The Voice for Children has produced some excellent Blogs on the Graham Power suspension affair. Although a recent Blog refers to Senator Ozouf’s claim that he was the victim of unfair treatment being dished out by his fellow colleagues it is never the less still on the Graham Power theme. This is because Mr Power was also a victim of the same treatment from States Members which included Senator Ozouf.
The Senator’s memory must be short because he has certainly scored an own goal. Voice has claimed that the Senator does not deserve his “day in court” because Graham Power was also denied his. However two wrongs do not make a right and States Members are supposed to honourable and certainly be “Statesmen like” when going about their business. This being so the Senator does have a case.
If the four States Members believed they had the evidence to lodge a Censure proposition then they should have had the courage to debate the matter. They should certainly not have bolted after the first shot had been fired by one of Senator Ozouf’s allies who seemed to have been found from the other side of the world Their case was not weakened either by the Comptroller and Auditor General's decision to resign, possibly fearing that he like Graham Power may be stitched up on some phoney charge. The resignation should have been taken as an example of the alleged fear some Civil Servants have of the Senator.
The decision to withdraw the Proposition was a poor one because it gave Senator Ozouf the opportunity to cry foul and then claim that he should have been allowed his day in court. Also because the proposition had been withdrawn he was entitled to an apology.
Like the Senator’s decision not to buy Lime Grove I find myself in agreement with his demand for an apology. However before I shed too many tears I would like to remind him and the four signatories of the Censure Proposition that not one of them felt honourable enough to ask the former Chief Minister to apologise to Graham Power for the way he had been suspended.
In 2010 after Brian Napier QC had published his much watered down Report, he never the less did have some pretty powerful things to say, particularly about the shortcomings of a small group of senior States Members along with Bill (golden handshake) Ogley and the former but not sadly missed David Warcup who could not wait to jump into Graham Power’s shoes.
In an attempt to get the States to take some positive action to address the points made by Brian Napier, I lodged P166/2010 To counter my proposals the Chief Minister lodged P166/2010 Comments As one will see, my Proposition was asking States Members to request the Chief Minister to respond to eight of the failings identified by Mr Napier. The seventh part of my proposition was as follows:
(b) to request the Chief Minister to issue a formal apology to the retired Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police in relation to the failure of those involved, as identified in the Napier Report, to deal with the Chief Officer’s suspension in accordance with the procedures set out in the Disciplinary Code;
During the subsequent five hour debate I pointed out that in his report Mr Napier had made it quite clear that those responsible for Mr Power’s suspension had failed to follow set procedures, as such Mr Power was entitled to an apology. Although Mr Power was also entitled to an apology for his unlawful suspension, that was not being asked for. The apology was just for failing to follow set procedures. Unfortunately only sixteen States Members were big enough to accept that an apology was merited. Among the thirty Members who did not share that view were Senator Ozouf and the four Censure seeking Members, Senator Ferguson, Connetable Dan Murphy and Deputies Le Herissier and Le Fondre.
The Minutes recording the votes on each of the 8 parts of my proposition can be found by clicking onto this website.
Senator Ozouf, unlike Graham Power, John Day and now
David Flowers was not bound by any gagging order and was able to enjoy unprecedented media support when calling for justice. I would like to believe that lessons about integrity, justice and double standards will have been learnt and that the Senator along with other States Members will forget the spin and play with a straight bat and treat others in a manner that they would like to be treated, but I shall not be holding my breath.