Who Wants to –
Or Who Can –
Continue to Live
With “The Jersey Way”?
I remarked a long time ago that I was going to enjoy this by-election.
Well – perhaps "enjoy" isn't quite the right word – as I'm resigned – in deep sadness – to the fact that our community is in the iron grip of a nakedly corrupt establishment – who are virtually impossible to combat – and whose malign stupidity and unashamed wickedness has done so much damage to Jersey's future.
When I wrote that I would enjoy this election, what I meant was that I personally was unconcerned at the result. And, indeed, such freedom has enabled me to achieve one of the main objectives I had in triggering this by-election; namely – introducing some of the plain truth to the voting public during these weeks of campaigning.
For example – at the Grouville husting a question was asked to the effect: 'whether the recently departed Housing Minister, Terry Le Main, was correct to have resigned?'
Of course the candidates all said 'yes' – but several of them expressed sympathy for Le Main, suggesting that "he hadn't been allowed a proper defence".
Being free to tell the truth – I was able to answer – to applause and the laughter of recognition - that three-quarters of the population of Jersey had known perfectly well for decades that Le Main is a brazen crook and text-book example of a spiv – who should have been prosecuted years ago – never mind remaining as a States member.
I was also able to briefly compare and contrast the "right to a defence" that some believed Le Main had been denied – with the absolute denial of any such right to me during several examples of straightforward, unlawful political oppression I have been subjected to by our oligarchy over the years.
And – by happy co-incidence – who should be sat at the back of the audience but former Bailiff Sir Philip Bailhache.
I was able to point at Phil and state –"there is Philip Bailhache – that man unlawfully prevented the official publication of my Ministerial Notes, which were to be tabled as my defence against the engineering of my dismissal as Health & Social Services Minister."
A statement of fact that even he could make no attempt to dispute.
We only have sixty seconds to answer each question – but had time permitted, I would also have recounted in detail Bailhache's absolute and unlawful denial of any opportunity for me to defend myself when he had me unlawfully suspended from the States for six months – back in 1996 – because I had discovered and exposed a friend of his, then Senator Reg Jeune, engaging in straightforward corruption.
Though the decent population of Jersey know perfectly well that corruption is the very flesh and bones – and the very fuel - of power in the island, the climate of fear which the oligarchy have so carefully maintained over the decades prevents most people expressing that knowledge publicly.
The corruption is never combated because we do not make it an issue of public political concern – because we're too afraid to openly state its existence. People look at what the Jersey oligarchy are able to do to people of no-less seniority than the Chief Constable of the Police Force, Graham Power, and the senior Senator, me – and they think, 'my God – if the crooks can get away with such obviously unlawful oppression of people in positions of power – what will they do to me and my family if I upset them?'
But our problem is doubly bad. Not only are we a community in which the public cannot lead the campaign for a clean-up, because decent people live in fear – we also cannot look to our police, prosecution system, judiciary, media or politicians to root-out the corruption for us – because all of those entities themselves are contaminated with the sleaze.
Of course, there are many decent and honest people in the police – and even a few decent and honest politicians. But when the people who call the shots – who wield the power – want the bent status quo to remain in place – a decent silent majority can be powerless.
Which is why – especially in light of the gravely serious revelations of the last three years – I have had to shoulder the burden of becoming Jersey's first ever political anti-corruption campaigner; a nightmarishly difficult task, that I'm not prepared to undertake – unless I have the clear support of the people of Jersey.
Hence this by-election – and the opportunity it affords me to engage in some plain speaking.
So - at the hustings at St. Saviours and at St. Peters - I used my opening five minute speech to inform the audience of the conduct of Terry Le Main – his friend, Geoff Noel – and associates - and a bent land-rezoning exercise.
A nakedly corrupt enterprise so large-scale and brazen - and consequently damaging to the oligarchy, should the truth emerge – that they have done everything in their power to conceal it.
