Wednesday, 27 February 2013



 Where else but Jersey would an individual happy to look the other way on evidence against a predatory paedophile then be allowed to sit as a Jurat (lay judge) for 14 years?

Introduction to a betrayal

I publish below for readers a press release from Deputy Shona Pitman and myself. That we have reluctantly taken this step is due to the frightening reality that our island's 'justice' system has become a tool of oppression rather than arbiter of fairness and protection for all ordinary citizens.

The fact is that complaints alleging corruption being brought to a number of politicians can now simply no longer be ignored. The reported abuses are as diverse as the members of the public bringing them to us. Indeed, three of we 'backbenchers' are currently collating these for forthcoming action. Just as with our own experiences of Jersey 'justice' outlined below the facts presented are deeply disturbing.

Justice should not depend on wealth and influence. It should not only be consistent but should be guaranteed for all. Yet in Jersey today the  truth is that it is not.

For example, where else would you see the blatant double standards and abuse of process that saw the Bailiff's Office ruling that neither he, Michael Birt nor Deputy Bailiff, William Bailhache could sit on our case due to our political 'relationship' - yet simultaneously allow a Jurat who is a personal friend of a director of a powerful defendant, the owners of the Jersey Evening Post, to do just this? The appalling conflict of interest is clear to all. Yet the Bailiff and his Deputy seek to play this down. Why?

Incompetence? Negligence? Corruption? If two public figures with a comparative platform to protest can be abused in this way then what hope is there, we ask, for the vulnerable victims of decades of child abuse within States institutions? It is time that the UK government fulfilled its obligations and intervened to restore 'justice and good governance'.

Sadly, even with the added voice of other appalled States Members writing in our support thus far it has not. This situation cannot be allowed to continue. In the coming days we will be publishing a number of letters and documents relating to our own case. In the meantime please take a few minutes to watch the above video interview: the true cost of 21st Century 'Jersey justice'.

For the record it should also be noted here that in a move reminiscent of their post WW11 refusal to allow the Jersey Democratic Movement to advertise its manifesto for democratic reform, our island's only newspaper again refused to allow us to publicise our side of what is a deeply disturbing story of an abuse of justice. Just as they have done since the case. Why ever could that be, we ask?


Two Members of Jersey’s Parliament have today called for the UK government – which has overall responsibility to ensure ‘good governance’ in the Channel Islands - to urgently investigate what they describe as the ‘spiralling evidence of the wide-spread breakdown of law within the island’s justice system.’

Child Abuse Scandal
The Deputies say that ‘justice in the island’ (which came under the global spotlight with the unfolding of the ‘institutional’ child abuse scandal in 2008) ‘is being betrayed by a mixture of top level incompetence, corruption and intimidation. Much of this being a direct reaction from those in the island’s Establishment desperate to bury any dissenting opposition to getting to the truth about decades of child abuse cover-ups.’

‘Far from ensuring justice for the people of Jersey our Law Office has become the tool of choice for the clique at the apex of power to try to silence and, if necessary, drive from office or ruin those who dare challenge the established order; or persist in fighting the cause of the ever-growing number of people coming forward to complain of corruption; whether relating to child abuse or abuse of the legal process.’

This has already seen the former Chief of Police (the initiating officer of the child abuse investigations), Mr. Graham Power QPM forced from office by an illegal suspension that failed to result in any disciplinary charges. It has also seen a former Health Minister, at the centre of revelations about the abuse, ousted; and currently being silenced by a blatant misuse of the Data Protection Law within ‘top secret’ Royal Court hearings – all being paid for out of the tax coffers. Files and records relating to children abused within the Jersey care system have conveniently ‘gone missing’ from within both the Police system and government departments. Evidenced cases against abusers have inexplicably not been pursued by the island’s Law Office.

