‘The Reality Is, There Is No Problem’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Dangerous Fucker

Someone suggested to me recently that I should pay a bit of attention to a man called John Mills. John Mills has been mentioned on this blog before – he was the husband of Dame Barbara Mills, the DPP who just could not find it within her to prosecute members of the paedophile gang in north Wales despite mountains of evidence being handed over to the CPS and recommendations that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute scores of people. Mills is also the brother of David Mills – the man involved in that messy business regarding bribes from Berlusconi – who is of course the husband of Tessa Jowell. He was no longer the husband of Tessa for a short time during all the bad publicity re Silvio and the trial for corruption, but he became the husband of Tessa once again after the media had moved on to another scandal. That’s the Tessa who has worked for so many organisations at the heart of the abuse of children and the continued abuse of them when they entered the mental health system (please see previous posts). I mentioned in a previous post that John Mills had been a Camden Councillor whilst children in the care of that Council – some of whom were being ‘placed’ in children’s homes in north Wales – were abused by organised paedophile gangs. But I didn’t realise how deeply within that Council Mills was embedded. He was a Councillor between 1971-2006 and for much of that time Mills was responsible for the Council’s budget. He revels in the accolade that Camden Council received in 2003 – that of ‘Council of the Year’. This of course would have had nothing at all to do with the fact that in 2003 New Labour was well and truly ruling the roost and many past and present Councillors from, and residents of, Camden were key figures in New Labour – such as Tessa Jowell.

Now here’s a mystery – in the early years of the millennium, UK suicide statistics showed that Camden had the highest rate of suicides among women in England and Wales. The runner up was Conwy in north Wales. There was a fuss about this because Conwy is a lovely rural area and no-one could understand why so many women were committing suicide there. Of course everyone involved with the mental health services knew why – it was because the consultant for that patch was the lethal Dr Tony Roberts who constantly failed to identify patients with severe depression, told them that they all had personality disorders and refused to treat them So they topped themselves in very great numbers. No-one stopped Roberts though and when I complained about his conduct to the GMC at that very time, the GMC even went to the lengths of referring to a forged document that had somehow found it’s way into their possession purporting to be a letter from me as part of their ‘investigation’ into Roberts. No action was taken again him. Roberts had a partner in crime during that period of time, a truly dreadful GP from Penygroes who was the GP on call one night when I rang for help because I was suicidal. The GP, John Morris Jones, told me that the very good GP on call – whom I had spoken with earlier and who had asked me to ring back – was ‘unavailable’. He then hung up on me. At the time I just thought that I was speaking to yet another truly appalling Top Doctor but I now have obtained documentation relating to that night. The good GP who had tried to help earlier was still in the building but John Morris Jones had not told her that I was on the phone and he did not tell me that she was still there. Instead John Morris Jones took advice from the disgusting Tony Roberts – who sent out the order to ‘DO NOTHING’ (yes, the message was conveyed in capitals), in response to the earlier GP telling Roberts that I was ‘suicidal ++++’. That is why Conwy had such a high suicide rate. The Daily Post online today has a feature bemoaning the fact that John Morris Jones is retiring and now there will be no Welsh speaking GP left in the village. Local Plaid politicians and councillors Hywel Williams, Sian Gwenllian and Judith Humphreys have been photographed with sad expressions on their faces protesting over the loss of dear old John Morris Jones. They need to find a worthier cause – speakers of any language will be far safer now that Jones has shut up shop. It wasn’t just me that had unfortunate encounters with him – I heard from a number of Penygroes residents that he was a complete bastard. I suspect that like Tony Roberts, John Morris Jones was such a bad doctor that no doctor at all is actually a safer option.

But what about Camden, the Council of the Year where Tessa and John had reigned supreme? I know very little about the socio-geography of Camden but I’m wondering whether it is one of those London boroughs where rich and poor live separate lives but physically almost next door to each other. Could it possibly have been that by the time that Tessa had become a Minister – she was Minister for Young People at one point! – those kids who had been so badly abused whilst in council care had grown up into adults with mental health problems and as in north Wales were either being refused care or given care that was frankly abusive and were therefore killing themselves in great numbers? Conwy’s a great place to live if you’ve got a bit of money and don’t have to rely on Tony Roberts for mental health care and I bet Camden’s great if you’re a New Labour Minister. But not so great if you’re one of the more disadvantaged citizens who had been ‘helped’ by the services that Tessa, John et al oversaw.

John Mills’s involvement with the Labour Party didn’t stop at being a Camden Councillor. No, John is a very big fish indeed. John Mills is very rich – ‘a millionaire businessman and political donor’ – and it is on record that Mandelson did like filthy rich people. (Mills has a website which is dedicated entirely to blowing his own trumpet and that website is full of references to ‘Peter’.) John has made his fortune from his business JML, described by John as ‘an import-export and distribution company’. Which certainly covers a multitude of possibilities. He is Labour’s biggest individual donor and in 2013 gave Labour £1.65 million of shares. There were allegations that this was a tax scam but John reassured everyone that of course it wasn’t, just as he reassures people that giving millions to the Labour Party doesn’t buy one any influence at all. Not sure anyone believes you there John, it’s why the membership voted for Corbyn – they were sick to the back teeth of ‘Peter’ and his mates. John’s business career hasn’t always gone smoothly though. A former business of his, Fairlane UK, went bust, so shortly after Mills set up JML which he claims was founded in the basement of his house in Camden in 1986. Whilst those kids were being raped and trafficked by paedophiles and the idiots running the Council ignored all the alarm bells ringing in north Wales as Alison Taylor blew the whistle repeatedly but was simply sacked. Mills was once charged by Trading Standards for flogging ‘gold plated jewellery’ that was actually brass – Mills pleaded guilty and had to stump up £750.

Mills stood as a Labour candidate twice in 1974 and for the European Parliament in 1979. Mills seems to be the Nigel Farage of the Labour party in that although he desired election to the European Parliament he describes himself as a Eurosceptic. In fact it was Mills who bankrolled the Labour Party’s ‘Leave’ campaign.

Mills constantly refers to himself as an ‘economist’ on his website – you’re not Nobel material John no matter how much money you’ve managed to accumulate – and mentions that he was Deputy Chairman of London Docklands Development Corporation 1985-1987. And what a barrel of shit that was. John also tells us that for nine years he was Chair (or opposition leader) on Housing with the Association of Metropolitan Authorities and the London Boroughs Association. Might anyone be taking an interest in the disastrous housing policies and decisions that John et al made in the wake of Grenfell Tower?

This blog has ended up touching on many areas of malpractice and sleaze, but it was set up to focus on mental health. John has an interest here, through his charitable work. John is a supporter and funder of none other than SANE – the mental health charity that has inflicted more damage on people with mental health problems than even MIND has. I’ve blogged about SANE and it’s crazed founder Marjorie Wallace previously and I do hope that new visitors to the blog will take the time to read that post ‘Another Confession From NHS England’, but I have some new revelations now.

Marjorie set up SANE in 1986. She was controversial from the start because under the guise of responding to the crisis in community care, Marjorie lobbied vigorously to prevent the closing down of psychiatric hospitals. Now Marjorie was correct in saying that there were insufficient facilities to care for patients in the community, there were, it was a joke to believe that vulnerable people unable to look after themselves would thrive when they were dumped in poor quality accommodation miles away from their contacts with no infrastructure to support them. But Marjorie did not put effort into campaigning for better community facilities. No, Marjorie was very keen indeed on the idea that people should remain sectioned and indeed locked up in institutions. Now Marjorie knew what was going on in psychiatric hospitals in the 80s because the more radical mental health activists like ‘Survivors Speak Out’ had been articulating the abuses to which they had been subjected and were confronting Marjorie on TV and in other situations. I too wrote to Marjorie about what was happening in north Wales – I did not receive a reply. All I knew in those days was that Marjorie was a ‘Sunday Times’ journalist who was also known as Countess Skarbek. I presumed that she was naïve and did not know what was happening in UK psychiatry. She bloody well knew alright and I suspect that is why Marjorie set up a charity in an attempt to prevent the closure of psychiatric hospitals. The prisons to silence dissenters – particularly people who had been sexually molested as children by some powerful people in public life – were in danger of closing. Including the North Wales Hospital Denbigh – where the dissenters were ‘admitted’ and sometimes disappeared without trace…Do you know, Marjorie started her campaign not to close the asylums at the VERY TIME that it was admitted that Denbigh in particular was just so bad that it would have to close…

I have been aware for years that Marjorie is entirely establishment – the Top Doctors love her, she has collected endless honorary fellowships, awards and gongs after being nominated by them – but since researching for this blog I’ve noticed a much more sinister side to Marjorie’s connections. Her book on June and Jennifer Gibbons, two teenaged twins from Pembrokeshire who were elective mutes, gained Marjorie much publicity and Marjorie’s public utterances were designed to give the impression that she was sympathetic to the twins plight – they had ended up in Broadmoor allegedly for refusing to talk and their involvement in petty crime. Yet Marjorie just did not ask some very obvious questions. The decision to send those twins to Broadmoor was inexplicable. Before being banged up in there, those girls had been involved with the children’s health and welfare services in south Wales. The dynamics in those services and the behaviour of some of the staff involved with the twins was obviously dysfunctional. Of course we now know that there was a paedophile ring operating in that part of Wales as well, so that will have caused chaos in the region. Marjorie visited the twins many times in Broadmoor in order to write her book. Yet she never uttered a word about the violence and sexual abuse that Broadmoor patients – particularly women – were subjected to, although it was very well-known at the time among mental health campaigners. Instead Marjorie aligned herself with the institution and it’s Top Doctors, although she noticed that the ‘side effects’ of the ‘medication’ which those girls were being forcibly injected with was damaging their health. One of the twins, Jennifer, died as a result of her ‘medication’ days before she was due to be released. Not a word was spoken in concern by anyone. HELLO – MIND, SANE, they’ve just KILLED one of the girls who should never have been sent there before she got out and had the chance to tell anyone what the hell was going on in that place…

