To Raise Winds For The Destruction Of Ships…

I mentioned in my post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – The Scottish Play’ that two of my friends were at Stirling University with Jack McConnell, who later became First Minister of Scotland. Thee was someone else at Stirling with my friends who also became a big figure in Scottish politics  – Tommy Sheridan.

Tommy Sheridan joined Militant in about 1983 whilst at Stirling University and became Scotland’s highest profile member of Militant. He was expelled from the Labour Party in 1989 and formed Scottish Militant Labour. By 1993 Scottish Militant Labour had six Councillors in Glasgow, including Tommy Sheridan. In 1996 Sheridan and others formed the Scottish Socialist Alliance which in 1998 evolved into the Scottish Socialist Party. In 1999 Tommy Sheridan was elected to the Scottish Parliament as a Glasgow MSP and was re-elected in 2003.

Tommy Sheridan had a cult following – he led a campaign against the Community Charge in Scotland, was active in the protests at the Faslane Naval Base where the nuclear fleet is held and he went to prison in the course of his activism. Tommy Sheridan was remarkably effective and acquired some powerful enemies. He was really hated by everyone on the right but also by huge swathes of those on the left as well. Obviously Sheridan was loathed and feared by the Scottish (and the rest of the) Labour Party, but he also had enemies within the hard left as a result of factionalism and infighting.

Sheridan is undoubtedly a very tough politician, but he came unstuck as a result of a bizarre series of almost unfathomable events after he took on Rupert Murdoch and the News of the World.

In July 2006 Tommy Sheridan sued the News of the World at the Court of Session in Edinburgh for defamation after they published allegations that he frequented a swingers club in Manchester – Cupid’s – where they alleged that he partook of champagne, cocaine and group sex. In Aug 2006 Tommy won the case and was awarded £200k in damages – which is when his problems really began.

The News of the World immediately stated that it would appeal.

Two days after Sheridan won his case a letter was published in the Scottish Socialist Voice signed by six leading members of the SSP (Scottish Socialist Party) alleging that Tommy Sheridan had admitted at an SSP Executive Committee meeting to attending Cupids.

There was some indications that Sheridan was going to be in for a rough ride anyway when the day after his victory over Murdoch the Daily Mail published a florid article with a reference in the headline to ‘ranting Sheridan’.

Allegations and counter-allegations flew. People began emerging from the woodwork claiming that Tommy Sheridan had perjured himself during the trial – his wife Gail, who hosted a radio show, came under fierce attack from the media and her image as a loyal wife was questioned. There was much hostility towards Sheridan because of his cross-examination of one woman, Kristine Trolle, at the News of the World defamation trial.  Trolle had claimed that she had actually gone to Cupid’s in the company of Sheridan.

Sheridan and his supporters were subsequently to claim that he was under massive attack from News International as pay-back for daring to win a case against Murdoch.

It was clear that people had been prepared to lie on oath in the wake of a meeting of the Executive Committee of the SSP on 9 Nov 2004. Sheridan stepped down as convenor of the SSP after this meeting but his resignation was steeped in controversy. It transpired that the SSP’s Executive Committee had forced Sheridan to resign. Stories had appeared in the media about a then unnamed MSP – Sheridan confirmed at the meeting that the stories were about him and stated that he would take legal action against the newspaper concerned. After Sheridan resigned, the News of the World named him as the MSP in the stories.

There are differing accounts of what happened at the Executive Committee meeting on 9 Nov 2004. Eleven members at the meeting stated that Sheridan admitted at the meeting that he had visited Cupid’s. Three other members of the Executive Committee maintained that he had made no such admission.

What is agreed was that Sheridan later had a row with the SSP and called them ‘scabs’ because they would not support him in his proposed action against Murdoch.

The minutes of the 9 Nov 2004 meeting contained a record of Sheridan admitting that he had attended Cupid’s. In 2006 the News of the World subpoenaed the SSP to force them to hand over the minutes. Alan McCombes of the SSP refused to hand them over and in May 2006 was imprisoned by judge Lady Anne Smith. Other members of the SSP then handed the minutes over in order to have McCombes released from prison. Sheridan claimed that the minutes weren’t accurate.

At the SSP Conference in March 2006, Sheridan had been elected as the Party Co-Chair. However he left the SSP in August 2006 declaring that the ‘mother of all stitch ups’ had occurred, involving the leadership of the SSP, MI5 and News International. In Sept 2006 Sheridan launched another party, Solidarity, with MSP Rosemary Byrne, his former colleague from the SSP. Byrne had been one of those who claimed that Sheridan did not admit to attending Cupids at the Executive Committee meeting on 9 Nov 2004.

In Aug 2006 the Lothian and Borders Police had received two complaints of perjury – one from the former Conservative MSP Brian Monteith and another allegedly from the SSP’s minutes secretary. The News of the World’s appeal against the damages awarded to Sheridan was postponed until the proscurator fiscal announced the outcome of the perjury probe.

In Oct 2006 the Lothian and Borders Police started a criminal investigation. In the same month the BBC reported that the Grampian Police were investigating a death threat that had been sent by post to one of the witnesses who had appeared at the News of the World trial.

The News of the World also pitched in during Oct 2006. They published a video recording which they claimed was Tommy Sheridan admitting that he had visited Cupid’s. The recording had been made by SSP member George McNeillage using a hidden camera in his home after he had invited Sheridan there.  Tommy Sheridan could not be clearly seen on the tape at any point and the News of the World was unable to produce any images of his face. Sheridan maintained that the video was a fake and that the recording of his voice had been spliced with clips of someone else. News of the World produced four ‘experts’ who maintained that the voice was that of Tommy Sheridan alone. In an interview with the BBC, forensic speech specialist Peter French emphasised that it can never be conclusively said that such a recording can identify someone and that such material should never be used to bring a criminal trial.

In March 2007 the Lothian and Borders Police examined a bugging device found in Sheridan’s car and stated that it was ‘not the kind used by the British security services’.

Tommy Sheridan believed that MI5, somebody in the SSP and Murdoch had conspired in order to undermine his campaign for an independent socialist Scotland.

In May 2007 staff of Cupid’s told the police that they had been bribed not to co-operate with the inquiry.

In Dec 2007 Sheridan was charged with perjury along with six of his relatives and colleagues. Interestingly in the end the only person who was actually put on trial was Tommy Sheridan himself – the charges against everyone else melted away, although the charges against Gail Sheridan weren’t withdrawn until Tommy’s trial at the High Court in Glasgow in Oct 2010.

In Dec 2010 Tommy Sheridan was convicted of perjury and was sentenced to three years imprisonment. Tommy Sheridan left prison in Jan 2012 under the automatic early release scheme. In June 2016 he resigned as co-convenor of Solidarity to dedicate his time to fighting Murdoch, whom Sheridan claims framed him.

I followed the Tommy Sheridan case in the press at the time. Sheridan won his defamation case against Murdoch before the scandal involving phone hacking and serious criminality on the part of News International occurred. What I remembered after the allegations that Sheridan had perjured himself emerged was the acres of newsprint from right across the political spectrum baying for Sheridan’s blood. Sheridan had no support from any corner in the mainstream media – even the dear old Guardian put the boot in. But they would – the Guardian is not as radical as it likes to think that it is.

No-one seemed to be taking one major factor into account as the allegations that Sheridan was Satan incarnate flew – Sheridan had taken on MURDOCH. No-one dared take on Murdoch – the first thing that Blair did when he put his plans for electoral success into action was to make friends with Murdoch. It was common knowledge that Murdoch’s right hand woman Rebekah Wade/Brooks felt able to summon Gov’t Ministers, spout simplistic rubbish in their direction and expect to see her words translated into Gov’t policy. It was clear that no-one was safe from Rebekah and Murdoch long before the phone hacking scandal became public. Sara Payne, the mother of Sarah Payne, a little girl who was murdered by a paedophile in 2000, was befriended by Rebekah and the murder of Sara formed the basis of a News of the World ‘campaign’ concerning public access to registers of paedophiles locations, Sarah’s Law. As a gesture of friendship Rebekah gave Sara Payne a telephone on which she could ring Rebekah for a bit of support because caring sharing Rebekah knew what a bad time Sara Payne was having. There is much evidence that Sara Payne was led by the nose by Rebekah. I seem to remember reading in Private Eye that as the questions about the conduct of News International began gathering steam, Sara was reminded by Rebekah of how much the News of the World had ‘helped’ her. In July 2011 it was revealed that Sara’s mobile had been targeted by the News of the World for hacking.

Not that Rebekah was ever the most sensitive of flowers. Shortly after Rebekah was appointed as Editor of the Sun – the first female editor! – in 2003, Frank Bruno had the misfortune to develop serious mental health problems and was sectioned. The Sun ran the headline ‘Bonkers Bruno Locked Up’. Public outrage followed and even Rebekah realised that this was not good PR because later editions of the paper ran the equally enlightened headline ‘Sad Bruno In Mental Home’.

I am delighted to report that after her faux pas, Rebekah studied at the knee of the finest. The day after telling the world that Bonkers/Sad Bruno had been locked up/confined to a mental home, Rebekah published a 600 word response from this blog’s old friend, concealer of and colluder with paedophiles and serial bedfellow of a number of paedophiles’ friends, Marjorie Wallace, the Chief Executive of SANE (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’) – a charity that has robustly campaigned for bonkers people to be locked up. Since then the Sun has adopted a style guide concerning the coverage of mental health stories prepared by the paedophiles’ friends at SANE. Rebekah and her husband spent a day with Marjorie and made donations to SANE.

I discovered something else whilst I was researching for this post – that Tommy Sheridan and Rosemary Byrne had fallen out with the NUJ back in 2006, over the funding of some Parliamentary journos.

I have no idea whether Tommy Sheridan enjoyed himself at Cupids or not and I wouldn’t be in the least bit bothered if he did – the salient issue is whether he lied in Court about this. What has been demonstrated since Tommy Sheridan was jailed is that News International would do anything, anything at all, to achieve their ends and that a lot of craven spineless dickwits from across the political spectrum were happy to do their bidding. News International employees hacked phones, lied, bugged people, misrepresented themselves, bribed people, smeared people and paid public servants for stories – it certainly would not have been beyond their ken to have set Tommy Sheridan up. People are in general rather weak and a lot of people are very easily bought off – my own battle with a bunch of Top Doctors who facilitated a paedophile gang has made that very clear to me and I haven’t even won a defamation action against Murdoch.

Tommy Sheridan came under savage attack in both the Guardian and the left wing press for cross-examining Katrine Trolle in Court over her ‘sexual history’ – the story was reported as though Sheridan was a rapist who had cross-examined his own victim. Katrine Trolle had maintained that she had accompanied Sheridan to Cupid’s where they had participated in group sex. Sheridan maintained that this had not happened – it was Katrine Trolle’s evidence that News International were relying upon to win the case against Sheridan. Sheridan defended himself in Court – he was simply alleging that he had not had group sex at Cupid’s with Trolle and others. If Sheridan was telling the truth his only option was to cross-examine Trolle. This was not made clear in the vitriol that was poured upon Sheridan’s head for ‘traducing a female socialist’s character’.

One witness at Sheridan’s 2010 trial for perjury was Andy Coulson, the former News of the World Editor and at the time of the trial David Cameron’s Head of Communications at No 10. Coulson lied on oath during Sheridan’s trial.

Coulson was later charged with criminal offences in a case unrelated to Sheridan’s trial for perjury as a result of the police investigation into the News of the World phone hacking scandal and related matters

Sheridan’s leave to appeal against his conviction was rejected by the High Court in June 2011.

In 2015 Andy Coulson was charged with perjury as a result of lying under oath at Tommy Sheridan’s 2010 trial. Lord David Burns, sitting at the High Court in Edinburgh, acquitted Coulson although he accepted that Coulson had lied under oath. Lord Burns’s rationale was that the lies that Coulson had told at Sheridan’s trial were ‘not relevant’ to the case, that ‘not every lie amounts to perjury’ and that the ‘false evidence alleged in this indictment was not relevant evidence’. The jury at Coulson’s trial were not told that Coulson had already served seven months in prison after having being found guilty at the Old Bailey of conspiracy to hack phones when he was Editor of the News of the World.

