For all of my first-hand experience of the black comedy that is the Jersey Establishment in its embittered dotage, being contacted by several members of the public whilst being off-island for a couple of weeks reminded me just why the outside world increasingly view the behaviour of the political and legal 'elite' of my home island as some kind of neo-feudal reality TV freak show.
Millions and millions of pounds wasted unnecessarily by our 'justice' overlords; further proof that the same 'justice' system is accountable to no one; newly proposed work laws akin to something out of Dickens and even a proven political liar and thief passing himself off as some kind champion of Planning department morality; - its obviously been a boring old time whilst I have been away.
So here is Part One of a handful of 'postcards' of Bald Truth for HRH Prince Edward to ponder before he arrives in the Island. No doubt to be assured by manically smiling men in cloaks, tights and very expensive pinstripes just how we in Jersey are (to borrow a Perchardism) a veritable beacon of democracy...
£8 million of our taxpayers' money squandered
Money well spent during a recession?
Just consider this. Though not reported by the likes of Establishment Party mouthpiece the Jersey Evening Pravda, the fact is that one of the cases brought against Stuart Syvret has now finally concluded. Amazing enough in itself. Yet what is really so disturbing here is that while the whole case has ended as a shambles - probably a deliberately contrived one - our wonderful Law Office has still spent around £8 million of your and my money to achieve...eh, NOTHING!
The Jersey legal industry - its surely better than working...
Who has benefited? Mmmmm? Not the member of the public who the case revolved around. Not the wider taxpaying community. Not any of the Island's record number of unemployed. No. The only people who have all done very nicely thank you (outside of keeping the 'justice department' boys and girls in overtime) are those fine people: the Closed Shop of Jersey Lawyers.
Indeed, one of these admirable justice stalwarts, so my legal infiltrator assures me, got around £400,000 for achieving what my late old gran used to call Sweet FA! (She meant Fanny Adams I'm sure). Will an itemised breakdown now be offered by Chief Minister Gorst voluntarily? What do you think readers? Senator Ferguson definitely should be sharpening up her fine tooth comb and magnifying glass for the accounts...
Don't mention the Top Secret court case (again!)
Meanwhile here's a nice little prediction just for you from me to end this Syvret 'postcard' on. The much talked about (but almost zero MSM reported on) 'Secret court process' against the former Senator will soon also have to report that this too will have run up bills at the taxpayers' expense in the region of a staggering 20 x the annual budget of the Data Protection Commissioner's Office! And yet what will have been achieved in this case?
You guessed it - precisely NOTHING
Zilch. Not a sausage. Not a single beneficial thing for anyone. Other than once again making a few more of the millionaire members of the 'Closed Shop of Jersey Lawyers' even richer. So given that hard-working Public Sector workers are being spun the standard Gorst/Ozouf tripe about there being no money for even a modestly realistic pay rise; and essential health and education services are continuing to be scrapped just who will have actually authorised all of the above squandering of our money? Better still just who will be held accountable?
As he tells States Members that he is the man responsible for Data Protection perhaps Senator Paul Routier would like to come on here next week and tell us. I don't know why but somehow I just don't think he will.
Its not just the Law Officers who are totally unaccountable to anyone
Remember the shock to a lot of people a couple of months back when it emerged that the Law Officer who gave the go ahead for the bugging of Curtis Warren's hire car could not be disciplined as even the Law Society wanted?
Could not be disciplined even though the police officers acting upon the advice were being hung out to dry by the Establishment in another secret 'show trial' constructed to give the impression of a responsible jurisdiction? Well if you thought this farce was just a one off let me give you another brilliant example of how the Jersey Law Officer are not only totally out of control but are indeed demonstrably accountable to no one.
Shhhh! I'm going to have to mention our court case again
As regular readers will be well aware, in blatant contempt for Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights to which Jersey is required to conform the Bailiff's Office allowed one Jurat John Le Breton to sit in judgement of evidence and fact on Shona's and my defamation case even though he was impossibly conflicted.
