The Great And The Good

As promised I’ll provide brief reviews of those Top Doctors and their associates who have popped up in the media today. The first one that I heard was Cathy Warwick, Chief Exec of the Royal College of Midwives on the ‘Today’ programme this morning. As well as awakening to the Mental Health Crisis which has been with us for years, the UK has now awoken from it’s slumber regarding the Maternity Care Crisis. It has been revealed that during 2016 nearly half of the maternity units in England temporarily shut down at some point as a result of a ‘bed shortage’. Some of the media reports have attributed the problems to ‘women choosing to give birth at a later age’ thus increasing the number of complex deliveries, or ‘a higher number of obese mothers’. So it’s the patients’ fault then, I thought that perhaps it might be, they’re all old and fat. Now and then the real reason for the problem has been mentioned – the NHS is short of thousands of midwives. Discussions have been held about the possible reasons – such as pay or the loss of training bursaries. The one factor not mentioned is that good midwives won’t work in an NHS where women and babies are regularly put at risk or where the midwives are scapegoated for cock-ups that are beyond their control – I actually know midwives who have left midwifery who have not hesitated to state that these were the reasons why they left their jobs.

So Cathy was wheeled out to comment on Radio 4. She didn’t admit the real reasons why midwives are fast becoming an endangered species either. But then she is very much part of the problem. Cathy Warwick has led the RCM since 2008 and knows exactly how dreadful some maternity care is. Not only has she never spoken out about this, but when James Titcombe, a former advisor to the CQC, was a little too critical of the state of maternity services for her liking, she wrote to the Chief Exec of the CQC and asked them if they could persuade James to be ‘less antagonistic’ on social media. James ended up resigning from his post as a result of the relentless pressure that he was subjected to by the midwifery establishment.

James Titcombe had good reason to be blunt about the danger that women and babies are regularly placed in – his own baby died as a result of negligence at Furness Hospital. Not only that, but after James was faced with a less than honest response following his son’s death, he did a bit of digging and found that many other babies had died at that hospital and that there had been a major cover-up regarding the dreadful conduct of a small number of midwives. James faced extreme hostility and efforts to silence him after he had been appointed to his role with the CQC and at one point a midwife even sent out a tweet about it being difficult to disagree with a ‘grieving and angry man’ who was blaming a whole profession for his loss. James had every right to be angry and of course he was grieving, his baby had died. Furthermore he wasn’t blaming a whole profession for his loss, he had simply very skilfully demonstrated that the ‘whole profession’ closes ranks and risks patient safety and that it is a considerably dishonest profession. In 2015 James commented that the National Review of Maternity Care failed to examine the current quality and variation in safety on maternity wards. Anyone want to admit that he was correct?

Not only has Cathy Warwick failed to speak out regarding the many problems in NHS maternity services, but she’s kept very quiet about the systematic way in which independent midwives have been prevented from practicing. A number of them such as Beatrice Carla were subjected to high profile show trials at the hands of the NMC and were driven out of the profession in that way, but because a few dared to persist their insurance was then withdrawn and midwives are legally unable to practice without insurance, so it was curtains for them. It is unlawful for women to give birth unaided in the UK, so unless one is very wealthy indeed and books oneself into somewhere like the Portland Hospital – which provides lovely grub and rooms as good as the best hotels but has presided over some major clinical disasters itself – it’s off down to the local NHS Unit for everyone now, even if the one nearest to you is lethal. The only way around this is for a woman to lie about her delivery due date and give birth ‘accidentally’ at home. Which is actually what some women are resorting to if they’ve previously had a really bad experience in hospital.

This is no way to treat women is it. The biggest laugh of all is that whilst risking women’s and babies safety, Cathy Warwick maintained that as a feminist she would make an ‘executive decision’ on behalf of the RCM to support the abolition of any time limits on abortion – members were not balloted. Hundreds of furious RCM members who had conscientious objections to abortion protested but Cathy ignored them.

Cathy rakes in a good deal more than the average midwife – in excess of £100k pa. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by that hallowed institution St George’s Hospital Medical School in 2007.

 

Then Radio 4 inflicted a Top Doctor upon it’s listeners on ‘The World At One’ – John Ashton, who was fuming away about the health of ‘northerners’ and maintaining that what was needed was more funding for public health in the north. Ashton’s angry near-rant followed clips of interviews with a number of northern men who all showed a healthy disrespect towards the BBC journalist when he quizzed them about their smoking habits and diets. Ashton banged on about the sins of Public Health England in spending far more per head of population in the south than they do in the north and also got in a mention of the ‘male identity crisis’ as well. The male identity crisis is not something that is going to be solved by the Gov’t giving more money to bodies like Public Health England or indeed by Public Health England upping their budget for the north. There is massive inequality between the south and the north but Public Health England is not the sort of body which will address the sort of inequality that needs addressing. John Ashton sounded so furious that I thought that it would be worth googling him because I hadn’t come across his name before.

Professor John Ashton has passed through the hands of a few institutions that have been named on this blog as concealing the wrongdoing of the Top Doctors – the University of Southampton, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Liverpool Medical School. Ashton is the former Director of Public Health for Cumbria – well the NHS had a few problems in Cumbria didn’t it John, which were of course concealed. Such as all those babies who died in Furness Hospital, one of whom was James Titcombe’s son. It was also the NHS in Cumbria which appointed William Bingley to a senior role in the regional Trust – the William Bingley who colluded with the criminal activities of the Top Doctors in north Wales whilst he held senior positions with MIND and the Mental Health Act Commission. Bingley ended up resigning from the Trust after his business activities and associated conflicts of interest were made embarrassingly public. He ended up with a Chair in Mental Health Law and Ethics at the University of Cumbria, so he didn’t go far.

John Ashton might have known about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales himself. In 1986 John Ashton was employed as a Senior Lecturer in Liverpool Medical School. It was in 1987 that Dafydd told me that if I dropped my complaint against him he’d have a word with his friend who was a Professor in Liverpool Medical School and he’d get me a place there. In the summer of 1984 I had been told by a friend of Sonia Maxwell, the daughter of Terry Maxwell the Clinical Director of Ysbyty Gwynedd, that Sonia had been offered a place to study medicine at Liverpool regardless of her A level results before she had even applied ‘because they know her dad’. Ashton himself whilst he worked in Liverpool in 1986 established a pioneering needle exchange scheme for addicts. So I presume that Ashton knew the pioneering psychiatrist Dr John Marks from Liverpool who achieved impressive results regarding the reduction of harm among drug users, who in the early 1990s wanted to go to north Wales to work. Whose appointment was blocked by Gwynedd Health Authority because they wanted to give the contract for ‘substance misuse services’ to Dafydd. Which indeed they did (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’)

John Ashton originally trained as a psychiatrist. He has also worked in family planning and reproductive medicine. He’ll know all about the fertility treatment scams which have been discussed on this blog then.

In Feb 2007 the Manchester Evening News reported that Ashton was quitting his NHS post because he was fed-up with Gov’t reorganisations of the NHS and ‘red tape’. He stated that he was contemplating a career in politics.

He obviously changed his mind because between 2013-2016 John Ashton was President of the Faculty of Public Health. He was suspended from his post at one point after sending out a tweet referring to a group of people as ‘cunts’. I think that they had disagreed with him over something.

In July 2014 Ashton pledged his support for a change in the law to allow doctors to act in cases of ‘assisted dying’. The suicide statistics for north Wales suggest that Dafydd et al have been helping people on their way for years.

John Ashton has been very robust in his support of some other Top Doctors. In 2012 he took on the UK media after an article appeared in the ‘Independent’ stating that Clare Gerada, the Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, had a vested interest in opposing the Gov’ts NHS reforms. Ashton charged into battle on her behalf, robustly defending her and later accused the Dept of Health of trying to gag him, saying that he had felt ‘bullied’. He should have just sent them all a tweet calling them cunts.

Who was the oppressed woman whom Ashton valiantly defended? Clare Gerada was the Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners between 2010-2013. She is a London based GP with interests in mental health and substance abuse. So she’ll know how crap the mental health services are then. Not that she’ll have ever publicly admitted it – because she’s one of the lot who trained in psychiatry at the Maudsley! In the 1980s – when the Maudsley’s finest alumnus Dafydd was concealing the paedophile ring and illegally imprisoning people in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. But Clare will already have been schooled in the art of keeping quiet in the face of people doing unscrupulous things – she studied medicine at UCL. In 1992 Clare began working as a GP in Lambeth – the Lambeth that, like north Wales, ran children’s services teaming with paedophiles. The Lambeth who – until the 1990s – was also sending children in it’s care to children’s homes in north Wales where they were abused. Did you really not ever notice any of this Clare?

In April 2016 Clare was elected to the Council of the BMA. Clare is also a member and honorary fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

In Sept 2016 Clare was named as one of the Lib Dems new ‘Beveridge’ group of advisors – although she had been a lifelong supporter of the Labour Party until the EU Referendum. Perhaps she was one of these people who threw a hissy fit because they thought that Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t enthusiastic enough about the bankers club which is the EU.

Clare is a convenor of the cross party political group ‘More United’. I suspect that the only unity that Clare shows is with that of other Top Doctors.

There is a nice photo of Clare on her wiki entry. She is carefully posed – in a similar position to that famous pose adopted by Helen Mirren when she was photographed a few years ago to demonstrate that the over-65s can still look wonderful in a bikini. Clare isn’t wearing a bikini though, she’s wearing a boring but very expensive dress and for some reason is clutching an equally boring designer handbag in such a way as to ensure that it is featured in the frame. Clare must have spent ages getting that photo right, it even looks as though it was professionally done in a studio. The caption above the photo reads ‘Lady Clare Wessely’. Because that’s who she is – she’s married to a Sir!

The Sir to whom Clare is married is another Top Doctor, Professor Sir Simon Wessely, the Professor of Psychological Medicine at Kings College London and the Director of the Kings Centre for Military Health Research. If I presented ‘Woman’s Hour’ I’d call Clare and Simon a ‘power couple’.

Sir Simon is also an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Kings College Hospital and at the Maudsley! Indeed he studied at the Maudsley in the mid-1980s. And at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is a Civilian Consultant Advisor in psychiatry to the British Army.

He was knighted in 2013 for his services to military healthcare and to psychological medicine. In 2014 Simon was appointed President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Yet the mental health services are such a mess…

In an interview with the ‘Lancet’ in 2007 regarding the controversy over Wessely’s position concerning Gulf War syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome, Wessely excused himself by saying that he was ‘keen to get published’. So what else did he publish in a hurry without thinking about it? He maintained however that regarding chronic fatigue syndrome, he was subjected to ‘a relentless, vicious, vile campaign designed to hurt and intimidate’. Never mind Simon, at least you weren’t illegally imprisoned, fitted up for crimes that you never committed, hounded out of jobs, subjected to an organised slander and discovered two attempts to set fire to your house, which is what happened to me after I complained about Dafydd and the Top Doctors. Of course most of the people who gave evidence against the paedophile ring that Dafydd et al concealed were found dead. That is what constitutes a relentless, vicious, vile campaign designed to hurt and intimidate, not a bit of criticism of some rather sub-standard research and ill-advised public comments.

Simon Wessely is a member of the Gov’ts Mental Health Taskforce, that one Chaired by Paul Farmer – who’s known all about the wrongdoing of Dafydd et al for at least ten years. Ever since I wrote to him about it.

Wessely was instrumental in setting up the Committee on Acute Psychiatric Care investigating out of area psychiatric placements which was Chaired by Lord Crisp, the man whom Blair put in charge of the NHS at one point. Crisp resigned from his position running the NHS when he realised that he (Crisp) didn’t actually know what was going on. Acute psychiatric care is now so bad that some NHS organisations have placed patients in France because they were unable to find placements anywhere in the UK.

When Wessely ascended the throne at the Royal College he stated that his priorities would include improving the image of psychiatry and psychiatrists, improving recruitment to the speciality and ensuring excellence in education and training. He’s done brilliantly there hadn’t he, no doubt he’ll be elevated to the peerage soon and Lady Clare can purchase a new outfit for the occasion.

Health Services Journal named Simon as one of the ‘Top 100 Clinicians’ in 2014. But then HSJ named Katrina Percy as CEO of the year. Katrina Percy was CEO of Southern Health which oversaw the deaths of hundreds of patients with mental health problems and learning difficulties, one of those deaths being of Connor Sparrowhawk. The Top Doctor responsible for Connor’s ‘care’ at Southern Health is currently facing a GMC tribunal. Yesterday she admitted 28 ‘failings’ in relation to Connor’s care.

In Feb 2017 BBC News online reported that had been a 50% increase in unexpected mental health deaths – including those due to suicide, neglect and misadventure – in three years. The Dept of Health maintained that the increase was due to ‘changes in recording and investigating deaths’. Perhaps that meant that the DoH had stopped lying about the situation. Simon announced that the ‘services are about to get worse’. The services were so bad by then that they couldn’t get much worse – perhaps Simon meant that the horrible truth could not be concealed any longer. Marjorie Wallace (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’) was gobsmacked that the DoH had started admitting the dire state of affairs as well – she  claimed to be ‘shocked’ by the figures.

 

Another guest on the ‘Today’ programme this morning was the barrister who is acting for the 17 year old girl who was the subject of Sir James Munby’s comments that society will have blood on it’s hands if a place in a suitable mental health unit cannot be found for her. The barrister described the girl’s current living conditions – alone in a cell, with only a mattress. As I have explained previously these are exactly the conditions to which some patients in mental health units are subjected – there is no guarantee that the treatment of that young woman is going to change in any way with a move from custody to ‘psychiatric care’. Her barrister also explained that at present, the way in which that young woman is restrained is by people ‘sitting on her’. The journalist conducting the interview was horrified. I’m sorry to burst her bubble, but ‘sitting on people’ in order to ‘restrain’ them happens in mental health care settings as well – and it is the Angels who do it. There was for many years a notorious dreadful building in Bangor called Neuadd Deiniol that was laughingly described as a home for people with mental health problems. The care was dreadful, one man choked to death in there and his body wasn’t discovered for a few hours – although he was being ‘observed’ every twenty minutes of course – and the only people who worked there for any length of time were people who couldn’t get a job anywhere else. At one point virtually all the patients there were Dafydd’s but after a while Neuadd Deiniol extended it’s welcome to patients of other Top Doctors as well. I got it straight from the horses mouth – I encountered a rather weird woman who was employed there as a nurse in charge and she cheerily recounted how they had to ‘sit on’ patients. A care assistant – who was no paragon of good practice herself – witnessed the conversation and challenged the Angel, saying that there were never any circumstances in which one should sit on a patient. The Angel was baffled and reiterated ooh no, you’ve got to.

 

As mentioned in previous posts I have suspected that once more the BMA are on a course of action in which they are going to scream and scream until they’re sick. It’s been confirmed by an article in Mail online today. The BMA have organised a ballot of ‘senior GPs’ across England regarding the possible suspension of new patient registrations. In other words, if the GPs vote yes, surgeries will refuse to take on any new patients. Which means that no-one will be able to change doctors, or register with a new practice when they move house or find a new doctor if their doctor retires or dies. Richard Vautrey of the BMA suggested a ban on new registrations as a form of industrial action in protest at ‘the lack of funding for surgeries’. It is reported that the Top Doctors are ‘angry’ at, among other things, the prospect of weekend opening. There is of course still quite a lot of funding for surgeries and for the salaries of Top Doctors. In fact GPs are still benefiting from the notorious out of hours contract that the BMA negotiated in 2004 which means that they can opt out of evening and weekend responsibilities but still earn in excess of £100k pa.

But did Top Doctors who worked as GPs offer a better service before they became as ‘angry’ as they are at present? This blog has posted much about a number of GPs who have conducted themselves appallingly, such as Dr D.G.E. Wood and Dr K. Shah who assisted Dafydd et al in their criminal activities. But even GPs in positions further removed from Dafydd and his mates were capable of some pretty dreadful things. My post ‘A Trade In People – Between London And North Wales’ described how a group of Top Doctors, assisted by some crooked lawyers, swindled a vulnerable brother and sister from London out of their inheritance and relocated them to north Wales after their mother had died in suspicious circumstances in Warlingham Park Hospital, although they had never even visited Wales previously. The financial swindle was perpetuated by Top Doctors in London, as was the most serious abuse and neglect to which these this family had been subjected, but the full details of their history was known to the GPs at Bethesda surgery. Those GPs also witnessed the serious poverty that they were living in and the dreadful neglect towards them by the Arfon Community Mental Health Team. They were not the only patients who were neglected by that surgery, the village was alive with anecdotes of very poor practice and not only with respect to vulnerable mental health patients. I attributed nearly all of this to the general level of poor care offered by that surgery, although there was one GP there who was noticeably better than the others.