Those actions have – so far - included a bent cop unlawfully leaking to the then Attorney General, William Bailhache, correspondence from the person making the criminal complaint. Bill Bailhache in turn, unlawfully leaking that correspondence to his brother – then Bailiff Sir Philip Bailhache – who then further broke the law by seeking to intimidate and harass a States member contra Article 47 of the States of Jersey Law.
No matter how bad you imagined the corruption – it is, actually, worse.
For example – and though I've published this before, it bears repeated contemplation – just consider this quote taken from a secret file-note written by the Chief of Police, Graham Power, in July 2007, in respect of senior civil servants trying to stop me from exposing child protection failures: -
"Bill Ogley and the others were persistent and I was left with the clear impression that they were attempting to draw me, in my capacity as Chief of Police, into a civil service led attempt to remove a Minister from Office."
What greater corruption can there be than the concealment of child protection failures; the concealment of child abuse?
Yet the corrupt and criminal concealment of child abuse – is what Bill Ogley and the other civil servants were engaging in – to the disgust of Graham Power – back in July 2007.
But – Graham Power was unlawfully suspended – and the evidenced crook, Bill Ogley, continues to be in your employment as the fourth most expensive civil servant in Britain.
Very strange, no?
As I sit and write this – in June 2010 – there is more than enough published evidence to show any thinking person that the Jersey establishment corruptly sabotaged the child abuse investigation – and that unlawfully oppressing Graham Power was a necessary part of that conspiracy.
But there were also other motives; other pressing reasons why the Jersey oligarchy just had to remove Graham Power from his post. After all – when you have been as corrupt and malfeasant as the Jersey establishment has, for so long, been – what could be more frightening than a straight, tough, nationally respected Chief Constable?
And it is one of those other reasons that I am going to recount in this posting.
I want to begin by reminding readers of something I wrote in my blog posting of the 21st April: -
"However – in the catalogue of errors that has been the Jersey oligarchy's conduct throughout the child abuse scandal – there are three disastrous misjudgements – three terminally suicidal actions – that there was never, really, going to be any recovery from.
Firstly, the decision by the Jersey cabinet – to join with the corrupt civil servants in the deliberate concealing of child abuse – and their engineering of my dismissal as a Minister.
Secondly, the - frankly insane – action of corruptly and improperly suspending the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police Force. A nationally respected Chief Constable and holder of the Queens Police Medal. And doing so – in support of, of all things – the sabotaging of a major child abuse investigation.
Thirdly, the crazed, Mugabesque, police-state arrest, searching and oppression of a prominent opposition politician. The theft of his constituents' private data, the denial of his human rights, the refusal to provide legal representation and attempts to prevent him from even adducing the evidence he needs to defend himself."
Those three criminal and anti-democratic acts of the Jersey oligarchy have several characteristics in common.
However, there is one, shared, characteristic that is more noteworthy than the others.
Behind each of those bizarre and, frankly stupid, acts – there is one, prominent individual – who has been the same controlling and driving force at the centre of each of the three malfeasances.
That individual is William Bailhache.
Former Attorney General – and now Deputy Bailiff.
An evidenced liar and crook.
Back in 2007 he provided a great deal of 'legal' 'advice' and 'guidance' to the then cabinet, in their efforts to engineer my dismissal. He also failed to warn them of the criminality of their actions, and those of the civil servants involved – indeed, he joined in with those criminal actions. He also directed and used then – as his successor as Attorney General continues to do to this day – the Data Protection Commissioner to unlawfully harass and oppress me.
However – it isn't those events of 2007 that I want to focus upon. Instead, I want to examine some – seemingly - unconnected events that occurred in 2008 and 2009; the events I have briefly explained at a couple of the hustings meetings.
During 2007 and early 2008, the Deputy of Grouville, Carolyn Labey, was growing increasingly concerned at plans to re-zone a significant number of areas of open land across the island. Designated in the legally binding planning policy as ‘country-side’ or ‘green-zone’ land, the many fields in question were – supposedly – protected from development.
