Wednesday, March 6, 2013






As we set off this morning  to the States of Jersey in order to listen to the debate into the terms of reference for the upcoming Committee of Inquiry into decades long child abuse in the Jersey Care System we at Team Voice were feeling the familiar emotion of here we go again. That said we have experienced a surreal episode never experienced before in any states sitting that we have attended.  I will try and put into words what we, and interested parties that we spoke to, felt during this historic debate. 

Where to begin. We all gathered outside awaiting the time for the debate to begin. There was talk about the amendments, would they be adopted, would the states back a full committee of inquiry, would years of campaigning pay off? This has been a struggle for all concerned not least the abuse survivors themselves.  The debate began and immediately you could sense an atmosphere that has not been felt before in the chamber as far as I'm aware this was to set the scene for the debate that followed. Yes, there were inevitable questions of money from some members concerning the cost of the inquiry but these speeches were lost in the atmosphere of the day. We don't know how all the individual states members felt about this as so few members spoke but I would say that for the first time since becoming Chief Minister, Ian Gorst gained a little respect from Team Voice in that it appeared that he wanted to do the right thing in the face of opposition within his own ranks. The Chief Minister looked to hold the respect of the entire house, which was evident when he came back after lunch and accepted Deputy Tadier's amendment which too was voted in unanimously 39-0.

After the expectance  of Deputy Tadier's amendment the main debate was looking good for all those that have campaigned hard for a robust and fit for purpose committee of inquiry. This as expected came to fruition. I have to mention the passionate and emotional speech of Senator, Francis Le Gresley who we must remember had brought proposition P19/2010 to the states when they decided that we didn't require a committee of enquiry. His speech touched us all. It came from the heart. I believe that he felt like we all did and that this was the time to get it right and do it now. We are talking about real people who have suffered horrific abuse at the hands of pedophile's and care workers whilst in the care of the States of Jersey. He set the tone and from that moment on the battle was surely won. 

When the vote was read out and the committee of inquiry was passed it was an incredible feeling. The hard work had paid off. We can't thank everyone who worked behind the scenes enough. You know who you are. This was about not giving up. This was about sticking to our guns. This was about team work.  If you stick together and believe in what you are doing and have the truth and right on your side you can achieve what some people say is the impossible. 

We will not get complacent. This is a box ticked. We move on. The job is not done yet. 

We do feel that a weight has been lifted from our shoulders. Not a day has passed when we have not thought about the committee of inquiry and the victims and survivors of abuse.

Today was a victory for the abuse survivors, campaigners and the states of jersey as a whole. 

Rico and VFC


Anonymous said...

I agree. It was momentous. Francis Le Gresley has clearly been moving mountains behind the scenes. His emotionally delivered speech could not fail to impress on all who listened the serious nature of this whole issue.

I also, for the first time, sensed that Ian Gorst's fundamental morality came the fore today. He was impressive. I can only imagine the battles he has had with Bailhache and others who want this whole thing buried.

There's a long way to go, but there is now hope.

Anonymous said...

Smashing news. But who were the missing 4 from the 43 votes to 39?

The Beano is not the Rag

voiceforchildren said...

"But who were the missing 4 from the 43 votes to 39?"

Not sure on all 4 but Philip Bailhache and Ian Le Marquand were notable by their absence.

For the first time in years people were given some hope today, most importantly, the Abuse Survivors/Victims that there is an air of change and that States Members are starting to realise that there are real people who have had their lives destroyed by the Jersey Regime and it's time to show the world they are willing to face up to their "shortcomings."

A couple of years ago, there never was going to be a COI. Two years later and the entire (those present) government voted in favour of one.

Rob Kent said...

That's great news. I read in the Times today that the UK is going to provide a way for members of the public to suggest child abuse cases which were dropped when they shouldn't have been. Maybe that will be a route for the Jersey cases to be reopened?

It's behind the Times paywall but if you can get hold of the article, it's worth a read:

Anonymous said...

I heard the news , please can someone tell me the link to bbc radio so I can hear the child abuse debate today! thanks

Anonymous said...

Great news, I think that all the local bloggers and expecially yourself Rico should be congratulated in helping to get todays enquiry.