There was one GP in that practice though who was quite competent when he wanted to be – when treating his friends for example – but who seemed to be incredibly negligent or ‘make mistakes’ in certain other circumstances. I witnessed him completely blank someone when they reported a case of sexual abuse to him for example – neither did he ever follow that report up. He also seemed to want to exert an astonishing level of control over the brother of the vulnerable family from London. He refused to refer this man for specialist care when he requested it, he told the man ‘not to bother’ when the man expressed an interest in voluntary work and intriguingly when this man had a short-lived sexual relationship with another woman who lived in the village, he virtually demanded full details of their sexual activity. His interest in the details of this man’s life were inexplicable – the GP wasn’t ever interested in providing him with a better level of care, or better living conditions and the sexual relationship that he was so interested in was consensual, between adults and non-exploitative. Neither was an unplanned pregnancy an issue because of the age of the woman involved. A couple of years after this, the same GP was involved in the death of a patient, a young man, S.

S had an older brother, J. J was notorious locally. He was in care as a child, developed drug and mental health problems by his mid-teens and ended up in the notorious Risley Remand Centre for burglary. I was friends with one of his foster parents who not only told me about the violence and abuse to which J had been subjected when he was young but also told me of the beatings and abuse that he and other young men suffered whilst in Risley Remand Centre. My friend did try and challenge the authorities regarding what was happening but she realised that the prison service was a law unto itself and she got nowhere. When J was released from Risley Remand Centre, he resumed his lifestyle of hard drug use, petty crime and dossing down in other peoples houses when they allowed him to. My friend continued to keep in contact with him. However S, his younger brother, was much more stable. He never became involved in crime or drug use and at the time that he died he was actually performing very well at a local FE college. Despite the differences between them S and J were on good terms and communicated regularly.

Then something happened to J that really concerned my friend. He was referred to Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. J began telling my friend some very bizarre things about his encounters with Dafydd. Dafydd told J that he loved him. (A number of other patients also reported that Dafydd had told them that he loved them.) J then appeared on a TV programme telling a few porkies in support of Dafydd when there was an attempt to force Dafydd into retirement in the mid 1990s. My friend asked J why he had gone on TV saying those things and he replied that he’d been paid to do so. Although J had a drug problem, Dafydd did what he was notorious for doing – he supplied J with any drugs that J requested. Whilst all this was happening J could be seen in Bangor openly selling hard drugs to school children. A number of people reported this to the police but no action was taken.

My friend then moved away from Bethesda and I didn’t hear any further details of J’s interactions with Dafydd although I was aware that J was still ‘Dafydd’s patient’. A few months after my friend left the village, there was a huge pubic scene in the GPs surgery. S and J’s mother was screaming abuse at one of the GPs and calling him a murderer. It transpired that S had died the night before – he was 18. He had been taken ill at home and the family were concerned that he had meningitis. They had rung Bethesda surgery and a GP had visited and stated that he ‘didn’t think’ that it was meningitis, it was just flu. S’s condition deteriorated and a few hours later they rang the surgery again. This time a different GP arrived – the GP who took such a close interest in the activities of the man from London. Again S’s parents expressed their concern that S might have meningitis. The GP told them quite categorically that S did not have meningitis, told them to give S paracetamol and not to call the GP again. Later that evening S started to lose his vision. His dad drove him to Ysbyty Gwynedd. By the time they had got out of the car S told his dad that he could no longer see. S died a few hours later. He had meningitis.

S’s death caused a huge amount of bad feeling in Bethesda, he was a popular young man. His mum made a complaint and attempted to have an investigation into her son’s case opened but got nowhere. The GP who had told her husband that S didn’t have meningitis, to give him paracetamol and not to call them out again told third parties that S’s mother’s distress was due to guilt ‘because the wrong son had died’. At the time I just put S’s death down to yet another monumental cock-up on the part of Bethesda surgery. But something was brought to my attention this morning. That is, that S was yet someone else who will have known what Dafydd was up to – because J will have told him – who would be a credible witness but who died as a result of a ‘mistake’ on the part of the NHS in north Wales. J is still alive. But J is like all those witnesses who gave evidence at the Waterhouse Inquiry – he has a history of drug abuse and mental health problems as well as a criminal record and people who didn’t know him would never believe a word that he said. The GP whose actions led to the death of his brother retired last year, although he’s only in his late 50s. He told some people that I know that he was fed up of working and could afford to retire so he would.

So was Dr Gareth Jones a truly incompetent GP who didn’t notice the terrible abuse and fleecing of a vulnerable family at the hands of a circle of crooked professional people and who just had an inexplicable desire to exercise control over this family – and a few years later made a disastrous mistake when someone who had been a witness to Dafydd’s wrongdoing developed the symptoms of meningitis? Or was something even more unpleasant happening?

 

The ‘Today’ programme doesn’t just provide Top Doctors with air-time, it does of course have a daily slot set aside for people with theological interests. So imagine my surprise when the person introduced as the presenter for Thought For The Day this morning was Rabbi Laura Janner-Krausner, Greville Janner’s daughter! This morning Laura was talking about ‘healthy holiness’, but of course the last time that I heard Laura on the ‘Today’ programme she was spitting blood in the direction of those people who claimed that her father had molested them when they were children in care in Leicestershire – Laura’s insistence that it is the easiest thing in the world to falsely convict an innocent peer for child sexual abuse prompted my post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’. Laura memorably said of Greville that ‘he was great and he was good’, which why she and the extended Janner clan were going to defend his name and silence those who had dared make allegations against him. (She didn’t manage to explain why the CPS admitted that there was enough evidence to prosecute Janner as long ago as the early 90s but for some reason they didn’t or that his own lawyer fully expected him to be charged with child abuse, which is why they had George Carman on speed dial.)

As well as being a lawyer and a politician, when he was younger Greville wrote a few books. I found one in a second hand bookshop some weeks ago. It looked a rather boring book called ‘Janner’s Complete Letterwriter’, but in the light of Laura’s insistence that the author was ‘Great and Good’ in the face of many other people maintaining that he was a lying child molester who used his mates in high places to keep himself out of trouble, I thought that I’d buy the book and read Greville’s advice re writing letters.

Greville’s book isn’t simply a guide to correct grammar and style. The stated aim of ‘Janner’s Complete Letterwriter’ is to show the reader how to achieve want they want. Greville seems to have made an in-depth study in Getting What You Want. He dispenses advice on how to write letters that will enable one to maximise profits, to fire staff without any comeback, to insult and upset people without using insulting or abusive words, to ingratiate oneself to people who are in a position to do one favours, to flatter, to praise and to appeal for money from very rich people.

‘Janner’s Complete Letterwriter’ commiserates with the reader that one of the drawbacks of hurting someone by letter is that one isn’t there to watch the ‘enemy’ read it, although he does explain that if one later hears that the recipient of one’s letter has been seen moaning and groaning in the bankruptcy courts, the letter has obviously hit home. He helpfully supplies some examples of ‘final, rude, rebuffs’. He explains that if one is ‘attacked by a commercial loud mouth look for his business groin: take aim and fire hard’, that through ‘calculated coolness you can make the other man feel like a worm’, that ‘some lies are forgivable’, that ‘the letterwriter needs to know how best to disguise the truth’, that ‘sometimes the truth is just too horrible to tell’, that ‘courts of law are not courts of morals and justice is sometimes cruel’, that ‘if lies must be told at least tell them well’, that ‘the lying letter is as much a fact of business life as the lying witness is a regular occupant of the witness-box’, that ‘when the lie is a large one, you have two alternatives: you may either build up to it by a series of minor fibs, or you can shout the big fib from the start’ and that ‘the fact of course is fiction’. Greville chooses some interesting sub-headings for his chapters – ‘irony and sarcasm’, ‘at the expense of others’, ‘the sting in the tail’ are just a few examples.

‘Janner’s Complete Letterwriter’ is a masterclass into how to deceive, intimidate and manipulate without anyone being able to describe exactly how one is doing so. When branching off briefly into advice regarding how to conduct oneself in person, Janner explains that it’s most important to always smile, even if you are knowingly inflicting damage upon someone. One of the children who alleged that Janner had abused him made a reference to ‘the smiling man’.

In the introduction to his book Greville thanks his son ‘Daniel Janner, BA (Cantab), barrister’ for his help in preparing the book. That’s Laura’s brother, who since his father’s death has threatened to sue the arse of those who made allegations against his dad if they dare repeat them.

 

 

Professor Prestigious And His Associates

Professor Sir Michael Marmot was all over the media yesterday talking about inequality after some shock horror research has been published demonstrating that health inequalities in the UK are not decreasing. I cannot understand why anyone is even surprised. Michael Marmot is considered by the Top Doctors to be the ultimate guru where health inequalities are concerned, although sociologists are not as impressed by him as Top Doctors, politicians and policymakers are. However, by the standards of Top Doctors, Marmot is nuanced and relatively radical. It was Marmot who first bust the myth of poor people drinking excessively by demonstrating that people on higher incomes did a lot more boozing and in his famous study of Whitehall civil servants in the 1980s Marmot also showed that it is not people in senior jobs who experience ‘stress’, it is people at the bottom of the pecking order. Marmot uses concepts such as social and cultural capital which makes him relatively unusual among Top Doctors. As a result of all this Michael Marmot has gained a reputation as someone who is outspoken on health inequalities and who is not afraid to conduct rigorous research and to subsequently expose the root of such inequalities. He has famously said that ‘medicine was a failed prevention’. Governments love Marmot. He was knighted in 2000 for his work on ‘understanding health inequalities’ and he Chaired the Commission On Social Determinants of Health, which was set up by WHO (World Health Organisation) in 2005. He conducted the famous Marmot Review of UK Health Inequalities which was commissioned by Gordon Brown in 2008 and reported to the Coalition Gov’t in 2010. Marmot Chaired the Scientific Reference Group on tacking health inequalities. He is the MRC Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL and Director of UCL’s Institute of Health Equity. So one would have thought that what with Marmot having been at the helm for so many years that health inequalities in the UK would have disappeared. What can be going wrong? From what I heard on the ‘Today’ programme yesterday, Marmot didn’t explain why the UK is still a deeply unequal nation in terms of health outcomes, but he did know what the solution is – it is to give the NHS more money. It does seem to come down to that these days – if only the Top Doctors were given more money all would be well. Marmot would probably also argue that if he was given another massive research grant that would help too.

Whenever I hear Michael Marmot speaking about health inequalities, I am always reminded of the phrase ‘the dog that didn’t bark’. Because although I agree with much of what Marmot says and he makes many valid points, there is one topic on which I never hear Marmot say anything – that of health inequalities KNOWINGLY perpetuated by the NHS itself. He will discuss in detail health inequalities that arise as a result of the NHS serving well-educated people or people on higher incomes better than others, but he discusses this as though it’s an accident on the part of the NHS and that the dear old NHS is doing it’s best to treat everybody to the same high standard, but for multiple complex reasons some people just don’t benefit as much from the treatment/care. Marmot is not actually telling lies in that there are numerous reasons why some people benefit from the NHS more than others. But there are also some groups of people – notoriously those with learning disabilities and severe long-term mental illness – who die decades earlier than everyone else, because the NHS does not bother to treat them. I discussed this in my post ‘Why So Many Die So Early’ and gave a few examples that I have witnessed. This phenomenon is well-documented and Marmot will know all about it. He will know that people with learning disabilities have ‘DNR’ (do not resuscitate) notes pinned t0 their medical records without anyone being informed, he will know that they are not given treatment for certain conditions or under certain circumstances because their quality of life is assessed on a different basis from everybody else, he will know that there is a fatalism pervading the NHS which dictates that ‘they usually die before they’re 50 anyway’ and he will know that frequently NHS staff find learning disabled people difficult to communicate with or difficult to keep calm, so they simply avoid trying to do this. Marmot will also know that people with mental health problems who have a diagnosis of ‘personality disorder’ are deemed by many to be untreatable and will be left without treatment for eg. depression, when other patients will receive that treatment. He will know that the ‘medication’ given to patients deemed psychotic can have very severe ‘side effects’ which shorten patients’ lives – and he will know that there is a lot of very bad prescribing about which increases the possibility of this happening. Michael Marmot will also know all about the dreadful, brutal practices that exist in mental health and the very sorry state of the mental health services. He will know about all this not just because he is much more switched on than most Top Doctors where health inequalities are concerned, but because Michael Marmot is a psychiatrist.

I did not realise that Marmot was a psychiatrist until a few weeks ago. He describes himself as an ‘epidemiologist’ or sometimes as a ‘social scientist’. But I heard him on a Radio 4 programme, a Libby Purves or an Andrew Marr thing, a chat show with ‘interesting’ guests and Marmot was one of the guests. Another guest was a woman psychiatrist who, after training and practicing in the UK, had spent many years overseas dispensing wisdom to Johnny Foreigner and who had written a book about her adventures. As Libby (or Andrew) and the guests marvelled at her ‘compassion’ and her desire to ‘help’ in her capacity as a Top Doctor, Michael Marmot joined in the admiration and revealed that he was particularly interested in this woman’s work, because he too was a psychiatrist. Now this woman actually mentioned that people with serious mental illnesses die many years earlier than other people. I was delighted to hear this admission and looked forward to, for once, an honest discussion about the way in which people with severe mental illness are wiped out by the NHS itself. It didn’t happen. Marmot and the female psychiatrist tutted about the premature deaths and both agreed that it was shocking that this was so and that it was very sad and dreadfully unfair. But there was not one word about the reasons why people with serious mental illness die so prematurely. Yet Marmot had already been given a lot of air-time to discuss his theories regarding health inequalities – but as soon as severe mental illness was mentioned the conversation was moved onto another topic. The institutionalised discrimination from the NHS faced by people with mental health problems and learning disabilities is the most striking example of health inequality in the UK today. In interviews and articles Marmot constantly makes statements such as ‘I showed them the evidence’ and ‘I always look at the evidence’. When he appeared on ‘Desert Island Discs’ in 2014 he stated that ‘I don’t do the skulduggery of politics’. Presumably Marmot doesn’t ever mention the very damning evidence regarding the way in which some groups of people are (mis)treated by the NHS for other reasons then.

When I hear Marmot speak I am reminded of a Top Doctors lecture that I attended in Ysbyty Gwynedd a few years ago. I felt myself to be in Injun Country because I noticed a few people in the lecture theatre whom I had done battle with myself – indeed the man introducing the speaker was Dr Richard Tranter, a Top Doctor lately of the Hergest Unit, who has featured on this blog. I went to the lecture because it was advertised as being about health inequalities and the speaker was a health economist from Bangor University. I didn’t think much of the lecture because the speaker was a great believer in Nudge Theory which is one of the biggest cons that behavioural psychologists have inflicted upon the western world, but I’ll return to Nudge later in this post. However at the end of the lecture a Top Doctor raised his hand to ask a question. This lecture took place at the height of the BMA’s battles with the then Health Minister Edwina Hart and the attempts of the Top Doctors to depose Mary Burrows, the first CEO of the Betsi. The Top Doctor then spoke. He asked the health economist if she agreed with privatising the NHS ‘because why should doctors be told what to do by this Welsh Government’. I felt like shouting out ‘because they pay you a hundred fucking thousand a year you arrogant bastard’, but I restrained myself. Imagine my surprise when the health economist replied that she did not believe in privatising the NHS because the NHS was there for poor people who benefit much more from it than anyone else. ‘No they don’t’ whispered my colleague who’d attended the lecture with me. I know that they don’t. So not only was there a greedy arrogant bastard of a Top Doctor in the lecture, but Bangor University employs a health economist who doesn’t know her arse from her elbow.

But to return to Professor Prestigious. I have been googling Michael Marmot and I can find no references to him being a psychiatrist. I was wondering if perhaps he’d worked with those we know and love, wondering if perhaps he’d passed through the Maudsley or St George’s Hospital Medical School as so many have, but there are no references to any psychiatric training at all. There is however a lack of detail regarding how he spent the early years of his working life. He qualified as a doctor from the University of Sydney in 1968 and he was awarded his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1975. His online biography tells us that in 1980 he became an honorary consultant in Public Health Medicine and from 1985 onwards he worked at UCL, with a stint at Harvard. So when did he work as a psychiatrist? Before doing his PhD? Or immediately afterwards? Why does he not detail this part of his career – he has been happy to provide extensive details of everything he’s done since arriving at UCL. Marmot’s work as a psychiatrist remains a mystery.

