Everywoman?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Gail is now the UK Commissioner for Employment and Skills.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Little Things Hitting Each Other

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

News Round Up, 13 October 2017

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

No Ordinary Methods – Supplementary Post

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

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

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

His favourite watering holes in London included:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

No Ordinary Methods

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was after this that Napley started instructing Carman.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lord Michael Ashcroft funded and established Crimestoppers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sir John Kay knew George Carman.

Nasty business, organised child sexual abuse.

Their Trade Is Fuckwittery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In 2006 Aitken became President of Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

News Round Up, 6 October 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compare And Contrast – The Case of Two Doctors And The GMC

I’m just reading Craig Brown’s book about Princess Margaret at present, ‘Ma’am Darling, 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret’. Since Margaret and her husband Lord Snowdon have turned their toes up, rather a lot has been published regarding just how unpleasant they both were, some of which I have mentioned in passing on this blog.

Brown’s book tells me some things that I did already know, but there are a few interesting things in there which are new to me. Lord Snowdon and Princess Margaret’s marriage went sour quite quickly and accounts are now emerging of just how much they loathed each other – it all seems to have been a bit ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ Margaret seems to have been seriously over-privileged and insulted everyone else on the planet as a matter of routine, but Snowdon is a stereotypical abusive husband of monstrous dimensions. He leaves notes for her about their house (well palace, to be precise) saying ‘I hate you’ and tells her that she resembles a ‘Jewish manicurist’. Much of his behaviour comes close to the conduct of the man in the famous play/film ‘Gaslight’, in which someone tries to convince their wife that she’s mad, using techniques such as misplacing things around the house and maintaining that she’s done it or constantly adjusting the gas lamp, swearing blind that he’s done no such thing and convincing her that it was all her work but that she hasn’t realised.

The north Wales mental health services were one big gas lighting machine. ‘What do you mean, Dr Jones is behaving improperly with female patients? Why NO-ONE else has ever made such a complaint.’ ‘You’ve been feeling depressed recently? No you haven’t, I know that you haven’t.’ ‘You were raped as a child. Yes you were, I know you were. That’s why you’re making these OUTRAGEOUS allegations about Dr Jones.’ Believe me, when one or two Hergest patients are gathered together in Dafydd’s name, the most extraordinary experiences are swapped and much entertainment can be derived.

Anyway, as well as participating in much gas lighting, Lord Snowdon took a leaf out of Lord Lucan’s book – told his wife that she was mad and sent her off to consult a Top Doctor. I’m very surprised that she agreed to go actually, but she did, although she didn’t bother to return after the initial consultation.

Snowdon despatched Ma’am Darling to a Dr Peter Dally. Peter Dally died in 2005 and his obituary in the Indie tells us that he was a specialist in anorexia/eating disorders (although there’s nothing in any of the accounts of Ma’am Darling to suggest that she experienced this sort of distress). Dally studied medicine at St Thomas’s, where he met his wife Ann. After house jobs at Tommy’s in 1955 he began training as a psychiatrist at St Ebba’s Hospital in Epsom. He then returned to Tommy’s where – like Dr Death did at about the same time – he worked for the lethal and unhinged William Sargant as a research registrar (for a brief overview of how much damage Sargant did to patients, see post ‘Dr Death’). Dally acted as an assistant in the writing of Sargant’s notorious 1963 text, ‘Introduction To Physical Methods Of Treatment In Psychiatry’. In 1961 Dally was appointed as Consultant Psychiatrist at Westminster Hospital where he remained until he retired in 1988. Although Sargant became utterly discredited and was seen in many quarters as a dangerous practitioner, like Dr Death Dally seems to have shown a high degree of loyalty to him. Dally’s book on anorexia, published in 1969, was dedicated to Sargant. In 1972 Dally helped open the psychiatry unit at Queen Mary Hospital Roehampton. Although he and Ann divorced in 1969, they remained on good terms and continued to share the same  consulting rooms at 13 Devonshire Place after their divorce. Dally continued in private practice until 1993, after his retirement from the NHS in 1988.

Dally’s obituary in the BMJ tells us a bit more about him. Before he went to medical school Dally was in the Royal Navy. When he applied to study medicine he chose Tommy’s because his batman was going there. His batman was in the same year as Dally at Tommy’s and during their studies there continued to call Dally ‘Sir’.

Although Sargant held psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in complete contempt and only ever wanted to drug patients or subject them to ECT, insulin comas or lobotomies (or indeed all of these), the BMJ states that Dally ‘believed in’ both psychological and ‘physical’ treatments.

The BMJ also reveals that Dally’s reputation really took off when in 1961 – whilst Dally had already landed his consultancy at Westminster – Sargant asked Dally to look after his patients whilst he was away. According to the BMJ, it was at this point that patients began beating a path to Dally’s door. It may well have been because Dally was not so obviously as monstrous as Sargant, in the same way as north Wales believed that Tony Francis (Dr X) was a very great relief after Dafydd. Sadly Tony Francis was doing an awful lot of things that he should not have been doing and was doing a lot of them to conceal the activities of Dafydd and the paedophiles.

 

The person that I am more interested in though is Ann Dally, Dally’s wife. Ann Dally became very well-known in the 1980s when she encountered a great deal of difficulty with the GMC.

Ann Dally was a very impressive woman. Her first degree was in history and she was a contemporary of Margaret Thatcher’s at Somerville College, Oxford. Her background was very different to Thatcher’s however. Ann Dally was the daughter of Claude Mullins, a well-known London magistrate and law reformer and Gwendoline Brandt, the daughter of a German banking family. Ann’s family were involved with progressive causes – the family were friends with, among others, Marie Stopes. Ann was sent to fashionable progressive schools – she was expelled from one for ‘being a bad influence’. After Oxford, Ann decided to read medicine and in 1947 she was one of the first three women students at Tommy’s.

Ann encountered the sort of prejudice that women doctors of her generation all did. Furthermore, she embarked upon a family – she ended up having six children.  Her early years in medicine were occupied with working in women’s and children’s health and out-patient clinics. She did this because it was the only sort of work that she could fit around her family, although she still encountered much naked discrimination.

In 1979, Ann began treating heroin addicts. This started when she treated one patient who had been receiving maintenance treatment but which was withdrawn. His life disintegrated and he lost his job. So Ann restarted him on maintenance therapy and his life stabilised again. Ann began taking a big interest in the treatment of drug addiction and soon acquired many such patients.

During the 1960s, the Drug Dependence Units in the UK routinely prescribed maintenance doses of heroin or methadone for addicts. The argument was that if this was done, they could live normal lives, hold down jobs, support themselves/their families and would not fall into crime in order to finance their habit. A lot of Top Doctors involved in the treatment of addicts robustly argue that this is undoubtedly the best way of treating people with heroin addiction. However in the mid 70s, a group of Top Doctors whom Ann Dally termed ‘the Maudsley Mafia’ made maintenance therapy increasingly unavailable. Ann continued to prescribe maintenance therapy.

Presumably somebody must have believed that Ann Dally knew what she was doing, because by the early 80s she was a member of the Gov’t medical working group on drug dependence. Yet in 1983 Ann ended up in front of the GMC. She was found guilty of overprescribing and was admonished.

In 1987 Ann Dally was back in front of the GMC again. This time she was charged with taking on more addicts than she could properly look after, prescribing excessively and taking on patients who could not afford to pay her fees without resorting to crime. She was cleared of that lot, but found guilty of another charge, that of prescribing irresponsibly to an unemployed roofer and not properly examining him or monitoring his progress. The police had set up a ‘sting’ and had produced ampoules dispensed to the roofer which had been found in the possession of another addict.

Ann Dally appealed to the judicial committee of the Privy Council but lost. Lord Goff was on that committee. The upshot was that Ann was not allowed to prescribe or posses controlled drugs for 14 months. She did continue in private practice but not for addicts.

Ann Dally received a huge amount of support from some Top Doctors and others who all maintained that she had been unfairly hung out to dry. People stated that she looked after her addicted patients far better than the Maudsley contingent cared for theirs – it was alleged that they weren’t even SEEING their patients – and that Ann listened to her patients and paid attention to their emotional well-being in a way that most other Top Doctors did not. Most Top Doctors hate addicts anyway – I witnessed this myself when I worked at St Georges, they really loathed them on the basis that addicts are often stealing from the other patients to fund their habits, trying to con the pharmacy or lying through their teeth about something else with a view to acquiring drugs. There is certainly some degree of truth in this, I witnessed all this in an addict whom I knew well some years ago. He was completely incapable of telling the truth if the acquisition of drugs was on the agenda. Ann Dally however seemed to have a much more sympathetic view of addicts and their problems.

Jean Robinson, a lay member of the disciplinary committee at the GMC said of Dally that she ‘made an appalling impression at the GMC’. She had ‘far too many patients to look after properly and they were vulnerable people who needed protection’. The committee were also shocked at the money that Ann was making through consulting and dispensing. Robinson stated that Dally had purchased a house in Hampstead as well as a Sussex farmhouse and earned £75,000 pa.

 

My initial reading of the case of Ann Dally conjured up one image – DAFYDD. The allegations that the GMC levelled at Ann are exactly those that have been levelled at Dafydd Alun Jones, including by me (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’).

But the picture is a little more complex. Ann openly supported maintenance therapy and was frank that she was doing this. In the 1990s Dafydd went on TV programmes boasting about how he had replaced methadone with huge quantities of benzodiazepenes and what a miraculous cure for heroin addiction this was. Dafydd was most critical of methadone maintenance therapy in public. But in private, drug using patients of Dafydd’s were openly telling people that Dafydd was great because he’d ‘give you anything you asked for, anything at all’. My post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’ describes how I and other patients watched Dafydd build up a huge practice of addicts at the Hergest Unit and then take them with him when he ‘retired’.

Although Ann Dally ended up in front of the GMC, no-one was ever able to produce the shit on her that they have produced on Dafydd. It seems that she WAS looking after her addicted patients. Dafydd wasn’t, they were in the most appalling state of decay – whilst they cheerily told people that he was flogging them drugs and writing them helpful Court reports in the wake of them being arrested. I was told that some helpful Court reports were written for some very serious offences, including armed robbery and rape. So Dafydd’s practice wasn’t keeping anyone away from crime.

As for Jean Robinson’s condemnation of the money that Ann Dally made – readers will know that I am very rude about troughing Top Doctors. But Ann Dally’s lifestyle was no more excessive than that of other Top Doctors in London in private practice at that time. It was pretty much standard for them to have a house in a location such as Hampstead or Wimbledon and another place in the countryside in the home counties. Neither is the income that was quoted for her that excessive – they earned a lot of money.

The case of Ann Dally simply brings home how much of Dafydd’s misconduct was being ignored by the GMC and others. Dafydd really was doing everything that Ann Dally was accused of – and Dafydd was doing much more besides. The GMC knew as well. By the time that Ann was in front of the GMC in 1987, Dafydd was being sued for false imprisonment, had been the subject of numerous complaints to the GMC – at least one which involved a death and during the course of one month alone five complaints were made about him – and of course I’d made my complaint about him by then, which was another complaint of false imprisonment with attempted bribery and threats into the bargain.

