Friday, March 7, 2008

How brave people stood up to the Jersey Establishment

'The only thing neccessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing'. Here we have a case when good men-even men in some authority try to do something. We heard in the last few days about witnesses being intimidated.I understand this only too well. They all protect each other. (Nudge nudge wink wink-so 'n so has a little weakness' and they harden their hearts and cover it up and worse still, allow it to continue.They leave the horrible reality and throw mud and allegations at those people trying to help. There is no excuse for this. It is one of the most hideous and depraved things I have ever heard of, that children, already perhaps unloved and badly parented should have been used as a sex sweetshop for people who show themselves so far out of the realm of humanity, that any punishment is too good.

So what have we today?? A letter ridiculing the police officer in the investigation, and a man who has tried to help for sometime, realising something was wrong.Who 'has his own agenda'-yes-too right!He and the Jersey police are standing up to some unpleasant characters.

Here are some of the details. I am so mad about this, that I am writing about it again today, though I wanted the investigation to go on for a while and then comment. Now that the bright shining light will shine on the guilty, the situation will be reversed, and they will come to understand the horror of what they did and another story of inhumanity to man. Some of these details are upsetting. From news feed.

The police officer heading the inquiry into child sex abuse in Jersey is considering legal action over an email from the island's children's minister Deputy police chief Lenny Harper said the email, sent by health and social services minister Ben Shenton to Cabinet colleagues, is "childish and bizarre" and "unhelpful to the victims".
The email contains a personal attack on Mr Harper, where he is referred to as "Lenny Henry" and mocks the investigation, questioning whether the remains found so far are animal or human bones. Mr Harper said the email was a "clear attempt to damage the inquiry" and he planned to seek legal advice with a view to a libel action.
A local politician who highlighted the issue of abusive childcare practices on Jersey has accused the island's establishment of a "culture of concealment" and of frustrating efforts to help vulnerable children. Stuart Syvret, a former health and social security minister on Jersey before he was dismissed last year, said that abuse against island children had been allowed to continue in what he termed a "secretive one-party state".

Harsh punishments

Early in 2007, Mr Syvret, who has been a senator for 17 years, said he felt he needed to go public on his concerns about Jersey's child care system.
He said: "I began to hear accounts of criminality. The more I investigated, the clearer it became that there was a systemic failure." What Mr Syvret says he began to uncover were allegations of child abuse on Jersey going back over half a century. Former junior staff and former children's home inmates - including those who had lived in the Haut de la Garenne home where police have recently discovered a child's body - told him of beating, canings and other harsh punishments for the most trivial of offences. It is claimed that children were routinely punched in the back of the head for not walking with a straight back. Witnesses told of children being caned with birches. In December 2007 before he was - in his words - "shouted down" by his colleagues in the States Assembly, Mr Syvret had attempted to expose what he described as a "culture of disregard, abandonment and contempt for children".

He said: "My fellow States colleagues did not want to hear. It displayed the very same culture of cover-up and silencing of anyone in Jersey who attempts to speak out." However, unknown to Mr Syvret, Jersey police had been conducting their own parallel investigation, culminating in the intensive search of Haute de la Garenne, and a number of other sites where it is feared more bodies may be buried.

So far more that 140 possible victims or witnesses of alleged abuse have come forward and, according to the chief investigating officer Lenny Harper, the allegations range from physical assaults to rapes over a 60-year period. Police have a list of 40 suspects, who have been described as respected figures of the establishment" who worked in children's homes in positions of responsibility.
Mr Syvret, describes Jersey’s "conservative, closed society". He said: "Jersey operates like a one-party state. There is very little separation of powers, a single layer of government and consequently very few checks and balances on the power of the executive. "The island is very dependent on the finance industry. Local oligarchs are the business elite. "They work together, play golf together and go to the same parties. "What that means, is that when a scandal happens their first reaction is stamp on controversy. While they may not have any connection with the case, their attitude is: don't air dirty laundry in public; it might damage Jersey's reputation."

'Grand Prix'

Social worker Simon Bellwood claims he has first-hand experience of how the Jersey establishment treats dissenters. He says he was sacked after he exposed a controversial "Grand Prix" disciplinary system being operated in a children's secure unit. He said: "Under this system children deemed to be in the Grand Prix "Pits" were routinely subjected to periods of total isolation. I found this unacceptable, and reported this my superiors." But every time I raised the issue I came across attitudes like: 'Do as your boss tells you: don't challenge authority.'" "In that sort of atmosphere I can find it entirely believable that a child could disappear and no-one ask any questions." What disturbs campaigners is that some practices - such as putting children in isolation for long periods - were described as "most unacceptable" in an official States-commissioned report in 2001 - but allowed to remain as official policy in a States-run children's home.

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