Cost Of Failed, Taxpayer Funded, Super Injunction Remains A Secret.

After more questions asked of alleged Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, by Deputy Trevor Pitman, in the Island's Parliament today we still don't know the full amount, to the taxpayer, of the failed superinjunction placed on former Health Minister Stuart Syvret.

Senator Gorst ducked, and dived, a number of questions surrounding the case with only very little given away. We did, however, find out that the four proxies, it would appear were "invited" by Data Protection Commissioner, Emma Martins to take action against Mr. Syvret.


Data protection commissioner "invited" the claimants to come forward, according to Deputy Mike Higgins. How many other people has she "invited" Will she be inviting Stuart Syvret to make a claim against disgraced former Housing Minister, Deputy Sean Power, after he stole personal data belonging to Mr. Syvret and his ex partner which caused it to be published on a reported paedophile protecting hate-site? No she has already ruled that stealing other people's personal data, sharing it with others, and causing it to be published on the internet is a "regulatory" offence and not criminal.

Senator Gorst also revealed that the four "representors" (proxies) contributed nothing, financially, towards the cost of the case. Which brings us back to a previous posting where we published an extract from the court judgement HERE which read;

"he has put the Representors to unnecessary expense and has failed to engage with the litigation and he has repeatedly breached the order. The consequence of this conduct has been that the Representors have been put to unnecessary expense." 

They were put to NO expense, unnecessary or otherwise. 

Good (unanswered) questions from Deputies Tadier and Higgins also which left Senator Gorst floundering. (recording below)

VFC credit TJW for this recording.







Deputy Pitman on Radio Jersey about Stuart Syvret’s Secret Court Case

Deputy T Pitman.



Discussing Stuart Syvret's Secret Court Case on Radio Jersey this morning with good old Matthew Price with just the one Question  "In the interests of free speech should we be allowed to say anything we like online?"

 

TheJerseyWay would like to Credit & Thank BBC Radio Jersey for making these recording's possible.

Stuart Syvret Secret Court Case on State Radio.

Further to our EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with former Jersey politician and Health Minister Stuart Syvret concerning the secret court case/super-injunction, BBC Jersey broadcast an edited interview with him this morning on the radio.

The question BBC was asking its listeners was "In the interests of free speech should we be allowed to say anything we like online?"

We have a few others such as;

"Has the Data Protection Law been abused in a secret court case? 

Why did these four proxies not use libel/defamation laws in order to publicly clear their names? 

If justice must be SEEN to be done why was this, taxpayer funded, court case in secret? 

What ramifications could this very dangerous precedent have for journalism across the board, so-called "accredited" and so-called "non accredited journalists alike?

Who brought these very unlikely bedfellows together and what was the motivation?

Is everybody treated equally by the law/Data Protection Office when attempting to make complaints?

How much did this secret court case really cost the taxpayer?

Below is the recording of this morning's broadcast on State Radio. Deputy Trevor Pitman was also live in the studio which will be published on TJW later this evening.

VFC credit the BBC for the recording below.




JERSEY EVENING POST – THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE ACTION OF DATA PROTECTION COMMISSIONER EMMA MARTINS






DATA PROTECTION COMMISSIONER EMMA MARTINS

DEPUTY TRACY VALLOIS  - CHAIR OF THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE





"THE JERSEY EVENING POST"




"THEY SIMPLY FEAR CITIZENS MEDIA PART 2"





PART 1 CAN BE READ HERE.



http://ricosorda.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-jersey-evening-post-they-simply.html





LIBEL & DEFAMATION REPLACED BY DATA PROTECTION & THEIR COMMISSIONER EMMA MARTINS.


WHERE DO WE NOW STAND IN JERSEY REGARDING CITIZEN AND MAINSTREAM MEDIA ?


HAVE THE JERSEY EVENING POST JEP MISSED THE POINT - HAVE THE ENTIRE JERSEY MSM MISSED THE POINT?





