Friday, 2 December 2011


When will we ‘meddlers’ ever give up?
Nobody who has read the JEP for any length of time is likely to be under any impression that the Island’s only newspaper welcomes political opinion, or indeed, political policies at variance with or critical of the elitism of their beloved Establishment Party any more than a Manchester City fan wearing a ‘6 – 1 Ha! Ha! Ha!’ tee shirt would be welcomed in the middle of the newly named Sir Alex Fergusson Stand.
After all, questioning of the newspaper’s commitment to fair and balanced political ‘reporting’ can be traced right back to the elections at the end of the Second World War when some were understandably determined to fight for a fairer society where money and might would not automatically be accepted as always right.

An in-depth subject for another time I’m afraid. – and one I think very well worth doing.  But for now anyone in any doubt should just consider the words of legendary Jersey politician, the late Senator Norman Le Brocq in his 1940’s book ‘Jersey Looks Forward’.

Readers really should check the book out for themselves – the reference Library certainly has a copy. But it is surely enough to mention here that Le Brocq highlights what he saw (and others I have actually spoken to who were there) felt to have been a campaign of misrepresentation and editorial repression from the then Evening Post in the vein of the notorious Dr. Goebals. And so it has gone on. And still goes on today. Or am I just one of Lucy Mason’s political ‘meddlers’? 

‘Meddlers’ or simple democracy - does Lucy know the difference?

I was put forward for the role of Education Minister. Unreasonable? Well, I was the only one who had a professional background in the field. The role went to a politician who I’m told has a background in the landscape gardening business. That’s democracy. Yet like others who tried, unsuccessfully for ministerial roles, it seems that I am actually a ‘meddler’?

Funny, Lucy, but I think that you will find politics is all about people holding strong and different views and policies; and as a consequence putting themselves forward for positions where they may be best placed to try and progress these to benefit the community?

But maybe you too are also one of those who believes that those who veer from the Establishment Party line no matter how discredited and redundant should know their place and either keep quiet; or perhaps occupy ourselves with Scrutinizing the proliferation of doggy-doo on our beaches?

Frankly if this is the extent of your political analysis I really couldn’t care what you think. Like so many members of the public who I have been approached by I just don’t think it is fair or professional for a newspaper to try and spin such groundless garbage. 

Nevertheless, to return to the original theme of the post, being someone always happy to be proven wrong I am actually writing a piece to send to the JEP. This is on the quite pathetically inadequate reporting of the hard facts arising from the Scrutiny investigation into the circumstances underlying the BDO review. Will the JEP print my letter in full? Well, let’s hope so.

But print it or not the point is that as Chairman of the Scrutiny review I really shouldn’t have to be writing such a letter anyway. Why? The facts are all there in plain black and white in our report: a report that even the out-going president of the Chairman’s Committee stated was “an excellent piece of Scrutiny work”.

To any self-respecting journalist let alone editor these facts surely should demand discussion? They blow the nonsense we have been spoon fed for nearly three years out of the water. No. I won’t spend time re-listing all the Scrutiny findings here – the full report can be accessed easily through the link to the States website on the  links page. Indeed, to understand the true picture the report should be read in full.

A few uncomfortable facts…

But put quite starkly the real question that needs to be answered by our Island’s media - and not just the JEP by any means - is why are they so desperate to pretend that these facts below, as just a few key examples do not exist?
•    Why are they so desperate to continue the threadbare lie that the monies spent on the Historic Abuse Inquiry were all wasted to the very last penny?
•    Why does our media wish to continue the myth that the only faults or blame for any mistakes are all – every one – down to just two specific individuals?  That the actions of senior figures within the States Assembly and Home Affairs department are above reproach?
•    Why do they wish to perpetuate ‘the myth of the £7.5 million’ i.e. that monies actually spent both by other States departments and by Messrs Warcup and Gradwell after Power and Harper had departed the police should still be attributed to these two alone?  
•    Why do our journalists – or perhaps more accurately those who hold the editorial strings of power – wish to whitewash out, as do so many Establishment Party politicians, the reality that the individual whose opinions have largely been used to justify trashing the child abuse investigation, far from being the perfect policeman would have actually been facing very serious disciplinary action for his behaviour had he not retired?

