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?

 

 

In The Courts

It’s been a really good day for Britain’s glorious judicial system.

Today, Brenda Hale – who has featured on this blog previously – has been sworn in as the first female President of the Supreme Court. Brenda was the ‘youngest Lord Chief Justice for 50 years’. Brenda is a mate of Helena Kennedy – yes, the Helena who is a good friend of Professor Nigel Eastman of St George’s Hospital Medical School, who ignored the most damning evidence of abuse of patients and criminal misconduct in the north Wales mental health services when he came face to face with it (see post ‘Eve Was Framed – As Were A Lot Of Other People’). Brenda Hale is a member of the Athenaeum Club – the club favoured by so many Top Doctors. Jimmy Savile was also a member and it was following a series of meetings at the Athenaeum between Savile, civil service Mandarins and Edwina Currie that Savile and his mate Alan Franey were offered jobs running Broadmoor – where Savile raped and sexually assaulted female patients.

Today also sees Justice David Lloyd-Jones sworn into the Supreme Court, as its first ever Welsh member. Justice Lloyd-Jones went to Pontypridd Grammar School, then Cambridge University. He was a visiting Prof at City University 1999-05. He became a Recorder in 1994 and was appointed a High Court judge in 2005. He was the Presiding Judge on the Chester and Wales Circuit of Corruption and Chair of the Lord Chancellor’s Standing Committee on the Welsh language 2008-11. In Oct 2012 he became a Lord Justice of Appeal.

In 2009 it was revealed that Justice Lloyd-Jones was paid more than £1 million for his work on the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

Another event taking place today is the swearing in of Sir Ian Burnett as Lord Chief Justice at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Burnett acted as counsel to the inquests of Diana and Dodi. Which says it all really.

 

Just to confirm how terrifying the UK justice system remains, the Guardian is reporting on the case of a woman with learning disabilities who has had her children removed from her. This decision was made by Judge Richard Melville who ‘analysed the evidence’ in a hearing in Plymouth. Edward Devereaux QC who led the legal team representing the mother took the case to Appeal, arguing that Melville failed to carry out sufficient analysis. James Munby, the President of the Family Division of the High Court, has dismissed the mother’s appeal. She will lose her children.

As with all cases in the Family Court, the hearing will have been held in secrecy and no-one will be allowed to publish any details. The only information in the public domain is that the children lived with their mother and their maternal grandmother, that social workers were ‘concerned’ and that it was ‘social service chiefs’ at Devon County Council who made the decision to remove the children from the care of their mother and grandmother.

James Munby gained a lot of good publicity recently when he absolutely slammed the UK’s mental health system for failing to stump up any provision at all for a teenaged girl with serious mental health problems.

The outcome of this case from Devon rests entirely on the ‘analysis’ of the ‘evidence’ presented to Judges Melville and Munby. This blog has not published anything negative concerning these two judges. They might be intelligent, sensible, compassionate people. But they can only act on the evidence presented to them. In this case evidence from Devon Social Services.

I’ll outline a previous case of child welfare involving Devon Social Services. Some twelve years ago a woman known to me was involved in a relationship with a man from Devon. She moved in with him, became pregnant and subsequently received a letter from Devon Social Services informing her that the man with whom she was living – the father of her unborn baby – has previously had a child removed from his care after physically assaulting this child. She ignored the letter – because at that point she had seen no signs of violence from her partner. She also came from a family which did not set much store on the opinions of social workers. After the baby was born, this man became phenomenally violent towards his partner. On one occasion he tried to strangle her in the shower. She was injured and forced to go to hospital, where, hats off to them, they suspected domestic violence and questioned her about the way in which her injuries had been sustained. She told them and they very firmly explained to her that living with this man was putting both her and her baby in danger. They took photographs of her injuries and the matter was reported to the police – the abusive partner was prosecuted. He was ‘supported’ by the probation service, who reassured him that they would ‘look after him’. He took to taunting his partner that he would not be going to prison. Indeed he didn’t.

His dreadful behaviour towards his partner continued and her sister was told about it by a relative. The sister – who lived elsewhere – rang Devon Social Services to express her concern at this man’s continued aggression. The sister had enough knowledge to know how Devon Social Services should have conducted themselves in this case and was surprised to be asked her name when she made the call. She knew that such calls can be made anonymously, so simply told Devon Social Services that she was a relative.

A few weeks later, the sister who had contacted Devon Social Services rang her mother, who angrily demanded to know whether she had contacted the social services about her sister and her little boy. Devon Social Services had contacted the family, told them that a ‘family member’ had contacted them, but had taken absolutely no action at all to protect the mother or her young child. The family involved had no understanding of how child protection services are supposed to work and presumed that the small boy’s aunt had wanted him removed from their care. A few months later, the aunt who raised concerns with Devon visited her sister. The most enormous row erupted over the matter of the aunt contacting the social services and the mother of the small boy tried to assault her sister. The woman who tried to gain protection for her sister and her nephew from a man whom Devon Social Services knew to be violent and a danger to children had no further contact with her family. Christ knows what’s happening now, but whatever it is, Devon Social Services will not be helping.

Woman’s Hour on Radio 4 this morning were banging on about judges needing more training in cases of domestic violence. What ever would be the point when they still have to base their decisions on fuckwits like the employees of Devon Social Services? Judges do not make bad decisions because of a lack of ‘training’. In my experience, outrageous decisions by judges are made because they have been lied to, misled or are frankly corrupt.

Brenda Hale made her name as a Family Court specialist. Admirers like Helena Kennedy will tell you that Brenda is a feminist and has greatly improved justice for women and children in the Family Courts. Unless of course you are a mother who lives on the patch of Devon Social Services.

News Round Up, August 24 2017

Recently the Morning Star ran a critique of the notion of ‘Mental Health First Aid’ courses. I was greatly pleased to read it, because I’ve long been of the opinion that ‘Mental Health First Aid’ is dangerous simplistic nonsense and as the Morning Star argued, it is being used to absolve the Gov’t of their responsibilities to people with mental health problems. ‘Mental Health First Aid’ is never going to address the problems of seriously ill people but it could lead to a false level of confidence among the folk who have been ‘trained’ with regard to their ability to solve the problems of people in serious distress and lead to the First Aiders being in danger of seriously screwing up. The Morning Star introduced the old chestnut of ‘more money for mental health services’ – there’s not a lot of point in giving the mental health services more money at the moment, it will just be metaphorically pissed up against the wall along with the rest of the money that they’ve already swallowed. There is no point giving them more money to do more of what doesn’t work. The Morning Star however did make the salient point that the Gov’t would be better off concentrating on matters like suitable housing for people with mental health problems, with which I would completely agree. People are subjected to expensive ‘treatment’ which is frequently ineffective or even abusive, yet their basic needs such as accommodation and income is being ignored.

The Daily Post Online has been brimming over with stories of serious problems regarding homelessness in north east Wales. It was reported that Flintshire Council have put a load of homeless people up in the Pontins Holiday Camp at Prestatyn. Flintshire Council have stated that their homeless service is at ‘breaking point’ – in Sept 2016 there were 1,600 people on the waiting list. Flintshire Council may be at breaking point, but Wrexham County Borough Council has actually broken. An ‘encampment’ of homeless people has been established on the site of the old Grove School in Wrexham – there’s a lot of people there and they’re living in tents. The Council has delivered some portaloos to the site, but Nigel Lewis, the Chairman of Wrexham Town Centre Forum, maintains that the facilities at the encampment are insufficient. He points out that the Third sector and the Council have failed to solve this problem and that a different approach is needed. Mr Lewis wants Wrexham to take a leaf out of Bristol’s book and house the tent-dwellers in shipping containers once winter arrives. Mr Lewis seems to have suggested this because he knows that there’s no chance of houses for any of them. What have we come to when moving into a shipping container is a step up? I know that a creative artist could, with time and a bit of money, probably work on a shipping container and convert it into a unique and interesting home, but I don’t think anyone’s going to do that for the people living on the site of Grove School. I suspect that what will happen is that a job lot of shipping containers – probably acquired on the cheap – will be unceremoniously parked on a brownfield site somewhere and that will be the ‘housing’. Furthermore, it will probably then be argued that anyone living in a shipping container is now ‘housed’ and they’ll never be offered anything else. If they move out of the shipping container, they’ll be deemed to have voluntarily made themselves homeless and they’ll never be allowed on a housing waiting list again.

It’s particularly ironic that these stories have emerged, because earlier on I was browsing through Hansard and I came across the account of the Commons Welsh Affairs sitting of 28 Feb 1984, the annual ‘Welsh Day’. Lord Crickhowell aka Nicholas Edwardes, the then Secretary of State for Wales – star of posts ‘I Want Serious Money Now Please’ and ‘Corruption Bay Special’ – was speaking and being questioned by a number of Welsh MPs. Dafydd Elis-Thomas and other MPs were doing all that they could to tell Edwardes that if the Conservative Gov’t did not start investing in a bigger council house building programme, there would be a crisis in future years. Edwardes, in true Minister-of-Thatcher’s style, was having none of it and boasted about the Tories’ successful housing policies. If you’d built those houses Edwardes, there wouldn’t be people living in tents looking forward to moving into a shipping container when the inclement weather arrives.

Edwardes was also challenged by furious Welsh MPs who were quoting the figures relating to the problems that Wales had encountered since Edwardes became Secretary of State in 1979 in terms of the thousands of people who were unemployed, the number of major employers who had shut shop etc. Edwardes responded by using the discourse of ‘change’, that some businesses would die, some would grow, that failing firms would collapse but nonetheless the economy was growing, that ‘failure and closure go hand in hand with success and growth’ and that Wales had to ‘adapt to change’. Furthermore, under the Tories new technology based businesses would soon be erupting into life all over Wales, just like Silicon Valley. I’m still waiting Nicholas – they haven’t arrived yet. Edwardes’ warned everyone that there would be closures in the south Wales coalfield but they were of course necessary. He was however delighted to announce a huge new investment in the steel works at Port Talbot – although they’re about to go tits-up down there thirty years later under another Tory Gov’t.

Edwardes’ pride and glory though, the enormous ‘investment’ that he banged on about at length to explain how much Thatcher’s Gov’t was doing for Wales, was something that he called the ‘south Cardiff initiative’ – yes, Edwardes was hailing the arrival of Corruption Bay, the massive scam that I have detailed previously on this blog, from which Nicholas Edwardes and some of his friends made a mint because they were directors of the businesses and quangos who were central to the development. My interest in Corruption Bay was aroused by the Welsh blogger Jac O The North who provides full details on his blog – Jac has always argued that Edwardes and his mates had the whole thing planned out years before they joined the contracted companies as Directors and raked in the profits from the publicly funded bonanza themselves. In the light of the comments that Edwardes made in the Commons on Feb 28 1984, it rather looks as though Jac is spot on. All the proposed ingredients are mentioned by Edwardes – the millions and millions of Gov’t dosh that would be available for the ‘initiative’, the availability of dosh from the ‘urban development grant’ and the names of the companies chosen by ABP and LAW to carry out the work. Edwardes trumpets the central theme of the ‘initiative’ as being a ‘collaboration between the public and private sectors’. That’s right Edwardes, you planned the ‘collaboration’ whilst you were in office, you gave the green light to the huge amount of public money that was given to the quangos involved – quangos on which your friends and business partners were sitting – then once work was underway, you resigned from office, shuffled off into the Lords and then joined the Boards of the companies that your mates on the quangos had contracted to do the work.

Edwardes mentions that the famously corrupt WDA would be building the first centre for advanced technology at Deeside Industrial Park. The plan was for this centre to house Newtech, ‘an organisation for technical research, development and innovation formed jointly by Clwyd County Council and NEWI’. Edwardes stated that Newtech had recently received urban programme backing from the Gov’t. This all sounds very familiar. My post ‘A Vampire At Glyndwr University!’ detailed the backgrounds of the Chancellor and some of the governors at Glyndwr University (previously NEWI). There are multiple conflicts of interest in evidence – there is obviously an extensive game of musical chairs going on in north east Wales, with a network of people log jamming all the positions in the County Councils, the Boards of local companies, the Council of Glyndwr University, the Magistrates Bench etc. The people in those positions today have been circulating around for decades – some of them will have benefited from the investment in Deeside that Edwardes announced in 1984.

Keith Raffan, the Tory MP for Delyn, paid tribute to Edwardes and his colleagues at the Welsh Office regarding the setting up of the Delyn enterprise zone in Flint – there had been over £8.2 million in land reclamation. They had also received an urban programme grant of more than £1 million – much more than the local borough had expected. Raffan felt that this was  confirmation of the ‘excellent management’ of the borough.

But guess what else is recorded in Hansard? That there is a serious financial crisis in Clwyd County Council. They were flat broke and had to dip into their reserves. The situation is so dire that the Council planned an enormous rise in the rates, so high that it caused a row in Parliament. Nonetheless the Chief Executive’s office alone employs 34 staff and redundancies are not suggested. The Chief Exec in 1984 was Mervyn Phillips. Who was in charge of the Clwyd County Council that were running the dreadful mental health services and the children’s homes where children were being abused and trafficked into prostitution. Clwyd County Council were not spending their money on health or the social services. So where was it going? I have previously provided examples on this blog of occasions when funds from Clwyd Council had been embezzled and of Chief Execs of Clwyd who somehow managed to liberate huge sums of money to prop up the charities with which they were involved – which resulted in some of them receiving gongs. For the full details see post ‘Ain’t Nothing Clean – Not Even The Welsh Calvinistic Methodists’. In this post though I will confine myself to mentioning that one of the most serious offenders, Mervyn Phillips, was a Director of Bodelwyddan Castle Trust. Hansard 28 Feb 1984 records angry MPs raising questions about the ‘extravagant amount’ that was spent on Bodelwyddan Castle to transform it into a tourist attraction.

The Welsh Office knew about the paedophile gang that was operating in Clwyd, the wider Tory Party openly discussed the fact that Sir Peter Morrison the MP for Chester was sexually abusing boys and was visiting children’s homes in Clwyd. The Welsh Office were concealing both the abuse of children in north Wales and the abuses of the mental health services who were facilitating the paedophile ring. So Edwardes was faced with a bankrupt Council who ran the children’s homes that were trafficking children into prostitution – to other MPs as well as Morrison. At the same time he was giving huge quantities of public money to businesses on Deeside and in Flint – which were run by some of the same people who ran the Council, the Social Services and the Health Authority that facilitated the paedophile gang. People who also packed the benches of the local Magistrates Courts – no wonder so few of the members of the paedophile gang were convicted but so many of their victims were.

One doesn’t have to be a genius to conclude that the financial mismanagement of the Council and indeed overt theft by people in Clwyd County Council was being overlooked by a Welsh Office who rewarded them with millions in ‘grant aid’ – as long as the criminals in that Council’s ‘children’s services’ continued to supply the fresh meat to the Westminster Paedophile Ring…

One of the names mentioned in Hansard was that of the Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Wyn Roberts. Wyn told the Commons how good the prospects of a child born in 1979 would be, such a babe being born under the reign of Queen Maggie. Unless of course they were taken into care Wyn or found themselves in need of a mental health service… In Feb 1984 Wyn Roberts was plain old Mr. He soon became Sir and eventually became Lord. No-one in north Wales ever understood why Wyn Roberts was thought so highly of that he ended up in the Lords – particularly as he never made it to Secretary of State. It’s not as if he ever addressed the problems of the mental health services that constituents like me took to him. He never even raised concerns about the paedophile gang! Ah – I think I understand…

Another name that I recognised popped up in Hansard as well. Edwardes told the House that the Kidney Research Unit for Wales Foundation and the private sector had been invited to submit tenders alongside NHS proposals for the NHS to operate two proposed dialysis units, one in Carmarthen and one at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor. The schemes for these units were to be evaluated by one Professor William Asscher, Professor of Renal Medicine at the University of Cardiff Medical School. William Asscher approved the unit for Ysbyty Gwynedd and shortly afterwards landed a senior position in St George’s Hospital Medical School – where I was hounded out of a job in 1991 at the same time as psychiatrists from St George’s Hospital Medical School colluded with psychiatrists in north Wales to have me labelled as ‘dangerous’, although the St George’s psychiatrists were aware that psychiatrists in north Wales were sexually exploiting patients and were involved in criminal activities. One source of information regarding my dangerousness was Lucille Hughes, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services who was later named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the social services but not acting on that knowledge. Lucille was the mistress of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones – one of the psychiatrists who was sexually exploiting patients, breaking the law and telling St George’s that I was dangerous! The other psychiatrist from north Wales who told St George’s how dangerous I was, was Dr Tony Francis (Dr X). He was a graduate of Cardiff Medical School, had spent a number of years working there post-qualification and worked at Ysbyty Gwynedd whilst William Asscher gave the go-ahead for the renal unit. My post ‘Running The Country – And All That Jazz’ explains how St George’s Hospital was a foundation that had originally been established by a donation from the Duke of Westminster. In the 1980s, the then Duke of Westminster was the president of the City of Chester Conservative Association. The fact that their MP Peter Morrison was molesting children was openly gossiped about among members of the Association (see post ‘It’s The Sun Wot Won It’). It’s a small world – especially if there’s a paedophile ring which is part of an organised criminal gang with international connections supplying children to Westminster figures that needs concealing…

It is noticeable that the areas of Wales that were suffering so much under Edwardes – represented by some of the angry MPs who were trying to make him understand the damage that his Gov’t was doing – are the areas of Wales that remain wrecked today and are still the subject of regular political discussions regarding the disadvantage found in the communities within them.

 

Yesterday the Daily Post Online ran a feature on a local hero – a Top Doctor from Denbighshire, Professor Bim Bhowmick. Bim was described as being 77 years old with a ‘long and successful career behind him’. It was mentioned that Bim was a geriatrician and former Medical Director of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. Not only is Ysbyty Glan Clwyd as mismanaged and as riddled with corruption as Ysbyty Gwynedd, but the wards for the elderly have been notorious for years. They are so bad that staff working at YGC warn friends not to allow their relatives to be admitted there. It was the ‘institutional abuse’ of elderly mentally ill patients in Tawel Fan ward in YGC that caused the Welsh Gov’t to place the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in special measures. Patients were crawling around naked on floors covered in urine and faeces whilst staff swore at them and discussed their sex lives. One patient was found to have a broken arm. It transpired that a nurse had previously raised concerns about conditions on the ward, but had been confronted by a doctor saying that he ‘didn’t want any more complaints’. The case of Tawel Fan was the biggest scandal involving care of the elderly that there has been for many years and the ward has been shut down. The nurse who eventually blew the whistle was sacked. No member of staff involved in abusing the patients has been disciplined or prosecuted.

Perhaps standards of elderly care at YGC have simply slipped since Bim was put out to grass? Not really. My post ‘How Much Do Staff Surveys Really Tell Us?’ details how some years ago a retired professor from Bangor University, Clare Wenger, was so horrified at what she witnessed when she was admitted to a ward for the elderly at YGC that she wrote a detailed report noting every incident of abuse and neglect and sent it to over 100 academic contacts and NHS officials. Clare Wenger was denounced as a stuck up cow doing down our wonderful NHS. Clare Wenger’s specialism was the care  and support of elderly people. Unlike Bim she didn’t work at YGC so didn’t need to lie about conditions there. Furthermore Clare Wenger actually has a track record of high calibre academic research which Bim, for all his ‘long and successful career’, doesn’t seem to have.

In spite of being Medical Director of the worst geriatric services in north Wales – and probably in the whole of Wales – Bim tells a good story and has managed to do alright for himself.

Bim came from a wealthy family in Bengal but left during the troubled time of partition in India. Bim’s family were targeted because they were wealthy and Bim left India before the rest of his family. Bim’s father’s parting words to him were – when Bim was 6 years old – ‘be a good doctor’. When Bim grew up he lived his father’s dream and studied medicine – Bim had to ‘beg’ a friend of his father’s to pay his fees. Bim triumphed and qualified. In 1969 Bim arrived in the UK. A BBC News Online report from July 2006 tells us that in 1974 Bim decided to settle in north Wales and worked as a consultant at HM Stanley Hospital St Asaph. Somehow, although Bim’s a geriatrician, ‘as a young doctor he developed a special interest in stroke care and progressed to become one of Britain’s foremost experts’ and ‘in 1989 he established a stroke rehab unit as YGC’. This is as puzzling as Bim’s expertise in gerontology. Stroke care in Wales as a whole was so bad that some years ago the Welsh Assembly Gov’t imported some stroke specialists from England in order to build a service for Wales. Stroke care in north Wales was the worst of the lot – there was no specialist service. One of the English imports got into a spat with someone because he was unable to deliver a service in Welsh and in his defence commented that ‘at present a service in Japanese would be an improvement because there is no service’. Stroke patients in north Wales had some of the worst outcomes in the UK – they were dropping like flies because they weren’t getting treatment soon enough. In a lot of cases no-one had even diagnosed them correctly.

