A Secret And Forbidding Place To Work?

I wrote my earlier post ‘Their Trade Is Fuckwittery’ after reading Greg Dyke’s book ‘Inside Story’. I mentioned in that post that Greg’s book was so full of gems and leads that I’d never have time to blog about it all, so I was just going to write about a few of the highlights. In ‘Their Trade Is Fuckwittery’ I concentrated on the shambles that was TV-am and the questionable conduct of those who were running that company, as well as providing a few details about ITV and Yorkshire Television, two very big players in independent TV. People tend to believe that Gov’ts always have the BBC over a barrel because of the existence of the licence fee and the Charter, which are of course completely in the hands of the Westminster Gov’t, but as I made clear in ‘Their Trade Is Fuckwittery’, other media folk not involved with the BBC didn’t dare fall out with the Gov’t – during the 80s, the Thatcher administrations – because the Gov’t was busy drawing up the legislation relating to broadcasting. There is a very close symbiotic relationship between all broadcasters and Gov’t – Dyke’s book makes the extent of this very obvious.

This blog has previously named towering figures in broadcasting – such as Huw Wheldon of the BBC – who had direct links to those who were overseeing the abuse of kids in care and mental health patients, which might explain why investigative documentaries about such matters rarely got to see the light of day. It wasn’t just the fault of a few individuals like Huw Wheldon though. Senior figures from right across the political spectrum have been identified as being involved with such abuses, so it’s not just a matter of waiting for a change of Gov’t before receiving the all-clear for a documentary – the next Gov’t coming along will be just as compromised. Virtually every other page of Dyke’s book names a senior political figure who is best mates with an influential figure in broadcasting, there are hundreds of close connections between the two sectors. The media world is also small and incestuous, nearly as bad as the world of health and social care – it is just one big game of musical chairs, with people jumping between organisations in ever more senior roles, where they become ever more closer to but at the same time more beholden to politicians. Remember the case of James Purnell, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport until he resigned in 2009 – he managed to leave a job in Gordon Brown’s Gov’t, spend four years as Chair of the IPPR and then walked into a job as Director of Strategy at the BBC on a salary of £295k pa.

Since Jimmy Savile’s death it has become clear that an awful lot of people at the BBC and elsewhere knew that he was sexually assaulting children and young people, despite the official silence. What really struck me as I was reading Dyke’s book though is how many very senior people in TV will definitely have known about organised child sexual abuse and its ramifications. I tend to just perceive people on TV as being obsessed with issues that don’t really matter, people who appear on prime time and talk asinine nonsense. I forget that a great many of these people started their careers as journalists or researchers, either on newspapers or on regional TV or radio. Local journalists do know what goes on – they will freely admit this, but then explain that they couldn’t publish because the editor wouldn’t allow it. That will be true – but their editors will be the local journalists of yesteryear, who are now dining with politicians and don’t want to upset the Gov’t…. This is how a complete silence surrounding certain subjects is maintained.

Dyke names powerful figure after powerful figure in the media whom he worked with years ago when they were local journos or researchers on news programmes or investigative projects who undoubtedly came across the matters discussed on this blog but who never broadcast them, even when they were in a position to do so. A glaring example is Janet Street-Porter, whom Dyke worked with back in the dark ages in the current affairs dept of LWT on a local London programme. Janet was one of the journos going out and about. Street-Porter has latterly reached the dizzying heights of ‘Loose Women’, where matters Jimmy Savile and sexual exploitation by media figures have recently been discussed, as they have on other TV programmes. I watched a clip of someone angrily interrogating Janet and asking her why she had never said a word previously. Janet squawked away in a very vexed manner, maintained that she ‘couldn’t’, because she was a ‘woman’ and women get ‘harassed’. The interrogation continued and Janet then stated that when she was ten she was molested and when she told her mum her mum slapped her. Janet Street-Porter as traumatised victim. An interesting notion – yet Street-Porter went through a phase not so long ago of writing articles denouncing her mother as the most vile old cow and even maintained that she loathed everything Welsh because her mother was Welsh. She may well have been quite right about her mother but EVERYTHING about Street-Porter’s life and career from her teens onwards suggests that she is pretty tough – it is far more likely that she didn’t publish or broadcast because she wanted promotion. By the time that Street-Porter was being interrogated by an angry viewer she wasn’t ten, she was a wealthy senior media executive in late middle-age who scared the knickers off many of her colleagues.

If Street-Porter had really wanted to expose Savile or others like him, she could have – but she knew that the dinner invitations and commissions would dry up if she did. Street-Porter did most admirably have a go at the NHS when her sister died in truly appalling conditions – Street-Porter was editor of the Indie on Sunday at the time and published some very damning articles despite the squealing of the NHS and I was most grateful that she did this. Yet the Indie on Sunday was one of the papers that Gordon Anglesea sued for libel in 1994 after they and others named him as abusing kids in care in north Wales. Last year Anglesea was jailed – for abusing kids in care in north Wales. Did the Indie on Sunday – or anyone else – put the boot in? No. Anglesea had been demonstrated to be a child molester, a liar, a perjurer and someone who trousered nearly £400,000 in libel damages as a result of his criminal activities. Anglesea had also enjoyed the full support of the Police Federation throughout. One of his accusers was found dead shortly after Anglesea won his libel case. Er – fancy a follow up investigation or even an article then Janet? No? Never mind – it’s why I started this blog…

There is only one reason why I am not even ruder about Janet and the others regarding their extended silence – and that is that some very unfortunate things tend to happen to people who merely bump into and spill the pints of those involved with the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. Like the young man who dared appear on TV and name Gordon Anglesea as one of his abusers whilst he was a kid in care in north Wales, they tend to be found dead. Janet and her mates are far safer than the former residents of children’s homes or the mental health patients of north Wales, but Greg’s book does mention something similarly very worrying. That Richard Dunn, the head of Thames TV who were responsible for making and broadcasting ‘Death On The Rock’ the documentary about the shooting of the three members of the IRA by the SAS in Gibraltor in 1988 – that so enraged Thatcher and her Gov’t – was in Aug 1998 found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool. The reason given for the cause of his death doesn’t quite add up and anyway don’t bodies float?

Dyke’s book teams with evidence of the favours that people in the media do for politicians whilst they are all on their way up. The earlier part of Dyke’s career as a media big-hitter took place under Tory Govt’s – first Thatcher’s administrations, then Major’s – but the latter half was under New Labour. It was Dyke’s almighty ding dong with Blair’s Gov’t that saw him resign as Director-General of the BBC. Greg caused havoc, but he also got rid of Alistair Campbell as Blair’s Rottweiler in Chief, so we have that to be grateful for.

Dyke’s account nicely illustrates how favours and feuds going back decades and indeed generations influence present day decisions. Greg himself goes back a long way in terms of his friendships with people who later became very powerful. Although as a manager Greg took a very Thatcheresque view of the trade unions in TV and delighted in thwarting them, he admits that a few years previously when he was of them, he too screwed the management over and fleeced them – it’s how he knew the techniques that the unions would employ when he joined management.

Greg’s early power base was at LWT, which certainly seemed to serve him well. At LWT he worked with a John Birt, a Peter Mandelson and a Michael Grade. When Dyke was applying for what seems to be his first go at a worthwhile job at LWT, he was told by a colleague at LWT that John Birt was the most important person on the Board – Birt was then head of features and current affairs at LWT and had been described to Greg as ‘all powerful’. Greg did his best to toady to John Birt in the interview but unfortunately he didn’t actually manage to identify who John Birt was and ingratiated himself to the wrong person. Greg didn’t get the job, but he did get another job with LWT soon afterwards. Greg observed that as Birt became very powerful within LWT, Mandelson – who was a producer – became his best friend.

Birt left LWT in 1987 to become Deputy DG of the BBC – Birt was valued for his expertise in current affairs and was responsible for news and current affairs as Deputy DG. Birt will have certainly have been party to a lot of information by this stage in his career. He had worked at Granada between 1966-71 where he’d been part of the World In Action team, becoming joint editor in 1969. He joined LWT in 1971 and was founding editor and executive producer of Weekend World. Birt then became head of current affairs, then controller of features and current affairs. He worked on Weekend World with Peter Jay.

Peter Jay was the son of two Labour politicians who then married Margaret, the daughter of Jim Callaghan, who later became PM. When Callaghan became PM in 1977 Peter Jay was appointed Ambassador to the US by his friend, Foreign Secretary Dr David Owen. Jay had never held public office and was not a diplomat. Jay did well out of his friends though – he landed a job as Economics Editor of the BBC courtesy of his mate John Birt. At one point Jay was Chief of Staff to Robert Maxwell. Jay was founding Chairman of TV-am (see post ‘Their Trade Is Fuckwittery). Between 2003-09 he was a non-executive director of the Bank of England.

Birt took a break from LWT in the mid-70s to work with David Frost producing The Nixon Interviews, in which they famously managed to get Tricky Dicky to fess up to serious wrongdoing. Birt returned to LWT in 1982 as Director of Programmes. It was in this capacity that he revived the career of a singer with whom he had been friends many years ago when they were young – this is the lady whom I have mentioned in previous posts and comments who was a patient of and a friend of the Professor in the Dept at St Georges Hospital Medical School in which I worked between 1989-91. The Dept which was chaotic, riddled with workplace bullying and which sometime after I left became embroiled in a research fraud scandal, then another scandal in which a fertility consultant was accused of pressurising NHS patients into donating eggs to private patients, then yet another scandal before the Dept was closed down (see post ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/1990’). This was also the Dept which employed an MSF rep, David Hole, who as far as I could see was corrupt. Only a few years previously, the Professor of Paediatrics at St Georges, Oliver Brooke, had been jailed for the possession of child porn. At the same time, the Dept of Psychiatry, along with the associated psychiatric unit Springfield Hospital, were as corrupt as fuck and were colluding with the criminal activities of NHS staff and social workers in north Wales, including the concealing of abuse of children in care and of mental health patients (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’). The occupational health physician at St Georges, Dr Nicky Mitchell-Heggs, was also on board with all this.

I am sure that John Birt’s showbiz friend knew nothing about the shenanigans behind the scenes at St George’s at all, all she saw were Top Doctors grovelling to her as their highest profile private patient, but I have been told that it was substantially as a result of this lady’s very good relationship with St George’s that the lid was kept on the wrongdoing there. She thought that they were great and used to occasionally mention them when interviewed. By the time that I worked at St George’s this lady was LWT’s biggest star – the two light entertainment shows that she hosted were the root of LWT’s success and profits in the 1980s/90s and she was the highest paid female presenter on UK TV. Her fame was used to conceal some real horrors at St George’s.

Birt’s friend won’t have known what St George’s were concealing, but it’s very likely that Birt with his background in current affairs and extensive network did. Not only was Birt big mates with Mandelson – who was Director of Communications for the Labour Party – but Birt was also a member of the Labour Party at the time of his appointment to the BBC, although this was only revealed later. Which was certainly ironic because Birt had been recruited by Thatcher’s old mate Duke Hussey, who had been appointed as Chairman of the BBC Governors because Thatcher and Tebbit et al were fuming at what they believed were the pinkos working on the Today programme and the broadcasting of a few other things that had upset them, such as ‘Maggie’s Militant Tendency’ (see post ‘Wheels Within Wheels Or Flies Drawn To The Same Incestuously Corrupt Shithouse?’).

Birt was appointed as DG in 1992 and remained in post until 2000. His tenure was certainly controversial. He – along with Hussey – was loathed by many and numerous people became very alienated. Birt was perceived to be Thatcher’s lap dog and he also really liked Management. So much so that as well as all the highly paid managers already in the BBC, Birt spent huge quantities of money on management consultants McKinseys and Co – who had also been sent into the NHS by Gov’t in a vain attempt to address the entrenched corruption and bad practice. Although Hussey and Birt were both hated by much of the media world, they didn’t like each other very much either. Dyke maintains that months used to pass without them even speaking to each other and the final straw came in 1995 when Panorama broadcast the infamous Tell All interview with Diana, Princess of Wales. Hussey was mates with members of the Royal Family and was horrified that he hadn’t been told about the programme until he wasn’t in a position to stop it.

When Birt became DG of the BBC, he fell out with another person with whom he’d been big mates with in LWT as long ago as the 1970s – Michael Grade. Grade got so pissed off with Birt that Grade left his senior post at the BBC and went to Channel 4. Grade later described Birt’s BBC as a ‘secret and forbidding place to work’ in the McTaggart lecture in Edinburgh. The following year the McTaggart lecture was given by Dennis Potter, who put the boot into Birt’s groin even harder and described him and Hussey as ‘croak-voiced daleks’.

It was Birt who was behind the expansion of the BBC into online services, which enraged many people because it squeezed out virtually all other competitors – Birt created a whole new Media Division.

Despite the high levels of dissatisfaction all around at the BBC with Birt’s activities when he was DG, when he left the BBC he picked up a peerage and was appointed as strategy advisor to Blair. Of course Birt already knew Blair – they had known each other since the 1980s. It was Birt who in his capacity as DG at the BBC in 1998 had ordered a blackout on any references to Mandelson being gay, after Matthew Parris let it slip on Newsnight. Mandy had also been a Councillor in Lambeth Borough Council in the late 1990s – Lambeth children’s homes had been choc full of paedophiles for years, but whether Birt was censoring that piece of info as well I do not know. Blair also knew Greg Dyke and Greg’s mate Barry Cox from LWT. Greg first met Blair in 1980 at Barry Cox’s – Greg was a producer with LWT and Blair was working as a barrister, presumably as George Carman’s junior, but told Dyke that he wanted to be a Labour MP. Barry Cox and his wife Fiona Hillary (who was Dyke’s PA for many years) were neighbours and friends of Blair and according to Dyke, when Cox was Director of Corporate Affairs at LWT in the early 1990s (by which time Dyke was Chair of LWT), Cox warned Blair of Murdoch’s dominance and ambitions to achieve further dominance of British TV. Blair knew about the danger that Murdoch posed, but maintained that Labour could do a deal with Murdoch. So that’s how Murdoch ended up taking over the world and telling UK PMs what to do, blackmailing a twelve year old Charlotte Church into singing at a private event of his by threatening to publish stories about her mum who had mental health problems if she didn’t – although Murdoch published the stories anyway a few years later – whilst his staff hacked into the mobile phones of murdered teenagers and purchased stories from police officers, prison officers and NHS staff.

Birt had already begun advising Blair before he was appointed his strategic advisor – Birt had previously dispensed pearls of wisdom regarding criminal justice. Birt – the man who had been DG at the BBC whilst everyone kept schtum about Savile.  Once he became strategy advisor, Birt also advised Blair on drugs, health and crime reduction, as well as other matters. Since then Birt has picked up numerous other advisory roles and directorships, including a consultancy at McKinsey and Co.

In 2005 Birt began a relationship with Eithne Wallis, the former head of the National Probation Service, whom he later married. The wedding was attended by, among others, Mandelson and Trevor Phillips, Chair of the Commission for Equalities and Human Rights. Phillips had worked at LWT along with Birt and Mandy.

Although most people are very rude about Birt’s legacy at the BBC – producer Tony Garnett stated that Birt’s regime of ‘totalitarian micromanagement’ remained even after Birt himself had departed – James Purnell believes that Birt’s ‘boldness’ saved the BBC. It certainly ensured that a lot of things were never broadcast, including a lot of things about Mandelson et al.

The Chair of the Governors who appointed Birt, Duke Hussey, later said that he should not have done so. I mentioned previously that Hussey was a political appointment, made by Thatcher et al. No matter how keen Thatcher was to give the Guardianistas at the BBC a kicking, Hussey didn’t seem to be a good choice for Chairman, although he was there for ten years, 1986-96. Hussey had previously worked for Fleet Street, but not as a journalist – all his experience had been as a manager, but he hadn’t had a great deal of success. He had nearly succeeded in destroying the Daily Mail when he had management responsibility for Associated Newspapers. Hussey then became Chief Exec and MD of the Times Newspapers in 1971. He entered into a disastrous war with the unions in the late 1970s during which he decided to lock them out – the lock-out lasted so long that the papers went out of production for the best part of a year, without the unions conceding anything. The proprietors sold out to Murdoch after sustaining substantial losses. The world was astonished that Hussey remained in place after Murdoch took over, but it was speculated that Murdoch only wanted Hussey in place for the shin dig that he was soon to be holding to celebrate the bicentenary of the Times at Hampton Court. Hussey was able to rope Prince Charles in as a guest which afforded Murdoch some good PR.

Hussey was able to secure a high profile Royal because he had close links to the Royal Family. Hussey’s wife Susan had when young been appointed as Woman to the Bedchamber of Elizabeth II, a position that she retained for the rest of her life. Susan was also godmother to the Duke of Cambridge and the Queen occasionally dined at the Husseys’ home. Hussey’s wife also provided close links to the Tory Cabinet – Susan was the elder sister of William Waldegrave, who held a number of Cabinet posts, including that of Secretary of State for Health, 1990-92. Yes, Waldegrave was in office whilst the paedophile ring which involved Thatcher’s aide Sir Peter Morrison raged in north Wales and the mental health services resorted to criminal activities in order to conceal it, whilst they busied themselves with perjury and perverting the course of justice in an attempt to imprison me, whilst five witnesses were killed in an arson attack and whilst the associated corruption at St George’s was in full swing. Waldegrave had also worked in the Conservative Research Dept in 1971 – Matthew Parris worked in that Dept in the 70s and alleged that not only were there many gay men employed there, but at least one senior member of staff was very predatory and was known to go out seeking younger men. Staff in that Dept also holidayed in a destination in Italy at a place known as the Villa of Shame where ‘boys’ were supplied.

Hussey was Chairman of the Royal Marsden Hospital, 1985-98.

Hussey was offered the position of Chairman of the BBC over the telephone by Douglas Hurd, the then Home Secretary. Hussey cheerily admitted that he knew nothing about the BBC – he didn’t even know where it was. When Hurd offered him the Chairmanship Hussey had to look up the location of the building where he would be working. Alisdair Milne was the DG in place when Hussey was appointed but was forced out by Hussey and the Governors within months. Sir Michael Checkland, an accountant, was appointed DG by the Governors as the ‘compromise candidate’, with Birt as Deputy DG. Checkland remained as DG until 1992 and did the bidding of Thatcher’s Gov’t. After his retirement, Checkland was involved in NCH (the National Children’s Home) – which had links to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. Checkland also sits on the Board of the Wales Millennium Centre. Checkland was Vice-President of the Royal Television Society between 1985-94. So he was in post when my friend who worked at the Royal Television Society and who wanted to make a documentary about what had happened to me in north Wales was bullied out of her job and later won a case against them for unfair dismissal. I think that it’s about time that I named the foot soldiers who did the dirty deed where my friend was concerned – they were Tony Pilgrim and Claire Price. Price still works at the RTS. Hey Claire, did you know about that employee of yours who was convicted of indecently assaulting a ten year old boy? And did you know that one of your colleagues told my friend – whom you unlawfully hounded out of her job – that it was ‘a pity’ about him being caught?

Hussey’s Vice-Chair at the BBC was Lord Joel Barnett, the Labour MP who had been Chief Secretary to the Treasury when Denis Healey had been Chancellor of the Exchequer under Jim Callaghan. Barnett was Vice-Chair between 1986-93 – he had succeeded William Rees-Mogg.

Hussey was given a peerage in 1996. His obituaries mention that it was uncertain why he was ever offered the position of Chairman of the BBC above other people with links to the Conservative Party – there was speculation that it could have been as a result of his Royal connections or that perhaps William Rees-Mogg suggested his name, Rees-Mogg having been the editor of the Times and supportive of Hussey whilst he was Chief Exec and MD of the Times Newspapers. Greg Dyke suggests that it was Murdoch who recommended that Thatcher appoint him.

Dyke maintains that Hussey assisted Murdoch’s business interests by carrying out negotiations involving the Premier League and thus licence payers money was used to help Murdoch.

Hussey stood down as Chair of the BBC in 1996 – Sir Christopher Bland was then appointed and remained Chair until 2001. Bland had been Deputy Chair of the ITA – which then became the IBA – in 1972 and Chair of LWT in 1984. Bland had been involved with the Conservative Party – he had been a member of the GLC for Lewisham, 1976-70. Lewisham was yet another Council which had a problem with the abuse of children in care – a reader of this blog sent me a link recently concerning a number of cases of abuse that were of course concealed by Lewisham Council when they were brought to their attention. Bland had been Chair of the Tory think tank the Bow Group, 1969-70.

Bland was a Director of ITN, sat on the GMTV Board and was also Chair of LWT. He joined the Board of LWT (Holdings) in 1984 and after the 1993 franchise renewal when LWT was taken over by Granada, Bland was one of the people – along with Dyke – who made a great deal of money. Dyke states that he made £7 million and Bland made much more. According to Dyke this bonanza was engineered by Neil Canetty-Clarke, a merchant banker on placement with LWT, who later became financial director. The huge profits resulted from a clause that had been added to the relevant Parliamentary Bill by David Mellor, who was at the time a junior Home Office Minister.

Christopher Bland was Chair of Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte’s Hospitals NHS Special Health Authority, 1982-94 and Chaired Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust including Charing Cross Hospital, 1994-97. So Bland presided over the research fraud and bad behaviour that was occurring in Hammersmith Hospital in the mid-late 1980s, as detailed in my post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’. He will also have been Chair when Lord Robert Winston employed a gynaecologist who was a serial sexual harasser, but passed him onto St George’s Hospital Medical School rather than ensure that he was removed from circulation. Bland was a member of the PM’s advisory panel on the Citizens Charter and co-owned Leith’s School of Food and Wine, with Caroline Waldegrave, wife of Tory Cabinet Minister and Secretary of State for Health 1990-92, William Waldegrave.

Christopher has a son, Archie. The ability to land plum jobs in the media is obviously a genetically inheritable trait – in 2004 Archie was named ‘Guardian Student Columnist of the Year’. In 2012 he became Deputy Editor of the Independent – the youngest Deputy Editor in the paper’s history and possibly the youngest ever on Fleet Street! In 2013 Archie was appointed a senior writer at the Indie and Indie on Sunday and he is at present Deputy National Editor at the Guardian. Perhaps we can expect Archie soon to be given responsibility for some major London teaching hospitals pervaded with corruption carrying out some questionable animal experiments.

Greg Dyke was appointed DG of the BBC shortly before Bland stepped down. Greg’s book describes considerable opposition to his appointment. He believes that the Editor of the Times Peter Stothard led the fight against his appointment. Pauline Neville-Jones, a BBC Governor and a Tory, opposed Dyke’s appointment. William Hague, then the leader of the opposition, wrote to the Chair of the BBC stating that Dyke was unsuitable on the grounds of his Labour Party membership and donations to the Party – Dyke had donated to Blair’s leadership campaign in 1994. Alan Yentob – who later achieved infamy through his involvement with Kids Company – also wanted the job as DG.

Like Bland, Dyke was a media executive who had been asked for his remedy for the NHS. In the summer of 1997, Dyke met Margaret Jay – Minister of State for Health, daughter of former PM James Callaghan and wife of Dyke’s media colleague Peter Jay – at David Frost’s garden party (Greg was a regular at Frost’s garden parties, he bumped into Alistair Campbell at one of them a few years after the huge scrap between the BBC and Campbell). Margaret Jay, Minister of Health under Frank Dobson, subsequently asked Dyke for new ideas regarding the Patients Charter – Dyke was helped in this by Alison Nield, an Angel who became an NHS manager. Dyke’s report was published in Nov 1998, whilst Margaret Jay was leader of the Labour Party in the Lords.

At the time that Margaret Jay was tapping Greg for his wisdom, havoc had broken out in the mental health services in north Wales – this was before devolution, so the NHS in Wales was still run from Westminster. The Hergest Unit had really hit the buffers. The corrupt manager Alun Davies was in the process of closing down the day centre – which was the only part of the Hergest that functioned properly and was overwhelmingly popular with the patients – on the orders of the dreadful Dr Terry Maxwell, the Medical Director of Ysbyty Gwynedd. Maxwell had been given a merit award in return for cutting the mental health services and I suspect that Davies will also have received a ‘performance related bonus’ for his role in the dirty deed. At this time the better staff at the Hergest Unit were very obviously voting with their feet and leaving and the unit was unable to recruit replacements. Patient care began to suffer greatly and a number of patients killed themselves – others became destitute. One consultant, Dr Tony Francis (Dr X), went into meltdown – he was having huge rows with his colleagues in public, patients were told by Angels that Francis was ‘mentally ill’ (which was true, but the information should not have been communicated and certainly not in that manner) and Francis took (very) early retirement soon after. What was happening in north Wales at this time? The Waterhouse Inquiry. By 1998, the witnesses had given evidence and the most appalling catalogue of abuse in the children’s homes in north Wales had been revealed – abuse that had been concealed by the education system, the NHS and many others. Sir Ronnie Waterhouse famously did his best to discredit the witnesses, but it was crystal clear that something very, very grim had gone on over many years and Ronnie did have to fess up to that. Tony Francis killed himself a few years ago – just as Operation Pallial re-opened the investigation into the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. I was told recently that he was under investigation himself, but I do not have documentary evidence of this.

So what were Greg’s suggestions for turning around an institutionally corrupt sclerotic NHS which for years has colluded with the abuse of vulnerable people? I haven’t read the report that he compiled for Margaret Jay, but Greg outlines his views in his book. He bangs on about leadership – the NHS has a surfeit of leadership, they’re all fucking leaders in the NHS, I think that they’ve got quite enough leadership – and states that the senior managers in the NHS should be doctors. That is the opinion of many people and one can see the logic, but there are problems with that idea. Good doctors very rarely want to be managers – they want to be doctors. Traditionally in the NHS, there were doctors who became managers (they were called administrators in those days) – it was usually what was done with doctors who were so bad that letting them loose on patients was not a good idea. The documents that my lawyers obtained pertaining to my own case contain numerous references to these doctor-managers that worked in north Wales in the 80s and 90s – for example, Dr Cedric Davies and Dr David Jones. It is quite clear from my documents that these two people had only one function – their status as clinicians was used to further conceal the criminal activities of their colleagues. The lethal lobotomist Dr T. Gwynne Williams had also been given a managerial role – unsurprisingly it compounded the problems. What the NHS desperately needs is high calibre, honest managers who are able to genuinely facilitate the work of the practitioners in the NHS. The NHS has such a rotten culture that managers like that really don’t want to work in the NHS. If they are tempted in, they leave again very quickly.

Greg does of course mention the necessity of ‘culture change’. Everyone who is asked to give their opinion on the NHS mentions this. It is obviously the polite response from people who can barely believe what they have discovered going on in the NHS. But because it’s the NHS no-one dares state what has been uncovered, so it’s all breached in terms of the need for a ‘culture change’. We need HSE prosecutions and indeed even corporate manslaughter charges in certain cases before the ‘culture change’ can begin to happen. Not that the general public have any idea of the state that the NHS is in – because the media won’t report it will they Greg…

Greg mentions in ‘Inside Story’ that Mal Young, who was responsible for drama series at the BBC, was concerned that Holby City and Casualty didn’t reflect real hospitals. Was Mal referring to the fact that in these dramas there are very rarely staff portrayed who are vindictive and abusive to patients or who regularly make mistakes so serious that patients are harmed? Or that these dramas never show staff lying at inquests or in Court, or altering medical records to conceal cock-ups? No, Mal was concerned because he believed that the ‘BBC hospitals’ didn’t show the same racial mix as NHS hospitals – Mal wanted more ethnic minority actors in these dramas, so he sent the producers into some real hospitals to see what they were like. In which case, the producers will have actually noticed that ethnic minority staff in NHS hospitals are disproportionately represented in cleaning, cooking and portering jobs and that if they are practitioners they overwhelmingly tend to be working in the more junior roles or in the less prestigious specialities where recruitment is difficult.

Now I don’t see that on the dramas that Mal was responsible for. Holby City has a consultant neurosurgeon who is Afro-Caribbean and hailed from the ghetto. That would be a very rare thing alone, but Holby City has also managed to find a consultant cardiac surgeon who I think has now been given a Chair as well – one who leads the unit furthermore and is a world expert on experimental cutting edge procedures – who grew up in a children’s home and was sexually abused whilst she was there. The same cardiac unit has yet another surgeon who is Afro-Caribbean and the first in her family to go to university. That’s one hell of a hospital and it’s certainly nothing like any UK NHS hospital that I’ve ever come across – it is a hub of upward social mobility that simply does not exist in UK medicine. Casualty did its bit by having a romance – and then a wedding, albeit one that went badly wrong – between an Asian female doctor and a white male porter. There is a great deal of social snobbery in hospitals and the nearest to the Casualty scenario that I ever came across was a porter at Ysbyty Gwynedd who was caught serially having sex with people on hospital premises. Was he sacked? No – because he actually had a place to read medicine at Guys and Tommy’s and he was working at Ysbyty Gwynedd for a few months before taking up his place. There were similar incidents whilst he was a medical student. He qualified – and returned to work at the Hergest Unit as a psychiatrist. There were a number of concerns raised about him – including by me. I wrote to the GMC, only to find that Keith Thomson, the CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust, also wrote to the GMC stating that I had made ‘outrageous allegations’. There was no investigation. Some four years later I heard that this man had attacked his wife so violently that she was sectioned such was her distress and that his two children had been taken into care as a result of severe neglect. It was only then that he was stopped from working as a doctor. How did I know all this? Because he was one of my neighbours and I knew him well for about ten years. As did the rest of the village. We saw him attack his dog so ferociously that the dog nearly died and the vet threatened to prosecute him, we saw him kick a neighbour’s cat across the garden because he ‘didn’t like cats’ and we saw a previous partner of his leave with her child and refuse this man access because she was so frightened of his violence. The Rev Wynne Roberts, the hospital chaplain at Ysbyty Gwynedd, was friends with this doctor, knew about his violence and said nothing. Wynne Roberts sat on the Bangor University School of Healthcare Sciences Ethics Committee and was also a member of the Mental Health Act Commission. Wynne had previously worked as a priest in the Church of England but had been obliged to leave after he had a sexual relationship with a parishioner – whilst Wynne was married to somebody else as I think was the parishioner concerned – whereupon the North West Wales NHS Trust employed him as their hospital chaplain and later gave him a management role (see post ‘Music Therapy Anyone?’).

Beat that Mal.

Greg states in his book that Foundation Hospitals are the way forward because they ‘give power to local managers’. The local managers in the NHS are like Martin Jones and Keith Thomson – they are mini versions of the corrupt ferocious bullies that are the regional managers and the most senior directors. It is the NHS model of management. Mid-Staffs occurred because a bunch of lying callous dickwits wanted to achieve foundation status – if the managers are both thick and corrupt, no model of management is going to be successful. The mortality rates at Mid-Staffs were known throughout the NHS hierarchy, right up to the level of Secretary of State. The problems had begun under the Tory administrations of the 80s and 90s and became worse and worse and worse, because the response of everyone was to conceal the serious problems. Mid-Staffs was in crisis at the time that Margaret Jay was bollocking on to Greg about the Patients Charter. Whilst patients drank water out of vases, were told to crap in their beds by Angels who couldn’t be bothered to walk across the ward with a bed-pan and were ‘assessed’ by receptionists – and died unnecessarily in great numbers.

Dyke’s observations on the culture and management at the BBC include that there is much inbreeding at the BBC – that is, people working in the BBC being married to each other or being in relationships with each other (just like the prevailing situation in the NHS). What Greg doesn’t mention is that this sort of inbreeding at the BBC is also often the basis for securing jobs or promotion – as is sexual relationships between staff. Neither does Dyke mention the number of BBC staff who are the children of media executives/professionals, often specifically those who have worked for the BBC.

Dyke mentions that in the 80s the BBC was ‘very white, very male’, but with initiatives pushed through by John Birt ‘who felt passionately’ about gender equality this has all now changed – the glass ceiling has been well and truly broken. Dyke also mentions the efforts that the BBC have made towards better representation of ethnic minorities in the workforce. Greg wrote his book some ten years ago. A few weeks ago, a huge rumpus followed the revelations that women at the BBC earned far, far less than their male colleagues – even when sitting in the same studio, presenting the same programme – and that very few people from ethnic minorities were in senior positions or on higher salaries. Because the debate pivoted around gender inequality, the many other injustices barely received a mention. Although women were paid less than men at the BBC, women doing jobs needing a high level of education, knowledge and competence were paid a pittance compared to the airheads presenting light entertainment programmes. Claudia and Tess from Strictly Come Dancing were earning twice as much as Laura Kuenssberg or the women journalists on the Today programme. And everyone was grossly overpaid anyway.

The BBC does now have many senior female executives. They behave pretty much as the senior male executives always have – they are ruthless, and obsessed with their status and money. Many of them achieved their positions via relationships with their male senior colleagues and have evolved into cougars continuing this fine tradition with their more junior colleagues. Greg observes that in the BBC, the upper echelons consist of ‘competing individuals in a climate of fear’. Yes – and the women carry on just like the men. Greg doesn’t mention social class – the BBC still draws it’s staff – particularly the senior staff – from the middle classes who have been educated at Oxbridge or Russell group universities. Of course there will be plenty of excellent graduates coming out of those institutions but this phenomenon definitely squeezes out everybody else – it is also closely linked with the nepotism that is so obvious at the BBC. My mum/dad went to Oxbridge/Durham/St Andrews/Bristol, read humanities and spent their careers in the BBC and now I’m doing exactly the same…It’s because we’re all so talented! Unless my mum is Eve Pollard who has edited most of the nation’s biggest circulation newspapers, in which case I’ve evolved into Claudia Winkleman which is why I get paid nearly £500k for wearing too much eyeliner and wiggling my bum once a week on Strictly Come Dancing.

Dyke’s book mentions a few of these women who have broken the glass ceiling at the BBC. One is Jenny Abramsky – now Dame Jenny – who when Dyke was DG was Director of BBC Radio. Abramsky was responsible for digital radio – she ‘persuaded, threatened, cajoled’ everyone at the BBC to push this through; the BBC spent £18 million/yr on new digital services and then had to spend many more millions on the transmission system. There is still a proportion of the population who cannot receive digital radio. When Abramsky strong-armed the BBC into the switch- over to digital radio, it was actually the TV audience which was expanding at the time – radio listeners were dwindling. According to Dyke however, everyone was ‘too scared of incurring Jenny’s wrath’ to oppose the idea. It was commercial radio which really benefited – they wanted the switch to digital because they wanted the new radio stations which would result and they knew that only the BBC was big enough to push the switch-over through.

Jenny Abramsky was married to Alasdair Liddell. Liddell went to Fettes College – the same school that Blair attended and the school at which Blair’s father taught. Liddell was an NHS manager! In the 80s he was involved in the creation of the University College Hospitals Trust – so Alasdair will have known about the dodgy research practices there then. He then went on to manage the East Anglian Regional Health Authority between 1988-94, where he experimented with many of the structures that were later introduced into the NHS – structures which failed. So it was hardly surprising that in 1994 Liddell was appointed Director of Planning for the NHS in the Dept of Health. Liddell went on from success to success – he was the brains behind NHS Direct, another disaster and also worked on various IT projects for the NHS. The ones which cost millions but never got off the ground. In 2000 Liddell left the NHS and joined the PR firm Bell Pottinger – which has just imploded as a result of some very foolish decisions that they made in South Africa. Liddell also joined a company called Healthcare Locums. Now I wonder how they make their money?? Liddell was of course a Senior Associate of the Kings Fund. Liddell is now dead.

Another woman who broke the glass ceiling at the BBC was Carolyn Fairbairn, who when Greg was there was Director of Strategy. Fairbairn had previously worked for the World Bank, as a journo on the Economist, as a consultant at McKinsey and Co and in John Major’s Policy Unit in 10 Downing Street, developing policy on health and social care no less. It was Fairbairn who led the BBC team to secure the DTT licence. According to Greg, Andy Duncan – who later became CEO of Channel 4 – and Emma Scott ‘sold’ the idea of Freeview. The beauty of which was that because the customers have to buy the box, if the box doesn’t work or goes wrong, it’s the customer’s problem not the BBC’s.

Dyke maintains that the BBC wanted people to go digital – the Gov’t planned to switch the analogue signal off because if it wasn’t switched off the BBC couldn’t defend the range of digital services. Freeview also sustains the licence fee – the more Freeview boxes there are, the harder it is for the BBC to switch to subscription services and most boxes can’t be adapted for pay TV. In 1998 the BBC agreed to pay £5 million to BSkyB to put TV services on the BSkyB digital platform – although BSkyB wanted the BBC to do this anyway.

Since her involvement in this scam, Fairbairn has been a Director the FSA, a Director of Capita, a non-executive director of the Competition and Marketing Authority, Lloyds Banking Group and the UK Statistics Authority. In 2015 Fairbairn was appointed Director General of the CBI – the first woman to hold the post! Women’s Hour had better add her to their Power List. Fairbairn’s husband is described as a ‘multi-millionaire property developer’. So she can afford to be ripped off on her Freeview box – however at least she doesn’t have to run the risk of Crapita screwing up their assessment for her disability benefits, as they have done for thousands of other people.

Dyke was well-known for claiming that he would dispense with the managerialist insanity that John Birt imposed upon the BBC and for subsequently coining the slogan ‘cut the crap’. Cutting the crap sounds an excellent idea, but Greg did seem to introduce quite a lot of crap of his own. He lists numerous initiatives that he introduced – ‘Just Imagine’, ‘Leading The Way’, ‘The Big Conversation’. Why the staff of the BBC just can’t go into work and do their jobs he doesn’t explain, but Greg did all sorts of bizarre things to demonstrate to the staff that a new style of management had arrived, such as ‘allowing the staff to busk in the foyer of Bush House in London at lunchtime’. Presumably Claudia’s 500 grand a year isn’t enough for her to make ends meet, she’s got to play the penny whistle and pass the hat around as well. For ‘The Big Conversation’, Greg boasts of having 17,000 staff in a ‘huge live discussion’ – this meant that £250k had to be spent on extending part of the BBC building to cram in an additional 8000 staff in order that they could ‘watch and participate’. Greg maintains that a ‘party atmosphere’ prevailed and in all 400 events were held, including in Delhi, Moscow, Cairo, Nairobi, as well as across the UK. At TV Centre in White City, Cerys Matthews entertained everyone and food and booze was supplied.

Anyone still up for paying their licence fee?

Greg observes that the only people who didn’t take part in all this idiocy were the Governors – they probably thought that they had better things to do with their time. Like go to Glyndebourne, on BBC expenses obviously. There was one exception – Gavyn Davies, the Chair of Governors who was appointed after Bland, did participate in the crap that hadn’t been cut. But then Gavyn Davies had previously been a partner at Goldman Sachs. Gavyn had also worked in Harold Wilson’s Policy Unit, 1974-76; had been economic advisor to James Callaghan 1976-79 and was one of the ‘wise men’ to the Chancellor of the Exchequer during the 1992-97 Parliament. Gavyn was recommended for the post of Chair of the BBC by Tessa Jowell.

An ‘inspirational leader’, Susan Spindler, was Director of the crap known as ‘Making It Happen’ in 2002. I presume that this is the same Susan Spindler who was involved with making the documentary series ‘Doctors To Be’ which followed the careers of a group of medical students at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School some ten years before ‘Making It Happen’ – which left out a great many things…

More money was wasted on leadership. The BBC used Ashridge Business School for their ‘leadership training programme’. Ashridge Business School was originally a trust established by Bonar Law, the former PM. In 1929 it became a ‘College of Citizenship’ which was established to help the Conservative Party develop it’s intellectual forces in the struggle with left-wing organisations such as the Fabian Society – it was a cross between a think tank and a training centre. It was then re-launched in 1959 as a College providing ‘management training’.

Greg himself was sent to Harvard Business School at a cost of $30,000 which Christopher Bland was happy to sign off. Not only does Greg make it clear that anyone who paid the fee would pass the course – which sounds very familiar – but for some reason it was Greg’s course at Harvard that prompted him to rejoin the Labour Party. Perhaps because Miliband, Yvette et al had all done a stint at Harvard – what with them being so very radical and Yvette being a Woman who’s first job was driving a tractor in Yorkshire, or so she claimed when she thought that she was a dead cert to become Labour leader.

Dyke discusses devolution of broadcasting and tells us that in 2003 he suggested to the Governors that some of the BBC services should be relocated to Manchester, in the wake of much feeling that the BBC was far too centred upon the south east of England and that Scotland and the north of England had become alienated from the BBC. Abramsky threatened to resign if Radio 5 Live moved to Manchester, Jana Bennett the Director of TV – another Strong Woman Who’s Broken The Glass Ceiling – wanted BBC 3 to stay in London and the children’s dept also refused to move. BBC did of course end up building a big centre at Salford – and there has been endless trouble because the staff refused to move out of London.

Even Gavyn Davies was savaged for suggesting that too much BBC money was spent on the southern middle classes, but Greg mentioned that whilst he was DG he sent ‘a signal’ by appointing Pat Loughrey from N Ireland as Director of Nations and Regions.

It wasn’t a signal that anyone noticed. In 2005 I was a member of the public at a ‘meet the BBC’ event in Cardiff. This was when Michael Grade had taken over as Chair and Mark Thompson was DG. Grade and the other Governors were there, as was Thompson and Mark Byford (Mark Byford’s dad played a role in concealing the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal – please see post ‘Top Of The Cops’). The audience were all from Wales – obviously – and Rhun ap Iorwerth, now Plaid AM for Ynys Mon, who used to work for the BBC, was the man with the microphone who went among the audience. Grade gave the best display of rude, anti-Welsh bigotry that I have ever witnessed. The big idiot sat there pompousing away bellowing at Rhun ‘you’re tall aren’t you’. It took me a few minutes to work out what it was all about – it was Grade’s idea of a joke, because as we all know, Welshmen are small, so that they can fit down the mines. Rhun’s height is within the normal parameters for an adult UK male. It didn’t stop there – the rudeness regarding everything Welsh and the lame stereotypes continued all evening. The only person who didn’t lapse into this was the Governor for Wales who had to share a platform with this bunch of twats. He did make a few comments that suggested that they were revealing themselves to be a bunch of racist bastards, but it was water off Grade’s back, the insults continued. When a member of the audience raised the question of Ann Robinson recently insulting the Welsh on TV, we were told that the Welsh had to know when to take a joke. Well I look forward to Ann Robinson blacking up and joining in a song and dance routine a la the Black and White Minstrels and we’ll see what happens. Further details of Grade and his colleagues’ appalling crassness at that event can be read in my post ‘News Round Up, May 18 2017’. Greg Dyke mentions in his book that in 2000 he gave a lecture to the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE). I presume that Grade, Ruth Deech and Richard Tait were not in the audience.

Greg observes that Michael Grade was ‘a good and brave Chief Exec of Channel 4, willing to stand up against bullying from politicians’. Well that’s interesting Greg, because the reason that I take an interest in Grade is that back in the 1980s when Grade was a nobody on the make most famous for simply being a relative of Lew Grade, one of my friends worked as the box officer manager for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival one summer. My friend received a very rude demanding letter from a Samuel Brittan, journo on the FT and brother of Leon – later the centre of child sexual abuse allegations. The letter demanded that my friend send Samuel a ticket for the Fringe and arrange hotel accommodation for him – it ended by saying that Samuel worked at the FT ‘and anyone at the Financial Times can vouch for me’. The letter arrived shortly before the Fringe was due to open, so of course the tickets had sold out and accommodation in Edinburgh is booked up months in advance for the duration of the Festival anyway. My friend wrote back to Samuel explaining that she wasn’t able to send him a ticket or arrange accommodation because both had sold out.

Shortly after, a diplomatic incident occurred. My friend was summoned by High Authorities at the Fringe and given copies of the rude letter that Samuel had written her – as well as a copy of a letter that Brittan had then written to Grade FUMING that my mate hadn’t pulled strings for him and a reply from Grade to Brittan, telling Brittan that he was ‘appalled’ at my friend’s ‘rudeness’ and that Grade would ensure that Brittan got a ticket for the Festival ‘even I have to give you mine’. Someone had demanded that my friend should be dismissed over all this – only that wasn’t really possible, because it was just a summer job. I wanted to send the correspondence to Private Eye – but my friend was then told by a well-wisher that Grade was about to become head of Channel 4 and her planned career in media would be wrecked if any of us publicised the letters.

Grade was given a peerage in 2011. He sits as a Conservative – his wiki entry states that Grade didn’t announce that he was a Tory until 2010. He didn’t need to, some of us had known for years…

A couple years after the BBC event in Cardiff I was chatting to some BBC folk from Cardiff who were all telling me how much ‘charisma’ Michael Grade had and how it was this that had taken him to the top. At the same time there were articles appearing in the UK liberal broadsheets about Grade’s winning ways and yes his ‘charisma’ and how he wears red braces and matching socks. Not a word about doing favours for people who’s brothers are Cabinet Ministers running a corrupt Home Office and who are widely believed to have been tangled up in a child sexual abuse scandal that was covered up by a corrupt Home Office whilst he was Home Secretary. If matching red braces and socks are the essential ingredient to being Chairman of the BBC, there are a great many other people who would be capable of doing that job without grovelling to the relatives of some very unsavoury politicians.

Dyke mentions in his book that Tessa Jowell was very keen for Blair to appoint Grade as Chair of the BBC. Tessa herself earlier in her career knew about the abuse of children in care and psychiatric patients, she worked for some of the organisations that were actually perpetuating and concealing this (see post ‘Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng and Tessa Jowell’). However Dyke also observes that Tessa just went along with whatever Blair ordered her to do which is why she was such a push over when she was at Secretary of State for Media, Culture and Sport. Dear old Tessa did once say that she’d jump under a bus for Blair – so one can’t tell if the driving force behind Grade’s appointment as Chair was Blair, Tessa or someone else. What is clear is that it is very likely that Grade knew something about the chaos and wrongdoing of the inner London boroughs where children were being abused in the 70s, 80s and 90s – run by Councillors like Tessa – and the wrongdoing at the Home Office, run at one point by his mate Samuel’s brother. Grade had spent donkeys years at LWT – he’ll have learnt something from all those current affairs and politics programmes about London that he was involved with making and he’d been toadying around enough politicians for a sufficiently long time to have heard a few things about them as well. Someone who was very much opposed to Grade’s appointment as Chair of the BBC though was John Birt. He tried to influence Tessa and then wrote to Blair telling him that Grade was the worst public appointment he’d made as PM.

It’s not just the Chairs of the BBC Governors who have chums in Gov’t, their relatives do as well. Gavyn Davies’s wife Sue was one of Gordon Brown’s inner circle. As for a few of the other Governors – at one point the Vice-Chair of the BBC was Richard Ryder. Ryder was a former Tory Whip and responsible for organising the revamp that Thatcher underwent in the late 70s. Ryder knew about Sir Peter Morrison’s activities (see post ‘I Want Serious Money Now Please’). Sarah Hogg, wife of Tory Cabinet Minister Douglas Hogg was a Governor – Hogg had previously been head of John Major’s Policy Unit at the time of Black Wednesday in 1992 (see post ‘Running The Country – And All That Jazz’). Although Sarah claims to be one of the UK’s leading economists and was head of the Policy Unit, Black Wednesday wasn’t her fault. So that’s why Sarah was given a life peerage in 1995, just three years after someone else crashed the economy. Sarah then became Baroness Hogg, although she was already Viscountess Hailsham. Hogg was the first women to Chair a FTSE 100 company. Sarah’s daughter Charlotte has inherited her mother’s talent for highly paid jobs – Charlotte Hogg was at one point the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, but the Deputy Hogg had to resign when an unfortunate undeclared conflict of interest was discovered – Charlotte’s brother had his snout in the same trough but the Hoggs forgot to mention it. Another Governor was Heather Rabbatts, the former Chief Exec of Lambeth Borough Council between 1995-2000. So she was running Lambeth Council when Mandelson was a member. Heather was the youngest Council Chief Exec in the UK. She is a black female barrister who advertises her disadvantaged background. I wonder whose Chambers that she might have passed through? Would you happen to know anything about all those kids who were abused whilst in the care of Lambeth Heather? The kids to whom huge amounts of compensation was later paid, not just because they were molested but because Lambeth knew that it was happened but did nothing? Some of those kids were sent by Lambeth to children’s homes in north Wales…

Heather was a BBC Governor between 1999-01. Heather was on FIFA’s anti-discriminatory task force until she resigned in 2015 after Sepp Blatter was re-elected as President. So she was busy not discriminating there whilst he was President for his first innings at FIFA then – didn’t she notice what he was like? Heather was named in the Women’s Hour Power List!

