Thursday, 27 July 2017

Why I can't take part in the Advisory Panel on implementing the IJCI recommendations





Following the publication of the report investigating child abuse in Jersey, the Chief Minister invited me to be a member of an advisory panel he has set up to advise him on implementing the recommendations of the report.

I thought long and hard about whether I could make a positive difference if I took up this role, but sadly have come to the conclusion that the Chief Minister is handling the aftermath of the report poorly and I am better placed to argue for positive change whilst being independent from any advisory panel.

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Dear Ian,

I have considered your invitation for me to take part in an Advisory Panel to help you respond to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry's recommendations and have decided that I cannot take part.

I wholeheartedly support the recommendations made by the Inquiry and I will vote for any proposition which I believe takes the Island forward in getting these recommendations implemented. However, I believe that I can make a more positive contribution by offering advice across the floor of the Chamber and by continuing to work in Scrutiny.

The Inquiry's report emphasises the importance of independent scrutiny. You currently have plans to bring forward a proposal to take the independence away from the States Scrutiny Panels by allowing and encouraging Assistant Ministers to sit on Scrutiny. This is being opposed by Scrutiny and the Privileges and Procedures Committee, yet you have confirmed in States question time since the publication of the report that you have no intention to abandon these changes. I believe this is a huge error which will undermine our system of government and further embed the principles of the 'Jersey Way' where those in power have influence into many areas and will be able to stifle criticism, rather than allow those who have no obligation to support a here today, gone tomorrow government to take an objective approach as an independent and critical friend.

Whatever noble intentions the government may have in its attempts to implement the recommendations, innocent mistakes may be made along the way which I would be complicit in if I take up a role in advising the government. It is vital that there remain members who are not compromised by this process, who are able to speak out and oppose potential mistakes when they arise.

You have shown that you are not prepared to exercise your whip as leader of the government to make implementing the Inquiry's recommendations a red line in government policy. That is your choice. But it is wrong to then rely on Scrutiny and Opposition members to get the support you need. Just as I believe it is important for there to be a separation between the Judiciary and the Legislature, I also believe that the Executive must not be allowed to capture the Legislature. I believe that your approach so far is taking the Island in the wrong direction.

Were I in your position, I would seek to get the support of the Council of Ministers and then allow Opposition and Scrutiny to act independently to hold us to account.

As I do not have confidence in the process you have suggested, I cannot take part in it.

Kind regards,
Sam

36 comments:

  1. Fair enough but what about some positive action on the part of Reform Jersey to reclaim the States' sovereign power from a judiciary which has long since usurped it?

    Deputy Tadier's latest proposals to remove the Bailiff is a big step in the right direction though will undoubtedly fail because of the very Jersey Way you rightly highlight. But surely you would agree we need a whole lot more?

    You are dead right to oppose diluting an already weak Scrutiny function by the placement of assistant ministers. But what about the outdated rules and regulations on who can stand for election, how the Chief Minister is elected or the ways trials are run? A few examples.

    Why should Bailiffs be appointed on an its your turn next chum basis?

    Why shouldn't a Portuguese national be elected if he or she has contributed to our economy or a person with a spent bankruptcy?
    Why can't Jersey people be guaranteed judgement in our courts by proper juries rather than members of the Royal Court All White and Wealthy Club?
    Why can't we have a direct vote for Chief Minister?

    The list is endless I know. But more important than all of this is the question why aren't politicians holding those at the top to account for the child protection failings?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of these we've brought propositions on and lost. The others we will be bringing propositions on soon.

      But it's down to the public to elect more of us so we can start winning these propositions.

      The old guard won't give up their power so easily.

      Delete
  2. Having members of the executive on scrutiny is a recipe for a legalised dictatorship.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Deputy, please re-consider. You are far better placed to ensure it doesn't fail. If it were a taxation issue, fair enough, but this is an issue about the welfare of children, and you have a positive role (nay, critical role). By making what some might be a political point over the sake of children - this is a major blow, and major disappointment in yourself Deputy. Very saddened.

    Again I ask - please reconsider.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's because it's about the welfare of children that it is so important that we do things properly.

      The IJCI specifically said we need independent scrutiny.

      If I take part in a non-binding advisory panel, then I lose my independence and can't objectively scrutinise.

      This is not political point scoring. This is me upholding what those who have set out to protect vulnerable children have recommended.

      You're suggesting I join the club, right after the report has criticised the club mentality that allowed these crimes to go on for so long.

      Delete
    2. Unfortunately we will have to disagree, Gorst made a political error of judgement asking you, and you didn't capitalise on it.

      Here was an opportunity to demonstrate your leadership capabilities to work towards forming a future government.

      There will always be the usual suspects out there who will never vote for Reform, but there are many who would, they just need confidence that you aren't some Trotskyist who will decimate the economy.

      So here was the first chance to get this chance to demonstrate the necessary qualities to form an alternative government, and you didn't take it. What a shame!!! Serious disappointment.

      Comments around the pubs are mixed, but not one of them is good. Most saying you just want to be in opposition and complain without any responsibility, others saying you have bottled it when given a chance... Sam, you have let down many with this decision - have given a free kick to the Tories, and whilst you don't like to admit when you are wrong, I am afraid you have alienated some Reform voters. I don't think they will vote for someone else, but I am getting feedback that they won't bother voting again, having voted for the first time at the last election....

      Go back to Gorst and accept!

      Delete
    3. What on earth are you talking about?