Banning of US Journalist
This manipulation of justice has even seen the contrived banning of a respected US journalist, Leah McGrath Goodman, from the island once it became apparent she was researching child abuse cover-ups and the island links to Jimmy Savile. A ban only lifted following the intervention of UK MP John Hemming and an international petition campaign initiated by Deputy Trevor Pitman himself.  Trevor Pitman states that along with two other political ‘backbench’ colleagues the number of complaints alleging corruption received from members of the public has reached deeply disturbing proportions in recent months.

Legal System - Corruption
These complaints have included alleged tampering with court transcripts; destruction of and refusal to look at evidence; inconsistency in sentencing; and even perjury and collusion between lawyers. The recently leaked 'Barton Report' of a disciplinary hearing involving police at the centre of the illegal bugging allegations in the ‘Drug Baron’ Curtis Warren case even revealed claims of falsified and unsigned statements being presented instead of original documents.

Yet the Deputies say the cold, hard evidence of the justice system being in desperate need of external investigation; and the depth of the obstacles facing victims of the cover-ups was only brought home to them after they pursued the island’s only, and hugely influential, pro-establishment newspaper, the Jersey Evening Post to court for defamation along with one of its millionaire clients. The newspaper and its estate agent client Broadlands had mocked the couple after Trevor Pitman’s election, falsely claiming they had increased their salary four-fold by entering politics when in reality they had taken a drop in income of thousands.

Jurat Supports Paedophile in Previous Job as Vice-Principle
‘It was shocking enough given the evidence that we then found ourselves losing the case,’ say the Deputies; ‘we subsequently then discovered that the Senior Jurat (lay judge) John Le Breton had been allowed by the Bailiff’s Office to sit in judgement of the case even though he was a personal friend of the newspaper’s longest-serving Director; the two regularly socialising together and even going to dinner at each other’s home. All of this being evidenced’.

An even bigger shock for the Deputies was the subsequent leaking of a government suppressed report (the 1999 Sharp Report) into another horrific child abuse scandal at the island’s Victoria College (an exclusive ‘fee-paying’ secondary school).  The report revealed that John Le Breton, as Vice Principle had refused to look at evidence against a friend and colleague, the predatory paedophile, Andrew Jervis-Dykes. 

He instead wrote in support of him claiming amongst other things that: Jervis-Dykes had served the College in an ‘outstandingly competent and conscientious way’; that unless police decided to prosecute, the abuse would be seen as ‘an unsubstantiated allegation’. Le Breton even appealed for the paedophile to be allowed to stay on at the school and if he had to resign be allowed to do so with ‘some dignity’. Incredibly Le Breton was put forward for the Jurat role by a politician who was both on the College’s Board of Governors at the time and a former president of the government’s Education Committee!’

The Deputies add, ‘when you bring this to the attention of the Chief Minister, Bailiff (Head of Judiciary and Legislature) and Deputy Bailiff, where both Crown Officers just happen to also be friends of the Jurat in question - you are told: ‘if you don’t like it – appeal’.  The Crown Officers know full well, that the above information not only came to light after our case and has implications far beyond this alone; but that it would necessitate at least another £30,000: monies that most ordinary people do not have.

Jurat Le Breton was allowed to sit by two successive Bailiff’s for a period of 14 years – including sitting on some child abuse cases until retiring just after the Pitman’s’ case. ‘This demonstrates just how unfit for purpose Jersey’s system of election and monitoring of Jurats is’, says Deputy Shona Pitman, adding ‘how in the 21st Century can Jurats be elected in secret by only politicians and lawyers – many of whom will regularly be friends of those proposed?’

UK Justice Minister fails obligations of good governance
Yet even with the backing of around a dozen equally appalled fellow politicians and prominent justice campaigners, the Deputies say that the injustice they have been dealt is as yet failing to be adequately dealt with as it should by the UK justice Ministry. ‘The evidence in our case is overwhelming,’ say the Deputies, ‘just as it is in many other cases. Yet even when presented with all of the details (as outlined above) and letters of support from other concerned public figures, the excuse from Lord McNally has been that as “Jersey has its own justice system we can’t really interfere’’ (see enclosed correspondence).

