Monday, 27 April 2009

Overseas and Overlooked

If you think that being on the Tax Haven “White List” will be Jersey’s salvation then prepare for the constitutional tsunami of change yet to hit this island.

In London on 23rd April the governmental future of the British Overseas Territories and the Channel Islands and IOM was discussed by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee but news of this won’t be found in the JEP or on the local goggle box.

For a useful introduction to the debate click on to the “Corruption-free Anguilla” blog site on this page and wonder why people 3000 miles away are better informed than we are!

During the debate Andrew Rosindell MP ( a junior shadow minister) said;

“Why are British Overseas Territories - territories of HM the Queen – under the Foreign Office? They are neither Foreign nor Commonwealth. They are not members of the Commonwealth. They are not members of the Commonwealth in their own right. They are British Overseas territories in the Commonwealth only via Britain so they should not really be under the FO at all. They should all be placed in the same Department whatever that Department is, as the British Crown Dependencies. Jersey, Guernsey and the IOM and the British Overseas Territories should all be placed together under one Department, but not the Foreign Office…….”

Andrew Rosindell has had discussions with Jersey’s leaders and will be prominent in any future Tory Government after next year’s election. But even if Labour survive, MPs like Jeremy Corbyn and Andrew Mackinlay expressed similarly far reaching views during the debate and it is obvious that the Caribbean tax havens under the British Flag ( many of them on the “Grey List” and to be restricted in their trading with Jersey) are concerned and worried about their future welfare, to put it mildly.

In fact it is not just the British territories that are under the constitutional cosh because the status of virtually all the little “off shore” territories like the Dutch Antilles and the French islands are also under consideration and the removal of the corrupt Turks and Caicos government, by London, has sent shock waves around the region.

The discussion of when it is appropriate for London to “interfere” is a central theme in the debate.

So, If you have a brain and are not totally obsessed with the tittle - tattle of Jersey gossip – then turn on to “Corruption free Anguilla” and click to read the shortened account of the London debate. There is much much more about the Channel Islands, the IOM and Gibraltar to study here and our relationships with the rest of the world will ultimately prove to be much more important than which dumbo serves as our next Health Department Minister.

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Nice Cop – Nasty Cop?

Graham Power QPM BA, the suspended Chief Officer of Jersey Police was born in Middlesborough, Yorkshire in 1947. He joined his local police in 1966 and was HM Inspector of Police for Scotland by the time he was recruited to Jersey in 2000.

In between he gained an MA (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Queens College, Oxford (1976-9) and took the Northern Constabulary to an Industrial Tribunal in 1996 when he was not appointed as Chief Constable. Then, he was supported by the Commission for Racial Equality and he claimed that he lost the appointment because he was English and “not a Scot”. He also gained support from the “English Rights Scotland” group who campaigned against anti-English discrimination and violence in Scotland and the Tribunal declared that;

“The English can claim discrimination under the 1976 Race Relations Act because England and Scotland have retained separate status and identity notwithstanding having been absorbed into what is the UK”

That was an interesting statement especially since Jersey is not a part of the UK and of course Graham Power has supposedly come up against all sorts of “discrimination” and obstructions in Jersey if his former sidekick Lenny Harper is to be believed.
Jersey does not yet have similar anti-discrimination laws in place but they are planned and Power could well expose such inequalities during his forthcoming Judicial Review hearings if he has a mind to – so that could be at least, interesting!

Of course, Power brought in Lenny and Alison Fossey – both senior officers in Strathclyde Police in Scotland where Power was formerly Chief Constable for Edinburgh and Deputy Chief of the Lothian and Border Police. And he has often resorted to Strathclyde Police for back-up and support when needed during his 9 years in Jersey – especially when policing public gatherings and demonstrations.

It may or may not be significant that the Strathclyde force is currently under the journalistic microscope for its policies of infiltration into dissenting organizations such as “Plane Stupid” the anti-airport lobby group and by offering thousands of £’s to potential “spies”.
Did Power bring such policies into Jersey too?

