Monday, 29 July 2013


'Taking on the trolls! Ministers back new law to allow action against on-line bullies.'

So screamed the front page of the Jersey Evening Pravda last Thursday 25th July. What was this all about?  New proposals being brought forward  between Economic Development, Home Affairs and Jersey's 'Law' Office to apparently stamp out what is widely known as 'trolling'.

In essence, for anyone who has been living in a cave this is the cowardly, revolting pastime of socially inadequate thugs who hide behind countless fake avatars to spread lies, hate and bully innocent people - even very young children - on the Internet. Sometimes even bullying them to the point of suicide. Do I support such initiatives? Of course I do.

Though as the States Member who actually made this problem a political issue by raising awareness to it I do have to observe that you would have thought the above trio might have at least consulted me for my insights. After all, not only have I seen the damage this social disease has done to a whole variety of decent, ordinary people in the island - Shona and I have even experienced this to a staggering degree ourselves first hand.

Applauded - but with a note of caution...

But it is because I have had these unpleasant experiences myself that my one reservation to this - on the surface - wholly welcome new law is that it may yet not end up actually being used for what it should be. That it instead might be a thinly disguised vehicle for attacking and suppressing the service provided by the excellent Citizens' Media blogs that have, over the past few years, been putting Jersey's 'mainstream media' to shame in exposing all manner of political cover-ups and general bad practice.

What exactly do I mean? Not just the twisting of 'law' that has already resulted in unprecedented 'secret court' hearings. But concerns like individuals with complaints against them now in double figures - serious allegations at that including threatening to put caustic soda in an ex-girlfriend's face; sending out anonymous,  sickening, hate-filled posters seeking to smear people for no other reason that the psychopath's personal jealousy.

The setting up of  both 'hate' sites like the pro-child abuse cover-up Farce Blog with its hundreds of fake 'comments', and similarly twisted Twitter accounts. Concerns in fact that go all the way to tormenting recently bereaved mothers; and even posting greeting cards with razorblades glued inside of them to people. Concerns incredibly never resulting in prosecution in Jersey even when the police have often been involved and have even sent files to the Law Office.

Should we be concerned at the fears I raise here?

I would obviously have to say most definitely. After all, just consider we have already quite incredibly had senior figures at the local BBC in the island actually both encouraging people to go on to a hate site set up to vilify a US journalist; and re-tweeting a sick and twisted Twitter account run by the very same psychopath to attack and smear Deputy Shona Pitman - a media executive telling his followers that it was 'amusing'!

Almost as bad it must be said we have had the BBC continuing to read out 'comments' from the same, sick and cowardly thug behind this live on air to listeners as if they were from real people: even when members of the public have highlighted the truth behind such avatars as 'James Le Gallais', 'Sue Young', 'Julie Hanning', 'Jane Care' and countless others. 

Last but not least we really mustn't forget we even have a Data Protection Office which has documented proof of the thug and handful of contributors behind the likes of the defunct Farce blog and its equally twisted successor. Documented proof of sickening trolling yet doggedly won't hand that information over so that legal action can be taken against such thugs by authorities - as they could already under existing harassment laws..

Indeed, just using our own experience of being on the receiving end of a sick and deluded social inadequate thug;  I can genuinely say we went through all of the right channels. We approached all of the right agencies/people. Truth was the experience was really little different to what we found with our highlighting of our non ECHR Article 6 compliant court hearings.

Those who should be putting such abuses right really don't want to risk getting their hands dirty and upsetting the Great and the Good by actually doing their job and denting the rose-tinted myth that everything in Jersey is always perfect no matter how bad the true picture is.

OK. So the proof of the pudding as they say will be in the eating. Yet if one sick and twisted individual known to dozens of victims isn't the first to get his collar felt under this new law then we can all be 100% confident the whole thing is indeed nothing more than a wooden horse aimed at closing down anti-Establishment dissension.

In this Council of Ministers lying seems to have spread like a virus...

Jersey politics certainly may not be unique in this problem. Yet in my experience of dealing with all too many of those at the top of  'ministerial' government these past 6 years - and this term in particular - power and lying really do seem to go hand-in-hand all too often.