Prior to being admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1977, David Burns worked as a legal assistant in Rochester, New York and San Francisco. In 1998 Burns was appointed the Deputy Commissioner for Social Security. Burns was the defence Counsel in the 2000-02 Lockerbie case. Burns was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court in July 2012.

Coulson’s defence advocate was Murdo MacLeod QC. In 2015 Murdo also successfully defended Dr Yousi Badri, a Top Doctor charged with Middle East related terrorist offences.

Coulson’s acquittal was considered to be a ‘severe blow’ to Police Scotland and senior prosecutors in Edinburgh. The charges against Coulson were part of Operation Rubicon into allegations of hacking, bugging and Data Protection Act breaches by journalists employed by News International, which was launched in July 2011 after Murdoch closed the News of the World. Rubicon cost nearly £1 million in terms of police salaries and involved 23 hacking victims in Scotland. Bob Bird, the former Editor of the News of the World Scottish edition was charged, as was Doug White, a news executive with News of the World in Glasgow as well as Gill Smith, the news editor at the Scottish Sun. Charges against these three included perverting the course of justice. The Crown Office prosecutors dropped all the cases. The acquittal of Andy Coulson resulted in the collapse of Operation Rubicon.

After Coulson was acquitted, his friend Gary Farrow a PR consultant gave a few comments to the press regarding the ‘hell’ that Coulson had been through and how he was a lovely bloke who just wanted to get home to his family. Gary Farrow is an entertainment PR and his recent clients include Jeremy Clarkson, Elton John and Sharon Osbourne. His former clients include Jonathan Ross, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, George Michael, David Bowie, Bob Geldof and Paula Yates. Gary entered the world of pop music/showbiz in the mid-70s. He’ll have been one of the many who didn’t know about Jimmy Savile.

In Aug 2016 Murdoch’s company lost their appeal against the £200k that Sheridan was awarded for defamation.

So Tommy Sheridan was defamed and Andy Coulson lied on oath. In the wake of the mountains of conflicting evidence that was presented by the numerous people involved in the Tommy Sheridan saga – conflicting evidence which by definition meant that a number of people had perjured themselves – the only person who was found guilty and went to prison was Tommy Sheridan.

As for Murdoch’s right hand woman throughout much of the action, Rebekah Brooks – Murdoch paid her £10.8 million pounds to leave News International after the phone hacking and associated criminality scandal. At one point Rebekah took advice from her friend Tony Blair. In Sept 2015 Rebekah returned as CEO of News UK, formerly known as News International.

Tommy Sheridan has called for the Scottish Gov’t to hold an Public Inquiry into the whole sorry business.

 

Footnote: One of the people who was arrested and charged for perjury along with Sheridan but who had the charges against her dropped was Rosemary Byrne MSP. Byrne is a former teacher and trade union activist and for several years was President of Irvine Trades Council. There was some years ago a child abuse scandal in Ayrshire. Irvine is in Ayrshire and when people working with children are accused of child abuse they seek protection from their union – and they get it. In 2016 Byrne resigned from Solidarity.

 

 

Running The Country – And All That Jazz

I mentioned in a recent post that I was reading Ken Clarke’s autobiography ‘Kind of Blue’ and that it was revealing a few gems. Ken Clarke has been in a senior figure in the Conservative Party for many decades now and has spent much of that time in very senior roles (‘the great offices of state’ as politicians like to describe those positions). I have always felt that Ken Clarke was very much more palatable than many of his colleagues – he wasn’t unhinged, he didn’t want to imprison the lower orders for great lengths of time for minor transgressions and as regular readers know, I did admire him for taking on the BMA when nobody else would. But his book is probably rather more revealing than he realised.

Clarke went to Cambridge and became involved in the Cambridge University Conservative Union (CUCU). A number of his contemporaries there also became big names in the Tory Party under Margaret Thatcher, which led to them being described as the ‘Cambridge Mafia’. One thing that is obvious from Clarke’s book is his loyalty – at least in public – to colleagues in the Conservative Party. Ken Clarke is a famous ‘One Nation wet’ which actually put him at loggerheads with many others in the Party, but he unfailingly describes people who hated him (and whom he must have hated in return) as good friends and reassures readers that the screaming political rows with them that at times tore the Party apart didn’t affect their ‘friendships’.

It is clear from his autobiography that Ken Clarke is very gregarious, very matey and – although he believes that he is a ‘workaholic’ – spent a lot of time socialising, chatting, exchanging political gossip and drinking quite a lot. He enjoys going to curry houses with his mates, hanging out at jazz clubs, watching football matches and he was a member of a number of dining clubs in the Commons. Indeed he enjoyed the dining clubs so much that when promotion meant that he was no longer eligible for membership of his favourite dining club, he established a new one with his mates. None of this detracts from his character – I imagine that he’s good fun to have around if you’re a friend of his – but it did mean, as he admits early on in his book, that he knew pretty much everything about everyone in the Commons. ‘Are you thinking what I’m thinking?’ as his successor as Home Secretary Michael Howard used to ask – did Ken know what some of his colleagues were up to in terms of bad or even criminal behaviour? He keeps a discreet silence on the subject of Sir Peter Morrison – Ken simply states that he didn’t know him that well, although he seemed an ‘amiable fellow’ who did ‘little work’. Which is odd, because in the 1980s other Tory MPs were openly joking about Morrison’s ‘sexual preferences’, Thatcher was told that he was attending sex parties with under-aged boys and the citizens in his Chester constituency were scandalised by his conduct. Gyles Brandreth, who became the MP for Chester after Morrison stepped down, mentions in his own autobiography that he was told by people in Chester that it was known that Morrison had been caught by the police on a number of occasions in the late 80s in compromising positions with boys in their mid-teens in public places. But an arrangement was made between the police and the upper echelons which resulted in Morrison not being prosecuted and the incidents not appearing in the media. How did Ken, as he got bladdered with other Tories into the small hours, manage not to hear about all this?

Before entering politics Clarke was a barrister and practised at the Birmingham Bar. He seems to have kept in contact with folk in the legal world. In fact after he left Gov’t his old chambers asked him to come back and work as a barrister again, although he turned down this opportunity. I have mentioned previously on the blog that I know from experience that lawyers have a brilliant jungle drums system. Ken, as a wining, dining barrister in Birmingham, will no doubt have heard all about the notorious West Midlands Serious Crime Squad who fitted scores of people up – including the Birmingham Six – using time-honoured techniques such as beating up the suspect and drafting their statement for them. The West Midlands Serious Crime Squad who had connections to north Wales and fitted up a man from Caernarfon who was later awarded compensation. Who then, after winning his case against the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad, found himself arrested and imprisoned again – which he maintains was a punishment for daring to win against the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad…

Clarke’s first ministerial position was in 1982 when he was appointed Minister of State for Health. At that time Norman Fowler was Secretary of State for Health and Social Security and Tony Newton was the Minister in the DHSS working on welfare reforms. Clarke was considered the safe pair of hands needed to deal with the NHS and health unions. He describes himself as being effectively responsible for the day to day running of the NHS. In 1982 there was an NHS strike over pay which was only resolved after many months. The BMA and RCN didn’t join the strike – the strikers were from NUPE and COHSE. There were a number of nurses who were members of COHSE rather than the RCN – Ken describes how nurses had the strongest appeal to the public, so the Gov’t made a higher pay offer to the nurses in COHSE, dividing the union and undermining it’s appearance of reasonableness.

The civil servants didn’t want a confrontation with the NHS – the civil servants always advised Gov’t to concede to the BMA at least once a year with a deal to improve pay, terms and conditions. Well you don’t want the Top Doctors screaming and screaming until they’re sick do you. Ken also discovered that there was a longstanding agreement with the BMA that at every meeting with civil servants, one of the Dept of Health’s medical officers had to be present. Ken was frank that this was so that the medical officer could ‘act as the eyes and ears’ for the BMA and keep them informed of the Minister’s intentions. The first Chief Medical Officer with whom Ken had to work was Sir Henry Yellowlees. Ken describes him as useless and pompous whose main concern was exerting his patronage to decide which medics would be awarded knighthoods and other honours. Yellowlees retired in 1984 and Sir Donald Acheson took over as CMO.

Ken describes Acheson as ‘splendid’ and an absolutely dedicated public servant. Acheson was highly effective at keeping the lid on the most dreadful barrel of shit in the NHS in north Wales (see post ‘Professor Prestigious And His Associates’). Like a few others, Ken marvels at how Norman Fowler – Secretary of State at the DHSS at the time – was able to persuade a puritanical Thatcher and a few others in the Gov’t to agree to the fairly frank health education programme that was launched in the wake of HIV/AIDS. It was of course Donald Acheson who was instrumental in securing the agreement of the Gov’t where running that campaign was concerned (see post ‘Professor Prestigious And His Associates’). I think that you will find Ken that he was able to achieve this because some key figures in your party, along with Peter Morrison, were known to be promiscuously using rent boys in a very big way and they were told by Acheson in no uncertain terms how serious the fears of an HIV epidemic were. Should any readers accuse me of a flight of fancy here, as just one example, Thomas Tyrell-Kenyon, the son of Lord Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon, was known to be sexually exploiting boys from children’s homes in north Wales. Tyrell-Kenyon even called the police himself on one occasion after he’d spent the night in a hotel with a boy in the care of Clwyd County Council and woke up to find that the boy had made off with his wallet and personal possessions. The boy involved was sent to a detention centre. His social worker had recorded on his records that he was known to be having sex with Tyrell-Kenyon. Tyrell-Kenyon never faced any charges himself. Tyrell-Kenyon died of AIDS in 1993. His father, Lord Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon, was a member of the North Wales Police Authority.

Ken mentions that the leaders of the BMA that he had to deal with were the ‘left wing’ Dr John Marks and Dr Tony Grabham. Grabham was a consultant from Northampton and Ken was told that Grabham was so obnoxious that he’d managed to make Barbara Castle cry. Ken states that ‘the BMA was the most ruthless and determined opponent I ever faced in my whole career’. I absolutely believe him. But do you know how you could have dealt with the BMA Ken? Your colleagues could have actually responded to the communications that they were receiving from Mary Wynch, Alison Taylor and me telling them that terrible things were happening in the NHS and social services in north Wales and that doctors and social workers were involved in serious criminal activity. An investigation could have been held and it would have been revealed that what was happening in north Wales was an arm of organised crime involving an international trade in under-aged prostitutes, child porn and drugs, which the likes of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) et al were concealing, whilst they used the BMA to advise them on how to ‘deal with’ me. If you had blown that open and arrests of Top Doctors had followed, you can take it from me that you’d have never been troubled by the BMA again. Your colleague David Hunt in the Welsh Office knew that something dreadful was happening, because he’d had to send a hit squad into the bankrupt and dysfunctional Gwynedd Health Authority. Your colleague Tony Newton had been told by Alison Taylor that children in care in north Wales were being abused – as had Margaret Thatcher. And Dr John Marks of the BMA knew what was going on as well – because at that time I was employed in a research team led by his brother Professor Vincent Marks and they all knew what had happened to me in north Wales (see post ‘The BMA At The Root Of Another Mystery?’). It was the Welsh Office itself, by using the corrupt Medical Ombudsman Professor Robert Owen and the corrupt Professor Robert Bluglass (who was from Birmingham Ken, your neck of the woods), who whitewashed it all (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’). The reason why no-one actually had that lot arrested was that leading figures in your party were using the services of the rent boys who had been trafficked from north Wales children’s homes. The BMA knew and they effectively blackmailed your Gov’t. Ken uses the phrase ‘self-interested clinicians’ in his book. They certainly are – and if they’d seen a few of their number prosecuted and imprisoned, they might have been less willing to protect unscrupulous practitioners.

