Friday, 26 November 2010

Culture of Fear.

Deputy Paul Le Claire gives Citizen’s Media an in-depth interview on how, is in his opinion, our Government and Civil Service operates. Due to uploading restrictions we have edited this interview in order to comply with these restrictions and at the same time represent the views of the Deputy.


The Deputy talks about such subjects as the removal of former Senator and Health Minister Stuart Syvret. The suspension of the former Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM. The Deputy’s own speech in the States Chamber (which can be listened to HERE) concerning the conversation he allegedly overheard of the former Chief Minister and Former Home Affairs Minister about the retired DCO Lenny Harper.

There is a culture of Fear that runs through this island that is not only felt by us mere mortals, it is also felt by the elected members of our Parliament. Deputy Le Claire fully expects reprisals for speaking out so should be applauded for doing so.

Team Voice would like to thank Deputy Le Claire, not only for showing the courage of speaking out, but for supporting Citizen’s media by giving us a full and frank interview and an insight to the workings of our government machinery…………………………The Culture of Fear.



Submitted by VFC.

61 comments:

  1. Well done Team Voice and bravo Deputy Le Claire for speaking honestly and eloquently. Thank you for supporting Stuart and I hope you get to become Chief Minister.

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  2. A brave interview by Deputy Le Claire. You spoke very honestly, and rest assured you will have a lot of support from us ordinary folks now you have had the courage to speak out.

    May this interview be seen far and wide.

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  3. Great to hear another politician standing up for what is right. thanks voiceforchildren

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  4. Thank you mr le claire for showing so much courage just like mr bob hill and stuart syvret.

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  5. Wow i have to say im surprised at how good this interview is well done team voicw and deputy le claire.

    I believe slowly but surely the the truth about the jersey government is being heard

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  6. It was nice to hear some honest talk, it is just a shame the rest ot the States Members canr do the same.
    You will have your time believe me.
    I so look forward to the day i face all you corrupt states members in court.
    Jersey Born Abuse Victim.

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  7. well said Deputy Le Clare,I think you put into words what I and many others believe,it was time that this issue was brought into the open.

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  8. Hi VFC

    As you are aware I have mentioned Deputy Le Claire on my blog concerning these issues. I know Deputy Le Claire was put out by my posts, we have spoken about them, and about the overriding subject of FEAR.

    Deputy Le Claire has done the one thing I wanted him to do, that was speak out and tell the truth. I think this is a great little interview and I applaud the Deputy for telling it like it is. We must not show FEAR, that goes for States Members and members of the public. I think its brilliant that on the day Deputy Le Claire spoke with some honesty and integrity I witnessed some real courage.

    For the ABUSE SURVIVORS

    I have nothing but admiration for the courage, togetherness, honesty and damn determination to get Justice. I will be posting tonight on your courage. You got Justice today. I know how some are feeling, but believe me, the courage you have shown to put those two in the dock must never be underestimated.

    You have Inspired Team Voice

    The Battle will never Stop

    PS

    Deputy, remember, the Voice is always watching.

    Only Joking

    rs

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  9. Nice. I appreciate that you have problems with hosting, so can I offer to host the entire interview, without edits? You can then post a link here...
    But an excellent interview. And good to see the chap speaking out.

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  10. A Hero of our time.26 November 2010 19:32

    What exactly is Deputy Le Claire claiming credit for having revealed? Earlier on this blog he was being criticized for cowardice in having refused to meet with Napier and explain what he heard. Surely that still stands?

    There is very little open discussion of the climate of fear and intimidation. In part it is the paranoia of a small community. In part it is simply cowardice on the part of people who will not risk any personal loss in the greater public interest. Selfishness abounds. There is no obvious sense of solidarity.

    The media is conformist and deferential to power holders. It is also part of the mechanism of intimidation.

