Tuesday, 26 June 2012


Having been laid low with the flu for a few days the States Sitting of 26th June 2012 really looks like it might be just the tonic to put a smile back on my face.

I mean, not only does the ‘vote of censure’ e-mail fisticuffs that have been flying around between Senators Ferguson, Ozouf; Constable Refault and Deputy Tracey Vallois seem to suggest that for once the part-time ‘politicians’ of the Establishment Party are actually going to have to put in more than a half days shift in the Chamber – but in both question time and public business alike there are even some really interesting issues to be explored as well…

8 out of 10 cats say that Jersey is a Tax Haven…

In his bestselling book ‘Treasure Islands’ Nicholas Shaxson put forward a very good definition of what he felt a tax haven to be. This was, and I quote, ‘a place that seeks to attract business by offering politically stable facilities to help people or entities get around the rules, laws and regulations of jurisdictions elsewhere’.

Throw in my own additional caveat that suggests that a second key giveaway is that those behind a tax haven will always both deny the charge furiously AND attempt to discredit and even viciously smear any who dare put forward such an argument and you have to say it all fits Jersey like a glove. As anyone who fully appreciates the basics of what lies beneath so much of our Off-Shore ‘business’ activities will, of course, know full well - even without the recent K2 headlines in the Times.

However, knowing this truth and admitting it publicly are two completely different things. After all, such a political admittance at a Ministerial level could be very bad indeed for the carefully contrived whiter-than-white ‘well regulated Finance Centre’ image. Which probably explains why Chief Minister Gorst has now joined long-time ‘haven deniers’ like Senator Ozouf and his Assistant Minister Deputy Noel in putting out the strident message that there is in fact, apparently, no place in Jersey for ‘aggressive tax dodging!’
You see, Lucy Mason had it right for once. Senator Ozouf (or ‘Phil’ as I like to let Lucy think I call him!) and I really do agree on some things: tax avoidance/evasion by multi-millionaire parasites really should be stamped out! Meanwhile, let’s also hope that the Chief Minister makes some kind of statement to scotch these strange rumours that he is actually planning to grab a share of Jimmy ‘K2’ Carr’s lucrative stand-up comedy routine by heading for the stage himself…

How to spot a politician not worth a vote at the next election… 

Thanks to my good friend Deputy Mike Higgins (actually Mike genuinely is a ‘good friend’ - when I used the term in the States to describe the Constable of Grouville recently it was only to win a dare!) the population now have a quick but sure-fire way to assess which politicians will be worthy of your vote come 2014. Forget manifestoes, posters and even the hustings. Thanks to Mike you really won’t need to bother with a single one belonging to any sitting States Member!

What do you need to do? Simples – just watch to see who votes AGAINST Mike Higgins’ move to finally make public the transcript of the 2008 ‘in camera’ debate that shows that former Police Chief Graham Power was suspended on wholly false and contrived grounds. This will provide cast-iron evidence that any such person is both completely untrustworthy and wholly supportive of corruption. What could be simpler?

If you want to know the truth probably best not to ask a mainstream media journalist…

Writing in the ‘Evening Andrex’ columnist Paula Thelwell suggested that should one want to discover the truth then the last person you should ask would be a politician. Sweeping comment as this is (come on, this is the JEP we’re talking about!) such a view is one that so many of our Council of Ministers certainly regularly do inadvertently give some weight to. Indeed, if Paula was ever to sit through our fortnightly States ‘Questions without notice’ or as most of us call it ‘Questions without answers’ she would likely conclude her case was already 100% proven.

Nevertheless, be this as it may if there is one particular profession that even puts these Establishment politicians in the shade then, sorry Paula, I’m afraid it just has to be… good old mainstream media journalists. And no, I’m not even talking about the JEP’s long history of misrepresenting; lying about; and even downright smearing of ‘anti-establishment’ politicians who might dare to challenge the status quo. Though, of course, anyone who wants to see how far that goes back need only to read the late Norman Le Brocq’s book published way back in 1946. What I’m talking about is the constant misrepresentation of facts that those at the Establishment party house journal obviously don’t like.