Despite his claim that he doesn’t do the skulduggery of politics, I suspect that Marmot is very shrewd indeed politically. His 1980 honorary consultant post in Public Health Medicine is listed as being with the GMC. That will be the same GMC who in 1980 were receiving complaints about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones – who in that year found himself on the receiving end of the beginning of the litigation for unlawfully imprisoning Mary Wynch. The GMC took no action against him either for that or for the other numerous instances of misconduct involving Jones at that time, at least one incident resulting in the death of a patient. He was of course concealing a paedophile ring as well, but I don’t know if anyone actually made formal representation about that.

In 2008 when Gordon Brown commissioned Professor Prestigious to Chair the Marmot Review, it was Secretary of State for Health Alan Johnson who asked Marmot to do it. The Alan Johnson who, along with Andy Burnham, refused more than 80 requests to hold a Public Inquiry into events at Mid-Staffs because of the horrifying death rates there. Marmot is a health inequalities expert. He will be able to spot inordinately high death rates. It is now admitted that the deaths and poor outcomes at Mid-Staffs were a result of dreadful care. Nothing to do with social or cultural capital. It is highly likely that Marmot had had access to UK mortality stats for years before the Mid-Staffs scandal broke. So what did he think was going on in Mid-Staffs?

Marmot has occupied another position as well which is not given out to people who do not do the skulduggery of politics – he was President of the BMA, 2010-11. Which was when the BMA Cymru were still running a co-ordinated campaign against the CEO of the Betsi and against the Welsh Gov’ts Health Minister. It was at about that time that BMA Cymru were sending aggressive rude e mails to me as well – and those e mails were from their PR man no less.

Marmot mentions something else interesting in his interview for ‘Desert Island Discs’. He talks about his research some years ago that showed the high levels of well-being among Japanese woman. This surprised everyone, particularly when Marmot’s theories concerning the causes of well-being were taken into account. Marmot had famously written about people experiencing poor health outcomes if they had little control over their lives or were considered to be of low social status. Japanese woman – especially back in the 70s and 80s – were considered to have been a very oppressed group indeed. The society in which they lived was perceived to be highly patriarchal, there were very, very few employment opportunities for woman – especially married women – a high degree of social control was exercised over women and men famously spent much of their time away from their wives and families, either at work or socialising with other men. Five years ago I was reading of the experiences of a young European professional woman who had married and gone to live in Japan and she observed that she found life there very difficult because being a woman ‘my opinion counts for nothing’. This was a woman with postgraduate qualifications who had learnt Japanese. So even in recent years, women in Japan did not equate to Marmot’s empowered respected beings in control of their lives.

Marmot however came up with an explanation for his seemingly anomalous results. He maintained that the Japanese husbands spent nearly all of their time away from their wives, which resulted in the wives building up their own social capital and networks. It’s an interesting theory, but I’ve got an interesting theory too. Marmot was, at some point a psychiatrist. He is also politically sharp and by the 80s was becoming a very influential figure in the medical establishment. Now I’m not sure when Marmot carried out his research on Japanese women but I presume that it was after his PhD – maybe late 70s or 80s? There was sometime around the late 80s a major diplomatic incident between Japan and the World Psychiatric Association. It had been revealed that conditions in Japanese mental hospitals were dreadful, with patients being viewed as convicts. Their heads were shaved, they were made to wear uniforms and there was evidence that they were being beaten with iron rods. British psychiatrists compared their treatment with that of inmates in asylums before the 19th century. Then the World Psychiatric Association stated that Japan would be expelled from their organisation. I followed this at the time because by then I’d experienced Dafydd Alun Jones and the North Wales Hospital and frankly I didn’t think that British psychiatry was in any position to point the finger at anyone else. And I remember Japan getting very angry and saying pretty much the same thing. It is not improbable that if at this time Professor Prestigious had published research suggesting that Japanese women’s position in society was adversely affecting their health outcomes that a very big political row could have blown up. Research is suppressed for political purposes. I have mentioned previously that there are hardly any studies published investigating violence towards mental health patients by staff. Researchers in Bradford knew that forced marriage and honour violence/killings were a problem but did not publicise it for a long time because there were fears that the BNP would misuse it. It is also only relatively recently that people have spoken openly about the problem in Bradford of genetically inherited conditions among babies born to parents who are first cousins. Yet all these things have been known about for a very long time. I really do wonder if Marmot’s research on Japanese women was affected by political considerations. If it was it didn’t do him any harm. He was President of the World Medical Association 2015-16.

Professor Prestigious’s Institute of Health Equity at UCL was launched in 2011, the year that he stood down as President of the BMA and is supported by the Department of Health – and the dear old BMA! I notice that details of the Institute of Health Equity appear on the part of the UCL website entitled ‘UCL Public Policy’. Details of the ‘UCL Centre For Behaviour Change’ appear on the same page. ‘Behaviour Change’ being a concept that neoliberal governments really love because it can be used to locate social problems with complex causes within the individual – it’s been causing havoc for a long while in mental health (‘they think that they have no responsibility to get better’ as a social work team manager once told me), but the dear old Nudge Theory has now found it’s way into everywhere, including into the UK benefits system. It’s why letters to people claiming disability benefits now have slogans on them saying ‘it has been proved that having a job is better for your health’. Better than what? A poke in the eye with a sharp stick? I’m sure that having a fulfilling job that you enjoy is good for your health but working for ‘Sports Direct’ isn’t. Isn’t it puzzling that health inequalities are still with us and Michael Marmot is surprised at this. No wonder the Top Doctors need more money, it’s the only solution. One glimpse at the UCL Public Policy webpage suggested to me that there’s enough there to provide material for a whole series of blog posts but sadly I don’t have time. I will just mention that on May 17 the Centre for Behaviour Change co-hosted an event entitled ‘exploring behaviour change in the setting of large organisations’ – with BUPA. Good to know that the Top Doctors remain committed to the NHS and continue to avoid the skulduggery of politics.

As I frequently theorise on this blog, people who make it big in medicine only do so if they keep quiet about the things that the Top Doctors really do not want anyone to find out about. The fact that Marmot was offered a position by the GMC and ended up as President of the BMA – and of course landing commissions from Westminster Gov’ts – suggests that he will have been party to an awful lot. That is why I was interested to find out where he’d worked when he was a psychiatrist and whom he worked with. He’s obviously keeping that info under his hat, but another name whom he has admitted to working with jumped out at me – Sir Donald Acheson.

Marmot’s biography states that he served on the Scientific Advisory Group of the Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health Chaired by Acheson, whilst Acheson was UK Chief Medical Officer. Donald Acheson could be described as the Top Doctor’s Top Doctor. Acheson really did not have to Chair an Inquiry to find out why health inequalities existed. They existed because Acheson existed.

Acheson died in 2010. He was the Gov’ts Chief Medical Officer between 1983-91. Before devolution. So Acheson’s reign spanned the full horrors of Dafydd and the paedophile ring and all that I have described in previous posts. The lies, the perjury, the corruption, the unlawful imprisonment of anyone crossing the paths of those we know and love, the hounding of whistleblowers out of jobs, the appointment of Jimmy Savile and his mates to the management ‘task force’ of Broadmoor Hospital, Acheson was there throughout it all. Acheson is described as ‘serving’ the Gov’t in the DHSS, the Department of Education and Science and at the Home Office. In the thick of all of it then. After leaving office, Acheson held positions at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – the establishment that unlawfully withdrew my place on an MSc (see post ‘A Top Doctor In The News’) and UCL, where he will have worked with Professor Prestigious. Acheson was President of the BMA 1996-97. Just as the Waterhouse Inquiry began. Acheson received a number of honours from toadying universities, including an honorary doctorate from the University of Birmingham in 1991.

That was the University of Birmingham that employed Professor Robert Bluglass who concealed Dafydd’s wrongdoing as Dafydd concealed the paedophile ring and that also employed Dr Tony Francis’s (Dr X’s) former boss, Professor Ian Brockington – Tony Francis’s wrongdoing wasn’t even investigated By Bluglass, although it formed part of my complaint (see posts ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’ and ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’). 1991 note – the year that it is alleged that a cover-up of a major paedophile ring with connections to Westminster took place, the year that I was hounded out of my job at St George’s Hospital Medical School, the year that Dr Tony Francis and the MDU hired the services of Sir Robert Francis QC in an attempt to imprison me because I had written numerous letters alleging that there was serious criminal activity taking place in the north Wales mental health services, including on the part of Tony Francis (see post ‘The Sordid Role Of Sir Robert Francis QC’). It was also the year that a close friend of mine who knew what had happened to me in north Wales and was interested in making a documentary about it was unfairly dismissed from her job at the Royal Television Society (see post ‘Did Glenda Occupy A Key Role In Keeping It all Out Of The Media?’).

As if that wasn’t enough, I have also discovered that Acheson was born in 1926, so just a few years younger than Gwynne the lobotomist – and he trained at the Middlesex Hospital, just like Gwynne! Acheson’s first wife was a nurse from the Middlesex and Acheson is described as having ‘held various clinical posts at the Middlesex Hospital’. Such institutions have thriving Alumni organisations – medical schools in particular really love them – people keep in touch throughout their careers and a super-strength professional glue binds them all together. One thing that the Alumni organisations and professional glue are useful for is extracting each other from slurry pits. Now imagine if you and your mates were concealing a paedophile ring who were supplying boys to Westminster figures – many of those figures members of the Party that was in Government at the time – and you knew the Chief Medical Officer working for that Gov’t. Or indeed imagine if you were the Gov’ts Chief Medical Officer and what the consequences would be if it ever got out that one of your associates had concealed such a paedophile ring and had been banging people up unlawfully or heaven forbid lobotomising them if they had started to talk about what was happening. Documents in my possession show that Dr D.G.E. Wood, the GP who ordered me to drop my complaints against Gwynne the lobotomist or suffer career damage, was writing and phoning everyone and anyone he could behind the scenes in his efforts to extract Gwynne, Dafydd, Tony Francis et al from the shit. I will provide further evidence of why I think that a distress call may have been sent out to Acheson in a minute.

In 2000 long after he’d retired, Acheson appeared on the BBC News, as a ‘whistleblower’. This news item concerned the BSE scandal that occurred in the late 80s on Acheson’s watch. Things had got a little difficult for Acheson because there had been a Public Inquiry into the BSE crisis and it had been revealed that he ‘might’ have misled the public over BSE in 1990 by publicly announcing that ‘there is no risk associated with eating British beef’ – of course there was a risk and a number of people did develop CJD as a result, although there are claims that the Gov’t never came clean about the number of people who did. At the BSE Inquiry, Acheson stated that his comment about there being ‘no risk’ from British beef ‘must have been a slip of the tongue’ (as opposed to a bloody great lie). He also told the Inquiry that he’d never heard of BSE until March 1988. Acheson however knew where the blame did lie  – he had been deceived by MAFF (the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) because they had not told him about BSE. MAFF had been ‘unnecessarily secretive’ (you’d never get a Top Doctor being secretive unnecessarily would you) and furthermore Acheson had no idea at all that abattoirs had not been heeding the rules regarding the butchering of animals and the treatment of the carcasses.

This is all very odd. By March 1988 BSE had been an identifiable disease for over 17 months. Furthermore, when I was doing the MSc in Experimental Pathology at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, in 1986-87, when we ‘did’ CJD, it was mentioned that a variant in cattle had recently appeared. So a bunch of postgrads were being taught things that the Chief Medical Officer didn’t know. The Chief Medical Officer who had access to all of the UK datasets and who had a whole department – which included a staff of nearly 100 Top Doctors – reporting directly to him. As for his naivety regarding the practices at abattoirs, everyone knew that abattoirs were frequently staffed by the local psychopaths who broke all the rules. When I was a teenager, a neighbouring farmer took my sister to the abattoir with him when he was taking his pigs there. This man told my sister that he always stayed when his pigs were being slaughtered because he didn’t trust the abattoir men. He was right not to – on the occasion that my sister went with him, she saw a pig running around on three legs, because the slaughterhouse men had cut a leg off for a laugh.

So we’ve established that Donald Acheson was a lying git who risked the health of UK citizens, probably because of the damage that the Gov’t at that time feared would be done to the British beef industry if anyone was told the truth about BSE.

So this was obviously why after he stood down as Chief Medical Officer he was given a Chair at the International Centre for Health and Society at UCL. Just the man for Tony Blair to ask in 1998 to Chair an investigation into health inequalities. The Acheson Report subsequently concluded that health inequalities were the result of poor people themselves – they got pissed and smoked and couldn’t afford the sort of food and services that resulted in good health. Marmot was part of that team – but then made a name for himself a few years later by debunking it all.

Acheson had to spin a yarn about MAFF, because he may well not have had his mind on BSE. Because whilst Acheson was Chief Medical Officer, something far more worrying for Thatcher’s Government than BSE occurred. HIV AIDS. Initially AIDS was thought to be only something that affected gay men, but then perceptions changed to it being something that predominantly affected the gay community. Acheson advised on the AIDS panic and his peers from that time have talked about how worried he was, how much of his time and effort went into planning the response to AIDS ie. he ‘ate and slept AIDS from 1985 onwards’. Acheson set up an informal group of senior medics and public health officials and invited people from the Terence Higgins Trust, an organisation with it’s roots in the gay community. From this evolved an expert advisory group which Acheson chaired. Acheson seems to have been a good deal more careful in his handling of the AIDS crisis than he was with BSE. He is on record as saying that the key was for society to become less promiscuous. Yet like Edwina Currie who famously advised the women of the UK not to ‘screw around’ if they wanted to avoid cervical cancer whilst she was doing a great deal of screwing around herself as were many of her colleagues, it seems that Acheson actually based his response to the AIDS crisis on a different message.

The ‘Guardian’s’ obituary of Acheson praised him for persuading Ministers to abandon their proposals for the compulsory testing of AIDS and making it a notifiable disease – Acheson was said to have persuaded Ministers that their proposals would deter people from seeking help. (The Conservative Gov’t did do one thing without telling the public though – they established a blood screening programme of all ante-natal patients in one major London hospital without informing the patients, in order to ascertain how widespread HIV was in the general population. The hospital where this was done with no-ones knowledge was St George’s. Of course.) Acheson argued for ‘reduction not prohibition’, for safe sex rather than no sex. The ‘Guardian’ also noted with surprise that Acheson effectively condoned illegal drug use by needle exchange schemes. In 1985 whilst talking about his reputation and credibility Acheson said ‘I must personally satisfy myself on the evidence on every issue’. He very obviously didn’t do that with BSE but I bet that he did it with AIDS. Because I think that Acheson knew that the repressed homophobic Gov’t of Thatcher’s ironically had more than a few members and associates who were not simply gay but who were wildly promiscuous and using the services of kids in care who had been trafficked into prostitution – by Acheson’s old mates Gwynne and co. Acheson had to ensure that the whole bloody lot of them didn’t become infected. This was a real threat – for example, Thomas Tyrell-Kenyon, the son of Conservative peer Lord Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon, was known to be abusing boys in care in north Wales and died of AIDS in 1993 (see post ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’). When I lived in Bethesda in the late 1980s I knew a very promiscuous gay man who was using prostitutes in the Chester area who died of AIDS. So there were people infected with AIDS in north Wales in the 80s and as north Wales was a key supplier of rent boys for the Westminster Paedophile Ring – the homes trafficking children for this purpose being Ty’r Felin in Bangor and the Bryn Alyn Community near Wrexham – the paedophiles of Westminster were certainly at risk.

