Standing Up For The Jersey Way

"I have often wondered why it is that an insignificant, tiny Island should, from time to time, produce considerable numbers of men and women of outstanding character and ability, wholly disparate to its size. Is it something we have inherited from our Norman ancestors, although diluted over the years by French, English and other strains? Or is it that Islanders, such as we, in their formative years tend to be left to fend for themselves perhaps more than in larger societies? Again, is it that our schools...have maintained a consistency in standards of education and behaviour which other, less fortunate places, have not been able to do?"

- Sir Peter Crill CBE, Bailiff of Jersey 1986-1995

One is appalled to note the proliferation of local websites whose sole purpose seems to be to drag the island's fine name through the mud - or to borrow a phrase, to 'shaft Jersey internationally'.

Thus one has resolved to correct this imbalance. This 'blog' is dedicated to projecting a more positive image of our island, and to celebrating the tireless efforts of the exceptional men and women who have helped make Jersey the stable prosperous and contented community it is today.

Correspondents are encouraged to leave their own messages of gratitude and support for our selfless and devoted leaders...

Thursday, 7 January 2010

An Open Letter To former Detective Superintendent Gradwell


May one express one's gratitude for all you achieved on behalf of the people of Jersey during your time here. Your distinguished accomplishments here represent a fitting climax to a long and illustrious career.

It is no exaggeration to say that when you arrived the island was facing its greatest crisis since World War Two, as its good name was being dragged through the mud by its enemies in the wake of the allegations surrounding the former Haut de la Garenne childrens home.

Yet at a time when the investigation was threatening to get out of control, with a calm professionalism and obvious integrity you were able to quickly get to the bottom of the mystery: the apparently horrific events could be put down to nothing more sinister than the activities of tooth fairies.

Of course, with the benefit of hindsight to any sane and rational observer this was the most obvious explanation, and one wonders just how the previous investigative team could have allowed themselves to be sidetracked by the estimated 160-180 witness accounts of beatings, rapes, forced abortions, lime pits, clandestine bonfires and unexplained disappearances of children, as well as the scores of intact infant teeth, charred and fleshed human bone fragments found at the home.

But as you said yourself when you left our island, "Why would anyone wish to cover up child abuse?"

These words were exactly what the world needed to hear, and they allowed Jersey to restore its reputation and happily resume its role as a world class financial centre and family holiday destination par excellence, and for that we will forever be in your debt.

But they also represented the kind of commonsense reasoning that had previously been so lacking and had led to this sorry state of affairs in the first place. However demonstrating an instinctive attunement to our local traditions and sensibilities you and Mr Warcup subsequently helped to restore the good old-fashioned approach to policing that had served the island so well in the past.

One wishes you a long and happy retirement, and one is sure that when the history of our times is written, you will surely occupy a place on the pantheon of greats, alongside such local luminaries as Sir Reg Jeune (one has just finished re-reading his inspirational memoirs), Mr Frank Walker and Senator Terry Le Main.

Moreover one also hopes that Mr Warcup continues your good work to its logical conclusion.

Now that you have deemed there are no grounds for bringing further charges, can one now look forward to the arrest and prosecution of the estimated 160-180 patent frauds and fantasists whose allegations and talk have caused so much pain, suffering and financial cost to the taxpayer?

One believes that Jersey's judicial system owes that much at least to the victims of this wretched saga.

Proud Jerseyman

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