Saturday, 26 January 2013


Having refused to bend the knee to the ego of 'the Man who would be King' over Plemont the word is Jersey's Planning & Environment Minister is now being lined up for a Night of the Long Knives, Jersey style...

If ever you wanted further proof that 'investigative' journalism is all but dead within our MSM (Main Stream Media) the story I outline below surely provides it. Readers/viewers of the Bald Truth blog and BTR videos will no doubt remember I made reference to a new story being leaked to me by my Ministerial Mole over a week ago. Having had no time to publish this myself due to the sad events culminating in this past Thursday's funeral for Shona's step-sister I really did half think (naive fool that I am) that one of our media outlets would have picked up on it by now.

After all, with the exception of the local Pravda whose main role established over generations seems to be to spread as many vicious lies about Progressive politicians as possible; 'breaking important stories' surely is the MSM's core business? Isn't it? So why then you have to ask haven't they picked up on this one - its a beauty and goes right to the very heart of what is wrong with 'Chief Minister' Gorst's excuse for an Executive.

What's it all about? Well, to cut to the chase the real Chief Minister, Senator Philip Bailhache is still fuming and sulking over his defeat in attempting to commit a blank cheque of your taxpayers' money to forcing through the purchase of Plemont via Compulsory Purchase. The consequence?

Instead of taking this wholly democratic defeat on the chin with the same backbone  we Progressives have to do so regularly, the Senator and his trusty side-kick, pretend 'Chief Minister Gorst are, according to my Ministerial Mole lining up Planning & Environment Minister Rob Duhamel for a choice where whichever option he plumbs for he is likely to be well and truly politically stuffed.

Unless that is, enough States Members are willing to stand up and say that whatever one thinks of the Deputy's politics etc in this situation they really have to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with him. Otherwise we may as well just sign things over to the Polit Bureau now without any further pretence.

You see regardless of the fact that Deputy Duhamel acted entirely within the law and, indeed, within his mandate in taking and announcing the decision to grant the planning application on Plemont, Bailhache and Gorst, the Mole informs me, just won't accept this. Just like Gollum with the One Ring they have to have their 'precious' no matter what.

Thus the word is that they are now working overtime to try and fly the story that in not publishing the report on the application prior to the decision this in some way negates the whole validity of the Minister's decision. In fact the Mole tells me that the bottom line of all this is that they are attempting to force the Minister to retract/rescind  his decision or face the consequences!

Of course even should Deputy Duhamel feel he must bow to this bullying he will know full well that in doing so his Ministerial career would still almost certainly be over. For he would almost certainly then face a vote of no confidence from some who would use such a decision to oust him as having failed and supplant him with one of the Establishment Party favoured head-nodders.

Yet on the other hand if the Deputy rightfully stands his ground and sticks to his guns he then knows he faces being frozen out of the Executive 'picture' even further than he and a number of others are now. Ultimately being forced out of his job simply for doing it to the best of his ability. With political friends like this, as the Mole says, who needs enemies?

And to think Gorst even has the effrontery to claim he promotes 'consensus' government!

For it is hugely important to remember here that emotive as the Plemont issue is this latest development and quite appalling display of petulant, elitist, far-right politics at its worst has nothing to do with the actual Plemont issue or conservation whatsoever. This is about colossal political egos.

This is about individuals who pontificate via the local Pravda about politicians needing to 'respect' each other; and about not 'wasting time and taxpayers' money by re-debating decisions already democratically taken'. But who are actually so puffed up on arrogance they can't even see the wood for the trees (no Green pun intended, honest!) No. Whatever you think of the Planning & Environment Minister's politics generally on this one you just have to give him your full support.  

Because without it - trust me - he is the aforesaid political Dead Man Walking. And whatever your take on Plemont or right, left, centre or Green politics that just isn't right. He has done nothing wrong apart from ruffle a few large egos. It is democracy at stake here once again, plain and simple. To my colleagues I say: please don't fail it again.

Keep the Faith - The darkest hour always comes before dawn...

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


Just another day in the Island of many questions but very few answers...

