There has been much talk about the Council of Ministers' stance on not wishing to pursue a Committee of Inquiry. I am not going to rehash the rights and wrongs of this decision, save to re-iterate my firm belief that this is not a decision for the Council of Ministers, but for the States Assembly.
I am supportive of the Committee of Inquiry, and have related some of the grounds below. To summarize, though, it is unfortunate that in all the recriminations that have been fly about regarding alleged mismanagement and mishandling of the investigation, the two things that seem to have been forgotten are (i) the (feelings of) the victims/survivors themselves and (ii) how it was that the abuse was able to occur at all.
The following statement is something I posted on my facebook wall last night in response to someone who was sceptical that the CoI would acheive anything worthwhile and not represent value for money:
'The question, for me, is why and how this abuse was allowed to happen in the first place. These were particularly vulnerable children who were entrusted into State care. When abuse did occur, the victims at the time were generally not belie...ved, punished and so the cycle continued. In order for this to have happened, there needed to be people in key positions of power who either passively or actively facilitated this culture. There were suggestion at the time that senior figures - politicians, police and civil servants were involved. If we are to learn lessons, we need to know what went on.
Much like what happened in Ireland, Belgium and other notable places, Committee of Inquiry did help to expose decades of corruptions and cover-ups (and/or general bad practises, neglect) that allowed those cowardly and sick individuals to get away with what they did.
And it is exactly to stop allegations of conspiracy theories on the one hand and exaggeration on the other that this needs to be investigated.
I will not be able to sleep at night or face future generations, having heard what I have heard, and knowing the vast amount of unanswered questions that still remain, if I do not at least give an opportunity for this Committee of Inquiry.
The message is simple though. If you do not want to incur huge costs (social and financial) as a Government, do not let children get abused in the systematic way they were allowed to be in the recent past. The blame must always rest with the abusers and political facilitators, not the victims or those who are trying to help.