I am wondering if Bim is rather like Dr Dafydd Alun Jones who told the local newspapers that he was ‘Europe’s leading forensic psychiatrist’ when he wasn’t even a forensic psychiatrist.

For some reason, after excelling in north Wales, in 2006 Bim departed for Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust where he became Clinical Director of Torfaen Intermediate Care Services. Bim retired in 2009.

Bim really did reach the dizziest of heights however. In 2003 Cardiff University offered him a Chair and a Fellowship. He was also offered a Fellowship by Glyndwr University. In 2009 he was given a Lifetime Achievement award from NHS Wales. He was a runner up for the Bevan Prize for his outstanding contribution to the health and wellbeing of the elderly. In 2000 he was awarded an OBE for his contribution to elderly care services in Wales. Bim won the Founder’s Medal from the British Geriatrics Society in 2005.

Bim is now Emeritus Consultant Physician for the elderly in YGC as well as Clinical Director of Medicine and Associate Postgraduate Dean, Wales. He helped initiate and Chairs the Equality and Diversity Committee of the Royal College of Physicians.

Bim is a Board Member of the Bevan Commission, which is dedicated to ‘promoting health and health services in Wales’. The Bevan Commission informs us that he has been ‘delivering excellence and innovation in geriatric medicine within the NHS for over 48 years’. So that’s why geriatric care is usually so shite and why geriatrics is the least desirable speciality among medical graduates.

Bim has even invented a model of care – and has called it after himself. It’s the BIM – the Bhowmick Innovative Model, bringing acute medical care to elderly patients in their own homes. It reduces bed blocking and introduces significant savings. It’s also a very well-kept secret, because the last I heard there was a crisis in the care of elderly people at home. Nonetheless Bim won the UK BUPA ‘charity’ medical research prize and was a finalist in the BMJ awards.

In Oct 2015 Bim gave a public lecture as part of a programme organised by Bangor University, Grwp Llandrillo Menai and supported by Public Health Service Wales: ‘The Elderly In Illness: Hospital Or Home Treatment With Dignity’. Well they certainly got that in Tawel Fan – as did Clare Wenger when she was given an enema on an open ward in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd whilst she was on the receiving end of a bit of Bim’s excellence.

Bim is of course a governor of Glyndwr University and a former Deputy Lieutenant of Clwyd. Bim wrote his autobiography a few years ago, ‘You Can’t Climb A Ladder With Your Hands In Your Pockets’. He seems to have climbed one by telling a lot of tall stories and relied on no-one daring to expose him because that would involve admitting the dreadful truth about standards of care at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

 

I came across another interesting document today. It dated from 2004 and was a list of the most senior Freemasons in the UK. There have been of course constant allegations that the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal was connected with Masonic activity, although this was denied in the Waterhouse Report and then denied again by Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb after the Macur Review. The rumours persist though – I was told by somebody in MIND in 1987 that the problems caused by Dafydd and co in the mental health services involved Freemasonry and it was admitted that Gordon Anglesea was a Freemason as were a number of the judges and lawyers who have been involved in the inquiries, investigations and trials connected with the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. St George’s Hospital was known to be dominated by Freemasons. Bangor University had it’s own lodge. The lodge in the town of Bangor had a number of police officers and lawyers as members.

So when I found the list of Masons today, I paid close attention to see if I recognised any names from north Wales lodges. I did. An R. Hefin Davies MBE was listed – that is the former Chair of the North West Wales NHS Trust. Out of interest I then searched the Company Director’s register for Hefin Davies’s interests. He has been a director of a number of companies, three of them involved with the slate trade in north Wales. Being a director of companies involved with the slate industry might at first seem a little incompatible with being the Chair of an NHS Trust. But it’s interesting in the light of something that I was told some years ago when I lived near Bethesda. The Penrhyn Slate Quarry is situated near Bethesda and a lot of my former neighbours used to work there or have friends who worked there. There were always a lot of allegations that massive fiddles were being conducted on the part of some of the senior people in the quarry. Eventually I think it was three people who were put on trial for offences like fraud and theft. It wasn’t just a bit of pilfering that had gone on, the people involved were fleecing the quarry in a major way. There was one man who was caught and arrested however who was never charged. This was widely discussed in the village in terms of ‘how the hell has he got away with it when the others are in court’. The man concerned had been driving lorry loads of slate out of the quarry without going over the weigh bridge, he’d been stealing tons of the stuff. After everyone marvelled at no prosecution ever being brought, I was told by someone ‘not only that but he’s now just been given a seat on the Board of the North West Wales NHS Trust’. Hefin was Chairman at the time. Hefin was also Chairman when Ysbyty Gwynedd were slaughtering mental health patients and the staff were perjuring themselves in order to secure criminal convictions against patients who made complaint.

Another name on the list of senior Freemasons in north Wales was that of the Rev Canon Trevor Davies of Colwyn Bay. Another name was Gareth Lloyd Jones, a funeral director in Llanwrst. The Masons obviously do put a bit of business each others way, because Gareth Lloyd Jones organised the funeral of the Provincial Grand Master of North Wales 1990-2004, one Ian Lawrie Mackeson-Sandbach, who died in 2012. When Ian died, donations to the King Edward VII Hospital were requested. I presume that this is the same King Edward VII Hospital mentioned in my post ‘Update On Tainted Blood Scandal – The Culprit’, the hospital with Lord Simon Glenarthur as governor (who is also the Director of the MDU), the Conservative peer who was responsible for the tainted blood scandal which has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people. Ian’s mother Geraldine – who died in 2001 – was a descendant of the 2nd Baron Penrhyn. Geraldine inherited a Jamaican plantation of 4000 acres and two sizeable estates in north Wales. Geraldine was President of the Denbigh branch of the Royal College of Midwives 1955-75; a member of the governing body of the Church in Wales 1957-67; President of the Royal British Legion Women’s Section; a Magistrate on the Llanwrst Bench 1942-79 and was President of the Juvenile Bench.

So Geraldine and Ian seem to have some medical connections then, as well as a few other connections. The family estate is in the Conwy Valley near Llanwrst. So the Mackeson-Sandbachs could well know Peter Higson, Chair of the Betsi Board – he comes from Llanwrst and his sister is Ruth Hussey, the former Chief Medical Officer for Wales! Geraldine could well have known Dafydd and Gwynne the lobotomist too, with that medical connection to Denbigh – of course Peter Higson worked with Dafydd and Gwynne himself when he was a psychologist and then the manager at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, throughout the years when Dafydd was banging up people who’d complained about the paedophiles’ friends. One of Dafydd’s roles at Denbigh was to ‘assess’ pregnant women who had requested terminations on mental health grounds. The North Wales Hospital was an institution in which female patients were sexually exploited by Dafydd himself, in which unmarried mothers were still incarcerated in the 1980s and in which whilst I was there in 1987 was unlawfully detaining a young woman who had been abducted by three men, held in an attic and sexually assaulted (see post ‘The Distressed Young Woman Who Vanished’). They would have needed a colluding midwife on quite a regular basis wouldn’t they.

Geraldine’s granddaughter – Ian’s daughter – is famous! She’s Antoinette Sandbach, the former Conservative AM for north Wales. Antoinette always used to describe herself as being a ‘farmer’s daughter’. I didn’t quite believe her at the time. The farmer’s daughter always stressed how committed she was to north Wales, particularly of course to the farmers in the region. So imagine my surprise when in 2015 she stood for the safe Tory seat of Eddisbury in Cheshire. She won as well and the next day resigned her seat in the Assembly and now she’s buggered off to Cheshire.

In July 2013 Cheshire Life interviewed Antoinette. It transpires that the farmer’s daughter spent 12 years in London working as a ‘successful criminal barrister’. Cheshire Life asked her why she would ever want to leave such a career for the ‘country roads’ of north Wales and then ‘head for the Assembly’. Antoinette explained that after she gave a speech at a Save the Rhino fundraiser in 2007, a number of people suggested that she entered politics (I don’t quite follow, but never mind). So Antoinette rang the Conservative Office in Colwyn Bay – that’s the office of a former star of this blog, David Jones MP, who was Secretary of State for Wales for a while under Cameron – and within three months Antoinette found herself standing for the Assembly in Delyn! She didn’t win that seat, so she then ‘worked on the family farm for a low wage’ whilst at the same time working part-time for David Jones, putting her legal skills to good use (Jones is a solicitor). Then Antoinette’s name was added to the regional list and she was subsequently elected!

My post ‘The Right Honourable David Jones MP’ details the many connections that David Jones has to the paedophiles’ friends. Like Antoinette, Jones initially entered politics via a seat in the Welsh Assembly – like Antoinette, he then legged it to Westminster at the first opportunity. David Cameron appointed David Jones to the position of Secretary of State for Wales in the months before Cameron announced that there was to be a review of the Waterhouse Inquiry in the aftermath of the constant allegations that Waterhouse was a huge cover-up. So Jones was Secretary of State whilst the discussions as to how to respond to the accusations of a massive, high level cover up of a paedophile ring involving Westminster figures were happening among Cameron’s inner circle. Jones was removed from the post once the Macur Review was well underway. Like Antoinette’s dad, David Jones is a Freemason.

Antoinette’s dad was Provincial Grand Master of North Wales throughout the police inquiries into child abuse in the region – which were alleged to have been hampered by Freemasonry – throughout the Jillings investigation into child abuse (which the police refused to co-operate with) and throughout the Waterhouse Inquiry. Whilst Antoinette’s dad was Provincial Grand Master, witnesses to the activities of the paedophile gang were found dead, the arson attack which killed five people connected to the North Wales Paedophile Ring happened and Gordon Anglesea won his libel case and the young man who gave evidence against him was subsequently found dead. Oh and I and two of my friends who knew what had happened to me at the hands of Dafydd et al were subjected to constant harassment and threats, unlawfully dismissed from various jobs, one of us was subjected to a violent assault and there were two attempts to set fire to my house.

When Cheshire Life interviewed Antoinette she explained that she became a barrister because she wanted to ‘represent those whose voices would otherwise be lost, whether a victim of crime or a wrongly accused defendant’. As a result of the activities of a number of people that your dad knew Antoinette, very many people were victims of crime and wrongly accused defendants. So would you like to explain to us why the ‘farmer’s daughter’ suddenly decided to enter politics in 2007  – because I don’t for one minute believe that it was anything to do with your outstanding performance at the Save the Rhino Society, or your desire to ‘learn about farming’. You had decided that you needed to be in Westminster and your network of Freemasons, lawyers and paedophiles’ friends swung into action immediately.

In 2009 Antoinette’s young baby died. She has talked extensively about how distressing it was, how she was treated as a suspect by the police and how little support there is for parents of babies who die. She made speeches about it in both the Senedd and the Commons and wept buckets as she spoke, invoking applause on both occasions. She now campaigns on that issue. Yet she has never spoken a word about the dreadful state of the NHS in north Wales, even about the maternity services at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd which were so dysfunctional that Bangor University removed their students from midwifery placements there and a hit squad was sent in from the Welsh Gov’t with the aim of ‘achieving normality’. Numerous women had the most distressing experiences there and some lost their babies.

My post ‘A Vampire At Glyndwr University!’ explains how in 2008 a substantial number of the paedophiles’ friends – in their attempt to have Edwina Hart removed from her post as Health Minister as she tried to clean up the NHS in north Wales – submitted ‘evidence’ to the Welsh Affairs Committee in the Commons. When I wrote that post I was wondering who was on that Committee because I suspected that the paedophiles’ friends were appealing to a sympathiser. I found out today that David Jones was on that Committee. The paedophiles’ friends sent up their distress flare just at the time that the farmer’s daughter decided that a lucrative career at the Criminal Bar (so to speak) was not for her and what she really wanted out of life was a ‘low paid job’ learning how to muck out the stock. Which is why she also bagged a job with a friend of the paedophiles’ friends, moved to Cheshire and has a seat in Westminster.

 

Two more pieces of news from BBC News Wales Online. David Boswell, 56, the Mayor of Pembroke and a Conservative County Councillor, has been charged with historical sex offences – six counts of indecent assault and one count of rape on two different victims who were both aged under 13 at the time. Mr Boswell was in the Army for more than twelve years and is a Marshall for the Royal British Legion.

It has also been reported that the long running saga of the Chief Exec of Community Health Councils in Wales who was suspended on full pay (£90k pa) for many months without anyone knowing the reason (see post ‘High-Level Shenanigans At The Community Health Councils’) is over. He has now been sacked without anyone knowing the reason. When he was appointed to the post he indicated that he wanted to shake up the CHCs and ensure that they represented a strong voice on the part of patients. Which they certainly didn’t before – in the north Wales CHC most of the members were retired or even still working Top Doctors or the paedophiles’ friends. The day after the sacking without reason of the Chief Exec was reported, there was a bad news story of dissatisfied patients of the Kinmel Bay Medical Practice having to queue up outside the surgery at 8am in order to book an appointment. Geoff Ryall-Harvey the Chief Officer of the North Wales CHC said that it was ‘totally unacceptable’, a ‘longstanding problem’ and that ‘we’d be happy to take on anyone’s complaint concerning this matter’. If it’s a longstanding problem the CHC obviously haven’t been very successful at dealing with it. But then they failed to deal with a genocidal mental health service and an unhinged dangerous maternity service and as a result the Betsi Board virtually collapsed and is in long-term special measures. At least they’ve now sacked the man who wanted to effect change.

 

 

 

News Round Up, August 20 2017

There’s been a number of high profile Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board failures over the last two days.

David Roberts, a man of 70 from Amlwch, is in severe pain and waiting for a knee replacement. Mr Roberts has been on the waiting list since August 2016 and has been told by the Betsi that the waiting time for the relevant operation is now 98+ weeks… Mr Roberts is remarkably understanding and has commented that ‘I understand that it’s all down to funding, low staff and cut backs’. No Mr Roberts, sadly that is not true – it is down to incompetence and corruption. The Betsi has plenty of money and Vaughan Gething and the Welsh Gov’t keep giving it more as well, it is being wasted. They are short of staff but that’s because no-one will work in north Wales because the NHS there has such an atrocious reputation. People do know that abusive staff are catered for and protected whilst whistleblowers are sacked. That is not the way to attract good staff but it’s what Martin Jones and Peter Higson have done for years, which is why the Betsi is in this state.

Another Betsi story in the news at the moment concerns Brooke Cheatle. Brooke is eight years old and had her leg amputated when she was younger. She wears a prosthetic leg but the Betsi is involved so things are not going smoothly. Brooke is now using a wheelchair whilst her mum battles with ‘Betsi chiefs’ in a desperate attempt to secure decent treatment for Brooke. Brooke has had a number of prosthetic legs which have been faulty. The foot of the last one actually fell off, so Brooke’s mother returned it to the Betsi. It was sent back through the post with the foot crudely glued on at the wrong angle. Furthermore it was returned to Brooke without a fitting, so it didn’t fit properly, cut into Brooke’s skin and caused pressure sores and blisters. Medical professionals have now deemed the prosthetic leg ‘unsafe to use’. Who has been providing this splendid service? The Artificial Limb and Appliance Centre at Wrexham. Brooke’s mother made a written complaint to the Betsi and attempted to transfer Brooke’s care to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. This necessitated writing to their GP for funding – the Betsi refused the funding without any explanation, so the transfer has not happened. Brooke’s mum has been told that Brooke’s care must remain with the Wrexham centre. She has now stated that she ‘has lost all faith’ in the Betsi and wants Brooke treated in England. Well good luck with that Brooke’s mum – I know of a number of mental health patients, including me, who after the most dreadful negligence and sometimes all out abuse tried to transfer elsewhere. The dear old Hergest Unit refused to let us go. They made it quite clear that they loathed us and were waiting for us to drop dead, but no, every time we tried to get care from elsewhere the Hergest threw a hissy fit and stated that we were ‘their’ patients. I realised that the Hergest was going to end up either killing me or imprisoning me for something that I hadn’t done after yet more attempts to frame me, so in the end I walked away. I know a number of other people who sought private care in other parts of the UK and one man who went abroad.

The Daily Post Online is reporting yet another bizarre mental health services story. Judge Niclas Parry has given James Harland an 18 month suspended prison sentence and a restraining order after Harland  told a number of people that he was planning to kill himself and his wife. Harland made it quite clear why he was making these threats – it was because he wanted help for mental health problems and couldn’t get it. He told the local mental health team who failed to respond, so he put two knives in his vehicle and showed them to the mental health team, telling them that this was how desperate he felt. No response. So he then rang the office of the Labour MP for Alyn and Deeside Mark Tami to complain about the mental health services. Mr Harland repeated his threat – and a member of Mr Tami’s staff called the police and Mr Harland was arrested. Niclas Parry has described it as a ‘seriously worrying case’ – because ‘a professional person’ (ie. the mental health social worker) saw the knives and ‘did not call the police’. They didn’t offer him any help with psychiatric care either. Neither did Mr Tami’s lot – they did call the police but did that rather than respond to Mr Harland’s complaints about the mental health services. Niclas Parry told Mr Harland in Court that ‘you are now going to be offered help’. What a pity that didn’t happen before – when Mr Harland asked for it. Parry also stated that a ‘robust risk management plan…to protect the public’ would be put in place. Which there is no need for – Mr Harland isn’t a risk to anyone. He was showing social workers’ knives because nothing he did resulted in an offer of mental health care, so he tried to demonstrate to people how desperate he was. Niclas Parry also sentenced Mr Harland to 40 days rehabilitation. What a bizarre, traumatic and very expensive way of getting Mr Harland the help that he needed. Except that he’s got a criminal record now as well, for carrying a blade and threatening behaviour. So when he’s recovered he’s not going to be able to get a job is he. Ooh it’s the stigma you see…there’s so much stigma against people with mental health problems, that’s why they don’t get jobs.

Niclas Parry said that he was ‘alarmed’ at this case. So am I, but for rather different reasons than Niclas Parry. But then I’m alarmed at Niclas Parry’s presence as a Crown Court judge. Back in 1996 when he was just a whippersnapper, Niclas Parry appeared at the Waterhouse Inquiry as Solicitor-Advocate to a particularly nasty paedophile (see post ‘This Is What Happened To Nicola, Niclas, Merfyn, Joan and Kathryn’). Niclas’s biography also demonstrates that he has close personal and professional links to many others who concealed the paedophile ring in north Wales. Niclas’s career has gone from strength to strength and now he’s on the Circuit in Wales regularly making the most bizarre decisions and comments.

 

BBC News Wales online today ran a report about how ‘job sharing’ might be a possibility for future AMs. The Assembly Commission said that a change of electoral rules might be possible under the forthcoming Wales Act 2017 which will give new powers to the Assembly and that it might be possible to introduce a system of job sharing which at the moment isn’t permissible. It was stated that this might increase the proportion of women and disabled people willing to stand for election to the Assembly. Sarah Rees of the Women’s Equality Party spoke in favour of the idea and said that Wales should lead on this. Sarah has two young children and stood as a candidate in the last election. I know Sarah, she’s very committed and a very hard worker – she’d be an excellent candidate whether she chose to job share or not. Sarah was speaking for women’s interests. Who spoke for ‘the disabled?’ A former candidate with a disability perhaps? Of course not. It was Rhian Davies, Chief Exec of Disability Wales, who stated that ‘more creative solutions are needed to encourage disabled people into politics’. I think she said something about stigma as well.

The most creative solution would be to get rid of Disability Wales and to stop Rhian Davies mouthing off lame clichés on behalf of disabled people. Rhian Davies has been Chief Exec of Disability Wales since 2001 and has achieved bugger all for disabled people. A look at the Disability Wales website shows the hundreds of thousands of pounds pouring into the coffers of Disability Wales from the Welsh Government but this blog alone – indeed this post – shows how grim things are for people with health problems or disabilities in Wales (and indeed in the wider UK). It is nothing to do with ‘stigma’ or the need for ‘creative solutions’ – a functioning health and care system would work wonders. Or for Theresa May to stop butchering disability benefits to such an extent that disabled people are being made destitute. I’ve never heard Rhian Davies utter a word on these topics. Guess who’s building up a nice little career for herself on the back of ‘disability issues’ though? Rhian Davies!

Rhian is Chair of the Coalition on Changing Cymru; a member of the Welsh Gov’ts Tackling Poverty External Advisory Group; between 2007-12 she was a member of EHRC’s Statutory Wales Committee; and she played an active role in the Inquiry Into Disability Harassment. In 2010 she completed an MSc in Equality and Diversity from Cardiff University!

