A Trabant That Wants To Be A Ferrari…

The Guardian Online recently published a feature on neurosurgeon Henry Marsh who has carried out much work in the Ukraine. Henry is showing them all how to do it out there and remarked that the Ukraine is like a Trabant that wants to be a Ferrari. Henry has featured on this blog previously (see post ‘News Round Up, May 12 2017’). He spent most of his career at the Atkinson Morley Hospital and St George’s Hospital Medical School. I have never met Henry Marsh nor did I ever hear anything about him whilst I worked at St George’s, but his colleagues concealed the criminal activities of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) and Gwynedd Social Services, who in turn were facilitating a paedophile ring (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’). Henry Marsh may be a thoroughly decent man but he must have known what some of his colleagues were getting up to, particularly as one of them, Professor Oliver Brooke, was imprisoned for the possession of child porn in 1986 and two others, Professor Geoffrey Chamberlain and Malcolm Pearce, perpetuated a major research fraud which became a public scandal in 1994 (see post ‘I Don’t Believe It!’).

The Ukraine is by no means the only Trabant that wants to be a Ferrari. St George’s experienced the same phenomenon, as did huge swathes of the rest of the UK medical establishment and they haven’t changed. Who knows, the Top Doctors in the Ukraine might be prepared to actually do some work in an effort to transform themselves into a Ferrari, instead of simply bullying, lying and cheating…

I was reminded of my days at dear old St George’s again yesterday – I had the biggest surprise that I’ve had for a long while. I am currently reading Jon Snow’s book ‘Shooting History, A Personal Journey’ and I have reached the chapter in which Snow describes his trip to El Salvador in 1981, by which time the Salvadorean Civil War was underway. The US-backed El Salvadorean junta’s death squads were massacring civilians and Snow saw bodies everywhere, including bodies of children, but the guerrillas of the FMLN who were fighting the junta were incredibly dangerous as well. The FMLN was the main participant in the Salvadorean Civil War and they raised funds for their activities by holding up any unarmed vehicles and robbing the occupants. The FMLN killed people too. Jon Snow’s book mentions that he – whilst working at that time for ITN – had an incredibly helpful ‘informant’ from whom most of his scoops came, who had grown up in El Salvador, founded a guerrilla movement and had then fled to London in fear of his life. In 1981 Snow’s informant was FMLN’s representative in Europe. Snow wrote his book in 2004 and mentions that at the time of writing the former guerrilla was a member of the medical establishment in London and had been part of a Nobel Prize winning team. Snow tells us that the man in question was Dr Salvador Muncada. I knew exactly who Snow was talking about – it was the pharmacologist Salvadore Moncada (Snow spelt his name incorrectly), who is now Professor Sir Salvadore Moncada. The vile specimens whom I worked with at St George’s were colleagues and friends of Moncada and I heard much about him. Not that any of us were told that he was a former guerrilla from El Salvador – the story given to the uninitiated was that Moncada ‘was Spanish’ and was ‘really brilliant’. Moncada was Director of Research for the Wellcome Trust Laboratories at that time. Something else was said about Moncada as well – that he would definitely be receiving a Nobel Prize. Moncada’s glory rubbed off on those working with him – I was told by medical students and staff at St George’s that Patrick Vallance,  Moncada’s mate and the man who told me that Moncada was Spanish, was probably in line for a Nobel Prize as well. Patrick Vallance was a physician and pharmacologist at St George’s who, like Henry Marsh, knew how serious the misconduct of some of his colleagues was. I don’t know how many people at St George’s knew what the reality of Moncada’s history was – the students won’t have known, but I bet that Vallance did.

When I was at St George’s, Patrick Vallance was one of the people whom I had a very bad experience with. I had been asked to work with him when I first arrived there and everything started off very well – which was how I got to hear about the wonders of Moncada and it was mentioned that I should try and work with him myself one day. Then, as explained previously on this blog, senior colleagues at St George’s started becoming very angry indeed that I had made complaint about the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales and I was literally ordered not to make any more representations about them and to forget about north Wales and make a life in London. This was not friendly advice from concerned people, it was a command accompanied by threats to my career. I had no idea at that time that people at St George’s had direct links with those we know and love in north Wales and that some of the parties had been in direct contact with each other and had even been intercepting my mail at St George’s. People in the dept in which I was based, the Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, became incredibly aggressive and hostile towards me although they weren’t particularly pleasant to anyone – workplace bullying, class based snobbery and casual racism were the order of the day there (see post ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/1990…’). The poison did not seem to have spread to the Pharmacology Dept where Patrick Vallance was based, so I just presumed that they were all a bit unhinged in Obs and Gynae. My work with the pharmacologists was going very well and after a while a visiting Prof arrived at St George’s to review  people’s work. He asked to see my work and when I showed him my results he became very enthusiastic and told me that I really ought to show them to Professor John Vane, his colleague at Barts because he thought that I might have hit on something quite exciting. The visiting Prof, Nick Wald, was not a pharmacologist, he was an epidemiologist. I told my PhD supervisor, the dreadful Cathy Wilson, that Prof Wald wanted me to go over to Barts to see John Vane, whereupon Cathy Wilson screamed at me that someone like me doesn’t go to see John Vane, didn’t I realise that he was such a big name that he had been given a knighthood. I tried to explain that Prof Nick Wald knew John Vane and that this was virtually an invitation – whereupon Wilson ordered me not to contact John Vane.

After I was banned from contacting John Vane, I encountered a problem. Some of my equipment in the lab in the Dept of Pharmacology broke down. An even bigger problem was that no-one would fix it. I told a number of people that the water bath was faulty and I was ignored. I then stopped using it, hoping for it be repaired – only to be faced with Wilson hurling abuse at me for being lazy and ordering me to get back to work. With the faulty water bath in the pharmacology dept. I had no choice but to work with the faulty water bath. At which point Patrick Vallance walked into the lab, hit the roof and told me that he would not believe any of my data. He never spoke to me again. No-one offered to fix the water bath. I was not provided with any more equipment. Shortly after, I was arrested at the behest of the paedophiles friends’ in north Wales – after they had perjured themselves and had even been told by their own lawyers to drop their litigation against me. I left St George’s and was very glad to see the back of all of them, but as regular readers of this blog know, my adventures simply continued when and after I was admitted to Springfield Hospital, the mental health unit attached to St George’s (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…).

Until recently, I presumed that the madness of St George’s was confined to the Dept of Psychiatry and the Obs and Gynae Dept. It has become very clear that it wasn’t. I had also always presumed that Vallance and his colleagues were not involved in the sort of lies and deception that some others at St George’s were up to their eye-balls in and that he had genuinely not understood that I had been told to work with faulty equipment, had presumed that none of my results could ever have been used and that’s why he stormed off.

I have since received information that there was a substantial problem throughout St George’s with corruption, that it was long-standing and permeated the whole of the institution. So after reading about Salvadore Moncada’s history as a terrorist in El Salvadore and realising that Patrick Vallance was passing him off as Spanish, I thought that I’d see what I could find out about Moncada.

Salvadore Moncada’s wiki entry tells us he was born in Dec 1944 in Honduras but that he moved to El Salvador with his family in 1948. Moncada studied medicine at Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de El Salvador, 1962-70 and in 1971 arrived in London to do a PhD with John Vane in the Dept of Pharmacology at the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences at the Royal College of Surgeons. After a short period of research in Honduras, Moncada then moved to the Wellcome Research Labs at Beckenham, Kent, where he became Director of Research in 1986. In 1996 Moncada moved to UCL where he set up the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, of which he was Director until 2012.

Wiki tells us that whilst at the Royal College of Surgeons Moncada collaborated in the discovery that aspirin-like drugs inhibit prostaglandin synthesis; that in 1975 at the Wellcome Labs he led the team which discovered thromboxane synthase and the vasodilator prostacyclin; that whilst Director of Research at Wellcome Moncada presided over the discovery and development of lamotrigine (an anti-epilepsy drug), atovaquone (an anti-malarial) and zomig (a migraine treatment), as well as initiating work which resulted in the development of lapatinib (for the treatment of breast cancer). We are also told by wiki that Moncada was responsible for the identification of nitric oxide as a biological mediator, that the work regarding the biological synthesis of nitric oxide in the cardiovascular system came from his lab, as well as some fundamental information about the role of nitric oxide in the peripheral CNS and in cancer. Moncada’s later work focused on areas of mitochondrial biology and cell metabolism. Most recently, his work has led to the finding of the molecular mechanism that co-ordinates cell proliferation.

 

When I was left to work with broken equipment in 1990, Patrick Vallance was working with Moncada on nitric oxide and vascular pathology and it was this work which people were raving about and expecting them to bag a Nobel Prize for. Moncada was indeed at that time Director of Research at the Wellcome Labs – that bit at least is true. Whilst wiki doesn’t pretend that Moncada is Spanish, it makes no mention of him leading a guerrilla movement or fleeing to London to save his skin. Or of having been the FMLN’s representative in Europe. Now if one is following a career as a Top Doctor and is in pursuit of a Nobel Prize, I can understand that one wouldn’t advertise one’s former activities as the leader of a guerrilla movement – in 1981, when Snow maintains that Moncada was the representative of the FMLN in Europe, the FMLN was perceived as being on the side of the poor and dispossessed but it was still closely associated with guerrillas. It wasn’t until 1992 that the FMLN became a legal political party of the left in El Salvador. Even then FMLN replaced their former guerrilla leader with a TV journalist in an effort to clean up their image. The FMLN was formed in Oct 1980 as an umbrella group for five long-standing guerrilla movements – all with incredibly bloody, brutal histories. Moncada left for London in 1971 – long, long before the FMLN even tried to attain a degree of acceptance politically. He was presumably the leader of one of the guerrilla groups which later formed the FMLN – there is info available about those groups, but Moncada’s name does not appear online. Wouldn’t be too good for PR would it Salvadore?

So – I wondered how Salvadore had managed to gain a foothold in London in 1971 in John Vane’s research team. It’s not every day that the leader of a terrorist group knocks on the door of a pharmacology research team and is registered for a PhD. Being me, I wondered of Moncada might have had some very damning info about the US-backed regime in El Salvador, which could have been massively politically sensitive and useful to people wanting to help him. He probably did – he obviously retained a big interest in El Salvadorean politics for a very long while, because in 1981 he was the FMLN’s representative in Europe. As well as discovering all these new drugs and molecules – er, are you thinking what I’m thinking? Something’s not right here. Being a world leading scientist is not a part-time activity.

It is well-established that during the Salvadorean Civil War, the US-backed junta did the most appalling things. This was when nothing could be allowed to disrupt Thatcher’s special relationship with Reagan, not even death squads assassinating nuns, priests, doctors, nurses, journos, pregnant women and children. Moncada will have had the most serious dirt on many people and he will have known how to use it – he was a former guerrilla leader turned political negotiator. It could explain some of that funding that he was so successful in landing…

I now realise why I was not allowed near John Vane et al. Christ almighty, I was blowing the whistle on a bunch of Top Doctors in north Wales who were involved in criminal activities, what was I going to do if I discovered that a former guerrilla leader was a big cheese in UK pharmacology and that yet more lies were being told?

However, the mysteries regarding Professor Sir Salvadore just deepened when I read more.

In April 2005 the Times Higher Education Supplement published an article by Anna Fazackerley regarding her meeting ‘a living legend’. Yes, Anna had met Salvadore – according to Anna, Salvadore is ‘south American’ and Salvadore stated that ‘I’m not interested in the limelight’. Anna tells us that Moncada trained as a doctor in El Salvador in the late 1960s, ‘although he says that he never seriously considered a clinical career…while he was studying he grew increasingly angry about the political abuses he saw in his country and decided that he had to speak out. As a result, he was imprisoned, persecuted and finally expelled.’

Moncada did more than ‘speak out’. He led a guerrilla movement. They were not very nice – they murdered people. Not just members of the junta either – anyone who got in their way, including the poor and dispossessed, women and children.

Anna quotes Moncada as saying ‘I have a basic disgust for injustice. The worst form of injustice – from one human directly to another – is what I cannot bear’.

So THAT’S why he became a violent terrorist before he cleaned up his act and worked as a pharmacologist with colleagues who assisted some criminals who were facilitating a paedophile ring!

Why did Salvadore murder people? It was because he was ‘moved’ ‘to do things in a society that was so corrupt’. So what’s your explanation for working with that bunch of shits at St George’s who assisted a paedophile ring then Salvadore?

Fazackerley notes that ‘although the consequences were severe, he is unrepentant. “I’m not sorry, not at all. My views haven’t changed – I’ve mellowed with age but I still feel the same way”…’

Why would this man ever worry about the victims of the North Wales Paedophile Ring who were found dead after they’d complained?

Moncada’s account to the THES – as told by Fazackerley – of how he arrived in the UK is fascinating. It was ‘an accident of fate’. After he was ‘banished to the Honduras where he was born, the young Moncada was separated from his wife who remained in El Salvador. They used to meet in neighbouring Guatemala and it was here that a friend and Professor of Physiology ‘pulled strings’ to get him in the UK. The friend, Fernando Molina, wrote a letter of recommendation to a colleague from his student days at the Royal College of Surgeons in London, the pharmacologist (and Nobel laureate) John Vane. An answer came almost immediately. Vane didn’t know who this chap Moncada was but if his friend Molina rated him that was qualification enough. In February 1971 Moncada, who barely spoke any English, joined Vane’s team in London. Within months his name was on one of three now classic papers…his stellar research career had begun’.

OK. Many PhD supervisors do accept students on the recommendation of their colleagues, but they do usually want evidence of the potential student’s work. Moncada hadn’t been working in pharmacology – he’d been leading a terrorist movement. Furthermore, he spoke barely a word of English. The London Medical Schools are not only centres of entrenched racism – even today, let alone in 1971 – but the language of science is English. Particularly in England. How did Moncada manage to get by in the lab on a day to day basis, yet alone contribute to three classic papers within months of beginning a PhD? Any PhD student knows that finding your feet and waiting for the first results, let along writing them up as three classic articles, is not something that is achieved ‘within months’ of registering for your PhD.

As for coming to the UK – Moncada told the THES that the ‘majority of my classmates went to the US for training and several have had very successful careers there’ but ‘for me coming to the UK was the right choice. I’ve been treated extremely well and have been given all sorts of opportunities’.

Moncada couldn’t have gone to the US – he’d have been arrested or assassinated. In fact I’m very surprised that Moncada hasn’t been assassinated in the UK. International terrorism is not a nice business. Er – did you by any chance change your identity Moncada? Is that why your name doesn’t appear anywhere in relation to the FMLN?

WHO is Professor Sir Salvadore Moncada?
And how did he deal with those trivialities like a passport and ID when he entered the UK after being expelled from El Salvador following his imprisonment for terrorist activities?

Anna of the THES mentions that the phrase ‘good fortune’ crops up a lot in his conversations. Good fortune? A massive criminal network is what I suspect has been responsible for Moncada’s success.

Things get even less clear when one reads an interview with Moncada conducted with Richard Thomas as part of a Wellcome Trust Project conducted by Dr Tilli Tansey (Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, UCL) and Professor Leslie Iversen (Dept of Pharmacology, University of Oxford). During this interview Moncada explains that his mother’s family were European Jews who left Europe in approx. 1938 and fled to Honduras and that whilst at medical school in El Salvador, Moncada was a ‘student activist’. In this interview once more Moncada tells us how after he was expelled from El Salvador he used to meet his family monthly in Guatemala – he had a small daughter who lived with his wife in Honduras. Moncada explains that he knew Professor Fernando Molina of Guatemala because he had been on Sabbatical in El Salvador when Moncada was a student, so he asked Molina if he could help him get to Europe. Molina told Moncada that he had known John Vane about seven or eight years previously when he worked with Vane at the Royal College of Surgeons. Molina had been friends with John Vane and although Molina hadn’t written to John Vane for six or seven years, Molina was happy to drop him a line. After the meeting with Molina, Moncada went back to El Salvador and his wife and daughter returned to Honduras. ‘Almost by return of post’ Vane wrote back to Moncada and said ‘I don’t know who you are. I don’t know anything about your background, but if my good friend Fernando Molina is saying you can come here, I will take you’.

There are still no clues as to why John Vane accepted as a PhD student an overseas graduate about whom he knew absolutely nothing who had not shown any interest in a career in pharmacology. Who funded Moncada whilst he was working for Vane? It won’t have been his country because they’d imprisoned him and thrown him out. Why was this enormous favour done for Moncada – by one Professor whom Moncada had bumped into as an undergrad whilst the Professor was on a sabbatical and by one of the biggest names in UK pharmacology? We also have a new rather interesting part of Moncada’s biography to consider now – his mother’s family were European Jews who had fled the rise of the Nazis. Why the hell did they go to Honduras? It was not a standard destination for Jews escaping Hitler. But can we believe any part of this biography – Moncada was a terrorist who had escaped to the UK rather than be assassinated, it’s not likely that even years later he’d be providing details of who he was in public lectures. People who have fled death squads usually remain very cautious for the rest of their lives.

In this interview Moncada also goes on to talk about his career. He mentions arriving to work with John Vane at the Royal College of Surgeons in 1971 and how in 1982 Vane received the Nobel Prize for the discovery of prostaglandin. Moncada explains that then Patrick Vallance, who was just finishing his medical studies at St George’s, got in touch with Moncada and asked if he could work as a post-doc at the Wellcome Research Laboratories. During this interview, Moncada explains that he left the Wellcome Research Laboratories when Glaxo brought them because he wanted to continue to be in an environment of scientific discovery rather than purely drug discovery. Thus Moncada left Wellcome and established the Wolfson Institute at UCL.

The one part of his story that Moncada is consistent about is his arrival in London in Feb 1971 after a Professor whom he knew on a fairly casual basis recommended him to John Vane, whom that Professor had worked with seven or eight years previously and that John Vane simply accepted Moncada as part of his team despite knowing nothing about him.

Perhaps them Salvadore can explain why on John Vane’s wiki entry there is a nice photo of him with John Vane which wiki tells us is a photo of them ‘from the Sixties’. We can’t ask John Vane to explain because he’s dead, so it’s down to you Salvadore – and if you want to be arsey about this and claim that wiki has made a mistake, the date of that photo can easily be verified because it is a photo of you both standing in someone’s lab and it will be quite easy to correlate the date of the lab equipment in the photo as well as the age, hair, beard etc of you and Vane.

We have established that Moncada was safely well away from El Salvador when the civil war began and that in 1981 he was not only the representative for the FMLN in Europe, but according to Jon Snow Moncada was also providing information to Snow and ITN about the FMLN. Snow is clear that he hates the El Salvadorean military junta, but he does acknowledge that the FMLN guerrillas are dangerous as well. Whilst Snow was in El Salvador, Alexander Hague under Reagan’s new administration maintained that the FMLN arms were being supplied by the Soviets – Snow’s brief from his bosses at ITN was to infiltrate the FMLN in order to ascertain whether their weapons were from the Soviet Union. Jon Snow maintains that they were not – but I’m interested that not only did he have that remit from his bosses at ITN, but that Moncada was his informant. The fact that Moncada was a useful informant suggests that Moncada – whilst leading the world in pharmacology – still had incredibly close connections with the guerrillas in El Salvador, but I doubt that the FMLN knew that he was providing information to UK journalists. Snow’s book makes it clear that he and his  colleagues would have been killed themselves if anyone had realised that they were journalists secretly photographing events in El Salvador.

So in 1981 ITN seemed to be using its journos to assist the US in its foreign policy objectives -by the use of an informant who was a former terrorist who had a very cosy relationship with the Royal College of Surgeons. Would any of the leftovers from Thatcher’s first administration who are still alive like to explain all of this?

Moncada graduated in 1970 and arrived in London in Feb 1971, after leading a guerrilla movement. He hadn’t done much medicine at medical school then. If he had been imprisoned, that must have been after he graduated, so he obviously left for London asap. This was ten years before the civil war broke out, so what was going on in El Salvador at the time?

The PDC, the National Coalition Party, was active in El Salvadorean politics. It was led by Napolean Duarte who had been the Mayor of San Salvador, 1964-70. Duarte was preparing to run for President with the political grouping the UNO (National Opposition Union). In the event, Duarte lost the 1972 Presidential election to the ex-Minister of the Interior, Col Arturo Armando Molina. Notice that surname??? I don’t know anything about Central America, it could be that Molina is their equivalent of Smith, but you never know… The election was widely viewed as being fraudulent, with Molina being declared the winner although Duarte received the majority of votes. Duarte supported the request of a group of army officers to back a revolt to protest the fraud – he was captured, tortured and exiled. Duarte lost a few fingers to his captors and went to Venezuela. He returned to El Salvador in 1979 and was installed as a an acceptable face for a President with the help of Washington. By that time the lethal Roberto D’Aubuisson aka Major Bob had exerted his reign of terror over El Salvador and Duarte admitted that he was powerless in the face of Major Bob and his death squads. Washington wanted Duarte as the official face of the Gov’t, but Major Bob had contacts with US intelligence, with the political right and with the military. He was unstoppable and completely out of hand – it was assumed that it had been him who had given the order to assassinate Archbishop Oscar Romero whilst he was holding mass in his Church in San Salvador in 1980, the event which effectively began the civil war. In 1982 Major Bob became President of the Constituent Assembly. The US then stopped even pretending to oppose Major Bob and backed him. Major Bob ended up as President of El Salvador and his party ARENA spent many years in Gov’t.

What was happening in the US as Moncada escaped El Salvador and was embraced by John Vane and the Royal College of Surgeons? Nixon was in office, the Vietnam War was still underway and the US were busy covertly supporting the opponents of Salvador Allende in Chile – which led to the coup in Sept 1973 during which Allende was murdered and Thatcher’s mate Pinochet installed as leader. In early 1971, Chairman Mao invited a team of American table tennis players to China, which was considered a breakthrough in relations – in July 1971 it was announced that Nixon would visit China the following Feb. Following the thawing of relations with China, there were negotiations for Nixon and his wife to visit Moscow – which they did in May 1972, where they met Leonid Brezhnev. All these negotiations were considered important because they persuaded the Soviets and Chinese to reduce their support for the Viet Cong. A knock on effect was the US scaling down its Space Programme – in July 1972 it was announced that there would be a five year co-operative programme between NASA and the Soviet Space Programme.

As for the UK, when Moncada made his appearance in the Royal College of Surgeons – Ted Heath was in Gov’t, with all the attendant problems…

 

I have seen how much the Top Doctors and an assortment of politicians milked their knowledge of the North Wales Paedophile Ring and how much havoc that caused and continues to cause decades later. Salvadore Moncada was a terrorist in exile who continued to have involvement in the politics of a dirty, brutal civil war in which no-one knows how many people disappeared and an estimated 75,000 people died. I can only imagine what the Top Doctors got up to with him in their camp. With Moncada’s help that fleet of clapped out, uninspiring, hopeless, polluting old Trabants all dressed themselves up as Ferraris and robbed the UK taxpayer of millions as they established enormous research institutions on the back of sod all but knowledge which enabled them to blackmail people in high places. As for Savadore – he wasn’t simply a lying, cheating social snob who fabricated his research and dripped with contempt for his patients like your common or garden Top Doctor. He was a fucking terrorist. No wonder they all told everyone how brilliant he was.

 

Salvadore’s terrorist connections and dirt on people in very high places have obviously enabled him to achieve a great deal, but interestingly not the Nobel Prize which everybody thought was a given. The ground had obviously been very carefully prepared – everyone had been told how brilliant Moncada was, how brilliant his associates like Vallance were and nitric oxide was talked up as much as Professor Mark Williams talked up Mindfulness (see post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’). In 1992 the journal ‘Science’ declared nitric oxide to be ‘molecule of the year’ – what I remember 1992 for is being the year that five witnesses to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal were killed in an arson attack after they were invited to a party and someone chucked a petrol bomb into the building (see post ‘The Silence Of The Welsh Lambs’) – well Moncada and Vallance were working on nitric oxide and there was that Nobel Prize that was coming their way as everybody had been assured.

The first shock for the Moncada camp was Moncada failing to win the Lasker Award in 1996. There was a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth after that, but hissy fits were really thrown with a vengeance in 1998 when Moncada was not given the Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine. The award was given for the uncovering of the role of nitric oxide as a biological mediator, but the scientific community was ‘outraged’ when Moncada was not among the three prize winners named. Moncada himself did not protest and this was taken as a sign of what a gentleman he was. The Nobel Prize was instead awarded to three Americans – Robert. F. Furchgott, Luois J. Ignarro and Ferid Murad. It was two of these – Murad and Furchgott – who won the Lasker Award in 1996. When I read the names of the people who had won the Nobel Prize my first thought was that someone had discovered Moncada’s past and had ensured that he wasn’t listed; then it sunk in that it was three Americans who won the prize and I thought oh well, AMERICANS, they’ll have definitely known about Moncada’s time as a terrorist; then I speculated that perhaps fair play had triumphed and that the Nobel Prize might have gone to the most deserving. Then I looked at the CVs of those who had won – they are all very big names in very big powerful US universities and they hold senior positions with very big powerful drug companies. In 1990 Murad was Vice-President for R & D of Abbott Laboratories, Illinois. (Dr David Owen was a Board member, 1990-2011.) In 2012 Abbott were charged with a $500 million fine and a$198.5 million forfeiture for illegal marketing, after unlawfully promoting the anti-psychotic Depakote for uses not approved by the FDA including use in children. It was the second biggest fine in US history for a drug company. Abbott also received a term of five years probation and court supervision. So what I think had actually happened was that the three winners had even bigger mates that Moncada had.

Not winning the Nobel Prize has not held Moncada back. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1988; a Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA in 1994; a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1994; an Honorary Fellow of UCL in 1999. He has authored over 500 papers and in the 1990s he was the most cited biomedical scientist in Britain and the second most cited biomedical scientist in the world – and he probably still is.

Moncada also has an interest in medical education and the development of science and technology in Latin America. He is a Consultant for the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) – a registered office of WHO – and he founded Honduras Global, an international network of experts supporting the development of Honduras. Moncada also tell interviewers that he enjoys travelling and spends time with his family.

Moncada does have a family, but he has long since split with the wife whom he used to have to meet in Guatemala because he had been banned from El Salvadore where his wife and daughter lived. Moncada is now married to Princess Marie-Esmeralda of Belgium, daughter of King Leopold III and aunt of King Philippe! She is a journo, documentary maker, environmental activist and a wimmins and indigenous people’s rights campaigner. In 1989 she supported the campaign to protect the Amazonian forest with dear old Sting. Who then gave everybody a good laugh by advertising luxury cars – his wife Trudie Styler supplied even more entertainment by having ding dongs with her servants. Then there were those boasts about tantric sex…Princess Marie-Esmerelda also writes books about her ancestors, but says she prefers to concentrate on exploring their personalities than on their biographies. Well that’s one way of coping with forebears who ran the Belgian Congo – Marie-Esmeralda has obviously seen those photos of the Congolese children with hands missing after they were chopped off because they were not working fast enough.

Marie-Esmerelda is Patron of the Princess Lillian Foundation, established in 1958 by her late mother. Orginally the charity sent children in need of complex heart surgery abroad for treatment, but in the 70s the Foundation focussed on organising high level scientific meetings. I wonder how the Princess and the former armed revolutionary met then?? Since the death of Princess Lillian, the Foundation has created a visiting Professorship. In 2008 Marie-Esmeralda spoke at a conference on mental health and well-being at the European Community in Brussels. She is the Honorary President of Care Belgium and was until very recently the Honorary President of Delphus, an association offering autistic children assisted therapy with dolphins.

 

What I’m wondering is who is doing the research and writing those papers because it cannot be Salvadore.

 

After leading the Wolfson Institute at UCL that Moncada established for twelve years, he upped sticks and went to Manchester. In Nov 2013 it was announced that Moncada would be the Professor of Translational Medicine and Strategic Advisor at the new Centre for Cellular Metabolism in the University’s Institute of Human Development. It was stated that Moncada’s new post was with the University of Manchester and the Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre, a partnership between academics and six NHS Trusts in Greater Manchester. (I note that one of the Trusts listed is a mental health Trust known for eliminating its patients.) Salvadore was quoted as saying that he would be working with Professor Ian Jacobs with whom he had ‘collaborated enjoyably and successfully in the past’ and that he was delighted to be working with Nancy Rothwell, who was now Vice-Chancellor of Manchester.

Nancy’s been a fan of Salvadore for a while. Before he got within sniffing distance of Manchester, she’d told a journo that ‘he is thought of as very charismatic. I think that he is delightful’. Well you are not someone that he has gunned down or robbed on the road to fund his guerrilla movement are you Nancy. Instead you’re hoping that he’s going to be bringing billions into your institution which George Osborne and Andy Burnham have pinpointed as being a key player in the Northern Powerhouse.

Professor Ian Jacobs didn’t hang around with Moncada for long despite their enjoyable and successful collaboration – Jacobs was appointed the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of New South Wales in Feb 2015. Ian Jacobs could tell a few tales – he’s rubbed shoulders with a few who have starred on this blog. He is a gynaecological oncologist who worked at the Royal London Hospital when Wendy Savage and her boss took lumps out of each other (see post ‘Every Sperm Is Sacred – Particularly In Scotland’), he has worked for the Cancer Research Campaign who were happy to fund research that was known to be highly questionable by everyone else funded by the CRC (see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’), he worked at Addenbrookes Hospital, an institution dominated by Mary Archer and Trumpers (see post ’95 Glorious Years!’) and of course he’s passed through Barts on his travels, which was how he probably got to know Moncada – John Vane founded the William Harvey Research Institute at Barts. Jacobs’ potential could be seen as far back as 1985 – when he began one of the largest trials for ovarian cancer screening in the UK. I suspect that was something to do with Dr Vicky Clement-Jones and BACUP. Which was going to revolutionise ovarian cancer treatment (see post ‘The Cradle of Filth’). The outcomes in the UK for ovarian cancer are still very poor.

In April 2014 Moncada was appointed Director of the Institute of Cancer Sciences at the University of Manchester. Manchester University explained that they were due to open a £28.5 million Manchester Cancer Research Centre and that the University has ‘an outstanding history of research and innovation’. Presumably that includes the research done at the University of Manchester by the paedophiles’ friend Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) when he worked there immediately prior to facilitating the paedophile gang in north Wales whilst using his contacts to protect him (see post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’). So who coughed up the £28.5 million for Salvadore to play with?

 

As for Patrick Vallance, the colleague of those who facilitated a paedophile gang and fabricated research at St George’s – Patrick is leaving his post as Head of R & D at GSK and from Spring 2018 he will be Chief Scientific Advisor to the Gov’t of the UK. Patrick’s new post was announced earlier this month by the Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood. Who will, I am sure, know who Salvadore Moncada really is – the UK has something called the security services. Sir Jeremy will also know about the activities of Patrick’s colleagues at St George’s, via this blog if from nowhere else.

Isn’t it great to know that the British Gov’t consider a bloke who is a long-standing friend of a former terrorist and a former close colleague of numerous people who fabricated research and facilitated serious crime suitable to occupy what is probably the most important Gov’t advisory position?

 

 

More Summer Reading!

I’ve been digging around in book shops recently and I managed to pick up a second hand book which might be of interest to readers of this blog.