Can we now say  by publishing someones name - no matter in what context - that we can now be dragged through a secret court case funded by the taxpayer?  This is the crucial matter that has been over looked in my opinion. This comes down to interpretation. Stuart Syvret has mentioned peoples name on his blog complete with allegations concerning them.  The Data Protection Law and not a Libel action has been used and this surely sets a very dangerous precedent not only for Citizen Media but for every Mainstream Media outlet in Jersey. Why have they remained silent on this? Have they been distracted by the fact that it is Stuart Syvret? 


Can Stuart Syvret - former CPO Graham Power - Lenny Harper  and any other member of the public now bring a Data Protection action against the JEP for any articles written by them (JEP)  that might be distressing  and damaging - how do we quantify distressing and damaging? Maybe they should be contacting Data Protection Commissioner, Emma Martins.   This is very serious. Think about it. 


After all the vitriol that the bloggers have had to endure and the hands of the JEP - calling into question our integrity, motives and accusing us of publishing "Allegations without Substance" can we now bring a class action against the JEP - funded by the taxpayer - and ask them to remove all mention of blogs/bloggers -Lenny Harper and anybody else who have attempted to bring child abusers and their protectors to account.


In today's JEP the Data Protection Commissioner, Emma Martins has come out with a statement that could set in motion a collision course with the UK Parliament. Let me quote her exact words - if accurately interpreted by the JEP. 


The JEP asked Emma Martins - " Whether further action would be taken against Mr Syvret or others who have named identified the four"


Mrs Martins replied " Every complaint we receive is dealt with in accordance with our statutory powers. The Royal Court judgement is clear, and the office of data protection commissioner notes that all of the applicants have been successful in winning the relief that they were seeking. This has been a difficult, complex and long-running case which has taken a real personal toll on the applicants. We are all accountable for what we write and say in the online environment  and that accountability applies equally to those who claim journalistic status - they also have to face the legal consequence arising from damage that they do and the lasting harm that they can cause during their actions. This judgement shows clearly that the laws that protect us in our everyday life also extend online. There will be no further comment from this office."End


Deputy Trevor and Shona Pitman could have saved themselves a fortune by going to the data protection office instead of taking a libel action.  You can now by-pass the press complaints commission and go straight to Emma martins - what is good for the goose is surely good for the gander. 


Now, I'm opening these concerns and questions to the public. Have I got my interpretation of this wrong? I'm simply asking the question. By using Data Protection and not Libel has a whole new precedent been set?


I have copied  the names of the 4 individuals involved and has a multitude of other  blog sites from the 'UK Parliament Hansard'. Will we now see Emma Martins taking them on in court to have them removed? If I have to take them down, then surely the UK Parliament Hansard must follow suit.


The JEP never contacted Stuart Syvret for a reply until after their piece had been written and published. How ironic that the reply they did publish in today's paper comes straight from his blog. He asked for  a set of questions but instead the JEP went for a quick cut and paste job. This is becoming, as with all things Judicial and Legislative in Jersey, a complete joke.


Again some very serious questions must be asked of the Data Protection Office, via the Chief Minister, Ian Gorst, who has political oversight of said office, about just  how much money has been spent, out of what budget the money has come from and surely the tax paying public of Jersey has a right to know. 

Could/ Should the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) under the leadership of Deputy Vallois and the watchful eye of Senator Ferguson start following the money and find out exactly how much this has cost the Jersey Taxpayer.

Make no mistake we are dealing with a systemic  and shambolic level of governance that must come to an end one way or the other. This is not sustainable. We need serious checks and balances across all functions of Judiciary and Governance.


Rico Sorda

Part Time Investigative Journalist

Citizen Media and Proud. 

