#IJCI some initial thoughts ahead of tomorrow

The Oldham report highlights a political approach that in the past too often failed to ask questions and failed to recognise the importance of learning from evidence from the world beyond Jersey

Jersey has much to be proud and has achieved much over the centuries which has changed the world around us for the better

However like many places the Jersey Authorities from the 50’s to early 2000’s did not acknowledge the existence of Child Abuse

The Oldham Report acknowledges it was not intentional

However it is clear that this attitude failed and damaged irrevocably the lives of many

There should have been for more questioning by politicians

There has been too much reliance on process and hierarchy

If a minister has appointed or accepted the continued employment of their most senior and therefore accountable that minister – whether assistant or not – is  responsible for the acts and decisions of those officials and departments whether they know or knew of those acts or them or not

It’s the fundamental foundation stone of parliamentary democracy

There has been a failure to take responsibility

There has been a failure to act

There has been a failure to put in place the appropriate and qualified leadership in the States

This has failed children and others for too long

The expression the ‘Jersey Way’ was in common parlance 10 or more years ago and has recently re-surfaced

Some will disagree, but to me this terminology has always had too many associations with



island nationalism

a closed society 

sweeping things under the carpet

being secretive and segregated


a blinkered parochial approach

small and narrow mindedness

decisions taken which are short-sighted and short-term

attitudes which are illiberal, intolerant, prejudiced, bigoted and discriminatory

We should consign this culture in Jersey to the history books and only the pages of Temps Passé

We need to commit to re-building an island which has come to terms with the past and is now willing to move forward

Individual ministerial responsability and accountability matters 

Equally understanding what this fundamental parliamentary convention means and acting is paramount  

Understanding what is going on in the department you are responsible for and taking action as soon as you are aware of a problem

If it’s serious enough disclosing publicly to the States Assembly by way of ministerial statement and answering questions is vital

Point-scoring and a culture of fear, denial and blame won’t change what really needs to be done 

We can’t change the past, but we can the future

Jersey’s CM has in the last 48 hours, in the initial statement and media interviews concerning the IJCI has articulated what a modern Jersey can be 

broad-mindedopen-minded, unprejudicedunbiased, understanding



gentlecaring, lovingdecent

responsivethoughtfulkind and proper

responsiblerespectful and understanding

These words describe an ethos, an approach and are neither exhaustive or the words which describe the actions needed to affect change

Tomorrow’s debate is about how to make this happen and quickly

  1. How do we build an island that will put every child’s welfare at the centre of all decision-making?
  2. An island which is open to outside scrutiny and inspection
  3. A States Assembly with politicians whether ministers or back-benchers are equppied, trained and accountable to properly fairly question
  4. Ministers of the future who do understand what responsability is really about
  5. How do we ensure we have a Civil Service leadership that is fit for purpose and capable?
  6. Whilst hundreds of Public Sector staff and those in the organisations who provide care are brilliant not all are
  7. We need suitably qualified staff who are recruited on merit, who are properly appraised, who are properly rewarded, valued and recognised in an environment where people want to come and work
  8. An island which is open and transparent
  9. An Island that understands it’s not only about money – in all senses of the word
  10. An island that identifies, raises and allocates responsibly and properly all the necessary financial and manpower resources to ensure every child has the unequivocal rights for protection, dignity to live in a safe, loving environment – which is unconditional.
  11. An island where every child, young person and person born here or that we welcome here has the encouragement and opportunity to reach their potential


More tomorrow

Philip Ozouf
5th July 2017


  1. I have stated that I agree with all but one of the recommendations to demolish will remove memory not true it was featured in Bergerac for years i know was in the series myself from.1986-91 so this serves no purpose just will hurt private activity business now based there also i believe its a listed building i really see no point in carrying out this recommendation as see no point whatsoever

  2. I was impressed by this statement.

    I particularly liked this on “The Jersey Way”

    “We should consign this culture in Jersey to the history books and only the pages of Temps Passé”

    • Thank you Tony

      Your comments are always throughtful

  3. Consideration could be given to how education & social care organisations communicate with each other to share vital information in order to protect children.


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