This was a 'man' who was a demonstrable longtime friend of a director of the JEP's owners - even entertaining her to dinner at his home! A 'man' who is also proven within the suppressed Sharp Report to have happily looked the other way on evidence against another of his then friends, the sickening predatory Victoria College paedophile, Andrew Jervis-Dykes.
To all who believe in justice, fairness and accountability it goes without saying that Le Breton clearly should NEVER have been allowed to become a Jurat in the first place given his malleable commitment to both evidence and justice. Yet given that the Bailiff - indeed two Bailiffs - had failed so miserably to act to remove him you would at least think that when such appalling failings are publicly identified someone, somewhere has to have higher authority to be responsible for holding all to account?
Except this is Jersey...
The deeply disturbing truth, however, is that NO ONE anywhere is apparently charged with such a crucial oversight over Jersey 'justice' failings. Not possible you say? Well just consider these facts.
As I have previously reported, UK Justice Minister, Lord Tom McNally tells us that he 'cannot intervene' because Jersey as a Crown Dependency is a self-governing, and thus independent jurisdiction with its own 'justice' system. (Oh but we certainly know all about that, don't we!) Indeed, as I have also highlighted previously Lord McNally quite incredibly even went on to propose that he might offer to 'refer our concerns back to Sir Michael Birt' - the very man who let this abuse of ECHR Article 6 happen!
So could the Jersey Appeal Court process be the way to go?
Unfortunately it seems not. You see the solitary Appeal Court Judge who knocked back our first application to be able to appeal against this Kangaroo Court style process has also now stated that whether an individual is demonstrably unfit to sit as a Jurat or not - as John Le Breton clearly was - is NOT for the Appeal Court to rule on either!
Just for good measure the Judge in question, Mr Beloff, even goes on to make the rather remarkable statement within his judgement that, regardless of the damning evidence of the Sharp Report the Electoral College must have had full confidence in Le Breton's ability. yet how this judgement was reached you really have to wonder. You see it completely overlooks the rather important little fact that Jurat Le Breton was appointed by the 'Electoral College' in 1998.
The Sharp Report didn't come out until a whole year later in 1999!
The Electoral College generally will just not have known about Le Breton's wholly inappropriate attitude and commitment to evidence, fact and justice. Indeed, the only people who will have known for sure will have been the likes of then Bailiff, Sir Philip Bailhache - who sat on the Victoria College Board of Governors whilst all of this happened - and his successor, one Sir Michael Birt
It is the Bailiffs of course who preside over the 'Superior Number' - the only body who according to the Attorney General has responsibility for acting on any Jurat being revealed to be unsuitable for the role. And it is has been two successive Bailiffs of course who failed to do a damn thing about Le Breton. Well, they wouldn't really would they. They both will of known about his malleable commitment to truth and justice and yet did not stop his name going forward to the Electoral College back in 1998!
All too incredible and disturbing for words I think you would agree. Yet to top it all off, within his judgement in refusing us the right to Appeal, the Judge even went on to actually criticise Shona and I for having first gone down the 'political route' of writing to the UK Justice Minister - rather than the same Appeal process of which he states has no mandate to rule on Le Breton's appalling failings! I'm honestly not making any of this up - you just couldn't.
Which brings us back to the 6 million dollar question
Just who is accountable for the failings of both the Bailiff and Jurat Le Breton in all of this? The answer is apparently: NO ONE!
Yet you still have to go through the 'legal' process (helpfully making the Closed Shop of Jersey Lawyers I mentioned in the Stuart Syvret 'postcard' shed loads more cash on the way of course) before you can hope to progress to the UK Privy Council and ultimately - let's be quite up front here - almost certainly the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Of course, like us by then you will likely be absolutely skint but quite likely that is all part of the plan. Yet understand all of this and you begin to see just why - in contrast to every other jurisdiction in the world - there has apparently never been a miscarriage of justice in the Island according to an answer I recieved from the Jersey Attorney General.
As to just who can claim the 'fame' of developing the Jersey 'justice' system so perfectly imperfectly down the years I do not know. But the fact must surely be acknowledged: the late and unlamented Roland Friesler of Nazi Party infamy really couldn't have set up a 'legal' system where the wronged just can't win unless they are willing to slog through hell any better.
Keep the Faith - someone has to!