Right now you should have been looking at the Bald Truth Review Episode 14.

The reason that you are not is because sometimes experience tells you that a particular incident defines a problem in such an incisive fashion one would be hard pressed to make the point any better even if you had the length of a whole book to try and do so. The audio accompanying the lovely smiling faces of several of Jersey's finest politicians (and Senator Paul Routier) above is, I suggest, such a piece.

Indeed, it probably ranks up alongside all time great political exposes such as...

Former Senator Syvret rising to his feet to graphically inform the Assembly that he had apparently just been told by no less than the then Health Minister, Senator Perchard to go and 'top' himself. Well, something like that... Or former Senator Freddie Cohen's infamous attempt to defend the immorality of multi-millionaire and even billionaire 1 (1) K residents paying as little as £3,000 tax per annum. 'Because the decision has already been taken for us by a previous Assembly - so WE don't need to worry about the moral issue today'...

Perhaps the audio above even ranks up there alongside Senator Philip Bailhache's classic, prolonged and wild-eyed rant at me in 2012 for having the impertinence to question...

Why not a single Crown Officer (including him!) over a period of 14 years had felt it slightly worrying and inappropriate that successive 'Superior Numbers' of the Royal Court had done nothing about an individual being allowed to sit as a Jurat having refused to look at evidence against a predatory paedophile friend and colleague; but then still writen in the pervert's support. Claiming - amongst other eye-openers - that unless the police pressed charges there 'might be no case to answer' and the abuse could be viewed as an 'unsubstantiated allegation'?

Because though on the surface not anywhere near as bluntly offensive as the three examples I pick out above, the ten minute audion I now post (thanks, of course, to the excellent work of the (TJW) Jersey Way blogsite) highlights for all just what we who actually care about political competence, democracy and  transparency are up against when trying to hold decision-makers to account within States Sittings.

So please do yourself a favour and listen as I and then a number of political colleagues try to get answers to a straightforward question about the secret spending of tens of thousands of pounds of YOUR taxpayers' money. In fact listen to the recording twice, even three times to ensure you pick out all of the many hidden gems.

Such as...

My question being put - quite appropriately - to the Chief Minister, Senator Gorst who then refers it to his Assistant Minister, Senator Paul Routier. Because... the Senator has apparently now become official 'Political Liaison' with the Data Protection Office.

Unfortuantly it soon transpires that the said Political Liaison clearly knows less about the issues at hand than Lance Armstrong probably does bout drug free cycling. But never mind - we can't talk about it anyway because it is all 'sub judice'. Oh, okay...

Only problem here is that despite this assurance further questioning reveals that whilst quite happy to give me this answer the Senator has... never even seen the details of the relevant Court Order upon which he has just based this assurance.

And, as I and my colleagues are seeking information about where your hard-earned cash is going - NOT any details of what is happening in the actual case is the Senator really quite sure about this claim? After all, if my information is correct such an interpretation would likely be a world first. Certainly an island one.

Remember - this is OUR money. Not cash belonging to any of the individuals bringing the case. I'm not even asking how much has been spent by any of the four individuals specifically. Nor am I asking for information as precisely for what this taxpayers' money has been paid out for!

Never mind...

The Senator further assures us that everything IS being handled appropriately and within the law. Fair enough - but once again how does he actually know? Turns out he doesn't. He can't. He hasn't seen any documents at all so is passing all of this off as fact based simply on trust!

Further good news comes when we are also assured that the costs (did I mention this is being met from YOUR taxes?) are being monitored by the Data Protection Commissioner and it is all within that Office's set budget for the year.

Okay, so I'm sounding a bit pedantic now. But yet again - how can the Senator be sure?

In fairness the Data Protection Office's budget certainly is posted up on their website; and very well set out and seemingly detailed it appears. But this worrying little thing remains: the budget isn't actually that big. Only around £300,000 or so - give or take a few Regulatory Breach fines coming in (perhaps for an e-mail incident or something?) And nowhere does the outlay for the case in question appear to be outlined.