In 1998 Acheson said that a shake-up in the Department of Health in 1996 eroded the power and independence of the Chief Medical Officer by reducing the number of directly accountable staff to the CMO down to none – Acheson had a team of about 100 medical staff. Historically the Department of Health had two parallel hierarchies, the admin staff reporting to the Permanent Secretary and the medical staff reporting to the CMO. Acheson argued that had he not had that team of 100 medics, he would not have been successful in his AIDS campaign. He is on record as having said that ‘you cannot be independent if what you have access to is controlled by admin staff who may have a different agenda’. If you are a CMO who’s mates are facilitating a paedophile ring involving the Gov’t – and indeed the other parties in opposition – and you’ve got 100 Top Doctors working for you, that gives you an awful lot of power over your alleged political masters. You certainly won’t want a team of admin staff responsible not to you but to a senior civil servant, that would really throw a spanner in the works. So the DoH eradicated the Top Doctors reporting to the CMO in 1996 – just as the Waterhouse Inquiry began…

Acheson’s obituaries mention another achievement of his as well – he is described as having had a long association with the University of Southampton (since 1968) and was the prime mover and shaker in the establishment of the Medical School there, indeed he was appointed Foundation Dean. This was a real revelation to me, because it might explain something that happened to me in about 1989, just before I took the job at St George’s. This was of course, a time when I was still in touch with D.G.E. Wood and as I mentioned in previous posts, was being pumped by him for information regarding my and indeed Brown’s career plans, as is clear from the documents that I now have got hold of. I applied for a job in the then fairly newly established IVF Unit at Southampton Medical School. This was at a time when Top Doctors had realised that there was money to be made and status to be acquired from an IVF Unit and everybody wanted one (please see post ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’). I was shortlisted for the post and at the interview I met the one other shortlisted candidate. We were both early, so we went for a coffee and she turned out to be great for a chat. She was not only the same age as me, but she’d also done her first degree in Wales – she had gone to Aberystwyth – but incredibly enough she had grown up in Somerset like me. She had been to school in Taunton, whereas I went to school in Bridgwater, so we had not ever actually met, but we marvelled a bit at how similar our paths had been. Unlike me however, she had worked in IVF since graduating, had worked with the pioneers and was already an experienced embryologist. It was very clear that she was the stronger candidate. We returned to the Unit to supposedly meet people and be shown around. But neither of us were shown around and the only person we met apart from the scientist in charge of the lab was a doctor called Elaine, whose main topic of conversation was how outraged she had been when a candidate for a job a few weeks previously had mistaken her for a nurse. It was very obvious that the man who was supposed to be running the lab was scared stiff of Elaine and was literally jumpy. The other candidate commented on this and said that this didn’t seem anything like the clinics that she had worked in. I was first in for the interview and the person leading the panel was an obstetrician called Gordon Masson. He was very friendly and extroverted but within about 10 mins he asked me who my boyfriend was and what he did for a living. Which even in those days was a very unacceptable question to ask a female candidate for a job, but I just presumed that this Top Doctor wasn’t too hot on etiquette where interviewing was concerned and held a lame stereotype that I might disappear on maternity leave within a few months, leaving them short of an embryologist. At the end of the interview they said they’d ring to let me know the outcome.

I went home but didn’t hear anything. So I rang the jumpy scientist to find out what was going on. His wife answered the phone and said ‘ooh I think Mr Masson isn’t appointing anyone who was interviewed he’s going to readvertise but don’t tell him I’ve told you’. About an hour later I then received a call from the other candidate – we’d exchanged numbers – and she greeted me with ‘I suppose you’ve got the job, because they’ve told me that I haven’t’. I related to her what I had been told and commented that I thought it was bizarre that she hadn’t been given the job, as she was one of the most experienced embryologists in the UK at that time. She then told me that her interview had been really weird. She said that Masson had spent most of the interview demanding that she admit to him that she and I knew each other. He banged on about us both coming from Somerset and then both going to university in Wales and absolutely insisted that we knew each other. I was mystified and she said that she had concluded that there was probably something going on in the Unit that they wanted to conceal and that they seemed to believe that we had applied for the job to somehow catch them out. I didn’t ever meet this embryologist again but I never forgot that strange interview. So when I acquainted myself with Acheson’s biography and realised that there was almost certainly a Gwynne the lobotomist connection and also a Chief Medical Officer who was suppressing a scandal connection, I thought about that interview. I don’t think that Masson was worried about me getting pregnant whilst working for him, I think that D.G.E. Wood had been busy – Wood was very wary of Brown because Brown had already started publishing before he began his PhD and Wood was very worried that Brown might publish something about what had gone on in north Wales. I think that’s why Masson was in a spin and also why he was sufficiently paranoid to think that I and the other candidate were up to something. This morning I googled Gordon Masson.

In 2005 Gordon Masson, described as the Director of the Wessex Fertility Clinic at Southampton, hit the media. A patient of the Wessex Fertility Centre had spent over £8,000 on fertility treatment and had been on their waiting list for their egg donation scheme when she received a letter from the Clinic telling her that they were no longer treating women over the age of 42 – although they had previously told her that she could remain on the waiting list until she was 45 – and she had therefore been removed from the waiting list. Gordon Masson issued a statement saying that they had been forced to alter their criteria because they had such a long waiting list that they had to prioritise younger women who had a better chance of becoming pregnant. Masson was roundly condemned by a number of people including a Sam Abdalla of the Lister Clinic, Professor Ian Craft Director of the London Fertility Centre – who offered to ‘help’ the patient involved himself – and the HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority). My post ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’ described just how dodgy some of the practices of IVF/infertility clinics were (and still are). Ian Craft was virtually a pariah on account of his practice of selective foetal reduction, ie. implanting up to ten embryos and aborting the ‘surplus’ ones as the pregnancy progressed. Craft’s ‘help’ would have come at a very high price financially and emotionally.

IVF clinics have continued with their questionable practices despite much hot air about the wonders of the regulator, the HFEA. The HFEA is a joke, many of it’s Chairs have been utter dipsticks who know bugger all about IVF but are simply sharp elbowed well-connected people who fancy another public appointment – the obvious name coming to mind being the dreadful Ruth Deech (see post ‘News Round Up, May 18 2017’), who was appointed a Dame on the basis of her ‘work’ with the HFEA between 1994-2002. So who was the Chair of the HFEA who condemned Gordon Masson – who, no matter what he got up to when he was interviewing me, was correct when he stated that women with fetility problems were very unlikely to become pregnant after the age of 42 and it was therefore better practice to prioritise younger women? It was Dame Suzi Leather, who was Chair of the HFEA between 2002-2006. Suzi Leather’s tenure at the HFEA was characterised by a considerable relaxation of the rules concerning who was eligible for IVF treatment. A lot of people considered that Leather relaxed those rules far too much – IVF is a ruthless business and many of those clinics will treat anyone who hands over the dosh, no matter how unlikely they are to ever conceive or how unsuitable their personal circumstances are for a child. When Leather stepped down from the HFEA, the ‘Guardian’ stated that she had ‘turned the HFEA around’ and the Chief Executive of an organisation called Infertility Network UK stated that Leather had ‘put patients at the heart of the HFEA’. So if the HFEA needed turning around why was old Dame Deech made a Dame as a result of her sterling work with the HFEA, immediately before Leather arrived? As for putting patients at the heart of the HFEA, Leather actually ensured a greater supply of desperate people ripe for exploitation – she unleashed a cut-throat market in a notoriously unscrupulous business. So who are Infertility Network UK?

For a start they are now called Fertility Network UK – which sounds more hopeful doesn’t it. As I suspected, Fertility Network UK advertises infertility treatments, has contact details of clinics and ‘recommends’ Top Doctors working in the field. It is essentially a market place. I went on their website this morning and noticed a huge logo on the front page – a logo for the Lister Clinic no less. Clicking on the Lister Clinic reveals that the Clinical Director of the Lister is a Hossam Abdalla – presumably the Sam Abdalla who was so rude about Gordon Masson when Masson stopped treating someone who was very unlikely to become pregnant anyway. So the Chief Exec of Infertility UK who was so complimentary about Suzi Leather would seem to have had a vested interest in dear old Suzi ‘putting patients at the heart of the HFEA’. What’s the betting that the ever-helpful Ian Craft was also hiding among the skirts of Fertility Network UK somewhere?

Suzi Leather would seem to be even more of a dipstick who has been given appointments for which she is obviously unqualified than Ruth Deech. Leather graduated from the University of Exeter in 1977, then did a BPhil in Social Work and between 1984-86 was a trainee probation officer. Regular readers will have read my comments concerning the huge problems in the quality of social work/probation service training (see post ‘Social Work Theory’). Leather didn’t hang about being a social worker or probation officer though – in 1988 she became a ‘freelance consumer consultant’ and did this until 1997. Whereupon she was appointed as Chair of Exeter and District NHS Trust. How on earth did that happen? A woman with a bachelors degree in social work and then after two years as a trainee probation officer farts around as a ‘freelance consumer consultant’ for ten years and is then given an NHS Trust to run. That’s quite something even by the standards of the NHS. Could this perhaps be the reason why there have been such serious problems in the NHS in the Exeter region? The Trust down there is competing with the Betsi in terms of the scale of the disaster and recently the Chief Exec Paula Vasco-Knight narrowly escaped prison as a result of her swindling (see post ‘NHS Chief Executive Collapses In Court After Being Spared Jail’). The region’s NHS won’t have got itself in that mess quickly, as in north Wales there will have been chaos and malpractice for many years.

No matter what state she left Exeter’s NHS in, Suzy was now in the fast lane. Upon departing the NHS she was appointed Deputy Chair of the Food Standards Agency. Then it was the HFEA – obviously a logical step from Food Standards – then, between 2005-06 it was back to food again, this time as Chair of the School Food Trust, which overlapped with her stint at the HFEA. In 2006 as a result of that roaring success that she enjoyed at the HFEA, Suzi was appointed to the Board of Accreditation Service. I have no idea what that is, but it was a political appointment from Blair’s office at Number 10. Between 2006-2012 Suzi was Chair of the Charity Commission and received £104,999 for three days/week there.

Leather has been called ‘the quango Queen’ and questions have been asked about her public appointments because none of them have been elected posts. She was named in Quentin Letts’ book as one of the ’50 People Who Buggered Up Britain’. (I suspect that there are rather more than 50 people in that category although no doubt Suzi is one of them.)

I can find no clue as to how Suzi became Chair of the Exeter and District NHS Trust, which seems to have been not only an inexplicable appointment and probably one that did much damage, but was obviously the one that launched her career of doing fuck all on pointless bodies for a great deal of money and appearing on ‘Any Questions’ with nothing very original to say. Suzi is married to Iain Hampsher-Monk, a professor of political theory at Exeter. Perhaps he could enlighten us.

 

As well as featuring an appearance by Professor Prestigious, the ‘Today’ programme yesterday also featured Nanette Newman. In a previous post I mentioned how the Top Doctors really enjoy a Royal Ball. Whilst I was still being bullied and hounded at St George’s I shared a house with a junior doctor who worked at St George’s – who is now a Top Doctor at another hospital in England – and his wife. And they were really chuffed to receive a personal invitation to a Royal Ball organised by St George’s. The Royal Personage who graced the event was Prince Edward and one of the featured celebs was Nanette Newman no less. The junior doctor from our house even managed to dance with Nanette Newman. I never quite worked out what Nanette Newman was doing at a Top Doctors Royal Charity Ball but she was there nonetheless. I’m not going to name my former housemate here because unlike many whom I have named on this blog, he definitely wasn’t concealing a paedophile ring and I very much doubt that he is now (he is now a Consultant Surgeon). This man though was a perfect example of what one must do to survive if one is to become a Top Doctor. One must ignore a lot of very Nasty Things and Keep Quiet about them. He trained at St George’s and worked there as a junior doctor and he was very frank with me regarding the state of the psychiatry dept at St George’s and the associated psychiatric hospital, Springfield. He told me that the medical students hated doing their psyche placements, that the psychiatrists were mad and neglectful and that it was a bum deal all round. When I wound up in Springfield myself the following year and told him how bloody awful they were there – despite the medical establishment perpetuating the myth that the academic dept of psychiatry at St George’s was a centre of excellence (it was a centre of corruption) – he told me to get out of their clutches fast and to have no more to do with them. But he won’t have told a soul that he knew all that about them – if he had he’d have been destroyed. So I’m doing him and all the other medical students who had to look on in silence as that bunch of bastards destroyed lives a favour – I’m naming them all myself here.

Whilst remembering Nanette Newman and the Royal Ball, I remembered something else that happened at St George’s at that time that now really worries me, in view of the fact that the world-leading ‘experts’ in the psyche dept were a bunch of lying crooks concealing the wrongdoing of Dafydd et al in north Wales as Dafydd et al facilitated a paedophile ring. At one point a notice was sent around to every member of staff in every dept – a notice concerning a Girl Who Must Be Helped. Everybody was told that there was ‘a girl’ who was known to be approaching medical students in the hospital and telling them that she had diabetes and asking them if they could help her. There were no allegations that she was stealing or using violence or accessing records or drugs or equipment improperly, she was just telling medical students that she had diabetes and needed help. But this was obviously tantamount to murder – everyone was given instructions to immediately report it if they saw her because she had to sectioned and taken to Springfield Immediately. Now had Springfield actually been a compassionate institution offering appropriate care to distressed people I could see the logic in offering to help a distressed young woman. But it wasn’t. Springfield was appallingly callous and neglectful, the Top Doctors there were knowingly colluding with Dafydd and the paedophiles, one of their patients had been banged up in there by an abusive husband who regularly threatened to kill her and was using her ‘mental illness’ to ensure that she lost custody of her kids, another patient had been raped by a senior policeman at Scotland Yard and Springfield were sitting on that barrel of shit as well and few years after that, there were a number of scandals with patients murdering each other and the staff. Springfield was not a place which will have wanted to help a young woman with delusions that she had diabetes. So who was that young woman, what did she know, what had happened to her and indeed what the fuck was going on?

As for Nanette Newman’s appearance at the Royal Ball, I note that Nanette Newman’s wiki page tells us that she comes from a ‘theatrical family’. Her daughter Emma Forbes is a TV and radio celeb. Emma is a Patron of Great Ormond Street Hospital. The GOSH that is currently the centre of the storm concerning the care and future treatment of the baby Charlie Gard. A journalist on a radio news report a couple of days ago discussing the dispute between the parents of Charlie Gard and the Top Doctors and the claims and counter-claims stated that ‘surely a world leading hospital in London wouldn’t lie?’ Yes they would, they do it regularly. And they fabricate research, lie about harm to patients even when it results in death and a lot of them concealed a paedophile ring over many years.

When my lawyer forwarded me the documents that she’d finally extracted from the North West Wales NHS Trust with a Court Order, among all the documents upon which Tony Francis had lied, perjured himself and encouraged others to so the same in an attempt to have me imprisoned, there was a letter within which he’d stated that I was mad and dangerous and that ‘this case can only end in tragedy’. ‘It has’ remarked Brown, ‘for them’.

Any members of the Southampton contingent or other former colleagues of Donald Acheson feel like a trip to the police station to tell them what you know?

 

Did Glenda Occupy A Key Role In Keeping It All Out Of The Media?

I resorted to purchasing a copy of the ‘Times’ this morning, although I loathe encouraging Murdoch by doing this. I splashed out however because in today’s ‘Times’ magazine, Theresa May’s former press office manager Katie Perrior has written a tell-all piece about the chaos reigning at Number 10 as a result of May’s reliance on her two notorious Chiefs of Staff, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy. Perrior’s revelations confirm what I have long suspected about May – that she’s not that bright, not that confident and relies on vacuous twats to advise her, which is how she ended up doing things like wittering on about her kitten heels and posing in a pair of not very nice overly expensive trousers which allowed her opponents to comment on the gulf between her lifestyle and that experienced by the rest of the nation. I was interested to watch this phenomenon damage May so badly because it is of course what all female politicians have subjected themselves to ever since the manufacture of Margaret Thatcher. Idiots like Hazel Blears purchased handbags costing hundreds of pounds and described such bags as ‘aspirational’ rather than ‘over-priced’ and politicians like Nicola Sturgeon and Leanne Wood have very obviously spent a lot more time taking advice on their hairstyles, shoes, the precise length of their skirts and the style of those boring little Young Margaret Thatcher jackets that are de rigueur for female politicians than they ever have reading economic or political theory. That’s why none of them ever make any intelligent comments about gender, health policy, social inequality, economic policy etc. Compare what comes out of their mouths when they’re busy on their way to smash glass ceilings and show the boys how to do it with what comes out of someone like Yanis Varoufakis and our lot are laughable. It’s not as if there aren’t any good female economists around to advise them as well if they wanted a testicle free zone.