‘NHS plc’ was published in 2004 and was written by Allyson Pollock. I read quite a lot of Pollock’s work some years ago and what always struck me was that although Pollock undoubtedly knows exactly what goes on in the NHS, she was rather mealy mouthed when it came to admitting the full horror of it all. I always attributed this to Pollock being a policy advisor and therefore maintaining a discreet silence regarding patients’ being maimed and killed – I also was under the impression that Pollock had a background in social policy and such researchers very often do have trouble admitting just how much blood there is on the carpet. But I discovered yesterday that Pollock is actually a Top Doctor – she’s a Consultant in Public Health Medicine and has been since 1986. Since Jan 2017, Pollock has been Director of the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University. Prior to that she was Head of the Public Health Policy Unit at UCL and Director of Research and Development at UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Pollock set up and directed the Centre for International Public Health Policy at Edinburgh University (2005-11). Before then she was Professor of Public Health Research and Policy at Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London. Her earlier career is not mentioned on her wiki entry – but guess what can be discovered if one reads ‘NHS plc’? That Allyson previously worked at Sin City – St George’s Hospital Medical School! She mentions that she worked there ‘before’ New Labour’s 1997 election victory. As she has been a consultant since 1986, presumably she was a consultant at St George’s. So she was there at some point in the 90s then – when the madness and malpractice that I have detailed on this blog prevailed there (see post ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/1990’), under the ‘leadership’ of the dreadful Sir William Asscher…

Allyson Pollock is best known for her work on the gradual privatisation of the NHS with the associated imposition of a ‘business culture’ and the introduction of ‘new public management’ techniques. Her work on this is very, very good. I have never been able to fault her analysis of what this process has resulted in or her historical detail of the steps by which it has taken place. But reading ‘NHS plc’, it is clear why Pollock’s work never details the chaos and tragedy that is happening in the NHS, although she obviously loathes the privatisation agenda and could add considerable weight to her argument if she was prepared to go public on the excesses of the NHS. It is because Pollock is only telling half the story. The bit that Allyson Pollock just won’t mention is the contribution of the Top Doctors themselves to the mess.

Throughout ‘NHS plc’, Pollock paints a picture of a medical establishment that always does and has always done the best for NHS patients and which has been forced off course by the privatisation agenda – an agenda which Pollock suggests that nearly all Top Doctors have fought against for noble reasons. She does name the occasional sinner, the odd Top Doctor who has encouraged and personally benefited from privatisation, such as the odious Dr Chai Patel. Pollock describes Patel as a ‘millionaire doctor’. He is far from the only one Allyson as you well know. Patel of course notoriously ran a huge chain of private ‘care homes’ which were eventually exposed as being riddled with the most dreadful abuse and neglect of patients – it was this that forced him to step down from his role as a Dept of Health advisor on the care of the elderly. Among Patel’s business interests was his acquisition and expansion of the ‘Priory Group’. That is the Priory Group that currently employs two of Allyson’s former colleagues from St George’s and the associated psychiatric unit Springfield Hospital, Dr Robin Jacobson and Dr Adrienne Key! Likewise Allyson names a few of the biggest scandals that there have been in the NHS – scandals so big that she can’t avoid naming them, such as the Bristol Children’s Heart Surgery Scandal or Harold Shipman. There is not a mention of the fact that actually the NHS for a very long time has been dogged by scandals in which patients suffered greatly and were known to be suffering but no-one acted. According to ‘NHS plc’ the problems only began when Thatcher’s administration began privatising the NHS, a process which escalated under New Labour. It is New Labour into whom Allyson really puts the boot – she hates them.

Whilst Allyson highlights the idiocies that that Tories imposed upon the NHS in the name of the ‘internal market’, she makes no mention of why they were able to convince voters at the time that this might be a good idea. It was actually because there was a great deal of dissatisfaction with the NHS. I can remember the debates very well – the allegations made again and again were of Top Doctors who were so fucking arrogant that they would not listen to patients or respond to their needs. It wasn’t simply a case of affluent patients wanting a private room or special treatment, although that was indeed Margaret Thatcher’s personal interpretation. There had been for example massive dissatisfaction among women concerning the way in which many of them had been treated whilst giving birth, which led to practitioners like Michele Odent establishing private practices to which middle class women swarmed. There was the emergence of ME and the Top Doctors’ complete refusal to accept that this might have a physical cause – seriously ill people were dismissed as suffering from ‘Yuppie Flu’. People with an interest in alternative medicine also fumed at the way in which they were mocked and belittled by Top Doctors. I’m of the opinion that much ‘alternative medicine’ is indeed ineffective, but if one is a Top Doctor faced with anxious patients enquiring about such matters, taking the piss out of them to their faces is not the best way to proceed. The London surgeon Michael Baum was interviewed on TV regarding alternative medicine and he explained that patients enquiring about this were usually middle aged women wearing ethnic weave clothes who read the ‘Guardian’. That’s the sort of observation that is best made to one’s friends in private, not made on prime time TV – it caused massive offence and actually did him a lot of damage (which was unfortunate, because some of Baum’s opinions are worth listening to). I remember an episode of ‘Any Questions’ in which the biggest cheer from the audience was given to a Tory MP who when talking about the Tories reforms of the NHS, had robustly said of hospital consultants ‘they’re not God, they’re just guys doing a job’. People had really had a bellyful of the Top Doctors by the mid to late 1980s and that feeling was exactly what the Tories utilised to sell the voters their agenda for the NHS. Allyson mentions that ‘some’ hospital consultants were ‘downright arrogant’, that they were not ‘directly accountable to anyone’ and that team working was ‘often poor’, but she does not get anywhere near to admitting the extend of the greed, the bullying, the autocracy, the abuse of their positions and the overall preservation of their own vested interests that did – and still does – go on.

The attitude of the Top Doctors to patients was exemplified by the ‘reviews’ that the Top Doctors who fancied themselves as thespians used to put on themselves in medical schools at Christmas. Those stage shows were essentially a series of sketches in which the Top Doctors patted themselves on the back and sneered at patients for all being a bit ignorant or neurotic. I attended two such Christmas Reviews whilst I worked at St Georges – they were virtually identical and basically served to consolidate what someone the other day termed the ‘professional superglue’ that causes NHS staff to close ranks in the face of malpractice or patient harm.

Allyson mentions the concession to accept ‘pay beds’ that Bevan made when establishing the NHS. Bevan of course admitted that he was forced into doing this in order to get the Top Doctors to accept the idea of the NHS. (The Top Doctors REALLY objected to the idea of the NHS.) Pollock I note doesn’t quote Bevan’s most famous words – that in order to overcome the Top Doctors’ objections to the NHS he would ‘stuff their mouths with gold’. Allyson tactfully states that Bevan had accepted the existence of pay beds ‘in order to secure consultants’ participation in the new free health care system’. Pollock mentions that in 1975 Barbara Castle abolished pay beds – and my God wasn’t that one of her biggest battles – but her decision was later reversed and ‘by the 1980s pay beds were justified as an income earner for hospitals’. I don’t remember the Top Doctors objecting to their re-introduction Allyson – in fact when you and I were working at St George’s there was plenty of private practice going on. To be fair, some of the Top Doctors doing it were re-investing their earnings into their research programmes and of course there was a limit placed on the amount that medical academics were allowed to earn through private practice. Which was why so many Top Doctors didn’t want academic posts… Some of Allyson’s non-academic colleagues at St George’s were known to be very rich indeed as a result of their private practices.

Again and again Allyson portrays these very wealthy people with interests in private practice who ignored the wrongdoing of their colleagues as selfless barefoot doctors. She maintains that when ‘concerned NHS staff’ critiqued public-private partnerships they were dismissed by Gov’t as ‘self-interested’. However did anyone come to that conclusion? So who were the concerned NHS staff that Allyson was talking about? The cleaners? The canteen staff or the porters? The Angels perhaps? No, it was the BMA and the NHS Consultants’ Association.

There are plenty of clues in Allyson’s book as to what the beef of the Top Doctors really was. It was not that the Top Doctors were taking a principled stand against privatisation. It was a power battle. The Tories wanted to flatten the BMA in the way that they had flattened the NUM because the BMA were causing havoc behind the scenes and that’s what much of the obsession with imposing a business culture and managerialist practices on the NHS was all about. Unfortunately the Tories tried to fight the Top Doctors by giving huge power to an equally toxic group of people – NHS senior managers. The Tories were well aware of the damage that the likes of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Gwynne the lobotomist were inflicting upon the NHS and it’s patients, but their solution was to give as much power to the likes of Alun Davies and Martin Jones. It was not a good idea and for years now a full-on battle has raged between these two groups who are substantially made up of shites. Top Doctors who do have integrity are not going to be told what to do by Martin which is why so many of them are now leaving the NHS and good managers aren’t attracted to working in the NHS because most of the other managers there are like Martin. A few years ago I was friends with a newly qualified law graduate who landed himself a job in the management offices of Ysbyty Gwynedd. He memorably described Martin and co as ‘corrupt as fuck and thick as shit’. Of course, when the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board was first established, they had an excellent CEO, Mary Burrows, who was very bright and genuinely committed to improving the dire state of the NHS in north Wales. Mary was effectively hounded out by the Top Doctors and Martin et al. The last thing that a bunch of unscrupulous, abusive Top Doctors lining their own pockets want is a high calibre senior manager. Which is why you don’t tend to find such creatures in the NHS.

Allyson writes of the battle that the BMA had with Ken Clarke regarding GP fundholding and describes how the BMA were ‘defeated’ and ‘would never again challenge the Gov’t on matters of principle’. Allyson is being somewhat economical with the truth here. The BMA continued to fight Gov’ts tooth and nail, but they adopted a new tactic. Instead of presenting themselves as Top Doctors Who Knew Best overtly confronting the Gov’t, they constructed themselves as People Who Cared About The Disadvantaged – which is exactly the way in which Allyson presents herself! ‘NHS plc’ is full of warm words for the BMA – except towards the end of the book, in which Allyson accuses them of selling out, upon the appointment of a particular Chief Exec. Allyson wrote that book in 2004. In 2007 the BMA famously screwed the Gov’t over regarding the negotiation of the GP out of hours contract which was so favourable to the Top Doctors that one of the BMA negotiators described it as ‘a bit of a laugh’. It was this that led to enormous problems concerning GP out of hours provision. But Allyson’s heart must have melted at some point because in 2014 she was appointed as a Member of the BMA’s Council! She is still there.

Pollock’s own attempts to categorise herself as a barefoot doctor are interesting. She mentions going to dinner with a merchant banker before the election of New Labour to discuss PFIs (I wonder why Allyson was doing that?) and describes how the dinner was held in the ‘bank’s private dining room’ with ‘black coated waiters’ who ‘served lunch that lasted almost three hours’. Allyson compares that dining room with the ‘hospital canteen’ at St Georges and how she ‘could not help thinking of the rows of terraced houses in the impoverished community of Tooting from which St George’s mainly female, mainly black ancillary workforce was drawn’.

I remember those rows of terraces in Tooting as well – I lived in one of them. As indeed did many of the female, black workers of St Georges. So what did the Top Doctors of St Georges think about those workers and the other people who lived in those terraces? Well, one Top Doctor described the midwives as being ‘really thick especially the black ones’. Another Top Doctor told one of the researchers about a ‘really scummy family who live in Garrett Lane’ (Garrett Lane was one of the most deprived parts of Tooting.) A medical student was ostracised because he lived in a shared house in Garrett Lane. It wasn’t only living in Garrett Lane that made one persona non-grata – I attended a departmental meal in a restaurant in Wimbledon during which the wife of a senior registrar refused to speak to a junior doctor after she was told that the junior doctor lived in Brixton. Many of the Top Doctors at St Georges lived in Wimbledon or Clapham or further afield in affluent areas. I only knew of one Top Doctor who lived in Tooting who, as a result of having a number of young children from a series of broken relationships, didn’t have the sort of disposable income that his colleagues had and could only afford to buy in Tooting. He resented living there – although his house was a good deal better than everyone else’s – and he complained at length about the lifestyle enjoyed by another Top Doctor from Kings, who was sufficiently loaded that she was having a house built to her own specifications with a matching bathroom for each bedroom. That was Professor Linda Cardosa – I didn’t ever see her house which caused so much envy, but if any readers did do e mail me and tell me all about it. Should anyone ever see Prof Cardosa on a BMA protest supporting a pay claim I suggest that they ignore her.

As for merchant bankers – the brother of one of the researchers in the dept in which I worked at St Georges was a merchant banker. One of his bonuses was bigger than the annual salary of his sister’s boss. This caused much gnashing of teeth, but no-one used it as evidence that merchant bankers should be paid less – they used it as evidence that they should be paid as much as merchant bankers. As for the merchant banker’s sister – she grumbled at length about her own salary although it later emerged that some sort of ‘special arrangement’ had been made for her so she was earning much more than all the other researchers anyway. Not that she needed a higher salary than everyone else – she drove a Mercedes, but ‘only an old one’ which her father had given her and when she had enough of living in the inner city her parents allowed her to live rent free in the cottage on their estate in Surrey which had previously been inhabited by the gardener. I’m only surprised that mum and dad didn’t supply her with a butler as well.

Not all of my former colleagues at St Georges were as spoiled, as fuckwitted, as snobbish and as shallow as this, but one didn’t have to work too hard to find people who were. There were a lot of them cluttering up the place. The source of their discontent was the fact that so many of them did come privileged backgrounds and they had friends and family who were earning even more than Top Doctors did. So many Top Doctors, despite being among the most highly paid people in the UK, managed to convince themselves that they were very hard done by indeed. It is this phenomenon that propels the BMA and it’s campaigns. The notion of ‘public service’ does not enter into the equation.

In ‘NHS plc’ Pollock is also very critical of NHS organisations selling off buildings and land – the ‘NHS estate’ – to raise money. Such sales are often a very bad deal for the NHS and are effectively fleecing the tax-payer, but the example which Pollock provides is yet another reflection of Pollock’s sleight of hand. She refers to the proposed sale of Springfield Hospital and the accompanying proposed deal with a private care company. Springfield Hospital was an appalling place, in a dreadful state of repair with completely inadequate facilities. It was in no way suitable to be housing mental health patients in the late 20th century. The care was dreadful, abuses of patients were rampant (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’) and eventually there was a public inquiry after a series of murders there. I do not know what the facilities and care standards at the establishment where it was proposed to transfer the patents to were like, but no-one could defend Springfield Hospital. This example reminded me of the articles that ‘New Statesman’ ran back in the 80s concerning the closure of institutions like the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. Those articles accused Thatcher of selling off the ‘homes’ of patients – I really don’t think that the readers of the ‘New Statesman’ would have wanted a home like Denbigh. Of course, the first Health Minister to propose closing the asylums was Enoch Powell – after visiting Denbigh, which appalled him. Pollock compliments Powell for his ‘political inspiration’ behind the 1962 Hospital Building Plan, but she doesn’t mention a word about him wanting to close institutions like Denbigh and Springfield.

Again and again Pollock lays the blame for notorious NHS shortcomings on privatisation. She rightly mocks the deals that were done with celebrities like Lloyd Grossman which resulted in private companies being contracted to provide hospital food that turned out to be awful. But hospital food was known to be awful before privatisation – it was, like British Rail sandwiches, a byword for dreadful food. Whilst I was imprisoned in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh by Dafydd Alun Jones Brown worried about my diet – because he knew how bad the food was in institutions like that. In Denbigh most patients lived on chips – the fare was so grim that chips were usually the most edible thing on the ‘menu’. One patient at Denbigh who was actually receiving regular visitors – unlike most people who had simply been illegally imprisoned and abandoned in there – got her daughter to bring her meals in. Things were no better in Springfield in 1991 where Pollock’s fellow Top Doctors worked. One inpatient was a young South Asian woman who, for religious reasons, was being given meals that differed from everyone else’s (they certainly couldn’t have managed that at Denbigh). So Springfield could therefore tick the ‘catering for a multicultural community’ box – but this young woman was delivered a meal each day which no choice offered or no say in what it was. On one occasion a meal was delivered which for dietary reasons she could not eat (one of the ingredients upset her stomach). She explained this to the vile abusive ward manager – an Australian called Stephanie whose standard method of communication was to shout and swear at patients – and was simply told ‘you’ve got to have it, these meals are costing us a fortune’. The young Asian woman went without dinner that day. This was before there had been any implementation of the idea of privatising NHS catering.

Pollock writes some scathing passages about the dreadful neglect of the elderly in the private sector – again this is endemic and she is quite right to draw attention to what is going on. But this was happening before NHS privatisation was on the agenda. As far back as the 1970s I knew of a notorious nursing home in the Somerset town in which I went to school. It was owned and run by a nurse who had been sacked from Taunton hospital and it employed schoolgirls as ‘nurses’ (my friend worked there – at 15 years of age she was passed off as a ‘nurse’). Every Top Doctor in Bridgwater knew about that home – they’d have never allowed their own relatives to end up there but no-one put a stop to it. When I went to university in Bangor in 1981 I found out about a very similar establishment in Menai Bridge. The man who owned the nursing home was a drunk and the ‘matron’ in charge was a nurse who had been sacked by the C&A Hospital in Bangor – after she was found having sex with a male patient in his bed on the ward. This was common knowledge, as was the neglect to which the residents were subjected – Dr D.G.E. Wood had some patients there and visited regularly. No-one had the place closed down. Furthermore Chai Patel is not to the only Top Doctor who owned care homes with questionable standards. Brig-y-Nant in Bethesda was owned by Top Doctor Dr K. Shah, a mate of Dafydd’s (see post ‘Hippocratic Oath or Hypocritic Oaf?’ for details of my encounter with Shah). Shah’s wife ‘managed’ Brig y Nant and I heard allegations from one former care assistant that not only were ‘difficult’ elderly residents dumped in baths of cold water, but when injuries were sustained, one doctor would always be called to deal with the problem – a Dr K. Shah.

Something else that Allyson attributes to NHS privatisation is the silencing of whistleblowers and the appearance of dodgy publications in the BMJ. I can kill two birds with one stone here. Back in the 1980s I remember reading an article that a particularly courageous doctor had penned for the BMJ. He was a GP from Devon and he wrote an account of how he had been called out to visit a patient in a nursing home and had arrived to find residents tied to their chairs with pairs of nylon tights and what he described as a ‘sloppy’ young woman on duty. He attended to his patient and as he prepared to leave he was stopped by an old lady who asked him if he was a doctor. When he said yes, the old lady pulled her skirt up and showed him severe, extensive scalding over her thighs. The old lady told him that someone had poured a kettle of hot water over her legs. This nursing home was owned by a local Top Doctor. A few days later the GP heard that the old lady who had been scalded had died. He was so worried about standards at this home that he contacted the coroner regarding his concerns. The coroner told him that there were no concerns at all regarding the home. The GP discovered that the coroner was a business partner of the Top Doctor who owned the home. The GP contacted the GMC and was told to take a running jump. So he penned an article for the BMJ to let the world now exactly what was possible on Planet Care Home. Was this caring and diligent GP supported in his efforts to expose this scandal? Not at all. In the next issue of the BMJ there were a number of letters published from other Top Doctors, all pompously declaring that the BMJ was not the place to air allegations about one’s colleagues. But that was not the worst thing that appeared in the BMJ in the 80s. On one occasion they debated Homosexuality. One old bigot wrote in and stated quite categorically that homosexuality does not exist ‘in the animal kingdom’ and that it is most definitely a perversion of Man. I’ve got news for that particular high-flier – homosexuality DOES exist in the animal kingdom as any zoologist will confirm. Such was the shite that the BMJ felt able to publish in days gone by.

As for whistleblowing – Allyson’s off in fairyland regarding this: ‘formerly doctors could and did speak out in the interests of their patients’ and ‘in the past doctors were free to speak out – in fact they were under a moral obligation to do so – if they felt it was in the interests of their patients’. Of course Allyson – that is why, for many, many years pre-NHS privatisation, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al were able to break the law, sexually exploit patients, sell drugs to addicts, lie on oath, illegally imprison people in Denbigh, conceal a paedophile ring and threaten and bribe people with many, many people knowing and no-one blew the whistle on any of it. In fact your own colleagues at St Georges and Springfield knew of at least some of what was going on and documented it – but told each other that I was ‘extremely dangerous’ and should be referred to the forensic services ‘for containment’ after I spoke to them about it. Other people who knew what Dafydd and co were up to included Dr James Earp from Leicester (see post ‘An Expert From England’), Professor Robert Bluglass (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE…’), The Medical Ombudsman for Wales Professor Robert Owen, Dr Chris Mawson (see post ‘Doctors Who Disappeared From The Medical Register’) and Dr Chris Hunter (see post ‘The Night of the (Dr Chris) Hunter’). Dr Mawson and Dr Earp did not, unlike the others, suggest that I should be banged up without trial in a secure hospital, but not one of them raised the alarm regarding what was going on.

‘NHS plc’ also takes aim at the various inspection regimes that have been introduced in recent years, such as the CHI (Commission for Health Improvement). Pollock describes such inspectorates as ‘ineffectual’ and mentions that the review teams are ‘inevitably less qualified and less experienced than the hospital staff they were inspecting’. Which is true and it is insulting to good hospital staff. But those inspectorates have been a Godsend to Top Doctors who aren’t doing what they should be doing – such as in Mid-Staffs. Or indeed in north Wales. Dangerous troubled services have passed inspections with flying colours. But it has always been thus – the Mental Health Act Commission were actively colluding with Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) in north Wales to conceal their criminal activity before privatisation was underway.

There is a glaring contradiction in Pollock’s writing, in that among her attempts to portray Top Doctors as helpless pawns in the face of power-crazed Gov’ts there are actually plenty of indications that she knows just how powerful swathes of the medical establishment are, including her own colleagues and the institutions in which she herself has spent her career as a senior member of staff. She clearly explains how the London teaching hospitals and medical schools are invested with prestige and status enabling them to attract high calibre staff, which in turn gives them huge influence even over Gov’t policy – just like Allyson and her Public Policy Units based in those medical schools have sometimes enjoyed.

Allyson mentions the idea to close Guys and St Tommy’s that was put forward some years ago – but she admits that the notion pretty soon died a death because of course Tommy’s is the hospital that serves Parliament. No, no-one’s going to shut down the most elite joint in town with plenty of friends in the Palace of Westminster. Allyson also mentions the enormous power and influence that Great Ormond Street Hospital has, due it’s legacy from J.M. Barrie and it’s very successful fundraising arm. She explains that in 2000, Camden and Islington Health Authority along with the Medical Director at UCL Hospitals Trust, planned to integrate all paediatric services across the area, but that GOSH disagreed with this plan, ‘was in a powerful position to put it’s own priorities before patients needs or planning’ and was successful in ‘silencing debate’.

Yet elsewhere in her book, Pollock holds up GOSH and it’s satellite hospital Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children as being all that is best about the NHS. Queen Elizabeth Hospital was linked to GOSH and a number of consultants at GOSH had shared appointments with Queen Elizabeth. Allyson explains how Queen Elizabeth served the severely disadvantaged area of Hackney where some of the poorest children in the UK lived. She states that Queen Elizabeth was a ‘model of how a hospital in a severely deprived inner city area should be run’, that it was ‘accessible, open and caring with exceptional expertise’ providing a ‘superb service to needy children’. My post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’ mentions that Dr Robin Skynner, who had links with Top Doctors who were concealing child sexual abuse, was the Physician in Charge of the Dept of Psychiatry at Queen Elizabeth between 1965-70.

As for GOSH – that was the hospital that employed the negligent doctor who contributed to the death of Peter Connelly in the ‘Baby P’ case a few years. GOSH has also just been at the centre of the Charlie Gard storm. And I doubt that either of those cases had much to do with privatisation.

Another inconsistency in Pollock’s book concerns Richard Smith, the former editor of the BMJ. He’s mentioned in Pollock’s acknowledgements section as one of the people who have ‘inspired’ her. Yet Smith is named elsewhere in the book as a baddie who jumped ship in 2004 and joined United Healthcare as CEO.

There are clues in the text as to what irks Pollock so much about New Labour as well as the root of some of her inconsistencies. Pollock seems to get to meet some very grand people. Not only did she dine with a merchant banker whilst her heart remained with the St Georges canteen in downtown Tooting, but she had an audience with Geoffrey Robinson in his capacity as Blair’s Paymaster General who afterwards invited her for a drink on the terrace of the House of Commons – although obviously she really wished that she was having a cup of char at a cleaner’s house in Garrett Lane – and she even met Gordon Brown when he was Chancellor. She described them as being on a ‘charm offensive’ and wanted to be ‘seen to be listening’. Pollock also thought very highly of Blair’s first Secretary of State for Health (1997-99) Frank Dobson – ‘a well-liked and competent Minister’. Not many other people shared that opinion – Dobson was widely perceived to be well-meaning but a bit gullible and dim (‘Private Eye’ named him ‘Dobbo’). The NHS continued to go pear-shaped and Dobbo’s scalp was demanded. There was another perceived problem with Dobbo as well – he rolled over for the Top Doctors…

Now although the Top Doctors are a very conservative bunch, they really didn’t like Thatcher and she didn’t like them. Thatcher loathed the professions (as well as academics) and very much saw them as being conspiracies against the layman. So the Top Doctors were most glad to see the back of Thatcher – I remember loud cheering breaking out in St George’s when she resigned. But the Top Doctors are not a bunch of lefties no matter what the Daily Mail says about them. However I suspect that when Blair was elected, Allyson and her fellow Public Policy/Public Health specialists may well have thought that their boat had come in. A Labour Gov’t that wasn’t socialist, with an authoritarian streak, wedded to the notion that Policy Experts should tell the plebs how to live. Which is probably why Allyson broke a leg in her efforts to meet Blair’s Ministers. A similar phenomenon occurred among HE specialists committed to widening participation – Blair maintained that he was going to pursue this policy and educational sociologists all got very excited, but of course he didn’t listen to any of them and a lot of them ended up very miffed. I suspect that Allyson fell into the same trap. Indeed, she makes it clear in her book that she feels that New Labour discredited and intimidated it’s critics, including her. Which they probably did – but then the Top Doctors discredited and intimidated those of us who discovered that their colleagues in north Wales were concealing a paedophile ring. At least Blair didn’t try to frame Allyson for serious crimes or state that she would end up in an institution for the ‘criminally insane’ as dear old Dafydd and Bluglass did with respect to me.

For all her griping though, Allyson knows that the Top Doctors can pack a punch if they are able to successfully construct themselves as the defenders of the NHS in the face of Bastards In Government. She reminds us of the lesson that no politician has ever forgotten – the election of Top Doctor Dr Richard Taylor in Kidderminster, who unseated the Labour MP David Locke. Taylor of course did this by running on a ticket of opposing hospital closures. Pollock mentions another similar event as well – the election of retired Top Doctor Dr Jean Turner in Glasgow in the wake of plans to close Stobhill Hospital. Pollock states that the Gov’ts announcement in 2003 that there would be no closures of smaller local hospitals after the election of Taylor and Turner was ‘a notable acknowledgement of the power of popular mobilisation’.

No Allyson, it was an acknowledgement of how bloody-minded the BMA are – they were fighting ALL hospital closures, including hospitals which were unsafe and harming or killing patients. They didn’t admit that any hospitals were doing this and they didn’t even work behind the scenes to raise standards – they did what they have always done and told the Gov’t ‘touch us and we’ll brain you’. Which indeed they did.

As all good Top Doctors do when they wish to ram home their arguments, Allyson makes references to popular media images of Top Doctors. We are told that the ‘frantic atmosphere in ‘Holby City’ is quite typical of the acute hospital today’. Which is rather like saying that the ‘Carry On’ films with Hattie Jacques giving terrified weedy men bed-baths and Barbara Windsor wearing an Anne Summers style nurse’s uniform whilst her bra flies off were an accurate depiction of life in an NHS hospital in the 60s. There is one big difference between Holby City and ‘an acute hospital today’ – in Holby City the staff never make mistakes and the complex cutting edge surgery is always successful, unless it’s an utterly hopeless case and the patient’s chance of life was unfathomably slim anyway. And from the episodes that I’ve seen, a lot of the surgeons are proud of their upwardly mobile journey from their disadvantaged childhoods – in one episode a female surgeon called Jac even revealed that she’d grown up in care and had been sexually abused. Er, no, as we know from the fate of the kids who grew up in care in north Wales, Jac would not be a heart surgeon, she’d be banged up in Denbigh with everyone calling her a dangerous liar. That is if she hadn’t actually been found dead in suspicious circumstances after having given evidence against the paedophiles that were employed in her children’s home.

Pollock also makes reference to a film called ‘As Good As It Gets’, which she appreciates because it makes some barbed points about US privatised healthcare. It stars Jack Nicholson. As of course did ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’. Which was a film that one of Pollock’s colleagues at St George’s, the occupational health physician Nicky Mitchell-Heggs, had a real problem with. Mitchell-Heggs had previously been a psychiatrist and maintained that ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ set out to deceive because it was modelled on an asylum from the 50s but pretended that such places were still in existence. Which of course they weren’t. Indeed not Nicky – at Denbigh the patients didn’t wear uniforms and there was no piped music. But all the other ingredients were there – a lobotomist, Nurse Rached aka Janice Davies, sane people imprisoned and drugged up because they had dared challenge corrupt Top Doctors and staff terrorising and blackmailing vulnerable people by threatening to release confidential info about them. Except that Denbigh also had a psychopathic psychiatrist sexually abusing the patients who was also concealing the paedophile ring that his mistress facilitated. And those were the two people from whom Mitchell-Heggs and her colleagues were taking evidence regarding my ‘dangerousness’ so she must have known that they were there…. Mitchell-Heggs’s online profile describes her interests as theatre, opera and ski-ing! It’s those self-sacrificing Top Doctors again who fight tooth and nail for the NHS. I also seem to remember reading that both Mitchell-Heggs and her husband now run private practices.

In the initial pages of ‘NHS plc’ Pollock explains that she isn’t able to cover everything in a volume of that length, so there are some areas that she hasn’t commented upon. Such as mental health and learning disability services. Which is just as well considering how bloody shameful these ‘services’ are and were when she wrote that book. She also mentions that she doesn’t cover groups of staff such as cleaners, canteen workers, security officers and porters. In other words those staff who are treated and paid appallingly, whose presence is generally ignored by the Top Doctors and who are actually the very staff who have suffered most as a result of NHS privatisation.

At the beginning of her book, Pollock gives a long list of acknowledgments and names the people who have ‘inspired’ her. They include Dr Richard Taylor, ‘all members of the NHS Consultants Association’, ‘members of the Medical Practitioners Union’, ‘Brian Potter formerly of the Scottish BMA’, ‘Sir Sandy Macara at the BMA’ and Richard Horton of the ‘Lancet’. She mentions ‘many others’ to have come ‘to the aid’ of the Public Policy Unit which she was directing when she wrote ‘NHS plc’. Pollock pays tribute to the ‘special stalwarts of the NHS including Charles Webster, the former official historian of the NHS’. I mention on the front page of this blog that a number of people have written ‘histories’ of psychiatry in north Wales. These histories are at their best highly sanitised and at their worst have about as much historical accuracy as a Barbara Cartland novel. One of those ‘histories’ was written by a Bangor University lecturer called David Hirst and I’m fairly sure that it was his book that was co-authored or assisted in some way by an ‘NHS historian’ called Charles someone. I’m fairly sure that it was Charles Webster. I’ve been googling to try and clarify this but all traces of that book have vanished from the internet. I wonder why – after all it was proudly on display in Bangor University for years, so it definitely exists….However I note that David has co-authored with a number of the Top Doctors from the Hergest Unit! He arrived in Bangor to begin his work in ‘social policy’ in 1973 – Christ almighty, Gwynne and Dafydd were in full swing then, they will have been lobotomising and subjecting people to ‘aversion therapy’ if they dared to be gay til the cows came home. And of course Bryn Estyn was still under the direct management of the Home Office and the systematic sexual abuse of the boys there will have been well-embedded by then. Fancy publishing anything about that lot then David?