It was grim Ken. I don’t know how much you knew, but you certainly knew something.

There’s another really big clue as to an understanding between the most senior figures in the Tory Party and those we know and love in Ken’s account of his time as Minister for Health in the 80s. It involves St Georges Hospital! Ken explains that the old St Georges Hospital at Hyde Park Corner (a new hospital and medical school was built at Tooting) was built on land originally owned by the Grosvenor family (they had donated it hundreds of years previously) and was a highly valuable piece of real estate. Ken decided to close the Hyde Park Corner building and flog the land. Readers may remember from my post ‘It’s The Sun Wot Won It’ that the President of the City of Chester Conservative Association whilst Sir Peter Morrison was their MP was one Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster. When the Duke of Westminster got wind that Ken was going to sell off the Hyde Park Corner site, he approached Thatcher and asked for the land donated by his ancestors to be returned to him. Ken refused to give the land over to the Duke gratis but wanted to sell it to him at the market rate. Thatcher ordered Ken to hand the land over to the Grosvenor estate for nothing. A row ensued. Ken just couldn’t work out why Thatch, who as we all know was the ultimate housewife and knew how to keep the pennies in her purse, was prepared to hand over millions of quids worth of land which was now part of the NHS estate to a very rich man when the NHS could use the dosh. Ken maintains that he was completely puzzled by this and perhaps Thatcher didn’t want to offend the aristocracy. Actually Ken, Thatcher was famously nouveau riche, she had no respect for the aristocracy at all and I suspect that her desire to give a few million to Gerald Grosvenor when he asked for it had an awful lot to do with the fact that her PPS Morrison was molesting children and Gerald and co were providing a massive gold-plated umbrella for him. Intriguingly, Ken tells us that he stuck to his guns and Thatcher gave in. WOW. So how did Ken et al get her out of that mess then? Come on Ken, write another book and explain how the Duke of Westminster was persuaded to back off. Whatever techniques were used, I guess they will have contributed to the blood on the carpet in north Wales. Or even to the death toll of the witnesses to the sordid crimes that Morrison and his mates were carrying out.

In the way that Ken never explains how he managed to persuade Thatcher not to give into the Duke of Westminster’s demands for dosh, he fails to explain something else that must have involved some fancy footwork. Whilst he was Minister of State for Health, one of his battles with the BMA was over prescribing policy. Ken wanted to prohibit certain items from being available on prescription and the BMA were objecting. For a man who somehow missed the nature of Peter Morrison and who couldn’t work out why Thatcher wasn’t prepared to stand up to the man who was instrumental in protecting Morrison, Ken is pretty sharp. He knows how business is done in the world and he was acutely aware that in the 1980s Top Doctors – and their families – were enjoying much hospitality from the pharmaceutical industry, hospitality which sometimes stretched as far as free holidays for Top Doctors and their spouses. Ken also knew that the BMA were trying to win the propaganda war against him by reconstructing themselves as a responsible caring organisation who only had the best interests of society at heart, rather than a stuffy, greedy, pompous union for doctors. I remember seeing this in action – the BMA started launching campaigns in the realm of health and safety. The one that I always remember was their attempt to ban boxing, which they very nearly succeeded in doing. I’d be very interested in why the BMA backed off on that one – boxing has made a comeback and is now promoted as a healthy ’empowering’ sport for young men and even young women. BMA spokespeople don’t often say things which are true, but I remember one of them at one point stating that ‘there is no safe level for being hit on the head’ when boxing promoters were trying to maintain that boxing is fine if you don’t get bashed that often. Yet the BMA have melted away over the one worthwhile issue that they pursued. During Ken’s battle with them over prescribing, a group of CEOs from Big Pharma met Thatcher and reminded her that they were major donors to the Tories. Thatcher responded by telling them that their donations were taken to be a gesture of ‘general support’ for her ‘reforming’ Gov’t. Ken subsequently implemented his prohibited prescribing list. So what deal was done to keep the donors sweet then? Big Pharma weren’t donating to the Tories out of the goodness of their hearts no matter what delusions about them Thatcher held.

After his stint at the DHSS Ken moved to the Dept of Employment. The Secretary of State was Lord David Young, but Thatcher needed a Cabinet Minister from the Commons in place as well, so Ken was given that remit. At that time, unemployment was rocketing and the Gov’t devised a number of much derided ‘job creation’ and training schemes, many of which were notorious for leading nowhere but back to the dole queue after they’d finished. In Ken’s book, he talks a lot about the Manpower Services Commission (MSC) programmes and how good they were for young people because they inducted the youngsters into habits of work – they had to be in work by 9 am and there was no going home before 5 pm. Who was the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Dept of Employment at the time? None other than the dreadful Alan Clark, who Ken notes was ‘incredibly lazy, rarely coming into the department’. Well Clark had Saltwood Castle to live in and the fortune that his father left to sustain him, unlike the youths on the MSC scenes. Ken observes that Clark was so useless that they were actually quite happy for him not to show up. He knows why it was though – it was because poor old Clark was really after the job as Minister of Defence and couldn’t be arsed with the chores at the Dept of Employment. The Tories’ attitude to Clark was always very forgiving. He was a man who was frequently too pissed to perform his duties in Parliament – even when they gave him what he wanted ie. a job in the Ministry of Defence – and he rowed with and insulted colleagues on a regular basis. But of course it was the relentless shagging that Clark was notorious for. Had Clark confined his attentions to consenting adults, I’d agree that it would be no-one’s business but his, Jane Clarks and the third party, but Clark was never that concerned about the age of consent or indeed consent per se. He hit the media when it was revealed that at one stage he was having an affair with the wife of one of his friends and both of her daughters at the same time. Then one of the daughters let on that the affair with her had occurred when she was fifteen. There was a bit of a fuss – although one of the harpies in one of the right wing tabloids was kind enough to dismiss the women involved as ‘three old trollops’ – and a TV reporter asked Clark if he was going to deny having sex with a 15 year old. Clark smirked and responded by saying that he ‘had’ to deny it because it was illegal. Yes, as illegal as Peter Morrison’s activities with boys of the same age (and younger) were. Some years later Clark published his diaries which became a best seller. Alan Clark’s ‘Diaries’ are choc full of accounts of him not going into work because he couldn’t be arsed so instead he goes off to shag someone, of him wowing the teenage daughters of friends by telling them that he was now a Real Minister – and of him basically sexually harassing young women on a grand scale. He exposes himself to teenagers and follows young lone women around London whom he’s spotted on public transport and likes the look of. Naturally at no point does he even consider that the young women involved might not be that interested in glimpsing the genitals of a crazed old man or that they might be a bit anxious at being trailed all around London by a pervert. I wouldn’t expect Clark to ever question his conduct – but thousands of people read that book. It received glowing reviews in the press – and the conclusion was ‘one helluva guy’. No, an ageing, unscrupulous sexual harasser. Who was given a Ministerial position in the MoD because he didn’t turn up to work in the Dept of Employment.

Ken also provides an account of the Westland Crisis. He states that Leon Brittan, then Trade and Industry Secretary, was persuaded by Thatcher to leak the legal opinion of the Solicitor-General Patrick Mayhew regarding a letter that Heseltine had written and leaked himself about the consequences of an American take-over of the company. The Attorney General Michael Havers was greatly upset about the leaking of legal advice and said that he would resign if no-one was held to account. Brittan told Ken that he’d take the blame without exposing Thatcher, because the exposure of her role in this would have forced her from office. So Brittan resigned from his post and never sat in the Cabinet again. Thatcher had promised to bring him back, but broke her word. As a consolation prize he was given a job as a European Commissioner.

Leon Brittan in recent years has of course become well-known for another matter ie. numerous allegations that he was a paedophile himself. One man has made a statement claiming that he was abused by Brittan when he was a teenager. Brittan is alleged to have been a visitor to the Elm Guest House in London, a brothel staffed by children from children’s homes. One of the men who was in Bryn Estyn as a boy maintains that he was taken to the Elm Guest House to have sex with unidentified men. Supporters of Brittan have dismissed such allegations as wholly untrue. What is not in dispute however is that in the 1980s Geoffrey Dickens MP gave Leon Brittan – who was at the time Home Secretary – a dossier containing the names and details of political figures who Dickens’ maintained were involved in the abuse of children. Before he died, Brittan admitted receiving the dossier but claimed to have lost it. It has also been admitted that a huge number of files were ‘lost’ by the Home Office in the 80s – files containing details of politicians alleged to be sexually abusing children.

Ken mentions that Leon was a close friend of his – they’d been at Cambridge together.

Ken was appointed Minister for Trade and Industry as well as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He became Inner Cities Minister. Once more Ken demonstrates a good knowledge of some of the problems that he was charged with tackling. He mentions that there was massive corruption within some councils and that the boroughs were dominated by criminal gangs. He gives Lambeth and Southwark as examples. That’s right Ken, one of the biggest businesses of those criminal gangs was the trafficking of young people in care into prostitution. This was often achieved by sending the kids in care on ‘placements’ to children’s homes in north Wales, such as the Bryn Alyn Community. Your Gov’t knew all about it.

In July 1988 Thatcher split the DHSS up. The previous Secretary of State, John Moore, according to Ken, ‘couldn’t cope’ with running the DHSS and became quite ill with the strain. Moore was moved to the newly created Dept of Social Security (DSS) and Ken was appointed Secretary of State for Health. Ken informs us that Thatcher did want to get rid of the NHS and introduce a U.S. style insurance system but Ken himself wanted to introduce an ‘internal market’ system in the NHS. I always wondered where on earth the Tories acquired this idea from – it was from Ken, who had read an article in The Economist by a fringe thinker at Stanford University, Prof Alain Enthoven. Ken was hooked and knew that this was the way forward. That was how the enormous quantity of meaningless administration that led to no improvement in the NHS at all arose. However it did provide promotions and power for the likes of Martin Jones and Alun Davies in Gwynedd Health Authority.

Whilst he was Secretary of State for Health, Ken’s Permanent Secretary was Christopher France and his Private Secretary was Andy McKean. Ken also utilised the services of Duncan Nichol, the former General Manager of Merseyside Regional Health Authority, who Ken tells us had been recommended to him by Don Wilson, Merseyside Regional Health Authority’s Chairman. So Ken somehow had a link with Merseyside. That’s the location of Liverpool University – the employer of Professor Robert Owen who organised the cover-up of the criminal activities of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) after I made complaint in 1987. Of course Dafydd himself was an alumnus of Liverpool and when he tried to bribe me into dropping my complaint about him in 1987, he made reference to a friend of his who was a Professor at Liverpool Medical School who would get me a place there if only I’d drop my complaint about him. Dafydd resorted to trying to bribe me because his threat to have me ‘detained in Risley Remand Centre’ if I didn’t drop my complaint about him hadn’t worked. When Dafydd tried to bribe me he stated that ‘some of my colleagues would rap me on the knuckles for this’. No they wouldn’t Dafydd, they knew that you were illegally imprisoning people, selling drugs, perjuring yourself and facilitating a paedophile ring and they didn’t even rap you on the knuckles for that. Instead they covered up for you and tried to frame me.

It was when Ken was Secretary of State for Health that he acquired a useful little helper called Tessa Keswick. I don’t know what she did for Ken, but they really got on well – he took Tessa with him when he was appointed to successive roles in the years that followed. He also had a Minister of State on his team, a David Mellor. Ken wanted someone in the Lords who would defend his reforms – that was to be a lawyer called Gloria Hooper who had been given a peerage in 1985. Ken’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State was Edwina Currie. The Edwina Currie who whilst she was in that role gave Jimmy Savile a job running Broadmoor. Edwina got herself into a public spat – not over a sexual abuser running a special hospital obviously, but because she damaged the business interests of some very wealthy factory farmers with some ill-advised comments about eggs and salmonella. After Edwina departed, Ken’s PUSS was a Roger Freeman.