After the expose of Jimmy Savile, Marjorie was one of the many people associated with Broadmoor who popped up in the media with her pearls of wisdom. She said exactly what the Broadmoor staff said after Savile’s abuse was made public – that she knew that Savile’s appointment was inappropriate, that he was so odd that it was seriously worrying and gosh she thought to herself ‘the lunatics had taken over the asylum’. The lunatics were already running the asylum, the authorities at Broadmoor were incarcerating distressed people who had been brutalised and in some cases sexually abused whilst in the child care and mental health systems and evidence of the ‘dangerousness’ of these people was being fabricated by the Top Doctors named on this blog. Marjorie did not say anything about Savile or any other of the many worrying matters about Broadmoor at the time.

I think that Marjorie knew a lot about Savile by the time that he was appointed to the Broadmoor task force – by which time he’d been a ‘volunteer’ at Broadmoor for donkeys years anyway – and I think that she knew that he was more than an idiot in a turquoise shell suit with a distasteful amount of bling. Because Marjorie had excellent media connections. She was a journalist, had been for years and the media world knew about Savile. Marjorie was a journalist for the ‘Sunday Times’ between 1972-89. Prior to that, in the 60s Marjorie had worked on the ‘Frost Programme’ and on BBC’s ‘Nationwide’. The BBC that employed Jimmy Savile. Post-Savile there have been a lot of memories from older people regarding the shagfest that was the BBC in the 60s and 70s. Even Grand Dames like Joan Bakewell freely admit that young female journos and researchers had plenty of opportunities to sleep with men who could advance their careers and social prospects and Bakewell is honest enough to admit that she had a great time. Others such as Esther – who knew nothing about Jimmy Savile of course – have reframed themselves as fighters against such sexism and Strong Women who broke the glass ceiling. Esther was someone who found her career considerably enhanced after she married her boss, Desmond Wilcox. I have dug up a touching little anecdote about Marjorie being offered the job at ‘Nationwide’ – that famously employed Frank Bough of cocaine and prostitutes fame – after a BBC producer complimented her on the ‘shapeliness of her legs’. Because of course in the 60s and 70s if a gentleman wanted to have sex with a lady he would beat around the bush with comments about her legs. I think that Marjorie would have got the message.

But Marjorie seemed quite good at receiving and sending out such messages. Even the most toadying of articles about Marjorie make reference to her rather complex domestic and/or ‘romantic’ arrangements. Marjorie enjoys being known as Countess Skarbek. No Marjory is not descended from a noble old British family, she married a Polish aristocrat, Andrzej Skarbek (who was actually known as Andrew Skarbek). Marjorie uses every opportunity possible to wax lyrical about her husband’s ancestors – there is a connection to Chopin which really impresses Marjorie – and throughout their married life and indeed even now after his death Marjorie refers to him as ‘the Count’. If Marjorie is to be believed it was only when she discovered that the Count was a Count that she was alerted to the possibilities – when she met him, she thought that he was merely an ‘émigré doctor’ working at UCL involved in clinical trials for anti-psychotics. But then she found out that he was a Count and my God her attitude changed. She embarked upon a romance with the Count – who at the time was married to someone else, a Countess, with a few kids. However being the mistress of a Count was so brilliant that Marjorie continued with this arrangement. In 1972 when she gave birth to her first child by the Count, she was sharing a flat with Mary Kenny, another journalist who evolved into one of those rather mad right wing women who scribbled for organs like the Telegraph. The Count did finally get around to divorcing the Countess and married Marjorie in 1974, so she then became a Countess! She has never been able to forget it – the dear old Count eventually abandoned her and went to Canada leaving her with three children, but Marjorie still reminded everyone that she was a Countess married to the Count. She kept on reminding everyone lest she forgot that she was a Countess, or at least that’s what she claimed in interviews. After the Count left the UK, Marjorie then acquired a new partner, Tom Marjerison, who died in 2014. Tom founded ‘New Scientist’ – but he also founded something else very much grander, namely London Weekend Television.

Of course Marjorie knew about Jimmy Savile.

The Count returned to the UK after a few years and by the time that she was in her 60s Marjorie was paying regular visits to the Count – who lived just down the road from her in Hampstead – and was looking after Tom Marjerison with whom she was living, who had developed Parkinson’s. But Marjorie had a bit on the side as well – she was Lord Snowdon’s mistress! Marjorie’s shagging CV dates her romance with Lord Snowdon from 2003, but she intriguingly described herself as having ‘been close to him for thirty years’, since they worked together on the ‘Sunday Times’ (Snowdon was her photographer). If I know anything about euphemisms used by elderly luvvies/media folk, ‘being close to’ means pretty much the same thing as landing a job on account of one’s ‘shapely legs’. Lord Snowdon was of course bisexual, famously promiscuous and was alleged to have enjoyed recreational chemicals. This was admitted years ago after he split up from Princess Margaret, but after his death people became a lot more frank about his excesses.

My post ‘A Pretty Classy Piece Of Operation’ described how appointments to the Broadmoor task force, which was led by Savile, were arranged at a rather irregular meeting at the Athanaeum club in Pall Mall involving two senior civil servants, Jimmy Savile and Savile’s mate Alan Franey, who was appointed Chief Exec of Broadmoor. Savile was a member of the Athanaeum as are a lot of Top Doctors and academics and this was not the only meeting that was held there to discuss the senior management arrangements of Broadmoor. Edwina Currie attended at least one such meeting, Edwina being the Minister who actually appointed Savile to lead the Broadmoor task force after he told her how he would blackmail the violent, sexually abusive nurses of Broadmoor into ceasing their embezzlement of NHS funds. He didn’t mention stopping them from abusing the patients – which of course he was doing himself. At the very time that Marjorie was making regular visits to Broadmoor and chatting to the staff there about June and Jennifer Gibbons (read Marjorie’s book about them – there’s a few worrying breaches of confidentiality in there), Savile was sexually abusing the female patients. Savile’s targets were usually young. Those twins were I think the youngest patients in Broadmoor at that time. Don’t tell me that he resisted that temptation. Marjorie herself is no stranger to the Athanaeum. When she was awarded her CBE in 2008 she celebrated by hosting a lunch at the Athanaeum with Lord Snowdon! Savile was still alive and kicking then – come on Marjorie, who attended that lunch to celebrate your ill-gotten gains?

Now I had always presumed that Marjorie’s success as a mental health campaigner leading an organisation that is loathed by many people with mental health problems themselves and speaks for everyone but the patients was a result of her ingratiating herself to Top Doctors and never mentioning a word about their abuses – the MIND model of success. Then a few months ago I saw a passing reference to the Count having been a psychoanalyst. I wondered why a psychoanalyst would be in UCL conducting clinical trials on anti-psychotics. So I thought that it was about time that I found out a bit more about the Count. I wish that I’d done this a very long time ago, it would have explained a lot. Not only is the Count a Count but he is the ultimate Top Doctor.

Andrzej/Andrew Skarbek was born in 1925 in what was then Ukraine. His family arrived in the UK shortly after the war. He had begun his medical studies before they migrated, but obviously his studies were interrupted, although he resumed them in the UK. Later on he ended up doing a PhD at UCL, which was how he came to be running clinical trials on anti-psychotics. So he – and Marjorie – will have known just how much damage such ‘medication’ can cause if it isn’t prescribed carefully and care given to monitor patients symptoms. Yet Marjorie is very keen on that medication being given to people who are banged up against their will. Skarbek studied medicine at St Mary’s Hospital Paddington, whilst funded by family money. He qualified as a medical doctor in 1954. After graduation he worked as a paediatrician – but he ended up meeting Donald Winnicot and decided upon a career in psychiatry. Well guess where he trained? At the Maudsley! That fine institution at which dear old Dafydd Alun Jones also ‘trained’. Furthermore I suspect that they might even have known each other – Skarbek received his Diploma in Psychological Medicine in 1961. Which is pretty much about the same time that dear old Dafydd was ‘training’. Furthermore Skarbek’s interest was psychodynamic psychotherapy – so he will have been training under Bob Hobson, just like Dafydd! The Bob Hobson who afforded Dafydd a great deal of protection – because nobody wanted to admit that Bob Hobson had trained a total rogue. Skarbek qualified as an analyst five years after completing his Diploma in Psychological Medicine and then became involved with the Langham Clinic, along with R.D. Laing. Laing and some of his colleagues were known to have sexually exploited patients. Skarbek subsequently became Director of the Langham Clinic when it was renamed the London Clinic of Psychotherapy. In 1966 he became an Associate Member of the Institute of Psychoanalysis. There has been a problem in psychoanalysis for many years of analysts sexually exploiting their patients and their students. Skarbek worked at UCL, at King George Hospital Ilford and in 1977 was appointed consultant psychotherapist at Runwell, Rochford and Basildon Hospitals in Essex, where he was said to have developed a ‘community psychodynamic psychotherapy’ service. Skarbek’s career is a bit confusing. There is information stating that he received his PhD from UCL in 1977 – by which time he was well-immersed in psychodynamic psychotherapy and analysis. It seems a little odd for someone to be pursuing a research interest trialling anti-psychotics whilst being interested in analysis and therapy, they are not easy bedfellows. Unless of course he was the sort of Top Doctor who was very worried about anti-psychotics and was involved in trials to investigate how damaging – or ineffective – they are. But Marjorie has never said a word if he was.