Jersey is a very small island; around 45 square miles. Land is at a premium. With a population of around 100,000, demand for property is very high. For example, a standard, three-bedroom family starter home, of the kind a newly married couple might buy, cost an average sum of over £500,000.
There is also a tremendous amount of money in Jersey – albeit poorly distributed. Those many people on lower and middle incomes often struggling to make ends meet in an environment that has a cost of living at least equivalent to central London. And the cost of accommodation is the major part of that financial burden.
So – land in short supply; huge demand for homes; the off-shore finance industry injecting lots of money into the local economy – and lots of developers and property speculators – often including local oligarchs – looking to make fortunes in a feeding-frenzy of development.
A market in which a piece of green-zone land might have its already high value - multiplied thirty times – in the course of a single afternoon – if the States can be persuaded to re-zone in favour of development.
There we have a picture of Jersey’s second-largest economic sector: the accommodation industry.
Now – here’s a funny thing. Did you know that during the last four decades of immense economic expansion in Jersey – we have never had as much as one, single case of planning corruption?
Which is quite amazing – when you think about it – because of all the types of corruption to be found at local and regional government level, throughout the developed world, planning corruption is – by far – the most common. One reads of prosecutions and convictions whenever one studies the subject.
Jersey is a small island with a limited supply of land - some of the highest property values to be found anywhere on the face of the planet - with billions and billions of dollars floating around in the island, vast fortunes to be made, and no central government to monitor the conduct of the local authorities. But - in-spite of that seemingly toxic amalgam of ingredients - which could have been assembled for the sole purpose of breeding corruption on a massive scale - Jersey has never - ever - had as much as one single example of planning corruption.
Isn't that just brilliant?
Now – there are two possible explanations for that state of affairs.
1: Jersey property speculators – and the island’s authorities - have all been people of superhuman moral perfection – thus causing Jersey to be unique in the entire global history of modern, developed societies – in having no planning corruption.
2: Planning corruption has been rampant and endemic in Jersey for decades – but the island’s oligarchy have rather liked things that way – hence no charges or prosecutions; it being just another example of “The Jersey Way” at work – a bit like the child abuse. A lot of people know it’s going on – but they’re involved in it – or they consider it too “impolite” to mention it – or they’re too terrified of retributions from the powers-that-be to do anything about it.
I invite readers to weigh-up the probabilities for themselves.
Meanwhile – back to our narrative.
From September 2006 discussions took place amongst a group of people, including the Planning Minister, the twelve parish Connetables, certain property developers and the then Housing Minister – Terry – Tel Boy – Le Main.
These discussions had the supposed objective of identifying land suitable for development to provide “essential” housing for the over-55s, and eventually led to the production of a ‘white-paper’ which was then presented at a number of public meetings.
At face value, this exercise might seem perfectly reasonable; after all, perhaps there genuinely was a pressing need to create such housing.
However – upon closer examination, the exercise had a number of deeply puzzling characteristics.
For example –
• The eight large sites identified for such housing – just happened to be in the countryside-zone or green-zone.
• The twelve Connetables – in “surveying” the populations of their parishes to gauge the supposed “need” for such housing – used different criteria - or even no criteria - from parish to parish, leading to random and amorphous results – the veracity and consistency of which could never quite be pinned-down.
• No methodologically sound, verifiable analysis of the supposed “need” for this housing has ever been produced.
• This open land was being proposed for development – over and above far more suitable ‘brown-field’ sites – such as some redundant glasshouses; the island’s tomato growing industry having declined.
• Strangely, the re-zoning of these eight pieces of land was being rushed through – even though a fundamental review of the island’s planning policies and zoning had begun. Far more rational, surely, to wait twelve months, and examine the need for such housing – and any resultant need for land re-zoning - within the broad policy of planning in Jersey, the ‘Island Plan’?