I don’t think that there’s going to be many creative solutions coming from Rhian. However I know what will happen if the Welsh Government introduces any sort of initiative at all in order to help people with disabilities stand for election. A sharp elbowed person – who will probably have followed a career of the sort that Rhian Davies has – will flag up an inconvenience as a ‘disability’ and use that to demand special consideration. In the way that Theresa May suddenly announced that she had a ‘disability’ – she’s a diabetic – after she was accused of shafting disabled people with the welfare reforms. Diane Abbott developed a disability – again diabetes, but Diane Abbott has type 2 diabetes which means she doesn’t have to inject herself with insulin, she just has to watch her diet. Diane declared her own disability after a dismal media performance during which she couldn’t answer questions. But that is a regular occurrence with Diane Abbott and she’s never mentioned diabetes before. She usually just accuses whoever has put her on the spot of sexism and racism. That is the danger of ‘initiatives’ – if they are not very carefully thought out they are just used by the same old culprits to ruthlessly elbow everybody else out of the way.

My post ‘It’s The Sun Wot Won It’ reported on the inexplicable twitter storm that followed a recent innocuous tweet sent out by Leanne Wood. The appalling Katie Hopkins has now joined the fray and tweeted ‘What is Welsh for ‘get back down the mines’?’ If you want to know that Katie, enrol in a Welsh class and bloody well learn instead of spitting poison at the rest of the world via Mail Online or LBC. And in case you hadn’t noticed, there aren’t any mines left in Wales – the Tory Party that you so robustly support closed every one of them down. That’s why Leanne’s dad became unemployed you total ignoramus. By the way, despite coming from a region of Wales wrecked by Thatcher and Heseltine and despite having a dad who was shoved onto a dole queue whilst she was growing up, Leanne has become the leader of a political party. Which is more than you’ve achieved – all you managed to do was to lie to get into Sandhurst and then get caught out.

I Want Serious Money Now Please

I switched on the radio earlier but immediately switched it off again, because Gyles Brandreth was on there. I didn’t need to hear him tell the world how brilliant he is or bang on about how he established a Teddy Bear museum, which seems to be mostly what he does during his many appearances on light entertainment shows on TV and radio. Although I am not interested in listening to Brandreth, it did remind me that I need to blog about him, because his former career is relevant to this blog.

Most people know that Brandreth is a former Tory MP, but fewer people know that he was the Tory MP for Chester between 1992-97. In fact Gyles took over the seat from the former MP for Chester Sir Peter Morrison. Regular readers will know that Peter Morrison molested children in care in north Wales. Some of Morrison’s Tory colleagues have admitted that they knew that he was abusing boys and at least one of them has maintained that Thatcher was told about this but she appointed Morrison Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party nonetheless. Brandreth himself is very reluctant to talk about Morrison but has indicated that he knew nothing of Morrison’s activities. How likely is this?

The north Wales paedophile ring was known to extend into Cheshire – even Ronnie Waterhouse admitted that in the Waterhouse Report. John Allen, who owned the Bryn Alyn Community and trafficked the boys in his ‘care’ to brothels in London and Brighton and is currently in prison after being convicted of abusing children in north Wales, owned a children’s home in Cheshire as well. A witness at the Waterhouse Inquiry talked about being taken to a big house near Chester where he was molested. By the time that Brandreth had been elected for Chester, allegations of terrible child abuse in north Wales and Cheshire had recently appeared in the London based media. Brandreth was an author, journalist and broadcaster. His wife was a writer and publisher.  They will not have missed the stories about the paedophile ring in north Wales and Cheshire.

Brandreth will have no doubt heard the stories from other sources as well. Although Brandreth didn’t stand for election until 1992, he is on record as having said that he had always wanted a political career. He was President of the Oxford Union in 1970 and his contemporaries there were Ann Widdecombe and Edwina Currie, who by 1992 had both worked closely with the people who had concealed the activities of the paedophile ring. Brandreth has spoken publicly about the good friendship that he enjoyed with Widdecombe at Oxford. He is a gregarious man who remained friendly with many people active in the Conservative Party – I’m sure that something will have been said to him, particularly when it got around that he was standing for Chester.

Of course, whilst Gyles was MP for Chester, John Jillings and his team conducted their inquiry into the north Wales paedophile ring and then in 1996 all hell broke out when it was announced that the Jillings Report would never be made available because the contents were so incendiary that Clwyd County Council’s insurers’ legal advisors had threatened to withdraw insurance cover if the contents of the Report were made available, even to members of the Council (see post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake…’). There had also been a police investigation into child abuse in the region and in 1996 William Hague announced that Sir Ronald Waterhouse would be holding a public inquiry into the matter. Just as Brandreth got elected, five people with connections to the north Wales child abuse scandal were killed in an arson attack (see post ‘The Silence of the Welsh Lambs’).

Brandreth never heard any of this discussed????

Perhaps after he was elected, Gyles simply never rubbed noses with anyone who might have known Peter Morrison or who knew about the concerns over his activities? Unlikely – one thing that Brandreth did successfully do whilst he was MP for Chester was campaign for University status for Chester College. Chester were most grateful and in Dec 2016 appointed Brandreth Chancellor of the University of Chester. Campaigning for your local college to acquire University status involves a lot of hobnobbing with precisely the sort of people whose hair will have been standing on end in the wake of the rumours swirling regarding the activities of the recently departed MP.

Brandreth served in John Major’s Gov’t as a Whip and as Lord Commissioner in the Treasury. He’ll have been particularly well-briefed as a Whip – they are notorious for digging up dirt on MPs and using it to coerce people. Brandreth was interviewed by Lynn Barber for the ‘Guardian’ in 2005 and he discussed his ‘exciting’ time as a Whip with her. He stated that as a Whip ‘you often have to smooth people, you have to take them aside and say “you know the PM really loves you.” Then with other people you have to say “Do you know what the message from No 10 is? Fuck off. We’ve had enough. Five years ago we advanced you £10,000 – do you remember that? Just remember that, because we need you in the lobby tonight”‘.

So Gyles didn’t spend all his time talking about Teddy Bears and Scrabble and woolly jumpers then. Imagine what this intimidating shit would be saying if he had knowledge of child sexual abuse among colleagues past and present and he wanted them in the lobby. Of course, John Major’s Gov’t was often on very shaky ground which is why they will have often needed a Whip to carry on in the way in which Gyles boasted of.

Elsewhere in the ‘Guardian’ interview Barber states ‘he says…that everything he does…is a performance’. He explains that his work as an after-dinner speaker is lucrative – the money is good ‘though not as good as Cherie’s’. Indeed money seems very important to Brandreth, or more precisely having a great deal of it is. His wife grumbled about him being a backbench MP on £50,000 pa and when he lost his seat she decided that she’d had enough of the penury that comes with a salary of 50k in a household with other sources of income at the same time and told him ‘I want serious money now please’.

Mrs Brandreth got serious money as well. Brandreth boasts that he lost his seat on the Thursday and started work on LBC on the Saturday. Of course since then the bumptious vacuous bastard has never been off the radio and TV, although he never says anything of substance.  Gyles also decided to try his hand at interviewing, his first try being an interview with the Duke of Edinburgh! It brought him into close proximity with the Royals and associated Courtiers, but Gyles wasn’t at all daunted because he had ‘sat on committees with the Prime Minister’. His interview with Phil the Greek was so successful that it led to a five year contract with the ‘Sunday Telegraph’! At this time of course, Amanda Platell was the press manager for Conservative Central Office and was keeping all the crap relating to the paedophile ring and the Waterhouse Inquiry out of the media (see post ‘Did Glenda Occupy A Key Role In Keeping It All Out Of The Media?’).

Brandreth’s media career really took off after he left Parliament, in the way that the careers of so many of the lawyers who defended the paedophile gang at the Waterhouse Inquiry did after the Waterhouse Report was published (see post ‘This Is What Happened To Nicola, Niclas, Merfyn, Joan and Kathryn’). Was somebody grateful to him for something perhaps? For such a tosser his social occasions really draw in the big names as well. Gyles is President of the Oscar Wilde Society and hosts an annual Oscar Wilde Party – guests have included Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Stephen Fry, Derek Jacobi, Joanna Lumley and Julian Fellowes.

Toadying interviews conducted with Gyles have remarked on how successful his three children are – one is a barrister, one is a journalist and one is a Gov’t economist. Their paths in life probably wouldn’t have been the same if they had been kids in care being molested by Peter Morrison whilst corrupt lawyers on the Chester and Wales Circuit along with powerful figures in the media and Gov’t concealed it all, but if their dad had information about such matters that could have helped them considerably.

These days Brandreth lives in Barnes in south west London and his name appears on a website listing notable people who live in Richmond-Upon-Thames. Barnes was the location of the brothel the Elm Guest House which was staffed by children in care and where high profile people, including Westminster figures, were alleged to have abused them. At least one boy from the children’s homes in north Wales has stated that he was trafficked to the Elm Guest House and in 2015 the ‘Daily Telegraph’ reported allegations that Peter Morrison had raped a 14 year old boy there. There was also a paedophile ring operating in Richmond-Upon-Thames involving children in local authority care. Dr Alice Levinson, one of the Top Doctors from Springfield Hospital who concealed the criminal activities of the Top Doctors in north Wales whilst they facilitated the paedophile ring, now lives in Richmond-Upon-Thames and has a psychotherapy practice there. Although Alice knew that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was sexually exploiting patients and that I was suicidal because of Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) constantly having me arrested, she recommended that I be referred to forensic services for ‘containment’. Alice consulted Lucille Hughes for evidence of my ‘dangerousness’ – Lucille was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the social services whilst Lucille was Director of Gwynedd Social Services but failed to act. Alice might be a neighbour of Gyles’s!

Brandreth has written a book about his time as an MP. I haven’t read it, but I think that I ought to. However I do know that he has prefaced that book with a quote from PM Arthur Balfour: ‘nothing matters very much and very few things matter at all’.

Some things do matter Gyles. Admittedly not Teddy Bears or woolly jumpers or being the world’s best Scrabble player or getting in the Guinness Book of Records for making the longest after-dinner speech or even your wife’s naked greed – but a vicious paedophile ring with a side-line in pornography and drug dealing and connections in Parliament who are framing innocent people who stumble across them matters very much. Particularly when people who have dared give evidence against them keep being found dead.

Gyles – it’s your turn to speak for one minute without hesitation, repetition or deviation on the subject of ‘Organised Crime – How I’ve Become Very Rich By Keeping Quiet About It’.

 

Someone else who was in need of Serious Money and who certainly got it is a Lord Crickhowell, who features on an item on BBC News Wales today. The item is entitled ‘Cardiff Bay: What Has Thirty Years of Development Achieved?’ and follows on with a few pearls from Lord Crickhowell who ‘hailed the regeneration of the former docklands as a success’ but stressed that to ensure even more success, a ‘more co-ordinated approach’ to further development is needed. Lord Crickhowell certainly knows all about co-ordinated approaches and the ‘success’ of the Cardiff Bay development. Cardiff Bay is lovely, but there is much grief about it in Wales because the benefits of the successful regeneration of Cardiff Bay have not spread to the rest of south Wales yet alone to west, mid or north Wales. Many people in those regions are still living in cardboard box in’t middle of road despite the luxury down in Cardiff Bay. One person who has done very well indeed out of the regeneration of Cardiff Bay though since he co-ordinated the redevelopment there is a man called Lord Crickhowell.

The Welsh blogger Jac O The North has written an excellent account of the raw corruption that was involved in the development of Cardiff Bay. Jac has compiled a ‘factsheet’ with the history and details of the dodgy deals, sleights of hand and conflicts of interest involved which can be downloaded from his blog. I know that ‘factsheets’ are usually laughable documents produced by the NHS or MIND which fail to explain that the ‘medication’ that you have just been prescribed could well kill you, but Jac’s factsheet regarding Corruption Bay is in a league of it’s own. I highly recommend it. I will provide a summary of Jac’s research here – and pose a few questions and possibilities that Jac hasn’t raised, almost certainly because Jac’s research into corruption doesn’t usually involve delving into the wrongdoing of the health and welfare services.

Jac’s factsheet describes ‘how political power and influence was blatantly and systematically abused for almost twenty years so that vast sums of public money could be used for corporate and private gain and how the Welsh establishment and the Welsh media either acquiesced, turned a blind eye or was simply too scared of the culprits to defend the public interest’.

Cardiff Bay is built on the site of the former docklands. When the coal industry ended, the owner of Cardiff docks, Associated British Ports (ABP), was left with an eyesore and a financial liability. ABP was privatised by Thatcher’s Gov’t in 1982/3 whilst Nicholas Edwardes aka Lord Crickhowell was Secretary of State for Wales. Edwardes was the MP for Pembrokeshire and was Secretary of State for Wales between 1979-87. He had extensive shipping interests and through these business contacts and personal links with ABP.

Following the privatisation of the docks, Edwardes spent a few years working to set up a publicly funded body to regenerate the privately owned docklands. This led to the creation of a quango, the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation (CBDC) in 1987. The chair of CBDC was Geoffrey Inkin, a failed Tory candidate and friend of Edwardes. Inkin was also Chairman of the Land Authority for Wales (LAW) which acquired land for development. LAW had the power of no-appeal compulsory purchase, could smooth out difficulties with planning regulations and could get priority treatment from utilities. The key to the commercial success of Cardiff Bay was the £200 million+ barrage across the estuary, which created a lagoon across the ‘unsightly’ mud flats therefore making the Bay more attractive to investors and those buying, leasing or renting land and property from ABP.

Thus ABP had it’s own private quango pouring public money into the company from which ABP would reap profits. Although ‘the largest waterfront regeneration scheme in Europe’ was paid for by public money, ABP still owned the existing buildings and land as well as everything built on it. The amount of public money that was admitted to have been spent on Cardiff Bay was £500 million – there are suspicions that it was actually much more.

In 1987 Edwardes stood down as an MP and in order to receive his share of the bonanza that he’d engineered, he joined ABP as a Director in 1988. In May 1988 Edwardes was also appointed Chairman of the National Rivers Authority (NRA) – that was the body that was adjudicating on the barrage.

Edwardes and Inkins’s influence via the Cardiff and County Club, the Welsh media and other agencies ensured that any Welsh institution or body that might add to the Bay’s prestige or boost ABP’s profits was approached to locate there. The Welsh media uncritically plugged the project.

So Edwardes, the father of the whole scheme, was a Director of the company reaping the benefits and head of the environmental agency that theoretically had the power to sink the whole project.

A Gov’t Bill getting the barrage through Parliament was passed in 1993 and ABP and CBDC effectively became one entity. However it transpired that no-one wanted to rent, lease or buy Crickhowell House, a huge office block on the development. In 1993, the Welsh Office, headed by Secretary of State for Wales David Hunt, took out a 20 year lease at a total cost said to be in excess of £20 million. As Crickhowell House only cost £11 million to build, that resulted in a very healthy profit for ABP-CBDC. The building was allocated to the Welsh Health Service’s Authority, although they never occupied more than about 1/3 of the building.

In the mid-1990s Wales experienced the saga of the Opera House which was proposed for Cardiff Bay. The leading light in this plan was none other than Nicholas Edwardes, in his capacity as a Trustee (or equivalent) of the Welsh National Opera Company. A competition was held to design the Opera House which was won by Zaha Hadid, but it was never built. There was a lot of squabbling over Hadid’s design, but many people also wanted a new rugby stadium for Cardiff. The dosh was coming from the Gov’t in London who wouldn’t fund both and in the end a new rugby stadium proved a much more popular choice, so that went ahead. Edwardes and Inkin tried to get the rugby stadium sited in the Bay, but that plan failed.

After the devolution referendum in 1997, Ron Davies, the new Secretary of State for Wales, started negotiations with the leader of Cardiff Council for Cardiff City Hall, the building earmarked for housing the new National Assembly of Wales. The negotiations broke down – there have been allegations of skulduggery – and nominations for other sites for the National Assembly began. It was decided to locate the National Assembly in Cardiff Bay, in a new building. Blair’s friend Richard Rogers was the architect who had the winning design for the new building – I’d love to know how that happened, Rogers’s claim to fame was designing the Millennium Dome which was a national joke.

At about this time, Grosvenor Waterside Developments became visible – this was the property arm of ABP, used to disguise ABP involvement.

Ron Davies announced that until the new Assembly building was completed, the temporary home for the Assembly would be in Crickhowell House. Rhodri Morgan, at that time a Labour MP, described Crickhowell House as ‘the very embodiment of that corruption-ridden, semi-colonial, Tory past…’ Rhodri was opposed to the barrage and preferred City Hall as the location for the Assembly. Jac wonders whether it was this that caused London to prevent Rhodri from leading the Labour Party in Wales – Blair famously did all he could to prevent Rhodri Morgan becoming First Minister although it backfired on Blair and Rhodri did end up eventually becoming First Minister. Jac speculates that perhaps Blair et al feared that Rhodri would have taken the Assembly to City Hall.

Jac describes powerful influences at work to keep the location of the Assembly in the Bay. He notes that although there had been much Tory sleaze behind this – Edwardes et al were desperate to have a big prestigious building located in the Bay – the incoming New Labour Gov’t showed no sign of exposing or even undoing the sleaze. Jac speculates that Blair’s 1997 administration allowed the scam because the greed of the ABP-CBDC and the cliques and cabals in Cardiff resulted in Welsh political life being sucked into Cardiff – which suited the control freakery of the New Labour Gov’t, who viewed Wales as dangerously red and dangerously insubordinate and it would be easier for London Labour to manage the sheepshaggers if they were reduced to one city. Jac wonders whether Edwardes told the holders of the purse strings in London that the Cardiff Bay project was too far gone to call back and that the project would fail without a prestigious centrepiece to attract investors. If Cardiff Bay failed, London Labour would look as bad as the Tories. Who would benefit? Plaid – whom London Labour and the Tories perceived to be beyond the pale.

Jac supplies details of an HTV ‘Wales this Week’ episode from July 1999. The programme exposed a secret deal involving extending the lease of Crickhowell House and Alun Michael AM who was then First Secretary (First Minister) – Blair’s choice of First Secretary who had been forced upon a Wales that did not want him as First Secretary – denying the deal, but then admitting it. The programme also exposed the lies that were told regarding the cost of the land that was allocated for the Assembly building. Jac believes that the programme was designed to embarrass the Labour Party, as many questions relating to the Tories’ part in the corruption and the cock-ups went unasked. The Chairman of the HTV Group was one Nicholas Edwardes – who, along with the Tories, was not mentioned during the programme.

The Civil Service mandarin who was instrumental in the machinations to locate the Assembly in Cardiff Bay was Rachel Lomax. Lomax left a prestigious job with the World Bank in 1996 to take up her appointment as Permanent Secretary in the Welsh Office. Jac questions the machinations engineered by Lomax and suspects that the ‘official’ version of events is untrue. Lomax was moved to the DSS (DWP) in Feb 1999.

Jac sums up by mentioning that Alun Michael was the MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, that his constituency included Cardiff Bay and that prior to becoming an MP Michael was a Councillor in Cardiff. So he wanted the Assembly in the Bay. Cynog Dafis (Plaid) also supported the location of the Assembly in the Bay, although Dafis’s own constituency in west Wales didn’t benefit from the Cardiff Bay development. Jac notes that the Welsh media were also robustly in support of the Assembly being in the Bay. At one point Rhodri Morgan announced that the building of the new Assembly had been put on hold – in response to this announcement, Grosvenor Waterside sent a letter threatening legal action if building was not commenced. Jac wonders why Rhodri didn’t call their bluff, as the grounds for legal action was shaky and the threatened exposure of what that company had actually done would have soon shut them up – Jac believes that although Edwardes and his Tory friends weren’t at all supportive of devolution, they were desperate for the Assembly to be located in the Bay to ensure that the development was a success.

Jac has researched and published all of this because he is outraged that millions of pounds of public money has made Nicholas Edwardes and his mates very rich through bank-rolling a project that has been of very little benefit to the rest of Wales, much of which is still desperately poor.

Jac’s research re the details of Edwardes’s massive scam cannot be faulted. However, with regard to Jac’s speculation as to why politicians who would have benefited greatly from exposing Edwardes kept quiet – Jac has missed something of major importance that tied Edwardes and the Tories, Blair and co, Rhodri and even Plaid all up together, although they hated each other. That was the paedophile ring in north Wales and the associated cover-up.

As explained in previous posts, Nicholas Edwardes was Secretary of State for Wales during the years covering Mary Wynch’s unlawful arrest and incarceration by the paedophiles’ friends, he was in post when the paedophile ring was running riot and when Alison Taylor first started blowing the whistle on what was going on, he was in post when Geoffrey Dickens was running his campaign to expose the Westminster Paedophile Ring and named Sir Peter Hayman in the House, he was in post when child care staff in north Wales were being convicted in court of serious offences against children yet the Welsh Office was failing to inspect the children’s homes and he was in post when Geoffrey Dickens handed his dossier with details and names of Westminster paedophiles to Home Secretary Leon Brittan – who then ‘lost’ the dossier. He was in post when Margaret Thatcher was told that Sir Peter Morrison was molesting boys. And on a minor note, he was in post when I first made representation about the criminal activities of the paedophiles’ friends as well. Under Edwardes, the Welsh Office concealed the whole lot.

