Time for justice to replace cover-up and obstruction…
Time to at last put people before pounds…
A comparatively short post today – but on a very important issue. Indeed, an issue that obviously has huge relevance to my last entry regarding how it is the ‘victor’ not the ‘vanquished’ who tend to get away with writing their version of history. I talk, of course, about the latest, painfully long in coming step with regard to concluding the so-called ‘Historic’ Abuse Saga.
Maybe I should be even clearer here and suggest substituting the terms ‘victor’ with ‘perpetrators’ or ‘the negligent’ and ‘vanquished’ with the term ‘victims’? For whichever way one spins it – and ye Gods have our first two Council of Ministers spun the falsehoods to try and undermine these people getting justice – the perpetrators and the negligent have gotten away with writing their version of ‘history’ for long decades.
Now that must finally be brought to an end.
Yesterday saw yet another ‘presentation’ of what the now third incarnation of the Council of Ministers are planning to do with regard to reach settlement with the many victims of abuse that has taken place in Jersey’s care homes, such as Haut De La Garenne, over those decades.
Abuse, let us not forget, regularly reported by victims both to the police and authorities of the time who then did nothing to rectify this horrific situation.
Actually, I am incorrect. Some evidently did worse than nothing because in failing to believe or act on the cries for help they effectively colluded with what had taken place; acts that will only have compounded the pain and anguish felt by people who had been innocent children. Innocent children who had been placed in the ‘protection’ of the governments of the day!
Some, of course, ended up taking their own lives. Some, such as one lovely gentleman I met with only last week, still lead lives totally dominated and torn apart by what was done to them whilst in the care of Jersey’s ‘government’. ‘Government’s we should also not forget lorded over by what much of our lackey media, such as the Jersey Evening Post, frequently would have us believe were the ‘giants’ of Jersey’s political history!
Sick... Disgusting... Horrific! Words in fact can actually not adequately describe such acts of betrayal as carried out by those who were approached by children yet did nothing to bring this to a conclusion many, many years ago. And yet incredibly, as I revealed in the States only a few short weeks ago, it appears that even within this new Council of Ministers we still have those who would have liked to see the hard won Committee of Enquiry cancelled.
It is often said that the people get the government they deserve. There is much truth in such a saying of course. Apathy is no excuse not to vote for people who seek to make such terrible things right. Yet on the other hand how can any vulnerable child, likely taken from an already troubled home, put into States ‘care’ to be systematically abused be said to deserve ‘governments’ like those of the past that allowed this to happen?
To touch again on what I was saying in my previous post this Orwellian ‘1984’ style ‘Jersey Way’ of re-writing history rather than facing up to what was done must meet its end in 2012. The victims’ pain has gone on long enough. For many it is, of course, already too late. Yet that does not mean their memory should not be honoured with final justice.
Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst was narrowly elected only by the votes afforded him on trust by this government’s minority so-called ‘Progressive’ politicians like me.
He made promises to get those votes that he has already broken: a genuinely inclusive Council of Ministers; a commitment to a fully independent Electoral Commission. Indeed, the new Chief Minister initially also went back on his promise to me to reveal the details of the outrageous ‘golden handshakes to civil servants who should have been sacked...
Chief Minister Gorst has now rectified this last one, of course, although to read the garbage written in the Jersey Evening Post you would never know that it was politicians like me and a few other backbenchers who forced this Establishment Party climb down not this newspaper who had always been supporters of such senior civil servants and the Establishment politicians who allowed it all to happen.
My point is our new Chief Minister Senator Gorst now has the chance to do something even more important than the issues I raise above. He can use his power to make sure that justice does arrive for the victims of abuse no matter how many years it has taken.
What do I mean by justice?
Not just significant financial compensation. For money alone – as the gentleman I spoke of earlier made clear to me yet again – can NEVER fully compensate for what has been done to so many. No, whilst significant financial compensation is essential - both in recognition of how these children were failed and to assist in hopefully helping victims to re-build lives – what is also needed for justice is for a fully independent Committee of Enquiry to leave no stone unturned in seeking to bring all of those who failed in their duties of care to final justice.
Every one of them. No matter how ‘important’ or ‘well respected’ a figure some might have once allegedly been.
The document issued on behalf of the Chief Minister further claims that the ‘redress’ scheme now being offered is ‘voluntary’ due to the apparent reason that the Establishment Party believes that ‘claimants’ for justice against this horrific abuse are now ‘too late to bring legal proceedings’
Maybe true in legal speak. But let us just remember what some call ‘law’ when it suits them is nothing more than a man-made framework. Should there be ANY time frame on securing justice then really - to use the old and very well known saying – ‘the law is an ass’.
There can be NO time limit on justice for people who have to live in hell every day and every night of their lives because governments and departments overseen by alleged ‘political giants’ of the past did not do their job; did not have the courage and morality to stand up and show that they cared by bringing the perpetrators and the negligent – whether underlings or colleagues - to book.
Here for once Jersey really can lead the way and set an example.
I am one of those who since my election just over three short years ago have stood up for what is right; and has taken the vicious slings and arrows of the Establishment and their media for doing so again and again. I am, of course, proud having stood up for these people though such action does not require or merit any plaudits – it is nothing more than an elected politicians’ duty.
So ‘Keep the Faith’ – No matter how hard. The days of the cover-up and Establishment Party intimidation of those who would dare challenge are slowly drawing to a close...
And… just to wind up the poster who claims I ‘must be a Communist’ because I find value in the teachings of world-renowned educationalist, the late Paulo Freire I will leave you with a quote from none other Che Guevara.
Its words say all that needs to be said in how working together to bring this stain on Jersey’s history to and end is far, far more important than nonsense of left or right political affiliation.
‘If you can tremble with indignation every time an injustice is committed in the world, we are comrades…’