Just think back to the very beginning and Senator Gorst in his 'vote for me to be Chief Minister' election pitch of accountable, inclusive government. Right up to this very summer's appalling affront to the public that  was the 'maliciouos', 'fictitious', 'I will NOT be drawn any further' diatribe of  'Bailhache-Gate'.

Yet in checking out comments on the excellent Voiceforchildren blog yesterday lo and behold but I stumbled upon confirmation of yet another one. This latest one revolves around the answer I was given on March 5th this year to the written question re-published below to the Minister for Home Affairs, Senator Ian Le Marquand; the question being on the issue of the Haut de la Garenne child abuse cover-up.

"Can the Minister inform Members whether, in the early stages of the historic child abuse investigation, both a current States Member and an individual still employed by the States and himself facing a number of allegation relating to abuse, went to Haut de la Garenne and attempted to gain access past the Police cordon stating that they needed to collect/remove personal material?"

Is this a lie or is this a... downright LIE?

"The States of Jersey Police have no formal record of any such visit by either party and with the passage of time, there is no-one still serving within the States of Jersey Police who is able to confirm that any such visit took place. "

So answered the Home Affairs Minister. Okay, so the answer was actually slightly longer - even going on to try and muddy the water a bit by throwing in the red herring that Deputy Kevin Lewis might be the cause of any confusion because of his past involvement with the site through his Bergerac days. The message was clearly: don't bother pursuing this because there is nowhere for you to take it and it is all unsubstantiated rumour.

Maybe even that old Establishment Party favourite dismissal - a conspiracy?

Yet just as I already had pretty good information back in March regarding the true identity of the two people who sought to breach the Police cordon, this week the lie I was spun back in March has now been confirmed. And confirmed by no less an authority than former Senior Investigating Office for Operation Rectangle, Lenny Harper. For I quote:

"On 19th February at 3pm Ann Pryke attended HDLG. I was asked to go to the entrance by officers on security duty there. Pryke was demanding entry and a full update on our activities. She was complaining loudly that we had not pre-informed her of our entry to HDLG. I told her it was police business and she should leave.

The following day the Chief Minister Frank Walker e-mailed Graham Power who passed the e-mail to myself. Walker stated that he wanted Pryke fully updated and told of any discoveries. He was told "no" in firm terms and given a number of reasons why it would not be happening. He was also warned that all approaches such as his would be recorded and would be disclosable.

At 5.30pm that day (20th Feb) Danny Wherry turned up at HDLG and demanded entry to recover some items he had left there previously. He was refused and told to leave as it was a potential crime scene.

I am somewhat surprised at Mr Le Marquand's reply for two reasons. Firstly, both visits are recorded on the official security log for the scene, and the e-mail from Frank Walker will also be logged. Secondly, there are a number of officers still serving with the force who could confirm the visits. The Home Affairs Minister needs to do his homework!"

Another line of investigation for the Committee of Inquiry

How is it I have to ask that these blatant instances of what can only be called lying keep on happening as regularly as clockwork? Is it all some bizarre unfolding of pure chance; coincidence? Frankly I think you could get better odds on Senator Bailhache again topping the polls come 2014. This is undoubtedly deliberate policy. The only two questions arising are: just where is the lying originating from and for what purpose?

If Senator Le Marquand has lied to me deliberately then let me tell him now: I will be pursuing him come September with just the same tenacity that I will be doing with Senator Bailhache (no, it isn't over by a long shot, Sir Philip) until he does the required thing within Standing Orders and resigns from the Council of Ministers.

Of course if it is the Police leadership who has lied to the Home Affairs Minister then I equally expect a full statement on who, why and what disciplinary action is to be implemented. Anything less and one really has to conclude this Council of Ministers really does have something to hide. Something that is beginning to appear increasingly worrying and desperate.

Why did Deputy Anne Pryke feel the need to 'demand' entry; to what purpose and under what authority? Why did Danny Wherry turn up and demand he be allowed to 'recover' some items he had left there previously? Indeed, what were these items? Has he ever been interviewed to explain? The questions are of the sort that really cannot be satisfactorily left unanswered.  I mean, just imagine if either of these individuals were facing hushed up allegations from any of the abuse victims....