‘Most absurd of all perhaps’, add the Deputies, ‘is that ‘the Justice Minister instead offers to ‘forward our concerns’ to the Bailiff – the very individual who has allowed all of this to happen! What this shows is the deeply troubling attitude to justice from those holding power within the justice system here and the UK Minister responsible for ‘good governance’ in a small and apparently ‘insignificant’ jurisdiction’.

‘At the bottom line’, conclude the Deputies, ‘if these failings are allowed to continue, if successive Bailiffs and other Crown Officers can allow an individual who refused to look at evidence against a predatory paedophile yet supported him – to sit as a Jurat for 14 years; including on subsequent cases of abuse what hope, we ask, have the victims of Jimmy Savile and the Haut de la Garenne child abuse scandal of getting justice here? What hope has any ordinary citizen who rocks the Establishment boat? The answer must be a resounding none. It is time the UK government stepped up to the plate and fulfilled its obligations. Should they not do so then it can only be concluded that Westminster must be complicit in all of this.’ Full story:

For further information contact: Deputy Trevor Pitman 07797 824243/01534) 863436           Deputy Shona Pitman 07797 778561

Friday, 22 February 2013


Two Peoples (Town & Country)

             Two Tier Society (Haves & Have Nots)

                         Two Fuhrers...

'If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. However, the lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic (or other) consequences of the lie'

The above was the philosophy of the late and unlamented Joseph Goebbels, Propaganda Minister for Nazi Germany. Loathsome individual as the 'Doktor' was there is a horrible truth in the fact that this statement has still all too often become the adopted mantra of both Legislatures and Judiciaries posturing as institutions of democracy all over the so-called 'free world' in the decades since the end of the Second World War.

Sad to say but the Establishment that has so long dominated Jersey is no different. In fact they honed it to an art form having lied for decades; for generations. And the 'lie' that theirs is the only way; that we are 'a democracy'; that we can't afford a living wage for the likes of nurses and others who are the true backbone of our society; that we have a genuine 'justice' system protecting all and so very many other inter-related strands on this theme - is still being repeated today. Albeit repeated with ever an increasing and shrill desperation. 

You don't have to have a gun to be a 'Freedom fighter'...

I use the term 'desperation' because the truth is the 'lie' and those who perpetuate it in their own interest are finally both on the ropes. Oh don't be fooled - they are not out for the count yet; not by a long way. But that they are now lurching like a punch-drunk boxer is both as true as it is largely down to a handful of brave and tenacious Citizen Media bloggers.

Tenacious fighters for justice and transparency doing the job that far too many of the island's mainstream media (yes, there are a tiny number of honourable exceptions) appear woefully unwilling or lacking in Testicular Fortitude to tackle. Ordinary, yet extraordinary people such as Rico Sorda, Voiceforchildren and others.

Indeed, I read Mr. Sorda's last post only the other day. Discussing the trauma at the loss of his father within the context of that which abusers and unconcerned governments condemn the victims to, Rico's piece was so moving that I couldn't finish what I was writing myself.

Now Shona and I have seen enough hurt and tragedy these past two years - and no, I am not talking about a court case in essence little better than despicably rigged - losing a whole succession of very close loved ones ourselves. Hard as it has been we have carried on of course. Just as Rico Sorda has carried on. For at least our and Rico's loss/trauma is of the type that just about all have to go through at some point.

The trauma of victims of abuse and uncaring, corrupt governments that worry more about image than justice for damaged people is a trauma no one should have to face or should need to expect. It just shouldn't happen. In fact that it was allowed to happen speaks volumes about the type of people who have dominated Jersey politics and society for decades. 