Pollock makes several mentions in her book of a man who has acquired superhero status in the eyes of any Top Doctor who wants to pledge their commitment to the NHS – Julian Tudor Hart. Tudor Hart is very elderly now, but he is one of the few Top Doctors still practising who was practising before the establishment of the NHS. He has written about just how grim things were in those days – Tudor Hart worked in south Wales among people experiencing very great poverty and hardship. I am interested in Tudor Hart, because although I do completely accept his account of how dreadful it was to fall ill or have an accident before the establishment of the NHS, he does seem somewhat blind to some of what goes on in the NHS. He is an intelligent man and a keen scholar, so like Allyson Pollock he will know. And being a man of his age from Wales, he will know what Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd got up to as well. Tudor Hart has been very rude about Ivan Illich and sees Illich as someone who simply plays to an audience of privileged middle class rebels, which is pretty much what the psychiatric establishment used to say about Thomas Szasz. There is truth in that argument – one had to be affluent to afford sessions with Thomas Szasz – but it ignores why the work of people like Illich and Szasz caught the imagination of so many. It was because of what folk like Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd were actually doing to them – people didn’t find it very helpful. There is also another factor about Tudor Hart that I cannot forget. He worked in the same practice as Dr Brian Gibbons, the former Health Minister for Wales. Who when I told him that I had evidence of the Top Doctors and managers in the Hergest Unit participating in criminal activities wrote me a letter saying ‘this correspondence is closed’. At the time the Hergest Unit had the second highest suicide rate for women in England and Wales.

I can only conclude that Allyson Pollock is one of the most articulate, useful PR mouthpieces that the Top Doctors possess and that she, along with the rest of the Top Doctors, are not very happy that Gov’ts are no longer commissioning their ‘research’ and seeking their ‘opinion’ on which to base policy.

As Corporal Jones of ‘Dad’s Army’ fame might have said – ‘It’s the Top Doctors. They don’t like it up ’em’.

 

There is one Top Doctor in particular who certainly doesn’t like it up ‘im – David Healy. I’ve been interested to note that since I reviewed his appearance on ‘Panorama’ the other day and observed that the voices of patients were noticeably absent from that programme and that whilst the Top Doctors scrap amongst themselves global capitalism continues to screw up healthcare, Healy has retweeted a couple of things. One was from a patient claiming to have ‘lived experience’ – the use of that phrase alone suggests that he falls into the category of a ‘professional service user’ (my neighbours don’t talk about ‘lived experience’ when they discuss their the local health services). Another retweet was from someone whom I have corresponded with, Finola Moss. Finola is a blogger who is doing some brilliant work exposing just how much money the Top Doctors who are involved with private psychiatric provision are now making. One company very much in Finola’s sight is Cygnet Healthcare and it was info relating to the billions that Cygnet is now raking in that Healy retweeted. The Medical Director of Cygnet is Robert Kehoe. Kehoe was the ‘expert witness’ who lied in a report about me, Brown, my PhD supervisor and even my lawyer after we had all made representation regarding the criminal activities and negligence of the Hergest Unit. David Healy was one of those named on the documents submitted to Kehoe in evidence. I later discovered that Kehoe’s business partner had a personal connection to Healy’s colleague at the Hergest, Dr Tony Roberts.

Last Man Standing

I have plagiarized the title of this post from Jack Straw’s autobiography which I am about to start reading. Because I haven’t read his book yet I don’t know why a privileged former Cabinet Minister has framed himself as the last man standing, but the subject of this blog post really is worthy of that title, as his chances of reaching mid-life yet alone pensionable age were so much lower than Straw’s. I decided to write this post to illustrate the ways in which mental health patients’ experiences are grossly caricatured by mental health staff, how abuses and horrors are intentionally air-brushed out of medical histories and how if anyone really wanted to uncover the institutional wrongdoing that was prevalent in north Wales during the latter decades of the twentieth century they could, quite easily.

The man starring in this post is F, a man who has spent most of his adult life living among the hippy community in Bethesda. F acquired diagnoses of, variously, ‘paranoid schizophrenia’, ‘drug induced psychosis’ and ‘chronic psychotic illness, resistant to medication’. F did suffer from a psychotic illness and at stages during his life had been in a very bad way indeed, but the way in which he had arrived at that state does not appear in any of his medical records. F is – unbelievably for those of us who know something of his adventures – still alive, although I understand is no longer under the ‘care’ of the mental health services, after a lifetime of their ‘help’. He told them to piss off some three years ago as he had decided that they play no useful role.

As did many of the Bethesda hippies, F came from a middle class background in England but actively made the decision to ‘drop out’ sometime in the seventies. He moved to Bethesda in either the late 70s or early 80s when his first wife took up a place at Bangor to do teacher training. By the time that F had moved to Bethesda he had already acquired a degree in Fine Art – at one point he was described as the most talented artist in north Wales, but unlike his contemporaries Ed Povey and Peter Prendergast, F was seriously hampered by illness. He could still do the artistic bit and churned out excellent work but tended to say and do bizarre and unacceptable things at exhibitions or when trying to negotiate sales, which unsurprisingly resulted in him not ever selling very much.

By the time that they arrived in Bethesda, F and his wife were enthusiastic dope blowers as well as keen consumers of magic mushrooms. They were completely uninterested in narcotics, had pretty much given up amphetamines but occasionally took hallucinogens. Although F’s wife qualified as a teacher she didn’t like teaching and she established a gardening and house renovating business. F spent most of his time painting although he did spend a few summers working as a gardener at Penrhyn Castle – he inherited money as a young man which enabled him to lead quite a leisurely lifestyle. Previous posts have discussed the police corruption that was rampant in north Wales. This has received UK-wide media coverage because of the part that it played in the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, but students and hippies invariably experienced it in the form of the completely bent drug squad that operated in north Wales, in particular two notorious plain clothes drug squad officers who used to frequent the Bangor area and stitch up anyone whom had crossed their path. The effect of the actions of these two was to constantly harass and prosecute people for possessing small amounts of cannabis whilst allowing a thriving trade in hard drugs to develop in the area, to a large degree facilitated by Dafydd Alun Jones’s ‘peer support workers’ at CAIS who were frequently dealing to their ‘clients’.

F came to the attention of the corrupt drug squad because he was basically a hippy who was newly arrived in the area. In the early 80s they raided his house. During the raid, they planted cocaine in his wife’s handbag and seized the small amount of cannabis that was in the house. The drug squad then ordered F’s wife to make a statement against him, framing him for possessing much greater quantities of drugs than he actually had, in return for a plea bargain concerning the cocaine that they had planted on her. F and his wife had a volatile relationship and led a fairly chaotic existence – although they were both bright and well-educated – and thus F’s wife allowed herself to be threatened by the drug squad in this way. So F was arrested and taken off to the police station. He was not given access to a solicitor whilst he was there. At the police station – I think it was Bangor – he was ordered to strip naked. After he did so, a senior officer – F described him as an ‘inspector’ – walked into the room and in F’s words ‘ogled me’ and commented on his genitals. F responded by saying ‘Christ can’t I even undress in peace’ and ‘why do you want to look at another naked man’. The Inspector punched him in the face. F responded by saying ‘that took a real man with the whole police force behind you’ and stated to the constable who had witnessed this assault that he would complain about this. The Inspector walked out and F didn’t see him again. F  was charged with possession of drugs – far more than he had actually been in possession of – and after a long while, with no medical attention following the punch in the face, was released. He went back to Bethesda, distressed after what had happened at the police station.

He was alone at home, his wife had gone back to England to visit family, not knowing what had happened at the station. That night, F descended into a full blown psychosis. He had not consumed any drugs since leaving the station – his interpretation is that the arrest, framing and assault at the station had been so traumatising that it all precipitated the psychotic episode. (F had experienced his first psychotic episode in England a couple of years previously.) F’s account of that night is that he hallucinated giant spiders crawling out of the walls, a demon sitting in the corner of the room and then heard God’s voice telling him to ‘raze this house’. F set fire to the house – it was a terrace and fortunately the neighbours saw smoke and called the fire brigade. By this time F had left the house believing that it was possessed. He spent the night outside, seriously ill and he was only picked up when the police arrested him for arson and endangering life.

He was taken to the magistrates court – I think in Bangor – and was detained in the notorious Risley Remand Centre for ‘psychiatric assessment’. F’s account is that after two weeks or so in Risley, the psychotic episode had passed – not that he received any ‘medication’ whilst he was there. He graphically described to me how every night he heard the screams of the other prisoners as they were beaten up by the prison officers, how prison officers taunted all the prisoners with threats of ‘we’ll make sure you come back here and it will be even worse when you do’ and how when he asked an officer if he would change the light bulb in his cell because it kept flickering on and off and was stopping him from sleeping, the officer removed the light bulb leaving him in darkness saying ‘you’ll sleep alright now won’t you’. He was left in darkness for several days. But something else happened to F whilst he was in Risley. A detective from London came to visit him and tried to interview him. This detective got frustrated with F and gave up, threw him back in his cell saying ‘There’s no point talking to you, you’re mad’. F told me this story many times but he never managed to work out what it was that the detective from London wanted to know. F remembers the detective constantly saying ‘I want to talk to you about your brother’. F  had a brother who lived in Surrey whom he did not get on with and had little contact with. F’s brother ran the family business, he was not involved with drugs or hippydom and he was very condemning of F’s lifestyle. So it is unlikely that the detective would have been hoping to grill F about any potential criminal activities involving his brother.

I had always presumed that the detective would have been after info about the drugs trade in north Wales. But researching the details of the North Wales Child Abuse Ring and it’s network into Westminster has thrown up another possibility that F himself never mentioned. F had been violently assaulted after challenging an Inspector who had walked into his cell after F had been framed and ordered to take off his clothes. F was a young man when this happened, he was attractive as a young man and he was also very slightly built. We now know that police officers such as Gordon Anglesea – who was, guess what, an Inspector – were sexually abusing boys and young men after they had been arrested, detained and criminalised for trivial offences. Those young men described being violently assaulted if they resisted – and many of them ended up in Risley Remand Centre or in the mental health system. F had announced his intention to complain about the officer who hit him. The assault had been witnessed by a constable. F was not an illiterate teenager who had grown up in care, he was from a middle class affluent family and his wife’s father was a society dentist with mates in Harley Street. F’s wife’s brother was a journalist. I’m wondering if there might have been some very worried police officers after F ended up going psychotic – F had of course made the headlines of the local papers after setting fire to the house. I suspect that this might have been why F received a visit from a detective from London when he was in Risley. F’s father was dead and his mother had returned to South Africa to live (she grew up there and only moved to England after she married) – so F’s brother was his only blood relative. F’s next of kin was of course his wife – who had been framed by the police herself and forced to make a statement against him. I really don’t think that the North Wales Police would have wanted to answer any difficult questions about what had happened to F in the police station.

So what happened to F after this detective visited him in Risley? Whilst he was there, F’s psychotic episode quietened down. By this time he did have a solicitor, who visited him in Risley and told him that although everyone accepted that he was no longer psychotic, he was going to be transferred to the North Wales Hospital Denbigh ‘to keep the courts happy’. F was told that he would only be expected to stay at Denbigh for three weeks or so. The charges of ‘endangering life’ were dropped – interestingly enough, after F’s solicitor mentioned that he had been assaulted by an unidentified police officer. F was charged and convicted of arson. He was then transferred to the North Wales Hospital – to the care of one Dr Dafydd Alun Jones!

So F arrived at Denbigh, no longer psychotic. Once there he was told again that he would just be there for a month or so as a formality. He had an interview with Dafydd and like all interviews with Dafydd it was bizarre. F described Dafydd as ‘a bit of a twat’, but F is quite open and friendly even to twats, so cheerfully engaged in a conversation with Dafydd about his cannabis smoking habits. F’s account of his interview with Dafydd is worth hearing – he does a good impersonation of Dafydd and explains how he mentioned to Dafydd that he was walking in the mountains and ate some grass. To which Dafydd responded ‘do you mean mar-i-jew-a-na?’. F replied ‘no, grass’. Dafydd asked ‘why were you eating grass?’ F explained ‘because I was thirsty’. At which point Dafydd began furiously scribbling away. F later caught sight of his notes – Dafydd had described him as ‘a man with pleasant manners and casual attire’ who of course was suffering from ‘cannabis psychosis’. No mention of F and his wife being framed by the drug squad, no mention of F being punched in the face by a senior police officer who had inexplicably appeared as F was naked, no mention of conditions at Risley Remand Centre, no mention of the detective from London visiting F at Risley, no mention of F no longer being psychotic and only being admitted to Denbigh ‘to keep the courts happy’. No mention of any of it – but a diagnosis of cannabis psychosis!

So did F only stay at Denbigh for a month to keep the courts happy? No, of course not. F was in Denbigh for a year. When F was first admitted to Denbigh, F commented to the nurses on their quasi-military uniforms. He playfully flicked the epaulettes on the shirt of one nurse and asked him if he was a sergeant major. He was dragged off down a corridor and sedated. After about four weeks in Denbigh F was offered amphetamines by another patient. Yes, Dafydd’s proud establishment, his much boasted about ‘therapeutic community’ where people who’d grown up in care and hippies had to remain for months and months to keep them away from the perils of cannabis, was host to a healthy trade in drugs much more problematic than cannabis. At the time that F was offered the amphetamines, he was severely depressed so he accepted the offer. Whatever he was given was incredibly strong – and it precipitated another psychotic episode. So F was deemed to be suffering from such a serious form of cannabis psychosis that he was detained by Dafydd for a year.

Imprisoning F for a year lest anyone began to investigate those corrupt police officers wasn’t enough for Dafydd though. F only narrowly escaped ending up in Holyrood House, the appalling ‘care home’ in Llandudno run by Margaret Richards that was choc full of Dafydd’s patients. Holyrood House was the centre of a media expose in the 1980s and even got a mention on ‘That’s Life’. Patients were being beaten up by a heavy who was employed as a ‘security guard’ there and a former drug addict from Liverpool was responsible for the drugs cabinet. When Dafydd finally decided that the coast was clear and that it was safe to let F out, he told F that he would make a better recovery in lovely Llandudno. F told me that he ‘wanted to get back to dogs, Bethesda and mess, not live in bloody Llandudno’. Dafydd then refused to let F out ‘because you do not have an offer of accommodation’. Apart from Holyrood House that was. After a few weeks of Dafydd trying to force F into Holyrood House or be forever incarcerated in Denbigh, F sneaked out of the grounds, rang a hippy friend in Bethesda, explained what was happening and the hippy friend agreed to write to Dafydd offering F accommodation. And that is the only way that F actually got out of Denbigh.

F had many other adventures in Denbigh. I’m not going to detail them all here, I’m going to let those we know and love guess how much F told me. They’ll all know who F is and because F is chatty a lot of them actually know what happened to him before he set fire to his house because he used to talk about it quite openly. But those bastards don’t know what else he told me….

Whilst F was in Denbigh, he did try and engage the help of the charity ‘Release’, which had a reputation for being able to get people out of prison or police custody if they had been arrested on drugs charges. A man from ‘Release’ did go all the way up to Denbigh from England, but he was unable to get F out. I wonder what he thought was happening – he had travelled to the wilds of Wales and found a sane but eccentric man being held prisoner in a hell-hole…

I knew F well for the best part of ten years and I knew how he and his problems were conceptualised by the Hergest Unit throughout the 1990s. It was all a matter of drug induced psychosis – or occasionally there would be speculation that he was someone who would have been vulnerable to psychosis anyway, but his consumption of drugs triggered it. I heard him tell Hergest staff what had happened before the fire. I was even in his company when he met the policeman who had witnessed the Inspector punch him in the face and he reminded that policeman of what had happened that day – the policeman still worked locally. The policeman looked sheepish and had a sudden lapse of memory. More recently that particular policeman was stationed at Ysbyty Gwynedd.

North Wales is heaving with people who knew that these sorts of things were happening. They are all colluding in a sort of en masse delusion as many of them now move into their comfortable retirements on public service pensions. Every time the North Wales Child Abuse ring is mentioned – ooh, no, I never knew anything about that. Every time police corruption is mentioned – ooh but we never knew. As for Denbigh – ooh it wasn’t good, but no, we didn’t know patients were being abused….

F’s adventures at Risley and at the hands of Dafydd are some thirty years ago now. But F was stung more recently all over again by those we know and love. My post ‘It’s All About Protecting Children’ details how F was denied access to his own baby because he dared report a child molester who was being protected by Jo Bott, the monstrous ‘safeguarding officer’. Bott had previously been a police officer. That post also describes the untimely death of yet someone else who had witnessed wrongdoing on the part of Gwynedd Social Service’s child protection team – this young man was killed just at the time that no-one could deny any longer that child abuse on an enormous scale had taken place in north Wales and talk of police cover-ups and possible public inquiries were in the media.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post how F has suffered from a psychotic illness throughout his life. This is true – he is bright and sociable, but he certainly had difficulties throughout the whole time that I knew him. But the thing that I noticed more and more during the 90s were that a lot of F’s difficulties were being caused by the mental health services. Not just in the obvious ways – they stood by whilst he was fleeced financially by an unscrupulous family after he finally split up from his first wife and they stood by whilst lies were perpetuated about him which led to him losing access to his own child – but the ‘medication regime’ that he was on had to be witnessed to be believed. This was someone who when he was young did take drugs – but he gave up illegal drugs after the house fire and the year in Denbigh. Instead he moved onto prescribed drugs – which were given to him in huge quantities by the mental health services. Obviously they didn’t have to work too hard to persuade him to take them, he was delighted to have some drugs to take – but they did bugger all to try to stop him. As far as I knew there were only two people – two of the rather better GPs that worked in the area – who warned him frankly about the dangers of excessive drugs and told him that they would in no way collude with him if he abused prescription drugs. The psychiatrists at the Hergest Unit – namely Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) and Dr Bob Tresman – loaded him up with more and more drugs as the years went by. The drugs were never reviewed, although they were very obviously affecting F’s functioning – he used to sleep for about 18 hours a day because he was so heavily sedated – and whenever he expressed any anxiety or stress (which he did very regularly) the prescription pad would be wielded and another anti-psychotic or benzodiazepine would be added. But no drug was EVER removed as another one was added. Suggestions from other people that he might be massively over-medicated would be brushed aside with ‘but he’s got a psychotic illness’. Yet bizarrely his Hergest notes described him as ‘chronically psychotic, resistant to medication’. If his illness was resistant to medication why did they continue to dispense so much of it and continue adding to it?

As F hit his 40s, his teeth very obviously began to disintegrate. He maintained that there was nothing wrong with his teeth because he wasn’t experiencing toothache. In the end, he was persuaded by his friends to visit a dentist. By the time that he made that visit his teeth were so far gone that the dentist maintained that the only option was to remove the remains that were there. F was staggered and asked the dentist why he hadn’t been getting toothache. The dentist explained that he was on such high levels of benzodiazepines and anti-psychotics that his pain receptors weren’t responding. Even the dentist was shocked as to the drugs that were being prescribed. There was one person in F’s life who took prescription drugs along with him though – that was a social worker who lived in the village who had been a friend of his from his hippy days. She used to pop around for a coffee and down a few benzodiazepines with him, just as the rest of his friends were desperately trying to impress upon him that the shite being foisted upon him by the wielders of prescription pads in the Hergest was not really doing him any good. That social worker now works as a social work trainer for Conwy!

F is no longer living in Bethesda and I haven’t seen him for years, but one of my friends is in contact with him. He is now in his 60s and I am told that his psychotic symptoms have decreased drastically, that he still paints and that his moods are much more stable. A few years ago for a while, for the first time in his life, he was allocated a CPN whom I was told was head and shoulders above the others. This CPN actually managed to get a review of F’s medication to reduce the amount being prescribed. His psychotic symptoms gradually started to recede….

So that’s the story of F, who is indeed the last man standing from Denbigh. As far as I know, I and two other women are the last women standing. Like nearly all the former kids in care who witnessed the North Wales Paedophile Ring in action, everyone else from Denbigh (and pretty much the early days of the Hergest Unit as well) is dead. But before they died, they will have told scores of people what had happened to them. Which was almost certainly why no-one worked too hard to ensure that they stayed alive.

F spent more than thirty years being used by the mental health services in north Wales as a cautionary tale of the perils of Too Much Cannabis. He was actually the consequence of a corrupt drug squad, a perverted and violent police inspector, a corrupt magistrates court and Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and the associated thoroughly rotten mental health and children’s services. Compared to the damage that lot did to F, the cannabis was neither here nor there.

Although the main trashing of F seems to have been precipitated by the fear of what would happen if anyone started investigating the circumstances in which he was arrested and what subsequently went on in the police station, a lot of people had a vested interest years later in ensuring that no-one would believe anything that F said and not just because of his knowledge of the misconduct on the part of the children’s services in Gwynedd. F had a sense of humour and although he was always dismissed by Hergest staff as being completely mad, he chatted to people, listened to their stories, remembered those stories and often knew some of the ‘professionals’ whose misconduct he was hearing about. He had heard nearly as many first hand accounts of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s inappropriate conduct with female patients and staff as I had heard; he noticed that everyone appointed as a ‘service user representative’ in Gwynedd and Anglesey was a total fuckwit who were simply doing what they were told by the managers of the mental health services and he confronted Alun Davies, the manager of the Hergest Unit, about the naked corruption that was occurring between the managers and clinical director of Ysbyty Gwynedd, Dr Terry Maxwell; he personally knew people who had been threatened with violence by staff of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team; he knew scores of dispossessed people in the area whose lives had been ruined by those we know and love, including people who had been sexually molested by people paid to care for them; he knew about the corruption in MIND and had confronted the staff in the Bangor branch about it and was then banned from the ‘drop in centre’ by the Voice Of The Patients Helen Milne (who after ignoring the criminal abuse of patients at MIND was given the Rape Crisis Centre to play with would you believe) and sometimes, as a result of entertaining himself, F would uncover serious wrongdoing. One such occasion involved F’s efforts to secure a telephone for the Hergest whistleblower.

The Hergest whistleblower led a team of three or four and was the most valuable, helpful member of staff at the Hergest Unit. He was of course also the only person who kept blowing the whistle on the malpractice up there. F noticed that the Hergest whistleblower was treated very disrespectfully by Alun Davies and that although he was a team leader and had a bigger client load than anyone else, the Hergest whistleblower was the only member of staff who didn’t have a phone in his office. So F announced that he would get him a phone. He didn’t tell the whistleblower that he was going to do this, but he did tell me. F then rang BT and told them that he was John Mullen – who was either Chair or Chief Exec of the Trust at the time – and that he wanted to order an extra phone for an office in the Hergest Unit. And BT actually said ‘will this be on the special arrangement Mr Mullen?’ F was not asked to prove who he was, he was not asked anything about an invoice or an account, he was just asked if it was to be on the special arrangement. So F said ‘yes please’ and gave BT the number of the office in the Hergest Unit in which the whistleblower worked. There were literally no questions asked at all, BT cheerily stated that they would be installing the phone asap. F then rang the receptionist of the Hergest Unit, claiming to be BT and told her that a telephone would soon be arriving for the Hergest whistleblower’s office and when BT arrived please could she show them to the correct office. She was happy to oblige. I didn’t think that this plan would ever work, but it was really incredible because about a week later, there was a newly installed phone in the whistleblower’s office. F asked him about it and the whistleblower said ‘it’s all rather odd, I didn’t ask for a phone, Alun Davies told me that I wouldn’t be getting one, but it just arrived’.

So as Brown pointed out, there was obviously an irregular corrupt arrangement between that Trust and BT. Where had the bill for the installation of the phone been sent? Where was the bill for the use of the phone being sent? What on earth was the ‘special arrangement’? How the bloody hell could a patient make one phone call to BT’s marketing dept, claiming to be John Mullen and order a phone? Brown speculated that people in that Trust were installing home phones for themselves and charging them to the NHS and suggested that F could probably have ordered a car for the Hergest whistleblower as well and had that on a special arrangement.

Would John Mullen and Alun Davies care to enlighten us all regarding the ‘special arrangement’? This was happening during the John Major NHS efficiency years, circa 1995. About the time of the Jillings Report and all those assurances from the Welsh Office that there was nothing at all untoward happening in the public services in north Wales. Ooh and about the time that Dafydd was allowed to retire without all the very serious complaints about him being followed up and with the contract for providing ‘substance abuse services’ in his greedy clutches (see post ‘The Evolution Of a Drugs Baron?’).

F’s problems with the North Wales Police were a regular occurrence as well. At one point for a short while, he moved to Holyhead. His house was burgled and he called the police. An officer arrived who then threatened F. F told the officer that he would complain to a senior officer about this – so the police were forewarned. F arrived at the police station shortly afterwards and explained to the desk sergeant that he wished to make a complaint. The desk sergeant tried to obstruct him, so F asked to see the Inspector. The desk sergeant disappeared into the depths and F heard him swearing away at the Inspector waxing lyrical about what a pain F was. F heard the Inspector ask ‘but is he intelligent?’. The sergeant replied ‘yes’. F was entertained to find that the Inspector then appeared wearing a pair of half moons, presumably with the intention of impressing upon F that he was a scholarly intellectual man, rather than a corrupt old bastard whose officers threatened burglary victims. F’s complaint went uninvestigated. The half moons became a joke, because of course Dafydd and many of the other clapped out old fools with whom we all had to deal sported half moons. I have been told that in criminology, this sort of thing is known as a ‘signifier’ – conmen use such techniques, for example brass plaques outside the buildings of people masquerading as professionals when they are not. But in north Wales it was half moons.

Readers might think that although mental health professionals and others in north Wales were told hair-raising stories by F, this was a man who did suffer from a psychotic illness and perhaps those professionals genuinely didn’t believe the stories that F recounted. After all, Dafydd et al were writing down that F had ‘cannabis psychosis’, they certainly weren’t recording what had actually happened to him at their hands or anyone else’s, although he was telling everyone very clearly. It would be understandable to conclude that in the face of wrongdoing this dreadful, it could be difficult to believe a patient with serious mental health problems. But as I keep mentioning, there are some old lags in north Wales who’ve cluttered up the place for decades and they witnessed much of this, although every time there’s an investigation it’s a case of ‘I Know Nuzzing’. That is why I’ve started naming people on this blog.

Now there is one social worker in north Wales who has spent the last twenty years working in community work/probation work/alcohol and substance abuse services/social work training who most definitely knows the names of many of the sinners and knows about the sins that they committed – and many, many years ago he knew F. Step forward Wulf Livingstone, Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Glyndwr University.

Wulf Livingstone certainly knows me from my time working in the School of Social Sciences at Bangor University, but I doubt that he remembers the first time that he met me. It was in about 1993 and I was in a café in Bangor with F. Livingstone breezed through and F cheerily greeted him, only to be patronised by Wulf and spoken to like a loony. That was because Wulf was moving away from being a ‘service user’ himself into one who provides the services. After Wulf had gone, F explained that he knew Wulf from his drug taking days and that Wulf had ‘worked as a cook for that bastard Tindall and sued him’. Tindall was a notorious Bangor ‘businessman’ who owned and ran a number of absolutely dreadful ‘care homes’ for mental health patients – they were bad even by north Wales standards and were eventually forcibly shut down, amid rumours of Tindall being investigated by the police and being forced to surrender his passport. One of Tindall’s ‘homes’ seemed to almost solely house patients of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. The sorts of things that went on in Tindall’s ‘homes’ were gross – elderly patients thrown back onto beds if they fell out at night, homes for EMI patients had no incontinence pads or gloves available, all health and safety considerations were ignored, chipped and cracked crockery was standard practice, furniture was purchased from junk shops, patients were fed inadequate quantities of the cheapest food available, staff were employed who had been dismissed from everywhere else, it was truly dire. Because there was a shortage of jobs in north Wales, a lot of people took jobs with Tindall’s establishments and left again within a couple of weeks – there were numerous allegations of Tindall not paying people. Wulf’s name was being bandied around Bangor as someone who had been swindled by Tindall and who had challenged him in court. That was how I first heard of and met Wulf.

Years later, when I started in the School of Social Sciences, I was gobsmacked to find Wulf working there – he was introduced to me as a social work lecturer ‘with an interest in mental health’. He didn’t seem too overjoyed to see me – I very much doubt that he ever remembered meeting me that day in the café with F, so I wondered if he was part of the contingent that had begun squirming with embarrassment because I’d turned up at the University with decades of knowledge of how patients were actually being treated in the ‘services’ that these folk were associated with. By then, Brown and I had also started appearing in the laypress making very critical noises about the mental health services in north Wales. A couple of days later I saw Wulf again at lunchtime, so I thought that I’d try to be sociable and I went over to say hello. I told him that he probably wouldn’t remember me but years ago I remembered him making a name for himself by taking on Tindall in court. I told him that it was good to know that someone had challenged Tindall. But Wulf’s reaction was quite interesting – he very obviously didn’t want to talk about that and he just said ‘yeh, right, yeh, nasty man’. So I made a few comments about the vile abuse of patients that had been going on and that I was very glad to see Tindall put out of business. I then mentioned that another chain of care homes equally as abusive as Tindall’s had started up, Prestwood Homes and I wondered if Prestwood was actually anything to do with Tindall. Wulf then announced ‘yeh, yeh, I know all about Prestwwod too. Still, we don’t want to go back to Denbigh do we’ and got up and walked off. Which apart from being bizarre and rude was unfathomable, because the likes of Tindall and Prestwood were abusing patients being released from psychiatric hospitals in exactly the same way that Holyrood House abused patients released from Denbigh.

Over the next few months I began to suspect that I knew why Wulf might have a problem with me. I discovered that since that day in the café, he had actually worked for many of the utterly shite organisations jammed full of abusive or corrupt people – but unlike Brown and me he wasn’t going public about any of it. And he knew that I knew what was going on and that I had intentions of publishing. Furthermore Wulf liked to portray himself as a radical service users champion – so I don’t think he really would have wanted anyone to know what he was keeping quiet about. Wulf had of course worked for CAIS – Dafydd’s set up. Unlike the stooges employed by Hergest as ‘service user representatives’, Wulf is not gullible and naïve, he is a very competent social scientist and he knows abuse and malpractice when he sees it. And from what I know of his CV, he has seen much of it. He was involved with CAIS for years and he also worked for the probation service in north Wales – the probation service that employed some of the people who had been accused of child abuse, the probation service that was warehousing the scores of people who had been fitted up in the way that so many people like F and indeed myself were.

Wulf definitely knows all about another man as well, who like so many of us experienced the worst of the ‘services’. This man was a friend of F years ago and experienced alcohol and drug problems himself for many years. He tried AA and walked out because he found an associate of Dafydd Alun Jones there – a man who masqueraded as a Minister and used to appear wearing his dog collar on TV and calling himself ‘Rev’ along with Dafydd, discussing how people could be weaned off drugs and drink. This friend of F’s brought a lot of grief upon himself by exposing this fake Minister. This man has also done much to challenge another bunch of quacks in north Wales claiming to offer ‘services’ to people with substance abuse and alcohol problems, a group based on Anglesey called AGRO. I do not know one person who has benefitted from AGRO, everybody has described it as a con. There is no confidentiality at all, another friend who was ‘referred’ to AGRO by the Arfon Community Mental Health Team received e mails openly cc’d to dozens of other ‘service users’ with their names and e mail addresses visible to all. On one occasion this friend received an e mail from AGRO asking him to send money urgently because the organiser of AGRO had been robbed whilst on holiday in the Philippines and needed money to get back home – whether this was the organiser of AGRO trying a rather transparent scam or whether his e mail had been hacked I do not know, but AGRO is very obviously not an organisation which is going to assist people with drink or drug problems. AGRO is of course in receipt of funding from numerous sources. How do I know that Wulf knows all about F’s friend’s experiences with AA, Dafydd, the fake Minister and AGRO? Because a couple of years ago I bumped into him and he told me that he was having another go at detoxing – and that his mentor was a man called Wulf Livingstone.

So Wulf has been a ‘service user’ himself, he knows other ‘service users’ very well and he knows exactly how bad and abusive the ‘services’ are – the services that he now works for! Just before I left north Wales I was given the name of a CAIS worker who it was alleged was a major drug dealer in Gwynedd. I was told that she and Wulf were in discussion regarding plans to set up a business together offering probation ‘services’ – the probation service is undergoing a sort of privatisation process and from what I understand many probation officers are now forming businesses in order to contract out their services to the probation service. I also notice that the online blurb available about Wulf describes him as providing ‘social work supervision’ for several teams and that he is also involved with the British Association for Social Work Cymru. It also states that Wulf is part of the ‘growing north Wales recovery movement’. There is no ‘recovery movement’ in north Wales, it is another illusion like ‘service user involvement’, organised by the same abusive colluding people who have spent years colluding with all the other malpractice. Wulf will of course know all about the appalling practices of the likes of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team. He has a particular interest in alcohol and substance abuse – so he will know that the Hergest Unit refuses to assist anyone at all with alcohol or substance abuse problems and that there has been a number of deaths of such patients hours after they have been turned away from the Hergest Unit.

