Thursday, 13 November 2008

1/ Discredit Evidence 2/ Just a Matter of Interpretation

1/a)Warcup and Gradwell denigrate evidence, questioning validity of the scope of the HDLG investigation.

1/b) The person with ultimate responsibility, Graham Power, is suspended

2/ a) Frank Walker and co. question the legitimacy of resourcing the investigation, based on discredited evidence.

2/b) Without evidence, and possibly the will to resource the investigation adequately for the future, what happened at HDLG becomes a matter of interpretation.

In other words, the A to B of turning a major police enquiry into a minor one.

The JEP's headline of 12/11 must be the most stupid headline ever. "There were no murders" Without being God or some other omnipresent being, how on earth would anyone know that there had been no murders? Perhaps the evidence is questionable. Even so, logical thinking leads to the belief that murders were not unlikely. There are plenty of witness statements of abuse and cruelty, children were not properly protected while in care, even the latterly convicted paedophile, Paisnel, visited children's homes.

So why now? Why an evidence review at this particular moment? Senator Stuart Syvret spoke to the media in the Royal Square about these matters (pictured, by W. Walton). He raised concerns over the lack of transparency regarding the evidence - how bones had been tested, etc. He also considered it an opportune moment for the launch of this "evidence review" at a time when Jersey's establishment awaits the imminent publication of the Howard Leaugue's Report on youth justice and child custody. Without this review, a damning report on child custody practices would have doubtless been linked in the national media with the ongoing HDLG investigation, indicating a prolonged and recent lack of responsibility towards child care issues by Jersey's government. Now that the waters have been muddied, the report's publication is less likely to provoke such a big story in the national media.

Perhaps that will be some comfort to the establishment figures of this Island. But there is no doubt they have failed and that over the years they have been culpable of child neglect. Over the last few decades Jersey has been a place with "money coming out of its ears", but clearly not enough money to fund the proper care of children; not enough money to support parents in need; not enough money to fund foster care. Jersey had the means to support parents who couldn't cope, even now it does not have a Surestart programme as in the UK. It had the means to fund foster care, enabling the many good people in Jersey who would like to offer respite to children, to have the space and time to spend on children. And as a last resort it had the means to ensure that children staying in group homes were well cared for, and it didn't.

The publication of the Howard League's report will offer a way to reflect and improve on past practices. It is imperative that it does not get discredited too.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Mike Liston - Renewables Revolution NOT

Mike Liston was recently interviewed by the JEP about the feasibility of developing renewable energies (wind, solar, marine) in Jersey.

In their article he is said to be the chairman of the Renewable Energy Group Ltd. He is not. He is actually the non-executive chairman of Renewable Energy Generation Ltd.

He says that "The economics to make the scheme work (renewables such as marine) will prevent them from being a reality in Jersey for another 15 years"

Whether a renewables scheme could work in Jersey, I suggest has a lot more to do with will rather than means.

Samso Island near Denmark is totally energy self sufficient. The islanders own their means of energy production and can even sell the surplus to the mainland. They can profit from their wind turbines 6 to 7 years after construction. They started 10 years ago with a couple of turbines and a district heating plant. Why can't Jersey do the same? At least as a pilot project.

Their energy supports a population of about 4,500 people, which increases 10 fold each summer with tourists. The cost so far - about £40million (less than one tenth of our strategic reserve).

If we get some green candidates elected, will they propose at least a pilot renewables project?