Leah McGrath Goodman wanted the truth about Jersey, so they banned her…

In 2012, an American author and journalist, Leah McGrath Goodman, found herself banned from the UK and Channel Islands, which she says followed the Jersey establishment discovering she was writing a book about the historic child abuse inquiry focussed on Haut de la Garenne. Both the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and Jersey’s customs and immigrations service insist her ban was unrelated to her journalistic investigations. […]

A spokeswoman for the UK Border Force told the Guardian: “Ms Goodman was refused entry to the UK because we were not satisfied she was genuinely seeking entry as a visitor for the limited period she claimed. Further enquires showed that she attempted to mislead the Border Force officer about her travel plans and the reason she required entry to the UK.”

Goodman disputes this. She said: “To date, the UK Border Force can do little more than accuse me of intending to possibly commit a future transgression, as it has been forced to admit there has been none. This has been a bit like the film Minority Report, in that I am being pursued for something that hasn’t actually taken place. As a former Tier-1 visa holder with a spotless record, I was surprised to be locked up, denied legal representation and banned from a country for which I’ve always held the highest respect. I have never misled the UK Border Force, nor have I ever intended to. I do realise it is a delicate situation, but I hope I might finish my work.”1

Click here to read the full Guardian article published on 28th June.

Shortly afterwards in July, Leah McGrath Goodman gave an interview on the BBC:

As did Michael Robinson, who was speaking on behalf of Jersey’s Custom and Immigration Service:

Then in September, Max Keiser interviewed Leah McGrath Goodman [Episode 339 of Keiser Report], asking about her ban from the UK for reporting on the Jersey scandal, as well as discussing the “$5 billion per square mile” in laundered money that keeps Jersey afloat:

[Jersey] is a peculiar possession of the British Crown. It is the largest offshore tax centre in the world – has more money than in any other. And it’s a very secretive island. It runs itself as a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy – it’s very complicated. Technically Britain has legal ties to it but it runs itself. […]

Well, I was researching Jersey for a while – a couple of years. And at the time that I got property over there, I met with immigration to just make sure that my affairs were in order and they said that they were, but when they found out what I was researching, they flagged me – they didn’t tell me – and the next time I crossed the border I was imprisoned underneath Heathrow Airport, and they went through all of my things, they refused to give me a lawyer or let me call my consulate, all my rights were taken away from me, and then they sent me back to the United States. I still have not gotten a straight answer as to why. […]

Jersey has a really polished international reputation as a tax haven, but internally it has a lot of political problems ever since scandals involving an orphanage in 2008, where it seems that for decades, children were allegedly tortured, raped, murdered – and there were many victims who are still alive, who can tell their stories very clearly. They’re being completely ignored and my feeling is that it does need to be investigated more thoroughly, and they need to be able to speak their truth.

Everyone who has come near this particular scandal to look into it – from the policemen to the health minister – have all been either driven off the island or thrown out of their jobs. It’s been very bad, and it seems like there’s been a big effort to try to keep eyes away. […]

I know that when the BBC interviewed me about this recently, and the Guardian this summer, when they found out I was being banned, what ended up happening was, Jersey said: Miss Goodman, we invite you to come back to the islands. They have not removed my ban, but they are publicly stating that I am welcome to come back even though I’m still banned. And the UK says Jersey’s not letting me come. Jersey says the UK is not letting me come. So you can see how they can kind of toss it back and forth, and try to create confusion for someone who’s just trying to do the right thing.

Leah McGrath Goodman is still denied entry back into Jersey. To mark the ban’s one-year anniversary, Trevor Pitman, member of the parliament of Jersey launched a petition on Change.org, urging the UK government to restore her UK Tier-1 visa.

UK Member of Parliament John Hemming tables motion in support of this petition: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/504

Click here to read more about Leah McGrath Goodman and the Jersey case on her own website.