So what’s keeping you so quiet about the rampant wrongdoing, misconduct and abuse of vulnerable people in north Wales then Wulf?

News Update And A Few More Accessories

The story dominating the headlines since yesterday has of course been the revelation that there is an alleged ‘gender pay gap’ at the BBC. The fighting that has broken out between numerous overpaid male luvvies and numerous rather less overpaid female luvvies has eclipsed discussion of far more obvious injustices – and not just the BAME pay gap, which the ‘Guardian’ managed to mention. Firstly EVERYBODY involved is earning completely unjustifiable quantities of money. No I am not going to take up cudgels on the part of Claudia who ‘only’ gets £500k for doing sod all on a lame dancing show once a week. The use of the word ‘talent’ to describe this bunch of airheads is quite staggering. The elephant in the room is of course the way in which this lot secure jobs with the BBC in the first place – it is frequently through nepotism. Scores of them are married to each other or having relationships with each other – or indeed just having sex with each other – and were ‘introduced’ to the BBC in that way. Many of the others have parents working in the media or specifically at the BBC. Even many of the BBC’s ‘experts’ presenting the ‘science’ programmes are people who had parents or other family members who worked at the BBC – it is far too frequent to be coincidental. The oppressed Claudia is actually the daughter of Eve Pollard, who edited the ‘Sunday Express’. After splitting up from Claudia’s father, Eve remarried Sir Nicholas Lloyd, who was the former editor of the ‘Daily Express’. Claudia’s half-sister from her father’s second marriage is the wife of Lord Frederick Windsor, the son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Will Claudia now seek legal advice because she has been discriminated against? Almost certainly. Meanwhile an army of very badly paid probably migrant women will be doing the cleaning, cooking and childcare for the extended Winkleman/Pollard clan and there won’t be any screaming headlines about their rates of pay.

There seems to be an obvious injustice within the ranks of the oppressed women anyway – the dipstick Claudia is pulling in many more thousands than the two women journalists who work on the ‘Today’ programme or Laura Keunssberg, who actually need brains and a degree of knowledge to do their jobs well. Furthermore, there will be many women beavering away at the BBC doing the cleaning – probably in the middle of the night as well – or working in the canteens etc. Like the servants who will be sustaining Claudia’s household, they’ll be paid a rate on which they’ll barely be able to exist and they’ll probably have migrated from a country where their quality of life was even worse than it is cleaning at the BBC at 2 am. You won’t hear them mentioned anywhere – and some of those very badly paid workers will of course be men. Male cleaners earn a lot less than the presenters of ‘Woman’s Hour’ – who are so badly paid that they are miffed about not making it into the ranks of those whose salaries caused the row.

Of course, no-one can actually expect anything other than grossly unfair practices from the BBC. It has been successively Chaired by twats like Michael Grade who only landed their own positions because they toadied to other unworthy powerful people, in Grade’s case the likes of Samuel Brittan, brother of the dreadful Leon. For details of Grade’s toadying and an account of his twattish, offensive, anti-Welsh conduct when he condescended to visit Cardiff on a ‘meet the Governors’ evening, please see posts ‘News Round Up, May 18 2017’ and ‘A Few Of The Relevant Politicians Re Mary Wynch’s Case’. Amongst this enormous BBC scrap, I’m still waiting for someone to explain an Historic BBC Injustice to me – the sacking of Frank Bough after the cocaine and prostitutes revelations, as opposed to the non-sacking of Savile, Stuart Hall, Rolf etc. Perhaps Richard Tait, mate of Michael Grade as well as Chair of journalism at Cardiff University and former King of ‘Nationwide’ which starred poor old Bough, could let us know.

I can only hope that the mainstream citizens of the UK getting by on salaries of £30k or less in return for their rather more useful contributions to society than that made by Lineker or Jeremy Vine or Tess or Claudia will stop stumping up for their TV licences now that we know what the licence fee is actually being used for. Bankrupting the BBC – or at least indicating to dear old Tony Hall that such an outcome is on the horizon – will be a far more effective remedy than squealing about gender pay gaps.

The news story following hot on the heels of BBCgate this morning was yet another NHS England Mental Health Scandal. The CQC – who have spent years concealing malpractice, serious neglect and deaths in NHS England’s mental health system – have revealed that thousands of mental health patients are incarcerated in secure units when they shouldn’t be. The CQC has also revealed that many such units are unsafe and that the ones run by private providers are suspected of detaining patients longer than necessary in order to benefit financially. So why haven’t the CQC mentioned this before? I knew that it was going on, other bloggers like me knew that it was going on and so did the CQC. In fact one non-executive director of the CQC, Sir Robert Francis QC, knew as long ago as 1991 that patients in north Wales were being detained in secure units unlawfully after they complained about criminal conduct on the part of the mental health services. Robert Francis QC knew about this because he read a series of letters from me giving full details of such practices, including names, dates, etc. His solution was to ask a judge to imprison me for ‘harassment’ whilst acting for one of the psychiatrists who was involved in the criminal conduct himself. The case was funded by the MDU. You need to resign Robert, this blog has built up quite a big following and your activities of some 25 years ago are now quite widely known. Before you resign however, I suggest that you tell your colleagues on the CQC to conduct a review of the cases of all patients currently languishing in secure units and identify how many of them had a history of complaining about the mental health services or maintained that they were abused as children in local authority care. When you have identified them, let them out and help them rebuild their lives that the medical establishment destroyed. And then do us all a favour and fuck off into oblivion, because you’ve done more than enough damage. By the way, a reader of this blog e mailed me a couple of days ago to ask me if Robert Francis is related to a judge of a similar vintage with the same surname. She knew that loads of those in positions like Francis are from legal or medical families, but noted that there is no information at all available about Francis’s origins online. I had a search and I saw what she meant. Robert Francis QC seems to have been beamed down upon earth in that form during the 1970s. After attempting to imprison me in 1991, his career really took off and he was soon being called upon to Chair major NHS cover-ups! 1991 – the year in which folk investigating the Westminster Paedophile Ring maintain that the big cover-up took place. Witnesses to the activities of the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal were being found dead at about that time too. I’m lucky that I wasn’t because at that time there were a couple of attempts to set fire to my house (see post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’).

The member of the CQC fessing up is of course not Robert Francis – he’s been keeping a low profile recently. The man being wheeled out for media comment is Dr Paul Lelliott, the CQC Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals who leads on mental health. Of course, I googled Lelliott – but he’s even more of a mystery than Robert Francis is. There is virtually no info available about Lelliott and the CQC link to his biography has been disabled. Lelliott is a Top Doctor, he will have a biography – so why has it been hidden? The only info about this particular Top Doctor is that before he was appointed to the CQC in 2014, he had spent twenty years as a Consultant Psychiatrist and had worked for Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust. This Trust was formed in 1994 and has swallowed up part of the South London Healthcare NHS Trust. The South London Healthcare NHS Trust was described as having a ‘symbiotic relationship’ with the Oxleas Trust and was the centre of a major row a few years ago. In 2012 the Secretary of State for Health ordered an investigation after concerns were raised that the South London Healthcare NHS Trust ‘was not a viable concern’. In 2013 it was announced that the Trust was to be disbanded. However there was a High Court action – no doubt from Top Doctors – and questions in Parliament. The Trust limped on, led by a ‘Special Administrator’. It would seem that the troubles of the NHS in that part of the world continue – I can only imagine what was going on if it was felt that the Trust needed to be disbanded a la the North West Wales NHS Trust.

All has not always been well in the garden of the Oxleas Trust either. In 2011 a mental health patient murdered someone which resulted in litigation against the Trust. In 2013 the Trust faced another legal challenge after the suicide of a mental health patient. I’m glad to report though that the Health Services Journal named the Oxleas Trust as being the second best mental health Trust to work for in 2015! So the staff are having a great time in the face of patient catastrophe. Little wonder – in Aug 2015, the Trust broke the national pay agreement by awarding a pay rise to senior non-clinical staff who were earning above £57,000. Yes, the more highly paid pen-pushers were given a pay rise. So presumably if one is a Top Doctor or non-clinical manager, one can do very nicely out of the Oxleas Trust, even if no-one else does.

Of course the Voice Of The Service Users, MIND, have also Spoken Out about the latest NHS England mental health scandal. MIND have known about this even longer than Sir Robert Francis QC has – I first approached MIND about the criminal activities of the north Wales mental health services and their unlawful detention of people in 1987. Their legal director William Bingley admitted that he knew all about it and indeed he knew a great deal more than I did about the wrongdoing of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al. I approached MIND on many occasions regarding the north Wales mental health services, at no time did I ever receive an appropriate response. Furthermore MIND also kept completely schtum about an appallingly abusive chain of care homes in north Wales whose residents were being emotionally, physically and sexually abused (see previous posts). The person that MIND has wheeled out to provide media comment is Sophie Corlett. Sophie has been at MIND since 2002. Oh well she was there when I told them that patients were being assaulted by staff at the Hergest Unit and framed for serious offences then – they did not follow up my concerns. In fact when I was later interviewed by a newspaper regarding the activities of the Hergest Unit, Ruth Coombs from MIND Cymru then contacted me to ask if I would ‘help’ MIND. That was the same Ruth Coombs who had refused to help me a couple of years previously when I rang her about the Hergest Unit! Hard luck Ruth I do not work with corrupt people. I gave you repeated opportunities to expose what was going on in the mental health services in north Wales and you made it very clear that you were not interested in what was happening to me or to the other patients – or in the astronomical suicide rate. Furthermore, after I contacted you, MIND Cymru actually entered into a business arrangement with the Health Board in north Wales. I have blogged about this recently.

Sophie is also involved with something called the ‘Centre for Mental Health’. The ‘Centre for Mental Health’ states that ‘we’re here until people with mental health problems have a fair chance in life’. Alongside Sophie’s mugshot and profile is the mugshot and profile of Lady Elizabeth Vallance, the Chair of the ‘Centre For Mental Health’. Lady Elizabeth is described as a political theorist. She has been a magistrate in London for twenty years and in 2009 was the High Sheriff of Greater London. Lady Elizabeth has many strings to her bow. She was also the Chair of St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust. Which runs the criminally negligent Springfield Hospital, where a number of patients murdered each other as well as members of staff, as well as St George’s Hospital Medical School which employed a number of corrupt psychiatrists who knew that their peers in north Wales were abusing patients but colluded with them (see posts ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/1990’ and ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’). St George’s psychiatrists also consulted Lucille Hughes, the former Director of Gwynedd Social Services who was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was in operation in the social services but failed to act, for evidence of my ‘dangerousness’, after I complained about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones who was Lucille’s bedfellow and facilitating the paedophile ring in question. Lady Elizabeth was also Chair of the Institute of Education (part of the University of London), as well as of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards. Which might explain why St George’s kept being touted as a centre of clinical excellence despite the grim reality and scandals.

Lady Elizabeth was also Vice-Chair of the ‘Heath Foundation’. The ‘Health Foundation’ does of course only have one goal in life and that is to improve the nation’s health by awarding ‘significant grants to bring about better health and care’. It is a charity with very full coffers. It is so rich that it doesn’t have to fund raise. The ‘Health Foundation’ was established by an endowment – which currently stands at approx. £800 million – in 1998 from the sale of PPP Healthcare Group (a private medical insurance company). The ‘new organisation’ formed was known as the ‘PPP Foundation’ and in 2003 was renamed the ‘Health Foundation’. It deludes itself that it has a ‘completely independent status’. A quick look at the ‘Health Foundation’s’ website reveals that Anita Charlesworth, their Director of Research and Economics, was awarded a CBE on July 16 2017. The very next day Anita was appointed as an Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham – the establishment that employed Professor Robert Bluglass who led the cover-up regarding the criminal activities of Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) at the invitation of the Welsh Office, whilst the whole lot of them were concealing the North Wales Paedophile Ring (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’). Dr Tony Francis’s former boss, Professor Ian Brockington, was also employed by the University of Birmingham after Francis left Manchester (where Brockington had been employed before he landed the Chair at Birmingham) for north Wales (see post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’). As an indication of their independence, the ‘Health Foundation’ co-owns the BMJ Quality and Safety Journal.

Lady Elizabeth is a Sloane Fellow of the London Business School, as well as a non-executive director of the Medical Protection Society.

There seems to be a number of conflicts of interest here.

So who is Lady Elizabeth Vallance married to? Lord Vallance of course! What with Lady Elizabeth being a Sloane Fellow, I wondered if Lord Vallance was what one of my friends calls a ‘posh Lord’, ie. someone with a hereditary peerage. No, Lady and Lord are not posh, Lord is a Lib Dem peer who has crawled his way up, as obviously has Lady. Lord is Iain Vallance, who is described as a ‘British businessman’. No he didn’t establish his own business and hit the big time through hard graft, Iain Vallance actually spent the first part of his career as an executive for the Post Office and then moved to BT in 1981, just before it was privatised! Which was certainly a smart move, because despite all that embarrassing hoo hah over the giveaway of public assets that was the privatisation of BT, by 1986 Iain Vallance was Chief Exec. He was appointed Chairman in 1987 and then held both roles until 1995. He resigned as Chairman in 2001 after numerous awkward bastards of investors demanded that he step down. So he became President Emeritus instead until 2002. In 2003 Iain was appointed to the Supervisory Board of Siemens and in 2004 he was rewarded for his contribution to British life with a peerage.

It’s not all bad news for NHS England though. In the wake of their colluding friends from the CQC biting them on the bum, ‘Mail Online’ reported that the Dept of Health stated that there are ‘many examples of excellent mental health care and nearly all services were rated as good or outstanding for having caring and compassionate staff’. They were rated thus because the CQC is completely dishonest about the conduct of NHS mental health staff – after all Robert Francis tried to have me imprisoned because I’d complained about some of them who were concealing a paedophile gang who were delivering children in care to the Westminster Paedophile Ring ( see post ‘Are You Local?’). Claire Murdoch, NHS England’s ‘mental health chief’, commented that ‘overall mental health funding is up by £1.4 billion in real terms’. That is irrelevant Claire if Top Doctors employed in the service are either criminals themselves or colluding with their colleagues who are criminals. Criminals behave even more badly if they are given a lot of money, it is not a good idea to do that.

So how naïve is Claire? Not at all I suspect. Claire’s CV boasts that she worked as a registered mental health nurse for 34 years. OK, she’ll have witnessed plenty of malpractice then. As a bog standard registered mental health nurse on the ward she won’t have been able to do much about that, if she whistleblew she would have just been sacked. But I don’t think that Claire spent 34 years at the coalface. I suspect that Claire was the sort of registered mental health nurse who went into management and made damn sure that no other registered mental health nurses blew the whistle, because in 2007 Claire was appointed Chief Exec of the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. She didn’t step into that role after 34 years of damp-dusting the shelves and doing nice hospital corners on the beds. Or even after 34 years of forcibly injecting sectioned patients with anti-psychotics and having them tasered by the police if they put up too much of a fight. Claire was not your common or garden registered mental health nurse and she obviously wasn’t one of the many who have become so sickened by what is going on that they’ve left the NHS. Not only is Claire Chief Exec of one of the biggest hitting Trusts in the UK, but she is also the Director of the Imperial College Academic Health Science Partnership.

For details of the research fraud and unethical conduct of a number of people who are part of Imperial College, please see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’. This is NHS England we’re talking about here, so I was not surprised to see a section of the Imperial College Academic Health Science Partnership’s website dedicated to ‘corporate’. Clicking on this reveals that one of their partnerships is with GSK and there is a quote saying that this arrangement is ‘a unique and bold industry-academia partnership, combining for the first time the diverse skills of engineers, medics and life-scientists’. This quote is attributed to Patrick Vallance, President, R&D, GSK.

I used to know Patrick Vallance. He worked at St George’s Hospital Medical School. In terms of his role as a Top Doctor, he was a general physician, but his real passion was his research interest in pharmacology. Patrick Vallance was a very good pharmacologist and unlike some of the Top Doctors at St George’s he was very bright and this was acknowledged by everyone. I think that Patrick Vallance had also been a student at St George’s as well. Either way, Patrick Vallance was far too clever not to have noticed and known about the shite that surrounded him at St George’s. He caused a real stir when he left academia to work for the pharmaceutical industry, because when he was younger he had published a book with his colleague Joe Collier called ‘The Health Conspiracy’. This book made a lot of people very angry because it was a devastating expose of the corrosive effect that the pharmaceutical industry and it’s practices were having on medicine. Vallance and Collier were considered to be a pair of lefties by the rest of St George’s and a lot of people considered them to be a pain. Vallance and Collier predicted that Thatcher’s onslaught upon the universities would leave them so weak that they would end up under the control of the pharmaceutical industry. That book was actually vey good and Collier and Vallance put up with a lot of grief for daring to publish it. So why some years later when he had become a very big name in pharmacology did Patrick Vallance join the industry that he had been so critical of? He was interviewed on ‘The Life Scientific’ on Radio 4 last year and he made a reference to the damage that his reputation might have suffered by leaving academia to join GSK, but he didn’t really explain why he made the move after establishing a name for himself by being so critical of that industry. Like Patrick Vallance, Joe Collier too will have known about the misconduct and malpractice of some of his colleagues but he never publicly spoke out. After I left St George’s the shit hit the fan when it was revealed that the computer programme that St George’s was using to shortlist students applying for medicine for interview was programmed to discriminate against candidates with non-British names. I was told that it was Joe Collier who had actually discovered this and brought it to public attention and that he had been subjected to great unpleasantness from his colleagues as a result. Sadly though Joe Collier was keeping quiet about far worse things than that.

I always presumed that Joe Collier and Patrick Vallance either knew that they would be destroyed if they did speak out about the many horrors at St George’s or that they were doing what David Healy has spent 25 years doing – colluding with the most atrocious malpractice whilst pretending to be a Top Doctor Who Takes On The Establishment. However I did not knew until this morning that a Lady Elizabeth Vallance had been the Chair of St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, a Lady Vallance who was sitting on a midden. Could she possibly be related to the Patrick Vallance who also kept quiet about the midden there previously?

 

Now to Horrible Murders of an historical nature. Documents released by the National Archives from the Downing Street files show that in Feb 1985 Thatcher over-ruled Leon Brittan, who at that time was Home Secretary, regarding his plans to put in place the process of a Parole Board hearing regarding Myra Hindley and Ian Brady. It was Thatcher who stated that Brady and Hindley must never be released, although the whole life tariff for both of them wasn’t made official until 1990, when David Waddington was Home Secretary. I have blogged about the case of Hindley and Brady on a number of occasions previously, partly because of Brady being incarcerated in Ashworth Hospital, a place where Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends had connections, but also because a number of the lawyers involved in that case – including Ronald Waterhouse – later played a role in assisting the paedophiles’ friends by concealing their wrongdoing. The trial of Brady and Hindley took place at Chester Assizes – at the heart of the legal and judicial corruption previously described on this blog. A number of readers have noticed a few odd things about Brady and Hindley’s trial. For one thing, that it was held at Chester. The crimes were not committed at or near Chester or in north Wales and Brady and Hindley didn’t live in Chester or in north Wales. Most people tried at Chester had some connection to Chester or north Wales. Furthermore, the barristers involved in that case were relatively young unknown lawyers. Yet that case was massive. One would have thought that the biggest legal guns in the country would have been rolled out. Previous posts have mentioned some of the many miscarriages of justice that seemed to have happened at Chester. A reader e mailed me some weeks ago and asked whether I thought that something dodgy might have been going on in that trial. Brady and Hindley did of course freely confess to killing and torturing children, so I’ve never questioned whether they were fitted up. However it seems that there were I think investigations into two of the murders that Brady ‘refused to assist’ with. Brady of course was famously as difficult as he could be, openly loathed the Top Doctors and the police and held them in extreme contempt. For their part, they fanned the flames with their constant ‘revelations’ in the media concerning their insights into the evil that was Ian Brady, his psychopathy, his ‘games’, his manipulation etc. Yet Myra Hindley, despite being regularly outed by the tabloids as ‘the most evil woman in Britain’ did co-operate with police and certainly when she was in middle age seems to have gone to considerable efforts to assist the police in trying to find the bodies of the murdered children that had not been recovered. Hindley however maintained that she had not been involved in those particular murders and she didn’t know where the bodies were – she was only let out of prison to assist with the search because she was able to show the police some of Brady’s favourite places on the moors when they had been young. The missing children’s bodies were never recovered.

So as one of my correspondents pointed out, Brady and Hindley had not actually confessed to those two murders, although they were convicted of them. And no bodies were ever found, despite much well-publicised searching of the moors where the bodies of the children that they did confess to killing had been buried. What if they did not kill the two children whose bodies were not found? It is now accepted that child abuse has been a problem for decades and until recently the extent of it wasn’t acknowledged. Paedophiles were known to be active in the region where Brady and Hindley lived and we now know that when professional people were involved in such activity, it was very effectively concealed. And Chester was a hotbed of police, legal and judicial corruption. If somebody else rather more well connected than Brady and Hindley had been under suspicion of attacking, indeed even of killing children, two unhinged young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who were known to have killed other children would have been a gift. Particularly if it could be arranged for their trial to take place at Chester with low profile inexperienced counsel where no-one would have to be persuaded too hard that they were guilty of all the murders with which they were charged…

 

A Tory politician who is also a Top Doctor has been in the news today and that is Liam Fox. Fox is of course one of the Chief Brexiteers and is currently carrying out some delicate ‘negotiations’ that a lot of people don’t trust him with. Like Dr Death aka David Owen, Liam Fox is not above reminding everyone that he is a doctor should we need reassuring about his integrity on any matter. I remember seeing Fox on a chat show a few years ago which also featured a former Spice Girl, who, as sometimes happens on chat shows featuring singers and/or dancers, at one point got out of her seat and started gyrating around the floor to one of her tracks. Somehow she ended up with her bum in the air in close proximity to Fox’s face and she apologised to him for this. He reassured her that there was no need to apologise because ‘I’m a doctor’. He is also a Conservative politician, known for being hard right and somewhat ruthless. So might Liam, like so many other Top Doctors close to the organs of Gov’t, have helped the Tories out of a tight spot at any point? Or indeed helped the Top Doctors out of a tight spot?

Liam originally came from Glasgow, went to school there and studied medicine at Glasgow. After graduating he worked as a GP. Fox began standing for Parliament in the late 80s in Scotland, but he ended up being elected for north Somerset in 1992. He was appointed PPS to Home Secretary Michael Howard in June 1993. At that time the Gov’t were still dealing with the very sticky problem that was Mary Wynch and the aftermath of her illegal arrest and incarceration in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh by Dafydd, which included Mary’s legal action against the Public Trustee. Mary was eventually left ruined after being finally stuffed over and kicked to one side in 1995 – the dirty deed happened on Michael Howard’s watch (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’). Ann Widdecombe famously commented that there was ‘something of the night’ about Michael Howard. I suspect that there might also have been something of the concealing of the Westminster Paedophile Ring about him. Ann Widdecombe converted to Roman Catholicism in the wake of her fury at the Anglican Church ordaining women. I haven’t got time to expand on it here, but I’ve heard a few rumours about the Catholic Church and child abuse…

Someone was obviously grateful to Liam for something because in 1999 he was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Health, a post he retained until 2003. In 2003 he was appointed co-chair of the Conservative Party and also led Howard’s leadership campaign. In 2005 Fox launched his own bid for the Party leadership, on a ‘broken society’ theme. One would have thought that a champion for the mending of a broken society would have been able to persuade his former boss Howard to have meted out fair treatment to an elderly lady who had been destroyed by the criminal actions of a Top Doctor and his associates who were concealing a paedophile ring. Obviously not. What Liam did claim would fix the allegedly broken society though would be a return to marriage and the reform of welfare. Rather than the prosecution of members of a paedophile gang with connections to Westminster. I’m glad to say that Liam did follow his own advice – he got married in 2005 himself, to another Top Doctor.

After the Coalition Gov’t was elected, Liam was appointed as Secretary of State for Defence (Fox had served as an Army medical officer), but it all unravelled when he had to resign from that post in 2011. Fox was forced to resign because his activities with a man called Adam Werritty had broken the Ministerial code. No-one was quite sure who Werritty actually was, but he was described as a ‘friend’ of Fox. It transpired that Werritty lived rent free in a flat owned by Fox and didn’t seem to have an identifiable source of income. Werritty had not only been introducing himself as Fox’s ‘advisor’, but he also had business cards created which described him as such. Furthermore Werritty had been accompanying Fox to official meetings – an awful lot of them. That was the straw that broke the Fox’s back and forced his resignation. There was much tabloid speculation about Werritty, particularly the nature of his friendship with Fox which Fox never really got around to clarifying.

In Jan 2014 Fox suggested ending ring-fenced funding for the NHS, citing poor health indicators despite the increasing investment in the NHS. If he’d been a little more honest he could have explained that one reason for those poor indicators is research fraud, malpractice, misconduct ad negligence in the NHS which is constantly concealed.

Liam Fox is a member of the Royal College of Practitioners. The Royal College in which Dr D.G.E. Wood – one of the Top Doctors who was mates with Tony Francis and who told me that my career would be damaged if I didn’t drop my complaints about the Top Doctors – was a senior figure. Dr D.G.E. Wood comes from Bristol and did his medical degree there. Which is right next door to Liam Fox’s constituency of north Somerset. I have previously mentioned how useful Alumni networks are to Top Doctors when someone has to be rescued from a spot of bother or a favour is needed. Obviously Fox won’t have been a member of any Bristol University Alumni organisations, because Liam studied at Glasgow. Which will have actually given him a link to a far bigger name than D.G.E. Wood – that is Sir Kenneth Calman. Calman lectured at Glasgow medical school from 1969 onwards and in 1974 was awarded the Chair of Clinical Oncology there. In 1984 he became the Dean of Postgraduate Medicine at Glasgow. Subsequently Calman was appointed Chief Medical Officer of Scotland – and then in 1991, Chief Medical Officer of England. 1991 – the year that I had such problems at St George’s Hospital Medical School and Springfield Hospital, the year that Robert Francis QC attempted to have me imprisoned for complaining about the Top Doctors in north Wales, the year of the alleged high level cover-up of the Westminster Paedophile Ring. Whose victims were being supplied by Dafydd’s mistress and her associates in north Wales. Calman remained as Chief Medical Officer until 1998. It was whilst he was in that post that Dafydd was allowed to retire without any of the many very serious complaints about him being followed up – and with the contract to provide ‘substance abuse services’ for north Wales, funded by the NHS (please see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’).

Calman will almost certainly have had knowledge of a few other things as well. He had been involved in cancer research in England. Between 1972-1974 he was Clinical Research Fellow at the Chester Beattie Research Institute, London, which was funded by the MRC. Between 2008-2011 Calman was Chair of the National Cancer Research Institute. He will have heard about the dodgy practices of the cancer researchers at Hammersmith Hospital (see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’). There was very little cross fertilisation between the Chester Beattie – which is linked to the Royal Marsden – and Hammersmith (which has now been merged with Imperial), although both are leading institutions in cancer research. I suspect that is because the two groups loathe each other, don’t trust each other and won’t work together. So although when Calman became CMO for England in 1991 he was almost certainly well aware of some of what was going on at Hammersmith, he did not put a stop to it. But Top Doctors don’t. Their loyalty to each other – even when they detest each other – is greater than their commitment to patient safety and well-being or usually the appropriate use of funds. Readers will be reassured to know that Calman was a Member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics between 2000-08 and was a Member of the Working Party on Public Health, 2006-07. Calman is famous in another sphere as well as medicine – politics and his support for the SNP and devolution. He is the Calman of the Calman Commission.

Calman has a famous daughter – Susan Calman, the comedian who is a regular on Radio 4. Her salary was not revealed during yesterday’s bunfight.

 

Onto Welsh news now. A man has recently been jailed for the 1976 murder of the schoolgirl Janet Commins in north Wales. Another man was convicted and imprisoned for that crime many years ago, who it is now been admitted was innocent. There don’t seem to be many questions being asked as to how he ended up inside for years for a crime that he did not commit. But then he was far from the only person stitched up in the region.

The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s traumas continue but still none of the Board have resigned. The ‘Daily Post online’ reported that more than 800 people have walked out of the A&E Units run by the Betsi before being treated because they have waited so long. This won’t just be people being a tad impatient. I was told by a nurse who worked in Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E – who eventually left because she was not prepared to be party to what was happening in that dept – that when mental health patients arrived at A&E requesting help, it was standard practice for the ‘on call psychiatrist’ to wait at least twelve hours and sometimes even longer before going over to A&E, because they knew damn well that by then the patient would have given up and left and they therefore wouldn’t have to assess or treat them. I knew a north Wales GP who used to be involved in A&E and on-call work who told me that he ‘liked’ a long waiting time because it meant that a lot of the patients would give up and go away.

The Welsh Gov’ts Health Minister Vaughan Gething has rejected the idea of establishing a medical school at Bangor University. Plaid are making a fuss, but I really don’t think that Vaughan Gething could have come to any other decision. The ‘healthcare sciences’ arm of Bangor University upon whose work the putative medical school would be based is one of the most troubled, dysfunctional parts of the University, rife with bullying between staff as well as bullying directed at students who have reported neglect and abuse that they have witnessed on placement at the Betsi. There is also ample evidence of research fraud, as detailed in previous posts. The ‘partners’ in establishing the medical school would be the Betsi – sinking in debt and scandal, in special measures and currently the subject of two investigations into the abuse of patients with mental health problems. Giving a medical school to that lot to play with really would not be a good idea. It is of course very sad for the citizens of north Wales who have been saddled with a shite NHS dominated by corrupt practitioners who have run the whole system for their own benefit for decades, but somebody needs to go in and clean up in a major way rather than allowing that bunch to establish what could only be the most corrupt, lethal medical school in the UK.

BBC News Wales reported that Parc Prison in Bridgend has seen an escalation in violent incidents and that this is thought to be related to the ban on smoking that was recently introduced there. The Gov’t were told most emphatically that this would happen if they introduced a ban on smoking in prisons, but they ignored it. Smoking is incredibly bad for one’s health but prisoners have nothing to do for most of their day but sit in a cell and smoke. They are bored, stressed and addicted to nicotine. Their living conditions need to be drastically improved if anyone wants to wean them all off tobacco. A similarly idiotic debate took place regarding banning smoking in secure mental health units – indeed I think that this has now happened. Patronising ignorant shite was spouted – including by Julie Morgan AM, the wife of the former First Minister – about how giving up smoking would be empowering for service users. (It would be rather more empowering not to lock them up in the first place.) By all means do all that is possible to stop mental health patients smoking – but begin by providing suitable care and treatment and suitable ward environments. Like prisoners, many psychiatric inpatients are detained against their will in appalling environments – as was admitted by the CQC today – with nothing to do but sit and puff away. Furthermore, smoking actually is one of the few things that facilitates interaction and socialising between patients – the staff certainly don’t go out of their way to encourage that.

Mental health staff know exactly how distressed inpatients become if they are nicotine addicts and the fags are removed. Another anecdote for readers. In Bryn Golau ward in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh I was the only person there who did not smoke. There was one other person who entered the ward a non-smoker, but after three days he was so distressed at the conditions and oppressive atmosphere that he actually started smoking after being offered fags by other patients. The more pleasant nurses had many conversations with me and admitted that conditions on that ward were so poor that most patients controlled their anger and distress by smoking. Nurses even commented that for the patients who had been in there a long time – and because Dafydd and Gwynne the lobotomist were using the institution as their own personal prison, some of those patients in Denbigh had been in there for more than forty years – ‘cigarettes are all that they’ve got’. Indeed at Christmas when the nurses bought little presents for everyone (there were some staff there who were trying to make life tolerable for the incarcerated, but they were all far too frightened of Dafydd et al to actually blow the whistle on what they were doing), many of the patients were given packets of fags for their present. The nurses discussed the ethics of this and their rationale was that they knew that the cancer sticks were lethal in the long term but these patients had nothing, could not really utilise any other presents and at least the fags would help them control their anxiety.