As detailed in previous posts, the cover-up at the Welsh Office continued under successive Secretaries of State for Wales – including David Hunt, who was also named in Jac’s account. Jac mentions the arrival of Rachel Lomax at the Welsh Office in 1996, after her removal from a high-flying job with the World Bank after just a few months. Rachel Lomax was mentioned in my post ‘So Who Was It Exactly Who Appointed The Corrupt Old Bastard?’. She was the Permanent Secretary in the Welsh Office once the Waterhouse Report got underway and she remained there until Ronnie Waterhouse had heard the evidence and discredited the witnesses. Lomax then buggered off when that had all been dealt with, whilst Ronnie set about writing the Report and reassuring everyone that no political figures had been involved in the abuse of children. Lomax was a very big hitter – she had been dragged back from the World Bank, obviously for something important.

Lomax began her career with the Civil Service in 1968 in the Treasury. She was Principal Private Secretary to Nigel Lawson when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer 1985-86. She was Deputy Chief Economic Advisor in the early 1990s. In 1994-95 she was Head of the Economic and Domestic Secretariat at the Cabinet Office. Then she was Vice-President and Chief of Staff to the President of the World Bank.

This was a woman who was part of the Tories’ inner circle and who was completely trusted by them. She got them out of one hell of a tight spot – and not just one that resulted from the development of Corruption Bay. Remember, by the time that Lomax had arrived in the Welsh Office, scores of victims of and witnesses to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal had been found dead. There was no danger of Blair’s lot saying a word either, because as explained previously scores of Blair’s buddies in the New Labour Gov’t had been running the London Councils who had sent children in their care to north Wales where they were abused or whose own children’s homes had been infiltrated by paedophiles (see post ‘The London Connection’). Alun Michael was born and went to school in north Wales and had previously been employed as a ‘youth worker’. He was one of the people who signed the Early Day Motion opposing the proposed closure of Garth Angharad, a hospital for ‘mentally ill criminals’ where a number of those who had been victims of the paedophile gang had ended up. Neither were Plaid going to blow the gaffe – Dr Dafydd Alun Jones had been a Plaid candidate and other Plaid politicians, especially in north Wales, were representing constituencies where the paedophile ring was operating in the local social services, who were loudly proclaiming their defence of all things Welsh eg. in Gwynedd. Cynog Dafis had previously participated in some fancy footwork with the Green Party in order to successfully unseat a Lib Dem who signed an Early Day Motion calling for an investigation into the case of Mary Wynch (see post ‘A Few of the Relevant Politicians Re Mary Wynch’s Case’).

The whole lot of them were over a barrel. They must have all begged Lomax to help them out of that mess, not one of them could have exposed Edwardes’s money-making scheme because they’d all helpfully not asked any awkward questions whilst he and his successors at the Welsh Office had covered up a paedophile ring and the associated serious corruption in medicine and the law. As for Rhodri – well when the Jillings Report was withheld he had made furious comments about Welsh politicians not being allowed to know the details of a paedophile ring operating on their own patch. But I suspect that Rhodri knew what would happen if he exposed Edwardes and Corruption Bay – the whole thing would explode and the presence of a gang of murdering paedophiles on Welsh soil would be blamed on the Welsh sheepshaggers in the Assembly. So he went and appointed Brian fucking Gibbons as Health Minister who did his bit by covering up the criminality of the paedophiles’ friends the Top Doctors.

One further point. Edwardes was MP for Pembrokeshire. Long after reports of the paedophile gang in north Wales became public, there was a huge trial in Swansea – of a long-standing paedophile gang in Pembrokeshire.

So what became of the lovely Rachel Lomax, who allowed Nicholas Edwardes to get away with milking the taxpayer of millions and kept the lid on child rapes, prostitution, trafficking and a few murders, as well as institutional corruption in medicine and the law? Well after leaving Wales completely wrecked in the wake of all that, Rachel became Permanent Secretary at the DWP (formerly the DSS). In 2002 she moved to the post of Permanent Secretary at the Dept of Transport,along with her Secretary of State Alistair Darling. She then joined the Bank of England – and left there in 2008, just before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, to ‘pursue other interests’. So unlike her dozy git of a boss Alistair Darling, Lomax knew that she had assisted in crashing the global economy and got the hell out of there. Regarding her ‘other interests’ – in Dec 2008 Lomax became a non-executive director of HSBC holdings and a member of their audit and risk committees and in Dec 2010 she joined BAA (now Heathrow Airport Holdings) as a non-executive director.

 

So for what should Rachel Lomax stand trial first then? Concealing a massive swindle on the part of a Gov’t Minister, concealing a paedophile gang who killed a number of people or crashing the economy? If you’re reading this Rachel, Inspector Knacker would no doubt like to hear from you.

 

 

News Round Up, August 11 2017

The fall-out from the Newcastle sexploitation case continues in the media (see post ‘Lest We Forget…’), but a slightly modified version of the blame-game has emerged – it’s not South Asian men that are the problem, it’s Muslim men. No – these cases are happening across the whole of the UK as was admitted by the National Crime Agency, but the mainstream media is choosing to report those cases involving South Asian/Muslim men. My post ‘Did Glenda Occupy A Key Role In Keeping It All Out Of The Media?’ explains in detail why the en masse sexual abuse and trafficking of children in north Wales in the 1980s and 90s never received the media attention that it should have. The people named in that post are still controlling the UK media and they are choosing which cases to highlight. I note that Peter Saunders, who established NAPAC (the National Association for People Abused In Childhood), observed that there has been a major problem with the sexual abuse of children by representatives of the Catholic Church. How many of them were South Asian or Muslim men? Whilst I’m glad that Peter made public comment about this, Peter has missed a trick as well. He stated that the problem was that many ‘men’ were abusing young people. Yes it does tend to be men that are carrying out the actual abuse – but this blog has named an awful lot of women who facilitated and concealed such abuse, suppressed complaint or discredited complainants. Once more I emphasise that the common theme is the abuse of vulnerable people who were in the clutches of the health and social care system. The headlines at the moment are concentrating on the abuse of ‘white girls’, but many of the victims are boys and I bet that they are not only white boys either. However, most of the victims are from disadvantaged social groups.

The Mail Online today has published an interview with Ann Cryer, the former Labour MP for Keighley. Ann has told the Mail that she is greatly relieved that this sort of crime is now being dealt with because for many years she was trying to bring attention to the sexual abuse of white girls by South Asian men but was ignored by ‘politically correct’ people who accused her of racism. I am friends with someone who knows Ann Cryer who told me years ago that Ann is not racist and that she was trying to represent and protect some people having a very hard time. (Ann also raised the issue of forced marriages and honour killings before anyone else dared to.) Ann was the MP for a constituency with a high South Asian population – so in Ann’s constituency, the abuse will have been substantially carried out by South Asian men, that is indeed what Ann will have witnessed. I know that she was accused of racism, my friend told me years ago that there was a witch-hunt against Ann Cryer by those with vested interests. I suspect that to accuse Ann of racism was simply the easiest way of discrediting her in that community.

This blog has provided numerous details concerning people who have tried to speak out about organised sexual abuse in health and social care settings or the abuses of a psychiatric system which has proved so useful in concealing it. Alison Taylor wasn’t accused of racism – she couldn’t be, everyone involved in the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal was white British. Alison was accused of exaggerating, of being ‘devious’, of being ‘worse than a troublemaker’ and of using her ability as a novelist to embellish her accounts of the abuse. Mary Wynch wasn’t accused of racism – she was a ‘paranoid schizophrenic’. I wasn’t accused of racism – I was a ‘known troublemaker’, ‘psychotic’, ‘manipulative’, in possession of a ‘borderline personality disorder’, ‘highly intelligent and plausible’ with an ability ‘to get people on my side’ and ‘likely to end up in a ward for the criminally insane’. The Hergest Whistbelower wasn’t accused of racism – he was accused of ‘cherry picking’ ‘attractive young women’. My former PhD supervisor wasn’t accused of racism when he made a witness statement regarding the way that I had been harassed, intimidated and slandered by the mental health services – he was called ‘naïve’. The people who gave evidence at the Waterhouse Inquiry regarding the abuse that they’d suffered in care in north Wales weren’t accused of racism. It was instead stressed that they were drug addicts, had criminal convictions, had mental health problems or were simply ‘very poor witnesses’.

Having said all that, I need to add a caveat here. In north Wales ‘racism’ involving ‘ethnic minorities’ wasn’t an issue. But relations between the ‘Welsh’ and the ‘English’ were sometimes used to muddy the waters. My post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’ described how a number of self-appointed guardians of Welsh culture and the Welsh language used this as a smokescreen to hide their gross misconduct. Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, when it was convenient, reminded everyone of his Welshness and his dedication to the Welsh nation. Whilst his mistress Lucille Hughes facilitated a paedophile ring trafficking youngsters from Wales to be sexually used by Westminster figures and whilst Dafydd himself banged up anyone who complained about what was happening. At the same time as selling his services as a ‘sex therapist’ or ‘expert’ to anyone who’d line his pocket, no matter what their language or nationality.

Race and allegations of racism reared their heads in Keighley because there is a substantial  ethnic minority population there. In other parts of the UK where race and racism is very obviously not a factor in organised sexual abuse or professional malpractice, some other excuse will be made as to why the victims and whistleblowers mustn’t be believed.

Ann mentions someone previously named on this blog in her Mail interview – Ken Livingstone. She explains how when she met Ken and discussed her concerns with him, he told her that what she was encountering in Keighley was what he and others had encountered in London ten years previously but in London they now ‘understood’ the ‘communities’ involved. Ken ‘doesn’t remember’ this meeting but I can believe that he did say it – Ken is an unscrupulous wily old politician who’ll use any excuse to get himself out of a tight spot (he has recently tried to discredit opponents by calling them Nazis or declaring them insane). My post ‘The London Connection’ details how some of the London boroughs not only were running children’s services that had been infiltrated with paedophiles but were also sending children in their care to north Wales where they were abused. Ken and the GLC were in the thick of it and before Ken ran the GLC he was a Councillor in Lambeth, who were sending children in their care to north Wales and whose own children’s homes were rife with paedophiles. Ken was also one of those politicians who signed the Early Day Motion in protest at proposals to close Garth Angharad, the privately run ‘hospital for mentally abnormal criminals’ in Gwynedd which housed some of those who dared complain about the abuse that was going on (see post ‘More On Those Who Signed That Early Day Motion’).

 

An item featured on BBC News yesterday involved Dr Peter Wheeler, Diana’s former doctor (he identified her body after her death). Wheeler is being sued by the widow of Stefanos Vavalidis for negligence, after Wheeler, in his capacity as a ‘private doctor’, spent a number of years prescribing methotrexate for Stefanos’s psoriasis but failed to monitor Stefanos by blood tests as recommended. Stefanos died in 2016 from liver failure, which an inquest decided was ‘most probably’ associated with methotrexate toxicity. The solicitor from Leigh Day who is acting for Mr Vavalidis’s widow has stated that despite ‘specialising in healthcare since 1985…[this is the] worst case of repeated, persistent, negligence that I have ever come across’. He hasn’t been party to the activities of the north Wales mental health services then.

Wheeler is being represented by the MDU. His surgery met all five essential standards in it’s last CQC inspection four years ago. He has however admitted to a breach of his duty and is under investigation by the Metropolitan Police as well as by the GMC. Stefanos’s widow has observed that 18 months after his death, she still doesn’t know whether the GMC will actually be bringing fitness to practice proceedings against Wheeler. Readers are recommended to read Dr Sara Ryan’s blog regarding her experience with the GMC – Sara’s son Connor Sparrowhawk died whilst in the ‘care’ of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and the psychiatrist responsible for his care is currently up in front of the GMC. Sara has been on the receiving end of many months of non-communication and disrespect from the GMC, the psychiatrist concerned previously described Sara as a ‘toxic woman’, lied about her and is shedding tears on the witness stand now that she is finally facing a fitness to practice hearing. She continues to work as a psychiatrist in Ireland after being suspended from the register in the UK.

Another story concerning a healthcare professional from England features that of ‘married NHS psychologist’ Markus Themessl-Huber, who is currently the subject of a Health Care Professions Council Tribunal after conducting an affair with a female patient who had previously been sexually abused. Following her relationship with Themessl-Huber, she took an overdose. The Tribunal heard that Themessl-Huber, who worked for NHS Tayside, wooed his patient with chocolates, cake and cheese and spent therapy sessions holding hands with her, rubbing arms or exchanging hugs whilst she sat on his lap. Whilst doing all this Themessl-Huber also falsified his timesheets to conceal the time that he was spending out of the office with the patient.

Themessl-Huber’s rationale for his misconduct was for his patient ‘to be in close proximity to men’. I’ll be interested to hear what the verdict in this case is, because in the 1990s it was actually standard practice in Broadmoor and Ashworth to encourage female patients – who had very often been sexually molested – to enter into relationships with male patients, who were very often sex offenders or even murderers. This was packaged as ‘therapy’ for both the female and male patients. It’s every woman’s dream obviously, a sex offender or murderer as a partner.

A watered down version of the same line of ‘therapy’ involving rather hackneyed ideas of gender roles that was even more widespread and often dished out to female patients with anorexia involved encouraging patients to dress in a ‘feminine’ way if they were thought to have issues with their gender. The writer Laurie Penny was on the receiving end of this when she developed anorexia as a teenager and she has written a bit about it. It was done by some therapists with the best of intentions, but obvious factors – such as someone just wanting to wear trousers on that occasion – tended to be misinterpreted. I was told some years ago that unbeknown to me at the time, one of the geniuses from the Hergest Unit believed that he knew that I was ‘well’ when I was wearing a dress. Which is seriously weird because I owned both dresses and trousers and what I chose to wear when was bugger all to do with if I felt depressed or not. But then a number of people believed that I used to have pink hair because I was bipolar. No, I just liked pink hair. And the Hergest Unit changed my diagnosis on a regular basis depending upon what they wanted to deny or have me arrested for anyway.

The full blown Themessl-Huber therapeutic techniques however were alive and kicking in an appallingly abusive chain of ‘nursing homes’ in north Wales, Prestwood Homes, much more recently (see post ‘A Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’). Prestwood was, as I have described previously (see post ‘News Round Up And Crime Report, May 14 2017’), very obviously a trafficking organisation, softening up female ‘service users’ for sex work and packing off male ‘service users’ to ‘placements’ in which they would work in labouring jobs for little or no pay. I witnessed female residents being told that ‘Sue loves you’ (‘Sue’ being Suzanne Hamlet, the highly abusive manager of Prestwood who was in a same sex relationship with Lynda Holland, the other highly abusive manager of Prestwood) and being encouraged to hug and cuddle ‘Sue’ as ‘therapy’, to overcome past experiences of sexual abuse. Other therapy involved young women who had been molested being locked in rooms whilst pornography was screened and being ordered to ‘work with’ male support workers, yes, to acclimatise them to close relationships with men. Prestwood got away with this – and much worse – for years until finally a POVA inspection commented on the ‘bad practice’. Prestwood were ordered to stop their ‘therapy’. The dreadful Sue n Lynda used to publish an in-house magazine (called most appropriately ‘Pulp’) and they reported POVA’s criticism with disgust in ‘Pulp’, commenting that ‘it’s the world we live in’. ‘It’s the home we live in’ observed Brown.

 

BBC News Wales reported yesterday that the charity ‘Crisis’ has predicted a massive increase in homelessness in Wales over the next few years and are busy telling the Welsh Gov’t what they need to do about this matter. Like other Third sector organisations mentioned on this blog, ‘Crisis’ is not all that it is cracked up to be. I and a friend did a stint with them years ago, volunteering to work at one of their famous ‘open Christmas’s’ in London. There were tons of enthusiastic volunteers but the management was chaotic and volunteers were angered at the lack of people skills displayed by the organisers. The homeless people partaking of the ‘open Christmas’ all had to wear a different style of ID badge to the volunteers which pissed them off and were not given a voice in the organisation, which was a great pity because some of them obviously had abilities which could have been put to good use. It was instead made very clear that they were the paupers in receipt of our charity. ‘Crisis’ perpetuated another big lie too – they made a name for themselves by claiming that ‘no-one is ever turned away’. They were. As I left the building in the middle of Christmas Day, I found a young man sitting on the pavement just down the road, in very inclement weather, blankets soaked in the rain, begging. I asked him if he knew that there was food and shelter available about half a mile down the road and he told me that he’d already tried to get into the ‘open Christmas’ but had been turned away because they were ‘full’. That wasn’t surprising because at that time there were a great many homeless people in London and it was understandable that ‘Crisis’ wouldn’t be able to cater for them all, but they didn’t admit that.

‘Crisis’ kept quiet about other things as well. Anyone working at ‘Crisis’ was brought up sharp against the neglect and abuse of the mental health services as well as the dreadful attitude of the Top Doctors to people who don’t have anywhere to live. One young man had come to ‘Crisis’ seeking advice from their Top Doctor (Crisis enlisted the help of a Top Doctor and held a ‘clinic’ for the duration of the ‘open Christmas’). He had been attacked whilst sleeping rough in London and was stabbed, sustaining a serious injury to a kidney. He had been taken to a central London teaching hospital, had been operated on and was then discharged virtually immediately, although he had nowhere to live and no-one to help him. That would not have happened to someone with a home and people around them to witness events. This young man was in considerable pain and his wound wasn’t healing which was why he was seeking medical advice from ‘Crisis’. I’ve never noticed them speak about such matters, but they’ll have plenty of evidence.

‘Crisis’ these days is a much, much bigger charity than it was when I volunteered, but I suspect that the management is still questionable. I know that the ‘cook in charge’ of one of their recent ‘open Christmas’s’ was someone who has harassed and made unfounded malicious allegations against at least three vulnerable neighbours of hers and who was some years ago dismissed from a position as an assistant psychologist after she was deemed to be a danger to vulnerable people. She was good enough to blog about her work for ‘Crisis’ – not as an expose, but to let the world know what a charitable person she is – and it was clear from her account that chaos and mismanagement reigned.

‘Crisis’, like MIND, the NSPCC et al is now big business. In the year 2012-13, ‘Crisis’ had a turnover of over £22 million and had 280 staff. A look at recent Chief Execs of ‘Crisis’ suggests that like MIND et al, ‘Crisis’ is run by people who are making a career out of managing huge charities which are receiving millions in grants from Gov’t – those Chief Execs in turn sit on Gov’t advisory Committees. It is a convenient relationship but not one which is conducive to coming up with solutions to problems. The current Chief Exec of ‘Crisis’ is Jon Sparkes. He was before his present appointment the Chief Operating Officer of UNICEF and prior to that head of Scope. I don’t know anything about UNICEF but I have heard much criticism of Scope. Jon Sparkes replaced Leslie Morphy as Chief Exec of ‘Crisis’. Leslie Morphy is now Vice-Chairman of Oxford Brookes University, a member of the Home Group Board and the Chair of an unidentified charity ‘focussed on supporting newborns in Vietnam’.

This is big business and the rewards are huge salaries, gongs, invitations to Buck House and for some, seats on bodies such as the EHRC. There are still some well-motivated people involved in charities but it can be a frustrating business if your charity is dependent upon Gov’t grants – no-one will dare speak out if Gov’t does something unacceptable or which simply won’t work. I was previously involved with a Third sector women’s organisation in Wales. All the Trustees were excellent and very genuine, but there was one issue in particular that they wanted to speak out about. The organisation was ordered by a Welsh Gov’t Minister to remove a sentence from one of it’s reports – because the sentence was mildly critical of the Welsh Gov’t. The Minister who pressurised that organisation is a Minister who continually touts herself as a Minister representing the feminist cause, who has built her reputation upon being the founder and former head of a major Welsh charity fighting for women’s equality and who dishes out awards for ‘Women of Achievement’ in Wales. At her last such ceremony she gave an award to a woman who formerly worked at Bangor University who was the most ferocious self-serving bully and who attempted to close down four departments which, if she had succeeded, would have put a considerable number of other women out of work. The charity that I was involved with did not carry on like ‘Kids Company’, but sadly the Kids Companies of the world do very well for themselves – if they toady to Ministers and tell them what they want to hear they can draw down millions.

The Third sector has it’s own publications, it’s own awards ceremonies and it’s own websites advertising career opportunities and Gov’t funding opportunities. It is no longer a voice independent of Gov’t/the state, it employs people who have been trained in Gov’t/state agencies and it reproduces the same problems as Gov’t/state organisations do. For years I thought that the symbiotic relationship between Gov’t and charity that spilt over into corruption was just evident in MIND. Then I noticed it in other mental health charities. Then in drugs/alcohol charities. Talking to other people who have worked for a whole variety of charities it is clear that the back-scratching and corruption is endemic. With regard to charities providing health and social care services, as far as the ‘support workers’ on the ground ‘supporting the clients’ are concerned, it is low pay, masses of responsibility and no recognition. Union membership in this sector is never discussed. The supervisors and managers are frequently Angels or social workers who have disgraced themselves in their previous career.

