Does anyone genuinely think any States member actually enjoys going back to an issue again and again and again? Well, maybe there are few out there who do believe such nonsense. But the truth is the answer is no. That it sometimes has to be done – if you don’t fall for the calculated ploy used by some Ministers of trying to grind you down until the question is dropped by attempting to belittle the issue’s importance – is just another example of the sorry state of ministerial government.
Indeed, one more reason why I and a rapidly growing number of other Members sick to the back teeth of the mockery of democratic government that this system has become under Chief Minister Le Sueur will be backing Senator Breckon’s proposal for a complete overhaul. But that is a story for another day.
The fact is that just as I have stated in the Assembly on more than one occasion, I have no personal axe to grind on behalf of the suspended Chief of Police underlying these questions. All I am concerned with is getting to the bottom of a process that would not be tolerated in any self-respecting democracy; about finally getting some transparency. About ensuring that people – no matter who they are – should be treated as innocent until proven guilty; not to mention how under this Council of Ministers it is possible to hide behind guff like ‘neutral acts’ whilst spinning lies about investigations that will only take ‘weeks’, yet then are allowed to drag on for months, even years.
If all of this upsets a few people I’m afraid all I can say is – tough. The number of people who have contacted me supporting continuing this line of questioning until we finally get answers, set against those who would just see the issues dropped indicates that most people think natural justice is something worth being tenacious about.
As per the written question regarding the Senator’s comments suggesting that everything would be made clear come July, it is interesting that I had to remove reference in the question to the globally established practice of governments looking to ‘bury bad news’ by revealing information when it would largely go unnoticed. The point I was seeking to highlight here is that if ‘July’ was to mean after the next but one States sitting of the 19th then any opportunity for asking questions would be put on hold for two whole months.
Wouldn’t that be a shame? Mr. Power would be gone, and as we all know it has never been the intention to allow a full and proper disciplinary process to be undertaken: a process where both sides of the story could be heard and allegations defended.
As to the other questions I hope to be writing something on the taxation issue shortly, having raised questions on this and the related subject of 1.1. (K) s a number of times. The other questions which relate to St. Helier No. 1 District are self-explanatory. One relating to long-standing work in support of constituents, the other to explore the possibility of whether the Minister for ESC could manage to find any alternatives to a cutting of a frontline service, rather than the rather populist approach in a proposition of just telling the Minister he couldn’t do it: period.
Deputy Trevor Pitman
*A final point for Jaime. Sorry, Jaime, but in answer to your question I get my information from a number of sources which obviously vary considerably in line with the issues. If similar concerns/issues/also surface on other blogs sometimes, then great. The fact that some people are actively seeking transparency should surely be applauded whether one agrees with those people’s views or not
Deputy T.M. Pitman of St. Helier will ask the following oral question of the Minister for Home Affairs
“Will the Minister advise whether the alleged author of the Metropolitan (Met) Police Interim Report is himself under investigation by the Met regarding alleged anomalies in the report’s construction and whether the author neglected to interview crucial witnesses who could have refuted allegations made by the Former Deputy Chief Officer against the former Senior Investigating Officer and the suspended Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police?”
Deputy T.M. Pitman of St. Helier will ask the following question oral of the Minister for Treasury and Resources
“Given that in the Fiscal Strategy Review public consultation document it is stated that a key consideration in implementing a 30% Income Tax rate for those earning above £100.000 is the possibility of such individuals choosing to leave the Island, will the Minister advise what firm evidence, if any, his department has to support such fears?”
Deputy T.M. Pitman of St. Helier will ask the following written question of the Minister for Home Affairs
“Under questioning about the lengthy suspension process of the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police on the 22nd June 2010, the Minister asked for patience, advising Members that all would be revealed in July, will the Minister now give assurances that when referring to July he meant that information, including access to the so called 'Metropolitan Police Interim Report' and information as to whether the former Chief Minister and current States Chief Executive Officer received briefings on other States Members as a consequence of 'Operation Blast', will be provided to members before, or during the last States sitting prior to the summer recess; or will the Minister be seeking to delay the release of such information until the summer recess has begun, thus preventing the opportunity for Members to ask questions?”
Deputy T.M. Pitman of St. Helier will ask the following written question of the Minister for Economic Development
“Will the Minister advise what action, if any, the Harbours Department has taken to address the long-standing anti-social behaviour problems suffered by residents at Albert Quay Apartments; specifically whether the promised speed bumps are yet in place; what, if any, impact the new speed cameras have had and, if no action has been taken when will these matters be progressed?”
Deputy T.M. Pitman of St. Helier will ask the following written question of the Minister for Education, Sport & Culture
“Is the Minister able to identify any alternative efficiency savings, other than cutting the three life guards at Havre des Pas swimming pool, which would have less front-line impact on services, and, if so, what might these be?”