Meanwhile, maybe I really ought to dust off that 'recall referendum' proposition over the summer and get it lodged after all? Well, there's the trolls and the lies. I guess you'll just have to log on again in a day or two to catch up on the sex and the videotape...

Keep the Faith


Sunday, 21 July 2013


Harking back to the early days of this blog I publish below a handful of updates on recent happenings within the tiny Neo-Feudal State on Britain's doorstep. A fairly long read perhaps but 4 separate stories with facts you certainly won't see in the Jersey mainstream media...
ESC and the strange case of the Starting Pistol 'incident'...
Following on from a suppressed story I broke a few weeks ago it has been confirmed that a teacher has now been charged over this incident. An incident that revolved around the said pistol being discharged in the school sports hall and injuring - though thankfully not seriously - a male pupil's eyes. The judicial aspect to this case must now be allowed to run its course through the courts. 
However, the alleged serious failings within standard ESC policy in the light of such incidents must also be addressed over the summer as a matter of urgency. This must culminate whatever the findings - and let us hope that it proves a situation retrievable for all involved - in a statement being made to the States Assembly by the ESC Minister. Why?
99% of teachers do a great job
In first stating for the record that, though highlighting the very serious concerns alleged to me by the mother of the injured pupil i.e. his allegedly not being taken to hospital by staff; his being kept on the premises until the end of the day; the correct ESC reporting procedures not being adhered to; and lastly - the claim that no one at the school ever contacted the mother herself, this is NOT in any way an attack by me on the teaching profession generally.
I have always supported the teaching profession and will continue to do so. 99% of teachers do an often thankless and damned good job. However, when I come across things that are not as they should be - such as in the suspension policy review I chaired for Scrutiny - I will highlight these.
It is perhaps stating the obvious but with a record like ESC and other childrens' services have come to be lumbered with thanks to a number of figures 'at the top' (departmentally and politically)following the HDLG scandal - not to mention instances of decent, ordinary Jersey parents being hit with appalling 'gagging' orders simply for standing up to be counted when their children have been victimised - that ESC still has a long way to go to prove it is wholly committed to both transparency and accountability.  Unfair on so many this undoubtedly is - but there you go.
The Bald Truth behind Option B and its leading lights' attitude to democracy...
With Special Agent the 'B Team Bug' recently joining the Ministerial Mole in my growing squad of Establishment Party infiltrators I can now reveal a very telling incident which took place at a meeting of the gang just prior to the recent States debate on Senator Bailhache's hijacked Electoral Commission referendum.
During the meeting, or so the 'Bug' tells the story, it came to be argued by a minority of the B Team's foot-soldiers that the proposals would never get through the States unless it was tweaked to actually provide some fairness in representation to the third of the population living in St. Helier. Fairness of the sort being proposed by both I and Deputy Andrew Green. Yet what happened next? Apparently the minority were turned upon and ridiculed by B Team Grandees such as former Senator Horsfall.
What is the former Senator really after?
Now I'm sure you'll remember the ex-Senator - he was a key figure in the move to risk Jersey putting all of our economic eggs into the one basket of the Finance industry. He was also a prime saboteur of the Clothier proposals he was meant to champion. He also just happened to have started out as an Option A supporter this time - even telling the Electoral Commission (in my presence) that the Constables had to go in the interests of democracy!
The bottom line in all of this? Don't be fooled by the bleating voices of politicians like Deputy Sean Power: most of the key drivers behind Option B are interested only in cementing total control of the States via ensuring massive over-representation for the smaller country parishes. For true democracy they care not as their actions reveal.
A brave man reduced to throwing himself on his knees in the Royal Square to plead for help against the 'justixce' system meant to help him...
Can anyone imagine that they would lightly take the decision to throw themselves down on their knees in Jersey's Royal Square to plead for assistance? No - i can't either. yet this was what one brave man, Mr Sam Canon felt he had no choice but to try just before last Tuesday's States Sitting.
