We Did It!

Before: Banned from the UK - The Official Stamp

After: Unbanned from the UK - Work Visa Restored

 

 

 

 

 

This past week, I received my UK visa — a visa that will last me two years.

After 500 days to the day (including leap year) of being banned in the UK, my time in visa purgatory has ended, allowing me to re-enter the UK Common Travel Area to continue my investigative work. I will certainly have a fish pie to celebrate.

Here it is: the before and after photos of my visa status. Above to the left, you will see what is known among international travelers as the “black stamp of death,” typically issued to criminals and other unsavories if they try to enter Great Britain. (The last American who I could find banned from the UK was Martha Stewart in 2008 after she was convicted of insider trading. Others have included Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, Pablo Neruda and President Obama’s half brother, “Abo.”  In my case, a clean legal and travel record were enough. I have found no record of any journalist banned from the UK inside the past decade.)

Above to the right, you will see my fully restored visa, valid for two years. While the UK no longer offers visas under the “Writer” category, this is an Offshore Worker visa that has been repurposed by Jersey Immigration to fit my intentions as a professional writer doing work in the UK and Channel Islands. (For those of you unfamiliar with Jersey, it is what is referred to as a “peculiar possession” of the Crown and the largest of the Channel Islands. For more see here and previous posts.)

I want to confide that, at the final moment, this visa was held up by unseen hands, but Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley John Hemming put in a parliamentary question to Immigration Minister Mark Harper about the delay and my new visa arrived a few days later. (The magic of ministerial questioning.) This, after MP Hemming filed a parliamentary motion in my defense last September.

I also want to thank Trevor Pitman, the courageous member of Jersey’s Parliament who launched the petition that helped restore my visa on Change.org — and did so in spite of harsh political headwinds.

Lastly, I’d like to acknowledge…the efforts of Jersey Immigration, which did a fantastic job in the final analysis. (One of them actually contacted us late on a Sunday night to make sure all was in order; thank you to him or to her, as well as to the two key point people, Michael Robinson and Andrew Hunt, who endured much. Fish pies to all.)

I will be writing more in the days to come, but for now I just want to say I am so grateful — and I am so glad to be able to go back to being a free-to-travel journalist.

Because of the power of numbers — and a little help from social media — a small step has been made in allowing the press to ask some difficult questions about what became of the lost children of Jersey. As I continue my work, I will be writing on this blog and telling  the stories in words and pictures.

A thousand thanks to the Guardian, the BBC and other members of the media who made sure my ban did not go unnoticed, to those who signed the Change.org petition and to you, my readers. I am very happy today.

 

Comments

  1. Congratulations. Im not sure if fish pie is a Jersey thing, whatever the case maybe for the UK flavour you must eat it with chips/fries which have salt AND vinegar. Its the law.

    • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

      I guess fish pie is just my thing whenever I am in the UK. They don’t make them the same way here in the US. I won’t say they are what I miss most, but…

  2. puline mccarthy says:

    Congratulations Leah!
    Looking forward to your updates, re Jersey- waiting for the day of the prosecutions!
    Poll

  3. The U.S. seem not too happy to let people have a visa either.
    About 10 years ago I applied for one, I have yet to receive a reply!

  4. Leah.

    You and your readers/supporters might want to look at this Report (I believe published the same day as your visa) by the BBC and ask can it really be “yet another” COINCIDENCE?

    Great news that your visa has been restored but for those of us who live in Jersey and have experienced how the Jersey Law Offices (the real power on the island) conduct their business then until you arrive on the island we’ll not hold our breath.

    Getting your visa restored is a small victory for Citizens Media and some very courageous politicians such as Deputy Trevor Pitman and John Hemming and not least the signatories of the petition set up by Deputy Pitman who are able to see for themselves what atrocities are allowed to take place on this island and how powerless ordinary folk are over here.

    Your own resolve and determination cannot, and has not, gone unnoticed. You did not give up and have fought a hell of a fight for which you should be truly commended.

    Look forward to reading your articles and inevitable book about Jersey and its “unusual” way of doing business.

    • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

      Thank you, Neil. It has certainly been quite the slog! Appreciate the notes and yes, the Vine report is aptly timed.

  5. Stephen parry says:

    Congratulations, pleased for you. Keep up the good fight.

  6. This is brilliant news indeed Leah and I very much look forward to seeing you again. Most people would have jumped at the first hurdle but you have stood steadfast throughout this whole sorry saga! Well done and thank you.

  7. Lennart Mogren says:

    Good luck, Leah!
    Your dedication is greatly appreciated.

