Sunday, 24 February 2008


The Jersey Care Home investigation seems set to be big news.

What is not well known outside Jersey is that this is mostly down the Green Party Senator Stuart Syvret.

Stuart has had to endure persecution and vilification because of his determination to bring out the truth. Last autumn he lost his position as Minister of Health and was shouted down and not allowed to make his end-of-year speech in the parliament.

First elected to the States on 13th December 1990 as Deputy of St Helier No.3. Elected as Senator in 1993 and re-elected in 1999 and 2005.

He has been censored by the main newspaper. See here for a letter that they refused to publish -

However, after the letter was published on the internet, the newspaper backed down and printed it. It’s well worth reading:-)

You can read his blog at -

I love his quote “This blog, for example, is my own, small and ineffectual attempt to influence people as a counter-weight to the vast tracts of bilge, irrelevancy and effluvia we are fed by the mainstream media.”

Here is part of his report on his attempt to raise the issue in the States (parliament)

“Consider – and this is merely one example: a majority of States members voted to have me dismissed. The central ground for this action against me was that I was supposedly “undermining staff moral” – by getting very angry at things like the 18 month failure to detect abuse I describe above - and demanding of very well-paid senior managers that they start doing their damn jobs properly.

As the evidence demonstrates, these self-same civil servants then set about engineering my dismissal – in order to protect themselves and hide their many gross failings.

If a majority of States members weren’t generally ambling around in a torpor – going from one PowerPoint presentation to another - and pretending that this equates to doing work – had they applied some rudimentary thought – had they done a little research - they would have sent a clear message to Frank & Co that, actually, the decades of failure, utter incompetence – and worse – on the part of Jersey’s child protection apparatus had to end; - “Damn “staff moral” – the service does not exist for the benefit of those who work in it – it exists for the clients. If these very expensive managers cannot rescue a child from 18 months of abuse; if they see nothing whatsoever problematic in using coercive and punitive solitary confinement against children for days, and even months at a stretch – this nearly two decades after the Pindown scandal in the UK - then it is they we are going to sack – not the Minister because he has “undermined their moral”.

As I said in an earlier post, the “mistake” – though obviously, it wasn’t – I made was to be on the “wrong” side. Mangers versus victims? The abused versus those whose idleness and incompetence had failed to rescue them from abuse? I sided with the victims. Listened to them – believed them. The senior civil servants had to get rid of me from that instant.

If the States were not culpable; if the States were to exhibit some leadership and understanding, they would have recognised the very clear and obvious fact that the engineering of my dismissal was yet another symptom – yet another example – of the services being out of control, unaccountable and invulnerable – the very culture which has led to decade after decade of abuse going largely unreported and unpunished.

It’s not as though most States members could even claim ignorance of these machinations. Notwithstanding Phil Bailhache’s unlawful obstruction of the formal printing of my official Comments in response to the dismissal proposal, a photocopy of my response was distributed.

In this documentation – as one of the appendices – was the proof that the letter sent to Frank Walker demanding my dismissal, and signed by his friend Iris Le Feuvre – was, in fact, largely authored by the Directorate Manager of Social Services, Marnie Baudains – perhaps the most culpable of all senior officers for the many gross failings in child protection.

As I said – States members had this evidence in front of them – yet a substantial majority of them clearly concluded that the unprofessional gross misconduct involved on the part of a senior civil servant who, in order to protect their own position, set about political manoeuvrings to have their Minister sacked – was of trifling concern, compared to “undermining staff moral”.

Understand this: no other democratic, respectable legislature on the face of the planet would have taken this approach: – clear-cut evidence in black and white that a senior civil servant was a party to engineering the dismissal of a Minister in an attempt to hide their own deficiencies? “Well, we don’t care about that – what matters is that we mustn’t “undermine their moral”, the poor dears.”

So – a substantial majority of States members to blame for maintaining and continuing the culture failure towards vulnerable children?

Yes, clearly.

By acting as they did, the States of Jersey simple embarked upon another wretched episode in the culture of concealment.”

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