Sunday, October 13, 2013
BBC JERSEY - MATTHEW PRICE - BRUCE WILLING
"BBC RADIO JERSEY"
"THE MATTHEW PRICE SHOW"
"AN INTERVIEW WITH BRUCE WILLING"
On the 11th October 2013 Matthew Price interviewed Bruce Willing on his breakfast show concerning the issues surrounding the alleged Abuse Victim HG - the various reports - the forthcoming reports and the Dean of Jersey. This all relates to the previous suspension of the Dean of Jersey, the Very Reverend Bob Key, and the Korris report.
The issues surrounding this whole affair have become vast when really it should only be about the alleged victim and safeguarding within the Church of England.
This brings me to the Bruce Willing interview conducted by Matthew Price on the 11th October. Now, Bruce Willing is certainly entitled to his opinion, and he gave it, but the interview concerned me for a number of reasons. I was alarmed at how Bruce Willing was banding around Mental Health issues just to strengthen his argument. I noticed that he stated that he is a former church warden, just like the alleged abuser, so he might not be coming from a neutral position. He alleges that the Dean was hung out to dry without good reason - but if one looks at the Korris report there would seem to be ample reason for the suspension (a neutral act) and let us not forget that the Dean himself refused to take part in the Korris Report.
Alleged victim "H.G."
Bob Key "R.K."
5 days later R.K responded from his dean of jersey work email account saying, “I have not been able to access my gov.je email for a few days so have only just found this”.This seems disingenuous as H.G. had not sent her email to that address. It implies that Dean R.K. had just discovered its contents whereas it is highly likely that he had already discussed it with other recipients, not least with Vicar
On the subject of requesting a church warden to relinquish his duties Dean R.K. expressed concern about how the people on Jersey would react. Later R.K. reported, “In Jersey there is a real feeling that suspending someone reverses the burden of proof in the public mind. Instead of our much cherished ‘innocent until proven guilty’, the suspended person becomes thought of (no matter what those in authority may say), as ‘Guilty until exonerated’
H.G. felt disbelieved and publicly humiliated. In reaction to her sense of getting no adequate response to any of the issues she raised she appealed to the higher authority of the Bishop, to Lambeth Palace, and to the media in the form of BBC Jersey, all to no effect. Following this she went on a much publicised offensive against any number of people connected to the Church.
Following this H.G. was arrested for breaking a harassment order, brought before the magistrate and as she had no money, was at that time of no fixed abode and appeared mentally distressed, she was remanded in custody.
Safeguarding Advisor J.F. records her concern at these extreme measures and worked at setting up care for her with the prison chaplain. She is shocked when on 11th October H.G. was bound over and summarily deported from the Island for three years and put on a plane with no-one to meet her, no planned accommodation and no money. J.F. wrote to Bishop Michael, “Whilst I don’t think this is our responsibility in that the court decision and action was not of our making, I do feel we have a basic responsibility, as we would have for anyone, to do all we can to ensure her wellbeing
There seems to be no spirit of willingness or inquiry in this matter. I found that some of the Island clergy had been actively discouraged by the Dean of Jersey from fully engaging with me and therefore complying with the Bishop’s request.
However, as a result of the absence, or withholding, of records on Jersey and Dean R.K.’s resistance to co-operate with my requests, against the expressed desire of his Bishop, I have had to look more deeply into the possible reasons for this and comment upon whether there are disciplinary matters involved.
The Church let H.G. down. Despite the difficulties of her background and disablement, and struggle with some everyday practicalities, H.G. was none-the-less in employment, pursuing hobbies, socializing and wanting to be accepted in the church community. Over the next three years H.G.’s life changed from having no history of being in trouble with the law, to having a police record and being a displaced person, homeless on the streets of the mainland.
Dean R.K. has not refuted H.G.’s description of their meeting. The only witness was Dean R.K.’s personal assistant who is his wife and she has refused to be interviewed for this Review.
