Friday, August 30, 2013

Jersey: finance industry is now effectively overseeing the police force

We just blogged (again) about Cyprus as the quintessentially 'captured state' - and now we provide what is perhaps an equally striking example of 'state capture' in the British tax haven of Jersey. Tipped off by Tax Research and the blog of controversial, outspoken Jersey ex-Senator Stuart Syvret, we now see this from Jersey Channel TV a couple of days ago:
"Advocate Jonathan White has been appointed the first chairman of the Jersey Police Authority.

The JPA is responsible for ensuring the police are an effective force.

Advocate White, who is an English solicitor and a Jersey advocate, will be responsible for the oversight of the States of Jersey Police and ensuring they deliver their key aims and objectives.

Advocate White is a former managing partner and group chairman of Ogier. During his time at the firm, Ogier grew from a law firm into an international fiduciary services business with a presence in nine jurisdictions and a staff of 850 people. He retired in 2009. He is currently chairman of both Jersey Finance Ltd and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. In 2011, he was awarded a lifetime achievement award from the Citywealth Magic Circle awards."
Our emphasis added. So, in effect, the police force is going to be overseen by the Jersey tax haven industry. While White was in top positions at Ogier, it should be noted, a number of scandals happened. Such as this one (more here, involving Michael Birt, then attorney general and current Bailiff, also from Ogier).

TJN's director John Christensen, along with co-author Prem Sikka, Austin Mitchell, Philip Morris and Stephen Filling have been talking about state capture in Jersey for many, many years. For instance, their seminal and painstakingly documented 1998 case study No Accounting for Tax Havens noted, among other things:
"Jersey has never had a general election. Its government is captured by big business. . . . It is captured by the finance industry."
Treasure Islands takes this further, drawing on this case study and making comparisons with Delaware, to show exactly the same phenomenon happening in two very different jurisdictions, many miles apart, in different eras. That phenomenon is, of course, state capture, and it's a generic feature of offshore finance - and indeed of any jurisdiction whose financial sector becomes too large.

Appointing the finance industry to oversee the police. You couldn't make it up. One more for the Finance Curse analysis.

Oh, but there's more. From Syvret, who first learned of this through an interview on the local Jersey BBC outlet.
"I rarely listen to the BBC in Jersey, knowing through years of first-hand - and evidenced - experience just how biased and collusive with the local oligarchy the BBC in Jersey is"
State capture again. Finance Curse again. And, regarding that interview:
"The interviewer could have been scripted by States of Jersey spin-doctors. And let’s face it, probably was. For example - this is the BBC - which has in its possession a 94 page interim statement to the Wiltshire police by the unlawfully suspended Police Chief Graham Power. This document contains so many profoundly important issues – and raises so many serious public-interest matters – that it could keep a serious broad-sheet newspaper in detailed stories for months.

I know that the BBC have this document – because it was me who gave it to them, after I obtained it from sources."
And if you want to read that document, take a look here. But for some reason, the Jersey BBC has never touched it. Read Syvret's angry but informative piece. As if any further evidence were needed.


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