Yet the majority of those at the apex of power now are still trying to water down the abuse Committee of Inquiry Terms of Reference to this day! The question all in Jersey need to ask is a simple:why? Or do we even need to ask? After all, what does it say of any jurisdiction when those in power allow a man proven to happily look the other way on evidence against a predatory paedophile to then become a Jurat? I would suggest it says that they don't give a damn.

Need any further evidence? Then you surely need only turn to this week's shambles of the 'reform referendum' debate.

Bad enough that it had been hijacked by a man, Senator Philip Bailhache, who had not only stated in his 2011 election material what he wanted 'reform wise' - and then by sheer coincidence -gotten exactly this put forward after all of that 'research'. Yet perhaps even more sickening still was the craven, 'we're alright Jack' attitude of the island's Constables in acknowledging my amendment to Option B was far fairer - giving St. Helier residents reasonable parity with other voters - but still voting against it!

Indeed, let us never again hear the utter tosh that the Constables care about all islanders and democracy. That they do not was proven once and for all this Wednesday. Above all else they desperately want to hang on to their jobs; and with it their ability through being head-nodding poodles for the Establishment to forever thwart the people of the island's capital, St. Helier having a fair and equal say in States votes. They are interested only in power and themselves. They have proven that beyond doubt.

Think on Joseph Goebbels words again. After all of these years the Great Lie can no longer be maintained; it is falling apart - even as Senator Bailhache, having ridden at full tilt  from the Valley of the Dinosaurs to try to desperately hold the political lightweights of the current Establishment Party together. The lie is in tatters. The only thing that may yet keep it in power a few more years would be a thinnly veiled dictatorship. Let them get away with Option B and they will have it.

Night of the Long Knives

Just consider the Night of the Long Knives action being conducted to oust the unfortunate Deputy Rob Duhamel from Planing & Environment. Forget the apologist drivel in the JEP. Forget Philip Ozouf's 'concerns' about his Ministerial colleague etc. Duhamel is being fitted up simply because he didn't do what the Ego and his glove puppet Chief Minister wanted with Plemont: i.e. buy it with taxpayers money no matter how much it cost over the odds. I gave this truth to the MSM 4 weeks ago. It was not reported so I published it myself on this very blog.

Next consider the mix of Establishment arrogance and sheer stupidity that saw not a one of the Great & the Good turn up to the Public Sector rally at Fort Regent where our nurses and the like were simply pleading for a fair, living wage after years of neglect. 

Who did turn up? Just me, Deputies Shona Pitman, Montfort Tadier, Geoff Southern and Judy Martin. That was it - 5 out of 51 politicians. Trust me - this Establishment bunch are too stupid even to prop up their own lies any more. Got no money, boys? Then funny how we don't need to tax foreign companies and other assorted tax dodgers to anything like like fair levels.

Hells bells - did we really even hear Senator Ozouf in the States going on about the 'financial implications' if we didn't cut the number of States Members? The very man who has grown his own little empire at the Treasury faster than a magic beanstalk? Yes, we did, didn't we. Sorry, Doktor Goebbels but the scam of the Great Lie in Jersey is well and truly exposed. Yes, the Establishment Party is still in power - very much so. But the sun is finally shaping up to set on them.

Rigging the reform referendum is their last throw of the dice. Their utterly unfit for purpose 'justice system' is the only last real barrier to democracy, fairness and redemption. Finally expose this once and for all and for the first time in decades there really will be some hope. I mean, after that all we Progressives would have to do was try and sort out the little matter of an economy and social fabric ruined by the 'free-market' Neo-Cons. Should all be a comparative doddle...

Keep the Faith - the dark can't last forever!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

EQUALITY OF VOTING & THE CONSTABLES - Trying to make a silk purse out of the Electoral Commission sow's ear...

So just what is wrong with the hijacked Electoral Commission's recommendations which we are due to debate at the next States Sitting on February 19th?