There has been much discussion on the Welsh political blog Jac O The North recently regarding the Third sector in Wales. Jac and a number of his correspondents take a right wing nationalist perspective and are scathing about the Third sector because it is bank-rolled by the Welsh Gov’t and is responsible for attracting many people with social problems into Wales. This should not be interpreted as only a right wing or nationalist argument, it is indeed happening and the result is vulnerable people not receiving the support that they need. Cheap property and the availability of Gov’t grants is resulting in a lot of charities housing disadvantaged people from England in rural Wales. Usually the biggest concern is the neglect or abuse of the vulnerable clients themselves, but there is now a growing business in the provision of ‘services’ for sex offenders or other people whose behaviour may well be very distressing to those living around them. For me, the salient issue is England exporting it’s citizens who need care and are costly to the state to parts of Wales which does not have the infrastructure to support them. Wales is then derided for having so many citizens categorised as ‘disabled’ or in receipt of benefits, the implication being that we’re all ignorant bastards who ignore the dear old public health experts’ advice and have willingly got ourselves into such a state that we can’t work. No, England has sent us thousands of people that they will not look after and do not want.

Yesterday it was reported in the Daily Post Online that ‘homelessness charity’ The Wallich has just won a Court Appeal giving them permission to house homeless people with histories of sex offending and drug use in Colwyn Bay. The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which serves that region, is in special measures as a result of the institutional abuse of mental health patients, it’s mental health services have collapsed, it does not have any services for sex offenders and ‘substance abuse services’ are provided by Dafydd and Lucille’s charity CAIS. The area houses a chapter of the bike club ‘The Outlaws’, two of whose members were recently convicted of drug dealing on a massive scale and has seen turf wars between rival drug dealers which has resulted in stabbings, shootings and murders. It is not the best place to house sex offenders and people with drug problems.

The Third sector con seems to have been going on for a long while. A friend told me the other day of how he caused a diplomatic incident at an Amnesty International meeting in Birmingham years ago. He had asked the person presiding over the meeting when they were going to support the Birmingham Six, who at that time were still languishing in prison. Amnesty supported Nelson Mandela, but no they would not support the Birmingham Six ‘because they had a fair trial’. No they didn’t, they were framed and spent years in prison because just about everybody involved in the case had lied. Even Amnesty wouldn’t admit that the British justice system was bent. Probably because someone had applied for Gov’t funding or wanted a gong.

 

The Welsh media are once more reporting on the rural GP crisis. Dear old Dr Eamonn Jessup, a regular on this blog, has been mouthing off again regarding the ‘rapidly escalating rural GP crisis’. Eamonn and his mate Dr D.G.E. Wood featured on this blog recently after I discovered that they are popping over to Cyprus and advertising their services as ‘real British doctors’ to folk unacquainted with them (see post ‘I Think That We’ve Been Here Before’). One of these real British doctors – Wood – was instrumental in threatening, harassing and lying about me in his efforts to conceal the criminal activities of his mates Gwynne the lobotomist, Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X). Those three were of course in turn concealing the North Wales Paedophile Ring. Eamonn regularly screams and screams until he is sick, he started doing this when Edwina Hart was Health Minister and Mary Burrows was CEO of the Betsi and they were both trying to address the corruption and misconduct in the north Wales NHS. Whilst trying to depose Edwina and Mary, Eamonn promoted a Facebook group, ‘Higher Pay For Doctors’. Eamonn and ‘Dave’ have been leading lights in general practice in north Wales for decades and have both been involved in GP training. So if GPs don’t want to work in north Wales it is very probably something to do with them.

To illustrate the GP crisis in north Wales there has been much lamenting that two local practices are closing. One is the practice of Dr Adriaan Smits near Bontwnog. This is the practice that was recently found to have unlawfully dismissed it’s practice manager because she dared to complain about the vile behaviour of one GP towards both staff and patients. The other GPs colluded with him, framed her for embezzling money and unlawfully sacked her (see post ‘Top Doctors In Trouble Again And News Round Up’).The other sad loss is of the appalling Dr John Morris Jones whose practice at Penygroes is shutting it’s doors now that Morris Jones is retiring. This is a man who hung up on me when he was supposed to be performing on call duties when I rang, because I had complained about his mate Dr Tony Roberts of the Hergest Unit (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’ for details). I was actually ringing in response to a much nicer female doctor who had been worried about my condition a few hours earlier and had asked me to ring back. Morris Jones did not tell me that she was still in the office and he did not tell her that I was on the phone asking for her. When he realised that it was me ringing he simply said ‘she’s not here’ and put the phone down. Since this event I heard a number of first hand stories of Morris Jones refusing to treat or insulting the residents of Penygroes. This lethal git raked in the best part of £100k pa for risking the lives of people in that village. No-one will be any the worse off after the closure of these two surgeries, the NHS will simply save itself a great deal of money. Perhaps Jessup and Wood would like to piss off to Cyprus on a permanent basis and hand over the remit for GP training to others, then maybe trainee GPs will stop running away from north Wales screaming.

 

A story from south Wales – a groping NHS male nurse has been found guilty of seven counts of sexual assault at Cardiff Crown Court, although it is not reported at which establishment he was employed. He is said to have been molesting female colleagues for the last four years ‘at an NHS hospital’ – although I bet he’s been doing it for far longer, he’s not just going to have spontaneously turned into a sex offender for no good reason four years ago. He gave the reason for his groping as him not being able to help it. Which was always the excuse used by sex pests in days gone by. In fact Jimmy Savile used to make comments like that when he pretended to faint with desire at being surrounded by so many dolly birds on ‘Top of the Pops’. When he wasn’t asking four year old girls if he could be their boyfriend whilst they were trapped in a hospital bed. Not of course that Esther ever noticed any of this.

 

An inquest at Ruthin has heard that an elderly resident in a ‘care home’ at Rhos-on-Sea died as a result of serious untreated pressure sores. The manager of the home failed to call a GP and wouldn’t let anyone else call one either. I’m tempted to say that the elderly lady would probably only have encountered Jessup, Wood, Smits or Jones anyway, so who knows if the outcome would have been any better if a GP had been consulted.

 

The Daily Post Online are reporting on a major trauma – that patients in north Wales might ‘lose their watchdog’. Yes the Welsh Gov’t are ‘consulting’ regarding the future of the most ineffective watchdog in the land, the yapping Jack Russell that is the Betsi/North Wales Community Health Council, the subject of a number of previous posts (eg. ‘High-Level Shenanigans At The Community Health Councils’). That is the ‘independent voice of the patients’ which has a considerable number of retired Top Doctors and their allies sitting as members, including former Hergest psychiatrist Dr Sadie Francis, former facilitator of the paedophile ring Glanville Owen (Deputy Director of Gwynedd Social Services whilst the paedophile ring operated in that organisation) and the mummy of them all ‘Dr Chris’ aka Dr Christine Evans, retired surgeon from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. Long time readers of this blog may remember me reporting on Dr Chris’s adventures many months ago. At one time Dr Chris was leading the CHC – she also most helpfully wrote a blog in her capacity as a Councillor which made it quite obvious that Dr Chris’s loyalty was first and foremost to her former colleagues at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, who along with other vascular surgeons in north Wales were scrapping among themselves, failing to co-operate with anyone and making decisions which prioritised their own lifestyles and wishes rather than patients’ needs. Unsurprisingly they were the subject of a highly critical report suggesting that at least some of their units should be shut down. They screamed and screamed until they were sick and then enlisted the help of Dr Chris, who pledged her support for them on her blog. Dr Chris had every right to support her former colleagues even if they were foul and incompetent, but she shouldn’t have been passing herself off as the independent voice of the patients whilst doing so. Furthermore the independent voice of the patients was still working as a surgeon herself – she was going on jollies with other surgeons, working as an examiner and doing a bit of charity work as a surgeon. Her effectiveness as the independent voice of the patients was limited by her habit of only remaining in Board meetings long enough to say what she wanted in defence of her colleagues and then walking out.

Hilda Foxall, whose husband died whilst on the care of Bryn Hesketh Unit in July 2015, has been conned into defending Dr Chris and co. Hilda has told the Post that her husband died from kidney problems and sepsis and that the CHC helped her gain answers from the Betsi. The CHC probably didn’t tell Hilda that her husband should never have died in the first place – the Betsi has been prioritising and ‘training’ it’s staff in sepsis for a good ten years now and they still miss the symptoms every time. Furthermore Hilda’s husband died in 2015 – that was long after the Betsi was placed in special measures by the Welsh Gov’t for the institutional abuse of patients in Tawel Fan ward. Where were the staff responsible for the abuse in Tawel Fan redeployed (none of them were disciplined except for the nurse who blew the whistle on the abuse, who was sacked)? Bryn Hesketh. So they were very likely to have been the very people responsible for failing to look after Hilda’s husband properly.

The Betsi have stated that they ‘value’ the CHC’s work and that they ‘have a good working relationship with the CHC’ and that they ‘work in partnership with them’. Of course they do, the CHC is the best friend that the Betsi could possibly have, their members are either complete dickwits or former employees of the NHS and their partners in crime.

Plaid AM Llyr Huws Gruffydd has sprung into action – the Llyr who knows exactly how bad the mental health services are because I wrote to him in detail about one my friends who was left to kill himself by the Hergest Unit. Llyr is defending the clapped out bunch of con-artists that is the CHC and had told the post that ‘leading politicians’ such as Andy Burnham ‘regretted’ the scrapping of the CHCs in England. Andy will have been horrified at the scrapping of the CHCs – Andy Burnham was the Minister who, along with Alan Johnson, refused over 80 requests from concerned colleagues to hold an inquiry into Mid-Staffs. The CHC helped keep the lid on all those patients who died up there….

 

Lastly, I have to report a triumph for those we know and love. Jimmy Burns, the police officer and former Hergest Unit nursing assistant who has been on trial in Caernarfon Crown Court for attempting to pervert the course of justice and assault, has been cleared, along with another police officer, despite a body camera worn by a third officer filming Jimmy Burns shouting and swearing at a man whom they had arrested and then spraying pepper spray in his face, although the man under arrest was handcuffed in the back of a patrol car at the time. Jimmy and his colleague seemed to have had a helping hand from the judge, Huw Rees, who yesterday ordered the jury to clear Burns’s colleague. Jimmy’s barrister was a man called Wyn Williams. Who is married to one of Burns’s former colleagues, a psychiatric nurse at the Ablett Unit! I’m glad that Wyn has been able to effectively represent his wife’s former colleague. Because when my solicitor sought an opinion from Wyn Williams regarding the conduct of the mental health services towards me – including his view regarding the evidence of criminal activity and collusion on the part of the Ablett Unit – somehow it all fizzled out. In fact I remember meeting Wyn, but I don’t actually remember receiving a report from him. Thank goodness that he was on the ball for Jimmy!

After noticing which barrister had represented Jimmy, I did a bit of research on Judge Huw Rees who had been so helpful to the defendants. Huw Rees is a law graduate of the University of Aberystwyth, like so many lawyers and judges named on this blog. Huw was formerly a barrister based in Iscoed Chambers, Swansea and listed ‘sexual abuse cases’ as one of his specialities. Some years ago he was involved in the high profile case of the paedophile ring in west Wales. Since Huw has been sitting as a judge, he has shown a great deal of understanding towards certain offenders. In the last few days he passed sentence on a man who punched his girlfriend in the face, breaking her cheekbone. Huw observed that he wasn’t a violent man and passed a community sentence rather than a prison sentence. I’m not sure how Huw concluded that the man involved wasn’t a violent man, because he already had a caution for a previous assault on a female partner. Huw Rees was also most understanding in 2015 when he presided over the trial of a primary school caretaker who had been found in possession of more than 600 child abuse images – he escaped a prison sentence too. As did a Colwyn Bay man who carried out a serious sexual assault on a woman, he got away with a community sentence.  In one of his judgements, Huw made reference to people knowing his sentencing policy towards sex offenders – this seemed to be a reference to Huw being known to favour less draconian sentences in such cases. I don’t think that prison sentences do much good myself and I would prefer a world in which greater understanding was shown towards more offenders and indeed the availability of therapeutic programmes for certain sex offenders, such as those found in possession of indecent images.

But Huw comes down like a ton of bricks now and then. In April 2017 he jailed a man from Bangor for three years after his two young children had been ‘exposed to heroin fumes’. Caernarfon Crown Court heard that the father didn’t mean to harm his children, the offence happened as a result of his own drug addiction. Whilst presiding over the trial of a teenaged girl from Bethesda who had kicked a man (she had played as a professional junior footballer) whilst he was lying on the ground after he’d been in fight with her and two of her companions, Huw denounced her as ‘feral’, stated that he would not tolerate anyone who kicks someone when they’re on the ground and imprisoned her, although she had only inflicted  minor injury. She sounded like a cow – but there was one aspect reported regarding the case which was not fully explained. That was, a comment that the girl had ‘felt threatened’ as a result of something that had happened on the bus upon which she, the man whom she kicked and another youth had been previously travelling. The only info regarding the circumstances leading up to the fight was that those involved were on a bus when some comments were passed – the teenager and the youth with her texted another man who met them when they all got off the bus and it was then that they had a fight with the man who ended up getting kicked by the teenager. So something happened on the bus – that allegedly upset a teenaged girl and caused a fight between two of her male companions and another man. But we don’t know what it was.

Since 2012, Huw Rees has been a legal member of the restricted patients’ panel of the Mental Health Act Tribunal. Which could well be great news if you’re a mentally ill sex offender but not so great news if you’re a mentally ill teenaged girl who’s lashed out after feeling threatened by someone. Whatever, if you’re a mentally ill wife-beater you’ll be well away if Huw’s sitting on the Tribunal.

In The News At Present

I’m following up a few research leads for the blog at the moment, so today’s post is just a resume of a few stories that are currently in the news, with a bit of background info on some of the people involved.

This morning the ‘Today’ programme broadcast a rather weak piece concerning the issue of men in the workplace and their mental health. Of course, MIND provided someone to comment  – not the odious Paul Farmer, who has kept a low profile for a few days, but a Madeleine McGivern. Madeleine is ‘head of programmes, workplace well-being’ for MIND. I’m taking more and more of an interest in the Third sector, as are a number of other bloggers, because it has become clear that MIND are not the only charity coining it in by pretending to be representing the oppressed whilst doing anything but. There are problems across the whole of the Third sector. Madeleine has a wealth of experience in this domain, having previously worked for Christian Aid and Water Aid for some years. She does actually seem to have a lot of experience in working in the Middle East and specialised in the Middle East whilst she was at university. Her CV in that field is very impressive. So one wonders how she ended up in her present post with MIND – the only clue is that prior to her extended stint concerning the Middle East, she was a charity junky, having worked in a number of roles in the Third sector after she graduated. But there are now many people who are building extended highly paid careers on the back of charity work. Madeleine has shown a bit of nous in terms of building a network to land such roles – she co-founded something called FIND, a network which connects women with professional interests similar to hers. Despite her lack of previous stated experience in mental health, Madeleine is also a Trustee of Haringey MIND. My post ‘MIND Are Out For Mental Health – Never For Themselves Of Course…’ mentions that the worryingly paedophile-friendly Tony Smythe, former Chief Exec of MIND, continued to be involved with Haringey MIND long after he stepped down as Chief Exec, as did his partner Jeanne. So I took a look at the present ‘Board of volunteer Trustees’ for Haringey MIND.

There’s an awful lot of them – so either Haringey MIND is a substantial concern or they are top heavy. The Trustees are described on the MIND In Haringey website thus:

David Pascall, Chair and Acting Treasurer. David states that he has personal experience of mental illness and that he lives in Haringey. Is he a long term service user, battling with the excesses of welfare reform? Probably not. He states that he has retired from full-time executive work and is seeking non-executive chairmanships and directorships. He’s not going to be making the tea at the drop in centre then. I completely accept that executives can experience mental illness but David’s CV suggests that he wasn’t clobbered that badly – and some of his previous posts are rather inconsistent with the image that MIND likes to project. David was a senior executive with BP for 25 years. That’s the BP that was responsible for the 2010 Deep Horizon oil spill, the biggest oil spill in marine waters in history, which resulted in BP pleading guilty to eleven counts of felony manslaughter, two misdemeanours, one felony count of lying to Congress and paying more than $4.5 billion pounds in fines and penalties. David was the MD of Terra Firma, a private equity group, for eight years. (Terra Firma’s record is so bad that I have not got time to detail it all here, I recommend interested readers to just google, you’ll find pages of unscrupulous practices.) David has also held Gov’t positions and has experience of a range of non-executive chairs and directors positions.

Marcus Yorke. Marcus doesn’t claim any service user credentials himself, but he previously worked as an occupational therapist in a 57 bedded unit for young males with psychotic illness, supporting them to find work and educational opportunities. Marcus may have been doing a very useful job there – or he may have been the sort of mental health professional described in a previous post, who coerced people into work and education when they were not capable of it, resulting in them hitting disaster after a few weeks and finding themselves back in the mental health system again, although the records of Marcus will have had lot of ticks in the boxes labelled ‘recovered’. I cannot help thinking that Marcus’s previous employment will have been very attractive to MIND, as they made it clear to Gov’t some time ago that they couldn’t wait to bid for those lucrative DWP contracts forcing claimants with mental health problems off benefits into work. Marcus has organised events challenging stigma!

Gemma Coleman, Secretary. Gemma spent five months volunteering at Haringey MIND and then joined the Board. She worked for the Dept of Education in SEN and disability research. She has also worked for Rethink Mental Illness and has a Masters in Mental Health Research from UCL.

Laura Aldridge. Has personal experience of mental health issues. Laura spent a year volunteering at Haringey MIND in the admin dept. She believes that ‘mental health charities are ever more important due to the lack of Gov’t funding for mental illness’. Not only is that the Official Paul Farmer Line, but the only reason why Farmer, in his £100k pa plus post, wants an increase in Gov’t funding ‘for mental illness’ is so that it is channelled in the direction of MIND. Laura has worked in academic publishing and is a graduate of UCL.

Oran Blackwood. Oran is a mental health survivor and is training as a counsellor and SEN co-ordinator. He has ten years of experience working with SEN and mental health issues in post-16 education. Oran also volunteers with a number of other charities.

Tricia Bohn. She has worked as a GP in Hackney for more than 20 years, in a practice with a strong commitment to mental health and local voluntary organisations. Prior to working as a GP Tricia was a Youth and Community worker in Haringey and Hackney.

Glynnis Joffe. Glynnis has over thirty years experience in working in social care, initially as a social worker and then as a social services senior manager for twenty years. She has experience of working with NHS CCGs and provider Trusts offering hospital and community services, including mental health. Glynnis believes in co-production between the voluntary sector and service users!

Helen Moulinos. Helen trots out the myth that ‘1 in 4’ people suffer from mental illness. Which is not true, but it’s what MIND tells people. She has twenty plus years of international commercial experience in charity and the financial services. She has skills in business and commercial strategy and creating new business models. She is a Trustee of an East London based mental health charity – which is helping people return to the workplace! Helen is also involved in restructuring three of the UKs largest public health and social care charities.

David Mosse. David has personal experience of bereavement due to suicide. He is the Professor and Head of the Anthropology Dept at SOAS (University of London). His career has been in community based approaches to poverty reduction and human development internationally eg. Oxfam in India. He is a Trustee for an NGO working in rural India and a Governor of SOAS.

Heather Pegrum. She is a Mental Health First Aider and a volunteer support recovery worker with a background in fine art/graphic design.

Richard Popple. Richard is a trainer and facilitator for the private and public sectors including the NHS. He is also an actor and writer.

 

What is striking about these Trustees is what a very limited sector of society they have been drawn from. Many of them work in or manage the mental health services or arms of Gov’t which have led to so many of the problems experienced by ‘service users’. Two of them were educated at UCL which has been involved in concealing abuses in the mental health services and a number of them have spent their careers working in the Third sector. There is not going to be much divergence in thought among these Trustees – with the exception of the two who have a background in academic/international NGO work and of course the oil executive/corporate capitalist, they will all have been completely inducted into thinking about mental health problems and ways of addressing them in the way that the mental health services and MIND do. Which has not got us very far. Furthermore, most of these Trustees are in positions which makes public dissent impossible.

