''If people are not truthful they suffer the consequences... If a Minister lied to another Minister, so far as I am concerned, that would be pretty well the end of a Ministerial career...''
Senator Sir Philip Bailhache
2011 Election Speech
Yesterday a meeting took place in the Boardroom at Morier House. It was a meeting that in many ways goes to the very heart of just what is wrong with Jersey under the shiny-shoed heel of the 'image before justice' phonies of the Establishment Party. It was a meeting about what has become known here to political observers as 'Bailhache-Gate'.
Now I must admit even I have actually been slightly surprised at just how much interest this story has continued to generate through the blog weeks after I first broke the story - and even with the orchestrated tight closing of ranks of the MSM to try and kill an expose that cuts right through all of the gloss and guff surrounding a figure whom so many see as the very epitome of maintaining the Old Order of keeping the 'little people' in our place.
Nevertheless, what took place this Monday evening was that our Chief Minister (that's Senator Gorst by the way) - a politician who had, even having been contacted personally by one of the businessmen at the centre of this story, refused to do the honourable thing and confirm to the States Assembly last week that this gentleman was very real indeed - finally came face-to-face with the man who knows full well that the version of events given to the States by Senator Bailhache was nothing more than a bare-faced fabrication of staggering arrogance.
The Truth. The Whole Truth. Nothing but the Bald Truth...
Infact we didn't have just one businessman who can blow the whistle on the Bailhache bull but two! For such was my constituent's understandable anger at being accused of making the whole story up his business partner - who happened to be travelling with him and was also able to verify what had been seen - also attended.
Yet before we cut to the chase of just where this meeting leaves us and discus the action now required of our Chief Minister (yes, that's still Senator Gorst) let's just remind ourselves of why this meeting had come about with a few damning words from the letter sent direct to the Chief Minister regarding his 'Foreign Minister's' behaviour:
''Dear Chief Minister. I am writing in response to the recent public allegation from Sir Philip Bailhache that I am the creator of a fictitious and malicious e-mail which I sent to Deputy (Trevor) Pitman on 22nd March 2013 - so in basic terms a liar. I can 100% assure you that there is only one person in this situation who is fictitious and that is not me!''
Time for a large dose of Testicular Fortitude...
How did our Chief Minister now respond to this irrefutable evidence that he had been duped; and in allowing himself to be so, also misled the States Assembly and public; and thus helped paint this gentleman and yours truly as liars? He fidgeted. He waffled. He made excuses. He tried the line that the Senator's actions had 'nothing to do with Senator Bailhache being his Assistant Minister'.
Hell, he even tried to bull the businessman that he really could not do anything with the complaint 'unless his name could be made public'. Indeed, in what I saw as a quite shameful further attempt at double-edged buckpassing the Chief Minister even told him he should really complain to PPC. But should be aware that Senator Sir Philip Bailhache was himself a member of this Committee.
My God, is there any wonder so many good, decent people are cowered into silence?
Fortunately, however, neither businessman was having any of this. As the complainant put it so adroitly: ''You don't need our names to be made public at all. Give us one valid reason. I have written to you. I have explained in detail what both of us could see. We have even come to meet you in person with the States Greffier to answer any questions. Just who would our names need to go to?'
Yes, the 6 million dollar question indeed! To who and to where would these gentlemens' names go and for what purpose? Ensure their businesses never get any contracts again? To have them socially ostracised? The Jersey Way in all of its insidious and sordid glory. Not surprisingly our Chief Minister did not have an answer. So as a true 'team player' I will tell him - with the help of those words from my constiuent - just what he does need to do.
'Chief Minister, I expect you to do the right thing'...
Senator Sir Philip Bailhache needs to be asked to resign. If he won't go - and given the arrogance he has displayed at almost every turn since being elected I doubt he would - the Chief Minister needs to ensure he is sacked. After all, just remember the Senator's words at the top of this post.
Indeed, remember also that Senator Bailhache actually sits on the Privileges & Procedures Committee dealing out judgement and discipline on other Members. He obviously needs to be sacked from that position too. Are you man enough Constable Simon Crowcroft? Or is the role of PPC only applied to those outside of the Establishment Party fold as so many of us think?
Senator Bailhache has shown himself, once again, to be a politician who thinks there is one rule for him and another for everyone else. If 'Chief Minister' Gorst isn't big enough to show him that he is wrong and thus show him the ministerial door then the Bald Truth of the matter is HE needs a vote of no confidence himself.
And if he doesn't 'do the right thing' let me tell him I'm happy to inform him he will get one.
Keep the Faith.