh Senator?

The target of the Egotistical One’s spite today was Deputy Geoff Southern. He had foolishly offered his services to contribute to a sub-committee being set up to look at election laws, campaign timescales etc. Bailhache’s objection? Southern (like my wife, Deputy Shona Pitman of course) had been prosecuted and convicted for the awful, heinous ‘crime’ of assisting a few elderly/disabled people to complete an application form to request that they could be registered for a postal vote in 2008

Of course, this isn’t a ‘crime’ in any known democracy in the free world. In fact it is actively encouraged. The candidate assisting the elderly/disabled person to apply to be registered to be able to participate in the democratic process is, of course, long gone by the time they are actually sent their voting slip several days later.

But leaving that aside Bailhache had then had the appalling arrogance and downright gall to insultingly compare Southern’s action with an analogy of ‘If you created a criminal law commission to look at burglary you wouldn’t invite a convicted burglar to join the commission.’

As I really had to ask of the PPC Chairman and this pompous little man when Daniel, the reporter and I had to leave for part B of the agenda. Having put forward my own name for the sub-committee hopefully we would be able to look at the legitimacy of such non-Human Right compliant local laws? Even more so the fact that why Deputies Southern and Shona Pitman were taken to court for ‘crimes’ they had stood up in the States and openly said that they would be left no option but to commit out of principle, wasn’t it funny that two other individuals in the very same St. Helier No. 2 district in 2008 did exactly the same – but didn’t get prosecuted.

Hell – Southern was even originally charged with one of these individual’s offences! We still have the relevant police documents. The only difference? The other two weren’t in the JDA.  Just for the record one individual had a five letter name beginning with the letter ‘A’. The other is detailed as having a three letter name beginning with the letter ‘R’ and is also described as having a beard. FACTS…

Still, sickening as all of this hypocrisy and spite is at least the ‘Historic’ Abuse Committee of Inquiry should be safe from hijack. I mean you, wouldn’t invite a former Attorney General who allowed a convicted paedophile to be sworn into the Honorary Police on to a body set up to investigate best practice on child protection matters would you…

Keep the Faith


Sunday, 8 January 2012


Maybe it is because other, more important demands on my time as a politician have meant that I just haven’t got around to blogging for the past few weeks – but this post has ended up considerably longer than usual. Then again given what is actually going on behind the scenes and its potential highly negative impact if left unchallenged the length of explanation is probably wholly justified…


Though in the classic children’s tale the Grinch may well have seen the error of his ways and not gotten away with stealing Christmas, unless we are very careful what is now happening at PPC will see Jersey’s own political Grinch, Senator Philip Bailhache, stealing the absolutely essential - and very hard won at that – independence of the Electoral Commission.

The result in my view will be what I can only describe as a further ‘rigging’ of the democratic process to try and ensure that the already under-represented voters in Jersey’s urban areas like St. Helier are forever at an insurmountable disadvantage to the self-interested ‘Great and the Good’ and their ‘I’m alright Jack’ supporters who think Jersey is their own private club to exploit as they see fit and stuff the consequences for the rest.


Readers and anyone genuinely interested in democracy should be aware that what was reported in the JEP this Saturday is a woefully inadequate report of what tactually transpired at the PPC meeting. Trust me – I was there; the JEP had not a single reporter there throughout. If they have been fed their story as fact then they have been misled.

The apparent ‘clearing of the way’ reported for our most egotistical of Senators to usurp the agreed independence of the Electoral Commission and pervert it to the desired ends of the Establishment (a Party finally waking up to the fact that the challenge on behalf of true democracy coming from the motley bunch of peasant democrats like me isn’t going to go away so easily no matter how underhand their tactics) is just more ‘spin’ to make this most poisonous of pills a bit more palatable to a misled public.

Indeed, the JEP report that this decision – which isn’t actually to change what was agreed following Daniel Wimberley’s excellent proposition, but to give States Members the chance to do so – was not passed by the emphatic two to one ratio claimed at all. No. With Deputies Montford Tadier and Kristina Moore not even present it was actually slipped through by just three votes to two.

Incredibly – and I bet readers could never see this particular sham coming – the decisive vote to allow the possibility of Senator Philip Bailhache being able to hijack the ‘commission’ with the collusion of new Chief Minister Ian Gorst was actually taken by…

Senator Philip Bailhache!

As you have probably fallen out of your chair in shock I’ll repeat that for you. The decisive vote was Senator Philip Bailhache’s


As a former member of PPC I can state as fact that in my experience of past meetings if what was being discussed involved one of the members in a highly contentious issue then he or she would not vote on the matter. Common sense really as I am sure most would agree.

Yet whilst hiding behind the complete baloney that the move wasn’t actually being engineered to allow Senator Bailhache to take the Chair of the review but rather allow any politician to potentially do so this common sense dictate was not adhered to.