The worst nurse on Bryn Golau was a woman called Janice Davies, who was of course the person whom had been appointed in charge of the ward. She pretty much equated to Nurse Rached but with more lipstick. Davies used to ring up Dafydd whilst I was a patient there with untruthful accounts of my conduct. After I left, she was one of the people who was making contact with the police claiming that I’d threatened her – my documents show that she was being encouraged to do this and that even Andrew Park, the crooked lawyer from the Welsh Office, admitted that there was a ‘problem’ because Janice had no evidence that I was ringing her up and threatening her. Andrew Park solved that one easily enough – he told them all that the next time that they reported me to the police they had to remember to include in their statements comments indicating how they ‘knew’ that it was me. My documents show that within days of Park telling them to do this, the Denbigh staff were ringing the police with yet more porkies, including porkies as to how they had identified me. Janice was a sadistic piece of work, one of her favourite tricks was to refuse painkillers to patients with toothache. Dentistry was completely unavailable to patients in Denbigh and it was noticeable that the patients who had been in there a long time all had very bad teeth. Whilst I was in Bryn Golau, two patients developed tooth abscesses – no, Janice did not hand over painkillers, not even a paracetamol. But one day shortly after Christmas Janice excelled. She removed the fags from one of the patient’s well-addicted to nicotine and told him that he could only have one every few hours and that she’d give them out to him as necessary. She then began baiting him. He got increasingly distressed and started asking for a fag. She said no. She then baited him a bit more. The other patients watched it all and were all saying to the other nurses ‘all he wants is a cigarette, why won’t she give him one’. But she didn’t. Then this man shouted at her. So ‘restraint’ followed. He yelled a bit more and tried to hit the wall. He was dragged to a ‘seclusion room’ (effectively a padded cell) where he continued to be tormented by Janice and a few henchmen. He went absolutely beserk, although he didn’t hit any of them or even try to. He screamed, yelled, begged for a cigarette and bounced himself off the walls. Janice then smugly rang up Dafydd, told him that this man was now ‘uncontrollable’ and that she couldn’t ‘manage’ him anymore. He was carted off to Risley Remand Centre within the hour. After his departure, one of the nurses started crying, because she told me ‘I know what’s going to happen to him there’. This patient was a man with a diagnosis of schizophrenia who had been accused of a serious sexual assault. Sex offenders used to get beaten to a pulp in Risley and inmates were frequently found hanging – presumably as a result of suicide but with warders who were that violent, who could ever really be sure.

So would the crying Angel Iola Edwards and dear old Janice Davies herself now like to make contact with the police and dish the dirt on what Dafydd et al were up to? And why that man was manipulated into Risley Remand Centre?

Whilst we’re on the topic of Accessories, I’ll name a few more. Dr Delyth Morris, lately of Bangor University, an utter pain in the bum, a deceitful liar who regularly plagiarised other researchers’ work, bullied students, blamed everybody else for her own monumental cock-ups, provided such poor supervision for one PhD student that he was eaten alive in his viva and had to resubmit after another academic who actually knew what they were doing took over the supervision, was alleged to have had to step down from her role as a magistrate when she tried to nobble the police into dropping assault charges against her son and who spread crazed vindictive rumours about a senior sociologist in her dept because he had a good deal more ability than she did. Now those are all reasons why I detest her – I was one of the researchers whose work that she plagiarised (twice) so I have a vested interest in detesting her – but long before Delyth Morris was ever given a job that she very obviously should never have had and couldn’t do (it was rumoured that the appointment was as a result of blatant nepotism), Delyth Morris was a social worker in Gwynedd. When the paedophile ring was doing it’s worst. Now it may well be that Delyth was so thick that she never actually noticed what was happening under her nose, but if she did know she certainly would never ever have given a stuff. I did hear allegations of bribery and corruption on the part of Morris whilst she was a magistrate on Anglesey, so I’m sure that she would not have been averse to pocketing a few quid – or perish the thought bagging a job as a university lecturer – in return for keeping quiet about something no matter how serious that something was. Delyth’s son Phil Lewis worked as a research assistant to Hywel Williams MP, a former mental health social worker in north Wales himself. Hywel Williams also used to be responsible for social work education at Bangor University.

Another social work tutor at Bangor University who might have information of interest to Inspector Knacker is Fiona MacDonald. Like most of the social workers in north Wales, Fiona MacDonald seemed quite mad. I think that she must have taken a leaf out of Delyth Morris’s book because MacDonald’s main aim in life seemed to be to inflict grief on her colleagues and on the more capable students.

I stood accused at one point by MacDonald of discriminating against ‘service users’. Immediately after I finished my PhD, I started some unfunded research into students’ experiences of social work education and the experiences of the ‘service users group’ who were advising on the social work course. At that time I was not receiving a salary myself. MacDonald e mailed me and asked me if I had ‘funds’ for six service users to attend a service users conference at £300 a head. I hardly had funds for my own lunch at the time. I then faced a Grade A battle with MacDonald and indeed the service users themselves, who had been led to believe (I wonder by whom???) that I was in receipt of an enormous salary and was busy institutionally discriminating.

As with Delyth Morris, these were reasons for me not to like Fiona MacDonald or take her very seriously, but there was a Dark Past there as well.

Like the other social work tutors, Fiona MacDonald had worked as a social worker in north Wales – among the paedophiles’ friends. I suspect that MacDonald was a past master at behaving appallingly and then pointing the finger at other people. Not only had she worked as a social worker in north Wales but she’d worked as a social worker for Barnados on Anglesey. Read the Jillings Report and the Waterhouse Report – again and again it is stated that the abuse of children was taking place in the charity sector as well as in Local Authorities. Barnardos is mentioned.

On one occasion Fiona MacDonald admitted to me that the social work course was chaos and that students’ were constantly complaining and even threatening legal action. Did she wonder what she and her buddies were doing wrong? No, according to her it was all the fault of the Professor of Sociology. Who had nothing to do with the course at all, not the teaching, the management of it, or even the selection of the students. In fact the Professor of Sociology was generally acknowledged (but not by the social workers obviously) as being the sanest man in the dept who actually understood the meaning of the word ‘ethics’. He also knew that lot had worked in a ‘service’ hosting a paedophile ring as well, but he was actually far too polite to say so.

It was with some amusement that I read on yesterday’s ‘Daily Post online’ that Carwyn Jones was ‘supporting the lecturers at Bangor University faced with redundancy’. I won’t actually suggest that Carwyn should save his energy and find a more worthwhile cause, because there are loads of excellent people at Bangor University. You just don’t find them in the social work teaching team or working in health and social care ‘research’. But knowing the way of the world, if anyone is made compulsorily redundant, it won’t be insane social work tutors who learnt their skills among the paedophiles’ friends, or nursing tutors who ‘trained’ in a hopelessly corrupt NHS who now bully students if they try to blow the whistle on patient abuse that they’ve witnessed on placement, or Academic Leads For Service User Partnerships who’ve spent their careers ignoring the gross abuse of patients and who have done deals with Top Doctors whom they know are guilty of neglecting patients or even framing them for serious crimes, in order to become Academic Leads for Service User Partnerships, or indeed even clapped out Professors of Clinical Psychology who worked in a ‘service’ that discredited people who complained about the paedophile ring. No, it will probably be the more junior staff who are working their butts off on temporary contracts, doing all the teaching whilst trying to build up a good research profile as well. They’ll be the first out of the door because the paedophiles’ friends will continue to hog everything for themselves and ensure that no capable person is employed lest they show them up for what they are.

 

One final appeal. My post ‘The Right Honourable David Jones MP’ mentioned the craziness that prevailed in the Courts in north west Wales in the 1980s, when the paedophiles’ friends constantly prosecuted me for ludicrous reasons. I mentioned in that post that this was happening to a few other people as well. One of those people was a man called Leonard Ridyard. Mr Ridyard was up in Court as often as I was, on equally ridiculous charges. It was Mr Ridyard who first told me about the ‘north Wales mafia’. I was a bit wary of Mr Ridyard because he was always very angry – although I could see why. The mental health services and the police always maintained that Mr Ridyard was ‘bonkers’ and ‘violent’ – exactly the things that they said about me. I never saw Mr Ridyard get violent with anyone and he didn’t strike me as being bonkers either – he was obviously an intelligent man who was being driven to distraction. Mr Ridyard hit the ‘Daily Post’ in a big way a few years ago – he was in Court (yet again) on charges that he was denying. He had I think been imprisoned and released and there was yet another attempt to imprison him again. Mr Ridyard maintained that the witnesses were perjuring themselves. The jury believed Mr Ridyard and he was found not guilty. The ‘Daily Post’ really enjoyed themselves by reporting that when the not guilty verdict was announced, Mr Ridyard started crying with relief and shook hands with all the members of the jury. I’m not surprised – he’d been harassed and stitched up by those we know and love for decades. I don’t know much about Mr Ridyard but I do know that he had been a patient of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and it was then that his problems began.

Anyone fancy coming forward to tell us all why Mr Ridyard had his life destroyed? What did he know about whom?

Dr Death

Readers noticing the title of this post could be forgiven for wondering who exactly it is referring to as a number of Top Doctors featured on this blog are worthy of the name. I am however making reference to the Dr Death whose adventures so entertained ‘Private Eye’ readers in the 1980s, Dr David Owen, now Lord Owen.

I am of the generation who particularly loathed Dr Death and I was very glad to see the back of him when he finally admitted defeat after the SDP polled fewer votes than the Official Monster Raving Loony Party at the Bootle by-election in 1990. Dr Death had a well-established reputation as a complete bastard and he wrecked every organisation that he became involved with. When Dr Death was doing his best to become Prime Minister or should I say to ‘break the mould of politics’, I was just on the cusp of being seriously screwed over by the other Top Doctors who are the stars of this blog, Dr D.G.E. Wood and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X). Documents now in my possession demonstrate that these two used to engage me in conversation back in the mid 80s in order to acquire information regarding my network of friends and my activities because they were more than a little worried about what I might be saying to whom about the mental health services in north Wales. One thing that I was interested in was politics and I certainly chatted about that at length with Wood and Francis and the one thing that I remember was that they were both paid up members of the SDP and they idolised Dr Death. Brown observed at the time that they were ‘defending another shit in their own profession again’ – they had already done their best to get Gwynne the lobotomist off the hook by then but I was unaware of the extremes to which they were prepared to go to do this. Brown’s comment proved to be prescient.

Last week somebody suggested to me that either Francis or Wood knew Dr Death personally and that he may well have been part of the network protecting them as they protected the north Wales paedophile ring. I’d never previously suspected this, but it wouldn’t be completely beyond the bounds of possibility – some very high profile people indeed from the fields of both politics and medicine were concealing what was happening in north Wales and Dr Death was well-connected in both of these fields. Dr Death also had connections to Wales.

Like so many named in previous posts who concealed the criminal conduct of Wood, Francis, Dafydd Alun Jones, Gwynne the lobotomist et al, Dr Death began his career as a psychiatrist. Dr Death was born in Devon to Welsh parents and qualified as a doctor from St Thomas’s Hospital in 1962. He then worked as a neurologist and psychiatrist at Tommy’s for two years. Now Dr Death and his supporters always made much of Dr Death ‘being a doctor’ and took that as evidence that not only was he ethical, compassionate and intelligent, but that he had an insight into matters of mental health, psychology, personal motivation and of course the right way to run a health service. ‘Private Eye’ cartoons at the time used to frequently feature Dr Death as Dracula saying things like ‘but I’m a nice young doctor’, whilst someone else in the frame would be saying ‘no you’re not you’re a vampire’. So was Dr Death a nice young doctor?

Dr Death’s early career at Tommy’s is not actually detailed that often and there might be a good reason for that. Dr Death was the assistant – for two years – to a psychiatrist called William Sargant, whose track record is so grim that psychiatry really would rather that he had not ever existed. Contemporary psychiatry text books rarely cite him so discredited is he. Sargant was a very big name in his day and was what we would now call a media psychiatrist. Even at the time there were people gravely concerned about Sargant’s activities but as ever in psychiatry their concerns were ignored. When Dr Death worked for him, Sargant’s work was described as ‘research into Parkinsonian trauma and neuropharmacology’. William Sargant was wildly enthusiastic about every dangerous, completely discredited psychiatric treatment – psychosurgery, deep sleep therapy, ECT in massive bursts very frequently and insulin shock therapy. Lest readers just presume that he was a man of his time, Sargant was bad even by the standards of mid-twentieth century psychiatry, in much the same way that the north Wales contingent were bad by anyone’s standards.

Sargant did not begin his career as a psychiatrist, he wanted to be a physician. He conducted some research into pernicious anaemia which involved giving patients huge doses of iron and history simply tells us that this research was ‘not well received’, indeed it was ‘disasterous’, which led to Sargant suffering a mental breakdown and being institutionalised himself. He was unable to continue his career as a physician and embarked upon a career in psychiatry instead. Sargant is by no means the only doctor who has been diverted into psychiatry because no-one else will have them, that characteristic is very obviously written into the biographies of many of those we know and love. I also wonder what the gory details of the ‘research’ were. Sargant was not a sensitive flower, for the research to have been so disasterous that he had a breakdown, ended up hospitalised and was unable to continue in his chosen field, I suspect that a few patients may have died – as they did on a regular basis when Sargant worked a psychiatrist. But because they were psychiatric patients it was tolerated.

Sargant did his psychiatric training at the Maudsley of course. In 1945 he became Director of Psychological Medicine at Tommy’s, where he stayed until his retirement in 1972 and indeed after that as well. Like Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Sargant held a part-time NHS contract, which meant that whilst he slaughtered NHS patients he was able to build up an enormous private practice, in Sargant’s case at Harley Street. Sargant held a distaste for all types of psychotherapy. He took amphetamines himself whilst he was studying for his Diploma in Psychological Medicine – he took a number of drugs for depression throughout his life. Whilst he was at the Maudsley, insulin shock therapy was introduced. Sargant enthusiastically embraced this and it became a staple of his at Tommy’s. In the late 1930s whilst he was in America, Sargant met the notorious Walter Freeman and saw the results of Freeman’s psychosurgery on three patients. The patients had suffered huge damage but nonetheless Sargant then introduced psychosurgery to Britain.

At one point after the war London County Council tried to curb Sargant’s experiments with ECT and psychosurgery, but Sargant boasted that ‘we generally got our own way in the end’. London County Council insisted that advisors were needed to approve every psychosurgery case. If the advisors opposed, Sargant simply sent the patient to Wylie McKissock at St George’s and he lobotomised the patient. Sargant described this as ‘doing good by stealth’. Sargant selected neurotic patients, especially those with neurotic ruminations, for psychosurgery. The ‘operation’ often  left them with severely impaired functioning, serious memory loss and/or incontinent. A number of them died. Sargant also experimented with ‘abreaction techniques’ using barbiturates, in military psychiatric casualties. More experiments of his involved methedrine injections and ‘deep sleep’ treatments. Indeed so ‘experimental’ was Sargant’s work that he combined all these treatments. He subjected patients to up to three months of combined ECT, continuous narcosis, insulin coma and drugs. Sargant found narcosis a particular blessing, because as he explained himself he often found that patients ‘dreaded’ further treatment after the first two or three sessions, but if they were treated whilst they were in an induced sleep, ECT could be administered without their knowledge. Sargant also found another way of treating patients who didn’t want to be treated as well – he increased the frequency of ECT for ‘resistant obsessional patients’ to produce ‘therapeutic confusion’ which had the magical effect of ‘removing the power of refusal’. In other words they were shocked into oblivion and didn’t know whether they were coming or going.

This is what Sargant said about the beneficial effects of narcosis treatment: ‘all sorts of treatment can be given whilst the patient is kept sleeping, including a variety of drugs and ECT together, generally induce considerable memory loss for period under narcosis…patient does not know how long he has been asleep, or what treatment…he has been given’. Sargant inspired the psychiatrist Harry Bailey in Australia, whose deep sleep treatment resulted in the death of 26 patients. Bailey and Sargant’s correspondence show that they were in competition with each other to see who could keep a patient in the deepest coma. Sargant’s patients died as well and it has been suggested that the only reason that his death rate wasn’t as high as Bailey’s was the attention that the Tommy’s nurses paid to the patients once Sargant had got his hands on them. The nurses were waking the patients up every fifteen minutes, taking them to the loo and feeding them, which it is assumed kept a few of them alive. Sargant wasn’t put off when his patients did die in his ‘care’. He attributed the poor outcomes to the lack of a ‘good previous personality’. Now where have we heard that before???

Critics of Sargant maintained that he had extreme views, was irresponsible, cruel and ignored advice. It was said that he relied ‘upon dogma rather than clinical evidence’, was autocratic, a danger, a disaster and some spoke of ‘the damage he did’. So a combination of Dr T. Gwynne Williams, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Roberts then.

In 2009 a Radio 4 documentary interviewed patients whose lives had been ruined by William Sargant. There was discussion of his routine violation of patient’s rights regarding consent and his admission to an Australian lawyer that patients had died under deep sleep. The records of patients treated by Sargant at Tommy’s and associated Health Authorities have been destroyed which prevented patients seeking redress through the Courts.

It has been revealed that William Sargant worked as a consultant for MI5.

So what was Dr Death’s opinion of this lethal maniac who shocked, drugged and lobotomised patients without their knowledge let alone consent? After all Dr Death assisted him for two years. Dr Death stated that Sargant was ‘a dominating personality with the therapeutic courage of a lion’ and ‘the sort of person of whom legends are made’.

In March 1974 Dr Death was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary for Health. In July 1974 he became Minister of State for Health and Social Security and remained in that post until Sept 1976.

Between 1977-1979 Dr Death was Foreign Secretary. I remember many allegations at the time that Dr Death was rude and arrogant, offended foreign statesmen and couldn’t get on with people. Dr Death has since stated that whilst he was Foreign Secretary he considered having Idi Amin assassinated. Like a troublesome psychiatric patient perhaps. In 1981 Dr Death left the Labour Party and with the infamous Gang of Four formed the SDP. He led the SDP between 1983-87 but when the SDP membership voted to merge with the Liberal Party Dr Death threw a hissy fit and announced that he would lead the ‘continuing SDP’. Dr Death is of course quite a one for hissy fits, his political career has been a sequence of resignations. He led the continuing SDP until 1990 when even he couldn’t pretend that it existed any longer. It was at this time that Dr Death made public statements about having wished that he’d stuck with a career in psychiatry. Presumably because lobotomised patients can’t vote for someone else. Dr Death wasn’t in the wilderness for long, in 1992 he became a member of the Lords. He sat as a cross bencher until 2014, but he now sits as an ‘independent social democrat’, after giving more than £7000 to the Labour Party when Ed Miliband announced his intentions to ‘reform’ the relationship between the Labour Party and the Trade Unions.

Many people have suspected that Dr Death is actually a Tory and did his best to inflict serious damage upon the Labour Party.  Thatcher was certainly very complimentary about his talents and a lot of people looked forward to him joining the Conservative Party and then destroying them. He never did though, despite John Major nominating him for a peerage and wanting him in his Cabinet. Blair also approached Dr Death, as did Gordon Brown, but he declined offers from both of them.

Dr Death has of course been back in the news over the past few days. He has been speaking a lot about the contaminated blood scandal and once more is exploiting his position as a nice doctor who wants the best. As a man who was once William Sargant’s assistant of course he does. Dr Death is not only telling anyone who’ll listen that he was demanding that Britain should become self-sufficient in blood products in the mid 70s rather than reply on imported products derived from the US, but he is also maintaining that the archived files of his containing all the documents that would shed light on who suggested and did what regarding blood products for use in the NHS in the 70s and 80s has been destroyed by an unidentified person. Dr Death is alleging a Civil Service cover up. I too believe that there has undoubtedly been a cover up at Gov’t level regarding the contaminated blood scandal and I’ve previously blogged about this. Substantial blame rests with Thatcher’s Gov’t who were told that patients would die because US blood was not screened, but who then shut down the UK MRC lab, ensuring that the NHS was completely dependent upon US imported products.

But it is becoming clear that blame does not just lie with Thatcher’s administrations. There is now information that administrations before Thatcher’s were being told of the grave dangers posed to NHS patients by the use of contaminated blood – although the threat in the 70s was considered to be Hepatitis C rather than HIV which only became a serious problem subsequently. I have found out that in 1974 the Dept of Health were explicitly warned by a specialist in the field that the products that they were using at that time could infect NHS patients. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Security was Dr Death. He had of course been a Minister in the same dept before that. Furthermore, Anita Roddick’s daughter Sam has now revealed that her mum – who died from complications arising from Hep C in 2007 – contracted Hep C from an infected blood transfusion at the time of Sam’s birth in 1971. Neither did anyone actually tell Anita Roddick that she was infected with Hep C until she had developed cirrhosis and it was too late for effective treatment. Of course no-one will have told Anita, because it was the NHS who had caused the damage and the NHS never informs people when it has harmed them. So by the time that Dr Death was making hay by making public statement in 1976 regarding the need for the NHS to become self-sufficient in blood products, people had already been infected and for a number of years as well. But no-one will ever find out exactly how much Dr Death knew and when and what his responses were because his files have been destroyed. By someone naughty in the Civil Service. Who did Dr Death a very big favour because he can now claim to be only relying on his memory when asked about the whole sorry business. This blog has previously described the rare variant of dementia which affects Top Doctors when they are faced with difficult questions regarding their role in patient harm – other sufferers include Dafydd, Robert Bluglass and Peter Higson. I suspect that Dr Death will be clobbered by a particularly serious form any day now.

Dr Death has spent his political career reminding everyone of his commitment to the NHS and has done this again very recently. So that is obviously why he was a member of the Board of the Abbott Laboratories, an American drug company between 1996-2011. In 2012 Abbott Labs were charged with a $500 million fine and $198.5 million forfeiture for illegal marketing, the second biggest fine in US history for a drug company. This was as a result of Abbott Labs unlawfully promoting the anti-psychotic Depakote for uses not approved by the FDA, including it’s use in children. Abbott Labs were also given a five year term of probation and court supervision. Which is more than William Sargant and his assistant ever got. Dr Death was Chairman of the Board of Yukos International UK BV, a division of a former Russian petroleum company, between 2002-2005. He was non-executive Chairman of European Steel until 2015. Between 2009-2014 Dr Death was on the Board of Texas-based Hyperdynamics Corporation, an oil concern.

Latterly Dr Death has expressed deep concern about ‘hubris syndrome’ among politicians. He became so worried about this that he established the Daedalus Trust. The Daedalus Trust exists to ‘promote and provide funds for the interdisciplinary study of how the intoxication of power in all walks of life affects personality and decision making’. Dr Death is Chair of the Trust. Well he would be wouldn’t he. He no doubt will remember this quote from his mentor William Sargant: ‘men…should humbly remember how much they resemble dogs in brain function and not boast themselves as demigods’. Other men that is, not Dr Death or William Sargant obviously.

As for Dr Death’s Welsh connections, I didn’t know about these until I heard him interviewed by Peter Hennesey on the radio in 2015. Dr Death explained that he grew up in Plymouth but was raised ‘in the Welsh radical tradition’. He spent his summers living with his grandparents in Tenby or Aberporth. Dr Death explained that his grandpa was a ‘clergyman’ ‘in the Welsh Church but was basically a Methodist’. Which is a bit confusing because historically Welsh chapels have been very keen to distinguish themselves from the Anglican Church in Wales and the Church in Wales doesn’t have a radical tradition. And Methodists call their Ministers Ministers rather than clergymen. The mystery deepened when Dr Death maintained that as a boy ‘I went to the local school everyday with him [his grandfather]…I learnt Welsh but I’ve forgotten every word of it’. Apart from a few specific locations which are noted for being bastions of Welsh speaking Welsh isn’t very widely spoken in south Wales, certainly by kids from Devon on their summer holidays. Dr Death is getting on a bit, when he was a schoolboy there won’t have been any Welsh medium schools in south Wales. The fight for Welsh medium education took place whilst Dr Death was an adult – when he was a boy Wales was still suffering from the notion that teaching kids through the medium of Welsh was not a good idea. Welsh was the language at home of many children in the north, but not where Dr Death was holidaying. Furthermore if Dr Death had learnt Welsh, how could his memory have become wiped clean completely? One’s second language can certainly become very rusty if one doesn’t stay immersed in it, but it’s not forgotten. Surely Dr Death could manage a ‘bore da’ or a ‘diolch’?

However Dr Death DOES have some Welsh connections via his extended family. In fact Dr Death is considered to be a bit of a celeb by some in south Wales, so much so that when the building that used to house a shop owned and run by one of his forebears was converted into a museum, Dr Death was invited to open it. Dr Death has also always clung to his identity as a Top Doctor and I bet Dr Death still networks with other Top Doctors as well – including Top Doctors in Wales. Both D.G.E. Wood and Tony Francis had good connections with other Top Doctors in south Wales. Wood worked for the Royal College of General Practitioners which took him to south Wales frequently and was also involved in training doctors, which again will have involved working with doctors in south Wales. Francis studied at Cardiff medical school and also spent a number of years working there. Furthermore when Francis wanted to have me declared dangerous and banged up, it was Dr Chris Hunter, his mate from south Wales, that he enlisted to help him (please see post ‘The Night of the (Dr Chris) Hunter’). Dafydd and a number of the other Top Doctors involved in wrongdoing in north Wales trained at Liverpool medical school. Dr Death was Chancellor of the University of Liverpool between 1996-2009. The Waterhouse Inquiry was announced in 1996.

I have blogged about a number of politicians involved in the cover-ups relating to child abuse and the associated wrongdoing in the mental health services, but I haven’t mentioned any figures whom I know to be politically close to Dr Death. There was an SDP MP who ended up in hot water after sexual impropriety, Mike Hancock, but that case involved him indecently assaulting an adult constituent with mental health problems. Hancock checked himself into the Priory after the constituent complained, where he probably received rather more care and attention that the woman that he assaulted did at the hands of the NHS.

There is of course one party which has been plagued by actual sex abuse scandals, rather than simply alleged sex abuse scandals and that is the party that Dr Death formed an alliance with, the Liberal Party. There was the Jeremy Thorpe business, although of course that involved adults rather than the abuse of under-aged children. But recently it has been admitted that two Liberal MPs were known to have abused children – Cyril Smith and Clement Freud.

The track record of Cyril Smith, who died in 2010, was appalling – as was the track record of the Liberals/Lib Dems in failing to deal with him In 2012 the Greater Manchester Police admitted that Smith should have been charged with sex offences against children. In April 2014 it was revealed that there had been 144 complaints against Smith, involving children as young as eight and that attempts to prosecute him had actively been blocked. Rochdale Council, the police and the social services were all implicated. In 2015 it was revealed that Smith had been arrested in the early 80s, but a high level cover up resulted in his release within hours. The investigating officers were bound by the Official Secrets Act. There were investigations into Smith in 1970, 1998 and 1999. He was a friend of Jimmy Savile and appeared on one of Savile’s TV shows in the early 70s. In 2012 a former Special Branch officer with the Lancashire Police stated that a dossier of sex abuse allegations against Smith which police claimed was lost had actually been seized by MI5. The Special Branch officer had been asked by MI5 to send this dossier, which was ‘thick’ with allegations that Smith had abused boys, to London.

Smith was alleged to have abused boys at the Knowl View residential school – there were allegations of a paedophile ring. Greater Manchester Police stated that there were 21 suspects, 14 of whom had been identified, one of these being Smith. In July 2014 Rochdale Council’s inquiry into child abuse at Knowl View was stopped at the request of the Greater Manchester Police, whilst detectives investigated a possible institutional cover up.

It is known that Smith put pressure on the BBC in 1976, asking them not to investigate the ‘private lives of certain MPs’ – the National Archives reveal that Smith wrote to the Director General Sir Charles Curran, ‘deeply concerned about the investigative activities of the BBC’.

In July 2014 the CPS admitted that in 1970 a police detective investigating Smith presented evidence to a superior concerning Smith’s abuse of boys at a care home in Rochdale but no action was taken. In Nov 2014 the former editor of the ‘Bury Messenger’, Don Hale, stated that he had been served with a D notice in the 80s the day after Cyril Smith had been ‘aggressive’ and threatened him with a D notice from the police.

In 2015 a retired police officer had said that he had been threatened with the Official Secrets Act after he found Smith in the home of a known sex offender with two drunk teenaged boys and a police sergeant in civilian clothes. The retired officer stated that he was then summoned to a meeting with a senior officer at Stockport Police Station and told ‘in no uncertain terms’ not to say anything. The alleged incident was in 1988 at a house in Stockport after a complaint that the occupier was committing a lewd act in the window in front of a newspaper boy.

BBC Newsnight has broadcast claims that Smith was arrested in the early 80s regarding his participation in a paedophile ring, but that there was a cover up using the Official Secrets Act. There were also reports of his arrest by Northamptonshire Police and his subsequent release in mysterious circumstances.

In 2013 a spokesman for the Met confirmed that Smith had visited the Elm Guest House, a brothel near Barnes Common in south west London where children in care alleged that they were abused by politicians and other high profile figures. Savile was alleged to have visited and some parties there were organised by Sydney Cooke, a paedophile who was imprisoned for the murder of Jason Swift. At least one former resident of a north Wales children’s home has alleged that he was taken there and molested. One man alleged that he had been raped at the Elm Guest House when he was 14 by Sir Peter Morrison, Conservative MP for Chester, who was also known to have visited children’s homes in north Wales. The manager of the Elm Guest House, Carole Kasir, was found dead in 1990 at the age of 47, from an insulin overdose. The death was categorised as suicide, although people who knew Carole at that time have disputed this.

Sexual abuse and grooming at the Elm Guest House was the focus of Operation Fairbank. Operation Fernbridge resulted from the Operation Fairbank allegations and Peter McKelvie, a retired child protection team manager, claimed that evidence of a powerful paedophile ring was covered up in 1991. 1991 – I remember it well. I was bullied out of my job at St George’s Hospital Medical School, told by psychiatrists there who knew about the criminal activities of their colleagues in north Wales to ‘go back to north Wales’, taken to Court on the basis of a statement in which Dr Tony Francis perjured himself to find that one Sir Robert Francis QC was requesting my imprisonment for ‘harassment’, the harassment being me writing letters maintaining that psychiatrists in north Wales were breaking the law (see post ‘The Sordid Role Of Sir Robert Francis QC’). In 1991 my friend who was interested in making a documentary about what had happened to me in north Wales was bullied out of her job at the Royal Television Society. We should count ourselves lucky, a number of people who were victims of the north Wales paedophile ring were found dead at that time.

Cabinet Office papers released in March 2015 confirmed that Margaret Thatcher was aware of the allegations concerning Smith before he was knighted in 1988.

Other members of the Liberal Party have not really come up smelling of roses with regard to Cyril Smith’s conduct. David Steel, the leader of the Liberal Party between 1976-1988 and Dr Death’s political partner during the years that the Liberals and SDP were in the Alliance together, recommended Smith for a knighthood. In 1979 ‘Private Eye’ published an article which was based on an investigation carried out by the ‘Rochdale Alternative Paper’ into Smith, which revealed that Smith was known to have spanked boys on their bare bums. After the publication of this, Smith admitted to David Steel that he’d carried out (presumably bogus because he wasn’t a Top Doctor) intimate medical examinations on boys at a residential establishment. Steel famously commented that all Smith had done was ‘spank a few bare bottoms’. Steel became very angry when he was reminded of this response after the extent of Smith’s abuse was revealed – however it is also known that after the ‘Rochdale Alternative Paper’ published their article, Steel’s Press Office commented to them that ‘it was not a very friendly gesture, publishing that’. In 2014 Steel stated that he confronted Smith about his ‘unusual’ behaviour with boys after the 1979 allegations. Steel has also commented that it was a ‘different era’ and that ‘corporal punishment was permitted’. Which does not really adequately explain what the local MP was doing administering the punishment in question. It may have been a different era but molesting children wasn’t acceptable in that era either which is probably why so many people were working so hard to ensure that the allegations about Smith didn’t find their way into the public domain.