  8. Good to hear, Leah, congrats and thanks for all you’ve done and are going to…

  9. Congratulations from neighbouring Guernsey – not like Jersey. Do come and talk to us after your next visit there.

  10. mel mignot says:

    Leah,
    well done for grinding away and to all who stood up for democracy. Your own country of USA is now turning into a “goolag”, with all the various legislation being enacted, no longer a land of the free! We must all do our bit to make sure justice and basic human rights are not trampled on, otherwise it is not to many steps away from the gas chamber. Keep Vigilant. Again, well done.

  11. Trevor Pitman must accept the most credit for this, without the Internet, and the “bloggers”, Leah would never see Jersey, and thanks to all who signed the petition.

  12. Fantastic news, as stated above by most, thank you for not giving up and standing your ground on this. Thanks also to Trevor Pitman, John Hemming and all the local bloggers (VFC, Rico, Ian etc), who have shared the petition so many times over the last few months.

    Strangely, the fact that the petition went global, was signed by people all over the world who then all read about “the Jersey Way”, the cover ups and corruption concerning Operation Rectangle, doesn’t seem to have worried the Powers to be over here?

    Hasn’t been anything in our “accredited” media.

    Says it all really!

    Thanks again & look forward to reading your research and book one day.

  13. PAMELA CLARE-JOYCE says:

    HOW WONDEFUL!! I now pray that the case of Haute La Gerenne is fully investigated. The more i hear, the more I begin to realise that there has been a massive cover up of abuse perpetrated on children. 30,000 children disappear in the UK alone, every year. No-one seems to care. These poor souls deserve a thorough investigation, and all involved in your terrible unlawful treatment, Leah, the shameful cover up and sackings of officials involved in the investigation of Haute la Garenne, should be exposed and justice should be done for all concerned in this shameful affair. Thank you Trevor Pitman, and Leah for your courage and your untiring efforts. Shalom Pamela Clare-Joyce

  14. Congratulations Leah! Your story is very inspiring. Goes to show how by being persistent and not giving up, things end up happening:) Looking forward to reading about your research!

    • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

      Thank you, darlin!! I know we will be crossing paths in some exotic locale one day…Maybe you’d like to accompany me on a trip to Jersey?

  15. Proud of Leah and can’t wait to read what you write next about Jersey

  16. Barbara dReyfuss says:

    Good news. Thanks for your amazing efforts in the pursuit of truth. Barbara Dreyfuss

  17. Judith Mack says:

    It has been way too long since I have seen you on the Keiser Report. Hope to see you on with Max and Stacy very soon.

  18. Congratulations glad you are coming back there is so much to investigate in the UK especially the child snatching social services who allow children to be abuse and the shadowy secret so called family law courts who trade/deal in children’s live and destroy good loving families, you are really needed, God Bless.

  19. Roger Gough says:

    Perhaps Mel Mignot’s advice is the most timely: be vigilant. Congratulations, and if you didn’t know your name was mentioned again within the confines of Westminster last week when John Hemmings was speaking at the invitation of Victims Unite! in Portcullis House. Do remember also that – forensically – in Jersey they seem not to be able to tell the difference between the heads of cattle and humans

  20. Carvel Smith says:

    Hi Lisa
    Good news for you and to continue your investigation
    I recently sent you an e-mail to your Gmail address, it was concerning information about a program I had watched and in relation to Haute La Gerenne, and a guy called Bill Mahoney and his exposure of of the same subject, if you did not get this e-mail let me know and I’ll resend if required.
    All the Best
    Carvel Smith

    • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

      Got it — many thanks. I usually respond to most messages via this blog, as my email can get a little overstuffed (hint, hint to all).

  21. Congratulations Leah, I’m so glad you are taking up this fight, the stories have horrified me. Be careful, it’s really quite scary the lengths some have gone to to fight the truth in this. Good luck, I’m looking forward to your updates. Laura x

  22. Just Curious says:

    Ms Goodman,

    Are any of the Jersey residents who post on your blog Jersey born?

    If so, I’d be interested to know where they learnt to read and write, given the ban of books on the island.

    I’m referencing the interview on the Keiser Report for anyone who is unsure as to what I am talking about.