Perrior does indeed drop a few pearls of wisdom whilst giving a resume of her career. Perrior’s career as a spin doctor for the Tories started in 2000 when she was interviewed for a junior role by William Hague’s Press Secretary. Perrior was taken on and describes the asinine tasks that she and her colleagues were given to do. She mentions that they were ‘doing jobs way above our pay grades but there simply wasn’t anyone else to do it’. Interestingly she notes that ‘more than 20’ of these rather air-headed young gofers are now ‘either MPs or lords’. Perrior went onto work for Theresa when she was Transport Secretary and Party Chair, but Perrior then left to join the ITN news department because of the allegedly low pay. She subsequently worked for Channel 4 News and as Press Secretary for David Davis. After that she established ‘The Research Shop’ with Nick Timothy. A Jo Tanner who worked with her is now Head of Press at the British Chamber of Commerce. Following this Perrior worked on Boris’s mayoral campaign with the appalling Lynton Crosby in 2008 for ten months, then on the lame ‘Women2Win’. After the successful Brexit campaign she ‘offered her services’ to Theresa during the leadership race and ended up as Director of Communications at Number 10. She’s now dished the dirt on them.

It is entertaining to have my suspicions about Theresa’s reliance on dipsticks confirmed, but unlike a lot of people I’m not that interested in Fiona Hill or Nick Timothy. It is well-established that they are a pair of shites who have damaged the Tories, but it was fairly clear that they were a liability when Theresa was Home Secretary because they were causing problems them.

The person that I am interested in is the woman who gave Katie her big break, Hague’s Press Secretary when he became Tory leader in 2000. It was Amanda Platell – the right wing hate filled scribbler for the ‘Daily Mail’ who is the ultimate example of the sort of female journo satirised by the ‘Private Eye’ Glenda Slagg column, although Platell has a deeper interest in politics. The ‘Eye’ has described Platell as being ‘one of the killer Bimbos of Fleet Street’. I’m interested in Platell because Hague became Tory leader after he assisted a lot of people out of a very tight spot by organising the whitewash of the organised child abuse in north Wales that was the Waterhouse Inquiry when he was Secretary of State for Wales. I have mentioned many times how Sir Peter Morrison, Thatcher’s aide and MP for Chester, was known to be abusing under-aged boys and was visiting children’s homes in north Wales. It is only relatively recently however that I learned that the kids being abused in Ty’r Felin, the children’s home in Bangor, were being trafficked to London where they were being used to provide sexual services after being introduced to a Tory lobbyist and businessman who was also one of Thatcher’s speechwriters (see post ‘Are You Local?’). This man occupied space in the notorious Dolphin Square apartments in Pimlico and Edwina Currie and William Hague claim to be friends of his.

Platell only met Hague ‘a few months’ before her appointment as his Press Secretary ie. Head of News and Media at Conservative Central Office, but she was described as ‘very much Hague’s appointment’. At the time she was described as being ‘a friend’ of Hague’s new wife Ffion and Ffion was said to be a ‘strong supporter’ of Platell’s appointment. Ffion has featured on this blog before (see post ‘A Few Of The Relevant Politicians Re Mary Wynch’s Case’). She met Hague when she was a senior civil servant in the Welsh Office. The Welsh Office that had concealed the paedophile ring for decades, the Welsh Office that employed a crooked solicitor Andrew Park, who concealed the criminal activities of the two psychiatrists Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X), who were associates of Lucille Hughes the Director of Gwynedd Social Services, who colluded with that paedophile ring. So people involved with the cover-up of a vicious paedophile ring, many of whose victims had been found dead in suspicious circumstances, ensured that Amanda Platell was appointed as Press Secretary at Conservative Central Office. The Waterhouse Report was published in 2000. Amanda was Hague’s Press Secretary between 1999-2001. Did Hague think that he might be particularly in need of a good Press Secretary sometime in 2000? In 1999 no-one knew how much of a cover-up Sir Ronald Waterhouse would publish, but they did know that hundreds of former children in care in north Wales had told the Waterhouse Inquiry how they were beaten, flogged, kicked, punched, starved, forced to do unpaid labour, sexually abused by the ‘care’ staff and other visitors, taken to other places where they were sexually abused by people whom they did not know, transferred to other even more abusive institutions if they complained about being abused or ended up in the mental health system. Everybody did know that even if Ronnie turned out to be a star performer, the shit was going to hit the fan when that Report was published and a bit of nifty work with the media would be needed.

Let’s look at why Hague might have thought that Amanda was the right woman for the job.

Amanda is an Aussie, from Perth, who arrived in London in 1985. Her father was a journalist too, on ‘The West Australian’. In London she worked as a freelancer for the ‘Observer’ and the ‘Sunday Express’. She was a member of the start-up team when Eddy Shah launched ‘Today’ in 1986. Murdoch’s News International purchased it in 1987, and as well as hosting Amanda, ‘Today’ employed Alastair Campbell as political editor and his partner Fiona Millar as news editor. Platell left ‘Today’ for a short while to work for Robert Maxwell’s short-lived ‘London Daily News’ but returned to ‘Today’ in 1987 when David Montgomery was deputy editor. In 1993 she became managing editor of the Mirror Group, but moved to the Independent in the same year, first as marketing director and then as managing director.

The allegations concerning dreadful wide scale child abuse in north Wales and a paedophile ring that possibly involved public figures and politicians emerged in the London media in the early 1990s. Amanda could not have missed those stories.

In 1996 Platell was acting editor of the ‘Sunday Mirror’ and was the senior colleague of Alastair Campbell. In 1998 she became acting editor of the ‘Sunday Express’ but was sacked by Rosie Boycott after Amanda published a story about Mandelson’s gay relationship with his Brazilian partner. The publication of this story followed a spat between Platell and Mandelson at the Labour Party conference. So Platell discovered what could happen if one published a story that embarrassed a high profile politician. She’ll also have worked out the power and advantages that one would enjoy if one suppressed such stories.

Following Hague’s lacklustre performance as leader, Platell left her job at Conservative Central Office and in 2002 became a freelancer for the ‘Daily Mail’. Her bile filled column goes under the title of ‘Platell’s People’. Well now the readers of this blog know who ‘Platell’s People’ actually are, let’s look at a few more of these people and their contacts in greater detail.

David Montgomery. Platell seems to have thrived whilst working under Montgomery – she worked with him on ‘Today’ and when he moved to head the Mirror Group in 1994, she became group managing editor with a place on the Board. David Montgomery was originally from Northern Ireland. In 1973 he worked for the ‘Mirror’, then in 1979 the ‘Sun’. Between 1985-1987 he was editor of the ‘News of the Screws’ and Director of News(UK)Ltd, a subsidiary of News International owned by Murdoch’s News Corporation. Between 1987-91 he edited ‘Today’ whilst it was owned by Murdoch. Following the death of Robert Maxwell in 1991, between 1992-1999 Montgomery was Chief Exec of Mirror Group PLC. During his tenure at Mirror Group PLC Montgomery took a stake in the ‘Independent’ and the ‘Independent on Sunday’. It was the ‘Independent On Sunday’ that former senior police officer Gordon Anglesea sued for libel in 1994 after they published allegations that he’d sexually abused boys at Bryn Estyn. For details of some of the puzzling aspects of the trial and the conduct of the judge and the lawyers involved see posts ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’ and ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd – A Few Additional Comments’. In 2016 Anglesea was imprisoned after he was convicted of abusing boys at Bryn Estyn.

In 2000 Montgomery founded the Mecom Group, a London-based investment company, specialising in the mergers and acquisitions of newspaper and media companies in Europe. In 2005 they purchased Berliner Verlag – the purchase was made in partnership with an American private equity firm. A number of journalists employed by titles owned by Berliner Verlag were most unhappy at the direction in which they felt that the new owners would take the company.

So Amanda had a Big Mate in Montgomery and both of them were undoubtedly in a position to have received much information relating to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal.

But Montgomery is related to a few interesting folk as well. He married Sophie, the daughter of the 3rd Baron Birdwood. The second wife of Sophie’s grandfather, Lady Jane Birdwood, is politely referred to as a ‘politician’ on the family’s wiki entry. Lady Jane Birdwood was a one-off as a politician, she was famously bonkers in that she was so anti-Semitic and right-wing that she denounced a leader of the National Front as a ‘socialist’, although at one point she was a member of the National Front herself. Presumably she became disillusioned when they moved to the left. She ended up in hot water legally on a number of occasions because of her penchant for distributing race hate literature and maintained that the Jews died in the Holocaust as a result of typhoid. Jane Birdwood was not the only notable relative of Montgomery’s wife. Sophie was the ex-wife of Simon Marquis (Sophie married three times, each time to a peer!), the 3rd Earl of Woolton. Simon’s mother married again to Owen Lloyd George, another British peer and became Countess Lloyd George of Dwyfor (in north Wales). Owen Lloyd George succeeded to the Lords in 1968 and was the Deputy Lieutenant of Dyfed – although he was from a family with their origins in Llanystumdwy, north Wales (he was the grandson of David Lloyd George ie. THE Lloyd George), he did not have a home in Wales until the mid 80s, when he purchased a house in Pembrokeshire. The family were of course a massively influential north Welsh political family and Owen Lloyd George carried the sword at the Investiture of Prince Charles in 1969 at Caernarfon. Owen’s mother was from the McAlpine family.

People familiar with the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal will recognise the name McAlpine. In 2012 Lord Alistair McAlpine was named on ‘Newsnight’ by a former resident of Bryn Estyn, Steve Messham, as having been the man who had sexually abused him whilst Messham was in care at the home. McAlpine denied this and successfully sued a number of people who repeated Messham’s claims, including George Monbiot and Sally Bercow, the wife of John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons. Steve Messham later stated that he’d been mistaken. McAlpine died in 2014 at his house in Italy. I can only presume that like Matthew Parris, the former Tory MP and ‘Times’ journo, McAlpine liked Italy. Parris has a house in Catalonia, but in his autobiography he wrote about holidaying at a place in Italy with his political friends that they named ‘the villa of shame’ – he noted that there were some good parties at the villa with ‘boys’ who were ‘always willing’.

Alistair McAlpine spent a lot of time in Perth, Western Australia during the 60s and 70s. That’s where Amanda Platell came from! He had business interests out there and in quite a big way as well. He was an advisor to Thatcher and raised millions for the Tory party. He raised money from Asil Nadir who featured in my post ‘A Stalker’s Network’. Nadir of course stole millions from his company Polly Peck and later was imprisoned, but not for very long and managed to escape even that for many years by fleeing to Cyprus. McAlpine was on record as saying that the funds that were received from Nadir should be given to Polly Peck’s creditors. McAlpine also cultivated the company of Mohamed Al-Fayed. McAlpine was Chairman of the Conservative Party between 1979-1983 but joined Goldsmith’s Referendum Party in 1996. It is recorded that McAlpine was ‘very critical of the Conservative Party under William Hague’. I don’t know why because I would have thought that everyone had a great deal to thank Hague for, after organising the cover-up by Ronnie Waterhouse. I suspect that some people were so grateful that they even felt like making him leader of the Party.

After McAlpine sued the various people who repeated the claims that he had abused a boy who was in care in north Wales, he kindly donated the damages that he was paid to the BBC charity Children In Need. One of the many who presented Children In Need was Esther Rantzen, who claimed that she did not know that Jimmy Savile was a child abuser and could not remember being contacted by someone who later appeared in the media saying that she had told Esther that Savile was a child abuser. I contacted Esther in the 1980s when she maintained that she was campaigning for better mental healthcare and detailed the abuses happening at the hands of psychiatrists in north Wales – who were also concealing the paedophile ring. Esther didn’t write back and I expect that she’s forgotten about my letter as well. A number of children who had been abused in care claimed to have contacted Esther’s charity Childline but did not receive help. Childline’s first CEO was Valerie Howarth, the former Director of Social Services for Brent – four year old Jasmine Beckford was abused and murdered on her watch. Esther had got to know Valerie because Valerie had trained Esther’s sister when they both worked as social workers for Lambeth Council. Whilst Lambeth Council’s children’s homes were infiltrated by paedophiles.

I’m glad to say that there was one person with a bit of sense associated with Children In Need though and that was Sir Roger Jones, who at one point was Chairman of the charity. Sir Roger had made a point of keeping Jimmy Savile well away from Children In Need whilst he was Chairman because he had heard rumours about Savile’s interest in young children, thought that Savile was deeply unsavoury and was on record as saying that ‘the biggest thing to guard against was paedophiles – they were just like flies around the honey pot’. Before Sir Roger became Chairman, Savile had been involved with Children In Need in 1984, 1987 and 1989. Sir Roger was on the BBC Board of Governors between 1996-2002, so one wonders how the lowdown on Savile had escaped others in the BBC. Such as Esther. Sir Roger was the Governor from Wales. As a good proportion of those kids being abused by organised paedophiles had been trafficked from north Wales, perhaps Sir Roger took a rather more dim view of the activities of Savile and his ilk than the media twats in London who think that they’re the centre of the universe and will do pretty much anything to get what they want, including ignoring the serious abuse of sheepshaggers’ children.

Another one of Platell’s People was Rolf Harris, a friend of Jimmy Savile. Amanda was horrified when Rolf was convicted of sexual assaults on children and got himself imprisoned and she penned an article about her inner turmoil for the ‘Daily Mail’ in July 2014, which ran under the headline ‘My Old Friend Rolf Groomed Me Too’. Amanda was deeply traumatised: ‘It was inconceivable to me that the man I’d come to love and trust as a true friend had been serially assaulting girls for decades’. Amanda explains that she was ‘in denial’, because her and Rolf went back a long way. She blames herself for having being duped by Rolf by having been exposed to him on the TV when she was young. In fact Rolf was so successful at grooming the youthful Amanda over the airwaves all those years ago that as a special treat, Rolf turned up to her 40th birthday party in 1998, whilst ‘this star’ was ‘at the height of his fame’. He drew some cartoons for her and she sat on his knee and this was the beginning of a friendship that lasted for the next 16 years, but ended when she realised that she had been ‘conned by a cunning and manipulative paedophile’.

This is a woman who had worked in a senior capacity for Robert Maxwell, Rupert Murdoch and had been Alastair Campbell’s boss. Furthermore, everyone in their 50s was exposed to a good dose of Rolf if they had watched TV when they were kids. I saw Rolf on his lame TV show when he used to appear with someone dressed up as a Koala calling themselves Coojee Bear – presumably Amanda continues to think that was a real Koala. I had a particularly lethal dose of Rolf because my gran used to buy me a comic called ‘Teddy Bear’ which had a cartoon story featuring Rolf and a Koala in every issue. My friend Brown used to read ‘Teddy Bear’ as well when he was little, so he too was dangerously exposed to Rolf. Now we did not consider ourselves groomed by Rolf and even if we were London media twats and in a position to invite Rolf to our 40th birthday parties I don’t think that we would have bothered. And I certainly wouldn’t have sat on his knee. Because I would have been 40 not 4 and he was a complete idiot anyway.

Amanda  shared further insights with the readers of the ‘Daily Mail’: ‘pathological  offenders…the really clever ones, spend…99% of their time grooming people around them…Was Rolf always truly evil, a psychopathic monster, like Jimmy Savile, who gleefully manipulated all those around him? Looking at the picture of him published this week, posing with Savile on a trip to Broadmoor, the similarities are chillingly apparent. Could Rolf have been as dark, as sick, as twisted as that monster beside him?’

I’ve got an answer for Platell and her People. Rolf and Savile were probably about as dark, as sick and as twisted as the monsters that run the UK media, who failed to report on the activities of very serious criminals with links to public figures, including some in the Houses of Parliament, who were molesting children and even found it worth their while chucking a petrol bomb into a building where some of their victims were holding a party when those victims had finally started to talk about what had happened to them and it looked as though there might be a few prosecutions on the horizon. The very worst of those monsters in the media were personally employed by the politicians who were covering all of this up.

In Nov 2011 the infant who was groomed by Rolf was accused at the Leveson Inquiry by the actor Hugh Grant of performing a ‘hatchet job’ on him in the ‘Daily Mail’. This was a reference to a particularly poisonous article that Platell had written after Hugh Grant’s partner had given birth to their baby. I have read the statement that Grant submitted to the Inquiry and it makes for sober reading. One evening whilst Grant was appearing on ‘Question Time’ discussing the closure of the ‘News Of The World’, Murdoch and press standards, Grant’s partner received an anonymous phone call from someone who said ‘tell Hugh Grant to shut the fuck up’. Grant goes on to explain in his statement how he did not accompany the mother of his baby to hospital when she gave birth because they were trying to avoid a media scrum and he had ‘too many experiences of hospital staff being paid to leak information to the press’.