However, a CV like this will have meant that Skarbek was very influential and very well connected. He will also have known an awful lot about a lot of people and like dear old Alice Levinson at St Georges Hospital Medical School/Springfield Hospital he will have been great at generating the psychobabble needed to discredit anyone who might have said something like ‘you know those Top Doctors in north Wales? They’re breaking the law, framing innocent people, sexually abusing the patients and concealing a paedophile ring which involves high profile public figures and politicians’. But Skarbek had worked as a paediatrician as well – now their opinion is crucial in deciding whether a child is being abused or indeed if a person is wrongly accused of abusing a child.

Skarbek’s influence did of course stretch further than the NHS. He was an advisor to the National Association for Mental Health. That was the old name for MIND. The MIND that later employed Tessa Jowell as deputy director at the same time as they were concealing the wrongdoing of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. But guess what else William Bingley, the legal director of MIND, told me in 1987 when he admitted that they knew all about Dafydd? That in the 60s Dafydd had been a leading light in MIND – or as it was then the National Association for Mental Health!

I mentioned earlier that at one point the Count abandoned Marjorie and the kids and went abroad. In the early 1980s he was Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa. The Count then returned to the UK and in the early 90s is described as having ‘led the group therapy programme at the Dept of Psychotherapy at UCL’. After he retired the Count continued with private work. Well as most Top Doctors discover, it helps to keep your oar in. Particularly if you’re concealing so much shit that you and all your associates will end up in prison if anyone ever finds out what has been going on.

Should anyone point out that just because the Count may have been party to information regarding wrongdoing in high places does not mean that the Countess will have been as well, I recommend that they google Marjorie. After the Count and Tom died and when Snowdon was on his last legs, Marjorie took to reminiscing about her younger life in media interviews. She talks about serving coffee and sandwiches at the meetings of psychoanalysts that took place at her home with Scarbek in Hampstead in the 70s, she talks of making so many visits to Broadmoor that she even used to take her children there at weekends and she talks of her long running affair with the Count before they married – they used to meet at the hospitals where he was working and she stresses how she used to chat to all the patients. When discussing her work as an ‘investigative journalist’ – but there were some things that you chose not to expose weren’t there Marjorie – she stresses again and again that her ‘method’ was to live with the people who had knowledge of the topics that she was investigating. What a sociologist would call an ethnographic approach. I doubt that Marjorie was really much of an ethnographer – she’d be far too busy telling everyone that she was a Countess – but she will have had skills in befriending people and extracting info from her work in journalism. Marjorie will have known that psychiatry was used to shut people up if they were making claims that powerful people didn’t want heard. What if Marjorie had heard via her media connections that there was an awkward social worker in north Wales who was alleging that there was widespread sexual abuse of children in children’s homes there? What if she knew that the Director of Social Services colluding with the paedophile ring in operation in those homes was the mistress of one of the Count’s former colleagues and that former colleague of the Count was also proving most useful in discrediting or incarcerating the people who were claiming that they had been abused in those homes – which were being visited by the Conservative MP for Chester and Thatcher’s aide, Sir Peter Morrison? Had Morrison et al been exposed at the time the damage to Thatcher’s Gov’t would have been enormous. The Times newspapers – and the Torygraph which employed Marjorie’s old flatmate Mary Kenny – were staunch supporters of Thatcher.

Did Marjorie have any other possible connections to north Wales apart from the Count’s old colleague from the Maudsley, Dafydd? Er yes – she was ‘close to’ Lord Snowdon. The excessive, bisexual, promiscuous Lord Snowdon who had north Welsh roots and – although I didn’t know this until recently – did used to visit north Wales. Snowdon is actually buried at Llanfaglan near Caernarfon. The Lord Snowdon who was in the House of Lords – which is choc a bloc with politicians who had a hand in concealing the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. Lord Snowdon was so keen to remain in the Lords that after hereditary peers were excluded he accepted a life peerage that had been especially created for him. This caused quite a lot of criticism at the time, it was considered rather bad form. But Snowdon really wanted to remain in there – which is a bit weird, he was hardly a political animal. Just an animal.

Little wonder that Marjorie announced a ‘crisis’ in 1986 as Alison Taylor blew the whistle – the only remedy to the ‘crisis’ being to keep the abusive, discredited asylums open, including the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. Marjorie came in for so much criticism that latterly she tempered her language in interviews, but some of her early TV appearances were splendid. She would always be given far more air time than the patients who were trying to explain what was happening to people in psychiatric hospitals and I saw her make claims that she ‘knew’ that patients wanted to be kept in ‘secure’ places because they knew themselves that they were dangerous. One group of mental health patients set up an organisation called ‘MANE – Marjorie, A National Emergency’, but their voices were completely drowned out by Marjorie and the Top Doctors.

So what about SANE these days? Institutions like Denbigh have now closed but patients are simply abused and neglected in the ‘community’ instead should they cross the path of the Top Doctors, although they can of course still be banged up in secure units, tasered whilst sectioned, transferred to prisons or high security hospitals, assaulted or even killed whilst being ‘restrained when distressed’ and forcibly injected with anti-psychotics that can destroy their health or kill them and there will not be an investigation. Chin up Marjorie, there are many ways of destroying vulnerable people without an asylum. SANE boasts that it has a helpline for the suicidal/distressed. That helpline is not all that it’s cracked up to be. It is only open between 4-30pm and 10-30pm – which is weird because if someone’s going to despair they tend to do so during the night not at tea-time. Furthermore I have heard from people who have worked at SANE and from people who have run the helpline that the people answering the helpline are completely out of their depth regarding the distress that they are being confronted with. Which is sad, because if Marjorie was running a helpful helpline it would be a very useful contribution. Is Marjorie perhaps constrained in terms of funding for the helpline?

It would seem not. Marjorie has been remarkably successful at raising funds for SANE, but she hasn’t used those funds for the helpline. Marjorie has used some of the funds for Research into suicide and self-harm. Yet nowhere can I find details of exactly what this research is. Which is even more puzzling because SANE established a whole research centre, POWIC. Which stands for the Prince of Wales International Centre for SANE Research. Prince Charles is the Patron of SANE – well he and Marjorie are related by extra-marital sex aren’t they. In 2008 POWIC shared a building with the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, which is of course spawn of Professor Mark Williams, who knows all about Dafydd, the paedophile ring and the madness of north Wales, he was right at the centre of it for years (please see post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’). Someone else who knows about Dafydd and north Wales also worked at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and led a strand of research for SANE – Professor Tom Burns. I know that Tom Burns knows because in about 1990 I TOLD HIM – and Tom admitted that he believed me and that psychiatry ‘attracted disturbed people’ which created problems. What Tom also did – but without my knowledge – was write to the corrupt occupational health physician at St Georges who had sent me to him, Nicky Mitchell-Heggs, and tell her that I wasn’t psychotic but I was over sensitive and might have a paranoid personality disorder. When I became suicidal the following year as a result of being constantly arrested for serious crimes after Dafydd’s colleagues Dr Tony Francis (‘Dr X’) and his wife Dr Sadie Francis (Dr X’s wife) perjured themselves, Burns told Mitchell-Heggs that he ‘didn’t think that he had anything to offer’ when she contacted him again. I bet he didn’t because he knew what was happening and was going to walk away very quickly in the opposite direction. Which is how he ended up with a Chair at Oxford working with Mark Williams! SANE also had another person on board leading their ‘research’, based at the Dept of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford and that was the man who established POWIC in collaboration with SANE, Professor Tim Crow. Tim Crow worked with Dr Tony Francis before Tony Francis moved to north Wales and I think that it was Tim Crow who supervised Francis’s MD.

I really do not think that all of this can be a coincidence.

So where did the dosh for POWIC come from? From rather unusual sources. The Saudi Royal Family donated £1.75 million and this was then matched by a donation of another £1.75 million from the Xylas Greek shipping family. Marjorie needed yet more, so an appeal went out in the ‘Times’ and another donation from the Sultan of Brunei arrived.

If anyone can possibly think of a reason why the Saudi Royal Family, Greek shipping tycoons and the Sultan of Brunei would want to give large amounts of money to a bunch of charlatans who concealed a paedophile gang please do let me know. Because I am flabbergasted.

But other people have given dosh to SANE as well. Including the City Bridge Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the John Ellerman Foundation, the Sobell Foundation and of course the Big Lottery Fund.

The City Bridge Trust is the City of London Corporation Charity. The Garfield Weston Foundation describes itself as a ‘family foundation’ and nearly all of the Trustees are descendants of the man who established it. A lot of them see to be connected with Fortnum and Mason, which is probably where Marjorie buys her groceries. ‘Mason’ being the operative word where the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal and Dafydd were concerned.