In the early 1990s at least one patient in north Wales rang Crimestoppers and gave them a detailed account of a number of criminal offences committed by Dafydd, with the names of the victims. The same person rang Crimestoppers AGAIN weeks later, after it was obvious that no enquiries had been made. No enquiries were ever made. Subsequent to this, someone rang the North Wales Police and reported one of Dafydd’s ‘addicts’ who could be seen openly flogging class A drugs to school kids in Bangor – again, nothing was done, although this was at a time when the North Wales Police regularly banged on about their fight against drugs and how no-one must be reluctant to report criminal activity. Unless of course Dafydd was at the root of it.

I am interested in Ann’s use of the phrase ‘the Maudsley Mafia’. Dafydd was of course being protected by the Maudsley Mafia himself – it was many moons ago that he passed through the hands of dear old Bob Hobson at the Maudsley, but Dafydd knew enough to drop Hobson’s name whenever he received a telephone call from a Top Doctor in another part of the UK enquiring about a patient. In fact the mention of Bob Hobson was so effective that it even prevented Top Doctors asking anything more in the face of Dafydd describing a young female patient as ‘attractive and seductive’, a patient who had already told the enquiring Top Doctors that Dafydd was sexually exploiting female patients. It really couldn’t have been more obvious. The Top Doctors at St George’s quaintly described Dafydd as having ‘lost his boundaries’. He lost his trousers and underpants on a number of occasions as well.

So how did Ann Dally ever come to the attention of the GMC in the first place? Who was it that reported her? And why did the police ever set up a sting involving her patient? Someone really wanted to nail Ann Dally.

Ann Dally wrote a book about her ordeal at the hands of the GMC – I am going to try to get hold of a copy. I suspect that I may recognise some of the names involved in the shafting of a Top Doctor, who seemed to have been genuinely caring for a difficult group of patients who are usually explicitly rejected by other Top Doctors. Not even a former husband with Royal connections could save her bacon. Which is another weird aspect of her case. The reason why the London medical schools have so much clout is the fact that so many of them have Royalty, senior politicians or celebs as patients. The presence of VIPs among the patients means that a great deal of crap is concealed on everyone’s part. Craig Brown’s book mentions that Roddy Llewellyn, the notorious toy boy of Ma’am Darling’s, at one point overdid the drugs, the alcohol, the shagging and the partying so much that he was admitted to Charing Cross Hospital for three weeks. Ma’am Darling herself had been so overwhelmed just previously to this that she’d taken an overdose, so Royal duties were suspended and the Palace announced that Princess Margaret was suffering from a ‘heavy cold’. A London hospital and a Royal personage takes one into a different paradigm. Ma’am Darling herself, after a life-time of heavy smoking, memorably had part of her lung surgically removed. That doesn’t tend to happen with the average pleb – when emphysema or a carcinoma sets in, the patient is told that this is a condition with a very poor prognosis; there’s a token effort made, but that’s usually the end.

So there’s really only one thing that provides more protection than Royalty – playing a key role in the Westminster Paedophile Ring.

I really have missed the career opportunity of a lifetime. I could have been the biggest and most successful blackmailer that the UK has ever seen.  From the late 1980s I could have demanded regular payments from Dafydd, Tony Francis, Lucille Hughes and the gang in north Wales, then money from Hammersmith, then from Vincent Marks at Surrey, then from old Bluglass and Robert Owen and associates at the Welsh Office and then hit the bigtime at St Georges – Burns, Mitchell-Heggs, Eastman, Jacobson, Levinson, Ruth White. Then I could have tapped a few others for a few bob, like Esther and Marjorie Wallace, Donald Acheson and of course the whole of the GMC. Plus a few lawyers and judges and Thatcher herself, as well as an assortment of other politicians. And from what I’ve been reading recently Lord Snowdon probably as well.

Unfortunately I just tried to tell many of the above what was going on…

 

 

 

The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Connection?

My post ‘A UK Network’ speculated upon possible connections between north Wales and the north east of England. I described how I suspect that the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal did Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales a very big favour by muddying the waters just at the very time when Alison Taylor, Mary Wynch and I were writing to politicians, Ministers and others regarding the criminal activities of welfare professionals in north Wales. At the time I didn’t realise that what I was witnessing and experiencing was a direct result of the paedophile ring in north Wales and I don’t think that Mary did, but Alison was of course a children’s social worker for Gwynedd Social Services who was blowing the whistle on the abuse happening in the children’s homes.

‘A UK Network’ named Dr Neil Davies and Professor Bob Woods as being two senior figures who worked in the mental health services in north Wales for years who had both previously worked in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Neil Davies read medicine at Cambridge and then worked in Newcastle, Bob Woods did his clinical psychology training in Newcastle and worked there afterwards. Bob Woods had also worked at the Institute of Psychiatry before moving to Bangor. Neil Davies was a Consultant Psychiatrist in north Wales (he has now retired) and Professor Bob Woods is a Clinical Psychologist who for many years ran the Clinical Psychology training at Bangor University, working in partnership with the mental health services in north Wales. Bob Woods is Professor of Old Age Psychology at Bangor University and specialises in dementia and Alzheimers.

Neil Davies was for many years a Consultant Psychiatrist in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh – I met him whilst Dafydd unlawfully imprisoned me there in the winter of 1986/87. My post ‘How I Arrived At Denbigh’ details the entries that Neil Davies made upon my medical records in 1986 after being confronted by a nurse who told him that she was most unhappy about being implicated in Dafydd’s illegal activities and the ‘deal’ that he had done with a corrupt policeman at Bangor Police Station, a Superintendent Roberts. Davies reassured her that it wasn’t actually her who was breaking the law or participating in the ‘deal’ (that was the word that Davies actually used on my medical records), all she had to do was to refuse to let me out of the locked ward where I was being unlawfully held.

I met Neil Davies again some years ago. He was then a Consultant at the Ablett Unit, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. I went to see him after my lawyer had conducted a battle for more than a year to get me an appointment at the Ablett Unit, so that I would never have to risk my neck with the dreadful Hergest Unit again. The North West Wales NHS Trust had simply ignored my lawyer’s repeated requests – I don’t know why, because they hated me and the lethal Dr Tony Roberts of the Hergest Unit had made it clear that I could die before I’d receive any support, but no, they just couldn’t find it within them to refer me elsewhere. After a very long battle and my lawyer pointing out repeatedly that denying me care was simply illegal (although breaking the law has never bothered the north Wales mental health services), I did receive an appointment to see Neil Davies.

I remembered Neil Davies from the North Wales Hospital, but when I went to see him we didn’t mention meeting there, although I presumed that he did remember me. When I went to see him at the Ablett, I hadn’t yet gained access to the records that he’d written at Denbigh years earlier, so I knew nothing about these written confessions of illegal incarceration and deals with corrupt police officers. At the Ablett, Neil Davies was very chatty and pleasant – people always find Neil Davies chatty and pleasant, he is not conspicuously deranged like Dafydd – and we actually spent most of the time discussing my publications. I only saw Neil Davies I think about three times when I gave up again – dear old Tony Roberts reared his ugly head once more, throwing hissy fits and ordering junior doctors at the Ablett not to treat me no less, because I was ‘his’ patient, not Neil Davies’s. God knows what was going on, I just gave up with them at that point.

Last year however my lawyer forwarded yet more records to me, including the incriminating records that Neil Davies had compiled at Denbigh. But she also forwarded the records that he had compiled about me when I’d been to see him at the Ablett. I discovered that there had been no official referral. Alun Davies, the corrupt manager of the Hergest Unit, had simply ‘had a word’ with Neil Davies at a meeting about another matter in mid-Wales and asked him if he would see a ‘difficult patient’. I can only imagine what Davies said about me. Furthermore it came as no surprise that there was no appropriate referral – Alun Davies conducts his whole existence on the basis of ‘having a word’ with people (often his corrupt contacts) and if he ever was told that a third party had been critical of the Hergest Unit, his standard response was to bellow ‘I’ll be having a word with them’. He even bellowed that he would be having a word with Edwina Hart the Health Minister when she implemented a policy that he didn’t like.

The records from Neil Davies were illuminating. He had written a letter to my GP after my first appointment mentioning that he’d seen me, but he didn’t realise ‘who she was’ until I started talking about my work. Davies stated that he realised that he ‘knew me by repute’ – presumably he had forgotten completely about the corrupt deal and illegal detention that he had been party to in Denbigh. But then that sort of thing was an everyday occurrence out there.  Now when Neil Davies said that he knew me by repute, he didn’t mean hat he knew me as an academic. Davies meant that he knew me as the woman who had dared to complain about Jones and Denbigh, the women whom the mental health services had spent years trying to imprison because she was so phenomenally dangerous but who had recently completed a PhD and was now appearing in the press commenting about the failing mental health system. I even found copies of some of my academic papers among Davies’s records relating to me (good to know that you thought they were worth keeping Neil!). Davies’s letters to my GP didn’t mention me being a potential axe murderer as most of the correspondence about me usually did, but interestingly he talked about me being a ‘very disordered personality’ (yeh, that’s how I am such a prolific writer Neil, when you’re as mad and as disordered as me you can write even more publications than anyone else). Interestingly enough, in support of his claims of my ‘disordered personality’, the only thing that Davies managed to dredge up was that I had just broken up with someone after a ‘brief relationship’. The brief relationship in question had lasted nine years. Which I think is longer than any of Dafydd’s serial marriages lasted…

What was most telling though was the copy of Neil Davies’s hand-written notes that my lawyer forwarded. At the top of the first sheet of the ‘contemporaneous notes’ that he made during my first appointment with him, Neil Davies had written ‘DAJ issue’. ‘DAJ’ in north Wales psychiatry ALWAYS translates as ‘Dafydd Alun Jones’. In the Hergest Unit, Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) even used to say ‘DAJ’ rather than utter Dafydd’s name. So although we didn’t mention Dafydd during our meeting and although no letter had ever been sent to Davies telling him that when I was younger I had made complaint about Dafydd, he knew that there was a DAJ issue. He also considered it to be so overwhelmingly important that it was the first thing that he wrote down. In doctor speak. Not mentioned again in any official correspondence. Which sums it up really – are you a prolific academic with an out-patients appointment after you happened to have ended a nine year relationship? Well of course you have a ‘disordered personality’ – because you’re the bastard who complained about Dafydd breaking the law and sexually exploiting patients 25 years ago and we know you ‘by repute’.

I have never heard any allegations at all that Neil Davies sexually exploited patients. But he knew all about Dafydd and my records demonstrate that he colluded with Dafydd’s criminality. For all his pleasant manner, Neil Davies’s remedy was the same as everyone else’s – this patient must be discredited…

I have never had any dealings at all with Professor Bob Woods, although I know a number of people who have. However he has been working in north Wales for long enough to be well aware of the history and practices of the mental health services. Although his CV boasts of his status as one of the UK’s leading lights in dementia and Alzheimers, he also works in ‘partnership’ with the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board which was responsible for the abuse and neglect at Tawel Fan, a dementia ward in the Ablett Unit. Tawel Fan was the worst mental health care scandal that the UK had experienced for many years (see post ‘The Tawel Fan Scandal’).