 

Greg’s time as DG ended notoriously as sparks flew between the BBC and Blair’s Gov’t – most obviously in the form of Alistair Campbell – which eventually resulted in the resignation of Dyke and Gavyn Davies and a number of other Governors. The row was precipitated by a report regarding Saddam Hussein’s WMD by Andrew Gilligan that was broadcast on the Today programme that Blair et al took umbrage over. The Gov’t tried to pressurise the BBC into saying that Gilligan’s story wasn’t true and when the BBC refused to do this, Mandelson rang his old friend Caroline Thomas who was Director of Policy at the BBC and told her that the BBC would get the full force of the Gov’t PR machine. Mandy was as good as his threat and Campbell et al mobilised against the BBC. In the cross-fire Dr David Kelly’s name was made public by the MoD and Downing Street’s Press Office. Dr Kelly was later found dead, supposedly as a result of suicide, although the injuries that were stated to have been found on Dr Kelly’s body and the quantity of drugs that were said to have been found in his blood would never have been enough to kill him. A group of medics did make this point in a letter to the press sometime afterwards, but nobody took any notice of them. If only they’d alleged that they were being attacked by dangerous mental health patients – their concerns would have been headline news then.

The uproar was such that it led to the Hutton Inquiry, which was about as honest and transparent as the Waterhouse Inquiry. Before Hutton published his exoneration of Blair, Dyke alleges that Philip Gould, a member of Blair’s clique, was asked if the Report could prove difficult for the Gov’t. Gould is alleged to have replied ‘don’t worry, we appointed the right judge’. When Rebekah Brooks ended up in deep shit after the serious wrongdoing of News International became public, it is alleged that she went to Blair for advice and was told ‘tough up and arrange an inquiry that will clear you’. Which is exactly what Brooks did – as well as ‘leaving to start a family’ (I think Rebekah had to resort to fertility treatment to do this, she was no spring chicken, so presumably starting a family had not been a priority previously), receiving at least one million from Murdoch – to pay for the pram and nappies obviously – only to return at a very senior level in Murdoch’s empire a few years later! A lot of people were of the opinion that Brooks should have gone to prison along with her staff. But she had advice from Blair and shared horses with David Cameron…

Grade himself departed from the BBC in a puff of smoke to move into the most senior position at ITV. The next Chair of the BBC was Chris Patten who angrily refused to shoulder any responsibility at all when Jimmy Savile and the Newsnight allegations regarding the abuse of children in north Wales exploded in his face. This is the Patten who was Chair of the Conservative Party when Sir Peter Morrison was busy with kids in care in north Wales, the Chris Patten who’s wife Lavender was the Patron of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre that was established and run by Professor Mark Williams. Not only was Patten himself Chancellor of Oxford University at the time, but Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy was based on a research fraud that Williams had carried out whilst he was working as a clinical psychologist in Bangor in the late 80s/early 90s (see post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’). Whilst patients killed themselves and were left destitute. Williams’s ‘fieldwork’ was carried out by the notoriously abusive Arfon Community Mental Health Team, whose colleagues were some of the social workers responsible for the abuse of children in care in north Wales. An early publication of Williams’s had an acknowledgement to Keith Fearns. Keith Fearns was the Gwynedd social worker who perjured himself in court on the orders of Lucille Hughes in order for Gwynedd County Council to obtain a High Court injunction against me to prevent me pursuing my complaints against Gwynedd Social Services. Fearns had never met me when he swore his affidavit. Lucille Hughes was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in Gwynedd Social Services when she was Director, but she failed to act.

Like the NHS, the BBC seems to be a complete recidivist. One of my friends worked there in the late 80s and he spent the best part of a year watching the entrenched corruption, with commissions given out to friends of people at the BBC and the fuckwit children of bigwigs at the BBC turning up in plum jobs. He also noticed that a lot of the senior managers at the BBC were older gay men who had a rather worrying sexual interest in much younger boys. The BBC seems to have got away with a great deal in its time. Just before my friend worked there, Private Eye used to provide updates on the activities of a manager there whom they named ‘spanker’. I can’t remember Spanker’s name, but I do remember the Eye’s regular reports on him. Spanker was interested in women rather than men, but he made a habit of asking young women who had applied for jobs at the BBC whom he was allegedly interviewing if they’d let him spank them. Spanker continued to do this even after the Eye began publishing articles about him – he did eventually resign but it took a while. Neither do I remember hearing about Spanker from any other media outlet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘The Reality Is, There Is No Problem’

My post ‘Everywoman?’ and the comments that follow it refer to the clique of utterly dreadful people who have occupied senior positions in health and social care in Wales for many years now. This bunch have spent their whole careers playing musical chairs – when they stuff up so badly that they just have to go, they pop up somewhere else in a very similar role, very often at a more senior level. The word ‘incestuous’ really is the only description applicable. Posts ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’ and ‘I Know Nuzzing…’ detailed how it was this process of recycling incompetent or downright dangerous staff and managers that led to North Wales Child Abuse Scandal of the 70s, 80s and 90s. The Waterhouse Inquiry was supposed to have been the turning point. Of course it wasn’t, because although Ronnie Waterhouse admitted that terrible abuse of children in care had happened and that a paedophile ring was at work in north Wales and Cheshire, he concealed the extent of it and the links with public figures as far away as London, as well as evidence of links to abusers of children in Europe. Waterhouse also ignored the links between the organised abuse of children in north Wales and organised crime involving child porn and hard drugs. Hardly anyone resigned or retired even after Waterhouse – a few of the senior managers simply moved to other regions of the country and continued working, everyone else was bound by a code of silence and carried on in their own sweet way, mostly in north Wales. They continue to live and work there.

So how did Wales’s health and social care sector respond after the public inquiry into the biggest child abuse scandal that there had ever been in the UK? They remained in very deep denial.

The Waterhouse Report was published in 2000. In March 2001 the ‘Guardian’ published a feature on the crisis in the social care sector in Wales. It stated that ‘low morale, poor pay’ and the fear of involvement in ‘departmental failure’ made it difficult to attract social care staff to Wales and that the Waterhouse Report and critical reviews into local authority social services departments were ‘contributing to the problem’. No, it was the presence of a paedophile gang who’s mycelia spread throughout Wales that made it difficult to attract staff. Gwynedd and Clwyd Social Services had been dogged by scandal and allegations of abuse for years. The ‘services’ were so notorious that one social worker whose comments were published who desperately  wanted to escape from the sector in north Wales was quoted as saying ‘I’ve worked for Clwyd. No-one’s going to have me’.

So what comment did Hugh Gardner, the Chair of the Association of Directors of Social Services in Wales, make to the ‘Guardian’? Hugh stated that ‘Waterhouse has not helped…a feeling that there’s a special problem surrounding the integrity of people working in residential care in Wales. The reality is, there’s no problem, but public perception is damaging for morale’.

‘The reality is, there’s no problem’. A vicious paedophile ring had been in operation in the children’s homes in north Wales for at least 30 years – children had been raped, buggered, starved, beaten, used as forced labour and the children’s homes had doubled up as brothels. When the children hit their mid-teens they were trafficked to London and Brighton for sex work. So many former residents of the children’s homes were found dead as young adults that very few are now still alive. Five were killed in one arson attack in 1992. Every agency and organisation in Wales had colluded with the abuse – those kids had tried and tried to raise the alarm but no-one responded, except for Alison Taylor the Gwynedd social worker who blew the whistle and who was then sacked.

The response of the social care establishment in Wales to the crisis in social care was to establish a task and finish group in the Assembly, with the remit to look at recruitment and retention. This group was to be Chaired by Graham Williams, the Chief Inspector of the Social Services Inspectorate of Wales. Another member of the task and finish group was Rhian Huws Williams, the head of CCETSW Cymru (Central Council for the Education and Training of Social Workers) – for the low-down on Rhian Huws Williams, see post ‘Still Lost In Care’. Dominic Macaskill from UNISON, many of whose members work in social care, contributed to the debate – Dominic thought that the main problem was the ‘serious social deprivation’ in Wales. Mario Kraft from Care Forum Wales also sat on the group – he saw the group as a ‘chance to grapple with the recruitment and retention issues’. Mario observed that the outlook for the private sector as well was ‘bleak’.

At this time the Minister for Health and Social Services in Wales was Jane Hutt – a former social worker – a ‘family friend’ of Rhodri Morgan and his wife. Rhodri Morgan was First Minister. Rhodri’s wife Julie is a former social worker. Rhodri’s special advisor was Mark Drakeford – who had worked as a social worker in Dyfed, when they had a problem with abuse in their children’s services. All these people had been involved with social care in Wales BEFORE the Waterhouse Inquiry. They had been in place whilst the abuse was happening – and abuse wasn’t just happening in north Wales. The biggest scandal occurred there, it was particularly dreadful, but there were problems in health and social care right across Wales.

BBC News Wales in 2002 reported that ‘elderly care was in crisis’ – Hugh Gardner, the Vice-Chair of the Association of Directors of Social Services Cymru, maintained that more money was needed.

In Dec 2004 BBC News Wales reported that Hugh Gardner was to be awarded an OBE. A few others did even better. Dr Michael Shooter, a psychiatrist from the Abergavenny area – who was mentioned in a comment in response to one of my blog posts recently – was to be given a CBE, as was Janet Chaplin (the Assistant Chief Probation Officer of the South Wales Probation Service), along with Richard Blair (Director of the Wales Local Gov’t Association aka WLGA), Andrew Cozens (the former President of the Association of Directors of Social Services) and Gloria Mills (the Director of Equal Opportunities at UNISON).

A nice collection of gongs in return for complete failure there.

 

Did the Assembly task and finish group of 2001 manage to improve matters? It would seem not. ‘Community Care’ in Jan 2005 reported on the dire state of health and social care services in Wales. Chris Davies, the Director of Cardiff Social Services, commented that the Welsh health and social care services were performing worse than their English counterparts but ‘no-one can quite put their finger on why’. Immediately after the publication of the damning Jillings Report in 1996 concerning the abuse of children in care in Clwyd, Clwyd County Council was abolished. John Jevons, the Director of Clwyd Social Services, left Clwyd and took up the position of Director of Social Services in Cardiff.

Our old friend Hugh Gardner also popped up in ‘Community Care’, Jan 2005. It was mentioned that Hugh was the former Director of Social Services for Swansea. Hugh did admit that there was a problem now – the problem was that the Welsh Assembly hadn’t given them enough money.

Swansea Social Services were declared to be not fit for purpose and were put into special measures after the murder of baby Aaron Gilbert in May 2005.

Jon Skone, the Secretary of the Association of Directors of Social Services Wales, was also involved in trying to suggest a remedy to the problem according to ‘Community Care’. Skone began life as a social worker in Neath in the early 80s. The boys from Bryn Estyn who complained about being molested were sent to an even worse place if they didn’t shut up – Neath Farm School. Neath Farm School got a mention in the Waterhouse Report as being so brutal that boys preferred to be beaten and abused at Bryn Estyn than risk being sent there. Skone was a a community development worker in West Glamorgan County Council in the mid-80s, principal social services officer (learning disabilities) for South Glamorgan County Council, 1987-92, Assistant Director, Policy, Planning and Strategic Development for Dyfed County Council 1992-96, Head of Community Care, Pembrokeshire County Council 1996-2000 and was appointed Director of Social Care and Housing for Pembrokeshire County Council in 2000. Jon Skone climbed yet higher. In 2010 Skone received much publicity when he was appointed Director of Social Services in Pembrokeshire AND Director of Hywel Dda Health Board, responsible for the management of Withybush Hospital, the first person in the UK to hold such a double appointment. Skone worked with Trevor Purt at Hywel Dda. Purt left Hywel Dda after public protests regarding the state of the health services and became CEO of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – where he subsequently resigned after the Tawel Fan scandal which involved the ‘institutional abuse’ of mental health patients.

Skone’s own honeymoon didn’t last long. Skone resigned in 2012 when a child abuse scandal blew up in Pembrokeshire. Not the scandal which involved the paedophile ring in Dyfed/Pembrokeshire, that was another scandal. Skone resigned after children’s care services were described as ‘Victorian’ in a highly critical report which followed an investigation after children were found to be kept in ‘padded time-out rooms’ aka padded cells. Skone then set himself up as a management consultant, advising on social care, health and housing. In 2013 Jon Skone was appointed to the Board of the Care Council for Wales. Skone is also a member of Alder Advice, a collective of advisors to the social care, housing and healthcare sectors.

‘Community Care’ reported that Meryl Gravell, lead member for Social Services at WLGA (Wales Local Gov’t Association) maintained that most services were good but that there was a lack of money. Meryl Gravell is famous on the blogsphere in Wales, the blog Jac O The North is particularly keen on following her adventures and alleged conflicts of interest. Meryl hit the nation’s mainstream media in Feb 2012 after she described staff of Carmarthenshire Council – of which she was leader – and protesters campaigning to stop the proposed closure of the A&E Dept of the Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli as ‘rabble’. She also implied that the Council’s staff were a bunch of lazy gits. Meryl stood down as leader in 2013 after a coalition of Labour and Independent Councillors got together and achieved domination on the Council.

Dear old Graham Williams – who was still the Chief Inspector of the Welsh Social  Services Inspectorate – mentioned the importance of the ‘dissemination of best practice’.

‘Community Care’ commented that this was ‘perhaps the last chance for Wales’s much maligned care sector to begin to recover its reputation’.

 

By 2005, health and social care services in Wales were supposed to be ‘working together’. Jane Hutt was removed from the role of Minister of Health and Social Services in 2005 in the face of the NHS continuing to sink like a stone and a row about excessively long waiting lists. (Hutt popped up again in 2007 as Minister for Children.) Somebody just as bad, a GP, Dr Brian Gibbons, was now in the role. See post ‘Politicians – And Their Responses’ for the background on the lethal Gibbons, who wrote me a letter simply stating ‘this correspondence is closed’ when I told him that I had evidence of serious criminal conduct on the part of staff and managers in the north Wales NHS and social services.

I have discovered a 2005 document, a ‘Concordant Between Bodies Inspecting, Regulating and Auditing Health and Social Care Services in Wales’. The signatures on this concordant are instructive. They include:

Dr Peter Higson of Health Inspectorate Wales (HIW); Graham Williams of Social Services Inspectorate Wales; Rob Pickford of Care Standards Inspectorate Wales; Gren Kershaw of the Welsh Risk Pool; Terry Rose of HSE; Anna Walker of the Healthcare Commission; Chris Heginbotham of the Mental Health Act Commission; Michael Ponton of NHS Confederation Wales; Peter Jones of the CHCs; Steve Thomas of WLGA. The signatures on the foreword of the Concordant are those of the then two biggest wigs in Wales’s Health and Social Care system, dear old Dr Brian Gibbons and Ann Lloyd, the Head of the Health and Social Care Dept, Chief Exec NHS Wales.

Ann Lloyd CBE has not featured on this blog until now, but she certainly has much to answer for. Lloyd was Chief Exec of NHS Wales 2001-09. So all those deaths and assaults at the Hergest Unit happened on her watch, as did the framing of patients by the staff for crimes that they had not committed – as well as the failure to investigate patients complaints. Ann Lloyd stated that ‘we must never have a mid-Staffs here’ [in Wales]. So that’s what the huge cover-up and harassment and wrongful imprisonment of patients was all about then – Ann didn’t want a mid-Staffs. You had one Ann, by anyone’s standards there was a mid-Staffs in north Wales and now you’ve got this blog to deal with. Ann served under successive Health Ministers Hutt, Gibbons and Edwina Hart. I have detailed previously how Edwina Hart really did try and sort out the NHS in north Wales but was hounded out of her post by the BMA and the paedophiles’ friends. I was also told that the civil service were being as obstructive to Edwina as possible – I wonder if one of those doing the obstructing was Ann Lloyd?

When Ann ‘retired’, she stated that ‘mental health [services] need a good going over’. She also believed that ‘services are more accountable and transparent’. The services need a police investigation Ann but you and Gibbons didn’t even respond to patients complaints. At this time the Chief Exec of the Gwynedd CHC was Glanville Owen, who didn’t investigate patients complaints either. Glanville was the Deputy Director of Gwynedd Social Services responsible for children’s homes when the paedophile gang were busy in those homes.

Ann didn’t completely disappear when she left the Welsh NHS full of criminals abusing patients. She became a Commissioner for Health and Social Services in London and spent two days a week there. I suspect that the dead hand of Ann Lloyd is still touching NHS Wales though. I have found a document dated May 2017 which was the minutes of the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee. The Chair was an Ann Lloyd and the Vice-Chair was Lyn Meadows. Meadows is a member of the Betsi Board and the former corrupt dishonest Director of HR at Bangor University. Before that she was a senior manager of the Welsh Ambulance Service, which was a catastrophe. She was described to me as an ‘evil cow’, a manipulative bully who promoted someone to a managerial post who later ended up in prison for a savage attack on his wife. In a previous life Lyn Meadows was a non-executive director of an NHS organisation on the Wirral. She was named in Hansard and on Frank Field’s blog as having colluded with a fraud with some Top Doctors. More info about Meadows can be found by using the search facility on this blog, I’ve mentioned her often.

In the financial year 2003-04 Ann Lloyd’s salary was given as £125-130k.

When Ann retired, Sir Paul Williams became the Chief Exec of NHS Wales. Paul had been the Chief Exec of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust – which was somewhat scandal ridden itself. Williams had started his career as a clerk in the Welsh NHS and worked his way up over the next 40 years. Details of Paul’s career can be found among the comments that follow my post ‘Wheels Within Wheels Or Flies Drawn To The Same Incestuously Corrupt Shithouse?’ Upon Ann’s retirement, Paul stated that NHS Wales now had opportunities which ‘will be the envy of other healthcare systems’.

OK Paul, that must be why eight years later we have some of the worst health outcomes in Europe and more than one NHS Board in Wales is technically bankrupt.

What about the others who signed the Concordat? Well Peter Higson who was Chief Exec of HIW is well-known to readers of this blog – he concealed the paedophile ring whilst he was the manager of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, ignored abuse of patients and criminal misconduct and he’s now the Chair of the Betsi. Which is in special measures because of institutional abuse in its mental health services.

Graham Williams was still Graham in denial. Rob Pickford of Care Standards Inspectorate Wales started out as a social worker in the Rhondda. He became a child protection officer for Mid-Glamorgan Social Services and then occupied management positions in social services in the Rhondda. Following this he was Assistant Director for Adult Services for Bridgend County Borough Council. Rob just rocketed upwards – he became Director of Social Services for Bridgend and at some point took over Graham Williams’ former remit of Chief Inspector of Care and Social Services. Dear old Graham became Director of NHS, Mid and West Wales Region and then retired. Rob went on to become Director of Social Services, Children and Families in the Welsh Gov’t. In 2013 he was appointed visiting Professor at the University of South Wales and an honorary research fellow at Cardiff University. Rob maintains that his career has been spent ‘supporting people to deliver citizen centred services’. (Higson used to claim on his profile on the HIW website that his career had been dedicated to making life better for the citizen.) Latterly Rob Pickford could be found on the website of the Big Lottery Fund – he is listed as a Wales Committee member, alongside other equally duplicitous people. Rob is also Chair of the Wildlife Trust for south and west Wales.

Gren Kershaw of the Welsh Risk Pool is known to readers of this blog (see post ‘How Much Do Staff Surveys Really Tell Us?’). He was the senior manager of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh in its final days and the CEO of the Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust, 1991-2008. He then took control at the Welsh Risk Pool, where he worked with John Bowles and Patricia Gaskill. Bowles was risk manager at Ysbyty Gwynedd whilst patients were assaulted by staff and died and Gaskill was the hospital solicitor who covered up for and failed to take action against Hergest staff who assaulted patients. Whilst Gren was CEO of Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust he was responsible for Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. There was cover-up after cover-up following serious complaints and the elderly wards were so bad that staff at Glan Clwyd warned their friends not to let their relatives be admitted there. In 2005, Peter Higson in his capacity as CEO of HIW wrote a report on Gren’s mental health services – which included the infamous elderly mentally ill wards – describing them as ‘good and still improving’. Higson and Gren were old mates from their days concealing the paedophile gang at the North Wales Hospital. Gren isn’t Welsh – until the 80s he was an NHS manager in Jimmy Savile’s stomping ground in Yorkshire. After ‘retiring’ from the NHS, Gren set up a management consultancy.

Gren co-authored an article with an Annette Bartley for ‘Asian Hospital and Healthcare Management’ entitled ‘Effective Leadership For Patient Safety – Lessons From Safer Patient Initiative’. Bartley was described as Head of Modernisation, North Wales NHS (Central Division) – which was the later name of the Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust; it gained such a dreadful reputation that a rebranding exercise was undertaken. Annette Bartley was an Angel – presumably one who had spent all or most of her career in north Wales. Bartley became a fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and even spent a year in Boston which was funded by them. She then returned to Gren and north Wales. She did of course set up her own management consultancy. Bartley died in 2016 and a tribute was written to her by the Point of Care Foundation on The Health Foundation’s website. It stated that Annette was a nurse until 2007, but then became a quality advisor, that she had a ‘passion for excellence’ and was ‘an experienced nurse and capable service improver in north Wales’. She was also obviously a very good liar. We are told that Annette had a little anecdote – ‘when the organisation hit a barrier to progress, it brought inspiration and new energy to enable change’.

I can understand that the goons in north Wales all swallowed Annette’s nonsense because like her they’d never dare admit what was happening in their organisation which had hit a barrier to progress, but how did she manage to convince anyone in BOSTON that she was a ‘an experienced improver’?? They’d only needed to have paid a visit to the shambles that was Ysbyty Glan Clwyd…

 

Anna Walker was the Chief Exec of the Healthcare Commission, 2004-09, until it was subsumed by the CQC after one scandal too many. Walker was a Whitehall civil servant who had worked for the DTI, DEFRA and had been the Director-General at Oftel. Anna was supposed to be all about being a hard taskmaster and inspecting/regulating the NHS in order to effect improvement (she should have just asked the Great Improver Annette for advice) – she didn’t have much joy with the NHS in north Wales. Anna was the daughter of Lord Butterworth, the first Vice-Chancellor of Warwick University and was in the same class as Princess Ann at Benenden. Anna’s husband is Tim Walker, who was the Director-General of the HSE. The HSE that only very, very rarely took the NHS to task, no matter how many times they killed patients. One of Tim’s underlings at the HSE co-signed the Concordat with Anna. Between 2009-16, Anna was the Chair of Young Epilepsy. At about the time that Anna became Chief Exec of the Healthcare Commission, a young woman with epilepsy ended up in a vegetative state after being admitted to Ysbyty Gwynedd. It was a bank holiday and there was no senior doctor on call because Keith Thomson, the CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust, had refused to pay for senior doctors to cover at weekends and bank holidays. No-one on duty knew how much medication to give her and they got it wrong. She ended up severely brain damaged. Thomson wasn’t sacked and no-one was prosecuted. Thomson did resign in 2005 – hours after my lawyers had him summoned before a High Court judge in Cardiff and ordered him to hand over my medical records which he had been refusing to. Not that Thomson actually retired, although he told the local paper this – Thomson went off quietly to Pembrokeshire and joined the senior management of the NHS Trust down there! He stood down from that post suddenly for unexplained reasons, but was kind enough to tell them all that he’d remain as an advisor to the Board.

Chris Heginbotham of the Mental Health Act Commission – the MHA Commission that failed to investigate abuses of patients in north Wales, lied to patients and had a very chummy relationship over a period of many years with NHS senior managers in north Wales – was formerly Chief Exec at MIND. Heginbotham worked closely with William Bingley, the legal director of MIND whilst Heginbotham was Chief Exec – who also went on to lead the MHA Commission – who admitted to me that he knew the extent of the criminal activities of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. For more details of Heginbotham’s activities, see post ‘MIND Are Out For Mental Health – But Never For Themselves Of Course’.

Michael Ponton was appointed as Director of the NHS Confederation Wales in 2004. He began working for the NHS in Cardiff in 1962 and moved to England in 1968, where he worked at St Mary’s Hospital Paddington and Leicester General Hospital. In 1974 he returned to Wales as manager of the Morriston Hospital, Swansea. After spending 16 years in senior management roles with West Glamorgan Health Authority, Ponton returned to Morrison in 1985 to manage the revamped hospital. In 1990 he became Managing Director of East Dyfed and Pembrokeshire Health Authorities. In 1996 Ponton was appointed as Chief Exec of Health Promotion Wales. In 1999 he arrived at the newly established Welsh Assembly Gov’t as the senior civil servant supporting the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ruth Hall, on Health Promotion and Public Health.

Dr Ruth Hall was or still is a member of NICE’s Public Health Advisory Committee, is on the Board of Governors of the Public Policy Institute for Wales and is Joint Chair of the Mid-Wales Healthcare Collaborative. Healthcare services in mid-Wales are notoriously virtually non-existent and two days ago the children’s services in Powys died a death. Ruth penned an entertaining piece for the University of South Wales’s website, entitled ‘Riding The Wave of Success’, in which she urged everyone to ‘enjoy the wave of reflected glory. This particularly applies to the NHS…’

Michael Ponton led the Assembly Strategy ‘Improving Health in Wales’ – he was Director of Health Policy and Development in the Assembly’s Health and Social Services Dept. In 2010 when he retired Ponton became a visiting Professor at the University of South Wales. He was or is a Trustee of Age Concern Cymru as well as Help the Aged in Wales.

 

A Report on the Implementation and Progress of the Concordat 2005-07 followed a few years later. The signatures on this Report were pretty much the same as the signatures on the Concordat, but there were a few new additions, including that of Dr Finlay Scott, Chief Exec of the GMC. At the time, Finlay was busy trying to explain why Harold Shipman had been allowed to continue practicing although there had been concerns expressed about him many years previously after he was convicted of a drugs offence.

Another new signature was that of Jeremy Colman, the Auditor General for Wales. Jeremy was a civil servant who had worked as the Private Secretary to successive holders of the post of head of the Home Office’s civil service and in the Treasury. Colman had played a leading role in the privatisation of British Airways and the British Airports Authority. In 1988 Colman was Director of investment bank County NatWest. He then became a partner in Price Waterhouse – he was based in Prague, as head of Corporate Finance. Colman joined the National Audit Office in 1993 and was responsible for PFIs and public-private partnerships for 12 years. Colman became head of the Wales Audit Office (WAO) in 2005. He resigned in 2010 after an internal investigation found child porn on his computer. An investigation by South Wales Police followed – Colman was later found guilty of fifteen separate offences of possessing indecent images and was jailed. The only surprise is that he hasn’t turned up on the Board of the Care Council for Wales.

After Colman resigned, Huw Vaughan Thomas was appointed as head of the WAO. Huw Vaughan Thomas was the former Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council, whilst Gwynedd Social Services was host to the paedophile ring and was subject to police investigations. Vaughan Thomas refused to meet Alison Taylor, the social worker who blew the whistle on the paedophile ring, who was subsequently sacked. Vaughan Thomas is involved with numerous worthy causes – full details of Huw’s glorious career and extensive network can be read in my post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’

If any reader knows who sat on the panel that appointed Huw Vaughan Thomas to the WAO, I’d certainly like to hear from them. Huw is still in that post.

 

In the midst of all this, in March 2005 ‘Community Care’ ran an article on Rhodri Morgan’s ‘vision’ for public services in Wales – a vision that was conjured up by his advisor Mark Drakeford. The vision involved rejecting the consumerist model of services that had been adopted in England – all part of Rhodri’s famous placing of ‘clear red water’ between Wales and England. I am completely sympathetic to such ideas – but as we have seen, they cannot be successfully implemented if the whole system is full of corrupt, abusive people who are never removed from their jobs and who are immediately given another senior role if they condescend to resign in the face of major scandal. Flattering words were said in ‘Community Care’ regarding the ‘new way’ of sharing staff and resources. A number of key figures were mentioned, including Paul Elliott, spokesperson for Wales UNISON and David Halse, head of Childcare Commissioning at Pembrokeshire. David was head of Children’s Services in Pembrokeshire, working under Jon Skone.

In Jan 2006, ‘Children and Young People Now’ carried an article on the serious problems in children’s social care services in Wales. One Graham Williams – who was still  Chief Inspector – commented that ‘improving the performance of children’s services must be given immediate priority’. Everyone chipped in as usual. A Sally Ellis was named as the Association of Directors of Social Services lead on children’s services in Wales. Sally Ellis was a Corporate Director in Denbighshire County Council, between 2001-14. The Denbighshire County Council which had problems in all of its ‘services’ and whose education service famously imploded. Sally was, among other things, Director of Social Services for Denbighshire and is described as having held ‘many posts in local gov’t’. What’s the betting that at one point Sally will have been a social worker in north Wales as the paedophile gang raged and the mental health patients were neglected and abused? Sally was also the Director for Modernisation over at Denbighshire – and was or is the local gov’t representative on the Betsi Board! She Chaired the Strategic Improvement Steering Group which dispensed advice to the Health and Social Services Minister in Wales on social care improvement. Sally is also listed on the website of the Public Services Staff Commission as a Commissioner, who provides ‘advice to Welsh Gov’t Ministers and public service organisations’. She also provided advice to the National Institute of Care and Support.

Sally Ellis is a volunteer advisor to Denbighshire CAB. Lucille Hughes, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services who was named in the Waterhouse Report as colluding with the paedophile gang who operated in north Wales, is a senior manager of CAB. Ellis is also Vice-Chair of North Wales Housing aka the North Wales Housing Association. The North Wales Housing Association began the Bangor branch of their empire by fleecing a vulnerable psychiatric patient. They are known for housing drug dealers who intimidate the more vulnerable residents – complaints from the vulnerable residents are ignored. In the 1990s, North Wales Housing used to run a homeless hostel in Bangor. I knew a young woman who was ‘housed’ there. She struck up a close friendship with a young man who was also a resident and one night went along to his room and got into bed with him. He was dead. He had died of an overdose of drugs that he’d been sold whilst he was in the hostel. They young woman who found him was taken to the Hergest Unit and sectioned. Her clothes were removed – and never returned – and she was given a police forensic jump suit to wear. She was detained in the Hergest Unit until after the funeral and the inquest of her dead friend. She was never interviewed about her friend’s death by anyone. There was no investigation into the death. The manager of the hostel on duty the night that the young man died later became Chief Exec of North Wales Housing.

In July 2007, an article appeared in Wales Online explaining that the cost of negligence in the Welsh NHS was going through the roof. Spencer Collier, a solicitor handling such claims, observed that it was ‘the same basic and simple mistakes which keep occurring….very, very simple year one medical school stuff’. Gren Kershaw’s own documents from the Welsh Risk Pool also showed that the same mistakes were being made repeatedly. A Welsh Assembly spokesperson responded by saying that ‘the NHS Redress Measure that has been published today will further encourage a learning culture in the NHS’. At about this time, one of my colleagues at Bangor University was ‘leading a project’ with dear old Gren and the Welsh Risk Pool. Brown and me used to be greatly entertained by this person’s description of the NHS as a ‘learning organisation’. Within two years the project had gone tits up in a major way due to her mismanagement, the two PhD students associated with it didn’t get PhDs, there was talk of the funding body demanding the dosh back from the University and the person who believed that the NHS was a learning organisation was sacked. She later set up a ‘coaching and mentoring business’ and was recently commissioned by the Betsi to ‘train’ their senior doctors. Some months ago, at a Betsi Board meeting whilst yet another disaster was being discussed, the Vice-Chair of the Board, Margaret Hanson, talked about ’embedding the learning’. Margaret is a former social worker who is married to David Hanson, who also worked in the care sector before he became an MP in Wales.

The learning just goes on and on – as do the deaths, the scandals and the abuse.

 

Another major player between 2006-12 was Tony Jewell, Wales’s Chief Medical Officer. Jewell always looked as though he led a very good life, he was rather tanned and seemed to be in possession of some very expensive teeth. He was a public health specialist and I never worked out whether he was a good advert for his own speciality or whether he was just wealthy enough to afford a very comfortable lifestyle. Many years ago Tony Jewell worked as a GP in inner London for 10 years and was a member of Tower Hamlets Area Health Authority for six years, specifically as the union rep. So he will have known the fuckwits that ran that borough and that they were sending their kids in care on placement to north Wales – where they were abused. Jewell was Secretary to the Support Wendy Savage campaign, so he’ll have known many of the folk mentioned in my post ‘Little Things Hitting Each Other’. Jewell was a Council member of the Socialist Health Organisation, but resigned when he was appointed CMO for Wales. Yorkshire Television produced a documentary on Jewell’s work in the 80s. In the late 1980s Yorkshire Television also filmed Alison Taylor for a planned documentary on child abuse in north Wales children’s homes – but it was suddenly stopped. Jewell was involved in the Inquiry into the death of David ‘Rocky’ Bennett. Rocky was a mental health patient who suffocated whilst being ‘restrained’ by an inexplicably high number of people who were paid ‘to help’. Tony Jewell was President of the UK Association of Directors of Public Health, 2002-06.

Whilst CMO, Tony Jewell created Public Health appointments in every Health Board in Wales. I knew one of the people who landed one of those appointments in the North West Wales NHS Trust. He was a capable senior doctor who had won prizes for his work whilst he was working in London. After working for the North West Wales NHS Trust for a year he began to describe the serious misconduct among his colleagues that he was witnessing. He alleged that he was being bullied in the workplace, became clinically depressed and ended up having a breakdown. He left Tony Jewell’s flagship job and moved to another part of the country to work as a GP – after a leading light in the BMA ensured that nobody got to hear about what had happened to this doctor in Gwynedd. The doctor who had the breakdown also knew about the research fraud that was mindfulness and noticed that the ‘mindfulness practitioners’ in Bangor University were behaving appallingly.

Tony Jewell established NISCHR (National Institute for Social Care and Health Research) in Wales, an organisation that dishes out funding to people who know exactly how bad the social care and mental health services are in Wales, but who never publish a word about it preferring to pursue simplistic surveys and box ticking exercises instead.

Some years ago that there a terrifyingly embarrassing cluster of suicides in Bridgend, which no-one ever managed to get to the bottom of. I always wondered about that particular mystery, but I have now discovered that Jewell ‘defused’ the problem by conjuring up the All Wales Response To Suicide Prevention. Not that it’s prevented any suicides, people are still dropping like lemmings, but at least no-one talks about it anymore, because there’s now a Strategy. The learning will have been embedded.

Tony Jewell retired in 2012, tanned, healthy and still in possession of those splendid teeth. The rest of Wales was on its arse, I’d been hounded out of Gwynedd by the paedophiles’ friends and the nation’s health outcomes were shameful. By this time Lesley Griffiths was Minister for Health and Social Services. Griffiths had been a member of Wrexham Council whilst the paedophile ring raged in the children’s services in Wrexham (see post ‘History Repeats Itself, First As Tragedy, Second As Farce’) – all the Councillors except Malcolm King refused to make a nuisance of themselves about this minor matter. Mark Drakeford was appointed as Minister for Health and Social Services after Griffiths – the Drakeford who was once a social worker in Dyfed where children in care were abused, the Drakeford who was Rhodri’s advisor a few years previously – you get the picture. Drakeford was in post when the Tawel Fan scandal blew up and covered him in crap. Tawel Fan ward provided care for EMI patients in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd – Gren Kershaw’s former empire, that beacon of ‘improvement’ that so impressed quality assessors in Boston. The EMI services in Gren’s empire also managed to receive an award for being the best team in the UK from the Royal College of Psychiatrists the year before the horrible truth hit the headlines re Tawel Fan.

After Tony Jewell retired, Dr Ruth Hussey was appointed as CMO for Wales. Ruth Hussey is Peter Higson’s sister. Ruth Hussey picked up an honorary Fellowship from Bangor University – Peter Higson is a member of the Council at Bangor University.

 

Regular readers will know that although I am very rude about the nest of corrupt vipers that have wrecked the public services in Wales, I always maintain that they have been propped up by even worse equally corrupt incestuous vipers from England. So let’s look at who oversaw this complete mess at the highest level and started the ball rolling from the earliest days of the creation of the Assembly, by simply re-employing and indeed promoting the fucking idiots who had caused so much damage previously.

It was Sir John Shortridge, who was Permanent Secretary in the Welsh Office from 1999 and who became Permanent Secretary of the National Assembly for Wales when it was created in May 1999. Shortridge’s predecessor was Rachel Lomax, who has a great deal of explaining to do re the cover-up that was the Waterhouse Inquiry. Further details pertaining to Rachel can be read in my post ‘So Who Was It Exactly Who Appointed The Corrupt Old Bugger?’

Shortridge joined the Welsh Office in 1984. In 1987 he became Private Secretary to Secretaries of State for Wales Nicholas Edwardes aka Lord Crickhowell and then Peter Walker. So Shortridge will have been au fait – and perhaps even organising – the Welsh Office’s cover-up of the abuse of both children in care and mental health patients as detailed in previous posts, by the use of corrupt lawyer Andrew Park and the corrupt Medical Ombudsman, Professor Robert Owen. It was also the Welsh Office’s Social Services Inspectorate that failed to carry out regular inspections of the children’s homes in north Wales, even though they were being told by Alison Taylor that abuse was rampant and some ‘care workers’ from the homes had been convicted of assaults on children. In addition, Alison and me were writing to Ministers in the Welsh Office telling them that there was criminal activity in the social services and mental health services in north Wales. Shortridge will also have been party to the development of Cardiff Bay and the way in which this was used to transfer many millions of taxpayers money to Nicholas Edwardes and his friends and business partners (see post ‘Corruption Bay Special’). In fact between 1988-92 Shortridge was head of the Welsh Office Finance Division, so he’ll have been the person who waved that particular massive scam through. There was a great deal of unhappiness with the Welsh Office in Wales, with allegations of corruption, mismanagement and decisions being taken that were anything but helpful to Wales. In 1995 a Senior Managerial Review of the Welsh Office was undertaken – by Jon Shortridge. Then in 1997, Shortridge was appointed Director of Economic Affairs, responsible for establishing the National Assembly of Wales.

After ensuring the corruption was built into the civil service and public services of Wales from the very beginning, Shortridge retired in 2008. Between 2012-15, Sir Jon Shortridge was Chancellor of the poorest performing university in the UK, that institution riddled with problems, Glyndwr University at Wrexham. My post ‘A Vampire At Glyndwr University!’ identifies and details the backgrounds of the numerous people who facilitated, concealed and colluded with those involved in the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal who have held or hold roles governing that institution. I presume that Shortridge is the biggest vampire of the lot.

I have come to expect high levels of fuckwittery from those responsible for running health and care systems – these systems are so dysfunctional that they are designed to ensure that no competent person ever achieves any degree of influence. But under Jon Shortridge, a paedophile was appointed to lead the Wales Audit Office and then after the paedophile was imprisoned, someone who facilitated a paedophile gang was appointed as his successor.

The Westminster Paedophile Ring was alleged to have involved Whitehall civil servants. Children from north Wales children’s homes were trafficked to London for prostitution. Some of the boys from north Wales found themselves visiting apartments at Dolphin Square – the location of the residences of a number of politicians and civil servants.

 

It is good to know that there is ‘no problem’ and that everyone is ‘riding the wave of success’ – and that Jon Shortridge, having presided over this shameful mess that resulted in so many ruined lives and numerous deaths, ended up with a knighthood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everywoman?

The title of this post is also the title of the autobiography of Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley – except that the title of Phillips’ book isn’t followed by a question mark.

I was prompted to write this post after reading an article in one of the broadsheets the other day about how friendships between MPs from opposing parties were very much more common than the electorate expect. I remember reading years ago that Enoch Powell and Tony Benn were on good terms, but no-one believed me. People would yell ‘you’re talking crap again’ – but then they yelled that when I told everyone that Jimmy Savile had just been appointed as the general manager of Broadmoor. Unfortunately I wasn’t talking crap at all on that point.

The article in question detailed a series of close friendships between a number of different MPs and I realised that more than a few of them were worth blogging about.

The first friendship described was that between Jess Phillips and Ann Milton, the Tory MP for Guildford. Who’d have guessed – our Jess the Brummie, a staunch socialist and ‘formidable’ feminist being mates with a Tory from Surrey! Perhaps though it is not that surprising…

Jess is most famous for publicly telling Diane Abbott to fuck off. This gained Jess a big cult following – quite understandably. It also confirmed Jess’s reputation as a gob on legs who was not afraid to take on anyone, a reputation that Jess herself is very keen to cultivate – she frequently poses for photo opportunities with her mouth open and her hands cupped around her mouth as if yelling over the room at someone, with the implication that she’s going to give that bunch of stuffed shirts in the Commons a bollocking, particularly those in possession of testicles.

Now Jess Phillips on occasion has said a few things worth saying – as well as telling Abbott to fuck off. Phillips took on the appalling Philip Davies, the rather mad misogynist MP for Shipley and she caused a lot of trouble when she dared speak out about the general level of sexual harassment that women out and about in Birmingham at night regularly face. However, although Jess has worked very hard indeed at getting herself profiled in the media since she was elected, she seems to be not quite what she likes people to believe – ie. ‘everywoman’.

Jess flags up that she is from Yardley, that she spent her childhood ‘running around the streets of Yardley’ (all her media profiles mention her strong Brummie accent), that she had two children whilst still young and the first child at least wasn’t planned, that when the children were young she was for a time ‘on benefits’, that she wears ‘big hoop ear-rings that I buy in pound shops’, that she came from a socialist family ‘that made Corbyn look like Blair’, that her mum ‘worked for the NHS’, that her dad was ‘a teacher’ and that her brother is a ‘recovering heroin addict’. Before Jess was an MP she ‘worked for Women’s Aid’. Jess is unashamedly ambitious and has told many journos that she wants to lead the Labour Party – she is quite upfront about this because of course wimmin tend to do themselves down so Jess knows that she has to fight against this. In a Guardian interview with Gaby Hinsliffe in March 2017 Jess explains that being an ‘angry feminist standing up for the poor is kinda my schlep’.

Jess has been very rude about the sexism that exists on the left in politics and has had a real go at Jeremy Corbyn for not having enough women in leadership roles (although sadly he gave Diane Abbott every leadership role that there was going). Jess was part of the mass resignation last year that was so obviously designed to try and bring Jezza down – like many of those who resigned, Jess bollocked on about the talents of Angela Eagle and Yvette Cooper and how they would make good leaders of the Labour Party. Nearly as good as she would. (Jess was also quoted as saying that she would ‘swap Angela Eagle for John McDonnell any day’.) Jezza remained and since the failed coup Jess has gone rather quiet, as have the others involved. However in the immediate aftermath, Jess made a big display of giving stories to the media about the abuse that she received on twitter, abuse that was horribly misogynist, which she maintained was coming from Jezza’s supporters in Momentum. Jess was photographed having new locks fitted to her house, such was the threat to the safety of her and her children.

I don’t doubt for one minute that Jess received vile, twisted messages – women on social media do. Diane Abbott receives masses of them. Mary Beard was one of the first women who went public on being on the receiving end of this sort of thing – but Mary Beard’s response was rather different to the response of politicians like Jess. Beard made it clear that these messages were coming from inadequate teenagers/young men and they were deeply offensive but they certainly didn’t constitute a threat to life and limb. Mary Beard was not interviewed about summoning the police and locksmiths. She effectively called the senders of the messages a bunch of twats and cheerily reiterated that she knew more about Roman history than they did and that was that.

During the great debate about the abuse of women on social media, Jess made reference to the rather shameful history of the Socialist Worker’s Party in this area. (Of course there were also the most extraordinary allegations made about Gerry Healey, the leader of the Workers Revolutionary Party, regarding his conduct towards women – there were scores of allegations that he had exploited and even raped women in the WRP but they were encouraged to remain silent about it for the good of the revolution.)

But guess what I discovered whilst researching Jess? That her granddad – whom Jess claims was a big influence on her – was a political cartoonist for the Socialist Worker. In the same interview Jess explains that he was also friends with Tony Benn and that her dad was a supporter of Benn. Well Jess does like to wax lyrical about her ‘leftie’ family and how she accompanied her parents on marches for socialist causes as a child…

There was an article about Phillips in the Birmingham Mail in June 2013 before she was elected, written ‘after she was honoured for her community work’ in which she is photographed with Barbara Windsor – not really a feminist icon, what with all those lame old films in which Sid James sexually harasses her whilst she’s dressed up in an ill-advised Ann Summers nurses outfit or that one where they go camping and her bra flies off. What’s going on Jess, is it a case of Carry On Up The Kremlin?

Actually if it was a case of Carry On Up The Kremlin, I’d have a bit more respect for Jess – but despite all this talk of the streets of Yardley and life on benefits as a young mother who didn’t plan to get pregnant, the reality of Jess’s background is rather different. It is certainly not the background of ‘everywoman’.

Jess herself is a graduate of Leeds University and then in 2011-13 she undertook a postgraduate course in Public Sector Management at Birmingham University. Courses in Public Sector Management are designed to train NHS executives in the ways of neoliberalism. They are the curse of the NHS and people who have done such courses really piss the Top Doctors off.

Neither was Jess the first member of her family to follow this toxic path. Remember Jess’s mum, who ‘worked for the NHS’? Jess’s mum was appointed Chair of South Birmingham Mental Health NHS Trust in 1998. So Jess’s mum would have been in place whilst all those mental health scandals and disasters occurred in Birmingham. Furthermore, Jess’s mum, Jean Trainor, would also have known Professor Robert Bluglass – who concealed the criminal activities of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al in the north Wales mental health services. Bluglass was Professor of Forensic Psychiatry at Birmingham University and Director of the Reaside Clinic – I’ve heard a few horror stories of ‘patient care’ from there – and was at one point Chair of one of the NHS Trusts in Birmingham himself. Jean Trainor may well also have known Professor Ian Brockington and his colleagues – Brockington was someone else in Birmingham who almost certainly knew what was going on in north Wales, because he worked with Dr Tony Francis (Dr X), one of the key players in concealing patient abuse and the paedophile ring (see post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’).

But Jean’s knowledge of the wrongdoing in the NHS went a lot further back than 1998. Prior to that, Jean was the Deputy CEO of the NHS Confederation and it’s immediate predecessor the National Association of Health Authorities and Trusts. These organisations represented the most senior NHS managers in the UK – including those such as Sir David Nicholson who ended up utterly disgraced in the wake of mid-Staffs. Jean would have known all of them – these were the people responsible for the cover-ups, the pay-offs with gagging clauses and the sacking of whistleblowers that kept the lid on the mountain of crap in the NHS. Jean spent 25 years ‘in the NHS’ – she was not working as a care assistant, she was an NHS executive. Jean was no rebel either – in Oct 1997 in the face of a grade A row about the closure of community hospitals in Cornwall whilst Frank Dobson was Secretary of State for Health, Jean made a statement concerning the necessity of closing ‘ineffective and costly hospitals’. Dobbo was appointed by Blair.

We ‘made Corbyn look like Blair’??? Jess’s mum did what Blair told her to do.

Jess manages not to mention any of this in interviews. What she does mention is that in 1984 her mum ‘campaigned against ICI’ and helped sue them over a drug. Jess tells a heart-warning anecdote of how the drug concerned caused the tear ducts of ‘old ladies’ – including Jess’s nan – to dry up, so her mum fought for the drug company’s dosh to be ‘redistributed’ to the aforementioned old ladies and her mum didn’t even keep any of the money for herself. The drug will have dried up the tear ducts of old men as well and probably a few other people, but campaigning for people’s nans always sounds good. I presume that Jess’s mum was actually involved in some sort of class action against ICI -although in her capacity as an NHS executive, she’ll have managed the organisations that prescribed the drug in question -so she wouldn’t have been legally allowed to keep any of the winnings for herself, it would have been theft. Not that Jean Trainor would have needed the money anyway – her salary will have been one of the highest in the NHS.