But let's move on...

According to my information the costs to the taxpayer in this case started to build up as far back as 2010. So given that this is in essence a case revolving around claimed 'defamation' a reasonable guess would surely appear to be that this has already racked up quite significant costs. (Don't ask me how I know - I just DO!)

So how come, we ask the Assistant Minister, that he cannot even tell us what the limit of the available financial support (taxpayers' money - did I mention that?) from the Data Protection Office is?

To cut a long story short - you guessed it: the Assistant Minister with specific responsibility for this doesn't know. In fact he has, he let's slip, actually based all of this nonsense upon the Hansard report of a previous question asked of the Chief Minister! And anyway...we can't talk about it because it's all 'sub judice'.

So what have we all learnt at the end of this latest farce within States 'Questions without answers'?

Not a lot. Apart from the fact that if you are looking for a spy to drop behind enemy lines. Someone who won't crack under questioning; even torture. Then forget James Bond. Forget John Rambo.

The man you want is 000 Senator Paul Routier. He won't tell the enemy ANYTHING. He doesn't KNOW anything! In a strange and slightly perverse way it almost makes you proud...

Monday, 14 January 2013


Who is monitoring our Law Officers? Do the public really want a Chief Judge presiding over 'democracy'? Safety in numbers & other stories from the island democracy forgot...

Did someone once say that a politician never apologises? Well, if they did here is another first: 'sorry' for the delay of a few days in getting BTR 12 uploaded. Excuses? None. I simply repeat that following yet another terribly sad bereavement of a family member and lady far too young and good a person to die in such tragic circumstance the past week has not been easy.

But what have we got in BTR 13? Let's start with the issue of the three police officers condemned in the highest court in the UK over the Curtis Warren affair. In Jersey a few days ago they were completely exonerated. Nobody wants to see question marks hanging over our boys in blue - especially after the Establishment Party shafting of Power and Harper for their terrible crime of trying to get to the bottom of institutionalised child abuse in Jersey.
Nevertheless, as only I and a few others from within the Citizens' Media fraternity have been highlighting, there are still answers that must be provided. Awkward little questions like this: 

If the Attorney General initiated the complaint against the police officers for the illegal bugging of Warren's hire car then who is going to now investigate the Law Officer(s) who gave them the go ahead? As for the Home Affairs Minister how many disciplinary investigations has he now set in motion with taxpayers money - and how many officers have actually ended up being disciplined?
With the now published farcical  'report' of the hijacked Electoral Commission ('independent' according to the JEP's Ben Queree! What does he do for a living when he isn't writing utter tosh?) I give a quick video reminder of the dangerous erosion of democracy that underlies Senator Bailhache's usurping of the reform process. 

I also ask the question so many of you have asked me. How can it be that given his manifesto statements on the need for in Chamber 'respect' how is it that both Bailiff Birt and Deputy Bailiff (the Senator's little brother) allow him to insult whoever he likes with impunity? I foolishly thought Standing Orders were the same for all?
But as with my last written post - watch it or not as you see fit but please ensure you understand what the anti-democrats both in and outside government are trying do under the guise of reform. Fail and you may not ever get another chance...
In BTR 13 I also take a quick look at the strange Jersey Evening Pravda definition of what makes a 'whilstle blower'. Why? Well, this past week in the UK we have seen a high-ranking Met Police officer found guilty of leaking information to the media. Not just found guilty and probably now facing a custodial sentence but savagely condemned for her actions by superiors. So just how is it one has to ask that some in our Establishment Party media manage to transform black into white when such unprofessionalism happens here?

Of course, with no investigation by Home Affairs Minister Senator Ian Le Marquand (was he unwell that week?) we have no way of knowing if there was ever any suggestion of there being anything more behind the leak the Minister told us emanated from Mr. Gradwell than simple, unprofessionalism. Yet given the calls from former Senators Ben Shenton, Jim Perchard and current Deputy Sean Power that investigations of this nature should be carried out in regard to Mr Lenny Harper you have to wonder how this particular glaring anomaly was allowed to come about?