Yes, the Top Doctors and Angels do that.

Hugh Grant then goes on to state that nonetheless  that there was a leak to the ‘Daily Mail’ regarding the details of his visit the following day to his partner and their baby and the ‘Mail’ had also discovered the assumed name of Grant’s partner which they had used for the hospital booking. The ‘Daily Mail’ repeatedly rang Grant’s PR people in New York for a comment – they had somehow managed to obtain a number that wasn’t publicly known as well. The ‘Mail’ threatened to print the story, but Grant suspects that the reason that they did not was because they had obtained their information unethically and illegally from a hospital source. The ‘Mail’ had also acquired the mobile number of Grant’s partner and rang her on that. A story about the birth then appeared in ‘Us’ magazine in America. The UK tabloids subsequently printed ‘garbled/twisted’ version of the story. Grant’s partner’s home was then besieged by press and photographers, as was his own house. The mother of Grant’s partner was harassed by the press. Neighbours were doorstopped. Grant gives details of the extreme harassment that they all faced from the press, which included one incident of a car being driven at one of them. Grant noted that the ‘reporting’ on behalf of the ‘Daily Mail’ was done by Keith Gladdis, who had previously worked for the ‘News of the Screws’, which was of course closed down after the methods that were being used to obtain personal information about people for stories – including phone hacking – were revealed. It was at this time that Platell’s character assassination of Hugh Grant was published in the ‘Daily Mail’.

All this about London hospitals leaking info, Hugh Grant and Amanda working as the Press Manager for a politician who organised the cover-up of the paedophile ring in Wales brought back a few memories for me. Previous posts have described the grossly unethical conduct that I witnessed whilst I worked in London medical schools and how I now have documentation demonstrating that the psychiatrists who were concealing the paedophile ring in north Wales were in contact with people whom I was working with in London medical schools. I have mentioned how I was bullied out of a job at St George’s Hospital Medical School just at the time that the victims of the paedophile ring in north Wales had started speaking to the media and that a close friend of mine – whose parents knew what had happened to me in north Wales and who worked in the media herself and who wanted to make a documentary about it all – was bullied out of her job at the Royal Television Society at exactly the same time. That was in the spring of 1991. I came across a reference the other day to there having been a big scandal brewing involving a paedophile ring with connections to Westminster but it had ‘all been covered up in 1991’.

One of my more obnoxious colleagues at St George’s who did all that she could to make my life unbearable was a particularly vile and aggressive researcher, who seemed to hold a lot of influence with our supervisor Dr Cathy Wilson. This researcher wasn’t ever one for sensitive behaviour – she shagged one junior doctor in the laboratory – but she certainly had a real downer on me. I never found out what this researcher’s problem with me was, but she slammed doors in my face as I walked into laboratories and offices, she refused to allow me access to laboratory equipment and then told Wilson that I wasn’t doing any work, she never communicated with me in anything other than an angry shout and I understand that she told various people that it was going to be ensured that I ‘went back to Wales’. This woman came from quite a privileged background and used to spend much time name dropping to let the rest of us know how many aristos that she hung out with, but she also spent a lot of time ingratiating herself to luvvies. There was one young male luvvie that she was in hot pursuit of at the time – in 1990 – who was beginning to become very famous but was still based in London. I am pretty sure that it was Hugh Grant. Just before he became – HUGH GRANT????!!!!! I don’t know who exactly encouraged the dreadful Mandy Leigh to treat another researcher in the way that she did but I have a message for her: I was bullied out of that job and subsequently nearly framed for a very serious crime that I did not commit because I had crossed the paths of some Top Doctors who were facilitating a paedophile ring you obnoxious over-privileged sharp elbowed bullying cow. There are now a number of police investigations going on into the activities of the people who were determined to ensure that I ended up outside of polite company and back in the clutches of those who were colluding with organised crime. Would you like to contact whichever police station that you are now in close proximity to and make a statement naming the people who told you to behave in the way that you did?

Amanda Platell ironically suffered at the hands of the Top Doctors herself. In 2012 she penned a column for the ‘Daily Mail’ about the evils of the NHS offering IVF. Amanda reveals that she too had IVF but she Paid For It Herself, which is obviously a rather more worthy thing to do than access it on the NHS. The joke was on Amanda though – Amanda didn’t get pregnant despite handing over many thousands and then found out that in women over 40, IVF and associated interventions have a very low success rate but no-one told her. No Amanda, they won’t have. Because a lot of Top Doctors running IVF clinics are very unscrupulous (see post ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’) and they see people like you coming a mile off – you have a lot more money than you do scientific knowledge and they will lie to you and milk you dry, whilst conning you that ‘going private’ will buy you something better than the plebs who are treated under the NHS get. Furthermore they know that if they keep their expensive smiles frozen on their faces and carry on lying to you, you’ll even write articles in publications like the ‘Daily Mail’ encouraging other mugs to part with their money as well.

Lest anyone think that I’m being somewhat unsympathetic to Amanda’s fleecing at the hands of the Top Doctors, I’m experiencing compassion fatigue because in a way Amanda brought this upon herself. Because Platell and her People won’t publish anything about one of the worst scandals that a lot of Top Doctors have been involved with – the concealing of the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. I know this because before Amanda published poison about Hugh Grant and before she published her tale of woe about ripped off by the Top Doctors, two people with media links told me that the evidence that I had regarding the Top Doctors and the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal was so damning that I ought to go to the London-based media, because the Welsh media would be far too frightened to publish it. They both gave me the contact details of ‘Daily Mail’ journalists. I was very iffy – I didn’t feel that comfortable at the idea of getting into bed with the ‘Daily Mail’ – but I was told that what the Top Doctors were getting up to was so serious that I really should get it out in the public domain in any way that I could. I sent the story to two different ‘Daily Mail’ journos – I didn’t ask for any money. I received an enthusiastic e mail back immediately upon receipt of each e mail. Then a long silence…. never heard another word. Not even when three years ago or so Tom Watson unleashed the hounds of Hades when he went public on allegations that children had been sexually abused by people with links to Westminster. You’re quite right Tom, they had been. But Platell and her People worked for the very politician that covered it all up.

Of course Hague’s successor Theresa has now organised the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse – which is falling apart at the seams. I notice in today’s ‘Times’ dear old Murdoch has let the world know that the Home Office have now been fined £366,000 by the Treasury for breaching Whitehall rules regarding the salary of the latest Chair for that Inquiry, Professor Alexis Jay. Jay was the ‘choice’ of the current Home Secretary Amber Rudd. Rudd implied that the previous Chair – who has walked out and returned to New Zealand – Judge Lowell Goddard, had been up to no good. However it transpires that Lowell Goddard withdrew because Rudd was trying to force a team of Home Office officials onto her to run the ‘Independent’ Inquiry. Which would have not made it an Independent Inquiry led by Lowell Goddard. The Shirley Oaks Survivors Association, a group of former residents of children’s homes in Lambeth who suffered abuse whilst they were there, walked out of the Inquiry for the same reason. They also stated that Alexis Jay, a former social worker, was turning the Inquiry into a ‘social workers talking shop’. Yes, that’s exactly what she’ll do. Because it is the social work profession that was infiltrated by paedophiles that caused havoc and social work as a profession still has not come to terms with it and will not admit it. And to remain in that profession at any senior level one will just have to have turned a blind eye to some fairly sordid things. So when they are confronted with what went on, social workers start talking about the need to fight stigma and to safeguard children and to make sure that no other child ever suffers and how everyone must feel safe but no-one must be blamed. What they will not do is name the paedophiles or their colleagues who allowed those paedophiles to commit offences against children in care. The Shirley Oaks Survivors Association however have done exactly that on their website. They are still in touch with Lowell Goddard.

The Waterhouse Inquiry whitewashed what went on in north Wales because Hague appointed Ronald Waterhouse, a man who had personal connections with many of the people who actually facilitated the paedophile ring in north Wales, along with a team of lawyers and officials from the Welsh Office who knew what was going on at the time and colluded with it, to run the Inquiry.

I think that it’s about time that I did a bit of research on Amber Rudd and her connections to see if I can work out why she not only had such faith in Alexis Jay, but was prepared to break Whitehall rules in order to appoint her.

 

 

 

News Round Up, May 2, 2017

A few weeks ago I blogged about the scams that I witnessed in fertility clinics  in the early 1990s (see post ‘Every Sperm Is Sacred – Especially In Scotland’). I suspected that practices won’t have changed much since then, because many of the people named in that post are still practising. So I was interested to read the Mail Online expose of fertility clinics this morning – the Mail sent undercover journalists in to a number of clinics and yes, they uncovered scams and profiteering, in some instances the very same scams that I saw years ago. They discovered NHS patients being pressurised to donate eggs for private clinics, an illegal trade in eggs, pointless extra ‘treatments’ being flogged, supposedly ‘natural’ treatments that are clinically ineffective and clinics charging astronomical prices for drugs that can be obtained much more cheaply on prescription from places like Boots. Lord Robert Winston has commented that some of his colleagues have no ethical or moral compass – which is true and I’m glad that he’s finally admitted it, but Robert Winston has known this for years. He probably didn’t participate in these practices himself – he had a very sound reputation – but everyone knew that this sort of thing was going on. And of course the serial sexual harassing gynaecologist who worked at St Georges Hospital Medical School mentioned in previous posts had previously worked with Robert Winston at Hammersmith. I rather suspect that Winston wasn’t going to tolerate this man’s conduct himself, so he passed him onto St George’s – who, as I explained in a previous post, passed him to Wales where he was now been for many years. What nobody did was flag up his behaviour and remove him from circulation.

A reader has drawn my attention to the fact that HMP Berwyn has won an award no less – for building design! What have we come to when a warehouse on an industrial estate built to house the dispossessed whom the mental health services refuse to care for wins an award? Is this really the best that Wales can produce?

BBC News Wales have reported on the difficulties that Gypsies and Travellers have ‘engaging’ with the NHS. The NHS is in such a sorry state that I’m not sure that the Gypsies and Travellers are missing out on much – and attitudes to them are appalling. A farming family whom I know in Snowdonia have a daughter who trained as a nurse at Oxford Brookes. This young woman is very diligent but isn’t much of a critical thinker – if she is taught that something is ‘right’, she accepts it without question, a characteristic that is prevalent among student nurses who are told that they are being taught by ‘experts’ in ‘nursing science’. She told her mum all about the ‘problems’ that she had when she had to visit Gypsy and Traveller families because they don’t vaccinate their children (which of course a lot of middle class families in north London wouldn’t after Andrew Wakefield told everyone that the MMR vaccine led to children developing autism). It’s OK if you’re dealing with Gypsies though – this young woman was told to tell the Gypsies that if they didn’t vaccinate their children they’d be taken into care. Problem solved! Is it surprising that they’re not ‘engaging’…

The Guardian is reporting on Hospeda, a private company operating in NHS hospitals – I think in England – who are charging patients astronomical amounts of money for telephone and TV packages. Tim Farron has taken up the cause as part of his election campaign.

Talking of politics, Blair has announced that he’s coming back! Yes, the man whom the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu called ‘the most dangerous man in the world’ is returning to politics because we need him, although we haven’t realised it. I wonder if he’ll be bringing back the rest of his dreadful coterie with him, eg. Mandelson, Alistair Campbell et al. Of course it was Blair who kick-started much of the insanity in the health and welfare services that this blog discusses – the jack boot of the state taking choice away from people under the guise of ‘social inclusion’ (such as those pesky Gypsies who won’t have their kids vaccinated), Blunkett dishing out whole life tariffs to people with learning disabilities who have probably been framed by the north Wales mental health services and their associates in a paedophile ring, Charlie Falconer and Vera Baird abolishing Legal Aid because too many people looked as though they were going to win cases against the British State, that business of 81 people telling various New Labour ministers that an awful lot of people seemed to be dying in the care of Mid-Staffs but whose requests for an enquiry were ignored, that ill-thought out GP contract that has led to the current problems with the out of hours service. And of course it was under Blair that ‘service user involvement’ really flourished – whilst people died. I won’t even get going on him advising various dictators with dreadful records on human rights and Cherie’s legal practice advising very similar people on their own ‘human rights’ after they have overthrown democratically elected Gov’ts. Has Blair not worked out that the present chaos in the Labour Party is a direct result of him parachuting in the likes of Tristram Hunt into safe seats whom the grassroots didn’t want and who had no interest in their constituents anyway? Tristram didn’t give a bugger about people in Stoke On Trent, he just wanted a position in Cabinet. It’s why the membership kept voting for Jeremy Corbyn Blair – they’d had a bellyful of you and your sickening unscrupulous vacuous careerist shites on the make….Who were of course ‘intensely relaxed’ about ‘people getting filthy rich’ – particularly when it was them. So please, not Blair all over again, or Chuka, or Yvette, or Caroline Flint – it’ll be nearly enough to make me vote Tory. Ooh nearly forgot though – who was one of Blair’s first visitors to Number 10 after his election? Thatcher! She was invited to tea. At which point a number of my friends returned their Labour Party membership cards.

News Round-Up, March 27 2017

Since I blogged about many of the dodgy practices involved in fertility treatment (please see ‘Every Sperm Is Sacred – Particularly In Scotland’) there have been a couple of features in the dear old Daily Mail regarding this subject. One feature was an investigation into the staggeringly low success rates of many of these treatments – low success rates that patients were not being informed of – and another report described how the Whittington Hospital in London is charging patients nearly three thousand pounds for a vial of sperm – for which the Whittington had paid the donor £30. The Whittington described their unit as ‘non-profitmaking’ – which is certainly an interesting way of explaining such a rate of inflation. So it looks as though very little has changed in the fertility business since I was observing it twenty-five years ago.

There have been two mental health stories in the past few days as well, both quite surprising. One story maintained that ‘role models’ who were known to have suffered from mental health problems were going to be held up to children in school lessons in order to ‘educate’ children about mental health. The children in question were expected to gain knowledge of which ‘role models’ had suffered from which mental health problems. Diana Princess of Wales and David Beckham were named as possible role models. I’m not sure that any of this is going to beneficial – not only is this whole hare-brained scheme inducting children into the notion of believing that some very questionable ‘diagnoses’ map onto conditions that actually exist and that such a diagnosis constitutes the defining feature of the person to whom it has been applied, but I don’t think that Diana and David Beckham are even very suitable ‘role models’. Beckham’s achievements consist of being paid a huge quantity of money for kicking a ball about, marrying a woman who almost certainly starves herself in a pathological manner and ruthlessly using his children to promote the family’s various business interests – he most recently hit the headlines for getting very angry at not being awarded a knighthood. As for Diana – there is every indication that Diana was a very unhappy person indeed who never actually overcame her various problems. How many present day schoolchildren should really take a leaf out of the book of someone who was married off when she was still a teenager to a much older man – who was in love with someone else anyway – in order to produce an heir and a spare, and who then embarked upon relationships with a series of rather unscrupulous men and employed a butler who attempted to steal some of her dresses after her death and who is still shamelessly flogging stories about her to the tabloids? The other mental health story involved a recommendation that teachers should have more training to deal with mental health problems. Although teachers should be competent and sensitive enough to respond appropriately to children in distress, teachers are already crumbling under more and more demands from Government. Psychiatrists earn very much more than teachers – if teachers are now expected to double-up as mental health specialists, is this not an admission that we might as well sack the mental health professionals and save on their salaries? The same news report also published some not very credible figures on adolescent distress, maintaining that nearly everyone surveyed between the ages of 12 and the late teenage years claimed that they felt anxious and stressed. This was taken to be an indication that ‘9 out of 10’ young people had mental health problems. This phenomenon used to be called ‘being a teenager’ and was fairly well-known. A piece of research was also quoted maintaining that most school pupils surveyed stated that they’d rather talk to their parents about mental health problems than a teacher. Which I think is evidence that a lot of parents are actually doing a really good job rather than a cause for concern at the lack of ‘awareness’ among teachers.

Regarding ‘Parabl’, an organisation that has featured previously on this blog, described by a reader as the love-child between CAIS and MIND – I have received yet another e mail from a reader who has been refused a service from Parabl on the grounds that his mental health problems are ‘too serious’ to be worthy of the ‘intervention’ offered by Parabl, after what he described as a ‘tick box exercise’ to ‘assess’ him. Readers are asking exactly who Parabl is ‘treating’, as well as what Parabl actually agreed to deliver in their funding arrangement and whether Parabl should be advising the many people to whom they are refusing a service as to where they can get support.

