When I first started blogging about Haut de la Garenne it was because of the widespread abuse investigation in Jersey; a truly horrific story.
Part of the fallout of that scandal is the emerging evidence of cover-up and complicity of the governing elite, and also, the censorship of actual news by JEP – the Island’s only paper.
The incestuous relationship between the government and paper is nothing new – it is a decades-old bond that does nothing but undermine the freedom and basic rights of the island’s citizens.
The following news report from the Senator Stuart Syvret Blog gives some extremely enlightening historical information that helps explains the current situation in Jersey -
When mainland reporters tried to get onto the Island just after Liberation from the Nazi's in 1945 to investigate growing anger against the war-time leadership focused on a petition signed by thousands of islanders, the Jersey authorities delayed permission for them to land.
The Angry Island - Out with the States
I have arrived here two months after the liberation on the only parts of the British Isles ever occupied by Germans, to find the Island seething with discontent.
For five years the people of Jersey looked forward to the day when they would be rid of the Germans. They hoped that with the British troops would come men from Britain who would inquire closely into the actions of those who were in charge of the Government of the Island during the occupation, and particularly into the action of the States—the Government of the Island.
Two months has gone by and nothing has happened.
The men whose slogan during the occupation was “don’t do any-thing to annoy the Germans" are still holding the same positions and high office. They are the same men who discouraged even such minor manifestations of resistance as the showing of the V sign, the cutting of telephone wires and the keeping of radio sets. They are the same men who assisted the Germans in their mobilisation of the Island's manpower and who used all their police forces to round up the English inhabitants of the Island for deportation to Germany.
Recruitment for the Germans was encouraged, I was told, by the States by methods such as these:
A man applying for employment was told, for example, that the only work available was "gardening." When he went to the job he discovered that this "gardening" consisted of cutting and relaying turf to camouflage German strong points and gun positions.
When in early 1942 the Germans ordered the Island to surrender their radio sets, one man with a few courageous companions issued a leaflet calling upon the people of Jersey to resist the order and hold on to their sets by any means.
The Germans retaliated by taking a dozen hostages. Instead of helping the men who had shown such courage or at least shielding them, the Island officials conducted a whispering campaign which finally forced the leader of the group to give himself up to Germans. He was immediately sent to the concentration camp in Germany, where he is still recovering from the terrible effect of his imprisonment.
But this man, together with many others, will be coming back to the island. Many have already returned, although there is great indignation at the slowness of the repatriation.
The boat bringing people from the mainland regularly comes to the Island more than half empty. Jersey men who have been prisoners of war in Germany have had to wait as much as six weeks before getting a permit from the Home Office to go home.
Wherever I have gone I have found the people here determined to deal with the injustices of all sorts that abound in this Island with its out of date constitution. That is why the Jersey Democratic Movement, an organisation formed illegally during the occupation, is getting widespread support. Headed by a baker, a doctor and a teacher, this organisation is strongly supported by the working people of the Island.
In the two months since liberation it has reached a membership of nearly 2,000. Its meetings are always packed no matter in "which part of the Island they are held”. And this has been achieved in spite of the most blatant and vicious intimidation by-the-powers-that-be.
There is only one newspaper on this Island (The Jersey Evening Post) and it has refused to give any publicity at all to the movement. Not that it needs any, for wherever I go I see chalked on the walls the slogan, “Out with the States."
Before I came to Jersey the Daily Worker received a letter from a woman whose father is a member of the Jersey Democratic Movement and enclosing a letter from him. “Should his name or mine be printed," she wrote,” he would be liable to be beaten up and my sister would lose her job in the Education Office."
"I am asking for this letter to be posted in England," wrote the father. “I should not like a letter addressed to the Daily Worker to be posted here."
From what I have seen since my arrival I have no doubt that the States are using their position here to intimidate supporters of the Jersey Democratic Movement.
A young woman teacher of the Jersey Democratic Movement Committee was told that if she continues her activity she would be deprived of her post, so she resigned.
The Secretary, Mr. A. L. Robson, also a teacher, resigned before he was threatened, to devote himself entirely to the growing needs of the organisation.
The British soldiers on the Island are amongst the most indignant at what is going on. "The great majority of us Tommies of the Liberation Army," wrote one soldier to me,” are wondering when justice is going to assert her rights, and bring to these despicable informers, collaborationists and ' Jerry-bags ' their just deserts.”
“These traitors," he continued, “knew the type of bestial race they were helping. They also knew to what horrors they were sending patriotic Jersey people when their informing caused these citizens to be deported to Germany."
“There is no reason whatever why these traitors should not be brought to trial and punished now.”
“After meeting the people who have done so much during the occupation to help escaped Russian prisoners and who had their own little resistance movement, it makes me wild to see the traitors enjoying the fruits of liberation and living easily on the money of their German masters.”
“Can’t these traitors," he asked,” be dealt with now, in the same way as in Holland, Denmark and other countries? "
And this is the question that is being asked by the overwhelming majority of the people of Jersey.
Sam Russell dated 8th April 1945 (St Helier, Jersey)
So, is it any wonder why there has been the negative press that Phil and Frank so bitterly complain about? They really just have to look in their own backyard; it is right there under their noses with all its festering scabs!