    Thank you

    • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

      Dear Just Curious:

      Seeing as you have a lovely library at Halkett Place (where I have a library card) clearly ALL books are not banned from Jersey. Anyone who says otherwise did not watch my interview on the Keiser Report. One book recently banned from your island was “Nobody Came” by Robbie Garner. It was Mr. Garner’s first-person account of how he and his little brother were raped and tortured at Haut de la Garenne. (His brother beaten until brain dead, actually.) Garner witnessed the deaths of several young boys, from suicide to murder. Extremely sad story and not one people in Jersey could buy from the bookshops when it came out because the shops were not allowed to ship the book to the island or sell it. I spoke to them myself. They told me they had ordered it, but it never arrived. They checked to see why and it turned out to be a commercial ban on the title by the island’s authorities. There are a few copies at the library, however.

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nobody-Came-appalling-brothers-cruelly/dp/0007287968

      • JUST CURIOUS says:

        Ms Goodman

        I am capable of watching a news report myself and do not need to rely on the comments of others to form an opinion.

        Please see a link to your Keiser Report interview below, in case you have forgotten what you said:

        http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PIRaMsgHJqw

        You will note your comment on books being banned on this democratic island, as well as the mention of not much more to the place than yachts, diamonds and champagne lounges!

        I’d like to make it clear that I have no issue with your investigation into the goings-on at Haut De La Garenne, nor do I disagree that the powers-that-be run a very secretive and corrupt regime in Jersey.

        In fact, I commend you for your doggedness when it comes to fighting for justice for those who have suffered abuse.

        My issue is simply that I have real trouble taking you seriously.

        To paint oneself as a seeker of the truth, and yet make such preposterous and sweeping statements, for me, really does call any journalistic capabilities you purport to have into question…

        Many thanks

        P.S. How did two copies of “Nobody Came” come to be available from the States of Jersey Public Library?

        • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

          You are asking the wrong questions, “Just Curious.” If you watch the broadcast, it deals with the subject of allegations of systemic child abuse. That is my focus. You aren’t leaving your name on this site, so why don’t you ask about that?

        • "HIDS" and the Three Monkeys says:

          Hi “JUST CURIOUS”

          Thank you for your concession ” … the powers-that-be run a very secretive and corrupt regime in Jersey”

          But as you seem to be in the business of picking holes in other people’s words I must take issue with your words ” … on this democratic island”.

          This is an island on which elections take place, but these elections are NOT democratic.

          How democratic is Jersey, when at one extreme the Connétable of St. Helier represents some 33,500 parishioners which is 19 times the 1,752 parishioners represented by the Connétable of St. Mary?

          The corrupt establishment maintains a system where about one third of the local parliament gain seats without actually being voted in.

          There were moves to establish an Independent Electoral Commission, but as you know this Commission has been hijacked by the establishment and will deliver little or no improvement.

          Even when good people do get elected most live in fear of stepping too far out of line because they will be savaged relentlessly by the establishment controlled media.

          These things are changing as the establishment loose their stranglehold on information (re the stupidity of banning the shipment of SOME books) and the Internet and brave bloggers (in defiance of death threats).

          The establishment is fighting back with gagging orders and super-injunctions in a last ditch attempt to stop the truth getting out.

          SOME people on the island DO enjoy yachts, diamonds and champagne lounges. Most of them do not live in St. Helier.

          Even under proper democracy, Jersey will still be a right-wing place because we are on average quite conservative. It is the truth and loss of power and nepotism that scares the establishment more than democracy does.

          Oh … and even the prospect of personal imprisonment.

          Do you require more detail on any of the above?

          Regards,

          HIDS and the Three Monkeys x.

          • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

            HIDS and the Three Monkeys:

            Thanks for the thoughtful response.

            It’s true that there have been some issues here with certain audiences not being able to grasp what I would call basic shades of gray.

            Glad to see you have no trouble with that.

            Btw, where does your moniker come from?

            Or are you just poking fun at Jersey’s “Bones and The Wasp,” which, unlike you, seems to think corruption in Jersey is a topic people should find funny?:

  23. Hi Leah,

    I’m pleased you’ll be back in Jersey soon. I do apologise (as a Jerseyman) about the BBC Jersey media coverage today and the hate site on Facebook. Sadly this mentality prevails over here. People in the main, seem to be very naive and insular. They have trumped up impressions of themselves and the island and think what they read in the JEP is true!

    It’s really very, very embarrassing. I know you know, we are not all like that but I do feel very ashamed nevertheless. I’ve been trying to persuade people to accept that there is a cover up to preserve Jersey’s image. Talking of which, the government has just announced a £5 million grant for defending Jersey’s image internationally!

    • Leah McGrath Goodman says:

      To ‘A Local’:

      Thank you for the note. It was a bright spot today (a rather turbulent day, I must say). And yes, you are correct in thinking that I do know that many people in Jersey are critical thinkers and do not engage in mudslinging at the first sign of an inquisitive journalist.