After more than 40 years as a policeman Graham Power must have many enemies and he wrote a damning report on Grampian Police in 1996 following their botched investigation of the murder of Scott Simpson by a paedophile. Then, Power exposed bad practices among his senior policing colleagues and for failing to put a senior officer in charge of the enquiry. His report included 36 substantial criticisms and recommendations for change and was supposed to be adopted as guidance “for all forces” – so he should have known how to run the Haut de la Garenne child abuse investigation or any others arising in Jersey.

Following the Stephen Lawrence murder in London, Power was also required to investigate the system for making complaints against the police (especially complaints against senior officers) and into racial discrimination in Scottish forces. The reports – “A Fair Cop” and “Without Prejudice” are accessible on;

When news of Power’s suspension reached Scotland there were several unflattering observations offered on the “straight talking Yorkshireman” and “hardman”.

“Barobalti” in the Scotsman wrote; “Ask any 10 officers in Lothian and Borders who remember Mr Power….what they think of him, most responses would be unprintable. He has ruined the lives of good people. Some may say he faces a terrible judgment, if not in this world, then in the next at least.”

“Thomas the Tank” commented that ; “This arrogant individual is now enjoying a taste of what he happily dished out to others.”

What Graham Power did in Scotland is presumably just so much water under the bridge now but his more recent activities in Jersey will soon be examined in public during the Judicial Review hearings. Other information will be available in the Chief Constable of Wiltshire’s Report and Senator Le Marquand’s investigation besides the findings of the initial hearing that led to his suspension but how much shall the paying public ever really know?
In any case, why do they want to know?

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Silent Peaceful March

On April the 25th 2009 at 12 noon there is to be a silent and peaceful march from Peoples Park to the Royal Square. The march will be in support and acknowledgement of victims of child abuse past and present across the world.

On October the 21st 1996 up to 300,000 Belgian citizens took to the streets wearing white ribbons and arm bands as a symbol of hope which became known as “The White March”. It was not only a march for hope but also a silent peaceful protest against their governments handling of the of the Marc Dutroux case which bears many similarity’s, not only to the way our government has handled the child abuse scandal that has hit Jersey, but the way child abuse is handled by some governments across the world.

We would like the Jersey White March to be non political or critical of our government or police investigation. We believe it will be an opportunity to show abuse survivors and the rest of the world that the good people of Jersey do not condone abuse of any human being - child or otherwise.

Abuse survivors, across the globe, have had theirs and their family’s lives torn apart, wrecked, and destroyed, not only by the heinous abuse they have suffered at the hands of their abusers but the wall of silence that inevitably surrounds the taboo subject of paedophilia and child abuse.

This March has the support of the Care Leavers Association (CLA) and the Jersey Care Leavers Association (JCLA) Please give this march and all abuse survivors your support and show the world the good people of Jersey DO care.

We would ask if you are able to attend the march that you wear something white, a symbol of “hope”If you are a Blogger and support abuse victims around the world, please copy and paste this onto your Blog until the day of the march SATURDAY 25th OF APRIL 2009 12.p.m

Monday, 20 April 2009

BBC or 2 Bs and a C means failure

According to sacked BBC presenter Graham Danton, who was dismissed instantly a few weeks ago after 20 years service, he had, since February 2009 been;

“Forbidden to talk about politics, crime, immigration, religion, the EU, Islam and health matters and was even forbidden from talking about the number of mice killed each year by domestic cats for fear of causing offence to cat owners.”

Graham Danton was 77 years of age, an experienced newspaper journalist, writer, Master Mariner and weather forecaster and he was sacked from BBC Radio Devon, which is part of the very same “ South West region” as are BBC Jersey and Guernsey.

His ex- listeners have been complaining from all over England and some even from overseas at his summary dismissal which he blamed on a post Jonathen Ross and Russel Brand pretext to suppress anything challenging throughout the BBC.
Danton had “ highlighted the uncomfortable topics of the day” and so had to be removed from the airwaves and Terry Gilham was also apparently moved in the same purge.