Lastly, news from NHS England. Jeremy Hunt has attended the funeral of a little boy from Cornwall who died of sepsis as a result of NHS failures, saying that he was obliged to attend to ‘apologise’. Vaughan Gething – you’d better get up to north Wales, there’s mental health patients dying on a weekly basis and you have an awful lot of funerals to attend.

Every Sperm Is Sacred – Particularly In Scotland

The Scottish Government have announced that it will agree to fund three cycles of IVF for couples having difficulty conceiving and Aileen Campbell, Scotland’s Public Health Minister, has been crowing about this and how much better and more generous the NHS in Scotland therefore is than the rest of the UK https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/24/scottish-government-to-fund-three-cycles-of-ivf

In recent years there has been an open debate regarding the questionable claims made by some fertility clinics concerning the success rates of their various procedures and it is well-known that the owners of many of these clinics have become seriously rich – fertility treatment is one area of medicine in which literally millions can be raked in. There are a lot of people with fertility problems who will make very big sacrifices in order to fund fertility treatment privately or exert huge pressure on the NHS to fund such treatment and now that fertility clinics no longer refuse to treat single parents or gay couples the market is huge. This is why fertility clinics cover their walls with photos of the babies that have resulted from their ‘successes’ – and anyway they would never dare photograph their ‘failures’, it would simply be too gruesome.

The science behind fertility treatment is awesome and it’s interesting to see how fertility treatment, including IVF, has now been completely embraced by the medical establishment. Yet when Patrick Steptoe and Bob Edwards were carrying out the research that underpinned IVF in the 1970s they faced huge opposition with swathes of the scientific and medical establishment making it clear that they were not considered in the least bit acceptable. It took them a very long time to be recognised for their work – Patrick Steptoe died before the really big accolades were awarded, although Bob Edwards was eventually knighted and awarded a Nobel prize. Patrick Steptoe was known to have felt very sore about the way that he and Edwards had been cold-shouldered and he never forgave a lot of people. There is film-footage available of Steptoe getting very angry indeed with Robert Winston – now Lord Winston – because although Winston himself later became the UKs most well-known fertility specialist, he had actually been one of the people who had opposed Steptoe and Edwards’s early work. Edwards was actually a graduate of Bangor University (although when he studied there it was still known as University College of North Wales), but for decades the University didn’t mention him – instead it was always Roger Whittacker no less who was mentioned on the PR material as a famous old boy. In the past few years however, it does seem to have dawned on Bangor that they educated a man who made scientific history and these days they do own up to having had him there as an undergrad.

After the birth of the first ‘IVF baby’ Louise Brown in 1978 however, IVF was speedily embraced by the medical establishment. By the time that I was working in London medical schools in the late 1980s, absolutely everybody in every hospital across the country wanted an IVF unit. They were always very frank about the reason why – because it would bring in money. Private clinics were run as businesses and very profitable ones at that, but NHS hospitals were all tripping over themselves to establish a unit offering IVF to private patients as well, because it was perceived to be a way of raising funds for research or to subsidise IVF for NHS patients. There were undoubtedly some very genuine people whose plans for their IVF units were quite altruistic – the unfairness of a situation in which IVF was unavailable to people without money was a constant topic of conversation and Thatcher’s Government was extremely hostile to universities and had slashed research funding to such an extent that people were desperately trying to think up ways of compensating for the lost income. In addition, bog standard district general hospitals who had no research interests at all also wanted IVF units – to confer status upon themselves.

The enthusiasm for establishing fertility units in the late 80s/early 90s had consequences. District general hospitals like Ysbyty Gwynedd were flailing around in an area of medicine in which they had absolutely no expertise and very often just did not know what they were doing. The success rates were very, very low indeed. Furthermore, some business people with ‘a doctor in the family’ then hit upon the idea of establishing a fertility clinic. And because success rates were unimpressive even in the best clinics and the patients were desperate people made vulnerable by their longing for a baby and rarely had any knowledge of the science underpinning fertility treatment, those patients were ripe for exploitation by unscrupulous practitioners – and of course the medical establishment being what it was and still is, no-one reigned those practitioners in, although there was widespread concern about a lot of what was going on. As ever in medicine, there was just a very effective grapevine that warned people away from working with certain people and certain clinics, just as a grapevine is still in operation warning psychiatrists not to take a job in north Wales.

I soon discovered the grim underbelly of fertility treatment when I was working in London. I had a number of contacts and friends who were employed in the field and I heard some very odd accounts at first-hand. I knew someone who was a very good embryologist and who had been in on IVF from quite early on. She personally knew a lot of the people who owned and directed those clinics – she memorably observed that although she loved embryology she was concerned that so many of the people involved in running these clinics were ‘megalomaniacs’. At the time there were people like Professor Ian Craft whose practices were being openly questioned and treated with suspicion – Ian Craft was controversial because he practised selective foetal reduction ie. he would implant as many as nine or ten embryos in the uterus, knowing that if more than one or two survived he would have to abort the others. Although Ian Craft was openly treated with hostility by many people and regularly hit the headlines, there was an awful lot of bad behaviour going on behind the scenes that was less florid and never received publicity.

One clinic that was the centre of many extraordinary anecdotes was run by a Dr Bridget Mason. I was told by my embryologist contact that Mason’s family had actually made their money out of a laundry business, but because Bridget Mason was a gynaecologist, the family had then invested in a fertility clinic. The clinic run by Mason was not part of a hospital or research unit, it was simply a private clinic offering fertility treatment. It was a clinic that everybody was warned to stay away from if they were looking for a job. There seemed to be a number of staff who had worked there and left, having been paid appallingly. It was alleged that the clinic spared no expense in providing front of house facilities such as sumptuous waiting rooms with copies of Vogue strewn about to dupe the patients into believing that this was a quality establishment, but would not invest in scientific and technical staff to do the basics behind the scenes. This clinic was notorious because it was alleged that they were skimping on the staff to such an extent that there was no-one to carry the sperm samples between the lab where the sperm counts were being carried out and the rest of the clinic, which was housed in a building several stories high. I was told that the procedure was to actually throw the sperm samples out of one of the upstairs windows into the courtyard below, where the sample would then be picked up and taken inside. This clinic had become well-known across London for it’s flying sperm. I suppose it could be argued that as long as the sperm samples flew to the correct location and were duly collected, patients would not be harmed by sperm being thrown out of windows. There were further allegations about this clinic though. One was that their labs were in such chaos that staff feared that mix-ups in the samples were happening constantly and it was only a matter of time before this would be discovered by someone giving birth to a baby that they knew could not possibly be from the allotted sperm sample eg. a baby of a different race. Another allegation about the same clinic came from a middle-eastern gynaecologist that I knew who also maintained that questionable things were going on there. She had been told by a couple who had been treated there that the husband of the couple had been given – and had of course paid a handsome price for – a general anaesthetic, because ‘this increases the sperm count’. No-one had ever come across any evidence that this was indeed so, but as the middle-eastern doctor told me ‘they think that the patients are the stupidest dummies and tell them anything’. When I first heard tales of this sort of thing I presumed that there was a gulf between the practises of the clinics run by the likes of the Masons and those with sound scientific reputations. So imagine my surprise when I heard a while later that the Mason’s establishment was going into partnership with one of the most prestigious clinics in the UK – if I remember rightly it was Bourne Hall. I took the opportunity to google Bridget Mason the other day – the clinic, the Hallam Clinic looks as though it is still in operation, but there is no mention of Bridget. She probably took the money and ran long ago.

The flying sperm and administration of general anaesthetics to work their magic on spermatogenesis were not the most florid tales that I heard. I knew one person who had worked at a clinic in I think Birmingham, for a man called Dr Jack Glatt. This person had left Jack Glatt’s employment on the grounds that he really was deeply unpleasant. They had witnessed a scene in which Jack Glatt’s examination of a female patient had been so disrespectful and offensive that the patient’s husband had punched him. No charges were ever brought because Jack Glatt could not have afforded the scrutiny. Jack Glatt and Ian Craft both featured in an ITV expose by Roger Cook in 1991 in which it was alleged that a patient had died at the hands of Jack Glatt.

But what of the more prestigious institutions, the medical schools that offered fertility treatment? They were not above telling porkies to the patients either. When I worked at St George’s Hospital Medical School in the Obs and Gynae dept (please see blog posts ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School 1989/90’ and ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London’ for full details of the insanity and malpractice that pervaded St George’s), the minor porkie that was being told to fertility patients regarded the qualifications and status of the nurse who carried out the sperm inseminations on the female patients. This woman was given the title ‘Sister’, although she was actually a retired SEN – she had never even achieved registered nurse status, let alone reached the dizzy heights of ‘Sister’. She was difficult and rude and was the centre of much discord and complaint. I wondered why the dept employed somebody this inappropriate in such a sensitive position until one day I heard it from the horse’s mouth – the registrar who was responsible for the fertility treatment let on that this ‘Sister’ was happy to perform the role free of charge because she wanted an active retirement. After I left St George’s, a major scandal happened in that dept which involved one of the consultants being struck off for research fraud – he had published a paper in which he had claimed to have successfully treated an ectopic pregnancy, by transferring the embryo from the Fallopian tube into the uterus. He hadn’t actually done this and the ensuing scandal was enormous, because he had put the name of the Professor of the Dept on the paper as well, who had to stand down from his position as President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and was widely rumoured to have missed out on an expected knighthood because of it. St George’s tried to ride the scandal out and kept the dept open although it was known to be highly dysfunctional. (St George’s were eventually forced to close the dept in the wake of more grief and bad publicity.) Then another scandal hit them, involving Rashmi Varma, the consultant who oversaw the fertility treatment. She received full coverage in the dear old Daily Mail, because she was up in front of the GMC having been reported to them in the wake of allegations from an angry patient that she had pressurised this NHS patient into donating eggs for private patients. Rashmi Varma was cleared by the GMC but many years later I met up with a member of staff from St George’s who was working there when it all happened who told me that everyone was actually convinced of her guilt and she had got off very lightly. Interestingly enough, my most abiding memory of Rashmi Varma was of her treating one very pleasant junior doctor who was also from India very badly – when I enquired of a colleague what was behind this I was told that it was because she was a Varma and was therefore from a much higher caste than him. Which was particularly ironic because there were some who thought that they were being treated by a woman from an ethnic minority who was breaching barriers…

There was however one doctor working at St George’s whose presence there was far more worrying than an horrific snob alleged to be pressurising NHS patients into doing favours for the paying customers. That was a man who achieved infamy within weeks of arriving at the dept by having sex with one of the researchers – in the lab. By the time that he did this it was clear that this man was a little odd and he was becoming widely disliked for numerous reasons. Because my research involved working with placental material and umbilical cords, I spent a lot of time on the labour ward and got to know the staff down there very well. I got to know something else as well – that the man who had sex with my colleague in the lab was a serious sexual harasser of midwives and cleaners. His favourite technique was accosting the cleaning staff in the sluice room when they were alone – a lot of the cleaners were young migrant workers from the far east who were very submissive and would never ever have felt able to challenge him. He truly seemed to be the Dafydd Alun Jones of St George’s. This man’s (mis)conduct was openly discussed and on one occasion I was told that he was such a liability that he was going to be frozen out of the London scene and they’d do what they always did with bad doctors – they’d ‘send him to Wales’. And they bloody well did too – he is now a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and at one point was clinical director there. The dreadful Brian Gibbons, one of the many who ignored the slaughter in the NHS in north Wales in his capacity as Health Minister, managed to give this man an award some years ago. This man is also a Board Member of ‘Time For Medicine’, a medical technology company and has a private practice at the Spire Cardiff Hospital. He recently boasted of his achievements fundraising for ‘Mothers Of Africa’ – I note that this was a ‘sailing challenge’. It won’t have been much of a challenge for him, after all his hobby is sailing, he is a member of the Yacht Club at Cardiff Bay. He is also in hot pursuit of a pilot’s licence, so he is obviously enjoying a rather better lifestyle than the cleaners whom he spent so much time groping. I note that although this doctor is still working in obs and gynae, he does not work in fertility treatment – which is interesting because when he first turned up at St George’s he tried to pull rank on everyone by letting us all know that he had just come from Hammersmith Hospital, where he had been working with Robert Winston. What’s the betting that he left Hammersmith under a rather big cloud? But this is how medicine works. Problematic doctor? You don’t raise a concern, you pass them on. So Robert Winston gave him to St George’s – who gave him to Wales. Where he has now stayed.

So despite all the boasting by the SNP of their ‘funding of three IVF cycles’ they might be spending their money on a questionable service delivered by some even more questionable people. But then NHS Scotland is not as Nicola Sturgeon would have us believe – as I found out three years ago when I spent a summer in the hands of NHS Scotland at Parkhead Hospital in Glasgow. It was of course yet another attempt to intimidate me, but putting me in abusive hospitals is not a good idea – I have this tendency to publish what I witness….

The BMA and It’s Ethics

Today’s Mail Online has a headline screaming that a ‘Doctors’ Ethics Boss’ is expressing her ‘abhorrent’ views that women should be permitted to terminate a pregnancy on the grounds of the gender of the foetus alone http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4327606/Let-mums-abort-babies-wrong-sex-says-ethics-boss.html

The ‘doctors ethics boss’ in question is actually Professor Wendy Savage, a retired obstetrician and gynaecologist, who is a member of the BMA’s medical ethics committee. Prof Savage has given an interview to the Mail On Sunday in which she states her opinion that current legislation preventing terminations on the grounds of the gender of the foetus should be scrapped, that women should be able to request a termination at any stage of their pregnancy and that ‘abortion pills’ should be available to women online without them having to consult a nurse or a doctor. The Mail is horrified and has dug up Conservative MP Mark Field to provide a comment.

This report will come as no surprise to anyone who knows anything about Wendy Savage. She has supported abortion on demand for many years on feminist principles. The Mail Online mentions that Prof Savage developed her ‘strident views’ whilst working in Nigeria and Kenya and witnessing the effects of botched criminal abortions. They fail to mention that during her career in the UK, she worked in Tower Hamlets, which was I think the poorest region in the UK whilst she was working there, containing a lot of very marginalised women from immigrant communities. Wendy Savage worked with some women who were having a very hard time indeed and who were being exposed to the sort of violence, oppression and discrimination that most readers of the Mail On Sunday would know nothing of. Whether one agrees with abortion on demand or not, Wendy Savage knows a lot more about the factors that lead to unwanted pregnancies and the desperate measures to terminate those pregnancies than the Mail On Sunday does, or indeed probably Mark Field.

I was surprised to read that Wendy Savage is a member of the BMA ethics committee. Followers of the blog know that I have a very low opinion of the BMA and have exposed institutional corruption within the BMA on this blog. Wendy Savage suffered very badly at the hands of the medical establishment herself. Some readers may remember that she hit the media in the mid-1980s when she was suspended from her job at the London Hospital. It received an enormous amount of media publicity and a high-profile campaign was launched by an assorted group of patients and feminists to reinstate her. The media coverage at the time presented Wendy Savage as, variously, a female victim of a male-dominated profession, a socialist being harassed by a bunch of Tories, or as a practitioner favouring low-intervention deliveries coming up against practitioners who favoured high-tech births. However the reality seemed to be that she and the professor of the dept in which she worked simply loathed each other. Wendy Savage faced charges of incompetence which her supporters maintained were completely trumped up, the result of a trawling exercise. She was eventually cleared, but obstacles were nonetheless put in her way to prevent her making a speedy return to clinical work and it was years before she was able to resume her teaching role. I have described previously on this blog how just about the only thing that will actually cause a doctor to be suspended or struck off is them falling out with their colleagues – they can do pretty much anything malpractice-wise and it will be tolerated, but if they fall foul of their colleagues they’ll find themselves up on a disciplinary charge in front of the General Medical Council.