Yes, all of this whilst the solid facts that prove otherwise along with a whole lot more are presented before them in cold black and white.

Indeed, given the predictably front page JEP story highlighting the shoddy, misleading and wholly unforgivable reporting from UK journalists out to sell more papers during the unfolding of the Historic Abuse Inquiry you would have to think that this issue was more relevant than ever.

Yet relevant it apparently isn’t. ..

Could the problem just be that real, in depth debate of such facts by our media and some in power when all of this unfolded would necessitate a process of rather uncomfortable self-analysis in the mirror?

There is absolutely no excuse for journalists or anyone else exaggerating stories just to sell more newspapers. By extension it must also be true that attempting to underplay or conceal facts that pull the rug from under a story – no matter how often that story has been spun and repeated – as our Scrutiny investigation has done with local media reporting is equally wrong.

Having no allegiance to anyone or anything but the truth I repeat again: that Messrs Power and Harper were not perfect in their investigation is beyond doubt. In fairness as the unfolding of the Scrutiny review has made clear to their credit neither man has made any attempt to claim otherwise. Yet if some of their actions have been less than perfect they are clearly not alone. Not by a long way.

The difference - at least from what I and my colleagues have seen within the course of our review? Flaws and mistakes acknowledged at least it is quite clear Power and Harper were genuinely searching only for the truth. I ask: can we really also believe that of politicians, journalists and editors who seek to pretend uncomfortable facts such as those I highlight above just don’t exist…

Which all brings me back to my headline: ‘the next small step toward political transparency…?’ 

Having won the right for the public to be able to see which way those they elected voted for Chief Minister what I had intended to write about was having today lodged a follow-up proposition; seeking to make all elections for office within the States Assembly open and transparent.

It has been welcomed by every member of the public that I have told about it. It should also be welcomed by everyone within the States. Yet that it will be opposed by Senator Philip Bailhache at least – the man who thinks that he alone should be able to construct and inflict on us his own special variance on Barclay Brothers-style, vested interest driven democracy can surely be guaranteed.

So…when will we ‘meddlers’ ever give up? 

We won’t. Looks like it is going to be a long three years…

Keep the Faith


Monday, 31 October 2011


With apologies for the lack of posts during the past month I am quite sure all genuine readers will understand where my and other Progressives’ priorities had to be primarily focussed. Indeed, with my Scrutiny sub-panel also working throughout the period and keeping up my constituent work the reality that something just had to be sacrificed was only more pronounced.

Still, at least those of us outside of the Establishment Party fold in St. Helier No. 1 District didn’t quite have to contend with the new low in political smear campaigns achieved across in No. 2 District where Rod Bryans certainly showed the true nature of his ‘qualities’.  Not that he was alone.

But a little more on this – including the happy and long overdue political demise of that ‘whiter-than-white’ candidate Mr. Bryans’ was oddly most happy to have as his political running mate; ex-Senator Terry Le Main - in coming posts when I will look back at some of the election results in greater depth.. But in the meantime… Did you really lose that much money with ‘Honest’ Nev, Terry? To think - Jon had said that you were a shoe in…

A great big ‘Thank You’

For now above all else let me just say a great big ‘Thank You!’ to all of those who came out to support me with your vote on October 19th. Shona has similarly asked me to pass on her own thanks via the site as well. With the Horsfall/Walker/Ozouf faction pulling out all the stops to knock out the Progressives your support is greatly appreciated; as have been all of the numerous e-mails, letters, phone calls etc since the result. Believe me – they all mean a great deal indeed. Thank you!

Yet as some have also said to me; in a perverse way perhaps that ‘thank you’ should even be extended to the lowlifes who apparently have so little in their sad existences that they put so much energy and hate into the desperate tactics to try and stop the likes of Shona and myself getting re-elected?

Even with the Assembly undoubtedly shifting slightly to the right - as a result no doubt of many people clearly not being wise to the con being spun with regard to which candidates were ‘independent’ of the Establishment – that the smear tactics against us backfired spectacularly cannot be denied. Better still, in three years time they may just come back to haunt some people. Yes, how very poetic…
Two politicians who really will be sadly missed…

But whilst I will look at the pluses and negatives of the election result in greater detail in forthcoming posts I still really do have to just comment briefly here on the loss of Deputies Debbie De Sousa and Bob Hill. 