Other politicians and more importantly the ordinary people of Jersey need to be aware of what is going on here. It is that serious. Not least Chief Minister Gorst’s part in what can only be described as another betrayal of what he promised within his pitch to become Chief Minister and his stated intent to bring about a brave new dawn in local politics.  Check for yourself – its all their within Hansard and various media reports from the election.
In the meantime should anyone think I am being too harsh on the Chief Minister then just consider the following facts? The reality is that Senator Gorst was only elected to the role of Chief Minister on the back of securing the decisive votes of the political ‘Progressives’.


The key fact here is that this ‘Progressive’ support for Senator Gorst was given on the back of promises of wholesale political ‘inclusion; and of equal importance his firm stated commitment to an INDEPENDENT Electoral Commission. Yet as we have subsequently seen this first promise of political inclusion was jettisoned no sooner than the Senator had been safely secured in the top job.

Indeed, maybe some readers are not aware of this fact; but this betrayal can be emphasised further by the fact that according to Senator Gorst every Minister was to be ‘instructed’ by him to take on an Assistant Minister with a ‘different’ political perspective to theirs to ensure this happened. A great idea but whatever happened to it, Senator Gorst?

Obviously not every Member can be a Minister. Yet even the most rabid of right-wing buffoons (Jon the Troll aside perhaps?) could not maintain an argument that the likes of ‘Progressives’ such as Senator Alan Breckon and Deputies Geoff Southern, Shona Pitman, Montford Tadier, Mike Higgins and yes- even me! -  had less ability or appropriate experience than many given other roles within this new ‘inclusive’ government: some who didn’t even give the Senator their support for the job!

And tell me if I’m wrong, readers but in what way exactly does Deputy Eddie Noel have a ‘different political perspective’ to his new Minister at the Treasury, Senator Philip Ozouf? I think the appropriate term is: I rest my case - unless being even more right-wing than your Minister is seen as meeting the instruction’s criteria?


No, don’t worry I didn’t proclaim the above nonsense: JEP reporter Ben Quérée did. I wonder what the said reporter – who I seem to recall only a year or two ago held the very same rose-tinted view of Senator Ian Le Marquand – thinks now?  Because just days after giving Gorst the above glowing testimonial Ben Quérée had to report on the next act of betrayal.
This was the new Chief Minister going back on his word to me that he would bring some transparency to the shameful scandal of taxpayers’ money being used to line the pockets of discredited, incompetent senior Civil Servants under the Le Sueur regime with obscene ‘golden handshake’ pay-offs amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

So here we are in only January let us remember. We are still to have the first States Sitting of 2012. Two promises made. Two promises broken. And now we get what has the potential to be the most damaging of all: the selling out of the independent Electoral Commission to pacify one Senator’s hugely inflated ego. It is to put it quite bluntly sickening.

As I have highlighted, being the only States Member who sat in on the PPC meeting this past Thursday (for the record the only reporter there was the BBC’s Chris Raynor) I witnessed the contempt with which the ordinary public of Jersey and all fair-minded politicians within the Assembly are being treated by the likes of Gorst and Bailhache for my self. 


Though under no obligation to do so having defeated Senator Bailhache for the role of Chief Minister, Senator Gorst is now displaying all the political backbone of a jellyfish in colluding with him to ensure real, beneficial change to the make-up of the States that an independent Electoral Commission could not fail to recommend does not happen.

Worse that as a result while the people of less fortunate countries are risking their lives for genuine democracy we will likely slip backwards toward something resembling some shambolic, oppressive hybrid of a neo-Feudal State and the Weimer Republic! If it doesn’t worry you it really should.

Believe me – if Philip Bailhache gets his way democracy in Jersey, flawed as it is, can be kissed goodbye for at least the next generation. We will be on the way to a legalised dictatorship. The result will include the removal of the limited and wholly inadequate checks and balances that exist now.

Checks and balances such as the ‘Troy rule’; creating instead myriad extra token ‘Assistant Ministers’ that effectively mean no questioning of the ‘leader’ and thus no meaningful ‘opposition’. In truth almost unfettered power for a Chief Minister who will alone pick his chosen ‘inner circle’ of sycophants. Worse still a permanent imbalance in representation between country and urban parishes that will dwarf that which we all know exists already.

And all of this is being justified, legitimised with excuses that I’m afraid are at best garbled, pseudo-intellectual nonsense; and at worst downright untruths. It is quite frankly shameful, morally bankrupt, and the public must be made aware of it before it is too late. Yes, it seems that while Senator Gorst may have won the vote for ‘Chief Minister’ he clearly already holds the title only in name? Or surely he would not let this happen?


Check it out for yourselves. Senator Bailhache is desperately spinning the myth that he somehow ‘has a mandate’ to usurp the States agreed independent electoral commission simply ‘because he topped the Senatorial poll having talked about reform’.

