Monday, 19 March 2012

Democracy RIP......."Strangled At Birth."

In what has been described as the biggest assault on Democracy since the occupation Former Deputy Daniel Wimberley's proposition P.15/2011 which was unanimously passed in the last parliament has been ripped up and torn to shreds so it is beyond recognition and replaced by, what many of us believe to be, a desperate attempt to hold onto feudal power in Jersey.

An Electoral Commission that was supposed to be "independent" of any politicians is now full of politicians chaired by the Former Bailiff, and now Senator, Sir Philip Bailhache, who's brother, the Deputy Bailiff, Chaired the States Sitting that inevitably got his brother elected as the Chairman of the Electoral Commission.

Former Deputy Daniel Wimberley urges the people of Jersey to boycott this (highjacked) Electoral Commission and DO NOT apply to be a part of it, DO NOT legitimise it.

Below is a Press Release, sent to all the island's State Media, as well as Bloggers (Jersey's only Independent media). Below the Press Release is an open letter from Mr. Wimberley to the Residents of Jersey.

PRESS RELEASE From Former Deputy Wimberley.

Daniel Wimberley, who first proposed the establishing of an Electoral Commission and steered it through the States, has today published an open letter urging anyone thinking of applying to serve on the Commission to think again.

“I myself have been approached to do just that, and I have decided – no.” he said.

In the letter he writes: “It is indeed seductive. Go on to the Commission, establish what are the real fundamentals of reform, have a real debate and real public consultation. You can start from a blank sheet of paper and get the fairest, most democratic and most effective system for Jersey. That after all was the original idea. But now I sadly have to point out - it is a lost cause. It is just not going to happen.

The letter points to three factors which prove that no one should apply to serve on the Commission: it is now controlled by States members, its terms of reference have been doctored to ensure that the public remain disempowered, and the independent experts to act as a check and balance on the process have been removed.

Mr. Wimberley said: “The purpose of the Commission has been completely subverted,” he said. “It has been stolen from the people. The idea was to have an open and honest look at how we elect our representatives, to bring a better democracy to the island. Now it is a plaything of the establishment. They will cement their power, and make the island less democratic. It is truly appalling..
“And so I urge anyone of integrity – do not get involved with this farce.”


My advice to anyone thinking of applying to serve on the Electoral Commission is – don’t.

It is indeed a seductive notion – go on to the Commission, establish what are the real fundamentals of reform,  have a real debate and real public consultation. You can start from a blank sheet of paper and get the fairest, most democratic and most effective system for Jersey.

That after all was the original idea. But now I sadly have to point out - it is a lost cause. It is just not going to happen.

Having States members on the Commission was extraordinary enough. At a stroke the States destroyed the independence of the Commission. The full-time politicians will control what happens.
But there have been two other two massive changes which have gone almost unnoticed.  There will be no outside experts, either on the Commission itself or sitting as an advisory panel. And the Terms of Reference - which were carefully written so that the Commission would look at all sides of the question and come up with a solution which could command the support of the public - have been dismantled.

How very sad. A Commission planned in good faith has been replaced by something completely different. And not worth working for.

Independent experts giving on-going advice and comment on the record would have been a check against vested interests taking over the process, and would have ensured fair play and best practice. That is exactly why we use them in other important and contentious areas, be it advice on our economy, the inquiry into the root causes of the death of Mrs. Rourke, and so on. But this vital check and balance has been removed by PPC.

And then the Terms of Reference.  First, PPC removed “voting systems.” But voting systems are a) a vital part of electoral reform, and b) precisely what determine how the range of views of the electorate gets to be reflected accurately in the assembly.

For example, in elections like the Senatorials where there are several seats, someone may vote for candidates A, B and C. But they may actually have clear preferences: they may want candidate A a lot, candidate B a bit less, and candidate C - well, he or she is better than nothing.

These preferences can and perhaps should influence the final result - especially in our non-party system - but any consideration of this has been excluded by PPC. So this is the first way they limited democracy.

Secondly, PPC have altered the terms of Reference to make sure that the Commission cannot actively seek out a way for islanders to have a say in who ends up as Ministers, via the votes they cast and their preferences.  After all, the most common complaint of residents about Jersey elections is this – “why vote – it does not make any difference.”

So once again, they took action to limit democracy. Why?

The point about representative democracy is that the people have the last word. They can remove a government that has failed or is acting blatantly in the interests of one group and not in the interests of everyone.