    That said, let’s be honest, the state does not kill political dissidents unlike many governments in the developing world. Careers may however be broken very easily. There is no justice as Mr Power, Stuart Syvret and Mr Day know only too well. Jersey’s rulers brush criticism aside, regarding themselves as invulnerable. In many ways they are invulnerable, because they have ground down working people into sullen resentful silence, leaving their loyalist supporters to turn out at any election and maintain the status quo. Many elected politicians are frightened of their own shadow and will not challenge the state and the holders of power. How many candidates at the2008 Senatorial election were prepared to talk about the disgrace of child abuse at HDLG? Certainly none that were elected.

    The truth is our rulers are not invincible. What needed to oppose them is organisation and courage.

    Foot-stampers of the Motherland unite and crush all dissent!

    “Nothing instructs the authorities better than pressure from below” Adam Michnik KORE

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  11. A Great Day For HDLG Victims ,and for two good coppers.

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  12. Thanks for posting that, and an even bigger thanks to Deputy Le Claire for having the balls to say it in public.

    I agree with his assessment of what happened to Stuart, which is basically that he has been right all along with his facts.

    As for how Stuart has responded - how many of the people who criticise him could honestly say they would have behaved impeccably given the insults and intimidation to which he has been subjected? If you force a dog into a corner, don't be surprised if it turns around and bites.

    Sadly, Jersey has become a corrupt government that uses the power of the state and its patronage to silence its critics.

    Stuart's life is being destroyed by them. They are tying him up in legal cases and court hearings, fining and imprisoning him, and will continue until they have silenced or completely destroyed him.

    These people have so few morals and so little conscience (they put power above all else), that they really don't care what happens to him, or anyone else, including the children who were raped and abused in their institutions.

    Meanwhile, abusers and abuse-protectors are sitting comfy in well-paid civil service jobs, smiling up their sleeves. They know that there is so much international finance involved, nobody wants to change the status quo.

    And Chris Bright and Rob Shipley,

    "...all went along for the ride.
    How can the life of such a man
    Be in the palm of some fool's hand?
    To see him so obviously framed
    Couldn't help but make me feel ashamed
    To live in a land, where justice is a game.
    "

    Welcome to Jersey!

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  13. You see now Deputy Le Claire, there is life after going against the corruption in Jersey!!!

    Bet it feels good, don't it?

    Well done fella, you are now trusted, and welcome to the rebellion....

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  14. What a day!
    Paul Le Claire finally comes out.
    Stuart Syvret sueing The SOJ.
    And HDLG goes National if no International. And this time....
    No chance of coverups!!??

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  15. Thank you Deputy Le Claire for no longer keeping what you know to be true under a bushel. You have been very courageous and I'm sure you'll be rewarded for your bravery.

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  16. Thank you Team Voice & A BIG THANK YOU & you know who you are, for supporting us & being with us on our day of finally getting Justice & giving us the strength to carry on.
    I just want to say to any States Members who read this, you are next on our list & we will see u in Court, for knowing & allowing the ABUSE of us CHILDREN at HDLG, & you know who you are, there is i am afraid no escape for you this time.
    And we will fight till the end to see the States made Liable for allowing this to go on.
    It cannot get swept under the carpet anymore.
    Jersey Abuse Victim.

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  17. I voted for Paul when he first stood for election, but I have to say there have been times since then when I thought my decision to give him my vote had been misplaced, I have lived for some years now and have seen pretty much all the political 'rainbow' but I have always prided myself that I could determine a person of integrity and vote accordingly. Paul your interview was EXACTLY what I had always expected of you, yes make no mistake the 'morally bankcrupt' troglodites will be out for blood but, hey! you are not alone in your disgust and contempt of what passes as democracy in Jersey. My vote for you was sound and come next election you will get it again BUT I and many others will expect and demand you be utterly fearless, use Parlimentary Priveledge and get the answers WE all want. What is really scary is that Philip Baillache want's to take this Island to 'Independance'?? from the U.K, now that IS scary.

