Saturday, 11 February 2017
Is Senator Ozouf Being Thrown Under a Bus?
Following the scandal of the Jersey Innovation Fund (JIF) and Senator Philip Ozouf's RESIGNATION. The question has to be asked "Is he (Philip Ozouf) being thrown under a bus here?"
On the 17th January 2017, in an answer to a question from Reform Jersey's Deputy Geoff Southern (video below) The Economic Development Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham acknowledged, admitted, or even "confessed" that five out of seven grants issued by JIF were NOT signed off by Senator Ozouf. Two of them were apparently signed off by Treasury Minister Senator Alan Maclean, three of them were signed of by Senator Farnham, and two by Senator Ozouf. The latter having fallen on his sword and resigned from his Assistant Ministerial duties.......At least for as long as there is an investigation happening into the alleged waste of millions of £'s of taxpayers money that was JIF.
So is Senator Ozouf the only person who should be shouldering all the blame here? We're not saying he does not have serious questions to answer and he must take responsibility for his actions and/or inactions but is he really the ONLY one who should?
Didn't JIF have some kind of an "Advisory Board?" What kind of advice was it giving? Was its advice acted upon or was it ignored? What about the Chief Minister himself? Doesn't ultimate responsibility lay at his door? Shouldn't he (and others) be offering his resignation or "stepping aside?"
It could be that the supposed Inquiry will answer these questions, or it could be that it won't. Who is conducting the Inquiry? Will it be another "Our Chap" Report? Is it, or why isn't it, a "public" Inquiry?
Reform Jersey's Deputy Montfort Tadier has submitted an Oral Question, (below) to the Chief Minister, tabled for this Tuesday 14th February:
Deputy Montfort Tadier.
Deputy M. Tadier of St. Brelade will ask the following question of the Chief Minister –
“Given that Senator Ozouf was not the only Minister to have signed off loans from the Jersey Innovation Fund, will the Chief Minister also be asking Senators Farnham and Maclean to 'step aside' from their Ministerial duties until the relevant investigation has fully reported back?”
It's a fair question when one considers Senator Farnham's "confession" in the video below. But it doesn't sound/look like an absolute confession. One can't help thinking he was trying to absolve himself of any real blame and appeared to be laying it more at the door of Senator Ozouf. That's the impression I got but readers/viewers might get another impression.
Could it be that if every Minister was to resign through incompetence, or malpractice, that we would no longer have a Council of Ministers?