The Voice of the Service Users? Hardly. Some of them claim to have personal experience of mental health problems, but they all seem to have been able to build careers. That is not to dismiss their own experiences, which will be valuable – but there is an obvious absence of the voices of people with severe enduring mental illness who have experienced long-term poverty. It is those people who are being left destitute by Theresa May’s welfare reforms – welfare reforms which MIND intends to benefit from by bidding for Gov’t contracts. Something else is clear about this Board as well. Whilst I am cynical about organisations hitting ‘diversity’ targets, there is only one Trustee who is not white British. Haringey has one of the most ethnically and culturally mixed populations in the country. There is a huge Cypriot community, a huge Black community and a Jewish community. Statistics tell us that the Black community in Haringey will be over-represented among people who have been diagnosed with psychosis and treated under the Mental Health Act. Where are they on this Board? Where are older people, many of whom will be in receipt of ‘services’ (or more probably will need to be in receipt of services but won’t be getting them)? The Service Users on this Board are professional people whom I suspect have experienced the milder types of mental health problems. Which is probably why one of them is quoting the misleading 1 in 4 statistic…

 

Another health news item on the ‘Today’ programme was a discussion concerning the Gov’ts plans to increase the number of medical student places in UK universities – it’s a bit too little too late. It was pointed out to the Health Minister being interviewed, Phillip Dunne, that those students won’t be arriving in the medical workforce for years, yet the increase in numbers is a response to the alleged shortage of doctors now. Dunne stated that medical students make a valuable contribution to the medical workforce whilst they are training. They are certainly used as cheap labour for menial tasks, but they are also kicked about and bullied – particularly by a certain sort of Angel actually. Angels get kicked about and bullied by Top Doctors themselves which causes some of them to get the retaliation into medical students on the grounds that in a few years time their salaries will be exceeding the Angels’ pay and they’ll be putting the boot into the Angels themselves. It’s all a case of Red In Tooth And Claw in the NHS. Medical students are also completely powerless – so if they’re witnessing mad or negligent Top Doctors in action they can do nothing about it at all, even if patients are being very obviously harmed. NHS whistleblowers are nearly always sacked even when they’re paid up members of the workforce – I’ve not yet actually encountered a medical student who’s ever tried to report malpractice or misconduct, although I know plenty who have witnessed it. I do know student nurses who have been forced off their course for reporting the abuse of patients.

Phillip Dunne also emphasised that more ‘diversity’ was needed among medical students and that the Gov’t will be giving universities incentives to accept students from underprivileged backgrounds or those who want to work in rural or coastal areas or psychiatry. No doubt the Gov’t will now implement some simplistic lame initiatives which will not result in what they want to achieve. This blog has previously commented that many Top Doctors are from privileged backgrounds. Younger Top Doctors however are often not quite so privileged – they still tend to be from the middle classes, but many more of them have attended state schools. The discussions concerning diversity in medicine that I’ve encountered are missing a crucial element. A greater variation in social backgrounds would be a positive move, but the problem with the Top Doctors isn’t so much that they are drawn from the more privileged sections of society – it is that so many of them are incredibly self-interested and no-one is acknowledging this. Their self-interest and sometimes sheer naked greed is what leads them to abuse or neglect patients, to demand bigger and bigger salaries, to mistreat their colleagues and to falsify research. There is little point in increasing diversity if the system still selects for people who’ll murder their grandmother – or indeed other people’s grandmothers – to advance themselves.

‘Today’ broadcast an interview with a Top Doctor who had been working in a rural GPs practice but who had returned to the city to work in a hospital. He explained in his interview that he had found general practice rather routine and boring and wanted ‘broader experience’. He was probably too tactful to admit that he had been stuck in a surgery with a group of old farts of senior partners who had ‘done things this way’ for years and weren’t going to take on board any suggestions from a whippersnapper. Of course, the image presented to aspiring medical students – including by medical schools themselves – is that of medicine as a glamorous career which involves endless heroics and life-saving, plus a healthy dose of brain surgery. If the students have been lured in on that basis, they will feel that it’s a bit of let-down when they find themselves spending most of their time treating frail elderly people with conditions that are not going to improve. As for tempting students into psychiatry – well Phillip Dunne needs to get rid of the Dafydds, the Marie Savages and the Tony Roberts’s if psychiatry is ever to become a popular speciality.

As is my current practice, I did a bit of research on the person being interviewed by ‘Today’, Phillip Dunne. His wiki entry describes him as a ‘farmer’ and a ‘banker’. I presume that he’s not the sort of farmer who has a flock of sheep on the side of a mountain in north Wales and is reliant on the agricultural subsidies to keep him from bankruptcy. Phillip I suspect is the sort of farmer who owns a few thousand acres and who also receives agricultural subsidies – but in his case they will ensure that he remains one of the wealthiest people in the UK. (I think that Lord Newborough of Rhug Farm Estate worked in the City before he returned to north Wales and took over the ‘family farm’.) I’m not sure that either of Dunne’s previous jobs leave him in a particularly good position to take up a role as Health Minister.

I was also interested to hear the former Chancellor Alistair Darling speaking on the radio – ‘Today’ were celebrating the 10th anniversary of the banking crash. Alistair reminisced about how it took him completely by surprise, he was actually on holiday and had gone out to buy some rolls when he heard that the French banks had collapsed. He didn’t worry but he then heard that banks were collapsing across the world and he thought gosh it might happened to the British banks. It did, a few hours later. Just like that. He subsequently had a phone conversation with the head of one of the biggest UK banks who told Alistair that the bank was probably going to run out of money later that afternoon and Alistair realised that he didn’t know what to do about any of it. Alistair, who had no idea that his running of the economy was going to lead to a banking crash and then didn’t know what to do when it did, has of course been rewarded with a seat in the Lords. Harriet Harman memorably stated that if only Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters none of it would ever have happened (it was a problem of gender you see, not one of global capitalism) and the rest of them blamed the general public for spending like drunken sailors, although Gordon Brown had positively encouraged everyone to do this. Liam Byrne put the icing on the cake by leaving a witty note behind telling the incoming Coalition Gov’t that there was no money left.

 

BBC News Wales online has reported that the Welsh Gov’t has announced that it will be dispensing with the post of the Welsh Language Commissioner, who is of course a star of this blog – Meri Huws aka the Crack of Doom (see posts ‘Let Me Enlighten Lord Gnome… and ‘Local Accessories’ for background on Meri and the way in which she was alleged to have secured the numerous jobs that she could not do). Cymdeithas yr Iaith have got very angry about this, but then Meri is their former Chair, so they would wouldn’t they. Heledd Gwyndaf from Cymdeithas stated that the Welsh Gov’ts proposals were ‘aimed at making civil servants lives easier’. Their lives certainly will be easier once Meri is out of the door, when she was given that job a senior colleague of mine at Bangor University observed that she won’t know what she is doing, but at least the civil servants will. Alun Davies the Minister for the Welsh language made some eminently sensible comments, including that promoting and protecting the Welsh language involves ‘more than slogans and chanting on an Eisteddfod field’. But as I noted previously, Meri should never have been given that position, there was outrage among language scholars and researchers when the appointment was announced because she had no credibility with any of them.

Meri gave an interview stating that ‘change for change’s sake is not acceptable’ but ‘change is acceptable if it leads to improvement’. So Meri, who has received more than £100k pa for the last five years from the Welsh Gov’t, is now dictating the circumstances under which they can kick her out. Meri has demanded ‘evidence’ that change is needed. The evidence Meri is that you made such a hash of drawing up ‘standards’ a few years ago that Leighton Andrews had to publicly comment on the cock-up and that after five years of you being in post there is every indication that Welsh is still on the back foot. Furthermore, it was recently reported that ‘Sports Direct’ in Bangor had banned staff from speaking Welsh. Did you organise a boycott of ‘Sports Direct’ or send anyone in undercover to clock how many laws they were breaking – which they will be, they are after all ‘Sports Direct’? No, you were at the Eisteddfod, giving interviews explaining why it wasn’t ‘acceptable’ for the Welsh Gov’t to sack you.

There was however a protest in Bangor yesterday by another self-appointed guardian of the Welsh language. Hywel Williams, MP for Caernarfon, was photographed standing in the rain on a pavement in Bangor holding up a small piece of paper with a ‘No To Starbucks’ printed on it. It transpires that ‘Starbucks’ are planning to open a café in Bangor. Was Hywel protesting because this American tax-dodging giant might put other cafes out of business or disrespect the Welsh language (which it probably will)? No, Hywel was protesting because he thought that the road junction on which the proposed ‘Starbucks’ is to be sited is ‘dangerous’. Not that anyone has ever been killed or injured there.

Even the ‘Times’ yesterday, the Murdoch owned, Danny Finkelstein-employing, Tory-supporting ‘Times’, published a leader supporting the right of people to speak Welsh and condemned ‘Sports Direct’ in the strongest terms. So the ‘Times’ has been more pro-active in it’s support for Welsh than the Welsh Language Commissioner. Is anymore evidence needed to justify her dismissal?

BBC News Wales recently ran a story concerning a scandal in a Council in south Wales. A number of staff were disciplined for consuming cooked breakfasts whilst they were supposed to be working. New readers may not be aware that one of my first posts when I started this blog was an account of the practices of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team. Not only did they perjure themselves in an attempt to have me imprisoned and threaten to assault clients in their own homes, but the Arfon Team achieved notoriety for their consumption of cooked breakfasts. They’d all gather in Morrison’s café in Upper Bangor at about 9-30 every morning and enjoy a fry-up, finally returning to their offices at about 11-30. ‘Service users’ who were being refused ‘help’ from this team on the grounds that they were ‘too busy’ would watch this ritual daily. It went on for years – that ‘team’ was jointly managed by Gwynedd Social Services and the North West Wales NHS Trust. Disciplinary action was never mentioned.

To finish, some news about Bangor University. The Daily Post online is taking delight in reporting that the University has once more performed brilliantly in terms of student satisfaction. Bangor has done well on this measure for years – there are a lot of staff, including admin staff, who are very committed to student welfare and love working with the students. The irony is that the man who is basking in the glory and bragging about it to the Daily Post is none other than Professor Oliver Turnbull, PVC for Teaching and Learning. Turnbull is best known for being sent on extended gardening leave a few years ago when an e mail that he wrote was leaked to ‘Private Eye’. A female psychology student had complained about being sexually harassed by a teaching assistant. Turnbull had responded by asking whether her complaint should be taken seriously or whether she should just be viewed as a poorly performing student who was seeking excuses. Turnbull accidentally cc’d the e mail to the student herself. It remains a mystery why he was ever appointed as PVC for Teaching and Learning after his suspension. One thing is certain. Bangor excelling in it’s support for students will have sod all to do with Oliver Turnbull. For more details of Oliver Turnbull and the School of Psychology that he runs, see post ‘He’s Not The Messiah, He’s A Very Naughty Boy’.

Doris Karloff – Honest About Her Expenses But Not Much Else

One genre of book that I quite enjoy reading is the political autobiography or biography. A lot of politicians are quite vain and not as bright as they think that they are, so there are often some unintentional revelations in their autobiographies. For example Matthew Parris some years ago wrote about holidaying in Italy with his friends at a place that they termed the ‘villa of shame’, enjoying the company of ‘boys who were always willing’ – Parris wrote this years before journos started circulating lists of names of people suspected of being involved in the Westminster Paedophile Ring to bloggers like me…

On holiday last week I took a stack of theory books – but for light entertainment I also took a copy of Ann Widdecombe’s autobiography, ‘Strictly Ann’. I thought that this might be an interesting read because a few years ago I came across Ann’s website, ‘The Widdyweb’, which fuelled my suspicions that she was quite mad. ‘The Widdyweb’ was a sort of Enid Blyton fantasy land in which Ann talked about her cottage which has lupins all the way up the path and the many cats that she has owned, including one called Mitten. Exploring ‘The Widdyweb’ enabled me to perhaps understand how Widdycombe managed to live on a different planet from the rest of us in which anyone who has the temerity to get divorced should be cast into the outer darkness. I recommended ‘The Widdyweb’ to my former PhD supervisor and he was sufficiently impressed by it’s content to speculate that it might be a spoof. It wasn’t, it was Ann’s own work. (‘The Widdyweb’ has had an overhaul since then and it now features donkeys as well as cats and a lot of photos of Ann herself.) So I expected to delve further into Ann’s fantasy world of lupins and cats called Mitten by reading ‘Strictly Ann’.

I had a surprise. Widdecombe has quite a deceitful streak. She is of course famous for being one of the politicians who was not disgraced in the expenses scandal – I think  that she, Jeremy Corbyn and Frank Field were about the only MPs not claiming for everything possible, but I would have predicted that. I don’t share many of Widdecombe’s views, but I would not expect her to be fiddling her expenses or pilfering in any form. But Ann’s autobiography reveals a degree of low level cunning and hypocrisy that I honestly did not expect to find.

When I have heard Widdecombe contributing to discussions regarding politicians renumeration, she has always been someone who has argued that if politicians aren’t generously paid, ‘talented people’ will not go into politics. (She doesn’t use the same logic when she discusses appropriate salary levels for other public servants.) She very obviously considers herself an ‘able’ and ‘talented’ person. I knew that she was an Oxford graduate, so I presumed – particularly in the face of all this talk about ability and talent – that Widdecombe, like Cameron and a few other leading Tories who consider themselves a cut above the rest of us, had been academically very successful. Not so. Widdecombe was actually rejected by Oxford when she applied as a sixth former, although she made it very clear that she would have given her right arm to get in there. She did her first degree at Birmingham – which was her fifth choice of university. So a few other people said no to Ann as well as Oxford then. However, whilst at Birmingham, she had developed a desperation to enter politics and her preferred way of doing that wasn’t to become active in local government as a councillor, it was to somehow get involved with the Oxford Union – because Ann had got wind that was the route that the big names used. To do that she needed to be studying at Oxford – so she applied again to pursue a Bachelor’s degree at Oxford after she had graduated from Birmingham. Ann’s parents offered to fund the Oxford degree. Ah, the myth of the naturally talented woman who got where she did in life by hard graft begins to unravel – a large quantity of readily available parental dosh played a crucial part at an early stage…

To be fair to her though, there was a lot of hard graft involved as well. Not cleaning toilets, or stacking shelves, or even studying (she ended up with a Third) – the hard graft involved a great deal of toadying, networking and beavering away in the Oxford Union with other aspiring politicians. Ann really loved being part of the Oxford Union, she didn’t see it in terms of a bunch of immature over-privileged tossers playing games at all, she really got down to Business there. She became Secretary of the Oxford Union and was also active in the Federation of Conservative Students (whose later activities became so offensive that Tebbit had to intervene and I think that the organisation was dismantled). In Ann’s words ‘we were fuelled by ambition and a will to carve out success for ourselves’ and she ‘met and talked to a wide range of politicians, broadcasters and academics’. She waxes lyrical about meeting the likes of David Owen (they loved him so much that Dr Death received a ‘huge ovation’) and the place was so packed for Enoch Powell’s burfday that people were forced to sit on the windowsills.

After Oxford, Widdecombe beavered away for many years trying to get into Parliament before she finally succeeded. She landed a mind numbingly boring job after graduation with Unilever, but spent every waking moment planning her future political career. It was all highly strategic and centred around getting to know the right people. She joined the Bow Group because, as with the Oxford Union, she perceived that to be where her version of the beautiful people hung out: ‘I was just one of a very ambitious set of young professionals who yearned to get into Parliament’. Ann mentions that the Bow Group was actually a bit left wing for her liking, but it was where the influential people were….

Despite their dangerous socialist tendencies, Ann made some good mates among the Spartists in the Bow Group. Richard Barber, who interviewed her when she applied to join, became her solicitor and another member, Michael Stern, became her accountant. She began working on papers with the Bow Group with folk like Richard Luce and Edward Leigh. Those readers interested in the rumours swirling regarding the Westminster Paedophile Ring might be interested to note that some of the names being bandied around as suspects were/are members of the Bow Group. Not that Ann Widdecombe’s name has appeared on any of the documents that I’ve been sent.

Ann was also keen on the idea of another Tory organisation where those with influence hang out, the Carlton Club. She had a problem there though, because for years they wouldn’t admit women. (However, as soon as they did relent, Ann joined – she became the first woman to become a full member of the Carlton in 2008 and was the first woman to serve on their General Committee.)

Ann was desperately trying to get onto the candidates list at Conservative Central Office, but for some reason they didn’t seem too impressed with her. She mentions that a Lord Lothian gave her a reference. I presume that this was the father of Michael Ancram – Ann had campaigned for him and acted as his PA when Ancram was trying to get elected himself in the 1974 General Election. Ancram inherited his father’s title in 2004 and is now in the Lords. Ann was obviously quite impressed with the Ancram clan, there is much name dropping of all the aristos that she rubbed noses with when she was working hard to get Michael into Parliament. She states that after she returned from Ancram’s campaign she ‘spent the next 13 years focussed on the House of Commons’.

Despite the best efforts of pere Ancram, Ann continued to have difficulty finding her way onto the candidates list, but she persisted. She was interviewed by Marcus Fox but rejected – he wanted ‘councillors with dirty hands’. She was told by John Lacey, the Central Office Area Agent for the south east, that to be accepted onto the candidates list she needed a record and that ‘there was an absence of professional information’ about her. At one point she was simply given a bollocking and told that the party were getting fed up of smart arses who had joined bodies like the Oxford Union and the Bow Group in order to bag a seat in Parliament.

Ann eventually ended up on something called the deferred list, which seems to have meant that she could apply to be a candidate but that she would receive no help from Conservative Central Office. They certainly meant ‘no help’ as well – people on the deferred list weren’t even informed of forthcoming selections (Ann, I think that Central Office might have been trying to tell you something). Widdecombe had a solution to that though – she ingratiated herself to someone who worked at Central Office and got them to access the info for her.

This is where it became entertaining. Ann’s mole kept an eye open and told her of EVERY seat that arose – and Ann applied for all of them, and boasts of the ‘creativity’ she employed as she made up cock and bull stories regarding her ‘connections’ to the constituency and desperation to represent the folk who lived there. She also took care never to mention her involvement with the Bow Group at interviews, because she believed that the Bow Group was unpopular with constituency parties. Ann may have been very good at identifying people who could assist her up the career ladder but she certainly wasn’t very good at finding out about the constituencies upon whose doors she was hammering. Her research involved a visit to the local library a couple of days before her interview. The depths of Ann’s ignorance and her shameless ruthlessness is particularly evident from her account of being called for interview on Anglesey no less.

Ann travelled all the way up to Anglesey from her base in the south east for the selection. She manages to sum up Anglesey as ‘all sheep and Rio Tinto Zinc’. There are sheep on Anglesey but there are other things as well. What there is not on Anglesey is zinc. There is a place called Parys Mountain where copper was historically mined and there was an industrial plant called Anglesey Aluminium – which was owned by Rio Tinto. Aluminium is nothing to do with zinc, it is a different element with a different position in the Periodic Table. ‘Strictly Ann’ is a book littered with smug comments regarding the perceived ignorance of other people in terms of their lack of knowledge of Latin, Shakespeare and the Bible. Yet Ann does not know the difference between two metals – and she very obviously didn’t bother to find out. At the time that she went for that seat on Anglesey, Anglesey Aluminium was a huge employer, so presumably she would have been after their votes. But she couldn’t even be arsed to find out what they produced. Ann’s confusion probably arose from the history of Rio Tinto who owned Anglesey Aluminium – at some point in the dark ages, Rio Tinto had merged with another company that was involved with zinc. But not on Anglesey. Furthermore I would have thought that the name ‘Anglesey Aluminium’ contained a clue as to what was being produced.

But guess what – the selection panel didn’t care that they had a total ignoramus on their hands. They loved Ann and she loved them! Which is weird, because Widdecombe knew bugger all about Anglesey and obviously didn’t care that she knew bugger all, she doesn’t mention the issue of language which would have been very important on Anglesey, she doesn’t concern herself with the socio-economic problems that plagued the region at that time and she wasn’t even that interested in the sheep. But Anglesey really wanted her, they were biting her arm off. She ‘stayed with an officer of the association so was under scrutiny the whole time and the interview was a rip-roaring success’.

Now one passion of Ann’s that has been a life-long obsession really is her commitment to the anti-abortion cause. It seems to be the only thing that she is indeed committed to – it’s the one thing that she doesn’t lie about or keep under wraps if necessary. It also caused some people to see her as an unsuitable candidate – she was perceived by some to be uncompromising and dogmatic and by others as a one-policy candidate. She devotes much of her autobiography to accounts of her anti-abortion campaigning and the reasons for her strong feelings on this matter and gives details of some very deceitful tactics that she and other anti-abortion campaigners used in their attempts to force legislation regarding this issue through Parliament. I am wondering whether it was Widdecombe’s enthusiasm for outlawing abortion that made her so attractive to Anglesey.