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  18. Devils Advocate26 November 2010 22:33

    It appears that the interview has been edited, what was removed and why?

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  19. Yes well done Deputy Le Claire.However I am still a bit miffed at you for not bringing this up before or during Stuart's trial,which may have made a difference to the outcome.Anyway I wish you luck and hope that the repercusssions of this will not ruin your life as it did Stuart's.Camelia.

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  20. Hi VFC.

    Wow at last we have got someone else that is speaking out about the "Culture of Fear" apart from Stuart.
    That could be the most important Interview that you have done, now you need to get more Members to stand up & do the same as Deputy Le Claire.
    Now we must all support Deputy Paul Le Claire from now on. He has put everything on the line & one thing is sure they are going to be a lot of unhappy people in the Hall's of power.
    I take my hat off to you Paul, did not think you would have said anything put you have said more then anybody could have hoped for. Deputy Paul Le Claire has not just come in to the States he has been in that place for over Ten years, his been a Senator & now he's a Deputy. So I for one would like to see him go for Senator again & if we could put our backing behind him, he will get in & that would be a great plus for survivors.

    The Fight For The Truth Continues.

    TJW.

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  21. Hi VFC

    Again I applaud Deputy Le Claire but lets not be knighting him just yet. There is work to be done in the states and he must join the other fine deputies like the

    Pitmans, Hill, Wimberley, Higgins, Tadier , Crowcroft

    He must start asking questions and pushing the COM

    Yesterday was a bloody good start on Monday the work starts.

    rs

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  22. Devil's Advocate.

    I did explain in the main posting that the interview was edited due to uploading constraints on Youtube.

    Tony Gallichan.

    Thank you for the offer of hosting longer interviews and should it start becoming more frequent that the interviews need it, I will take you up on the kind offer.

    Jersy Abuse Victim.

    Thank you for coming on here and speaking up. The fact that you took your case to court and are fighting your corner, I would say you are not a "victim" you are a "survivor."

    Please keep speaking out and encourage other victims/survivors to do the same. You have growing support, not only from members, of the public but States Members also.

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  23. Dear Everyone,
    Thank You for your comments on this interview. I appreciate some people on all sides will not be happy with me for when or why I said what I had to say, I did not say it to please anyone. I did not say what I have said for political capital, either. I offered the evidence to the former Chief of Police as soon as he was suspended. I did not reveal it in public, nor did he reveal the fact it was me, that had been in his affidavit, as it was a matter for his court case, which in the end was dropped, when they dropped his suspension. The words I heard needed to be said in a publicly recorded forum. I wanted it said in the Royal Court and /or a committee of enquiry. (Which I have always supported.) As for only speaking out now .......and the need to ask questions etc..., can I please inform you, that I have been asking questions for some time and fear has never stopped me from doing so.

    Here is my question from the 8th of September 2008 to the Chief Minister. Some considerable time after (as Napier reveals) confidence in the investigation had completely dissapeared.

    States of Jersey Hansard (extract)
    8th September 2008

    2.7 Deputy P.V.F. Le Claire of the Chief Minister regarding the victims of historical abuse committed whilst in the States’ care:

    Will the Chief Minister apologise unreservedly to the victims of historical abuse committed while in the States care and reaffirm his commitment to support the police wholeheartedly in their pursuit of bringing the guilty to justice as soon as possible?

    Senator F.H. Walker (The Chief Minister):

    I have from the outset of the child abuse inquiry expressed my deepest sympathy and support for victims of child abuse and I do so again today. However, I understand that possible claims for compensation are being pursued and I am advised that in the public interest no further comment can be made at this stage. I can positively reaffirm my commitment and that of the Council of Ministers to support the police wholeheartedly in their pursuit of bringing those guilty to justice as soon as possible.