Jean Trainor was obviously a lady sensitive to the zeitgeist. She did what many senior NHS execs do – she established her own business. Jean was Director of Healthlinks Events Management Services Ltd (it will no doubt have been as ghastly as it sounds). The registered office of Healthlinks wasn’t on the streets of Yardley, it was in London. Stewart Ivan Trainor was also a Director – that’s Jess’s dad, the ‘teacher’. Other Directors included Stephen Trainor, Sean Trainor, Timothy Trainor, Roy Trainor, Cathie Trainor, Mary Trainor and Paul Trainor. That’ll be the ‘proud socialist’ extended family then. This lot didn’t live in Yardley either – they’re listed at living at various addresses across the UK, including in Surbiton and Belfast.

Healthlinks Events Management Services Ltd for a time employed another member of the Trainor family – a young woman called Jess Phillips.

Stewart – Jess’s dad, the teacher – is also listed as having been the Secretary of a company called Improving Performance In Practice. One of the Directors of this outfit is Professor Bryan Stoten. Bryan Stoten Chaired the Board of UK Public Health Regulation. This is the body which regulates the NHS professions – except for the Top Doctors, who are regulated by the GMC.

Bryan Stoten has even more previous than Jess’s mum. He was appointed Chair of NHS Warwickshire in 2011; he was Chair, NHS Confederation, 2006-10; appointed Chair, Warwickshire Primary Care Trust in 2006; Chair, University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust 2001-06. Stoten has also been: Chair, Birmingham Health Authority; Chair, Coventry Health Authority; Chair, South Birmingham Health Authority; Chair, Warwickshire Health Authority; Chair, Coventry Family Health Services Authority; Director, West Midlands Regional Health Authority.

After the exposure of the mid-Staffs scandal, it was revealed that the most senior managers of the NHS in the midlands were considered to be the hub of the bullying and corruption in NHS England. The dreadful Martin Jones who caused so much grief in senior management positions in the NHS in north Wales had learnt at their knee. Bluglass’s partner in crime who assisted him in covering up the wrongdoing of Dafydd et al, Dr Colin Berry, was a consultant in Coventry.

Bryan Stoten is a Fellow at Warwick University Business School (take a look at the sort of cars parked outside their building if you want to see who rakes in the consultancy fees in academia these days) and is a visiting Professor at Coventry University.

Bryan is also involved with the Warwickshire and Coventry Historic Churches Trust.

So that’s the background of the ‘NHS worker’, the ‘teacher’ and their close colleague.

What about the daughter of these two proles, Jess, who told the Times in Aug 2017 that she ‘has spent her career fighting for victims’?

Whilst she was doing her postgrad course in Public Services Management, she was elected as a Councillor for Longbridge ward in Birmingham. Jess was Birmingham Council’s Victim’s Champion and was heartily praised by the Council leader Sir Albert Bore. This is the Birmingham Council that was alleged to be corrupt, the Birmingham Council who for many years like so many other councils had abuse in its children’s homes. The Birmingham Council that sent children on placement to homes in north Wales where they were abused. That may have been before Jess’s time, but her older colleagues – such as Sir Albert Bore – will have been in the thick of it.

Jess also sat on the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel. So she’ll have known about the long-standing corruption in the West Midlands Police then.

Jess famously worked for Women’s Aid. She did that after she finished working for Healthlinks. She tells journos that she ‘started off as a PA’. She didn’t stay a PA very long. Jess was actually the business development manager responsible for women escaping sexual abuse in Sandwell. It sounds very noble – Jess working tirelessly with traumatised women. Well somehow Jess seemed to find a lot of time in the company of people with rather more clout than women recovering from sexual abuse. She ‘addressed a UN congress on violence against women’, ‘liaised with Ministers and MPs’, ‘civil servants often looked to her for advice on dealing with domestic and sexual violence, sexual exploitation and human trafficking’, she ‘used to change Gov’t policy’ and by the time that she became an MP she had known the Home Office Ministers and civil servants ‘for years’. Jess and her refuge were even visited by Theresa May when Theresa was Home Secretary.

I have mentioned on the blog before that one thing that you hear about if you work for Women’s Aid or Rape Crisis is the sexual abuse and mistreatment of children in care and mental health patients. Brown and me have contacts in Birmingham and we have heard many first hand accounts of this. But Jess hasn’t said a word – despite being in possession of a ‘big gob’ – as she selflessly devotes herself to fighting for victims. Whilst ingratiating herself to some very powerful people and trying to become leader of the Labour Party. Pretty much like her hero Angela Eagle – please see post ‘A Very COHSE Relationship With Some Very Nasty People’ for the low down on the barrel of shite that Angela kept quiet about in terms of the abuse of people with mental health problems and the concealment of organised child sexual abuse.

Gaby Hinsliffe of the Guardian described Jess Phillips as having ’empowering stories from her life’. No, Jess didn’t need ’empowering’, she has led a privileged life. I suspect that she may even have had her children when she was young in order to clear the decks for a political career in mid-life – that is the advice that is often dispensed to young women with ambitions these days. Neither does Jess’s story about accidentally becoming a mother quite add up – in another interview she talks of suffering from endometriosis and wondering if she’d ever be able to have children. She had her first baby at 22, so the crisis of infertility obviously didn’t last long.

As for her brother, the recovering heroin addict – well for all I know he might be. The Marquis of Bristol was also a heroin addict. It says nothing about one’s social class or degree of privilege.

After Jess was elected for Birmingham Yardley, the previous MP John Hemming alleged that Jess had led a very dirty campaign. You don’t say???

 

So what about Ann Milton, the ‘unlikely friend’ of Jess’s?

Ann Milton is a former nurse! She trained at Barts – which was one of the London hospitals reputed to attract nursing students who were trying to bag themselves a Nice Young Doctor, rather than having any enthusiasm for a career in nursing. Ann’s wiki entry tells us that she undertook ‘NHS work’ for twenty five years, including work in palliative care as a district nurse. Well, she might have – but rather than being like something like Chummy out of ‘Call The Midwife’, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ann Milton’s career more closely resembled the ‘NHS work’ that Jess’s mum did. A lot of NHS managers are Angels who have received promotion, but they’ll always describe themselves as nurses because they know how loathed NHS managers are.

Chummy Milton was a Tory Councillor in the Borough of Reigate and Banstead, 1999-04 and was the leader of the Conservative group on the Council.

She was or might still be the Vice-Chair of the Conservative Medical Society and backed David Cameron for leader of the Conservative Party. As soon as Chummy was elected in 2005 she sat on the Health Select Committee. In 2010 she was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health under the Coalition. So Chummy knows all about the madness and chaos in NHS England that has now reached such a level that it cannot be concealed any longer.

Chummy’s main contribution to health policy was to state that doctors should call obese patients ‘fat’ in order to make them take responsibility for themselves. Blair was the first politician to talk about the notion of personal responsibility in the context of healthcare – ‘rights and responsibilities’ – and that discourse has caused havoc in mental health. But I’m sure that Jess’s mum would have approved. Chummy doesn’t look in the least bit fat herself but she does have very vibrantly dyed hair – many hair dyes are carcinogenic Chummy, should you be unfortunate enough to get clobbered I do hope that you are refused NHS treatment on the grounds that you’ve brought it on yourself. Chummy also looks as though she’s either had ‘work done’ or a great deal of botox. I wouldn’t normally dream of being so rude as to mention it, but Chummy’s obviously one for tough love.

Chummy’s husband is Dr Graham Henderson, Director of Public Health for East Surrey PCT.

Chummy only retained her seat at the election by 347 votes – there had to be a number of recounts. So she’s obviously doing something to piss the constituents of Guildford off. GUILDFORD – a Tory having trouble hanging on to her seat in Guildford?? If any readers know what Chummy has been up to, I’d like to know.

 

Another politician featured in the ‘friendships across the political divide’ article was Fatty Soames (I’m turning into Ann Milton here) aka Nicholas Soames, Prince Charles’s friend who was alleged to have told Diana a few weeks before she was killed in a car crash that ‘accidents happen’. I’m only mentioning Fatty here because the article informed the readers that Fatty’s mother, Lady Mary Soames – Winston Churchill’s daughter – was Chair of NCH (the National Children’s Home). The Waterhouse Report revealed a number of links between NCH and the paedophile ring in north Wales. The NCH later changed it’s name to Action for Children, presumably because NCH had become notorious.

 

Another politician featured was Ruth Smeeth, Labour MP for Stoke-On-Trent North. Ruth is a big mate of Jess Phillips, although it didn’t mention that in the article.

Like Jess, Ruth Smeeth has done her best to provide a backstory of a girl from an under-privileged solidly Labour family – not only was Ruth the first to go to university in her family, but she was, she tells us, delivering Labour Party leaflets at the age of eight! There is a simple explanation for that. Ruth’s mum was the Deputy General Secretary of AMICUS, one of the biggest trade unions. AMICUS was formed from MSF. The corrupt union reps of MSF added to the toxicity and malpractice at St Georges Hospital Medical School in the 1980s/90s (see post ‘A Very COHSE Relationship With Some Very Nasty People’). So Ruth sprang from the loins of trade union Royalty – of course they sent her out campaigning, they were probably urging her to become a Labour MP by the time that she was five.

So what line of business did Ruth pursue after she graduated? Her website tells us that she is a ‘former trade union official and activist’. Ruth spent a great deal of her time doing something else as well – Ruth worked in PR. Between Jan 2004 and Sept 2005 Ruth was – as described in ‘PR Week’, Sept 2005 – ‘Sodexo’s Top Lobbyist’.

Readers may have heard about Sodexo. For those who need reminding, here’s a brief overview:

Sodexo are an enormous French multi-national outsourcing company with a dreadful reputation for paying workers appallingly, providing very poor working conditions, participating in anti-union activities and unfair labour practices. They are involved in a range of ‘services’, including the provision of food in institutions and what are euphemistically termed ‘justice services’ ie. prisons – including investing in private prisons.

In May 2011, scores of students at the University of Washington were arrested after a sit-in protesting at the University’s contract with Sodexo. In Feb 2013, all frozen beef products used by Sodexo in the UK were withdrawn following the discovery of horse DNA in a sample. The company was supplying food for thousands of schools, elderly people’s homes, prisons and the Armed Forces in the UK. In Aug 2013, Sodexo Justice Services were criticised following a report that a female prisoner had  been subjected to ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment’ which ‘appears to amount to torture’ at HMP Bronzefield in Surrey. The women had been segregated from other prisoners in an ‘unkempt and squalid’ prison cell for FIVE YEARS. In March 2016, there were allegations of complaints by British Military personnel regarding the poor quality food provided by Sodexo who had been contracted to provide food on British military bases. There were reports of complaints being destroyed or removed in military dining facilities and Sodexo staff refusing to replace poor quality food. Even dear old Jamie Oliver spoke out about the ‘shocking nutritional standards’ in school meals provided by Sodexo.

 

After Ruth stated that she was departing, Sodexo announced that they were recruiting for Smeeth’s successor ‘as head of Gov’t relations’ to ‘report to the Board level corporate director’. Ruth wasn’t just making the tea there then.

For which post did Ruth wave a fond farewell to Sodexo? The post of Director of Public Affairs and Campaigns at the pro-Israel group the British Israel Communications and Research Centre. Her brief was to strengthen the group’s relations with the Foreign Office, party leaders, think tanks and academia, according to the CEO.

Ruth also worked for Nestle. Not too picky about her employers then.

Like her mate Jess, Ruth was part of the en masse resignation from Corbyn’s shadow cabinet in an attempt to bring him down. Ruth wants Yvette as leader! (There seems to be a pattern emerging…) Jess and Ruth resigned along with charmers like Charlie Falconer and Mr Harriet Harman aka Jack Dromey. Ruth caused a stir as big as Jess – but whereas Jess was a Woman In Fear because of insults on social media, Ruth left a meeting in tears because of Anti-Semitism, maintaining this had all been whipped up by Momentum supporters of Jeremy. The meeting in question was the press conference at which Shami Chakrabarti was presenting her report into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and the event which so deeply traumatised Sodexo’s former mouth piece was the allegations from a Marc Wadsworth that Smeeth had conspired with the Torygraph to damage Jeremy. Ruth dramatically stood up, began to cry (I presume that there was an onion concealed somewhere) and walked out. Other people in the audience – well Ruth’s mates – all gave theatrical gasps of horror and turned on that big bully Wadsworth. From what I saw Wadsworth didn’t mention anything about Jews or Jewishness at all – and afterwards he stated that he had no idea that Smeeth was Jewish (neither did most other people until she walked out of that room), explained that he’d been a Labour activist for decades and that he had set up black sections in the Labour Party in the early 80s. And I bet he hadn’t worked as the fucking PR guru for Sodexo.

Smeeth’s bit of PR on behalf of those who wanted to put a knife into Jeremy was highly effective. There was the most enormous row, Smeeth gave media interviews about the thousands of hate messages that she had received on social media and the whole thing was blamed on Jeremy. Smeeth didn’t have herself photographed having extra-strong locks on her doors – no, Smeeth claimed that she was under police protection!

Smeeth received acres of good publicity and it was revealed that some years ago she had ‘been a leading figure’ in the battle to combat the BNP in Barking. That is laudable, but who was the MP for Barking at that time? It was Margaret Hodge. So presumably Smeeth will have known her. The Margaret Hodge who ignored warnings when she was leader of Islington Council that their children’s homes had been infiltrated by paedophiles. The Margaret Hodge who wrote an insulting letter to one of the victims of those paedophiles when he wrote to her as a young lawyer and told her what had happened to him. The Margaret Hodge who when she was busy making hay from her brave battle with the BNP failed to mention that the local hospital was dangerous and that a number of patients had died for avoidable reasons. The Margaret Hodge who was good mates with a man called Tony Blair. Neither was Smeeth a mere foot soldier during the battle with the BNP – she was seconded to the Jewish Board of Deputies to co-ordinate the anti-BNP efforts.

Smeeth’s backstory is about as accurate as Jess Phillip’s. She states that Stoke-On-Trent ‘is my home’. She was born in Edinburgh, went to school in Bristol and didn’t even go to university in Stoke-On-Trent. I don’t think that Sodexo are based there and Barking’s quite a long way off as well. Smeeth’s ‘dad was a trade union rep who got blacklisted, so I owe every opportunity I’ve ever had to the labour movement’. Well her dad being blacklisted will have been irrelevant – her mum will have earned such a high salary as leader of one of the country’s biggest trade unions that her dad won’t have needed an income. Smeeth undoubtedly does owe every opportunity that she’s had to the labour movement – people in the Labour Party used to get pissed off with the Red Princes, the Milibands, the Will Straws etc. Now we’ve got the fucking Red Princesses – who as well as being entitled dickwits play the victim card. Even Smeeth’s job with Sodexo was a testament to Blair – he really loved companies like that and handed over contracts for great swathes of the public services to them.

Smeeth was selected from an all woman shortlist. So there was probably a local candidate elbowed out to make way for her – that has usually been the story behind all woman shortlists.

I think that the women of the UK will be about as safe at the hands of Jess n Ruth and their nasty, manipulative, hard as nails sisters who are going to empower us all as they would be at the hands of Philip Davies.

Jess, Ruth and Yvette et al are anything but Everywoman.

 

The media article that has provided me with so much material for this post featured someone else who’s going to help us all as well – one Steve Reed, Labour MP for Croyden. My attention was drawn to Steve Reed because he is actually doing one thing that is very worthy. Reed is trying to get a Bill through Parliament to end the use of excessive force against mental health patients, after the death of Olaseni Lewis. Olaseni’s family requested help for his mental health problems and Olaseni ended up being ‘restrained’ by eleven police officers who suffocated him to death. Steve Reed’s Bill would require hospitals to publish data on how and why physical force is used and to improve oversight and training so that staff are aware of ‘unconscious bias’ against minority groups such as young black men. The Bill is to be debated in November. So THAT’S why we’re hearing so much about dangerous psychiatric patients from Angels and Top Doctors – I thought that it was because they were demanding more money from the Gov’t.

Well it’s a damn good try Steve, I really do appreciate it and if I lived in Croyden it would probably be enough to make me vote for you. But I’ll tell you now what will happen, even if you do get your Bill through Parliament. The Angels and Top Doctors will lie after every death. They do already, but if the statistics are to be collated and their shameful practices scrutinised, there’ll be more lies. And I know what the lies will be – after every death, there’ll be a tale of a Dangerous Patient Who Attacked An Angel And Was A Danger To Themselves And Others. It’s the lie that they’ve been trotting out for decades, they won’t even have to make up a new lie. The lies are quite obvious to the likes of me – why would anyone, even the Incredible Hulk in a state of full blown mania, need ELEVEN police officers to suffocate them, four would easily be enough – and I suspect that the lies are quite obvious to many other people as well, but the Top Doctors and Angels just won’t admit that they kill people or ask the police to do this for them and no-one else wants to admit it either. As for unconscious bias – the bias isn’t unconscious, it’s straightforward bigotry. Some research was done some years ago in which hypothetical cases were given to psychiatric nurses and it was found that if exactly the same case history was given to the nurses but the hypothetical patient was a young black man rather than a white university student, the Angels were recommending police involvement rather than psychiatric care, on the grounds that they didn’t want to deal with ‘people like this’. There were problems in one of the NHS unions a few years ago because it had been infiltrated by the BNP. The union rep was a member of the BNP, as were some of the union members – these were psychiatric nurses. There is a consultant psychiatrist working in north Wales – who is the only one who is actually any good – who dares to be Italian and he has experienced racism from his own colleagues. The GMC itself systematically discriminates against overseas doctors. The icing on the cake is that if you challenge the bad practice and aggression of the Top Doctors and the Angels you don’t need to be of any particular group to be discriminated against, they’ll do all they can to do you damage. Psychiatry doesn’t attract very nice people, that’s the problem Steve.

However, now that Steve has finally had the courage to admit the depth of the problems in the mental health services – although it’s taken him a very long time, the mental health services have been traumatising, injuring and killing people in the name of ‘restraint’ for decades – I wonder if he could come clean about something else. Organised child abuse of course. Steve is a former Lambeth Councillor – Lambeth had one of the biggest paedophile problems in its children’s homes in the country, they have paid millions in compensation and the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association – a group of people who were abused in the ‘care’ of Lambeth – have resorted to walking out of the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse and setting up their own website so fed up are they of ‘social workers talking shops’. Steve was elected as a Councillor for Town Hall ward in 1998 and in 2002 when Labour lost control of the Council Steve was elected as leader of the opposition. In 2006 Labour won back control and Steve became Council Leader, a post he retained until 2012 when he was elected to Parliament. So Steve will know where the bodies are buried and who buried them.

Lest Steve claims to know nuzzing, here’s a list of just some of the local government posts that he’s held:

Deputy Leader of Local Gov’t Labour Association – representing Labour Councillors nationally; Deputy Chair, Local Government Association; London Council’s Board Member for Children’s Services and Employment; Chair, Central London Forward – a lobbying group representing five inner London boroughs; Chair, London Young People’s Education and Skills Board; Board Member of the London Board of Homes and Communities Agency, 2009-11.

The Local Gov’t Chronicle in 2011 named Steve Reed as one of the three most influential Council leaders in the country. He was the highest ranked Labour politician in the 2010 Pink List compiled by the Indie on Sunday.

Cough Steve, it doesn’t matter what Peter Mandelson, formerly of Lambeth Borough Council, is saying to you all about keeping quiet.

 

I’m naming three other sinners here as well, although they weren’t featured in the newspaper article that prompted this post.

One is Gail Cartmail. Gail is Assistant General Secretary at UNITE and wrote a piece last week about mental health problems and suicides in the construction industry for the Morning Star. Which is all well and good but what is happening to people at the hands of the mental health services is far more scandalous. UNITE has members who work in the NHS, many as psychiatric nurses. Gail will undoubtedly have the low down on NHS abuses, as well as the abuses which are linked to organised child abuse.

Gail began her trade union career whilst she worked in publishing. Gail was Mother of the Chapel for the National Graphical Association and did battle at Wapping with Murdoch and News International. Those print unions were ferocious – they were very hostile to women as well, if Gail confronted that lot and Murdoch at the same time, she will be made of stern stuff. About time you confronted corruption in the NHS Gail. In 1977 Gail was the trade union liaison officer for the London Borough of Greenwich. In 1987 she became a full-time trade union officer for the Health Visitors Association and was their labour relations officer, 1990-93. In 1993, Gail was appointed the regional officer for equalities for MSF, then the national officer – so she’s someone else who’ll have known about her reps and members being up to their eye-balls in wrongdoing at St Georges Hospital Medical School at that time. MSF then became part of AMICUS – and in 2003 Gail was appointed the national officer for the health sector. In 2003, AMICUS became UNITE and Gail became the national officer for health. In 2006 Cartmail was appointed as Assistant General Secretary, with responsibility for public services. She contested the 2010 leadership election, but Len McCluskey won.

Gail is now the UK Commissioner for Employment and Skills.

So come on Gail, the unions that you led provided free legal advice and support for NHS members who abused their positions, their colleagues and their patients. At least some of that at St Georges was being done to conceal a paedophile ring…

In an interview with the Guardian Gail spoke of how she had members who were CPNs. In north Wales and in south London the CPNs were definitely abusing patients in order to conceal sexual abuse of children in care or of patients in the mental health system. Gail boasted of the minimum wage having reduced inequality. Much of the trade union movement opposed the introduction of the minimum wage. My post ‘A Very COHSE Relationship With Some Very Nasty People’ suggests how Rodney Bickerstaff, the only trade union leader who supported the minimum wage, might have persuaded the rest of the unions to support it.

Gail denies that public sector pensions are ‘gold plated’ and states that such a view is at odds with reality. Well most workers in the public sector won’t have a gold-plated pension – but Gail will.

Gail will know Ruth Smeeth’s mum – and of course Ruth.

 

Now to Wales. The Welsh Gov’t have realised that there is no provision anywhere in Wales for mothers with babies or young children who develop serious mental health problems. That’s because those services have all been successively shut down over the last two decades. They were there – but decisions were actively made to close them. What did the Welsh Gov’t think was going to happen?  Lynne Neagle, AM for Torfaen, was wheeled out on the Welsh media to tell us how terrible the situation is and how services have to improve. Neagle has been an AM since the Assembly was established in 1999 and has been Chair of the Labour group since 2008. So she’s been sitting in the Senedd whilst those services closed. Has Lynne been sound asleep? Even if she had been, it can’t excuse her. Because before Lynne was an AM, before she was a research assistant for Glenys Kinnock on the European Gravy Train, Lynne worked for Shelter, MIND and the CAB. So she knew EXACTLY what was going on. She knew that mentally ill people were becoming destitute, were being abused and that a lot of them had been children in care who were abused in that setting as well. Lynne may even have personally known Lucille Hughes who was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in Gwynedd Social Services whilst Lucille was Director of those services, because Lucille was involved with the CAB at a management level. Today, Lynne’s webpage showed that she had retweeted a vacuous offering from Sara Moseley, the Director of MIND Cymru. Someone else who was fully aware of the mess but kept schtum – not only because she’s paid to stick her head in the sand ‘and expose her thinking parts’ as George Carman once said, but because her brother Simon is a clinical psychologist in the Betsi.

Lynne is described in Labour Party PR material as a ‘formidable campaigner’. Well of course she is, she’s a female politician who’s fucking useless, they’re always ‘formidable campaigners’. Furthermore Lynne wants a ‘fair start in life for every child’. As opposed to wanting to decimate the mental health services, so there is no service at all for women with young children, so those kiddies will have to go into ‘care’. And we pretty much know the quality of ‘care’ that they will receive. Lynne’s own children will not have to suffer the system that she is responsible for creating that so many of her constituents have to endure. Lynne herself has two children and lives in Penarth. The most desirable bit of Cardiff. Lynne – despite her lacklustre CV and lack of ability – will be picking up a healthy salary from her work destroying Wales’s public services and she and her family will undoubtedly stump up for help from the private sector should ever they be in need of it. They certainly won’t be risking their necks with the state welfare system.

Lynne lists her political interests as health, housing, social services and the future of the Valleys in South Wales. Which is obviously why the outlook for all these things is so bleak.

Lynne is married to former AM Huw Lewis. Like Lynne, Huw entered the Assembly as an AM – for Methyr and Rhymney – when it was established, but stood down last year. Huw likes to describe himself as a former chemistry teacher from Aberfan. He is from Aberfan, but he didn’t waste much time teaching chemistry. He went to Edinburgh University, where he became involved in Scottish Labour politics – he worked for John Smith and Donald Dewar. So I bet that he also knew Blair, Brown, Charlie Falconer, Derry Irvine and the rest of the scumbags that were big names in Scottish Labour at that time. After a very short time as a teacher, Huw worked full-time for the Labour Party. He became Assistant General Secretary for Welsh Labour in 1994 and organised the Labour Party’s ‘yes’ campaign in the run up to the devolution referendum. So he’ll have worked with another lame idiot who has previously featured on this blog, Eluned Morgan – another not very bright soul who’s slithered her way up the pole by being mates with that first family of troughing, the Kinnocks.

Huw Lewis wrote the Welsh Assembly flagship Child Poverty Action Plan. The one which hasn’t worked. Huw was Deputy Minister for Children and is a contributor to the think tank Wales 20:20, with which a lot of clapped out old failures like he and his wife are involved. Huw is a member of UNITE. Why are we not surprised?

The Welsh media has been reporting a crisis in Powys Council’s children’s services over the past few days and today it’s been revealed just how bad the situation is. The ‘service’ has imploded and everyone is shrieking at Carwyn to ‘send someone in’ because the dipsticks in Powys haven’t a clue what to do. Dr Ray Jones – ‘a child care expert’ – appeared on TV shaking his head in disbelief, saying that these services really are dreadful and that he doesn’t think that they can recover without outside help. Who is Dr Ray Jones? He has starred on this blog before. Dr Ray Jones is a glorified social worker who reassures other social workers that they are not at fault, no matter how badly they have screwed up. He wrote a wonderful book after the Baby P case, in which he became very cross that the media were so critical of Haringey Social Services. Not so long ago, Dr Ray Jones appeared at an event in Wales to discuss the problem of blaming social workers after a ‘tragedy’ (ie. dead child). Ray was sharing a platform with the star of the Baby B cock-up, Sharon Shoesmith herself – and Wales’s own Mark Drakeford, who also doesn’t like to ‘blame professionals’. Drakeford probably has a vested interested in not blaming professionals because he was a social worker in Dyfed whilst Dyfed Social Services had a paedophile ring operating within it and then he was the Health Minister when the shit bomb that was Tawel Fan exploded. No-one was blamed, despite the appalling abuse of patients that had occurred.

Dr Ray is horrified that child care in Powys has ever got this bad. I’ll tell you why it’s happened Ray. Because for decades, children’s social work as a profession has had a massive problem with organised paedophile gangs infiltrating it. It happened across Wales, in London, in the midlands, in Yorkshire and in the north east. This is no secret – police investigating organised child sexual abuse have known about it for years, as long ago as the 1980s the rings had all linked up and were operating internationally, with organised criminals who were dealing in child porn, drugs and prostitution. But social work itself remained deeply in denial – and the lame, blinkered, spineless dipsticks who worked in social work – like you Ray – pretended that it wasn’t happening. You were told by the children what was going on, you were told by some of their parents and guardians and you were even told by the occasional very brave student or whistleblower. The response was to maintain that the kids had been abused by their families and then to fail the students and hound the whistleblowers out of their jobs. Furthermore, since the Assembly was established, it has been log jammed with people who colluded or concealed child abuse, many of them former social workers or members of Councils whose children’s services were rife with paedophiles. The Jane Hutts, the Julie Morgans, the Mark Drakefords, the Lesley Griffiths’, there has been an endless stream of these pig-shit thick jellyfish who were repeatedly told that something terrible was happening but they would smile benignly and reassure everyone that there wasn’t a problem, that they were going to empower service users and help increase diversity in politics and encourage women because women don’t have much self-esteem. (For further names and details of the silly fuckers who landed everyone in this mess, please see post ‘Wheels Within Wheels Or Flies Drawn To The Same Incestuously Corrupt Shithouse?’ and the many comments that follow that post.) Meanwhile gangs of criminals hijacked the welfare services.

Yesterday the Tory AM David Melding appeared in the media grumbling about the people of Wales not engaging with politics and suggesting that it ought to become a legal obligation to vote in elections and ‘participate’. Christ almighty Melding, how much more do you want to alienate the electorate and piss them off? They are not voting because they hate you. They think that you are useless, remote, irrelevant, overpaid, supping in Cardiff whilst the rest of Wales is flat on its face. Have you ever asked yourselves why so many of the electorate feel like that? You and your colleagues receive thousands of e mails from constituents telling you just how distressing their experiences with the health and welfare services are but they get nowhere at all. They are nearly always fobbed off. There are three Welsh politicians who names are continually given to me as people who really try to help with the nightmare that is the mental health services – these politicians are the ones who tried to help me. Nobody else gives a stuff. Lesley Griffiths and Drakeford didn’t even bother to reply to me, although I was being threatened and harassed so seriously that I had to leave Wales. Why should ANYONE vote for that shower? There’s a group of people in Wales at the moment who are discussing setting up a new political party because they have absolutely given up with what is on offer at present. Many of the people involved were members of other parties and formerly active – they are in absolute despair. Why do you think so many people voted for UKIP? They can feel the contempt for the electorate that drips off politicians and are desperately thrashing about for an alternative. The Assembly needs to wake up and quickly because they have just about lost the Welsh electorate.

 

Just to summarise all that is wrong – and laughable – today the Guardian online published a profile of Stephen Chapman, the Welsh Gov’ts ‘Anti-Slavery Tsar’, who was appointed in 2012. Stephen tells us that public bodies must collaborate to eliminate the hidden exploitation and that people must be vigorous, that fighting slavery demands a multi-agency response. Mr Chapman’s job involves bringing together the courts, the police, the DWP, health and social care and voluntary sector organisations – all those bodies who ignored the paedophile ring and the abuse of mental health patients and people with learning disabilities.

Chapman explains that there have been cases of slavery in Wales. Yes Stephen, nearly every one of them involved ‘service users’, who had been duped and then kept in sheds and pig-sties etc, half-starved and beaten whilst being forced to work. Why do you think that the gangsters chose service users? Because they know that they are so badly neglected by the ‘services’ that no-one will even report them missing and then if they do manage to escape from their captors, no-one will take a blind bit of notice of their complaints anyway.

Chapman told the Guardian that there have been no cases of forced labour in care homes in Wales. Yes there has, some five or six years ago a group of Albanian cardiac nurses were being held in conditions of slavery at a notoriously dreadful care home near Llanberis in Gwynedd. One of my friends helped them escape because no-one else was going to help them.

Chapman has produced an Anti-Slavery code of practice, which has been signed by all four Police and Crime Commissioners in Wales. So that will have included the Commissioner for North Wales, Arfon Jones – who chauffeured the paedophile police superintendent Gordon Anglesea to the venues in which he molested kids in care. Anglesea was part of the paedophile ring which trafficked youngsters to London or Brighton or abroad into prostitution. Stephen Chapman has also set up a Slavery Helpline. No doubt like the Helpline that was set up to ‘help’ the victims of the paedophile gang in north Wales in the 1990s, it will be run by the criminals themselves.

Wales’s 2015 Anti-Slavery Conference involved Dr Sam Clutton, the Assistant Director of Policy at Barnardos Cymru. Barnardos were involved with the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal.

Chapman himself is a former police officer – an area commander. He has been head of equalities and community safety at Cardiff Council, assistant director of the Police Standards and Violent Crime Unit; Deputy Director of the UK Border Agency and a member of the Security and Resilience Directorate of the Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

So virtually every organisation that Chapman has worked for has colluded with or concealed child sexual abuse and the coercion of vulnerable people into prostitution. Except for the Olympics – that was organised by Tessa Jowell. Who was the Deputy Director of MIND when it facilitated child sexual abuse and concealed abuse and criminal activity in the north Wales mental health services.

Somehow I don’t rate Stephen Chapman’s chances of fighting modern slavery too highly.

 

 

 

 

Little Things Hitting Each Other

In my post ‘Compare And Contrast – The Case Of Two Doctors And The General Medical Council’, I discussed the disciplining of Dr Ann Dally by the GMC for prescribing controlled drugs to addicts in the 1980s. I noted that Dally had been vigorously pursued by the GMC for doing exactly what Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was known to be doing (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’), except that Dafydd was facilitating the Westminster Paedophile Ring as well, which afforded him considerable protection from the authorities. I wondered who had been so keen to nail Dally and why even her connections to the Royals – her husband Dr Peter Dally had attended Princess Margaret at the behest of Lord Snowdon – hadn’t been enough to keep her out of trouble. In that post I stated that I would read the book that Ann Dally wrote about it all to see if I could work out what was going on.

I have now read Ann’s book, ‘A Doctor’s Story’, which she finished writing in the late 1980s. I think that I have worked out what was going on and it’s gobsmacking, as are the activities of some of the people involved in the drama.

Ann Dally wrote convincingly about the problems that drug addicts faced when trying to gain treatment, either for their addiction or anything else. She stated bluntly that doctors hated addicts, that psychiatrists usually refused to treat them and that in the 1980s some GPs surgeries even had notices up stating that they would not treat addicts. She stated that psychiatrists took the view that addicts should be disposed of within the prison system and that if a female addict became pregnant social services usually removed their child as a matter of routine. All this is true. I heard these opinions of addicts being openly articulated by people when I worked in the London medical schools in the late 1980s/90s. I was told by a number of people working in the NHS in north Wales that the reason why Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was given the remit for treating all the addicts in the region was that the other psychiatrists all refused to treat them.

However I also knew from my friendship with a man who had been a drug abuser himself that addicts will speak highly of any doctor who gives them drugs – they do not care about anything else other than securing the drugs. This is not merely my interpretation of what I saw, the former drug user told me this himself. I also witnessed him tell one of the nurses at the Hergest Unit this everyday story of drug using folk. Both this man and I were objecting to Dafydd Alun Jones being allowed into the Hergest Unit in the face of so many allegations of his serious misconduct and in the wake of the serious complaints that I had made about him going completely uninvestigated. The nurse tried to defend the Hergest Unit by saying ‘those patients want to see him, they like him’, to which my friend responded ‘of course they like him, he gives them drugs and I should know because I used to be like that myself’. Both I and this man heard addicts openly boasting that Dafydd was great because ‘he’ll give you anything you want’.

The medical treatment of addicts became a hot potato in the 1980s. There had been an ideological change driven by a very influential, indeed overtly powerful part of the medical establishment. Until the mid-1970s, Drug Dependency Units (DDUs) in NHS hospitals prescribed maintenance therapy for addicts – in other words opiate substitutes such as methadone were prescribed without ever asking the addict to withdraw. The addicts were given repeat prescriptions for the same (sometimes high) dose for as long as they requested it. Prescribing was often very generous and cocktails involving stimulants and depressants were frequently prescribed. Addicts could also be prescribed heroin and cocaine if the doctor saw fit to do so. A lot of addicts – and doctors like Ann Dally – argued that this was by far the best approach, that the actual drug itself did little harm and that the real problems were caused by what addicts did to get the drugs if they couldn’t receive them on prescription. It was established that addicts turned to crime to acquire the money to buy drugs, that they lived in terrible conditions because their time and money was spent in pursuit of drugs and nothing else, that they acquired blood borne infections through sharing needles with other people and that their lives descended into chaos. Dally et al argued that addicts could actually live productive lives that were indistinguishable from non-addicts if they were prescribed maintenance drugs. There was evidence that for some addicts this was true.  From the latter half of the 1970s, there was great pressure from certain parts of the medical establishment on NHS DDUs not to provide maintenance doses, but to instead make it a condition of treatment that addicts must withdraw – quite quickly as well – and become completely drug-free. Eventually very few DDUs would actually provide maintenance therapy, so in the 1980s an increasing number of addicts began seeking out doctors in private practice who would prescribe maintenance therapy – obviously this was a service that addicts had to pay for. It hadn’t previously been an issue because when NHS clinics had prescribed freely and generously, addicts had less to gain by going to a private practice.

Ann Dally alleged that the driver for the refusal to prescribe maintenance therapy was coming from the ‘Maudsley Mafia’, a small group of psychiatrists in teaching hospitals like the Maudsley who were incredibly powerful. Why they wanted to push through this change to clinical practice is open to debate. Work published since that time states that very little was actually known about drug dependence and how to treat it, even by the specialist NHS DDUs, so people were just floundering about in the dark. Dr Thomas Bewley, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and allegedly a drug dependency expert, was to say later that ‘no-one had the faintest idea of what they were doing and were all expected to solve the problem of drug dependence’. There seems to have been a lot of truth in this confession.

It has been widely speculated that the change in clinical practice resulted from Margaret Thatcher’s administrations doing as they were asked by the US administrations at that time, when the Reagan and later Bush were holding their much publicised ‘War On Drugs’. Thatcher was so keen to maintain the ‘special relationship’ that she simply went along with US policy. Whatever the reason, by the mid-80s there was very great pressure on the private doctors who had been prescribing maintenance therapy not to do so anymore, so doctors who did prescribe found themselves greatly in demand. Something though was not working, because by the mid-80s, drug use was increasing greatly, even in provincial areas like north Wales. The advent of HIV-AIDS increased the problems of intravenous drug-users and provided an extra layer of complexity.

Until 2007, the Drugs Branch in the Home Office were responsible for monitoring controlled drugs and Home Office Drugs Inspectors visited doctors prescribing controlled drugs at least once every two years. If doctors were thought to be prescribing irresponsibly, under the Misuse of Drugs Act (1967) they could find themselves called by the Home Office before a Tribunal, which could remove their powers to prescribe controlled drugs. They could then be referred to the GMC – although this rarely happened. Doctors wanting to prescribe certain drugs needed a Home Office licence.

I remember the growing problem of drug use in north Wales at the time. In 1984 the corrupt GP Dr D.G.E. Wood – who was concealing the wrongdoing of Dafydd et al – told me that ‘heroin is now a local problem’. Dafydd himself was appearing at public meetings dispensing his wisdom concerning the problem and there was much ranting in the local newspapers and on Welsh TV. In north Wales a lot of people got very excited and did not seem to be able to distinguish occasional cannabis users from heroin and cocaine addicts. Just to confuse matters, it became clear that there was a big problem with police corruption, especially in drug squads. I witnessed a bit of this in north Wales – the corrupt officers were busy pursuing students and hippies and if necessary planting drugs on them, whilst organised criminals involved in importing and distributing drugs were left to carry on doing business. I knew that the same thing was happening in the west country and in Manchester and it will no doubt have been happening in London. What I knew about in Bangor though was poor people taking drugs – people on the council estates in Caernarfon, Bangor or Holyhead, or in rural locations such as Anglesey.

Ann Dally’s patients were rather different. Ann and Peter Dally were society doctors. They both came from privileged families themselves and trained at St Thomas’s, which is considered to be the medical school of the privileged classes. Ann Dally’s own account explains that they were both completely committed to the NHS – they qualified very soon after the establishment of the NHS – and never expected to move into private practice. As a young doctor Peter Dally worked as a psychiatrist under the dreadful Dr William Sargant at St Thomas’s and built up his private practice when Sargant went away for a few months and Peter Dally took over his patients for him. Sargant returned, but Dally found himself in such demand that he began renting consulting room space in the same building as Sargant. Dally was a consultant at Westminster Hospital as well, but eventually found that he didn’t have time to do both the NHS work at Westminster and his private work, so he gave up the NHS work. Ann Dally had a lot of children and began her family soon after qualifying, so she worked in Family Planning clinics and did work with women and children, because that fitted around her family. She moved into private work through ‘helping Peter’ with his practice.

Ann Dally writes very convincingly as a compassionate doctor who is angered by suffering and injustice. There are inconsistencies though. Although at one point she mentions that she only ever went into private work because the NHS did not reach up to the idealistic expectations that she had of it, she maintains that she rarely met anyone working in the NHS who was cruel to patients or malicious and that no-one working in the NHS was judgemental. Dally’s story is that EVERYONE was working for the benefit of the patients, even if they had their foibles or clashed with their colleagues. Yet she provides first hand anecdotes of appalling practice. As a very junior doctor working in obstetrics, she has a patient in labour whose condition is such that she will die if a caesarean is performed – although there is concern about the baby. Dally is faced with a senior registrar who is a devout Roman Catholic and wants to perform the caesarean to save the baby, although he knows this will kill the mother. Dally is so horrified that she goes to seek help from a higher authority and gets a grade A bollocking for having brought the unfortunate views of the senior registrar into the light of day – although everyone knew that he was about to kill a patient. A fudge is undertaken, the senior registrar is persuaded to go elsewhere for a few hours whilst someone takes over the care of the woman in labour, preventing a murder. It is made clear to Dally that much embarrassment has been caused and that she must never interfere in such a manner again. Again and again Dally recounts tales of patients being treated appallingly, of psychiatry having such a poor reputation that good medical graduates run away from it screaming, of mad incompetent sadistic psychiatrists who have no idea of what they are doing, of ‘research’ in psychiatry that was laughable and of realising that if she is looking after someone with psychiatric problems she needs to do her best to ensure that they aren’t ever admitted to a mental hospital (particularly Tooting Bec). As for never meeting anyone malicious working in the NHS – she witnesses a young woman who had taken an overdose being deliberately sent to the back of the queue in casualty by the nurse on duty ‘to teach her a lesson’. The delay in treatment is such that the young woman dies. Documentation is then altered to conceal the delay in treatment. The coroner knows what happened but he colludes and asks no questions.

Dally maintains that when she was working in obstetrics and gynaecology, most beds were taken by women who were in need of treatment following illegal abortions. I have been told this by others who worked in the NHS in the 1950s, it’s one reason why so many staff welcomed the 1967 Abortion Act. However Dally admits to something that I have never heard or indeed read before. That at St Thomas’s there were at least two consultants openly performing illegal abortions – and a lot of them. Dally knew all about it because she assisted them – because they had identified her as a junior doctor who would agree to help them with this task. Dally must presume that her readers are complete ignoramuses – she breezily explained that they were not breaking the law. They were. I understand what the law was at that time and Dally and her colleagues were breaking it in a very big way. Dally also mentions a Professor Dugald Baird who performed abortions on ‘any women who didn’t want to have babies’, stating that this was legal. No, it was not. I am very glad that the law changed and I can understand the sympathy that Dally and her colleagues had for those women with unwanted pregnancies, but that lot were completely flouting the law and they will have known it. So who was Professor Dugald Baird? He was one of the most ‘distinguished’ names in obstetrics and gynaecology at the time and had a Chair at the University of Aberdeen. He was a pioneer in Family Planning Clinics. His son Professor David Tennant Baird was instrumental in gaining approval for the ‘morning after pill’ RU-486 to be made available in the UK. Dugald Baird’s other son, D. Euan Baird, before he retired in 2003 was Chair and CEO of Schlumberger, the biggest oilfields service company in the world. Ann would probably describe it as a wind farm. The Baird Family Hospital in Aberdeen, named after Dugald and his clan, is due to open in 2020.

So Ann was capable of bending the rules, reassuring everyone that she was not, denying some real horrors which led to disastrous results for patients and giving a good impression throughout all this that she was a radical, caring doctor who only had the best interests of her patients at heart.

Ann Dally became famous for her clashes with the GMC over her prescribing for addicts, but there’s a few lines in the book that point to a other problems as well. Dally did a great deal of work in what she calls ‘medical journalism’ and ordinary ‘journalism’ when she was young to earn money. She stresses that she was always very careful never to accept patients who had contacted her on the basis of articles of hers that they had read, because that would contravene the GMC rules on advertising. So if they did contact her, she sent them off back to their GP – who then referred them to her anyway. OK, I can see how that could be constructed as adhering to the rules, but as a youngish doctor Ann was investigated when an article that she wrote turned up in a porn magazine no less. Ann’s story was that someone had sold an article on gynaecology ‘behind her back’. So what the hell was in that article? I have read numerous books and articles on obstetrics and gynaecology and they really are not written in the style or indeed in the language that a reader of a porn magazine would be interested in or in which most of them would even understand. Particularly articles dating from the 1960s. Even work by the likes of Masters and Johnson which was considered explicit and most controversial would have had difficulty appealing to soft pornographers. Ann doesn’t explain in her book how she ended up being investigated – she only mentions it because when she first trots off to get advice re the charges of irresponsible prescribing, one of the legal advisors from the MDU remembers her from twenty years previously, from the case with the porn mag.

So after witnessing no-one ever misbehaving themselves in the NHS, Ann and Peter went into private practice in the early 1960s. They began by practicing from their family home in Dulwich – it was only some years later that they purchased a lease on a building in one of the most prestigious locations in Harley Street. But business booms at Dulwich. Ann mentions that Peter has some very ‘grand’ patients. Although they are running an extensive private practice they do not have a secretary or ‘anything official’. The children are taught how to answer the phone and the kids are also told that if they do answer the phone and it’s someone who says they are ringing from Buckingham Palace, the children must not think it’s a joke because it will be someone ringing from Buckingham Palace. Ann mentions that one does not charge a fee when one treats Royalty, one has to be available at any time of the day or night and one must treat them in secret. Ann finds treating the Royals a bit of a pain, but it does wonders for one’s reputation. As well as the Royal Family, Ann mentions that their patients included holders of accounts at Coutts, aristocrats, heirs to famous family fortunes, City brokers, property developers, writers, musicians, senior people from the BBC, journalists, solicitors, pop stars and civil servants and the families of these people. She mentions that they have international patients including many Arabs, and have treated the children of some of the wealthiest and most publicised people. One of her patients was a princess from a Gulf state and Ann goes to visit her at the Wellington Hospital. A suite of rooms has been booked for relatives, ladies-in-waiting and servants – as well as a group of ‘pubescent girls’ dressed identically, whom the translator explains to Ann are ‘slave girls from Nubia’. Ann observes that she’s never met slaves before. One of Ann’s patients was a Cabinet Minister who was ‘raving mad and almost naked, chasing his boyfriend around the clinic’. Ann was called to attend another patient who was a fraudster who ‘went mad’ in an hotel whilst developing up a huge scam – another psychiatrist who was initially called to deal with him had tried to become a partner in the scam. It was left to Ann to save the day. She remarks drily that the GMC never got to hear about this. So she didn’t report any of it then.

The most worry anecdote regarding the Dallys’ interesting patients though is one about a retired Army officer. He had consulted Peter Dally after he had amputated his own leg at the knee and couldn’t explain why he had done this. An ’eminent psychiatrist’ had paid them all a visit at the Dallys’ place but no-one could find anything wrong with the retired officer. With Peter’s therapeutic skills though, they eventually got to the truth. The retired officer ‘had a fantasy’ that his mission in life was to model artificial limbs and have sexual relationships with amputees. As he was now getting on in years, he felt that it was time to ‘put his fantasy into practice’. Police had found literature from artificial limb suppliers in his house and they had founds stacks of anatomy and surgery textbooks which contained detailed instructions on how to perform amputations. The Dallys’ noticed that their patient had made a very good job of his own amputation.

I think that I know what had been going on and it wasn’t what the Dallys’ claimed. Amputating limbs is a highly skilled business, one needs to be shown how to do it, one needs to practice and one needs the right drugs and equipment. Diagrams in surgery books, even the best ones, don’t look anything like the unholy mess that one is faced with if one cuts oneself open. You need to learn from someone who already knows and you need to learn how to interpret surgery manuals as well. That retired officer had operated previously, probably quite often. And someone trained in surgery had taught him. He almost certainly had an amputee fetish – I can’t remember the word for the syndrome now, but it is recognised – and he had been amputating other people’s limbs as well as his own in order to have sex with them. And he was obviously supplying the prosthetics as well. The Dallys had discovered a very worrying situation there. Not that there is a word about how they resolved it, let alone who taught the retired officer to operate or who supplied him with the drugs etc necessary. It’s just written up as an example of ‘people do the funniest things’.

