Wednesday 4 January 2012

Curtains Up

Readers will recall that I established my Blog last August to compliment my election. At the conclusion of my last posting, The Final Curtain on 1st December I said that as I was no longer a States Member I had no right for my Blog to be called the Deputy Bob Hill Election Blog therefore that posting would be my last contribution in its present form.

Over the past months I have noted an increasing number of visits made to my blog not only by Island residents but by people world wide. I have also become aware of the increasing number of requests for me to continue with my Blog.

When giving due consideration to the matter I have decided to continue with my Blog albeit with a slight change of blog address. I hope that readers will appreciate the comments I hope to make in the ensuing months. Although I am no longer directly involved with the Island’s politics it does not mean that I no longer have an opinion or a voice.

Historic Abuse Inquiry.

I will begin by saying that I will be keeping an eye of the progress of the promised Committee of Inquiry into the Historical Child Abuse. It should be recalled that it was on the 2nd of March last year that the States approved Senator Le Gresley’s proposition P19/2011 as amended by Deputy Tadier and my amendments. Verita who was commissioned to produce a report along with recommendations submitted it to the Council of Ministers at the beginning of November. Having been given a copy of the Report I believe that it contains nothing which is sensitive and as a commitment to open government it should be made public immediately after it has been considered by the Council of Ministers.

At the States Sitting on 6th December, in his answer to a question without notice from Deputy Shona Pitman, Senator Gorst said that the matter was a priority for the Council of Ministers and was hoping that the Terms of Reference would come to the States within the first quarter of 2012. Let us hope that the date does not slip even further back.

Justice is too important to be left in the hands of the victims/survivors and their supporters, it involves society as a whole. I congratulate Mr and Mrs Lawrence for never giving up in their pursuit for justice. Cover ups appear in every society and it takes courage and endurance to expose it. The Lawrence case exposed many shortcomings in the English legal and policing systems yet there has been strong resistance to change. It has also been said that lessons have been learnt, but have they?

Electoral Commission

It has been reported that Senator Gorst is considering appointing Senator Bailhache to head the planned Electoral Commission into States Reform. Daniel Wimberley’s proposition P15/2011 was quite specific in that the Commission should be independent. I hope that Senator Gorst who along with 28 other Members supported the proposition will ensure that no sitting States Member is a member of the Electoral Commission. The same can be said for the Committee of Inquiry. I don’t know how many times I have heard the phrase “Lessons have been learnt” in connection with incidents in Jersey. If any lessons have been learnt, one of the first should be learning what independent and impartial means.

Golden Handshakes.

I was amused to read that the JEP is disappointed by its failure to obtain details of the “Golden Handshakes” given to a number of civil servants. One wonders where their journalists have been for the past three years. If States Members have been denied the information why should the JEP consider itself to have preferential treatment? What support did the JEP give to those “Meddling” States Members who had the audacity to attempt to obtain the details or indeed raise the matter?

Interestingly it appears that Connetable Crowcroft backs the JEP over the matter. It is a pity that the JEP did not back the Connetables proposition P182/2008 lodged in November 2008 requesting a review of procedure regarding the suspension of the former police chief. Had it done so, the review would probably have saved the tax payer around £2million and countless hours of States Members’ time. It may have also saved at least one golden handshake.


  1. Welcome back Bob. Good to have you blogging again, and I am sure your observations from the 'outside' will be of great interest.

  2. Welcome back Sir Bob,Im so glad you have decided to continue with your blog and I will be following it with interest and hope to contribute in some way as you go along, I have always had a lot of respect for you and in the way you have conducted yourself in the house always a pleasure listening to you, as I have said before, Trinity,s loss was St Martins gain and I was so disapointed when you lost out in the recent elections, by the way I,m a Trinity guy,not far from you (mon vie)may I wish you and your Wife and family a happy and healthy new year,hope to see you around soon, best wishes.

  3. Welcome back Bob. You raise some very good points here. The JEP are just going through the motions and should have their States funding stopped in these hard times


  4. Good to see you blogging again and appreciate the time given in posting your views.

    The Committee of Inquiry into the Historical child abuse, is one, to keep an eye on.

  5. Yes - everyman a blogger.
    Sad that so many who fail at the elections to be elected or re-elected are never heard of again and their blogs stand as silent monuments to tarnished vanity or something similar in the blogasphere.

    Even some who are elected never return to their blogs until the next election round!

    So especially pleased that you are staying with the blogging community and hope that you will put plenty of useful links in the margins.

    Unfortunately "link skills" are a bit foreign to me but I do try to learn - perhaps Highlands should be running a specific course for politlical blogging and engagement with the government? After all, we are constantly told that IT is the future and Ozo wants evrybody onboard with the super band system that will lead the world....

    Ordinarily we would have suggested this as a possible proposition for the Deputy of St Martin to look at but who shall we ask in the current States - Any suggestions.... ?

  6. Good to see more blog postings Bob, please keep up the good work.

  7. Bob.

    Could you give us your thoughts on ILM's recent statement on the media reporting of the Child Abuse cover-up?

  8. I am sorry Tom but I don’t think I can help you because it’s more like the blind leading the blind when it comes to my “line skills.” I was very grateful to the States for letting me have a laptop but the training was down to each individual Member. In fact if you know of any one who knows how to insert hyperlink (I think that is what is called) please let me know.

  9. Dear Voice, Senator Le Marquand’s statement asks more questions than it answers. For instance why now, why is it not a joint statement with the Scrutiny Panel and is it really trying to put the record straight? The JEP has put an interesting slant on the statement which needs to be addressed, as such I have a submitted a letter for consideration in its letters to the Editor Column. As a matter of courtesy I will not publish the letter on my Blog until it’s either published or rejected but the statement will be the subject of my next Blog.

  10. Ian,
    Thanks for the tip, but it still looks to be a complicated process.

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