    It was on 8th September 2008, question 2.7 in Hansard for that day. There is more to read in that question as follow ups were asked. You can see them all by putting this URL into your internet browser

    http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/documents/hansard/23893-28013.htm#_Toc210013606

    I have tabled a question for Senator Terry Le Suer which is due soon also as he is the New Chief Minister. Unfortunately I expect I will receive the same OLD answer.
    If no one else can say sorry in the States at least I can.
    I am most sincerely, very sorry !

    Paul

    P.S. Thanks for the offer of support that I have received from people who know what will probably be heading my way now. It is as we all know, nothing compared to what the children have had to go through.

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  24. VFC, thanks so much for the interview - it was beyond refreshing!

    So nice to have a place to come to to get this kind of information.

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  25. Paul

    I really hope nothing is heading your way. If something does turn up I will have a good idea who sent it.

    All good stuff and gives me hope but lets not kid ourselfs the chamber is toxic.

    The Fixer is now coming onto the radar

    rs

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  26. Well Deputy Le Claire just make the citizens aware when and if this payday occurs so that we can give you all the support you need!

    Thank you for being so honest at interview and explaining why you left it so late in the day to come forward.

    I hope your forecast for Ex-Senator Syvret's Journey to Strasbourg come true.

    Not a very good perspective on the Ministers and their Chief is it!

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  27. Thank you citizen media.

    Deputy Le Claire thank you also for giving an honest account of a Deputies view.

    A step forward in the right direction. Long may it continue.

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  28. I agree with Pauls comments, the culture of fear in Jersey is nothing in comparison to the fear the children must have felt
    We must break this cycle before another generation of damaged children are cast aside
    ,

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  29. I cant wait for Strasbourg to view the voting patterns of the FSL.

    How will that lot deal with the worldwide media attention?

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  30. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/jersey/8141738.stm

    Here lies the problem

    Paul Le Claire. ''I can positively reaffirm my commitment and that of the Council of Ministers to support the police wholeheartedly in their pursuit of bringing those guilty to justice as soon as possible.''

    Round and round it goes.

    Round and round it goes.

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  31. Brilliant interview Paul. I've now almost forgiven you for going along with that Troy lawyer nastiness.

    Should this video be sent to the Independent or the Guardian?

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  32. You see how uplifting it is speaking the truth. Now compare that with the garbage coming from the CM & the COM

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  33. Can we get that that piece concerning PPC and public interest disclosure up online. It would be good seeing what was discussed. This is a very good interview thank you.

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  34. 3.7 Deputy T.M. Pitman:

    It is good to know that nobody’s dongles are exposed, I think. Could the Minister clarify why the identity of the proposed new Police Chief was revealed on the Voice for Children Citizen Media site some weeks before it was announced? How could that happen within the process?

    Senator B.I. Le Marquand:

    I believe that there was a leak of information in relation to this, which was probably caused by one of the other candidates before they were interviewed and who seems to have indicated who was the preferred candidate. I was aware that information had got out in relation to that and somehow found its way on to the particular blog site. I was not going to make any statement or announcement in relation to this until such time as we had received satisfactory references in relation to the preferred candidate. Notwithstanding the fact that I knew there was a leak, it would not have been right for me to have made a formal announcement at an earlier date.

    3.7.1 Deputy T.M. Pitman:

    Could the Minister clarify, when he said “the preferred candidate,” how would another candidate know that there was a preferred candidate or had a decision already been taken and a candidate selected? I am not clear on that.

    Senator B.I. Le Marquand:

    It was indicated to the candidates on the same day as the interviews had taken place as to who was the preferred candidate of the board. We had a process over 2 days in which those who had got to the interview stage were moving around to different interviews at different places and they clearly would have come across each other during that process. Also, it is quite likely that they may have returned to the U.K. on the same flights, which is a further complication but that is my understanding that that is how information got out; by one of the other candidates.

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  35. I have posted this exchange because it ties it with your blog posting concerning Bowron.