Ann and Peter are acutely aware of how discreet they must be when they are dealing with very rich law breaking patients, particularly those who are famous or in public life. Ann explains that a psychiatric diagnosis must be avoided at all costs and freely admits that lies are told and elaborate pantomimes are set up with other Top Doctors and hospitals. Ann explains that a statement is sent out to the press explaining that the person concerned is going into hospital for medical or surgical problem – heart, kidney or whatever – and a surgeon or physician is sent in through the front door of the hospital to have a few words with the reporters, whilst the psychiatrist goes in through the back entrance.

So the Dallys must have had a reputation as being pretty useful if you were filthy rich and either up to something embarrassing or unlawful. No wonder their practice was so popular.

Not only would you have needed much dosh to have afforded to consult Ann Dally if you were a drug addict, but you would have needed to prove it. Ann didn’t treat plebs. Or people who looked dirty or unkempt or anyone rude or aggressive or even anyone that her secretaries (by the time that she was treating addicts she was employing secretaries) ‘didn’t like’. She asked for income tax returns and pay slips to show that you could afford to pay. Not only did you have to pay Ann (she helpfully details her prices for prescriptions in the book), but you had to pay the chemist too. Furthermore, if you were a patient of Ann’s you had to only go to one of the chemists that was on the list that she gave you, for some reason you couldn’t just go to any old chemist – although that would have been quite legal. Ann states that she very much prefers working with intelligent patients and that she didn’t treat anyone who was psychotic because treating such patients caused her so much anxiety. They also need looking after and can’t just be sent out of the door with a prescription.

If you had the money to pay – and of course the money for designer clothes so people who were very obviously addicts popping in to pick up their scripts didn’t actually look as though they were – Ann certainly provided a good service. She got the social services off your back if you were a parent who was in danger of having your kids removed and she undertook medico-legal work as well, having a ‘moral obligation’ to go to Court ‘for a patient who needed my help’. Ann would even turn up to a Court case the very next day if necessary – presumably if the Royal had been arrested and had found themselves in the cells waiting to appear before the Magistrates for the first hearing – and she’d cancel everything and if necessary travel many miles if the Court case was outside of London. Ann also doubled up as Santa – she kept a drawer full of gifts for older children who were visiting the dealer with their parents and the children were allowed to choose a gift on every visit. Ann observed that it made her very popular with the children. So they’d obviously say the right thing to the social services or the judge.

Truly a Dafydd for the upper classes and rich and famous!

Ann does tell the truth at times in her book re drug addiction – again, it’s when she describes some of the grim practices of the NHS drug clinics. She relates that the ‘detoxing’ that the clinics forced on people was no more than a box-ticking exercise, that drugs were freely available in these clinics on the black market, that addicts took them and that the staff knew about this but nothing was said as long as the patients weren’t caught doing it. The clinics wanted to pretend that the patients were detoxing successfully because the clinic would then boast of their success, the patients went along with the charade because they had often been sent to the clinic as an alternative to prison and although the care provided by the clinics was very poor and neglect was the order of the day, the patients preferred being in hospital to prison. The patients would then be discharged as ‘drug free’ no matter what sort of state they were in. Some of the UK’s ‘leading authorities’ in drug dependency presided over clinics like this.

This description of Dally’s pretty much equates to everything that I ever heard about Dafydd’s ‘drug unit’ at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh.

So although Dally was no doubt quite correct in her descriptions of the loathing that nearly all doctors had for addicts and the very poor ‘care’ that they received from the few psychiatrists who would agree to treat them, there was something about her practices that caused the GMC to haul her up before them three times over a period of a few years, whereas they nearly always left it to the Home Office alone to deal with ‘irresponsible prescribing’. I have mentioned that Dally attributed her problems to a group of powerful doctors in the medical establishment who really had it in for her, although their own clinics were very mediocre, corners were cut and rules and laws were flouted. Dally was definitely clashing with certain Top Doctors, although some of them were so obnoxious it would be difficult not to clash with them. She did have a lot of support though – from a number of other high profile Top Doctors and from swathes of the liberal media who really did take the view that she had been wronged. At the time there was acres written about her case along with the cases of Dr Wendy Savage and Dr Marietta Higgs, who also clashed with the higher echelons of the medical establishment in the mid 80s.

The common theme was that these were three ‘powerful women doctors’ and the misogynist old gits who ran medicine just couldn’t bear strong wimmin, so the boys’ club went after them. I believe that this is a misreading. The cases of these three women were all completely different – although Wendy Savage and Ann Dally supported each other and were quite friendly. (Wendy Savage wrote the foreword to Ann’s book.) The lay press interpreted the Savage case as Mrs Savage being a female, feminist, Labour Party supporting Top Doctor who was encouraging childbirth with less medical intervention than most of the allegedly Tory hi-tech birth supporting male colleagues surrounding her. But there were plenty of Top Doctors who weren’t Tories, plenty of ones with an interest in low-intervention births and even a few who liked to think of themselves as feminists. And lots of younger female obstetricians were in training. It was common knowledge in London that Wendy Savage and the Professor of her department hated each other, had done so for a very long time and a civil war had broken out. He saw his chance and put the boot in and tried to get rid of her. Dr Marietta Higgs had caused havoc in Cleveland for the local hospital by removing hundreds of children from their parents on the grounds that she believed that they had been anally raped. She had so many kids taken into care that foster homes couldn’t be found for them all and they were placed in the local paediatric wards. There were no beds left for sick children, parents were protesting on hospital premises, writs were flying and chaos had broken out. This happened as Alison Taylor, Mary Wynch and I were writing to politicians and Ministers raising the alarm about events in north Wales – I have previously speculated that Cleveland provided a very useful distraction to allegations in north Wales that children were being sexually abused by the social services themselves and that there seemed to be a widespread network of professionals colluding with this. I have no idea whether Marietta Higgs really believed that all those children had been abused or not – she certainly won’t have been a worse doctor for being a woman, but if somebody wanted to manipulate her in the way that I suspect that they did, being a woman will have been a bonus. After all, women are caring and could never be colluding with or concealing the organised abuse of children could they? It’s why female social workers, Top Doctors and Angels were repeatedly told by Dafydd et al to tell the police that I’d threatened them or that they were terrified of me – it looks better coming from a Woman In Fear.

The case of Ann Dally was completely different from either Wendy Savage or Marietta Higgs. It was also driven by a rather different group of people, although the public scrap was among Top Doctors. From what I can gather from Ann Dally’s book, it was the police who very much wanted to nail her.

The police were so keen to demonstrate that Ann Dally was up to no good that they routinely questioned drug addicts in London as to whether they knew Ann Dally or if any of their friends knew her, they sent officers undercover who then purchased drugs from patients of Ann’s, former police officers were employed as private detectives to investigate the chemists to which she sent her patients and at one point Scotland Yard held an investigation into her. Paperwork from her accountant was examined -although that had been at the request of one of Dally’s barristers in an attempt to help her – and all of her financial affairs were probed. There was an attempt to bring a charge of deception against Ann.

The results were varied. One of Ann’s patients claimed that the police drafted his statement implicating her and he just signed it. One undercover officer did succeed in purchasing drugs from one of Dally’s patients. When prescriptions were examined it was discovered that Dally had been prescribing very generously for a lot of people. Dally herself talked of ‘1000s’ of addicts phoning or dropping in at her house. By Dally’s own admission, no-one could understand her accounts – not even her and Peter (Ann and Peter divorced in 1979 but remained on good terms and continued to run the practice together). Her rationale for this was that their accountant was unbeknown to them an alcoholic who was having a nervous breakdown. The Dallys were psychiatrists who specialised in addiction problems – were they too busy with Princess Margaret to notice their poor accountant disintegrating in front of them? I mentioned in my post ‘Compare And Contrast – The Case Of Two Doctors And The General Medical Council’ that the property owned and lifestyle enjoyed by Ann Dally as described by the GMC wasn’t that different from that enjoyed by many Harley Street Top Doctors at the time – they all trousered a lot of money. However, I note that in Ann’s book she states that a police officer was alleged to have made a comment to one of Ann’s patients about the amount of money that she must be making after he’d performed a few calculations. The police often get things badly wrong but one thing that the police are very good at is spotting when people seem to be in possession of a rather more money than one would expect, I’ve been very impressed with the police’s talent in this area. This morning someone who knew that I was researching the Dally case mentioned that there was cash stashed everywhere, not just in the Dallys’ bank account. It seemed to be complaints and questions sparked off by the police that landed Ann in trouble on each occasion.

One of Ann’s patients ended up in the secure prison on the Isle of Wight serving a three year stretch for supplying drugs. This man had been referred to Ann by a GP who ‘was under threat from the Home Office’ and who didn’t want to prescribe for him anymore. The patient had been an addict for many, many years, had a criminal record and told Ann that he was interested in qualifying as a social worker – he was undertaking a preliminary course at Coventry Poly and had been receiving treatment from a doctor at the Poly. Ann explains in her book that he had ‘exploited’ the ‘drug doctors’ of the 60s, Lady Frankau and Dr Petro and had received huge quantities of drugs from them. Lady Isabella Frankau and Petro were legendary. Frankau was acknowledged as being the mainstay of the flourishing illicit heroin market in the early 1960s – the Home Office considered her very harmful. She also prescribed cocaine and told other doctors to do this, which led to a cocaine market developing. Her prescribing was so bizarre as to be indefensible. Frankau was basically a drug dealer to high society. Petro was struck off. Ann’s patient who had previously acquired his goodies from Frankau and Petro also broke into the surgery of the doctor from Coventry Poly. I don’t know what his excuse for doing that was, but he told Ann that he hadn’t been supplying drugs, one of his friends was suffering from withdrawal symptoms so he’d lent him some drugs.

I have mentioned that the Home Office Drugs Branch were responsible for inspecting and monitoring doctors prescribing controlled drugs. Ann seemed to have a remarkably friendly relationship with some of those Inspectors, although she noticed that as the 1980s rolled on, the Inspectors were getting tougher and tougher on prescribing doctors. The Chief Inspector of the Drugs Branch between 1977 until his retirement in 1986 was Bing Spear. He had first entered the Drugs Branch of the Home Office in 1952 as an Inspector and was Deputy Chief Inspector between 1965-77. Bing Spear seems to have lingered on in the memories of many people who had doings with the world of addiction before he retired. He was of course a civil servant, but he seems to have been quite an unusual one. Spear had an excellent knowledge of the doctors working in drug dependency – he will have definitely known Dafydd – as well as of the voluntary bodies, Gov’t officials, police and customs officers. He also spent a lot of time mixing with addicts in the West End and personally knew nearly all of them. Not only that, but he knew who the dealers who initially had sold them drugs were, how long they’d been addicts, where there current supplies were coming from and who their current girlfriends were. He was known to be good friends with a number of addicts and would even turn up with them to attend the seminars of Prof Arnold Trebach – an American ‘legalise all drugs’ campaigner – when Trebach was in London. Bing was famous for being someone whom the addicts could go to ‘for help’. Bing’s stated ambition after he retired was to run an addicts union and ‘get the addicts organised’. (Dally was also enthusiastic about addicts establishing their own groups to lobby for their rights – she assisted in setting up one such group and her sons provided the group with free office space.) Bing was not a drugs outreach worker, he was a civil service Mandarin.

Bing Spear didn’t just prove helpful to addicts, Ann Dally really rated him too. He made it known that he ‘didn’t like’ the NHS DDUs and ‘encouraged’ Ann in her work with addicts. It was Bing who first warned Ann about the ‘mafia’ of Top Doctors working in drugs dependency – Bing was good enough to give Ann the names of those involved and provide her with the low-down on their techniques. It was also Bing who warned her when the mafia had their knives out for her. Ann’s first encounter with Bing was interesting. As her business boomed, she rang Bing for advice and was told by him that he had been waiting for her to ring because he thought that she’d need his help.

Bing certainly stuck his neck out on behalf of Ann. Ann maintained that the Top Doctors who condemned her were an ‘amorphous powerful’ group, comprised mostly of London DDU consultants, supported by a few others outside of London. Bing publicly identified the group in an interview in New Statesman. They had a number of connections with the Royal Colleges and the GMC and were especially influential because they had the confidence of David Mellor, the Minister at the Home Office. Mellor frequently appeared on TV explaining how he was ‘determined to beat the evil’ of drugs.

Ann got on very well with Bing’s colleague John Lawson as well – Lawson was the Senior Home Office Inspector for Drugs for London and the South East. Bing and Lawson were usually the Inspectors who visited Ann. As the authorities clamped down more and more on the prescribing of controlled drugs – and pursued Ann – by 1985 John Lawson had been transferred to Bristol, where he was responsible for the South West and Wales. Ann’s perception was that Lawson had been transferred because he was ‘too soft’ on doctors and the Home Office wanted a ‘hardliner’ in his place. But Lawson wasn’t demoted – he was transferred and given responsibility for WALES. So at the time that Dafydd was building up his empire in north Wales, John Lawson, a notoriously soft Inspector where questionable prescribing was concerned was transferred to Wales – where he would be responsible for inspecting and monitoring one Dr Dafydd Alun Jones.

Bing Spear retired in 1986, although Ann’s book suggests that he resigned, supposedly out of disgust at the way that her colleague Dr John Marks was being treated. Long before he retired however, Bing was in poor health.  Ann talks of him as being ‘yellow’ and having to go into hospital frequently for extended stays because of his heart and kidney troubles – there was usually a crisis when this happened because once Bing was indisposed, unfortunate things would happen to Ann at the hands of the authorities and Bing wouldn’t be there to fix it.

As I read the accounts of Bing and his somewhat unusual lifestyle for the most senior civil servant in the Home Office Drugs Branch, I couldn’t help wondering if perhaps Bing dabbled in a bit of chemical recreation himself. He hated the mafia who were restricting the supply of controlled drugs, didn’t seem too keen on helping the police or even his own colleagues in the Home Office, provided mountains of helpful advice and warnings to Ann when people were about to launch an investigation into her and he was a yellow colour and had extended stays in hospital. We know from Ann’s own account that some of her patients were civil servants and that if such folk had to be admitted to hospital for drug or psychiatric problems a pack of lies was told and it was all blamed on medical or surgical problems.

Ann Dally ended up appearing in front of the GMC on three separate occasions, on a number of charges. She was never struck off but was suspended and at one point banned from prescribing controlled drugs for 14 months – she appealed against the decision but lost the appeal. Her view was that until the early 1980s the GMC adopted a rather benign attitude to doctors treating addicts as well as to many other matters. Ann felt that their attitude changed ‘with a vengeance’ after Lord John Richardson retired as President – the GMC became much more of a prosecuting body and began hiring prosecutors, some with Old Bailey experience, in order to secure convictions against doctors.

The GMC were going through a torrid time during the years in which they were demanding Ann’s presence in front of the fitness to practice committee. There was public dissatisfaction with them because doctors were just never removed no matter how gross or lethal their misconduct – it was at this time that complaints were pouring into the GMC about Dafydd Alun Jones but there was zilch action taken – but doctors too were rising up against the GMC. The source of the doctors’ dissatisfaction was the GMC’s request a few years previously for an annual fee in order to retain their registration with the GMC. Doctors went ape and – among junior doctors in particular – there was a mass rebellion. Dr Michael O’Donnell – who was by then working as a full time journalist rather than a doctor – was a key figure in organising the revolt which resulted in O’Donnell being voted onto the GMC committee and then thousands of doctors refusing to pay their fee to the GMC. The GMC threatened to strike them all off and Keith Joseph, the then Secretary of State for Health, had kittens at the prospect of a shortfall of doctors in the public workforce. He set up a Public Inquiry Chaired by the nuclear physicist Sir Alec Merrison in order to try to placate the Top Doctors. Michael O’Donnell remained on the GMC committee and was as difficult as he could be. He was sympathetic to Dally – he had been a student at Tommy’s with her – and at the beginning of one of the hearings into her fitness to practice he walked out of the committee and did not return. Although O’Donnell was known for making those sorts of gestures.

Ann Dally did a number of things after she was banned from prescribing that confirmed the suspicions of those who believed that she was a purveyor of drugs. After the sentence was announced, there was a short lag before it actually came into effect – Dally had to receive written notification before it was effective. So she went back to Harley Street and literally churned out prescriptions until the very second that she was legally prevented from doing so. It was rather like the last day of the sales. It transpired that Dally had been confused about the rules and that she actually could have spent a few more hours dishing out the goodies. She only found out about this when she was told by a worker in a drugs organisation – she was on very good terms with these bodies as well – that her addicts had all complained about her because she could have prescribed for longer than she did.

As my friend observed re Dafydd – of course they like him, he gives them drugs…

Ann’s fan club dwindled quite suddenly when she was no longer dispensing. She made another little slip though – she did stop prescribing opiates but she continued to prescribe other controlled drugs. She was caught and a lot of people were very cross. Her supporters feared that this was it, she would now be struck off, although amazingly enough she wasn’t. Ann’s story was that she ‘didn’t know’ the drugs that she prescribed were on the controlled list. Which would seem to be an inexplicable lack of knowledge for a specialist in addiction who is being monitored by the Home Office – particularly one who had just been suspended by the GMC for irresponsible prescribing.

The fate of some of Ann’s patients after she could no longer treat them could be used to support either her view of good clinical practice or her opponents. A number of them were caught dealing and ended up in prison, some were involved in other criminal offences and some of them sadly died. There were indications that some of her patients were rather less vulnerable and knew how to survive in the big bad world. To illustrate how important it was for her to be allowed to continue to prescribe whatever her addicts requested, Ann Dally recounted anecdotes of them saying things like ‘oh well I’ll just have to commit a robbery then’. One man explained immediately that he’d return to Pakistan and begin importing heroin. Another patient was a ‘local authority worker with the elderly’ – presumably a social worker or similar – and told Ann that his elderly patients trusted him and had confided in him where they had hidden money and valuables. This man told Ann that if she were to stop prescribing and he was left without his fix, he didn’t think that he’d be able to resist turning the old folk’s houses over. Dally claims that she knew that a number of her patients did make arrangements to turn to serious crime.

In the aftermath of Ann Dally’s suspension there was substantial media interest both in her case and in the debate regarding the best way of treating drug addicts. She made TV and radio appearances and a flurry of articles in the press were published. The publicity surrounding her own particular case eventually died down, but the treatment of drug addicts remained problematic. Dr John Marks, who ran a clinic in Widnes on Merseyside, also treated addicts using maintenance therapy. Unlike Dally, Marks had the support of the police – the Cheshire police carried out some fairly sound research and concluded that there had been a huge decrease in drug-related crime as a consequence of Dr Marks’ practice. Dealers also stopped frequenting the area because there was no demand for their wares. Dr Marks’ locality was one of the few areas in the UK where there was no HIV-AIDS cases at all. Nonetheless, Dr Marks’ clinic was closed down by sleight of hand – a local authority reorganisation took place which led to the disappearance of his Health Authority and thus his clinic. Dr Marks emigrated to New Zealand. A previous post describes how Dr John Marks wanted to relocate to north Wales but Gwynedd Health Authority blocked his appointment on the grounds that he was ‘controversial’. They gave the contract for substance abuse services to Dafydd Alun Jones instead.

So that’s an overview of the Ann Dally case. As ever, if we really want to shed light on the more interesting aspects of it all, we need to take a look at those who played leading roles in the drama, including both those who supported Dally and those who opposed her.

 

Dally knew influential people and public figures from her earliest days. She was from a well-known family and Marie Stopes was among the family’s friends. She was at Somerville College with Margaret Thatcher – although they weren’t friends – and scores of people whom she studied with at Tommy’s became big names in medicine. She was of course taught by many big names in medicine. We have seen the sort of patients whom she treated – even the most modest of them were solidly middle class and affluent and some were members of the Royal Family. Someone like Ann Dally would be able to muster a great deal of support when they encountered difficulties of any sort. I suspect that the fact that so many of her friends and patients worked in the media may have been responsible for much of the sympathetic coverage that her case received.

Although Dally and her mates didn’t seem to like Thatcher at all when they were at Oxford, when in 1983 Dally was invited to Downing Street in her capacity as an ‘expert’ in drug dependency to meet Thatcher, she clearly felt that she would be in a position to influence her. Dally seemed to have changed her view about Thatcher once Thatcher became PM. She had previously thought that Thatcher was rather boring and not really worth spending time with – shortly after Thatcher was elected as an MP, Thatcher had been invited to a gathering of Somerville Alumni to give a talk. The talk had been so yawningly dull that afterwards people demanded that Thatcher never be invited back again. But now that she was PM Dally saw qualities that had been well-concealed. Dally thought that she was making headway with Thatcher, but she did detect a certain frostiness from the other person present at their meeting – Dr Pamela Mason, whom Dally describes as the Senior Doctor at the Drugs Branch of the DHSS.

I have found a copy of the Bulletin of the Royal College of Psychiatrists from Dec 1985, summarising Parliamentary News, Feb-July 1985. This document was compiled by this blog’s old friend Professor Robert Bluglass, the man who concealed the criminal activities of Dafydd et al in north Wales in 1988! There are loads of names from the past mentioned in this document, one of which was Dr Pamela Mason’s. Mason is described as being the Director of the Mental Health Division in the DHSS. Things were certainly not going well in the Mental Health Division. Not only was Pamela presiding over the chaos and criminality in the north Wales mental health service, but this Bulletin reminded me of a few other problems from that time.

John Patten MP, a Minister in the DHSS, had announced that the DHSS was funding three studies into solvent abuse. One of those studies was to be undertaken by Professor R.H. Anderson at that den of corruption, St George’s Hospital Medical School. In 1985 Oliver Brooke who was later imprisoned for the possession of huge quantities of child porn was still employed as the Professor of Paediatrics at St George’s. The rest of the crooks who covered up for Dafydd et al in 1990/91 were busy down there as well.

The Bulletin mentions that David Mellor of the Home Office announced that there were no plans to increase the level of medical cover and no intention to provide special counselling and advisory services for self-harming prisoners in Holloway. Holloway at that time had a terrible reputation – there were scores of women in there whom everyone acknowledged had serious mental health problems and histories of abuse who were constantly injuring and killing themselves. The response to this was to drug them up to the eye-balls – which was clearly going to continue after Mellor’s statement. There was one part of Holloway that was too embarrassing even for Thatcher’s Home Office though. The Bulletin tells us that the Holloway Project Committee – which included Dr Pamela Mason – is to review the role and future of Holloway (Holloway was eventually closed but it took until very recently for that to happen). Lord Glenarthur -a previous star of this blog – stated that the Gov’t accepted the Report from the Committee that C1 Unit for ‘disturbed women prisoners’ was not meeting the needs of the inmates within. Glenarthur confirmed that there would be an urgent reassessment and immediate steps to improve conditions at the unit. C1 Unit was notorious – it was known as the ‘muppet house’ amongst the prisoners and contained scores of prisoners whom everybody accepted should never have been in prison, were severely mentally ill but somehow were never transferred to hospital. The other prisoners would hear the wails and screams from the muppet house day and night and suicides were common there. The muppet house will have contained many women who will have been abused as kids in care or by the mental health services – which is probably why Holloway had such trouble finding beds for the muppets in psychiatric hospitals. Just look what the Top Doctors were up to – a lot of those muppets will have been destroyed by the Top Doctors themselves because they’d witnessed or suffered a few things that the Top Doctors and others were desperate to keep quiet.

The Bulletin contains an interesting little bit about Wales. In May 1985 the Secretary of State for Wales stated that all Health Authorities, Local Authorities and Family Practitioner Committees were required to form Committees which included representatives of the voluntary sector to provide services for mental illness. So MIND were now officially part of the landscape of ‘service’ provision – the MIND which was at the time also colluding with the criminal activities in north Wales, whilst Tessa Jowell and William Bingley held senior positions there. The Secretary of State for Wales referred to was Nicholas Edwardes, now Lord Crickhowell. Edwardes had admitted that there was ‘much to be done’ to decentralise psychiatric services and the Welsh Office had arranged for a further independent review of mental illness services jointly by the NHS Health Advisory Services and Social Work Services of the Welsh Office between 1985/86-87. So the crooks in the NHS ignoring the wrongdoing of Dafydd et al in were going to get together with the crooks in the Social Work Services who were ignoring a paedophile ring operating in Clwyd and Gwynedd Social Services to ‘independently’ review the mental health services. No wonder the patients continued to die and go to prison after being stitched up for crimes that they had not committed. 1985, 86 and 87 were the very years that Alison Taylor, Mary Wynch and me all presented evidence of the most serious abuses and corruption in the mental health services and children’s services in north Wales. The ‘independent review’ managed not to investigate our allegations.

So the culprits at the helm of the massive cover-up were Dr Pamela Mason, Nicholas Edwards, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Security Norman Fowler and the Home Secretaries covering that period, which were Leon Brittan and Douglas Hurd.

The horror of what was happening is confirmed by another piece that appears in the Bulletin. In June 1985 John Patten confirmed that under the complaints procedures for special hospitals managed directly by the DHSS ie. Broadmoor, Ashworth and Rampton, a proportion of complaints went straight to Ministry Officials at the DHSS. Patten stated that the procedures for dealing with the complaints were ‘well-established’. Referring to a matter that was reported in Oct 1984 that was requested to be investigated – although details of the matter concerned were not revealed – the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration expressed satisfaction with the way in which complaints made by a Broadmoor patient had been dealt with.

It is now known that in 1985, patients in the special hospitals were being physically and sexually abused, that child porn was being passed around these ‘hospitals’, that children were taken onto the premises to visit patients who were paedophiles and that nearly all the women patients had been sexually abused before they ever got near these places. The DHSS clearly knew about this as well. Not long after Bluglass wrote this Bulletin, Baroness Trumpington thought that the answer to all this was to appoint Jimmy Savile as manager of Broadmooor. What could ever go wrong?

The Bulletin also reveals that in July 1985 the Minister for Health Ken Clarke stated that the determination of the criteria for registering nursing homes lay with the District Health Authority in whose area the home was located. Clarke was satisfied that the existing codes of practice were of sufficiently high standard without being too strict. In the event of a dispute between a proprieter of the nursing home and the DHA, the matter would be determined by an appeal to the Registered Homes Tribunal, which the Gov’t had set up.

In 1985 complaints of abuse and neglect of patients in ‘nursing homes’ run by Dr Dafydd Alun Jones were common. The situation in one of these ‘homes’ for psychiatric patients in Llandudno, Holyrood House, was so bad that it eventually became a national scandal and was even featured by Esther on ‘That’s Life’. Patients were being beaten up and a drug addict from Liverpool was responsible for the drugs cabinet. Before Holyrood House hit the national media, MIND knew what was going on there, Jones’s colleague Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) knew what was going on, as did the Local Authority covering the Llandudno area. The Health Authority will have known as well. As for the Registered Homes Tribunal – a previous post mentions that Councillors in Clwyd were sitting on those Tribunals. Clwyd County Council knew that a paedophile ring was operating in it’s children’s homes and did nothing. Some people – such as Tory MP Beata Brookes – sat on both Clwyd County Council/Social Services and Clwyd Health Authority. Clwyd Health Authority was the employer of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones.

This was a system that could not have been designed by accident.

We can see that it was no accident from another feature in the Bulletin, which makes a reference to Lord David Ennals holding a debate on the future of St Thomas’s Hospital. Tommy’s was indeed under threat in the 1980s. Tommy’s remained unscathed. I wonder why that was? It only educated and employed all those leading lights in the British medical establishment – including the Dallys – who then all went to war on each other when the police started investigating Ann Dally.

The Bulletin reveals that in July 1985-86 the Minister of Health estimated the cost of the Mental Health Act Commission to be £1,022,000. A previous post details how the Mental Health Act Commission colluded with the north Wales mental health services and lied to me after I complained to them about being unlawfully detained in north Wales by Dafydd et al. Tessa Jowell was a member of that Commission.

So Norman Fowler was happy to spend approx. 1 million pa to conceal organised crime involving child abuse in the British welfare state, including the Westminster Paedophile Ring.

The Bulletin reveals that the Chairman of the Social Services Committee in the Commons at this time – who would have been in a position to ask some very awkward questions about this catalogue of horrors but noticeably didn’t – was a Renee Short.

Short was the Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East and was considered a ‘firebrand’, a female politician on the left of the party. Renee championed women’s and children’s issues! I think that we have been here before. Short was sponsored by the TGWU, was mates with trade unionist Jack Jones and was a member of Labour’s NEC, 1970-88. Short was the representative of the Wimmin’s Section. Short co-sponsored Neil Kinnock for the leadership of the Labour Party. Short’s obituaries tell us that she campaigned on ‘social issues’, including women in prison and on behalf of junior hospital doctors no less. So appreciative of her efforts were the Top Doctors that they made Renee a lay member of the MRC. Short ended up in a battle in her own constituency and was deselected – it was blamed on Militant, but one wonders whether she’d pissed a few other people off as well. She resigned after making a deal with Kinnock that if she did this, she would be rewarded with a peerage – although Kinnock wasn’t able to stump up one of those for her. In 2007 the Daily Mail carried an article about Renee’s granddaughter, who had become ‘hooked on drugs at 15’. Renee’s granddaughter bangs on about the irony of this, as her grandmother had been a well-known ‘anti-drugs campaigner’. I hate to disillusion Renee’s family, but if Renee had really wanted to make a difference in this area, all she needed to have done was make the activities of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones public during all those years that she Chaired the Select Committee on Social Services, ie. 1979-87. But Renee remained completely silent, as well as remaining silent on the reality of what was happening in children’s homes, in the special hospitals and indeed in women’s prisons. Because speaking out would have upset the Top Doctors as well as the numerous other people who knew that children were being sexually abused by politicians from all parties, as well as others.

I can only wonder why Short didn’t end up in the Lords along with all the others who colluded with and concealed organised child abuse. Why ever did old Kinnock fail to come up with the goods?

On 2 Sept 1985 Barney Heyhoe replaced Ken Clarke as Minister of Health. Clarke accepted an appointment as Paymaster General.

The Bulletin also published an angry letter concerning junior doctors training from a Dr Julie Hollyman, of the College Trainees Committee of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. A previous post details how by 1990 Hollyman had become a truly vile consultant at Springfield Hospital, the psychiatric unit attached to St Georges who was hated by her colleagues. Hollyman was given management responsibilities at Springfield. A number of patients were raped and sexually assaulted on her watch. She was then appointed to lead Broadmoor.

Can I ask Lord John Patten, David Mellor, Ken Clarke, Dr Pamela Mason, Lady Tessa Jowell, William Bingley, Lord David Ennals, Lord Simon Glenarthur, Lord Crickhowell, Norman Fowler, Leon Brittan – or at least those of them who are still alive – how they manage to sleep at night in their expensive residences surrounded by everything that they ever need as their glorious careers approach their end?

 

 

Now for a bit of background on some of Ann Dally’s friends and supporters.

Ann was at Tommy’s with Dr Michael O’Donnell who was sympathetic to her and seems to have used his position to muster support for her. O’Donnell came from Yorkshire where his own father had been a GP. O’Donnell himself practiced as a GP in Surrey for 12 years and then gave up medicine completely to pursue a media career. He had never spent that much time doing medicine anyway – he boasted about being a ‘part-time’ medical student, as a result of spending so much time pursuing other interests, including cricket, theatre and writing. O’Donnell knew many people who later became very big in the media world – such as David Frost and the members of Monty Python – from his time in Footlights at Cambridge. He later became a ubiquitous presence on Radio 4 and BBC TV, presenting light entertainment shows. Some of his programmes came under fire for being too shallow and flippant, even for BBC light entertainment. O’Donnell also worked for Yorkshire Television and Associated Television. O’Donnell edited World Medicine for 16 years, a sort of cliquey self-congratulatory publication of the sort that Top Doctors really love. He was forced to resign in 1982 after a dispute with the publisher. The senior editorial staff resigned in sympathy and the publication folded two years later. O’Donnell worked as a Times columnist but resigned when the editor Sir Harold Evans was forced to resign.

One of O’Donnell’s many jobs was as scientific advisor on the Lindsay Anderson film ‘O Lucky Man’. ‘O Lucky Man’ is a film which highlights corruption within the British establishment, including medicine. Some parts of ‘O Lucky Man’ are frighteningly accurate. Yet throughout his career O’Donnell made no real attempt to challenge the terrible reality in medicine that he undoubtedly knew about. He was rude about the ‘medical establishment’ and liked to think if himself as a rebel, but he was far too busy farting around on ‘Stop The Week’ or ‘My Word’ to raise serious questions about the institutionalised corruption that was ruining lives and leaving some people dead.

O’Donnell mobilised massive support for his campaign to reform the GMC, but the results were so limited that he might as well have not bothered. The GMC continued to protect dangerous doctors and put patients at risk – O’Donnell himself sat on the GMC Council until 1996 and for the last two years he was Chairman of the Standards Committee. Dafydd et al continued in their own sweet way, as of course did Harold Shipman.

O’Donnell’s own explanation was that the ‘reform’ of the GMC stopped when Sir (later Lord) John Richardson retired as President.

John Richardson was President of the GMC 1973-80. He was President of the BMA 1970-71 and of the Royal Society for Medicine 1969-71. He was Chair of the Joint Consultants Committee 1967-72. He trained and worked at Tommy’s, as did most other people involved in this story. Richardson had at one point attended King George VI and was Harold Macmillan’s personal physician for 40 years – he became good friends with Macmillan. Like O’Donnell, Richardson was from Yorkshire – Richardson’s own father was a solicitor from Sheffield. Richardson retired from Tommy’s in 1975. In his capacity as President of the GMC he regularly met Ministers, including Barbara Castle whilst she was Secretary of State at the DHSS, 1974-76, when she did battle with the Top Doctors over pay beds in the NHS. Richardson was also Vice-President of the RCN from 1972 – it helps to have the Top Doctors controlling the other professions who know what they get up to.

Richardson was also consulting physician to King Edward VII’s Hospital for Officers; Consultant Emeritus to the British Army and Consultant Physician to the Metropolitan Police 1957-80. He was given a peerage in 1979 and campaigned from the Lords to stop the proposed closure of A&E at Tommy’s.

Richardson’s obituary in the Guardian described him as a ‘networker’ who was ‘never one to miss an opportunity’, ‘who did no significant research and was not a brilliant physician’. He was ‘ambitious, sometimes fawning’ and the medical students at Tommy’s tagged him ‘Sir John’ before he actually acquired his baronetcy – which was given to him by Macmillan in 1960.

Richardson retired to north Devon. Did anyone really expect a man with his biography to ‘reform’ the GMC?

 

Along with Michael O’Donnell, Diana Brahams was another high profile medical writer who was sympathetic to Dally. Brahams was everywhere in the 80s and 90s, she was usually invited to comment on ethical or medico-legal issues of that time. I have only just learnt that Brahams worked for the MDU – that was certainly never made clear when she was presented in the media as a ‘barrister’ who was an ‘expert’. Documents in my possession demonstrate that between 1985-1992 (at least) the MDU knew the extent of the wrongdoing in the north Wales mental health services and continued to act for Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) even though they knew that he was perjuring himself and they themselves had advised him to not to pursue litigation against me. Nonetheless, in 1991, Sir Robert Francis QC, whilst acting for the MDU, attempted to have me imprisoned on the instructions of Tony Francis.

Brahams seems to be based in north London near St John’s Wood and is a founder member of ‘Healthwatch’, which states that it is for ‘science and integrity in medicine’. Members include Professor Michael Baum the surgeon, Professor Susan Bewley (the daughter of two other Top Doctors, Thomas and Beulah Bewley, of whom I will be writing more later in this post) and Heinz Wolff, the man who starred on the BBC in an attempt to incite an interest in science among people of my generation when we were children. The Patron of ‘Healthwatch’ is Lord Dick Taverne – someone else known to this blog.

Brahams is also a Trustee of the Medico-Legal Society – a ‘charity’, whose registered address is Hempsons offices in London. Hempsons are the solicitors of the MDU. The stated object of the Medico-Legal Society is ‘to promote medico-legal knowledge in all its aspects’. Their meetings take place at the Medical Society of London.

Another Trustee of the Medico-Legal Society is Dr Kate Allsopp. Dr Kate Allsopp is mentioned regularly in Ann Dally’s book. Kate was a friend of Ann’s. Ann mentiones in her book that Kate was a useful person to have on side because she was shortly to become the Joint Deputy Secretary, ‘the second in command’ of the MDU. Ann was also on good terms with Dr John Wall, who later became Secretary of the MDU.

The President of the Medico-Legal Society is Dr Daniel Haines. Dr Haines doubles up as the honorary treasurer of the Royal Society of Medicine. After serving in the Falklands conflict – during which time he was taken prisoner – Daniel returned to London and worked as a GP, as well as a police surgeon with the Metropolitan Police. Daniel is now involved in expert witness work – he specialises in rape and child sexual abuse no less. Well Daniel, as an expert in the field, you certainly have an awful lot of colleagues who have worked for the MDU whom you can quiz for details…

Another medical writer who supported Dally was Dr Ian Munro. Munro trained at Guy’s and was Deputy Editor of the Lancet, 1965-76 and then Editor, 1976-88. Munro wrote many of the Lancet’s anonymous editorials, including one in 1983 which was a robust attack on the Secretary of State Norman Fowler, demanding his resignation – but not because of a high level cover-up of the Westminster Paedophile Ring, rather because of NHS strikes. If only they’d have all stayed on strike, they wouldn’t have been facilitating a paedophile ring in north Wales and flogging drugs. Or perjuring themselves in order to try and imprison people who’d dared complain about them.

Ian Munro was also an early and consistent champion of Wendy Savage.

Munro was known to have been ‘accessible to his colleagues in Fleet Street even in unsocial hours’. Top Doctors Calling, Top Doctors Calling…

Ian Munro was also from Yorkshire – from Bradford. He retained a lifelong involvement with Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

 

One of Ann’s friends from Tommy’s was Dr Elizabeth Fletcher – Fletcher acted as a character witness for Ann. Elizabeth Fletcher’s claim to fame was that after working as a GP, she became Chief Medical Officer at the BBC, 1975-80. She’ll have known about Savile then. Ann’s book mentions that among her patients were a number of senior employees of the BBC. Frank Bough was famously publicly identified as enjoying coke and prostitutes and of course Stephen Fry that well-known MIND ambassador boasted of snorting coke in Buck House – they won’t have minded Stephen, they were patients of the Dallys – but there will be many more at the BBC who enjoy recreational chemicals who haven’t been outed by the tabloids. Perhaps because the tabloid journos had become friends with them after meeting them in Ann Dally’s waiting room.

Austen Kark was another character witness for Ann. Austen was a journalist and a BBC Executive. Austen started at the BBC in 1954. He was mostly involved with the World Service and was its MD, 1984-86.

Austen was part of the comfortable north London set as well, he lived in Islington.

A third character witness for Ann was Lady Zaida Ramsbotham. Ann states frankly in her book that her lawyers had selected Lady Zaida as a character witness because of her title – Ann was told that ‘it helps’. (Sir Jimmy Savile???) Zaida only became Lady Zaida after she married Sir Peter Ramsbotham, Britain’s former Ambassador to Washington – who was appointed by Ted Heath. Ramsbotham was described as an ‘old fashioned snob’, which his friends maintained was a ‘gross’ ‘unjust’ charge. Even if being a Lady meant that his wife was useful to a dealer when she was in hot water. Ramsbotham enjoyed a warm friendship with President Jimmy Carter.

When he retired in 1980, Peter Ramsbotham became a Trustee of the Leonard Cheshire Foundation; Chair of the Ryder-Cheshire Mission for the Relief of Suffering; a Director of Lloyds Bank and of the Commercial Union Assurance Co. He was a member of the Garrick and was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire in 1992.

Zaida married Peter in 1985 and thus acquired a title that impressed people. Before that she was Dr Zaida Hall. Her obituary from the British Journal of Psychiatry tells us that she was one of the first women students at St George’s Hospital Medical School and that she did her psychiatry training at the Maudsley. In 1971 Zaida Hall was appointed as the first female consultant psychiatrist at Southampton University/the Royal South Hants Hospital. She built up the psychotherapy dept and also worked at Red Hatch Remand Centre in Winchester for ‘delinquent girls’. Zaida was honest enough to admit that most of the ‘delinquent girls’ had been physically or sexually abused. Zaida started group therapy for female survivors of sexual abuse and later for male survivors as well. Zaida Hall used her position to publish and promote women’s mental health. Hall famously did battle with the group of therapists who publicised the notion of ‘false memory’. Which is a minefield. The wonderful thing about the notion of false memory is that it can be used to discredit the claims survivors of sexual abuse. But then so can the notion that false memory doesn’t exist. It all depends upon who’s accusing who and who the therapist is. But then nearly all psychotherapeutic notions can be used to discredit people who have been abused. Which is why the discipline has proved so useful. St George’s specialise in it and Dafydd learnt at the knee of Bob Hobson, one of Britain’s most prominent psychotherapists at the Maudsley.  So you can’t argue with that. As Dafydd once told me himself in 1987 when I accused him of the most appalling corruption – after he had me arrested on trumped up charges of ‘trying to stab a psychiatrist’. The psychiatrist who made the statement maintaining that I had done this worked for Dafydd and later admitted that I hadn’t tried to stab him after all. He was never disciplined or charged himself, although I would have gone to prison if the police had not got to the truth. In fact Dafydd was so certain that this scam would be successful that he even wrote to the Mental Health Acts Commission and told them that I had been sent to Risley Remand Centre for trying to stab a psychiatrist – and they wrote back to him confirming it!

You jumped the gun there boys…and the incriminating letters are now in my possession.

A  close friend of Ann’s was Dr Dale Beckett, again someone based in Islington. Dale Beckett had interests in drug addiction, hypnotherapy, NLP and the ‘spiritual aspect of emotional disorders’. Beckett acted as an expert witness for Dally.

Another friend was Roger Toulmin who had worked as a radio producer for the BBC and for the Times. Toulmin then became a civil servant in the DHSS. He guided the Committee of Top Doctors, nurses and midwives under the Chairmanship of Dame Alice Munro which resulted in the 1985 Report ‘Maternity Care In Action’. Ann stressed that Toulmin was a ‘bachelor’ which made his interest in the welfare of women and young children all the more impressive. Unfortunately though dear old Roger and Dame Alice didn’t manage to improve anything – Maternity Care In Action in the UK is still not what it should be and we have mortality rates for mothers and babies that are worse than some of the countries that we enjoy sneering at and imagine that their citizens are all trying to make their way to the UK to use our glorious NHS.

Ann was also friendly with Dr James Willis, who ran the drug dependency service on Merseyside before Dr John Marks took it over. I mentioned John Marks (not to be confused with the Dr John Marks who was head of the BMA for many years) previously. Marks acted as an expert witness for Dally. He ran the Chapel Street Clinic in Widnes, where he legally prescribed maintenance doses of heroin and cocaine. Great results were claimed, including by the Cheshire Drug Squad – the thing that everyone was most impressed with at the time was that none of John Marks’ patients died from AIDS. John Marks was basically hounded out and the clinic shut down in 1995. Marks himself maintains that he believes that his clinic was shut down after the US current affairs programme 60 Minutes screened a programme about his clinic in 1990. The US Republican administration became aware of the clinic, it’s methods and it’s success and Marks alleges that they put pressure on the British Gov’t to close it. Bing Spear was an enthusiastic supporter of John Marks’ clinic and rang Marks a few months after the programme was screened, claiming that there was ‘real heat’ from the embassy in Washington and that Thatcher had ‘got her knickers in a twist’.

It is alleged that Bing resigned after Marks’ clinic was closed and was replaced by an Alan MacFarlane, who considered John Marks to be ‘dangerous’.

There is a discrepancy here that I have not been able to get to the bottom of. It is alleged that Bing resigned as a consequence of Marks being shut down. Yet Bing Spear retired in 1986 – the TV programme wasn’t screened until 1990 and Marks’ clinic didn’t close until 1995. So at least some of this story isn’t true.

However, I can well-imagine that Dr John Marks, if he was running a highly successful clinic for drug addicts which was becoming famous, would have faced opposition from just about everybody. There would be the usual complaints from the neighbourhood of ‘we don’t want these sorts of people here’ – and the neighbours would be really worried about that clinic expanding. There would be the anxieties re property prices and the fate of neighbouring businesses. But Marks would also be loathed by the rest of the medical establishment as well – they were screwing up big time, so they really won’t have wanted him up in Widnes showing them up for the fools that they were. Furthermore, Marks’ clinic was alleged to have put local illicit drug dealers out of business – there was no call for their products anymore. Organised drug trafficking is big business and involves many ‘respectable’ people – they’ll have wanted John Marks out of the way. And of course there was the utter embarrassment that was Dafydd just down the A55 in north Wales – a whole pyramid of corruption and bad practice depended upon the continued presence of Dafydd and John Marks would have presented a major threat to all of it. Addicts were not going to waste their time and money with Dafydd if there was a man just next door on the Wirral from whom they could receive a service.

So Dafydd stayed in business and Dr Marks emigrated to New Zealand.

Nice result US Republican party, whose members did not have to live with the effects of Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends.

Other writers who supported Dally included George Mikes, a journalist known for his humorous articles. Papers that he wrote for included the Observer and the Times Literary Supplement. Mikes’ had worked for the BBC’s Hungarian Service. Mikes was a member of the Garrick and was a good friend of Arthur Koestler – who was alleged to have been highly abusive to women. The journalist Jill Tweedie wrote an article in her later years describing how Koestler had violently raped her when she was young. Andrew Veitch also covered the case sympathetically – Veitch was born in Wrexham no less. His journalism received awards from, among others, paedophiles’ friends the Royal Television Society and the Terence Higgins Trust. Andrew Tyler wrote a piece for Time Out that Ann really loved – a ‘frank’ article that ‘frightened’ the Home Office and the drug dependency establishment. Tyler was a rock journalist who had worked for the NME. In 1996 he became the Director of Animal Aid. Sadly he developed Parkinsons – he chose to die at the Dignitas clinic.

Bill Nelles was also a supporter of Dally and a former addict patient of hers. Nelles was the Drugs Education Officer at the Terence Higgins Trust at the time. He went on to work for West Berkshire Health Authority, training doctors and drug users. He later became the HIV co-ordinator for North Birmingham Health Authority, the HIV co-ordinator for Harrow and Hillingdon NHS Community Trust and then in 1999 the CEO of the Methadone Alliance. He now lives and works in Canada.

Dally received a substantial amount of TV coverage, particularly after her case. She had much contact with John Ware the producer of Panorama, although she was disappointed at the Panorama programme that was eventually screened. She complained that it featured such unsavoury matters as ‘housing estates and crime on Merseyside’. Which doesn’t look quite as good as Harley Street and Belgravia, which were the stamping grounds of Ann’s patients. Dally later discovered that Ware had done a deal with the GMC and had only screened what they had approved.

Ann featured in ‘Hypotheticals’, a TV programme in which a barrister questioned people on opposing sides of an argument. Dally’s book noted that the ‘young barrister’ hosting the programme was a Jane Belson. Jane Belson eventually became Mrs Douglas Adams of ‘Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy’ fame. After graduating from Oxford, Belson worked for the Treasury. She lived with Adams in Islington and after a few diplomatic incidents they got married. They moved to LA, then to California and later returned to London. Belson and Adam were networked to an enormous circle of celebs, including many at the BBC.