Now the intricacies of Sam's case will be unfolded on the Voiceforchildren blog and possibly here two over coming weeks. But until such time let me just say that I took up Sam's case - one of an ever-growing number - because not only has he had to suffer wrongly for years; his case also has elements of just about every corruption and failing you could hope to (or actually would hope NOT to) find in a so-called justice system.
'Reporters' who apparently don't want stories
The Jersey mainstream media were all advised of what was going to happen. It should have undoubtedly have made a great, if deeply worrying news story. Yet guess what? Only reporters from the local ITV bothered to turn up to record it. Do they seriously wander why so many feel the Jersey Establishment and the media go hand-in-hand in keeping injustice out of the headlines? Fortunately, the excellent Team Voice was there to record the event; and I believe a further full length interview with this brave man will be available shortly.
And finally - the latest in the shameful saga of Le Breton-gate...
This week the Bailiff once again blocked a perfectly legitimate personal statement which I had sought to make. This having been found 'guilty' by the now defunct Simon Crowcroft led PPC for allegedly breaching the code on e-mail communications by asking for opinions on Public Sector pay negotiations and any justice system problems.
Now leaving aside the very telling fact that out of thousands of recipients the only complaints about my 'breach' were from none other than Chief Minister Gorst and one of his own pen pushers (I actually had 30 times the number of contacts of either expressed support or new information!) the aspect I want to focus on here is in regard to what it confirms yet again about the ease by which justice in Jersey can be manipulated and even abused.
That a politician can even be questioned over asking States employees to contact him if they have any points or concerns to raise on pay negotiations really says all that needs to be said. Yet when it comes to 'justice' what we saw here was an example of why the so-called 'dual role' of the Bailiff has to go.
This anachronism has no place in a 21st century democracy
Just as with Shona's blocked statement back in April; once again faced with a statement that highlighted concisely how he had, through his own office, allowed an impossibly conflicted jurat to sit on our defamation case, the Bailiff took off his 'hat' as the criticised Head of the Judiciary and put on his other 'hat' as Head of the Legislature to block the statement and thus prevent the criticism!
Not just this, of course, but also the wholly fair and warranted criticism that the Bailiff's Office had allowed - for a staggering 14 years* - a man who was happy to refuse to consider evidence against a sickening paedophile to sit in judgement of countless other cases. Cases where the said jurat, John Le Breton's ONLY responsibility was to examine and weigh up evidence before reaching a decision based on this!
I ask readers: is it really any wonder that an ever growing number of Jersey people - decent, ordinary people like we ourselves - are now coming forward (just take a look at Voiceforchildren's compilation of just a few of them) feeling that Jersey's 'justice' system is nothing more than a vehicle for oppression?
Sour grapes? Hardly - everyone should be entitled to justice. And in our own case Jurat John Le Breton has been caught bang-to-rights no matter how much he might try and wriggle. Indeed, it would actually be almost funny were it not so serious to read his excuses as quoted in a letter to us from the Deputy Bailiff.
If you made these excuses up people would laugh
He has to admit here that he has socialised with a director of the paper's owning company - even at each others homes - on a number of occasions just in recent years. He even wonderfully tells us that he contends 'there was no SIGNIFICANT relationship prior to his becoming a jurat'! No I am not making this admission up - i honestly doubt I have the imagination. Then, of course, there is the further fact that the jurat's social relationship actually goes back a whole lot longer - back at least to when he and the director's spouse were both teachers at Victoria College where Jervis-Dykes carried out his sickening abuse.
Yet will the powers that be now seek to prevent our wholly warranted application to appeal against this travesty of justice? Well, we already know the lawyers for the newspaper and their clients are desperate not to see it happen.
Strasbourg really maybe the ultimate answer
Of course, that it really shouldn't need a European Court of Human Rights to put this miscarriage of justice right is undeniable - at least to anyone who genuinely believes in justice for all. Yet maybe ultimately washing Jersey's self-soiled linen in full view of an international audience is what it will take to wake the UK justice Ministry from its slumber and make those who allowed these travesties to happen finally get their house in order?
Keep the Faith. If we can you can.
NMM. It really was 14 years!