I mentioned in my post ‘The Case Of The King’s Sperm’ that one of the friends and protégés of the crazed psychiatrist and eugenicist Eliot Slater – who with his colleagues Dr Carlos Blacker and Dr Desmond Curran discussed the possibility of asking King George VI to donate sperm in order to artificially inseminate a patient of Curran’s – was Professor Sir Martin Roth. Martin Roth died in 2006 and was a very big name in UK psychiatry – he worked in Newcastle and it was there that he achieved his towering reputation. Roth’s speciality was old age psychiatry, particularly dementia and Alzheimers. I suspect that Martin Roth may have been yet another person who’s status and reputation was used to protect those screwing up so badly in the mental health services in north Wales for decades.

Roth was appointed Professor of Psychological Medicine at Newcastle in 1956, whilst Newcastle was still part of the federal Durham University. He stayed there until 1977. He will have been there when both Neil Davies and Bob Woods worked in Newcastle. Roth established units for child psychiatry, neurosis and psycho-geriatrics. His obituaries tell us that ‘he embraced the discipline of clinical psychology within his department’.

By 1959 Roth had an international reputation and was consulted by WHO (World Health Organisation). In the 60s Roth became known for his pioneering dementia research, demonstrating that the problems with a poor prognosis experienced by many elderly people in psychiatric hospitals attributed to senility and dementia were actually a result of treatable conditions eg. depression or infections. Roth instigated studies with Sir Bernard Tomlinson into Alzheimers and it is claimed that as a result of this, ‘patient care was improved’. Roth and his researchers undoubtedly conducted interesting work into the molecular pathology of Alzheimers, but in view of what happened at Tawel Fan and the standard of ‘care’ meted out to thousands of other elderly people with dementia or Alzheimers, I’m not convinced that Roth’s research has led to an improvement in patient care. Some of the recent scandals in the care of the elderly mentally ill have been as bad as the Ely Hospital Scandal in the late 60s.

In 1964 Roth was a member of the Clinical Research Board of the MRC and Director of the MRC Research Group in psychiatry at Newcastle.

Between 1965-75 Martin Roth was an advisor to the Ministry of Health on mental health and was involved with Keith Joseph in Gov’t plans to replace mental hospitals with units in District General hospitals and community care. Roth was said to have ‘expressed concern about the quality and scope of care, which went unheeded’. I have noted previously how when Denbigh was closed, the abusive practitioners who had been employed at Denbigh were simply re-employed in the new services and most of them carried on with their abusive and/or negligent practices. It wasn’t the building at Denbigh which was the problem. But Bob Woods and Neil Davies have never admitted that, at least publicly.

In 1971 Roth was elected as the first President of the newly created Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Roth was knighted in 1972 whilst he was at Newcastle.

After Roth left Newcastle he continued his Alzheimers research at Cambridge, where he was the first Professor of Psychiatry between 1977-85, then Professor Emeritus. Roth was a Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge from 1977.

Roth was considered to have pioneered psychogeriatrics, but he was also described by Professor Claude  Wischik, a former PhD student of his, as being ‘a leading voice for biological psychiatry and was listened to throughout the world’. However Roth also had interests in anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia.

Along with Willy Mayer-Goss and Eliot Slater, Roth wrote ‘Clinical Psychiatry’, the standard text until well into the 80s. The first edition was published in the mid-50s, but further editions and revisions were published until 1977. Roth was also responsible for Camdex – the Cambridge Examination for Mental Disorders of the Elderly, published in 1988.

Roth is attributed with having done much work on the diagnosis and classification of mental disorders and it is said that it was Roth’s work that in the 1970s led to the task of differentiating between the affective disorders. Roth’s obituary in the Daily Telegraph in Oct 2006 maintains that ‘his greatest contribution lay in his emphasis on categorisation, on clinical diagnosis, on the formulation of reliable and objective systems for describing psychopathology’. How successful were Roth’s efforts? According to the obituary of Roth written by Claude Wischik, Roth emphasised a ‘quantitative scientific approach using mathematics, genetics, experimental biology and physics’. His ‘perceptions were enshrined…in definitions of distinctive forms of illness captured in DSM [the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistics Manual] and ICD [WHO’s International Classification of Disease]’.

I’m not quite sure where Claude has witnessed maths, genetics, experimental biology and physics being utilised in the diagnosis of mental health problems but I have certainly never seen it happening and I don’t know of any other patient who has. What I and most other people I have known observed was diagnoses being made after short superficial interviews and cases of numerous patients receiving a number of different diagnoses over a period of time. Dr Tony Roberts only had one diagnosis – borderline personality disorder. Dafydd only had one diagnosis for private patients – PTSD. Other diagnoses from Dafydd depended upon what was convenient for his purposes at that particular moment – over the course of a few months he told people that I had paranoid schizophrenia, a process psychosis, a disturbed personality disorder and then told me that I had manic depressive insanity. Two years later, after I had complained about him, he agreed with Professor Robert Bluglass that I was criminally insane. Which mathematical equations and laws of physics they used to make those diagnoses I do not know – there are no references to maths and physics on any medical notes of mine. Or even experimental biology and genetics. Whenever I have read DSM I have seen no references to the equations and physics necessary to make any of the diagnoses detailed within. I suspect that all of the psychiatry that I encountered was actually predicated on the Neil Davies methodology ie. ‘DAJ issue’ being the most important symptom to be taken into account.

During Roth’s career, psychiatry did of course come under attack and Roth defended psychiatry against its critics, the most famous of that time being R.D. Laing, Thomas Szasz and Ivan Illich. Roth challenged Szasz’s view that ‘psychiatry merely provides a police and custodial service on behalf of the socio-political establishment to deal with deviancy’. I have to contradict Roth – in north Wales, that is exactly what psychiatry did and Neil Davies and Bob Woods knew it. Critics of Szasz, including Roth, maintain that mental illness is ‘real’ and the problem is how to help. That is perfectly true – I witnessed numerous people in north Wales who were deeply distressed, who were suicidal, who were so clinically depressed that they could not talk, walk any distance or look after themselves or who were living with serious psychotic symptoms. But whether they received ‘care’ or ‘treatment’ and what ‘care’ or ‘treatment’ (or diagnosis) they received had far less to do with their symptoms or degree of distress than the vendettas being conducted against anyone who dared complain about Dafydd and the paedophiles. People were undoubtedly often left to die if they had dared cross the path of those we know and love. A common pattern was incarceration in the North Wales Hospital (when it was still in operation) and if that didn’t shut someone up it was transfer to Risley Remand Centre/prison/secure psychiatric unit, all the way up to the level of Broadmoor/Ashworth/Rampton if necessary. It is clear from my records that this was the course planned for me. Not because I’d assaulted anyone, committed violent offences etc – but because I had complained about Dafydd, Gwynne the lobotomist and Tony Francis (Dr X). This was also the path followed by so many of the children in care in north Wales who were abused by the paedophile ring. There really was no correlation with any degree of illness. After Denbigh closed, the solution was to fail to provide any care and support or indeed basics such as housing and disability benefits, whilst harassing and threatening the patient and then to stand back and wait for them to turn up dead sooner or later.

Professor Anthony Clare interviewed Thomas Szasz on ‘In The Psychiatrist’s Chair’ many years ago and accused Szasz of cruelty in failing to recognise the suffering caused by mental illness – Szasz became very angry with Clare for trying to colonise the moral high ground. Szasz’s ideas certainly can be used to justify cruelty – the Arfon Community Mental Health Team used to quote Szasz when they justified abandoning their clients to suicide – but Dafydd et al have had a ball with conventional psychiatry. Except that of course when it suited them, they started quoting Laing and Szasz…

As for Ivan Illich, Roth claimed that he was ‘a brooding presence in night, like a dysfunctional lighthouse, emitting shafts of darkness to confuse unwary travellers’. Unwary travellers were confused far more by Dafydd facilitating a paedophile ring whilst utilising a network of psychiatrists across the UK – some of them being of international stature – to ensure that he was never held to account (let alone stopped) and that anyone who challenged him was ruined.

I note with some irony that Roth wrote about the use of psychiatry to silence Soviet dissidents…

Roth’s Daily Telegraph obituary maintained that ‘Roth never lost his sympathy for the individual patient or his awareness of the reality of his or her suffering’. I never met Martin Roth, he may have been an excellent, compassionate doctor. However, at least two who had worked in his empire at Newcastle ignored a great deal of suffering indeed…

In 2006 Roth’s former student Claude Wischik noted that ‘the times of vast psychiatric institutions housing populations in excess of 1000 souls in varying degrees of torment and hopelessness are still etched in the collective social consciousness and their residue lives on in the stigma which is still so often attached to mental illness’. I would argue that rather than stigma arising from the population’s collective memory of asylums, it arises from psychiatrists telling third parties that people are ‘criminally insane’ or ‘extremely dangerous’ or indeed merely ‘disordered personalities’ because of a ‘DAJ issue’ many years ago…

In terms of it’s status as a profession, it seems that psychiatry has a lot to be grateful to Martin Roth for. Not only was he the first President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, but his ‘expert early nurture’ was instrumental in it’s ‘robust growth’ into the powerful institution with political muscle that it is today.

Like all medical institutions that want to be taken seriously, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has a very grand office – it is situated in Belgravia. It was Martin Roth who assisted with the acquisition of this very upmarket building. Roth’s Times obituary explains that there was great difficulty in raising the money for the ‘splendid late-Georgian town house, 17 Belgravia Square SW1’, but with the ‘persuasive wiles of Roth, the influence of Lord Goodman and a very substantial gift from the charitable Trust of Marks & Spencer, it was done’. My first thought was what fiddle had Marks & Spencer been involved in, particularly as Arnold Goodman – Harold Wilson’s solicitor who was widely believed to have been a crook – played a role. Lord Goodman acted as legal advisor to Jeremy Thorpe after Thorpe was charged with conspiracy to murder and incitement to kill.

But I have found another article concerning the acquisition of 17 Belgravia Square by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, explaining that the building cost £750,000 (at early 1970s prices) and that ‘the money had to be borrowed and substantial amounts of interest paid’, although there was ‘additional help from generous sponsors’.

So how did a fledgling organisation ever raise and repay that money? £750k was a very great deal of dosh in the early 1970s – 17 Belgravia Square nestles among the residences of relatives of the Royal family. Much of Belgravia is of course owned by one particular relative of the Royal Family – the Duke of Westminster. The Duke of Westminster in the early 70s was Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, Prince Charles’s mate – who is now dead – but was the President of the City of Chester Conservative Association when Sir Peter Morrison was MP for Chester and molesting boys in care in north Wales (see post ‘I Want Serious Money Now Please’). Gerald Cavendish also had a claim on St George’s Hospital Medical School – who concealed Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends’ wrongdoing – because his family provided the money for the charitable Trust which founded St George’s (see post ‘Running The Country – And All That Jazz’).