• Notwithstanding the absence of any methodologically robust justification for, or analyses of, the supposed “need” for this specific type of housing – nor any meaningful contextualizing of it within a broad housing strategy – the then Housing Minister – Tel Boy Le Main – was rabid in his insistence that the “need” was ‘urgent and pressing’ – and in using his political influence to ensure that these eight sites be re-zoned to enable development. Indeed, when bringing forward the proposals for debate, the Planning Minister made it clear he was doing so only because of the insistence by the Housing Minister that the re-zoning for this type of housing was essential.
• Of the eight sites brought forward for re-zoning, a certain property developer – a Mr. Geoff Noel – had a heavy commercial interest in at least five of them.
• Mr. Noel happens to be a personal friend of the then Housing Minister, Terry – Tel Boy – Le Main.
• The same Housing Minster who had to recently resign – for having sought to use his influence to have a prosecution of another friend of his, dropped.
In early 2008, being deeply concerned at the seeming irrationality of this exercise, and alarmed at what may well be the needless destruction of environmentally important open land, Deputy Carolyn Labey brought a proposition for debate before the States (P.33/2008) in which she argued strongly that the proposed re-zoning made no sense ahead of the Island Plan review; that there was no consistency or method in the assessment of the supposed “need” for such housing; and that, in any event, if such need did exist, the States should first look to such brown-field sights as certain redundant glasshouses.
The major part of her proposition was that the re-zoning of the eight sites should not be proceeded with, and, instead should be considered as a part of the overall Island Plan review.
The debate took place in April 2008, and that central part of the motion was heavily defeated – there being a Jersey Establishment Party ‘three-line-whip’ to vote against it.
Subsequently, the re-zoning proposition – P.75/2008 – was tabled, debated – and approved – in July 2008.
However, the two debates – as is often the way of these things – were of particular interest to quite a number of members of the public, who contacted the Deputy – and provided her with information that made the whole re-zoning exercise appear even more dubious.
Deputy Labey then spent some months investigating the matter further, and gathered more information.
What she learnt so alarmed her – she reported the matter to the police.
And not just any police officer – but the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police, Graham Power, Queens Police Medal.
Mr. Power considered the Deputy’s information and agreed that it could be a very serious matter, and that it did, indeed, merit full and thorough investigation.
He handed the case to a senior officer to carry forward – one Dave Minty.
Minty approached the investigation with what appeared to be complete intransigence.
Notwithstanding repeated requests from Deputy Labey to know what progress was being made, nothing appeared to happen. Indeed, Minty flatly refused to formally interview certain willing witnesses, who were prepared to make statements.
Nevertheless, unable to simply ignore the complaints totally, they were instead referred to the Controller and Auditor General.
Earlier in this process – with rumors of investigation beginning to circulate – Le Main is known to have had a meeting with the then Bailiff, Sir Philip Bailhache. It was shortly after this meeting that the investigative process seemed to come to a virtual halt.
Deputy Labey again e-mailed the Chief of Police, Mr. Power, to express concern that the powers-that-be might be slowing the investigation in order to protect Le Main, and/or avoid a major scandal for the States. Mr. Power – quite properly – added the e-mail correspondence to the case-file. The case being supposedly investigated by Dave Minty.
By now, the date was early November, 2008.
It was around this time that Mr. Power - before leaving the island for a short break – was in communication one evening with the then Attorney General, William Bailhache.
Mr. Bailhache raised the issue of the Deputy’s complaint with Mr. Power – and strongly expressed to him the view that it should not be taken seriously. He said “the Deputy’s judgment couldn’t be trusted; one only had to look at who her partner was.” The pressure and stress of the various oppressions we have both suffered having since driven us apart, but at that time I was her partner.
Mr. Power grew angry at this, and informed the Attorney General that his remarks were wholly inappropriate; that the Deputy’s complaint to the police was the proper thing to have done, and that the matter did need inquiring into.
However – unbeknown to Mr. Power and Deputy Labey, Dave Minty had simply been leaking everything – including the Deputy’s e-mails to Mr. Power – directly to William Bailhache. This in direct and flagrant violation of the Data Protection Law.
