Celebrating One-Year Anniversary Of My UK Ban

Last picture in Jersey (before being banned)

Feeling grateful for supporters in the UK and around the world who have demanded my UK travel ban be overturned. Because of you — and the help of UK Member of Parliament John Hemming, it expires today.

To mark the ban’s one-year anniversary, Trevor Pitman, member of the parliament of Jersey (the British Crown dependency where I was conducting research before I got the boot) launched a petition on Change.org, urging the UK government to restore my UK Tier-1 visa.

Without this, it is unlikely I will be able to finish my work. Please, if you believe in defending a free press, take 10 seconds to sign this petition. Surrounded by ocean, Jersey has been isolated in its struggle for a free and fair democracy for far too long. It should be able to welcome journalists, not ban them.

Comments

  1. Leah.

    Your interview on YOUTUBE

    • Dear Leah,

      I am a long term member of a local forum that speaks openly about all political and other stories that happen in the island of Jersey, it is an information resource that the Jersey Government cannot control, but looks as though they are about to try and take action. If they can stop an international best selling author like yourself it is only a matter of time before they try and close down local information blogs they do not control.

      Thank you so much for your interest, and an apology for the way you have been treated by some members by the Jersey Establishment. They have, as the saying goes, got to big for their boots and only outside influence and interaction can save us from their illusions of self importance, over spending of taxpayers money and restrictive practices which are nothing to do with good Government.

      http://planetjersey.co.uk/forum/index.php

      Boatyboy.

    • HI

      Watched you on Max Keiser this week, and thought you were excellent, full of information, and the stops the government have done to you. I hope you succeed in finding the truth about this, and what really happened.

      • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

        Thank you Chris — I still have a hard time talking about all this, as some of it was very traumatic and it is definitely not for the faint-of-heart. Glad to hear it came out OK!

  2. Peter worth says:

    Hi Leah,

    I watched your interview on the Keiser Report and was struck by your statement that “book are banned” and “they are starting to go after the bloggers”.

    Can you give some specifics about this please.

    Peter.

    • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

      Yes. The chain bookstores in Jersey occasionally receive directives that certain books are not allowed for sale on the island. To name a recent one, a memoir by a man named Robbie Garner called “Nobody Came,” detailing the abuse, torture and murder of children that he and his brothers witnessed at Jersey orphanage Haut de la Garenne, was banned from stores on the island. Waterstones told me they’d actually ordered it anyway, but the Jersey post would not deliver it. Because it is an island, it is harder to get things without the complicity government-run institutions like the postal service. As it happens, it is also harder to escape an orphanage.

      • Peter worth says:

        Thank you. How about the bloggers though?

        • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

          Bloggers are doing the best they can — but some are being targeted in court. This has been going on for some time. Jersey has created something called the Data Protection Act, which it is using against islanders who speak out. For instance, simply naming a person on a blog can land you in court, even if what you say is true and can be independently verified. In the U.S., the best defense against a libel charge is truth. On the island of Jersey, truth is not a defense. Why? Because the cases being lodged do not acknowledge truth as a defense — or even relevant. Interesting, eh?

          • So true. Former Senator Stuart Syvret, Jersey’s longest serving politician and top vote getter was denied the ability to use the truth defense and also denied a “public interest defense” when put on trial for disclosing a botched and covered-up serial murder investigation on his blog. Jersey used the Data Protection Act to prosecute him, relentlessly.