Well, nothing if you buy into the letter from former Senator Jimmy Perchard published in the Jersey Evening Pravda this past Thursday (no doubt triggered by his reading my tweet about Geoff Southern's amendment to make this a one question referenda in standard fashion). We should all leave well alone according to Mr. Perchard because the Commission was 'appointed' by the States.

A fair and resonable view? Well not from the vast majority of people that I speak to. And actually not an argument that is even remotely sustainable if you have any genuine concern that above all else a voting system must be as fundamentally fair to all as it can reasonably be made.

Trouble is, as I have been at pains to highlight, all too few within our (MSM) mainstream media want to put their heads above the parapet to tell the public that in reality what Senator Philip Bailhache and his underlings on the hijacked Commission have put forward is neither fit for purpose nor even the best that could be achieved in creating a reform option wishing to retain the Constables.

Am I making this up? Of course not!

But first let's be quite upfront here. No matter how passionate one feels about the role of the Constables - or any of the 3 types of States Member's role for that matter - this can never justify selling out a section of the community; in reality making their votes worth less than others simply because of where they happen to live. Yet this is what Senator Bailhache and co are trying to fob us off with.

Take the nonsense spun to try and justify the Commission utilising statistics based on so-called 'eligible' voters in concocting their proposals rather than actual population. On page 13 of the Commission's final report they state: Equality and fairness are key elements of any truly democratic electoral system’

Interesting this - because I would suggest that not a single individual within the States Assembly would dream of rising to speak at an election hustings to publicly proclaim anything other than their full support for this principle. The 'eligible' voters stats that Bailhache and his colleagues base their arguments on will already be out of date by the time of the 2014 elections. Heck - they are out of date already!

The truth is out there somewhere - in fact it's in a graph just below...

Yet just a cursory glance at the figures utilising full POPULATION statistics in each of the Commission's proposed 6 large districts shows how precious little more than lip-service has really been paid to this principle. Indeed, forget the bull that to utilise these population figures might have taken the Commission 'outside it's terms of reference'. This is all part of a callous attempt to mislead the public by watering down the true extent of the system of first and second class voters the Jersey Establishment want to create - not just to maintain but hugely strengthen their grip on power.

A feat they hope to achieve of course by creating an ever-wider divide between the weight of votes available to those in 'country' parishes - who largely tend to vote for the political right. And 'town' dwellers who generally tend to lean more toward the political left. Anyone doubting the con lurking beneath the spin and excuses that what is before us now is the best compromise achievable need simply study the figures I lay out below.

The first thing you will hopefully notice is that these obviously include both Deputies AND Constables - something the Commission has been very keen to try and avoid doing with its pitch to the public. I mean, Senator Bailhache and his colleagues have massaged away 6,632 people deserving of representation off the St. Helier 'books' at the stroke of a pen. How convenient...
District No
Total Population
Number of
Public Per Representative
du Mont Cochon
du Mont a l’Abbé
de Haut du Mont au Prêtre
du Rouge Boullon
No. 2
Bas de Haut du Monte au Prête,
Canton Bas de la Ville,
Canton de Haut de la Ville
No. 3
St. Clement Grouville
St. Martin
No. 4
St. Saviour
No. 5
St. Lawrence
St. John
St. Mary
St. Ouen
No. 6
St. Brelade
St. Peter

People are being sold a lie...

Surprised? Everyone not a close follower of politics that I have shown these figures to has been. Which at the end of the day has no doubt been the whole reason to try and keep them largely under wraps. People are being sold a lie - a lie that tells them if you want to retain the Constables then something has to give; and sadly that 'something' is the equality of vote for the population of St. Helier!

Just 'half a Constable' for each St. Helier district whilst some have 3 and even 4 - sorry, there's just no way of balancing this out...

Of course, it would be very easy to write post after lengthy post highlighting all that is wrong with the Commission's contentions - for a lot there is. Yet for now let us purely confine our thoughts to the following questions. Could the shambles Senator Bailhache and his hijacked Commission have set before us in fact be improved upon to any significant degree - and improved upon with comparaitive ease? Improved upon to still allow an option that both keeps the 12 Constables AND allows the poor people of St. Helier to have a vote largely in line with the other districts?