    So when you have an Interview for a top police job you go in and they say hi mr smith great tru but we are giving it to Bowron.

    I don't get it is that what he is saying

    Deputy Rondel voted against the appointment because of a flawed process.

    rs

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  36. Yes the local “accredited” media should be hanging their heads in SHAME

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  37. "I believe that there was a leak of information in relation to this, which was probably caused by one of the other candidates before they were interviewed and who seems to have indicated who was the preferred candidate"

    What?

    How about an interview with the new Chief of Police?

    Deputy Le Claire what was your take on this?

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  38. Me Neither Rico

    Was it that man saying?

    How could a candidate who has not been interviewed have any information to leak about said preferred candidate.

    To be able to leak before the leak was provided if you get what I am saying:)

    I think what is trying to be told is News got out on a selected candidate (Chosen one) This is what was leaked.

    Interview was a farce.

    How correct was that leak.

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  39. Re; "How about an interview with the new Chief of Police?"

    That is a good idea and I shall try to make it a possibility. However I did e-mail the Home Affairs Minister, Senator Ian Le Marquand, asking if he could arrange for me an interview with the outgoing Acting Chief Officer, David Warcup. The e-mail can be read HERE.

    As is so often the case Senator Le Marquand did not even acknowledge receipt of the e-mail let alone reply to it.

    I will, closer the time, request an interview with the new incumbent but don't hold out ANY hope. Any interviews will no doubt be exclusive to the lovely, cuddly and SAFE "accredited" media.

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  40. Le Marquand really is flailing around in the dirt isn't he, desperate to try and find the leak. Keep guessing Skip old chap!!!

    And I see by and earlier posting, his rantings are teetering on the brink of oblivion, the man is clearly falling apart. But when you peddle as many lies as this guy does, it must send one crazy trying to remember them all.

    “Insanity, is doing the same thing in the same way & expecting a different outcome.”

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  41. Le Marquand is an absolute disgrace but he made his motive clear prior to election "BRING THE POLICE UNDER POLITICAL CONTROL" says it all really re -
    Graham Power suspension and dismissal

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  42. In any of the four countries I have lived in, any lawyer - or ESPECIALLY any politician - who would publicly state a desire to bring the police under political control, would be considered a dangerous threat to society. That statement would not fly anywhere else I'm afraid, and surely that well educated lawyer/politician who said that knows how utterly corrupt he sounds to the rest of humanity who read this.

    Paul

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  43. Good interview! Le Claire is in touch with the reality of the internet, which many of his colleagues are not. Some of that is probably generational, i.e. the C.M.is pretty old and out of contact with this generation. Bet Le Claire knows the lid will never be put back on the mess that is Jersey, and he is really much better off on the side of truth. If enough of the rest of them did what LeClaire just did here, the culture of fear would be within the guilty circle of bent cops like Warcup, and the corrupt liars within the C.O.M., civil service and local media. Sooner or later anyone reading the blogs will know it won't be the whistleblowers and citizen media who should feel threatened.

    Elle

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  44. Is It A Cover-Up29 November 2010 11:30

    So the Minister for Home Affairs (ILM), believes that the leak came from another candidate prior to his/hers interview. So the scenario is lets say, three candidates, one being Mr Bowron, who say, meet in the departure lounge and discover they are all going for the same job.
    One of those candidates then miraculously knows that Mr Bowron will be appointed!!!

    Well not quite, because ILM then says:

    It was indicated to the candidates on the same day as the interviews had taken place as to who was the preferred candidate of the board. We had a process over 2 days in which those who had got to the interview stage were moving around to different interviews at different places and they clearly would have come across each other during that process. Also, it is quite likely that they may have returned to the U.K. on the same flights, which is a further complication but that is my understanding that that is how information got out; by one of the other candidates.