Sir Henry Yellowlees also took part in the ‘Hypotheticals’ programme, opposing Ann – Yellowlees had been on the GMC panel for one of her hearings. Yellowlees was Chief Medical Officer for the DHSS, 1973-84. He had previously held a sequence of appointments on the Regional Hospital Boards (one of the Regional Hospital Board’s ran the North Wales Hospital Denbigh in the era when Gwynne the lobotomist was busy as well as Dafydd); he was seconded to the Ministry of Health in 1963 as Principal Medical Officer, after which he received promotion regularly; in 1976 he was appointed Sir George Godber’s Deputy. Godber was CMO, 1960-73 – he has a God-like status in NHS history because he was instrumental in forming the NHS. Yellowlees had battles with Barbara Castle between 1974-76 when she was trying to remove pay beds from the NHS – this led to industrial action from the Top Doctors and then industrial action from the ancillary staff who refused to provide services for patients in pay beds. So there was great trouble from those self-sacrificing NHS staff.

Yellowlees was the son of a psychiatrist himself. He left the DHSS in 1983 and then spent a year at the MoD, working on a new structure for the medical staff in the armed services; he was also a consultant to WHO. Yellowlees was a member of MRC for 9 years and a member of the GMC for 10 years. He sat on the NHS Supervisory Board for 10 years. Yellowlees served under Secretaries of State Keith Joseph, Barbara Castle, David Ennals, Norman Fowler and Patrick Jenkin.

Ken Clarke’s autobiography maintains that Yellowlees was a dreadful old bugger who’s main concern was to ascertain which Top Doctors would receive which honours.

 

Someone who appeared on ‘Hypotheticals’ in support of Ann was one of her patients, Carlin Wilkowski. Carlin still has quite an internet presence – she describes herself as an ‘addict mother’ and seems to be based in Highgate.

Dr Cindy Fazey, a criminologist from Liverpool, offered to act as an expert witness for Dally. Fazey has been the Professor of International Drug Policy at Liverpool University since 1998. She is the former Chief of Demand Reduction for the UN Control Programme. Fazey’s husband may well have proved useful to Dally as well – Ian Fazey is a journalist. He was the northern correspondent for the Financial Times during the 80s and worked for the paper until 1996. He and Cindy met whilst they were students at Aston University and Ian began his career on the Birmingham Post. He then moved to the Liverpool Daily Post where he became Deputy Editor, before becoming the General Manager of the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo in 1976.

The Liverpool Daily Post is the sister paper of the Daily Post which serves north Wales. The Daily Post is a real laugh because for years it has so obviously served as a PR sheet for the paedophiles’ friends. Dafydd himself was regularly featured in there as the centre of flattering profiles until he became very elderly. The most offensive thing that I ever read in the Daily Post was an ‘interview’ with Dafydd back in the early 1990s, in which Dafydd was asked a series of utterly obsequious questions, including one which made reference to Dafydd being known to be ‘attractive to women’ and asking him why he thought this was. This was a man who was sexually exploiting female patients – whom he had unlawfully imprisoned in a hell-hole of an asylum – whilst facilitating a paedophile ring. What did the Daily Post think that they were doing? Dafydd’s patients were universally revolted by him – not only was he unpleasant and unhinged, but he was filthy. He smelt, his teeth were green, his clothes were dirty and he was always covered in dandruff. A copy of the Daily Post was circulated around the psychiatric ward in Ysbyty Gwynedd on the day that article was published and I actually witnessed two male psych nurses – two with a sense of humour – being told that there was a photo of Dafydd in the paper. One of them yelled out ‘have they captured the dandruff?’ and they then both fell about laughing because even in the photo, you could see that Dafydd had his regular covering on the shoulders of his suit. This man worked in hospitals where the degree of ‘illness’ in patients was partially judged on whether their ‘personal hygiene’ was up to scratch. It was utterly nonsensical, like most of UK psychiatry.

Jeremy Laurance wrote articles in a number of publications about Dally. The article he wrote for New Society was described by Dally as ‘disappointing’. She was cross because Laurance had ‘invented’ a bit about Dally treating an addict in the Royal Family. Dally also became vexed with the Sunday Times for having the temerity to publish that she had a pop star among her patients and surprise surprise, they had even ‘got hold of the idea that I was psych to Princess Margaret’. How did these publications ever draw such conclusions? Because Peter and Ann Dally talked about it that’s how.

Dally intriguingly states that ‘later Jeremy was converted to my way of thinking’ and along with his Editor David Lipsey, became a ‘useful supporter’. David Lipsey ended up receiving a peerage from Tony Blair – he was named and shamed as one of Tony’s Cronies. Lipsey worked on the Sunday Times, the Sunday Correspondent, the Times, the Guardian and the Economist. He had been an advisor to Tony Crosland when Crosland was in opposition and an advisor to No 10. He was Chair of Streatham Labour Party, 1970-72 and Chair of the Fabian Society, 1982-83.

 

Obviously with Ann Dally entering into battle with the police, the Home Office Inspectorate, the GMC and the Court of Appeal at various times during the 80s, she had extensive dealings with lawyers. Although from what I saw in north Wales the MDU do an excellent job of defending Top Doctors even when they know that the Top Doctors concerned have been involved in serious criminal conduct, Ann Dally had a low opinion of the MDU, repeatedly stating that she did not trust them and was disenchanted with them. Her poor opinion of them seems to have stemmed from an incident when she had acted as an ‘expert witness’ for another Top Doctor who stood accused of questionable practices with drug addicts. Dally arrived at the Temple for a legal conference regarding this man’s case, only to be told by the clerk that no conference had been arranged. The solicitor from the MDU arrived and was told the same thing. It transpired that a conference HAD been arranged, but no-one had told the Counsel, so he’d gone home. Therefore the conference would have to be rearranged. The main concern of the man from the MDU was how expensive this was. Yet everyone involved had been retained by the MDU – so whoever had screwed up was working for the MDU.

The solicitor upon whom Ann relied extensively was a friend of hers, John Calderon, who did not work for the MDU but who worked in the City. Calderon recommended Christopher Sumner as Counsel. John also wanted Dally to use Hempsons, the MDU solicitors but she flatly refused. Despite this, the MDU did agree to pay for John Calderon’s representation, although the MDU wanted to be present at all meetings with lawyers. The MDU also funded Dally’s (unsuccessful) appeal to the Privy Council House of Lords Judicial Committee after she was barred from prescribing by the GMC.

Calderon wanted a Top Doctor to sit in with the lawyers and comment on the scientific evidence in Ann’s case. The Top Doctor selected to do this was none other than Dr John Harman, Harriet’s dad. One of the many comments following my post ‘Wheels Within Wheels Or Flies Drawn To The Same Incestuously Corrupt Shithouse?’ mentions the role that John Harman played in defending John Bodkin Adams, a Top Doctor who killed his patients. Dally describes John Harman as having ‘one of the best brains I knew for exposing medical guff’.

Dally liked Christopher Sumner. Sir Christopher Sumner as he became was appointed a Circuit judge in 1987, a High Court judge in 1996 and ended up in the Court of Appeal. He worked as an advocate and a High Court judge in the Family Division.

When John Calderon was unavailable for Dally’s appeal – he was on holiday – Dally used the services of another solicitor, John Kelleher. Kelleher is now a partner in Carey Olsen and practices in Jersey. In 1994 Kelleher became an Advocate of the Royal Court of Jersey and in 2017 he was appointed President of the Law Society of Jersey. As the appeal approached, Calderon told Dally that ‘the Law Lords feel that they need to keep in with the doctors’. The barrister Diana Brahams believed that the Privy Council took the view that doctors are the best people to discipline other doctors. Dally observed that there is a close relationship between the GMC and the Privy Council (who hear appeals against GMC decisions) – they hand out honours to each other.

In one of Ann’s hearings, William Gage was the lead barrister who was engaged by Calderon. Ann didn’t take to Gage and told Neil Taylor QC – Counsel who was also advising – that she felt uncomfortable with him. She was told by Taylor that it wasn’t Gage’s job to make her feel at ease, he was there ‘to get you off’ and that he was good at getting clients off. Gage is now Sir William Gage. He became the presiding judge of the South Eastern Circuit, then a High Court judge in 1993 and then a Lord Justice of Appeal in 2004. Gage Chaired the Public Inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa.

After Dally lost her appeal, the MDU paid for the opinion of Anthony Lester QC, who specialised in European law, with a view to taking the case to the Court of Human Rights, although Dally didn’t end up following this course of action.

At one point the MDU instructed Anthony Johnston of Beachcrofts to act for Dally.

 

Dr David Marjot acted as an expert witness for Dally. Dally describes Marjot as a critic of the drugs dependency establishment who ran a DDU clinic himself. Dally stated that he was the only such doctor in London who was in such a position and that he too had suffered after ‘speaking out’. Marjot was one of the few doctors who held a heroin licence. Between 1976-93, he was consultant psychiatrist for the Regional Alcohol and DDU at Ealing. He was visiting consultant psychiatrist for Wormwood Scrubs, 1976-99 and locum forensic psychiatrist for Broadmoor, 1994-96. Yes, another one who stood and watched as Savile did his worst… In 2014 David Marjot wrote a very angry letter into the BMJ concerning the case of a surgeon who had been in front of the GMC for shouting and swearing at colleagues. Marjot had penned a blistering attack on the GMC, quoting the Francis Report into the Mid-Staffs scandal, reminding everyone that even in that case, the failings had been institutional rather than personal. Whilst I would agree with Marjot that staff working in the NHS can be seriously hampered by a foolish managerial regime in which an obsession with targets is pursued at all costs, that cannot always excuse what happens in the NHS and it didn’t excuse what happened at Mid-Staffs. By the way Marjot – when you were working at Broadmoor, the crazy regime of targets was not in place. But that didn’t stop Savile and others grossly abusing the patients – and it wasn’t targets that bought your silence on the matter.

After Dally was prevented from prescribing, a Dr Colin Brewer took over many of her patients. Dally described Brewer as a man who had ‘had a change of heart’ and had converted to her way of thinking. He certainly did. Brewer didn’t just open one clinic to prescribe for addicts on a private basis, he opened several – and then expanded rapidly. Brewer was a roaring success until 2006 when he was struck off by the GMC for inappropriate drug prescribing. His clinic – the Stapleford Addiction Clinic, based in Belgravia – was described as a ‘drugs grocery’ and his patients included Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty. A consequence of the ‘inappropriate prescribing’ which saw Brewer struck off was the death of a patient. The patient had been sent home with a DIY detox kit containing 16 different drugs, including a heroin substitute. Colin Brewer has found a new way of earning a few quid since he was struck off. He now carries out ‘assessments’ for Dignitas. The Daily Mail have taken an interest in Colin Brewer and revealed that he has ‘helped’ at least twelve people to die by saying the right things in his assessments for Dignitas. A lot of those people were not terminally ill. When challenged, Brewer said that because he was no longer on the Register ‘no-one can tell me what to do’. An undercover journalist posed as a thirty-five year old woman with mental health problems and Brewer was prepared to recommend her for the chop as well.

When asked about the activities of Colin Brewer, our esteemed DPP Alison Saunders stated that the CPS was less likely to prosecute doctors assisting in deaths of patients who were not under their direct care – critics say that Brewer exploited this.

 

So who were the Top Doctors who sat in judgement over Ann Dally and who found her wanting but didn’t actually put her out of business, even when she continued to prescribe controlled drugs after she was barred by the GMC? I have mentioned that one was Sir Henry Yellowlees.

Another was the President of the GMC at the time, Sir (later Lord) John Walton. Walton was a neurologist who held every big job in medicine. He was President of the BMA 1980-82; President of the GMC 1982-89; President of the Royal Society of Medicine 1984-86.  He was knighted in 1979 and after his distinguished stint at the GMC – during which all those very serious complaints about Dafydd were not acted upon, even the one that involved a death – Walton picked up his peerage in 1989. So how did this lethal old bastard climb to the top?

Walton qualified at Newcastle Medical School, when it was still part of Durham University. In 1959 he was appointed consultant neurologist at the University of Newcastle Hospitals and in 1968 he was awarded a Chair in neurology at Newcastle. Walton was a specialist in muscular dystrophy. In 1971 he became Dean of the Medicine at Newcastle, a post he retained until 1981. He also sat on various hospital management committees. In 1983 he was appointed Warden of Green College, Oxford.

Walton was Vice-President of the World Federation of Neurology in 1981 and then President, 1989-97. He was President of the Association for British Neurology, 1987-88.

Walton arrived in the Lords whilst the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill was passing through Parliament, which allowed experiments on embryos for up to 14 days after fertilisation. Walton supported the Bill and Lord Stallard (Jock Stallard, a former Labour MP) was so opposed to it that he tried to prevent Walton becoming Chair of the Medical Ethics Select Committee. Stallard failed in this – well Walton was a Top Doctor wasn’t he, of course he would be the best choice where ethics were concerned. Walton also remained loyal to his old medical school once he arrived in the Lords – he used his position to gain GMC approval for Newcastle’s development of a medical school in Malaysia and much more recently he secured Parliamentary approval for Newcastle’s work on mitochondrial research (that’s the really controversial work that a lot of people are very worried about). In 2014 Newcastle University opened the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre.

Walton remained a very influential figure in the north east and was made Freeman of the City of Newcastle.

I suspect that Walton occupying that Chair of the Ethics Committee may have caused a great deal of damage. As I am fairly certain did Walton himself for many years. Walton came from NEWCASTLE – Dr Neil Davies and Prof Bob Woods who colluded with the wrongdoing in north Wales were both working at Newcastle before they arrived to work in the mental health services in north Wales. The Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal happened on Walton’s old patch – which provided such a useful muddying of the waters where organised child sexual abuse was concerned just when some of us were trying to draw attention to the wrongdoing in north Wales.

There is one position that Walton held which is completely inconsistent with his whole career. Between 2012-15 he was President of the Association of the College of Occupational Therapists. Apart from Alison Taylor the Gwynedd social worker who was sacked by her boss Lucille Hughes – Dafydd’s mistress – back in the late 1980s, there has only ever been one whistleblower in Gwynedd. That was a senior occupational therapist at the Hergest Unit, who for years blew and blew and blew. Although he undoubtedly saved a few lives by actually looking after his patients, this man’s grave concerns were ignored. The small team of occupational therapists working with him were all excellent as well. The whistleblower was sent to Coventry by virtually the whole hospital and retired a few years ago – after he retired, every one of his colleagues was hounded out. This man was offered a job to build up occupational therapy as a discipline in the School of Healthcare Sciences at Bangor University but turned it down because of the bad practice that he knew was prevalent in that School. The job was instead taken by a Louise Ingham, who had previously worked as an occupational therapist for mental health patients in the community in Gwynedd. Who knows exactly how dangerous and corrupt the mental health services in north Wales are and who neglected her own patients shockingly – I witnessed one case of this myself.

So who on earth invited John Walton to preside over the occupational therapists at a national level?

One of the members of one of the GMC panels before whom Dally appeared was Dr Betty Tylden. Betty Tylden had worked under William Sargant at Tommy’s – as had Ann’s husband. Tylden’s expertise was in addiction – and child abuse, cults and mind control.

The hearing of the GMC into Dally’s conduct that occurred as a result of her continuing to prescribe controlled drugs after the GMC had barred her from doing this was Chaired by Professor Robert Duthie. Duthie was an orthopaedic surgeon from Oxford. In 1971 he had acted as an advisor to the DHSS. He was also a member of the Royal Commission on Civil Liability and Personal Injury. Duthie was President of the British Orthopaedic Association in 1984. So he’ll have known the corrupt Medical Ombudsman for Wales Professor Robert Owen, who concealed the wrongdoing of Dafydd et al in the late 1980s – Owen was Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Liverpool University.

On the panel alongside Robert Duthie was Professor Rhilip Rhodes, an obstetrician. Ann Dally had been friends with him when she worked in obstetrics at Tommy’s.

 

As for the ‘drugs dependency establishment’ whom Dally loathed and who opposed her, a leading light among them was Dr Thomas Bewley, whom I mentioned earlier – the man whom many years later admitted that none of them actually knew what they were doing.

Bewley sat on a lot of Committees, he particularly enjoyed doing that. He was the first sub-dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the second Dean, the fifth President, 1984-87 and a member of the Council until 1996.

Bewley had an interesting early career. He was from Dublin and qualified there – his was from a well-known family who founded a small Quaker hospital, Bloomfield and both his father and grandfather ran that. Bewley came to Britain as a young man and took up psychiatry but was repeatedly rejected for training at the Maudsley. He was finally accepted on his fourth application. Bewley stated that he didn’t want to train at Tommy’s because he feared being damaged by William Sargant. In the 1950s Bewley completed his MD thesis at the Maudsley on alcoholism. He then spent time working in psychoanalysis in the US. He returned to run Tooting Bec Hospital (the hospital which so appalled Ann Dally when she was young), where he became a consultant. Bewley went to Tooting Bec because ‘they took people who couldn’t get in anywhere’ – he had difficulty getting a job because he had left the Maudsley ‘prematurely’ and his qualifications were Irish.

Bewley began treating heroin addicts and published in the Lancet. He ‘knew little, but more than everyone else’. Despite this career which involved being almost unemployable and not knowing his arse from his elbow, in a 2007 interview with the British Journal of Psychiatry Bulletin, Thomas Bewley observed that ‘one of the advantages of having an index-linked psychiatrists pension is we can go to the opera as often as we like’. Whilst you ignore a nutter in north Wales who is a colleague of yours who participates in organised crime.

Thomas Bewley’s wife is Dame Beulah Bewley, an epidemiologist. Beulah Bewley was a member of the GMC for a number of years. In fact she was a member of the GMC when her husband reported Ann Dally to them. Beulah Bewley was a Woman In Medicine and even wrote a book about this after she retired. She had been the President of the Women’s Medical Federation on the GMC and was also the treasurer. Despite advertising her credentials as a Woman, Beulah never managed to reign in Dafydd during her time on the GMC as he shagged and sexually harassed his way around north Wales. Beulah boasts of having met many Top People during her career, rubbing shoulders with Royalty as well as Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor – yeh, well that makes sense, her husband ran a drugs and alcohol clinic.

Someone else who opposed Dally was Professor Robert Priest, honorary consultant at St Mary’s Hospital and one time Chairman of the BMA.

Dr Philip Connell was another Top Doctor with whom Dally clashed. Connell was the first person to identify amphetamine psychosis. Connell liked sitting on Committees even more than Thomas Bewley, Connell sat on just about everything possible, particularly in the field of addiction.

Connell was a Barts graduate who did his postgrad training at the Maudsley. In 1959 he was appointed consultant for developing a children’s and adolescent service at Newcastle General Hospital, in association with Durham University. Six years later he returned to the Maudsley as a consultant where he remained until his retirement in 1986. Connell was a member of Baroness Wootton’s Committee On The Use Of Cannabis; Chair of the Advisory Council On The Misuse of Drugs, 1982-88; Vice-President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists; and a member of the GMC – the Preliminary Screener for Health Procedures. Connell will have known Dafydd then – Dafydd famously claimed to suffer from a ‘nervous illness’ which was used as the excuse when he did something really deranged which couldn’t be concealed in the usual manner.

In the Indie’s obituary of Connell, it was observed that he had ‘an addiction for power and influence in medical organisations, especially those which had an interface with the public and legal affairs’, that ‘his efforts to gain and utilise power were based on self-interest’, that he ‘could be quite boastful’, that he had a ‘tough and barbed exterior’ and that he ‘enjoyed mingling with the great and good’.

Obituaries usually highlight the nicest aspects of people, so I can only presume that Philip Connell was as obnoxious as they come.

Dr John Strang was someone else who did not approve of Ann Dally. Strang led the drug addiction group at the Maudsley for many years. Then he was the Director of the National Addiction Centre; the Head of the Addictions Dept at Kings College London and the Leader of the Addiction Clinical Academic Group of Kings Health Partners.

 

All these Top Doctors who opposed Ann Dally will have known that Dafydd was building up a drugs empire in north Wales. At one point in the 1980s this lot even held a conference in Llandudno, which was the heart of Dafydd’s drugs and nursing homes empire. So whilst they quaffed and supped, just down the road the residents of Holyrood House were being beaten to a pulp and throughout the region the paedophiles were busy.

 

There was one Top Doctor whom Dally spoke of approvingly, a man who Knows How It Is because he was an ex-addict himself. That man was Dr Brian Wells.

Life has certainly been good to Dr Brian Wells. He now runs a company called Leading Healthcare International (LHCI), which describes itself as ‘bespoke’, ‘discreet’ and operating by ‘word of mouth’. He set up LHCI in 2002 to provide ‘facilities for patients and families on a global basis’. Brian Wells is also listed at three different London facilities on the BUPA website. But Brian has another website as well – this advertises The Cabin at Chiang Mai in Thailand. Wells is Group Medical Director at The Cabin Addiction Services Group. He explains that his career has been ‘varied’ and that among other things he was the ‘tour doctor’ to a ‘number of well-known artists in the entertainment industry’. The Cabin’s contact details are in Thailand and the website advertises counsellors, mindfulness and meditation. Wells claims that The Cabin uses CBT, the 12 Steps programme and Mindfulness. The Cabin has a ‘partner office’ in the Netherlands and outpatient centres across the globe, including in Bangkok. Although The Cabin is principally concerned with drugs and alcohol addiction, the accompanying blog explains that The Cabin now offers help for porn addiction at the Chiang Mai centre. Presumably Dr Brian will arrange for a few ladyboys to pop over from the Bangkok branch to assist with the therapy.

Brian Wells actually has the letters FRCPsych after his name. He has the official stamp of approval.

Brian was the Medical Director of the main refugee camp during the Cambodian relief operation of 1979/80. He then returned to the UK. He worked at the Maudsley as a consultant psych and set up the largest NHS substance misuse service in the UK, including SHARP, a ‘charitable intensive day-programme’, as well as the Centre for Research on Drugs and Health Behaviour at Imperial. Dr Wells was also the Medical Director of the then Riverside Mental Health NHS Trust, Central London.

Wells has been clinical advisor to a number of international organisations, including health insurance companies and the GMC.

So has anyone rung the drug squad yet to discuss Dr Wells’s business activities with them?

 

I need to mention one more Top Doctor who receives a passing reference in Dally’s book. That is Dr Dorothy Black, who worked in the Drugs Dept of the DHSS in the 1980s. Like Dr Pamela Mason, a Top Doctor in the employment of Thatcher’s Gov’t whilst this chaos was happening. Dorothy Black’s name cropped up in 1984, in the wake of a truly damning report into Kendall House, a home for ‘girls with problems’ which was run by the Church of England’s Council for Social Responsibility in Gravesend, Kent. The ‘girls with problems’ – what’s the betting that the problem that most of them had was that they had been molested and wouldn’t shut up about it? – were being forcibly injected by a Top Doctor – describing himself interestingly as a ‘psychotherapist’ –  with huge doses of anti-psychotics, although none of the girls had diagnoses of mental illness. A TV programme was screened about the Kendall House in 1980 but no action at all was taken. It was only in the wake of the report in 1984 that Dorothy Black felt obliged to comment, stating that she was ‘extremely concerned’ about the ‘storage, monitoring and administration of psychotropic drugs’. In 1986 Kendall House was closed. Many of the girls who were resident there later gave birth to babies with various disabilities – the incidence of birth defects among these babies was so high that many believed there was a link to the huge doses of drugs that the mothers of the babies had been given when they were teenagers at Kendall House.

This sort of mistreatment of young people who dared allege that they had been sexually abused was absolutely routine throughout the 70, 80s and 90s. Everybody who worked in the field knew that it was going on – and huge numbers of the people involved are now employed at the highest levels in the UK’s health and welfare services.

 

This post has described the idiocy, the lack of integrity and the craziness of many of the people occupying senior positions in the mental health services in the 1980s.

As for the confusion and dilemmas involved in how to approach the problem that was Ann Dally, with the MDU, the GMC, Top Doctors and various lawyers and the Law Lords all bouncing the problem back and forth between them – I rather suspect that this was a result of Princess Margaret’s dealer being placed under investigation by the police. No-one knew what the hell to do so everyone started hitting each other – no wonder Dally wasn’t ever actually struck off. I also suspect that there was corruption in the Home Office Drugs Branch and the DHSS – it would explain why Dally was actively friends with some of the Inspectors and why John Lawson the Senior Inspector who was a soft touch was transferred to cover Wales. Anyone for a War On Drugs?

Thoughout it all, Dafydd conducted business as normal. Supplying boys to the Westminster Paedophile Ring leaves one even more untouchable than being the purveyor of recreational chemicals to the Royals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

News Round Up, 13 October 2017

A case from Wales has been in the London-based media this week. A gay father from south Wales – Matthew Scully-Hicks – is standing trial at Cardiff Crown Court charged with the murder of the baby girl Elsie whom he and his partner had adopted just a few weeks before she died. The Court has heard how Scully-Hicks was completely unable to cope with looking after the baby, described her as ‘Satan in a baby gro’ and screamed and shouted in frustration at her. Scully-Hicks’s partner however claimed that their house ‘was full of love’ – I think that perhaps the Vale of Glamorgan Social Services who allowed Scully-Hicks to adopt Elsie might have some explaining to do.

 

Politicians and child sexual abuse have taken up much news time over the past few days, particularly as the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has been hearing evidence about former Liberal MP for Rochdale Cyril Smith. It was reported that for many years prosecutors were lying when they made public statements maintaining that they didn’t know about the allegations of sex offences against children involving Cyril Smith – prosecutors knew that there had been numerous complaints against Smith and he was even arrested on at least one occasion but was allowed to quietly walk away without charge. The Inquiry heard that Smith used his ‘respectability’ to protect himself from prosecution or public exposure. The DPP Alison Saunders popped up on Radio 4’s Today programme to reassure us all that nothing like this could ever happen these days – of course Smith would be prosecuted today because the ‘systems’ have improved so much. That explains why not only was Lord Greville Janner never prosecuted despite many allegations that he sexually abused children, but that Alison Saunders herself admitted that he should have been charged back in the 1990s. She was unable to explain why he wasn’t. Janner famously was eventually ordered to face a ‘trial of the facts’ – he could not actually be tried for the alleged offences because his lawyers submitted medical evidence that he was suffering from dementia. This evidence was challenged, but the CPS accepted it. Janner never did face a trial of the facts because the whole process took so long that he died before anyone got within a whiff of a trial of the facts. Alison Saunders was DPP at the time. For further background on Alison and her dedication to improving systems, see post ‘Sisters Are Indeed Doing It For Themselves…’.

Just to reinforce how much systems have changed, following the release of Operation Conifer’s report into the allegations that Ted Heath abused male children, supporters of Ted are demanding a judicial review of Operation Conifer as well as the blood of Mike Veale – the Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police who led Operation Conifer – for supposedly besmirching Heath’s reputation. Heath’s fan club are fuming because one of the men who claimed that Ted Heath raped him as a child is ‘a paedophile serving a prison sentence for a sex offence who confessed to a murder that he hadn’t committed’. He is therefore an ‘evil’ ‘fantasist’ who cannot be believed, whereas Ted Heath was a respectable politician.

No-one has felt able to mention that not only does being sexually assaulted as a child often lead to huge confusion and distress in adult life, but some – although by no means all – kids who are molested go on to sexually abuse other children. What leaps out at me however is that the man making the allegations against Heath confessed to a murder that he hadn’t committed – what if he also confessed to a sexual assault on a child that he hadn’t committed and that’s why he’s sitting in prison at the moment? Furthermore, we know nothing about the circumstances in which he confessed to a murder that he hadn’t committed – was he, like the Birmingham Six, beaten to a pulp by the police until he confessed? Was he being ironic after being accused of committing a very serious offence that he obviously hadn’t committed? Did he even confess to the POLICE to this murder? He could have been larking around with his mates in terms of ‘ooh there’s been a murder’ – ‘yeh, I know, I done it’ sort of thing. We have so little information about the man who alleges that Heath raped him that no conclusions can be drawn at all, let along a conclusion that he is an ‘evil fantasist’. I can only remind Heath’s supporters that one problem noted during the various investigations into the abuse of children in care in north Wales was that by the time that anyone began investigating, the former children had grown up and many had led very troubled lives. They weren’t Peter Pan – at the time that they gave evidence they were adult men and many of them had criminal convictions, drug and alcohol problems. (They had complained whilst they were children but had been ignored by everyone but the whistle blowing social worker Alison Taylor who was sacked.) Which is what tends to happen to teenaged boys who spend years in places like Bryn Estyn where they are beaten and buggered daily. It results in no-one believing them, which is particularly convenient when the whole of north Wales wants to delude themselves that the ‘children’s services’ really weren’t as bad as some people are making out and no-one knew  anything anyway.

 

Mail Online reported that 15 year old Robyn Lewis Ellson from north Wales died after Alder Hey Children’s Hospital gave her a toxic combination of medication during treatment for leukaemia. The Top Doctors admitted that it should never have happened and apologised to Robyn’s family. It won’t happen again they have reassured everyone. Toxic combinations of drugs are actually quite a common occurrence in the NHS – I was prescribed such a combination myself by Dr Richard Tranter at the Hergest Unit, but I didn’t take it which probably saved my life. Tranter is a psychopharmacologist. If he’s prescribing lethal combinations of drugs in the face of warnings published about those combinations, the problem will be widespread – but the patients are not usually in a position to know that it’s happening.

Radio 4 reported that the  CQC have blamed the now undeniable NHS crisis on the rising number of elderly patients and levels of obesity. So as with most things NHS, it’s the patients fault – they’re all too fat and old. A CQC spokesman arrived on the Today programme talking cobblers. He stated that because people are living so much longer, the cost of the NHS caring for them throughout their older years was enormous. Older people do not actually drain the NHS of resources in the way suggested. People are now experiencing much better health in their older years than a couple of generations ago. The huge cost is usually encountered only in the final 18-24 months of someone’s life, when multiple health problems frequently occur. That can happen when someone is in their 90s or, if they are less fortunate, in their early 70s. People don’t hit retirement age and then spend 30 years utterly decrepit, occupying a hospital bed on life support. Furthermore of course, in the case of many elderly people who are very frail, the final nail in the coffin is often an admission to hospital for a routine problem which is then dealt with appallingly.

The man from the CQC did stress that most NHS care is still ‘excellent’. Of course – there’d be no problem at all if it weren’t for all these fat old gits demanding a service from the Top Doctors and Angels.

 

There has been widespread derision from those on the left at Theresa May’s plan to train one million volunteers in ‘mental health first aid’ – although the likes of MIND have been vigorously promoting these ‘courses’ for ages. The Gov’t has stated that they will probably be online courses and the estimated cost is £15 million. Public Health England will consult on how the courses will be run and taught – that’s the Public Health England that is part of the system that has led to the current dire state of affairs. Theresa has of course used the stigma discourse – the mental health first aiders will be ‘fighting the stigma’. Theresa has been accused of wanting to replace mental health professionals with members of the general public after spending 15 quid on training each of them. I have always been very rude about the idea of ‘mental health first aid’ because it cannot possibly address the problems of people with severe and enduring mental illness – it’s the sort of thing that people might find useful to reassure a friend who is anxious or mildly stressed. If you’ve been clobbered with a psychotic illness or are so clinically depressed that you can’t talk or get out of bed, ‘mental health first aid’ is not going to do much for you. It will also possibly decrease understanding of seriously ill people and increase the levels of dear old stigma – if someone’s had mental health first aid applied and they’re still not back in full-time work or have topped themselves, it just goes to show that it was their fault and that there was probably something wrong with them.

On the other hand, mental health professionals are doing such a bad job that I’m not surprised that Theresa May has decided that she doesn’t want to waste anymore money on training and employing the sort of ones that we have at the moment. As I have mentioned many times, it is mental health professionals who have the most stigmatising attitudes to people with mental health problems -members of the general public are often very understanding, unless of course an Angel or a Top Doctor has been whispering sweet nothings in their ear about Dangerous Mental Patients.

After yet more ‘fighting stigma’ talk, I was interested to note the fulfilment of a prediction that I made on the blog a few days ago in my comments section, regarding the ‘research’ that Radio Five Live had ‘carried out’ among ‘nurses’, which ‘proved’ that the level of attacks on Angels by mental health patients were rocketing as a result of The Cuts. Radio Five Live did not mention their methodology, the way in which they analysed their results or even how many Angels that they interviewed, let alone how they selected those Angels. Neither did they explain the statistics behind the % increase in assaults that the Angels claimed was occurring or from which date they had calculated the alleged % increase – it was so obviously a figure plucked out of thin air.

As if on cue, the next day a Labour MP – an MP with a remit for disability as well – spoke up in Parliament about the ‘research’ that ‘proved’ that attacks on ‘staff’ by ‘psychiatric patients’ were increasing. Anyone for fighting stigma? Ironically on the same day in Parliament, Chris Bryant – a Labour MP for one of the constituencies in the south Wales valleys – very effectively ripped apart Theresa May’s laughable website of unanalysed statistics which she believes will help fight injustice against ethnic minority groups. Bryant made the point that there is a difference between correlation and causation – he quipped that when Thatcher was voted out, Marathon bars were renamed Snickers, but it probably wasn’t that which was responsible for Thatcher’s comeuppance. I am hoping that Mr Bryant will have a word with whichever dickwit Jezza has appointed disability spokesperson – even if ‘attacks’ on Angels by psychiatric patients are increasing (and I very much doubt that they are and Radio Five Live has certainly proved no such thing), it cannot be assumed that it is a result of The Cuts. Particularly as there haven’t been any Cuts – the Tories haven’t dared implement The Cuts much as they’d like to, because of the wailing and the gnashing of teeth that they know will follow. What has happened is that the dosh that has been given to the NHS for mental health services has been spent on other things. It is the NHS that has done this, not the Tories. The NHS really is not very nice to mental health patients, it certainly doesn’t spend money on them. The NHS spends money on PFI agreements, on expensive carpets for executives offices, on management consultants as well as on enormous salaries for its own managers, on machines that go ping, on expensive lawyers to fight patients whom the NHS has maimed or damaged, on away days and training, but it definitely doesn’t spend money on mental health patients.

The fuckwittery has been taken up by the Angels employed by the Betsi – who’s mental health services are so bad that they have landed the Health Board in special measures. The Daily Post Online ran a huge feature about an Angel who works as a psychiatric nurse for the Betsi. The unidentified Angel maintains that ‘every nurse’ whom she knows ‘has been attacked’. Well as the Betsi believe that a distressed or psychotic patient swearing in the presence of an Angel – not even AT an Angel – constitutes an ‘attack’ (it counts as a ‘verbal assault’) it is hardly surprising that ‘every’ Angel has been attacked. I can absolutely guarantee that very few Angels have been physically assaulted by a mental health patient – despite the crude stereotypes that the NHS likes to promote when it is asking the Gov’t for more money, physical assaults on staff by patients are unusual and when they do happen are more likely to come from drunks than mental health patients. However certainly at the Hergest Unit there have been a number of complaints from patients of assaults on them by Angels – I was assaulted myself by four Angels in the Hergest Unit. My complaint was not investigated by the Hergest let alone the police – and evidence was destroyed. I know of other patients who were assaulted by staff in the Hergest or who witnessed other patients being assaulted by staff. One male patient told me that he witnessed male Angels in the Hergest employing every excuse possible to ‘restrain’ one particular female patient and using this as an excuse to grope her.

The Angel interviewed by the Daily Post Online talks about the dreadful standard of the mental health services at the Betsi and how it is all the managers’ fault. She mentions that she has worked there for a long time and refers to the Tawel Fan scandal to illustrate her points regarding the dreadful service. The mental health service in north Wales is dreadful, it has been dreadful for decades – so that particular Angel has been part of the problem. The managers are indeed shite – many of those managers are promoted Angels themselves and they too have been there decades. The buck stops with this lot. They cannot blame anyone but themselves for the mess, the deaths, the litigation and the Ombudsman’s damning reports. The Top Doctors and Angels hounded out Mary Burrows, the CEO from outside of the region, who tried very hard to improve matters. The current Chair of the Betsi, Dr Peter Higson, is a former clinical psychologist who grew up in north Wales, who trained in north Wales, who worked as a psychologist in north Wales and who then managed the mental health services in north Wales. Higson’s sister Ruth Hussey was until recently Chief Medical Officer for Wales – she ignored what was going on as well. Martin Jones, the Director of Workforce for the Betsi, comes from Anglesey, went to school on Anglesey, went to Bangor University and then began his working life as an office boy in Ysbyty Gwynedd. (It is rumoured that he failed accountancy exams at some point, but I haven’t seen concrete evidence of that.) Craig Barton, the Director of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, came from north Wales, went to Bangor University, became an NHS manager in north Wales and was previously a manager of the Hergest Unit. You couldn’t get much more local than this collection of local talent. And what a mess they have made. To quote from the mad mother in the horror film ‘Carrie’ – ‘the Devil has come to his own’.

As for Tawel Fan – no Angel was attacked by anyone. That ward was shut down because the Angels were abusing the patients. The only Angel who was disciplined was the real Angel who recorded what was going on in that ward and blew the whistle – she was arrested, received death threats, faced disciplinary action from the NMC and lost her job. The other Angels were transferred to another mental health unit. Where there was another scandal involving the abuse of patients shortly after they arrived. To my knowledge, no-one has been sacked, although the Angels concerned were refusing to co-operate with an external investigation.

The Angel in the Daily Post mentions that UNISON is supporting their campaign. UNISON and its predecessor COHSE have a long and glorious history of concealing misconduct and malpractice on the part of their members and of conjuring up images of violent nutters attempting to murder Angels when they’re about to submit a pay claim. The former General Secretary of COHSE was David Williams, an Angel from north Wales who trained and worked at the North Wales Hospital when patients died after being lobotomised, when they were physically and sexually abused by staff and when the staff of that hospital concealed organised child sexual abuse (see post ‘A Very COHSE Relationship With Some Very Nasty People’).

The abusive Angels of the Betsi have the full support of the North Wales Community Health Council – the Chief Exec of the CHC has spoken to the Post himself and backed up the Angels. This is the CHC that ignored at least two very serious complaints about abuse and neglect in the north Wales mental health services. The CHC that numbers among its past and present members Top Doctors from north Wales, including a retired psychiatrist from the Hergest Unit, Dr Sadie Francis and a retired surgeon from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Christine Evans. One member of the CHC is married to a member of the Betsi Board and another former member is Glanville Owen. Glanville was the Deputy Director of Gwynedd Social Services responsible for children’s homes whilst a paedophile ring raged in those children’s homes (see post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’).The highest profile member of the North Wales CHC however is one Eleanor Burnham.

Eleanor was a Lib Dem AM for North Wales, 2001-2011, before the electorate decided that they’d had a bellyful of her and voted her out. Eleanor was born in Wrexham and her early career was in social services management. She sat as a Wrexham Magistrate and also on Mental Health Review Tribunals for the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. She competed in and won prizes at the International Eisteddfod Llangollen.

The children’s homes in north Wales where children were abused were run by the social services. The homes with the biggest problem of sexual abuse were near Wrexham. The abuse of children in those homes went back decades. The abuse was so extensive that the homes were functioning as child brothels. Boys who complained of being abused were stitched up for crimes in the local Magistrates Courts. The North Wales Hospital detained patients unlawfully and also detained people who complained of being abused by psychiatrists, social workers or in the children’s homes. A number of people involved with concealing the abuse in the children’s homes were involved with the International Eisteddfod. Sir Ronnie Waterhouse, the judge who carried out the biggest cover-up, was President of the International Eisteddfod.

Eleanor’s biography has disappeared from the Lib Dems website. I cannot imagine why.

Some years ago I attended a meeting of the Court at Bangor University when Eleanor Burnham was in the audience. I don’t know what precipitated it, but during the meeting Eleanor Burnham became very angry, stood up and started shouting and yelling at the Vice Chancellor and the Chancellor. She hurled comments about everyone being MEN and shrieked ‘do you have any women on the University Council?’ Instead of replying ‘we’ve got loads you dipstick, take a look at the list of members’, they simply commented ‘yes there are women on the Council’. It wasn’t enough for Eleanor – she continued yelling and eventually the Vice Chancellor quipped that he’d attended the first Women’s Liberation conference in Oxford (which was true – I don’t think that Eleanor was there though, she’d have been far too busy assisting the paedophiles of north Wales). At which point Eleanor screamed ‘and look what happened to you’ and stormed out of the room.

Christ almighty Eleanor, look what happened to YOU – you’ve got what must be the most shameful CV in Wales and you ended up in the Senedd and now you’re on the CHC, no wonder there’s problems, you shouldn’t even be walking the streets a free woman.

Eleanor lists one of her interests as being ‘social inclusion’.

 

The Daily Post Online also reported that Ernest Marjerison, an elderly man who was admitted to the Wrexham Maelor Hospital with a fractured hip, died after a feeding tube was inserted into his lung. Coroner John Gittins carried out the inquest in Ruthin. No, there was not a verdict of murder returned or manslaughter or even gross negligence…

 

Daily Post Online reported an enormous row over the alleged oppression of Welsh speaking police officers in north Wales. I have no idea whether there is discrimination against them within the North Wales Police, but I was interested to see that Arfon Jones the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner came to the rescue, pledging to ‘support the language’. When Arfon was a police constable he was the man who chauffeured the senior officer Gordon Anglesea to the venues in which Anglesea molested boys in care. In his capacity as Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon was responsible for an ‘oversight’ that resulted in Anglesea’s widow receiving a police pension, although her husband died in prison a convicted child abuser. Another well-known defender of the Welsh language was former Assistant Chief Constable Elfed Roberts, who later became Chair of the disastrous North West Wales NHS Trust and had me arrested because I had pink hair, had called his car a penismobile and he was fed up of my complaints about the mental health services (see post ‘After The Attempt To Frame Me…’). A friend of mine was told by the dreadful Trystan Pritchard  – a former NHS manager in north Wales and now Chief Exec of St David’s Hospice – that he really admired Elfed because he had ‘done so much for the language’ in the NHS. The former Chief Constable of the North Wales Police Richard Brunstrom was also enthusiastic about the language. He learnt Welsh to a very high standard, became a member of the Gorsedd of the Bards and Wales’s national poet penned a tribute to him. Elfed Roberts really hated Mr Brunstrom, in fact Elfed Roberts fed stories to the Daily Mail about how everyone else hated Mr Brunstrom as well and how important it was that Mr Brunstrom should Go. It was Elfed who coined the description of Richard Brunstrom as ‘the mad mullah of the traffic Taliban’ – not of course that Elfed was at all bigoted, ignorant or held crude stereotypes of people who lived in Foreign Parts. Elfed Roberts left the North Wales Police himself after what was described to me as ‘a conversation about the privileges and perks that Elfed seemed to be enjoying’. Other people told me that Mr Brunstrom ‘kicked Elfed out for corruption’. The Daily Mail didn’t report that.

Arfon Jones recently signed a document of solidarity with the protesters in Catalonia.

 

A well-known and popular homeless man of Llandudno was found dead after going missing for days. He was being ‘supported’ by ARC – an organisation previously featured on this blog after winning an award from the paedophiles’ friend Arfon Jones. Nicola Jones the Coroner stressed that his death had ‘nothing to do’ with his homelessness – it could have happened to any of us. Except that it didn’t, it happened to the homeless man, in the same way that so many deaths in north Wales that Coroners rule to be completely unrelated to the appalling neglect of the local mental health services keep happening to people with mental health problems.

Police in North Wales tasered and nearly killed a man whom was ‘thought’ to be carrying a knife. The incident ie. near murder, was referred to the IPCC who have now cleared the North Wales Police. I note that it was not confirmed that the man who was nearly killed HAD been carrying a knife – just that it was ‘reported’ that he ‘had been seen’ with a large knife. Had the man actually been carrying the knife as reported, I’m fairly sure that this would have been stressed. So the police very nearly killed an innocent man and have now been given a clean bill of health by the IPCC. Years ago in England police shot dead man after a member of the public reported seeing him walking down the street carrying a shotgun- the shotgun that was spotted had actually been a chair leg…

 

The  crisis of austerity is really beginning to bite in Wales. Councils in Wales have been told by Carwyn Jones that the Welsh Gov’t is so short of money after limited settlements from Westminster that if the NHS in Wales receives yet more money the Councils will have to make drastic cuts. The Councils are squealing loudly about the prospect of closing down all non-essential services and still not having enough money to run schools. One Council leader has entertainingly lectured the NHS and told them that they could learn good money management from Councils, because of course Councils never spend their money in the manner of a drunken sailor themselves and the Councillors have never fiddled their expenses or indulged in misconduct. Not even those on Anglesey, one of whom inexplicably became very rich indeed and then went to prison.

I think that the NHS must be following a plan to give the Councillors ammunition, because days after the Councillors declared war on the NHS – the scammers in these ‘services’ had previously enjoyed very cosy relationships, particularly where screwing money out of the Welsh Gov’t for causes like CAIS had been concerned – a report stated that the Betsi doesn’t know what to do with itself because it had planned a £25 million overspend but now it realises that the overspend will be £50 million instead.

How exactly does one ‘plan’ for an overspend of 25 million and expect to be taken seriously???

Days later, a local people held a protest outside of a meeting of the Betsi Board about the lack of GP services in Wrexham.

 

Both the London-based media and the Welsh media have reported so many NHS cock-ups leading to fatalities that I haven’t got the scope to cover them all on the blog. A teenaged boy in south Wales hung himself after being refused help for mental health problems and scores of Top Doctors from England have ended up in hot water for various matters, including domestic violence as well as the standard catalogue of neglect and misconduct.

 

This morning Guardian Online has published an article by Gaby Hinsliffe praising Baroness Jean Trumpington on feminist grounds. The article maintains that Trumpers would have known how to deal with Harvey Weinstein. One of the many comments that follows my post ‘Wheels Within Wheels Or Flies Drawn To The Same Incestuously Corrupt Shithouse?’ outlines how Trumpers also knew a great deal about the abuse of children and mental health patients by the state, but Trumpers said nothing. Trumpers was also a big supporter of Jeremy Thorpe – although ironically she hated poofs. The high spot of Trumpers’ career came when she was Under-Secretary of State at the DHSS in 1987 – it was Trumpers who appointed Jimmy Savile to the Management Board of Broadmoor. Somehow Trumpers’ name has been completely kept out of the Savile business – Edwina Currie and Ken Clarke took the flack, but dear old Trumpers  was the one who did the dirty deed.

Trumpers et al ‘not knowing’ about Savile and all the associated shit is a pretty similar phenomenon to the current denouncing of Harvey Weinstein. It was explained on the radio that although Angela Jolie ‘knew about Weinstein’ (as indeed did everyone who worked with him), she couldn’t speak out because of the ‘stage of her career’ and the ‘place where she was’ when she found out what he was up to. Could that stage in her career and place where she was possibly have been realising that if one had sex with Weinstein, one’s career would go a very long way indeed? And that one could even end up as a Professor of Practice at the LSE without needing any qualifications at all? Or as an Ambassador for Women with the UN?

 

 

No Ordinary Methods – Supplementary Post

My post ‘No Ordinary Methods’ detailed some of the practices and connections of George Carman – and how so many parts of his life and career touched on those who concealed the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. I have more information concerning Carman’s network, so I’m writing this post for readers interested in how Carman came to be so powerful, who else assisted him and indeed how many people knew about his violent, abusive conduct towards many people but kept silent.

George Carman was a member of the Garrick, a club favoured by lawyers, actors, politicians, newspaper editors and High Court judges. Carman was friends with a fellow member of the Garrick, Sir Robin Day – they had been barristers together in the early 1950s. Sir Ronnie Waterhouse was also a member, as were a number of others who concealed wrongdoing in north Wales. Joshua Rozenberg the legal journalist and broadcaster was a regular at the Garrick in the 1990s – Rozenberg maintains that by then Carman had pretty much stopped visiting the Garrick.

The drinking holes, clubs and gambling dens in Manchester frequented by George Carman included the Embassy Club, where he drank with journalists.

His favourite watering holes in London included:

El Vinos – Carman was often seen at this Fleet Street favourite for lawyers and journos, accompanied by Mungo Fitzpatrick and James Crespi QC. Crespi managed to marry a ‘young nightclub hostess’ who left him after three weeks.

Dalys Wine Bar – this was opposite the Royal Courts of Justice and from the mid-80s was Carman’s regular starting point for a night out.

Wine Press – a regular haunt of Carman’s. He used to drink here with Paul Callan, a feature writer for the Mirror and Express.