Not that setting up shop in a palatial building in the poshest part of London was ever what Roth and the Royal College wanted – Roth explained that ‘we didn’t chose to go to a fashionable place but we couldn’t find any other’. Presumably there were no tin sheds in Basildon available when Roth and the Royal College of Psychiatrists went looking for office space, so they were dragged kicking and screaming into Belgravia.

Martin Roth was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1996, one of only three psychiatrists ever to have been given such an honour (one of the others was Sigmund Freud).

In his obituary in the British Journal of Psychiatry in April 2007, Roth was described as ‘the most respected and most successful psychiatrist of his generation’. Roth studied medicine at St Mary’s Paddington and although nearly every article available about him stresses his Messianic qualities, his deep compassion for his patients, his inspirational role as a teacher and a scientist, a Special Article in the British Journal of Psychiatry April 2007, ‘Sir Martin Roth: An Appreciation’, explains that Roth stated that his decision to embark upon a career in medicine arose out of ‘the necessity to qualify at something I could make a living at’.

My suspicions that two of the north Wales contingent passing through Roth’s empire helped ensure that the wrongdoing on their patch was concealed in the same way that Dafydd’s stint under Bob Hobson at the Maudsley ensured that no-one ever fessed up to exactly what Dafydd was doing lest the reputation of Hobson took a tumble, were fuelled by a comment of Claude Wischik, Professor of Geratology at Aberdeen, after Roth’s death. Claude observed that he was the last of the ‘Roth-Mafia’, the Professors of Psychiatry trained and inspired by Roth. That’s the problem with medicine – it really does operate as a Mafia, with a network that no-one is allowed to leave or dishonour. If you do, you’ll be sleeping with the fishes. Who ever was going to admit that two of those who had trained at the knee of one of ‘the most successful and most respected psychiatrist of his generation’ were working with old Dafydd who was colluding with organised crime? Far easier to perpetuate the myth that they’re all ’eminent’ up there in north Wales – although for some reason for donkeys years that quiet rural region had a terrifyingly high suicide rate…

 

Martin Roth was a lifelong friend of Eliot Slater – he who suggested procuring the King’s sperm – and they co-authored together. One account of Roth’s career states that Roth met Eliot Slater when he went to work at the Maudsley, but another account states that Slater invited Roth to come to work at the Maudsley with him. The lack of clarity could be significant because although Roth did work at the Maudsley after he qualified, things did not go smoothly and he left prematurely.

My post ‘The Case Of The King’s Sperm’ provided some details of Slater’s unpleasant notions and running mates. Slater was not simply ‘a man of his time’, he clung on to his fondness for lobotomy long after it had become discredited and when he was younger he had worked with Ernst Rudin, the architect of Hitler’s eugenic sterilization policies. Slater was an enthusiastic eugenicist who worked at the Maudsley/Institute of Psychiatry for decades. He will have been there when Dafydd ‘trained’ at the Maudsley.

Roth credited Slater with being ‘the greatest influence on his intellectual development, firing him with a conviction that scientific method could be used to elucidate clinical psychiatric problems’. Roth was ‘impressed by the scientific integrity and precision of Eliot Slater’s writings’.

Slater went to work at the Maudsley as Senior Registrar to Professor Sir Aubrey Lewis. The Maudsley was considered to be the ‘Mecca of academic psychiatry in the UK’.  One toadying commentator stated that Slater and Lewis were ‘both intellectual titans’ but ‘proved to be incompatible’. Slater himself stated of Aubrey Lewis: ‘at first I was impressed but later I found he poured jars of cold water on people, some of whom gave splendid presentations’. Whether Slater is referring to real or metaphorical jars of cold water I do not know – this lot were so crazy and so arrogant that they would have quite capable of drenching one another when lecturing. Whatever was going on, Slater felt that he had no option other than to leave the Maudsley after only two years. In his own words ‘I felt unhappy and it was clear that I had no future there’.

Aubrey Lewis was yet another mad eugenicist – he died in 1975. He was born in Australia and qualified as a doctor from the University of Adelaide. He then carried out some anthropological work on Aborigines – it can be assumed that was probably quite unsavoury. He arrived at the Maudsley in 1928 and became Clinical Director in 1936. Lewis was a member of the Eugenics Society and contributed to a 1934 volume ‘The Chances of Morbid Inheritance’, edited by Carlos Blacker (another psychiatrist who was in hot pursuit of the King’s sperm, along with Slater). This book has been described as being ‘remarkable for its total admiration for the German work and workers, including Ernst Rudin’. The ‘German work’ was of course all that eugenic thought that so influenced Hitler and which he put into practice…

In 1946 the Maudsley was designated the Institute of Psychiatry, under the auspices of the University of London. Aubrey Lewis was appointed to the inaugural Chair of Psychiatry at the Institute, which he held until his retirement in 1966. Aubrey’s wiki entry proudly reproduces a quote that stated that it is ‘said that the flowering of British psychiatry after World War II can be attributed to three things: a long humanitarian tradition, the NHS and Aubrey Lewis’.

‘Humanitarian tradition’ is not a phrase that one readily associates with these unhinged adherents to the ideology which excited the Nazis so much. If British psychiatry did any flowering following World war II it could probably be best compared to the blooming of Amorphophallus titanium aka the Corpse Flower, a plant with a giant bloom that smells of rotting flesh.

The Maudsley is nothing if not good at promoting itself. Aubrey Lewis was credited with attracting ‘many of the most promising medical graduates from around the world’. So that’s how Dafydd found himself entering through their doors then.

Aubrey Lewis was a member of the Advisory Committee on Medical Research of WHO.

Lewis had a most effective PR man who worked with him, a psychiatrist called Michael Shepherd, who died in 1995. Shepherd worked with Roth. Shepherd notes that Lewis had an ‘austere appearance’, which was captured in portraits which some people stated made him look ‘mean’. Shepherd however was able to confirm that this was deceiving, Aubrey was a lovely old buffer.

Michael Shepherd was yet another towering figure in British psychiatry – the Maudsley churned them out – who was born in and went to school in Cardiff no less. Shepherd started working in psychiatry at the Maudsley in 1947 and in 1956 joined the staff of the Institute of Psychiatry as a Senior Lecturer. In 1961 he became a Reader at the Institute and in 1967 he was appointed to the Chair of Epidemiological Psychiatry, yet another world first. Shepherd was also a Consultant Psychiatrist at the Maudsley – he spent his whole career at the Maudsley/Institute of Psychiatry except for 1955-56, which he spent at John Hopkins University, Baltimore. So Shepherd will have been another giant who was at the Maudsley when dear old Dafydd ‘trained’ there.

Shepherd was a Founding Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1971. Who knows, perhaps he contributed to the palace in Belgravia for which they had to beg, steal and borrow to fund.

In the late 50s, Shepherd established a GP Research Unit at the Institute of Psychiatry under the auspices of the DHSS. He remained the Director of this Unit until he retired in 1988. Shepherd maintained that the capacity of the mental health services could not be enhanced by an ever-proliferating number of psychiatrists, it could only be enhanced by GPs focussing on the more minor psychiatric problems. Thus Shepherd pressed for better support and training for GPs, rather than more resources for psychiatry which certainly pissed a lot of his psychiatrist colleagues off. Shepherd himself stressed the interpersonal and social aspects of a case and left the epidemiological studies to his team of young researchers.

Enhancing the role of GPs, emphasising the interpersonal and the social – are we talking about a human being for once among all the lobotomising eugenicists that Dafydd rubbed shoulders with? Probably not – I have only found one patient opinion as opposed to the many colleagues of Shepherd who recorded his splendours – the patient spoke of Shepherds ‘chillingly superior glance’. Yes, that probably summed up the extent of his communication skills. ‘You’re a piece of shit and of course no-one’s facilitating a paedophile ring or shagging the patients – now let me introduce you to Dr Gwynne Williams and his ice-pick…’

Michael Shepherd devised a classification system which involved identifying the dreadful Aubrey Lewis as a ‘representative psychiatrist’, whom Shepherd seemed to feel embodied all the elements of one who was great and good in that profession.

Shepherd was the founding Editor of ‘Psychological Medicine’, the go-to journal between 1969-93.

There are hints that Shepherd had help in achieving the status of a Colossus. It was observed that ‘it is important to note that he was served by generations of young research workers whose assistance helped him achieve the epidemiological studies for which he is renowned’. His former student the media psychiatrist Anthony Clare stated that Michael Shepherd was ‘without equal’ in his record of ‘selecting and nurturing young men and women who would go on to fill senior academic posts in Britain and throughout the world’. So they did his research for him – although I bet he still put his own name on the publications and he may even have left theirs off – and if they were lucky he ‘selected and nurtured’ them. There’ll be a lot of senior people who owe their careers to Shepherd – and probably a few who had their careers brought to a sharp stop by him as well. Clare explained that Shepherd ‘identified able and committed doctors in Africa, Asia, South America and East Europe on his travels…he often raised funds for their salaries and took a great personal involvement…securing them a foot on the ladder of academic achievement, whilst helping to maintain the Maudsley’s position as one of the world’s great postgrad centres for teaching and research’. So Shepherd had his paws on the purse strings as well then.

Michael Shepherd sounded as though he wielded a great deal of power in post-war psychiatry. No wonder everyone continued to hail the Maudsley as a fine institution, despite the Nazi sympathisers and pursuers of Royal sperm on which its foundations were built. No-one was going to dare admit the monster that was Dafydd had been spawned down there. Presumably Michael Shepherd didn’t ‘select and nurture’ Dafydd – he sent him back to north Wales when he realised what Dafydd was like. I can’t believe that they didn’t notice what Dafydd was like – there’s no way that he went from competent trainee at the Maudsley to lunatic facilitating a paedophile ring and sexually exploiting the patients the minute that he hit home turf. The attitude will have been what it was at St George’s/Springfield – we know what Dafydd is doing but as long as he’s not doing it on our patch we don’t give a damn.

 

As I read about the barking mad deeply unpleasant megalomaniacs at the Maudsley, I was struck by how many of them were described as highly cultured men, who loved arts and the ballet, literature, poetry and music and who spent much time pursuing such interests – as well as of course being scientific geniuses who overflowed with compassion for the poor wretches who filled their clinics. No I don’t believe it either.

In 1967 a collection of essays and articles by Aubrey Lewis was published. It was called ‘The State of psychiatry’. That State was an absolute disgrace then and it’s no better now.

 

 

 

My How Things Haven’t Changed

I have just read the biography of Jeremy Thorpe by Michael Bloch. Many aspects of the story told – and the sleight that Bloch puts on it – felt very familiar.

