Thursday, October 23, 2008

Jersey Abuse Scandal – Why Aren’t We Moving Forward

I believe part of the reason is the absence of Lenny Harper. Another part is Jersey just had elections and best to keep a lid on the scandal during elections!

That’s not to say nothing is going on. The irrepressible Stuart Syvret is still hard at work and some stunning turn of events occurred this week. It just may be that the house-of-cards that is the States of Jersey, is falling.

Let’s rewind the tape.

Much to everyone’s surprise, on Tuesday, Home Affairs Minister Wendy Kinnard resigned from office over an ‘issue of moral conscience and principle’.

Kinnard and Syvert were at one time friends, as well as colleagues. However, when Council of Ministers decided to get rid of Syvret as Health & Social Services Minister, Kinnard jumped on the bandwagon without so much of a word of warning to Syvret. Later, citing that she was “conflicted” and therefore didn’t take part in the dismissal debate.

On Wednesday – a bigger bombshell dropped! Bailiff Phil Bailhache announced he is resigning and will leave office in June. Bailiff is the highest-ranking office in Jersey – it oversees the government and judiciary – many decry this as a conflict.

Remember, the Bailiff, his brother, the Attorney General Bill Bailhache, Deputy Bailiff Michel Birt and the Solicitor General are all appointed by the Crown. As long as the Queen had no reason to fire the Bailiff, Bailhache could have remained in office for many more years.

Now, don’t forget that British MP, John Hemming, and Syvret went to court in London to force Jack Straw to intervene in the child abuse investigation, chargings, and prosecutions.

Straw, as Justice Secretary in London, has the responsibility for the good administration of justice in Jersey. His office gives him the ability to intercede in the Jersey child abuse scandal. Of course, we’ve heard nothing from Straw yet!

So, just why did the Bailiff suddenly resign?

According to Senator Syvret: I can tell you what has taken place.

Because of the appalling significance of the issues – and the legal action against Jack Straw – the inevitable has occurred.

It has been made know to the relevant people that Jersey’s Bailiff, Sir Philip Bailhache, ‘no longer enjoys the confidence of London’.

Which is a terribly polite and British way of saying – “your finished”.

“We would all like a dignified and low-key exit for you – so we’re quiet content for you to name the date of your “retirement” – and we won’t say anything to contradict that appearance – but you must go.”

“And if you don’t go – well, that would all be really rather messy, wouldn’t it? Best avoided all-round, eh, old chap?”

That is why Phil Bailhache is going.

Also, when Bailhache co-opted the Liberation Day speech, he blatantly attacked the UK media, the Police investigation, and said that ‘the real scandal’ was the bad publicity.

Bailhache has ultimately become an embarrassment to the Crown.

Ok, there were a few additional names mentioned here – more on them tomorrow as well as some shocking information on additional players in the scandal and cover-up. Also, you’ll hear about the Senator’s bold move in the States assembly.