Jimmy’z Bar, Sloane Avenue. Carman socialised here with his friend Christopher Moran, a property tycoon. Also with Aidan Barclay – the Chairman of Press Holdings, the owner of the Ritz, Carman’s client and friend.

Blondes, a Dover Street club – a popular haunt of sex workers and gangsters. Carman hung out here with George Best, as well as viscious criminal Frankie Fraser.

Carman was a regular at Le Rififi, Hay Hill, Mayfair. John Obertelli, the owner of Le Rififi, was a friend of Carman. Carman also frequented other ‘gentlemen’s clubs’ such as Bruton Suite, Toppers, Chaplins and L’Hirondelle.

In 1988 Carman visited Amsterdam with his son Dominic. George took the opportunity to tour the sex clubs.

Carman’s favourite casinos in London included Aspinalls, Curzon Street and the Playboy Club. He knew the Manchester casino located next to the Midland Hotel because in the 1970s Carman had applied for their licence on behalf of Cyril Stein, the Chairman of Ladbrookes.

At various stages in his career George Carman lived in Sale, Hale, Wilmslow, Altrincham (until 1980), Huntingdon, Evelyn Gardens Chelsea (1987-93), Wimbledon (both in Marryat Road and in Wimbledon Village) (1993 onwards).

Carman’s close colleagues in chambers will have known much of what he got up to. They included his junior counsel in London, Hugh Tomlinson, who lived in Islington -presumably near to two other junior barristers who had worked in Carman’s chambers, Tony Blair and Cherie Booth.

Frederic Reynold QC was Carman’s London chambers colleague for 29 yrs. Reynold specialises in employment law and has advised both the Equal Opportunities Commission and the BMA.

Fred Turner was a junior clerk in Carman’s chambers. Carman’s senior clerk when Carman was working both in Manchester and London was Ronnie Lynch- he had homes in Weybridge and Salford and commuted between the two.

Another solicitor that Carman knew well was Fabian Williams of James Chapman and Co in Manchester – Williams sent many briefs to Carman and Carman was godfather to Williams’s son.

Carman worked as a Recorder at Knightsbridge Crown Court but resigned in Dec 1983 – so he’ll have been very well known there.

‘No Ordinary Methods’ named many of the high profile clients of Carman, but there were more besides.

After he successfully defended Jeremy Thorpe, Carman acted for the engineering company William Press after a dawn raid upon them by the Inland Revenue – shortly after this William Press became AMEC following a merger.

In 1986 Carman acted for the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire, Peter Wright, after Arthur Scargill sued him for false imprisonment. Wright had Scargill’s activities monitored using officers from South Yorkshire. Carman won the case. Peter Wright may well have been an old buddy of Carman’s anyway, because Wright joined the Manchester Police in 1954 and by 1975 was a Chief Superintendent in the Greater Manchester Police. In 1979 Wright was Deputy Chief Constable of Merseyside Police and was in that role at the time of the Toxteth riots. He was Chief Constable of South Yorkshire 1983-90. So Wright was at the helm during the glorious days of South Yorkshire Police officers removing their numbers and covering their faces whilst they beat up striking miners at Orgreave as well as screwing up at Hillsborough and then falsifying statements to back up their untruthful version of events. Wright himself amended reports in an attempt to deflect blame away from the South Yorkshire Police even after the grim truth became known. But the only way was up for Peter Wright – he was President of ACPO, a member of the Parole Review Committee 1987-89 and after retirement an advisor to the MoD police 1991-94.

Carman acted for Joan Collins in 1986 and for Liz Hurley in 1996. He won damages from the Sun for Jason Connery and Stefanie Powers.

Carman won a case for M&S against Granada after they alleged that M&S were involved with the use of child labour.

He represented the Observer after Edwina Currie sued them – Richard Hartley QC appeared for Currie and Carman’s old friend Justice Drake presided. Currie won but it was observed after she published her diaries some years later that the information in them was sufficient for the Observer to have appealed the decision. They never did. Currie also admitted in her diaries that she and other Tories – as well as Thatcher – knew that Sir Peter Morrison, Thatcher’s aide, was molesting under-aged boys. Some of those boys were living in children’s homes in north Wales. Morrison was MP for Chester – not a million miles away from where Carman lived when he worked in Manchester.

Another case of Carman’s also saw him up against Richard Hartley QC with Justice Drake (Sir Maurice Drake) presiding – that was when Carman acted for the People after Mona Bauwens and David Mellor sued them. That case led to the end of David Mellor’s political career.

‘No Ordinary Methods’ explains why I suspect that Carman may have been throwing cases or doing undeclared deals behind closed doors – I explained that I suspected that something along these lines may have happened when Carman acted for the Guardian in 1997 after Jonathan Aitken sued them for libel. Although Aitken was supposedly thrashed at the hands of Carman, Aitken remained on remarkably good terms with him and escaped comparatively unscathed from both losing the libel case and being convicted of perjury. There were a few other aspects to the Aitken case as well. When Alan Rusbridger (the editor of the Guardian)heard that Aitken was going to sue, he stated that the Guardian needed to retain George Carman before Aitken did. Aitken’s side attempted to settle before Court – Lord Saatchi acting on behalf of Aitken had lunch with Rusbridger before the trial but obviously no settlement was thrashed out.

The judge who presided over Aitken’s libel case was Justice Oliver Popplewell. Popplewell ruled that the case should be tried by a judge without a jury. Carman took the decision to Appeal – the Appeal was heard by Tom Bingham, the Lord Chief Justice, who upheld Popplewell’s decision. Popplewell, Rusbridger and Carman were all members of the Garrick.

In 1975 Popplewell, in his capacity as a barrister, defended his 18 year old godson at his trial for credit card fraud – a young man called Stephen Fry. Popplewell and his wife had been friends with Fry’s parents for many years. The Garrick contains many actors as members. At one point Popplewell was Vice-Chair of the Parole Board.

In 1990 Carman acted for businessman Rolf Schild in a libel case against Express Newspapers. Carman lost against Robert Alexander QC who was representing the Express. Presiding judge William Mars-Jones upheld an Appeal against Carman. Nevertheless, Carman continued to enjoy good relations with Sir John Junor the editor of the Sunday Express and they had a very jolly lunch together not long afterwards.

Robert Alexander QC became a Tory peer and was Chair of the Bar Council 1985-86. He represented Jeffrey Archer in his libel case against the Star in 1987 – the case that the Star later took to appeal when new evidence emerged… Alexander retired from the Bar in 1989 and was Chair of Nat West bank 1989-99. He was Chair of JUSTICE, 1990-05 and was Chancellor of the University of Exeter, 1998-05.

William Mars-Jones grew up in north Wales and retained many connections there. He was President of UCNW (now known as Bangor University) whilst Gwynne the lobotomist and paedophiles’ friend was employed in the Student Health Centre. Mars-Jones was a member of the Garrick.

Carman won libel actions for Philip Oppenheimer and Norman Tebbit against David Bookbinder, the Labour leader of Derbyshire County Council.

Celebrity friends of Carman’s included David Tang – who was friends with Sarah Ferguson and Diana -and Conrad Black and Barbara Amiel (Carman was a regular at their dinner parties). Piers Morgan was an admirer of Carman.

Carman acted in many cases involving sport. Benetton were charged with interfering with the refuelling equipment on Formula One driver Michael Schumacher’s car before the German Grand Prix in July 1994 – a second Benetton car had gone up in flames. Benetton were also charged with a lesser offence involving cheating as well. Benetton Chairman Flavio Briatore hired Carman to defend the company and the driver when they were due to appear before a hearing of the World Motor Sports Council of the FIA in Paris. The day before the hearing in Sept 1997 Carman met with Max Moseley. Bernie Ecclestone, the Chairman of Formula One, was also present. Carman succeeded in getting the charges against Benetton dropped.

Carman appeared for the Mirror Group when Graham Souness sued the People after they published allegations that Souness had mistreated his wife and about his divorce settlement. Lord Gareth Williams QC represented Souness and Justice Morland presided. Williams and Morland were old pals of Carman. Souness won, although damages were reduced on appeal.

Many of the cases that Carman lost resulted in people being accused of deeply unpleasant things being exonerated – as in the cases of Gordon Anglesea and Peter Adamson. Carman lost when he represented the Mail after they published allegations of sexual abuse involving Indian boys by former charity head Joe Homan. He lost when he represented the Mirror Group over three articles that they published concerning Dr Doolittle aka Dr Anthony Percy, after it was alleged that he failed to attend a seriously injured patient. Carman also lost for the Sunday Express regarding their allegations concerning Peter Bottomley sharing a platform with Martin McGuiness.

In 1996 Carman represented cricketer Imran Khan after Khan was sued by Ian Botham and Allan Lamb. Botham and Lamb were represented by Charles Gray QC and Justice French presided. Carman won the case despite the production in Court of a letter of apology to Botham written by Kahn after the incident concerned.

Carman represented the Sun in 1999 when Bruce Grobbelaar sued them after they accused him of match-fixing. Grobbelaar was represented by a man well acquainted with Carman, Richard Hartley QC. Justice Gray presided. Carman lost the case. After Carman died, the Sun appealed and won.

In 1999 the News Of The World alleged that Lawrence Dallaglio dealt in coke and ecstasy during the 1997 Lions tour of South Africa. Dallaglio resigned as captain and pulled out of a planned Australian tour. Twenty four hours later he held a press conference, denying any drug taking in 1997. The RFU appointed a panel to examine the allegations. The Chair was Sir John Kay, a judge known to Carman – also the judge who issued a High Court injunction against me upon the affidavits of two Gwynedd social workers who both perjured themselves. One had never met me, one had met me at most three times. The injunction was granted because I had written too many letters of complaint about Gwynedd Social Services, Gwynedd Health Authority and Clwyd Health Authority re the misconduct of their mental health staff.

After Sir John Kay’s panel considered Dallaglio’s  case, charges were laid against Dallaglio, who then met with Carman. The tribunal was due to be Chaired by retired High Court judge Oliver Popplewell – who had presided over Jonathan Aitken’s libel case in which Carman had acted for the Guardian and won. Carman persuaded the prosecutor Richard Lissack QC to drop the drugs charges in a ‘behind the scenes’ deal – Carman then got Dallaglio off the charge of bringing the game into disrepute.

Charles Kennedy once asked Carman at a party if he’d like to be a Lib Dem peer – Kennedy asked Carman to speak to Lord Razzall about it. Yet Carman never appeared on the Lib Dem peers list, although no reason was ever given.

A reader has sent me a link to an article that Carman’s son Dominic penned for the Guardian in Oct 2012, in which he explains his fears that his father may have covered-up for Jimmy Savile. Paul Connew the editor of the Sunday Mirror in 1994 maintained that at the time, the Sunday Mirror had ‘credible and convincing evidence’ that Savile had abused two women whilst they were in a children’s home years previously. Connew explained that the in-house lawyers at the Mirror Group plc didn’t dare risk publishing because they feared that Savile would sue them, using George Carman. Dominic explains that in 1992, Savile’s lawyers retained Carman ‘over a different matter’ – he does not say what. Although Carman had previously been very good mates with the Mirror Group and had acted for them himself many times, in Oct 1993 he acted against them – successfully – on behalf of Elton John, winning substantial damages. Dominic alleges that it was this that terrified the Mirror Group when they were faced with the decision as to whether to publish the Savile story.

Dominic has missed something here. By 1994, Maxwell was dead and David Montgomery had become Chief Exec of Mirror Group plc – Montgomery had been appointed in 2002. In his capacity as Chief Exec, Montgomery had purchased sizeable portions of the Independent and the Independent On Sunday. In 1994 Gordon Anglesea sued the Independent On Sunday – as well as Private Eye and HTV – for alleging that he had sexually abused boys in care in north Wales. Carman acted for the defence. Carman lost – as I explained in my post ‘Y Gwir Yn Y Byd – Additional Comments’, I really do believe that Carman threw that case. A matter of weeks later, one of the young men who gave evidence that he had been abused by Anglesea was found hanging from the stairwell of his block of flats in Wrexham. A verdict of suicide was returned. If one was going to hang oneself it would be more usual to do so in one’s own flat, not in the stairwell. In 1992 five witnesses to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal were killed in an arson attack on a building after being invited to a party there. One survivor who publicly stated that witnesses were being murdered was found dead himself shortly afterwards. (For the full story regarding this mass murder, see post ‘The Silence Of The Welsh Lambs’). In 2016 Gordon Anglesea was imprisoned for the historical sexual abuse of boys in care in north Wales. HTV, Private Eye or the Indie On Sunday did not take a case to appeal, although they were forced to pay Anglesea huge damages in 1994.

Dominic mentions in his article that after the Coronation Street actor Peter Adamson aka Len Fairclough had used Carman to get him off an indecent assault charge, no action was taken even when some years later Adamson sold a story to the Sun admitting that he had been guilty exactly as charged.

Carman had that effect on people. They were very, very frightened of him.

 

No Ordinary Methods

My most recent reading material has been Dominic Carman’s biography of his father George the much feared Rottweiler of a barrister, ‘No Ordinary Man’. George Carman has featured on this blog in posts such as ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’, ‘Y Gwir Yn Y Byd – A Few Additional Comments’ and ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’, in which I discuss Carman’s role in the 1994 libel action brought by Gordon Anglesea after Private Eye and others named Anglesea as having sexually abused boys in care in north Wales and Carman’s role in Jeremy Thorpe’s trial in 1979. Successfully defending Thorpe after he stood trial for conspiracy and incitement to murder Norman Scott was what made Carman’s name and took him to London from Manchester where he had previously been based.

I speculated in ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd – A Few Additional Comments’ that Carman had deliberately thrown the case when he defended Private Eye et al against Anglesea’s accusation of libel. By the time that Carman took that case he was known as the best libel barrister in the UK. He had built up an international reputation and the mention of his name was enough to cause people to settle actions out of Court. Anglesea had indeed abused boys in care in north Wales, he later went to prison for it – Carman was famed for trawling through people’s knicker drawers if he was facing them in Court and north Wales was heaving with evidence of and witnesses to the crimes of Anglesea and co. Carman losing that case was inexplicable.

I knew that Carman was a massively heavy drinker, was addicted to gambling, was violent to all of his partners and was so feared by the police and others that his partners could find no help even when they were visibly broken and bleeding. I knew that certainly when he worked in Manchester Carman spent his time socialising with what are euphemistically known as figures from the ‘underworld’, as well as with prostitutes, with bent police officers, ‘celebrities’, journalists and numerous other people. I also knew that when Carman was acting in a trial, crucial damning ‘evidence’ would be delivered to his team, literally during the trial, at a crucial point which would frequently win him the case.

The most famous example of this occurred when the South African journalist Jani Allan faced Carman in Court in 1992 after bringing a libel action against Channel 4. A crucial part of the case rested on Allan’s denial of an affair with a married man. Just after Allan swore on oath that she would not have such a relationship, a package arrived at the Court addressed to Carman. He refused to open it, but Jan Tomalin – the in-house lawyer for Channel 4 – seemed to know that this package was good news and she opened it. Inside was a notebook which Jani Allan had used as a diary in 1984-85 and in which she had recorded her sexual fantasies whilst undergoing psychiatric care. She was finished. If I was Jani Allan I’d want to know how anyone – let alone Carman’s team – got their hands on that, but I have found no references to any such investigation.

Dominic’s book however makes it clear that Carman was far more unpleasant, ruthless and questionable than anyone ever previously dared suggest. There are indications that he had been badly damaged when young by incredibly harsh treatment at St Joseph’s School in Blackpool run by the Irish Christian Brothers – years later a number of former pupils alleged abuse during their time there. Carman simply didn’t speak about his experiences at St Joseph’s.

Carman was very, very well networked. He would have been in a position to thrash out deals behind the scenes with a whole variety of people.

Carman enjoyed being seen in the company of women and even cultivated the image of a womaniser. I had heard rumours that he was bisexual, but one thing that I learnt from Dominic’s book is that Carman’s first wife maintained that Carman was never interested in her sexually, that their marriage was unconsummated, that he received postcards which were obviously from men rather than women and that she believed that he was gay, but he kept what she believed were sexual relationships with other men very quiet indeed. This marriage only lasted three years and Carman failed to mention it in his Who’s Who entry. Indeed, the lady concerned claims that Carman worked very hard to ensure that her account of a truly dreadful relationship never made it into the public domain.

Carman’s second wife, Dominic’s mother, stated that after the children were born Carman stopped having sex with her. Her story is remarkably similar to that told by his first wife – excessive drinking, huge gambling debts and a very high level of physical and mental abuse. Dominic remembers witnessing his father’s violent attacks on his mother.

Carman had a third wife. Guess what – he undermined and belittled her, forced her to give up her career and spend her days watching his performances in Court instead and didn’t have a sexual relationship with her either.

As well as these three marriages, Carman had numerous other close friendships with women and was regularly seen hanging out with teenage ‘hostesses’ in ‘gentlemen’s clubs’ and women who were known to be working as prostitutes (not only those considered to be ‘high class call girls’).

From 1986 Carman had a long term relationship with a barrister called Karen Phillips who hung out with showbiz folk including Julia Morley, Russ Abbott and Bruce Forsyth’s wife Winnie. She was also friends with Dr Veronica Varney and Martin Landau. Elton John’s wife Renate was co-director of one of Phillips’s companies and Carman acted with Karen for Renate in her divorce from Elton. A number of Carman’s clients were friends with Karen including Norman Lamont, Richard Branson, Aidan Barclay and Marco Pierre White.

Between 1980-93 Karen  was also in a relationship with David Green. Carman formed an alliance with Green’s wife whom Carman had traced through ‘detective work’. Interestingly enough although Green was a wealthy man who was able to supply Phillips with a flat in an expensive part of London and a BMW, his company ended up going into liquidation – although Karen succeeded in keeping possession of the valuable flat and even the car. Phillips gave up law in the early 1990s and became involved with Charity Work, evolving into a lady who lunches. At one point she lent her flat to Sarah Ferguson – one of Karen’s mates was a friend of Fergie’s.

Towards the end of Carman’s life he became very angry when photos of Phillips in the company of boxing promoter Jarvis Astaire began appearing in glossy magazines and gossip columns. Carman watched Phillips, followed her and discussed her activities with another lawyer who worked with her. Phillips was someone else who maintained that throughout her very long relationship with Carman they never had sex.

Carman’s very first relationship with a woman was with Anne Meuller whilst they were both at Oxford. Anne Meuller ended up breaking their engagement off because she was unable to cope with Carman’s bisexuality – one presumes that Carman ended up making a nuisance of himself because Anne engaged the services of solicitors to threaten legal action against him. Anne later became Dame Anne and was the most successful civil servant of her generation, being appointed as the Second Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet Office (1984-87) and then moving to the Treasury (1987-90). She was Chancellor of De Montfort University (1991-95), a Director of BSkyB as well as CARE International and was associated with Manchester Business School. Dame Anne died in 2000 so like Carman is no longer able to answer questions.

For a man who never or rarely had sex with his wives/partners and who spent much of his spare time getting bladdered in clubs with other women whom everyone presumed that he was having sex with, Carman reacted very strongly on the occasions that he suspected his female partners of infidelity. At one point when he (wrongly) believed that one of his wives was having an affair with another man, he violently assaulted the man in question cracking his ribs.

Carman’s whole existence was one of behaving appalling towards other people but this rarely becoming public and Carman rarely facing any consequences. When he was older and famous, various gossip columnists – including Nigel Dempster – encountered him ripped to the tits in clubs in dubious company but not a word was ever printed about it.

After Jeremy Thorpe had been charged but before Carman had relocated to London, Carman crashed his car whilst drunk – until this incident Carman regularly drove whilst well over the limit. He was arrested and taken to Platt Lane Police Station. He declined the breathalyser and called his solicitor Ian Burton. Carman did the ‘don’t you know who I am’ bit. The plods in the station didn’t know who he was, so Carman told them that he was ‘standing Counsel to the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester’, ie. James Anderton. Even the plods knew who he was and Carman demanded that the police phone Anderton. They rang Anderton’s home and his wife answered – she contacted Anderton who was at the time out at a dinner. When Anderton heard that Carman was in police custody, a Superintendent in uniform was despatched to Platt Lane Police Station. Whilst waiting for the cavalry, Carman was busy telling the plods in the station what to do and raising points of law, which the plods would be in no position to know actually existed or not. Carman was actually charged and Burton represented him in Court, although Carman wrote the mitigation speech. He received a mild slap – a £150 fine and a one year ban. Dominic Carman commented that the ‘press comment was fairly modest’ – even though the barrister who had been retained for one of the most high profile criminal trials of the 20 century had crashed his car whilst pissed and been arrested. Carman’s punishment on a professional level was to be restricted to working in Altrincham County Court for a year, issuing judgement summons’s.

John Anderton was of course the notoriously unhinged Chief Constable who had a bee in his bonnet about ‘immorality’, hated prostitutes so much that some of his own officers speculated that he might have been the person carrying out the murders for which Peter Sutcliffe was later convicted, stated that people who contracted AIDS were ‘swirling in a human cesspit of their own making’ and maintained that he was a prophet. Anderton was famous for stating that he would ‘clean up’ Manchester, especially in terms of porn, sex work and police corruption. An account of Anderton’s colleagues and their relationships with the paedophiles’ friends can be found in my post ‘Top Of The Cops’ and ‘A Stalker’s Network’.

Carman will have known a few other people as well as Anderton. In previous posts, I speculated that Carman will have known about the North Wales Paedophile Ring and may have even known some of the paedophiles’ friends from the north Wales/Cheshire ring as a result of his boozing and clubbing with bent police officers, gangsters and journos in Manchester. Dominic’s book mentions some of the locations at which Carman lived – Carman lived in Wilmslow and Altrincham. Those areas covered the location of the Cheshire paedophile ring and were not a million miles away from Chester, the constituency of Sir Peter Morrison the MP who was abusing boys in care in north Wales. Carman will also have found out a great deal by being marooned working in Altrincham County Court – although he’ll have known a great deal anyway, because before and after that his duties as a barrister took him to Courts in Cheshire. John Stalker, the Greater Manchester Police Officer featured in my posts ‘Top Of The Cops’ and ‘A Stalker’s Network’, also lived in Cheshire – as did great swathes of the professional classes who worked in Manchester.

Carman didn’t move to London until 1980, but he was already very well-networked by the time that he acted for Thorpe.

Carman read law at Balliol College, Oxford. Whilst there he was friends with Dick Taverne (who later became a Labour MP, but then defected to the SDP – he is now in the Lords). Patrick Mayhew read law with him – the Patrick Mayhew who later was the legal assessor for the GMC when Dr Morris Fraser was allowed to continue working as a psychiatrist despite convictions for paedophilia, the Patrick Mayhew who in his capacity as Attorney General authorised contempt of Court proceedings against me on the basis of Dr Tony Francis’s (Dr X’s) perjury, after I alleged that serious abuses were happening in the north Wales psychiatric services. Carman also knew barrister Stanley Brodie at Oxford and shared a room with George Carver, who later became Deputy Director of the CIA. He knew Sir Robin Day – who was also big mates with Sir Ronnie Waterhouse – and William Rees-Mogg. Carman was also friends with Vivian Price – who was the best man at Carman’s first wedding – and later became one of Carman’s clients as well. Oh – and Carman was friends with a man called Jeremy Thorpe. Nicolas Browne-Wilkinson who later became a Lord Justice of Appeal was at Oxford with Carman.

After graduation, Carman spent a short time in London and worked as a libel reader for the News of the World. He tried his hand at business – he set a girl up as a masseuse in a flat in Great Portland Street (the GMC offices are in Great Portland Street), but the girl disappeared after she was faced with a client who expected rather more than a massage. Carman had paid rent on the flat in advance, so was left out of pocket.

Carman looked for a pupillage in London and used the connections of his former tutor at Balliol to do this. He was taken on as the pupil of Neil Lawson who later became Chairman of the Law Commission and a High Court judge.

However Carman discovered that he was far too poor to afford to continue with a pupillage in London – particularly in those days, one really needed a private income to sustain oneself as a pupil barrister – and he returned to Blackpool (by now his mother was dying). Carman took up a pupillage in Manchester with Godfrey Heilpern – who acted for Myra Hindley in her 1966 trial. Readers may remember how many of the corrupt lawyers on the Chester and Wales Circuit who assisted the paedophiles’ friends were involved in that trial – Heilpern will have known all of them, including Ronnie Waterhouse. Joseph Cantley was working in chambers in Manchester at this time – Cantley later presided over the trial of Jeremy Thorpe – as was Fenton Atkinson, who presided over the trial of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady. Carman became friendly with Sir Basil Nield, a Recorder of Manchester and was also popular with Sir Robertson Crichton, who was a Recorder of Manchester. Carman was mates with solicitor John Budd and was also admired by Gerald (Lord) Gardiner, Leonard Kaplan, Robert McCrindle and Jack Nahum QC.

Carman’s first wife was the daughter of a local Tory grandee. Carman was persuaded to put himself forward as a Parliamentary candidate and he got as far as being shortlisted for Salford for the Tories. (Whilst Carman was at Oxford his tutor Richard Crossman – who held a series of Ministerial posts in Harold Wilson’s Gov’t – had asked him to consider standing for Parliament.)

Between 1966-71 Carman worked on a great many personal injury cases. These frequently involved industrial injury and Carman was often instructed by the trade union solicitors Thompsons. Thompsons were brothers Brian and Robin, two champagne socialists from Hampstead with close links to trade union leaders. Nic Carter, who set up the Thompsons Manchester office, socialised with Carman.

Carman had begun to land High Court work in London whilst he was still in Manchester. He was helped by John Gorna, a well connected solicitor who was described by his daughter as a member of the ‘Catholic mafia’. Gorna was godfather to Dominic Carman.

John Gorna was a Director of Manchester United and gave Carman work for the club. Carman advised the club’s Chairman Louis Edwards and his son Martin. Carman acted for George Best when Best was sued by a girlfriend – it was Gorna and Sir Matt Busby who retained Carman. The case was unexpectedly settled quickly. Carman also successfully defended George Best’s mate, Pat Crerand – another Man United player – when he broke someone’s jaw and was charged with GBH. Carman became good mates with George Best but the friendship ended abruptly after Best had an affair with Carman’s wife. When Carman lived in Altrincham his next door neighbour was Willy Morgan, the recently retired captain of Man Utd. Another neighbour was solicitor John Elliot, the son of Charles Elliot QC.

Carman worked with celebs and legal bigwigs in Manchester but he also slummed it in some well-known dives, including the Nile Club on Moss Side and Russian Dave’s which was known for prostitution. During this time Carman was regularly hiring prostitutes but was also having gay relationships.

Carman was turned down for silk in 1970 by the office of the Labour Lord Chancellor Lord Gardiner. Distraught, he went to chat to his old Oxford mate Dick Taverne, who was then Finance Secretary to the Treasury – Taverne had worked with Gardiner on the Family Law Reform Committee.

The following year not only was Carman made a QC, but he was also offered a place in the chambers of Sir Peter Rawlinson who had recently been appointed as Ted Heath’s Attorney General. Carman turned it down because he lacked the money to move to London. Carman was certainly very tempted by the offer – but if you’re going to lose thousands every month in casinos you’re going to be seriously short of money.

Carman stopped driving after the car crash that caused him to call on the services of James Anderton, after that he depended upon taxis and lifts. He was ably assisted by a retired Manchester police sergeant John Cooper who worked at the Manchester courts – after bouts of all night drinking Carman would summon Cooper who would drive him home.

As well as personal injury work resulting from industrial accidents, Carman built up quite a name for himself in personal injury cases as a result of what Dominic Carman quaintly terms ‘health authority blunders’. Carman’s adversary in the High Court in Manchester in many such cases was Patrick Russell QC, who later became an Appeal Court judge. As with so many of Carman’s ‘court room adversaries’, Russell and Carman seemed to get on very well and they were good at negotiating deals when they encountered each other in personal injury cases. One of Carman’s notable successes after a ‘health authority blunder’ secured a settlement of £310k after someone was left a paraplegic – so that was one hell of a blunder. Carman’s last case of this nature was in 1987 – by which time he was in London. He secured a settlement of £550k from Berkshire Health Authority for a 14 year old girl who suffered permanent injury after falling out of her parents car in the grounds of Eton College. How falling out of one’s parents car on the premises of the country’s most elite public school could ever be the fault of Berkshire Health Authority I cannot imagine, but then I’m not George Carman.

Although it was Carman’s success in defending Thorpe that made him a household name and took him to London in 1980, Sir David Napley – Thorpe’s solicitor who retained Carman to act for Thorpe – was alleged to have spotted Carman’s genius in 1973 when Carman acted for James Hogan, the manager of Battersea funfair. Carman had been instructed by John Gorna after Hogan was charged with the manslaughter of five children as a result of gross negligence, when an accident that should never have happened did. The case was heard at the Old Bailey – Roger Lane-Smith, a solicitor from Gorna’s firm, stayed in London with Carman for the duration of the case. Carman’s defence of Hogan was actually predicated on the argument that Hogan was so utterly incompetent that he should never have been given responsibility for managing the funfair. The strategy worked, Carman won. Napley had been involved in the trial himself, he had represented the engineer Frank Etches.

It was after this that Napley started instructing Carman.

Thorpe was not the only politician in deep shit whom Napley represented – Napley was Greville Janner’s solicitor when Janner was interviewed over child sex offences in the early 1990s. Napley was so certain that Janner would be charged that he retained Carman – but of course charges were dropped although the CPS later admitted that a prosecution should have gone ahead.

My post ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’ discusses Thorpe’s career and his trial which I did know quite a lot about already having lived in west Somerset whilst Thorpe was busy in north Devon, but Dominic’s book supplies a few more details of which I was unaware.

Thorpe’s solicitor was initially Lord Goodman – someone else who was able to extract people from rather difficult situations – but he then hired Napley. Napley instructed Carman – but Napley had quoted a staggeringly low fee to Thorpe. Furthermore, James Goldsmith was footing the bill for a substantial chunk of it – but Carman allegedly didn’t know this. Carman did meet Thorpe for dinner on more than one occasion at Thorpe’s house at Orme Square and noticed the treasures within. Thorpe’s wife Marion had been left a wealthy woman after her divorce from the Earl of Harewood. Carman was representing Thorpe for a very low fee – he was told that the reward would be his reputation. So presumably Napley, Carman and co were pretty sure that they would be winning that case – a bit of an assumption in view of the enormous amount of evidence against Thorpe. But the tarot’s proved to be accurate – they did win.

The committal hearing for Thorpe and his co-defendants was held at Minehead Magistrates Court and Napley turned up at Minehead in his Rolls. I remember much over-awing of the bumpkins happening at the time, so this sort of grandiosity won’t have been accidental.

Kingsley Napley partner Christopher Murray later described Gareth Williams QC – later Lord Williams – as ‘very cunning’. Williams acted for one of Thorpe’s co-defendants George Deakin, a man from south Wales. Gareth Williams was from north Wales and was acquainted with many of the paedophiles’ friends. On the first day of the committal hearing Williams applied for reporting restrictions to be lifted, arguing that the interests of his client were different from his co-defendants. This derailed Norman Scott and his team who had to cope with reporting and publicity that they had not expected.

Over the next three weeks, Napley phoned Carman daily to review tactics. He was phoning Carman because Carman wasn’t at the committal hearing – Napley had insisted on doing that himself, although no-one was ever told why Napley followed this rather unusual path.

‘No Ordinary Man’ reproduces parts of the transcript of the Thorpe trial, particularly Cantley’s hectoring and downright abuse of Norman Scott both during cross-examination and in the summing up. One is reminded of how accurate Peter Cook’s satire on the bent old git was. Dominic observes that Norman Scott was ‘problematic’ because he was a ‘tough witness’ and put up a ‘good performance’, even recalling distinguishing marks on Thorpe’s body when it was suggested that Thorpe had never had a relationship with him. Yes Dominic – as I’ve mentioned previously on this blog, most of the west country put Norman’s ‘good performance’ down to the fact that he was telling the truth.

Dominic reveals that it was Lord Widgery, the Lord Chief Justice, who agreed to change the date of the trial after Callaghan announced the date of the forthcoming General Election, in which Thorpe would be standing. Dominic also reveals that Carman attempted to have Auberon Waugh, the Private Eye journo who stood against Thorpe in north Devon at the General Election, jailed if he didn’t ‘tone down’ his ‘election rhetoric’. Carman actually obtained an injunction against Waugh preventing him from distributing an election address leaflet – Carman’s original request to the Lord Chief Justice was refused, so Carman literally went straight down the corridor to the Court of Appeal and dear old Lord Denning the Master of the Rolls overturned the Lord Chief Justice’s decision and granted the injunction.

The prosecuting counsel at Thorpe’s trial was Peter Taylor QC, the son of a Top Doctor from Newcastle. Taylor had handled many personal injury cases on the North Eastern Circuit. Dominic’s book reveals that Taylor was most helpful to Thorpe’s defence barrister Carman. Taylor disclosed privately to Carman that there was ‘significant evidence’ proving that Thorpe was gay, which included a sexually explicit postcard that Thorpe had sent to a man whom he had had a relationship with. Thus Carman ensured that Thorpe was never directly questioned about his homosexuality. And of course Carman famously didn’t call Thorpe to give evidence. Dominic believes that in disclosing the info to Carman ‘Taylor’s honourable gesture reflected his strong commitment to fairness and objectivity’ and that Carman was ‘relieved’ ‘for the integrity of the Bar’ that Taylor acted as he did – it means that there  was no additional evidence of homosexuality in the prosecution case, so it was ‘a good deal for Thorpe’.

Not only that, but Taylor ‘avoided going for Thorpe’s jugular throughout the case and the closing speech was no exception’ – it was interpreted by the press as sympathetic to Thorpe. Indeed Taylor explained that Thorpe’s career had been ‘blighted by the Scott affair’, it was ‘a tragedy of truly Greek or Shakespearian proportions – the slow but inevitable destruction of a man by the stamp of one defect’.

Carman of course did go for the jugular – in his closing speech he maintained that Thorpe’s life ‘had more than its fair share of grief and agony…he had the misfortune to meet Norman Scott’. As for Norman, according to Carman he was ‘sad, mad or bad or a combination of all three, I care not’.

Whilst they were awaiting the verdict, Thorpe and his co-defendants lunched in a private room at the Old Bailey on smoked salmon, beef and Chablis – the grub was provided by Thorpe’s Liberal Party friend and colleague the molester Clement Freud.

The Carmans stayed in touch with Thorpe and Dominic recalls that in 2001 he was lunching with him when it was revealed that Thorpe had ‘joked’ to Carman that if he got him off he’d make him a High Court judge. In reality though even after Carman did do as required, it was many months before Thorpe even wrote to thank Carman and when he did, Thorpe simply observed that ‘as for the Bench, I am sure that it will only be a matter of time’.

So what became of the esteemed lawyers after the trial? Carman’s fees rocketed and work flooded in. Peter Taylor became a judge, Chaired the Hillsborough Disaster Inquiry and between 1992-96 was Lord Chief Justice. Judge Joseph Cantley disappeared into oblivion – as Peter Cook quipped when he was playing the part of the Biased Judge summing up for the jury ‘and now you must retire – as must I – and consider your verdict of not guilty’. Dominic reveals that at the time of the trial Carman had known Cantley for 20 years. Cantley had been the Presiding judge on the Northern Circuit where Carman had practised. Cantley was the son of a Top Doctor, a product of Manchester Grammar School and Manchester University who unusually had married the widow of his pupil master.

So had there been ‘a strong commitment to fairness and objectivity’? Or the most disgraceful crucifixion of a man who had been the target of a murder plot by a bunch of corrupt lawyers and politicians who were all connected with each other and realised that goodies would come their way as long as they let a potential murderer – who was connected to them – walk free?

The official story is that Carman was plucked from obscurity in the north to a glittering life in London after working miracles at Thorpe’s trial. But what if someone in London knew that there was a barrister in the north who boozed excessively, who had huge gambling debts, who was close to scores of crooked people from all walks of life but who was also well-connected with ‘respectable’ members of society – someone who not only needed a barrister for the Thorpe trial but who thought that such a barrister might prove very useful if they were based in London rather than Manchester?

A theme one constantly encounters when reading about George Carman and his excesses is that people ‘liked him’. But people were also very, very frightened of him. Probably far too frightened to admit that they didn’t like him at all.

After the Thorpe trial, Carman acted in two more high profile trials before he moved to London.

In 1980 in Leeds Carman represented Lord Kagan in the Kagan Textiles Case – Kagan’s manufactured the famous Gannex raincoats as sported by Harold Wilson and Prince Philip even after the shit hit the fan. Kagan was found guilty of theft and false accounting and went to prison. He kept his seat in the Lords and whilst he was in prison he negotiated a business deal to supply the prison service with uniforms.

In Carman’s last big case in Manchester he acted for the Police Federation on behalf of four police officers who ‘had been involved’ in the death of Jimmy Kelley in Liverpool. The officers received support from the local MP – a Harold Wilson. A verdict of ‘death by misadventure’ was returned.

The Police Federation supported North Wales Police’s senior officer Gordon Anglesea throughout his trial for abusing children, supported him in his plans to appeal after he was convicted and offered to pay his legal costs and turned out in force at his funeral to give him a good send off.

When Carman sold his house in Altrincham to move to London, the money that he received from the sale went to pay his gambling debts to the Manchester Playboy Club. Carman had a symbiotic relationship with casinos and clubs – he ran up huge debts with them but they also frequently used him for legal advice when they were applying for licences.

After moving to London Carman became head of New Court Chambers. Throughout the 1980s his supporting juniors in New Court were Michael Brompton and Tony Clover. Brompton knew Carman very well because he shared a room in Chambers with him.

It was in London that Carman developed his reputation as a libel lawyer, particularly for celebs.

Carman handled two libel cases for Richard Branson – Hugh Tomlinson was Carman’s junior for those. Charles Howard QC was his junior when he acted for Phil Lynott and Maria Aitken (in drugs cases rather than libel). Charles Howard married Rosie Boycott, who was editor of the Indie and the Express and who was a friend of Carman – Carman was best man at their wedding.

Carman picked up international work and was involved in cases in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Washington and New York. By the early 1980s he had come to the attention of Sir Denys Roberts, Hong Kong’s Chief Justice and was offered a position as a High Court judge in Hong Kong. Carman really wanted such a position in England – so off he trotted for a chat with his mate Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls. Denning had a word with the Lord Chief Justice, Geoffrey Lane – it is the Lord Chief Justice who makes the recommendations for High Court appointments to the Lord Chancellor. Denning had previously worked with Lord Lane. Sadly Lane told Denning that Carman was not on his list. Carman decided to take up the offer from Hong Kong. However for some reason he changed his mind during a stay in Leicester of all places.

Carman was in Leicester in 1981 for the trial of Dr Leonard Arthur at Leicester Crown Court. Leonard Arthur was on trial after he had ordered nursing staff to provide no care or treatment to a newly born baby with Down’s syndrome. Arthur also prescribed doses of dihydrocodeine. Unsurprisingly the baby died. I can remember this case well and although the prosecution was brought by the anti-abortion group LIFE – and this is what Dominic has recorded in his book – the only reason why anyone at all got to hear about the baby’s death was because a nurse who witnessed what had happened was appalled at the deliberate killing of a disabled, but very much alive, baby. At the time that nurse was constructed as an interfering know nothing who was well above her station. These days she would be called a whistleblower.

Douglas Draycott QC acted for the prosecution, Carman for the defence. Carman did not put Leonard Arthur into the witness box. However he did call a nurse, a Margaret Slater – who casually mentioned in her evidence that her own baby would not be here today if it wasn’t for Dr Arthur. I don’t know how she managed to be in Court on that day, it is all rather reminiscent of the way that Jani Allan’s old diaries turned up in Court at a crucial moment. The nurse saved Dr Arthur’s neck and he was found not guilty. The nurse was assisted by Carman who ‘destroyed’ Prof Alan Usher, the Home office pathologist who was ready with evidence about the damage to the baby’s brain. The Presiding judge was Justice Farquarson.

History records that Leonard Arthur was not someone who didn’t think that disabled people were worth keeping alive, but someone who was a caring Top Doctor, selflessly devoted to children, worked night and day for the greater good of the nation’s infants – you get the picture.

So what happened in Leicester to persuade Carman to turn down the job of a High Court judge in Hong Kong and remain in England working as a barrister instead? Who knows.

Leicester County Council of course had a problem with a paedophile ring in its children’s services, a ring that Lord Greville Janner was alleged to have been involved with. Frank Beck, the notorious social worker who devised whacky therapies which served as a cover for his abuse of children, was given five life sentences for sexually abusing hundreds of children in 1991. Beck had been involved with the Liberal Party.

One lawyer was particularly impressed by George Carman’s successful defence of a doctor who finished off a baby with learning disabilities – that was a Cherie Booth who praised Carman for ensuring that ‘justice’ prevailed. In the 1980s Cherie Booth was a barrister in New Court Chambers! There was another barrister in New Court as well, who was Carman’s junior – Cherie knew him well, he was a Tony Blair!

Now the Blairs have kept THAT quiet – I’ve been trying to find out in which chambers old Blair worked before he became an MP and it’s not a piece of info that appears in any of the obvious places. But now I know. Blair never forgot the talents of his former boss. Within six months of Blair becoming Prime Minister, Carman found himself at a reception in Downing Street along with Richard Branson when Blair told Branson that Carman was the best lawyer that he could have found.

In Nov 1982 Carman defended Geoffrey Prime who worked for GCHQ but also spied for the KGB. Prime was a paedophile and a member of PIE who had been involved with under-aged girls in the Cheltenham/Gloucester area. Carman’s junior in that case was Tony Clover and the Presiding judge was Lord Chief Justice Lane. Prime was convicted, so Carman took the case to appeal – it was dismissed by Lord Justice Lawton.

Carman was involved in the case involving the grisly death of Roberto Calvi who in 1982 was found hanging under Blackfriars Bridge in London. Calvi had been President of the ‘Vatican’s Bank’, Banco Ambrosiano and was believed many, including his family, to have been murdered. Lurid stories of Masonic corruption and involvement with Opus Dei circulated – and all the money was missing from the bank. David Napley represented Calvi’s family at the inquest which was held by Dr David Paul, the coroner for the City of London – Paul rushed the inquiry. The autopsy was carried out by Prof Keith Simpson. A suicide verdict was returned – which was widely ridiculed because there were numerous aspects of the case which suggested that Calvi had been the victim of a bizarre crime. His underpants were full of bricks which was a bit weird and his hands were clean and well-manicured, which if he’d been crawling around under Blackfriars Bridge hanging himself they would not have been. Carman wanted a fresh inquest in front of Lord Geoffrey Lane. In March 1983 the Lord Chief Justice agreed to overturn the verdict. A new coroner was appointed, Dr Graham Davies and an open verdict was returned in June 1983.

In 1983 in Burnley Carman defended Peter Adamson aka Len Fairclough from Coronation Street after he was charged with indecently assaulting two eight year old girls in a swimming pool. Adamson was cleared although it was alleged that Carman believed that he had been guilty. In 1988 Adamson flogged a story to the Sun admitting that he had been guilty.

Following the Adamson revelations, in 1989 Prof George Steiner joked about Carman’s ability to get anyone off just about anything. It increased Carman’s business.

Carman’s close female friends in London included Sue Cook from BBC’s Crimewatch, Pippa Jessel the former wife of Tory MP Toby Jessel, Frances Heggarty/Hyfield the barrister/crime writer and Lady Annunziata Asquith.

Dominic relates a very worrying story when read in the light of Carman’s conduct towards his female partners and his links with questionable people in high places. Dominic tells us that in 1984 Carman had a ‘close relationship’ with a 30 year old woman but the ’10 month relationship ended with disastrous consequences’. The lady moved to London and into Carman’s Lincoln’s Inn flat and was ‘surprised when he showed no physical interest in her’. I think that we’ve been here before. This woman was ’emotionally volatile’ and Carman’s ‘subsequent humiliation of her precipitated a nervous breakdown’. According to Dominic, George was terrified of anything to do with mental illness – he asked Dominic ‘to accompany him as he registered her as a psychiatric inpatient, before telling her mother to come and pick up the pieces’.

Now there’s a story. So what did Carman do to the ’emotionally volatile’ lady whom he had invited to move in with him? Or what had she witnessed or found out? Which hospital so obligingly admitted her as an in-patient and how did they repackage the horror? I think we should be told…

One of Carman’s most famous triumphs was successfully defending Ken Dodd after Dodd was charged with tax evasion. The presiding judge was none other than our old friend – and indeed Carman’s old friend – Ronnie Waterhouse, the prosecuting counsel was Brian Leveson and the trial was held at Liverpool Crown Court. Waterhouse was a member of the Garrick – as was Carman and indeed their mutual friend Robin Day. Waterhouse also knew Thorpe through their Liberal Party activities.

Ken Dodd was a much-loved son of Liverpool. Waterhouse was born just a few miles away from Ken Dodd’s birthplace. The not guilty verdict caused much entertainment because of the overwhelming amount of evidence against Dodd – Dodd himself joked about not paying his taxes. The Inland Revenue had discovered accounts of Dodd’s in Jersey and the Isle of Man, there was thousands of pounds in used notes secreted about his house, there were references to wheelbarrows of money being moved around, it was ridiculous. A neighbour commented to me at the time that it looked as though the only questions would be ‘which prison and for how many years?’

At the opening of the trial Carman claimed that Dodd was suffering from ventricular tachycardia, a potentially fatal condition, that Dodd was in imminent danger of death and that the trial would almost certainly kill him. Carman tried to get the trial stopped on medical grounds – two weeks before the trial Carman had sent Dodd to a heart specialist, although the date for the trial had been set many months previously. The trial did go ahead and Dodd is still alive – and performing – today, nearly twenty years later.

The Top Doctor who gave evidence that Dodd was about to drop dead was Dr Rhys Williams from Manchester Royal Infirmary. However another Top Doctor, Prof John Camm, testified that Dodd was fit for trial. Camm worked at St Georges Hospital Medical School, so God only knows how anyone persuaded him to give evidence against a dodgy lawyer. Er – yes, I’ve just realised the significance of that quip – dear old St George’s had an awful lot to hide and had participated in some terrible things at the time of Dodd’s trial.

There also seem to have been some porkies told about Dodd’s age at his trial. Dodd’s Who’s Who entries for years have stated that he is four years younger than the age given when he stood trial.

Carman read out letters from Harold Wilson, Ted Heath and Margaret Thatcher at Dodd’s trial, all supportive of Dodd. Character evidence was supplied by Roy Hudd, Eric Sykes, Michael Billington, John Fisher (the head of Variety at Thames Television) and Shelia Murray (the Secretary of Clatterbridge Hospital’s Cancer Research Trust – Dodd had helped them raise £10 million).

It was revealed at the trial that in 1984 Reginald Hunter – Dodd’s accountant between 1972-82 – had been prosecuted at Mold Crown Court for false accounting to enable other clients to avoid tax. Waterhouse grew up in Flintshire and retained close links there. Mold is the legal/administrative centre of Flintshire.

The barrister on the losing side of the Dodd case, Brian Leveson, did OK for himself. He became a High Court judge and Lord Leveson found fame and fortune when he Chaired the 2011-12 public inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press. Like Dodd, Leveson was a local boy made big from Liverpool.

Carman got into libel work via Oscar Beuselinck, whom Carman knew as the in-house lawyer for the Mirror News Group. Back in the 50s Oscar had represented entertainers, including John Osborne. He had become a Director of Woodfall Films with Osborne and acted for Hollywood clients. In the 70s Oscar began taking defamation work. He sued Private Eye in the 60s but then became their principal solicitor, representing them against Robert Maxwell in 1986. Maxwell himself then recruited Oscar in 1989, although Oscar resigned after a damning Panorama documentary on Maxwell was screened in 1991 – however he did remain as a consultant to Maxwell.