Ken wasn’t exactly Alan Clark, he did actually make it into work and had some firm ideas concerning the management of the NHS, but throughout his book he displays a worryingly laissez faire attitude to the running of huge Gov’t Depts. He repeatedly tells us that he trusted people to get on with the job and that he didn’t really expect to be bothered by the people to whom he’d delegated work. Which is fine if you’ve delegated work to reliable people who know what they’re doing, but I’m not convinced that Ken did that. He was particularly impressed by a Minister of his called Virginia Bottomley – Ken gave her the responsibility for implementing community care once the big psychiatric hospitals began to be closed and Virginia was really brilliant because she didn’t ‘trouble’ Ken with anything. That was whilst people were discharged from long stay hospitals when there was no care in the community facilities in place – I remember it well, it was chaos. People became destitute and some of them died. It was on the back of these tragedies that the dreadful Marjorie Wallace was able to sell her desire to keep innocent people locked up in dreadful conditions at the mercy of Dafydd and his ilk (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’). Esther joined in as well. Presumably Ken didn’t notice that Virginia hadn’t actually organised any community care – never mind, she didn’t trouble him, so he could carry on eating curries, boozing with his mates and going to Ronnie Scotts. Virginia of course had in a previous life been a psychiatric social worker – so she knew exactly what the human cost of her failure to effectively carry out her ‘policy’ was. Although she probably didn’t give a stuff and the fact that after this disaster she became Secretary of State for Health suggests that no-one else gave a stuff either.

It was this merry crew who were responsible for the NHS when the madness in north Wales was at it’s zenith.

Again, as Ken details his battles with the BMA et al, there are plenty of indications that he knows what a sorry state everything is in. He talks about seriously dysfunctional Health Authorities and how many of these there were (I know Ken, I and many others were suffering at the hands of Gwynedd and Clwyd in north Wales). He mentions terrible problems in Solihull in Birmingham – where a leading figure was none other than one Professor Robert Bluglass. So that’s why they used Bluglass to head so many inquiries into disasters in the psychiatric services then! Being a man whose own area was in meltdown and being someone who blamed the patients and exonerated the Top Doctors – even when they were facilitating a paedophile gang – he was obviously the safest pair of hands that the Dept of Health had.

Ken discusses just how vulnerable politicians are in the face of Top Doctors’ campaigns. His perception was that the only medical body supportive of him was the newly formed Royal College of General Practitioners. Which is particularly interesting, because I know of a very deceitful obscure GP of no great ability from Bangor who nevertheless rose to high rank in that organisation very quickly and I never understood why. The GP in question was Dr D.G.E. Wood, a friend of Dr Tony Francis and Dafydd, who spent a number of years cultivating my company and extracting info about the jobs that Brown and me were applying for, where we were living etc etc. I now have documentation demonstrating that Wood was passing all this info onto Dafydd et al and how helpful it was for them that I trusted Wood. Wood also made it his business to communicate with Professor Robert Owen about me using Owen’s home address in Colwyn Bay whilst Owen was setting up the ‘investigation’ into my complaint about Dafydd. I had no idea that Wood was doing this and he was no longer my GP. Neither was he the subject of any part of my complaint. Wood was just providing a useful service for Dafydd et al in the way that he provided a useful service for Gwynne the lobotomist every time that Gwynne elicited a disaster.

In 1989 a by-election was held in the Vale of Glamorgan after the sitting MP Raymond Gower died. The Labour candidate John Smith (not the John Smith  who later became leader of the Labour Party) was elected, after forming a collaboration with the Top Doctors. Whilst the Top Doctors were completely screwing Wales…

Ken remembers that Thatcher lived in fear of the Top Doctors after Charles Haughey  told her that she wouldn’t win an election if she upset the Top Doctors. If the stupid old bat hadn’t have been employing a child molester she’d never have had that worry.

Ken makes a lot of references to the help of someone who also featured prominently in Gyles Brandreth’s book (see post ‘It’s The Sun Wot Won It’) – the Whip Tristan Garel-Jones. Political biographies of that time constantly refer to the ruthlessness of the Whips, of how they’d use any information against anyone in order to achieve what they wanted. Whips also boasted of accumulating dirt on MPs for this purpose – they also boasted of getting MPs out of trouble. Sometimes with regard to very serious trouble with the law – a hypothetical example given to Gyles Brandreth by a Whip was of an MP who had been misbehaving with ‘little boys’. Tristan Garel-Jones is now of course in the Lords. It is rumoured that Tristan Garel-Jones was the model for the character Francis Urquhart in the TV drama ‘House of Cards’. I never watched that, but I used to share a house with two people who were very big fans of that programme. One of my house-mates explained that Francis Urquhart was a total psychopath and a highlight of the series was the death of someone who could have damaged Urquhart in circumstances that could have been a murder but no-one was quite sure.

As opposed to the arson attack in April 1992 in which five people with connections to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal died – which definitely was murder. Even the inquest was obliged to return a verdict of ‘unlawful killing’.

Ken’s battles with the Top Doctors eventually became too much and Thatcher moved him to the Dept of Education where he was again Secretary of State. It was Ken who abolished the binary divide in HE and converted all the polytechnics into universities. Which many former staff of polytechnics maintain did them a great deal of harm – they lost their previous status as institutions with industrial links which specialised in vocational technical degrees and just came to be seen as second class universities. Ken has no regrets. According to him, like everything else that he oversaw – or with regard to community care that he never oversaw – it was a rip-roaring success.

Ken then reaches the heights of Home Secretary. He takes his trusty side-kick Tessa Keswick with him to the Home Office. He has a major problem on his hands – the Prison Service, which had been wrecked by the POA. Edwina’s idea of dealing with the criminal activities of the POA members at Broadmoor had been to put Jimmy Savile in charge of the institution after he told her that he would use his media contacts to blackmail them. Edwina thought that was a great idea. It didn’t occur to her to investigate the numerous complaints from patients that they had been violently assaulted or sexually abused by members of the POA. She just recruited Savile who joined in the party.

Ken was glad to find another old mate of his from the CUCU  in place as Minister of State – Peter Lloyd, who had been Chairman of the CUCU whilst Ken was at Cambridge.

Although Ken was under no illusions about the parlous state of the prison service, once more he stressed his very hands-off style of management. However, he did get a little over-involved in the face of a prison riot and tried to go down to the command centre that was trying to control it to tell them all what to do. Fortunately for everyone Ken’s Private Secretary Colin Walters did his best to keep Ken out of it. As well as the prisons being a flashpoint, there was also massive problems with immigration. So Ken appointed his ‘friend and former PPS’ Charles Wardle to sort it all out. The Permanent Secretary at the time was Clive Whitemore. When Charles Wardle later moved to Australia, he was replaced by Joan MacNaughton.

Now Ken was clearly a man ahead of his time in terms of his manipulation and utilisation of the concept of ‘promoting women because they’re under-represented’. Ken wanted more women on his team, which was most convenient because his Private Secretary Joan – Charles’s replacement – was a ‘determined feminist’. Who I suspect had a determined boss. In Ken’s words ‘Joan assembled around me a very able and very supportive group of intellectual young women who acted as my eyes and ears in the Dept’. A gang of female spies! Thus Ken was the first Secretary of State who had an ‘all female Private Office’.

Ken had another source of intelligence as well – Roy Gibbons, the man who had been his driver since 1979: ‘Like all the experienced Gov’t drivers, he was well up to speed with all the political gossip and intrigue in Whitehall’.

I had that Sir Peter Morrison in the back of the cab once. Amiable fellow.

Ken noticed something whilst he was Home Secretary though, something that seriously pissed him off. His level of security was raised to such  an extent that he now had to have a police driver instead of Ron and had to be escorted by police security all the time. Ken is no fool and although he knows that being Home Secretary does involve tight security, he notices that his police escorts are taking the security to ridiculous lengths. They do not ever leave him and very noticeably ensure that one of them listens to absolutely everything that he says. He tries to escape but they’re having none of it. One downside is that he likes going out for curries but now that the police accompany him everywhere, they insist on him eating in posh restaurants for ‘security purposes’. The police of course have their meals paid for and Ken has enough nous to know that ‘security’ is being used an excuse to get a good dinner. Ken also notices that the police arranged things concerning his official residence in Belgravia that ensured that he was never without them, even when at home with his family.

Ken suspects that all this is being done to ensure that ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) and other senior officers are kept well aware of the Home Secretary’s political intentions. After all, Ken is responsible for their pay, conditions of service etc. Ken describes his police protection as ‘very oppressive and extreme’. Ken is not the only one getting fed up of the police. Ken had intentions to reform the police and appointed Pat Sheehy as an advisor. Pat was the head of British Imperial Tobacco and had ‘loaned’ Ken a senior executive, Brian Hutchinson, to advise Ken when he formed his inner-city task force! Pat found that he was actively harassed by the police while he was ‘taking evidence and preparing his report’. Ken felt that he faced serious opposition from the police and that ACPO were a ‘huge club’. Ken did try to get along with them, they invited him to a few of their meetings and even Ken was gobsmacked at the amount of booze that was sunk. He got on much better with Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabularies who ‘always impressed’ him. He found the Police Federation a nightmare and they presented serious opposition to him. The Police Federation reps were allowed to retain their full police salaries and were ‘protecting their members against any disciplinary procedure or accountability for their performance’. The Police Federation drank so much that Ken discovered that he had to talk to them in the morning – after lunch they were too bladdered to engage.

Ken had ambitions to abolish the rank of Superintendent. Unsurprisingly, this was strongly opposed by the Superintendents’ Association. The Police Federation organised an enormous rally at Wembley Stadium against Ken. Another desire of Ken’s was to amalgamate forces.

Ken was not able to implement any of his reforms because he was removed from office. Although he and Tessa prepared a White Paper on police reform where they proposed that serious crime should be concentrated on, Ken’s successor as Home Secretary Michael Howard abandoned the proposed reforms.

Ken summarises by saying that he was less effective than he would have liked to have been as Home Secretary. He feels that the British justice system is hopeless at dealing with white collar crime, which is too complicated for the police and he admits is an ‘important part’ of the profitability of the banking and financial services. He admits that London ‘had undoubtedly become the safest and best place for any dictator, oligarch or corrupt political leader to place his or her ill-gotten gains’. Twenty five years later when Ken was Cabinet Minister and Justice Secretary in the Coalition Gov’t he observed that London had a ‘deserved reputation’ as the ‘money laundering capital of the world’.

Ken obviously knew pretty much what was happening in the Prison Service, in Immigration and the Police, although he didn’t make any headway in his attempts to deal with the enormous problems and indeed corruption that pervaded these ‘services’. There was one group of people who’s activities come under the Home Office however that Ken knew nothing about at all and indeed didn’t even try to unravel – the security services. He was simply told by older and wiser folk that ‘you will never know what they are up to at all’. Ken suspects that the security services may be utilising creative and somewhat unorthodox methods, but he asks no questions – probably because they deal with matters terrorism and that does frighten politicians. He had one meeting with someone from the security services whom he referred to as ‘Chief’ – but who knows whom he met…

I don’t doubt Ken’s account of the difficulties that he encountered from the police. They will have been as obstructive as possible – and it rather sounds as though they pressurised someone to remove him from office. I cannot help suspect though that there may have been another reason why the police watched and listened constantly and were as awkward as fuck and I suspect that Ken knows about this possible reason too, but he is never going to say a word about it.