A Harvest Prayer

By way of difference this week, I've been re-reading my Greek mythology, so here is a very Pagan poem or prayer for Autumn, drawing on the Greek pantheon:

A Harvest Prayer

Aiolos, O Guardian of the wind
Of storms across land and sea
Though mortal man has sinned
Pray not to let the tempest free
 
Euros, bring warm autumn sun
And favour harvests in the fall
Let festivals  make merry fun
Pray turn aside the fiercer squall
 
Pray that Gaea's gift to the sky-gods
Brings golden apples, sunsets fine
For not by chance, cast die or odds
Comes ripening vine, and last of wine
 
Pray to the gods, their outstretched hands
Cast blessings on our autumn lands

THE DAY I CHALLENGED THE JERSEY EVENING POST

RICO SORDA -PART TIME INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST

On September 23rd 2012 I laid down a challenge to the Jersey Evening Post ("JEP")  and their editors to put up or shut up. This was to do with them referring to bloggers as conspiracy theorists. I laid down the challenge. I wanted it done on an open platform in the BBC Jersey studios. I wanted the public to also have their say by phoning - emailing and any other means possible. 

The Blog and challenge can be read here.



Rico Sorda

The Eyewitness

This is a poem about the pub "The Goose in St Peter", Jersey which I wrote after reading this story.

"When Paul Patterson heard of a string of complaints that The Goose was turning away visually impaired people and their guide dogs, he paid a visit to see if that was really the case. He said: "I experienced the same thing myself. And it makes the people with a disability feel extremely hurt. I didn't realise how hurt I'd feel. I knew there was an issue. It did make me take a few steps back." "We would like to just not have this situation where people can suddenly have the carpet pulled from beneath them. And I go back to my own experience last Sunday and I felt really really hurt by it and I didn't think I would." One of the other people told they're not welcome at The Goose with their guide dog is still traumatised and profoundly upset by what happened, and still too shaken to appear on camera to share their story."

You can see the full report by Gary Burgess on CTV at http://www.channelonline.tv/channelonline/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=507005

Here is the poem...

The Eyewitness
 
I opened the door, and stepped inside
And heard the merry sounds of cheer
And my faithful dog came along beside
It was a thirsty day, and time for beer
 
But the bar manager told me, "Go away"
"You are not welcome here, with a dog"
"We take no dogs here in case they stray"
"Go, and seek elsewhere for your grog"
 
I was turned away, and shown the door
Even though I could not see, being blind
It was in vain that I plead and implore
I was told to go; it hurt me, it was unkind
 
The bar manager was uncaring, did not mind
And of the two of us, who was truly blind?
 

Tourism: Success or Spin?

CTV reports this story:
 
"The summer sunshine has helped the Channel Island's tourism success this year. The warm weather over the school holidays has meant more people visited the islands compared with last year. Outdoor adventure businesses say it is a welcome boost following a slow start. "
 
A friend of mine, Adam Gardiner, comments:
 
"How on earth can Jersey Tourism claim the season to be a success? They wheel out a beach concessionaire as their 'proof', when she simply compares to last year and says it was better. Of course it was. Last year the weather was terrible and fewer people ventured onto the beach - this year rather better so more people on the beach. That has nothing at all to do with visitor numbers which I predict will be down overall (again) on last year and the 12 that preceded that."
 
"And yes, a few odd months that did see better numbers over last year - but we aren't talking thousands and in some cases even hundreds. But whichever way you look at it he trend is still downwards"
 
"Spin, spin, spin...form a department that has had it cosy for long enough."
 
He also pointed out to be that in 2012, there was a "Draft 2012 Tourism Strategy- Green Paper:" consultation, which began in July 2012 and ended on 30 September 2012. I looked it up and it was promoted by the Economic Development Minister, Alan Maclean, who wrote in his introduction to the report:
 
"This consultation provides everyone, who has an interest in the future for Tourism, with an opportunity to contribute. All the comments received will be considered, alongside the Oxera report and any other appropriate information, and used to help shape a new strategy for Tourism in Jersey"
 
One year down the line, and the strategy, apart from the creation of an aptly named "Shadow Tourism Committee" (remunerated annually at taxpayers expense), seems to have disappeared without trace. There is no follow up on the consultation. Unlike Scrutiny, which publishes submissions and final reports, it seems that Ministerial Departments set out consultations, and then conveniently forget them. It is the "Yes Minister" approach, with Alan Maclean in the role of Jim Hacker - "lots of activity but no actual achievement".
 