For a recent example just consider the newspaper’s article only last week reporting what were apparently the key issues that the public were calling for in giving evidence to the ‘Electoral Commission’ at their first public hearing at the Town Hall. Reading Jo Hutchinson’s report you would have certainly thought that it was about moving the election to a Sunday and reducing the number of States Members. Yet these were actually only a side-show.

What the real concerns were that kept coming up again and again from some very articulate men and women from the public were these. Removing the Constables from the States (unanimous) and doing away with the ‘loaded’ and immoral system we have had for decades that means that a vote in the small country parishes carries far more weight than that of the urban parishes such as St. Helier. Yes, essentially people just wanted a system that was fair. Judging from the sour looks from the politicians on the ‘Commission’ this sadly wasn’t what they wanted to hear at all.

Funny how Jo missed all of this? You could almost begin to suspect that there might be some kind of hidden agenda…

Why do some lawyers think they can be a law unto themselves?

As regular readers will have noticed I have an oral question lodged for Tuesday that seeks to shed some light on why a number of politicians keep getting complaints about some lawyers refusing to provide itemised bills. In first pointing out that this question has nothing to with my own lawyer I have to say that this problem really does need investigating urgently. Fortunately a number of colleagues are increasingly agreed on this. After all, as a constituent put it to me: they had in recent months been to their dentist; had their car serviced and had some work done on their property. 

Three very different trades and yet all had given detailed, itemised bills outlining exactly what they had done to reach these final totals. Clearly highly professional services. Then you come to a lawyer and a bill that dwarfs all three arising from the other professions by many tens of thousands of pounds. Yet incredibly this ‘lawyer’ expects a person to pay them without any proof whatsoever of the work that they claim underlies the staggering figure! Not only unprofessional and wholly unacceptable I have to say that I fully agree with my constituent – such individuals and/or firms really should be prevented from practising. Makes you wonder if the Minister at Economic Development got an itemised bill for the ‘fulfilment’ advice that cost us six whole times more than Guernsey paid for the same service?

Nothing like a bit of consistency…

Finally, to close I really had to mention how very good it is to see Senator (Sir Philip) Bailhache once again sticking so doggedly to his election commitments to making the States a more efficient and better place. No, not the one where he lectured us about how we all needed to ‘respect’ each other. Then straightaway implied ex-Senator Syvret was not fully compos mentis for no apparent reason other than the former Health Minister evidently held different views to him.

But that other one – you surely must remember it? Sir Philip went on about it all of the time. Complaining about how ‘some’ States members were so undisciplined that they kept on bringing back issues for debate that had only been decided a comparatively short time before. Issues decided by the States at that after many long hours of debate; and as the Senator reminded us angrily, cost the public significant amounts of money in the process.

Of course, obviously Sir Philip couldn’t have meant issues like his recent hijacking of the independent Electoral Commission? Or holding the Plemont debate all over again as he now wants to do? What was that old proverb about ‘do as I say – not as I do? Indeed, you really might think that a ‘political correspondent’ like the lovely Lucy Mason might pick up such hypocrisy and write a full page spread about it? I mean they’re not ‘establishment poodles’ at the JEP, you know – Lucy told us so only two weeks ago…

Keep the Faith



  1. Good post Trevor. The Carr incident is just the latest expose of what Jersey is really all about.

  2. Trevor.

    You make a number of good points. Not least the hypocrisy of Philip Bailhache and the reluctance of the JEP, or any of the State Media, to mention it.

    He, as you correctly say, stood on a platform telling people that the States Members spend too much time going over old ground trying to change policy/propositions already agreed or passed.

    His first proposition (the hijacking of democracy) did just that and reversed a decision already agreed/passed. His reported next proposition seeks to overturn another already agreed decision with Plemont. Hypocrisy at its most blatant but the, usually "opinionated" Lucy Mason doesn't seem to have an opinion on this..........But she's not an establishment poodle ya know!

    As for Deputy Higgins' proposition; he is asking for an opportunity to publish the "facts" and "evidence" concerning the secret States debate where it appears lies were told during the debate of the (illegal?) Suspension of our most senior Police Officer. Who would want to keep that secret?

    We'll soon FIND OUT

  3. Great read Trevor, I love the satire, it never ceases to amaze me how many people make it so easy for you!

    I do think it is absolutely diabolical that the JEP did not report on the most fundamental issue raised - Removing the Constables from the States.