Ken was Home Secretary between 10 April 1992 and 27 May 1993. During this time there was a police investigation into child abuse in children’s homes in north Wales and the existence of a possible paedophile ring in the region. Allegations had appeared in the London-based media that a paedophile ring was in operation in the children’s homes and that political figures were involved. A senior police officer in the North Wales Police, Gordon Anglesea, had been named by two men who claimed to have been abused by him when they were younger. A number of young people who were former residents of the children’s homes had been found dead. Eight days after Ken Clarke was appointed Home Secretary, the arson attack which killed the five people with connections to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal occurred. The man who allegedly confessed to starting the fire was found dead himself days later. (For the full background on all this, see post ‘The Silence Of The Welsh Lambs’.) The Chief Constable of the North Wales Police refused to let a Chief Constable from another police force lead the investigation, although allegations had been made that officers from the North Wales Police had been abusing the children themselves. Gordon Anglesea was a Superintendent in the North Wales Police. Anglesea sued after being named as a child abuser in the media and won (see posts ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’ and ‘Y Gwir Erbyn Yn Y Byd – A Few Additional Comments’). In 2016 he was finally convicted and imprisoned for abusing boys in care in north Wales. The Police Federation supported Anglesea every step of the way and paid his legal costs. After he was convicted, the Police Federation continued to support him. He died in prison a few months after his conviction. The Police Federation turned out en masse at his funeral to give him a good send off.

The police will have been watching your every move Ken and they were never going to let you reform them, you are quite right about that. However your confidence in HM Inspectors of Constabulary was misplaced – they were up to their eyes in it as well (see post ‘Top Of The Cops’). No doubt someone had a word with Thatcher who then had you removed. In north Wales, Alison Taylor was the most vocal person raising concerns about the abuse of children and I was the most vocal person raising concerns about the criminal activities of the psychiatric services who were facilitating and concealing the paedophile ring. I had a close friend who knew what had happened to me in north Wales who worked in the media and who wanted to make a film about it.

I note Ken that you were removed from office in May 1993. By May 1993 Alison Taylor had been sacked and branded a liar. I had been hounded out of a career in medical research and had been dragged through the Courts by the mental health services for offences that I had not committed. My friend who worked in the media was unlawfully dismissed at the very same time that I was bullied out of my job at St George’s Hospital Medical School. By the way Ken, there were also two attempts to set fire to my house at this time.

So did Ken really simply believe that Peter Morrison was an ‘amiable fellow’ who did ‘little work’? Ken’s junior Minister was, as I have noted above, Edwina Currie. Edwina Currie published her memoirs a few years ago, ‘Diaries 1987-1992’. Here’s an extract from that book:

‘One appointment in the recent reshuffle has attracted a lot of gossip and could be very dangerous. Peter Morrison has become the PM’s PPS. Now he’s what they call a ‘noted pederast’, with a liking for young boys; he admitted as much to Norman Tebbit when he became deputy chairman of the party but added ‘However I’m very discreet – and he must be! She [Thatcher] either knows and is taking a chance or doesn’t, either way, it’s a really dumb move. Theresa Gorman told me this evening (in a taxi coming back from a drinks party at the BBC) that she inherited Morrison’s agent, who claimed to have been offered money to keep quiet about his activities. It scares me as all the press know and as we get closer to the election someone is going to make trouble, very close to her indeed’.

Do you know what else Ken? My friend who wanted to make the film and who was unlawfully dismissed from her job in the media was a Labour Party activist. She campaigned at every election. The Tories were aware of her existence as well because before she landed her media job, she worked as a temporary secretary for the Tory Minister Richard Luce and was security checked – she was asked about her Labour party activities. I had another close friend as well, an academic who, with me, wanted to publish what was happening in north Wales. In the early 1990s he received constant harassment at work, attempts were made to dismiss him and then one day he was subjected to an unprovoked attack in the street in the midlands by a man who was known to have serious mental health problems. The man attempted to fracture my friend’s skull. My friend escaped with a broken cheek bone and missing teeth. My friend was later accused of attacking this man himself and also accused of nobbling the witnesses who testified in Court that it was my friend who had been set upon for no reason. Fortunately the Court believed my friend. As for my friend whose career in the media was finished off, she then began working on a self-employed basis as a script-writer for films. She became pregnant with her first baby. The pregnancy had no problems at all and she was told to expect a problem free delivery. Her labour went well too – but by the time her baby daughter was born, the baby was almost dead. The baby died a few hours later. It transpired that my friend’s baby had become distressed in the womb and although my friend had been hooked up to a foetal heart monitor, the midwife hadn’t read the trace. My friend made enquiries about bringing a legal action against the hospital, but was frankly told by an expert witness whom she had hired on a private basis not to even bother to try because somehow he knew that the hospital staff intended to lie on oath. My friend became seriously depressed after her baby’s death and was unable to work for a long time.

But we’re back firing on all cylinders again Ken, all three of us. My only regret is that I wasn’t able to publish all this whilst that monster Thatcher was still alive – but I didn’t have the documentary evidence that I needed. I have now got it.

Ken continues his account of life at the top of Gov’t after his removal as Home Secretary. He gives a detailed account of Black Wednesday, Sept 16 1992, when the economy fell off the cliff. He recites all the names of the financial geniuses who were running the show when this happened – Norman Lamont, Douglas Hurd, Michael Heseltine, Robert Leigh-Pemberton (Governor of the Bank of England), Terry Burns (Permanent Secretary to the Treasury), Sarah Hogg (Head of PM’s Policy Unit), Chief Whip Richard Ryder and of course Ken himself. Ken describes the sheer panic at the Treasury and notes that Sarah Hogg was ‘scathing’ about the lack of overnight preparation by the Treasury and the Bank of England for the market opening in the morning – the run on the Bank had begun the afternoon before. So Sarah didn’t blame herself at all then – she was after all only the Head of the PM’s Policy Unit. So as one of the architects of the disaster, she was obviously in an excellent position to be appointed Deputy Governor of the Bank of England later on in her career. The Deputy Hogg wasn’t the only Name of the Future among that lot – the special advisor to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont was at the time a young toff called David Cameron. Who, judging from Ken’s account, was crapping himself. Ken discusses Black Wednesday and the days afterwards in some depth and the one feature that stands out is that among this bunch of arrogant, pompous people who had proudly forced through their ‘reforms’ and had spent years telling the world that the Labour Party was hopeless with the economy, there was no-one at all who had a clue what to do. They had for years relied entirely on the advice of their ‘economic advisors’ – the likes of Patrick Minford, who’s now at Cardiff Business School and currently mouthing off in the media once more; indeed the other day on Radio 4 Ruth Lea reminded the listeners that over 300 hundred economists disagreed with Minford, but he turned out to be right and they were all wrong. Oh so that’s why Black Wednesday happened then and why these clueless wonders didn’t know what to do. It’s obvious from Ken’s account that he and his colleagues didn’t actually understand what their ‘advisors’ were telling them and they didn’t try to either – most of the politicians involved were lawyers or graduates of disciplines entirely unrelated to economics and they did not know their arses from their elbows. I am reminded of Willie Rushton’s old joke that you cannot run a country like a grocer’s shop no matter how hard Mrs Thatcher tries.

They knew how to save the day though! One month later Heseltine announced that all the remaining pits would be closed – that was 31 pits, with 30,000 jobs lost. Ken admits that they feared that the Gov’t would collapse, so an emergency Cabinet meeting was held with Peter Lilley, Tristan Garel-Jones, John Gummer, David Hunt, Virginia Bottomley and William Waldegrave and of course with Ken. How many of that lot had concealed the shite involving Peter Morrison then? Presumably the Cabinet felt that the only employment that should be available in Wales was that involving the procuring of teenage boys for sex work.

Ken knows who to blame for Black Wednesday though – it was the fault of Thatcher, Lawson, John Major and Chris Patten. I’m sure that they did have rather a lot to do with it, but I think that smug ignorant tosser who was special advisor to Norman Lamont was involved as well. Ken was then appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer himself. The smug ignorant tosser who had helped crash the economy obviously wanted to do it all again because he went to see Ken to ask him for a job as a special advisor, but sadly Ken was only allowed two of those and he already had Tessa Keswick and David Ruffley, so Ken had to turn little Cameron away. Cameron went to work in the Home Office instead with Michael Howard. (Which meant that Cameron was one of the gofers there when Howard and the Home Office finally shafted Mary Wynch leaving her ruined – see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’.) Ken knew that Cameron had a bright future though. Yes, he led the country into a EU referendum that he never thought he would lose and when he did, within hours he resigned stating that he wasn’t going to do ‘all the hard shit’. The  Chief Secretary to the Treasury when Ken was Chancellor was Michael Portillo. His new PPS was Jeremy Heyward, who later became Cameron’s Cabinet Secretary. Portillo was succeeded in this role by Jonathan Aitken – who resigned within a year to enter battle after he had been horribly smeared. Except that he hadn’t, but he lied in Court anyway, was caught and ended up in prison.

Tessa Keswick, Ken’s right hand woman for so many years, left his side in 1995 to run a think tank.

Ken mentions a few more highlights, such as Boris Johnson causing no end of problems when he worked as the Daily Telegraph’s European correspondent by fabricating stories. Ken observes that Boris ‘fervently followed the desired policy line of his proprietor, which at that time was Conrad Black. A friend of many senior Tories who also found himself in prison.

Ken mentions Brian Mawhinney, who by now had become Party Chairman. Brian was of course the brother-in-law of Patricia Scotland QC, who acted for the Welsh Office at the Waterhouse Inquiry. Patricia was given a peerage whilst she worked on that Inquiry (please see my three previous posts dedicated to Patricia and her network for details). Ken has the pleasure of meeting the Treasury Secretary of the U.S. at one point, Bob Rubin – Rubin and his wife were ‘old friends’ of Leon Brittan and his wife, they even took annual holidays together!

Christ Almighty no wonder my friends and I all got sacked and attempts were made to set fire to my house, there was an awful lot riding on the Westminster Paedophile Ring remaining under wraps.

Ken doesn’t mention the Waterhouse Inquiry, although he does mention the Tories losing the 1997 general election and William Hague becoming leader. Ken doesn’t seem to be that impressed with Hague. He should have been, because whilst Hague was Secretary of State for Wales he organised the mother of all cover-ups which was Waterhouse and saved a lot of people’s scalps.

After Ken left office, he went in for company directorships in a big way. He became Chair of Unichem (his mate Geoffrey Rippon had already done a stint as Chair) and he became Deputy Chair of British American Tobacco. Ken was Chair of their Corporate Responsibility Committee. He knew that their product was ‘controversial’, so he strove to ‘uphold impeccable business standards’. They were ‘trading in some of the corrupt markets’ and Ken found that  BAT were often told that they could only invest in a country if they paid a bribe. ‘BAT resisted those pressures completely’ – they initially turned down Vietnam because bribes were requested, but Ken was delighted to find that BAT later managed to invest successfully. He had a similar experience in Russia and Nigeria. Ken does not explain how BAT managed to persuade some of the most corrupt regimes in the world to tread a more honest path…

Ken’s wife Gillian was a Trustee of Oxfam and she accompanied him on all his business trips. Oxfam and BAT – strange bedfellows surely? Gillian busied herself with ‘tourism and visiting Oxfam projects’. BAT purchased Formula One and Ken became Chair of the subsidiary, British American Racing. He became good mates with Bernie Ecclestone. Ken also joined the Board of the Independent as a non-executive Director and became good friends with Helena Kennedy and Margaret Jay, who were both on the Board! That’s the Helena who starred on my post ‘Eve Was Framed – As Were A Lot Of Other People’, the Helena who relied upon the courtroom skills of Professor Nigel Eastman for so many of her cases. Nigel also used his talents to remain silent about the criminal activities of Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis when he was faced with them in 1991 (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’) Well having Ken and Helena on the Board was a smart move by the owner Tony O’ Reilly – the Indie certainly wasn’t going to publish any further allegations that there was a paedophile ring in operation in north Wales and that politicians were involved.

Ken joined an asset management company run by his old friend Christopher Saunders and a hedge fund and he advised the Japanese finance house Daiwa. Ken noted a plus side to his new career: ‘the income, which was on a scale that no politician could ever earn in Government’. He also observed that it taught him a lot about financial matters but ‘unfortunately’ he ‘only acquired this vital experience after I had been Chancellor’. Never mind Ken, it didn’t matter that you didn’t know anything about it – there was always Patrick Minford or Sarah Hogg or even David Cameron to advise you. What could possibly go wrong?