My post ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’ detailed how a co-ordinated effort by Top Doctors in north Wales made it impossible for women in that region to access NHS abortions until well into the 80s/90s – the region was notorious for this and the Top Doctors crowed about their success in preventing abortions being carried out legally on the NHS in north Wales. Where did the Top Doctors tend to live if they worked in north west Wales? Anglesey. They colonised the area between Menai Bridge and Beaumaris in particular – that area is next to the Menai Strait, it’s very pretty, it’s where the more expensive and luxurious properties are and it’s near the hospitals in Bangor. I am not exaggerating here – that stretch is literally full of Top Doctors, I used to live there myself and huge numbers of the people living in Llanfairpwll/Menai Bridge/Llandegfan/Beaumaris were Top Doctors – or academics. It was always the reason that was given for Ysgol David Hughes in Menai Bridge performing so well academically – numerous children had mums and dads who were university lecturers or doctors. And if the residents of those villages weren’t Top Doctors, they were nurses or NHS managers or people who worked with the Top Doctors. They didn’t tend to live in Gwynedd because it was a bit wet and hilly there and the houses weren’t so grand – their colony was on Anglesey.

Widdecombe will absolutely not have kept her commitment to anti-abortion a secret during that selection. And I bet that the Anglesey Conservative Association contained a few Top Doctors or their associates who sounded the candidates out concerning their stance on abortion as well. They must have thought that Christmas had come when Widdecombe arrived – the Top Doctors of north Wales were getting very angry at the idea that they might be put under pressure to offer terminations and what would be more helpful to them than a local MP who would back them up all the way?

Sadly for Anglesey Conservatives though, it was a dream that was snatched away. Ann dropped them! A seat in Burnley had also come up and of course Ann had applied for that too (totally committed to Burnley as well!) and although Derek Laws, the Welsh Area agent, wanted Ann to withdraw from Burnley because Anglesey were so desperate to snare her, Conservative Central Office insisted that she follow procedure which meant keeping her name in the hat for Burnley and the Burnley election happened first. Anglesey seem to have been particularly miffed about this – Widdecombe’s book mentions that years later by which time she was in Parliament she bumped into someone from Anglesey and they asked her if she regretted letting them down. Ann herself has no regrets – it wasn’t a safe seat! She mentions of course that the candidate who was eventually selected for Anglesey was Keith Best and the seat was ‘lost’ from the Conservatives a few years later. She fails to mention that it was lost because Best was convicted of fraud and ended up in prison.

Ann wasn’t elected in Burnley and her search for a seat continued a while longer. Readers might well be wondering by now how Widdecombe was actually managing to sustain herself in the south east whilst spending so much time campaigning for the Tories, grovelling to influential people and indeed charging off around the UK in hot pursuit of a seat. It transpires that Ann had a very understanding employer. She got fed up of Unilever pretty quickly and took up a job as an administrator at the University of London. She wasn’t just on reception, she actually worked her way up to a very senior role in the University Court dept and ended up being responsible for the financial part of the project that merged the London medical schools ie. the merger between Guys and Tommy’s and University College and Middlesex. Ann Widdecombe will have been party to an awful lot of very interesting information in that role – and if she’d kept certain people happy she would have made some very influential friends. Which Ann seems to have been very good at doing anyway. One person who was very keen to help Ann further her career in the Conservative Party was her boss at London University, Peter Holwell.

Peter Holwell seems to have been a very useful boss to have – he allowed Ann an awful lot of time off to go campaigning (she doesn’t mention any obligation upon her to take this as unpaid leave) and she even mentions that she took her secretary from the University with her campaigning – the secretary played a full on role as well, answering letters, preparing canvassing returns etc. Did the authorities at London University know that two of their staff – a senior administrator and her secretary – were taking weeks off work in order to bag one of them a seat in Parliament? We are talking the 80s here, the Thatcher years, when universities were being berated for their wastefulness, their lack of productivity and were subjected to severe financial cuts.

But Peter Holwell didn’t just give Ann weeks off to fight elections and supply her with a secretary to do this. He seems to have participated in a great deal of subterfuge with Honest Ann. Readers of my vintage will remember that in 1982 the Tories became so vexed about the CND movement – in particular the women’s protests at Greenham – that they established a campaign in opposition to this which certainly had everyone rolling in the aisles: ‘Women and Families for Defence’, led by the dreadful Lady Olga Maitland, who doubled up as a gossip columnist for the Sunday Express. (Olga was as bad as Ann in terms of only bothering to get to know certain people. In one press interview she waxed lyrical about her love of dinner parties, but stressed that she only invited selected people ‘like Edward De Bono and his wife’. I won’t be receiving an invitation then.) Ann was involved with this campaign and was a key figure in running it – during her time at London University. She mentions that Peter Holwell was ‘keenly interested in my political activity and was a sympathiser’ – the preparations for the launch of ‘Women and Families for Defence’ were ‘carried out in secrecy’ and were referred to in London University as ‘the initiative’. Holwell was in on it all and all Ann had to do was ask for time off from the University for ‘the initiative’.

What exactly was going on in the senior ranks of the Court at London University in the 1980s?

Peter Holwell is still alive, although long retired. He’s been a busy bee though. He was listed as a Company Director for:

A.C.A. Ltd; Leeds Castle Foundation; Edge Foundation; Friends of the Courtauld Institute; Samuel Courtauld Trust; Setoncrest Ltd; Law 646 Ltd; Zoo Operations Ltd; Zoo Enterprises Ltd; Whipsnade Wild Animal Park; Zoo Restaurants Ltd.

Some of these organisations are well-known, some seem to be businesses connected to London University and some are frankly opaque and rather suspicious….

But to return to ‘the initiative’ which was so generously supported in complete secrecy by the upper echelons of London University. ‘Women and Families for Defence’ was always presented by the Tories as being a movement led by real women who wore nylons and were called Lady, rather than a bunch of screaming lesbians of doubtful sanity which of course were what made up the ranks of CND. Yet Ann tells us something else – although the initiative was supposedly led by Olga assisted by the likes of Angela Rumbold and Virginia Bottomley, Ann states clearly that it was all ‘initiated’ by a man called Michael Lingens, a Bow Group officer, who needed a ‘women’s group’ to make an ‘even bigger noise’ than the Greenham women. So who was this Michael Lingens who told the ladies what to do?

Michael Lingens was a Councillor in Hammersmith and Fulham 1982-86 and became Chairman of the Bow Group in 1984. These days he is described as a ‘corporate lawyer’. He is a partner in an organisation called CharlesRussellSpeechlys and is described on their website as being a man who ‘advises on corporate and transactional work for public and private companies, primarily in the healthcare sector’. Lingens has ‘worked with a number of the UK’s leading care home operators in recent years’. He is ‘responsible for the firm’s offices in continental Europe and Chairman of the International Committee which co-ordinates the firm’s international activities in general’.

So it sounds rather to me as though Michael Lingens these days is in the business of privatising the NHS. Which is certainly interesting – Ann’s job at London University (when she was actually at work to do it) involved overseeing the reconfiguration of some leading London hospitals/medical schools and in ‘Strictly Ann’, Ann explains that of course she’s committed to the NHS, but years after her adventures with Olga Maitland et al when she became Shadow Secretary for Health ‘a major plank of my policy was to introduce private sector money to the NHS’. Ann enjoyed the miracles of private medicine herself when she suffered a detached retina. She trotted along to Moorfields Hospital and consulted the surgeon Lyndon da Cruz expecting to hear the worst and told him that she did know that ‘lots of people go through life with the sight of only one eye’. She was delighted to be told that ‘but YOU won’t have to’. Ann recalls that ‘they were the most beautiful words I had heard in many years’ and observed ‘how blessed I am to have BUPA cover’. I didn’t realise that BUPA had a spiritual aspect to it, but at least Ann didn’t have to go blind like the rest of us who don’t have BUPA cover are obviously expected to. ‘Strictly Ann’ is full of references to the Good Book and indeed quotes from the Good Book but Ann really is no John Bell.

The corporate lawyer who is gobbling up the NHS is not the only person who assisted Ann, Olga et al with the initiative. They were, explains Ann, ‘egged on’ by Julian Lewis, who had been at Oxford with her. Ann admiringly explains how on one occasion a few years later, Julian ‘actually managed to string pro-defence banners across Whitehall under which CND had to march on it’s route to Trafalgar Square’. Julian helped Ann with her maiden speech when she finally did succeed in getting into Parliament in 1987. The subject of Ann’s maiden speech was Trident.

So who’s Julian? He’s the Tory MP for New Forest East. In 1976 he received secret funding from the far-right organisation the Freedom Association to pose as a Labour Party moderate in an attempt to expose Militant Tendency entryism in the Labour Party. He is described as a ‘leading opponent of CND and other left-wing organisations throughout the 1980s’ and between 1981-85 he was the Research Director of the Coalition of Peace Through Security. In Parliament he actively pursues the retention and renewal of the UK Trident programme. Just to reassure everyone, in Sept 2010 he was appointed as a member of Parliament’s Security and Intelligence Committee.

So that’s who was pulling the strings of Ann and her mates. Funded without anyone’s knowledge by London University, as was Ann’s path into Parliament.

Ann did eventually manage to get elected in 1987, for Maidstone. Once more Peter Holwell did her a favour and allowed her to leave her job at London University without working out her notice. She mentions an early problem arising when she was newly elected – there was an ‘acute cash crisis’ at Maidstone Hospital, which was ‘very new and flagship’ and Honest Ann was called upon to manage the crisis (or perhaps the bad publicity?), which involved a series of discussions with the Health Authority Chair Anne-Marie Nelson, the hospital management, the Top Doctors, the Angels and the Minister Tony Newton. There were obviously very much more serious problems at that hospital than Ann admitted. Maidstone Hospital hit the media in 2007 as a result of a C diff outbreak, attributed to filthy conditions and overcrowding. In total, more than 1,150 patients became infected, 90 were estimated to have died as a result of infection and it was estimated that the infection contributed towards the deaths of another 240 patients. The Chief Exec was described as ‘blameless’ but was sacked nonetheless, with a severance payment of 250k. The Health Secretary at the time, Alan Johnson, intervened and the Dept of Health advised the Trust to withhold more than 2/3 of the payment. The case went to the Court of Appeal, the payment was restored and a judgement was issued that was highly critical of the Trust. Upon publication of the judgement the whole Trust Board resigned. So Ann didn’t manage to sort that little local difficulty out then, despite ‘Strictly Ann’ containing anecdotes about the machinations that she and her colleagues used to ensure that bad news NHS stories didn’t receive high profile coverage.

After all that toadying to actually get into the Commons, Ann very nearly came unstuck in 1992 when there was an attempt to deselect her by some members of her constituency association as a result of her anti-hunting stance. (Is it not ironic that it was this which nearly caused her to come to grief rather than the rest of the insanity and duplicity.) However, fellow anti-abortion campaigner Lib Dem David Alton was so mortified at the idea of Parliament without Doris that he came to her rescue. Alton theorised that to get Ann out of hot water, she needed the support of a high profile hunter and hey presto a letter from the Duke of Norfolk in support of Ann was sent to the constituency association. Ann was really chuffed when she found out that the Duke of Norfolk had written that he wished that he’d had her at his side when he was ‘fighting the Mau Mau’. I’m wondering if Doris has any idea of what was alleged to have happened in the fight against the Mau Mau uprising – the Mau Mau militants were notoriously terrifying and vicious, so the colonial forces did not hold back where retaliation was concerned. Mau Mau were flogged until death, roasted alive, sexually assaulted with a range of objects, set alight after having paraffin poured over them and castrated. Interrogation methods used by the colonial forces included slicing off ears, boring holes in ear-drums and pushing pins into fingernails. One can only wonder in what capacity the Duke of Norfolk imagined that Ann would have proved useful.

The Duke of Norfolk’s letter did the trick and Ann lived to fight another day.

In much the same way that it took Ann a very long time to actually get into Parliament, her progress once she was there was not what she had envisaged. As with the Chukas and the Yvettes and the Tristrams et al that have wrecked the Labour Party, doing a good job for her constituents as a useful backbench MP wasn’t enough for Ann – she knew that she was meant for better things. Like Norman Tebbit, Ann is someone who seethes at the idea that much of an MP’s role has now been ‘reduced’ to that of a ‘glorified social worker’. How they hate it when those sodding constituents keep turning up with their housing problems or their benefit concerns or their complaints about the NHS. As Tebbit used to stress ‘our job is to hold the executive to account’. Well that certainly is part of the job, but Tebs and Doris don’t seem to have worked out that the reason why MPs surgeries are now brimming over with desperate people about to lose the roof over their heads or with no income because their benefits have been stopped or who have nearly been killed at the hands of the NHS and no-one will even respond to their letters, is that since 1979 successive Gov’ts have set about dismantling the infrastructure of the UK and now nothing fucking works. Desperate people have nowhere else to turn but their MPs, particularly when the public services themselves break the law. Parliament is not the Oxford Union Ann, no matter how much that you wish it was. That was you playing with a load of other pretentious spoilt idiots – when you get elected you have things called constituents to answer to.

Although Doris did notice that no-one seemed very enthusiastic about promoting her, she did what she had done previously – she hassled a lot of influential people demanding answers as to why her talents were going unacknowledged. Unbelievably it worked and Doris began to get promoted.

Now one of the early positions that Doris achieved that interests me is that of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State to Tony Newton. Doris describes that this involved a huge amount of work and that as the Parliamentary Under Secretary it was she who did the legwork – including handling all correspondence. Tony Newton was the Minister to whom Alison Taylor wrote in Feb 1988 describing the abuse of children in care in north Wales that was happening – including assaults that she had witnessed herself. Ann Widdecombe will have known about that letter. Furthermore by the time that she wrote to Tony Newton, Alison had already written to Margaret Thatcher. Tony Newton was Health Minister. This was pre-devolution, so the NHS in Wales was the responsibility of Westminster. By the time that Doris was the gofer for Newton, the authorities were aware of my allegations concerning the psychiatric services in north Wales as well.

But Doris also knew somebody who was directly involved in the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal – Peter Morrison, the MP for Chester, whom former Tory MPs now admit was known to be molesting under-aged boys and who was visiting children’s homes in north Wales. Doris mentions Morrison a number of times in her book – Doris knew him as Thatcher’s PPS and repeats a number of times that Morrison was giving Thatcher ‘bad advice’. It is fairly clear now that Thatcher’s administration were covering up what was happening in north Wales, including Peter Morrison’s activities. Ann doesn’t mention that, but she does make reference to another situation which she claims was covered up by everybody from ‘Tony Newton downwards’, that of the serious alcohol problem suffered by Nick Scott. She observes that no-one did him any favours concealing the fact that he was drunk and incapable and she is probably quite right. But I suspect that Doris knew that Tony Newton along with the Welsh Office were covering up something far worse than an alcoholic colleague – and who knows she might well have still been in contact with her old buddies the Top Doctors from Anglesey who had so wanted her as their MP, who were covering up exactly the same thing. By that time Keith Best had been elected for Anglesey – the Keith Best who was so uninterested and unhelpful when I went to see him about the wrongdoing of the Top Doctors. The Keith Best who had a role in the Welsh Office.

After her stint with Tony Newton, Doris was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for David Hunt at the Dept of Employment. The David Hunt who was Secretary of State for Wales – twice – and who covered up the wrongdoing in north Wales as well.

Doris’s autobiography makes it obvious that she was getting pretty pissed off with only being a mere Parliamentary Under Secretary and she was greatly pleased when she finally became a Minister of State in the Home Office. She was memorably Minister for Prisons under Home Secretary Michael Howard who maintained that ‘prison works’, as the prison numbers swelled with dispossessed people who were frequently mentally ill. Or in north Wales had complained about the psychiatric services or of having been molested in children’s homes. Doris waxes lyrical about the features of prisoners – that they are usually illiterate and innumerate, that they often have mental health problems, that they usually come from ‘broken families’. The one thing that she fails to mention is that a disproportionate number have grown up ‘in care’ – but I bet she knew it. Doris was a Minister in the Home Office at the time when Mary Wynch was chewed up and spat out, ruined, by the Home Office (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’).

Doris was sufficiently attached to Tony Newton and David Hunt to mention how ‘upset’ she was when they lost their seats in 1997.

I find it very difficult to believe that Doris, whose whole modus operandi was predicated upon making friends with powerful people and helping ensure that things ran smoothly for them, had not heard an awful lot about the barrel of shite in north Wales that so many of those whom she was hobnobbing with were so deeply involved.

But even after Hunt and Newton had left the Commons, Doris found herself yet again close to someone else who played a major role in covering up the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal – she became Shadow Secretary for Health under William Hague. Whilst the cover-up that was the Waterhouse Inquiry was underway. Doris was a big fan of Hague and her explanation for his disastrous stint as Tory leader was that he simply arrived in that position too early in his career. Even in her account of her support for Hague as leader though there are indications of Doris’s underhand activities. By the time that Hague stood in the leadership race, Doris had of course fallen out with Michael Howard in a very big way and certainly did not want him becoming leader of the party – she did of course launch a very public attack on him in which she notoriously claimed that there was ‘something of the night’ about him and what with that coming from Honest Plain Speaking Ann, it killed off Howard’s 1997 leadership chance. Ann explains in her book how Hague was actually going to support Howard for leader in 1997 until she told James Arbuthnot – the principal Hague supporter – that she was going to launch a major attack on Howard. Hague subsequently reneged on his deal to support Howard. Ann wonders whether Arbuthnot told Hague that he was supporting ‘damaged goods’ – of course she has no idea whether Arbuthnot ever did tell him that, but she remarks that it would have been ‘strange’ if Hague’s ‘first lieutenant would not have told him what he had learned’. Of course it would Doris, that’s why you set the cat among the pigeons…

Doris also had cause to call on the help of yet another person whom I have named on this blog as helping to keep the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal out of the media as much as was possible – Amanda Platell (see post ‘Did Glenda Occupy A Key Role In Keeping It All Out Of The Media?’). In 1999, by which time Platell had her feet well under the table as Head of Press at Conservative Central Office, Peter Lilley made a speech which compromised one of Doris’s policies. An early draft of Lilley’s speech was leaked by a journalist – a journalist whom it was known was regularly briefed by Doris. Suspicion fell upon Doris and rumours flew – Doris was horrified that she had fallen under suspicion (I’m not sure why, if she was known to be briefing this journo on a regular basis it would seem logical to presume that she’d done so again). Fortunately for Doris, the helpful Amanda held a full investigation using some of her contacts that I mentioned in my previous post about her, two people were identified as being the source of the leak and were sacked. Doris remained – presumably to continue briefing journalists when she found it necessary.

Readers may remember that Doris fancied herself as Tory leader but never actually got that far. What is noticeable in Doris’s book is that she had felt that this was her destination and she takes it as a matter of fact that she’d have been an absolutely brilliant PM. Fortunately for the rest of us it never actually happened. However Doris does spend quite a lot of time telling us all how she would run the world if anyone were ever rash enough to allow her to do so. She claimed to be speaking for a section of society that she termed the ‘Forgotten Decents’. Which is an interesting concept from a woman who admired so many close colleagues who had concealed a paedophile ring. Of course Ann stood down from Parliament in 2010 and although she has made it known that she was miffed not to have been offered a seat in the Lords, her career post-politics has continued. She has become a sort of cabaret act, taking part in Strictly Come Dancing and the like. She devotes quite a bit of space to these activities in her autobiography.

Doris tells us how as part of a project for one TV programme she ‘found a prostitute’ called Collette from Peterborough, who wanted to escape from prostitution ‘but could get no help’. A bit like those teenaged boys in north Wales that your colleague Morrison was molesting then Ann. Ann sadly observes that Collette disappeared with a mobile phone that the TV folk had given her and ‘went off the radar’. Well some of the former residents of the children’s homes were found dead after they’d given evidence about what had happened to them and no-one even gave them a mobile phone to bugger off with.

During the filming of another TV programme, Doris was appalled to encounter a ‘work shy’ man called Mick Philpott who ‘pretended’ to take on a job that Ann had found for him ‘but never reported for duty’. Well if Ann had found him a job as a senior administrator at London University, he wouldn’t have needed to have reported for duty, he could have pissed off around the country with the use of a secretary campaigning for a seat in Parliament. Doris was also deeply traumatised when she discovered that the work shy man had a rather complex domestic set up – he was in a sexual relationship with a number of different partners all at once (just like Marjorie Wallace then) and made reference to him ‘servicing’ them. Doris was appalled at the use of this phrase. I can tell that when Doris worked in London medical schools she was an administrator who didn’t share a tea room with Top Doctors or their minions. Do you know what the absolute bog standard phrase at St George’s was for shagging someone Doris? Servicing them. I heard it every day, among much ribald speculation relating in particular to various Top Doctors who were known to be serving – or being serviced – by numerous casual partners. Indeed one Top Doctor who achieved fame for being serviced by five different men in one weekend now appears in glossy women’s magazines in relation to her campaigning work on FGM. I saw an article featuring her the other day. Unlike Ann, I don’t really mind who services who if it’s non-exploitative and between consenting adults, but the icing on the cake was when I was told that one of the Top Doctors at another medical school in London wasn’t very popular because ‘he has a pony tail and arrives on his motorbike every day’. I remarked that was hardly earth shattering and I was then told ‘yes but the trouble is he has sex with his children, he’s too much’. Yep, they knew that a professor of gynaecology in London was having sex with his children. They didn’t like it, they gossiped about it but not one of them lifted a finger to investigate or stop it. St Georges was a medical school with a labour ward that used to be occasionally visited by social workers and police officers to remove new born babies from the care of women if they had been deemed unsuitable to care for their children. The man who was alleged to be having sex with his children is still on the Medical Register, he is actually still a very big name and is a Professor Emeritus who sits on the Boards of numerous medical charities. But of course St Georges had a Professor of Paediatrics, Oliver Brooke, who in the mid 1980s went to prison for possessing huge quantities of child porn.

