I just want to do a posting about the Committee of Enquiry (COE)
This is just so important and must not be allowed to drift on without any pressure being asserted.
The Committee of Enquiry was passed in the States of Jersey on the 1st March 2011. One must never ever forget that the previous Council Of Ministers (COM) tried to scupper this by lodging a Report in the States saying it was not required. This was an outrageous attempt to derail a 'COE' and showed exactly what the previous leadership was about. The 'COE' is important for so many reasons. It's not just for the Abuse Victims getting closure. It's about how decade after decade of Abuse went on unchecked in Jersey. We have failure of all the major agencies in protecting Children the States of Jersey, The local Media, The Police , Social Services everybody who had responsibility for Children complete failure.
The Committee of Enquiry is not just about Haut dela Garenne. People can sometimes forget that this enquiry is about all the Care Homes including the Fostering of Children. This should be a root and branch look as to what went wrong, what recommendations can be made, the future safety of Children. and why it was able to go so terribly wrong.
There are some people who don't want this enquiry and from all the evidence that has been published online one is not surprised.
I can say that the Chief Minister Senator Gorst is fully committed to the (COE). I emailed the Chief Minister with some concerns and was pleased when he promptly replied. He did not address all my issues but he must be given a chance to do the right thing regarding this enquiry.
Here is the email
From: rico sorda
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 09:39 PM
To: Ian Gorst
Subject: Committee of Enquiry
Dear Senator Gorst
Congratulations on becoming Chief Minister
Im emailing you regarding the forthcoming Committee of Enquiry (COE). As you will be more than aware the COE was passed through the States on the 1st of March 2011. This was achieved despite the previous Council Of Ministers trying to shelf it altogether.
I have noticed that the scare mongering concerning the price of the COE has started. What alarms me is that the two people who have expressed this is are your Deputy Chief Minister Senator Ian La Marquand and Assistant Sir Philip Bailhache. You will be aware that both are highly conflicted regarding the Historic Child Abuse Investigation (HCAE). In fact, there can be no doubt that Sir Philip will be called to give evidence .
Could you inform me what the current state of play is.
Im very concerned about the TOR's. These are so important and must be protected. One can never forget what happened to the TOR's with the Napier and Verita reviews.
I had a meeting with Mike Marsdan in early September regarding the TOR's we are yet to see his recommendations.
I look forward to seeing what the new COM bring to the house regarding the TOR's for the COE. They must not be watered down. Apart from the obvious and most important question of how did decades long abuse go undetected the role of the Judiciary and Local Media must not be overlooked.
Look forward to your response
Here is the reply from Chief Minister Gorst
From: Ian Gorst
Subject: Re: Committee of Enquiry
Date: Tuesday, 29 November, 2011, 22:01
I am committed to bringing the terms of reference to the States.
I will have to find out what the timescales are, but I think it is due in the first quarter. Once I have a firm timetable I'll let you know.
I have no problem with the above response. The new man on the block must be given a chance. AS you will be aware I raised the issue of Sir Philip Bailhache now Senator Bailhache the Assistant to the Chief Minister. This man is one of the most conflicted people on the Island when it comes to the Historic Child Abuse Investigation. He was the Bailiff of Jersey when Operation Rectangle started and when it went global in February 2008 but if one asked Sir Philip he might not see it that way. Shall we just forget about - The Sharp Report, The Holland Affair, His Brother being the Attorney General during this period, Turning off Stuart Syvret's 2007 Christmas speech, May 9th Liberation Day Speech the infamous words "All child abuse, wherever it happens, is scandalous, but it is the unjustified and remorseless denigration of Jersey and her people that is the real scandal".
This could go on he was the Bailiff for heaven sake. The Bailiff is the Chief Justice, he is the president of the legislature. He has been Attorney General. Deputy Bailiff then rising to Bailiff. He might not see himself as conflicted. Add to that he is scaring people with the 20 million figure.
This is what he said during the nominations for Chief Minister.
2.4 Deputy M. Tadier:
Earlier this year, the States approved by a democratic majority decision that there should be a committee of inquiry into historical child abuse. One of the terms of reference that was agreed - again by a majority in the States - was that among others, the role of Crown Officers, including whether there was any political interference with decisions to prosecute, should be one of the terms of reference and it falls to the Chief Minister and his department to implement this committee of inquiry. So, firstly, is the candidate supportive of the committee of inquiry and, secondly, which steps would he take to minimise any perception of real or perceived conflict of interest, given that he was one of the Crown Officers and a member of the judiciary at the time?
Senator P.M. Bailhache:
Dealing with that last point first. I am not sure that I had any involvement in any of the issues relating to the child abuse inquiry but if I am wrong in that respect, then clearly I would have to consider my position as to whether I took any part in the decision-making process. So far as the broader question is concerned, it is a sensitive and very difficult matter. The Assembly has agreed to establish a committee of inquiry. The cost of that inquiry was put by the Minister for Treasury and Resources at £10 million. For my part, I think that was an underestimate and I think that the costs could very well mount to £20 million or even more, given the range of the terms of reference that have been adopted by the Assembly. That perhaps is not the most important issue. What is important is that we find a means to bring closure to an issue that has divided the Island and caused anxiety for far too long. What is also important, it seems to me, is to bring reconciliation to those who have suffered from abuse in the past so that at the end of a long process by a committee of inquiry, if we have one, they feel that something has been gained. There is nothing to be gained by creating a tortuous process which does not, at the end of the day, satisfy those who have suffered from abuse. So it is a very difficult issue.
Now we have the Deputy Chief Minister / Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand
This was during his nomination for Home Affairs Minister
2.1.19 Senator F. du H. Le Gresley:
Is the candidate prepared to now give his full support to the Committee of Inquiry into historical child abuse?
Senator B.I. Le Marquand:
I did raise concerns previously in relation to this at the previous debate and I have to say that those concerns, if anything, have been exacerbated by a draft report which I have seen. We are now well aware that if we go ahead with the full inquiry the costs are going to be millions and millions. My concerns are that we end up in a situation which costs a great deal of money but does not deliver what the victims ...
That was how he finished up. Again we come to the money, money money issue. They really know when it's time to get concerned about money. I can tell you now they just don't want it. They are frightened about what will come out. The biggest farce will be when the TOR's are brought back to the house for approval. The Chief Minister will be bringing this to the House in the way of a lodged proposition but it's the voting that will be very interesting. Will it be a full and comprehensive set of TOR'S? Will the COM be united on this? Will the chamber back it?
As soon as it's lodged it will be put up online. The TOR's will be checked to make sure they haven't been diluted to within an inch of their life.
JUst to finish up this short posting I want you to look at this interview with Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand. I want you to see the difference between this interview and the Gradwell interview. Basically it's 100% different.
The normal CTV effort is the Le Marquand interview
The Gradwell interview is so polished it was almost worth an oscar
Just watch the Interview and remember what he said at the BDO Review. He is now our Deputy Chief Minister. Loll You really cant make this up.
Watch this It's a beauty