Thorpe was the leader of the Liberal Party who ended up standing trial at the Old Bailey in 1979 for conspiring to kill Norman Scott, a man younger than him with whom he’d had a sexual relationship many years previously. The trial became notorious – the presiding judge was Justice Cantley and Jeremy was represented by George Carman QC. The trial made Carman’s reputation – and that of David Napley, Jeremy’s solicitor. Jeremy and his co-defendants were acquitted and the trial was widely seen as complete establishment stitch-up. Scott was a prosecution witness but was insulted and abused by Cantley, who also commented that he didn’t like the idea of sending a distinguished Privy Councillor like Jeremy to prison and made jokes about the incompetence of Andrew Newton, the prosecution witness who admitted that he’d been paid to kill Norman. The trial led to a spate of books and Peter Cook’s ‘biased judge’ parody. I knew much about all this, but I discovered a lot more from Bloch’s book.

Jeremy was born into an incredibly well-connected political family. His grandfather and father were politicians and Jeremy socialised with politicians, public figures and their families from his earliest days. He was personally acquainted with many historical figures – his family were close friends with Lloyd George’s family, they made visits to north Wales to Lloyd George’s family home. Jeremy was particularly fond of and close to Megan, Lloyd George’s daughter, a Liberal MP herself. Jeremy saw Lloyd George as a role model and was saying whilst he was still a teenager he would be a Liberal PM like Lloyd George. He was encouraged in this ambition by his family and by Megan – he made regular visits to Parliament to take tea with people like Megan and years later when he was elected as an MP it was remarked upon that unlike most new MPs, Jeremy wasn’t in the least bit over-awed by Parliament, he was completely familiar with it. As a child he was friends with the Carey Evans branch of Lloyd George’s extended family – members of the shithouse – and as he matured he made more and more friendships with leading members of the shithouse. Thorpe lived his entire life in the shithouse and was the ultimate example of one of it’s members.

He followed the standard privileged path – Eton, then Oxford to read law. Thorpe was a member of both the Oxford Union and the Oxford University Law Society – he rubbed noses and became friends with numerous powerful people in law, media and politics along the way, whom later proved to be of great use to Jeremy.

Whilst he was involved with the Oxford University Law Society, Thorpe invited guests such as Lord Denning and Lord John Morris of Borth-y-Gest. Morris was a paid up member of the Welsh branch of the shithouse. He was a friend of the Lloyd George’s, a barrister on the Northern Circuit and stood as a Liberal candidate on two occasions. Morris was chairman of the Quarter Sessions in Cheshire for 25 years, was a High Court judge, a Lord Justice of Appeal and a Law Lord. He was Pro-Chancellor of the University of Wales 1956-74, a member of the Gorsedd of the Bards and the Vice-President of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion. I suspect that he knew Dafydd and Gwynne.

So Jeremy had some strong Welsh connections – later in life he became friendly with Liberal Party donor Gerran Lloyd and awarded him a peerage, thus turning him into Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran.

At Oxford, people maintained that Jeremy was not known for having sexual relationships, gay or straight. People claimed that he was solely interested in building his career.

As a young man Jeremy certainly had a following. He was often described as popular, witty and entertaining – but even his fans admitted that he was extraordinarily grandiose, constantly pontificating on his future as PM. His detractors however maintained that Jeremy was a very nasty piece of work – dodgy, ruthless, dishonest and downright dangerous in terms of what he was prepared to do to advance himself.

In the years after Oxford, there was evidence that Jeremy was not only gay but was having many casual liaisons. He was a member of the National Liberal Club and the Reform Club, which both offered opportunities for gay encounters and contained many gay men in influential positions.

Jeremy harboured an ambition to marry Princess Margaret – he spoke about this quite frankly and was seriously miffed when she announced her engagement to Armstrong-Jones. In an ideal world Jeremy would have had sex with both of them – upon the announcement of their engagement in 1960 he sent a notorious House of Commons postcard to a friend upon which he’d written ‘What a pity about HRH. I rather hoped to marry one and seduce the other’.

As Jeremy progressed through his political career more and more anecdotes circulated about his risky behaviour – cruising, frequenting gay bars, casual encounters, ‘rough sex’ and his boasting about seducing young men, including cameramen who were filming interviews with him, policemen on duty in Parliament and footmen when he was invited to receptions at Buck House.

Jeremy was elected as the Liberal MP for North Devon. It was well-known among his constituents that he was gay – he had relationships with a number of men from north Devon and took London boyfriends down to the constituency.

Jeremy was friendly with a number of people who were considered beyond the pale, including the gay Labour MP Tom Driberg who generally shocked everyone for numerous reasons. Driberg commented that he had heard about Jeremy from various rent boys – Jeremy and Driberg were using the same ones. Lord Boothby was a family friend of the Thorpes – Boothby was bisexual, he was friends with the Krays and had a long-running affair with Harold MacMillan’s wife, as well as gay sexual encounters with figures from the criminal underworld.

MI5 and the police knew all about Jeremy’s sexual activities – they also ended up getting their hands on the Princess Margaret postcard. When Jeremy’s close friend Jeremy Fry was prosecuted for gross indecency Thorpe’s activities once more came to the attention of the authorities.

At the same time as leading a stereotypical example of a double life, Thorpe continued to make gobsmacking efforts to increase his network of powerful friends, including on an international basis – he became personal friends with many heads of state and hobnobbed with the Royal Family. Thorpe had already built up a successful media career as a radio and TV personality by the time that he entered Parliament.

Jeremy was active in the Homosexual Law Reform Society, ostensibly from a liberal standpoint. Between 1963-66 most of the meetings of the Society took place in Thorpe’s Parliamentary office.

Norman Scott – then known as Norman Josiffe – was working as a stable boy for one of Thorpe’s friends when they met. They had a relationship in early 60s which Norman perceived as very abusive. Norman was a lot younger than Jeremy and was in law still a minor when their relationship began. Norman didn’t have a very solid home background – ironically Norman’s mother spent a lot of her time at Bexley Heath Conservative Club, where Ted Heath was the local MP. Ted Heath would later offer Thorpe a position in his Gov’t, at a time when Thorpe claimed that he was being ‘persecuted’ by Norman. Norman claimed that Jeremy ruthlessly sexually used him and described Thorpe as becoming increasingly callous. Following an initially warm relationship during which Thorpe kept him, bought him presents etc Thorpe ended up basically shagging Norman and then ordering him to spend nights on a camp bed, throwing him out when he felt like it. Rather than Norman persecuting Thorpe, the available evidence suggests that a predatory mature man with powerful friends used a rather confused young man sexually – whilst Thorpe also conducted casual liaisons with others – and then dumped him, subsequently maintaining that they barely knew each other.

Norman Scott had a very bad press and not just at the hands of the biased judge. What is clear is that Norman was for some reason very fragile – but nobody seems to have asked why. He seems to have become increasingly distressed after his encounters with Jeremy, was in poor mental health and made a number of suicide attempts. Norman himself consistently told people that Jeremy had ruined his life and interestingly enough a number of people who knew Norman took the same view and even made representation to third parties about this. As more and more of Jeremy’s friends hurled abuse at Norman – as did Jeremy himself – shrieking that he was ‘neurotic’ and ‘a nutter’, they didn’t seem able to explain a few obvious things. Such as the letter dated 1961 that Jeremy wrote to Norman on House of Commons notepaper – which years later became notorious when the press finally got hold of it – a letter which certainly reads as though it’s from a gay man to his lover, making a reference to ‘bunnies’ going to France (Thorpe admitted that ‘bunnies’ was his pet name for Norman). The letter also makes reference to some photos which Jeremy asks to be returned – yet no-one commented on this. Norman consistently maintained that Thorpe had stolen his National Insurance card after Thorpe failed to pay contributions when Norman worked for him and thus Norman couldn’t seek work. No-one seems to have investigated Norman’s claims regarding this – although it would have been easy to confirm if this was the case or not. Yet after quite a fuss and a very long time, it transpired that one of Jeremy’s political friends used his influence with the DHSS to sort this out behind the scenes – that’s not really a reaction to someone who’s completely mad and is saying things of no substance.

Norman also claimed that Thorpe paid him hush money and tried to conceal their relationship. Among the hysterical claims that Norman was making it all up, Norman then produced letters and documents demonstrating that Thorpe had made payments to him, regularly, over a long period of time, whilst claiming to some people that he’d never known Norman. Yet Thorpe had told other people that he was Norman’s guardian. Every time Norman became distressed and then demonstrated that he had lived with Jeremy, had been given money etc but was now claiming to be destitute because of Jeremy, Jeremy’s explanation to people who asked what the hell was going on was always the same – that Norman was mad, Jeremy had tried so hard to help him, he had been so patient but there was just no dealing with Norman and now he realised that Norman was a wicked manipulative man who had fooled a lot of people and was hounding him. Which was exactly what Dafydd Alun Jones said about Mary Wynch and me when we told people that Dafydd had illegally imprisoned us and that we had evidence of Dafydd’s criminal activities.

Again and again events occur which suggest that Norman was no fantasist. Another man at one point comes forward with sexual allegations about Thorpe – his account of Thorpe’s conduct is strikingly similar to Norman’s, although at that time Norman’s allegations had not found their way into the public domain. Norman maintained that Thorpe had promised to secure him a job – Thorpe made such offers to other people as well. Thorpe actually arranged for Norman to begin a new life in Switzerland – except that Norman didn’t want this and returned to the UK. This was seen as further evidence of Norman’s insanity and lack of gratitude – no-one asks why he was sent abroad by Jeremy and his mates for no good reason when he clearly had no desire to go. But then Thorpe and co were quite enthusiastic about sending people abroad – years later they arranged for Andrew Newton, the man who maintained that he had been hired to kill Norman, to begin a new life in Southern Africa after he had killed Norman’s dog but failed to kill Norman because his ancient gun jammed.