    Does a proper journalist ignore such public concerns or is it normal to act like someone with a hand up their backside!

    1. It is rather remarkable to read the Jersey Post and contrast/compare to other newspapers outside of Jersey, which has been a recent assignment in my Critical Thinking course. The Post does not appear to work as hard as the other similarly biased newspapers at maintaining an image of their own accuracy or fairness. However, the government of Jersey does make substantial investments in the appearance of being a clean and well regulated jurisdiction, with implied UK oversight. Perhaps one unique difference on Jersey is the degree with which the government and the media reverse roles; the government pretends not to be corrupt, and the Post supports that, without pretending not to be biased.

  4. Can't believe the vote on Mike Higgins proposition today. Actually I probably can which just shows how disgraceful a place Jersey is. Don't wrongs deserve to be righted, Deputy?

  5. Lawyers are just modern day privateers. Without ethics or souls. They shafted my dad and never even batted an eyelid in doing so. The most hated profession on earth.

  6. The only thing more disappointing than ministerial government in Jersey is the performance of the England football team. I almost wish that I was German!


    Another kick in the teeth for truth, honesty and integrity.

    These people have no shame


  8. Whether people call the Island a tax haven is neither here not there. The fact is it employs 12,000 people so you are either supportive of it or you (seemingly) are not.

  9. Anonymous

    If you really do not understand the difference between 'supporting' ordinary hardworking people in the Island and condoning scams like K2 then I doubt that anything I can say will open your eyes.

    I was proposed by an individual who works in finance; I have, and have had friends and family in finance. None of this prevents me from telling the truth. Why does it frighten you so much?

    But do yourself a favour - buy or borrow a copy of Ha-Joon Chang's last book; and a copy of Shaxson's 'Treasure Islands' too for that matter

    1. What else is on your reading list that you can recommend?

  10. Reference Euro 2012. Never mind Fritz. Let's all get behind Portugal and Ronaldo. Even if we had got past Italy you know we would have been dumped out by some dodgy German penalties all over again.Its just the way of things. Just like the Brits losing in the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

  11. Thanks for the question on other good reads. You remind me that over the summer I will be updating all of the main website as I have not done this since the election. As part of this I will be updating the favourite books part and probably splitting it into political and fiction books.

    Nevertheless, I will put up a list of recent reads that I have found useful/interesting on the blog later today or tomorrow. I would obviously also be interested to hear about books readers themselves recommend.


  12. One further point I meant to add.

    Having started to blog again I have agreed with the rest of the fraternity of serious bloggers to adhere to a 100% no tolerance of trolls policy.

    They were right - I was wrong. Starving such sad creatures is the way to go.

  13. Bailhache bangs a gong in the Guardian today. Why ever did so many idiots vote for this menace? He doesn't represent me and never will. The thought of him as the King of an independent Jersey sends chills down my spine.

  14. Anonymous

    From what my contacts tell me you should probably buy the Guardian on Friday...

  15. Dear Trevor,

    I want to ask a question about questions in the states, before I do I will just paste a copy of something from another blog



    Further to the provisions of the Children (Jersey) Law 2002, will the Minister publish a list of all living and deceased members of the board of governors/board of management/board of trustees for Haut de la Garenne since 1960, and if not, why not?


    Haut de la Garenne, which closed in 1987, has never been administered by the Health and Social Services Department. It was the responsibility of the Education Committee.

    HSSD does not therefore directly hold records relating to the membership of any Board, if in fact there was a Board in place. Any remaining records that do exist would be held at the Jersey Archive, however clarification would be required from Law Officers as to whether HSSD could publish any such information

    My question is, why do states members have these as questions in the states assembly when they could ask the minister or department first? Do they do that first and this is the last point of turn? The reason I use the above as an example is that the question is unanswered because it is not the responsibility of the person who was asked the question. Therefore the main question was easily dodged. Surely it would be better to find out who is responsible for knowing and supplying the answers before asking the questions. It seems to happen a lot, this passing the buck during question time so would it not be better to ascertain first, who can answer the question.

    Obviously, it is quite possible the questioner has tried to get the information before asking in questions without answers, I dont doubt that.

