Today Sunday the 14th March 2010, our Chief Minister, Senator Terry (P9-26) Le Sueur, along with Deputy of St Marin Bob Hill were “live” guests on our local weekly Radio Show “Talkback”.
The subject matter was “who is running Jersey, the Civil Servants, or the Politicians.”
One member of the public who phoned into the show was a member of Team Voice. Where he put it to Senator Terry (P9-26) Le Sueur that the Civil Servants are running the island, and in particular, the Head Civil Servant Bill Ogley.
The Team Voice member went on to explain, that no less an authority than our most Senior Police Officer, had sworn an affidavit claiming that Mr. Ogley had been involved in engineering the dismissal of a democratically elected member of our parliament namely the (then) Health and Social Service Minister Senator Stuart Syvret. Indeed CPO Graham Power had this to say in his Affidavit.
“I attended a meeting of the Corporate Management Board (C.M.B.) This is a body which brings together the heads of the islands public services to discuss policy issues and provide collective advice to Ministers.
T he feeling in the room was tense and there was general talk about the questions asked by the Health Minister and the need for some sort of action in response. I had the feeling that “something was going on” to which I was not a party. After the meeting the Chief Executive, Bill Ogley, asked me to stay behind. Also remaining were the head of States H.R., Ian Crich, the Chief Officer of Health, Mike Pollard and the then Chief Officer of Education, (Tom McKeon who has since retired.) The Chief Executive said that it was anticipated that the Council of Ministers would tomorrow be asked by the then Chief Minister, Senator Frank Walker, to pass a vote of “no confidence” in the Health Minister and that this could result in his removal from office. I was then told of measures that had apparently been put in place to facilitate this. I was told that the islands Child Protection Committee (C.P.C.) was due to meet at the same time as we were meeting and that arrangements had been made for it to pass a vote of “no confidence” in the Minister. It was then suggested that as the heads of the relevant public services we should do something similar and that this would give support to the proposal that the Chief Minister would bring forward the next day.
I was shocked by this and initially did not know what to say. I eventually made two points. Firstly I said that the Minister was entitled to ask difficult questions. As I saw things that was his role and it was our role to provide a response, and secondly, even if that was not agreed, what was being proposed was civil servant and police engagement in political activity. I stated clearly that I did not see that as acceptable and that I would have nothing to do with it. At this point the Chief Executive asked me to leave the meeting which I did. I then made contact with a police colleague who had been at the C.PC. and discovered that this colleague had also had left their meeting for similar reasons. Shortly afterwards we both made brief notes in relation to what had happened. This was my first noteworthy experience of the formation of an “inner circle” of politicised senior civil servants loyal to the Chief Minister. The Chief Executive and the head of H.R. subsequently played a significant role in my suspension.”
Let us remember, this is a sworn affidavit submitted voluntarily, should there be any falsehoods contained in it the Chief Police Officer risks a perjury charge.
The Team Voice member went on to explain to our Chief Minister that contained within the same affidavit was an allegation from CPO Power that the Chief Executive Officer Bill Ogley had stated if “they” (presumably the police?) wanted to “get” a fellow Civil Servant who was a suspect in the ongoing historical child abuse investigation, (and remained in post, not suspended as a neutral act) then they would have to “get him first” (Bill Ogley). Chief Police Officer Graham Power had this to say in his affidavit.
“The third example I have chosen relates to a Strategic Planning Workshop held at the St Pauls Centre on Friday 24th October 2008. The Workshop was attended by a number of senior public servants including myself and the Chief Executive. At the commencement of the workshop the Chief Executive asked for silence and said that he had an announcement to make. He named a senior civil servant who was present. The person named is a suspect in the abuse investigation but has not been suspended. The Chief Executive said that the suspect had his total support and that “if anyone wants to get…….(the suspect)…….they would have to get me first”. This announcement was applauded by some but not all of the persons present. I took it as a further indication of the “in crowd” closing ranks against the “threat” of the abuse enquiry. The Chief Executive later played a significant role in my suspension.”
The Chief Minister replied by saying he hasn’t seen any evidence to prove any wrong doing by his Chief Civil Servant, and his Chief Civil Servant has denied the claims, and he (the Chief Minister) has every confidence in Mr. Ogley.
So this is how things work over here in good old Jersey. Our most senior ranking Police Officer, swears an affidavit that the most Senior Civil Servant has been involved in, what most would consider to be “illegal” and anti-democratic activity. The Senior Civil Servant denies it and that’s good enough for our Chief Minister. No investigation or inquiry into the claims made in the affidavit, there’s no need the Civil Servant has denied it, nothing more needed.
I believe it was Lenny Harper who first used this quote and it sums it up really and that is you couldn’t make up a credible “fictitious” story with this stuff.
For those who would like to view Chief Police Officer Graham Power’s Affidavit in its entirety click HERE
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