Tuesday, 1 January 2013

BTR - Review of 2012 - Part One


Fog at the airport? A big hole in a road? Mrs. Miggins' ginger moggy stuck up a tree?

Sorry, but if this is the type of  nonsense that makes up your top ten happenings or arising issues of the past political news year then you're best logging on to one of the local main stream media (MSM) sites. Because you won't - and never - will find any of this type of 'news' reporting here!

In BTR Episode 12 - or 'The review of the year - part one' I talk briefly only about some of those key highlights - or all too often, lowlights - that really have said something about where Jersey politics/democracy now finds itself at the end of 2012. Of course, in a 15 minute video you can't cover everything of note. But between this and the second part of the review that will be posted at the end of the week I'll nevertheless flag up a good deal of what really does matter.

You know, boring old stuff like justice; the mishandling of our economy; political transparancy; shooting the messenger, and the dangerous erosion by an inept Council of Ministers of essential frontline services.

For exmple...

Can we really afford to have the health and even life of damaged or vulnerable individuals being put at risk simply because all too many in government today do not understand that socio-economic policy and, indeed, values must go hand-in-hand to make things work to the best interests of all? Unimportant? Well, just consider the appalling tragedy of the Rzeszowski killings as unfolded in Jersey's Royal Court in 2012.

And what is the real reason for the devasting collapse of our Fulfilment industry as signalled in April? Are those at Westminster really the 'bad guys' behind this hammer blow to the livelihood of so many decent, ordinary men and women here? can it be that black and white? Or is it that our political 'giants' of the recent past were actually incredibly foolish in even promoting the building of such an industry on foundations that everyone could see were made of sand?

Lime Grove House. This saga rumbled on for month after month. There were threats of all kind of political repercussions. Yet what had actually changed at the close of the year? Did the Council of Minister stand up and take their shortcomings on the chin - or did they just close ranks and shoot the messenger? Something it has to be said that the Jersey Establishment has made an art form with the colussion of a largely 'on message' main stream media.

The truth is that what Lime Grove revealed was that the Establishment party attitude to the role of the CAG - Controller Auditor General is very much the same as it's attitude to Scrutiny: fine - so long as they are not saying, or even looking into subjects that the COM do not want highlighted.

Why is it that every time something is put forward in the interests of enhanced democracy and transparent, accountable government Senator Philip Bailhache will be opposing it like there would be no tomorrow?  Open votes for all positions within the States to allow the public to see who does or does not keep their election promises. A fully 'independent' Electoral Commission to finally cut out all of the temptations of vested political interest. And is there any link within all of this to the Senator's other obsession of attaining 'independence' for Jersey?

Throw in the biggest issue of all that we Progressives need to tackle in the coming twelve months - overhauling a justice system that simply isn't fit to bear the title and I think this first 15 minute review really should provide some food for thought.

After all, what kind of democracy allows the kind of person who would refuse to look at evidence against a sickening paedophile then happily argue that 'there may be no case to answer' to sit as a Jurat in the Royal Court for 14 years? What kind of democracy similarly allows individuals with clear and blatant conflicts of interest to sit in judgement on both court cases and judicial reviews? And I don't even get on to the appalling resistence of some of our 'senior' politicians to a full and independent Committee of Inquiry into the 'historic' - or more acurately, on-going child abuse scandal until Part Two!

Truth is - the Bald Truth! - that the time has come when those of us who really care about justice, democracy and political transparency; and have the Testicular Fortitude to stand up to a bullying and corrupt Establishment party need to joing together like never before to take these abuses off island. Sad maybe - but true.

As for Part Two of the review? Well, there's the blank cheque of taxpayers' money campaign to buy Plemont; beginning to make the 'diversification of the economy' more than just an election sound-byte; the well merited success of finally getting the events of September 28th 1769 officially recognised;  the truth about who controls the Council of Ministers; Leveson and the local media and more.

Meanwhile, have a Happy New Year and try not to cry! Unlike the Jersey weather - It can't rain (politically) all of the time...


  1. Happy New Year, Trevor.

    A review that certainly does focus on the issues that really matter just as you say. I really can't believe that professional journalists would put fog at the airport as being a highlight of the year. But upon reflection this probably says it all.

