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A view from the West

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Child abuse, Harper and the feudal way
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st_ouennais

The Guardian yesterday carried an important piece on Haut de la Garenne and the abuse enquiry.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/mar/14/haut-de-la-garenne

It is significant for a couple of reasons.  First ,it names names. Second it comes very shortly before Sen Syvret and John Hemming MP go to court in the UK to get Jack Straw to act on his constitutional obligation for oversight of the administration in Jersey.  John Hemming's blog is
http://johnhemming.blogspot.com/, Senator Syvret's is http://stuartsyvret.blogspot.com/ .

Naming names.  This is a big step for  them, especially when some of those named are still alive. The Guardian would not do so without sound evidence they would not lightly risk a libel case.  It does raise the inevitable question of why our local media with all their access, local knowledge, and contacts have not done so. 

The timing is also important, but more of that in a bit.  I want first to comment on the phrase in the piece - feudal culture survives.  I believe this goes right to the heart of many issues in our Island.  I recall the debates about the abolition of the seigneurs' rights to a couple percent of all property transaction in their seigneurie.  It may be true we have done away with many of the physical trappings of feudalism. We  plebs have been given a vote, and allowed  to have our own representatives in the States.  However those outward changes are not the only ones that have happened.  When we had full blown feudalism it went with the clear understanding by the elite that with power and privilege came responsibilities to the rest of society.  It has come down to us as the concept of noblesse oblige.  Jersey has become a mismatched hotchpotch of legacy feudal thinking  with quasi democratic mechanics. So we are expected to show respect for those in authority merely by virtue of holding the office mixed with an abandonment of responsibilities and duties of the office holders towards the poorest and weakest in society. Possibly the worst of all possible combinations.

Since we are on the topic of feudal approaches, we can cast the ongoing struggle concerning the child abuse fiasco metaphorically as medaeval seige warfare.  Senator Syvret and his peasant army allies have laid seige to the fortress Jersey Way with its garrison of well armoured and provisioned knights, squires and followers.  It  is a long haul affair, often with nothing much appearing to be going on at all.  But every day that passes increases the odds of the seige succeeding.  The defenders grow weary of watching out for when the final assault might come, they grow increasingly concerned their food and resources are being depleted, they fret at the risk of disease and they lose composure and rationality as the situation deteriorates and desperation mounts. There are only two outcomes. Either a relieving force arrives and drives off the beseiging  forces, or the garrison eventually capitulates.

The Guardian piece with its forthright naming certainly hasn't come to relieve the beleaguered garrison of fortress Jersey Way.  Indeed the odds appear to have shifted very much in favour of the peasant army, unless the UK court on Tuesday provides that relief to the garrison.

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Mark.

Among many other things, what the Guardian article done yesterday was, in my opinion, to expose our local media as being, at best, totally inept and at worst complicit in cover-ups of the most heinous crimes that could be committed against children.

It certainly exposed "the Jersey way" and Iris Le Feuvre was a great ambassador for it. Her sympathy lays with the Balderdash brothers! What do you (as a care leaver) think of that, indeed what do the care leavers think of it? This is a woman who was head honcho at education for many years. Since her we've had somebody with a nickname of "the pinball wizard" and now we've got somebody purported to have been questioned by the police in connection with child abuse!

The worst of it all is that our glorious leaders are still going around saying everything in the garden is rosy! you couldn't make any of this up mate you really couldn't.

VFC.

Hi VFC. What do I think of that? Sadly it really is nothing different from what I have come to expect. However I do think there is some growing awareness among the general public that Hamlet Act 1, scene 4, line 90 applies.

Mark.

Sorry to disappoint but the only thing I know about hamlet is that it's a "cigar called happiness".

'Something is rotten in the state of Denmark'

The reason Marcellus says 'state of Denmark' indicates it is rotting from the head down—all is not well at the top of the political hierarchy.



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