    Comment: Oh so it wasn't prior to a candidates interview, it must have been after the 2 day process surely, as only at that stage would it have been fair to have made a selection. Okay, so Mr Bowron has been chosen, so in keeping with best practice, the other candidates are told before reference checks are made!!!! Anyway so it was indicated to the candidates so; the fact that they may have returned to the UK on the same flights had no bearing whatsoever as they had already been effectively told, nor does ILM's first statement stack up!

    ILM sounds as though he was trying hard to cover up the fact that the decision had been made prior to any of the other candidates arrived in Jersey. The interview process was a charade to make it look like a fair selection on merits, whereas, it may be true that the appointment may have been via a direct approach to Mr Bowron.

    Who knows?

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  45. Maybe Deputy Le Claire should go sit next to 'Big Trev' then he might not feel so afraid all the time. Who knows, Testicular Fortitude could start to rub off on some of the mice?

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  46. Sadly the 'culture of fear' isn't specific to Jersey,its alive and kicking in the UK as well, in national and local government.

    Intimidation and criminality is what they 'do' to protect their interests. Stitching up anyone who dares to speak out is the norm.

    Murder also happens.

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  47. Hi VFC.

    Put up the Audio of Question 9 from today.

    Here

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  48. Vote Paul Le Claire.

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  49. Ian le Marqaund, new he was going to be the next
    Home Afairs Minister
    Before he even stood for election!!!

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  50. Thank you Deputy Le Claire. I voted for you before and will do so again. Its refreshing to hear a politician speak honestly and not spin.

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  51. I admire Mr. Le Claire for speaking out. It would be interesting to hear have any formal complaints been made or is this now to be put to bed.

    Does Mr. Le Claire intend to pursue the matter any further?

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  52. VFC

    We find this interview to be highly informative and will be interested in how Deputy Le Claire is treated by his colleagues.

    Students ask if you and your readers could please help us with answers to the following questions:

    (A) Do you know of any fairly recent examples of outspoken Jersey whistleblowers who have not faced threats of (or actual) retaliation? We are not asking for identifying names, just examples.

    (B) Does Jersey have any recent examples of citizen recall of their elected officials? Please feel free to provide the names of relevant public officials.

    (C) Is legal appeal to UK oversight authority - similar to that brought by Stewart Syvret - highly unusual? Or is it fairly common to request UK oversight? Your opinion or examples would be most welcome.

    Thank you!
    O.C.R.

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  53. O.C.R.

    In answer to your questions.

    (A) I know of no whistle blower who has not faced reprisals for speaking out. On the contrary, every whistleblower I do know of have suffered reprisals. There is, as demonstrated in the interview with Deputy Le Claire, a culture of fear against speaking out. People have seen what has been done to our most Senior Politician, former Senator Stuart Syvret, Simon Bellwood, Graham Power QPM, Lenny Harper, the list goes on. People are frightened, myself included, that if they speak out they are going to get a politicised police force send 10 policemen round to search your house and computer without a warrant and drag you through the courts, while our government’s media do all in their power to trash you through the press.

    (B) No. I don’t believe that is possible over here.

    (C) Constitutionally London/Westminster/Whithall have got Political oversight and do have the power to over-throw our government. However, it would appear that they are just not interested. As far as I am aware Stuart Syvret is the only Politician to request London to fulfil their constitutional obligation(s). I believe that a local Lawyer, Advocate Phillip Sinel has made a number of submissions to Whitehall along the same lines but has only ever been fobbed off by them.

    Jersey residents are predominantly politically unaware and that is no fault of theirs, it is (in my opinion) the way the “accredited” media and government like it. Or if they are aware, too scared to make a noise. Again as the interview with Deputy Le Claire demonstrates, that fear is also felt by politicians.

    Hope this is helpful.