The changes to the Commission’s membership, the changes to the Terms of Reference, and the removal of any oversight from outside, serve precisely to ensure that the people do not get this power. The government we have now is here to stay. 

The idea that the public could have preferences between candidates, the idea that the public should be able to remove the government, and the idea that the public should be able to decide on who they want in government – these ideas have been taken from the table by the powers-that-be.

There is a big sickness at the heart of Jersey when an attempt to bring about better democracy in the island is strangled at birth.
Job done. Democracy RIP. (END)

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Exclusive Footage of "Eddie" Cadaver Dog at HDLG.

Once more VFC is able to bring its readers/viewers another, what we are told is, a world exclusive.

With the assistance of Former Senior Investigating Officer of the Jersey Child Abuse Investigation, and Former Deputy Chief Police Officer Mr. Lenny Harper, we are able to bring you exclusive video footage of arguably the world's most renowned Cadaver Dog "Eddie" not only working at the crime scene of the Former Jersey Children's Home, Haute de la Garenne, but alerting to the scent of human death.

Not a great deal of these Cadaver dogs work has been reported in the State Media, other than to discredit them, so we asked Mr. Harper to document for us just exactly what is happening in the video below, what does a Cadaver dog do? How significant to the investigation the dog was? What, if anything did he (the dog) find?The results, it has to be said were astounding. Mr. Harper agreed to our request and once again we thank him for his commitment to the truth and justice.

For viewers information "JAR/6" is the fragment of child's skull.

00.00.0 Getting ready. I was reluctant to let the dog inside as I did not feel that it would do much good. In truth, I was a little sceptical – I had not felt a favourable impression from the handler (Martin Grimes) at our initial meeting and I was dubious, although my opinion of his qualities and integrity was to markedly change as events unfolded. I began to realise as I worked closely with him over a period of months that what I originally took as arrogance was simply supreme confidence in the ability of his dogs in the face of jealous, empire protecting rivals who were not as professionally capable. Throughout the investigation, we subjected Martin and his dogs to many ‘verifying’ tests, from burying swabs in sand (which he always found no matter how large an area), to minute blood stains. The dogs never failed. Many of these tests were carried out in front of Jersey politicians and media, including Channel Television and Diane Simon of the JEP. Frank Walker and Andrew Lewis were only two of the politicians who witnessed the ability of the dogs in hugely impressive displays. Funny how they all forgot this when they jumped on the bandwagon which sought to ruin Martin Grime’s reputation. One of the most spectacular exercises occurred when one of the Anthropologists brought a vial of sand back that she had removed from the tomb of a mummy in Egypt. We put this vial on a beach, below the sand, and let Eddie off to look for it. The dog amazingly sought it out in a few minutes and gave us the reaction you will see in this video. To get back to the start of the video and my initial doubts, after a few days outside I had at least gained a grudging respect for Martin’s hard work and dedication. I still was not keen to extend the search inside the house with the dog; however, I reluctantly conceded that we should look at all our possibilities so that we could walk away and say that we had given it a good shot. You can see me standing looking less than confident.

00.00.45 The first indication that the dog (Eddie) is finding something amiss. His behaviour has changed, and is remarked on by the handler. He is initially reacting further down from where we were to eventually find the initial fragment, (which ILM and others still incorrectly claim to be definitively identified as coconut) and in the flow of the drainage from the area where it was found. To clarify, Eddie is trained to trace the scent of dead human flesh. He will react where this scent is found, not necessarily where it was originally located. His strongest reaction will normally be where that scent is strongest, which will usually be where the dead flesh has lain longest, but he will sense it in areas where the scent has been carried, for instance, by drains.

00.01.08 Eddie is starting to react strongly now. Although still some yards from the finding of JAR/6, he smells something which has been carried down in the drainage from the original source. We were later to find that the drain ran down from where we found JAR/6 and where the bones were found by the builders, who suspected that they were also the bones of juveniles. One of them identified a child’s pelvic bone from the internet. These bones were found with children’s’ shoes which were to be later the source of interesting conflicts between the evidence of the pathologists and the staff at the Jersey Museum.

00.01.50 The doors and wall where Eddie is reacting so strongly now lead into the room where the top wall adjoins the stair area where JAR/6 (the infamous initial fragment) was found. Note the change in the dog’s behaviour, and the strong indication from his that there is something to be investigated here. It is important to note at this point, that the dog is only telling us that the scent of human death is here. He is not telling us that there has been a murder; he is not telling us that this is the spot where a body has been buried. He is only telling us that the scent of human death is at this spot. He is saying, “There is something here for you to investigate.” It is worthy of note, that this is also next to the location where builders found the bones which they thought were human juveniles, and where they were told that if they found bones to let “bygones be bygones.”