Bob Hill has been a genuine and dedicated servant to transparency and doing what he believed to be right throughout five electoral terms. Some record by anyone’s standards. He will be a real loss to the democratic process – probably simply paying the price of being a free thinker within a somewhat conservative area in St. Martin.

One thing is for sure: Bob can hold his head up with pride. I wish him well in whatever he does next. They say you only really miss what you have had when it’s gone: could well be the people of St. Martin may well come to experience that reality for themselves before 2014.

Debbie De Sousa may have only been in the States for one term but she too can hold her head up having a record of hard work and sticking to her principles that is a real credit to her. She worked tirelessly for both her constituents in St. Helier No. 2 and played a full role in the States generally. Indeed, Debbie had probably come on more than any other of the new Members over the past seven or eight months. I also have to agree that I think she was badly let down by the Portuguese community for whom she had worked so particularly hard.

But devastated as she will be what Debbie really can hold on to is the fact that - should she wish to stand again in 2014 - I am certain that she can be re-elected in three years time. I have no doubt whatsoever that she can certainly oust Establishment lightweight Rod Bryans - who will now, of course, actually have to do some political hard work and come up with some policy – something starkly conspicuous by its absence in both his ‘manifesto’ and his lie-filled ramblings on his website. 

Of course, as the wider interests of the people of St. Helier are obviously the key underlying factor it is much more beneficial that in 2014 the likes of Bryans are sent packing. However, Debbie can also quite probably take the seat of my former JDA colleague Deputy Geoff Southern if push comes to shove.

Why do I say this? Well, sad as it makes me, if Geoff really thinks it is okay to go around telling people ‘one vote only’ so desperate was he to finish top (as so many people from Number 2 have told us he was doing in stark contrast to Shona and Debbie herself) and risk knocking out a hardworking fellow Progressive as a result then quite frankly its probably time he too sailed off into the political sunset.

Progressives need to focus on keeping out the real enemies of ordinary working people – not just think about looking after themselves. Yet strangely, there is actually a much better chance of this now happening following on from this election. But more about the need for the so-called Progressives to take a leaf out of the Establishment approach to sticking together in the near future.
The next post: Chief Minister and beyond – who is up for what…

With regards to who might be our next Chief Minister I suppose the one good thing you can say is that at least we already know that we have a choice. Sadly the caveat is that at present that choice is like being told you have to spend the next three years of your life shacking up with one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

We can only hope that Senator Alan Breckon does indeed throw his hat into the ring to provide real choice. Not just choice but an alternative to elitism; incompetence and the failed, greed-based policies of free-market fundamentalism that have taken us to the brink. So other than trying to re-assure a couple of posters that: yes – I really will do my utmost to get back to putting a new post up every week or two I think I will leave it there.

Well…apart from answering the following question as to my own future approach. 

Will I be bowing to pressure from our newly self-proclaimed ‘leader’ Senator-Elect Bailhache i.e. that apparently his eminence can insult or attack who he likes (just read the interview in the JEP again and spot the hypocrisy) but anyone who isn’t on the cocktail circuit is obviously an unruly peasant and must be fined and silenced if they should dare to question)?

Put it this way. As one older lady and her friend wanted to make quite clear to me when casting their votes at the polling station: ‘What we want from you Trevor is more of the same - only even louder! These tax dodgers need to understand this Island belongs to us ordinary people too! We’ve paid our way its time they did. We’re relying on you to make them listen.’
Ladies, I can only say I will do my very best to comply.

As for Jon. Sorry, I guess you’ll just have to console yourself with sending out childishly insulting posters and talking to yourself on the net. Still, if it keeps you from making any more sick; cowardly death threats to innocent people …

Keep the Faith.

Monday, 26 September 2011


And the only ones not happy are Horsfall, Ozouf, Le Marquand and the rest of the Establishment Party gang who hold the public in utter contempt…

With apologies for the shortness of this post following on from a couple of weeks when I simply haven’t had the time to focus on the internet. Many States Members it is true have been doing nothing for some weeks. Others, such as Senator Terry Le Main have to be roused from their snoring even when actually in the States being paid by you and me!