Monday, 15 July 2013


Below I reproduce a press release issued to all local media, both 'accredited' and professional, regarding the latest battle to finally secure the justice of a fully European Convention on Human Rights Article 6 compliant judicial system in Jersey. attached is also an interview we recorded for the excellent Voiceforchildren blog.
As the press release makes quite clear - it might be Deputy Shona Pitman and I who are standing up doing the fighting in this case; but our battle is on the behalf of everyone who has, or is being betrayed by a 'justice' system currently wholly unfit for purpose.
Justice should be for all - not dependent on who you are or how deep your pockets might be. In Jersey this is sadly not yet the case. Yet together we can ensure that ultimately it WILL be!



15TH JULY 2013 (Embargoed until 11am)


Deputies Shona & Trevor Pitman have today announced that they have lodged an application to Appeal out of Time as Litigants in Person against the decision by the Inferior Number of the Royal Court (a judge and just two local jurats) to dismiss their defamation case against the Jersey Evening Post and 1st Jersey Limited: the estate agent, Broadlands; this resulting from the infamous ‘4 x the salary, darling!’ advert published in the newspaper.

The Deputies told the media: ‘We have taken this decision in the light of evidence coming to light that the senior Jurat on the case, John Le Breton, had a very serious Conflict of Interest; rendering the Inferior Number incompliant with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights  This being that he has an evidenced, longstanding relationship, both social and working, over many years with a director of the Jersey Evening Post’s owners – yet chose not to reveal this nor recuse himself as required.

The grave seriousness of this failing is further highlighted, stated Deputy Shona Pitman, by the fact that, in contrast, both the Bailiff and Deputy Bailiff did recuse themselves from sitting on the case simply because of the public perception of potential bias due to their ‘political relationship’ with the two Deputies as States Members. ‘Under the Conflict of Interest rules both Crown Officers were right to recuse themselves; even though neither one of us has ever socialised with either judge in private; let alone visited either Crown Officer’s home to do so. Jurat Le Breton, however, did both with a director of a defendant company in the case. It is simply unacceptable.’

Yet the above conflict of interest is not the only concern regarding Jurat Le Breton that the Deputies have had brought to their attention by members of the public since the conclusion of their court case. In managing to obtain a copy of the government suppressed 1999 Stephen Sharp Report into horrific child abuse at Victoria College; the Deputies say that it became apparent that Le Breton actually had an evidenced history of refusing to consider evidence in making judgements. This relates to the case against a former friend and teaching colleague, the predatory paedophile Andrew Jervis-Dykes who plied young boys with alcohol on boat trips before sexually abusing them – even videoing abuse..

Deputy Trevor Pitman said: ‘That a man is allowed to be put forward to become a Jurat by a former President of the Education Committee – a States Member and Constable who was actually on the Victoria College Board of Governors at the time of Jervis-Dykes’ appalling abuse – and subsequently allowed to sit by two successive Bailiffs for a period of 14 years is quite horrifying. Let us not forget here, weighing up evidence is the cornerstone of a jurat’s role. Yet John Le Breton not only refused to look at evidence against this paedophile he then made it his business to actually write to authorities in Jervis-Dykes’ defence. This support included arguing that the paedophile had in fact ‘served the College in an outstandingly competent and conscientious way’; and even claiming that if the police did not prosecute there may be ‘no case (for Jervis-Dykes) to answer’!

The Pitmans state that having no money left to further engage a lawyer following a three year long legal battle they have, with the support of a dozen concerned political figures and justice campaigners, instead brought the revelations to every relevant justice authority in an attempt to get what they state is a clear and serious miscarriage of justice rectified.

‘We have written outlining what has come to light since the court case concluded to the Bailiff, the Island’s  Chief Minister, the UK Justice Minister (Lord McNally), and even last month, the Lieutenant-Governor who is the Queen’s representative on the Island. With the exception of Lord McNally – who we were blocked from meeting by the Chief Minister’s Office – we have even met with all of these individuals. All have in effect made excuses as to why they can do nothing no matter what the evidence. Indeed, in the case of UK Justice Minister, Lord McNally he incredibly simply offered to refer us back to the Bailiff – the very individual who allowed this to happen by his failure to ensure that Jurat Le Breton complied with the rules on Conflict of Interest and recused himself.’