00.02.25 Eddie is now at the doors leading to the stairwell where both JAR/6 and the “builders’ bones” were found. Note that he is reacting strongly. To corroborate Eddie’s reaction we used the most up to date geological equipment supplied to us by the British Army and the Metropolitan Police (more services obtained through the use of contacts and a hospitality budget!) for which we paid nothing. These surveys confirmed inconsistencies in the sub floor levels.

00.02.39 Eddie is telling us that there is something we need to investigate on the other side of the door and he wants through to indicate this to us.

00.02.58 Eddie is now reacting very strongly and indicating to us that the scent of dead human flesh is in this location. This is where we were to find JAR/6, which the establishment continue to say was only coconut, but cannot explain how Eddie reacted as he did, nor indeed, how the lab at Oxford found Collagen.

Collagen is not found in coconut or wood, it is only present in mammals, which would seem to destroy the claims of the Jersey establishment, aided and abetted by the Jersey Evening Post and Channel Television, that JAR/6 is coconut or wood. Again, it is worthy of recall, that the builders who found the bones at this location thought they were human, and that one of them actually identified a bone as that of a child’s pelvic bone from the internet. Additionally, the police officer who was called to the scene was also dubious of the bones’ origins, as was the female pathologist who attended. She “did not like” the situation and referred the matter to her boss who said the bones where not consistent with being human. However, an Anthropologist later stated that he was incorrect and the measurements he quoted were entirely consistent with the bones being children’s’ pelvic bones as identified by one of the builders. The Anthropologist further stated that the Pathologist was not qualified to make the statement that he had.

00.04.06 Now Eddie has just left the wall adjoining the stair area where he reacted earlier. The drains in the building run from those stairs, under the adjoining wall, and down the room where we are now standing. As the dog is trained to detect the scent of dead human flesh, he is now following the strong scent emanating from the other side of the wall and being carried in the drains under the floor of this room and down the room towards the corridor seen earlier in the video.

00.04.15 Note the dog’s return to the wall. This was almost the exact spot where JAR/6 was found. It is a few inches from where the builders found the bones which they thought were human and which they were told about, “Let bygones be bygones.” If this dog was a waste of money, then how did he lead us to this exact spot? How did he later, in the ‘live’ presence of Wendy Kinnard (the then Home Affairs Minister) and Graham Power (the then Chief Police Officer), lead us to the bones in the cellars which an Anthropologist in the United Kingdom said were “fleshed and fresh” when burnt and buried? It cannot be a co-incidence that this dog, trained to detect the scent of dead human flesh, reacted so strongly in an area where we were to find a fragment of substance initially identified by a professional, accomplished, Anthropologist, as a part of a child’s skull, and right beside the spot where builders found bones and children’s shoes which they thought were human bones. No amount of spin by Le Marquand and others can contradict this, and no amount of misinformation from Warcup and Gradwell can conceal this truth.

00.04.41 Eddie still on stairs, right above the location where JAR/6 was found. He comes down again to the exact spot.

00.05.20 Eddie still reacting strongly at the spot where JAR/6 was found.

This is the live video, filmed on a mobile phone as it happened. The film was made by the Homicide Search Advisor of the National Policing Improvement Agency, on his mobile phone. He was to later say that the way we had carried out the search of HDLG was a “shining example” and should be documented as an example of good practice. Where has this recommendation been lost in the mists? The reactions of the dog speak for themselves. Eddie is not telling us that murder was committed at HDLG. He is telling us that somewhere in the floor-space of the premises; the scent of human death has been present. He is telling us that there is something there for us to investigate. His findings have been corroborated by the finding of the bones and teeth, by the results of the surveys carried out by the most sophisticated of electronic geological equipment, and by the evidence of builders and former residents and victims of abuse in HDLG. This video totally contradicts the spin of Frank Walker, Andrew Lewis and Diane Simon of the Jersey Evening Post, all of whom were taken on a tour of the building and given a demonstration of the ability and capability of Eddie and his companion "Keela" the blood detection dog. All of them were aware of the true situation relating to the dog and the finds. All of them, for their own reasons, chose to ignore the truth and to peddle the myths of those seeking to discredit the victims of the horrific abuse within HDLG. They are now, in my opinion, exposed as craven cowards and not fit to lick those victims’ boots. As for Martin Grimes and the dogs that they have tried to discredit, they are now working full time for one of the best Law Enforcement Agencies in the world in the USA.(END)

We will publish some of the documented evidence concerning the finds of human remains in the comment section of this post.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Discredited State Media V Bloggers (protocol 2)

In part two of our exclusive and in-depth interview with the Chairman of chairman's Scrutiny Panel (Parliamentary Select Committee) Deputy Tracey Vallois we discuss the ongoing Leveson Enquiry into the Culture, Practices and Ethics of the "accredited" media.