Ken’s skills were still required in politics though. He describes secret visits to Tony Blair, along with Paddy Ashdown, to prepare the UK to enter the single currency -Ken was needed to win over public opinion. Having just been voted OUT by the citizens of the UK I’m not sure that Ken would be a great asset there. Blair wanted all the campaigning on the issue done by Ashdown, Heseltine and Ken, with the support of the CBI and the rest of the business community. But wily old Gordon Brown blew their plans out of the water. Gordon had instructed their Press Officer Charlie Whelan to brief the press that he and Blair had agreed not to join the single currency until the Treasury had studied the project. The civil servants carried out a ‘long and academic study’ – and then fessed up to Ken that they were waiting for Gordon to tell them what to conclude from their study. Mandelson approached Ken in a panic and asked him what to do when he found out that Gordon was about to announce that the UK didn’t pass any of the ‘five tests’ needed to justify entry into the Eurozone. Gordon knew that the UK wouldn’t pass the five tests, because he’d carefully thought them up in a taxi at the start of the whole process. That, according to Ken, is why the UK never entered the single currency. Ken himself hated the ‘save the pound’ national campaign that took place during the 2001 general election campaign, but he didn’t admit this in public – because so many of his ‘friends’ were behind that campaign. He was so anxious not to slip up that he carefully avoided all journos during the campaign – although he did have a hotline to the Indie’s Don McIntyre. Well Ken was on the Board wasn’t he.

Ken helpfully explains that the real achievement of the Blair Gov’t 1997-01 was to ‘cement the Thatcher revolution permanently in place’. Ken’s a big fan of Blair, as of course are David Cameron and Osborne, referring to him as the Master.

Hague resigned as Tory leader after the 2001 general election and there was another leadership battle. Portillo fancied being leader but Ken notes that Portillo was ‘dogged by absurd and malicious media rumours about his private life’. Ken was ‘infuriated by this nonsense which I was sure was untrue and in any case irrelevant’. So which media rumours is Ken talking about? The media rumours that Portillo was gay – which Portillo later admitted were true? Or the media rumours that Portillo was friendly with some of the Tories who were alleged to be abusing under-aged boys? Or the rumours that Portillo was abusing under-aged boys himself? Years before Portillo admitted that he was gay, I knew a young gay man in north Wales who used to go to gay clubs in Manchester. He told me that he had seen Portillo in them. The gay clubs in Manchester were also some of the places where mental health patients in north Wales who were being trafficked into prostitution were taken. The people doing this were part of the same network of people who trafficked the kids in care, so perhaps the kids in care ended up selling sex in gay clubs in Manchester, along with the Empowered Service Users.

Ken reveals that David Cameron had been Michael Howard’s ‘right hand man in Parliament’, his special advisor 1993/94. Mary Wynch was finally paid a  pittance by the Home Office in 1995, after she was robbed of her money and property and illegally detained by Dafydd Alun Jones in the North Wales Hospital. The 1995 ‘settlement’ was ‘final’ with no admission of liability for anything. Mary was by then elderly. She was told to piss off and it was announced that that was the end of the case. It was never mentioned again. So David will have known that little arrangement was on the way then when he left the Home Office in 1994. David left the Home Office to work as a PR man for Carlton TV! He remained there until he won his seat in 2001.

Blair wasn’t the only New Labour bigwig with whom Ken got on famously. He really liked Peter Mandelson as well. In fact Ken met with Mandelson ‘almost weekly’ in Mandelson’s office in the Lords to ‘discuss the important issues he was considering and try to reach agreement’.

After the Coalition Gov’t was formed, Ken became Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. His new Permanent Secretary was Suma Chakrabarti (see post ‘The Poisonous Tentacles Of The Home Office’) and David Hass moved from George Osborne’s office to Ken’s – Hass was a former BBC man and he became Ken’s media advisor. Kathryn Laing was Ken’s advisor on policy and political matters. His Private Secretary was Darren Tierney, who was succeeded by Mark Sweeney. Again, Ken knows where the problems lie – that prisons are unsuitable places for people with drug problems and mental illnesses and huge numbers of prisoners actually have these. Ken comments that women prisoners almost all had ‘distressing personal problems’. Ken mentions that the Home Office tried to ‘sell’ legal aid cuts to his predecessor Jack Straw – Ken himself reduced legal aid further for civil cases. So if for example one has fallen into the clutches of the social services or mental health services and they have broken the law and abused you in some way – hard luck, you’ll not be getting legal aid. Well, after Mary Wynch demonstrated that Dafydd had illegally banged her up for a year and fleeced her of her wealth and all those people who’d been abused whilst they were in care as kids in north Wales started bellyaching, what else could the Gov’t do…

Ken embarked on a major closure of under-used magistrates courts, but got into a bit of bother when he found that No 10 was objecting to his policy. What Ken hadn’t realised was that Cameron’s mother was a magistrate and her court had been ear-marked for closure! Ken handed the policy over to a junior Minister, Jonathon Djangol, for implementation. Mrs Cameron’s courthouse was saved from closure.

Cameron asked Ken to meet the notorious Rebekah Wade/Brooks, Murdoch’s right hand woman. Ken observed that Rebekah seemed accustomed to meeting Home Secretaries and Justice Secretaries ‘and having her advice taken seriously’. Rebekah wanted Ken to acquire some prison ships and military style boot camps. Ken noted that he had previously been given the same suggestions from No 10. Ken wasn’t impressed with Rebekah and didn’t meet her again. He had some entertaining observations though – that Rebekah was occupying Cameron’s luxury hotel suite, was dressed in riding gear and had a plate of ‘Marie-Antoinette cakes’. That Ken, was because she’s nuts – even though she advises Tory PMs.

Ken noted that Andy Coulson, Cameron’s Director of Communications (and Rebecca’s former bedfellow and the former editor of the News of the Screws) had ‘obviously been appointed as Rupert Murdoch’s representative in No 10’. Coulson later went to prison. Another person whom Ken had to deal with was Patrick Rock, who was Michael Howard’s former special advisor at the Home Office and now Cameron’s Deputy Director of Policy, with responsibility for criminal justice. Rock was subsequently imprisoned for the possession of child porn.

Ken mentions another old friend in a high place, Igor Judge, lately of the Midlands Circuit, now Lord Chief Justice.

Ken wanted to abolish those things much in the news at present, IPPs – indeterminate prison sentences for public protection. Although Blunkett – whose brainwave they had been – admitted that they hadn’t ‘worked’ as he’d hoped (you were warned that they’d result in people imprisoned for years for trivial offences Blunkett, which is exactly what has happened) – Ken was told that it would be too much of a struggle to abolish them. So a deal was done. If Ken introduced some new minimum mandatory sentences under certain conditions, he’d be allowed to abolish IPPs – this deal had to be entered into because Cameron wanted to be seen to be tough on law and order.

Ken also provides an insight into the working of the office of the Mayor of London. When Boris was seeking a second term as Mayor, he dreamt up a ‘sobriety scheme’, which would involve anyone being arrested for drunkenness to be directed into a sentence requiring regular checks to prove that they were remaining sober. It was evident to Ken that Boris was clueless as to how he’d ever run such a scheme and he couldn’t answer even the most basic questions about it. So Boris rang the Met Commissioner on his mobile to answer Ken’s questions, but although the Commissioner was a supporter of the scheme, he couldn’t answer any questions about it either. Ken had a second meeting with Boris, during which Boris put his phone on speaker and asked someone from his office to come and answer the questions.

 

So that’s Ken’s overview of his gloriously long career at the top of Gov’t. Despite the many disasters, Ken reassures himself that all the policies that he pushed through have worked brilliantly and on every occasion that something went tits-up, it was someone else’s fault. He blithely carries on, reassuring everybody that there’s no problems, even when he knows damn well that the problems are horrendous. Such as one (At LEAST) of his colleagues molesting children, which caused the whole of the Gov’t to ignore serious criminal conduct on the part of social services, Top Doctors, the police, accountants and businessmen and to engage with corrupt professionals in the media to keep it all quiet – even when witnesses start being found dead or are killed in a mass murder in an arson attack. Ken knows that organised crime has become so big that the police can’t tackle it and he’s noticed that London has become a magnet for criminals, money-launderers and despots from corrupt regimes. Ever wondered why Ken? Not that he worries about it that much – he’s got lunches to eat, curries to enjoy, jazz clubs to visit and all those lucrative company directorships which involve doing business in, by his own admission, ‘corrupt markets’. It’s not as if he and his colleagues will come unstuck even when catastrophe strikes – the rules are bent for them, whether it’s keeping Mrs Cameron’s courthouse open or ensuring that Peter Morrison never gets caught out, even if that involves murdering some of the witnesses, ruining a few careers and stitching innocent people up in Court.

Well I hope it was worth it Ken. All that to ensure another election victory for Thatcher, so that narrow minded, dim, philistine of a woman could carry on being PM and preach to the rest of us the merits of monetarism, a policy which she obviously didn’t understand. Wales got completely fucked in the process and we were then told that it was all our fault. Oh and my friend’s baby died – but at least Thatcher was spared a film about a gang of paedophiles wreaking havoc, one of which was her PPS and Deputy Party Chairman. Thatcher died alone – but in the Ritz. Carol complained that in her final years with dementia, Thatcher’s ‘friends’ abandoned her. I think that was probably a function of the sort of people whom she chose as friends Carol.

Peter Morrison didn’t last as long as Thatcher, in fact he died suddenly and unexpectedly at only 51 years old. Gyles Brandreth’s autobiography states that Morrison was found dead at home at the bottom of the stairs. Gyles wonders whether he threw himself down the stairs to kill himself. I wouldn’t be surprised Gyles if someone actually pushed him and then whacked him on the head afterwards to ensure that the deed was done. Morrison was found dead on 13 July 1995. By which time a major investigation was underway into the abuse of children in children’s homes in Clwyd and there were demands for a Public Inquiry. The North Wales Hospital Denbigh had virtually closed down and Dr Dafydd Alun Jones had ‘retired’ with the remit to provide ‘substance abuse services’ for north Wales (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’). Alison Taylor and I had lost our careers, my friend’s first born had died and another friend who wanted to publish the story had been unlawfully dismissed from his job as well. Presumably disposing of Peter Morrison would bury the matter for ever.

But now I’ve written this blog.

 

 

‘One Of The Safest Pairs Of Hands At The Criminal Bar’

The title of this post is a quote that can be found on the online profile of Timothy Cray. Who he? Timothy Cray is the barrister who acted for Henry Hendron – a barrister himself – who ended up receiving much media coverage in 2016 as a result of the ‘chemsex trial’. Hendron is a barrister in his mid-thirties who was arrested and charged after his 18 year old Columbian boyfriend was found dead at their flat after Hendron had supplied him with chemsex drugs. I will return to this case later. But first I want to discuss a friend of Hendron’s, whom Hendron himself had previously provided with legal advice – Nigel Evans.

Nigel Evans is the Tory MP for Ribble Valley who in 2014 stood trial for a series of assaults on seven men. Evans was acquitted of all charges – one rape, five sexual assaults, one attempted sexual assault and two indecent assaults. So Nigel Evans was somehow either accused quite wrongly by a series of people independently of each other of very serious offences – or he had a very good barrister, obviously yet another safe pair of hands at the Criminal Bar. The circumstances of the alleged offences were all rather similar – they were committed by Evans, a senior Tory in his mid-50s, against much younger men who were working in Westminster or aspiring to do so, after sessions of very heavy drinking by Evans. Following Evans’s acquittal there was an enormous outpouring of support and sympathy for Evans from his fellow politicians and not just from Tories. Evans waxed lyrical about his ordeal and described in detail his distress at being charged and his colleagues rallied round stressing what a lovely bloke he was. Stephen Crabb, the Conservative MP for Preseli in Pembrokeshire, tweeted that his ‘friend’ Evans was ‘a good man’ and Ann Widdecombe – not known for her sympathy towards promiscuous gay sex when blind drunk – described Evans as a ‘truthful, considerate and kind individual’.