Safeguarding Advisor J.F. described the annual training sessions on Safeguarding she had offered on Jersey over the past seven or eight years. She was not aware that the Dean of Jersey had attended at any time.
This is what Bruce Willing is failing to acknowledge. This where Matthew Price should have been stepping in and challenging Mr Willing. He states that the Korris Report is biased, unfair and in some cases completely wrong. He sounds amazed that the Report was completed without the cooperation of the alleged victim HG. That didn't stop BDO Alto releasing their report on the Financial Management of Operation Rectangle without interviewing the main person DCI Lenny Harper. I wonder what Mr Willing made of that? This was published by the Jersey State Media and run as Gospel - complete with Ministerial support one should add.
The way Mr Willing dismisses HG from 4 minutes onwards is staggering. He makes it quite clear that this is not about the alleged victim. Then he starts on about her Mental Health issues. The 'VOICE' of the victim has again been smothered.
I believe that everyone who appears on the Matthew Price breakfast show should be properly challenged. That goes for everyone. If I was to again appear on the Matthew Price show I would expect to be challenged on what I was saying. The Breakfast Show is BBC Jersey's flag ship show. They must up their game. It is the only show I listen to on BBCJ. There are so many issues now facing Jersey that it is time for some tough talking. Anyone who sits in front of Matthew Price must realise that they are not been given a platform without challenge. The Matthew Price interview conducted with former Deputy Bob Hill which features on the VFC blog was very good. This was helped by the intelligence of the person being interviewed. Jersey needs the BBCJ to up their game.
I have emailed Matthew Price and BBCJ and let them know my feelings and if they would like to reply to my concerns. This is about the greater good of Jersey. The Breakfast Show is important. I have offered them a chance to reply to my comments so I can consider publishing them on my blog. I want to engage so we can move forward and make it better and more challenging for everyone.
Here is the email I sent:
From: rico sorda [
Sent: 12 October 2013 09:35
To: Matthew Price - Jersey
Subject: New Blog Posting
I will be doing a posting on the interview you conducted with Bruce Willing this Friday morning. I'm not going to be holding back on this idiot. There are two points that I will be looking at and they are.
!. Who exactly is Bruce Willing ("BW")
2. The quality of the interview
I believe if someone like BW is going to be allowed to spurt his opinion without challenge by an opposing view at the same time then it is down to the interviewer to maintain some balance. The man was using Mental Health issues to further his argument without having any concern to the issues of Mental Health, and secondly, the day after Mental Health day. He was very misleading on the bounding over of HG.
Here is where I bring you in Matthew. I thought you let him have a platform to spout his nonsense without challenge. You could have, and should have, pulled him up. I believe you are researched enough on these issues to have done so. This is where the creditability of BBC Jersey can be improved amongst the public. If you had seriously challenged him Matthew, and you should have, we would be speaking positively right now. My posting wont be a BBC /Matthew Price bashing piece as that is not where I want to go but everybody needs to up their game. Don't let people use the breakfast show to spout nonsense. Let everybody know that if they come on the Matthew Price show in the morning that the Bullsh*t gets left at the door. That means everybody. Even if I was to appear on the breakfast show I want to be challenged. The Bruce Willing piece should be the end of giving people a platform without challenge. I know Bob Hill was on later but the damage had been done. The issues of Mental Health are very close to my heat and it sickened me the way that idiot was using it to further his argument.
If there is anything you would like to say on my posting then I will make sure it is added. Even if it's just a quote.
You might not agree with what I say but I believe all feedback is positive.
This email will feature on my posting any reply will be treated with discretion
I did let my feelings get the better of me by calling Mr Willing an idiot but the way he was using Mental Health issues with no concern to HG was appalling and still makes my blood boil.
I will keep readers informed of any developments. Like I have said in the email I'm not posting to bash the BBC I simply want them to up their game. The future of Jersey demands it.
Part Time Investigative Journalist