  3. PAMELA CLARE-JOYCE says:

    I was horrified when I learned of the apparent cover-up over the La Garenne case. I, like most people, I believe, thought that the case had been dismissed through lack of any solid evidence and basically forgot about it. Your investigations gave a very different picture, inferring the possibility of endemic corruption and chicanery in the Jersey Governement and this pciture is a very terrifying one indeed, especially as the welfare and possible life of children are involved.
    I had heard Alex Jones of Info.Wars stating that a paedophiles ‘wish-list’ has been given to corrupt members of the Social Services, listing the age, type and race of children they wish to be taken from their parents on flimsy excuses, so that these children are available for abuse of all kinds. I coul;d certainly believe it, but I honestly did not want to do so. After reading your investigations on La Garenne, suddenly, these accusations seemed not only possible, but might be a daily occurrence! David icke has also agreed with Alex Jones that this is going on, and it seems that those in positions of power might be heavily involved.
    This is wickedness of the most dreadful kind, but considering the paedophile scandals in the Church, which have been covered up for years, all the red warning lights come on suddenly.
    I remember an adult who claimed he had been taken to a big hotel, as a very young teenager, by his Orphanage Director for the use of a gang of bigwigs, including peers of the realm! His case was dismissed because he could neither remember the name of the Orphanage, as he had been moved around a lot, nor the Hotel. So very frequently childrens’ claims have been ignored.
    This cannot go on. Thank you Leah for your efforts. do hope you complete your investigations

    • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

      I commend your excellent, open mind. None of this should be done without being thoughtful to all involved — whether victim or the accused.

  4. Hi Leah,
    I’m from the UK (England), I too am sickened by the child abuse. I don’t know how much you know about UK child abuse scandal cover-ups over recent years. Many seem to be interconnected with high level UK politicians much the same way as the Franklin Cover-up in Ohio. The Dunblane massacre had connections to George Robertson MP who became the UK Defence Secretary in Tony Blair’s government. A “DA Notice” was served when Operation Ore traced links to several of Tony Blair’s cabinet. This was reported in the main stream media just like Haut de la Garenne. Much of the information has gone into the “Memory Hole”, but it keeps bubbling up, over and over again when different people report their abuse. Sadly these people get destroyed all over again, it’s quite sickening. I think your efforts will be wasted, there are mighty powerful forces acting against you and anyone trying to expose this corruption. These people have been getting away with it for many years, the corruption goes incredibly deep. There are many names and much common knowledge, but the powers that be always seem to be able to distract and confuse. Google “Jimmy Savile”, he’s a recently deceased disk jocky with royal connections. There is an un-aired TV documentary – he too has dubious connections with Haut de la Garenne. Good luck!

    • Hi Leah

      I have read the comments from Andrew in UK (England) He is absolutely right. I too have read that about George Robertson and Jimmy Saville only recently. I wonder how many others are involved in this.

  5. And he was suspended again for running and compiling criminal record checks
    on elected members of the States of Jersey. It was called Operation Blast.

    http://www.gov.je/SiteCollectionDocuments/Government%20and%20administration/R%20StatementHomeAffairsMinisterBlast%2020100715%20IleM.pdf

    I hope these links are helpful.

    • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

      Jim,

      Thank you for sharing this with the readers of this site. I hope they read it. I would like to ask you two questions: Do you believe that police officers should not be aware of, and keep files on, those who have criminal records — no matter how ordinary or powerful those people are? And do you believe those files should be released to the public or kept confidential? Where I am from, police are expected to keep track of the activities of known criminals as part of their jobs. And most people don’t object to that. Do you?

      • Hi Leah,
        Thanks for your reply

        “Do you believe that police officers should not be aware of, and keep files on, those who have criminal records — no matter how ordinary or powerful those people are?”

        Police officers would be aware of those who have criminal records as they would have compiled the evidence and arrested them. I believe files are then kept as part of a criminal record.

        Those people who do not have criminal records and are not under suspicion for having committed any offence should not have background checks and criminal record checks run on them and the results stored. I think this goes across the board, be it prince or pauper.

        “And do you believe those files should be released to the public or kept confidential?”

        I’m not so sure about this, Do you mean that we should all have checks run on us and stored on a database that is accessible to everyone?

        Thanks
        Jim

  6. Leah.

    The petition has just breached its 1,000th signatories THANK YOU and please keep spreading the word #FreeJersey

    PETITION

    • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

      VFC: Thank you. A thank-you also to the high-traffic news outlets that picked this up and spread the word. We know who you are and we appreciate it.