‘It is because of all of this,’ concluded Deputy Trevor Pitman, ‘that we are now left with no option but to attempt to challenge this as Litigants in Person. Neither of us are legally trained and the strain of having to now do this – coming as it does after years of fighting for justice and on top of our political work – will be huge. Yet we have no option. To not do so means financial ruin – which is possibly what some involved would like. It is not lost on either of us that as public figures we actually have some degree of a platform to try and challenge this huge injustice – something most ordinary people do not.

Justice simply should not be down to whether one has deep pockets or be dependent upon who an individual is; whether they have ‘rocked the political boat’ or not. Of course, since making public what has gone on behind the scenes in our case we now know that we are far from being alone in suffering such abuse of the justice system.

It is quite clear that a Mistrial should be called in our case as it has not been compliant with Article 6 (the right to a fair trial) of the European Convention on Human Rights. I am learning of more people suffering serious legal abuses on an almost weekly basis. In fighting for justice ourselves we hope we are also giving hope to all others utterly betrayed by a justice system that is meant to protect everyone but which does not. We will endeavour to help anyone else we can. Indeed, we will fight all the way to Strasbourg if necessary until Jersey gets its judicial system in order’.
Deputies Trevor & Shona Pitman   For information/interviews contact: 07797 824243 or (011534) 863436

Saturday, 13 July 2013


States prepare to debate Bailhache's strategy for a legal dictatorship...

'Does the PPC Chairman accept that both of the amendments to Option B being put forward (by myself and Deputy A.K.F. Green) ensure much fairer, more equal representation in regard to parity of weight of vote for St. Helier in comparison to other parishes ad, further still, that both more strongly protect the functioning of the so-called 'Troy Rule'?'

The oral question to the Chairman of PPC detailed above leads in to what is not only the last debate before the summer recess; but also something of a rarity for this Assembly - a full and important week of debate. I say this even with my Ministerial Mole's tip off that Chief Minister Gorst suddenly pulled his pitch for a fully fledged Foreign Minister until September because he knew he was on a hiding - not least because of the embarrassment of Bailhache-Gate.

He is, according to the Mole, hoping all will have been forgotten by then. It won't of course and I'll be making sure of that this very Sitting. Not only are there rumours that Senator Bailhache will nevertheless finally make a personal statement next week (I sincerely hope he does) but I am also asking the PPC Chairman why - given that they do not even need an official complaint - he hasn't yet initiated an investigation into the matter.

Fact is its high time Senator Bailhache dropped the petulance, made his apologies to the two businessmen and then resigned. No, he need not apologise to me for his slurs and insults. An apology from a man with zero political credibility like the Senator is something I can live quite happily without. 

St. Helier's representatives truly under the spotlight...

Still, though the big debate of the week certainly is the aforesaid Option B proposals truth be told there is actually very little that hasn't already been said about why Option B in its unamended form simply must be blocked by progressives at all costs. To be fair its also equally true that just as many hares have been set running by Bailhache, Ozouf and the Constables in the hope of managing to slip it through.

Thus my only point - OK, two inter-related points actually - for people to be clear upon are these.  

If Philip Bailhache gets his way then the people of St.Helier - a third of Jersey's population let us not forget - will have their say in what happens to this Island politically hamstrung for at least a generation; possibly even two. They will, at a stroke, be made second class voters wholly at the mercy of the smaller. less populated country parishes dominated by self-interested Establishment supporters.

The second point to remember is this. The 10 St. Helier Deputies and the parish Constable, Simon Crowcroft, together have both a chance and  an obligation to vote for either my or Deputy Green's amendments and thus, just perhaps, save the day for democracy. This is, after all, about protecting the interests of the people we are meant to serve.