I think that it is safe to say that without the tireless work from the unpaid passionate local bloggers then we would not have got this far.

Well done Rico and everyone of the bloggers at certain officials

Anonymous said...


Who were the 9 missing from the sitting and why were they missing?

Anonymous said...


Couldn't stay awake after the first part today, so I missed the main debate and vote. What a wonderful surprise! Don't ever doubt that you amazing bloggers and abuse survivors have made this happen. Whatever the establishment does (or refuses to do) in support of a thorough inquiry, the vote itself shows your power to shape policy, to force the might of right, when the public is watching. Bravo!

Mrs Marguerita said...

Congratulations! It's great news. A day of celebrations - such a rare thing for anti-CSA campaigners. Thank you for all your hard work, well done. What else can I say - smashing.

And now, let's watch the COI like hawks.

rico sorda said...

Thank you for the comments.

This was a huge day. It was in 2010 that the COM said there will be no committee of enquiry. Now in 2013 we have a COI with a fully robust TOR's. This is what it's about. Team Work. Working together for the greater good. The work that went in behind the scenes was immense. The meeting we had on Sunday will last long in the memory and I gained much from it. This is how it's done. Again, thanks to all concerned and a big thank you to all that support our work.


Ian Evans said...

Well Done EVERYONE :)

Larry Rivers said...

I have watched with great sadness as this story has unfolded over the last 5 years and been left feeling deeply ashamed of the way the States of Jersey have acted towards the victims of instituional child abuse. Time and again the Establishment have done all they can to deny natural justice and trample on the feelings of those who needed support most. As a Jerseyman I can honestly say this has been without doubt the darkest chapter in our collective history.

But today I have to say how proud I am to know people of the calibre of Rico Sorda, VFC and Stuart Syvret. They have made huge sacrifes often facing insurmountable odds and they are a credit to our community. They won't want to be singled out for special praise but if there was an award for the very finest people in our Island then they would undoubtedly be the most deserving, especially on this memorable day.

And thanks also to Francis Le Gresley. His speech today was an object lesson in political compassion and sincerity.

I feel like finally we've turned a corner and the Island can at last start to properly face up to the tragedy that many chose to ignore.

And finally a message to all local media - you have shown us that it will take many years before we can once again trust what you say. Your journey back onto the road of credibility starts today.

Anonymous said...

Mr Birt, I hope you read this message, you are not invited to wine and dine any of the independent people who deal with this enquiry, we must ensure this does not happen!

Anonymous said...

I agree with every comment on here. Great news...Smashing...Watch the COI like hawks...

What a day for you, Rico, and those like Stuart, VFC, and all who forced the COm to make the right choice, albeit a reluctant one. This should serve as a reminder of the power of people to cooperate, meet and work hard, often thanklessly in the background, to make their world a better place. A win for abuse survivors and for all of Jersey children.

Anonymous said...

Comment at 9:10 is spot on. The local media has been shamed and discredited by this vote.

We can enjoy the fact of tonight being a deservedly happy one for abuse survivors, truth-tellers, bloggers and a small handfull of decent politicians. We can also enjoy the prospect of ILM, the Man Who Would Be King, the troll, the paedos and their protectors feeling desperate. Sure to be a big night for alcohol consumption.

And the local media? Were they shocked and dismayed by the vote? I noticed BBCJersey promoted today's session as foremost, one about the car park...

Anonymous said...

6 members 'not present for vote'

Their act of defiance, no doubt.

Anonymous said...

I am delighted that your perseverance has paid off. Congratulations to all involved.

rico sorda said...

The Chief Minister, Ian Gorst warned the Jersey Parliament that the findings of a committee of inquiry could be deeply shocking and that they should be prepared for this.

The Jersey Child Abuse Cover-up no doubt has it's talons stretching as far as the shores of the UK.

The Uk fighters for justice should keep a close eye on the Jersey situation.

The hard work starts again tomorrow. David Rose and Mick Gradwell are still bugging me. We hear about UK Police being pulled in for divulging information well what about Gradwell.

The Jersey Law Office must also come in from the cold and be opened up like never before.

Ask the questions and show NO FEAR

The internet has left its mark. It gave us a voice and we are using it.


Anonymous said...

