09 March 2012

Four Years Later: The Fight for Justice Still Goes On

Four years ago this week a group of more than 400 islanders gather outside the Jersey Parliamentary Assembly, in St Helier's Royal Square, to remember the victims and survivors of decades of abuse whilst in the care of the States of Jersey.  They also came to demand change to what some called the 'Jersey Way' - the political and administrative systems which allowed this abuse to take place right under our noses, without being picked up. The questions were many. How could this happen? Why was this not picked up? It became apparent that children at the time had tried to tell those in authority that they were being abused, but they were either not believed or threatened. I heard first hand from one of my constituents who said how she and some of the other children had 'run away' from Haut de la Garenne and its culture of abuse and try to tell the police. She says how they were told that they were 'bad children', put in the Black Maria. Those who should have listened were deaf to the pleas of young children, and surely must be partly as guilty as the abuses themselves.

Those who would seek to detract from the suffering of the abused say such things as, 'Most of the children went to Haut de la Garenne were happy and well looked after.' This is no doubt true, but it completely misses the point. Not one child should have had to suffer. They were vulnerable children taken in for different reasons and should have expected the protection of the State, not to have to fear abuse. Moreover, the fact that the abuse remain hidden for so long, signals that there must have been a cover-up on more than one level.

So where are we now?

Well much has happened since. Many attempts have been made, and largely succeeded, by those in power to distract and discredit the abuse victims and the Police inquiry that led to the abuse scandal being blown open. It would take to long to list these here, but other sites deal with these in more detail here and here.
Last year, Senator Le Gresley, former Deputy Bob Hill and myself were successful in our motion to secure an independent Committee of Inquiry to look at the whole area of historic child abuse (More details will followin part 2). I say 'secure', however, as we have seen from this weeks events with the Independent Electoral Commission (now lack of),  there is nothing to stop one man overturning that and cutting back on the most important terms of reference. We must be vigilant and not allow this to happen.

More to follow. In the meantime, keep up the good fight and do not lose faith.    
*Photos courtesy of BBC Jersey 


  1. Montfort.

    The sorry and frightening reality is that what was allowed to happen to those children FOR DECADES can still go on today. Who now can anybody turn to? The strong message has been sent out that child abusers, depending on who you are, will not be taken to court. Look at what Gradwell, Warcup, Le Marquand and others did. Abuse Victims/Survivors STILL haven't got an independent media they can turn to. Is there any wonder that Jersey is known as peado's paradise?

  2. Montfort.

    Let us not forget the words of former Chief Police Officer.

    "The attempts to divert this debate into discussions concerning the trivia of expense claims, is a scandal of which all involved should be thoroughly ashamed." Graham Power QPM.

    Then have a look at THIS

  3. Hi Monty,
    As a victim of abuse as a child at H.D.L.G.
    I would like to thank you for all your work to ensure we get our Inquiry, even though now Bailaiche is in I don't think it will happen and he will do all he can to stop it, and I think he is going to damage any Justice us victims hoped we would get.
    I for one will never give up as we are Survivors and we have to also fight for our childhood friends who are sadly no longer with us.
    Thank You

  4. Remind me somebody exactly why Mike Tyson is celebrated and coming to Jersey as an honoured guest?
    Has this particular celebration gained the permission of the Bailiff?
    Ian Le Marquand's Home Affairs Dept received an enquiry about this man's ability to gain entry to Jersey but says that since he has been admitted into the UK he is able to travel here without restraint. If he had attempted to enter Jersey directly ILM would have been required to make a decision.
    I asked on the BBC whether Tyson is under any form of supervision or sex offenders' register among other things but this is not apparently reciprocal with USA orders and Chris the bike on BBC says we should forgive and forget the ex rapist ex wife beater and ex boxer who bit off an oppenent's ear but I wonder what is the ex quality upon which his celebrity status is now built?
    Is he attending the dinner at the Hotel de France only as a muslim vegan down to his last few millions? Shall Curtis Warren or our very own Mr Carrel be wined and dined at the Hotel de France in few years time......

  5. Montfort.

    Why did the cadaver dog alert to the scent of human death at HAUT DE LA GARENNE?

  6. Let us also not forget the public response of Frank Walker to the Royal Square gathering;

    "Whilst it is good for those deeply effected by recent events to have an opportunity to express their emotions, it is clear by the exceedingly low turn out in the Royal Square today, that the Jersey public recognised that organisers were attempting to use this tragedy to their own political advantage.

    My hope is that the people of Jersey will now come together to fully support the police investigation and the victims. We need to bring the guilty to justice and to care for all those whose lives have been damaged by their treatment in the past. As Chief Minister, I will do everything within my power to ensure that in the years to come our children are the best protected in Great Britain."

    As we are now in those "years to come" maybe if Walker is reading this he would consider offering an interview to either the JEP or citizen's media to update the public of Jersey about how his promise to "do everything in my power" to ensure "our children are the best protected in Great Britain" has been coming along?

    Well, Mr. Walker?

  7. Deputy Tadier,

    Will you please give us your thoughts on the latest shocking revelations and implications of Rico Sorda's blog.

    Are you, or any of the other right minded politicians, going to follow these up on behalf of the decent people of Jersey?

    Is anyone confident of obtaining full & honest answers to the questions these allegations pose?

    If not, please have your questions worded very carefully to let their non-answers speak volumes.

    The wider public must be made fully aware of what is going on.

    Please help by responding soon.


  8. Monty the "don't lose faith" mantra is wearing a bit thin. The need for more positive joined up action among the so called "progressive" rump in the States is already a part of history.
    I don't expect you to produce a miracle but somebody has to get to grips with this absurd political vacuum. The Pitmans express similar "faith" exhortations on their blog but what should we have faith in?

    Shall we stop this silliness soon and get organised?

  9. Hi Montfort.

    Just put up the audio from today's Version of Questions without Answers.
    You & your reader's can have a listen HERE