The Deputy concedes that she has "no idea" as to why Bloggers (Jersey's only independent media) are so discriminated against by being excluded from filming Scrutiny Panel Hearings when the disgraced and discredited local State Media (not the Deputy's words) are given carte blanche when it comes to filming even though they breach the protocols and Bloggers NEVER have.

The Leveson Enquiry has taught us that the "accredited" media are not sufficiently regulated and regulatory bodies such as the PCC have proven to be a complete waste of time. Which puts pay to one of the excuses wheeled out by the Establishment when they say Bloggers are not regulated, when in practice they are probably more regulated than the accredited media.

Still Jersey's local State Media who regularly churn out little more than government propaganda, misquote and misrepresent, politicians to suit their own agenda are not held to account and in reality answerable to nobody.

In stark contrast the local Bloggers such as VFC have NEVER been accused of misquoting, misrepresenting, or unfavourably editing to suit our own agenda and have been complimented by just about all of those who we have interviewed, still the State discriminates against us.

Deputy Vallois appears just as disillusioned with the State Media and lack of investigative "journalism" as we are. She too claims to be a victim of Channel Televisions "journalism" and goes onto question why the JEP are patting themselves on the back as if they are some stalwart of journalism because they put in an access to information request!

It is high time Jersey's State Media was investigated for their culture, practices and ethics. Their very uncomfortable and close relationship with politicians and the like. Which, as discussed in this interview, was a recommendation put forward by the Scrutiny Sub Panel chaired by Deputy Trevor Pitman that will no doubt gather dust just like the vast majority of Scrutiny recommendations that might hold the true power of this island to account.

VFC has never been accused of the unethical practices employed by the accredited media and deserve, at the very least, a level playing field. Indeed the local State Media should be looking to raise their standards to that of the majority of local Bloggers.

Again we thank Deputy Vallois for her support of Bloggers and for this full and frank interview.

Part one of this interview can be viewed HERE

Sunday, 4 March 2012


On the 12th of January this year (2012) we "Citizen's Media" received the latest incarnation (below) of the protocol concerning filming (or not) of "PUBLIC" Scrutiny (Parliamentary Select Committee) Panel Hearings. After reading the protocol we discovered that it was much the same as the others that have been dreamt up in the past and really only there to prevent Bloggers from engaging the public in the political process.

It was signed by the Vice Chairman, Deputy Stephen Luce, who most will know is the new Deputy of St Martin after defeating former Deputy Bob Hill in the last election. Deputy Hill was/is an avid campaigner for open and transparent government and supporter of Citizens Media. These attributes appear completely lacking in his Successor, Deputy Luce, as this latest attempt to exclude the public, in favour of, State Media should demonstrate.

Our Ref 510/1(42)
12 January 2012

New Protocol for Filming at Scrutiny Hearings

Dear “Citizen’s media

The new Scrutiny Chairmen’s Committee has considered in depth how it can best conduct its hearings in a professional and businesslike manner whilst maintaining the opportunity for visual media coverage. The Committee has held a meeting for all Scrutiny Members recently and decided that preferable way forward was for webstreaming, similar to that which operates in other jurisdictions. This means that all visual recording would be operated centrally and streamed. Any media outlets would be able to apply for permission to use footage taken centrally with no changes made to such format.

However, this is currently being looked into in detail and is not a short-term solution. Consideration has, therefore, been given as to the best way forward in the interim and it has been agreed that a standardised procedure is required for all involved in Scrutiny Hearings, be they Panel Members, witnesses, public or media.

It has been agreed that no visual footage will be permitted by the “Citizen’s media”. “Accredited” media wishing to take visual footage will be permitted to do so for the first five minutes of each public hearing only (it is anticipated that Scrutiny and PAC hearings will be held in public) and may not take any footage of the public but only those present at the table.
Everyone is very welcome to attend all or parts of Hearings to take notes. Also any media interviews with the Panel, Sub-Panel, PAC Chairmen or witnesses can be arranged to take place outside the States Building either before or after Hearings.
Yours sincerely

Deputy of St Martin
Vice-President, Chairmen’s Committee (END)


Regular readers will be aware that, in the past, these protocols have been hair-brained, ill thought-out, nonsensical and discriminatory against Bloggers.....and this latest incarnation is no different. So rather than (as we have in the past) question it, challenge it or point out, to the authors how 19th century, backward, nonsensical and draconian we believed it to be we chose simply to ignore it as it is only a very small part of the bigger picture that is the "secrecy" of this administration.