Surely the call for an investigation into Harper wasn't just another example of the Establishment trying desperately to muddy the waters to undermine the Haut de la Garenne investigation...

And finally, just to round things off nicely we come full circle to the issue of our... Law Officers and in this case once again our Bailiff and Deputy Bailiff. How ironic is it that just a few short weeks after I successfully brought a proposition to grant official status and recognition for the events of September 28th 1769 as Jersey's 'Reform Day' we still retain one huge stain on the fabric of our claimed 'democracy'.

Tom Gruchy and his companions thought their brave actions all those years ago had finally brought and end to the Legislative interference of the judiciary. Yet still we have the wholly unjustifiable affront to the independence of government that a couple of unelected judges sit and decide what an elected representative of the people can or cannot say in the States.

According to supporters of the Establishment Party when Deputy Shona Pitman brought a proposition to put a long overdue end to this the public are quite happy with the sham. Well, in the last segment of BTR 13 I offer an easy solution to reveal whether that claim holds even the slightest amount of water. Is Senator Bailhahce and the rest of his gang ready to put it to the acid test...

Keep the Faith

Friday, 11 January 2013


Senator Gorst and Chief Minister Bailhache's cunning plan to sleep walk us into a 1000 year 'one party' State. And just like 1930's Germany it will all be done perfectly legally... 


Anyone for totalitarian politics? No - then whether your political leanings are right, left or centre you had better start paying attention to what is going on today in Jersey. A fairly long post here it is true - but the seriousness of the subject surely warrants it. Democracy is in danger of being irretrievably hijacked; stolen - likely never to return this century by people masquerading as 'democrats' themselves!

OK so you all should have woken up and smelt the coffee when former Deputy Daniel Wimberley's fully independent Electoral Commission got hijacked by Senator Philip Bailhache - aided and abetted as he was by his alleged boss, Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst. But sadly not enough of you did. So with apologies to all of you excellent 'Progressive' types that did complain about this truth be told those of you who didn't really have only yourselves to blame.

Fair enough, in your defence its true you still have the much-vaunted 'referendum' to stop the construction of a 'right-wing' Chinese 'democracy' before its too late. Trouble is if you are one of those who has allowed him or her self to be duped into believing that Senator Bailhache and his acolytes want a true democracy where everyone is equal I have to suggest to you that you may not appreciate what is coming up on the blindside. In fact I'd put a wager on it!

Remember, though Bailhache and his 'Commission' - not to mention Establishment Party mouthpiece the Jersey Evening Pravda - are doing their utmost to keep you all from noticing the fact their favoured outcome will see an imbalance in favour of country parish voters that will make the current situation look like democratic Utopia. Town voters may as well not bother - which is what the Establishment Party want.

Yet now comes the other arm of the pincer movement...

If you didn't get catch Leah Ferguson's Channel Television interview with the Man who would be King then you really ought to try and watch it on line. On the surface this might have appeared predominantly about Senator Bailhache's great desire to be a fully fledged Minister by way of his puppet, Chief Minister Gorst creating a nice shiny new 'Foreign Ministry' for him to play with. At least until Senator Gorst has the 'Chief Ministerial' rug pulled out from under him by his colleague at the next election. But don't tell him - he looks so happy just now.

The reality of what this interview signals, however, is in truth the disemboweling of what democracy is still left in the States Assembly. Sounds complicated? Well, trust me - it isn't as I'll quickly explain in the next dozen paragraphs. It's basically all about numbers.

But if we don't stand up to this strategy now then Jersey 'the island that democracy forgot' really will be past saving. Actually, forget what Ian Bremmer describes in his excellent book 'The end of the free-market' as 'State Capitalism' Jersey will become the phoniest, and most unchallengeable 'democry' in modern history. It will be as 'tied up' to stifle and make any attempt at dissent as futile as Hitler's Germany.

No, of course we are not talking leaders marching about in Jackboots and overt racist policy here (hopefully). What we are talking about is today's laughable spin of a pretend 'consensus' government wholly abandoned for a system where any possibility of the key check and balance of any true democracy - an 'opposition' - will be written into the statute books as a thing of the past.