Now when Evans was arrested he was known as an MP representing a constituency in the north of England. But I knew of Evans as a rather unusual man, a Thatcherite Tory who actually came from Wales. Evans grew up in Swansea where his family ran a small business, went to Swansea University and only became the MP for Ribble Valley in 1992 after unsuccessfully contesting seats in south Wales. Before he was an MP Evans was a County Councillor in West Glamorgan (elected in 1985) and in 1990 became deputy Tory leader of that Council. He stood down as a Councillor in 1991.

In 1993 Evans became PPS to David Hunt, the Secretary of State for Employment and he remained Hunt’s PPS when Hunt was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1994. Readers will remember that David Hunt was Secretary of State for Wales on two occasions, between 1990-93 and again for just one month in the summer of 1995. Hunt was in that post when there was a total failure by the Welsh Office to respond to the serious abuse that was rife in children’s homes in north Wales or to the abuses that were happening in the north Wales mental health services. The Welsh Office knew about these matters and actively concealed everything. In 1995 Evans became PPS to Tony Baldry, Minister of State at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Then in 1996 Evans was appointed PPS to William Hague when he was appointed Secretary of State for Wales by John Major. William Hague’s biggest task in that post was of course arranging the public inquiry into child abuse in north Wales. Previous posts have detailed the many reasons why I think someone worked very hard at selecting those who were involved with the Waterhouse Inquiry. As Hague’s PPS, Evans will have been deeply involved in the leg work relating to that Inquiry – and Evans knew Wales very well indeed, even if Hague didn’t. Hague is a very able man and would soon have been able to research everything that is officially on record about Wales, but Evans will have known what it is really important to know and what you only find out by living and working in Wales – the gossip and the lowdown.

So Evans was involved in the most enormous cover-up of organised child abuse in Wales – child abuse that involved under-aged boys ‘in care’ being sexually molested by older men, including it would seem at least one senior Tory, Sir Peter Morrison, Thatcher’s PPS and deputy Chairman of the Party. Some of the boys giving evidence to Waterhouse maintained that they were taken to other locations where they had sex with multiple older men unknown to them. John Allen, who owned and managed the Bryn Alyn Community, a collection of children’s homes where some of the worst abuse took place, is currently serving a life sentence for abusing boys in his care. Waterhouse described John Allen as ‘kind’ and ‘generous’ as a result of John Allen buying presents and giving money to boys whom he was having sex with. Allen owned what Waterhouse called ‘unsuitable accommodation’ in London and Brighton in which some boys lived after they left children’s homes in north Wales. The boys themselves claimed that Allen owned brothels in London and Brighton and some of them worked in those brothels after they left ‘care’.

Evans could well have heard about some of this before he worked for Hague as a result of coming from Wales and being involved in local politics there, although he never mentioned it. But Evans didn’t mention something else either and he didn’t mention it until 2010. That he was gay. Not only did Evans not mention that he was gay, but he actively concealed it and states himself that he pretended to be a ‘red blooded’ heterosexual lest being openly gay damaged his political prospects in a party that was perceived as being highly homophobic in the wake of passing Section 28 in the late 1980s. Evans even voted against reducing the age of consent for gay men in 1994 and again on two following occasions. (I also seem to remember Evans appearing on a TV show arguing against reducing the age of consent for gays in 1994.) Evans also ensured that he was absent from the Commons vote on civil partnerships, he missed three votes on gay adoption and in one vote he opposed the move. In 1993 a piece appeared in ‘Private Eye’ claiming that Evans had been seen ‘canoodling’ with a young man. Evans personally phoned Ian Hislop to deny the story, although the Eye never published a retraction or an apology.

Evans came out as gay to the press in 2010 claiming that he was sick of living a lie. But he only did so after a Labour MP threatened to out him. After he came out as gay Evans constructed himself as some sort of gay rights champ for Westminster and stressed how many gay politicians there were, many of whom had not yet publicly admitted it. He also said that when he first entered Parliament he had known of loads of gay politicians who were concealing it. Evans formed an LGBT networking group in Westminster, Parliout. In the light of what was revealed during and after Evans’s trial, I would have thought that it was fairly obvious that there wasn’t any need for Parliout, Evans and others seemed to have already established a gay network at Westminster.

Young male parliamentary workers who gave evidence at Evans’s trial described how they were groped or kissed by Evans after getting completely bladdered with him in bars at the House of Commons or in Soho. Allegations then emerged in the press of a heavy drinking culture at Westminster – I had heard that from a friend years ago. But the revelations in the media became increasingly more sordid. It wasn’t just excessive drinking that was commonplace – it was alleged that there was a big problem with senior politicians expecting sexual favours from wannabes and if wannabes were unhappy with this there was no effective redress. Supplying sexual favours would ensure that your career advanced but complaining would bring it to a rapid halt. After Evans was acquitted, much was made of some of the witnesses saying in court that they had not wanted the case against Evans to go ahead, that they didn’t feel like victims and one of them claimed that after getting pissed with Evans and finding Evans’s hand down his trousers it was just a case of ‘crazy crazy Westminster’. (Why don’t women want to be politicians? Ooh it’s because they all have low self esteem and need role models like Harriet! It cannot possibly be because they do not regularly get bladdered and participate in mutual groping sessions with tosspots. Except to be fair, some of them do, a Lib Dem who believes that she’s broken the glass ceiling in Wales comes to mind.) Evans’s defence was considered to have been given a considerable boost when the judge, Justice Timothy King, instructed the jury to find Evans not guilty on one alleged offence. There was a major attempt to construct Nigel Evans’s activities as the high drunken jinks of a harmless gregarious man who had been hung out to dry by the police and the CPS. His excessive drinking was explained as the result of him having difficulty ‘coming to terms with his sexuality’ and of course the death of his dear old mum who had no idea that he was gay. Evans continued the misery memoir by explaining that the one sadness in his life was that he had never had a regular boyfriend. One suspects that Nigel Evans’s lifestyle would mitigate against a regular relationship.

There was however one witness at the trial who did not claim that he had no problem with Evans’s harmless drunken groping. That was the 22 year old man who claimed that Evans had raped him. Evans’s account was that he and this young man had participated in consensual sex ‘in a number of different positions’. The young man – who gave evidence from behind a screen and was described as ‘nervous’ and ‘whispering’ – had been a university student at the time of the incident, had stayed at Evans’s house and had maintained that he woke up to find Evans on top of him. Media accounts stressed how this young man ‘wasn’t believed’. He’s not going to have a career in politics now is he – but those spoke fondly of Evans in court and who never wanted the case against him to go ahead will still be in with a chance.

The way in which the police came to hear about the allegations against Evans is significant. One young man, a politics student, had been befriended by Evans in 2008 on Facebook. This student was later described as ‘ruthlessly ambitious’. (Just like Evans had been when he was a young man.) This man alleged that he had stayed at Evans’s house overnight in 2009 and that Evans had ‘groped his penis’. The young man told of his encounter with Evans to Adam Price (Plaid), Michael Fabricant (Conservative) and Iain Corby (a Tory policy boss). A few days later he recounted the story to the then Tory Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin and his deputy John Randall. The student had wanted Evans to resign, which was described by McLoughlin as a ‘big ask’. Patrick McLoughlin is now Sir Patrick and in July 2016 was appointed Chairman of the Conservative Party. Randall is an MP for Derbyshire – he was elected to Matthew Parris’s seat when Parris stood down in 1986. The Matthew Parris who wrote about having sex with boys who ‘were always willing’ along with his political friends when on holiday. McLoughlin is also Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. John Randall has also been knighted but stood down from Parliament in 2015. He is now a Trustee and Vice-Chair of the Human Trafficking Foundation – a man who was unable to respond when he was told of an allegation of sexual assault perpetrated by someone who had previously been involved in a cover-up of the sexual abuse and trafficking into prostitution of children in care. The allegations against Evans went no further – until the student told Dr Sarah Woolaston, Tory MP for Totnes. A friend of this student then revealed to him that he too had been assaulted by Evans and so he contacted Sara Woolaston. Woolaston contacted John Bercow the Speaker, who said that it was for the two young men to go to the police. But then after receiving legal advice from the Speaker’s Counsel, Michael Carpenter, Bercow’s secretary told Sarah Woolaston that the Speaker ‘cannot handle this’. Sarah Woolaston is a Top Doctor who claims experience in dealing with matters of sexual abuse and readers will guess that under most circumstances I would roll about laughing at the notion that a Top Doctor might actually know how to conduct themselves in such a situation, but to Sarah’s credit, she seems to have been the only person who had engaged her brain. Frustrated by the response from the Speaker’s office, she told the two young men that they had a responsibility to report Evans to the police because there was no telling whom he was going to do this to next and gave them a police number. Sarah also in 2013 brought the allegations to the attention of the Palace of Westminster Police. So that’s how the ball started rolling.

Yesterday’s post ‘A Future Leader Of The Labour Party’ described how over decades the CPS have worked very hard at not prosecuting people involved with the sexual abuse of young people, particularly if there are connections to political figures. It was of course the CPS who bit the bullet in the case of Nigel Evans and prosecuted. They certainly had a lot of shit thrown at them for daring to do this after his acquittal. Evans’s case was categorised with the cases of two Coronation Street actors, Michael Le Vell and Ken Roache, who had also been acquitted of sex offences. Although the cases of Le Vell and Roache were very different from Evans, Evans and his supporters discussed the three cases as if they were all very similar, ie. people making claims for which there was no evidence against public figures. Vicky Entwhistle, an actor from Coronation Street, appeared in public at Evans’s trial to support him. Not that the actors in Coronation Street have proved themselves to be particularly good judges of character – John Stalker’s book boasts of how he hung out with the Coronation Street crowd and William Roache is a former Patron of St David’s Hospice Llandudno, which seems to act a repository for disgraced NHS staff from north Wales who either left their jobs under a cloud or concealed the paedophile ring (see posts ‘The CEOs Of St David’s Hospice’ and ‘Don’t Be Silly, He’s Nice’). In the wake of all this, the Attorney General Dominic Grieve demanded an explanation from DPP Alison Saunders why Evans’s prosecution had gone ahead, even though Saunders hadn’t been DPP when the decision to prosecute had been made. Saunders track record suggests that she never would have prosecuted Evans. I note that when Evans was prosecuted Saunders was actually working for the CPS as the regional case manager in London. Which explains an awful lot – sex offences against young people aren’t only committed in north Wales and a lot of high profile and powerful people live in London. Jack Straw also had a go at the CPS, suggesting that the DPP might be more cautious in bringing high profile sex offence cases in the future – the Jack who was years ago a Councillor in Islington Council when it’s children’s homes had been infiltrated by paedophiles, the Jack who was a leading light in New Labour which was so hopelessly compromised because of ignoring the institutionalised sexual abuse of children (see post ‘The London Connection’).

Evans angrily told the media that he had spent his life savings – £130,000 – on his legal fees and he demanded that the CPS repay him. Which was deeply ironic because the legislation that caused Evans to cough up in his particular circumstances was passed by the Coalition Gov’t of whom the Tories were the leading partners. Evans also had the support of an incredibly powerful man in the Commons, who constantly ends up in scandals himself – dear old Keith Vaz, then Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, who considered holding a separate inquiry into the prosecution of Evans. I have a friend who often expresses at length her amazement at what Keith Vaz has got away with – the expense scandals, the constant conflicts of interest or failure to declare interests, the failure to declare payments, the business of the passports and the Hinduja brothers, his narrow escape from being prosecuted by Leicestershire Police after making false allegations against a former police officer, his leading a march through Leicester demanding the banning of ‘The Satanic Verses’ after a fatwa had been issued against Salman Rushdie and much more. In Sept 2016 Vaz resigned as Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee after he was caught in a tabloid gay prostitution and cocaine expose. One month later he was appointed to the Justice Select Committee. My mate keeps asking me how he does it particularly as no-one seems to like him or trust him.

