It has been just over a month and the island of Jersey is keenly aware of the progress of this petition...so please keep it coming. It is having immense impact. I am with all of you in spirit, although as yet I am still not allowed back in the UK...
Right now, several UK newspapers and media outlets are in touch amid the Jimmy Savile scandal, as revelations emerge daily of his abusing children at the very same Jersey orphanage I am investigating -- Haut de la Garenne.
This lends a great deal of credence the victims' (previously ignored) testimonies of appalling crimes committed at Haut de la Garenne against children across decades by the rich and privileged -- islanders as well as visitors such as Savile.
One reporter for a major London daily told me, "We have been asking ourselves for days why the press did nothing about this...Now that I hear your story about how you were kicked out of the country for investigating it, I know." Jersey's police has stated that it received complaints of Savile's acts against children but did not charge him due to "insufficient evidence." (It remains to be seen what evidence would be sufficient on an island that has no sex offenders registry.)
By not stopping Savile, the authorities effectively stepped aside and allowed him to continue preying on children until his death. The UK now likes to refer to these matters as "in the past" or "historic" or "it happened in a different era."
Really? In Jersey, people accused of horrific crimes against children are still enjoying high-ranking government posts in health and education -- in other words, close to defenseless children. We know their names and we know what they did according to their accusers. But they have never been charged.
Why? In Jersey, if the Attorney General does not agree to apprehend a person, the police cannot apprehend him. There is no appealing that decision. Neat, huh?
Regarding my plight, Jersey Immigration has stated I am quite welcome to return to the island, provided I get a non-existent "Writer's visa." Yes, this visa does not exist. This week, they finally admitted there is no form for such a visa. We are still awaiting a coherent answer as to what they now advise me to do.
While it is hard to believe any of these things could happen in a Western democracy -- let alone on an island that answers to the Queen -- what might be even harder to believe is that so many people have been trampled so many times in trying to effect lasting change, the vast majority of them have given up. After what I have seen, I don't blame them.
But the truth must come out. Help us keep the pressure on and pass this along to a few more people, if you have a chance. Those of you from Jersey, hang in there. For those of you from elsewhere, this is a beautiful island with truly amazing people. It does not deserve anything less than safety for its children -- and the truth.
Hope this finds you and your families well -- and happy autumn.