Thursday, April 3, 2008

Haut de la Garenne and Continuing Cover-Up

The other day I told you about Anton Skinner, the former head of Social Services in Jersey. Skinner is the one who was given reports of abuse and did nothing other than to allow perpetrators to resign or move into other positions within the system.

During the time that Senator Stuart Syvret was President of the Health and Social Services Committee, 6 years, as well as an additional 2 years as Minister, never once did Skinner inform Syvret or his committee of any of the child protection failures, the abuses or of the cover-ups.

As President of the committee and later as Minister, the reports, or the concealment of such reports from Syvret was a gross and willful offense. It was only last summer that Syvret was tipped-off by whistleblowers about the abuses at Blanche Pierre well after they had been reported!

Syvret demanded the files and was horrified as he read through the evidence. The extent and detail of abuse was so great, that the Jersey court saying the case against the Maguire’s was dropped due to a lack of evidence is just plain bull.

If you watched the Panorama program - and you really should – you are already aware of the letter sent to the Maguire’s as they left Blanche Pierre thanking them for their 110% commitment and love shown to the children in their care.

That 1990 letter of appreciation was authored by Iris Le Feuvre, then President of the then Education Committee as well as, a Member of Parliament.

All of the evidence has been turned over to the police. Seems to me Skinner and the Maguire’s have a lot to worry about!

As you know, I faithfully read Senator Syvret’s blog. Not only is his knowledge of the abuse scandal and cover-up extensive, the comments by readers are insightful and often thought provoking.

Now, just as we thought we were moving forward and taking strides to fix a broken system, Syvret reports: Remember, I said in an earlier post comment that Health & Social Services chief officer, Mike Pollard, issued to about 2500 H & SS employees, a letter which contained a variety of lies?

I wrote a response to it – but within minutes of me getting the bullet as H & SS Minister – my ability to e-mail the entire H& SS group addresses had been blocked – so I was never able to respond.

Syvret has now discovered, through his “moles”: access to the ‘comments’ section of my blog has now been blocked by States of Jersey IT. This means H & SS employees cannot now read the sordid truth about their management.

Call me crazy, but this most recent and continued suppression of information blatantly flies-in-the-face of a democratic and free society in Jersey.

Ironically and sadly, for each step forward that States of Jersey make, they take three steps backwards!

Senator Stuart Syvret Blog