So how did Keith Vaz, a senior solicitor to Islington Council in the mid 80s (when Islington Council’s children’s homes were rife with paedophiles whilst the Council was stuffed full of Councillors who would later become some of the biggest figures in the New Labour Gov’t), then a solicitor in a Leicester Council funded law centre between 1985-87 (when Frank Beck, a Leicester social worker was abusing kids in care in Leicester along with it seems Greville Janner, Labour MP for Leicester West until he was elevated to the Lords in 1990) ever get himself so well thought of in the Labour Party that he was selected as candidate for Leicester East? Could it have been the support from his mother, who was a Labour Councillor on Leicester City Council for 14 years, from the point at which Keith was selected as a candidate? Or could it have been that a lot of people were very grateful to him for something? He continued to impress once he was elected to the Commons. By 1997 Vaz was PPs to the Attorney General John Morris – the John Morris who was Secretary of State for Wales when children in children’s homes in north Wales were being abused and trafficked by paedophiles, the John Morris whose constituency is in West Glamorgan, Nigel Evans’s old stomping ground – and between May-Oct 1999 Vaz was PPS to the Lord Chancellor’s Dept, the Lord Chancellor being Blair’s mate Lord Goldsmith. Vaz just went onwards and upwards. Surely there’s a clue somewhere in that CV as to the root of his Teflon qualities…

As in the case of Vaz, I suspect that the overwhelming ‘popularity’ of Nigel Evans is Parliament speak for ‘a lot of us are very grateful to him for something’. He was welcomed back into the Commons after his acquittal – although it transpired that a lot of his constituents in the Ribble Valley had been expressing concerns for some time about Nigel’s activities.

Whilst Evans and Hague were helping everyone out of a tight spot by employing the talents of Ronnie Waterhouse and co, there was of course a change of Gov’t. In 1997, during the Waterhouse Inquiry, Blair won the election. Blair chose to axe the post of Welsh Secretary from the Cabinet, a decision that Evans opposed. This morning I found a photo of Nigel carrying a spoof ‘Tony Blair Estate Agents’ placard, emblazoned with the slogan ‘Wales Office For Sale’. Indeed the Welsh Office had been for sale for years – the whole lot of them sold themselves to a paedophile gang and a bunch of criminals who worked in the health and welfare services as documents in my possession demonstrate. Although the Tories didn’t have any seats in Wales after the 97 General Election, John Major put Evans on his shadow frontbench as spokesman for Welsh Affairs. Evans was obviously a man who could be relied upon. When Duncan Smith became Tory leader, Evans was a member of the shadow cabinet and between 2001-2003 was shadow Secretary of State for Wales. Evans returned to the backbenches on principle (is this a man who has any principles?) when Michael Howard became leader and took the role of shadow Secretary of State for Wales outside of the shadow cabinet. Evans remained a member of the Trade and Industry and the Welsh Affairs Select Committees in 2003. In Nov 2004 he became Vice-Chair of the Conservative Party, with specific responsibility for overseeing Conservatives Abroad. With Cameron’s election in 2005 Evans returned to the backbenches. He was one of the Speaker’s three deputies until he resigned after being arrested in 2013. Although Nigel was very cross when his own party’s changes to legal aid hit him in his own pocket, Nigel isn’t too keen on other people keeping afloat financially. He voted against the introduction of the National Minimum Wage in 1999 and voted against every increase afterwards. In 2009 he was one of 11 MPs to back the Employment Opportunities Bill, which aimed to make the minimum wage optional. Presumably Nigel’s idea of employment opportunities is to sell one’s body to predatory older politicians and indeed many young people who were kids in care in north Wales in the 70s, 80s and 90s were trained or forced to do this. But what are they supposed to do for a living when they’re too old for politicians to be interested in them?

Although Parliament opened it’s heart to Nigel throughout the trial and afterwards, I would have thought that as in the case of Ken Dodd and the allegations of tax evasion, the evidence against Nigel was quite substantial. So I did what I enjoy doing in such cases, I did a bit of reading regarding the barristers and judge involved. The judge was Timothy King, who in 2006 had defended the BNP leader Nick Griffin against a charge of inciting racial hatred.

So who acted for Evans? There seems to have been two barristers involved. Evans’s friend the aforementioned Henry Hendron and Peter Wright QC. I’m not sure whether Hendron acted for Evans in a paid capacity, but he did boast about advising him during the trial – I will return to Hendron later. Peter Wright was the name that appeared in the media as Counsel for Evans.

Well Evans certainly didn’t take any risks when he sought advice, Peter Wright knows how to extract people from very deep slurry pits indeed. Wright boasts of having acted in cases of organised crime – including people who have accused of committing organised crime – and people who have been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive. Peter successfully defended a gang of armed robbers who shot a policewoman dead, a company that ran a care home that was prosecuted by the HSE when an elderly resident died as a result of scalding and a nurse who managed to kill a three week old baby boy whilst performing a circumcision for cultural reasons. He successfully defended a Detective Chief Inspector who was accused of misconduct in public office after leaking the identity of an IRA bomber to a journalist and a senior officer at HM Customs and Excise who was accused of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and misconduct in public office which involved his links to organised crime. One case that must have really made Peter feel good about himself was his defence of someone who petrol bombed a family’s home leading to the death of eight members of the family. But Peter doesn’t just act for your everyday murderous scumbag. No, Peter was Counsel in the LIBOR scandal (now you know why bankers never go to prison even when they cause the global economy to collapse!) and in Operation Elveden (the police investigation into corrupt payments between journalists and public officials, which resulted in the prosecution of Cameron’s mates Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson as well as a few others).

In 2006 Wright was appointed as Senior Treasury Counsel by the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith. Wright boasts of being the first person to be directly appointed to this post – so presumably Goldsmith noticed his talents in defending petrol bombers, crooked bankers and Murdoch’s employees and decided that the Gov’t could utilise those talents. In 2010 Wright stood down again as Senior Treasury Counsel – well he had all those bent bankers and press barons to get out of trouble – but he continues to advise the CPS, the Attorney General and the Treasury Solicitor. Which sounds rather like multiple conflicts of interest to me.

So Evans hired the man who had worked for the Gov’t that Evans was part of. But what of Evans’s ‘friend and barrister’ Henry Hendron? We know that everyone loves Evans, even Ann Widdecombe and that poor old Evans only gets rat arsed and gropes people because he misses his mum and didn’t come out as gay when he should have. Evans’s mate Henry has fought personal demons too. Particularly after he was arrested for supplying the drugs that killed his teenaged boyfriend. The Torygraph online published a real tear jerker of an interview with Henry’s brother Richard who was also a barrister (and before that an Inspector with the Metropolitan Police) just before Henry’s trial in 2016. As well as being represented by Timothy Cray, Henry was also being advised by Richard. Richard gave the Torygraph full details of Henry’s downward spiral after his boyfriend had been found dead in his flat. How did Richard know that Henry was grieving? Because Henry ‘binged on drugs’ to mask his grief and attended chemsex parties on a non-stop basis. He collapsed at one such party after overdoing the drugs and was rushed to hospital – this was one week after his boyfriend Miguel’s death. The nation’s widows really don’t know how to grieve properly do they, all they do is rely on the cat for company.

At Henry’s trial he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to supply. The circumstances were that he purchased £1000 of goodies from a BBC producer called Andrew Parkin with the intention of flogging them to other people at chemsex parties. He gave some to his boyfriend and it killed him and when the police searched his house afterwards they found methodrone and GBL. Parkin was given 200 hours of community service and Hendron 140 hours. (That’s what I got when I was prosecuted for calling a corrupt NHS manager who was assisting in concealing a paedophile ring a fat idiot.) It was revealed at the trial that Hendron had three previous convictions – for drink driving.

Something else came to light among all the publicity around Hendron after his trial. That he had previously been fined £2000 by the Bar Council for professional misconduct. The particulars of the misconduct being that on the eve of the starting date of Nigel Evans’s trial Hendron had described the witnesses due to give evidence against Evans as ‘manipulative and duplicitous’ online. I cannot help wondering what other pressure may have been applied to those witnesses. The media hype concerning Hendron mentioned that his clients included Nadine Dorries and the Earl of Cardigan. A bit of history was dredged up as well – that as a teenager Hendron had appeared at the Tory Party Conference arguing for the reintroduction of corporal punishment. This appearance had resulted in him being tipped as a future leader. He’d be able to add S&M (or in his case probably just S) to his chemsex-drink driving-killing of teenaged boyfriends repertoire.

Prior to his trial Henry worked as a barrister at Strand Chambers and before that at 2 Kings Bench Walk. Between 2006-2008 he worked for the CPS ‘advising senior civil servants and ministerial teams’. Including the Department of Work and Pensions and the Department of Health.

After the trial the NHS and BMA made public statements regarding the major problem that is chemsex. Well if they’re not careful all the other lawyers that they use will be struck off by the Law Society as well after they’ve woken up next to a corpse resulting from the binge the previous night.

Henry himself commented after the trial that he did accept that perhaps he might not be able to work as a barrister again, although one day he hoped to. Meanwhile, he is comforting himself with regular trips to the family of his boyfriend who died – who live in Columbia. I cannot help but wonder whether with Henry’s track record Columbia might hold attractions other than the relatives of his boyfriend. Indeed I was surprised that there were no media comments at the time of Miguel’s death regarding the unlikely domestic set-up of Henry – a barrister with a passion for chemsex whose friends include a senior middle aged Tory who has faced multiple charges of sexual assault on young men, living with a teenager from Columbia who worked as a café assistant.

So how ever did this self-indulgent binging twat with so little regard for the safety of other people end up with community service after he’d managed to kill someone? Could it have been the skills of Timothy Cray, his barrister, one of the safest hands at the Criminal Bar? Cray’s online profile tells us that he has ‘unique knowledge of international organised crime’ and ‘extensive experience of defending in allegations of sexual misconduct with emphasis on sensitive and high profile cases’. Cray acts for the Serious Fraud Office – of course – and in Jan 2014 he was appointed by the Attorney General Dominic Grieve as Senior Treasury Counsel. Because he is of course used to defending criminals who work in the professions with links to Gov’t.

As for the judge who felt that a few boring but not too dreadful hours working in a charity shop or clearing footpaths was going to ensure that Henry mended his ways, that was Richard Marks QC who was appointed a circuit judge at the Old Bailey in 2012 by the Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke. Before this, one of Marks’s responsibilities was as a legal member of the restricted patients panel. Who will have been banged up for a lot less than overdosing their teenaged partners and in many cases won’t have committed any crime at all. In 2015 Marks precipitated a lot of media coverage after he was removed from a trial involving ‘Sun’ journalists who were alleged to have bribed public officials for information. The ‘Sun’ was very angry and maintained that Marks had been replaced with judge Charles Wide ‘in secret and against his will’ because Wide was perceived as being more likely to secure a conviction. This rationale was angrily denied by Sir Nigel Sweeney, the judge who was alleged to have had something to do with the decision. Sweeney had a fairly shameful history (see post ‘A Future Leader Of The Labour Party’) and I do wonder if he might have been worried what those ‘Sun’ journalists might dig up if they continued to bribe public officials for information.

There seems to be a great many safe pairs of hands at the Criminal Bar, protecting a great many people. I don’t really mind if politicians get ripped to the tits and participate in gay or indeed heterosexual orgies, but I do mind when they employ their extensive networks to protect people who have forced ‘looked after children’ to take part in such things with them. Or indeed protect people who perjure themselves repeatedly in an attempt to imprison the likes of me because we unwittingly walked into the whole sordid mess when we discovered what the Top Doctors were colluding with.

It is indeed a Criminal Bar.