It may not have been your earliest career choice, but you were born to ask the right journalistic questions. You have the right suspicions, the best instincts. Wish we could pay you to do this full time, then...

thejerseyway said...

Hi Rico.

Here's Two Speeches from today's Debate Think they sum up the two camps, the ones that actually want the COI & the ones that want to carry on the Cover Up to save there own back's or there friends?

You & your reader's can make up there own minds to who is on which side of the fence! HERE But should I say one is a Constable so says it all really.


Martin Kane said...

God Bless you Rico, VFC, Stuart Syvret and everyone who has had a hand in making today’s events a reality for the last few years.

I can imagine the struggle that you Rico, together with all the relevant people connected in making today’s event happen, have undergone in the principal work of research and continuous lobbying to the government, but also, within your personal lives with regards to the adversity that you have had to face. Your families should be proud and im sure they are.

This is a triumphant example of how a small group of people can get things done.

In my opinion its because of your efforts in blogging and research, together with VFC and Stuart Syvret, that those few supporting politicians have had the grounds to get that much involved to a point of forcing this issue, im in no doubt that it is because of these efforts that we now have a chance to publically hear the details to what im sure investigators have known for some time and to which have been blocked by the local authorities.

I can only hope that these proceedings have a knock on effect/inspiration with the "majority" of the islands population with regards to an example of standing up for what is right! and to speak up no matter how much one might be effected, or looked upon for doing so.

It takes courage and integrity to climb walls of justice where you cannot see the top of those walls.

To finish, something a lot of certain islanders could start to practice, a quote from Pablo Casals:

“each person has inside a basic decency and goodness. If he listens to it and acts on it, he is giving a great deal of what it is the world needs most. It is not complicated but it takes courage. It takes courage for a person to listen to his own good”.

3 Cheers for Rico, VFC, Stuart Syvret

Hip Hip
Hip Hip
Hip Hip

Anonymous said...

I wish I could allow myself to feel optimistic. But I remember that the States once voted for an *independent* panel to review the machinery of government, and that ended up hijacked by the establishment who have mangled up several issues into one nonsense referendum. I just don't trust them. I hope it works outs in the end, I really do.

rico sorda said...

Hi Martin

I have judged Francis on his actions towards the Committee of Inquiry. That has been our fight. He has delivered. So much went on behind the scenes. I thank him for his hard work and excellent speech during the debate. He set the tone.


rico sorda said...

It must be noted that the Home Affairs Minister, Senator Ian le Marquand, was missing from the debate. As we left the states at the conclusion of the debate who was waltzing across the Royal Square heading back to the States building????

Senator Le Marquand, yes, that's who.

He sat it out.

Sums it up really


Zoompad said...

"I read in the Times today that the UK is going to provide a way for members of the public to suggest child abuse cases which were dropped when they shouldn't have been."

Well, my case shouldn't have been dropped, but so far I have heard nothing from Stafford Police or the MET that they have any intention of reopening it. Not a peep.

And I don't think that I should be hearing about it via the Times, surely the police have a duty of care to put right the wrong? Why haven't they contacted me, if what the Times says is correct? I have been to hell and back, persecuted for being a victim of crime, I am really very angry.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and so far my plate is empty. ALL I WANT IS A FRIGGING APOLOGY!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I too fear it will become a tangled web once again although I hope people will wake up and stop reading and believing the lies that the uk owned 'Beano' prints.

Indymedia have a list of interesting people on there if you type in google : Indymedia Freemasons Jersey.

It is an out of date list but it would be interesting to see an up to date one or for someone to provide the information?!!

This is why I fear it won't be able to be totally transparent.

Anonymous said...

At post 9.53, 6 members missing from vote," Could they be involved somehow??

Anonymous said...

Rico, who were "the missing nine"?

We need an explanation from each one why they failed to attend this meeting.

Anonymous said...

I missed the debate,but i certainly heard the result,and what a shock.It bought tears to my eyes.
Such an unanimous vote though ,has to be questioned. Why,when I was expecting some to vote against having a COI did every one vote in favour.
The explanation is quite simple.Cowardice.No individual wanted to be the odd man out,or probably be unemployed at the next election.That also applies to Baillhache and le Marquand,but the crafty pair managed to have other engagements.
Hopefully for me, the COI will clear up some unanswered questions

Linda Corby said...