Inconvenient as it certainly is when trying to run an election campaign I’m pleased to say that I have not been one of those taking it easy. Constituent work has continued to grow and grow. Whilst with my Scrutiny colleagues Deputies Roy Le Herissier and Daniel Wimberley we are also putting the finishing touches to the much anticipated report on the review into the Historic Abuse Inquiry finances.

The report is set to be completed by the end of the coming week – yet a late, surprise piece of evidence may still yet have to be incorporated. Watch this space…

If a candidate won’t tell you clearly who they would ideally vote for in the race for Chief Minister do not vote for them.

Canvassing this past week, and judging by the amount of people who have stopped me in the street, phoned or e-mailed, my successful proposition to turn back the tide of ever-increasing secrecy under Ministerial government has been one of the most widely supported States decisions of recent years. Indeed, it is such a fundamental part of a democratic and transparent government that one really would have thought that it would have been passed unanimously.

It wasn’t, of course, for the truth is we have many in the States who support democracy and respect for the ordinary working public only as lip-service. Anyone in doubt should just consider the words proclaiming commitment to a ‘fairer, more equal society’ we see the Executive happily sign up to with Strategic Plans: words that then strangely never make it into policy.

My proposition was actually won by just two votes. There are still those desperate enough to risk trying to scupper it when it returns for what is normally the formality of a PPC motion to put the wishes of the majority into Standing Orders. The list of the democrats who supported me and the nineteen supporters of the Old Boys’ network who voted against already available on this and other sites, my advice to all readers attending hustings in the coming weeks is quite simple.

Ask all candidates who they would like to vote for as Chief Minister. This simple question is guaranteed to reveal who is worthy of one of your votes and who isn’t. Should a candidate refuse or claim they cannot say yet he or she will be revealed to be either a liar or a supporter of Senator Philip Ozouf and the policies running Jersey directly into the Abyss of a two-tier society. Quite probably they will be both. Either way he or she giving such answers can be guaranteed not have the interests of the Island’s ordinary people at heart.

Want an example? I am told that Mary O’keeffe-Burgher was asked this question by former Senator Ted Vibert, one of the six people who turned up to her recent ‘Meet the Establishment party candidate’ meeting. Apparently she refused to say. She supports secrecy and keeping the public in the dark. Say no more…

Grouville Hustings

Grouville was the first of the Senatorial hustings that I have been able to attend. As these hustings are being reported elsewhere on the net I will say only this. Love him or loath him – and I have certainly had my strong disagreements with the man - the undeniable fact is that on the night Stuart Syvret was simply streets ahead of the other candidates in terms of the quality and depth of his answers.

As for Philip Bailhache, not only did he not manage the same level of applause as Syvret – even in his home parish – the fact is that his incredibly arrogant and frankly plain stupid statement that too many ‘backbenchers’ haven’t got enough to do, and that there are apparently ‘too many questions’ preventing the Great and the Good from doing their work really said all that needs to be said about what an out of touch and politically lightweight candidate this man really is.

Yes, strip away the self-promoted myth of the great Statesman and the truth is actually pretty threadbare. As for his truly bizarre attempts to suddenly pretend that he isn’t a proponent of independence from the UK at all – this really is too ridiculous for words. Though many in the Establishment party might like it to be so we aren’t quite yet living in the pages of Orwell’s 1984!

Keep the Faith


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Nomination Night Speech

I publish below the speech kindly written by my proposer, Janine Catterson, in support of my nomination for re-election as Deputy for St. Helier No. 1 District at the Town Hall last week. 

Unlike many candidates who, as is the established practice, had written the speeches for their proposers to read out I had not seen Janine's speech until minutes before she read it out!

Thankfully, I can still thank Janine most warmly for her both her support and her time in putting this together. Indeed, what an excellent  contrast to the awful, arrogant and misleading speech read out by former Senator Horsfall in support of one of the Ozouf/Walker favoured candidates Mary O'Keefe-Burgher.

Yes, 'the fight back does start here' Mr. Horsfall. It is time to take our island back from the speculators, anti-democrats and tax avoiders who have such contempt for ordinary working people who made this Island the success it has been!

I would also like to thank my other nine proposers for their support and list their names below. Of course, that same sincere thanks goes out equally to all those others who also offered to be amongst the ten names but were not needed. I look forward to meeting you again whilst canvassing.