Bloch’s account of Thorpe packing Norman off to Switzerland and then getting very angry and pathologising Norman when he came back reminded me of something that I witnessed at Bangor University Student Health Centre years ago, as I did battle with the corrupt Dr DGE Wood and Gwynne the lobotomist. There was a young woman on my course whom I knew, but not very well. By the time that we were in the third year of our degrees, this young woman seemed to be very obviously falling apart. There were rumours that she had a serious drug problem – which was unusual for a student in those days – she lost a terrific amount of weight, was often seen walking around Bangor in her nightclothes and her hair started dropping out. I had no idea that she was having anything to do with the Student Health Centre until after my finals I was talking to the nurse up there when she asked me how this young woman had got on and it transpired that she had sat her exams in the medical room on the grounds that she had been having serious health problems. A couple of weeks later I was in the Student Health Centre when the same nurse started fuming about this young woman, stating that she ‘didn’t want to be helped’ and that there was ‘nothing that anyone could do for her’. It transpired that DGE Wood had been pressurising this young woman to go to Australia no less – he’d even arranged a job out there for her. Except that she was horrified at these arrangements and had ‘broken down’ at the very thought of being packed off to Australia and had refused to go. I have mentioned on this blog how Wood ended up having screaming rows with me and told me to leave Wales and forget about everything that had happened there. I’ve been wondering whether, like me, this young woman who was being pressurised to go to Australia had discovered a few things about Wood and Gwynne Williams. She was very obviously not coping with life very well and had sat her finals under special conditions. Who on earth would try and force her into leaving for Australia under such circumstances? Perhaps someone who was very worried about her continued presence in north Wales…

Not only were there huge questions about Thorpe’s conduct in relation to Norman that went unasked, but far from Norman ‘having no evidence’ for his story, evidence seems to periodically pop up but a lot of people work very hard to ensure that it doesn’t get to see the light of day. One of Thorpe’s closest friends, a fellow Liberal MP Peter Bessell, played a key role in ‘managing’ the problem that was Norman. Bessell meets him constantly, tells him that Jeremy will do this, that and the other to help him – although Jeremy never does – and Bessell makes payments to Norman whilst telling him not to mention Jeremy’s name to anyone (not that Norman was ever given hush money of course). On one of Norman’s enforced trips abroad, his luggage is lost. Thorpe goes to very great lengths to retrieve this luggage, using his Gov’t contacts. It transpires that there are letters that Jeremy has written to Norman in that luggage and Jeremy wants those letters back. After many years, Bessell and Thorpe fell out and Bessell emigrated to America. In November 1974, builders carrying out work on Bessell’s former office in London discovered a briefcase full of ‘compromising material’ relating to Jeremy Thorpe including documents concerning Norman, hidden in a false ceiling. The builders realised that they’d hit gold and took the documents to the Sunday Mirror. The Sunday Mirror editor Bob Edwards and the Chairman of the company that owned the paper, Lord Jacobson, knew Jeremy and knew about Norman. Surprise surprise, not a word was published – the documents were personally returned by Edwards to Thorpe at a meeting in his Westminster office, after copies had been made for the legal manager’s safe.

A Dr Roger Gleadle also ends up in possession of incriminating documents relating to Thorpe’s relationship with Norman and sells them. Gleadle was Norman’s GP and he also maintains that Norman is mad – Gleadle keeps him under ‘heavy sedation’ but that doesn’t stop Norman trying to kill himself whilst he is in Gleadle’s ‘care’. Interestingly enough Norman maintains that Gleadle has sold documents of his without his permission and is trying to poison him. Gleadle’s conduct becomes known when it is revealed that the person who purchased the documents was a friend of Jeremy’s. There are other Top Doctors who were well-aware of what was going on – including a number of psychiatrists who ended up treating Norman as he had breakdowns and made suicide attempts. At one point he was sectioned. One of the hospitals that treated Norman – in 1963/64 and again in 1967 – was St George’s.

Like Jeremy, the Top Doctors stressed how they tried to ‘help’ this madman who is inexplicably in constant fear and distress and makes crazy allegations about that nice Mr Thorpe which of course none of them believe – although the whole bloody lot of them are keen to get their paws on any documentation that Norman might have relating to Jeremy. Jeremy stressed to people that Norman is someone who had been in a ‘mental home’. I have a document in my possession written by Andrew Park, a corrupt lawyer at the Welsh Office, stating that I have been in a ‘mental institution’. Of course I have – Dafydd illegally detained me in one after I complained about him and his colleagues. The reason why Andrew Park found out about it was that after I complained about being unlawfully arrested and held in a mental institution, Andrew Park advised Dafydd et al on how to ensure that my complaints were never investigated.

Norman spends a lot of time telling people that Jeremy has ruined his life – Norman’s mates agree with this perception but everyone else maintains that Norman has an irrational obsession with poor Mr Thorpe and is ‘persecuting him’. What Norman is actually doing is making statements to the police and other people alleging very serious offences on the part of Thorpe et al. Norman consistently said the same thing – that Thorpe befriended him but ended up repeatedly sexually assaulting him in a manner that Norman did not want and since then had done a number of things to try and keep him quiet. No-one bothered to report how Norman thinks Jeremy has ruined his life – it might have been worth asking him because a lot of very unfortunate things happened to Norman. He landed jobs but then lost them, he became homeless and destitute, got back on his feet again, but hey presto suddenly he’d been sacked and he’s homeless once more. In the mid 70s, Norman was robbed, beaten up and an attempt was made to murder him – the people involved all maintained that they were put up to it by Jeremy or his friends.

Despite the constant claims of what a dreadful man he is, no-one ever produces evidence of anything very serious that Norman has actually done wrong. Whereas evidence constantly crops up suggesting that Jeremy was a lying bastard who was having numerous sexual encounters with much younger men, that his friends were constantly hassling Norman and that those claiming to ‘help’ Norman seemed to be benefiting from his distress and were often in close contact with Jeremy and his circle.

Norman does have a habit of producing very damning evidence against Thorpe – including evidence that Thorpe wrote him a letter in 1961 which suggests that they were having a sexual relationship whilst Norman was a minor. The explanation? That Mr Thorpe ‘made a mistake’ when he dated the letter to Norman – he obviously wrote the highly incriminating letter to Norman a few years later, whilst Norman was older. Not that the letter proved ANYTHING anyway of course.

Jeremy and co constantly maintain that Norman is a ‘nut’ whom absolutely nobody believes. For a nutter who can’t be believed they are certainly very bothered by him. So bothered that in June 1971 the Liberal Party launch an inquiry into Norman’s allegations – it is of course a secret inquiry, conducted by a small number of Jeremy’s close associates, namely Emlyn Hooson (a lawyer who was by that time leader of the Chester and Wales Circuit), David Steel and Frank Byers (the Liberal leader in the Lords). Norman told his story in person at the inquiry only to be shouted down and insulted by Byers. Hooson had been in touch with Scotland Yard about a police statement that Norman had made about Jeremy in 1962. When Thorpe found out about this he got in touch with Reginald Maudling the Home Secretary – Thorpe and Maudling were friends – and asked him to instruct the police to only give out a minimum of information. Maudling seems to have done as requested – a Detective Inspector Edward Smith attended the inquiry but would only provide brief factual answers to questions. Maudling told Jeremy by letter that he had discussed the matter with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

Hooson stated himself to be ‘appalled’ at the ‘Mafia-like atmosphere…of lies and intrigue’ that had been created. Jeremy subsequently recommended Byers for the Privy Council.

For a secret inquiry – that of course exonerated Jeremy – which was precipitated by allegations from a lunatic whom no-one believed it caused quite a stir.

Norman was so pissed off at his treatment by Byers that he returned to the police, made a 33 page statement and contacted a journalist who passed the story to MI5, MI6, the People newspaper and the Sunday Mirror. Yet no-one responded.

Jeremy and co maintained the line that everyone thought that Norman was a nutter who couldn’t be believed for many years, even throughout the eventual Old Bailey trial in 1979. I’ve got news for Jeremy and Michael Bloch, who believes that the folk of north Devon loathed Norman and considered him an insane nuisance – I grew up in west Somerset not a million miles away from north Devon and Exmoor, where much of the action took place. Norman had been living on Exmoor for years and an awful lot of people knew about him and Jeremy. I was a teenager when Norman’s dog was shot and Norman turned up as a crying wreck alleging that the gunman had tried to kill him as well and I remember the subsequent trials – NO-ONE locally thought that Norman was a nut. They believed him and were appalled at Thorpe and his mates. Thorpe had always been a flash git, he was perceived to be a London man with upmarket and powerful friends – the bumpkins were definitely overawed, but they believed Norman. There were a lot of very crude bawdy jokes in circulation, but those jokes did not involve Norman being a nutter – they were jokes about Jeremy sexually assaulting teenaged boys. Now where did those jokes come from I wonder? I knew Liberals – my own family were all Tories, but the west country was a Liberal stronghold, there were a lot of them about – who were seething at Thorpe’s conduct.

Furthermore, some people were very worried for Norman’s safety, particularly after Thorpe et al were acquitted. I remember our baker – who had contacts in north Devon – telling us that everyone feared that Jeremy’s lot were going to go after Norman again and this time succeed in killing him. Another person who delivered to our village claimed that he knew a friend of Norman’s and that after the trial Norman had plastered his house in photos of him and Jeremy, as a gesture in the wake of being branded a liar by the judge. Take it from me Bloch, a lot of people knew about Jeremy and Norman and the general opinion was that Jeremy was a lying potentially murdering bastard but bumpkins like us didn’t stand a chance against his mates. Furthermore, although Thorpe and the crooked judge et al kept stressing that Norman was a blackmailing sponger who lived off the great and the good, the evidence doesn’t suggest that. Norman likes horses and he worked with horses – that usually involves hard work and not much money. Press reports about Norman always referred to his job as a ‘male model’ – he did do some modelling for a bit, but most of the time he worked as a horseman. But if one is trying to discredit Norman, ‘effete male model’ is more effective than ‘well regarded skilled horseman’. After the Old Bailey trial, if Norman had wanted he could have been a millionaire – the media were finally reporting the story and Norman had evidence that was never presented in Court. Norman could have sold his story across the world – he didn’t. He went back to Exmoor and the horses and he still lives down there. Ironically, Norman has outlasted all the others – nearly everyone who wanted him dead are now dead themselves, but Norman is still alive.

As I read Bloch’s book I recognised many of the names of Thorpe’s friends and people who helped him. Some have already been named on this blog. Others were the mentors and patrons of the people named on this blog. As well as members of the shithouse in north Wales, there was a south Wales connection as well – two of the people who stood trial with Jeremy for conspiracy to murder were a pair of crooks from south Wales, it was they who found the hit man. I get the distinct impression that those who protected Thorpe and threw mud at Norman were pretty much the same people who protected Dafydd and Gwynne in their younger years. The context is identical – public figures sexually exploiting vulnerable people and then destroying them, whilst everybody ignored mountains of evidence that this was going on. The techniques used to discredit Norman are tried and tested – Top Doctors are utilised to detain him in a psychiatric facility, suggest that his extreme terror and distress are unfathomable and then discredit any witnesses or sympathisers of Norman by darkly muttering about Norman’s ‘charm’ and ‘manipulation’. Only they know Norman’s black heart. Interestingly enough, one of Norman’s staunchest defenders – a widow from north Wales with whom Norman lived with in 1971 – was found dead in 1972. Norman produces a good explanation as to why the official reason for her death is not credible, but of course Norman is mad. This lady had been an active Liberal and her father had known Emlyn Hooson. She had been so worried about what was happening to Norman that she wrote to Hooson and subsequently met up with the Liberal Chief Whip David Steel. She produced evidence of payments that Thorpe was making to Norman via Bessell and also a letter from one of her neighbours who also knew about Jeremy and Norman and who had written to Jeremy himself. It was her representation that had sparked off the ‘inquiry’ by Byers et al. Hooson was very worried indeed after this lady made representation – he wanted Thorpe to resign from the leadership and give up his seat. Jeremy maintained that Norman was trying to blackmail Bessell. After this lady’s death – allegedly from alcohol poisoning – Norman gave evidence at the inquest. He claimed that she had actually killed herself in despair at discovering what had been happening in the highest echelons of the Liberal Party and at her inability to help him. Local journos passed the story on to the London newspapers. Nothing happened. Scott’s story was dismissed as ‘cold and stale’.