The John Ellerman Foundation has a number of interesting Trustees, many of whom are professional fundraisers on a very big scale. The Chair is Lady Sarah Riddell, who has a background in journalism – she’ll know Marjorie then. Riddell served as Vice-Chair of the Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust, which has now been incorporated into Imperial NHS Trust (see blog post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’ for details of wrongdoing at Hammersmith Hospital). Sarah has served as a lay member of research ethics committees and a Gov’t advisory body on clinical trials. She is a Trustee of the Pilgrim Trust, the Sir James Knott Trust and the Castle Aukland Trust. (There seems to be a great deal of crossover between the Trustees of these three Trusts, with a number of the same people sitting on the Boards of more than one of them. Justin Welby is a former Trustee of the Castle Aukland Trust, as are two Top Doctors (one of whom boasts that he has been a GP for ‘four bishops’) and various people with connections to the Royal Family and various Oxbridge Colleges. Trustees of these various charities include members of the late Lord Longford’s family, Professor Colin Blakemore the controversial Top Doctor and former Chief Exec of the MRC and an Oliver James, who I think may be the Oliver James that is the truly dreadful media psychologist who spouts shite that no sensible person could ever be taken in by.) Ellerman Foundation Trustee Brian Hurwitz was ‘a GP in inner London for 30 years’. He was also the Professor of Primary Health Care and General Practice at Imperial (again, please see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’ for details of the extensive wrongdoing by folk at Imperial). Hurwitz is the Professor of Medicine and Arts at Kings – he directs the Centre for Health Humanities. And like nearly all the medics now trying to get in on the Health Humanities bandwagon I bet that he knows sod all about it, but hey there’s Gov’t funding available. (The best anecdote that I heard recently from this field was from a friend who attended a Literature in Mental Health conference. My friend is a medieval scholar and was particularly underwhelmed at a presentation by a clinical psychologist who professed an interest in literature and mental health and then gave them details of all the self-help books that he recommends to his patients. No doubt the manual that he follows himself is ‘How To Get Rich Quick’.) Peter Kyle is listed as a Trustee – he is the Chairman of the University of Westminster and has an background in high arts. (I am wondering if this is the same Peter Kyle who is the Labour MP for Hove, the gay rights campaigner who has done his best to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn and who is detested by many.) Well Marjorie loves her opera and classical music – and one of the Count’s ancestors was godfather to Chopin…Another Trustee is Gary Steinberg. Gary, ‘a manager of investment funds’, is the Chief Investment Officer of the Wellcome Trust; Chief Exec of British Petroleum’s UK Pension Plan; held a non-executive position with SUG Capital ‘a leading UK private equity company’; is on the Investment Committee of the Kings Fund and is Chair of the Investment Committee of Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Children’s Charity. The GOSH that is currently embroiled in an international row regarding the care of the baby Charlie Gard, with hundreds of thousands of people signing a petition in opposition to GOSH and Trump and the Pope wading in to denounce them as a bunch of murdering gits as well.

Like Mother Theresa who famously accepted charitable donations from the Mafia, I am left with the impression that Marjorie’s not too fussy where her dosh comes from.

Like all good mental health charities, SANE has some ‘ambassadors’. Marjorie doesn’t seem to have attracted the big hitters like MIND who managed to con the likes of Stephen Fry, Melvyn Bragg and Alistair Campbell into appearing on their website. SANE has a woman called Rachel who is a journo on the ‘Times’ who’s written some truly lame self-help advice for the depressed and of course Ruby Wax, that mate of Mark Williams’s who purchased a Masters degree from Mark and has acted as his PR woman ever since. Ruby is not one for exercising sound judgement in terms of the good causes that she supports – she endorsed Kid’s Company and look what happened there.

Marjorie is getting on now, she’s in her mid-70s, but her efforts to assist those who have a lot to conceal continue. Before old Snowdon pegged out she was featured in a newspaper article which described her ‘an elfin-faced femme fatale’ (surely ‘Glenda Slagg’ as featured in ‘Private Eye’ would be a more appropriate description). Marjorie talked of the delights of her affair with Snowdon and described him as ‘my partner in crime’. Yes Marjorie some very big crimes indeed were committed. Now perhaps those of you who are not yet dead would like to make your way down to the nearest police station and give a statement concerning what you know about all those kids in care who were forced into providing sexual services for public figures and whose lives were ruined by the Top Doctors if they dared complain about what had happened to them. Oh and before you’re pushing up the daisies yourself Marjorie, would you like to tell us why those two teenaged girls from Pembrokeshire were incarcerated for decades in the nation’s most notorious high security hospital? Because it certainly won’t have been because they didn’t talk or were involved in petty crime. From what I remember of the case, the straw that broke the camel’s back regarding the alleged misbehaviour of those two girls was their claim to be prostitutes…They were in Broadmoor within months after that.

A lot of the people named on this blog could be described as dangerous fuckers in terms of their willingness to put other people’s safety and even lives at risk. But Marjorie is in a league of her own in terms of being One Dangerous Fucker.

 

Footnote: It must have been sometime in 1987 when I wrote to Marjorie. Because I thought that she was a genuine mental health campaigner at the time of writing I gave her full details, dates and names of the people involved in the abuses at the North Wales Hospital, including the name of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, the former colleague of the Count. Not only that but of course that letter had my own name and my address on. I was living in London at the time working in medical research. Some very unpleasant things happened to me after I wrote that letter and I do of course now have documentation demonstrating that those we know and love had contacted people whom they knew in London Medical Schools and were even using them to intercept mail that was being sent to me in an attempt to find out where I was living – I moved house frequently as a result of the unpleasant and bizarre happenings. I had a close friend who also lived in London at the time, my best friend from school. She knew what had happened to me in north Wales as did her mum and dad – they were mental health professionals themselves (but honest ones) and were advising me. Then unpleasant things started happening to my friend as well – she and her boyfriend had a small film production company and she wanted to make a documentary about what had happened to me in north Wales at the hands of the Count’s former colleague. My friend was also working at the Royal Television Society – at exactly the same time that I was hounded out of my job at St Georges Hospital Medical School my friend was sacked from the RTS. My friend’s dismissal was very obviously the result of one particular manager there who just seemed determined to get rid of her for no good reason. The treatment of my friend caused a rumpus – there was a staff walk-out in protest and my friend later won an unfair dismissal case and was awarded several thousand pounds in compensation. Did you happen to know anyone who was in a senior position at the RTS in the late 80s/early 90s Marjorie? You might have shagged a few aristocrats Marjorie but I have nearly 10,000 documents in a safe place. Think about it.

 

 

 

 

 

I Know Nuzzing…

My post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’ described how the Jillings Report was commissioned in 1994 to investigate the extent of child abuse in children’s homes managed by Clwyd County Council. Jillings uncovered such horrors that Municipal Mutual, the Council’s insurers, refused to allow the Report to be made public. It was only in 2013 that the Jillings Report was released after constant allegations that the subsequent Waterhouse Inquiry had been a cover up – although even then the Jillings Report was heavily redacted. Following Jillings, there was huge pressure for a public enquiry into events in children’s homes in north Wales as allegations of a paedophile ring involving senior public figures and police officers swirled. A number of people employed in children’s homes in north Wales had been imprisoned for offences against children and many former residents of children’s homes in north Wales had been found dead. By this time the Secretary of State for Wales was William Hague. Hague initially held out against holding a public inquiry but then buckled. In 1996 he announced that Sir Ronald Waterhouse, a judge who had just retired, would be Chairing a public inquiry into the abuse of children in the care of Clwyd and Gwynedd County Councils between 1974 and 1996. The Waterhouse Report, ‘Lost In Care’, written as a result of this Inquiry, was published in February 2000. Like Jillings, it’s findings were damning, revealing widespread abuse of children in care in north Wales. However, as soon as the Waterhouse Report was published, there were angry allegations that there had been a substantial cover-up at a very high level. Waterhouse concluded that a paedophile ring had been in operation in north Wales, but he was perceived to have ‘blamed’ everything on a few bottom feeding social care workers, rather than investigate the possibility that a number of much grander people might have been fully involved. (When one examines the background of Sir Ronald Waterhouse, it is easy to see why he would be in an excellent position and indeed be motivated to lead such a cover-up. A future blog post will be exploring the backgrounds and networks of some of the lawyers and judges named on this blog, including Ronald Waterhouse.) The Waterhouse Report is enormous and I’ve never read it from cover to cover, but I have read big chunks of it and I have been refreshing my memory over the past few days. What strikes me upon reading it is that Waterhouse managed to frequently avoid blaming the bottom feeders as well -the abuse of children was undoubtedly far worse and far more extensive than Waterhouse admitted. He seems to have disregarded huge amounts of evidence of extensive brutality and wrongdoing – this man was a JUDGE, some of what he brushed to one side or chose not to comment on was extraordinary. I will give examples later on in this post.

