As readers will know I had hoped to make this post an in depth one about two of the complaints I am investigating from constituents relating to police cases. Unfortunately, I have had to delay this slightly whilst some important information is confirmed by a contact. But hey…we can still light the ‘touch-paper’ toward getting to the bottom of one of these.
So below I outline my questions – oral and written – for next week’s States Sitting. I don’t feel the need to comment on them all as I think they are straight forward. Indeed, with reference to the first oral one I would remind readers that sometimes saying less for a short while brings more results in the long run.
It is, after all, about getting the full, bald truth that matters! I’ll also be doing a dedicated post relating to my written question about a Jersey casino in a few days. However, I also want to comment briefly on another matter. This being to pay credit to the likes of Rico Sorda and Voiceforchildren for their continued tenacity in seeking that said bald truth no matter how deeply it might have been buried.
MY FIRST ORAL QUESTION IS TO THE MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS:
“Will the Minister advise what rights, if any, members of the public have to be informed by the police that their neighbours have a large arsenal of weapons in their homes?"
‘Explosive’ it could be and not in a good way if Senator Ian Le Marquand hasn’t got a reassuring answer! Indeed, should he not have I will also be back in two week’s time to grill the Attorney General.
To be quite honest a politician really shouldn’t have to be putting him (or her) self in the position that I am with this. We should be able to rely on the combination of our police and courts to do their job. Sadly, from what I have seen in this case both have failed good, thoroughly genuine people very badly.
Indeed, it does seem, as my constituent states, as if some want this first case hushed up; buried; swept under the carpet. The question has to be: why? The member of the public came to me because of this very feeling. He turned to me because in his words ‘You have the reputation of being a fighter and standing up for people’. Praise indeed and I will do my best to try and ensure that this case is settled with the best interests of everyone involved at the forefront.
So I ask readers for the time being to just consider these simple questions: how would you feel if you had been attacked – quite out of the blue – within what you thought was the safety of your own home? How would you feel to know that your attacker clearly badly needed some help – but discover nothing had been done about this for over a year? How would you like to live in fear for that year and still be doing so now?
Bad enough already. But then, what if you found out that the weapons your attacker possessed were an awful lot worse than you had been led to believe. Not just knives and swords etc but even ‘ready-to-go’ petrol bombs! Not only that but the said individual was now back right next door to you – having incredibly been found ‘not guilty’ of possessing offensive weapons.
Yet the police had not even had the decency to advise you of the risk…
This really shouldn’t happen, should it? If someone needs help they should get it within an affluent society like ours. And innocent people should be able to feel safe in the knowledge that police and courts will take their well being seriously. Your home should not become your prison.
I will leave my observations at that for now though I obviously could say a lot more. I just hope that after fourteen months of misery for my constituent and his family my involvement can finally stir the authorities into ensuring the best outcome for all involved. Then again; as a contact in the police said to me in confidence. Lenny Harper was on about these types of weapon arsenals and worse ages ago – yet was regularly mocked by our Establishment politicians for his concerns.
Now where have we heard that sentiment before?
MY SECOND ORAL QUESTION IS TO THE CHIEF MINISTER:
“Will the Chief Minister advise the Assembly as to whether the former Minister for External Relations was informed about the raid on the German Consul's home last year and, if not, why not?”
Now here’s another truly fascinating matter. What is going on with this?
As you heard at the end of last month Senator Le Marquand really got a bit tetchy about me asking him about this. No, I don’t want to be interfering in ‘live’ police matters for the sake of it. I’ll leave that to my ex-colleagues Ben and Jimmy and current ones like Sean. But this incident didn’t happen just a few days ago. It happened while former Chief Minister Terry Le Sueur was still on the throne”
So why is it taking so long to resolve and for the public be quite rightly informed as to what went down? Because – and I have a chronology of events leading up to this – the way the operation was undertaken was one great big …..
Now, of course, the police have to investigate complaints and concerns. And, as a supporter of good policing I believe that most times they will do a good job in what are often very difficult circumstances. But when mistakes are made they should be acknowledged.
After all, let me assure readers that if this had happened under Graham Power letters would be being typed up on several different computers and cut and pasted together the very next day. More than half-a-dozen of our Establishment Party ‘senior’ political leaders knew about this incident according to my information - but have done nothing to see that it is put right.
Yet I also have it on good authority that one man who very definitely should have known – as it was technically a ‘diplomatic incident’ apparently did not. Why?
As with the first question I know even before the Sitting that the answers that I will get will be ‘economic’ or downright evasive to the point where I will have to be back at the next Sitting. Nevertheless, out of fairness to all involved the pressure has to be kept on so that neither good or bad/justifiable or unjustifiable can be swept under the carpet.
The truth needs to be dragged out into the open on this incident too. The people at the centre want this so what’s stopping us?
MY WRITTEN FIVE QUESTIONS FOR 21ST FEBRUARY
As indicated I will hopefully be doing a post on the casino question early next week. But I list it along with the other written questions for reader’s information.
QUESTION TO THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MINISTER:
“Following the decision to proceed with moves to bring in revenues from the online gambling market, will the Minister advise whether or not he and his Department are giving consideration to the possibility of a casino being developed in the island and will he further advise what research, if any, has been undertaken to date on the potential revenue that might be forthcoming in the event of a casino being allowed to operate in the Island; and where any official research/reports may be located by States members?”