  7. I should add that Graham Power was running background checks and criminal record checks on the members of the States of Jersey regardless of whether they were under suspicion of having committed a crime. He then kept the records on file. Why he did this is unclear. Was he running checks on everyone? What was he going to do with the information? The idea of a police force keeping tabs on all the citizens innocent or guilty is not a pleasant thought. I’m not sure, but do you think otherwise? Cheers

    • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

      Jim,

      You may or may not be aware that Jersey’s government was not running background checks on those who held office — including in the island’s parliament — which meant that those with a criminal history could hold positions of power. Once they found out about it, this was naturally a concern to the police, who felt a duty to know who had been convicted of what. They ran checks because the government would not and kept the results in a private file — one that only a few top cops could access. Some might call that due diligence and sleep better at night knowing their police force is keeping track of such things. True, the criminals might not sleep better at night. But the job of the police isn’t just to protect those who have committed crimes or those in office; it is to protect everyone, is it not?

  8. Hi Leah,
    That seems strange to me. If background checks were run and showed that the people investigated had no criminal records why were they stored and not destroyed? Or is it OK to keep files on people who have not committed any crime? How many of these ‘Top Cops” were privy to this information? I’m afraid the idea of the police ‘keeping track’ of its citizens does not make me sleep easier at night.

    • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

      Jim,

      I don’t want to speak for the entire police force of Jersey, but my understanding was only those convicted of crimes were noted in the files. (Although, if someone was noted as innocent of any wrongdoing in a file, I am not sure why they would object — what would they say, how dare you say I have never been convicted of a crime?) Personally, I don’t think there is anything wrong with questioning how police officers are conducting their work — particularly, if it can be done better. But I find it odd that some on the island only ask these questions at the prodding of the government and seem unable to apply the same spotlight to the behavior of the government itself.

  9. Leah.

    Blog TV RE-LAUNCH

  10. Hi Leah, have you received the correct form yet? I cannot believe that a form that one would expect to be made available as an online pdf, should take so long!

  11. Why not try to get the right visa for Guernsey, then do a few tourist days in Jersey, or arrange to meet people in Sark. Avoid the UK, fly to France and get the boat/plane to Guernsey/Jersey.

    It would be interesting to see if it is easier to be a foreign journalist in Guernsey compared to Jersey.

  12. PH – The Channel Islands are within the UK border, and are part of the UK for customs and immigration purposes.

    • The UK border agency cannot hold someone at heathrow airport if they land in France, so I assumed the only form necessary would be from Jersey or Guernsey.

      I would have thought if the UK border agency blamed Jersey, surely the buck stops at Jersey.

      • More specifically, Jersey is part of the Common Travel Area: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Travel_Area

        So, not literally within the UK border, but there’s no such thing as a Jersey travel visa, anyone who needs a visa would have to have a UK one.

        The buck may well stop at Jersey, and specifically with the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey. His roles include “to carry out certain executive functions, primarily in relation to the control of immigration, deportation and naturalisation and the issue of passports”

        Quote from: http://www.jersey.com/governmenthouse/About/Pages/default.aspx

        I get the impression that the Lieutenant Governor can instruct the UK Border Agency to block anyone from entering the UK, and who is going to argue with someone who has been appointed by the Queen, and was the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe?

        • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

          Dan — It is all a bit complicated, but Jersey does issue its own visas separate from the UK. That said, the two work closely together and if Jersey, for example, does not wish me to enter the UK Common Travel Area, the UK Border Agency will respect that. It took me awhile to realize the smaller island can, indeed, call the shots on the bigger one. I did not know this until the UK Border Agency informed me itself that Jersey flagged me at the border, which it why it had me detained and removed. Jersey has denied this.

  13. The British Justice system also covers up when its system goes wrong.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/apr/13/abuse-teenage-boys-detention-centre-crime

  14. http://stuartsyvret.blogspot.com/
    Hi Leah, here’s a link to Stuart Syvrets latest blog posting. He’s talking about corrupt journalists at the BBC. They should all hang their heads in shame.
    Fortunately for us there’s some good ones like you who will not let this lie.

  15. Peter Freedom truth seeker says:

    You are an inspiration and breath of fresh air. I wonder why so many journalists are all too happy to regurgitate press releases and lack the drive and inquisition you have. I am going to do an MA in broadcast journalism soon.