And – in turn – William Bailhache was leaking at least some of this data – to his brother – the then Bailiff, Sir. Philip Bailhache. Again – this leaking of data – and its receipt – both being unambiguous criminal acts. For not only was the Data Protection Law being broken – it also amounted to a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
That this unlawful leaking of data was taking place was discovered by Deputy Labey – or rather it was revealed to her – in subsequent events.
On the 5th November, 2008, the Deputy received an angry message from the Bailiff’s chambers – demanding that she attend his office that day, as there was an issue he wanted to speak with her about.
Although intimidated by this, the Deputy refused to attend that day, as she had other commitments, but did agree to go to his office the next day – the 6th November.
As soon as the door was closed and she was alone with Philip Bailhache – “he threw across the desk” at her, “a copy of one of her e-mails to Graham Power, and demanded that she explain her actions in making the complaint, and demanded that she write a letter of ‘apology’ to Graham Power ‘for having “misled” him with her e-mails’”.
The actions of Philip Bailhache were unlawful in many respects. Not only was he in breach of the Data Protection Law – he was also breaking Article 47 of the States of Jersey Law – by attempting to intimidate and harass a States member.
Shocked, intimidated and very upset at these events, Deputy Labey – with reluctance – wrote an e-mail to Mr. Power, but not one of ‘apology’; instead it, essentially, just informed him that the meeting had occurred, and what had been said to her.
Mr. Power, by this stage, was on leave in the United Kingdom for a few days. No doubt – once preliminary investigations, and the work of the Controller and Auditor General had been completed, the Police Chief would have then ensured a full investigation did take place.
However – he was unable to see that this happened.
At 8.44 a.m on the morning of Saturday the 8th November – William Bailhache wrote the first draft of the letter of suspension that was to be served on Graham Power – without warning – by Bill Ogley and Andrew Lewis - on the morning of the 12th November 2008.
That being the supposed “emergency” suspension - the letters for which, having - supposedly - been written only in the preceding twelve hours before the meeting on the morning of the 12th.
The “official” version of events went like this: the recently appointed Deputy Police Chief, David Warcup, received an “interim report” by Brian Sweeting, of the Metropolitan Police. This being a peer-review of the historic child abuse investigation.
The report by Sweeting allegedly contained such criticism of the child abuse investigation, that it merited the immediate suspension of Graham Power.
This notwithstanding the fact that four reports by the Association of Chief Police Officers - ACPO – had thoroughly endorsed the historic abuse investigation - and Sweeting did not even interview the two, central figures relevant to the conduct of the investigation – Lenny Harper, and Andre Baker of ACPO – until the 18th November.
That being eight days after Warcup received Sweeting’s “Met report” on the 10th November 2008.
And ten days after William Bailhache wrote the first draft of the suspension letter – on the morning of the 8th November 2008.
Mr. Power strongly suspected that the “official” version of events was not true, and he strove to obtain the evidence.
Eventually – after nine months of official lies – and absolute determined refusal by Terry Le Sueur to disclose this information - Mr. Power eventually succeeded in obtaining the electronic data that showed the true date and time of when the key letters were first created.
Not on the 11th November – as the “official” version of events had it – but on the morning of the 8th November.
Two full days before the “interim Met report” was received by David Warcup.
Plainly – the Jersey oligarchy had many pressing motivations to remove, and attempt to discredit, the Chief of Police – not least their urgent wish to ridicule, in the eyes of the public, the historic abuse investigation – before the politically crucial Deputy elections later that November.
Mr. Power is firmly of the view that amongst those establishment motivations for ‘neutralizing’ him – was his attitude to the planning corruption issues raised by Deputy Labey – and his defense of her in response to William Bailhache’s denigrations.
But – no doubt to the distress of the establishment – the question of planning corruption was not terminated with the unlawful suspension of Mr. Power.
