"SOMETHING INSIDE SO STRONG"
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
THE COMMITTEE OF INQUIRY - PASSED BY THE STATES OF JERSEY
"SOMETHING INSIDE SO STRONG"
THE COMMITTEE OF ENQUIRY
PASSED TODAY IN THE STATES OF JERSEY - 43-0
A QUICK POSTING
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