The truth is that it can! Not only this but in reality the benefits that would be achieved by just one very simple modification would actually 'head off at the pass' two other problems that a great many people - even supporters of retaining the Constables - are greatly concerned about.

So what is this oh so difficult to achieve modification?

It is simply this. Instead of the largely inexplicable call to reduce the Assembly from 51 to 42 modify that figure slightly to 46. Then in line with the true statistics outlined in the table above allocate those 4 extra seats to the the two large St. Helier districts that the Commission currently proposes need to be sold massively short. Not only does such a modest move bring these second class citizens of the island's capital far more into line with the other districts; it actually ensures that two of the biggest related  worries about political reform can be put to bed at a single stroke.
One: An Assembly of 46 would enable the highly important ‘Troy Rule’ principle to be retained. Something that will prove nigh impossible with a reduction to a 42 x Member States Assembly - certainly if all of these new Ministers are invented: Justice; Children's; Foreign!

Possibly why Senator Bailhache is suggesting it - we can all be one big, happy family and any prospect of 'opposition' can be cut  off at the knees. Indeed, with a Chief Minister with probable sole power to 'hire and fire' a dictatorship/one party state in all but name... 
Two: This slight increase by just 4 x Members to 46 would also offer potential to even allow one Member to take on the role of Speaker. A role that like it or not will soon need to be filled with the inevitable coming necessity of achieving a full and true separation of powers i.e. ending the dual role of the Bailiff as Head of both Judiciary and Legislature.

Not only the above, of course, but even though many believe the argument about 'saving money' by reducing numbers is largely a red herring if it undermines both democracy and political efficiency this amended version of the Commission's Option B would still reduce the States current wage bill in the region of £230,000. You have to ask: why ever did the good Senator and his Commission colleagues not think of it in the first place?

Perhaps, dare I suggest, because just like the wholly unnecessary 'retain the status quo' proposal of Option C - instead of a 'none of the above' option - the real intention was to con the public at large into voting for what would give the Jersey Establishment Party what it craves above all else: the Constables still in the States and a weakened St. Helier vote cementing that hugely consolidated grip on power!

Now if only someone would put a couple of amendments in to allow a States debate to show people what is really going on...

Friday, 1 February 2013


A guest posting by Jersey resident Sir Hilary James Jon Le Gallais-Ecobichon-Pinochet

Now look here. Americans are trouble-makers - always have been, always will be. You only have to consider when they most unreasonably threw my British ancestors out of their country, ungrateful blighters. Wanted 'independence'! Pah - you would never hear we Jersey elites such as our esteemed Foreign Minister, Sir Philip talking about nonsense like that now, would you? Ridiculous notion.

We ARE British - its just that we top people really don't want to risk the said British ever saying 'enough corruption is enough' and finally interfering with a well merited Turks & Caicos style investigation!

Anyway, after all the nonsense of the past few days I would like to thank the owner of this 'blog' Deputy Trevor Pitman (quite nice chap for a damned Lefty - in fact almost a shame to use our courts to stitch this one up really) for giving me the opportunity to talk to you peasants - sorry, ordinary working people - on the Internet about this awful Leah McGrath Goodman woman.

Seems she has been saying some very untrue things about my- sorry, OUR - Island on the television. So to put Johnny Foreigner straight I'm going to do a short rebuttal using the example of just a handful of key headings such as:

  • Yachts
  • Champagne lounges
  • Secrecy 
  • Freedom of speech

Trust me. When I have finished you will know without a shadow of a doubt that Ms McGrath Goodman has a whole raft of misconceptions about how we better people run Jersey and - like they say in that advert - none of them are true. So here we go. Goes without saying, of course, that all of the views expressed here are my own. Well, apart from a few suggested by the Communications Unit to 'sex things up' a bit...