  2. Couldn't agree more.

    Though in fairness I made the one about the cat stuck in a tree up.

    Happy New Year. I certainly had a nice New Year's Eve so hope the same went for all.

  3. Anonymous

    Reference your 'CP' post not for publication.

    Thanks for the best wishes and yes, it is of interest of course. Questions on the matter can be lodged for the first sitting.

  4. I feel that you are right on fulfilment. It was a somewhat reckless decision to risk building what was bound to become a burgeoning industry on a tax loop hole.

    The tragedy is as you also state that the people really being hit by this now are generally ordinary folk. Not rich businessmen who possibly should have known better. A warning for us on our reliance on off shore?

  5. Like your badge. Is there a story to it?

  6. Excellent piece on what passes for justice in Jersey at the above on the Stuart Syvret blog

  7. In Switzerland on our Christmas break with family and friends but had to tune in to see the latest Bald Truth Review it is becoming essential viewing for us. Thanks you speak a lot of truth happy new year.

  8. Hi Trevor, great post as usual.

    I understand that the Electoral Commission is going to publish their final recommendations in the next two weeks (11th January is the date I've been told). Reform Jersey are hoping to get a group of us together to talk about the recommendations and work out what our progressive line and strategy should be as soon after their publication as possible. I can keep you up to date in case you or some of your readers are interested in being involved?

    Happy new year!

  9. Anonymous - In Switzerland?

    Lucky you! Enjoy and likewise, best wishes for the New Year.


    Thanks. Please do keep us informed. I wiould certainly be happy to be involved. All the best.

  10. OK. Who is still up at this hour - and sober of course? If you are as I'm having trouble putting up the simple link to the Leah McGrath Goodman for some reason could you please send the link through as a post? You're a star!

  11. Deputy, with regards to your Jersey Justice segment in the video which has been a regular feature in your BTR's. Isn't it the case you are peeved because you lost your case against the JEP and can't accept the court's ruling? Don't get me wrong I am not a fan of the Jersey justice system or the JEP for that matter and think they are both in bed with each other. It's just I don't ever recall you having a problem - or speaking out against - the justice system until you lost your case for libel. It's a bit difficult to swallow that you believe the justice system is corrupt after losing a court case but never criticised it before then.

  12. Trevor.

    Good to see a sitting politician, and fellow Blogger, giving the real news to the public instead of pea soup days and building work on churches as we get from the State Media. Once more, any of the subjects in your BTR would/could make for Headline News in a functioning democracy with an independent mainstream media but unfortunately we have neither on the island.

    I am very interested in your statement that effectively the Rule of Law has broken down on the island which is a hell of a statement to make as a member of the States (parliament). No doubt the State Media will not approach this subject so I would be keen to interview you about it?

    Some more "real" NEWS

  13. Anonymous

    Reference your suggestion that I never highlighted the glaring problems with our not-fit-for-purpose 'justice' system I hardly think it merits an answer. Unless you really are a person who has not followed local politics closely these past few years.

    Of course, I have to accept that this could be the case. As a short and telling response I have attempted to pull out an actual piece of video evidence, 'live' evidence if you like of me saying almost exactly the same thing as I do in BTR 12.

    Now unfortunately my IT skills are not that of my BTR editor or of my blog Admin. I have tried to isolate the relevant part below with a link. I am not quite sure if it will work first time around; so if not I will have another bash or maybe appeal for external help.

    It was actually a recording made by Voice For Children when Shona and myself, along with many other people were on the march in support of the victims of HDLG. I think it refutes your contention very well.


    1. Deputy, I stand corrected after watching your short interview with voiceforchildren where your link did work. Here's the Link I agree what little justice there is on the island is exclusive to the rich.

  14. Thank you Anonymous

    Always a pleasure to speak to someone big enough to acknowledge when they have been mistaken in their comments. By the way - you don't give IT lessons free of charge in getting such segments/links to work, do you?

  15. You are right about the Bailhache brothers who should be the subject of a John Sweeney Barclay Brothers type documentary. The Bailhache's looking to make Jersey independent from the UK since 2007 if not before. The business interests of these brothers and their motives for independence could make for a very useful documentary.