In 2014 the Liberal leader Nick Clegg refused to hold an inquiry into Smith – Clegg maintained that the Party did not know about Smith’s actions.

Just to add to the Liberal Parties woes, in 2016 it was alleged that former Liberal MP Clement Freud, who died in 2009, had been a paedophile who had spent a lifetime molesting and harassing young women, including girls as young as ten. A number of people came forward with tales of Freud’s lechery and unusually in such situations, there was no attempt by anyone to deny the allegations. Freud’s widow made a public apology to his victims, although she hadn’t actually done the molesting. Freud had shared an office with Cyril Smith. Freud too was knighted, in 1987. Mourners at Freud’s funeral included David Steel, George Osborne and Gordon Brown. But then Cyril Smith had a good turn out and I think that Clegg even made a speech at his funeral. Freud was someone who was in a very good position where suppressing stories that he didn’t want to appear in the media was concerned. Freud had many media connections as he was himself a food and drink journalist and later a favourite on Radio 4. His daughter Emma is also a journalist and a regular star of Radio 4 – she is married to the producer/script writer Richard Curtis. But it is Freud’s son Matthew who truly excels in this arena. Matthew Freud has his own PR company which he established in 1985. He was formerly married to the second wife of Earl Spencer and after that married Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of Rupert. A quick look at the website of Freud Communications revealed a photo of Sadiq Khan – presumably a client – and the logos of BBC Worldwide and Public Health England.

The Liberal Party, SDP and Lib Dems have often become excited in the face of notions that they are in situations whereby they can affect the balance of power and at such times there have been allegations that they have been very demanding of other parties. I can imagine a lot of wriggling if they not only had someone like Cyril Smith on their team but knew that there were people getting up to similar things with under-aged children in other parties. If Dr Death were to be introduced into those machinations – the Chair of the Daedalus Trust suffering from a very severe case of hubris himself at all times and under all circumstances – I can only imagine what might have gone on. Particularly if a few Top Doctors from Wales involved in the chain of supply of fresh meat for the Westminster Paedophile Ring had sent out a mayday call.

 

 

One Dangerous Fucker

Someone suggested to me recently that I should pay a bit of attention to a man called John Mills. John Mills has been mentioned on this blog before – he was the husband of Dame Barbara Mills, the DPP who just could not find it within her to prosecute members of the paedophile gang in north Wales despite mountains of evidence being handed over to the CPS and recommendations that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute scores of people. Mills is also the brother of David Mills – the man involved in that messy business regarding bribes from Berlusconi – who is of course the husband of Tessa Jowell. He was no longer the husband of Tessa for a short time during all the bad publicity re Silvio and the trial for corruption, but he became the husband of Tessa once again after the media had moved on to another scandal. That’s the Tessa who has worked for so many organisations at the heart of the abuse of children and the continued abuse of them when they entered the mental health system (please see previous posts). I mentioned in a previous post that John Mills had been a Camden Councillor whilst children in the care of that Council – some of whom were being ‘placed’ in children’s homes in north Wales – were abused by organised paedophile gangs. But I didn’t realise how deeply within that Council Mills was embedded. He was a Councillor between 1971-2006 and for much of that time Mills was responsible for the Council’s budget. He revels in the accolade that Camden Council received in 2003 – that of ‘Council of the Year’. This of course would have had nothing at all to do with the fact that in 2003 New Labour was well and truly ruling the roost and many past and present Councillors from, and residents of, Camden were key figures in New Labour – such as Tessa Jowell.

Now here’s a mystery – in the early years of the millennium, UK suicide statistics showed that Camden had the highest rate of suicides among women in England and Wales. The runner up was Conwy in north Wales. There was a fuss about this because Conwy is a lovely rural area and no-one could understand why so many women were committing suicide there. Of course everyone involved with the mental health services knew why – it was because the consultant for that patch was the lethal Dr Tony Roberts who constantly failed to identify patients with severe depression, told them that they all had personality disorders and refused to treat them So they topped themselves in very great numbers. No-one stopped Roberts though and when I complained about his conduct to the GMC at that very time, the GMC even went to the lengths of referring to a forged document that had somehow found it’s way into their possession purporting to be a letter from me as part of their ‘investigation’ into Roberts. No action was taken again him. Roberts had a partner in crime during that period of time, a truly dreadful GP from Penygroes who was the GP on call one night when I rang for help because I was suicidal. The GP, John Morris Jones, told me that the very good GP on call – whom I had spoken with earlier and who had asked me to ring back – was ‘unavailable’. He then hung up on me. At the time I just thought that I was speaking to yet another truly appalling Top Doctor but I now have obtained documentation relating to that night. The good GP who had tried to help earlier was still in the building but John Morris Jones had not told her that I was on the phone and he did not tell me that she was still there. Instead John Morris Jones took advice from the disgusting Tony Roberts – who sent out the order to ‘DO NOTHING’ (yes, the message was conveyed in capitals), in response to the earlier GP telling Roberts that I was ‘suicidal ++++’. That is why Conwy had such a high suicide rate. The Daily Post online today has a feature bemoaning the fact that John Morris Jones is retiring and now there will be no Welsh speaking GP left in the village. Local Plaid politicians and councillors Hywel Williams, Sian Gwenllian and Judith Humphreys have been photographed with sad expressions on their faces protesting over the loss of dear old John Morris Jones. They need to find a worthier cause – speakers of any language will be far safer now that Jones has shut up shop. It wasn’t just me that had unfortunate encounters with him – I heard from a number of Penygroes residents that he was a complete bastard. I suspect that like Tony Roberts, John Morris Jones was such a bad doctor that no doctor at all is actually a safer option.

But what about Camden, the Council of the Year where Tessa and John had reigned supreme? I know very little about the socio-geography of Camden but I’m wondering whether it is one of those London boroughs where rich and poor live separate lives but physically almost next door to each other. Could it possibly have been that by the time that Tessa had become a Minister – she was Minister for Young People at one point! – those kids who had been so badly abused whilst in council care had grown up into adults with mental health problems and as in north Wales were either being refused care or given care that was frankly abusive and were therefore killing themselves in great numbers? Conwy’s a great place to live if you’ve got a bit of money and don’t have to rely on Tony Roberts for mental health care and I bet Camden’s great if you’re a New Labour Minister. But not so great if you’re one of the more disadvantaged citizens who had been ‘helped’ by the services that Tessa, John et al oversaw.

John Mills’s involvement with the Labour Party didn’t stop at being a Camden Councillor. No, John is a very big fish indeed. John Mills is very rich – ‘a millionaire businessman and political donor’ – and it is on record that Mandelson did like filthy rich people. (Mills has a website which is dedicated entirely to blowing his own trumpet and that website is full of references to ‘Peter’.) John has made his fortune from his business JML, described by John as ‘an import-export and distribution company’. Which certainly covers a multitude of possibilities. He is Labour’s biggest individual donor and in 2013 gave Labour £1.65 million of shares. There were allegations that this was a tax scam but John reassured everyone that of course it wasn’t, just as he reassures people that giving millions to the Labour Party doesn’t buy one any influence at all. Not sure anyone believes you there John, it’s why the membership voted for Corbyn – they were sick to the back teeth of ‘Peter’ and his mates. John’s business career hasn’t always gone smoothly though. A former business of his, Fairlane UK, went bust, so shortly after Mills set up JML which he claims was founded in the basement of his house in Camden in 1986. Whilst those kids were being raped and trafficked by paedophiles and the idiots running the Council ignored all the alarm bells ringing in north Wales as Alison Taylor blew the whistle repeatedly but was simply sacked. Mills was once charged by Trading Standards for flogging ‘gold plated jewellery’ that was actually brass – Mills pleaded guilty and had to stump up £750.

Mills stood as a Labour candidate twice in 1974 and for the European Parliament in 1979. Mills seems to be the Nigel Farage of the Labour party in that although he desired election to the European Parliament he describes himself as a Eurosceptic. In fact it was Mills who bankrolled the Labour Party’s ‘Leave’ campaign.

Mills constantly refers to himself as an ‘economist’ on his website – you’re not Nobel material John no matter how much money you’ve managed to accumulate – and mentions that he was Deputy Chairman of London Docklands Development Corporation 1985-1987. And what a barrel of shit that was. John also tells us that for nine years he was Chair (or opposition leader) on Housing with the Association of Metropolitan Authorities and the London Boroughs Association. Might anyone be taking an interest in the disastrous housing policies and decisions that John et al made in the wake of Grenfell Tower?

This blog has ended up touching on many areas of malpractice and sleaze, but it was set up to focus on mental health. John has an interest here, through his charitable work. John is a supporter and funder of none other than SANE – the mental health charity that has inflicted more damage on people with mental health problems than even MIND has. I’ve blogged about SANE and it’s crazed founder Marjorie Wallace previously and I do hope that new visitors to the blog will take the time to read that post ‘Another Confession From NHS England’, but I have some new revelations now.

Marjorie set up SANE in 1986. She was controversial from the start because under the guise of responding to the crisis in community care, Marjorie lobbied vigorously to prevent the closing down of psychiatric hospitals. Now Marjorie was correct in saying that there were insufficient facilities to care for patients in the community, there were, it was a joke to believe that vulnerable people unable to look after themselves would thrive when they were dumped in poor quality accommodation miles away from their contacts with no infrastructure to support them. But Marjorie did not put effort into campaigning for better community facilities. No, Marjorie was very keen indeed on the idea that people should remain sectioned and indeed locked up in institutions. Now Marjorie knew what was going on in psychiatric hospitals in the 80s because the more radical mental health activists like ‘Survivors Speak Out’ had been articulating the abuses to which they had been subjected and were confronting Marjorie on TV and in other situations. I too wrote to Marjorie about what was happening in north Wales – I did not receive a reply. All I knew in those days was that Marjorie was a ‘Sunday Times’ journalist who was also known as Countess Skarbek. I presumed that she was naïve and did not know what was happening in UK psychiatry. She bloody well knew alright and I suspect that is why Marjorie set up a charity in an attempt to prevent the closure of psychiatric hospitals. The prisons to silence dissenters – particularly people who had been sexually molested as children by some powerful people in public life – were in danger of closing. Including the North Wales Hospital Denbigh – where the dissenters were ‘admitted’ and sometimes disappeared without trace…Do you know, Marjorie started her campaign not to close the asylums at the VERY TIME that it was admitted that Denbigh in particular was just so bad that it would have to close…

I have been aware for years that Marjorie is entirely establishment – the Top Doctors love her, she has collected endless honorary fellowships, awards and gongs after being nominated by them – but since researching for this blog I’ve noticed a much more sinister side to Marjorie’s connections. Her book on June and Jennifer Gibbons, two teenaged twins from Pembrokeshire who were elective mutes, gained Marjorie much publicity and Marjorie’s public utterances were designed to give the impression that she was sympathetic to the twins plight – they had ended up in Broadmoor allegedly for refusing to talk and their involvement in petty crime. Yet Marjorie just did not ask some very obvious questions. The decision to send those twins to Broadmoor was inexplicable. Before being banged up in there, those girls had been involved with the children’s health and welfare services in south Wales. The dynamics in those services and the behaviour of some of the staff involved with the twins was obviously dysfunctional. Of course we now know that there was a paedophile ring operating in that part of Wales as well, so that will have caused chaos in the region. Marjorie visited the twins many times in Broadmoor in order to write her book. Yet she never uttered a word about the violence and sexual abuse that Broadmoor patients – particularly women – were subjected to, although it was very well-known at the time among mental health campaigners. Instead Marjorie aligned herself with the institution and it’s Top Doctors, although she noticed that the ‘side effects’ of the ‘medication’ which those girls were being forcibly injected with was damaging their health. One of the twins, Jennifer, died as a result of her ‘medication’ days before she was due to be released. Not a word was spoken in concern by anyone. HELLO – MIND, SANE, they’ve just KILLED one of the girls who should never have been sent there before she got out and had the chance to tell anyone what the hell was going on in that place…

After the expose of Jimmy Savile, Marjorie was one of the many people associated with Broadmoor who popped up in the media with her pearls of wisdom. She said exactly what the Broadmoor staff said after Savile’s abuse was made public – that she knew that Savile’s appointment was inappropriate, that he was so odd that it was seriously worrying and gosh she thought to herself ‘the lunatics had taken over the asylum’. The lunatics were already running the asylum, the authorities at Broadmoor were incarcerating distressed people who had been brutalised and in some cases sexually abused whilst in the child care and mental health systems and evidence of the ‘dangerousness’ of these people was being fabricated by the Top Doctors named on this blog. Marjorie did not say anything about Savile or any other of the many worrying matters about Broadmoor at the time.

I think that Marjorie knew a lot about Savile by the time that he was appointed to the Broadmoor task force – by which time he’d been a ‘volunteer’ at Broadmoor for donkeys years anyway – and I think that she knew that he was more than an idiot in a turquoise shell suit with a distasteful amount of bling. Because Marjorie had excellent media connections. She was a journalist, had been for years and the media world knew about Savile. Marjorie was a journalist for the ‘Sunday Times’ between 1972-89. Prior to that, in the 60s Marjorie had worked on the ‘Frost Programme’ and on BBC’s ‘Nationwide’. The BBC that employed Jimmy Savile. Post-Savile there have been a lot of memories from older people regarding the shagfest that was the BBC in the 60s and 70s. Even Grand Dames like Joan Bakewell freely admit that young female journos and researchers had plenty of opportunities to sleep with men who could advance their careers and social prospects and Bakewell is honest enough to admit that she had a great time. Others such as Esther – who knew nothing about Jimmy Savile of course – have reframed themselves as fighters against such sexism and Strong Women who broke the glass ceiling. Esther was someone who found her career considerably enhanced after she married her boss, Desmond Wilcox. I have dug up a touching little anecdote about Marjorie being offered the job at ‘Nationwide’ – that famously employed Frank Bough of cocaine and prostitutes fame – after a BBC producer complimented her on the ‘shapeliness of her legs’. Because of course in the 60s and 70s if a gentleman wanted to have sex with a lady he would beat around the bush with comments about her legs. I think that Marjorie would have got the message.

But Marjorie seemed quite good at receiving and sending out such messages. Even the most toadying of articles about Marjorie make reference to her rather complex domestic and/or ‘romantic’ arrangements. Marjorie enjoys being known as Countess Skarbek. No Marjory is not descended from a noble old British family, she married a Polish aristocrat, Andrzej Skarbek (who was actually known as Andrew Skarbek). Marjorie uses every opportunity possible to wax lyrical about her husband’s ancestors – there is a connection to Chopin which really impresses Marjorie – and throughout their married life and indeed even now after his death Marjorie refers to him as ‘the Count’. If Marjorie is to be believed it was only when she discovered that the Count was a Count that she was alerted to the possibilities – when she met him, she thought that he was merely an ‘émigré doctor’ working at UCL involved in clinical trials for anti-psychotics. But then she found out that he was a Count and my God her attitude changed. She embarked upon a romance with the Count – who at the time was married to someone else, a Countess, with a few kids. However being the mistress of a Count was so brilliant that Marjorie continued with this arrangement. In 1972 when she gave birth to her first child by the Count, she was sharing a flat with Mary Kenny, another journalist who evolved into one of those rather mad right wing women who scribbled for organs like the Telegraph. The Count did finally get around to divorcing the Countess and married Marjorie in 1974, so she then became a Countess! She has never been able to forget it – the dear old Count eventually abandoned her and went to Canada leaving her with three children, but Marjorie still reminded everyone that she was a Countess married to the Count. She kept on reminding everyone lest she forgot that she was a Countess, or at least that’s what she claimed in interviews. After the Count left the UK, Marjorie then acquired a new partner, Tom Marjerison, who died in 2014. Tom founded ‘New Scientist’ – but he also founded something else very much grander, namely London Weekend Television.

Of course Marjorie knew about Jimmy Savile.

The Count returned to the UK after a few years and by the time that she was in her 60s Marjorie was paying regular visits to the Count – who lived just down the road from her in Hampstead – and was looking after Tom Marjerison with whom she was living, who had developed Parkinson’s. But Marjorie had a bit on the side as well – she was Lord Snowdon’s mistress! Marjorie’s shagging CV dates her romance with Lord Snowdon from 2003, but she intriguingly described herself as having ‘been close to him for thirty years’, since they worked together on the ‘Sunday Times’ (Snowdon was her photographer). If I know anything about euphemisms used by elderly luvvies/media folk, ‘being close to’ means pretty much the same thing as landing a job on account of one’s ‘shapely legs’. Lord Snowdon was of course bisexual, famously promiscuous and was alleged to have enjoyed recreational chemicals. This was admitted years ago after he split up from Princess Margaret, but after his death people became a lot more frank about his excesses.

My post ‘A Pretty Classy Piece Of Operation’ described how appointments to the Broadmoor task force, which was led by Savile, were arranged at a rather irregular meeting at the Athanaeum club in Pall Mall involving two senior civil servants, Jimmy Savile and Savile’s mate Alan Franey, who was appointed Chief Exec of Broadmoor. Savile was a member of the Athanaeum as are a lot of Top Doctors and academics and this was not the only meeting that was held there to discuss the senior management arrangements of Broadmoor. Edwina Currie attended at least one such meeting, Edwina being the Minister who actually appointed Savile to lead the Broadmoor task force after he told her how he would blackmail the violent, sexually abusive nurses of Broadmoor into ceasing their embezzlement of NHS funds. He didn’t mention stopping them from abusing the patients – which of course he was doing himself. At the very time that Marjorie was making regular visits to Broadmoor and chatting to the staff there about June and Jennifer Gibbons (read Marjorie’s book about them – there’s a few worrying breaches of confidentiality in there), Savile was sexually abusing the female patients. Savile’s targets were usually young. Those twins were I think the youngest patients in Broadmoor at that time. Don’t tell me that he resisted that temptation. Marjorie herself is no stranger to the Athanaeum. When she was awarded her CBE in 2008 she celebrated by hosting a lunch at the Athanaeum with Lord Snowdon! Savile was still alive and kicking then – come on Marjorie, who attended that lunch to celebrate your ill-gotten gains?

Now I had always presumed that Marjorie’s success as a mental health campaigner leading an organisation that is loathed by many people with mental health problems themselves and speaks for everyone but the patients was a result of her ingratiating herself to Top Doctors and never mentioning a word about their abuses – the MIND model of success. Then a few months ago I saw a passing reference to the Count having been a psychoanalyst. I wondered why a psychoanalyst would be in UCL conducting clinical trials on anti-psychotics. So I thought that it was about time that I found out a bit more about the Count. I wish that I’d done this a very long time ago, it would have explained a lot. Not only is the Count a Count but he is the ultimate Top Doctor.

Andrzej/Andrew Skarbek was born in 1925 in what was then Ukraine. His family arrived in the UK shortly after the war. He had begun his medical studies before they migrated, but obviously his studies were interrupted, although he resumed them in the UK. Later on he ended up doing a PhD at UCL, which was how he came to be running clinical trials on anti-psychotics. So he – and Marjorie – will have known just how much damage such ‘medication’ can cause if it isn’t prescribed carefully and care given to monitor patients symptoms. Yet Marjorie is very keen on that medication being given to people who are banged up against their will. Skarbek studied medicine at St Mary’s Hospital Paddington, whilst funded by family money. He qualified as a medical doctor in 1954. After graduation he worked as a paediatrician – but he ended up meeting Donald Winnicot and decided upon a career in psychiatry. Well guess where he trained? At the Maudsley! That fine institution at which dear old Dafydd Alun Jones also ‘trained’. Furthermore I suspect that they might even have known each other – Skarbek received his Diploma in Psychological Medicine in 1961. Which is pretty much about the same time that dear old Dafydd was ‘training’. Furthermore Skarbek’s interest was psychodynamic psychotherapy – so he will have been training under Bob Hobson, just like Dafydd! The Bob Hobson who afforded Dafydd a great deal of protection – because nobody wanted to admit that Bob Hobson had trained a total rogue. Skarbek qualified as an analyst five years after completing his Diploma in Psychological Medicine and then became involved with the Langham Clinic, along with R.D. Laing. Laing and some of his colleagues were known to have sexually exploited patients. Skarbek subsequently became Director of the Langham Clinic when it was renamed the London Clinic of Psychotherapy. In 1966 he became an Associate Member of the Institute of Psychoanalysis. There has been a problem in psychoanalysis for many years of analysts sexually exploiting their patients and their students. Skarbek worked at UCL, at King George Hospital Ilford and in 1977 was appointed consultant psychotherapist at Runwell, Rochford and Basildon Hospitals in Essex, where he was said to have developed a ‘community psychodynamic psychotherapy’ service. Skarbek’s career is a bit confusing. There is information stating that he received his PhD from UCL in 1977 – by which time he was well-immersed in psychodynamic psychotherapy and analysis. It seems a little odd for someone to be pursuing a research interest trialling anti-psychotics whilst being interested in analysis and therapy, they are not easy bedfellows. Unless of course he was the sort of Top Doctor who was very worried about anti-psychotics and was involved in trials to investigate how damaging – or ineffective – they are. But Marjorie has never said a word if he was.

However, a CV like this will have meant that Skarbek was very influential and very well connected. He will also have known an awful lot about a lot of people and like dear old Alice Levinson at St Georges Hospital Medical School/Springfield Hospital he will have been great at generating the psychobabble needed to discredit anyone who might have said something like ‘you know those Top Doctors in north Wales? They’re breaking the law, framing innocent people, sexually abusing the patients and concealing a paedophile ring which involves high profile public figures and politicians’. But Skarbek had worked as a paediatrician as well – now their opinion is crucial in deciding whether a child is being abused or indeed if a person is wrongly accused of abusing a child.

Skarbek’s influence did of course stretch further than the NHS. He was an advisor to the National Association for Mental Health. That was the old name for MIND. The MIND that later employed Tessa Jowell as deputy director at the same time as they were concealing the wrongdoing of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. But guess what else William Bingley, the legal director of MIND, told me in 1987 when he admitted that they knew all about Dafydd? That in the 60s Dafydd had been a leading light in MIND – or as it was then the National Association for Mental Health!

I mentioned earlier that at one point the Count abandoned Marjorie and the kids and went abroad. In the early 1980s he was Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa. The Count then returned to the UK and in the early 90s is described as having ‘led the group therapy programme at the Dept of Psychotherapy at UCL’. After he retired the Count continued with private work. Well as most Top Doctors discover, it helps to keep your oar in. Particularly if you’re concealing so much shit that you and all your associates will end up in prison if anyone ever finds out what has been going on.

Should anyone point out that just because the Count may have been party to information regarding wrongdoing in high places does not mean that the Countess will have been as well, I recommend that they google Marjorie. After the Count and Tom died and when Snowdon was on his last legs, Marjorie took to reminiscing about her younger life in media interviews. She talks about serving coffee and sandwiches at the meetings of psychoanalysts that took place at her home with Scarbek in Hampstead in the 70s, she talks of making so many visits to Broadmoor that she even used to take her children there at weekends and she talks of her long running affair with the Count before they married – they used to meet at the hospitals where he was working and she stresses how she used to chat to all the patients. When discussing her work as an ‘investigative journalist’ – but there were some things that you chose not to expose weren’t there Marjorie – she stresses again and again that her ‘method’ was to live with the people who had knowledge of the topics that she was investigating. What a sociologist would call an ethnographic approach. I doubt that Marjorie was really much of an ethnographer – she’d be far too busy telling everyone that she was a Countess – but she will have had skills in befriending people and extracting info from her work in journalism. Marjorie will have known that psychiatry was used to shut people up if they were making claims that powerful people didn’t want heard. What if Marjorie had heard via her media connections that there was an awkward social worker in north Wales who was alleging that there was widespread sexual abuse of children in children’s homes there? What if she knew that the Director of Social Services colluding with the paedophile ring in operation in those homes was the mistress of one of the Count’s former colleagues and that former colleague of the Count was also proving most useful in discrediting or incarcerating the people who were claiming that they had been abused in those homes – which were being visited by the Conservative MP for Chester and Thatcher’s aide, Sir Peter Morrison? Had Morrison et al been exposed at the time the damage to Thatcher’s Gov’t would have been enormous. The Times newspapers – and the Torygraph which employed Marjorie’s old flatmate Mary Kenny – were staunch supporters of Thatcher.

Did Marjorie have any other possible connections to north Wales apart from the Count’s old colleague from the Maudsley, Dafydd? Er yes – she was ‘close to’ Lord Snowdon. The excessive, bisexual, promiscuous Lord Snowdon who had north Welsh roots and – although I didn’t know this until recently – did used to visit north Wales. Snowdon is actually buried at Llanfaglan near Caernarfon. The Lord Snowdon who was in the House of Lords – which is choc a bloc with politicians who had a hand in concealing the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. Lord Snowdon was so keen to remain in the Lords that after hereditary peers were excluded he accepted a life peerage that had been especially created for him. This caused quite a lot of criticism at the time, it was considered rather bad form. But Snowdon really wanted to remain in there – which is a bit weird, he was hardly a political animal. Just an animal.

Little wonder that Marjorie announced a ‘crisis’ in 1986 as Alison Taylor blew the whistle – the only remedy to the ‘crisis’ being to keep the abusive, discredited asylums open, including the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. Marjorie came in for so much criticism that latterly she tempered her language in interviews, but some of her early TV appearances were splendid. She would always be given far more air time than the patients who were trying to explain what was happening to people in psychiatric hospitals and I saw her make claims that she ‘knew’ that patients wanted to be kept in ‘secure’ places because they knew themselves that they were dangerous. One group of mental health patients set up an organisation called ‘MANE – Marjorie, A National Emergency’, but their voices were completely drowned out by Marjorie and the Top Doctors.

So what about SANE these days? Institutions like Denbigh have now closed but patients are simply abused and neglected in the ‘community’ instead should they cross the path of the Top Doctors, although they can of course still be banged up in secure units, tasered whilst sectioned, transferred to prisons or high security hospitals, assaulted or even killed whilst being ‘restrained when distressed’ and forcibly injected with anti-psychotics that can destroy their health or kill them and there will not be an investigation. Chin up Marjorie, there are many ways of destroying vulnerable people without an asylum. SANE boasts that it has a helpline for the suicidal/distressed. That helpline is not all that it’s cracked up to be. It is only open between 4-30pm and 10-30pm – which is weird because if someone’s going to despair they tend to do so during the night not at tea-time. Furthermore I have heard from people who have worked at SANE and from people who have run the helpline that the people answering the helpline are completely out of their depth regarding the distress that they are being confronted with. Which is sad, because if Marjorie was running a helpful helpline it would be a very useful contribution. Is Marjorie perhaps constrained in terms of funding for the helpline?

It would seem not. Marjorie has been remarkably successful at raising funds for SANE, but she hasn’t used those funds for the helpline. Marjorie has used some of the funds for Research into suicide and self-harm. Yet nowhere can I find details of exactly what this research is. Which is even more puzzling because SANE established a whole research centre, POWIC. Which stands for the Prince of Wales International Centre for SANE Research. Prince Charles is the Patron of SANE – well he and Marjorie are related by extra-marital sex aren’t they. In 2008 POWIC shared a building with the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, which is of course spawn of Professor Mark Williams, who knows all about Dafydd, the paedophile ring and the madness of north Wales, he was right at the centre of it for years (please see post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’). Someone else who knows about Dafydd and north Wales also worked at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and led a strand of research for SANE – Professor Tom Burns. I know that Tom Burns knows because in about 1990 I TOLD HIM – and Tom admitted that he believed me and that psychiatry ‘attracted disturbed people’ which created problems. What Tom also did – but without my knowledge – was write to the corrupt occupational health physician at St Georges who had sent me to him, Nicky Mitchell-Heggs, and tell her that I wasn’t psychotic but I was over sensitive and might have a paranoid personality disorder. When I became suicidal the following year as a result of being constantly arrested for serious crimes after Dafydd’s colleagues Dr Tony Francis (‘Dr X’) and his wife Dr Sadie Francis (Dr X’s wife) perjured themselves, Burns told Mitchell-Heggs that he ‘didn’t think that he had anything to offer’ when she contacted him again. I bet he didn’t because he knew what was happening and was going to walk away very quickly in the opposite direction. Which is how he ended up with a Chair at Oxford working with Mark Williams! SANE also had another person on board leading their ‘research’, based at the Dept of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford and that was the man who established POWIC in collaboration with SANE, Professor Tim Crow. Tim Crow worked with Dr Tony Francis before Tony Francis moved to north Wales and I think that it was Tim Crow who supervised Francis’s MD.

I really do not think that all of this can be a coincidence.

So where did the dosh for POWIC come from? From rather unusual sources. The Saudi Royal Family donated £1.75 million and this was then matched by a donation of another £1.75 million from the Xylas Greek shipping family. Marjorie needed yet more, so an appeal went out in the ‘Times’ and another donation from the Sultan of Brunei arrived.

If anyone can possibly think of a reason why the Saudi Royal Family, Greek shipping tycoons and the Sultan of Brunei would want to give large amounts of money to a bunch of charlatans who concealed a paedophile gang please do let me know. Because I am flabbergasted.

But other people have given dosh to SANE as well. Including the City Bridge Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the John Ellerman Foundation, the Sobell Foundation and of course the Big Lottery Fund.

The City Bridge Trust is the City of London Corporation Charity. The Garfield Weston Foundation describes itself as a ‘family foundation’ and nearly all of the Trustees are descendants of the man who established it. A lot of them see to be connected with Fortnum and Mason, which is probably where Marjorie buys her groceries. ‘Mason’ being the operative word where the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal and Dafydd were concerned.

The John Ellerman Foundation has a number of interesting Trustees, many of whom are professional fundraisers on a very big scale. The Chair is Lady Sarah Riddell, who has a background in journalism – she’ll know Marjorie then. Riddell served as Vice-Chair of the Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust, which has now been incorporated into Imperial NHS Trust (see blog post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’ for details of wrongdoing at Hammersmith Hospital). Sarah has served as a lay member of research ethics committees and a Gov’t advisory body on clinical trials. She is a Trustee of the Pilgrim Trust, the Sir James Knott Trust and the Castle Aukland Trust. (There seems to be a great deal of crossover between the Trustees of these three Trusts, with a number of the same people sitting on the Boards of more than one of them. Justin Welby is a former Trustee of the Castle Aukland Trust, as are two Top Doctors (one of whom boasts that he has been a GP for ‘four bishops’) and various people with connections to the Royal Family and various Oxbridge Colleges. Trustees of these various charities include members of the late Lord Longford’s family, Professor Colin Blakemore the controversial Top Doctor and former Chief Exec of the MRC and an Oliver James, who I think may be the Oliver James that is the truly dreadful media psychologist who spouts shite that no sensible person could ever be taken in by.) Ellerman Foundation Trustee Brian Hurwitz was ‘a GP in inner London for 30 years’. He was also the Professor of Primary Health Care and General Practice at Imperial (again, please see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’ for details of the extensive wrongdoing by folk at Imperial). Hurwitz is the Professor of Medicine and Arts at Kings – he directs the Centre for Health Humanities. And like nearly all the medics now trying to get in on the Health Humanities bandwagon I bet that he knows sod all about it, but hey there’s Gov’t funding available. (The best anecdote that I heard recently from this field was from a friend who attended a Literature in Mental Health conference. My friend is a medieval scholar and was particularly underwhelmed at a presentation by a clinical psychologist who professed an interest in literature and mental health and then gave them details of all the self-help books that he recommends to his patients. No doubt the manual that he follows himself is ‘How To Get Rich Quick’.) Peter Kyle is listed as a Trustee – he is the Chairman of the University of Westminster and has an background in high arts. (I am wondering if this is the same Peter Kyle who is the Labour MP for Hove, the gay rights campaigner who has done his best to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn and who is detested by many.) Well Marjorie loves her opera and classical music – and one of the Count’s ancestors was godfather to Chopin…Another Trustee is Gary Steinberg. Gary, ‘a manager of investment funds’, is the Chief Investment Officer of the Wellcome Trust; Chief Exec of British Petroleum’s UK Pension Plan; held a non-executive position with SUG Capital ‘a leading UK private equity company’; is on the Investment Committee of the Kings Fund and is Chair of the Investment Committee of Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Children’s Charity. The GOSH that is currently embroiled in an international row regarding the care of the baby Charlie Gard, with hundreds of thousands of people signing a petition in opposition to GOSH and Trump and the Pope wading in to denounce them as a bunch of murdering gits as well.