    Can you shed any light on why the questioner may not have tried other avenues first to ensure they ask the right person or is this just standard protocol?


  16. Phil Bailhache is a maniac allowed to run wild and the biggest enemy of Jersey who needs to be stopped. Problem is who can stop him?

  17. Anonymous.

    Many Members will try to find out information first and will simply be fobbed off or even ignored. Just one recent example of this that I can give was with regard to getting the Sharp Report.As it happens I had also previously tried to get the very information that you highlight in your example.

    If all Ministers were as 'open' as the Code of Conduct states that they should be then the number of questions would be hugely reduced. Of course, another reality is that sometimes you have to use official questions to get information that is of acute public interest out into the open.


  18. Also just wanted to say bad luck Portugal. They deserved to go through over the 90 minutes.

  19. Senator Bailhache's comments have not gone down well with a lot of people going by those I have spoken to. Most of all I think they show just how naive he really is beneath all of the posturing as some kind of great diplomat.

    What annoys me the most though is this independence nonsense only shows how he misled people during the election. He may well damage Jersey greatly with this silly stance that he must know we can't follow through.

    Most people would never even consider Jersey being independent anyway as it is just too worrying given the way we cover things up already.

  20. The comments by our unelected Foreign Minister are so embarrassing I don't know whether to laugh or cry. To think that 17000 people voted for this man is frightening. Ever get the feeling that you have been had?

  21. Team Voice

    A timely reminder indeed. That so many new States Members took the easy option this Tuesday was certainly very depressing. What kind of message does it send out when something has finally been demonstrated, beyond any doubt, to be wrong - yet still the majority of Members vote to try and continue keeping the public in the dark?

    Still, they say that the darkest hour comes before dawn. It might seem as dark as it can get. But the truth is more and more people who matter are starting to take notice of what is being passed off as 'justice' here in Jersey. The Broadsheets interest is yet another sign of this.

    To this regard I can say that very soon I will be revealing the full facts on events that really will show the extent to which justice is still being abused here. If those who should will not put them right what other choice is there but do it ourselves - none!

  22. Trevor.

    Look at what happens to a "real" journalist who starts asking questions about the Jersey CHILD ABUSE

  23. Jimmy Carr's bank manager29 June 2012 at 13:17:00 BST

    Trevor. I think you have made the right decision on adopting a zero tolerance approach to trolls. Having said there is an argument that individuals who are so plain thick and drunk that they send abusive emails to people and also leave threatening abuse on their answer phones should be outed publicly. Maybe the best approach is just to keep all such things on file for a latter date? Off to buy the Guardian.

  24. Trevor. Will you be finding out more about the strange case of Leah McGrath Goodman's refusal of entry to the UK, as a result of a request from Jersey?

    What was she guilty of?

    Who recommended her for banning?

    When was the decision made to ban her?

    Who and/or at what level of government was this request authorised?

    Is it States policy to ban journalists from the free world reporting on what is going on here?

    Will they re-consider their decision & allow her back or are they hiding something else?

    Will the Chief Minister, Mr Bailhache (external affairs Czar), Or Ian Le Marquand dare to meet with her to explain Jersey's side of things? (Especially if they have nothing to hide?)

  25. Didn't Leah McGrath-Goodman write a book exposing the US oil industry or something? Good to see the growing interest in our little banana republic as far as I'm concerned. The wider the spotlight shines all the better.

    As for the Guardian itself I know a few people who took the trouble to go out and buy it simply because these articles were being mentioned on the blogs. Nice to see voiceforchildren and Rico's blog mentioned in a national paper that's for sure.

  26. Leah's book on the oil industry is called 'The Asylum'. No wonder she has been following events relating to the Haut de la Garenne cover-up by our establishment so closely!Will I be seeking to find out more about her exclusion? What do you think...

  27. Can't believe what has been done to the CAG Mr. Swinson. Outrageous.

  28. The most sickening element of what I too heard on the radio is this new found concern being expressed by a Minister that 'reports should be fair'. Where was my good friend Senator Ozouf and his colleagues when Power was being fitted up?