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  54. The idea that local politicians might be able to remove Chief Constables or demand that they shall defend their policing activities is now being proposed in the UK by the Coalition government - so Jersey's behaviour might be setting the current trend.
    Of course professional policing is a relatively recent thing and the relationship with the public is still evolving. It is sad that the role of the Honorary Police in Jersey should have been allowed to deteriorate because the simple notion that the public might police themselves is attractive.
    Various forms of "honorary" policing are being encouraged in the UK too - especially now that cost-cuts in the paid service are so widespread.
    Perhaps somebody can write about USA arrangements where so many police and law enforcement officers are "elected" or appointed by virtue of their political suitability?

    With regard to people complaining to the London government for justice from the Channel Islands - well this is as ancient as Grosnez Castle.

    The Channel Islands used to share a similar relationship with colonial America before 1775 - and "justice" was ultimately dispensed from London.

    The Americans have broken with that system but a few outposts of the old empire still retain colonial links so far as appeals etc are concerned. Whole governments can still be removed when necessary as the Turks and Caicos example shows.

    The Privy Council ledgers in London are stuffed with the complaints from Channel Islanders over many centuries about all sorts of matters.

    19th century writers like Abraham Le Cras are a good starting point for anybody who wants to learn about the historical evolution of the current system based upon London's benign neglect.
    Some of Le Cras' published works can be found on the NET.

    Stuart Syvret's efforts are just the latest in a long line of protests that ultimately have to be sent out of the Islands seeking justice or resolve.

    Senator Sandeman in Jersey petitioned the Privy Council against the flooding of Queen's Valley shortly before she died. Others have taken individual grievances against judicial and administrative decisions to London ,Strsbourg and even Brussels.

    We live in a changing world where international intervention does not have to involve a gun boat. There are many bodies that have a developing role in promoting decent standards for everybody but of course, individuals are still needed to constantly challenge and test those who we dare to trust with power....

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  55. VFC and Mr. Gruchy,

    We thank you for your detailed answers, and will continue to follow what we see as the balance of power challenges faced by Jersey whistleblowers.

    Mr. Gruchy asked, "Perhaps somebody can write about USA arrangements where so many police and law enforcement officers are "elected" or appointed by virtue of their political suitability?"

    - Students answer: In our particular locale, judges are appointed by a mayor or governor from a list provided by a nominating panel. Judges must be subject to voter approval for retention, generally after two years, depending on the type of court assignment and level of legal jurisdiction, such as "City" or "County Court" or "District." We also have a State Supreme Court, and that authority sometimes overlaps with the U.S. Court of Appeals.

    The higher up the level, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is our highest legal authority, there is increased political influence whether a particular judge is subject to retention election or not. Our Supreme Court nominations are quite partisan, with confirmation vote negotiations expected to run mostly along party lines. Highly partisan confirmation by our national elected officials has become increasingly the norm, here. Supreme Court judges are never subject to any retention vote by the electorate.

    Regular rank and file police officers in our specific community are never subject to elections or any official political identification. Large cities often have a citizen oversight panel for police activities, but not always. Cities usually have a certain amount of mayoral influence as balance, but the District Attorney will have an influence on police work.

    Police Chief elections and appointments vary too widely in the U.S. to cover here, but we also have Sheriff elections in most places in the western states. Because many of these Sheriff elections are local only, the voter turnout is usually small enough to reward the candidate with widest name recognition and/or largest budget.

    Although party politics play a very strong role when the election is state-wide or national, most of our particular city's local officials are not identified along major party lines on the ballot, and usually do not usually receive financial assistance, publicity or public endorsement from the parties.

    Nevertheless, the rural areas of the U.S. tend to vote Republican, and the urban areas tend to vote Democrat, regardless of the state. The voting trends of the suburbs often decide results in national and statewide elections.
    ----------------------------------------Teaching Team:
    This topic goes to the very purpose of our coursework, which is to compare various systems and their checks and balances, and to help students become critical thinkers and better citizens. This is especially relevant in the US because throughout our history as a nation, we have struggled to balance local and states rights against federal. We retain a hodgepodge of systems at our state and local levels.