Now Ms McGrath Goodman goes on about we in Jersey enjoying yachts, champagne lounges and the like. This first one is very  easy to deal with.  Utter poppycock! I mean, have you ever heard such nonsense? If we wanted yachts here we would probably have built an iconic, world-class Waterfront to moor them next to, wouldn't we? But we haven't.

No, our fine, right-wing  and feudal Establishment Party government has sensibly been very careful to ensure we miss that opportunity completely. I.e by only having a bloody ugly shambles of a half-finished building site with a cinema complex and leisure pool that the taxpayer has to subsidise, and a handful of fast food outlets on it! Oh, and a Carbuncle award-winning sea-front hotel without any balconies. Mmmm, until recently we even also paid the chap charged with developing all of this more than the American President himself just to ensure things all 'went to plan'. 

As for the fact that not so long ago our first Chief Minister was posting back a 'travel blog' as he and his lady wife sailed around the world sunning themselves on their own massive luxury yacht this is just pure coincidence. Look - I haven't got a yacht and I'm loaded thanks to the insider knowledge I picked up when we were setting up LVCR! Sold it to buy a couple of waterfront apartments I rent to Jersey people who can't afford to buy. That's right - doing my bit to help the worse off arf, arf! But that's another story...

The fact is our Council of Ministers DON'T want yachts here. Period. Because yachts might mean tourists and we've been trying to kill off our tourist industry for decades. Yes, we're a proud Right-wing monoculture now and contrary to the spin nothing must distract from us being a whiter-than-white Off-shore finance centre. Like that film 'Highlander' when it comes to industries 'there can be only one' and if it just happens to involve tiny little grey areas like cheating developing countries out of tax they desperately need but were too slow to gather - then that's their fault! This is the gospel of Ozouf and Oxera; and Amen - we're sticking to it, brother!

Champagne lounges

Now this one really does show what a damned sensationalist this American journalist is! Okay, so it is certainly true that throughout the life of the last States Assembly the small bunch of elite politicians who made up what Deputy Mike Higgins (another Lefty trouble-maker) calls the 'Kitchen Cabinet' and their 'advisors' did use to meet and make key policy decisions via their weekly meeting at the Champagne Lounge at the lovely Grand Hotel. I don't deny this at all.

Well, I can't - because Deputy Pitman has told me he used to see them there every week whilst attending the hotel's gym. But the links to what Ms McGrath Goodman is saying are as tenuous as they are coincidental. Yes, this venue is called 'the Champagne Lounge'. Yes it is in a beautiful, luxury hotel where a bottle of wine can cost hundreds of pounds. Yes, alright so these meetings did also only have the inner circle of those politicians at the very apex of power and some 'business people'. But does that mean secrecy or that there was something to hide? 

Let's be practical - you can't have 51 democratically elected representatives of the people (States Members) all crowding in to a meeting in a champagne lounge. Not only would the public start to notice but some of the poorer people who have sadly managed to infiltrate local politics based on hard work, intellect and ability - rather than the traditional way of inheriting loads of cash; or having had an ancestor who once grew a prize-winning cabbage in the Trinity Parish fayre would likely not even be able to afford to buy a drink! Really, we're just thinking of their feelings by this exclusion.

Yes, if pushed I'll concede that some people might find some of this a bit worrying. But let's face facts: in the 21st Century even Lefty scum like Deputy Pitman are sometimes allowed to walk through such establishments to make use of money-making facilities like hotel gyms. We must surely give the appearance of being a democracy? And as for some of the non-political figures at these secret meetings I'm sure people like Mr Rankin Riantz and other 'movers and shakers'  had just popped in for a drink by chance. If they were not to sit down for a chat, a drink and to red biro the paperwork it would surely appear just rude.