How is the Establishment Party planning to do this? It's actually pretty simple.

You have no doubt heard Senator Bailhache wants to reduce the States Assembly to 42?

You possibly quite like the idea - indeed, most of us agree to some degree that we really could cut down the numbers slightly. In fact 42 actually sounds all very plausible. I even once thought this degree of reduction might be workable myself. Yet that was before I learnt of Bailhache's desire to smash the crucial Troy Rule.

The 'Troy Rule' for any who don't know was designed to try and ensure that in a government without the grown-up politics and democratic checks and balances of a full party political system there would always be more States Members in the Assembly as 'backbenchers' than the number given posts within the Executive. The Chosen Few would never be able to rely on a guaranteed majority. Unarguably sensible really. Indeed, you would have to have utter contempt for the democratic principle to even question it.

Yet that is what Senator Bailhache and his sidekick 'Chief Minister' Gorst want to do now. And just to add insult to injury to all true democrats they are attempting to do it under the smokescreen of creating some additional 'much-needed' ministries to 'improve things'.

Firstly, the Establishment party 'wants' a Justice Minister...

Now this should be scary enough to any lover of democracy in itself because one: there is absolutely no-one in the Party ranks who is either capable or to be trusted with the job. Period. Two: such a step (on the way to the secret mission of full 'Independence') would remove at a single swipe the last hope for those bullied and strung out to dry by a 'Justice system' that at best already guarantees justice only for the rich and the powerful. That at worst is utterly morally bankrupt and corrupt; a tool, indeed used by the Establishment to crush any who would dissent within a pretence of legitimacy. With this position, of course, would inevitably come an Assistant Minister (or 'ministerial bag carrier' as many are called behind the scenes).

And now Chief Minister Bailhache and his Assistant Senator Gorst want a fully fledged 'Foreign Minister' too...

Now forget for the moment that as I revealed in one of my BTR 'leak of the weeks' that there has already been complaints from at least two Ministers unhappy with the fact that wherever Chief Minister Gorst goes his Assistant Minister Bailhache turns up too. What underlies this has a lot more to it than the curbing of these complaints or providing the Senator with the 'Status' of a title he drooled about with such zeal in Fergusons' interview.

What is really important here is that should this farce get passed by the Assembly it too will then almost certainly demand an 'Assistant'. Appreciate this and all you have to do to see the true horror of what I'm saying is to add up all of the numbers and then add in Senator Bailhache's bland dismissal that the Troy Rule isn't 'that important'...

1: Under the Electoral Commission's preferred option we would have an Assembly of 42.

2: Included in this would be the guaranteed 'push the POUR button on anything the Establishment Party put foward' right-wing block of the Constables.

3: With the introduction of both a Justice Minister; and the upgrading for Senator Bailhache to Foreign Minister this would push up the current number of Ministerial positions from 10 to 12.

4: Regardless of any spin to the contrary the reality is that this increase would result in each of the now 12 Ministries having at least one Assistant Minister. Remember, large departments such as ESC already have two even if it is absolutely unfathomable as to what they both do.

5: The result of all of Executive of around 24 States Members. Leaving, in an Assembly of just 42 only 18 individuals outside of the party fold! The potential for philosopical/policy-based opposition scuppered at a stroke. And without the safeguards of a party system never any real chance of this cynical hamstringing of democracy being overturned.

Please dismiss the nonsense put forward by Senator Bailhache that the Troy Rule isn't 'that important'. Without a party political system in place it is all that stands between Jersey becoming a one party state for generations. And if you think the 'never mind the ability give him the job and he'll vote as he's told' type of 'consensus' politics we have now does nothing to raise the political standard of government you really won't have seen anything yet.

Indeed, if ever people of a 'Leftist, progressive, democratic' political leaning needed motivation to start working together more effectively this must surely be it, We fail to do so at our peril...

Keep the Faith - BTR 13 'Review of 2012' Part Two up on Sunday.

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...