Keep the faith.


Janine Catterson
James Loader
Raymond Foster 
Joy Foster
Venetia Bucholz
Mathias Bucholz
Stewart Bannon
Eileen Bannon
Diane Keedwell

Ladies & Gentlemen

My name is Janine Catterson , I am a Compliance Officer for a local Trust Company. 

I am pleased to be here this evening to propose DEPUTY TREVOR PITMAN for RE-ELECTION in St Helier No 1 District.

As a resident of the Havre des Pas area I first met Deputy Pitman through my local residents association, for which I am the spokesperson.  

The local residents of Havre des Pas Gardens and adjoining streets needed assistance in dealing with a pressing planning issue and Deputy Pitman was kind enough to attend several of our meetings and provide clear and independent guidance as to how to navigate what might otherwise be a complex process.  He also enlisted assistance from his colleagues and his advice proved invaluable to us.  
 Deputy Pitman’s commitment to the local community was clear long before his election to the States in 2008.  Whilst pursuing a career in business management Deputy Pitman was extensively involved on a voluntary basis in youth projects and eventually retrained to become a Full time professional youth worker.

Since his election in 2008 Deputy Pitman has shown himself to be a very active member of the states concentrating his efforts on a wide variety of issues with a very strong attendance record at State’s sittings.
In addition to his work directly for his constituents such as myself Deputy Pitman has been actively involved in :
  • St. Helier Representatives Group
  • P.o.St Helier Police Advisory Group
  • The St. Helier Youth Committee
  • Friends of the Town Park
  • The Privileges & Procedures Committee (PPC)
to name but a few.

Deputy Pitman’s key policies are:
  • Social Justice
  • Fair Taxation
  • Making Politicians Accountable
  • Protecting Public Services
  • Diversifying the economy
  • Protecting the local environment
  • Affordable Housing
  • Education and investment in youth
  • The regeneration of Fort Regent
These clearly cover a wide variety of local issues affecting our Community.  I am sure you will agree that we are privileged to live in this small island and the issues that affect us are naturally interlinked.  The phrase “joined up thinking” may be a horrid piece of management jargon but for me it aptly describes what is needed.

It may seem strange that, as finance employee, I am here encouraging people to vote for someone whose policies include diversifying the economy.  However, I think it is important that we recognise that Jersey needs the Finance Industry to thrive but that it shouldn’t and needn’t be to the detriment of other industries nor is it right to allow an economy to lean so heavily on one industry. 

When the public and politicians alike talk about diversifying the economy and making efforts to boost tourism, surely there is an inherent link to our planning policies. Creeping over development, (or. should I say. the relentless march of construction: lining the pockets of some and yet damaging our beautiful island, whilst new office developments remain empty - sometimes for years on end) cannot be allowed to continue unchecked.  Otherwise this beautiful island - which we hope people will want to come and visit - simply will not be a place they want to come and visit.

In this way our policies on the economy, environment and planning are intertwined and need to be dealt with accordingly.  Having grown up here and seen Jersey, especially St Helier, change almost beyond recognition, I for one want politicians who won't allow another monstrosity such as the Waterfront and who will push to redevelop existing facilities such as Fort Regent.  More to the point I want to know that the politicians we elect and the departments of the States will be accountable for these decisions .

Deputy Pitman stands for all these things and has a track record of having done so.

It is perhaps unsurprising, given his involvement in youth Projects before his election in 2008, that Deputy Pitman continues to take a keen interest in youth and education. He is particularly interested to ensure that local school leavers have access to education, be it vocational training or university to ensure that as far as is possible our school leavers are equipped to gain jobs within our economy. 

Since he was elected he has served as Vice-Chairman of the Education, Sport & Culture/Home Affairs Scrutiny panel amongst others 
As a professional educator Deputy Pitman is therefore keen, should he be re-elected to stand for Education Minister.  I am sure we would all agree that it is important that this role be undertaken by someone who has experience of both working with young people and the Education Department itself.
It strikes me that Deputy Pitman’s policies represent the joined up thinking that this Island needs and if you would like to know more I would strongly suggest you have a read of his blogsite: “the bald truth Jersey”. 