Alright, our capital's fate is not in our hands alone.. But what is true is that any St. Helier representative who fails to vote in their constituents' democratic interests next week; but instead bows to Emperor Bailhache's '3 line whip' for legal dictatorship needs to be driven from office come 2014. Driven from office if needs be with flaming torches and pitchforks.

Will any be that foolish or hypocritical? Word in the States is that the only St. Helier representative who will definitely stab his constituents in the back will be St. Helier No. 1's Deputy James Baker. Yet beware: there are also whispers that Rod Bryans and even Constable Crowcroft may bend the knee to Emperor Philip and join him in the hope of future patronage.

Let's hope this is wholly incorrect. Though it must be said such action would certainly be a Godsend to any candidate wishing to stand against one of them in 15 months time...

The 'secret court case' against former Senator, Stuart Syvret and the hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money no one in authority wants to be held accountable for...

On Friday morning I had a meeting with the Attorney General. He wished to clarify that neither he nor his office have any control or involvement relating to the shed loads of taxpayers' cash - our cash - that's been handed out so four private individuals could bring a secret Data Protection Law case (in reality a glorified defamation case) against former Senator Stuart Syvret.

Always happy to correct my position I would flag up here that I was grateful to the Attorney General for his clarification; and am equally happy to say sorry if I got any wires crossed on the involvement of his office. Yet the fact is one clarification only creates even more questions in a case like this.

Questions like: who is ultimately responsible for complying with requests from the Data Protection Commissioner's office that result in monies in excess of its entire annual budget being made available?

According to the Attorney General this used to come under the Treasury Minister but now comes under the control of the Chief Minister's office itself. OK then, Senator Gorst - looks like come Monday all eyes will be on you! But I have also asked Senator Ozouf as well. Will I get a full and proper answer to my questions?

Who can tell - and if the Chief Minister once again hands answering this written question over to Senator Routier the likelihood is that we'll all be even more confused than when we started! Yet if the plan is to once again fob us off with vague waffle I trust the Chief Minister (and Treasury for that matter) will also consider this.

If I don't get some proper answers we'll just have start all over again come September. And keep on asking the same questions until we do. After all, I know a whole army of taxpayers intrigued to know if any kind of background checks were carried out - this to ascertain if one particular 'man' and alleged 'victim' afforded financial assistance at their expense actually has complaints against him of Internet bullying and abuse  longer than a proverbial toilet roll!

Keep the Faith

Note: My full list of questions - both oral and written - for next week's Sitting can be read on the States Assembly website. 

Saturday, 6 July 2013


What's been happening to your child at school today?
Regular readers of the Bald Truth will recall me lifting the lid on the suppressed Education, Sport & Culture department story of a child reportedly being 'shot in the face' by a teacher at Le Rocquier School with a starting pistol. The Minister was, it must be said, very economic and - certainly to most people I talked to who approached me afterwards - rather defensive about the revelation.
Was this response just a concern at there being a somewhat  belated  police investigation that was now going on? Well, with my initial contact on the subject coming from direct within the school itself the Bald Truth Jersey now brings you that suppressed story as told to me DIRECT from the lips of the very concerned mother - let's call her Mrs X - of the injured pupil.

The events she describes it has to be said paint a truly mind-boggling and deeply worrying picture.
Now one must acknowledge straightaway - I was obviously not there in person myself. This is simply what she has described to me. Yet read through what she told me for yourself and then ask: should this disturbing incident be allowed to be quietly swept under the ESC carpet for fear of denting the all important Establishment Jersey image?  The answer just has to be a resounding 'no'.
Where might a teacher justifiably need a starting pistol within a school?
When I was first contacted by another third party concerned about the above incident I understandably assumed that what had transpired must have been some kind of freakish accident during a school athletics session; the gun going off accidentally and injuring a pupil by pure chance.
After all, not only having formerly been a professional educator and - in the dark and distant past - a pretty good athlete myself; even representing my home island at football I was pretty clear that starting pistols and athletics; perhaps some competitive swimming now and again are just about the only things within 'at school' activities that go together. Yet on being contacted by the injured pupil's mother my assumptions were to be proved well and truly wrong.

'I'm going to shoot Pupil X in the face...'