Waterhouse supplied details of the management structures and the backgrounds of the senior managers and managers of Gwynedd and Clwyd Councils after taking evidence from numerous witnesses. Everybody involved claimed to have no knowledge of the extensive abuse of children. It is always said of north Wales that everybody knows everybody else’s business and to a large extent that’s a fairly accurate caricature. This seems to be one reason why the idea that the arson campaign against second homes in the 70s and 80s was the work of the security services acting as agent provocateurs caught on – I was told by a number of people rooted locally that ‘no-one can do anything in north Wales without everyone knowing, but no-one knows anyone who knows anything about the fires, it is definitely not one of us doing it’. Regarding the abuse of children though, people most certainly did know that it was happening – they just weren’t openly admitting it. It was a classic case of the social anthropologist Isabel Emmett’s notion of ‘not knowing’ (please see post ‘How No-One Knew About Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’). In the same way that everybody knew that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was sexually exploiting patients, people knew that those kids were being abused. I got wind of it as a first year undergrad at Bangor University – I had no family from the region, I knew nothing about north Wales until I went to university there, but I soon found out that all was not well with the disadvantaged kids. I didn’t hear about a paedophile ring, but then laypeople didn’t tend to be obsessed with paedophiles in the early 1980s – but I did hear about ‘cruelty’. I heard more and more about it as time went by – at one point I lodged with a man who had grown up in care and I heard it from him and his girlfriend. Then I shared a house with some other young people, one of whom was a young man who’d grown up on a farm on the Llyn Peninsula. His mum had been a foster parent and the whole extended family were appalled at the lack of care and the degree of callousness shown by social workers towards the children in their care. This particular family were vey keen to care for their foster children well, but they observed that there was no help or interest from social workers at all and that they could have done pretty much anything to those kids and no-one would have asked any questions. They also told me that on the 16th birthday of the children the social workers would announce that the kids were no longer their responsibility and that was that, they wanted to hear no more about them. This particular family continued to support their foster children without the ‘input’ of the social services after they were 16. (Interestingly enough one thing that was admitted in both the Jillings and Waterhouse Reports was that ‘aftercare’ for children in care was appalling.) When I entered the mental health system I encountered many people who had grown up in ‘care’ and it was very clear that something was terribly wrong – of course the mental health services were key figures in concealing the paedophile ring, as detailed in previous posts. So if an 18 year old undergrad newly arrived in north Wales heard a few worrying things I think it highly unlikely that the managers of those ‘services’ did not know what was going on. To illustrate this further and explore how so many people were able to maintain that they ‘didn’t know’, let’s take a look at the management of Gwynedd Social Services and what they said, based on the information supplied in the Waterhouse Report – as well what I saw and heard when I lived in Gwynedd. (I’ll explore the situation in Clwyd in another post.)

Waterhouse looked at the scene from 1974 onwards, although the Jillings Report noted that they suspected that the serious abuse of children had been going on in north Wales for decades. My own knowledge of those involved with the children’s and mental health services and conversations with numerous people suggest that is indeed likely.

Let’s look at Gwynedd Social Services. Between April 1974 and September 1982, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services was T.E. Jones. He had previously held the same post in the old Local Authority area of Caernarvonshire, before the formation of Gwynedd County Council. T.E. Jones had grown up in Montgomeryshire, had no professional qualifications and no experience of child care work. He had been the County Welfare Officer in Merionethshire from 1952 to 1964 and the County Welfare Officer in Caernarvonshire for seven years after that. The Deputy Director until 1983 was David Alun Parry – he was then Assistant Director (Special Duties) until March 31 1987, when he took voluntary redundancy. Before Parry was Deputy Director of Gwynedd, he had spent three years as Director of Social Services for Anglesey. Between 1964 and 1971 he was Deputy Children’s Officer, then Children’s Officer, for Anglesey. Parry was an Aberystwyth graduate who had also undertaken Diplomas in Social Science and Applied Social Studies at the Universities of Swansea and Liverpool. He also held the Home Office Letter of Recognition in Child Care and had attended several management courses for senior officers at Liverpool University and in 1972, attended two short courses for Directors of Social Services at the Institute for Local Government Studies at Birmingham University. Below Jones and Parry, there were three Assistant Directors. The responsibilities for children were divided between Emyr Davies and G.H. Egerton. Elizabeth Hughes was the Homes Officer reporting to Emyr Davies. Egerton was responsible for five Area Officers under an Area Controller – the Senior Officer (Children) accountable to him from 1975 was Larry King. T.E. Jones maintained that Parry was incapable of carrying out his duties as his Deputy – Parry was therefore relieved of these duties, but kept his rank and was put in charge of the children’s section. T.E. Jones also maintained that Emyr Davies and Egerton were seriously ill, absent for a long time and had to retire. From February 1976 a new structure was imposed. A Principal Assistant Director of similar status to the Deputy Director was appointed – one Lucille Hughes, who had previously been an Assistant Director. For the benefit of new readers – Lucille was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was in operation in the social services but failed to act. She was also the mistress of the dreadful Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, who was illegally banging up people n the North Wales Hospital Denbigh who had complained about the mental health services or who had been molested ‘in care’. Lucille now had Emyr Davies (Elderly) and Egerton (Mental Health) under her and Parry had Larry King as Senior (later Principal) Officer (Children) under him. King retired in 1988. He had been in the Army, then in the police in England, transferring to the Colonial Police in Rhodesia. He had been a Housemaster at Bryn Estyn – the home in Clwyd which was one of the centres of the most serious abuse, where a number of staff were imprisoned for serious sexual offences. In 1969 King began work for Denbighshire County Council after qualifying for the Home Office Letter of Recognition in Child Care at Liverpool University. He was later a Senior Social Worker for Flintshire County Council and then moved to the Llandudno Area Office managed by Gwynedd County Council in 1974. From 1975 King was a Senior Officer in Gwynedd  – he was redesignated as Principal Officer (Children) from 1979.

Parry’s story was that the previous incorporation of Anglesey Social Services into Gwynedd was not a happy one. He maintained that working relationships were seriously impaired and claimed that the children’s section lacked resources. From July 1981, the responsibility for the children’s section was transferred to Lucille Hughes. This transfer occurred at the same time that Gwynedd County Council’s Chief Executive Ioan Bowen Rees commissioned officials from Dyfed County Council to investigate complaints made by current and former staff regarding Y Gwyngyll community home. Furthermore in 1981, Nefyn Dodd was made responsible for all the community homes in Gwynedd. Nefyn Dodd and his wife June were accused by scores of people of the most ferocious abuse and brutality towards children. Parry was an uncritical admirer of Nefyn Dodd. Elizabeth Hughes the Homes Officer was for a long while on long term sick leave, then left and was not replaced. In the face of this chaos and mismanagement, Waterhouse commented that it was ‘commendable’ that Gwynedd provided such a level of service with ‘comparatively few’ complaints of abuse. (Waterhouse doesn’t seem to have questioned the degree of fuckwittery present and there were actually numerous complaints of abuse, many ignored by Gwynedd and others brushed aside by Waterhouse himself.)

Then in 1982, Parry had a car crash and was off for a long time. When T.E. Jones retired in 1982, Lynn Ebsworth, who had been Chief Personnel Officer, became Acting Director. Parry returned as Assistant Director (Special Duties) after May 1983. In March 1987, after ‘negotiations with his professional organisation’ Parry took voluntary redundancy and received an enhanced pension. To return to Lucille who had been responsible for children since July 1981. Lucille was an English graduate from UCNW (which later became Bangor University) and also had a Certificate in Social Sciences from Liverpool University and the Home Office Letter of Recognition in Child Care. For 13 years she had worked in the children’s departments of Cheshire and Anglesey County Councils, as a Children’s Officer in both counties and then as Deputy Director in Cheshire in 1971. She was Principal Assistant Director in Gwynedd from Feb 1976 and until July 1981 her responsibilities were principally the elderly and mental health. Assisting Lucille was Owain Gethin Evans. Gethin Evans had graduated in Social Administration from Manchester University in 1968 and obtained Diplomas in Education (1970) from Cardiff University and Social Work Studies (1974) from the LSE. He had worked as a social worker in Cheshire between 1971 and 1973. After his stint at the LSE he returned to Gwynedd as a social worker and from 1975 spent three years as a community organiser. In 1978 Gethin Evans was appointed Senior Officer (General) to assist Lucille. He was then appointed Principal Officer (Children) and was Head of the Children’s Services in 1982. In 1995 he was appointed Director of Social Services for Ceredigion County Council. Evans was the de facto Head of Children’s Services in Gwynedd, except for between 1987-1992 when he was Assistant Director (Resources and Support). Evans was also a member of Dwyfor District Council between 1976-1986 and was it’s Chairman in 1983/84.

Lynn Ebsworth was Acting Director of Social Services from May 1982-Sept 1983. Lucille Hughes was appointed Director with effect from 1 Oct 1983. Ebsworth had previously been Management Services Officer to Ioan Bowen Rees the County Secretary, and Chief Personnel Officer to the newly formed Gwynedd County Council’s first Chief Executive, D. Alun Jones. Bowen Rees succeeded D. Alun Jones as Chief Exec in 1980. Ebsworth then became accountable to Bowen Rees. Ebsworth had no previous training or experience in Social Services. Under Ebsworth was Gethin Evans, responsible for the Children’s Section but with virtually no experience of children in care. Responsible to him were Nefyn Dodd and Larry King. It was Gethin Evans who oversaw Dodd being given responsibility for all of the community homes. Extraordinarily, amidst this mess, the County Council’s Chief Exec, Ioan Bowen Rees, thought that Lucille ‘performed admirably’ as Director of Social Services. That was while she knew that a paedophile ring was in operation but failed to act. I will return to Bowen Rees later.