Deputy Labey, in response to constituents’ concerns, continued to research the subject, and press for a full investigation.
In March 2009, I made an unrelated public interest disclosure, by posting on this blog a police report concerning a matter of the utmost seriousness. However – not withstanding the fact that the report in question had already become a public document following its tabling as evidence in the Royal Courts of Justice in London, the Jersey oligarchy decided to use its internet publication by me, as an excuse to mount an unlawful massed police raid against me. At that time I shared the home of Deputy Labey.
I stepped from the door of the house shortly after 9.00 a.m, and was immediately descended upon by three unmarked police cars, each carrying two non-uniformed officers, who leapt from the vehicles and surrounded me – informing me that I was under arrest for a supposed breach of the Data Protection Law. Another two officers were present to take part in the search, and another two had been waiting in a van in the road outside, equipped with a battering-ram – of the kind used in drugs raids – “had it become necessary to effect a forced entry”.
I spent seven and a half hours locked in police cells – whilst the police turned over the Deputy’s house from top to bottom – including the children’s’ bedrooms.
The police had no search warrant.
The Data Protection Law clearly stipulates a due process for investigating any alleged breach – part of which includes the requirement to obtain a search warrant should any raid become necessary.
The police chose to ignore that law – instead relying – unlawfully – on an emergency search power. This was a tactic quite deliberately settled upon by the Attorney General, William Bailhache and David Warcup – because had the raid been conducted under a search warrant for the purposes of the Data Protection Law, the search could only have been undertaken to the extent reasonable and proportionate for the purpose for which the warrant was issued.
And that just wouldn’t do.
The raid and search had many motivations. Not least amongst them, enabling the theft of my constituents’ private data and communications with me – and attempting to identify and intimidate my various sources.
But – also this.
The Attorney General, William Bailhache was increasingly alarmed at the continuing interest of Deputy Labey in the question of possible planning corruption. Clearly – he and the rest of the oligarchs were determined to bury it and protect the establishment from a scandal. But – was a continuing cover-up feasible? What if the Deputy simply had too much information?
Only one way to find out.
The Deputy and I worked from the same office on the premises.
Amongst the files searched and copied by the police during the raid was one of her large file transfer cases, in which she kept some of the information related to the planning corruption.
The box in question was left with its lid open, in a disturbed state on a table in the office.
On the day of the raid and during the next day, the police officer responsible for the operation was quoted in the local media.
He was Dave Minty.
The same man who was prevaricating over investigating the Deputy’s complaints.
The same man who unlawfully leaked the Deputy’s e-mails to Graham Power – to William Bailhache – all those months earlier.
But – Minty suddenly vanished from all – apparent – involvement in the unlawful raid – a couple of days after it took place.
And – even more strikingly – even though it is a matter of public record from the media reports of the time, that he was involved in controlling the operation – his involvement has been repeatedly – dishonestly – denied.
The Advocate prosecuting me for supposed breaches of the Data Protection Law – Stephen Baker, formerly of 7 Bedford Row - and a former employee of William Bailhache - has repeatedly committed perjury during preliminary court hearings, by denying Minty’s involvement.
Why – we must wonder – should the establishment be quite so desperate to pretend that Minty was not involved in the planning or controlling of the unlawful police raid?
And why should the politically motivated prosecution being mounted against me – initiated by William Bailhache – have repeatedly refused to disclose to me the evidence necessary to my defense?
Well – look at this way; such a unique and impressive record – as having had no planning corruption in Jersey during all the post-war years – doesn’t get maintained by accident.
That, then, is one case-study of just how corrupt and defective governance in Jersey is.
This by-election is happening for one reason – and one reason only.
Because I and others have fought against such corruption; fought against it above and beyond the call of duty. But in the final analyses – we few can’t defeat it.
Only the people of Jersey can do that.
But, do they want to?
The out-come of the by-election this Wednesday answers that question.
And no matter what the answer – if I win, or if I lose – Thursday morning is a bright, new start.