According to Mrs X's statement her son was not taking place in an outside session of athletics at all - he was simply participating in a game of 5-A-Side football within a sports hall! 

As football is obviously controlled by nothing more than a referee's whistle the first question has to be: what the hell was a potentially dangerous object like a starting pistol being utilised for? Indeed. what on earth would even possess a teacher to risk walking around within a school building carrying such a weapon when its use was so clearly wholly unnecessary?

Could this be  the result of a staggeringly misguided act of bravado; or horsing around? The fact is no matter how much one reflects upon the matter a rational explanation seems all but impossible to find. Yet if the mother of Pupil X is correct in what she says - and I can see no reason at all why a parent would wish to lie - this incident  then takes on an even more disturbing hue.

According to Mrs X the teacher in question (I do know the identity but will certainly not reveal this whilst an official inquiry is going on) actually raised the pistol and pointed it at her son who apparently initially had his back to the teacher. She then further states that the words: 'I'm going to shoot Pupil X in the face!' were spoken. A stupid, misguided joke surely? Yet as her teenage son then turned Mrs X alleges the gun was then fired.

This is what you do NOT do after an on premises incident...

 In the event of such an incident taking place - here a pupil's eyes being likely to be damaged by the discharge even if the pistol in question was not one of the older, more dangerous weapons involving projectiles - a qualified First Aider should be taking charge; at the same time emergency services should immediately be called; and the school Headmaster must be informed. they in turn would then have to notify the department. Last but not least the child's parent or guardian would have to be contacted.
All ESC staff should and would know this. Wouldn't they? I ask because what happened then according to Mrs X bares little resemblance to what I illustrate above. For according to the pupil's mother her son states that he was hurried off to the showers by the teacher who had wielded the pistol; here attempts were made to wash out and soothe his eyes.
From here, however, procedure appears to have gone decidedly pear-shaped.
  • The emergency services were never called
  • The parent - Mrs X - was not even contacted at any point - by anyone from ESC
  • The injured pupil was instead kept on at school to the end of the school day. This also being just ONE day before he was due to sit his first important and obviously stressful exam!

All pretty appalling if this is as Mrs X tells it. Yet it actually gets even worse. According to this ordinary mum the only way she finally came to learn of all of this was when her son returned home after school with badly bloodshot eyes! horrified she then had to take her son down to the hospital herself. And when she contacted the school there she states that there was allegedly further shocks in store.
  • The Le Rocquier Headmaster had apparently been told nothing of the event
  • The teacher involved had allegedly not reported the incident to anyone
  • The shooting incident had, it transpires, also actually taken place at only the SECOND session of the day!
Yet what had this teacher allegedly done following this truly mind-boggling incident?
According to what Mrs X claims; upon her son returning to class with the teacher following the attempt to wash out his eyes he allegedly stated to the class words to the effect of: 'No one must tell anyone about this - or I'll get the sack!' Can this really be an accurate account of what happened?
It seems almost too incredible and disturbing for words.
And this essentially leads us to why I decided to report what Mrs X has told me having contacted me after my question to the ESC Minister; lay out the story for you the wider public on the Bald Truth. For as if this lady had not had enough of a shock following this bizarre chain of events; even though a police investigation was eventually set in place, a short time ago she was to open correspondence from Le Rocquier - where she also has another child.
Reading this Mrs X was - understandably in my view - shocked to read that although the teacher involved was now suspended and a Police inquiry under way the man had already been allocated a class for the following September!
Insensitive? Negligent? Or as the mother of Pupil X feels: deeply worrying as to whether this investigation will be nothing more than the tick-box 'white wash' investigation that the Jersey Establishment does so well? And all, of course, going on behind closed doors.  it is due to these concerns that I state without apology - such incidents must not be allowed to be hushed up; kept from the public for fear of 'reputations' being damaged.
States Members, the public and most importantly the mother of Pupil X need answers and assurances. We also need to know that if anything less than 100% happy with what she is eventually told she - and parents generally MUST have a wholly independent authority that can be turned to. For  a 'Duty of Care' must mean just that.
Keep the Faith.