      It is because of my fondness of Jersey and its people that I can even undertake this work, which is very difficult. Please keep in touch and let me know of your impressions as this unfolds.

  24. AN Other Jerseyman says:

    As another Jersey born person, I too am appalled at the “apparent” negative local response to your ban being lifted. It is clear to any thinking person that opinions are being carefully managed by those you seek to expose.

    It is so insidious & calculated that many of the real people expressing outrage do so completely oblivious to the manipulations being heaped upon them. (I discount the obvious trolling as we all know who Jon is).

    Even the local MSM try to convince themselves that they are fully independent seekers of the truth. They are deluded. I had the misfortune to hear Carrie Cooper’s BBC Jersey phone-in. (Available on i-player). The bias displayed smacked of fear that a real journalist would arrive & start looking under rocks. Expect much more to come. They’re just testing the waters.

    If BBC Jersey and Channel Television want to test how independent of State control they are, they should produce a TV report supporting the lifting of a fellow journalist’s ban & promoting a campaign for a full & comprehensive Inquiry into Haut de la Garenne and the cover up. Then try and get it aired on prime time news. No chance.

    One small example trying to highlight “errors” in your Keiser interview, ie that ALL books are banned, when you obviously meant SOME. At the same time misleading their listeners stating around 1000 people signed your petition, when it is over 3500. It is these small misrepresentations being hurled at the populace that will be the hardest to turn around.

    People who don’t know they are being lied to are not easy to convince.

    You are up against real experts in the propaganda stakes & I wish you well. Josef Goebbels would be proud of them. (There is quite a famous picture of the Nazis working at the JEP (Der InselZeitung / Island news) during WW2 – That influence is still very real here). http://www.jeron.je/thatwasjersey/occfiles/DC201big.jpg

    I sincerely hope you do come to Jersey and meet many of the people who’ve had enough of all the cover-ups.

    Best wishes

  25. Former BBC Radio presenter Gwyneth Garfield Bennett, when interviewed by BBC Jersey’s Roger Barra on air a few days ago, said she had written book(s?) on child abuse and was “asked not to” publish them, “so she didn’t.”

    I’m sure some will dismiss any suspicions about censorship as a conspiracy theory. They have done so with your banning from entry. They have provided convoluted arguments to dismiss a bookseller’s being told a newly published Jersey abuse story can’t be delivered because it’s “banned in Jersey.” Some will continue to ignore that other books Jersey didn’t approve of, have been banned. If these books are found in the library now, the entire issue of book banning is not subject to further scrutiny, and furious name calling replaces reasonable discussion.

    There are other Jersey controversies but where the political and media controversy remains most heated, where fierce excuses are made for every observable coverup action, the single common thread bears a relation to Jersey child abuse. Persecution of whistleblowers, and shoot the messenger mentality are not serving to make your book appear less necessary, are they? That is why the outcry against your video strengthened your point about insularity and cover up.

  26. Lanark McVie says:

    Dear Leah

    I shall celebrate for you with a scottish version of a fish pie. The delicate white sauce, its fishy contents and creamed potato topping will be wrapped in a thick coat of suet-based pastry and deep-fried, then served with chips.
    Congratulations Leah! When something like the Black Stamp of Death happens to a journalist, you simply know you are making some people powerful people very uncomfortable about something. Keep it up!

    • Hello Leah
      Have you read the latest posting on Stuart Syvrets blog.Very interesting piece about the Crown and Jersey.Certainly goes a long way to explaining why things are like they are here in Jersey.It also might explain your immigration problems.Keep digging I think your going to find more than you imagined about Jersey and its connections to the UK.

  27. Well done! – I also wrote to David Cameron to say how disgusting this was after seeing your clip on You Tube. Smacks of the usual conservative government cover up’s that we have been witnessing over child abuse in this country for decades and are witnessing again here right now, as they desperately try to avoid their colleagues from being arrested for child rape.
    Wish you all the best in your investigations and look forward to the results of your work. Best wishes and good luck.

  28. Gary Doherty says:

    Hi Leah, good people work in hard places..it shouldn’t be hard work for good people.You should look to that kid born in the late 50tys who denied life soul and spirit and maybe a tad more than that.I am sure to the core that said person would have no worries or ill fate, in you speaking for him or with him. I love investigative journalists I have had the misadventure of life to be misrepresented by unsound and unsafe and insecure and unstable journalists todate. May today and the future offer humanity more of you yours and your kind.

  29. Leah.

    It was good to meet up with you on your return to Jersey and thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to give me an INTERVIEW

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