I attended a lecture given by Wendy Savage in the early 1990s and the one thing that I remember most is that she was not afraid to ruffle feathers. Most of the audience were obstetricians and Mrs Savage (this was before she was given a Chair) talked very firmly even back then of her belief that no doctor should ever prevent a woman from accessing a termination. A number of doctors present were ideologically against abortion and were refusing to participate in abortion – which they had the right to do – and they were told by Wendy Savage that if they felt like that then they shouldn’t be working in obs and gynae. That caused a lot of ill-feeling. She was then questioned regarding the rumours circulating that she was prepared to perform many repeat terminations on the same patients. She robustly defended herself, gave a sound defence of her practice – basically describing the chaotic lives and huge difficulties that such women were encountering – but elicited gasps of shock from the whole audience when she stated that she had performed I think something like 27 terminations on one patient. Most people in the audience just could not accept that. During the lecture I was particularly interested in one thing that she said. Wendy Savage told that audience that she knew that there were doctors in London at that time who were unlawfully preventing women from accessing abortion. She told of patients who had told her that when they had asked their GPs to refer them for an abortion, the GPs had said things like ‘it’s illegal for you to have an abortion, I’d be struck off the Register’. She observed that she believed that these women were telling the truth and quoting verbatim, because they were women with very low levels of education ‘who would not have known that a Register existed’. By the time that I attended this lecture, I’d had the North Wales Mental Health Services Experience, so I knew that doctors lied and broke the law – I was most interested to hear Mrs Savage admit it.

The Mail Online article mentions the suspicion that some women from South Asia are requesting terminations of female foetuses. I note that Wendy Savage maintains that there is actually no evidence that this is happening. This is interesting, because as I have mentioned, Wendy Savage worked with immigrant communities in Tower Hamlets. I also suspect that she is culturally rather more sensitive than a lot of people – she was married to a black man and I understand that she experienced a degree of racism herself because of this.

I always thought that Wendy Savage was rather different to the rest of the London medical establishment – she didn’t have the overbearing pomposity that so many of them flaunted and she certainly seemed to have a much greater understanding of poverty than most of them. However, I was interested to find out this morning that not only is Prof Savage a member of the BMA ethics committee, but that she also sat on the GMC for 16 years. That is the same GMC that allowed the likes of Harold Shipman to practice as well as many other people who should never have been let loose on the general public, the same GMC that ignored my concerns that terrible malpractice was happening in the mental health services in north Wales. The same GMC that forged a document that I now have a copy of in order to conceal the abuses and neglect at the Hergest Unit. So is Wendy Savage Of Them or not? She could have been a lone voice among the excesses of the BMA and GMC – or she could have been like Dr David Healy, Dr Richard Tranter, Dr DGE Wood, Dr Huw Roberts et al and have been giving a really good impersonation of someone who was not participating in the extensive wrongdoing but who was nonetheless in it up to their eyeballs. The jury is still out…

However, whilst all this was happening in London, I’d made a few observations about the state of obstetric/gynaecological care in north west Wales. I arrived at Bangor as a student in October 1981. That was many years after the 1967 Act made abortion legal. Yet what I remember most about Fresher’s Week at Bangor, more than all the clubs and societies imploring one to join, more than everyone making new friends in hall, was the Students Union distributing literature to all the freshers explaining what to do if you get pregnant. At first I thought that this was really distasteful, your cut out n keep guide on how to get an abortion – but then I read it and I realised that there was a very big problem. This literature was being handed out because the consultants at St David’s Hospital in Bangor were anti-abortion and had declared that they would ensure that women would not be able to access abortions in north Wales for any reason. And they were highly effective in doing this. So students were all made aware that if they wanted to terminate a pregnancy they would have to go to Chester to a private clinic because it was not possible to access abortion in north Wales. Full instructions were given regarding the people that you had to contact for help – and none of them were gynaecologists in north Wales. At this time the University had its own Student Health Centre – it’s where I ended up encountering T. Gwynne Williams, the lobotomist. I knew people at Bangor who did get pregnant whilst they were at University and who had terminations – the Student Health Centre were aware of this and they also knew that those students were going to Chester or were going back home if they became pregnant. From what I saw, both in terms of students with mental health problems or students with unwanted pregnancies, they were usually kept well away from the north Wales NHS – I suspect because if the middle-class parents of those students found out about some of the practices in the north Wales NHS there’d have been outrage. I also suspect that I presented a very big problem to the Student Health Centre because I was an undergrad who’d become ill but who wasn’t in a position to be sent back home – which is of course how I discovered so much about the malpractice that local people were clearly being subjected to. The cartel at St David’s and their ban on abortions had another consequence as well. I heard a first-hand account of a woman who was taken to St David’s experiencing a miscarriage. She was treated appallingly – because they thought that they had carried out a home abortion on herself. There was no evidence at all that this woman had done this and no reason to suspect that she would have wanted to – she was a professional person, a married mother of two young children who wanted more children. But what’s the betting that because it was impossible to obtain an abortion in north Wales, St David’s was seeing patients who had procured abortions and that’s why this lady was under suspicion?

It was many years before I was to discover the real horror that lay beneath the situation regarding women with unwanted pregnancies in north Wales however. Readers will probably be aware that under the 1967 Act, a woman is allowed a termination if her mental health will suffer if she continues with the pregnancy and birth. Well guess who was responsible for assessing the mental health of women who were requesting an abortion on those grounds? One Dr Dafydd Alun Jones at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. A man who was known to sexually harass the female staff to such an extent that they didn’t want to be left alone with him, a man who cohabited with two female patients at once at one point, a man about whom five female patients made statements claiming that they had had a sexual relationship with him, a man who was known to have illegally imprisoned at least two women in Denbigh, a man who was sectioning people who complained about him, a man who tried to threaten and bribe patients into dropping their complaints about him, a man who was having a relationship with a woman who was concealing the activities of a paedophile ring, a man running mediocre ‘care homes’ where abuse and neglect was alleged, a man whom drug addicts told me would prescribe them ‘anything they wanted’ and ‘always write you a good court report’ (presumably if you paid him…) This was the man to whom women requesting abortions were allocated once they had been admitted to Denbigh for ‘assessment’. I can only imagine what will have gone on. And as abortions couldn’t be obtained in north Wales anyway, presumably unless those women stumped up the cash to go to Chester they won’t have ever been allowed an abortion, no matter what they agreed to do with Dafydd. Interestingly enough, another one of Dafydd’s ‘responsibilities’ at Denbigh at one point was the ‘women’s wing’. He’s just the sort of person that you want overseeing the ‘women’s wing’ isn’t he – particularly as the only person to whom he had to answer for years was the lobotomist and once the lobotomist was put out to grass Dafydd was completely unaccountable, as my documents demonstrate.

Somehow I suspect that the situation prevailing in north Wales in the 1980s regarding unwanted pregnancies in vulnerable women could better some of the historical horrors coming out of rural Ireland at the moment. A Magdalen laundry would have nothing on Dafydd, Gwynne the lobotomist and Denbigh.

Lest readers conclude that it was only women who were transgressing – or simply believed to be transgressing – in some way who found themselves on the receiving end of the delights of St David’s, I’ll enlighten you. It could happen to anyone who risked giving birth there. I knew a young woman in 1985 who was under enormous strain because her three year old son was severely physically disabled. He could not control his limbs or even hold himself up to sit up. The young woman and her husband had been recently told that their son had cerebral palsy and would be severely disabled for life. It was then admitted that the little boy’s disability had been caused by a birth injury at St David’s. I got to know this young woman quite well and she related an interesting story. When she had been in labour at St David’s she had told them all that she felt that things were not progressing as they should but was ignored and left alone. The level of pain that she was experiencing was ignored as well. She remembered that sometime after this, a midwife suddenly appeared in a panic and rushed her through to the delivery room. The birth was difficult but the young woman was assured that the baby was fine. As the baby grew older, this young woman noticed that he didn’t seem to be developing at the same rate as his peers and she constantly asked for medical opinion. She was repeatedly reassured that there was nothing wrong. It took the medical services in north Wales three years to admit what had happened and that her son would be severely disabled for life. After this young woman and her husband had been given this prognosis, they linked up with other parents who had disabled children. They met another couple whose child had suffered a serious birth injury during delivery at St David’s. The injury had occurred because the obstetrician who had delivered the baby had applied the forceps incorrectly, crushing the back of the baby’s neck. After this incident, the couple were told that the obstetrician had left Dt David’s and had taken up a post in Australia. Thirty years later, there will be two severely disabled adults still living with the effects of those cock-ups and lies. What’s the betting that neither of them will have been offered a penny compensation either.

I heard another everyday story of damaged folk from a member of staff at St David’s as well, again in 1985. I knew a woman who was well-educated but was divorcing a difficult man who had left her with nothing and was refusing to pay maintenance for their children, so she was in a desperate financial position. She therefore took on a number of jobs that were actually well below her level of ability through desperation and lack of opportunity, north Wales being what it was in 1985. One of these jobs was as a member of clerical staff at St David’s Hospital. This lady worked there for months and just watched what was going on. She seemed to be providing clerical support for a senior member of nursing/midwifery staff, whom she described as a real monster. The whole place lived in fear of her and no-one dared cross her path. The lady I knew also noticed something else. That the parents of babies who had been injured or stillborn and who had made a complaint were always offered a meeting with this senior member of staff. Who would then capitalise on their grief and distress and do all that she could to ensure that their complaint went no further. My informant told me that this seemed to have been a well thought out strategy.

Readers from north Wales will know that like Denbigh, St David’s Hospital was closed down and services moved elsewhere, in the case of St David’s into Ysbyty Gwynedd. Did those services improve? Not from what I heard, because as with Denbigh, the building was dispensed with rather than the staff. I have long since been aware of some extraordinary practices at Ysbyty Gwynedd and have documented many of these on this blog. It seems that laypeople have been given access to areas of Ysbyty Gwynedd without appropriate procedures being followed. This seems to have been happening when the children of friends of Ysbyty Gwynedd staff have shown an interest in ‘what happens in a hospital’ – it seems that these schoolchildren have literally been invited in by certain doctors to ‘observe’, without anyone’s permission being sought. I know of a man in Gwynedd who remembered that a pathologist at Ysbyty Gwynedd, one Dr Donald Wayte, ‘was ever so kind’ because he’d let this man into a post mortem when he was 15. This man’s mum had known Wayte and told him that her son had always wanted to see a post-mortem, so bang, he was in. Wayte was another bit of local talent who achieved notoriety many years ago when he announced in the national media – on the basis of no evidence at all – that ‘most’ cot deaths are those of children who’ve been murdered by their parents. The most enormous row followed as scores of bereaved parents appeared in the media telling this offensive old git to shut up. I note that one Avril Wayte sits along with dear old Dafydd Alun Jones on the Board of Trustees of CAIS. Knowing how rife nepotism is in the health and welfare sector of north Wales I presume that Avril is highly likely to be wife or daughter of Donald. I also heard of a first hand account from someone who was undergoing fertility investigations at Ysbyty Gwynedd in the mid-1990s. They had been booked in for a procedure that involves the injection of coloured dye into the Fallopian tubes in order to detect possible obstructions. When they walked into the ‘operating theatre’ for this procedure, among all the other staff present, they noticed what was very obviously a girl of about 13 or 14 sitting in the room positioned in such a way that they would have had a good view of this patient’s anatomy during this procedure. Not relishing the prospect of this, the patient asked this girl who she was. The girl helpfully revealed that she was ‘on work experience’ from one of the local schools. That’s right, a SCHOOLGIRL had been allowed in to Ysbyty Gwynedd to watch gynaecological procedures. Maybe we should be surprised that she wasn’t actually carrying out the procedures herself.

One of the obstetricians who had worked at St David’s and then at Bangor was a Mr Tivey-Jones. I heard a truly extraordinary story about Tivey-Jones in about 2000. I was friends with someone who ran a restaurant on Anglesey, who had become pregnant and was very anxious about a number of health issues. She was so anxious that she decided to ask if she could ‘go private’ under the illusion that she would receive a higher standard of care this way. She was booked in for an ante-natal appointment with this Tivey-Jones. When she went for the appointment she got a bit of a surprise. Although Tivey-Jones carried out the appropriate examinations and I think that she had some sort of scan too, he refused to speak to her. At all. The consultation, if it could be called that, was conducted in absolute silence, although my friend kept trying to ask questions. She ended up in tears and was still not spoken to. After this bizarre event, my friend asked the midwife what the hell was going on, only to be told ‘oh no, Mr Tivey-Jones won’t speak to you, he doesn’t like private patients’. He was however happy to book them in and take their money. I have never met this man, but imagine my surprise when I found a Daily Post article from October 2016, about a group of retired obstetricians and gynaecologists who were objecting to the proposed re-organisation of maternity services in north Wales, alleging that life and limb would be put at risk if services were downgraded at Ysbyty Gwynedd. One of those objecting was a Peter Tivey-Jones. Presumably he longs for the Good Old Days of the St David’s laundry where women were unlawfully denied abortions and were conned into encountering Dafydd for an ‘assessment’, where other women were illegally procuring abortions in desperation, where yet more women suffering miscarriages were treated punitively because they were wrongly suspected of procuring an abortion and where woman who did carry a pregnancy to term ran the risk of a dickwit of a doctor injuring their baby but would not be told if this had happened. And some women wouldn’t be told anything at all because Tivey-Jones refused to speak to them once he’d pocketed their money. And if your luck was really in, you’d encounter a school pupil among the team treating you.

Women seeking terminations of pregnancy on mental health grounds were not alone in encountering an unholy alliance between St David’s Hospital and Denbigh. I know of one woman from a village near Caernarfon who in the late 70s gave birth to a baby boy at St David’s. The baby was taken from her completely against her wishes and was adopted. She spent the rest of her life trying to trace him, but never succeeded. From what she told me, the process leading up to the abduction of this baby involved this woman being detained in Denbigh for a while in order to demonstrate how mad she was, then giving birth at St David’s some months later, where she was physically restrained by members of her family – who had cooked up the deal with Denbigh and St David’s – so that the baby could be forcibly removed from her. Was this woman a teenager when she gave birth, or unmarried perhaps and being subjected to the condemnation that had in an earlier era been dished out to women in these circumstances? No, she was a lady in her thirties who had left her husband and wanted a divorce. Her mother didn’t want her to leave her husband and her mother knew some of the staff at St David’s who offered a solution. This didn’t happen in the nineteenth century, it happened in Bangor in the late 1970s. Furthermore, everyone knew it – the lady in question remained a mental health patient on the books of the notorious Arfon Community Mental Health Team. She used to discuss the possibility of tracing her son with everyone that she knew -some  years later, she had another child, a daughter, who also ended up on the books of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team. This girl knew all about her stolen brother and she too used to talk about her wish to find him. A previous blog post, ‘Another Case of ‘Not Knowing’?’, provides details of a case in which a young female mental health patient at Ysbyty Gwynedd whom I befriended in the early 1990s was being sexually exploited by a group of junior doctors working in the obs and gynae dept of Ysbyty Gwynedd. She became pregnant twice and on each occasion the doctor responsible for the pregnancy arranged a termination – that she didn’t want – to be carried out by his colleagues. The mental health staff at Ysbyty Gwynedd were fully aware of the circumstances under which this young woman became pregnant.

So it wasn’t just in the mental health services that some very unsavoury things were happening. What is so interesting is how the people involved kept up such an audacious front, such as Dafydd attending meetings of religious congregations and lecturing them on the dangers of such things as cannabis and forgetting the Bible verses that one learnt as a child, as described in my blog post ‘A Serious Moral Collapse?’ Blogging about recent history in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology has brought back another memory. When a ruling in the Victoria Gillock case in the 1980s meant that for a short time it was a grey area as to whether GPs were allowed to prescribe the contraceptive pill for teenagers without informing their parents, I remember discussing the ruling with Dr DGE Wood, who was still my GP at that time. I have described elsewhere on the blog how I had no idea until recently exactly what Wood was doing without my knowledge, but how I have now obtained documents demonstrating that Wood was actually a key player in concealing the criminal activities and abuses of Dafydd Alun Jones et al. Wood announced that because of the Gillock ruling, he would not prescribe contraception to teenage girls under any circumstances because ‘I’m not going to go to prison’. He waxed lyrical about this and became quite vexed, yelling ‘I’m not going to go to prison’ several times. Well considering what you got up to over the following years Wood and the fact that I now have the evidence in my possession, I wouldn’t be surprised if you do end up in prison. Earlier today a follower of the blog e mailed me back after I told him that there is going to be a joint meeting of the Betsi Board and the CHC next week and that I would be attending. He suggested that someone should just book a coach, round the whole lot of them up and take them all straight over to Bala Wing in HMP Berwyn…