  16. A sad, but very true account of the years dysfunctional government. Thanks Trevor....

  17. A few techno problems tonight I'm afraid...

  18. If any person subsequently allowed to become a lay judge has really refused to look at evidence against a child abuser while writing that there may not be any case to answer then this is more than just sickening. It says our system of justice and law must be rotten to the gills.

  19. Anonymous

    Yes this situation is a real one. 14 years with not a challenge from any Crown Officer or fellow Jurat.

    I will be discussing it and other related matters at length very soon.

    Yes it is more than sickening. Yes it does say that our justice system - or at least 'oversight' of it is rotten to the gills.

    Now we need to do something positive to change the situation rather then let the guilty, and/or the ones who just stuck their head in the sand over these years sweep it all under the carpet as per 'the Jersey Way'.

  20. It is on record that the Chief Ministers department has five full time employees ( students ) working on the independence effort . Why not ask Deputy Pitman, in the States and for the public knowledge, who authorised the "project " who gave the go ahead for the financing, how much to date has this episode cost, and why was it not agreed by the house first ?

    It may be that again the views of the other peasant politicians are just a hinderance to the CoM so why bother to get an expenditure agreement or pass on information.

    Senator Bailhache has already written a paper confirming that most of the questions regarding Jersey as an independent state have been addressed.

  21. Fascinating stuff - you are obviously well informed.

    Questions well worth asking too.

    One of them should be: how the heck could any ordinary person ever feel safe to any degree if there was not even the potential of external appeal against a 'justice' system overseen by people who we already know are very willing to abuse it?

    Truly scary stuff...

  22. Message to Beano

    Thanks for the offer. I may well be in touch!

  23. No doubt there will be plenty of talking as per usual throughout 2013 on many things but one date is already fixed in the official diary and that is Saturday 28 September which is JERSEY REFORM DAY.
    This year - for the first time ever - we have the opportunity to celebrate our political and other freedoms and blessings and to consider just how we came to have them, who achieved them for us - and how we can best promote and preserve them...
    The opportunities for individiduals, groups, societies, businesses, parishes, churches, musicians, artistts etc etc to get involved are immense. Our imagination is our only boundary....
    but please note that NOTHING will happen at all unless some people can be motivatated to start the ball of organisation rolling now....
    I shall be doing my little bit - I have tentatively booked Reg's Garden at St Brelade for some ideas of my own but DOZENS of other projects must be initiated to ensure that this is an ALL island DAY of CELEBRATION...
    so its over to you ALL to make yourselves and your ideas known ASAP.....

  24. Trevor.

    Inspired by your posting/video.

    Independence for Jersey EXPLORED

  25. From Senator Bailhache's speech.

    Last year a small department with responsibility for international affairs was set up within the Chief Minister’s Department and an Assistant Minister, the then Senator Cohen, with accountability for that department was appointed. After the elections I was appointed by the Chief Minister to fulfill that role. So Jersey now has a small department of 7 officials, including a number of young graduates, to look after Jersey’s international interests.

    accepting for our industries and businesses a strait jacket that would inhibit innovation and initiative. Or we could take the comparatively small step of taking responsibility for our destiny as an independent state.

  26. Bridget Shaw gets to taste some of her OWN MEDICINE....

  27. Two days before Christmas I met with a gentleman who detailed an appalling case of misuse of our courts and 'justice' system.

    Four days into the New Year and I am contacted by yet another person who can only be described as having been shafted by authorities. How many more of these cases are there out there?

    One thing is for sure - in the months ahead - they will no longer be allowed to be buried by those who so abuse 'justice'.

  28. "How many more of these cases are there out there?"

    I have quite a number of them on my books :)

  29. The usual stomach churning hypocrisy in the Jersey Evening Poison again on what a great bloke another lefty was now that he is no longer with us. Remember the revolting garbage they wrote on Rene Liron and even Senator Norman Le Brocq all those years ago? Poor old Norman had been 'off to collect his rubles' when he was alive! This excuse for a newspaper makes your skin crawl.

  30. I too remember the appalling treatment by the media of these two genuine men. Even if one didn't agree with their politics, their sincerity and credibility was never in doubt.

  31. So right. The attacks on Le Brocq in particular from the JEP over the years was disgusting. Then like all two faced right wing media it is as if nothing had ever happened and he was a great man of the people.