    As you may well imagine, as in any other modern society, it would be impossible for us to teach only a particular local political viewpoint to underage public school students. Our students come from highly diverse backgrounds and nationalities. We are beholden to a system of parent and administrative oversight as well as being subject to political pressure, should we become too controversial at the local level.

    In comparing various systems of government, we evaluate the availability for a "remedy," when something breaks down in the political or judicial sphere, and we also compare and contrast the local media bias in several countries to help students become more discriminating media consumers.

    We may not impart any political slant on our own country but we work to help students to become more responsible, aware and engaged. It is our belief that enlightened and critical thinking will make them better citizens of the world.

    O.C.R.

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  56. VFC and Mr. Gruchy,

    We thank you very much for your detailed answers.

    Mr. Gruchy asked, "Perhaps somebody can write about USA arrangements where so many police and law enforcement officers are "elected" or appointed by virtue of their political suitability?"

    We attempted to post an earlier answer by students to Mr. Gruchy's question, above. It proved too long to submit here, but I will try to answer in an abbreviated form.

    There is no shortage of political influence on the American judiciary. The "higher" the court, the greater the role of the political parties. There appears to be little detectable national political influence on local police authorities, however.

    In our particular locale, judges are appointed by various special commissions and after two years, in most cases, local judges are then subjected to a public vote of retention, depending on the type of court and the level of legal jurisdiction, such as "City" or "County" or "District" Court. The initial appointment may or may not be political, but the retention vote by the public is often based on the evaluations of the judges published in the local media. In our city, lawyers, in the form of the Bar Association, provide an evaluation of the judges by lawyers who have appeared on both sides of cases.

    There is a separate process for the nomination of candidates for the "State Supreme Court" and a very different, much more politicized process at the national level for appointing and overseeing judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals.

    Our highest judicial authority is the U.S. Supreme Court, with each appointee submitted by the U.S. President and approved by a confirmation vote from both houses of our elected legislature. These confirmation votes for Supreme Court candidates are almost completely politicized, with votes by our elected officials falling mostly along party lines.

    The U.S. has always struggled with the issue of state vs. federal rights. This has led to a seemingly endless variety of local governing styles. The procedures governing Municipal Police Chief appointments or elections and oversight can vary widely according to local political statutes.

    Oversight for the Police Chief and for citizen complaints about policing may come from a special citizen panel, a designated authority of elected or appointed board members, or to an elected mayor and/or elected city council.

    The public safety division of the community's civil service often has full hiring responsibility for rank and file officers, and there is no election or political appointment involved for police officers. It is often against local legal statutes for a police officer applicant to be asked about political views. It is very easy to find examples of American police corruption in the daily media but little of what is reported appears related to party politics or political appointments.

    In summary, we find many legal controversies are between the local and national authorities and between the two main political parties, but the negative effects on judges and police are dependent on many other factors, especially at the local level.

    O.C.R.

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  57. Lord Carswell's Panel report on the role of the Jersey Crown Officers will be published on Monday 6th December.
    This report will be posted on the relevant web site along with all the submissions and transcripts of evidence.
    Anybody interested in the devlopment of government - on both sides of the Atlantic - would find a great deal of interest here.

    The Website seemed to be down ten minutes ago but we are assured it will be up and running again on monday.

    Somebody might be able to add the link here or on monday?

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  58. Tom Gruchy.

    Lord Carswell is holding a Press Conference this coming Monday to present his Report/findings.

    I have contacted the Chief Minister's Department/Communication Unit asking permission to attend as "Citizen's Media" and further asked that I might get an interview with Lord Carswell as has been granted the "accredited" media.

    Naturally this will be refused me but it will be an addition to the archive we have concerning all the refusals we've received in our requests to film Press Conferences/Scrutiny Panel meetings etc. Which I'm sure would be of great interest to our over-sea's readers such as O.C.R.

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