Sunday, 19 June 2016

Senator apologises after devastating Varley Report on Jersey Care Service failings

Devastating report criticises Jersey care services

Health Minister apologises

Story ignored by island's other online media

The BBC reported on 17th June 2016 ( that children were left in harmful situations by a range of problems with Jersey care services, according to damning and disturbing reports seen by the BBC. The documents show that half of children assessed were not taken away from harmful situations in good time, Jersey's service "failed to consider" the needs of young people, and children left in the community received care below minimum standards in some cases, as recently as last year.

The 2015 report was commissioned by the then temporary head of children's services Jo Olsson and produced by former Ofsted inspector Mary Varley. Details only came out during the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry in April 2016, and were only released to the BBC some 4 months after a Freedom of Information request.

Mrs Varley's findings:
  •     Poor practice; "basic building blocks" of management oversight were not in place
  •     Failures to respond appropriately to allegations of physical and emotional abuse by three children
  •     Half of the children sampled who were taken into care had experienced "significant" delays in being removed from situations where they were being harmed
  •     A large proportion of children being harmed in the community - perhaps by their own family members - were still being let down as recently as 2015
The Jersey Care Leavers Association said the reports highlighted lessons that should have been learnt a long time ago.

Jersey's minister for health and social services, Senator Andrew Green, was interviewed live on BBC Radio at 7:11-7:19am on the 17th June, admitted the report was devastating and apologised - "We did, as a society, let the young people down".

"I have to apologise again to those from the past, I can't undo it, I'm really sorry."

This blogger wonders why a reputable report finds such failings, the current Health Minister apologises, but the rest of the media turns a blind eye and no-one seems to be talking about it... and yet if you turn the clock back to 2007 you may recall the Health Minister of the time, poll-topping Senator Stuart Syvret, was hounded out of office for exposing exactly the same kind of findings concerning the failings of Jersey's care services! When will the island ever wake up and admit that Senator Syvret was correct? A highly intelligent, articulate and capable man, genuinely caring and not out to feather his own nest, in a position of power with an ear to the ground hearing exactly what was going on, and STILL the establishment and local trolls seek to discredit him for trying to bring serious problems to the fore and address them? Difficult not to despair, sometimes :(

In the other media, there is still nothing online from the JEP, so that, as usual, we're keeping this to ourselves and not washing our dirty linen in public (i.e. covering it up).
ITV Channel Islands mentioned the initial story the week earlier
and Channel 103 too

The JEP did cover the story in print, after the BBC's initial story the week before the minister's apology  :
.. but nothing online, and will there be any mention of the apology?

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Mossack Fonseca in the JEP, 4 days before the Panama Papers story broke

The story of the "Panama Papers" leak broke on the 3rd of April, 2016. Here was a little article in the JEP just 4 days earlier.

I love a good coincidence, don't you?

Friday, 12 February 2016

Department of Expensive Cock-Ups

How often does a States department have to change its name?

States Main Roads Department
Department of Public Buildings and Works
Public Works (Dept)
Public Services
Transport and Technical Services
Department for Infrastructure

I feel I really don't have to say any more!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Price, Beckham, and the value of opinions

On the State Radio this morning, we were treated to the illogical utterances of Matthew Price again. Apparently a Mr Beckham had been reported elsewhere in the media as having given his point of view about the Scottish independence referendum. Price questioned why anyone should care what Beckham thinks on the matter. Beckham's opinion is neither here nor there, according to Price.

Yet, strangely, we are forever being given the benefit of Price's views on so many things. We are constantly reminded that he likes show tunes, grammatical pedantry, but not chocolate or curry - something of an own goal (excuse the football reference in the circumstances) because, by constantly reaffirming how proud he is to be so very different to most of us, he is reinforcing our beliefs that he really is a very odd bloke.

So it's OK for Price to weigh in on just about anything that's up for discussion during his show, yet it's not OK for Beckham? Beckham being the rich, good looking (apparently) and successful man with whom many of us would be quite happy to trade places (I can't tell you how much my teeth were on edge typing "with whom" - no-one talks like that except human oddities) and Price is the guy for who many of us would say "err, no thanks" for the offer of a life swap, I suspect. Very strongly suspect..... but maybe I'm wrong? :) 

Having seen the fascinating documentary of Beckham's travels through a jungle with his friends, and liking the revelation of what the man is really like (away from the distortions purveyed by the 'accredited' media of the world) ...... I know who I'd rather spend an evening with, over several pints in a comfortable bar.

The Price isn't right!

Friday, 7 March 2014

Leah McGrath Goodman loses cred

I saw this on Clever Trevor's blog comments, after having read about it already on my usual daily news sites.

"It would appear that Leah McGrath Goodman has either just broken one of the biggest stories on the planet, or seriously overplayed her hand.

On the sites where people get to comment, there has been a strong backlash against Leah, saying this was a very low thing to do. On one site I even found a predictable reference to HDLG :

"The journalist was sniffing around the island of Jersey because of alleged financial malfeasance and, more bizarrely, supposedly murdered children at the now infamous Haut la Garenne childrens home. I know from my reading on this matter that this is abject bollocks, and made me question her wisdom."

( a second story on The Register is about Nakamono's denial : )

The evidence for him being the inventor seems to be a matter of opinion, hardly anything concrete. Even if he was behind BTC, what right does Leah have to expose him? From being a champion of truth and justice, it seems she has immediately sunken to gutter press levels of self interest. So that's a big "Whoops!" and a blow for the cause of the abuse victims. How sad.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Maison de Ville in the sloppy news

More sloppy reporting again - the Maison de Ville care home is to close  - but where is it? Would it kill them to actually say, for those of us who may be hazy on such things?

Does the basic journalism of "Who, what, why, when, where?" no longer apply to our local media?

It's here on Google Maps (Streetview), up La Pouquelaye.

(btw, look at the website for the home at and compare the photo they've used with the view Streetview - looks familiar?! Can we wonder "copyright theft"?)

Oh, and as for the "nearby" St.Ewold's (maybe on the map, but it's still a long-ish indirect walk for even the fittest youngsters) that involves taking a right from Trinity Hill here (Streetview) and it looks like this (Streetview).

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Digital Jersey Divide

Digital Jersey was set up to promote the island's digital economy and make the most of future IT opportunities. Would you expect membership to be open to anyone interested? No...... from a look at their website's registration page, we see that you have to be a Jersey-based company, partnership or sole trader.

  • What if you're retired from the industry but still interested, wanting to have some input and pass on some of your wisdom accumulated over the years?
  • What if you're currently out of work, hoping and waiting for the next IT job to come along - and would benefit from being able to attend their events to network and get your face known?
  • What if you're 'just' an employee, not management?
  • What if you work in another industry but want to switch, or are keenly interested for any reason?
  • What if you're a student or school leaver also eager to embark on a Digital Jersey career?

Sorry.... but it looks like you're not welcome! Jersey's legendary lack of inclusivity strikes again. Just another one of those "them and us" divides that crop up all too often.