      I turned down an invitation to be part of an ad hoc talking shop.

      I won't be having tea and biscuits at Cyril le Marquand House, instead I'll be getting stuck in with scrutiny.

      You've obviously been misleading people down at the pub to get that reaction. Maybe you should write for the JEP.

      Delete
    4. There is going to be some news in the next couple of weeks which will make your above comment seem very foolish with hindsight.

      Delete
  4. You should have taken up the offer and then stepped down had you believed it was not working.
    Tonight many voters think you don't ever want responsibility and you cannot blame them after the JEP write up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your suggestion makes no sense. I know from the outset that it won't work.

      Delete
  5. Sam.

    Exclusive interview with former Senior Investigating Officer LENNY HARPER.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What is the point in supporting Reform Jersey anymore?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because social democracy provides better answers to the problems working and middle class people are increasingly facing in today's economy.

      The current government has their hands buried in the sand and doesn't operate in a democratic or accountable way.

      Reform Jersey is different.

      Delete
    2. I cannot see the point after what I have seen on Facebook this weekend.

      Delete
    3. What have you seen on Facebook this weekend?

      Delete
    4. Terry Le Main's Facebook Page, Politics Jersey.
      We need different Progressives with a new outlook.

      Delete
    5. What about Terry Le Main's Facebook page?

      Terry Le Main publicly lied about Reform Jersey and when it was demonstrated that he had lied, he refused to withdraw or apologise for his comments.

      All I've done is factually correct the record. I don't see what's wrong with that.

      Delete
    6. Then you are both as stubborn as each other because he claims to be publishing proof that you are lying anytime soon.

      Delete
    7. No he won't be. There isn't any.

      What he said was untrue. There is literally nothing more that can be said on the subject.

      Sorry that politicians correcting the record when others lie about them makes you lose your faith in them and pushes you to trust those who lied instead.

      Delete
    8. Well his JEP comment is all about you today and it may have something to do with all your past abusive posts about him which Maureen Morgan has kept, like the Flyers and is showing him.

      Delete
    9. Terry lied.

      Why does the person who corrects the lie irk you more than the lie?

      Delete
    10. Yak, yak, yakketty yak - this entire conversation is so symptomatic of tribal politics at its very worst, and the reason why Leftish politics on the Island seldom amounts to more than a tiresome talking shop. Left-wing ideology, whether it be of the pale Blue-tinged Blairite persuasion, or of the blood-Red Corbyn/Trot variety has never achieved anything of recognizable significance in Jersey for one very good reason - its natives are a proud, stubborn, durable and essentially conservative (with a small 'C') people who do not take kindly to being told how to think and to feel.

      What Jersey requires next May is people with clarity of thought, with a practical vision of how the quality of life on the Island can be improved for ALL its residents - whether it be the environment, its education systems and facilities, its infrastructure, its industries, its agriculture, its leisure activities, its housing and a whole host of other important ingredients. These things matter for the future of the whole Island, but I have seen scant evidence yet that Reform Jersey are up to the job. Instead of constantly bleating about how bent the 'System' is - and bent it most certainly is - it is the way things are right now and Reform need to figure out a way to work it to their own advantage. They haven't done that yet, so I cannot see them making significant progress on that or any other score next May.

      Delete
    11. Morgan is claiming an old flyer she put up of Reform Jersey's is not from her....and pigs fly.

      Delete
    12. Not exactly the most impartial opinion from a former Tory councillor.

      Delete
  7. To increase the independence of Scrutiny is indeed important. So, yes indeed,no members of the Ministerial team should be on Scrutiny.

    But the process by which Scrutiny chairmen are elected needs to be changed in another way too.

    The same group of people who elect the Ministers also elect Scrutiny chairs, this represents complete control for the ruling party.

    Solution?

    Ministers are always elected first. Of course they belong to the establishment party. They then take no part in the elections for Scrutiny chairs. This will make it more likely that the Scrutiny chairs will be independent of the executive.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Andy Sharrock Le Vesconte17 August 2017 at 11:55

    Does anybody know who I am?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're James Le Gallais right?

      Or is it Lawrence Byrne?

      Delete
    2. Digger's Tiddler doesn't shoot or thrill17 August 2017 at 12:08

      No i'm (i mean he's) not.

      Delete
  9. 'Terry lied.'

    I agree with Terry Le Main, Reform Jersey are crap, fake promises, useless at winning anything and act like morons.

    + WTF is that nutcase Le Cornu doing back on board?

    You are all mental.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary from St Brelades17 August 2017 at 17:27

      That's a little bit rich coming from Terry Le Main saying Reform Jersey are useless at winning anything. Terry got humiliated by Shona Pitman in the last election Terry stood in. Terry was useless at winning that election and Reform Jersey has three elected politicians so Reform Jersey is better at winning elections than Terry is.

      Delete
    2. Who are Andy Sharrock Le Vesconte - James Le Gallais - and Lawrence Byrne? because WE haven't got a clue who they are.

      Delete
  10. Only reason you defend Higgins is because the voting records shows he's an wrecker like you. It's been checked out. Otherwise he is a lazy old git who takes the piss with his air display costs. We know he has family on the payroll and soon enough it will all hit the fan because like you, he has enemies within the States.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only reason you spend half of your life making fake social media profiles to slander Higgins is because you hate his record of standing up for victims of child abuse.

      What sort of person does that? Have a look at yourself. Seriously.

      Delete