On 2 April 1984 a new Deputy Director of Social Services was appointed, David Glanville Owen – Gethin Evans was also short-listed for the post. Glanville was from Pwhelli and had been a trainee in the Children’s Dept in the Liverpool Corporation in 1965 after graduating in economics from Liverpool University. He then acquired a Diploma in Applied Social Studies and the Home Office Letter of Recognition in Child Care from Nottingham University by 1967. He had also worked in four English Local Authorities and for the National Children Home (NCH). He had been a senior social worker to the Assistant Director at Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council.

When Glanville was applying for the Gwynedd position, he was undertaking a course in Advanced Management for Local Government at Birmingham University. He was Deputy Director of Gwynedd Social Services until the local government reorganisation, then spent 18 months as Head of Policy Unit of the new Gwynedd County Council until Sept 1997, when he was made redundant.

Being made redundant didn’t end Glanville’s substantial toxic influence in Gwynedd. By 2003 Glanville was Chief Exec of Gwynedd Community Health Council – the patients watchdog! That’s how I came across him. I approached him with my very serious complaint about the Hergest Unit – this was at a time when the madness was evident with patients dying and being hauled off to prison and people writing to politicians about the brutality and the chaos – and Glanville refused to receive me, telling me that the CHC wasn’t responsible for hospitals. I found out that this was a lie, so I returned to Glanville who then lied about telling the first lie. I submitted my complaint and for many, many months Glanville and one of his ‘officers’, a lady called Hilary, went around and around in circles. My complaint was neither investigated properly or resolved and Glanville and Hilary never managed to explain why. The last time that I saw the disgusting Glanville he was attending a meeting in his capacity as a member of the North Wales CHC. So Gwynedd is not rid of him yet.

Glanville sounds as though he was his usual slippery negligent self in his evidence to Waterhouse.  He emphasised that he had never managed a community home for children or worked in one, even when he was with the NCH. As Deputy Director, he was ‘remote’ from the residential section and had not much contact with it – that was Lucille’s domain. However although Glanville claimed to know nuzzing, Waterhouse noted that almost as soon as he arrived in Gwynedd, he took up 12 points regarding the community homes in Gwynedd, including some serious allegations of staff misconduct, with Gethin Evans. Evans responded to Glanville with a memo that Waterhouse described as ‘inappropriate, complacent and discourteous’ which onbiously was ‘intended to discourage intrusion’. Glanville reorganised the Social Services Dept soon after his arrival and the responsibility for the development of Children’s Services was given to the Assistant Director, one Gethin Evans.

From 1987, the Assistant Director responsible for the Children’s Section was Rob Evans, who had been the Area Officer for Aberconwy since November 1984. Rob Evans had graduated in Social Sciences from Leicester University and obtained his CQSW in 1976. By 1984 he had acquired 10 years of management experience of social work in Northampton and Dorset and had served as a Team Manager in Dorset. In 1992, restructuring resulted in Rob Evans being appointed Assistant Director (Mental Health) – Waterhouse notes that Evans ‘left local government’ in March 1996. It was in his capacity as Assistant Director that I encountered Rob in the mid 90s. As a result of the constant aggro that I was receiving from the delightful Arfon Community Mental Health Team (please see previous posts), Rob was called in to sort it out. I had a truly bizarre meeting with him in which he made no comments about the law-breaking and perjury and constant aggression of the Arfon Team, but instead offered a discourse on ‘changing practice’ in social work. As an example he explained that when he used to take children to children’s homes he used to take their shoes away to stop them running away. He said that the children hated him for taking them to the homes but he knew that he was doing the right thing. A couple of years ago, some of the interviews that some of the former residents of north Wales children’s homes gave to the police in the criminal trials were made public. Some of the witnesses explained that they ran away after they were molested by members of the paedophile ring but someone took their shoes away after that to prevent them escaping. Many years after my own encounter with Rob, my lawyers obtained the documents that he had compiled after he had met me to discuss the Arfon Team and their activities. Rob had noted that he had met Keith Fearns, the psychopath who was the ‘leader’ of the Arfon Team and asked him what he wanted done with me. Fearns had replied ‘lock her up’. Rob had told him that wasn’t possible. Fearns had replied once more ‘lock her up’. Rob had noted that the situation was unresolvable and that he was leaving his post tomorrow anyway. Waterhouse was wrong about Rob – he didn’t leave local government in 1996. After no-one had been held to account for the rape and battery of hundreds of children over many years, Rob resurfaced again – as Head of Community Services on Anglesey! Waterhouse noted that in his evidence, Rob had told him that he wasn’t a fluent Welsh speaker and he considered that his chances of an appropriate ‘senior’ position were virtually zero. So it’s good to know that Anglesey found a home for him. The last time that I saw Rob I tried to ask him about his activities regarding Fearns many years ago. Rob told me that I was ‘arrassin’ him and if I didn’t stop he’d call the police. Rob often seemed to find himself the line manager of thugs – he was responsible for Larry King and Nefyn Dodd until his job changed and he was then overseeing dear old Fearns.

Rob had an interesting interpretation of Fearns and co’s threats, harassment and aggression though. In his evidence to Waterhouse, Rob maintained that because a Health Advisory Service Inspection in 1986 had been ‘very critical’ of mental health services in Gwynedd, Rob had made mental health a priority and the community mental health services had now been recognised as among the best in Europe! I’d love to know who ‘recognised’ them as such. The only people with knowledge of social work and mental health services in other parts of Europe that I knew who had contact with the thugs and liars that were employed by Lucille et al were a team of German social scientists who had a link with Bangor University. I worked with them myself and they were a nice lot – but they had no idea at all how patients were being treated because their contact was with the thugs and liars themselves who never fessed up that they were facilitating a paedophile ring. They just met up with the Germans for nibbles and drinks and no doubt told them that the services had been recognised as the best in Europe. But then idiots in north Wales were a bit obsessed with Europe in those days. Dr Dafydd Alun Jones kept appearing in the local press described as ‘Europe’s leading forensic psychiatrist’. He wasn’t even a forensic psychiatrist.

Larry King retired in 1988 and was replaced by Peter James Hibbs. Hibbs had grown up in Colwyn Bay and graduated in sociology from the South Bank Poly in 1973. He had been an Education Welfare Officer in ILEA (Inner London Education Authority) for four years, then completed his CQSW at UCNW (Bangor University) and also gained a Diploma in Social Studies. In Dec 1979 Hibbs joined Gwynedd as a member of the Child Care Team at the Anglesey Area Office and was promoted to senior social worker in Nov 1985. When Nefyn Dodd retired from the post of Principal Officer (Residential Services) in May 1990, Hibbs took over. Hibbs himself encountered serious personal difficulties and became ill with severe depression –  he was deemed by a Medical Officer to be unable continue working after December 1990 and formally retired in Jan 1993. However, at the time of giving evidence to Waterhouse, he had been working since November 1995 as a Senior Practitioner at the Family Centre, Rhyl, run by NCH. Hibbs stated that he used to see Rob Evans about once a week, but was ‘uncertain’ whether Rob grasped ‘child protection issues’, he was more of a ‘mental health specialist’ no less.

Hibbs had been responsible to Gethin Evans and when Hibbs retired he was replaced by Dafydd Ifans. Ifans had worked in the North Wales Probation Services for the last ten years after obtaining his CQSW at Cartrefle College as well as an OU degree. Prior to that he’d been in the Army for fifteen years after leaving school at fifteen to join as an Army apprentice. He then worked as a manager for ASDA for two years. Ifans worked in Gwynedd until 31 December 1995, when he was then appointed as Service Manager for the Children and Families Services for Conwy County Borough Council. During his nearly three years as a Principal Officer, Ifans was responsible for line managing three community homes in Gwynedd.

I have deliberately given a lot of details regarding the managers of Gwynedd Social Services to demonstrate a number of points. Firstly, the degree of conflict that obviously existed between some of them. Secondly, the number of people that were falling apart at the seams themselves – a lot of people were on long-term sick leave or being deemed incapable of fulfilling their duties. This is a key sign of an organisation in trouble but judging from the chunks of the Waterhouse Report that I’ve read so far, Waterhouse doesn’t seem to have taken on board the significance of this. One inescapable theme is how many of these people had connections with each other, or had been circulating around the system for some time. During the 80s and 90s, if one was English and living in Gwynedd, one heard constant allegations that Gwynedd County Council was a ‘closed shop’ and that ‘they only employ their friends and their relatives’. There does seem to have been an awful lot of that going on – but another allegation that English people frequently made was ‘none of them have ever been out of Gwynedd’. Judging from the previous account that is very obviously not true. They had all had stints of studying or working elsewhere – or moving on elsewhere after presiding over the horror that was Gwynedd children’s services. But as far as I can see that is simply more terrifying. That lot had a well-established network that will have been affording them protection and as I have previously argued it stretched far and wide, into England as well. A number of them had also worked in places where it is now known that there was a problem with the organised abuse of children eg. Cheshire, Leicester and inner London. Again and again I was told that the problems in north Wales re the children’s services and mental health services was ‘just north Wales’. It was not. It surfaced in north Wales and ‘outsiders’ were always suspicious and curious because they were very obviously excluded on the grounds of language and it was easy for them to conjure up spectres of cave-dwelling sheep shaggers who molest the kids and burn English peoples houses down. But the vile ones had mates next door in England and had an established network to assist them. Some of them also had connections to the police and the Army…