Witnesses stated that Jeremy had become particularly vexed about Norman in the late 1960s – when for much of the time Norman wasn’t having much to do with him. Jeremy’s close friends Peter Bessell and David Holmes admitted that Jeremy spoke at length to them about having Norman killed. He discussed possible ways – shooting, strangling or poisoning. He suggested that Norman’s body could be disposed of down a tin mine (Peter Bessell was the Liberal MP for Bodmin). Jeremy held further discussions about murdering Norman in 1974. When Jeremy was reminded of these conversations after the killing of Norman’s dog, Jeremy brushed them off as humour or metaphors. Yet one man stated that he was paid to kill Norman, another man admits that funds were liberated from Liberal Party coffers to pay the hit man and other people detail their efforts to find a suitable hit man.

Readers will remember that in the 70s, British politics was in freefall; Heath’s Gov’t was weak, Wilson’s subsequent Gov’t was weak and the Liberals were really enjoying their position as being able to exert political muscle – people had to do deals with them to survive. There was the infamous Lib Lab pact. I can remember the excitement of West Country Liberals as they really believed that a Liberal PM was a possibility. I used to work for a neighbouring farmer whose brother was John Pardoe, one of Jeremy’s leadership rivals, and there was much talk of the possibility of Mr Pardoe ending up as PM. Jeremy was acutely aware of the hope that a Liberal could become PM and very obviously had nightmarish visions of Norman’s story becoming public and scuppering his chances.

Although nearly all the politicians involved were greedy duplicitous backstabbers, as with Top Doctors they stuck together like glue rather than dare rat on each other. The modus operandi of everyone seems to be one of covert or overt blackmail and the formation of complex alliances and this results in rivals propping each other up or covering each others arses. Cyril Smith, that well-known child molester, was a staunch supporter of Jeremy’s because Jeremy had helped him get elected – for his part, Jeremy had hoped that Smith’s success in Rochdale was the start of a Liberal revival. In 1974 Jeremy’s Conservative opponent in North Devon, Tim Keigwin, knew that Norman feared for his life and took receipt of a statement about Jeremy from him – a local solicitor delivered the statement to Conservative Central Office and it was read by Lord Carrington, the Party Chairman. Keigwin also spoke to the Attorney General, Sir Peter Rawlinson. Rawlinson and Carrington decided that no use should be made of Norman’s story – Ted Heath agreed. During the General Election campaign of early 1974, Keigwin was told by both his Tory colleagues and by Jeremy’s Devon solicitor not to mention the Jeremy-Norman story. Newspapers were also offered the story about Roger Gleadle selling letters that could embarrass the Liberals throughout the campaign – it was referred to in Private Eye but no-one else touched it. Thorpe was invited for political negotiations by Heath and Wilson after the election. Heath offered Thorpe a post in Gov’t but not a coalition – Thorpe rejected the offer. Wilson’s Press Secretary Joe Haines maintained that if Thorpe joined the Cabinet and kept the Tories in office, then Labour would tell the Norman Scott story. It is not known if Wilson blackmailed Thorpe.

Bloch’s book is frank that many senior politicians were told of Norman’s allegations and knew that Jeremy was a promiscuous gay man. Parliamentary gossip being what it is, I suspect that by the time that Thorpe stood trial just about everyone in politics would have heard something about Jeremy and Norman.

So let’s look at who definitely knew about Norman’s allegations.

In Dec 1962 Norman gave a formal police statement at Chelsea Police Station about Jeremy sexually assaulting him when he was a minor. He produced letters from Jeremy and the postcard that Jeremy had sent his friend upon the engagement of Princess Margaret.

Peter Bessell informed George Thomas who was then a junior Minister at the Home Office about Jeremy’s ‘problem’ with Norman -Bessell knew Thomas personally. Thomas has of course in recent years been named as a paedophile himself and was investigated by the South Wales Police. Thomas was sympathetic to Jeremy and arranged a meeting between Bessell and Sir Frank Soskice in May 1965. Soskice too was most understanding – he commented that Norman ‘couldn’t prove anything’ but ‘it’s a pity about those letters’. (The letters that proved something.) Soskice remarked that he was ‘very fond’ of Thorpe and that he was ‘an asset to the House’. During the meeting, Soskice had a file in front of him – which Bessell presumed contained Norman’s police statement and the letters. Bessell mentioned that Thorpe was anxious that the documents should not remain on record.

Bessell later bumped into George Thomas. Thomas told him that he’d spoken to Soskice who told him that Jeremy had nothing more to worry about. Bessell took this to mean that the file had been destroyed, but it seems that Soskice meant that no further action would be taken.

Bessell stated that he ‘intimidated’ Norman into ceasing his ‘harassment’ of Jeremy. Norman’s ‘harassment’ seems to have constituted a police statement, desperate requests to Bessell and to Jeremy for help with the stolen NI card and then a letter to Jeremy’s mother pleading for help, telling her that he was virtually destitute and asking her if she could influence Jeremy to behave rather more acceptably. Jeremy’s mother was unmoved by Norman’s pleas, but it is on record that she didn’t disbelieve his allegations.

In August 1965 Bessell told George Mackie, the Chair of the Scottish Liberals about Jeremy and Norman. When Mackie lost his seat in 1966, he told the story to the new Liberal MP Richard Wainwright. Alisdair MacKenzie, the Liberal MP for Ross & Cromarty, heard of Norman’s allegations from a constituent who had visited Ireland, where Norman had then been living.

Alice Bacon, a Home Office Minister, also knew about Jeremy and Norman – she was one person who was horrified.

By the time of the 1966 General Election, the matter was known about by the new Home Secretary Roy Jenkins, also his junior Minister Dick Taverne (who knew Jeremy from Oxford) and by Harold Wilson. They were all sympathetic to Thorpe.

Bloch suggests that Henry Brooke, the Home Secretary at the time of Norman’s police statement in 1962, would also have known. Furthermore, his predecessor Rab Butler had been given information concerning Jeremy’s activities which came to light during the investigation into Jeremy’s friend Jeremy Fry’s suitability for the role of best man at Princess Margaret’s wedding in 1960. By 1966 Brooke and Butler were both in the Lords.

Jeremy himself sought advice from Labour MP Leo Abse – a friend of George Thomas. Abse is someone else who has been subject to historic abuse investigations. Abse told Jeremy to deny everything. Jeremy’s conduct was so well-known that during the 1966 General Election campaign angry Conservative MPs hurled homophobic abuse at him.

Jeremy had been involved in other scandals as well. In 1961 he visited San Francisco, had a relationship with a young man and subsequently exchanged letters with him – Thorpe’s letters were written on Commons notepaper. The young man was under investigation by the FBI, so they found out about Jeremy. In 1963 the US Ambassador in London suggested to Lord Home (who was shortly to become PM) that Jeremy should not visit the US again. Home shared this info with the Liberal leader Jo Grimond. In 1964 Grimond passed the info on to Mark Bonham-Carter and Frank Byers, the leader of the Liberals in the Lords.

In 1965 in Tangiers Jeremy had tried to seduce an English tourist who was outraged and had contacted both the Liberal and Tory Associations in North Devon.

Jeremy had an affair with a John Wilkins and then employed him as a Parliamentary researcher. Wilkins developed an alcohol problem and in June 1966 whilst drunk he caused two scenes in one day in the Commons, shouting to onlookers that he was Jeremy’s jilted lover. Wilkins also knew about Norman from Bessell and had confided in Liberal MP Michael Winstanley that Jeremy was not suitable to succeed Grimond as leader of the Party. Winstanley agreed.

So by 1966 most senior Liberals had been directly told about Thorpe’s gay encounters and a lot of people had been told about Norman specifically. Jeremy’s conduct was very well-known. Presumably people had noticed not only that Jeremy had numerous encounters with different men but that for some reason a lot of Jeremy’s partners felt very badly treated by him.

By this time, the Liberal leader Jo Grimond was about to stand down and a leadership contest was looming. Grimond was known to dislike Jeremy but protected him to avoid scandal – Grimond also wanted to block Emlyn Hooson from the leadership. However Grimond’s wife and mother-in-law thought that Jeremy was great and wanted him to succeed Grimond as leader. David Steel also supported Jeremy for the leadership – Steel was Jeremy’s PPS and was indebted to Jeremy for his role in getting him elected. Steel offered to be his campaign manager.

Some in the Liberal Party expressed concerns that if Thorpe were to become leader, a scandal would inevitably occur as a result of his homosexual encounters. Nonetheless in Jan 1967 Thorpe did become leader. Bessell warned him that if his ‘past’ became public he would have to resign.

As well as friendships with those across the political divide – such as with Tony Benn – Jeremy hung out with celebs such as the Beatles, Bobby Charlton and Morecombe and Wise. He was mates with Princess Margaret – despite being banned from acting as best man at her wedding – and the Archbishop of Canterbury. His only real allies in the Liberal Party then were David Steel and Eric Lubbock (aka Lord Avebury), then the Liberals Chief Whip.

Jeremy was in the habit of offering people who did favours for him peerages. One person who actually got one was Gerran Lloyd, who parted with dosh for the Liberal Party.

In April 1967 Thorpe was in a fix again. He showed Bessell a letter from a rent boy called Bill Shannon who had asked Thorpe for a loan. Jeremy interpreted it as blackmail – Bessell wrote to Shannon, subsequently met him and threatened him with the police if he ever mentioned Jeremy’s name to anyone. In 1979 Shannon spoke about Jeremy after being contacted by the police and journos – Shannon’s account of Thorpe’s behaviour was remarkably similar to Norman’s. Shannon maintained that he had not been trying to blackmail anyone but had had the living daylights threatened out of him by Bessell.

In April 1967 Norman wrote to Bessell requesting his help – Norman was planning to go to America to live, but the problem of the NI card remained. He needed documentation to be in order to acquire a passport. In July 1967 Norman wrote to Bessell again – he was for some reason back in St George’s Hospital being treated by a Dr Brian O’Connell. O’Connell knew about Jeremy.

Jeremy’s response to this was to consult Lord Goodman and threaten Norman with a blackmail charge. Goodman suggested instead that Jeremy should set Norman up in America. Days later Norman turned up at Bessell’s office in a terrible state – Bessell told him that he would find him a job in the US. And offered him a retainer until he did. Sounds like hush money to me…

By 1967 Jeremy had decided that he needed a wife. He was friendly with Caroline Allpass, a society girl who worked at Sothebys. They subsequently married – Caroline developed a cult following and was hugely popular in north Devon. She knew about Jeremy’s homosexual encounters and by all accounts had no problem with them at all – she seemed to have been close to a number of gay men before her involvement with Jeremy. Caroline also knew about Norman.

After his engagement Jeremy fessed up to Bessell that he’d had an encounter with a New York street boy. He was also in a relationship with Guy Huntingdon – who later wrote about their affair – whom Jeremy met at a Buck House banquet whilst Guy worked there as a footman. Jeremy offered to get Guy a job at the BBC.