Carman’s juniors in libel cases were Adrienne Page, Victoria Sharp, Andrew Caldecott, James Price, Heather Rogers and Hugh Tomlinson.

Not only do the same names keep cropping up in terms of barristers whom Carman worked with or faced as opponents in Court, but the same judges keep popping up as well. Carman appeared many times in the Court of Mr Justice Drake. We know that judges are impartial of course but in one case Drake made it clear after the case that he was delighted that Carman had won the case. That case in question was the 1989 libel action against the News of the World – owned by the News Group, Murdoch’s empire – brought by Sonia Sutcliffe, the wife of Peter Sutcliffe. The News of the Screws admitted that they HAD defamed Sonia Sutcliffe, they had even paid £50k into Court, but Sutcliffe wanted more. Barbara Jones, a journo for the Mail on Sunday was named as a co-defendant – if Sonia won, Jones would have been liable for the News of the Screws’ indemnity damages and costs, which would have left Jones financially ruined. The potential for this had led to total hostility between Jones and News Group. Now Jones had previously been on holiday with Sonia and they had been pretty good friends – they had been planning to write a book together. But it was Jones’s evidence in Court that completely shafted Sonia Sutcliffe – evidence that Jones had gained regarding Sonia’s alleged attitude towards her husbands crimes during their holiday. Jones defended herself in Court – but she much appreciated Carman’s ‘quiet support and encouragement’. He advised her and told her what to do and say in Court, including telling her to ‘rile’ Sonia.

Sonia Sutcliffe lost the case and was left with a bill for 1/4 of a million quid.

There was little public sympathy for Sonia Sutcliffe at the time – she was the wife of a serial killer, there were allegations flying that she knew that her husband had been attacking women and she’d already won a number of big settlements from newspapers in libel cases.

Something else was happening at the time. The press were desperate to stem the tide of libel awards. The settlements were getting bigger and bigger and it was costing them a great deal of money. One man in particular was costing them a fortune – George Carman.

The more that I find out about the Sonia Sutcliffe case the more that it looks as though the sort of deal that seems to have happened in the Thorpe trial had occurred. A group of very greedy, very unscrupulous, very powerful people could well have got together behind the scenes and come to a convenient arrangement. The only person who didn’t benefit was Sonia Sutcliffe. But she wasn’t a press baron, or a journo or a lawyer. She was the wife of a murderer. Carman was hailed as a hero in the press and Tom Crone, News Group’s lawyer – a barrister who had previously worked for the Mirror Group – made a triumphalist speech outside of the Court. Crone was a close friend of Carman. In 2011 Crone resigned from his job as News International’s legal affairs manager during the phone hacking scandal, after it was revealed that the phone of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler had been hacked.

Not only did Justice Drake announce his satisfaction with the verdict – the Justice Drake who later presided over the libel case brought by Gordon Anglesea in which Carman represented Private Eye and others against Anglesea but lost – but the Private Eye lot were so pleased that they held a party which Carman attended. Sonia had successfully sued them previously…

The Jani Allan case that I mentioned earlier also occurred at the time that newspapers were worried about spiralling libel costs. Like Sonia Sutcliffe, Jani Allan had won a number of libel cases. It was Carman who finished Jani Allan off – but her counsel was Charles Howard QC, Carman’s mate.

I mentioned that Carman produced some interesting medical evidence in the Ken Dodd trial. Carman seemed to know some very helpful Top Doctors. In 1987 Carman’s former best man and good friend from Oxford Vivian Price QC was charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and driving twice whilst disqualified. Price was a senior barrister and a High Court judge. Carman obtained medical evidence at the 11th hour stating that Price had a brain tumour. It got Price off a prison sentence. The very understanding judge was Justice Farquarson – who had presided over the trial of Dr Leonard Arthur in which Carman had triumphed.

Carman also produced a helpful medical expert when he defended the Sun in 1994 after Gillian Taylforth the Eastenders actress brought a libel case against them. Taylforth and her partner Geoff Knights had been stopped on a motorway and Knights had been arrested and charged with driving offences. A policeman then sold a story to the Sun claiming that Gillian Taylforth had been giving Knights oral sex in the car. Taylforth and Knights denied it and their story was that Knights suffered from pancreatitis, had been in pain, so Taylforth undid his trousers to rub his belly. Carman produced Dr Iain Murray Lyon, a pancreatitis specialist, who testified that Knights could have been faking the pancreatitis attack by describing the symptoms. Well yes he could, but Dr Lyon was not there at the time so had no idea at all whether Knights was making it up or not. Not only did Carman produce a Top Doctor out of the hat, but at the beginning of the second week of the trial a video arrived at court. It was a film six years old of a drunken party attended by the Eastenders cast. Taylforth could be seen messing around with a sausage joking about oral sex and gesticulating with a bottle between her legs. She was fully clothed, it was daylight and there were many people present – it was hardly an orgy and wasn’t that shocking. But Carman made it sound like Sodom and Gomorrah. Taylforth lost the case and became so distressed that she collapsed and had to be wheeled out of the court on a stretcher attached to a supply of oxygen. Everyone had a real laugh and once again Tom Crone appeared outside the Court to crow. Michael Beloff QC acted for Taylforth but no-one asked what a policeman was doing selling a story to the Sun or how an ancient video of a party long-forgotten had found its way into Carman’s hands at a most convenient time.

As for the Top Doctor – Dr Iain Murray-Lyon works at Harley Street and at the Edward VII Hospital. That hospital was featured in my post ‘Update On ‘Tainted Blood’ Scandal’. It was the hospital which employed the nurse who looked after the Duchess of Cambridge when she suffered from severe pregnancy-induced vomiting who committed suicide when some Australian shock jocks rang up pretending to be the Queen. The Chairman of the hospital was Lord Simon Glenarthur – who is also the Director of the MDU and was the Health Minister responsible for the NHS ‘tainted blood’ scandal (see post ‘Running The Country – And All That Jazz…’).

Figures from the whole spectrum of the press loved Carman and utilised his talents. Yet he threatened and crapped on them as well. In 1982 Carman had Sir David English the editor of the Daily Mail fined for contempt for a prejudicial article about the Leonard Arthur case. Ten years later when Carman discovered that his ex-wife had given an interview to the Daily Mail he leant on English – who was still the editor – to tone down the article. It was published two days after the verdict following Carman’s savaging of Jani Allan in Court.

In July 1993 Carman was retained by Ian Burton to defend John Jermyn Hervey, the Marquis of Bristol, on drugs charges. The trial was at Snaresbrook Crown Court and the judge was Owen Stable QC. During the trial – and in his consultations with Carman before the trial – Hervey took both coke and heroin (he was even consuming drugs in the bogs in Court). The sentence was deferred on the grounds that Hervey was receiving treatment in the Charter Clinic, Chelsea. Before sentencing Hervey discharged himself from the clinic and went to France on a massive drugs binge. Carman put in a plea for mitigation based on Hervey’s deprived childhood no less, but he was jailed nonetheless. Hervey died from an AIDS related illness in 1999. He was a wildly promiscuous user of rent boys and by his own estimation had sex with thousands of them. Presumably infecting more than a few.

In Nov 1993 Elton John retained Carman to take on Carman’s own friends at Mirror Group Newspapers – Carman had secured a settlement of £1 million for Elton in 1988 after the Sun alleged that Elton John had suffered from an eating disorder which resulted in him spitting food out. The ever dependable Justice Drake presided and awarded exemplary damages to Elton. However in 1995 the Court of Appeal reduced the damages and laid out recommendations for future damages – just when the press really needed it. This bought an end to juries imposing punitive damages on newspapers and also resulted in the settlement of a libel action brought by Michael Jackson agains Mirror Group Newspapers.

Whoever could tell who was dealing with who behind the scenes and who was stuffing who over? Although the press barons got bigger and bigger and Carman became richer and richer and even more feared.

In 1998 the Times speculated that Carman’s earnings had dropped off – Carman was so cross that he phoned Clare Dyer, the Guardian’s legal correspondent and Frances Gibb, the Times’ legal editor and ensured that Gibb was au fait with his present success and recent work. Gibb duly obliged by running a big article the following week that flattered Carman.

Carman revelled in his Hollywood clients, including Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. He was retained by them in 1997 after a Sunday Express article made allegations about their involvement with Scientology, Cruise’s alleged infertility and the couple’s unhappy marriage. Carman sent ‘compelling medical evidence’ to the Express Group and in Oct 1998 the Express Group paid Cruise and Kidman damages and costs. They divorced some two years later amid allegations of Scientology and marital distress.

In 2000 the celebrity chef Marco Pierre White sued the New York Times and International Herald Tribune. Geoffrey Ripon QC acted for the newspapers and Carman acted for White. Carman won and the day after the damages were awarded White got married – Michael Winner was the best man and George Carman was a guest.

I remember hearing about Marco Pierre White in the early 1990s, from a young woman who had worked for him in London. This young woman had some very interesting stories – stories of drug use, of sexual exploitation and chaos in the business. She claimed to have had sex with White herself – in fact she told me that she had been in some sort of relationship with him whilst his ‘official’ partner was somebody else. Not that the young woman in question will ever be able to flog a story to anyone about it all – because she was an in-patient at the Hergest Unit, with ‘paranoid schizophrenia’ of course. She had grown up in north Wales, gone to university in London and met Marco Pierre White down there. Her parents confirmed that. But after a rather wild time in London she had a breakdown and was brought back to Wales – by a Top Doctor – and sectioned at Ysbyty Gwynedd. By exactly the same social workers and Top Doctors who unlawfully imprisoned me, pretty much at the same time that I was unlawfully detained. Her parents also told me that the law had been repeatedly broken and when they complained about it Gwynedd Social Services and Ysbyty Gwynedd lied constantly. I got to know this young woman quite well over the following years. Her one desire was to ‘get better’ and go back to London. The mental health services were very keen for her not to do this. I and her other friends used to notice that on a number of occasions she seemed to recover from her distress and enrol for courses, find jobs etc. But every time that she began to improve, the Top Doctors at Hergest – usually Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) – would alter her ‘medication’ and within three weeks she would be back in hospital, usually sectioned. It makes me wonder what goes on in Marco Pierre White’s world.

Carman took to hosting parties in the 1990s. He held a bash in the summer of 1993. Guests included the Lord Chief Justice, Sue Lawley, Ian Hislop, Norman Lamont, Sir David English (Chair of Associated Newspapers, which was the major shareholder of Euromoney Publications, Dominic Carman’s employers). Carman held another knees-up in 1998 at the Ritz, but a lot of people seemed to be unavailable, including Tom Bingham the Lord Chief Justice, David Frost, Elton John, Ian Hislop, Mo Mowlam, Imran Khan and his wife Jemima, Richard Branson and Jeffrey Archer. Those who did attend included  Dominic Lawson, Robin Day, Sue Cook, P.D. James, Freddie Forsythe, Lord Robert Alexander QC, Lord Gareth Williams, Lord Grabiner, Aidan Barclay and the Blairs, who dropped in on their way to Tuscany! Conrad Black turned up after the party had ended.

In 1998 Sir Ronnie Waterhouse had just finished taking evidence about the most appalling abuse of children in care in north Wales at the public inquiry which he was Chairing. A lot of people were very shocked at what witnessed said about their time in north Wales children’s homes in the 70s and 80s – it was far worse than anyone expected. A number of male  witnesses talked about being taken to Cheshire and London to be sexually abused by older men.

In 1993 George Carman purchased a house in Wimbledon and lived there until 1999. Wimbledon is just down the road from St George’s Hospital Medical School and is the preferred location for the residences of the senior staff of that institution. In 1999 Carman moved to another house in Wimbledon. He held a party there after winning the case for Al Fayed against Neil Hamilton.

Blair was not the only Prime Minister who had reason to be grateful to Carman. In April 1994 he acted for Thatcher in a copyright dispute involving her memoirs. In 1995 he was retained by John Major after the New Statesman published allegations about Clare Latimer. Major stopped the retention of Carman after the Observer published a comment about Carman offering free advice to Major – an apology to Carman was published and somehow John Major’s action was settled shortly afterwards.

Aspiring Prime Ministers sought Carman’s help as well. Portillo retained Carman with regard to the allegations of past homosexual activity on the part of Portillo – until Portillo decided to admit publicly that in the past he had participated in gay sex.

Very rich people whose funding is vital to Prime Ministers also beat a path to Carman’s door. In 1999 Carman advised Michael Ashcroft when he sued the Times after they published allegations of money laundering and drugs related crimes. Ashcroft met with Carman and that afternoon met with Murdoch after Jeff Randall acted as the broker to get them together. A deal was struck with a settlement. In the mid 1990s I knew someone who responded to the TV adverts that were being screened in Wales at the time urging people to report crime to Crimestoppers. This person reported the suspicious death of an elderly lady in one of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s ‘nursing homes’ and also reported one of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s ‘substance abuse patients’ who was openly seeling Class A drugs to schoolchildren in Bangor. No action was taken, so this person rang Crimestoppers again a few weeks later and repeated their allegations. They were told that Crimestoppers would not be taking any action because Crimestoppers were treating these calls as hoaxes.

Lord Michael Ashcroft funded and established Crimestoppers.

I suppose that it was inevitable that Jeffrey Archer crossed Carman’s path. In Oct 1999 Carman was retained by Eversheds to act for Archer in libel procedings against the Times. The matter was settled, an apology was issued and damages paid. In Dec 1999, new evidence emerged regarding a libel trial involving Archer and the Star twelve years previously. Carman was asked by Lovells – solicitors for Express Newspapers – to act against Archer in appealing the Star libel decision. Carman had been advising Archer eight weeks earlier. Carman held a conference at Lovells with David Pannick QC to discuss strategy. The civil action was abandoned in April 2000 when Archer faced criminal charges. Archer wrote to Carman in Oct 2000 regarding his impending trial for perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice, requesting lunch with Carman in order to ‘discuss matters’.

Another crook of impressive proportions who had dealings wirth Carman was Robert Maxwell. Between 1990-91 Maxwell was a regular client of Carman’s. Carman almost got into charity work through Maxwell. Carman supported Shelter and Maxwell promised to run a Mirror campaign for the homeless but it never happened. Carman parted company  with Shelter soon afterwards stating that he was fed up of giving them money. Carman had been acting for Maxwell in a libel case against the BBC but Maxwell went overboard before the case was heard. After Maxwell’s death Kevin Maxwell took over the Maxwell Communication Group and Ian Maxwell took over the Mirror Group. There  was of course the matter of the missing £426 million fron two pension funds at the Mirror Group. In Jan 1992 Carman appeared for Kevin in front of the Commons Select Committee – John Jarvis QC appeared for Ian and the Chair of the Committee was Frank Field. David Pannick QC was a member of the Maxwell’s advisory team. Carman visited Kevin’s wife Pandora at home to chat with her about the deep shit that the Maxwells were in. However Carman declined to defend Kevin at his subsequent trial – Carman told Clare Dyer of the Gyardian that he didn’t want to be committed to a long legal aid defence. Carman was therefore in breach of Bar Council rules but who cares about that, the Maxwells had no dosh anymore…

In 1993 Carman represented Branson in a libel claim against British Airways and secured a settlement of £610k. The settlement was somehow leaked to the Sun and was a scoop for David Yelland, the then City editor. Five years later Murdoch made Yelland the editor. In 1998 Carman represented Branson again, in a libel case against Guy Snowden, a major lottery operator. The presiding judge was Justice Morland – who also presided over the trial of the two ten year olds who killed James Bulger – who had known Carman for 50 years. They had been contemporaries at Oxford and both worked on the Northern  Circuit.

In the late 1990s Al Fayed was a regular client of Carman’s – numerous cases of Al Fayed’s were settled out of court or dropped. In 1999 Carman represented Al Fayed against Neil Hamilton – Desmond Browne QC acted for Hamilton and Justice Morland presided. One of Al Fayed’s many accusations against Hamilton was that Hamilton had procured rent boys. Hamilton was the MP for the Cheshire constituency that bordered on Sir Peter Morrison constituency and Hamilton and his wife attended social functions with Morrison. Carman won that case. Prior to that in 1995 Hamilton had sued the Guardian for libel – Carman succeeded in getting the case stopped on a point of law. Hamilton enlisted the help of Thatcher who had the law changed in Hamilton’s favour.

Carman did of course advise members of the Royal Family – including Diana, Prince Michael of Kent and Sarah Ferguson.

In 2000 Carman dissolved New Court Chambers and joined Elizabeth Appleby QC in her chambers – Carman took the room vacated by Cherie Booth, who had left to form Matrix. The former joint head of the chambers Michael Beloff QC left shortly after Carman joined.

Not only did Carman have access to helpful Top Doctors for his work as a barrister but he had his very own helpful Top Doctor on tap for his own medical needs – Dr Annie Coxon, a Harley street physician and neurologist. Annie Coxon was always on hand to deal with Carman’s ‘crises’ – which were nearly always a result of Carman drinking so much that he needed medical attention. On one occasion he collapsed in Court as a result of intoxication and Coxon even set up a drip for him as she attended. Coxon was known to take calls from Carman regularly in the early hours of the morning, she made sure that she was always available. There seems to have been major discord between Coxon and the Top Doctors who treated Carman at the end of his life when he developed cancer. He was of course treated privately by other Harley Street Top Doctors at the London Clinic but they seemed to freeze Coxon out of his care and she was not happy about this.

Coxon was a Catholic but converted to Islam over twenty years ago. She was introduced to Islam by the mother of the Sultan of Oman who was one of her patients. She was also the personal doctor of Al Fayed. Coxon was also the doctor of Jade Goody and was most critical of the NHS after Goody’s death from cancer.

Carman died of cancer in Jan 2001. Before he died he was courted by many cancer charities – he settled on supporting the Cancer Research Campaign (CRCUK) after Prof Gordon McVie visited him at home. His memorial service was attended by a number of people including Cherie Blair and Jeremy Thorpe.

George Carman seems to have touched the lives of a great many people who were involved in concealing the North Wales Child Abuse Ring. Carman’s mycelia reached everywhere. I was particularly surprised to find out that Carman’s senior clerk in New Court Chambers Bill Conner – Carman’s right hand man after Carman moved to London – was a keen birder. Enthusiastic birders get to know each other and travel across the UK regularly – the wealthier ones travel internationally. I have mentioned that my group of friends whilst I was at university in the early/mid-80s were birders – our house on Anglesey was the centre of much Bangor Bird Group activity. In 1985 just before we were all due to leave north Wales, my closest friend at university and house mate was killed in a car crash. My friend’s former boyfriend, also a well-known birder, was left brain-damaged and paralysed. My friend knew all about the problems that I was having with the north Wales mental health services. She was killed when a TR7 crashed into her head on whilst it was travelling on her side of the road. The driver of the TR7 was unscathed except for a broken arm. There was no investigation into the crash. A few weeks later Dr DGE Wood, the corrupt GP whom I now know was working very hard to conceal the criminal activities in north Wales and who ran the Student Health Centre at Bangor University, had a huge row with me when once more I raised the question of the misconduct of his colleagues. He finished by yelling at me that there was nothing for me in north Wales anymore and that I ought to leave the area and forget about everything that had happened there. A few days after my friend’s death, Wood’s colleague, the nurse who worked in the Student Health Centre, took my friend’s file out of the records locker and wrote ‘DEAD’ across the front of it in front of me. I wonder whether that was supposed to have been some sort of warning.

Ooh, nearly forgot – Sir John Kay, the High Court judge who issued Gwynedd Social Services with an injunction against me on the basis of affidavits from two social workers who perjured themselves (one of whom had never met me and the other one who had met me at most on three occasions) was a judge on the Northern Circuit. I could not work out at the time why a bunch of crooked social workers from Caernarfon had gone all the way to Leeds High Court to seek out a judge.

Sir John Kay knew George Carman.

Nasty business, organised child sexual abuse.

Their Trade Is Fuckwittery

I mentioned previously that I was reading Greg Dyke’s book ‘Inside Story’, which he wrote in the aftermath of the enormous scrap that resulted in his resignation as Director General of the BBC. Dyke’s book is so full of gems that I’ll never have enough time to blog about them all, but I have decided to blog about the most glittering.

One particularly fascinating and illuminating part of Greg’s book is his account of life behind the scenes at the catastrophe that was TV-am. Although TV-am was famous for being a series of disasters, Greg provides interesting details of the action behind the scenes that led to public spats such as Anna Ford throwing wine over Jonathan Aitken. Greg has certainly provided a good description of how greedy, crooked and unscrupulous many of those involved with TV-am were.

TV-am came into existence in 1983 after David Frost created a consortium to bid for the ITV franchise. The consortium consisted of Michael Parkinson, Angela Rippon, Anna Ford and Robert Kee. Peter Jay, the former British Ambassador to Washington was both Chair and Chief Executive. Jay had already enjoyed a media career and was well-connected within the industry.

According to Dyke’s book, Dyke was approached by Michael Deakin, who was to be TV-am’s Director of Programmes, for a ‘chat’ before TV-am was launched. Deakin had previously worked as a documentary maker at Yorkshire Television. Readers may remember that in June 1989 Yorkshire Television approached Alison Taylor the Gwynedd social worker who blew the whistle on the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal regarding a programme about it. On 12 Sept 1989 Alison Taylor and a man who alleged that he had been abused whilst in care in north Wales were filmed extensively for Yorkshire TV, but in Feb 1990 the programme about child abuse in Gwynedd was abandoned for a film about child abuse in another region of the UK. I will return to this later in this post.

TV-am was dogged by problems from the outset. Peter Jay and Anna Ford were soon ousted in a coup engineered by Jonathan Aitken, who was thought to be the major shareholder – although it was revealed years later that he wasn’t, Aitken had deceived everyone and the company was actually bankrolled by Saudi money. Nevertheless Aitken was installed as Chief Exec.

Dyke was asked by Jonathan Aitken to rescue TV-am after Aitken took over – Aitken was also still the Tory MP for Thanet. At this point the Chair of TV-am was Dick Marsh, the former British Rail boss and former Labour MP.

Although TV-am was notorious for lurching from one financial crisis to the next, Jonathan Aitken certainly lived an opulent lifestyle. Dyke dined at Aitken’s house at Lord North Street in Westminster – Sir Peter Morrison the Tory MP for Chester who was known to have abused boys in care in north Wales also lived in Lord North Street – and discovered that not only did Aitken employ a butler, but the butler was so outrageously high camp that he was a talking point between Dyke and his wife for months.

Aitken was famous for hosting dinner parties to which powerful figures from the media, politics and business would be invited. It was at one of these parties that Greg met Clive Jones who was later Chief Exec of ITV News. Jones and Dyke became good friends. Aitken was also the convenor of the Conservative Philosophy Group and hosted the likes of Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon and William Rees-Mogg a few doors down from Morrison the child molester.

Dyke describes a world in which crazed megalomaniacs from media, business and politics spend much time troughing and boozing at each others houses, but constantly knife each other in the back. For example, when Greg was told in confidence that Jonathan Aitken was to be the new Chief Exec of TV-am, Greg passed the info on to John Birt, who would later become Director General of the BBC. Birt leaked the information to the Guardian – but Dyke only found this out months later when he received a call from Birt asking Dyke to help him cover his tracks as being the source of the leak because he was now ‘helping the Guardian’ in their battle against Aitken. (In 1995 the Guardian and World In Action exposed Aitken as being involved in some very questionable business practices, to which I shall return later in this post.)

As an example of the degree of goodwill that the TV folk showed towards each other, when Dyke left LWT to take up his post at TV-am, Dyke’s immediate boss David Cox wrote the message ‘fuck off and good riddance’ in Dyke’s leaving card. Dyke’s book is full of such anecdotes – people setting out to embarrass each other in public in as vicious a way as possible at leaving parties, accessing confidential info about each other when they are promoted and thus have access to staff files and then reciting the info that they’ve read on the files at drinks parties etc. The corollary to this was to wreak one’s terrible revenge by gaining promotion and then a few years later returning to the scene of one’s humiliation to kick one’s old adversary in the teeth now that one was their boss. Greg certainly excelled at this – his whole career seems to have been based on the desire to seriously screw other people over. He took great pleasure in later becoming David Cox’s boss himself and crapping on him from a height. I can understand why Dyke would want to shaft these obnoxious people, but he spent years supping with them and treating them like his best mates whilst seething inside and planning to wreck their careers.

Not only do the TV execs in Greg’s world all screw huge quantities of money out of their employers, but they like to be seen to be raking it in – it is a very ostentatious business with much mindless consumerism. Greg boasts about a straightforward fiddle that the execs at TV-am were working to ensure that the bigwigs ended up with company cars nearly as good as the biggest wigs and definitely a lot better than the cars that the plebs were driving. The cars in question were all so expensive that none of them will have been in any danger of breaking down, so one wonders why Greg and his mates thought that it was worth fleecing TV-am over this  – particularly as the company was in a state of near bankruptcy throughout the time that Dyke was there.

Greg filled TV-am with either his friends or people whose careers that he ‘boosted’ who remained indebted to him – he boasts of ‘helping’ Lynn Faulds-Wood, Mark Damazar and Adam Boulton. He brought in one of his old colleagues from his days as a journalist in Newcastle, Peter McHugh, as well as Andy Webb and Eve Pollard. Pollard was recruited from Fleet street, specifically the Sunday People and later returned to Fleet Street to edit the Sunday Mirror and then the Sunday Express. Greg poached Nick Owen and Anne Diamond from Nationwide and then recruited Wincy Willis, Gordon Honeycombe and Lynn Faulds-Wood’s husband, John Stapleton.

TV-am succeeded in breaking broadcasting rules and conning the viewers by the use of Diana Dors and her ‘diet slot’, in which she advised viewers on weight loss, claiming to be following a diet herself. Dors religiously weighed herself on TV and claimed miraculous weight loss – Dyke admits that he was virtually certain that Dors was lying about her achievement and was concealing weights about her person for the early weigh-ins and then progressively shedding them. Why would Dors be doing this? Because she had a product to sell – a Diana Dors weight loss calculator, which she then promoted on TV-am, which Dyke admits was not permitted under broadcasting rules. Dors requested that viewers wanting to buy her product write to her at TV-am. Ten thousand duped viewers wrote in, but Dyke kept all the letters claiming that they were the property of TV-am. Dors went to Court to try and get her hands on the letters but lost the case. The letters remained in the clutches of TV-am and no viewers received the product that they were conned into trying to purchase. I bet they didn’t even receive an explanation.

Despite the way in which the viewers had been hoodwinked by both Dors and Dyke, after Dors died, TV-am screened a special tribute programme to her. One of the guests was Barbara Windsor who waxed lyrical on camera about how great Dors was and then told Dyke after the show that she’d hated her. Another guest was Dors’ ‘friend’ Jess Conrad who used the tribute programme to dear old Diana to plug his latest record.

You can see how the BBC ended up screening tribute programmes to Savile after his death, whilst not mentioning the side of his life that was most important to him. But then both Dors and Windsor had relationships with serious criminals who ended up in prison and that was always described very euphemistically by the media when Dors and Babs became too old to remain as sex symbols and had to metamorphose into the nation’s aunties instead.

I mentioned that Dyke was imported into TV-am in order to ‘rescue’ it – he is credited as having done so by introducing a puppet called Roland Rat. I never understood how a puppet could actually rescue an ailing TV company descending into debt, it’s not even as if Roland Rat was as good as Sooty and Sweep, but unbelievably media history does maintain that Dyke’s employment of Roland Rat did the trick. There was a worrying moment for Dyke when he received a phone call from the Daily Star telling him that they were going to run a story about the puppeteer who worked Roland Rat hosting a Soho club for rubber and latex fetishists, but it all turned out OK because when Dyke rang the IBA (Independent Broadcasting Authority) to warn them, the IBA told him that they were not in the least bit concerned about such matters. I can’t understand why Greg ever thought that they would be.

However I think that someone should have been very concerned indeed at a few other things at TV-am. Whilst Greg and his mates worked their scam to ensure that they always drove top of the range cars paid for by TV-am, there were masses of other fiddles perpetuated by the management as well as the staff, as the company drowned in debt. One creditor was owed £12k and there was no attempt to pay them. The company never had enough money for basics, staff were told silly lies such as ‘there’s been a computer glitch’ on a regular basis because there was not enough money to pay them, bills went unpaid, the local newsagents were owed so much that they refused to deliver the newspapers for the newspaper review spot, local taxi firms refused to do business with TV-am and thus guests due to appear on the TV couldn’t be collected, writs mounted up but were routinely ignored on the grounds that one has 28 days to respond to a writ, bailiffs arrived at the homes of researchers and tried to remove property after hotel bills that the researchers had signed off had not been paid, correspondents had to use phone boxes because the phone bill hadn’t been paid and the electricity was nearly cut off as well, but ‘somehow’ ‘someone’ found the cash from ‘somewhere’. One advertising agency tried to deal with TV-am by telling them that they wouldn’t make any further promotions until they had been paid the considerable sum of money that they were owed. Greg knew how to respond – he told them that if the advertising agency didn’t continue to work for TV-am Greg would take even longer to pay them the outstanding debt.

Whilst all this was going on, Greg and co drove their flash cars, Jonathan and Tim Aitken – who owned TV-am – continued to run their merchant banking business Aitken Hume International, Jonathan continued to employ his camp butler and hold lavish dinner parties for important folk and Tim’s office at TV-am was crammed with bottles of pink champagne. It was just the ‘staff’ that didn’t get paid – probably the cleaners, canteen staff, receptionists and secretaries ie. those who really needed the dosh. The bank accounts of the ‘talent’ will have remained healthy or they would have walked out. During this time of crisis, someone hit on the idea of paying Chris Tarrant to go out onto the streets and throw buckets of water over people who were smoking cigarettes – because Greg wanted an anti-smoking campaign. I’m surprised that no-one actually thumped Tarrant or even sued him for assault.

Where Roland Rat’s much publicised ‘rescue’ of this shambles came in I do not know.

TV-am had very few advertisers – they only had contracts with three regulars, one of which was Walls Pork Sausages. Lynn Faulds-Wood – a ‘consumers champion’ a la Esther – wanted to use the consumers slot to expose Walls after it had been discovered that Walls bangers contained rather more water than was deemed unacceptable. TV-am decided not to run this particular expose in the light of the advertising revenue that they were receiving from the folk who were selling water rather than sausages.

I found this anecdote illuminating because I remember Lynn Faulds-Wood on TV doing her exposes years ago and I noticed that only certain things were exposed – I concluded that Lynn was following the Esther model of not upsetting anyone important. But Faulds-Wood was considered to be rather less unscrupulous than Esther. John Stapleton, Faulds-Wood’s husband, hosted a daytime ITV show during the 90s called The Time The Place, which was thought to be rather less tawdry and dishonest than Kilroy, a daytime show on the BBC which was screened at the same time as The Time The Place – both shows covered similar topics. I have mentioned previously how Dr Dafydd Alun Jones actually turned up on Kilroy to talk about mental health problems whilst havoc reigned in north Wales and criminal investigations were held into the paedophile ring which he and his mistress Lucille Hughes facilitated and concealed. To my knowledge Dafydd never made it through the doors of The Time The Place, but as on Kilroy, when mental healthcare or child abuse was discussed by John Stapleton and his guests, it was very clear that only certain voices were ever allowed to be heard. Well if Stapleton’s wife wouldn’t even tackle pork sausages, whoever was going to take on institutionalised abuse in psychiatry and the Westminster Paedophile Ring? Particularly if the likes of Jonathan Aitken owned the TV company.

I say that Jonathan Aitken – along with his cousin Tim – owned TV-am, but as I mentioned earlier it was later revealed that Jonathan and Tim didn’t own the company. TV-am was effectively owned by some Saudis who were actually the major shareholders after a deal had been done by Jonathan Aitken to disguise this – an illegal deal, which Tim Aitken claimed to have no knowledge of. Tim Aitken might have claimed to Know Nuzzing about the Saudis who were bankrolling the company, but he did know that the company was trading when insolvent in early 1984 when he asked Greg Dyke to join the Board. Greg himself claimed ‘not to have known’ what trading when insolvent meant – although he does know now.

Greg didn’t like Jonathan but he ‘liked and trusted’ Tim. There was however a problem with Tim in that he was clueless about running a TV company and anyway was far too busy running his merchant bank to even try to run TV-am. It is clear that Tim was a bit of a liability.

TV-am hit yet another crisis in 1984 – obviously Roland Rat wasn’t pulling his weight – and they desperately needed huge quantities of dosh. They managed to tempt in two new investors – Fleet Holdings (who owned the Express Group) and the much loathed (by everyone but Thatcher if I remember) Aussie businessman, Kerry Packer. However Greg and ‘the management’ still needed to convince the other shareholders that they were a ‘strong’ management able to stand up to the unions. The broadcasting unions in the 1980s, like the print unions, were very powerful and their members earned very, very high salaries – it was Thatcher’s stated mission to break them after she had screwed over the NUM and then passed the legislation that Murdoch needed to break the print unions. TV-am were not actually able to stand up to the unions very well – the unions were unreasonable and greedy, but so were the management – the company was in meltdown. However Dyke and co set up a number of intrigues in order to convince the staff that a crucial vote had to go as the management (and shareholders) desired or the company would go into liquidation and no-one would have a job. On the day of the vote, Jonathan Aitken made a show of clearing his office in front of a shop steward, just to convince the unions that it was now crunch point. It seemed that Dyke et al either weren’t convinced that the vote would go their way OR they didn’t have confidence that the company would survive even if the staff did vote the way that Dyke et al were manipulating them to.

Dyke explains that the company was ‘near liquidation’ and that on the day of the vote, the managers all parked their cars outside the building lest they needed a ‘quick getaway’ – I imagine that the staff were pretty close to lynching them all anyway. Dyke calculated that TV-am owed him about £30k and he wanted his dosh – so he looked around for something that he could steal and sell. He couldn’t find anything suitable inside the building, so he stole the keys to the TV-am barge (TV-am was located at Camden Lock).

The staff were sufficiently panicked and manipulated into voting in the way that Dyke and the shareholders wanted, so TV-am lived to fight another day. And rip a few more people off. It was now vital that Tim Nice But Dim be removed as Chief Exec – so the Board hatched a plan to knife the Chairman Dick Marsh, which would then enable them to install Tim as Chairman. For some reason Tim couldn’t be removed altogether, so a vacancy had to be created at the top. It was Marsh who was clobbered.

So in 1984 a new Chief Exec arrived – Bruce Gyngell. I can’t quite work out from Dyke’s book who exactly hatched the plot to stuff Dick Marsh but Bruce Gyngell was brought in by Kerry Packer. Gyngell had come from Australia where he had worked for Kerry Packer’s empire and he became a favourite of Thatch, she really loved Gyngell. He became good friends with her and epitomised Thatcher’s idea of everything that a media executive should be.

Gyngell was of course ruthless, rather mad and some thought him predatory. He was noted for wearing pink to such an extent that his staff called him the Pink Panther, he was very superstitious and distributed company key fobs and watches to the staff and urged the staff to rub these objects to channel positive forces and although he was very rich and very greedy he maintained that he was deeply interested in Eastern spirituality and was enthusiastic about Zen, meditation and insight philosophy. Yet Gyngell was no monk. He was a notorious shagger – although he was happy to lecture the media industry about morality – and according to Greg, when Gyngell arrived at TV-am he asked Adrian Moore, the Director of Production, which of the women who worked there were an ‘easy lay’.

In 1986 Gyngell married Kathy Rowan who worked as a producer at TV-am. Rowan had previously worked at LWT.

During 1987-88, Gyngell became involved in the most enormous battle with the technicians union ACTT at TV-am, Murdoch-style. He was encouraged by Thatcher who maintained that the ITV unions were ‘the last bastion of restrictive practices’ and the dispute ended in a three month lock-out. Gyngell ran TV-am for a number of months without the union members – other people were simply recruited to do the jobs that they were doing. Gyngell did break the ACTT and 200 members at TV-am never returned to their former jobs, although Gyngell suffered a heart attack which was attributed to the stress of the dispute.

In his capacity as Chief Exec, Bruce Gyngell gradually booted out all of Dyke’s mates and then kicked out Dyke. Dyke joined TVS and his old mate Clive Jones followed him there shortly afterwards.

Gyngell did succeed in returning TV-am to profit by ruthlessly targeting programming costs and for a while it was the most profitable TV company in the UK – it was floated on the Stock Exchange.

However, in 1991 Greg wreaked his terrible revenge which led to TV-am going out of business. When the ITV franchises came up for auction, Greg – who was by then Chief Exec of LWT – put together the Sunrise consortium (which became GMTV) to bid for the ITV breakfast franchise. As a result of legislation that Thatcher herself passed, the bidding process was blind – so no-one knew what any other bidders had bid – and the franchise had to be awarded to the highest bidder. Greg’s Sunrise consortium put in an enormous bid many millions bigger than TV-am’s bid, so Sunrise/GMTV were awarded the franchise. Poor old Gyngell struggled on for a bit but in 1992 TV-am closed down.

Gyngell and Frost held a farewell party to celebrate TV-am going out of business and Gyngell was delighted to tell the guests that he had received a personal letter of apology from Thatcher, who was distraught that legislation that her Gov’t had passed to ‘encourage’ the likes of Gyngell had inadvertently blown up in their faces and led to his end. Thatcher couldn’t understand what had happened. Er – ill-thought out legislation and a bunch of backstabbing crooks conducting business in the way that you had encouraged Thatcher? It is documented that Gyngell broke industry rules when he arrived at TV-am by negotiating a £1.2 million advance payment for an advertising campaign by a toy company. There won’t have been any comeback…

 

After the death of TV-am Gyngell became Executive Chair of Kerry Packer’s Nine Network. In May 1995 Gyngell was appointed MD of Yorkshire-Tyne Tees Group (Yorkshire TV had merged with Tyne Tees), replacing John Fairley. Ward Thomas was Chair of YTT. Gyngell’s post ended when Granada took over YTT in 1997.

 

Bruce Gyngell died in 2000, but his wife Kathy lives on. Kathy Gyngell is described as a ‘right wing operative’ who is a research fellow for the Centre of Policy Studies. She is the co-editor of the website Conservative Woman and she’s even managed to find her way into the Guardian on a number of occasions. In July 1999 (whilst Bruce was still alive) she co-founded a right wing media monitoring company with David Keighley, the former Director of Corporate Affairs at TV-am. This company was dissolved in 2006 and superceded by another company, Newswatch, which was dissolved in 2009.

In 2006 Kathy co-authored a Centre for Policy Studies report with Ray Lewis. In this report, Gyngell was described as the Chair of the Addiction Working Group of the Social Justice Policy Group, the Conservative think tank established by Ian Duncan Smith.

Readers might not recognise the name of Ray Lewis, but I won’t forget it. Ray Lewis was appointed Deputy Mayor of London by Boris in 2008. Lewis had wowed Ian Duncan Smith with his ‘remarkable’ work with black youth in Newham at the Eastside Young Leaders Academy. Lewis had wowed a lot of people actually – Stephen Norris and Francis Maude were Trustees of Eastside, the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu was the Patron and donors included Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers. In 2005 Cameron’s first photo op as Conservative Party leader was at Eastside.

However two months after Lewis’s appointment as Boris’s deputy, Lewis resigned after a number of public revelations about his past activities. In 1990 Ray Lewis had been ordained as a Church of England priest and in 1993 he was appointed the vicar of St Matthews in West Ham. In 1995 Lewis was accused of exploiting vulnerable pensioners by borrowing a total of £41k and not repaying it. There were also allegations of sexual harassment and Scotland Yard had received a string of complaints, including blackmail. Lewis denied all the allegations and no charges were ever brought. In 1997 Lewis left the UK for Grenada where he organised a charity raffle – the first prize was a car, but the winner never received it. Then a Nigerian bishop complained that a charity that he had set up with Lewis had been drained of its funds, £8k – Lewis had been the Treasurer. The Diocese of Chelmsford reported the matter to the police – no charges were brought. Neither were any charges brought against Lewis in 2000 when he was arrested on suspicion of deception over a house sale. However, the Church barred him from Ministry and preaching. Lewis also claimed to be a magistrate – he wasn’t. In 2000 Lewis worked as a prison chaplain, then joined the Prison Service and for nearly two years worked as a junior governor at HMP Woodhill Young Offenders Institute. It was after that that Lewis set up Eastside.

After Lewis’s past became public in 2008, the man who stripped Lewis of his rights as a priest, the Rt Rev Roger Sainsbury, the retired Bishop of Barking, stated that he’d been an admirer of Eastside and believed that Ray Lewis had reformed. Sainsbury’s successor, the Rt Rev David Hawkins, saw Lewis with Boris at a day of prayer event and wrote to Boris telling him that Lewis was no longer an authorised Minister in the Church of England and suggested that Boris should get in touch. Boris did not respond. Several weeks later a TV journalist approached the C of E for the background on Lewis and it was then that the story came to light.

The longstanding Labour Council in Newham admitted reporting in 2005 on allegations of physical abuse at Eastside – Scotland Yard confirmed that five allegations were investigated, but were all dropped.

Duncan Smith suggested that all this dissatisfaction with Lewis was designed to ‘get at’ Boris. He stated that Newham Council ‘is on the left and hates Ray Lewis and his methods which are not for the fainthearted’. Duncan Smith does of course describe Eastside as dispensing ‘tough love’.

The chaplain at Eastside, the Rev Bruce Stokes, a Baptist Minister, maintained that anyone working ‘this way with kids’ was ‘bound to be investigated’ and that he thought that it was probably Lewis’s ‘personality and style’ to which people objected.

The London Evening Standard claimed that the mess was all the fault of the Church.

After Lewis’s resignation, everyone was very keen to distance themselves. The child protection officer at Eastside, Dapo Abidoye, had ‘nothing to say’. Neither did Richard Atterbury, the co-head of global finance at Lehman Brothers and a Trustee of Eastside. John Sentamu issued a statement explaining that he did not have ‘any involvement, or fiduciary obligation, relating to day-to-day management’ at Eastside.

Dear old IDS claimed that the media and Lewis’s political enemies were ‘crushing a good man’. The Rev Stokes stated that Lewis ‘comes up with answers. It feels he has been completely stitched up’. Stokes was saddened that in the wake of the controversy surrounding Lewis that similar academies planned elsewhere in the UK were unlikely to go ahead.

No-one ever got to the bottom of the Ray Lewis and Eastside business, because a planned Public Inquiry into the whole affair was scrapped after Lewis resigned.

However I think that Ray might have made his mark years before the shit hit the fan in the wake of all those complaints about him in the 90s after he’d managed to become ordained.

At the time that the Ray Lewis business became public in 2008 I was sharing a farmhouse in Gwynedd with my friends. One of my friends was a Buddhist and was a member of a Buddhist sangha which had connections to a number of other Buddhist communities. A few months before Ray Lewis hit the media, a Buddhist asked us if we could put someone up who had just left a community and was in need of somewhere to live. This lady subsequently moved into our house and although she was very friendly it soon became clear that she had serious mental health problems and seemed very traumatised and very angry. She stayed with us for many weeks and we got to know her quite well. Whilst she was staying with us, I had appeared in the newspapers talking about abuse in the mental health services and our guest asked me how I knew that such things were happening. I told her some of what had happened to me at the hands of the mental health services and said that I knew that it was a major problem.

Our guest – whom I will call D – had already told us that back in the 80s she’d been a social worker in London but had spent many years living in various different communities. I guessed that D had some sort of breakdown and had been unable to work. When she discovered that I had experience of abusive psychiatry, she did what quite a few other people have done and told me about her own bad experiences. D had been through a nightmare. She described receiving dreadful treatment after being sectioned in a London hospital – she had been diagnosed with psychotic depression, had been given ECT against her will and claimed to have been physically and sexually assaulted by staff in the hospital. When she finally got out of there – after many, many months, D got as far away from the mental health services and anyone connected with them as possible and started travelling around the UK living in alternative communities.

The problem that any patient who has been diagnosed with a serious mental illness finds if they try to communicate being on the receiving end of abusive mental health services, is that they are not believed. As I have detailed on this blog, diagnosing serious mental illnesses in people who have been abused by the welfare state or have been witness to things of which other people would rather remain unspoken is a remarkably common way of dealing with the problem. Everything that D told me rang true – she described the sort of casual institutionalised abuse that I witnessed in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, in Springfield Hospital, in the Hergest Unit and that I hear about frequently. But then D told me about the circumstances of her admission to hospital.

D had been working as a children’s social worker in inner London in the 80s. She was white and was a doctor’s daughter who’d grown up in Bath. The young people that she was looking after once she had qualified were predominantly from ethnic minorities, in inner London. That wasn’t the problem. The problem arose when D noticed that the practices of her colleagues were a very long way from the practice and theory that she had been taught whilst she was training. The shit really hit the fan when two of the teenagers whom she was responsible for – girls of 13 and 14 – told her that they were being forced to have sex with a man who was entering the children’s homes. This man was some sort of youth worker. D told her senior managers what the teenagers had told her. She was told to ignore what the girls had told her, not to speak about it again because the man whom the girls had named was ‘big in black politics and he’s untouchable’. D told me that the name of this man was Ray Lewis.

D was horrified. I gained the impression that when this happened she hadn’t been qualified long and she was still idealistic. She was very concerned for the welfare of the girls and became even more concerned when the two girls who had previously alleged that they were being sexually assaulted told D that other kids had experienced similar problems.

D returned to her managers – and made the fatal mistake of reminding them that the children in their care had been raped, were being put at risk further by the social services lack of action and that what was happening was illegal and contrary to all good social work practice. D was referred for ‘medical help’. D’s own dad was a Top Doctor  – she might not have realised what organisations use the less scrupulous Top Doctors for. D was told that she was depressed and unfit for work. Which she might well have been by then – I can imagine how distressing a young, newly qualified, idealistic social worker would have found all this. D was sent to a psychiatrist – she did of course tell them what was going on in her workplace and that she was not going to keep quiet about it as ordered. D was sectioned. Not only was she diagnosed with ‘depression’, but it was ‘psychotic depression’. Just in case anyone might be in danger of believing anything that she said…

The treatment was successful! D was destroyed, she left social work and indeed London and took up an itinerant lifestyle wandering around the UK staying in a variety of alternative communities. She had been doing this for years by the time that she arrived at our place. She knew that she had been very distressed by what had happened in London, both at her workplace and at the hands of the caring sharing mental health services and she had made a number of attempts to access therapy and care. On every occasion that she did so, once the therapist had heard her story somehow the therapy came to an end. D was untouchable – which tends to happen to people who have witnessed organised child sexual abuse. One manifestation of D’s distress was quite obsessional cleaning. She knew this and would offer to clean in return for a place to stay – our place was spotless whilst she was with us, it was incredible. We weren’t the only people who noticed how good at cleaning D was. Some of her therapists did as well. At one point she was offered a job in a Rudolph Steiner Care Home in the midlands. The deal was supposed to be that she would do a few hours cleaning each day in return for free training and tuition in Steiner care. Once she arrived however somehow she ended up on the cleaning full time and no tuition or training was forthcoming. After six months she realised that this wasn’t going to change so she left.

So how did D arrive in north Wales? D was offered a job as a cleaner at a place called Trigonos in the Nantlle Valley in Gwynedd. The Nantlle Valley is really beautiful and Trigonos is a conference centre favoured by alternative types – it is next to the lake, under the mountains and supplies organic food and other necessities of alternative life. Trigonos’s main custom seems to come from the Bangor University Mindfulness Centre – nearly all their courses for training Mindfulness practitioners and teachers are held there and they used to hold their conferences there as well. D knew about this and thought that it would be a suitable environment for her. However when she arrived, she found that she seemed to be working very long hours for very little pay. She moved out of Trigonos after a few months seeking somewhere else to live which is how D eventually ended up at our house. D stayed with us for many weeks and then moved on to a community in Scotland. It was just after she left that Ray Lewis hit the headlines. A few months after that I encountered one of the more irresponsible members of the family that runs Trigonos. When he found out which house I lived in he realised that I was one of the people who had taken in D. I asked him why she had left Trigonos. I was told ‘she was a fucking brilliant cleaner but she was a nutter so we got rid of her’.