Excellent result! Long overdue, just pray it gets done properly!
Thanks Rico and to all who have been working towards the benefit of those abused, justice must be seen to be done.
Now at least now there is a glimmer of hope. I say "Let the light flood in."
Love to you all :-)

Linda Corby said...

Sorry forgot to mention I have put a list of those not voting on here.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, congratulations to you and everyone that has managed to get the COI to this stage. It has obviously been a hard slog. But in the words of Carrie M "The hard work starts now"

Who will the "independent" Chairman be? How much will 7 Bedford Row be involved? And just how "co-operative" will States departments be? We have already heard how "uncooperative" they can be in the Curtis Warren inquiry. And why are we "surprised" that the vote for the COI was unanimous? Is it not the common sense, right thing to do? I would be surprised if anyone were to vote against it. Are we really surprised that the two individuals with the most to lose from a ROBUST COI, were absent from the states when it was time to vote? Of course not!

Addressing the comments from our resident troll on the CITV and VFC websites stating that " "bloggers will have egg on their faces", "this proves that the SOJ have nothing to hide"….well there you go…thanks for that……no need for the COI to go ahead…….nothing to see here…..told you so…..nah nah nah na na!!! Please seek help little fella, you are so transparent.

Now don't get me wrong Rico, I 'm thrilled that we now have a COI. But please don't expect too much out it. There is a reason why it has taken this long to instigate. They needed that time to cover their tracks, move certain individuals to pastures new and create plausible if not fake documents.

A Leopard does not change it's spots, so do not expect it to sit on your lap and purr when you stroke it's back1

Anonymous said...

Makes you wonder if Channel TV are still proud of their award for exposing(?) Power and Harpers overspend....

Especially now that the COI are being allowed 6 million pounds for doing what Power and Harper were trying to do 5 years ago!?

Ian Evans said...

Dude....An avalanche of CORRUPTION

Anonymous said...

No such page!!!

Anonymous said...

Interesting to note that the two former 'judges' now senators had better things to do than be in the chamber for the TOR vote!

Well done to all who have fought to get some justice for state sponsored abuse victims.


Anonymous said...

Bob Key

What an act he put on for his audience that evening, I remember it well , I was there

Last Tuesday evening, at Gouray Church, half a mile from Haut de la Garenne, the children's home at the centre of the scandal, Mr Key and the Rev Canon Dr Peter Williams organised a service for the local community.
It was attended by 260 islanders united by dismay and bewilderment. Mr Key, 55, told churchgoers: "We come together at a time when our island is experiencing the darkness of evil and fear, in solidarity with all victims of abuse, especially those who suffered as children."

Anonymous said...

Bob Keys is like most church goers, a total hypocrite.

As long as you repent your sins once a week, you can behave how you like for the other 6 days.

I'm glad he is having his collar felt and i hope he gets booted out of the church.

thejerseyway said...

Hi Rico.

Did I here right that the Dean has been Sacked for not reporting Child Abuse? What ever next! there's a strange wind blowing me thinks.


voiceforchildren said...



Ian Evans said...

Failures by the Jersey Police & Jersey Justice System results in a five year old girl BEING RAPED IN ENGLAND

Sir Ralph Belfington said...

Robert Key, Bob, RK, friend of the Establishment.

You are just another name on the roll call of shame that has engulfed the upper echelons of Jersey's government in the last decade.

The walls come tumbling down.

thejerseyway said...

Hi Rico.

Put up the Audio of the whole COI Debate, so its there for anyone to listen too in the years to come. You & your reader's can listen to it HERE

I can't get over the Dean of Jersey is as bad as a Abuser of Children & he Spock in this Debate. Un Bloody Believable.


Anonymous said...

Can somebody list the names of the States members who failed to attend the debate please, thanks.

Ian Evans said...

Intimidation, corruption, collusion, and cover up, it can only be "THE JERSEY WAY"

Deputy Montfort Tadier said...

Well done for the part you played in getting the Committee of Inquiry through. Were it left to the Council of Ministers and most States Members, this would have been off the agenda 2 years ago.

I have done a related post which your readers can see HERE

Deputy Montfort Tadier said...