Like Mother Theresa who famously accepted charitable donations from the Mafia, I am left with the impression that Marjorie’s not too fussy where her dosh comes from.

Like all good mental health charities, SANE has some ‘ambassadors’. Marjorie doesn’t seem to have attracted the big hitters like MIND who managed to con the likes of Stephen Fry, Melvyn Bragg and Alistair Campbell into appearing on their website. SANE has a woman called Rachel who is a journo on the ‘Times’ who’s written some truly lame self-help advice for the depressed and of course Ruby Wax, that mate of Mark Williams’s who purchased a Masters degree from Mark and has acted as his PR woman ever since. Ruby is not one for exercising sound judgement in terms of the good causes that she supports – she endorsed Kid’s Company and look what happened there.

Marjorie is getting on now, she’s in her mid-70s, but her efforts to assist those who have a lot to conceal continue. Before old Snowdon pegged out she was featured in a newspaper article which described her ‘an elfin-faced femme fatale’ (surely ‘Glenda Slagg’ as featured in ‘Private Eye’ would be a more appropriate description). Marjorie talked of the delights of her affair with Snowdon and described him as ‘my partner in crime’. Yes Marjorie some very big crimes indeed were committed. Now perhaps those of you who are not yet dead would like to make your way down to the nearest police station and give a statement concerning what you know about all those kids in care who were forced into providing sexual services for public figures and whose lives were ruined by the Top Doctors if they dared complain about what had happened to them. Oh and before you’re pushing up the daisies yourself Marjorie, would you like to tell us why those two teenaged girls from Pembrokeshire were incarcerated for decades in the nation’s most notorious high security hospital? Because it certainly won’t have been because they didn’t talk or were involved in petty crime. From what I remember of the case, the straw that broke the camel’s back regarding the alleged misbehaviour of those two girls was their claim to be prostitutes…They were in Broadmoor within months after that.

A lot of the people named on this blog could be described as dangerous fuckers in terms of their willingness to put other people’s safety and even lives at risk. But Marjorie is in a league of her own in terms of being One Dangerous Fucker.

 

Footnote: It must have been sometime in 1987 when I wrote to Marjorie. Because I thought that she was a genuine mental health campaigner at the time of writing I gave her full details, dates and names of the people involved in the abuses at the North Wales Hospital, including the name of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, the former colleague of the Count. Not only that but of course that letter had my own name and my address on. I was living in London at the time working in medical research. Some very unpleasant things happened to me after I wrote that letter and I do of course now have documentation demonstrating that those we know and love had contacted people whom they knew in London Medical Schools and were even using them to intercept mail that was being sent to me in an attempt to find out where I was living – I moved house frequently as a result of the unpleasant and bizarre happenings. I had a close friend who also lived in London at the time, my best friend from school. She knew what had happened to me in north Wales as did her mum and dad – they were mental health professionals themselves (but honest ones) and were advising me. Then unpleasant things started happening to my friend as well – she and her boyfriend had a small film production company and she wanted to make a documentary about what had happened to me in north Wales at the hands of the Count’s former colleague. My friend was also working at the Royal Television Society – at exactly the same time that I was hounded out of my job at St Georges Hospital Medical School my friend was sacked from the RTS. My friend’s dismissal was very obviously the result of one particular manager there who just seemed determined to get rid of her for no good reason. The treatment of my friend caused a rumpus – there was a staff walk-out in protest and my friend later won an unfair dismissal case and was awarded several thousand pounds in compensation. Did you happen to know anyone who was in a senior position at the RTS in the late 80s/early 90s Marjorie? You might have shagged a few aristocrats Marjorie but I have nearly 10,000 documents in a safe place. Think about it.

 

 

 

 

 

News Round Up, June 8 2017

I’ve written a lot recently on this blog regarding the con that is CAIS, the Third sector organisation providing ‘substance misuse’ services. Previous posts have detailed the dodgy commissioning processes by which CAIS have received millions in funding from the Welsh Gov’t to provide services, including ‘service user involvement’ (see post ‘The Story Behind £1.5 Million’), the huge contracts that they have been handed by the DWP despite their very limited success regarding ‘outcomes’, the scam that they seem to have operated to persuade George Osborne to cough up a lot of money (please see post ‘George Osborne Enters The Picture’) and the very questionable histories of many of the CAIS Trustees. I’ve also documented the burgeoning drug problem in parts of north Wales which suggests that CAIS are failing spectacularly in providing ‘services’. CAIS have now moved into the homelessness business, eg. providing ‘supported accommodation’. Again, a quick walk around Wrexham would suggest that CAIS are having bugger all effect in this domain. So I was certainly interested to read in the Daily Post online that a very angry lawyer in Wrexham has demanded that Wrexham Council should ‘get a grip’ on the drugs and homelessness problem – that’s the Wrexham Council that seems to have been tying itself in knots to ensure that the contracts for the ‘services’ to address drugs and homelessness are given to CAIS. The lawyer concerned, Mark Davies, has a client, Craig Nikolic, who has just been imprisoned. Mr Nikolic was imprisoned after he was found ‘asleep in Lord Street with his sleeping bag next to him’. Lord Street is the street in Wrexham where the homeless have been hanging out because it’s near the bus station, so they can go in there out of the rain (although it doesn’t provide much in terms of shelter, it’s usually freezing cold in there and the rain does get in), go to the loo, have a wash etc. Because they don’t have a home in which to do that. Mr Nikolic is a heroin addict and after being released from prison on an early release scheme he was ordered not to enter Wrexham town centre. But as his lawyer pointed out, he was homeless, so if he didn’t enter the town centre he had nowhere to wash etc. So he risked it and has been caught and returned to prison. The account of Mr Nikolic’s recent encounters with the Courts and law is fascinating because it makes it clear that this man is repeatedly ending up in prison because he doesn’t have anywhere to live. He is being punished far more harshly for his destitution than he has been for possession of illegal drugs. But then simply being very poor does now lead to people being criminalised. As if to rub in the dismal performance of CAIS where ‘tackling drugs’ is concerned, there have also been media reports of a recent major drugs bust in Llandudno with a number of dealers being arrested and the North Wales Police issuing a statement saying that they expected to make more arrests very soon – this has come hot on the heels of accounts of turf wars between drug dealers in the region, some of which have resulted in murders.

In my post ‘George Osborne Enters The Picture’ I mentioned that a recent initiative of CAIS has been the establishment of a place in Cardiff called the ‘Living Room’. I was puzzled to discover that the Living Room was providing ‘after care’ and ‘sociopsychological support’ to Cardiff GPs and questioned why highly paid Top Doctors were receiving the services of a charity when their own patients usually cannot access such support. I have now been given further information about the Living Room. I have been told that the distressed GPs receiving ‘services’ are actually Top Doctors with addiction problems and are encountering difficulties because, for example, they have lost their driving licences. Now alcohol problems are very common in medical practitioners and drug problems are not unknown, and of course doctors with such problems deserve help and support (although the irony is that certainly in north Wales the Top Doctors loathe people with drug and alcohol problems and usually refuse to treat them; that is how CAIS picked up the remit for providing ‘services’ (please see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron’). However CAIS is Chaired by Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and is still very much a reflection of all that he holds dear and follows the model of business that he has followed for decades. And Dafydd has form for ‘helping’ people who have ended up coming unstuck as a result of their addiction problems. This ‘help’ usually simply involves extracting people out of the shit that their addiction has landed them in (at a price of course) rather than tacking the addiction. A nurse who had formerly worked at Dafydd’s ‘nursing home’ for veterans suffering from PTSD, Ty Gwyn, told me that there were very few veterans in Ty Gwyn, but there were a lot of people with addiction problems who had ended up being prosecuted so they had checked into Dafydd’s facility for a few weeks and in return Dafydd would write them a favourable Court report, although he had virtually not seen them at all whilst they had been patients at Ty Gwyn. I was also told by another person that Dafydd’s ‘medical reports’ were equally useful to people who had encountered problems with driving licences and their insurance. Indeed Dafydd is so good at helping people who are in danger of losing their licence as a result of drinking and driving that he attempted to rescue his own son when he appeared in Court on a drink driving charge. The Court were given a real tear-jerker, a story of how Dafydd’s son worked as Dafydd’s chauffeur, enabling Dafydd to pursue his heroic line of work with of course veterans (Dafydd has found that invoking the image of distressed soldiers works wonders), that Dafydd did much of this work free of charge no less and if his son lost his licence the patients would Suffer. The Court didn’t buy it – Dafydd is notorious in north Wales, to be fair to them the more honest local magistrates stopped believing anything that he said years ago – and his son lost his licence. It transpired that this chauffeur who spent his time assisting his dad patch up veterans was actually a student at Aberystwyth University. I seem to remember that it was on this occasion that someone in Court remarked that it was odd that Dafydd had obtained Legal Aid, being a highly paid very wealthy man. But as ever, no-one investigated further. Dafydd bending the rules to selflessly help patients has a long and noble history – sometime in the mid 1990s, a photo of him appeared on the front page of the Daily Post under the headline ‘He Saved A Life – And Got A Fine’. The reality was that Dafydd had been caught exceeding the speed limit somewhere along the north Wales coast – in a big way as well, it was something like 50mph in a 20mph zone – and when he was caught he claimed that he was on his way to rescue a suicidal patient who was standing on the Menai Bridge waiting to jump. It didn’t occur to him to call an ambulance then.

A Story Of Our Time appeared in the media yesterday. Jacqueline Grayson, the manager of ‘Treflys’, a care home in Llandudno, was summoned to a fitness to practice disciplinary hearing by Social Care Wales for sharing Facebook posts that the ‘presenting officer’ for Social Care Wales alleged were ‘anti-Islamic’ and ‘discriminatory’. Social Care Wales seem to have very little understanding of what Islamophobia and discrimination are. Ms Grayson had shared among a group of Facebook friends posts discussing whether the wearing of burkhas should be banned in public areas. Discussions regarding the wearing of full face veils or not are held among many Muslims. Mrs Grayson’s other sin was to share a Facebook post involving a golliwog. Yes, the golliwog originated as an offensive parody of a black person, but most people who were children in the sixties only knew the golly as a toy or a badge that could be acquired by collecting pictures of gollies from Robertsons jam jars. It seems that was the reference that Ms Grayson was making on Facebook. So Social Care Wales doesn’t know the difference between recent cultural history and racism so serious that it questions a social care professional’s fitness to practice. A number of people defended Ms Grayson at the hearing. One was a Romanian colleague who described Ms Grayson as being ‘amazing’ with staff and residents alike. Another one was a Mr Bhusan Ramnath, the proprietor of the care home and Ms’ Grayson’s employer. His wife was a Muslim and he was supporting Ms Grayson. The panel heard that there was no evidence that Ms Grayson had treated any Muslim resident in any way differently to any other resident. The panel concluded that Ms Grayson’s fitness to practice was not impaired but nonetheless her crime was serious that she was reprimanded.

So in a field – the care of elderly people – where bad practice and even abuse is endemic, Social Care Wales have gone to the trouble and effort to haul Ms Grayson up in front of them on the basis of some laughable evidence that did not in any way reflect on her capacity as the manager of a care home. There had been no complaint at all regarding her practice, just a ‘whistleblower’ – who was not identified – who spotted some Facebook posts that she had shared among her Facebook ‘friends’. Llandudno is only a few miles down the road from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. It was at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd that four years ago elderly patients in Tawel Fan ward were sworn at by staff, barricaded into their beds with items of furniture and left to crawl around naked on a floor that was covered in urine and faeces whilst staff discussed their sex lives. One patient was found to have an untreated fractured arm. No member of staff has been disciplined or prosecuted – except for the nurse who blew the whistle on all this who was suspended, arrested after being the subject of malicious allegations and also received threatening anonymous letters. She now works in England. The two inquiries into Tawel Fan have yet to be completed – one has been hindered by the staff refusing to co-operate. I know there to be much bad practice in privately owned elderly people’s homes, but what the Betsi, an NHS Health Board, continues to get away with is breath-taking.

The flagship prison at Wrexham, HMP Berwyn, which so delighted local politicians – just imagine, a warehouse with nearly 2000 people banged up inside, mostly people with mental health or addiction problems, how exciting! – has run into yet more problems. It is in breach of a number of it’s planning conditions eg. landscaping, the providing  of two bus shelters and producing certain certificates demonstrating that various standards have been met – and Wrexham Council are threatening action.

The crisis at Bangor University continues and the Vice-Chancellor has stated that the financial situation is so serious there that there will have to be redundancies and even pay cuts. The unions have hit the roof, have stated that staff will be ‘pushed into poverty’ and one of the union reps has suggested that one way of solving the crisis would be to sell the Vice-Chancellor’s house, which was purchased by the University for him. That house has been a running sore ever since it was purchased – I think people are making a mountain out of a molehill, it’s not THAT posh -and furthermore there was more fuming last year when it was revealed that the Vice-Chancellor’s bedroom had received a makeover and that new furniture purchased from Laura Ashley had been installed. The Daily Post even provided a photo of a Laura Ashley inspired bedroom to feed the readers imaginations, although the photo that they provided was the sort of bedroom that a contemporary Barbara Cartland might have favoured, all in pink. I’m not sure that Professor John Hughes would have exactly the same taste, but you never know. It has not occurred to the union rep that even if John Hughes’s residence was flogged, it would only raise about £1 million, if indeed that. It would last me quite a long time, but it wouldn’t keep Bangor University afloat for long, particularly as they are currently footing the salary bill for great swathes of staff in ‘health and social care research’ or ‘psychology/mental health research’ whose output is very questionable indeed (I have detailed some of this dodgy research in previous posts). There are also a lot of younger modestly paid staff working their butts off whilst more senior people rest on their laurels. Among the senior academics, some are wonderful, supporting students and carrying out first class research – but others should not be in their present jobs and everyone knows it. It is true that there are some very badly paid staff at Bangor – they are the cleaners, the catering staff etc. No-one bothers to fight very hard for them – when I worked at Bangor, the people who consistently made the most noise every time they feared that cuts cometh, were the less productive (in some cases frankly bloody lazy) staff on permanent contracts who had been there years. They didn’t REALLY fear their contracts being terminated either – it is very hard to get rid of academics with permanent contracts no matter how bad they are. In reality, it is the better staff on short-term contracts who get the chop if belts have to be tightened because the useless old farts fight tooth n nail to hang on to their very comfortable existence. This is going on in every university in the UK and it is a very big problem, it’s not just a disease that affects Bangor. However union reps at Bangor do seem to have a history of developing strange obsessions with the way that they imagine Vice-Chancellors are spending money. When I worked there, at one point the UCU rep, one Eileen Tilley, was frothing at the mouth about the money that the VC was alleged to have spent on his office desk – how on earth did she know how much he’d paid for it? I very much doubt that he’d showed her the receipt. When I made comments to this effect, she changed tactic and complained about the style of the desk that he’d purchased. Que??? (It had too much glass in it apparently so it wasn’t suitable.) Tilley continued to make extraordinary allegations – which I suspected were in the realms of fantasy – regarding the VC’s office furniture and I got somewhat pissed off with her, because whilst she was making these allegations she was actually colluding with the truly vile Lyn Meadows, the Director of HR (Meadows is now a member of the Betsi Board), who was breaking employment law regularly and bullying and harassing people. The next allegation was that the VC had hired a chauffeur. No-one actually had any evidence that this had happened and I searched high and low for the said chauffeur and never found him/her. I think that the real story was that discussions were underway regarding the possibility of a chauffeur that would be made available to a number of senior managers – but the backstabbing Tilley was busy making plans for the revolution on the basis of the chauffeur. So I conducted an experiment and told her that I knew all about it, that it wasn’t a real chauffeur, it was a security man dressed up in a special uniform. And a few days later my lie came back to me on the grapevine, so it rather confirmed that none of these people actually knew what they were talking about. The irony was that while the revolutionaries on ‘only’ £40-50k pa grumbled and fumed about glass desks and chauffeurs, me and my ilk were doing their teaching and a good deal more research than them as well for far less. And because we were on short-term contracts we often had no salary at all. I’d have done the sodding chauffeur’s job myself quite happily at that time, at least it would have been a stable income.

Yet another scandal involving the abuse of learning disabled people has hit the London-based media today. An organisation called the ‘Atlas Project Team’ who owned two homes in Devon – which were ‘isolated farmhouses’ has been prosecuted. The founder of the ‘Atlas Project Team’, a Paul Hewitt, has been fined £12,500 with £105,000 costs. Paul Hewitt is described as ‘a well known figure in mental health who helped formulate national policies on caring for people with learning disabilities in the community’. Well that’s pretty much par for the course – this blog has named scores of ‘experts in mental health’ or ‘service user representatives’ who have either colluded with or ignored the most dreadful abuses. It’s how one becomes an expert in those fields. Jolyon Marshall, the Director of Atlas, has been jailed for 28 months for conspiracy to falsely imprison and perverting the course of justice. A number of other managers and staff have received suspended jail terms or other non-custodial sentences. This case has been running for six years, but reporting restrictions have only just been lifted. The fascinating feature of this case is that a number of people have been prosecuted for doing what is almost standard practice in hospitals and ‘homes’ for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems, namely locking people in what are euphemistically called ‘quiet rooms’ but what in reality are bare rooms with no bathroom facilities or furnishings except for a mattress on the floor. I am delighted to see someone prosecuted for this and I look forward to hundreds more prosecutions, because this is going on in just about every facility for the mentally ill/learning disabled across the UK. And the rationale for confining people to such seclusion rooms is also very shaky, as it was with Atlas. The prosecuting barrister Andrew Langdon QC stated that a ‘view was taken that residents had somehow learned to behave badly. That behaviour had to be unlearned. If they were kept in their long enough they would learn their lesson and change their behaviour’. This philosophy underpinned all ‘care’ on Taliesin ward in the Hergest Unit and I heard staff articulate this view constantly. Patients were not distressed, they were not ill, they were bad and locking them in a seclusion room (or of course having them arrested) was the answer. Indeed, now that Jolyon Marshall has gone to prison for conspiracy to falsely imprison and perverting the course of justice I look forward to a few arrests of Hergest staff and NHS managers because that is exactly what they did to me – and to a lot of other people.

Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of CQC, admitted that they ‘should have acted earlier’ over Atlas and admits that concerns had been raised. So once more, the CQC stood by whilst people were abused. But what do we expect – Sir Robert Francis QC is a leading light in the CQC. The Robert Francis QC who, whilst working as a barrister for the MDU, tried to have me imprisoned for ‘harassment’ – because I was writing many letters maintaining that people working in the mental health services in north Wales had illegally imprisoned me and had committed perjury (please see post ‘The Sordid Role of Sir Robert Francis QC’).

Perhaps someone would also like to begin mounting prosecutions in the face of another near universal practice in mental health, that of ‘not stimulating’ people who are deemed to be psychotic. This is going on in the Hergest unit and in the Heddfan Unit and in reality it means providing patients with an environment as bare as possible – not even pictures on the walls. Because patients might become ‘stimulated’. (I really don’t think that there’s much chance of that, as they’re parked in front the TV all day and loaded up with anti-psychotics.) In fact Taliesin ward in Hergest was so keen not to stimulate patients that the staff didn’t talk to them – and they told the patient’s families not to talk to them either. I know this because I knew the mother of a teenaged boy who became seriously unwell and spent a long time on Taliesin ward not being talked to, on the orders of the ‘experts’ who ran that place and presided over the constant suicides there. The staff did communicate with me whilst I was a patient in there though – indeed they shouted at me, they swore at me and on one occasion four of them assaulted me. Presumably it’s only talking to people or looking at pictures that causes over-stimulation.

Jan Tregalles, the Chief Exec of Mencap, and Vivien Cooper, the Chief Exec of the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, put out a joint statement stating that Atlas offered ‘specialist care’ that cost up to £4000/week per person and that ‘poor commissioning’ from numerous local authorities and ‘weak inspection’ allowed an abusive culture to develop and sustain itself. Have they only just noticed? Bloggers like Mark Neary, Finola Moss and Sara Ryan have been trying to expose this for years. Indeed Sara Ryan seems to feel about Mencap the way that I feel about MIND – she has always termed them ‘Mencrap’. Mark Neary’s adult son Stephen was removed from his care for a year simply due to the fuckwittedness of their local authority and had Mark not been able to engage in a full scale battle through the Courts he would have lost Stephen for ever. Finola Moss had a similar experience with her daughter. Finola has taken a big interest in the huge amounts of money that are now being made by the private ‘care’ sector for housing learning disabled people in unsuitable, frequently abusive facilities, as well as in the constant supply of ‘expert witnesses’ and dishonest health and care professionals who are prepared to lie in Court in the face of carers complaining and simply accuse those carers of abuse themselves. The really great thing about most of these cases is that because they involve the Court of Protection, no-one can even publish what’s happening – until the learning disabled person dies in the ‘care’ of the ‘provider’. Mark Neary’s blog is doing an excellent job of exposing how this naked abuse and cruelty – and sheer idiocy – is disguised by the language of ’empowerment’, ‘independent living’, ‘service user involvement’ and associated hogwash.

 

 

News Round Up, June 2 2017

The Top Doctors continue to apply the pressure for more dosh. Yesterday Mail online were reporting that the Kings Fund was warning that 4 out of 10 Trusts in England were planning to slash routine operations as managers are forced to make ‘tough decisions’. The Kings Fund surveyed the financial directors of 48 Clinical Commissioning Groups regarding their priorities for 2017/18. 63% of them were ‘concerned that they wouldn’t be able to increase spending on mental health’. Richard Murray, Director of Policy at the Kings Fund, commented that the ‘demand for services’ was ‘outstripping the NHS budget’. Dr Mark Porter of the BMA has also joined in, maintaining that more money is needed. To exemplify the crisis, it was stated that three CCGs in the West Midlands are restricting joint replacements operations until patients are in severe pain. This is the same West Midlands that hosted the illustrious Dr Ian Paterson who was recently imprisoned for 15 years after carrying out unnecessary operations on hundreds of patients. My post ‘A Top Doctor Goes To Prison’ explains how the machinations of the medical establishment, including the BMA, GMC and MDU, created a situation in which no-one felt able to stop Paterson although a lot of people knew what he was doing. The ‘independent’ Kings Fund has very close links with this establishment and is a former employer of both Niall Dickson, who was Chief Exec of the GMC for years and Ian Kennedy, who was also a member of the GMC for years, but who managed to carry out a ‘Review’ of Paterson’s activities which placed the blame very firmly on everyone but the Top Doctors themselves. Paterson’s crimes have cost the NHS £18 million in damages and costs so far – that would have paid for a few joint replacements.

The Top Doctors must be getting desperate because today they’ve enlisted the help of the big guns – the Royal College of Surgeons have Spoken Out. Guess what – they want more money. Their president, Clare Marx, has commented that large numbers of patients are waiting too long in pain and discomfort and that this is ‘the grim reality of the financial pressures facing the NHS’. The grim reality of the consequences of no-one stopping Ian Paterson – whom the Royal College of Surgeons almost certainly knew about – is also large numbers of patients in pain and discomfort as well as an unknown number of deaths (unknown because no-one’s dared do the research). To strengthen her position Marx refers to the recent bout of whinging from the Nuffield Trust. That’s the organisation that funds research on the basis of researchers personal medical histories rather than on the quality of the proposed research (please see post ‘News Updates, Additional Comments And Observations’). Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Health Secretary, has commented that the ‘Tories neglect and underfunding of the NHS has pushed services to the brink’. No Jonathan, what has pushed services to the brink has been decades of successive Gov’ts ignoring institutionalised corruption causing patient harm in the NHS and Labour is as guilty of this as the Tories are. Remember Andy Burnham and Alan Johnson who were told by 81 people that terrible things were happening in Mid-Staffs but still refused to hold an inquiry? So whilst patients in Mid-Staffs drank water from flower vases, lay in their own faeces and urine because nurses refused to walk across the ward with a bedpan, were assessed by unqualified receptionists and died unnecessarily, Burnham and Johnson troughed away in Westminster with the best like there was no tomorrow.

Just to remind us all exactly how committed to patient safety the dear old GMC is, they have now issued a ‘warning’ to a Dr Sunil Idicula Simon, after the death of one of his patients, 23 year old Charlotte Foster. Charlotte went to Simon complaining of back pain and breathlessness and he told her to go on a spa day. She subsequently suffered a cardiac arrest and brain damage as a result of a deep vein thrombosis and died. Charlotte had been taking Dianette, an oral contraceptive that carries a higher risk of thrombosis than other oral contraceptives and had also undergone tests that showed that she would be particularly at risk if she took Dianette. She was prescribed it nonetheless. Dr Simon failed to eliminate or confirm DVT as a possibility in Charlotte’s case, failed to put together a treatment plan for stopping the medication, failed to make a record of two consultations and on the second consultation with Charlotte failed to conduct an examination. The GMC commented on their website that Dr Simon’s practice ‘does not meet with the standards required of a doctor. He risks bringing the profession into disrepute…’ So that’s why they’ve allowed him to carry on practicing then. One can only wonder why the GMC didn’t simply forge another document to protect Simon as they did to protect the lethal Dr Tony Roberts (please see post ‘The General Medical Council And Yet Another Forged Document’). As for bringing the profession into disrepute – the GMC had done that themselves by 1990 by repeatedly refusing to take any action against Dr Dafydd Alun Jones as he and his mistress facilitated a paedophile ring and built the foundations of a drugs empire (please see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’).

There’s been a few interesting bits of local news recently. Irfon Williams, the man with an aggressive form of bowel cancer who famously moved to England in order to obtain the drug Cetuximab and then campaigned for the same and similar drugs to be available in Wales, has died. Cetuximab didn’t save Irfon and it was very unlikely that it would have, that is why the Welsh Gov’t did not want to implement the Cancer Drugs Fund – the drugs recommended are vey expensive but more importantly do not work. Irfon had undergone 50 sessions of chemo, one round of radiotherapy and five operations – he was in a very bad way and Cetuximab was not going to make a difference. I can understand that a relatively young man facing death would want to grab hold of any chance that he could but there was a particular irony involved in Irfon’s campaign. Irfon was a mental health manager for the Betsi. Yes, Irfon was one of those who had presided over the carnage of mental health patients. Whilst Irfon achieved fame across the UK and appeared on breakfast TV, his former patients found it impossible to access treatment and a lot of them died – no-one pushed the boat out for them or reported on their ‘bravery’. They did not have a ‘TeamIrfon’ campaign to fight their corner and keep their plight in the public eye. And none of them were invited to meet Carwyn. They were left to kill themselves. TeamIrfon led a fundraising campaign to reduce the likelihood of people with cancer and their families suffering from mental health problems. So it wasn’t until Irfon himself developed cancer that he seemed to develop an awareness of the need for mental healthcare.

The ironies continue. A quick look at the Betsi website yesterday revealed that Gary Doherty, the CEO of the Betsi, has signed up to the shallow and hypocritical ‘Time To Change Wales’ campaign, to reduce the ‘stigma’ of mental illness. Yes, Gary who runs a Health Board in special measures because of institutional abuse in its mental health services that nonetheless is still positively exterminating mental health patients and who completely failed to deal with a very serious complaint from me regarding the mental health services, has signed up to an anti-stigma campaign. Part of Gary’s campaign is, unbelievably, to support staff with mental health problems. Well they could certainly never rely on the services that they provide themselves – or more accurately fail to provide – for the rest of us. To rub salt into the wound, the Betsi website has also recently provided a free plug for ‘CALL’, a ‘helpline’ offering ‘mental health support’. People I know gave up with that bloody helpline so hopeless was it – but there we are, the Betsi was reminding everyone that support for mental health problems is only a call away, 24 hours a day. Would you believe that this was the Betsi’s idea of marking ‘mental health awareness week’. Which just confirms my suspicion that bombarding the nation with this shite – and it is shite – regarding ‘fighting stigma’, ‘raising awareness’, ‘talking about it’ and ‘being mindful’ simply serves to provide a smokescreen lest anyone actually notices what is happening to people who suffer serious mental health problems, as opposed to the mildly worried and anxious. A similar smokescreen seems to be developing around serious poverty. There have been recent media allegations that ‘nurses’ and ‘social workers’ are going to food banks. Well if they are, they are doing it for rather different reasons than the rest of the people turning up there. No matter what the Royal College of Nursing or ‘Guardian Society’ tells us, being a nurse or a social worker on £30,000 pa is not exactly ‘I Daniel Blake’. Neither are nurses or social workers dying destitute, which is what is now happening to a number of people with mental health problems, learning disabilities or groups such as asylum seekers etc. Yet nurses and social workers are now being framed as the image of poverty.

Peter Read, a councillor from Pen Llyn, and Liz Saville Roberts, the Plaid MP for Dwyfor Meirionydd, have angrily condemned the shortcomings of the out of hours GP services. Whilst I am glad to see people showing concern for the plight of people living in rural Wales – who have been ignored for a very long time – this did serve to remind me that the likes of Liz and Peter have not had a word to say about the death toll among people with mental health problems in their region. In fact I happen to know that there is a young woman who is literally living in hiding on Pen Llyn after having had the most distressing experience whilst detained at the Hergest Unit – she was coerced into an abortion that she didn’t want and loaded up with ‘medication’, after being diagnosed with ‘paranoid schizophrenia’. She was also gang raped a few years ago and when the case against the rapists collapsed was prosecuted herself for wasting police time. But not to worry, we have the CALL helpline to assist people experiencing such difficulties!

North Wales hit the national media yesterday. A male nurse, described as a ‘sex pest’, employed in Penrhos Care Home in Pwhelli, was struck off by the NMC after being found guilty of seven allegations of misconduct which were described as being ‘racially and sexually motivated’. His activities included kissing elderly ladies, asking them to marry him, telling one of them that her mother was a whore and another one of them that ‘once you’ve had black you never go back’. Cathy Adams, the manager of the care home concerned, emphasised that there was no place for this ‘nurse’ in her establishment and described him as having ‘old fashioned views’. Just like the staff at children’s homes in north Wales whose ‘old methods’ involved punching the children, raping them, sodomising them and forcing them to have oral sex with the staff (see post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake…’). All a little bit old-fashioned. (The account of the activities of the sex pest rather reminded me of Jimmy Savile, who was regularly filmed in hospitals in the 1970s asking four year olds if they would be his girlfriend and demanding kisses from them. No wonder Esther and the rest never guessed that he was a paedophile, he was so good at disguising it.) It is interesting to read that the NMC have actually taken action against someone though. They used to be every bit as bad as the GMC. Not only did they refuse to take action against Sian Ruth Lloyd, an abusive nurse at the Hergest Unit, after she had assaulted me and prevented me from reporting the assault to the police, but when I spoke to them on the phone I was met with an incredibly aggressive man who did not identify himself but told me that once Lloyd had been cleared they would be destroying the evidence that I sent them – before that I spoke to a Rashida Conroy who made it very clear that it was barely worth answering the phone to a patient and used phrases like ‘wha’ d ya want?’ and ‘yeh, right’. At about this time the NMC refused to take action against a psych nurse in charge of an adolescent ward who was discovered viewing child pornography whilst on duty.