1 From an article entitled “Jersey’s ‘secrecy culture’ led to my suspension, says former police chief: Graham Power claims he was punished for daring to investigate allegations against some of the island’s power players” written by Helen Pidd, published in the Guardian on June 28, 2012. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jun/28/jersey-secrecy-culture

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1 Comment

Filed under Britain, campaigns & events, Max Keiser

One response to “Leah McGrath Goodman wanted the truth about Jersey, so they banned her…

  1. Jenny B

    I fully agree that we need some way in which victims of alleged abuse can put forward their stories. The banning of Leah McGrath Goodman is a disgrace and every avenue should be looked at to overturn this outrageous decision. Inquiries quite often unfortunately do not get at the truth, ask the Hillsborough families.
    We have had two inquiries into the Bryn Estyn abuse case. The first was set up by Clwyd County Council when more claims of widespread abuse in almost 40 homes emerged. Clwyd County Council commissioned Mr Jillings in March 1994 to look into the issue. John Jillings the author of a shelved report into abuse at children’s homes in the 1970s and 1980s said in interviews that public figures were not among names given by victims. John Jillings said he did not recall allegations that children were taken from north Wales homes and abused. When asked what names emerged from the victims, Mr Jillings told BBC4’s World At One: “I’d rather not get involved in listing names because it’s a long time behind me, they didn’t include well-known people in public life. The people the investigation focussed on, because these were the people that the children spoke to us about, were staff members.”
    However, his report was never published because of legal concerns.
    Mr Jillings said he was led to believe the report was not published because the County Council’s insurers felt it could result in individual children suing for compensation in a way that could have been costly.
    “We were very frustrated, we were concerned on behalf of the children, we felt that we had wasted an enormous amount of time and effort and not to be able to publish the report was totally unacceptable,” he said.
    Municipal Mutual Insurance said that based upon legal advice it considered the report prepared by Mr Jillings had not been suitable for publication. The report was shredded. The home secretary has launched a new police inquiry into the abuse allegations.
    North Wales Police investigated abuse claims in 1991, and seven former care workers were convicted.
    Extracts taken from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20234776

    Next we had the Waterhouse tribunal and its report entitled Lost in Care.

    The following is taken from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20218054

    In 1996 the-then Secretary of State for Wales, William Hague, ordered an inquiry into allegations of hundreds of cases of child abuse in care homes in the former county council areas of Clwyd and Gwynedd between 1974 and 1990.
    Known as the Waterhouse inquiry, and led by Sir Ronald Waterhouse, it focused on widespread abuse in the north Wales care system. It heard evidence from more than 650 people and took almost three years to publish its report, finally doing so in 2000.
    What were the findings of the Waterhouse Inquiry Report?
    Sir Ronald made 72 recommendations as a result of his investigations.
    These included the creation of Wales’s first Children’s Commissioner – which took place in 2001 – and also suggested local authorities appoint a Children’s Complaints Officer, the implementation of whistle-blowing procedures, allowing social workers to visit children in their care every eight weeks and a nationwide review of the needs and costs of children’s services.
    Also, counsel for the inquiry mentioned the existence of a “shadowy figure of high public standing” who was involved in abuse cases, but said that there was no substantial evidence to support the allegations.
    Statements made to the inquiry named more than 80 people as child abusers, many of whom were care workers or teachers. Head of Bryn Estyn children’s home, Peter Howarth, who was jailed in 1994 for 10 years for sexually abusing teenage boys. He died in jail. Another senior member of the home, Stephen Norris, pleaded guilty in November 1993 to three offences of buggery, an attempted buggery and three indecent assaults involving three former Bryn Estyn boys. He was jailed for seven years.
    Saville has also been mentioned as a visitor to Bryn Estyn. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/jimmy-savile/9660546/Jimmy-Savile-linked-to-North-Wales-child-abuse-scandal.html#

    Hopefully like Hillsborough the truth will come out for the sake of the victims.

    Like

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