  16. andrew coulter says:

    The need to sign the petition has surely gone away and the petition link should be removed

    State of Jersey – 19/11/12
    “Dear Mr Coulter
    Whilst we would not normally respond with details on individual cases, information concerning Ms Goodman is already in the public domain. We are happy, therefore, to confirm that Ms Goodman is not currently banned from travelling to Jersey. A ban on travel to the UK had previously been imposed on Ms Goodman by the UK Border Agency, however, we understand that this expired on, or around, 11 September 2012.”

    Kind regards
    Immigration – Jersey
    —————————————————–
    On signing the petition I got invited to forward the link to all I know why would I do that when Jersey immigration advise that the ban is no longer in place?

    • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

      Mr. Coulter,

      The Change.org petition that was put up by Trevor Pitman is for the restoration of my visa, not the removal of my ban. As you pointed out, my ban expired on 11 September of this year. You will notice the petition went up that very day, as it would have been inappropriate — and needless — to put up the petition while my ban was still in effect. (As a rule, a visa cannot be restored while a ban is still in place, or at least not in my case.) At present, I await a new visa, so asking Deputy Pitman to take down his petition before my visa is restored would defeat the purpose. I trust this explains things better. It is a Byzantine process, to be sure. Please see my note to PH below for more.

  17. the lovely leah says you brits won’t let me step foot on the queen’s land of jersey.
    what silly conspiracy is this.
    what new yorker bile poppy cock and piffle i say.
    jersey is the german english royals emerald scepter’d isle. wot wot.
    a jewel, a plot of green that is forever not engerlund.
    more precious than man or corrupted child.
    a sacred bespoke hidey hole for an industry.
    no stashing of cash under mattress or floorboard here.
    if jersey was the septic isle of satan and his diabolic magick, would we not hear.
    if true, would we not see, hear and read about it on bbc.
    the bbc as ministry of truth is pure and righteous and unsullied by the blood and guts of life’s slings and arrows.
    yes, bbc is mi5 but understand, it is for your own informational news good.
    for defense of the realm and intel work are brothers in the mossad.
    ohh and the queen the mighty Saxe-Coburg and Gotha wind sour of windsor.
    some say royals spill der blood of die kinders to drink in bestial ritual.
    or like the stoned jagger, use child blood to give zest to long faded-away youth.
    an outrage and slander i say, such harebrained notions.
    to kill a child in castle keep, or kids home cellar for sport or satanic pleasure, what rot.
    the bbc say jersey skull found was not not child skull but mere coconut husk.
    just husk and desiccated nut flesh, move along sheeple no human collagen here.
    i believe bbc and police because they never lie.

  18. How are things progressing? It appears to be taking an exceptional amount of time to complete some simple form filling !!

    • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

      To PH – and everyone else who has followed my misadventures:

      If only it were that simple. Because of the bizarre way in which I was thrown out, my return has been anything but a straightforward process. Those involved in my case have had different goals and — from what I can glean — not all of them aligned with my wish to return to Jersey.

      The main problem: Jersey objected last year to my entering the UK on a Business Visitor’s visa. This is what journalists normally use for trips of 6 months or less. For years, I have traveled in the UK on this visa and used it for trips to Jersey. Once Jersey forbade me to enter this island on the Business Visitor’s visa (initially, it approved it, but then changed its mind) my list of options for entering the country narrowed — greatly.

      The UK has heavily restricted writers from entering the country in recent years (to be fair, this seems to be the case in the U.S., as well). This means we have been forced to comb through a netherworld of obscure visas that may or may not allow for my return. Remember, other journalists may travel to the UK on the Business Visitor’s visa, but not me. And, yes, I feel I was targeted. Finding another way to the goal has been a yearlong process.

      Now for the good news: This past week, I applied for one of these more obscure visas. Jersey’s authorities have been working with the UK — and the MPs who have backed me — to retrofit a generic ‘Offshore Worker’ visa. They are overlaying it with some additional specifications for a writer. This visa has never been offered before — to anyone, it seems — but as far as I’m concerned, if it makes all those involved happy, I’ll take it. For the record, I have filed for one other visa this past year to return to the UK, but it was denied.

      It is my sincere hope this newer application will be met with superior results.

      Thank you — and thanks for the support.

Speak Your Mind

*