However an occasion arose where the protocol was breached by the "accredited" (State) media and one of the Scrutiny Panel Chairman, Deputy Kristina Moore. So in order to prove our point, that the protocol is a complete waste of time, and not worth the paper it is written on we complained to the head of the Chairman's Panel Deputy Tracy Vallois, asking who will be held to account/sanctioned for this blatant breach? Of course we knew nobody would, or even could, be sanctioned thus proving our point.

Here is the complaint made to the Chairman of the Chairman's Panel.

from: voiceforchildren
to: t.vallois
date: 11 February 2012 10:52
subject:  Sanctions/complaint.


I contact you in your capacity as Chairman of the Scrutiny Chairman's panel.

On the 12th of January 2012 I received the new (draconian)  protocol of filming (or not) Scrutiny Hearings. It must be said, no matter how draconian these protocols have been/are, that "non accredited" (Bloggers) media have adhered to them throught. The same can't be said for the "accredited" (State) media and in particular Channel Television. Yesterday 10th February 2012, despite the new protocol stating that the "accredited" media can only film within the first five minutes of a hearing, Channel Television turned up to the Health, Social Security & Housing Panel Hearing, long after the first five minutes and filmed. Not only did they film but, (and again with total disregard to the protocol), filmed a member of the public, and broadcast it on their 6 o'clock news despite the protocol stating the "accredited" media "may not take any footage of the public but only those present at the table."

Channel television appear to continually disregard any rules/protocols. Back in July 2011 I published this Blog Posting, of which I produce a section of it here.

"As for the role of the island's media, one has to question their motives. At this hearing were members of the public, among those members of the public, were victims/survivors of Child Abuse. A request was made at the beginning of this hearing and assurances given that members of the public would not be filmed by the media and reproduced below, is the "official" transcript of that.

Male Speaker:
"Could I just say before you start I do not think members of the public want to be filmed by the media.  

Deputy T.M. Pitman:
Are you going to focus on us?  Please, thank you."

The "thank you" from the panel Chairman was a consequence of receiving visual assurances from the media that they agreed with this request. The request was made, not least, because one of the members of public present, who is also an Abuse Survivor, is the target of threatening and intimidatory phone calls, and has even had a stranger come to their door to, among other things, threaten him/her not to reveal the name of their Abuser. This Survivor has subsequently received more threats since this hearing." (end)

So the questions remain just what is the point of these protocols if in practice they mean nothing? They appear totally pointless and are regularly ignored by Channel Television.

Please regard this e-mail as an official complaint, but it is difficult to know who the complaint should be aimed at and indeed what, if anything, can be done about it? Who is at fault here, is it the Scrutiny Panel that allowed Channel Television to film (out of time) yesterday and for not assuring members of the public were kept out of shot? Is it Channel Television who is at fault for having total disregard for the protocols? Just as importantly what realistic sanctions are in place for such beaches of protocol? If a Blogger was to turn up at one of these Hearings and switch a video camera on, what would the sanction be? Now that CTV has breached the protocol who, if anybody, is going to sanctioned?

I dare say neither yourself, nor any of your committee know the answers to these questions as these draconian rules are made up at the drop of a hat and in reality don't mean anything and are a waste of time that only serve to prevent "independent" media (Bloggers) from filming meetings.

As mentioned earlier this is an official complaint please treat it as such and I would like to know what the consequences will be for these breaches of protocol and who will "suffer" the consequences?


A series of e-mail exchanges then took place which resulted in the Chairman, Deputy Vallois, agreeing to this interview (Part1 below) for which we are very grateful and appreciate her support for Citizens Media. It is important to point out that Deputy Vallois was not party to the decision (vote) to exclude Bloggers from filming the Scrutiny Hearings and after a request she was the only Chairperson to reply to the e-mails and "promptly" too. All other Chairmen were asked for an interview but the e-mail wasn't even acknowledged. That said, Deputy Macon, and Senator Ferguson, as mentioned in the video, did not agree with the exclusion of Bloggers, so still waiting to hear from Deputies Moore, Young and Luce...........