In May 1969 Norman married Sue Byers, who worked at the Tate. Sue’s sister was a relation of the actor Terry-Thomas and Norman and Sue lived in a cottage of theirs in Dorset. But Norman still had no NI card, so when Sue became pregnant they were unable to claim maternity payments. Norman rang the DHSSL in London and told the Private Secretary of the Social Security Minister David Ennals about Jeremy. Norman then rang Bessell and threatened to sell his story to the press if he didn’t get his NI card. Bessell acquired the NI card – and maternity payments for Sue. Norman had also told social security officials in Dorset and London about Jeremy.

Norman’s marriage did not last long – Sue left him. Norman’s divorce lawyer was Leonard Ross of Dorset Square. He knew about Jeremy. For some reason Jeremy paid Ross’s bill. Jeremy’s marriage didn’t last long either – Caroline was killed in a road accident in 1970. The explanations for Caroline’s loss of control at the wheel were questioned by people who knew her.

At about this time Bessell claimed that a blackmailer had turned up in north Devon claiming to possess compromising letters from Jeremy to Norman – Jeremy promised Bessell a peerage if he got rid of him, if necessary by murder. Jeremy didn’t need to hire a hit man on this occasion, the letters turned out to be forgeries.

Jeremy remarried in 1972 – someone even posher than Caroline, namely Marion, Countess of Harewood, a relative of the Queen’s via Marion’s first marriage. The biased judge at Jeremy’s Old Bailey trial made much of the virtues of Marion.

By the mid-1970s when Norman was being robbed and physically attacked, the world and his wife knew about him and Jeremy. The Metropolitan Police knew, the Devon and Cornwall Police knew, the North Devon Infirmary knew (they had treated Norman for his physical injuries), local social workers knew and a radical group in London called ‘Up Against The Law’ knew and alluded to it in their newspaper. In Sept 1975 Norman was arrested for the non-payment of an hotel bill – I don’t know why but he was kept in custody for two days, during which time he was warned that he might be in danger if he didn’t stop talking about Jeremy. He was confronted by Andrew Newton the hit man one month later.

The idiocy on the part of the authorities didn’t stop even after Newton had shot Norman’s dog and tried to shoot him. Avon and Somerset Police suggested that Norman had shot the dog himself to ‘create publicity’. It was only after the dog was shot that anything hit the newspapers – the West Somerset Free Press ran the story of the murdered dog and journalists who knew about Norman’s story contacted Jeremy. It was after Newton was charged with possessing a firearm with intent to danger life that the full story finally appeared in the national press – the final straw being Norman getting so fed up (he’d now been done for a minor social security fraud) that he mentioned Jeremy in Court and to the reporters. Jeremy issued a statement through Harold Wilson’s fixer Lord Goodman and the story finally exploded.

Unbelievably, considering how many people knew about the Jeremy and Norman story, everybody continued to try to brazen it out. The hit man claimed that Norman had been trying to blackmail him – David Holmes, Jeremy’s mate, later admitted that Goodman had come up with the plan to claim that Norman was trying to blackmail both Jeremy and Newton. Holmes also offered to pay Newton after his trial if Newton kept his and Jeremy’s name out of it. Marcia Williams, Harold Wilson’s infamous Secretary, begged Wilson to save Jeremy. Wilson made a statement in the House suggesting that BOSS, the South African security services, were behind Jeremy’s troubles on the grounds that they wanted to smear Jeremy because of his anti-apartheid stance. George Thomas, the newly appointed speaker, was most friendly towards Jeremy and discouraged some right wing Tories who tried to ask embarrassing questions.  It was revealed that in 1974 after seeing the dossier on Scott sent by Tim Kiegwin, Thatcher had stated that she had no intention of ‘smearing’ Jeremy.

The Mirror discovered that it was David Holmes who had purchased the incriminating letters of Norman’s from Roger Gleadle – Holmes had a meeting with the DPP and a statement was prepared on his behalf by David Freeman, the PM’s Press Solicitor. Holmes claimed that Wilson vetted the statement.

Goodman advised Jeremy to receive Sir Harold Evans, the editor of The Sunday Times and The Sunday Times subsequently published a number of articles sympathetic to Jeremy.

Newton’s trial in Exeter opened on the same day that Harold Wilson resigned and the announcement that Princess Margaret was to divorce. Not only was Margaret still a mate of Jeremy’s, but she would have consulted Wilson over her announcement. It has been suggested that Wilson timed his resignation to detract from both the Royal Divorce and Newton’s trial.

At Newton’s trial the prosecuting counsel was Lewis Hawser QC – an old friend of Jeremy’s. It is alleged that Hawser consulted with the Attorney General and Lord Goodman before the trial. Newton was found guilty – the maximum possible sentence was twenty years. He received two. But he must have still been disappointed – Jeremy’s friends had told him that people in high places would ensure that he would not go to prison. Hawser’s other high points included conducting the review of the case of James Hanratty in 1974 on the orders of Home Secretary Roy Jenkins – Hawser found the conviction to be safe – and defending Brian Field, the Brains behind the Great Train Robbery.

Most of the Liberal Party just wanted rid of Jeremy but he refused to go and no-one would put the boot in. The rest of the shithouse supported him in his time of need – Michael Foot believed that an ‘indiscretion’ was all that had occurred and Jeremy and Marion were guests at HM the Queen’s 50th birthday party at Windsor. Jeremy tried to stop the police from returning Norman’s documents to Norman by asking a friend of his to tell the police that Norman posed a threat to Jeremy.

Jeremy finally stood down as leader and David Steel was elected. Jeremy was appointed the Liberals Foreign and Commonwealth Spokesman which involved working with the newly appointed Foreign Secretary, Dr Death. Dr Death and Jeremy really got on well together – as they had done previously.

Two BBC reporters began researching for a book about Jeremy and Norman – Jeremy tried to stop publication of the book (he had successfully persuaded Penguin to withdraw another book about the case). The Director General of the BBC Sir Charles Curran was ‘supportive’ of the book – but the reporters were then given new BBC contracts depriving them of control of their material. So they left the BBC. Jeremy and Lord Goodman then tried to persuade Harold Wilson to withdraw his co-operation from the ex-BBC reporters.

Eventually on August 4 1978 Jeremy and three others were charged with conspiring to kill Norman. Jeremy was also charged with having incited David Holmes to murder Norman in 1969. Lord Avebury stood surety for Jeremy’s bail. Jeremy refused to resign from his seat – he even got the date of his next Court hearing postponed to fit in with his election campaigning, although Callaghan then changed his mind about calling an election.

A Defence Fund to help Jeremy with his legal costs was set up by Lord Lloyd Kilgerran. James Goldsmith donated 5k. Jeremy’s solicitor David Napley hired George Carman, whom Jeremy had known at university. Carman had been working on the Northern Circuit alongside a few other members of the shithouse, including Justice Cantley who presided over Jeremy’s trial at the Old Bailey. After his death, Carman’s son wrote a book in which he exposed Carman as a ferocious wife-beater, a drunk and a gambler. He claimed that when Carman worked in Manchester he spent much time boozing with criminals, prostitutes and generally questionable people. Jeremy’s mate David Holmes who was so instrumental in the plans to dispose of Norman was based in Manchester. The discussions with the hit man were alleged to have taken place in the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool. Carman came from Blackpool. Carman also had a secret gay life.

One of Jeremy’s co-defendants, George Deakin, was represented by Gareth Williams QC, later Lord Williams of Mostyn. Williams later became Attorney General under a Labour Gov’t. He represented Gordon Anglesea when Anglesea successfully sued for libel after he was accused of sexually abusing boys in care in north Wales. Williams originated from north Wales. Another co-defendant, John Le Mesurier, was represented by Denis Cowley QC. Cowley had stood as a Liberal candidate twice and was a barrister based in Nottingham on the Midland and Oxford Circuit. He was a Recorder of the Crown Court and in 1984 was appointed to the Mental Health Appeal Tribunal.

The forewoman of the jury at the Old Bailey was Celia Kettle-Williams, a member of the Liberal Party and an admirer of Jeremy.

I have mentioned that barely anyone in the West Country believed in Jeremy’s innocence. A lot of Tories were frank in their opinion that he was a total degenerate. Auberon Waugh – who lived in west Somerset – stood in the General Election (which was held just before the main trial opened at the Old Bailey in 1979) as the Dog Lovers candidate, in tribute to Norman’s murdered dog Rinka. Waugh placed an election address in the Spectator – Jeremy sought an injunction preventing Waugh from disseminating this address and the Master of the Rolls Lord Denning, who had been a mate of Jeremy’s for decades, obliged.

Jeremy lost north Devon at the election and for the first time in decades it became Tory. He was subsequently acquitted as were his co-defendants. He tried to continue in public life and very nearly succeeded too. He was persona non-grata in the Liberal Party but the rest of high society continued to embrace him. The only thing that really stopped him making a come-back was that he developed Parkinsons.

Numerous matters emerged in the trial suggesting that Jeremy and his circle – and indeed the political class and the ‘establishment’ as a whole – were actually far, far worse than anyone had ever suspected. People had blackmailed and defrauded each other like there was no tomorrow and had lied and swindled until the cows came home. Just about the only person in the Court room who hadn’t been involved in the most dreadful conduct was Norman Scott. Which was probably why he’d nearly ended up dead.

Reading Bloch’s book I concluded that Jeremy got away scot free for exactly the same reasons that Dafydd et al have – although absolutely everybody knew how serious their criminality was, so many of their peers were doing or had done equally offensive things that no-one dared cross their paths.

Whilst Jeremy was destroying Norman and conducting conversations regarding the best method of killing him, another political sex scandal blew up, involving Lord Lambton the Conservative defence Minister. Lord Lambton had been caught smoking joints in bed with call-girls. He resigned although he was quite upfront about it all. Lord Lambton was declared the lowest form of life on earth and was subsequently interviewed by Robin Day, who wore his characteristic bow tie and ludicrous expression and spat at Lord Lambton something along the lines of: you are a peer of the realm and a rich cultured man. Why do you have to have sex with a ‘WHORE???’ To which Lord Lambton responded ‘well I like a bit of variety, don’t you?’ That was the end for Lord Lambton. Who had not assaulted minors or anyone against their will, who had not accused the victim of their assaults of blackmailing them and who had not tried to have anybody murdered. Robin Day was a good friend of Jeremy Thorpe. And a high profile member of the Liberal Party. But it was Lord Lambton who copped it for getting stoned with consenting adults, in much the same way that Frank Bough was kicked out of the BBC after the cocaine and prostitutes revelations but Jimmy Savile remained friends with Royalty and senior Tories until the day that he died.

Other friends who supported Jeremy included William Rees-Mogg (who attempted to launch a ‘coalition of the centre’ with him), his close friend Clement Freud, his long-term friend Lord Hailsham and his childhood friend from Lloyd George’s circle, Jean Trumpington.

Jack Straw also knew about Jeremy and Norman. Joe Haines stated that at one point Harold Wilson called for a summary of the saga of Norman’s NI card from Gov’t sources – the task was undertaken by Jack Straw in his capacity as Barbara Castle’s policy advisor at the DHSS. In 2002, when Straw was Home Secretary, he maintained that he didn’t know that this report was for use against Thorpe.