Monday, January 21, 2019

A JERSEY COW ATE MY HOMEWORK


Robert MacRae - Jersey's Attorney General
Click on any image for a larger version

This is a story, staggering in its simplicity but shrouded in mystery nonetheless.

Candidates for the Jersey parliament (States of Jersey) are supposed to submit their expenses returns by a certain date following the election. In the past, compliance was seriously deficient, so the Attorney General sought tougher legislation with significant fines and possible loss of seat for successful candidates. This legislation was passed by the States a few years ago.

You would imagine that this would have ensured 100% compliance, particularly among successful candidates. Well, following the 2018 election the Attorney General recently decided to prosecute three candidates for non compliance. Two of these were successful in the elections and risked losing their seats.

Meanwhile a former States member, but unsuccessful candidate this time round, decided to do a bit of investigating and found that half the States members, including the Council of Ministers, were non compliant.

As soon as this was revealed the Attorney General abandoned the existing prosecutions.

This has raised a number of questions:
  • Why did the AG decide to prosecute?
  • How did he pick the particular three to prosecute?
  • Was he not aware of the extent of non-compliace?
  • What was the real reason he failed to prosecute other non-compliant candidates?
  • And why, precisely, did he abandon the prosecutions
Now, it could be argued that this is a minor infringement and has been tolerated for years but, if the AG decided to proseute anybody, he must have considered it a serious offence. So why the selectivity?

Despite this being a serious constitutional crisis, Jersey's main stream media have ignored it until their feet were put to the fire, and ITV and BBC (local branches) have now interviewed the researcher, Nick Le Cornu, and the blogger who published his research, Mike Dunn (alias Tom Gruchy).

Meanwhile another blogger, Niall McMurray (alias Voice for Children) has videoed the media interviews and these will ultimately be compared with the transmitted versions to see how the media are handling this. Jersey's main stream media are very, very, slow to criticise the authorities particularly on any matters related to the good, or otherwise, governance of the Island.



Nick Le Cornu


You can hear Mike's interview with Nick here.

9 comments:

Alan Le Vesconte said...

The Judicial Greffier (or former JG) should be charged with perverting the course of justice. He wrote to candidates who had not yet submitted their forms and told them he had extended the deadline. He had no legal right to do this. He acted outside the law and should be held to account for doing so. We know he won't be because he is one of them and not one of us.

Póló said...

Thanks Alan.

The arbitrary exercise of power by Jersey Crown Officers has become a matter of course, but they do not always leave themselves as open as this.

So both the Judicial Greffier (former) and the Attorney General (current) are now in the firing line.

Hopefully this will knock a bit of the polish off the AG.

Unfortunately it appears ERII has other things on her mind just at the moment.

Gordon Adams said...

I agree with Mr Le Vesconte and yourself Polo and the question still needs to be answered as to why only the two Deputies and one candidate were chosen for prosecution and not the 39 others? Do you remember when Shona Pitman and Geoff southern were singled out for helping elderly folk fill out election forms? Other candidates did the same thing but they weren't prosecuted either. The Attorney General's office is where all the Jersey corruption is coming from.

Póló said...

Arbitrary exercise of power is not the rule of law.

To the JG & AG we could add Mick Gradwell who seems not to have bothered interviewing Person 737 once Graham Power was out of the way.

voiceforchildren said...

Polo.

We must not also forget the questionable honesty and integrity of former Attorney General and current Bailiff William Bailhache. Where he dropped the case against "Mr. K" under dubious CIRCUMSTANCES.

Tom Gruchy said...

HM AG is soon to become HM Deputy Bailiff if his ambitions are realised. Whether he is suitable for the job is a decision to be made by others but for sure the general public won't have a vote or say in the matter.
If he is appointed and proves to be a wrong'un like Deputy Bailiff Tomes many years ago then he will be removed by an equally mysterious process.
Apart from the route through promotion it is difficult to know how he might be removed from his office as HM AG for Jersey if that was felt necessary for some reason.
We can remember how difficult it was to remove the Senior Magistrate (elect) from his office a few years ago even after he had been convicted and sent to prison for fraud.

Anonymous said...

Also noted at Three wrongs don't make democracy

Póló said...

Gordon @ 16:20

Just to make it clear to those readers who may not have been following it, Shona's & Geoff's sin at the time was in helping a lady to REGISTER to vote and had nothing to do with the ballot paper. You'd wonder at the motivation to prosecute, or would you?

Anonymous said...

At the time Shona Pitman had just brought the first no confidence vote against a Bailiff in 800 years of history. That Bailiff was the AG William Bailhache's big brother Sir Philip. Remember this and it all makes sense.