Like some of the Top Doctors, Doris has rather inconsistent views where sexuality is concerned. She supported Section 28 because it was ‘about protecting children’. (So that’s why the Tories covered up a paedophile ring then!!) When discussing child sexual abuse she relies on the Margaret Hodge defence of ‘we didn’t know about it in the 70s and 80s’. Yes Doris, we did know about it. Molesting children was considered very unacceptable indeed, even in the 70s and 80s, which is why people went to such lengths to conceal it. The one thing that people didn’t tend to accept in the 70s and 80s was that respectable middle class men with families and allegedly ‘normal’ lives might be involved in such activity – it was very much seen as the preserve of a loner in a flasher’s mac. To illustrate the depths of society’s ignorance regarding paedophilia, Doris mentions that Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt who were famously involved with the NCCL when it was affiliated to PIE are now ‘exemplary mothers’. I’m not sure that I see the connection – Harman and Hewitt I am sure would never let their own kids near paedophiles but that did not stop them from doing some stupid things when they worked for the NCCL and then throwing hissy fits in the media when it was exposed many years later. But then Margaret Thatcher would never have let Mark and Carol near a paedophile gang but she ignored one that ran riot in north Wales on her watch because they were only molesting the kids of some sheepshaggers who were in local authority care. The one paedophile whom Doris does have harsh words for is Jimmy Savile – Doris blames the BBC. It wasn’t the BBC who nominated him for a knighthood or invited him to Chequers for Christmas – it was Thatcher. And it wasn’t the BBC who put him in charge of a high security hospital – it was Doris’s colleague Edwina Currie….

Most staggeringly though, one paedophile who Doris has nothing but warm words for is the man who when Doris’s dancing partner Craig Revel Horwood was a teenager took Craig travelling and used him, in Ann’s own words, as ‘rent boy’. This man was a lot older than Craig and Craig’s mother was told a tall story in order to ensure that the travel plans weren’t stopped. Craig told Doris that despite all this, his travelling companion was a nice man. Which he might well have been, but he was also a highly exploitative man who was happy to lie to people in order to have sex with a minor. Doris marvels at Craig’s insights and wishes that the whole world could be as forgiving (which is odd coming from someone who is very keen on the idea of hanging people). She comments that friendship is a marvellous thing. Which I think is a fairly standard line that paedophiles use when approaching young people – and they tell them not to tell their mums what is going on.

So there’s The World According To Widdecombe for you. Doris’s political life has been one of daft simplistic ideas, of telling the plebs what’s good for them, of ludicrous games learnt at the Oxford Union, of ruthlessly fawning to powerful people particularly if they have titles or a great deal of money and of chortling away with her Tory mates whilst making smug comments about socialists. As a paedophile ring ripped through north Wales, leaving a trail of death, destruction and people wrongly imprisoned in it’s wake. Although Doris doesn’t know the difference between aluminium and zinc, she considers herself a multi-talented erudite being and she spends a lot of time turning her nose up at the plebs who haven’t read their Shakespeare. Had Doris been a different sort of electoral candidate for a seat in north Wales, she might well have bothered to become acquainted with some of the literature from the region. One of north Wales’s most famous writers was someone called Kate Roberts. She wrote a book called ‘Feet In Chains’ Doris. Which just about describes the state of those kids in north Wales who were shagged senseless and beaten up in order to provide sexual services for some of your colleagues and were banged up in the North Wales Hospital or Risley Remand Centre if they complained about what was happening. Should any readers think that I might be overdoing it here, I should explain that as well as the people mentioned in this post, in her book Doris also names scores of other political chums whom she has hung out with and who helped her along her way. FIVE of those names appear on the list of names that I have been sent by a journalist as being suspected members of the Westminster Paedophile Ring.

Doris has now retired to Dartmoor with a load of cats. But the damage that this rather dim woman inflicted because she thought that she was Prime Minister material remains.

The Right Honourable David Jones MP

Someone has been urging me to blog about David Jones the Conservative MP for Clwyd West for a while now, but as he was never one of the politicians whom I contacted and his name is not on any of the documents in my possession, I have resisted. However, I have now succumbed, because again and again I come across people associated with David Jones whom I know to have been well aware of the activities of those we know and love.

David Jones is Welsh and a fluent Welsh speaker – he was born in London but his family are Welsh and Jones went to Ruabon Grammar School. Jones’s father is described as an Army Officer who then ran a number of pharmacies in the Wrexham area. So Jones’s father had connections to the world of healthcare in north east Wales then. Jones is in his early sixties, so when Jones was attending Ruabon Grammar and his father was running pharmacies, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Gwynne the lobotomist were doing their damage at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. Jones’s family must have been aware of this – if people unconnected with healthcare out in the far reaches of north west Wales heard about the abuses at Denbigh, a pharmacist and his family living not that many miles from Denbigh will have heard. Jones’s father will also have been party to much inside information concerning the activities of local healthcare professionals, even if he chose not to socialise with them. Dafydd was a well-known figure in Wrexham, it’s where those boys in care were being abused and whilst I was in the North Wales Hospital I became friends with a young man from Wrexham, who had been in care and who had a drug problem – prime fodder for Dafydd. Like me, he had been detained unlawfully in there but he didn’t understand the enormity of the law breaking that Dafydd et al had participated in. This young man had been kicked about and abused throughout his life by people employed in the welfare state and the criminal justice system, he simply took it as the way of the world. Dafydd had written his mother unsolicited letters with no referral from any healthcare professional demanding that she bring her son to Dafydd’s ‘clinic’ and when she very wisely ignored these totally irregular letters, Dafydd simply had her son unlawfully arrested and detained. From what this young man told me, this was all in a day’s work for Dafydd. Dafydd routinely conducted himself in this manner and the dispossessed of Wrexham didn’t question it. Pere Jones will almost certainly have been aware of this sort of thing.

David Jones read law at UCL and then attended Chester College of Law. Many of the names previously featured on this blog who concealed the activities of Dafydd and the paedophiles studied at Chester College of Law. Some of them are the same age as Jones, they will have been his peers and he will definitely have known a lot of the others. Previous posts have described the nest of corruption that was the Chester and Wales Circuit. The documents relating to my own case are littered with the names of lawyers and barristers who were based in Chester who were involved with the attempts to imprison me, which were based on perjury (see previous posts).

Jones worked as a solicitor rather than a barrister, but as a solicitor he shared offices with people who had close connections to those we know and love. He qualified in 1976 and worked alongside Ieuan Wyn Jones, a solicitor and Plaid politician, in a practice in Ruthin. For more info on Ieuan Wyn Jones, please see previous posts – Ieuan Wyn Jones undoubtedly knew much of what was going on, but like Paul Flynn MP, he had stood for election in Denbigh in 1974, so he certainly wasn’t going to utter a word about the abuses at the North Wales Hospital, let alone make any allegations of abused young people being banged up in there. Denbigh was a town entirely dependent upon the North Wales Hospital, just about every resident either worked there, had a relative who worked there or ran a business dependent upon the hospital and it’s staff in some way. The incarcerated didn’t have a vote, although there were many of them. Ruthin is just down the road from Denbigh, it’s highly likely that the practice in which Jones and Wyn Jones were working were even handling cases related to the North Wales Hospital, Clwyd Health Authority and Clwyd Social Services. Lawyers in north Wales have an excellent network, when I was repeatedly dragged through the Courts by those we know and love in the 80s and 90s, not only did I get to know some of the lawyers but I became very aware of the interest that they took in certain cases, of how they knew much about notorious local people and their colleagues – and they all knew that there were dreadful things going on out at Denbigh.

They knew Dafydd and did not like him – I was told that he had always been viewed with deep suspicion and distrust, but during the course of one of his divorces (he’s had a few), he gave medical evidence against his own wife in order to gain custody of the children which everyone knew he did not have the time or the inclination to look after. I was told that it was at this point that no-one in legal circles was prepared to trust him. I was told that everyone knew that his Court reports on patients could not be believed and that in the early 80s the magistrates had started to try to make decisions without reference to those reports. In 1987 I put a notice in ‘Private Eye’ about Dafydd. I was living in Leicester at that time but I received phone calls from people in north Wales telling me that everyone had seen it and were laughing. One of those calls was from a lawyer who asked me if I’d placed the notice – he said that he’d been in Court that morning, Dafydd had been in there giving evidence and another solicitor had said to the man who phoned me that ‘there’s even something about him in ‘Private Eye’ this week’. Dafydd also kept bringing court cases against people himself. I was told that the Courts were so fed up of Dafydd using the Courts to harass and intimidate and to carry out personal vendettas that they were following a policy of awarding costs against him.

Now if an English student heard all this about Dafydd, don’t tell me that a solicitor who had grown up and gone to school in the area, had attended Chester College of Law, was Welsh speaking, whose own father was in the healthcare business and who worked in a legal practice just down the road from Denbigh was not party to such info as well.

Everyone knew about Dafydd and Denbigh. Not as many people knew about the paedophile ring, but many people talked about children in care in north Wales being treated ‘cruelly’, not being looked after properly and the dreadful people that were employed as social workers. A lot of people knew that there was something very wrong in the region, I heard mention of the ‘north Wales mafia’ – a reference to the corruption among some local professional people including some police officers – on a number of occasions. I heard about people being framed for crimes and I heard about certain people who were known to be breaking the law and who were loathed but considered ‘untouchable’, but no-one quite knew why. One of those people was Dafydd. Again and again I was told that Dafydd had been repeatedly caught red handed breaking the law, that he had been sued, that everybody was desperate to see the back of him, that he was cohabiting with patients and was known to have sexually abused others, that he was known to be threatening and bribing people but that ‘nobody can stop him’. People muttered that he had some ‘very powerful friends’, people would make constant reference to the power that he had over other professional people in the region and people would also talk about how frightened everyone was of him. No-one ever said to me ‘Dafydd and his mistress are facilitating a paedophile ring supplying boys to people in Westminster’, but even I managed to work out by 1987 that he was involved in some sort of organised crime with other professional people and that it stretched further than Wales.

Come on David Jones, you knew something at least. I wasn’t Hercule Poiroit, but I knew that something big and bad was happening.

David Jones didn’t just work in a legal practice in Ruthin on Dafydd’s doorstep. He also worked in a legal practice in Bangor, from 1985! It is highly likely that he was one of those solicitors who were present in the Courts in north west Wales when Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends kept prosecuting me – there were tons of solicitors going in and out, I didn’t know them all. But one of the solicitors that I did know of who was often in Bangor Magistrates Court when I was, was a man called Elwyn Jones. Elwyn Jones never struck me as being particularly interested in his clients, he would spend most of his time chatting to the other lawyers about what he would be doing as soon as he got out of Court. But some of Elwyn Jones’s clients were like me and were being targeted by those we know and love and were battling with the paedophiles’ friends. The practice in Bangor in which David Jones worked was the practice of the former Labour MP for Conwy, Sir Elwyn Jones! The Elwyn Jones whom I used to encounter in Bangor Magistrates Court was Sir Elwyn’s son, who had taken over the practice. A man of about the same age as David Jones. So that’s the man whom David Jones will have worked with. Elwyn Jones and Co became David Jones and Co in 1989. So David took the practice over – he wasn’t an underling then, if he took the practice over he’ll have known pretty much everything that was going on and indeed had gone on in the practice.

I came across Elwyn Jones again in 1993. I knew a hippy man in Bethesda with mental health problems who had been literally fleeced of his money after he began a relationship with a woman who already had three children, who had previously been abused and neglected by their own father. One of those children was a young man who had started carrying out indecent assaults on much younger boys. The hippy man wanted to refer the matter to a health professional but his partner told him not to, expressing concerns that her son would be imprisoned. The hippy man then had a baby with this woman who left him as soon as the child was born. He was left destitute and was prevented from seeing his own baby by the baby’s mother. At this point he was so concerned for his own child and the younger son of his previous partner that he reported the sexual assaults committed by the older son to a local GP. He reported the assaults to another GP in the same practice when no action was taken. The social services investigated – namely a former policewoman called Jo Bott – and admitted that the older son had sexually assaulted younger boys. No action was taken. The GP stated that the hippy man’s reporting of the incidents had been malicious. He was denied access to his own baby because the social services then stated that HE was a danger to children. Despite being denied access to his own child, despite being left destitute, when he moved in with a new partner, his former partner began sending solicitor’s letters demanding more money from him. The solicitor who wrote those letters was Elwyn Jones – I read those letters myself. After the hippy man was ejected from this family, the daughter of his former partner had a number of babies in quick succession whilst still a teenager – she violently abused them as newborns yet the social services ‘supported’ her against the children’s fathers. Her children were only removed from her care when she told the social services that she didn’t want them, wasn’t going to look after them and upped and left. Her former boyfriend was awarded custody of the little girl that was his. Everyone acknowledged that he was an excellent, dedicated father. He was hit by a lorry and killed whilst walking on a rural road near Bethesda whilst his daughter was still a toddler. Yet another person who met an untimely end after having witnessed corruption relating to child abuse among the region’s welfare professionals. For the full story and names and details of the Councillor who was also involved in some corrupt practices with this family before the young father was killed, please see post ‘It’s All About Protecting Children’. When all of this was happening, David Jones was the senior partner of the practice in which Elwyn Jones was working.

After he took over Elwyn Jones and Co, at some point David Jones seems to have relocated the practice to Llandudno. Which is where Dr Dafydd Alun Jones had his ‘office’ and a number of private ‘care homes’ in which people were abused, neglected and fleeced of money.

David Jones first ran for election as the candidate for Conwy in the 1997 General Election. Just as the Waterhouse Inquiry was underway! In 1999 he contested Conwy in the inaugural Welsh Assembly elections and he stood for the City of Chester in the 2001 General Election. He was unexpectedly elected in 2002 as a Member of the Welsh Assembly for the North Wales electoral region. The seat was vacated when Rod Richards, the former Welsh Office Minister, resigned for health reasons. Rod Richards is the one politician who has been honest enough to admit that Sir Peter Morrison, the Conservative MP for Chester, abused under-aged boys.

One thing that one has to do if one runs for election is to get out there, meet and chat with people and get to know your patch. Unless of course you’re Tristram Hunt and you’re parachuted into Stoke On Trent by New Labour – but that did not have a happy ending. But David Jones already knew his patch, he was local, it was one of his selling points. He probably knew that patch as well as Rod Richards did.

Jones made it clear after his election to the Assembly in 2002 that he would not seek re-election to the Assembly. He stepped down in 2003. In the 2005 General Election, Jones defeated the Labour MP Gareth Thomas in Clwyd West. Between 2005-2010 he was a Member of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee and in Nov 2006 he was appointed the Shadow Minister for Wales. In May 2010 he became Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Wales Office. Cameron appointed Jones Secretary of State for Wales in Sept 2012, after the lacklustre Cheryl Gillan – who was far more interested in the concerns of her constituents in England regarding their battle against HS2 being built through their back gardens than she was with matters Wales – was removed from the post. On Nov 5 2012 David Cameron announced that he would be establishing a Review of the Waterhouse Report in the wake of so much concern that Waterhouse had not revealed the true extent of child abuse in north Wales. So David Jones was Secretary of State for Wales in the crucial weeks leading up to that announcement. A reshuffle by Cameron in July 2014 – when Lady Justice Macur was well underway with her cover-up of the cover-up – saw Jones removed as Secretary of State for Wales.

After Theresa May became PM, Jones was appointed Minister of State at the Dept for Exiting the EU.

David Jones’s office is in Colwyn Bay. Which as regular readers will know is certainly where the action was if one was a corrupt police officer, Medical Ombudsman etc. Indeed, Nigel Mannering Berry, the former Denbigh nurse who oversaw the rape and violent assault of children at the Gwynfa Unit in Colwyn Bay, was the Director of Colwyn Bay Masonic Hall between 1994-95. Nigel Berry is still alive and lives in Colwyn Bay. For further details of the abuse wreaked upon children at Gwynfa and those who did it – as well as for address of Nigel Berry – please see post ‘Don’t Be Silly, He’s Nice’.

Jones has admitted that he is a Freemason, but states that he hasn’t been active in the organisation for many years. So one presumes that he was previously active. There were constant allegations in the 80s that the activities of Dafydd and the paedophiles were connected with Freemasonry. Freemasonry was certainly big business in Bangor in the 80s – I was told by a solicitor in Bangor in the late 80s that the lodge in Bangor contained many solicitors and police officers. There was a lodge in Bangor University as well. Elwyn Jones, the solicitor with whom David Jones shared a practice in the 80s, was the Treasurer for Bangor University. He died a few years ago. Bangor University is currently facing the most terrible financial problems and is trying to ‘save’ £8 million. There have been allegations for years that the University was in deep financial trouble but no-one actually fessed up to it.

There are many angry people making allegations about David Jones on the internet. One blogger maintains that Jones has used his Masonic links with certain police officers to harass people and pursue corrupt practices. Much of the online content concerning Jones relates to a notorious blog based in north Wales, ‘The Thoughts Of Oscar’. ‘The Thoughts Of Oscar’ had a reputation for being even ruder about people than ‘Service Shenanigans’ is, but Oscar didn’t seem to have 10,000 incriminating documents with the evidence like I have. Guto Bebb, the Conservative MP for Aberconwy, publicly accused David Jones and his business partner Dylan Moore as being those behind ‘The Thoughts Of Oscar’, but subsequently retracted his allegations. A Llandudno newsagent later claimed to be the author. ‘The Thoughts Of Oscar’ has now closed down.

David Jones is a member of the Cornerstone Group, a rather mad extreme socially conservative group of MPs. The Cornerstone Group has great reservations about things like homosexuality – as indeed does David Jones. I mentioned in previous posts that a London-based journalist recently sent me a list of Westminster figures and other people in public life who are alleged to have been involved in child sexual abuse. One of the members of the Cornerstone Group – not David Jones however – was on that list. Membership of such a group would be by no means incompatible with one being involved with child sexual abuse. Previous posts have discussed the confusion that there seems to have been around homosexuality among some people in north Wales until recently. The North Wales Hospital Denbigh was famed for carrying out aversion therapy on homosexuals long after other institutions had ceased doing it – Denbigh continued to do it after homosexuality had been legalised. Yet Dafydd and Gwynne were facilitating a paedophile ring which mainly targeted boys. The Rev Emyr Owen who dared to be a gay man was framed and imprisoned for allegedly carrying out various acts with penises severed from corpses – acts which would be physiologically impossible (see post ‘Updates, Common Themes And News, May 5 2017’).  Thatcher’s administrations which did so much to conceal child sexual abuse carried out by some members of the Conservative Party was famously homophobic and legislated for Section 28. St David’s Hospital in Bangor along with the other hospitals in north Wales ensured that no woman in the region could access an abortion on the NHS – yet under-aged girls in the children’s home in Bangor were getting pregnant as a result of sexual abuse which was concealed by the colleagues of the Top Doctors of St David’s Laundry (see post ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’).

David Jones’s wife is of course an Angel, although I think that she trained at a London hospital rather than in north Wales. I remember one of David Jones’s early election campaigns – it involved explaining to the constituents that as David and his wife were Christians and particularly with Mrs Jones being an Angel, they could not support abortion.

In True Blue style, David Jones states that he has ‘an interest in law and order’. In which case David, get off down to the cop shop and tell them all that you know, particularly the knowledge that you will have acquired during the 80s when you worked alongside Elwyn Jones. You can’t possibly have forgotten the chaos that reigned in Bangor Magistrates Court in those days – Dafydd, his insane testimony and Court reports and three mental health patients constantly dragged through the legal system on ludicrous charges, all of whom had dared to complain about Dafydd. One of those three being me. If your memory’s a bit rusty, then take the time to read this blog. I’ve provided full details of many of the events, along with the names and dates of the people involved, which include a lot of your legal colleagues. You’ll find it’s all accurate, the details have come straight off the 10,000 documents that I have spanning that time.

PS. David – could you please also give the police the name of the young Welsh woman who used to be the prosecuting lawyer for the CPS in Bangor Magistrates Court. It was usually her who was having a go at me. I did once challenge her and ask her why she kept prosecuting innocent people and she got very angry with me and yelled ‘I’m just doing my job’. Which seems to have been the rationale of absolutely everybody who facilitated and concealed the paedophile ring – they were all just doing their job. It wasn’t an excuse at Nuremberg and it’s not an excuse now.