In my opinion this secrecy claim by Ms McGrath Goodman must quite possibly be the silliest and most far-fetched of all. I ask you: is Jersey the sort of place where our government elite abuse the 'justice' system to silence, generally intimidate and if at all possible try and ruin people? Well, yes okay it is. But we do this only for the greater good.

If we didn't who knows what might transpire. Hells bells, we might even find ourselves with a real democracy on our hands! Before long people in the island all might even acquire equally weighted votes to use at elections. Think about it - all Senator Bailhache and his Electoral Commission's efforts in coming up with Option B to take us back to the Dark Ages could be wasted!

Honestly, after hundreds of years of feudalism and a good seven decades of time consuming, co-ordinated oppression involving the law office, the State media and the wealthy one could hardly expect us to risk that type of thing, surely? Does Ms McGrath Goodman really think that having gone to such lengths as to have the local newspaper refuse to allow the democratic movement after the war to promote its manifesto - even as a paid advert; and in tandem with we feudal overlords carrying out character assassinations on every left-wing politician to put his head above the parapet in the years since we could stand for that? Of course not!

Ms McGrath Goodman really needs to take a reality check. It takes a lot of time and effort to create a 'justice' system where only the rich and powerful can hope to obtain justice. Whether this is by means of allowing totally inappropriate, disgraced school teachers happy to look the other way on horrifying child abuse to become Jurats; employing 'independent' lawyers who have actually been working in the system for seven years to review bizarre Attorney General decisions; or even establish 'investigative' journalism of a quality on a par with the Sunday Sport, or the political prejudice of a modern 1930s Volkisher Beobachter.

Even fake letters attacking Left-wing politicians don't just write themselves, you know!

Freedom of speech

Now this final criticism is just too laughable for words. Dear international readers - and potential Off-shore clients - tempted to take Ms McGrath Goodman's concerns seriously here just because of trivialities such as her being an acclaimed and highly respected international journalist and best-selling author. Simply ask yourself these questions: is Jersey the kind of place where we do things like send ten police officers around to illegally raid a politicians' home; even for some strange reason going through a teenage girl's underwear drawer?

Are we the kind of secretive, utterly corrupt jurisdiction that would allow a close friend of a powerful defendant to sit in judgement on their case as a Jurat (local lay judge)? Pah - I've never heard of John Le Breton or the Jersey Evening Pravda! Are we, indeed,  the kind of island where we would make selected Left-wing politicians 'criminals' for helping a few elderly or disabled people to complete an application form requesting they might be 'registered' to eventually receive a postal vote? Worse still, whilst letting Establishment candidates do the same but without prosecution?

Is Jersey really the sort of place where the government Speaker might illegally throw an elected representative out of the Assembly for six months; knowing his only route of Appeal would be to the island's Chief Judge - who just happened to be the same man?

Come on now - is Jersey really the sort of place where we would hand over hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money to four individuals - including at least one convicted petty thug - to drive a former local politician from the internet and even refuse to answer current States Members' questions as to how much taxpayers' money was being utilised -

Oh bugger! The truth of the matter is that... we are!

Crush a grape! Never mind my joining hate sites created on Facebook by internet trolls - just because of a slip of the journalist's grammatical tongue my then confusing the banning of 'a' book with all books - perhaps we had finally better start looking into why some of our senior Senators and local media don't want an in depth, independent inquiry into the institutional child abuse at Haut de la Garenne? How it is that so many of the records from this hell hole have vanished? Maybe we should even start asking who looked after Jimmy Saville and the political owner of a lovely big yacht that regularly used to be moored at Bouley Bay a couple of decades ago?

Maybe we actually need the services of a determined and internationally respected international journalist...

And I didn't even mention how in my younger days we were not allowed to dance on a Sunday thanks to the Bailiff! or how we banned classic, award-wing comedy 'the Life of Brian'! Perhaps we aren't quite perfect after all?

But who cares - these little eccentricities have made jersey a very good place for we 'better people' to live for generations. Democracy? File it in the bin with justice and equality...