Among all the detail supplied in the Waterhouse Report regarding Gwynedd Social Services, there is a glaring omission. Waterhouse mentions in passing a ‘child protection officer’ who was working under Gethin Evans. In a region where children were being abused by a paedophile ring and having the living daylights battered out of them by the likes of Nefyn Dodd and were being half-starved and used as free labour by ‘foster parents’, the child protection officer would be a fairly crucial member of the team. Yet they are not named and there is no reference to their evidence in the Waterhouse Report. Were they fast asleep on the job or simply terrified? Or had someone decided that they didn’t want to hear evidence from them? Or had Waterhouse heard their evidence and decided not to mention it? There was something else that he passed by with barely a comment. When he ‘reviewed’ the evidence against Nefyn and June Dodd, as well as ignoring scores of complaints of brutality – and a few of sexual abuse – against the Dodds and the people whom they employed in the community home that they ran in Bangor, Waterhouse mentions a complaint from someone referred to as X, against the Dodds. Waterhouse acknowledges that a letter of ‘dubious authenticity’ allegedly signed by X was sent from Risley Remand Centre to Lucille Hughes expressing support for the Dodds. But Waterhouse accepted that X didn’t write this and so he disregarded it! So someone in Risley Remand Centre forged a letter from X and sent it to Lucille Hughes, supporting the Dodds, when the Dodds were under investigation for abusing children. And Waterhouse barely bats an eyelid. But then someone forged a letter from me and sent it to the GMC after I complained about Dr Tony Roberts (please see post ‘The General Medical Council And Yet Another Forged Document’). Someone forged a certificate of indictment saying that I’d been found guilty of ‘violent disorder’ at Caernarfon Crown Court when I hadn’t (please see post ‘An Update On Those Legal Conundrums’). It’s good to know that I wasn’t being singled out – forging documents is obviously an everyday pastime of health and welfare folk in the face of complaints about the health and social care services. How many more forged documents are there sitting in files in the wake of caring staff having been cleared of serious wrongdoing after the plebs of this parish dared complain about them?

And therein lies the key. For the most part, the people on the receiving end of this bunch of scumbags were indeed the plebs. They were people with long-term mental health problems, drug/alcohol problems, kids in care, various dispossessed or disadvantaged people. They also often had criminal records, because as I have detailed previously on this blog, if you complained about that bunch of bastards they stitched you up for crimes that everyone knew that you hadn’t done so they could then dismiss your complaints as coming from a ‘criminal’ and therefore not to be believed. Because I constantly had the most dreadful encounters with the ‘services’ and then more dreadful encounters with officious lying shits like Glanville Owen when I tried to raise concerns about them, for many years I gained the impression that Gwynedd and Clwyd Councils must be run by daft old buggers who had worked their way up from jobs as admin assistants when they were 16 and who did not know their arses from their elbows. Some people did equate to this stereotype – namely Alun Davies, the manager of the Hergest Unit, who could hardly string a coherent sentence together – but let’s have a look at those at the very top of the tree in Gwynedd County Council, the successive Chief Executives who oversaw this horror. So how dim and uninformed were they?

The Chief Execs of Gwynedd County Council for the period of time reviewed by Waterhouse were: David Alun Jones, 1974-1980; Ioan Bowen Rees, 1980-1991; Huw Vaughan Thomas, 1991-1996.

David Alun Jones was a solicitor, the Deputy Clerk (1952-1961), then Clerk of Denbighshire County Council for 13 years. He read law at Aberystwyth University, then held posts as a solicitor in Ilford, Southampton, Berkshire and Surrey before Denbighshire. After his stint as Chief Exec at Gwynedd, he was the Commissioner for Local Administration in Wales for the next five years until his retirement in 1985. His evidence to the Waterhouse Tribunal revolved around the theme of how financially poor the area of Gwynedd was. It was stated that T.E. Jones, the Director of Social Services, didn’t discuss problems regarding children or the community homes with Alun Jones and Waterhouse stated that he had no reason to think that Alun Jones was aware of the complaints. Alun Jones was consulted by the Director of Social Services regarding the alleged failings of Parry, the Deputy Director of Social Services, in approx. 1974. Alun Jones thought that Parry’s services should be dispensed with, but the Chairman of the Social Services Committee, formerly of Anglesey County Council (I presume this will have been Councillor Eric Davies) thought that Parry should be given responsibility for children’s services and this was the view that prevailed. So they handed children’s services over to a man whom they seemed to be in dispute with and whom they maintained could not do his job. Did Alun Jones not think this was a little high risk? Alun Jones was a lawyer – presumably not completely stupid. But look at his background – all those years as a legal advisor to Denbighshire County Council. The North Wales Hospital was on his patch – he was there whilst Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd were in action. He will have known about the problems out there and what was alleged to have been happening. I note that Alun Jones read law at Aber – it has always been maintained that one factor preventing the true extent of the child abuse in north Wales becoming public was rampant corruption among lawyers in the region. A previous post of mine looking at corruption in the region noted how many people who had been implicated were law graduates from Aber (see post ‘Updates, Common Themes And News, May 5 2017’).

Ioan Bowen Rees was Chief Exec for much of the time under review by Waterhouse, ie. 1980-1991. It was during this time that the complaints and allegations of child abuse came thick and fast, when Alison Taylor the social worker who blew the whistle on it all first raised concerns within the social services and, when she was dismissed in the wake of doing so, went very public indeed, contacting the media as well as Ministers, including Margaret Thatcher. So one would have that Ioan might have noticed that something was amiss. Ioan was a from a local family and had grown up in Dolgellau. His father was a teacher there and his mother had been one of the first women graduates from UCNW (Bangor University). Ioan went to school in Dolgellau and won a scholarship to Oxford to read modern history. So not only did he know the area but he was no fool. He decided to become a solicitor and did his articles with – the Clerk of Denbighshire County Council! Well where else? Waterhouse states that Ioan Bowen Rees was admitted as a solicitor in 1956 – so one presumes that he was doing his articles when his predecessor as Chief Exec Alun Jones worked as the Deputy Clerk of Denbighshire County Council. Bowen Rees then served in local government in Lancashire, Cardiff and Pembrokeshire, as Deputy Clerk to the County Council. Waterhouse mentions that Bowen Rees was ‘well-known’ outside Gwynedd. He certainly was. Bowen Rees died some years ago and his obituaries tell us a lot about him. He stood for election as a Plaid candidate in Conway in 1955 and 1959 and in Methyr Tydfil in 1964. Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was involved in Plaid during those years and stood for election for Denbigh in 1959 and 1964. Another reason why Bowen Rees will have known Dafydd then. That’s the Dafydd whose mistress was Lucille Hughes. The Dafydd who illegally banged people up in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh if they complained about the childrens services or the mental health services. In 1973, Bowen Rees became the County Secretary of the newly formed Dyfed County Council. Bowen Rees was considered something of an authority on local government and won the Haldane Medal from the Royal Institution for Public Administration for his 1971 publication ‘Government By Community’, which was described by Max Beloff as ‘essential reading’. This is the Conservative peer Max Beloff, the father of Michael Beloff QC. Michael Beloff was the lawyer who advised Municipal Mutual, Clwyd County Council’s insurers, to suppress the Jillings Report! Bowen Rees was awarded an honorary LLD by the University of Wales in 1997. He was a member of the Gorsedd of the Bards – as was Dafydd and so many others mentioned in previous blog posts. He advised the Association of County Councils and was Chair of the Society of Local Chief Executives. He was described by the TLS as ‘one of the old breed of highly educated, civilised public servants’. My co-researcher made the following observation of Bowen Rees – ‘Oxford, Plaid, Gorsedd, Gwynedd County Council – he’s got a full house’. Bingo indeed.

In his evidence to Waterhouse, Bowen Rees stated that there was a ‘difficulty’ because Gwynedd Council had no overall leader and that the financial situation through the 1980s left one with a feeling of ‘helplessness’. It was stated that Bowen Rees was more ‘interventionist’ in the Social Services than his predecessor. He was told of complaints and he therefore ordered an enquiry and a report to be conducted by officers of Dyfed County Council – whom he will have known well because he had previously been County Secretary of Dyfed. It was during Bowen Rees’s time as Chief Exec that Gwynedd saw many children in their care ‘boarded out’ (often, it was alleged, to the care of very unsuitable people). Gwynedd had the highest proportion of children boarded out in Wales and the second highest proportion in Great Britain. But Bowen Rees explained to Waterhouse that it saved the Council a great deal of money. Bowen Rees had taken a particular interest in the complaints of Alison Taylor. He told Waterhouse that he had ‘very little recollection of events surrounding the police investigation’ (thank goodness his memory didn’t let him down like that at Oxford or when he was winning medals, it just went a bit flaky when his Council was investigated by the police in the wake of allegations of a paedophile ring), but he knew that he’d asked Lucille to get in touch with him when investigation was over.(Nuffin’ to do with me Guv, I’m only the Chief Exec.) Luciile was described as being ‘over the moon’ when she told him that the police would not be taking proceedings against anyone and that there was ‘no substance’ to the allegations of abuse. Bowen Rees was satisfied that no disciplinary proceedings would have to be taken against any Council officers without talking to Lucille, because he’d talked to senior police officers. (Regular readers will remember that among the allegations of child abuse in north Wales were those that police were involved. A former senior police officer from the North Wales Police, Gordon Anglesea, was last year imprisoned for molesting children in care in north Wales.) Bowen Rees told Waterhouse that he had not been aware of Nefyn Dodd’s dual role in the management of children’s services and had been told that Alison Taylor was ‘worse than a troublemaker’. He thought that poor old Lucille had been ‘unfortunate’ in her Chairman of the Social Services Committee in the 1980s, as he was ‘wilful’ and tolerated only because of his war record. Which is quite a surprising thing for Bowen Rees to have said really, because the rest of us are of the opinion that Eric Davies did Lucille some pretty big favours – he spat poison in the direction of Alison Taylor, carried out a character assassination of her and ensured that she was sacked after she blew the whistle on child abuse in Gwynedd.