    They can't get away with things qite so blatant these days but a leopard does not change its spots. Our only newspaper hates politicians who are real man and women of the common people. So take heart Trevor. They only hate you because they know you stand for what is right and good. Dangerous stuff!

  32. Apologies for delay in getting BTR Review of 2012 Part Two up as promised.

    Sadly Shona's step-sister and our wonderful friend Jo passed away yesterday morning. A tragedy to lose such a special and good person at such a young age; something made all the worse with two lovely young children losing their Mum.

    Do my best to get Part Two up during the middle of the week.


  33. Dreadful news Trevor, thinking about you all xxx

  34. Trevor and Shona, so very, very sorry to hear of your loss and hope you take time to grieve. Thank you for all the good work you both do.

  35. Trevor/Shona.

    So sorry to learn of your bereavement. Condolences to yourselves and family/friends of Jo.

  36. TTS have scrapped the controversial plans to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds around the St. helier No. 1 harbour area to incorporate a cycle track.

    Perhaps the Minister can have a word with Senator Bailhache who locked in his ivory tower apparently thinks the public purse is both bottomless and to be spent on wreckless, open cheque whims lacking any form of safety limit?

  37. A very beneficial meeting took place on Saturday regarding the now officially recognised 'Reform Day' i.e. September 28th.

    Already, even at this early stage, looking like we have some real interest in supporting the development of this important day.

    Will be looking for further interested parties to become involved in a Working Group fairly soon. Watch this space and the Tom Gruchy blog dedicated to this pivital historical happening for updates.

  38. Good to see the scrapping of the harbour plans confirmed today. Some monies saved at least. But for how long?

  39. Condolences on your loss, Trevor and Shona.
    Is 'Jo' short for Judy, or is there another sister I never met? I know it's a large family, I know T and there's a brother.

    I hope 2013 gets better for you. Best wishes

  40. Anonymous.

    No. Jo was short for Joanne - who was Shona's step-sister and as truly lovely, and as big-hearted a person as you could hope to meet.

  41. Reference post not for publication about the BBC 'Politics Hour'

    It has been mentioned to me by four different people that apparently last week's 'Politics Hour' on the BBC featured Deputy Rod Bryans talking about his 'responsibility' as Assisstant ESC Minister for 'culture'.

    More specifically that people find it quite bizarre that someone who has such a responsibility has only recently demonstrated how inappropriate they are for the job by voting AGAINST the successful proposition to get official States recognition for Reform Day.

    This was, of course, a proposition that I brought forward in support of raising awareness to the events of September 28th 1769 - a date that is certainly every bit as important as the so-called 'Battle of Jersey'.

    It did after all lead to changes of far greater importance such as the 'end' of the Royal Court's legislative power (even though our court has sadly usurped much of the government's power again in more modern times).

    It also led to States Members having to stand for designated, limited periods of office rather than being in power for good just because your family was wealthy and/or one of your ancestors had once grown a prize-winning cabbage in a country parish fayre.

    The events of 1769 also led to our laws being codified for the first time in the famous Code of 1771. Again, whilst it is true that in modern times our courts have slipped back in to only applying laws when and as those in charge see fit; and even abusing them for political purposes this development as a consequence of 1769 remains of huge historical importance.

    Yet those who have contacted me are quite right. Clearly not considered of enough importance for Deputy Rod Bryans to support. Now why should this be the case?

    Well, I would suggest there are two prime possibilities.

    Firstly, as I outline above - this successful proposition was brought by me - a political Progressive. And the record shows that for Establishment Party head-nodders like the Deputy this is 99% of the time enough to guarantee a 'contre' vote.

    I suppose one also must not forget the Deputies actions back in 2011 i.e. his appalling, desperate and cowardly smear campaign against Shona. Perhaps the Reform day proposition being brought by a Pitman and a Progressive to boot was just too much for the poor little chap to manage?

    The second reason is I suppose almost as sad for someone in government.

    But at least, perhaps, more indicative of the drawbacks of appointing people to positions within the Executive based on line-toeing cronyism and subservience instead of relevant background/ability/experience. Deputy Bryans may well just NOT KNOW very much about Jersey's history and the clear importance to our heritage/culture of Tom Gruchy and co ssome 243 years ago.

