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You are in: Jersey > Inside the States > Other Business > Syvret’s Christmas Speech

Senator Stuart Syvret

Syvret’s Christmas Speech

The last States Assembly of the year ended in disarray after Senator Syvrets Christmas speech.

The last States Assembly of the year ended in disarray after the former health minister was cut off during his traditional Christmas speech as father of the house.

Senator Stuart Syvret was asked more than five times by the bailiff to be quiet after he used the traditional speech to discuss alleged cases of historic child abuse.

The matter is currently being investigated by the police.

Several states members asked the Senator to change the subject of his speech, before the Bailiff, Sir Philip Bailache, intervened.

Senator Le Main said “I have never heard, in nearly 30 years as a member of this esteemed house such a diatribe. I object for the people of this island and the members of this assembly.”

Deputy Troy said "I was going to wait until the end of Senator Syvret’s speech to say that I think it’s vitally important that we, the assembly, all know we are totally against any form of child abuse at all.

“Also that this assembly will do its best to uncover anything that’s been covered up.”

He went on to say that "I think it's the wrong occasion to bring this forward but we are totally against child abuse as a government".

The Bailiff then told Senator Syvret that "it is not the occasion for an expression of your own personal views on a matter that is of great importance but not for today."

Senator Syvret then responded that he intended to complete his speech and argued with the Baliff that he had the right to carry on talking.

The Bailiff responded by saying "as Deputy Troy has said this is not the occasion for that kind of speech and I must direct you to sit down".

Senator Syvret continued reading his speech, despite protestations from the house and calls from Senator Le Main for every member to leave if he continues.

This then led the Bailiff to adjourn the assembly and to cut off Senator Syvrets microphone. The States members then left the chamber.

But Senator Syvret says he's done nothing wrong. He says he is in the right and all the other members are in the wrong.

"It's certainly true to say the Bailif and the States are against me. That was there stance, they chose to be that way. Lets face it, the States of Jersey in acting as they have done today have simply disgraced themselves even further."

last updated: 05/12/07

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Ronnie
If you were one of those abused children you will want somebody to speak for you especially now we know exactly what has happened at the homes. I was physically abused at one of these homes and I wish I had somebody to speak to then.Senator Le Main and especially Senator should both go NOW.

Steve Walker
Thank God that someone is prepared to face the truth. Shame on the callous, smug others who shouted him down.

R.H,
In light of the recent finds at Haut de la Garenne will Frank Walker who stated "he is certainly not speaking on my behalf" now do the right thing and resign?!!

Tony
Having read the speech in its entirely, I think:a) it is grossly over long; no one could follow a speech of that lengthb) with his "we are all to blame", "we have failed these children" argument, he seems to be presenting more a religious "confession" than a statement of fact. c)Christmas would however seem to be a very appropriate time for highlighting "lost children", and those at the margins. So, some good points, but lost in the general noise.

John
Its Senator Syvret's democratic right to choose the contents of this traditional speech. Members of the house expected a 'jingle bells story ' or 'how well we have all done this year' speech. Instead they heard of a potentially serious problem which appears to be at the very core of our so called Christian society. The Senator gave a ‘Christmas appeal’ to the members to consider the lives of Jersey children (past and present) who may have been affected by possible abuse.Members may not like the Senators style of presentation -- I’m not particularly impressed with it myself, however gagging him in this way sends out the wrong message to the people of Jersey and indeed the rest of the democratic world.

tony
He seems to have no respect for anyone even the head of our government he should resign.

Duke Gonzo
How can people support this man? His behaviour is absolutely unacceptable. I agree that this is a very important issue, but it cannot be addressed in this manner. There is already a police investigation into this matter so what does he think that he can achieve by intimidating his colleagues? Time after time he has shown that he does not deserve respect and once again his grand-stand politics show him to be en empty sham. How people can be so gullible believing what he says and supporting his mad brand of politics is beyond me.

Dave
Looking in from the mainland it looks like free speech in jersey need promoting. well done stuart the children/victims need someone to advocate for them.

dan
rules are there for a reason, and it's a shame he couldn't respect the protocol of the states like a senator should.

Insider islander
What are the rest of the members worried about?This is all beginning to smell like Berrisford Streetmarket on a hot day.

andy
Well done Stuart. I am glad to see your still fighting our corner the people of JERSEY are on your side good luck mate and merry xmas

DM
To think that this man could become Chief Minister. Calling his States colleagues "Gangsters and Half Wits" although many of them are of a far superior intelligence than him. By the nature of his speech, and his conduct after, Senator Syvret is surely proving that he simply cannot behave in an appropriate manner. This is not the behaviour of a Chief Minister and hopefully it never will be.

sam
Such an important topic and they try to shut him up. One wonders why some members got so hot and bothered!!

Darren
Good on you Syvret.Shame on the rest of the sheep who stopped what was a legitimate right to speak about a very relevant subject.

CB
I can never understand the foot stomping and walking out because we don't agree with what he says - there's a time and place for 'tradition' but they need to wake up. For some reason I am reminded of my primary school days. Well done Stuart for standing up to the others.

steve
well done stuart at least you were voted in the states unlike the bailiff there by well who knows ??

DB
The 'Gangsters and Half wits' win again.Lets hope the BBC print the entire speech for the people who voted for him.Well done Stuart.

Julie Marie
It takes a brave man to ignore the Bailiff!!

MB
Fair play to Senator Syvret, at least he speaks for the people, not like the rest of those pen pushers!!

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