Even by the Establishment Party’s long record of 1984-style rewriting of history this is nothing more than demonstrable garbage. Indeed, it is absolutely risible. Should you be tempted to disagree just consider the case of former Senator, Stuart Syvret.

Love him or loath him – and I have certainly had my serious disagreements with him as I have observed before – Syvret was the most popular politician in Jersey for the best part of two decades. With the advent of Ministerial government (and the lack of a mature party political system as exists in most proper democracies) Syvret surely could have had every justification to claim that he was the majority choice of the public to become our first Chief Minister.

Cast your mind back. Did this hold any water with the Establishment Party members inside the States in 2005? Not a bit of it – the role went to Frank Walker who had scraped in to be re-elected by the skin of his teeth. In the words of so many Establishment figures at the time Syvret’s popularity apparently gave him no such mandate whatsoever.

Yet now, surprise, surprise we are being asked to do an about turn; ask no uncomfortable questions and agree that Philip Bailhache can hijack the Electoral Commission just because he topped the poll in the latest elections of 2011! But let’s also get a few further points spelt out quite clearly as well.
There are others in the States even now who might not have topped the Senatorial poll but have been elected not just once, but twice, three and even four times on a reform platform. And a reform platform at that far more coherent and considered than the elitist hotchpotch being put forward by Philip Bailhache.

Senator Bailhache is also on record, of course, as saying he doesn’t even support the idea of an electoral commission process. He in his boundless arrogance it seems thinks he knows best even though analysis clearly demonstrates otherwise.

Indeed, though having sat in the Chair as Speaker for many years whilst Assembly after Assembly have failed over countless debates to manage to agree meaningful reform that would be beneficial to ALL of the Island’s community Senator Bailhache incredibly further states that the problem apparently ‘isn’t too difficult’. In fact he said it again in the PPC meeting. Oh to be so superior!


Without so many vested interests at play it would be possible to agree with the Senator on coming up with a wholly workable reform. But then… all I want from electoral reform is a system that is constructed so that all, rich or poor, town or country Parish dweller has fair and equal representation.

This is also all that every other ‘Progressive’ that I know wants. Sadly it isn’t what the Establishment party wants. They want to maintain their grasp on power and control; and the fact that this grip is slowly loosening means they will fight all the more desperately to try and cling on to it. Don’t make any mistake – this attempt to hijack the Commission is a mark of their growing desperation.

Vested interests are what make the independence of an Electoral Commission and the public having the ultimate power of rejection or support absolutely essential. I repeat: the potential for the influence of vested interests are precisely the reason why Philip Bailhache, like any other States Member, cannot be allowed to shape the reform process.

Deputy Daniel Wimberley’s successful proposition made this clear and that is what we must continue to support under this insidious attack.


I’ll leave readers with these final thoughts. Whatever one thinks about reform – for example, whether the Island-Wide mandate should go as would happen under Senator Bailhache’s adoption of ‘Super Constituencies’; whether all seats should need an Island-Wide vote; or any other variant – this in itself is not the issue.

Suggesting that Deputies should go, the Constables, the Crown Officers, the Dean or whatever – it is all absolutely fine. Let the Commission examine it all. Let them reach conclusions. And then right or wrong let their recommendations be put to the people.

What is wholly wrong, divisive and what must not be allowed to happen is doing what Senator Philip Bailhache wants to do: i.e. say that we must reduce numbers but that retaining the position of the Constables is non-negotiable. Perhaps even worse is to attempt to justify this by misleading people by spouting supporting facts that simply aren’t true. Why do I highlight this point so forcibly?

One of the few amusing moments in the meeting came when Senator Bailhache came out with the complete fabrication that it was quite clear that the vast majority of the Island’s people wished to retain the Constables in the States.

For a man who is busy desperately trying to give everyone the impression that he alone is the great font of all reform wisdom; someone who can succeed where all mere mortals have failed, one might have thought even the Senator would know that his claims were absolute nonsense. Perhaps he did know?

Whatever the truth I did have to smile when the Greffier – a really genuine repository of reform debate knowledge – politely interrupted him to point out that, even at the time of the last Mori poll, opinions were pretty much hotly split down the middle between those who strongly wanted the Constables to remain and those who equally strongly wanted them removed. Exposed the Great One fell silent.

The most telling point of all? The fact that by his own words Senator Bailhache said he would not be content to just have a seat on the Electoral Commission – he will accept only being able to control it as Chair. If this doesn’t give cause for concern to all of those who might be tempted to be sleep-walked into this disaster then frankly there really isn’t any hope. Let this happen and who knows - before long we’ll likely even begin to believe that collagen can be found in coconuts…

But just to stop all you democrats from having nightmares and to leave you on a positive note. Don’t despair. We aren’t a dictatorship yet. There are ways to fight this. Oh yes, Senator Farnham would be proud of us…

Keep the Faith.