The Chamber of Commerce was critical of the approach in the Green Paper from the start:
 
"The green paper states that it has been recommended that the development of a new strategy for tourism should focus on growing the Staying Leisure Visitor economy. Whilst agreeing that this is a sound objective, the Committee would like to emphasise two matters:-"
 
1.  The "staying leisure visitor economy" should not be taken to mean the high value visitor economy. It is essential that support is given to the providers of all levels of tourist accommodation and not just to those establishments offering the higher scale of accommodation.
2. There is no mention whatsoever in the document of the day trippers who frequent the Island both from Europe, and from the UK and Guernsey, either for the retail experience or to visit tourist attractions. There is no doubt that these visitors spend money while they are on the Island thereby giving a boost to the economy and more effort should be made to attract more day trippers.
 
Jersey Hospitality also pointed out the statistics showed a certain decline:
 
"We will be carefully assessing current tourism trends and by way of an example, statistical data has confirmed the levels of reducing bed stock and visitor number patterns in the hospitality sector locally. Staying Leisure Visitors reduced to a figure of 334,420 in 2011 from 375,860 in 2007 with visitor arrivals reducing to 1,128,571 in 2011 from 1,165,345 in 2007. During the same period the number of establishments reduced to 143 in 2011 from 159 in 2007 and bed spaces reduced to 11,956 in 2011 from 13,050 in 2007. In 1978, a peak year for the visitor economy, there were 574 hotels and guest houses, 2 holiday camps and 6 campsites. In 2011 there were 68 hotels, 44 guest houses, no holiday camps, 25 self catering units, 4 camp-sites and 2 youth hostels making a total of 143 establishments. As a result of the economic and visitor downturn, yield and room rate across the accommodation sector has decreased. With this in mind one can see how vital it is to agree a tourism strategy that meets the needs for the future."
 
In January this year, the newly appointed head of the Shadow Board for Jersey Tourism said that "There's no quick solution to curbing the decline in visitor numbers"
 
The remuneration for the Chairman is £12,500 per annum. The non-executive directors will receive an honorarium of £5,000 per annum. Expenses of the Board members will also be payable.
 
So what are they doing for their money? In August this year, CTV reported that:
 
"In a bid to refocus the island's offering to tourists, Jersey's Shadow Tourism Board plans to get Jersey back on track. They're asking islanders to come up with ideas to promote the island's treasures which could ultimately boost visitor numbers."
 
As one comment put it:
 
"Jersey's Shadow Tourism Board asks islanders to do their job for them, and come up with a way to lure in more tourists."
 
References
 
http://www.channelonline.tv/channelonline_jerseynews/displayarticle.asp?id=506954
http://www.gov.je/SiteCollectionDocuments/Government%20and%20administration/C%20Draft%20Tourism%20Strategy%202012%20Green%20Paper%2020120706.pdf
http://www.jerseychamber.com/media/consultation-documents/2012.09.30%20Response%20to%20Draft%202012%20Tourism%20Strategy%20-%20Green%20Paper.pdf
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:GZngZ2hp4TkJ:www.jerseyhospitality.com/latest-news/94-hospitality-matters-july-edition+&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk
http://www.channelonline.tv/channelonline_jerseynews/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=506659
 

Afternoon Tea

Having been to the St Brelade's Bay Hotel this week, here is a poem all about afternoon tea there....

Afternoon Tea
 
The sun beams down upon the bay
Outside the hotel, the tables wait
Ready for those who come to stay
Inside, waiters prepare the plate
 
And we come, take our places here
Sit on the veranda, like a honey bee
Come to feed; a tradition to endear
In glorious sunshine beside the sea
 
Now come scones, jam and cream
The tea pot, chocolate petit fours
Just like a British Empire dream
Relaxing between the Opium Wars
 
This is afternoon tea, a sheer delight
Good company, enchanting sight