Local newspapers in Devon have been full of letters of support for Graham Danton but an official complaint sent through the BBC received a typically dismissive response on 8th April and the great organ of public broadcasting declined to say how many had actually complained.

Of course a great many listeners complained in Devon newspapers about the BBC’s ever increasing control over freedom of expression through its presenters and this was typical;

“The BBC is a beast that is out of control. No longer happy to just deliver the news in an impartial unbiased way, they now want to control it. What they can’t control they now have to shut off. What a blow for free speech.”

Another wrote;

“There is a cull going on throughout the BBC of presenters who all have views, thoughts and comments which go against what the BBC hierarchy do not want to hear.”

If all this sounds familiar to BBC Jersey listeners and viewers then we should not be at all surprised because the orders come from London and the likes of Denzil Dudley and his team are hardly likely to resist them – certainly not in order to defend such novel notions as free speech and expression. You only have to listen to any Jersey phone-in or Talkback to realize that the trigger finger is already poised to silence anybody who dares to express a dissenting voice and criticism of the BBC itself results in “virtual exile”.

Unfortunately, since old auntie BBC was gutted during the Iraq war and the infamous “Today” programmes which dared to challenge Prime Minister B. Liar and his spinners – the whole organization has been reduced to a spineless ghost of its former self and remedies and effective complaints are reserved for the likes of Frank Walker who have shafted themselves in front of millions – yet are influential enough to elicit some sort of apology.

For the plebs - aka the licence paying general public – such remedies are just an illusion. There is of course absolutely no point in complaining locally about local standards and the “national” complaints centre in Glasgow is so submerged in complaints that you will be lucky (!) even to receive a reply.

Beyond that, it is almost impossible to penetrate the broadcasting “Fort Knox” that is British Broadcasting. Everybody but everybody on the BBC Website hides behind a myriad of FAQs and endless pages of totally pointless and irrelevant information with virtually no named individuals and no means of actually contacting them.

It seems that even the almost useless local “listeners panels” have been disbanded!

So, if you had wondered how it was that Brigitte and the cat lovers’ party came to control the BBC – well now you know. And if you have any desire to express contrary points of view and to defend the free expression of ideas, then protest and blog with all your might whilst you can, because you can be sure that this facility will be curtailed too, just as soon as all the Graham Dantons have been silenced.

Submitted by Thomas Wellard

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Still Deaf to Debt?

Ozouf & Co are generously proposing to distribute £ Millions of our reserves to promote business activities and other pursuits and hopefully some of the money will not be wasted.

But take a look at the linked Vexed Bermoothes site here about the rising public debt in Bermuda.
According to an article by Robert Smith, in that little island of 60,000 people, they could already be in debt to the tune of 3 billion dollars.
And furthermore, if the decline in value of investments in their Civil Service Pension Fund is taken into account too – a further 400 million dollars – then the grand total could be nearer 3.5 billions. OR in plain words, about 58,000 dollars for every man, woman and child.

Now that sort of problem is calculated without any allowance for Bermuda’s planned FutureCare programme which will look after the elderly and it does not take into account the likely demise of income from the collapsing Finance Industry either.

AND before you turn to another page seeking more cheerful spin from Ozouf & Co – consider too that UK taxpayers have already baled out the British Banking system with hundreds of billions of their future contributions and it is reckoned that every man, woman and child is already in debt for about £40,000 as a result.

Be realistic, Jersey cannot escape such future problems and the UK Treasury must be looking here to collect any pennies that are due soon. The end of the Reciprocal Health arrangement is just the tip of the iceberg and the “White” OECD rating will be about as much relevance as an article by Helier Clement.

If the Bermuda economy goes bust, shall the UK have a responsibility to bail it out and if Jersey’s ship of state turns turtle - who should hear our SOS?

It seems to me that the time is right to make some friends in the UK and the EU……….

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Easter Island thought.