Wednesday, 31 August 2011


Below I publish a letter sent from the Scrutiny sub-panel to Channel Television, though it is relevant to all our mainstream media when one considers the way this whole issue has been reported this past year or two. As I have been at pains to stress again and again, the panel has allegiance to no particular camp or perspective in all of this. All we are interested in - as should surely be the media - is reporting hard facts and being fair to all involved. If failings are evident then report them as such. But do not adopt a scatter gun approach that can only result at best in the blurring of fact and fiction; and at worst in undermining and denigrating that which should deserve no such criticism.

Indeed, it is interesting to note that in speaking to the Scrutiny sub-panel the representatives of BDO themselves stressed how they had praised the handling of the Historic Abuse Inquiry in nine specific areas - yet little if any of this appears to have found its way into the mainstream media's reporting. Of course, as BDO also pointed out they have no control over how the media - or, I should add, the Home Affairs Minister - subsequently presented or spun their report. As is outlined in the letter below the sub-panel has already found significant concerns in the way this review was undertaken to fully justify our initiating it. Our report later in September will make these quite clear in both findings and recommendations.

To conclude on a slightly different aspect. I must comment to readers that both the sub-panel and the Scrutiny office has found it deeply concerning to say the least that BDO has subsequently attempted to present Scrutiny with a bill in the region of £14,000 - kindly discounted from around £26,000 - for their participation in the Scrutiny interview process. It needs to be made quite clear that Scrutiny, as with Select Committees the world over, do NOT pay witnesses for hearings where people are only invited because they have some relevant involvement; further still where they could actually be subpoenaed to appear by law. Scrutiny will NOT be paying this bill. To do so would undermine the whole future Scrutiny process as it would result in panels being intimidated out of tackling contentious issues through fear of incurring a huge bill that Scrutiny simply does not have the money - taxpayer money let us not forget - to spend in such an inappropriate way.

I must end by stating that I personally really do find myself asking if accountants do not perhaps understand irony. The original review was, after all, effectively into whether or not public money had been spent appropriately. Yet BDO now even attempt to charge Scrutiny and the taxpayer for the cost of them writing a letter seeking to remove me from the Chairing of this investigation! An attempt I should also remind readers that was thrown out along with the Home Affairs Minister's identical complaint as groundless. Similarly, charging Scrutiny for a meeting held for their benefit to discuss some of their apparent concerns. As someone used to say - you really couldn't make it up…

Scrutiny Office

Managing Director
Channel Television
Television Centre
La Pouquelaye
St Helier

Our Ref: 516/29(5)

30th August 2011

Dear Sir

Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Sub Panel review

Issues surrounding the review of financial management of Operation Rectangle - CTV coverage of public hearing with Mr. G. Power, dated 17th August 2011

The Scrutiny Sub Panel wishes to express its strong concerns about the coverage given to the public hearing with Mr. Graham Power last week.

The programme chose once again to highlight aspects of alleged overspending by the Police and in particular Mr. Harper during the Historic Child Abuse Enquiry, referring to Michelin-starred restaurants, 4-star hotels, first class flights to London and Australia, the costs of the dog handler and police overtime.

The CTV commentary used the figure of £7.5 million twice, unqualified in any way, alongside statements about restaurant bills etc ‘which the tax payer unwittingly had to sign for’. It was suggested in this way that that sum was all somehow unjustified or tainted. The impression clearly left with the viewer was that the Police had wasted £7.5 million.

Furthermore, it ought to be noted that the £7.5 million figure was never all down to the decisions, right or wrong ones, by Mr. Power and Mr. Harper. Half of the spending on the enquiry was committed after their time leading the investigation.

The programme attempted to characterise the public hearing as a ‘blame game’ between the Home Affairs department and the States of Jersey Police centred on who was responsible for the £7.5 million bill.

The programme picked up on one point made by Mr. Power in which he alleged that Home Affairs had been responsible for signing off expenses claims, linking this to the total £7.5 million cost of the enquiry. The reporter approached the Home Affairs Chief Officer for a comment on this allegation and was told that the Chief Officer would be speaking to the Sub Panel to explain the position. It is therefore perplexing to note that CTV failed to cover the subsequent hearings (on Thursday 25th August 2011) to discover the answer to their own questions.

Broadcast media have a special responsibility to use the few words that they have carefully in order to avoid false impressions being left in the minds of the public.