A reader has e mailed wondering if the public servants of Wales are getting worried. Walter Glyn Davies, a retired teacher and lay preacher, was confronted by Gareth Winston Roberts during a meeting of Amlwch Town Council and accused of secretly recording the meeting. Roberts, the Chairman of the meeting, had mistakenly believed that Mr Davies’s insulin syringe – he is a diabetic – was a recording device. Roberts has admitted that the public are allowed to record meetings but they have to ‘obtain permission’ first. Gareth Winston Roberts entertained everyone by making reference to ‘proper procedures’ that must be followed. This is Anglesey we’re taking about – it is generally believed to be the most corrupt council in the UK, some of the councillors have gone to prison and it is a regular in the Private Eye ‘Rotten Boroughs’ column. Mr Davies is considering taking the matter up with the Anglesey Council Standards Committee. Somehow I doubt that he’ll get very far. However my reader has pointed out that there is quite a bit of blogging happening in Wales at the moment providing exposes – my own blog is leading the field where the NHS and welfare services are concerned, Jac O the North is dishing the dirt on councillors and politicians and there is a blogger whose revelations so angered Carmarthen Council that their Chief Exec took her to the High Court. Another blog was brought to my attention yesterday. As the mainstream media flatly refuse to publish any of this serious corruption themselves, it looks as though a few people have found another way of blowing the whistle. I would dearly love to believe that this might be the beginning of the end for those we know and love… I am often contacted by people who are in despair after encountering our glorious mental health services and who ask me how they can actually gain help. It is a very difficult question to answer – the only psychiatrist in north Wales who seems to be both normal and know what he is doing is Dr Alberto Salmoiraghi, but I imagine that Dr Alberto must now be buckling under the pressure of thousands of desperate patients beating a path to his door. I can really only advise everyone else to start doing what Jac, me and the other bloggers are doing – go public. What is happening is outrageous and everyone is made to feel that it is only happening to them because they are just bastards. It isn’t, this is now how the welfare services routinely treat people and it has bugger all to do with ‘funding’ and ‘pay restraint’.

Of course one organ that has never been afraid to upset unscrupulous people in power is Private Eye. The latest edition has published a piece about the collapse of Food Dudes Ltd, part of the late Professor Fergus Lowe’s empire. I reported this on the blog recently (please see post ‘Updates On Previous Posts, Including Inquest Verdict’).

STOP PRESS: I have just had a quick look at BBC News Wales online – the North Wales Hospital has been engulfed by a ‘huge blaze’, there are 40 firefighters out there and the roof has collapsed. Traffic is being diverted away from Denbigh. God it’s like something out of Jane Eyre isn’t it. It’s too late Dafydd, it doesn’t matter if a minion of yours has set light to the place in an attempt to destroy evidence – I’ve got 10,000 documents in my possession and no-one knows where I am…

 

The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?

Recent posts have mentioned the turf wars taking place in north Wales between rival drug dealers – one such war recently culminating in a murder – and the drugs problem in Wrexham that is causing so much public concern that it hit the wider UK media a few weeks ago. Regular readers will know that the Welsh Gov’t is handing over millions to CAIS, the Third sector organisation, to tackle ‘substance abuse and associated problems’. Readers will also know that the DWP is another body parting with good money to CAIS and that CAIS has now landed the contract for ‘service user involvement’ across the whole of north Wales, after a ‘commissioning process’ that was very obviously designed to ensure that CAIS was the only organisation in a position to secure the contract (please see post ‘The Story Behind £1.5 Million’). CAIS have formed a vehicle called CANIAD to carry out the ‘service user involvement’ and I have already been contacted by someone who has confirmed that CANIAD is not what it pretends to be. In recent years CAIS have expanded and expanded and now have fingers in many pies eg. substance abuse, alcohol abuse, ‘care’ for forces veterans experiencing PTSD, housing, various ‘therapies’, education, training and ‘service user involvement’. It has been common knowledge across north Wales for years that some of the CAIS ‘volunteers’ and ‘peer guides’ are dealing in drugs to the ‘clients’ and at least two people known to me have quipped that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones (the Chair and founder of CAIS) must be the biggest drug dealer in north Wales. So imagine how gobsmacked some of us were when, some years ago, the former Deputy Chief Constable of North Wales, Clive Wolfendale, was appointed Chief Exec of CAIS. Clive has certainly been an asset to CAIS – they have now expanded into south Wales. The other day my co-researcher sent me a most interesting link, namely to the minutes of the oral evidence given to the Welsh Affairs Committee, 7 Feb 2012. The witnesses giving evidence are Mark Lovatt, manager, Blind Veterans UK, Llandudno; Alistair Maxwell, regional manager (Wales), Royal British Legion and Clive Wolfendale, Chief Exec, CAIS. They are giving evidence regarding the provision of services for veterans in Wales. Clive’s comments certainly shine a light on how business is conducted.

Clive introduces himself and then explains that CAIS provides ‘services for people with substance misuse problems across north Wales and Powys’, that CAIS has been around for ‘about thirty years’, that it receives ‘no funding whatsoever’ for the PTSD services that it provides for military veterans and that these are ‘provided as a ‘pro bono’ offering on the back of it’s general charitable remit to support people in need through substance misuse and allied issues’. Wolfendale goes on to mention that there are ‘gaps in provision’ in the statutory services for veterans. (He does not mention that there are gaps in provision for everyone and one reason why the provision in the statutory sector is so bad is that for years Dr Dafydd Alun Jones ran the show in north Wales where the mental health services were concerned and that they were so dysfunctional and so abusive that no good psychiatrist would work there.) Clive states that the landscape has been ‘complicated by issues associated with Forces For Good’. What Clive is referring to here is Forces For Good Ltd, a ‘social enterprise’ for veterans in north Wales whose leading light was one Christopher James O’Neill – he was arrested for fraud and theft, after trying to swindle the Welsh Gov’t out of hundreds of thousands of pounds and then embezzling some of the funds from Forces For Good. Clive claims that there are ‘too many organisations…often with good intent, involving themselves…certainly without proper governance arrangements, so that nobody knows where the money is going…without proper clinical governance in terms of therapies. The multiplicity of therapies is astonishing and there is a lot of dogma attached to that and resistance to change and acceptance which complicates the situation as well…among that a huge number of charities, some are not fit for purpose…’ Let’s look at this in detail.

Clive refers to ‘too many organisations’. Well an awful lot of those organisations past and present have been established by Dafydd himself, although they don’t always have his name above the door. (A lot of people wondered if Dafydd was behind Forces For Good – it had all the hallmarks of Dafydd, a ‘social enterprise’ mopping up huge quantities of money from the Welsh Gov’t, providing ‘help’ for veterans and futhermore all the action seemed to be happening in Llandudno, Dafydd’s HQ.) Indeed, CAIS itself is an umbrella organisation which serves as a front for a plethora of other vehicles – such as CANIAD. This is self-evident from the CAIS website – CAIS now quaintly refer to this multiplicity of organisations as the CAIS ‘family’. Clive refers to organisations in which ‘no-one knows where the money is going’. The question that everyone asks of CAIS is where is the money going? They are receiving millions, but only employ a skeleton staff – nearly all the work is done by volunteers – and the Board of Trustees maintain that they’re not pocketing a penny. So where is the dosh going Dafydd? Now for a real bit of entertainment – Clive stresses the need for ‘proper governance arrangements’. A previous post provided a link to the Board of Trustees of CAIS, but I’ll refresh readers memories here. The Chair is Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. Who illegally imprisoned people in the North Wales Hospital, who sexually exploited patients, who was incapable of telling the truth, who was involved in arrangements with corrupt police officers to have people arrested for crimes that it was known that they had not committed, who was said by addicts to ‘give you anything that you wanted’, who placed his patients in accommodation where they were assaulted and neglected, who had a mistress who was facilitating a paedophile ring and who tried to threaten and then bribe me into dropping my complaints about him (other crimes of Dafydd’s are detailed elsewhere on the blog, that’s just a taster). The Vice-Chair and Trustee of CAIS is Cledwyn Williams. Cledwyn describes himself as being, between 1983 and 1996, ‘Assistant Director, Social Services’, but doesn’t state WHICH social services. His biography then gives the info that he was after that ‘Director of Social Services, Conwy’. I suspect that Cledwyn is the senior manager who was mentioned in the Jillings Report into child abuse in Clwyd Social Services (Clwyd Social Services were dissolved at the same time as the Jillings Report was given to the authorities). That’s the Jillings Report that documented such serious abuse and malpractice that it was withheld for decades and then only published after being heavily redacted. Another Trustee is Lucille Hughes, former Director of Gwynedd Social Services and mistress of Dafydd’s. Lucille was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the Social Services but failing to act. Another Trustee is Dr Avril Wayte. She is the clinical director for the Clinical Biochemistry services at the Betsi – services that are alleged to be in chaos with constant serious mistakes being made. Avril is married to Dr Donald Wayte, the retired Home Office pathologist who not only discovered some extraordinary things in his post-mortems, but allowed a schoolboy to accompany him on his duties because he was friends with the boy’s mother and also caused a stir by once announcing to the press that most children who die as a result of cot death have been murdered by their parents – on the basis of no evidence at all. Another Trustee is Dafydd’s son, Dyfrig ap Dafydd. Another one is Brian Smith, who upon retirement ‘worked for the WDA’. That’s the WDA (Welsh Development Agency) that was so mired in scandal and allegations of corruption that it was dismantled. Yet another Trustee is Geoff Simpson, a ‘management accountant in the motor trade’. So far then, we have a corrupt psychiatrist who shagged his patients, his son, his mistress who assisted in the running of a paedophile ring, someone else named in a report into one the worst cases of child abuse in the UK, the wife of a dodgy pathologist, a refugee from a notorious now-defunct Government body that brought Wales into disrepute and a car dealer. PROPER GOVERNANCE ARRANGEMENTS???

Clive condemns the lack of ‘clinical governance’ of therapies, as well as ‘multiplicity of therapies’ and ‘dogma’. Well Clive, when Dafydd was running loose in the NHS, his prescribing was appalling – huge doses of chlorpromazine for everyone no matter what their diagnosis and if they were addicts they got anything that they wanted on request, he was sued by one woman whom he sectioned for a year and diagnosed as having ‘paranoid schizophrenia’ when there was nothing wrong with her and a brief investigation into CAIS’s own offerings reveals what can only be described as a ‘multiplicity of therapies’. As for dogma -Dafydd achieved notoriety in the 90s for taking all the junkies off methadone and replacing that with huge doses of benzodiazepines which resulted in most of them becoming hopelessly addicted. He was told repeatedly that this was both dangerous and bloody stupid but he didn’t waver once. Regarding people who are ‘resistant to change’ – Dafydd, Lucille and Cledwyn are all well into their 80s, presided over the most shameful period of recent history in north Wales ie the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, and still won’t retire.

When Clive is asked by a Committee member what proportion of CAIS’s clients are veterans, Clive makes a guess – and admits that ‘the information systems are not sufficiently robust to be definite’. So CAIS, receiving millions in funding, having been in business for 30 years, has not even conducted a simple count of the number of people to whom they are offering ‘services’ who are veterans – although Clive claims that this is their ‘principle mission’. Clive then speculates at length regarding drug and alcohol use and PTSD, but no figures at all are provided – he then speculates a bit more regarding people ‘self-medicating with alcohol’ ‘in the absence of other therapies’. Well it’s Dafydd’s mates in the mental health services that are not providing the other therapies… Despite Clive’s previous mention of their ‘principle mission’, he goes on to tell the Committee that ‘it isn’t CAIS’s particular focus and never has been, to work with the military…we’d be very pleased to do so’. Of course they would, Dafydd’s spotted a gap in the market and he’s after a few more million.

The Committee moves on to ask the witnesses questions regarding the possibility of a rehabilitation centre for veterans. Clive remarks that such units ‘come and go’ and referred to one called Ty Gwyn in Llandudno that ‘disappeared’ about 8 years ago. Ty Gwyn was owned by Dafydd – it ‘disappeared’ because it was a con. Dafydd charged thousands of pounds a week for what was described to me by a former patient as a shared room in a ‘mediocre boarding house’ – he was sent into Llandudno to buy takeaways because Dafydd couldn’t provide vegetarian food. This ‘patient’ with PTSD never received any ‘therapy’ at all and only actually saw Dafydd when he discharged himself, whereupon Dafydd turned up and recommended that he stay another few weeks. This man was paying for all this himself, but most ‘patients’ there were funded by the NHS. One former nurse from Ty Gwyn who walked out in disgust told me that most of the patients didn’t have PTSD at all, they had drug and alcohol problems, had got into trouble with the law and had checked into Ty Gwyn in order to receive a favourable Court report from Dafydd. Ty Gwyn ‘disappeared’ when the Welsh Gov’t refused to fund anymore ‘placements’ at this money-spinner. Clive goes on to mention a few more ‘places’ that have ‘come and gone’ – again, most of them were established by Dafydd. Clive mentions that people are ‘let down’ when these facilities close – Dafydd is a past master at letting people down, his business model is a medical version of slash and burn agriculture ie. he sets something up, milks it for as much as he can or until the goodwill has expired, then he shuts shop and opens up something else down the road.

At this point Clive arrives at the heart of the matter: ‘a facility with the ability to treat individuals with substance misuse problems, particularly alcoholism, is for my money, almost a necessity…the reason we are finding high numbers of people on our books is the support has not been there at the right time or the right place…Wales is a good place to be doing this sort of work [a residential rehab centre]…we have space, a strong tradition of supporting the military – there are lots of people around who can help – and the environment in terms of the therapies, the space, the mountains and the sea. Veterans find it an attractive place in which to recover, they feel at home’. So Clive, Chief Exec of CAIS, who is very obviously looking out for another opportunity, maintains that a residential centre is a necessity. How would he know? He’s already failed to produce any figures at all regarding how many veterans CAIS are catering for – so he wouldn’t even be aware if they did have ‘high numbers’ on their books. Of course the support hasn’t been there at the right time or the right place – Dafydd has been providing that support and it’s so dodgy that it keeps closing down. ‘A strong tradition of supporting the military’ – that’ll be a reference to the mediocre boarding house, there’s no other tradition in evidence. And there weren’t any ‘therapies’ on offer, just a Court report to get someone out of trouble. As for ‘the mountains and the sea’ – yes, north Wales has lovely mountains and sea, but you don’t find CAIS clients there. The CAIS clients are to be found in poor quality social housing in less desirable areas – if indeed they have homes to go to – and for recreational purposes they hang around the run down bits of local towns boozing or taking recreational chemicals. The only reason that they ‘feel at home’ in north Wales is that that’s where they end up, because that’s where Dafydd’s establishments are. As for ‘lots of people to help’ – is that a reference to the former facilitators of the paedophile gang or a reference to the scores of unpaid ‘peer guides’, some of whom are selling drugs to the clients?

One of the members of the Committee was Nia Griffiths (the MP who’s causing problems for Jeremy Corbyn at present). Nia comments that the ‘quality’ of St Dunstan’s (the centre run by Blind Veterans UK) is ‘superb’. There is no reference to the Committee having any in-depth knowledge of the work of St Dunstan’s, but it is mentioned that they’d received ‘hospitality’ the night before. So the politicians were given a good dinner, that always helps when the Third sector are after some funding.

Clive explains that the health service ‘cannot afford’ to do much ‘of this work’ and that ‘charities and the Third sector are sometimes in a much better position to deliver such services…we’re embedded locally with the tradition and history…we can certainly work more cheaply because we do not pay as much and we do not have the overheads and the infrastructure to support in the way the health service does’. OK, so Dafydd and co have log jammed all the positions in the region for decades and their ‘service’ is as cheap as chips because they don’t pay anyone properly and the ‘facilities’ on offer is a mediocre boarding house rather than a hospital so there’s no overheads or infrastructure. Clive then expands once more on the need for good governance, proper oversight, extremely tight financial governance and clinical governance. None of which CAIS provides. Clive states that the ‘therapies and the treatments’ on offer must equate with the best that the NHS can provide. Dafydd and co destroyed the mental health services in the region before they retired, so it won’t be difficult for the shite offerings from CAIS to match the NHS. Clive then really puts his cards on the table – he observes that it’s better if the NHS doesn’t provide these ‘services’, but where the NHS can ‘add value’ is through ‘exercising oversight, co-ordination and leadership of the whole agenda’. In other words ensuring that the shysters in CAIS land the contract. But Clive’s not one for competition in this brave new world of ‘co-production’ – he expresses concern about the number of charities in the arena, stating that the situation is ‘chaotic’ and ‘you just don’t know who to talk to next or who will approach you next’. I suspect that this translates as ‘we don’t want to have to compete with anyone else and at present we’re not sure who we approach to pull strings to land the contract’. Clive stresses that there must be ‘self-governance…we must hold our heads up high and be absolutely…clean in everything we do’. That won’t be a problem for the patient-shagging doctor and the paedophiles friends then. Clive is then blunt enough to refer to the ‘blank cheque’ that CAIS would like in order to establish a complete system of veteran rehabilitation based in Wales and to ‘somehow stop the explosion of charities that is taking place’ – he maintains that the other 800 charities in operation should be told to prove that they need to exist. Which of course they don’t, not with dear old CAIS there to provide the ‘services’ in return for more millions from the Welsh Gov’t, the DWP etc. It’s co-production and the Big Society! The learning has obviously been embedded and someone’s been empowered but it won’t be a service user. This must be the biggest gravy train that Dafydd, Lucille and Cledwyn have ever imagined. Clive gave this ‘evidence’ to the Welsh Affairs Committee five years ago – I will see if my co-researcher can find out whether Clive’s efforts were successful in loosening the purse strings of the Welsh Gov’t.

People who have not followed this blog from the beginning and thus have not read the older posts will probably be wondering how ever someone with Dafydd’s track record gained ‘credibility’ where substance abuse services are concerned. As with so much in the north Wales mental health services, I saw it happen…

The North Wales Hospital, where Dafydd was Top Doctor, had by the mid 80s become such an excruciating embarrassment that there was a lot of pressure for it to be closed and for Dafydd to be put out to grass. Previous posts have detailed the way in which Dafydd was unlawfully banging up people in there who had crossed the path of him or his mates or who had complained about being sexually abused in the children’s homes in north Wales. The Mary Wynch case (please see previous posts) had made legal history and hit the London media and subsequently there were calls in Parliament for an investigation. Dafydd weathered it all though – people in north Wales were tearing their hair out complaining that he seemed to be ‘untouchable’. In my posts about the north Wales paedophile ring I have described how it seems that Dafydd and the North Wales Hospital Denbigh were being afforded protection because of their role in concealing the paedophile ring and I have detailed the role of senior figures in the Welsh Office who were involved. However, people on the ground in north Wales were desperate to see the back of Dafydd and I was told at the time that there was a plan to use the newly opened psychiatric wards at Ysbyty Gwynedd to put Dafydd out of action. Before the exodus of the better staff from Ysbyty Gwynedd, one nurse described to me how the nurses loathed Dafydd so much that they planned to boycott his ward rounds to make it impossible for him to work. I was told that when he walked in, the nurses would get up and walk out en masse. After several weeks of this Dafydd stood up in public and said that his heart was broken and he could no longer carry on. I was told that he was ‘in tears’, although another nurse, who seemed to have some knowledge of just how serious Dafydd’s wrongdoing was, remarked to me that they were ‘crocodile tears’. It seems that he was right. Dafydd then started appearing in the Welsh media, making all sorts of allegations about the newly opened Hergest Unit and how appalling everything was there. Now things did go downhill very rapidly at the Hergest, but it definitely was not as bad as the North Wales Hospital Denbigh had been – Dafydd was so loathed that when he used to arrive at the Hergest for ‘clinics’ patients would hurl abuse at him and ask why he was allowed in. The people that Dafydd claimed to be defending on TV and in the press were patients with drug problems. When I had previously asked people why Dafydd was treating the most difficult but in many ways the most vulnerable patients I was always told that it was because the other psychiatrists refused to treat ‘the junkies’. Dafydd consistently appeared in the media waxing lyrical about how he cared for the drug addicts and how disgusting Gwynedd Health Authority was. It was never explained that there were so many complaints about Dafydd and so much unhappiness among his colleagues that everyone wanted him to retire. A series of managers from Gwynedd Health Authority were wheeled out to speak to the media and rather than saying ‘he has a record of sexually exploiting and illegally detaining patients’, they sought refuge in idiocies such as ‘Dr Jones has ways of working that his colleagues find difficult’. One of these managers, a clinical psychologist whom I remember as being much saner than his colleagues, seems to have had his career destroyed after daring to take on Dafydd – he left Wales and mental health work completely and went to pursue an alternative lifestyle in England. Dafydd then persuaded various people with drug problems to appear on TV stating that they feared for their lives if Dafydd retired. One of these people freely admitted that he’d been paid to appear.

Some other odd things happened at the time. The young man who had been paid to appear on TV was known to be selling class A drugs to schoolchildren in Bangor, quite openly. I knew someone who reported him to the police on a number of occasions. Yet he continued to ply his wares to the local kids on Bangor High Street. In daylight, as the kids were coming out of school. The other thing that this man did was burgle the house of the dreadful Judge Huw Daniel (please see previous posts for details of the wrongdoing of Huw Daniel). He was caught and admitted burgling the old bastard. But as I remember nothing happened to him. Now considering that Huw Daniel really loved sending the dispossessed to prison and clearly wanted to bang me up as well although it was very clear that I had not done what I was accused of (please see post ‘Interesting Happenings In The Legal System’), I find it quite surprising that an addict who was pretty well-renowned as a general ne’er do well faced no consequences at all for turning Daniel’s house over. He even produced the camera that he’d stolen from Daniel at the police station. At about this time, there was a senior nurse at Ysbyty Gwynedd whom I got on very well with. On at least two occasions I was told that he was forced by senior figures at Ysbyty Gwynedd to make statements to the police about me. I was also told that although he did their bidding, he was viewed with great suspicion by the authorities at Ysbyty Gwynedd because they feared that he was supplying me with the dirt on Dafydd (he wasn’t, he was always very professional in his dealings with me – there were plenty of other victims of Dafydd who willingly gave me the lowdown). This nurse was then appointed to a senior managerial position at Ysbyty Gwynedd and there was much rejoicing among the nurses because he was very popular among them and they all felt that they were kicked around badly by the psychiatrists and that perhaps things would now change with him in a senior position. He resigned from that position after a matter of months but I never discovered why. He then joined the exodus of staff from the Hergest Unit and took up a community position – with the drugs team on Anglesey. After a matter of weeks he went into hiding – a drugs patient had threatened to kill him and it seemed that this was a threat to be taken seriously (unlike many of the mental health staff, this man was not someone who threw around ludicrous allegations of harmless people being ‘dangerous’). Then something really nasty happened. He was due to visit me because this was one of the many times that the Hergest Unit prosecuted me (I was subsequently found not guilty as usual) and banned me from going to Ysbyty Gwynedd. Because this man had known me well from a few years previously he offered to fulfil the role of a CPN for me. He never arrived at my house though because his wife had died. She had collapsed at home – she was a nurse as well – and although he did all the appropriate things, she died later that night at Ysbyty Gwynedd. He was left a single parent although he did eventually remarry and then left Wales.

Whilst all this was happening, Dafydd used to hold ‘clinics’ for ‘his’ addicts on a Tuesday in the Hergest Unit. Those clinics were chaos. There would be so many addicts turning up that there was literally nowhere for them to wait. The waiting rooms were full, the corridors would be full, they were everywhere. So many people were turning up that they would be in and out of Dafydd’s room in 5 mins. There was no way that those were appropriate consultations for people with serious drug problems. The only way that some sort of order could be maintained was by having a receptionist from the Hergest standing outside Dafydd’s room shouting ‘next’ as soon as the last person had left. No-one even knew their names. None of the Hergest patients ever recognised any of them – because none of them were local. We discovered that they were coming from all over the place to see Dafydd, there was absolutely no catchment area allocation. They were making it very clear why they were coming as well – Dafydd was giving them drugs on request. I knew this because I was one of the patients protesting about Dafydd’s continued presence in the Hergest after serious complaints about him had not been investigated and one day I was standing outside of his door and I heard the transaction within taking place. Dafydd hit the roof when he found that I was outside and I was then banned from attending the Hergest Unit on Tuesdays, because I had discovered what was going on. But so had another patient – he was a former drug user who had spoken to some of Dafydd’s ‘patients’ who had been quite frank with him as to why they were turning up at this ‘clinic’. The Hergest staff were well aware of what the attraction was. Every time an angry patient asked why Dafydd was still allowed into the hospital, the staff would always respond with ‘the patients want to see him, they like him’. And one day the patient who was a former drug user said ‘they like him because he gives them drugs and I should know because I used to be like that myself’. There was silence. It was very clear that Dafydd used those ‘clinics’ to establish an enormous base of customers from right across Wales – and this was the customer list that he subsequently took with him when he left…

After a very long battle, it was agreed that Dafydd would retire when Denbigh shut down, in 1995. But a deal had been done. Dafydd was told that if he agreed to retire, the many outstanding complaints against him would not be followed up. Even better – as part of the deal, Dafydd was told that he would be allowed to continue with the remit for drugs and alcohol services and that these ‘services’ would be provided through CAIS, the charity that he had established and Chaired. Now lest anyone think ‘oh well if the other consultants were refusing to treat the addicts, the authorities didn’t have much choice’, let me enlighten you. There was a Dr John Marks from Liverpool who had an excellent reputation for successfully stabilising addicts and who WANTED to move to Gwynedd. Gwynedd Health Authority blocked his appointment on the grounds that he was ‘controversial’ because he prescribed maintenance doses of heroin to addicts (see post ‘Radio 4 Mentions A Name From The Past’). However he didn’t shag his patients or illegally detain people who’d been molested by a paedophile gang. But it was Dr Marks who was deemed controversial, not Dafydd. So, rather than a highly regarded man who really was a specialist in the care of drug users being employed once Dafydd had retired, Dafydd was allowed to use the Hergest to build up a huge business and then take it to CAIS with him when he ‘retired’. All funded by the NHS.

This could not have happened accidentally. At the same time that Dafydd was given this deal, Mary Wynch – who had by now been screwed over and financially ruined by Dafydd and his chums at Risley Remand Centre – was finally given an utter pittance as a final settlement and told to sod off forever and the calls for a Parliamentary investigation into her case suddenly stopped (please see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’             for the names of the politicians involved and their rewards for silence). All this was going on when John Jillings and his team were trying to carry out their investigation into the abuse in children’s homes in Clwyd but found themselves obstructed at every turn. The newly-appointed Chief Constable of the North Wales Police, Michael Argent, refused to co-operate with the team and the police withheld 130 boxes of evidence. The Social Services also failed to disclose all their evidence. (There will be more about the Jillings inquiry in a future post.) Jillings did of course conclude that the most appalling abuse of children had taken place in north Wales, that it had been going on for years and that it had been concealed by just about every agency and organisation. There were constant allegations of a paedophile ring at work involving ‘VIPs’ and the collusion of the security services. The Waterhouse Report subsequently admitted that there was a paedophile ring in existence but denied the involvement of ‘VIPs’. It has since been acknowledged by some of his former colleagues that Sir Peter Morrison, MP for Chester and Thatcher’s PPS, was having sex with under-age boys and visiting children’s homes in north Wales. Gordon Anglesea, a former senior officer with the North Wales Police, was imprisoned last year for sexually abusing boys in care in north Wales. No-one expects the questions related to all this to go away…

Previous posts have explained that the cases of Alison Taylor (the Gwynedd social worker who blew the whistle on the paedophile ring), Mary Wynch and me were all known about at the highest levels of the Welsh Office. We had all written to Welsh Office ministers and previous posts have detailed the documentation now in my possession demonstrating that both the Welsh Office’s lawyer, Andrew Park, and the Medical Ombudsman, Professor Robert Owen, knew that Dafydd et al had broken the law and perverted the course of justice but concealed it. The security services would have undoubtedly known about some of what was going on as well because they are responsible for the vetting of MPs – they must have known about Peter Morrison, it seemed that his colleagues all did, so MI5 will have. But there’s another reason why MI5 could have known about Dafydd. His work with addicts. If Dafydd was, as the addicts always claimed, prescribing them ‘anything’ they wanted, someone will have given him a Home Office licence. And the Home Office definitely knew about Dafydd – because when he unlawfully imprisoned Mary Wynch, the process also involved two corrupt doctors from Risley Remand Centre, one of whom was employed by the Home Office. The Home Office was one of the parties successfully sued by Mary and that case was heard by Lord Donaldson, Master of the Rolls. Of course the Home Office knew about it. And the Home Office are of course responsible for MI5. There was a barrel of shit in north Wales, Dafydd was responsible whichever way one looked at it and the Welsh Office, the Home Office and almost certainly MI5, knew what was happening. Previous posts have named the Secretaries of State and Home Secretaries involved in Mary’s case, but what of those with responsibility when Dafydd was allowed to retire without investigation once Mary was stuffed over and Denbigh closed down, in the middle of the Jillings investigation – allowed to retire that is whilst taking a substantial business of ‘providing services to drug abusers’ with him?

When the madness reached fever pitch, before the closure of Denbigh and Dafydd’s retirement, when nurses under suspicion of collaborating with me were being threatened with murder by drug users and their wives were dying in the ‘care’ of Ysbyty Gwynedd, when the Hergest Unit tried to frame me (again) and when Mary was stuffed over for good, the Secretary of State for Wales was John Redwood. He was in place between 27 May 1993 and 26 June 1995. David Hunt was appointed Secretary of State for Wales on 26 June 1995, but only until 5 July 1995. A two week appointment. Que?? Now David Hunt certainly knew all about Gwynedd Health Authority and it’s malpractice, because he had been Secretary of State for Wales previously between 4 May 1990 and 27 May 1993. There are letters in Gwynedd Archives from David Hunt to the Chair of Gwynedd Health Authority, Noreen Edwards. (Many of the insane letters about me written by various people at Gwynedd Health Authority were cc’d to Noreen Edwards.) Hunt knew that organisation was a car crash – there are mentions in Hansard and consultants from the Welsh Office had been sent in. William Hague was then appointed Secretary of State for Wales between 5 July 1995 and 2 May 1997. Hague had been Minister of State for the Disabled between 20 July 1994 and 5 July 1995. The North Wales Hospital was shut in the summer of 1995. As for the Home Secretary during this madness – that was Michael Howard, who was Home Secretary between 27 May 1993 and 2 May 1997. There’s no getting away from that is there – Michael ‘prison works’ Howard knew that a rogue psychiatrist in north Wales was illegally imprisoning people, was working in a region where there was the most serious abuse of children who were then ending up in the psychiatric system and often subsequently found dead – so someone allowed him free reign over a mass of people with serious drug problems… But there’s someone else who will also have been involved in this gory business as well. This all happened pre-devolution, so Dafydd, the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and the NHS finding of CAIS will have been the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Health, which between 9 April 1992 and 5 July 1995 was one Virginia Bottomley. Virginia is a former psychiatric social worker and at least one of her children is a doctor. Come on Ginny, banging people up illegally, diagnosing ‘paranoid schizophrenia’ in perfectly healthy people, distributing drugs, having sex with patients and concealing a paedophile gang – you know that they shouldn’t have been doing it. Stephen Dorrell then took over as Secretary of State for Health between 5 July 1995 and 2 May 1997.

Unlike some of the people named in previous posts associated with Very Great Wrongdoing, Lord Howard, Lord Hunt, Lord Hague and Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone are all still alive and kicking. Would they like to explain why they thought that concealing the most serious abuses and then giving a kickstart to a drugs distribution network was a good idea? Furthermore Theresa, before you sling mud at Wales again, just consider the contribution made to the present problems in it’s NHS by those four fuckwits.

And that is the story of how the party of Law n Order precipitated the gang warfare over drugs that blights north Wales today.