The vast majority of the Mindfulness trainers who practice their loving-kindness and compassionate meditation at Trigonos are former social workers, many of whom were employed by Gwynedd and Clwyd Social Services – whilst the paedophile ring operated in those organisations. One of the leaders of many of those courses at Trigonos is a Judith Soulsby. Soulsby is a former psychiatric social worker with the Arfon Community Mental Health Team. Her colleagues were the people who perjured themselves in an attempt to have me imprisoned after I alleged serious abuse in the mental health services in north Wales. Not only does Judith train Mindfulness practitioners at the centre where the cleaners are not allowed to be nutters, but Judith has co-authored with Professor Mark Williams and was part of the original team who set the con that is Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy on the road (see post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’).

 

Now for a few more details on Jonathan and Tim Aitken who lived like kings whilst their TV company owed money to the little people.

Tim Aitken is the grandson of Lord Beaverbrook and is rather less illustrious than his cousin Jonathan. Since Jonathan ended up in prison Tim has distanced himself from him. A recent newspaper article suggested that Tim spends most of his time on his yacht.

Jonathan is the son of Tory MP Sir William Traven Aitken. Selwyn Lloyd, the Chancellor of the Exchequer under Harold Macmillan, was a friend of Jonathan’s dad which was how Aitken got to meet the PM whilst he was still an undergrad at Oxford reading law – Aitken wrote speeches for Selwyn in his summer holidays. At Oxford Aitken was Chair of the Oxford University Conservative Association – he did try to become President of the Oxford Union but was unsuccessful.

After Oxford he worked as a journalist and in 1970 ended up on trial the Old Bailey for breaking the Official Secrets Act, after passing classified information to a Tory MP Hugh Fraser, although he was acquitted. Between 1968-70 Aitken worked for Yorkshire TV, presenting regional news shows. Aitken had ambitions to enter Conservative politics from a young age and he struck up a friendship with Fraser – that ended after Aitken had an affair with Fraser’s wife Antonia. Aitken’s account of his life as a young man stresses how he had no money and therefore knew that he had to make his own way in the world. So he does what everyone who finds themselves on their uppers does – he launched a merchant bank and became Chairman of Slater Walker Securities.

In 1973 Aitken met Prince Mohammed bin Fadh of Saudi Arabia and became close friends with the Prince’s personal secretary after Aitken ‘organised hospital treatment’ in the UK for the Prince’s secretary’s mother. What all that was about I don’t know, but if Jonathan Aitken was involved it won’t have been clean.

In 1974 Aitken was elected as Tory MP for Thanet.  At about this time he had a relationship with Carol Thatcher but it ended in tears – literally – and Margaret Thatcher never forgave him. Aitken’s falling out with the Thatcher family was notorious ad it was suggested that it was the reason why he remained on the backbenches for so many years although he clearly thought that he ought to be PM.

In 1979 Aitken married a neighbour of Prince Mohammed’s personal secretary. He blotted his copybook soon after by having an affair with a prostitute, but his family forgave him.

In 1980 Aitken wrote to Thatcher alleging that Sir Roger Hollis, the former Director General of MI5, had been a double agent working for the Soviets. This info had been given to Aitken by CIA spymaster James Angleton. The allegation against Hollis caused an almighty row and led to Chapman Pincher’s 1981 book ‘Their Trade Is Treachery’, which in turn led to the publication of ‘Spycatcher’ in 1987.

Aitken’s Saudi friendships came in handy for propping up Aitken Hume International and for bankrolling TV-am. Aitken was forced to resign from TV-am when it was revealed that Aitken Hume was a front for Saudi control of TV-am.

Aitken cultivated friendships with some rather unsavoury people, including the well-known sexual harasser Tory MP Alan Clark, who described Aitken as ‘my old friend and standby for many a dirty trick’. Aitken was also known to leak damaging info about his fellow Tory MPs. Aitken was close friends with Tory MP Richard Shepherd and for some reason ended up as godfather to Diane Abbott’s son. One of Aitken’s book launch’s was attended by Christine Keeler.

Aitken complained in the Commons about the excessive secrecy of the security services, but maintained close contact with some present and former officers. Malcolm Turnbull – who later became PM of Australia – was Peter Wright’s lawyer when Wright was trying to get his book Spycatcher published and approached Aitken in an attempt to reach a settlement between the British Gov’t and Wright. Aitken ‘tried to help’ but failed.

In Nov 1990, three months after the Iraq invasion of Kuwait, Aitken flew to Oman as the Sultan’s guest to attend a meeting of Le Cercle, a right wing group formed by former intelligence agents, of which Aitken was Chairman. The dreadful Alan Clarke was present as well – Clark alleged that Le Cercle was funded by the CIA.

After John Major became PM, he appointed Aitken Minister for Defence Procurement – the Saudis were delighted with this appointment as were MoD arms salesmen, but a great many other people weren’t.

Between 1988-90 Aitken was a Director of BMARC, an arms exporter. Whilst he was a Cabinet Minister, he signed a Public Interest Immunity Certificate in Sept 1992 relating to the Matrix-Churchill trial which gagged documentation including that relating to the supply of arms to Iraq by BMARC when he was a Director of that company.

Aitken became Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 1994 and subsequently faced questions about defence contracts and Saudi money. He resigned in 1995 after allegations that he’d breached Ministerial rules, still lent his house to Michael Howard during Howard’s leadership campaign.

In 1995 the Guardian published an article regarding Aitken and Saudi arms deals. Journalists from Granada’s World In Action also helped with the expose. On the day that the article was published, Aitken held a press conference at the Conservative Party Offices in Smith Square and very pompously denounced the allegations. He stated that if World In Action screened the programme ‘Jonathan Of Arabia’ that was scheduled for that evening he would sue for libel. The programme was screened as promised and Aitken began a libel action against the Guardian and Granada.

In June 1997 the action collapsed after George Carman acting for the defence produced documentary evidence demonstrating that Aitken had lied during the trial. Evidence also indicated an arms deal scam with Aitken’s friend and business partner, the personal secretary of Prince Mohammed bin Fahd. It was also alleged that if the case had continued, Aitken had been prepared to have his teenaged daughter lie under oath.

Aitken was imprisoned for perjury and served seven months. Whilst he was in the slammer he experienced an almighty religious conversion and has since taken to writing about prayer and matters theological.

Aitken was faced with a legal bill of over £1 million – he was allowed to drop the case on promising to pay costs, but escaped from his liability by declaring himself bankrupt. The Guardian observed that most of Aitken’s assets were conveniently owned by other people.

Although Aitken lost his seat in the 1997 General Election, within a year was appointed as a representative of the arms company GEC-Marconi.

In 1999 a DNA test revealed that Aitken was the father of Soraya Khashoggi’s daughter – the Soraya Khashoggi’s husband became very rich by arms dealing.

In 2004 some Conservatives in Thanet proposed that Aitken return as the Conservative candidate, but this bright idea was vetoed by Michael Howard. In the same year Aitken declared his support for UKIP.

In 2006 Aitken became President of Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

In Nov 2007 he led the task force on Prison Reform with Ian Duncan Smith’s Centre for Social Justice to ‘help form Conservative policy’.

 

The names of two independent TV companies crop up constantly in Greg Dyke’s book – LWT and Yorkshire TV. The most powerful people in the media world seem to have passed through those organisations, as well of course as the BBC. Because the really big players in TV are so few, they all just rotated between the BBC and the independent companies as they climbed higher and higher. The same names pop up constantly and those names also toady shamelessly to Gov’ts of all hues. If you’re the BBC the Gov’t has got you over a barrel because you depend upon them for the continuation of the licence fee and the renewal of the Charter and if you’re an independent company you’re out in the free market depending upon the Gov’ts policies that affect the operation of that market. Gov’t can do great damage to TV execs, the execs dare not upset Gov’t. So one can see how easy it would be for the few influential people in the media to ensure that nothing was ever screened on TV that might lead to the identification of public figures abusing children in care for example.

My post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’ describes how Marjorie Wallace has done a really great job suppressing info concerning the use of psychiatry in concealing child abuse – Marjorie’s long term partner Tom Marjerison was the founder of LWT.

Yorkshire TV is as much as a key player as the BBC. As previously mentioned, it was Yorkshire TV who in Sept 1989 actually began filming a programme about child abuse in north Wales. By Feb 1990 the programme had been abandoned. So let’s look at Yorkshire TV.

The Director of Programmes for Yorkshire TV 1984-92 was John Fairley. Fairley was born in Liverpool and went to school in the north west of England. He began work with the Bristol Evening Post in 1963 and moved to the London Evening Standard in 1964. Between 1965-68 he was a radio producer with BBC Radio – so he’ll have known a Jimmy Savile then. Between 1968-78 Fairley was a TV producer for Yorkshire TV – Savile country. My post ‘A Very COHSE Relationship With Some Very Nasty People’ details how one of the paedophiles’ friends from north Wales migrated to Yorkshire and ended up in a position of very great influence. Fairley was MD of Yorkshire-Tyne Tees TV, 1993-April 1995. He then became Chief Exec of UKTV. Fairley lives in Ryedale in North Yorkshire.

Sir Paul Fox was Head of Programmes for Yorkshire TV, 1973-86, then MD of Yorkshire TV, 1977-88. Earlier on his career he had been Head of Public Affairs at BBC TV and Controller of BBC 1. Between 1986-88 he was Chairman of ITN and MD of BBC Network TV between 1988-91. My post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’ details how a friend of mine who wanted to make a documentary about what had happened to me at the hands of the mental health services was subjected to an extended campaign of harassment and then unlawfully dismissed from her job at the Royal Television Society in 1991 – Paul Fox was President at the time. Fox picked up his knighthood in 1991.

Ward Thomas was CEO of Grampian TV between 1961-67, MD and Chair of Yorkshire TV between 1967-76 and then again between 1993-97. Between 1971-84 he was MD of Trident TV (and Chairman between 1976-84). Trident TV was formed as a holding company for Yorkshire TV. After 1980 Trident also purchased casinos, including casinos owned by Hugh Hefner – the deal included the Playboy Club and other ‘gentlemen’s clubs’. Ward is now very elderly but remains as non-executive Chair of Irving International, a media consultancy.

Yorkshire TV did battle with the technicians union in 1979 – Ward Thomas and Paul Fox were the two executives who were instrumental in fighting the unions. So they’ll have got on well with Thatcher then – as with Murdoch they’ll have been relying on her to pass the legislation to enable them to break the unions. They won’t have wanted to broadcast anything even hinting that her mate Savile and her aide Peter Morrison were molesting children.

In 1980 Jonathan Aitken had a go at owning a TV station based in Yorkshire. In the 1980 franchise round several Yorkshire TV staff submitted an application backed by Aitken, although they were unsuccessful.

In 1966 Jonathan Aitken co-authored a book with Michael Beloff. Michael Beloff was the barrister who in 1996 instructed the insurers of Flintshire County Council to suppress the Jillings Report into the abuse of children in the care of Clwyd County Council because what had happened to the kids was completely indefensible. The insurers told Flintshire that if they published the report they would withdraw insurance cover and the Councillors themselves would become personally liable for the damages payable to anyone who sued which would result in the loss of their homes and bankruptcy. The insurers also recommended that the Chair of the Social Services Committee, Cllr Malcolm King – who had been dangerously unco-operative with the paedophiles and their friends – should be sacked if he managed to discover what was in the Jillings Report and publicised it.

 

 

 

News Round Up, 6 October 2017

The Betsi has been in the news again this week and of course it has not been for any positive reasons. Both BBC News Wales and Daily Post Online have reported on the case of ‘Mr D’, who died at Ysbyty Gwynedd after receiving ‘substandard care’.

Mr D was admitted to Ysbyty Gwynedd in Dec 2014 with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and was diagnosed with pneumonia and respiratory failure. The day following his admission, his daughter Ms C was told that he was improving and that discharge plans were being discussed. Yet Mr D’s condition worsened and on Christmas Day, four days after he had been admitted, he suffered a cardiac arrest and died.

In Feb 2015, Ms C – ironically a member of staff in the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s Complaints Dept – made a formal complaint to the Betsi. She waited almost a year for a response but having still heard nothing from the Betsi about her complaint, she enlisted the help of a Community Health Council advocate. Nineteen months after her complaint was lodged the Board finally replied and although they admitted that there was a failure to carry out observations on Mr D, they stated that this did not affect the ‘sad outcome’.

This complaint has ended up in the hands of the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, Nick Bennett, who has absolutely slammed the Betsi. Mr Bennett has highlighted ‘serious failings’ and ‘missed opportunities’ – such as the failure to move Mr D to a high dependency unit – which led to Mr D’s death. Mr Bennett also mentioned that an inaccurate record was made of the cause of Mr D’s death and that there was a failure to carry out a serious incident investigation. Mr Bennett stated that the Betsi had been ‘disingenuous’ and had refused to admit that their failings led to Mr D’s death. Mr Bennett’s report also revealed that the cause of Mr D’s death had actually been acute kidney injury secondary to sepsis, which was never treated. Furthermore the staff involved in Mr D’s ‘care’ made inappropriate comments about the complaint to a member of Mr D’s family – the Board failed to follow up this matter properly.

So the Betsi failed to diagnose a serious illness, they failed to provide the appropriate care, a completely avoidable death occurred, they then failed to respond to a complaint about that death for more than a year and six months, when they did respond they lied, they also failed to follow their own complaints procedure, a member of their staff then spoke ‘inappropriately’ and breached confidentiality and the Betsi failed to deal with that matter properly as well.

This is pretty much par for the course where the north Wales NHS is concerned and it has been for decades.

Gill Harris, Director of Nursing at the Betsi, has spouted the usual load of meaningless tripe about how sorry they are, how they are seeking to improve and how they are improving their ‘concerns procedures’ (it is a standing joke in north Wales that the Betsi never refers to a ‘complaint’, it is always a ‘concern’).

The Betsi have been told repeatedly to improve their ‘clinical standards’ and to improve their response to complaints. The north Wales NHS was told this repeatedly in its previous incarnation in the form of the NHS Trusts that preceded the Betsi. They were supposedly ‘prioritising sepsis’ nearly ten years ago – yet someone else has now died of it after the Betsi failed to treat it and in this instance the Betsi simply pretended that the patient had died of something else.

Is anybody really surprised that this has happened AGAIN? There are members of the Betsi Board such as the Chair Peter Higson and Director of Workforce Martin Jones who have been employed in the NHS in north Wales for decades and they have ALWAYS concealed gross negligence and misconduct on the part of clinical staff, lied about doing so and then failed to investigate complaints properly – it is their business model. Did anyone expect them to conduct themselves any differently just because the organisation was given a new name?

Much as I sympathise with Ms C after what she has been through, I would like to ask her why, as a member of the complaints team at the Betsi, that she hasn’t previously blown the whistle when she witnessed this happening to other people – because she will have. Perhaps Ms C could also tell me when the very serious complaint that I made about the Betsi last year will be investigated because to date it has not been. I was lied to – and about – as well and when I pointed this out it was ignored. My complaint remains unresolved – but I will not be alone, there’ll be hundreds of us in that position.

 

The Daily Post has reported on the inquest in Ruthin of Susan England, a 63 year old teacher who died in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd of an accidental overdose of dihydrocodeine. Ms England took the accidental overdose after trying to ease the pain from her hip whilst she waited for an operation. The Coroner Nicola Jones stated that this death illustrates the ‘perils of self-medicating’. It also illustrates the perils of having to rely upon the north Wales NHS – you are left in agony and I bet that there was no advice or help given to Ms England concerning pain management. She’ll have been left to deal with it herself. Nicola Jones told Susan England’s family that she realised that they’d been through ’48 hours of absolute hell’. Ms England herself had probably been through many months of hell, firstly trying to get an appointment regarding her hip problems, then being left to deal with the agony alone on a very long waiting list. I have two friends who both recently had orthopaedic problems and who live in north Wales. They were both told that they could skip a very long waiting list if they agreed to pay for private treatment – from exactly the same consultant who would perform the operation if they had it on the NHS. One friend is ideologically against private care and stated that as a matter of principal he’d wait for NHS treatment. Within two months of being offered the chance to skip the waiting list, he was in agony – which his greedy, grasping ‘NHS consultant’ knew that he’d be. There was no advice offered regarding pain control – just another offer to skip the waiting list if my friend stumped up for private treatment. The consultant treating him – or more accurately doing all he can not to treat him unless it is on a private basis – will be earning almost £100k pa for his NHS work. NHS work that involves leaving people in agony on a very long waiting list whilst you wait for them to crumble and agree to book in for private care at Spire Wrexham or some such similar establishment.

Nicola Jones observed that Ms England was ‘a healthy woman apart from her hip pain’ and returned a verdict of ‘accidental death’.

 

Nicola Jones also recently carried out the inquest on Mathew Gareth Jones, a 34 year old man with an alcohol problem. Nicola Jones stated at the inquest that Mathew’s death was ‘alcohol related’ and that ‘a lot of work was done by health professionals to try to help him’. Mathew’s parents disagreed with this statement so strongly that they spoke to the Daily Post. They maintained that Mathew should have had more help for his alcohol problem and that both Denbighshire County Council’s housing dept and the Ablett Unit at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd let him down badly. They explained that Mathew had been in and out of the Ablett Unit for two years, that he was homeless during this time and that when he was housed, it was in a B&B above a pub in Rhyl.

People unacquainted with the ‘help’ on offer to mental health patients in north Wales may believe that Mathew’s parents are unfairly blaming other agencies for their son’s problems. I doubt that they are. For years when I lived in north Wales I watched the most ludicrous – indeed dangerous – decisions taken about vulnerable people. I knew one alcoholic who was housed immediately next door to one pub in Bethesda and just a few doors away from two other pubs. I knew another alcoholic who was housed in substandard accommodation next door to an off licence. Both these men drank themselves to death within months of being ‘housed’. I knew a vulnerable man with mental health problems who was housed in the same block of flats as big time drug dealers – they intimidated him out of his flat (he fled in terror) and he was then refused further accommodation after the Arfon Community Mental Health Team declared that he had ‘made himself homeless’. Another vulnerable mental health patient was housed in the ‘hard to let’ part of the toughest council estate in Gwynedd. She had a brick thrown through her window within three weeks of moving in. I could cite many more examples, it was constant. Furthermore even these people had only been housed after spending years begging for help to find accommodation – most mental health patients requesting such help were just told to take a running jump. The degree of neglect was scandalous. Three years ago I discovered that there was a team of five or six social workers employed by Gwynedd County Council whose remit it was to find homeless people accommodation – and two of those social workers were supposedly dedicated to housing disabled people. I did not know such a team even existed and no-one else that I knew had ever heard of them either – yet I knew numerous disabled homeless people in Gwynedd who had begged for help with housing and were all simply told ‘we don’t have any housing’.

 

So I was not really that surprised to discover that Nick Bennett the Public Services Ombudsman was reported in the Daily Post as saying that the number of health complaints has doubled in a decade and that he is seeing a rise in the number of complaints against the Betsi. Last year Mr Bennett published six public interest reports – three of them concerned the Betsi, all of them involved Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. This should not surprise anyone either. Ysbyty Glan Clwyd has been in a dreadful state for many years and its serious problems were simply denied and concealed by the previous Chief Exec of the Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust, Gren Kershaw (see post ‘How Much Do Staff Surveys Really Tell Us?’). The director of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd at present is Craig Barton. Barton was formerly a senior manager of the North West Wales NHS Trust and at one point he was appointed to ‘modernise’ the Hergest Unit. When he was asked by two people known to me how he was going to do this – two people who knew all about the catalogue of deaths and abuse at the Hergest Unit – Barton told them that he wasn’t even going to try, because the then manager of the Hergest Unit Alun Davies was alright if he liked you, but if he took a dislike to you ‘your feet won’t touch the floor’. Davies and Barton remained as ‘managers’ of the Hergest Unit and patients continued to die. I was told that Craig Barton was the rather daft son of someone senior in the North Wales Probation Service – a ‘service’ which was corrupt as fuck and a great friend to the North Wales Paedophile Ring. Craig did rather badly in his degree at Bangor and of course ended up in the north Wales NHS. A career path that has been followed by a great many fuckwits local to north Wales, including Martin Jones.

Nick Bennett has stated that the Betsi needs a ‘culture change’ but this will not be easy. That Nick is because it is run by the likes of Higson, Barton and Martin Jones and no-one is ever sacked no matter how badly they conduct themselves or how many people die. Nick himself is from Anglesey and is now based in Cardiff. So Nick’s pretty much part of the same crowd then – Nick’s pedigree was discussed recently on the Welsh political blog Jac O The North. Nick Bennett told the Daily Post that his ‘most experienced and senior investigators’ were now working with the Betsi. Which will be a complete waste of time, because they will be the very same people who have spent their whole careers in the Welsh NHS or Welsh civil service and it is they who have failed to deal with the problems previously and they certainly won’t now. Most of them probably know Higson by name and may have even worked for him/with him when he was Chief Exec of Health Inspectorate Wales – which consistently failed to investigate serious complaints against the north Wales NHS… Higson’s sister is Dr Ruth Hussey, the former Chief Medical Officer for Wales… I could go on for ever in this vein, but the corrupt incestuous circle involves so many people that readers will just have to use the search facility on this blog for further details.

 

BBC News Wales reported a crisis in home care on Anglesey. Gwawr Rowlands who has Rett syndrome – a genetic condition which affects brain development and can result in severe mental and physical disabilities – has been receiving a care package funded by the Betsi but organised by Anglesey County Council’s social services. The package includes help with washing and changing. On 25 Sept Gwawr’s mother received a phone call telling her that Gwawr’s carers would no longer be providing care after 29 Sept – so Gwawr and her family received a grand total of five days notice that her care was going to stop.

The company contracted to provide care for Gwawr was Abacare. Abacare maintain that they made Gwawr’s social worker aware that they were struggling to provide the care package ten days previously and that they suggested that Anglesey County Council find another agency to provide care. It transpires that Abacare has had problems fulfilling other care packages for clients on Anglesey and the company has stated that it has been using care workers from Bangor and Caernarfon which is not sustainable. Abacare maintains that they have offered to work with the Council’s in-house dept or other agencies in order to find care for Gwawr ‘although this is against the company policy’. They have had no response from Anglesey County Council. Gwawr’s mother maintains that she has had no explanation from Abacare regarding their decision to suddenly withdraw her daughter’s care.

I suspect that there are many other cases like Gwawr’s, but Gwawr’s has come to light because Gwawr’s mother rang a radio programme about her case. The care system in north Wales has been doing things like this for years. There are scores of ‘care agencies’ that have now been contracted to provide a few hours of ‘care’ daily to clients in their own homes (Gwawr’s care package consisted of two hours daily). I have friends who have worked for these agencies and as long ago as 2005 it was a shambles. North Wales is a rural area and carers – being paid the minimum wage and no travelling expenses – were being despatched many miles to provide one hours ‘care’. I knew someone who lived in Cricieth who was given clients in Rhyl – she was expected to drive to Rhyl and back for one or two hours work. The agency my friend worked for was Medicare – it was scandalous. The carers were casual workers – no-one was offered any training and many of the staff were young people who weren’t able to shoulder the responsibilities given to them. Untrained unqualified carers were told to administer prescribed, essential medication. My friend discovered that the only source of ‘support’ or ‘advice’ was telephone contact with a ‘manager’ – who didn’t even have a nursing qualification. On a number of occasions my friend arrived at clients’ homes to find that the carer responsible for the previous ‘shift’ hadn’t bothered to turn up and hadn’t bothered to tell the ‘manager’ that they were going to make their call. My friend called on one bedbound elderly man at 6pm to find that his morning carer hadn’t turned up, neither had his lunch-time carer. He had not been out of bed, taken to the loo, given any food or drink or his medication since the evening before. My friend left Medicare after this, stating that people’s lives were being put at risk and that she wasn’t prepared to be part of it.

I know one person who was offered a carers job last year with an agency responsible for home care in Wrexham – commissioned by Wrexham County  Borough Council – without references being taken up or a DBS check being carried out. The job involved handling the money and medication of housebound elderly people. The agency involved was a company based in Nottingham who’s ‘office’ in Wrexham was a portacabin on an industrial estate. During the ‘interview’, confidential clients’ files were scattered around the room with clients’ names and details visible.

Most of these ‘care agencies’ are so shambolic and pay staff so badly and treat them so unreasonably that no-one wants to work for them – that is why they are constantly short of ‘carers’, even in a region like north Wales which has a high rate of unemployment. The Councils contracting them are equally as sloppy – they know damn well how these agencies conduct themselves. Both Anglesey and Wrexham Social Services have a long and glorious history of serious abuse in their children’s services. I suspect that Gwawr’s ‘care’ was the responsibility of Anglesey’s Communities section – the head was (and may still be) the hopeless Gwenan Carrington, previously Director of Gwynedd Social Services. After her position there became untenable following a series of well-publicised disasters, dear old Gwenan made a sideways move into Anglesey County Council… Gwenan’s colleagues in Anglesey Social Services are no better – they have failed to deliver any ‘services’ for years, the residents of Anglesey with relatives in need of services are tearing their hair out. There has also been a long-standing problem of the bullying of social work students who have dared raise concerns at the bad practice that they witnessed on placement.

Gwawr has Rett syndrome. I think that everyone involved in providing the ‘care packages’ that she and other disabled people depend upon must have Rhett syndrome, named after Rhett Butler, the famous character in Gone With The Wind – definitely a case of ‘frankly my dear I don’t give a damn’…

 

Wrexham Maelor psychiatrist Thomas Jenkins who was caught using the gay dating app Grindr to request a 13 year old boy to have sex with him without a condom by an undercover police officer has been ordered to attend a sex offenders programme for three years and has been placed on the sex offenders register for five years. Jenkins qualified at Cardiff University two years ago and was in the second year of the foundation course in psychiatry at Wrexham Maelor when he was arrested. That’ll be the course that Peter Higson, Martin Jones and the rest of the Betsi Board are so proud of. I wonder if Higson will be mentioning this particular triumph at the next Board meeting? Incredibly the GMC have actually struck Jenkins off. Can they possibly be clamping down on criminal medical practitioners? Jenkins was told by the GMC that he’d brought the profession into disrepute (unlike dear old Dafydd, who is of course a fine upstanding member of that profession) and that his ‘fellow doctors would fins his actions deplorable’. Even if they did, experience demonstrates that they would still lie on his behalf, refuse to investigate complaints against him and continue to refer patients to him. And the GMC would not be above forging documents in order to protect him either.

 

The Welsh Gov’t have been boasting about providing midwives in Wales with special training to care for premature babies who are born before 24 weeks and will not survive. A young mother from Cardiff was so distressed at the treatment of her own premature baby – who was born at 22 weeks and died just after an hour later after midwives had refused to touch or handle the baby at all – that she lobbied Health Boards and Welsh Gov’t Ministers for dignified treatment of premature babies who will not survive. Sadly what this young mother and the Welsh Gov’t will not be taking into account is, once more, the bad behaviour of Angels and Top Doctors in the face of ‘training’. In the early 1990s St George’s Hospital Medical School was considered to have had an excellent special care baby unit, so a lot of mothers in the region who were considered to be at risk of delivering premature babies opted to give birth at St George’s. I have mentioned previously on this blog that a lot of the midwives there were very good. Even in 1990, it was routine at St George’s for the very premature babies who died to be dressed up in baby clothes and put in a Moses basket and to be given back to their mother for a few hours. Most of the midwives did treat the bodies of the babies who died with respect. But there was one midwife there who used to entertain herself by playing with the dead babies, putting their limbs in grotesque positions and having a good laugh whilst she was doing it. As ever, she was not challenged although everybody knew what she was doing. And no, her conduct would not have improved if she’d been paid more…

 

Mark Drakeford, the Finance Minister (formerly the Health Minister, formerly Rhodri Morgan’s special advisor on Health Policy, formerly a social worker in Dyfed where a paedophile ring existed), has announced that he can only give the Welsh NHS £450 million because of austerity imposed by Westminster. I have no time for the Westminster Gov’t and they undoubtedly do great damage to Wales, but Drakeford is not helping matters by giving millions of pounds to people whom he knows are institutionally corrupt and telling them how sorry he is that he cannot give them more. Wales needs that money very badly Drakeford and you are giving it to crooks – and you have known for years that they are crooks, but you ignored the people (like me) who sent you the evidence. Tawel Fan blew up in your face whilst you were Health Minister and it has not yet been resolved – the worst mental healthcare scandal that there had ever been in the UK happened at the Ablett Unit in the Betsi and not one abusive member of staff was disciplined. Instead the nurse who blew the whistle on it all was sacked.

 

I despair of Drakeford et al, I don’t think they that have any idea of the public anger that there is in north Wales regarding the shite public services which are gobbling up millions whilst they exterminate vulnerable people – and every time there’s another scandal the dickwit Drakeford tells everyone that it’s because the paedophiles’ friends have not been given enough money. The troughing bastards are the most highly paid people in north Wales, the Martins and the Craigs with their third class degrees from Bangor, Aber and Cardiff are all pulling in well over £100k pa. (Martin is trousering about £150k now.)

 

NHS England continues to experience traumas, as reported by the Mail Online.

The Warrington and Halton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Cheshire has stopped spinal surgery after four serious incidents, two of them involving patient deaths.

Brioney Woolfe, a former midwifery assistant, has appeared in Colchester Magistrates Court after accessing the data of 29 patients – not just midwifery patients either – between Dec 2014 and May 2016. Woolfe’s activities only came to light after one patient discovered that details of an illness that he wanted kept private had become public knowledge. I am staggered that Woolfe has even been disciplined for this, yet alone has ended up in Court. This conduct is de rigueur, both in the NHS and social services. Confidentiality is flouted constantly, patients and clients are the subject of casual gossip and patients’ records and data are freely passed around to just about anyone, including non-clinical members of staff. It is endemic. There is no confidentiality in the UK NHS or social services – I have given numerous examples on this blog and some of my readers have left comments on the blog about serious breaches of confidentiality involving them.

 

A major scandal involving IVF Hammersmith, the fertility clinic that Blair’s mate Lord Robert Winston (who has featured on this blog previously) established, has hit the media today. A man who cannot be named for legal reasons sued Hammersmith after his former partner forged his signature on a consent form and gave birth to a daughter after becoming pregnant using an embryo frozen several years previously. The couple had been patients at IVF Hammersmith, had one son as a result of their treatment there but then had a very acrimonious relationship break-up. Hammersmith were not told about this and several years later the female partner approached Hammersmith for further treatment and was implanted with an embryo fertilised by her previous partner after forging his signature of a consent form – he knew nothing about this until she texted him when she was three months pregnant. He had made it known that he did not want any more children. The man concerned has given a media interview explaining his distress at now being the father of a little girl whom he cares for but did not actually want – the confusion that has resulted from it is evident in his comments.

The father of the little girl sued Hammersmith for negligence and the anticipated cost of bringing up the child. The details of his claim are somewhat laughable to those of us who are not rich enough to be patients of IVF Hammersmith – it included the cost of her private schooling, ski-ing trips, gap year, wedding and the cost of an expensive car to drive her to school. However, it is people who consider such things to be necessities whom IVF Hammersmith targets as patients. He has lost his claim, but the case is going to the Court of Appeal.

IVF Hammersmith is trying to wash its hands of the whole matter, maintaining that they take patients on trust and cannot know if they are criminals. Yet IVF Hammersmith would seem to have been very lax indeed here – there has always been much emphasis in fertility treatment on seeing both partners if a couple are requesting treatment, on ensuring that no-one is being coerced into fertility treatment, on ensuring that the relationship is stable etc. How did Hammersmith manage to treat a woman when she reappeared several years after a previous course of treatment with nothing more than her partner’s (alleged) signature on a consent form? My post ‘Every Sperm Is Sacred – Particularly In Scotland’) details some of what I knew to be going on in fertility clinics in London in the 80s and 90s. Robert Winston at Hammersmith was always considered above and beyond such unscrupulous practices, but he did know what was happening in his colleagues’ clinics. I have also described how Winston employed a gynaecologist at Hammersmith who was a serious sexual harasser but simply passed him on to another hospital.

The man who tried to sue Hammersmith commented upon the ‘unacceptable conduct of fertility clinics which have grown into multimillion pound businesses on the back of sharp practices’. He is quite right, its been happening for years and is well known in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology. As with all branches of medicine, no-one has been prepared to speak out about the way business is being conducted. Despite all the talk of ensuring that patients are in a position to give a child a stable, caring home, the reality is that for many of those clinics if you come up with the dosh you will be treated. Furthermore you will be encouraged to part with large quantities of dosh even if there is very little chance of you becoming pregnant and some highly questionable procedures will be flogged to you.

The man in the Hammersmith case lost in court because although it was accepted that his former partner had forged his signature and Hammersmith were condemned for being so sloppy in their procedures, it is policy that damages for negligence cannot be awarded in the event of the birth of a healthy child.

So once more the Top Doctors are off scot free leaving a big mess in their wake.

So who is responsible for regulating the Top Doctors in question? It is the ‘independent regulator’, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), as featured on this blog previously – whose failings have now been described as ‘catastrophic’. The thing that has always struck me about the leading lights at the HFEA is that none of them are doctors or scientists, so they are not even in a position to understand the science behind the business that they are supposed to be regulating. The folk involved with the HFEA are essentially elitist public figures who are professional busybodies – they jump from being Chair of one quango to another and then lead an Oxbridge College or two until they arrive at their final destination in the Lords.

Baroness Mary Warnock was the pioneer, she Chaired the Inquiry back in the early 80s which led to the establishment of the HFEA. Mary Warnock was originally a girls’ schoolteacher along the lines of the Malory Towers model and then became an Oxford academic – her field is philosophy. Mary Warnock was regularly wheeled out in the media to offer her opinion on the Big Questions, although things went a little pear shaped some years ago when she pronounced herself to be so in favour of euthanasia for the elderly that she was about to volunteer for it. There was quite a fuss with her family going public on the fact that they really didn’t want to wave her off to Dignitas and since then Mary Warnock has kept a low profile. But it was fairly obvious back in the 80s that Warnock was quite out of her depth at being given the responsibility to grapple with a very new, little understood, fast developing and highly experimental branch of the biomedical sciences. Basically she knew bugger all about it.

Successive Chairs of the HFEA have been variations on Mary Warnock. They have included Lord Richard Harries (an Army Officer and a bishop);  Lisa Jardine (daughter of Jacob Bronowski, historian and Radio 4 regular); the awful Baroness Ruth Deech (lawyer, formerly of the BBC Governors, Oxford academic); Dame Suzi Leather (who has Chaired every quango going as detailed on this blog some months ago); Shirley Harrison (Sunday Times journo, NUJ member, Chair of the South Yorkshire Probation Board, member of Sheffield Council, Labour Party member, also involved with Cancer Research UK); Walter Merricks (lawyer, inaugural director of Camden Community Law Centre, founding Chair of the Office of Health Professions Adjudicator, Chair of the Trustees of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges); Sir Colin Campbell (lawyer, former VC of the University of Nottingham 1988-2008 who just prior to his retirement accepted a 90% pay rise making him the highest paid VC in the UK, he proposed the privatisation of universities and accepted a £3.8 million endowment from British American Tobacco to fund an International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility at Nottingham University Business School which caused resignations, the exodus of a research team and the withdrawal of research funding from Cancer Research UK). The current Chair is Sally Cheshire, a corporate accountant lately of Deloitte.

With this lot at the helm are we surprised that there have been ‘catastrophic failings’ at the HFEA? Readers will have realised from the details provided that a few of the above will know what Top Doctors get up to – but they are certainly never going to admit it. Lisa Jardine almost got around to admitting how questionable the whole fertility business is after she stepped down from her role as Chair of the HFEA. She stated in an interview with the Indie that ‘as a communicator’ she regretted that she had not been able to publicise how traumatised many patients were by fertility treatment or for how many people it was unsuccessful. In the same interview Jardine also admitted that a mixed race baby had been born to a black couple. So how was it that ‘as a communicator’ Jardine didn’t manage to spit all this out whilst she was still Chair? She had her own slot of Radio 4 in which she mouthed off every weekend, so who or what was keeping her quiet? The Coalition Gov’t wanted to abolish the HFEA in their ‘bonfire of the quangos’. Jardine somehow stopped them – so she managed to communicate something then.

The lawyer acting for Hammersmith was James Lawford Davies, a partner at Hempsons. The Hempsons who act for the MDU, who so helpfully supplied Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) with lawyers and barristers who attempted to imprison me – although I now have copies of documents demonstrating that Hempsons knew that I had not done what I was accused of and that Francis was perjuring himself.

So what of the people of IVF Hammersmith itself? The person wheeled out to make the ‘I Know Nuzzing’ comments to the press was Jude Fleming, their Chief Operating Officer. Now I think that someone at Hammersmith really should have taken a closer look at Jude’s CV before they gave her that job. My suspicion was aroused after reading Jude’s Linked In profile – it would not have looked amiss on the university application of a rather weak A level student who couldn’t think of anything original to say about themselves. Jude explains that she is an active person who is interested in what she does and has worked very hard in educational and sporting activities since she was 11. Incredibly enough, until just over ten years ago, Jude’s employment was as a bookings clerk and a waitress and then as a ski-instructor at Glasgow Ski and Snowboard Centre. Many people of course have worked as waitresses and ski-instructors, but somehow Jude went directly from that to managing a fertility clinic – namely GCRM Fertility Clinic in Glasgow. Yet googling GCRM Fertility Clinic doesn’t reveal what one normally thinks of as a fertility clinic. GCRM is situated on the business park, just next to the M8, around the corner from the Volvo Truck and Bus Centre. It is certainly a most unusual setting for a fertility clinic and the online info is a bit odd as well. There are no details of the doctors working at this ‘clinic’, just a notice explaining that if you’re a patient who needs advice out of hours you’ve got to ring the emergency services because doctors are only available during clinic hours. It doesn’t sound anything like any fertility clinic that I’ve ever come across and I suspect that it might simply be a referral centre to doctors who are actually based elsewhere. Jude worked around the corner from the Volvo Truck Centre for eight years and then landed a job as manager of the Oxford Fertility Unit in 2015. I presume that she is a recent arrival at IVF Hammersmith.

What about the Clinic Directors at IVF Hammersmith? Well now that dear old Robert Winston has joined the ranks of those who slumber on the benches in the Lords in return for £300/day, the Directors at Hammersmith are Stuart Lavary and Geoffrey Trew.

Stuart Lavary is a Consultant at Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte Hospitals and also runs a private practice at Hammersmith Hospital, Harley Street and Marylebone. Nice little earner, NHS consultancy and plenty of private work as well. Stuart is the HFEA ‘person responsible’ for IVF Hammersmith – so the business of the forged signature was his domain then. Lavary is an honorary senior lecturer at the den of bad practice/research fraud that is Imperial College (see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’) and trained at the John Radcliffe, Oxford.

Geoffrey Trew is also a Consultant at Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte’s – he qualified at St George’s in 1984! He’ll have witnessed much the same madness that I did then. And he’ll have been there when Professor Oliver Brooke who was later jailed for the possession of huge amounts of child porn worked at St George’s as a paediatrician. Trew has ‘an international referral base and has appeared for the last three years in the Tatler’s list of Best Private Doctors’. Which just about sums it up – never mind The Lancet or Nature, IVF Hammersmith comes highly recommended by fucking Tatler.

 

Finally a conundrum from NHS England. A few days ago I heard Dr Sarah Wollaston, GP and Tory MP, interviewed on Radio 4 about Boris’s dreadful behaviour. Something clicked – why hasn’t Theresa May appointed Sarah Wollaston as Health Minister? She is very well thought of even by people who are not Conservatives, she is very popular in her constituency in Devon, she is indeed a Top Doctor but doesn’t seem to be a pompous demanding greedy one – she seems to be the real article – and she actually KNOWS about medicine and healthcare. I have never heard anyone say a bad word about Sarah Wollaston – she is capable, respectful, well-informed and doesn’t spout rubbish. Furthermore unlike other women in politics Sarah Wollaston doesn’t feel the need to bollock on about being a strong woman or obsess over her clothes. What on earth is Jeremy Hunt still doing in his job? In fact if I were the Tory Party I’d be asking Dr Wollaston if she’d like to be the next leader – they are going to be looking for one soon but all they can do is scream ‘ooh it has to be Boris’. But on second thoughts – a pleasant, intelligent, capable woman who knows what she is doing or an offensive dangerously irresponsible idiot with a track record of abusing and exploiting people? Of course they’ll choose Boris. Frankly I’m surprised that anyone listens to Dr Wollaston at all – she hasn’t been highly recommended by The Tatler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judge James Pickles

Following on from my post ‘In The Courts’, another judge who may be of interest is the legendary Judge James Pickles, who died in 2010. Pickles became notorious in 1989 when he imprisoned a teenaged single mother for contempt of court when she refused to give evidence against her former boyfriend after he’d assaulted her – because she was terrified of him. She was freed by the Court of Appeal. However before the appeal was heard, Pickles spoke to the press about the case. There was speculation that he would be sacked, but instead he received a ‘serious rebuke’ from the Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay. Pickles may have come down like a ton of bricks on a terrified teenager, but he could be very understanding. Earlier in 1989 he had sentenced a man to probation rather than prison for sexually assaulting a 6 year old girl.

I remember this case well but I only thought about it more deeply yesterday when someone reminded me of it – and the year in which it happened, 1989. There was much talk at the time that Pickles’ sentencing in this case would deter vulnerable victims of crime from coming forward. So in 1989 was there anything going on in which it might be particularly important for vulnerable witnesses who might be at risk of intimidation to feel able to make complaint? Yes – in north Wales. Mary Wynch had been successful in suing Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Clwyd Health Authority, Alison Taylor just would not stop whistleblowing about the abuse of children in care in north Wales and I was making a nuisance of myself by complaining about Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends. Andrew Park, the corrupt lawyer employed by the Welsh Office, was at the time dispensing advice to Clwyd and Gwynedd Health Authorities on how to ignore my complaints and secure a High Court injunction against me that would stop me pursuing my complaints. And dear old Professor Robert Owen (the Medical Ombudsman for the Welsh Office), Professor Robert Bluglass and Dr Colin Berry had been engaged to conceal the criminal activities of the north Wales mental health services in the wake of my complaints about Dafydd, Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) and Gwynedd Social Services.

Researching Pickles’ earlier I discovered quite a few surprising things about him and was reminded of a few things which I did know about previously but in the light of the research that I have conducted for this blog take on a new relevance.

Pickles came from Jimmy Savile country, West Yorkshire! Specifically Halifax. His father Arthur was a Liberal member of Halifax Town Council. His initial degree was in law, at the University of Leeds.

He worked as a barrister in Bradford, 1949-76. From 1963 he was an Assistant Recorder in the Crown Courts; he was a Recorder in Bradford 1972-76. In 1976 Pickles was appointed a Circuit judge on the North Eastern Circuit – he also worked as a Circuit judge in London.

So Pickles came from the heart of Savile/organised child sexual abuse/ police corruption country. He had worked in the area where Peter Sutcliffe caused havoc for years and where elementary errors – which some have alleged were a result of police corruption and very bad police attitudes towards women who were not considered ‘respectable’ – led to him not being caught until he had murdered numerous women. There are suspicions that Sutcliffe assaulted and killed other women but was never questioned about these crimes. Pickles worked in the north east of England at the time of the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal – which proved a most useful distraction for anyone who was trying to draw attention to the involvement of the state itself in organised child abuse (see post ‘The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Connection’).

I have mentioned many times on this blog how effective the jungle drums are in legal circles. Pickles will have undoubtedly heard rumours about Savile, about the extensive abuse of children in care, about the extent of police corruption in West Yorkshire and about Mary Wynch making legal history. He also worked in London, so it is very likely that he heard about allegations of corruption in the children’s services and mental health services in north Wales via his London links. By 1989 the London based medical establishment were well aware of my allegations about Dafydd et al. Political figures in Westminster knew that Sir Peter Morrison, Thatcher’s aide and MP for Chester was molesting under aged boys and even attending parties at which this was happening.

Pickles had an interest in politics as well. He was a Labour member of Brighouse Borough Council 1956-62. He also stood as a Parliamentary candidate twice, once in the General Election of 1959 for Labour at Barkington Ash and once for the Liberals at Brighouse and Spenborough in the General Election of 1964.

Pickles was a keen member of the Halifax Thespians and the Halifax Authors Circle.

So Pickles certainly got about. He will have known people in politics, in law, in the police, in the local councils, in acting and in literary circles in West Yorkshire, the north east of England and in London.

Pickles was certainly not popular with the legal establishment. He liked to present himself as the People’s Judge, the voice of Yorkshire against the London establishment. He constantly breached judicial etiquette by writing articles in the broadsheets, by appearing on TV (on one occasion on Wogan) and at one point held a press conference in a pub. He didn’t discuss the weather or football results on such occasions – he discussed cases that he was involved in, sometimes cases that had not yet been concluded.

He verbally abused both Lord Lane, the Lord Chief Justice, and Lord Hailsham, the Lord Chancellor – in public. He resorted to sexual innuendo in Court in a way which was considered vulgar and unacceptable even for his time and he wanted to legalise cannabis and prostitution. The former Master of the Rolls, Lord Denning, made it clear that he thought that Pickles should be dismissed. But Pickles never was. Powerful senior colleagues loathed him, some of his judgements were extraordinary and, some felt, positively dangerous – teenaged girls and mothers of very young babies were jailed for trivial offences whilst serious offenders were allowed to live in the community.

Could perhaps James Pickles, like a few others whom a lot of people dearly wanted to see the back of but who were never given the boot, have known something about parts of High Society that no-one dared risk being made public?

Pickles retired from the bench in 1991 much to the relief of many. But the world had not seen the back of James Pickles. He embarked on a new career as a tabloid journalist, writing for the Sun and the Daily Sport. He was most enthusiastic about photos of topless teenagers in the tabloids and ended up in a TV spat with Clare Short over this subject. Pickles admitted to enjoying soft pornography and described himself as a ‘tits and bum’ man. He considered himself liberal but nonetheless had a worrying tendency to project the sexual desires of men onto women, even in cases in which the women concerned were definitely not interested. Whilst debating leniency of sentencing in the context of sexual assault cases, Pickles spoke of women’s ‘clever manipulation’ and in terms of their dress their habit of ‘asking for it’ and the way in which their dress was ‘calculated to invite attention’.

Pickles also wrote what has been described as a ‘legal bonkbuster’, which featured a woman referred to as ‘No Knickers’. The bonkbuster was notorious for its bizarre descriptions of sex and the numerous different ways in which Pickles found to describe breasts. He appeared on breakfast TV with a view to promoting this volume, but after a few ill-advised comments and a joke about Alzheimers he tried to kiss the female presenter and GMTV pulled the plug.

On one occasion Pickles referred to Sarah Ferguson as a ‘scrubber’.

Pickles wrote many plays, a number of which were broadcast on BBC radio.

In 1993 he was a guest on Have I Got News For You. Pickles also appeared on Da Ali G Show and on Channel 5 in The People vs Jerry Sadowitz.

Pickles also earned a lot of money as an after dinner speaker.

In 1993 Pickles admitted that he’d been very tough on a number of people whom he’d sentenced but justified it by saying that ‘wicked people should be clobbered’. Unless they are sexually assaulting six year olds that is.

James Pickles’ notion of sexual liberation sounds horribly like Jimmy Savile’s – a projection of his own sexual desires onto other people who are in no way consenting. But once he’s taken into account the fact that they are asking for it, their calculated attention seeking, their wickedness and his own obsession with tits – of all shapes and sizes and probably ages as well – and bums and God knows what else, who could blame him for ripping off his trousers and leaping on top of an unsuspecting person? Particularly after he’s had a few spliffs. After all, we all know that No means Yes. Even to a batty old judge.

 

Pickles’ close relatives also had media connections. His sister Christine is an actress who starred in Friends and his daughter Carolyn is a regular on BBC TV and radio, who also starred in Emmerdale and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.