No attempt was made during the course of the programme to present an accurate and balanced picture of the Scrutiny Sub Panel’s review.

We wish to make it quite clear that our review is not about re-examining the actual costs of Operation Rectangle nor disputing that there may have been overspends. These matters have been fully examined previously by others. We are looking at a broader picture of whether or not the BDO Alto review gives a fair picture of the way this developed through 2008, given the fact that they didn't have access to the views of the two people at the heart of the SOJP management.

The Scrutiny review is an attempt to examine whether the independent external review of financial management of the Historic Child Abuse enquiry (Operation Rectangle), carried out by local firm of accountants, BDO Alto Limited, presents a fair and balanced view of the cost problems that have been identified in the police investigation.

Our review also includes examining the way aspects of the review were leaked to the media and the way the media has chosen to portray the enquiry as a result of these leaks.

The Sub Panel’s interest began with a determination to find out why Mr. Harper was not interviewed at any stage of the review and how information from the review was leaked to both the local and national media and used apparently to denigrate the enquiry.

Our review has already revealed a number of problems with the way the external review was conducted, not least the fact that Mr. Warcup, the Acting Chief Officer at the time, was unaware that the Mr. Kellett, the police consultant, had been directed by Mr. Gradwell, the SIO, to work on a joint report with BDO Alto and was unaware of the instructions which Mr. Warcup had originally set out for him. Mr Warcup told us that he believed that the work carried out by this consultant was ‘overly focussed on Mr. Harper, lacked objectivity, had the potential to be unfair to Mr. Power and could have seriously undermined the investigation by Wiltshire Police’.

In the public hearing Mr. Power gave us his perspective on how the Police Force had tried to establish an effective system of financial control in the midst of a highly pressurised enquiry. This was unavailable to BDO Alto because of the parallel timing with the disciplinary enquiry being carried out by Wiltshire

Mr. Power also told us: ‘I have been frustrated, as a lot of people have, that whenever the debate seems to shift towards where it probably belongs in my view, which is towards to the victims and to asking the hard questions about how it was that it was not challenged for so many years and why it took some rather exceptional police interventions to keep it within the criminal justice system, the conversation seems to be turned away to restaurant bills in London and who has had a second helping.’

The Sub Panel is seeking to understand and evaluate the substance of these comments and it was essential to give the Minister and the Chief Officer of Home Affairs the opportunity to respond.

We will fully address all the above issues when we publish our report next month.

In our view your programme serves to illustrate a point made by Mr. Power during the public hearing. He said: ‘This whole business about personal expenses has, I think, been used in particular to trivialise what ought to be a rather more serious debate.’

Our concern about your programme then is that, by focussing on the issue of expenses, it has simply reinforced a stereotypical image of the Police handling of the Historical Abuse Enquiry and largely missed the serious points raised during the hearing with Mr. Power. The emphasis on the hospitality expenses and air flights risks implanting the impression that the entire expenditure on Operation Rectangle was badly managed.

The reporter appears to have undertaken very little background research into our review and has resorted merely to replaying earlier versions of CTV coverage of the matter. We suggest in future the reporters contact the Scrutiny Officer to discuss relevant background information before attending hearings so that they are better prepared to understand the issues under discussion.

We are well aware that ultimately these are matters for editorial judgment and would not seek to dictate how this should be exercised. However, given the immense controversy and polarisation that surrounds these issues, we believe that balanced and well informed reporting is crucial.

Yours sincerely

Deputy T. Pitman
Chairman, Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Sub Panel

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

NEVER MIND ‘MR. BEAN’ HERE’S AN E-MAIL TRULY WORTH A FULL PAGE OF COVERAGE IN THE JERSEY EVENING POST (which is probably why we only got a ‘redacted’ version!)

Dear readers
Judging by the number of contacts that I have received from members of the public – all very supportive I’m pleased to say – I expect many of you will have seen the full page coverage the JEP strangely saw fit to give a one line e-mail I had sent (29/08/2011) to other States Members. 

Sent in response to an earlier e-mail from Senator Ian Le Marquand, informing us all of the exciting news that he is to stand for Chief Minister, this e-mail was allowed by the JEP to be accredited to an anonymous ‘concerned’ States Member. But why would a States Member be so concerned at such a triviality? 