Regina Mandarin is going home. That’s the good news but she died recently and her ashes only are to be returned for burial to Peros Bahnos – subject to British Government approval.

Regina (68) was a Chagos born woman and her islands in the Indian Ocean were depopulated in the 1960’s and 70’s in order to build a huge American military base, notably on Diega Garcia.

But the islanders are still trying to go home and to resettle their homelands and their latest legal battle goes to the European Court of Human Rights soon.

SO spare them a thought this Easter and send them some money and support too if you can – link up through the UK Chagos Support Association on this page – BUT most of all remember that it is possible to lose your island paradise entirely.
Cows, Syvret and Ozouf, the housing shortage, tax evasion and avoidance – the whole lot, good or bad, can so easily be lost. We just have to do nothing.

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Jersey’s shared world-wide problems – continued.

If your brain hurts from trying to understand PACE and whether Syvret was legally turned over or not by the villainous remnants of the Jersey Police ( that is those that are not suspended or recently retired) – then why not have a look into some of the world-wide links on this site?

For instance, consider how according to Gibraltar News by Vox that the Moroccan workers are still being treated as 2nd class citizens and how, once again the scandal has been woken up because the UK Guardian newspaper ran a recent exposé article. And remember too that about 20 years ago the UK based Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants visited Gibraltar, with the support of the T & G Union and published a damning report on the Moroccans plight then. Evidently, things have not improved but remember also that the JCWI visited Jersey as well soon afterwards and published another damning report on the exploited 10,000 workers in Jersey without housing qualifications or jobs security. Have things improved? Have another look at the interviews with Freddie Cohen on voiceforjersey and consider whether portakabins are the acceptable side of our Tax Haven economy in 2009? Even Minister Freddie expressed his disgust!

OR have a look at the Netherlands Antilles chapter on Caribbean Net News and note that these islands may soon be breaking away from Holland and their oh so familiar sounding dependency relationship. These islands - notably Curacao, St Maarten, Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius were historically smuggling and piracy centres in the 18th century and many Channel Islands merchants traded with them then in all sorts of illegal and quasi-illegal activities. Now of course they are tax havens and still have enough involvement in Drug Smuggling to warrant a substantial USA military presence and of course, there are many links with the oh so respectable Jersey finance business aka Tax Haven.
The OECD has awarded the Antilles only a “grey” award on the latest league table of respectability so we can suppose that no more business will be transacted from Jersey (!) but on May 15th the islanders will decide whether to declare independence or not. We really should watch with interest because the Channel Islands may well be heading for a similar constitutional confrontation soon.

AND have a look at Trinidad & Tobago too on the Caribbean Net News site because it is just the latest among many territories in the region trying to deal with huge financial debts incurred through failed private business activities. Billions have gone missing, assets are illusionary and many thousands of ordinary people will be reduced to poverty for many years to come……

It can all happen here in the Channel Islands.

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

St Helier City a la Walter Mitty

Constable Crowcroft still dreams of City status for St Helier but the reality is that the ancient Jersey capital is being turned into the Island dump.

Not only are new rabbit hutch homes being crammed into the crumbling town alongside every unsocial activity from refuse, scrap and sewage disposal to night-time thuggery and mahem – but now the economic heart is to be removed and re-located too.

The free marketeering planners and developers – in spite of bringing the world economy to its knees – are still hell bent on building 600,000 sq ft of new offices on the absurd Esplanade Quarter besides more shops, cafes and leisure facilities. Yet 5000 existing workers will simply be re-located from the old town and their existing offices and business premises will just become vacant along with all the offices and other premises that are already falling into ruin around St Helier.

Supposedly, the Esplanade Quarter development will generate £75 millions to be spent on improving old St Helier but it’s just another pipedream - as the Ann Court fiasco has demonstrated, neglect, decay and planning vandalism is the future for most of St Helier.

Meanwhile the sacred Jersey cow looks out over open green fields and keeps the islands most wealthy country parish residents happy……….

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.