QUESTION ONE TO THE HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER:
This is being asked in the light of the completely misleading answer given at the last States Sitting – in the hope that by persistence we can finally put another piece of long-standing spin to bed. Just like the ESC Scrutiny Sub-Panel did with the garbage that everything Power and Harper did was unjustified; the money all ‘wasted’ and 50% of the said £7.5 million actually spent after they had left service apparently down to them.
As I have said so many time spin like this will always get found out in the end. But more on that theme later…
“Will the Minister provide for members a complete account in relation to the retirement date of the former Chief Officer of Police, setting out in particular –
i) when he was first due to retire;
ii) what extensions and reductions there were to this initial retirement date, and for each extension/reduction, the date of the request, details of who requested it and the grounds for the request;
iii) what further retirement dates there were as a result of these extensions or reductions?”
QUESTION TWO TO THE HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER:
Has the Home Affairs Minister bought himself a bottle of Tippex yet? That’s all he needs – I know!
“Will the Minister inform members whether he is planning to publish the following documents and, if so, provide members with the target date for publication in each case –
i) the statement made to the Wiltshire Police by the former Chief Officer of Police in relation to the handling of the historic abuse enquiry (Operation Haven);
ii) the report by Matt Tapp Associates;
iii) the letter from the then Deputy Chief Officer of Police to the then Chief Executive in November 2008;
iv) the “Interim Report” of the Metropolitan Police into the review of the historic abuse enquiry which arrived in Jersey on 10th November 2008?”
QUESTION ONE TO THE CHIEF MINISTER:
“Further to the answer given on 31st January 2012 by the Minister for Home Affairs that the then Chief Executive “discovered that Mr. Tapp was very concerned in relation to the press aspects of the handling of the [historic abuse] case” and that he became aware that Mr. Tapp was available to do work for the Chief Executive as he had just been advised his services were not required by the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police, will the Chief Minister outline for Members exactly how this “discovery” by the Chief Executive took place?”
QUESTION TWO TO THE CHIEF MINISTER:
“Further to the answer given by the then Chief Minister on 19th October 2010 (Hansard 2.2.1) in which he stated that he was happy to research the records given to Mr. Napier and to then give ‘chapter and verse’ to the Deputy of St. Mary in relation to the details of any formal meetings with the former Chief Officer of Police by the people involved in his suspension to talk to him about the concerns that had been raised and to elicit his response, would the Chief Minister now undertake to make this information available to all members?”
So there we have it…
Look out for lots of fake posts from Jon, Alan, Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch (not to mention a hundred other of the troll’s aliases saying the usual guff like “but no one is interested!” I might even let a few through for a laugh, eh ‘Alan’? But the fact is, fortunately, that many decent, ordinary people - people who genuinely care about justice, truth and democracy DO care.
And no amount of abuse from trolls and thugs; or even Senator Sir Philip Bailhache misguidedly trying to scupper the ‘Historic’ Abuse scandal Committee of Enquiry behind the scenes is going to change that. However long it takes.
This is a war for the truth – a fundamental aspect of political democracy.
This is a war of attrition - We are in it for the long haul.
Get used to it.
WHICH BRINGS ME NEATLY TO THIS…
Over recent months in particular, people like Rico Sorda and Team Voice have put compelling and regularly damning evidence in front of politicians. They are not right all of the time, of course, no one is.
But by chipping away they have, inch-by-inch, shown that all too many things relating to both the denigrating of the ‘Historic’ Abuse Enquiry and the suspension of former Chief of Police Graham Power need a whole lot of explaining. And explaining to a far higher power than friends and colleagues scrutinizing themselves.
However, just as the Scrutiny investigation that I undertook with Deputies Le Herissier and Wimberley was to all intents and purposes deliberately buried by establishment figures – politicians, media and others - who did not want to face the unpalatable truth I would imagine Rico Sorda and those at Team Voice perhaps may well be feeling the same sort of frustration that we did.
After all, we knew we had uncovered so much. Yet it seemed that no matter what we uncovered those who really should know better just wouldn’t listen. They didn’t want to listen. They didn’t want the inaccuracies and even downright lies spun to the public over a period of years undermined. Why do I write this now?
For no reason other than to remind those individuals, should they need it, not to be discouraged. The work they have done has been sterling. Indeed, that they have shown ‘professional’ journalists what it truly means to be ‘investigative’ – yet are still laughably barred from filming a Scrutiny now slipping rapidly into the Executive-cuddly and thus completely ineffective secrecy beloved of the Establishment – while the Mainstream Media who have failed to report so much are - should be worn as a badge of honour.
I repeat. They should not get downhearted. But instead remind themselves that the truth will out eventually. It always does no matter how long the wait. As for those ‘senior’ figures who either have something very dark to hide; or those who just haven’t had the political ‘testicular fortitude’ to stand up to those bullying them into an unholy alliance of silence…
They should remember that what goes around comes eventually comes around. When it does for all of those who have taken the threats and insults in trying to do the right thing it will be all the sweeter.
Keep the Faith