    After all he doesn't have the same deep-seated vested interest, love for our island and background as many others of us do. Perhaps this is why he also supports Establishment party tax discrimination against locals in favour of wealthy UK tax dodgers?

    Whatever the truth both reasons, it still has to be acknowledged, are pretty pathetic. Someone with a responsibility for 'culture' ought to be a whole lot more informed and aware.Period.

  42. Reform Day & Rod Bryans continued...

    The other point that a couple of people have also told me about is that apparently the BBC would not allow Deputy Rod Bryans to be taken to task about his failings on this issue. The question here has to be 'why?'

    It is sad enough that politics has already become so dumbed down. Ever more slanted to protect the Establishment party from any form of being held to account by people within our Mainstream media reporting.

    What, I ask the BBC, is the point of such a programme if it is just to be Establsihment party Ministers and other party no-hopers spewing out propaganda free of any live questions?

    Here I mean real 'in person, on the phone'people. Not nonsense from apparent e-mails that could be from anyone or even all from the same person i.e. so called plants. Come on BBC - let's see some real political debates. It is after all the best way to fire people's interest.

  43. Have you been invited on Trevor?

    The Beano is not the Rag

  44. Trevor.

    It would seem that BBC radio Jersey's listening figures have never been so low. How low are they hoping to go and what are they hoping to achieve?

  45. Dear Trevor,
    I really could not believe my eyes when I saw tonight's JEP, it would appear that the Jersey authorities are attempting to get two Kenyan's extradited to Jersey to face charges of money laundering, this is absolutely pricless. It would also appear that the Jersey authorities have been going at this for over a year, which truly begs the following questions.

    a) Why is the bank, lawyers firm or whoever that 'helped' these people not standing in the Royal Court charged with aiding and abetting.
    b) Who has footed the bill for the 'Jersey Authorities' todate, please, please do not tell me it is the taxpayer!! and if it is the taxpayer why the hell is it not the people who brought this about in the first place.

    So Jersey is nOT a tax haven, is it any wonder that there is no money left to do anything when this is going on, no wonder Stuart Syvret was denied Legal Aid, there was no money left for him.

    Perhaps you could ask the question for us poor plebs of Tim Le Cocq in the Chamber as to WHO has footed the crowns costs and when will the individuals responsible for laudering this money in Jersy will be charged and brought to court.

  46. Firstly, Stuart was not denied legal aid. He turned it down.

    Secondly, could it be the case that the authorities want these Kenyans extradited to Jersey because the Criminal Confiscation Fund needs topping up? Just a thought.

  47. On the ball.
    Comment @ 7:58.

  48. Thanks for putting my mind to rest about Judy, but having had a quick glimpse of the notices page in the rag tonight it seems I did know Jo after all (didn't know the family connection though). I agree with your description, lovely lady. It's tragic.

  49. Bridget Shaw gets to taste some of her OWN MEDICINE Part 2

  50. Update on BTR 13 - Review of 2012 paart Two

    Obviously this has got lost in the sad events of our bereavement. Nevertheless, I hope to have it ready for airing by or possibly on Saturday.

    Jurats & 'justice'...

    Secondly, due to some of the rather desperate rumour-mongering around the issue of my forthcoming Jurats proposition I can tell both those awaiting it because they are appalled at what has been allowed to go on here for so long; and those who would like to misrepresent it due to being terrified of what will come out in the debate...

    This WILL be lodged - unless something totally unforeseen should happen - during the early part of the week of Monday 21st January. Jersey 'justice' there is a subject that will be of great interest to the wider wworld!

  51. Bailhache droning on in his usual pompous way on CTV. When you hear him blather on about needing status I think this sums him and those who follow him up perfectly. Zero content and all about show. I wouldn't mind quite so much if he had proved any good so far but he hasn't. Rude, arrogant and in my opinion deluded as to his own ability.

  52. Bailhache was indeed bleating about the proposed official post commanding more respect.... it's all about people doffing their caps to him......... reminds me of Eric Cartman "Respect my authoritie!"

  53. Fully agree. But as I Tweeted earlier - hasn't the Senator got enough on his hands already what with being Chief Minister...

  54. Condolences to Shona and yourself Trevor on the loss of Jo. A friend of my daughter who said she was indeed a very special person.

    I have only just realised from reading your blog that she was Shona's step sister.