A good and baffling question – until you learn the actual identity of who this oh so ‘concerned’ member really is. And, just as fascinating, learn the circumstances underlying why the e-mail was sent to the JEP. But more detail on all of this in a couple of days perhaps?

I have this evening sent off a response to the letters page of the JEP. So let us first wait to see if the editor will adopt a fair and even-handed approach and actually publish my response in full. There are absolutely no reasons at all why the full response shouldn’t be published, I can assure you, and it doesn’t take up a whole page of space. Even with a large, colour photo! But should it still not be printed then I will be publishing it here on instead for all to see within my second guest posting.

Meanwhile, having the full permission of the author I publish below an e-mail that really should have warranted a full page worth of coverage in our Island’s only newspaper. It is from Mr. Lenny Harper to the Home Affairs Minister; and asks some very serious questions that you really might have thought journalists would have been asking of the Minister themselves. As to why they haven’t  - I’ll leave you to make your own mind up…


Deputy Shona Pitman

E-mail from Mr. Lenny Harper to Senator Ian Le Marquand

Dear Mr Le Marquand,

I was disturbed to see in an exchange between yourself and Deputy Pitman an allegation that despite the well evidenced and probably unlawful leaks to the Daily Mail by Senator Perchard and Mick Gradwell that you were more concerned by the fact that I purchased a meal and other hospitality for the Chief Crime Reporter of the News of the World, thus inferring that I had acted in some way improperly and, if it concerned you more than the other stated leaks, possibly illegally.

I have sought advice on this matter and have been instructed to firstly, make a few points to you, and then to seek an explanation from you.  The points I wish to make are,

*  In stating that you find my conduct to be more concerning than the unlawful leaks mentioned above you are seeking to infer some wrongdoing on my part.  Either you are in possession of "evidence" to base this on which can only be false, or you are deliberately trying to infer I have behaved worse than this with a view to smearing myself and drawing attention away from the transgressions of  Mr Perchard and Mr Gradwell.

*  I have been instructed to counsel you against repeating these falsehoods without the protection afforded to you in the States.

*  The News of the World reporter was one of at least eight people at that meal, which was a continuation of what Sir Hugh Orde called the other day the "proper and necessary" interactions between senior police officers and the media.  Somewhere between £70 and £80 would have been spent on this journalist.  This is a far cry from the sums being talked about in the NOTW/Met Police scandal which, you will well know, relates to officers RECEIVING hospitality from suspects and possibly other payments for information.  If you are inferring that I have done this you should be clear and state it.  I can tell you now there is no truth in that particular allegation which three of your colleagues are also trying to infer without any evidence and without the courage to say it clearly.

I would like you to answer the following questions;

1.  Why do you find the fact that I used a legitimate hospitality budget to spend around £70 -£80 on a reporter in an attempt to control some of the wilder allegations the paper had been given more disturbing than the unlawful leaks of Messrs. Gradwell and Perchard?

2.  What evidence do you have to support this slur, or are you simply plucking it out of thin air?

3. Why do you pretend that the only mention of the Perchard leak is the one by me in Scrutiny evidence?  You will be aware that the SOJ made a formal complaint about it but the Chief Minister refused to investigate.  You will also be aware of the tape recording of David Rose stating that Perchard did indeed leak the police e mail to him.  There is also other evidence to support this.  Why do you ignore this?

4.  Seeing as you deplore leaks to the media so much, can I now assume that you will authorise a full, independent, and rigorous investigation into leaks during the HDLG enquiry which will cover the Perchard leak, the Gradwell and Warcup leaks, and of course, the "leaks" for which there is no evidence, but which you, Shenton, Perchard, and Power, all seem to be trying to infer, without having the courage (or in reality, the evidence) to actually come out and say, that I am supposed in your imagination to have instigated.  I would remind you that, despite the relentless attempts by you, Gradwell, Perchard, Power, Shenton, and the JEP to dig some evidence of wrongdoing up by myself, you have come up with nothing.  I now demand that you come clean with the evidence you are pretending to have when inferring that I passed information to the NOTW in the same unlawful manner as Gradwell and Perchard did to the local media and the Daily Mail.

I would hope, that unlike my last e mails to you, I receive an answer to this one.  It is time you put up or shut up.

Leonard Harper