  29. Speaking of fitting up Mr. Power. No mention of Andrew Lewis on the State Media?

  30. I see on Channel that Sir Philip and his bag-carriers Constable Gallichan and the Seldom Seen Kid (Deputy Jamie Baker) are going to Guernsey to explore ways to improve government. Maybe Sir Philip is actually on to a couple of real possibilities here?

    Firstly learn from our Guernsey cousins that Constables are not needed as they are generally not too bright and do absolutely nothing in the States. I excuse the Constables of St. Brelade and St. Clement from this analysis.The second possibility is one that could improve our government at a stroke. Sir Philip and his cronies stay in Guernsey forever and promise never to come back.

    No need for a commission at all. Numbers slashed by three reducing the overall number, and the quality ratio pushed up dramatically as well. A win-win situation.

  31. Message to AB.

    Thank you very much for the info and yes, I will be putting questions in this week and will add them to whatever I next post on the blog. My written questions are already in as of today. Oral questions must be in by Thursday lunchtime.

    Cheers again.

  32. How about a straight answer to this while your at it? If Gorst is now coluding to silence the likes of the Auditor General then would you be willing to bring a vote of no confidence in him? I voted for him and he has now displayed zero political backbone again and again. Will you consider it?

  33. Anonymous

    Depending on what unfolds during next Tuesday's States sitting - absolutely. Is that straight enough for you?,

  34. What is happening in this island is way beyond a joke now. If only the newly disgruntled who claim they are representative of the middle ground would work with the progressives we might manage to stop some of this rot. Too much petty self interest in that mad house IMHO.

  35. What do you think of Geoff Cook's letter to the Guardian defending Jersey's Finance Industry?

  36. Read Treasure Islands over the weekend. In the chapter mainly about Jersey there was an email from a states member to someone that the states member called a traitor etc.

    Would I be right in guessing that states member was Terry Le Main? The reason I come to this conclusion is the poor spelling and the constant use of "..." throughout the email.

  37. Although I was interviewed by Nicholas Shaxson for the book and have met him subsequently I have to answer that I don't know who the email relates to. I had thought it was probably from another right-wing ex-Senator who did not have the TF to stand for re-eelection in 2011.

    1. Thanks for the reply. I dont suppose it matters who wrote when you consider how disgusting it is that a member of the states would write such a thing to a member of the public of Jersey. It just proves how some of them really do hold the public with disdain.

      It was a very interesting book though. I had to skip a few bits as it was a hard read. I will have to read that other blokes book now.

  38. Would we really expect Mr Cook to say anything else?

  39. Ozouf censure motion pulled - what an utter farce this has become. Can anyone be held to account in this island?

  40. I'm pleased to see that somebody is at last raising the subject of jurats. This role is not and has never been Human Rights compliant and it is time it was scrapped.

    You only have to recall the Scrutiny review (which I think you were on?) into the Prison Board of Visitors to see that this role is full of both conflicts of and vested interests.

    I say again it should be scrapped in this day and age.

  41. What a joke most of the answers to key questions were today. I would also like to know how a matter of child abuse not being reported - concealment of abuse effectively - by a person being put forward to be a jurat is not a reason for someone to be barred is an absolute disgrace. No wonder nobody has confidence in historic abuse inquiry. This island makes me sick to my boots.

  42. Another thing to ask. How many people from ethnic minorities have been jurats? I bet the answer is none.

  43. Trevor.

    "The information sought in 4, 5., and 6. is not readily obtainable."

    That was an effortless and easy way out answer to your good question, and hopefully the information they say they could not supply will be sought?

  44. Incidentally, do we know which firm in Jersey was operating the Jimmy Carr K2 tax avoidance scheme? This appears not to have been made public. It was not mentioned by the media or referred to in the States. Gorst and Co would not have wished to embarrass their friends and that is presumably the reason.

  45. Trevor.

    U.S. Journalist prevented from returning to the island because she is investigating CHILD ABUSE?

  46. Hi

    Firstly, a quick message for Ian. Unfortunately, it seems like I have deleted the unpublished post that we talked about. being the 'techno' dummy that I am I will have to ask for advice on if this is retrievable.

    Secondly, miracles of miracles, I should have a new post up either tonight or tomorrow and another later in the week once the States sitting is out of the way.