Even just the information supplied above suggests that Bowen Rees knew that there was cause for concern in the children’s services which he was paid to run. But there’s another reason why Bowen Rees would have known about the misery and suffering that his children’s services inflicted upon local people as those services worked hand in hand with his mental health services. Because he lived in a hill village near Bethesda where an awful lot of the casualties of Lucille and Dafydd resided. I know because I too lived there for years. At the same time as Bowen Rees. I and the others who had been shafted by Bowen Rees’s ‘services’ mostly lived in the main part of the village, comprised of 19th century quarrymans cottages. Bowen Rees lived near us – but not in our terraces. No, Bowen Rees resided in splendour in an enormous house shielded from our view by beech trees, down a long lane. (However, his widow does now live in the village square, but in one of the most desirable houses there.) Bowen Rees was described by his mates Jim Perrin and Meic Stephens in their obituaries of him as a ‘leftwing nationalist’, an ‘internationalist’, ‘with a philosophy of localism’, who believed in ‘the centrality of [the citizens] voice in determining policies’ and whose observations on mountaineering – which Bowen Rees enjoyed – included that ‘the early mountaineers didn’t concern themselves with the activity of a lower class’. Jim Perrin stated that Bowen Rees ‘firmy identified with that lower class’. That’s funny Jim, because I got the distinct impression that he didn’t give a fuck about them. Except perhaps at election time. I was amused to see in one of Ioan’s obituaries the comment that he ‘enjoyed the close community spirit’ of the village where we all lived. Wondering if I’d somehow missed all the occasions on which Ioan hung out in the village pub or in the canolfan or purchased his stamps from the Post Office, yesterday I rang one of my former neighbours to ask her if she ever remembered socialising with Ioan. Now this was not a neighbour who was one of the dispossessed being screwed over by Ioan and his staff. This is someone who is a retired teacher, whose husband is a retired teacher (and he graduated with a First as well), who have lived in that village for decades, who both learnt Welsh to a very high standard, who do know quite a few public figures and who are acquainted with pretty much everyone around. She replied that she knew OF the Bowen Rees’s and his wife ‘is very pleasant but they are a bit above and beyond the reach of the rest of us’. The man of the common people! Bowen Rees’s obituaries also stated that when he was young, he was regularly consulted by Gwynfor Evans, the President of Plaid (I think that he also co-authored with Gwynfor Evans) and was subsequently consulted by Dafydd Wigley, the MP for Caernarfon. Who definitely knew about the havoc in the mental health services because I wrote to him about it – and I can’t really believe that he didn’t ever hear about what Lucille and co were up to either.

I’ll outline a few things that were going on in the village where Bowen Rees actually lived. There was a severely mentally ill homeless man who for some months literally lived on the playing field, completely psychotic, whilst his neighbours begged for help from the mental health services to no avail. There was another severely mentally ill man who was living in a derelict schoolhouse with an open fire inside and about nine dogs – both the police and his neigbours begged the Arfon Mental Health Team to assist him. They didn’t. This went on for many months until a relative of his was traced and she arranged for a religious order to look after him in another region. One of my neighbours up there was a young man who whose mother had killed herself when he was a child – he used to scavenge in bins for food and by the time that he was a teenager he had developed a drink problem and mental health problems. He was violent and a nuisance when he was pissed but to be fair to him, he went down to the GPs surgery in Bethesda for help with his ‘nerves’. No help was forthcoming from the GPs let alone the mental health team. There was a whole family of adults who had been on the receiving end of such serious sexual and physical abuse whilst they were children that one of them was an elective mute and another one was in the ‘care’ of the mental health services – he became destitute when the day centre at the Hergest Unit was shut down, on the orders of the Arfon Team. There was a single parent who was such a hopeless drunk that her 10 year old daughter was looking after her, the house and her younger brother – who was displaying sexually abusive behaviour himself after being exposed to sexual activity from his father. There were also the people whom I discussed in my post ‘It’s All About Protecting Children’ – in which two fathers were denied access to their own children by Gwynedd Social Services and one of those children was instead handed over to people with a known record of abusing children themselves. There was the family who had been swindled out of their inheritance and left to rot by a number of crooked lawyers and doctors, who were also refused help from the Arfon Team (please see post ‘A Trade In People – Between London and North Wales’). There were two other men displaying what a social worker (well one who knew what they were doing) would describe as sexually inappropriate behaviour who had been in the ‘care’ of Gwynedd Social Services as children. There was another family whose daughter had been removed from them and had been handed over to Gwynedd Social Services for her ‘protection’ who was wrecked after her encounters with the children’s and mental health services. There was also a little girl being fostered at weekends to give her mother who lived in the neighbouring village ‘respite’. That little girl’s mother had held Alun Davies the manager of the Hergest Unit hostage at knife point in her house and he had to be freed in a police operation. No charges were ever brought against her because Davies had unlawfully accessed her medical records, removed them from the hospital and gone out to see her without anyone’s permission or indeed even telling anyone. He would have been in much trouble himself if anyone had discovered what he had done, therefore his ordeal as a hostage was ignored.

What a record of achievement! Give that man another medal. Bowen Rees drove past these people on his way to work every day – whilst they waited for the bus. Lest any readers think that poor old Bowen Rees just wasn’t mixing in the right circles to hear the accounts of the ‘service users’, there were some people in that village who had worked in his children’s homes and left, appalled at the abuse that they witnessed. I knew three of these people – they all told me that they had witnessed young people being abused. They didn’t witness sexual abuse but they witnessed physical abuse and one of them described Nefyn Dodd to me as a ‘total fascist’. The other two people had worked in the home where Alison Taylor had initially reported abuse and told me that as well as being on the receiving end of ‘cruelty’, the teenaged boys in the home were being forced to work for no pay in the black economy. They boys expressed fear of physical violence from social workers if they refused this work.

But something else was happenining in that village as Ioan Bowen Rees managed to not see what was happening on his doorstep. Something that he most certainly knew about. Lucille Hughes’s henchmen from the Arfon Team were perjuring themselves in Chester Crown Court in an attempt to have me imprisoned. They were being coached and advised in this by Lucille, Hywel Ellis Hughes the County Secretary and Solicitor, and Ron Evans, his sidekick. I have the documents to prove it and described it in detail in my post ‘Some Big Legal Names Enter The Arena’. Ioan will have known about all that because Gwynedd County Council were spending a fortune trying to have me (and a few other patients) imprisoned and he will have had to sign something off. I bet he knew my address as well, because I was being served with Court documents at home. So Ioan knew that I was a neighbour! Where was his much boasted about community spirit? Oh – the other thing that happened whilst I lived in the same village as Ioan was that someone tried to set fire to my house. Twice. Another memorable feature of the village was the phone box. Ioan won’t have used it because he’ll have had a landline and a mobile as well, but a lot of people in that village didn’t have a phone so there was often a queue at that phone box. That phone box lives on in my memory for one reason – it was the phone box that was used by a mental health patient who lived in that village who repeatedly rang Crimestoppers and reported the law-breaking and abuse of named staff of the mental health services and the thugs that they were using to distribute drugs and intimidate patients who complained. There wasn’t an investigation. Ioan probably had a few words with his friends in the police again like he did after Alison Taylor blew the whistle.

Ioan will not have been able to have missed the reality of the lives of the people in that village no matter how fast he drove past them. Because his own son went to school with some of those kids who had been so badly neglected and abused. Ioan’s son went to Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen and is now famous – he is Gruff Rhys from the rock band the Superfurry Animals. He and his mates used to practice their music in the hall at the end of the terrace where I used to live. Ioan was known to be passionate about the Welsh language and is on record as saying that we speak Welsh ‘for the sake of our children’. I’m all for bilingual children as well, but whilst Ioan’s son was learning Welsh and becoming a rock star there were a number of other children who were being beaten, buggered and raped in the ‘service’ for which Ioan was paid handsomely to provide.

Ioan’s glorious career didn’t stop after he stood down from the Chief Exec’s role after the police investigation which exonerated the whole bloody lot of them. No, Ioan was a passionate believer in devolution and was a member of the working party that advised Ron Davies the Secretary of State for Wales regarding the creation of the National Assembly of Wales. Who knows, Ioan would probably have gone on to become President of the World, but he died (Waterhouse observed that he was very sad about this) in 1999. Months before the publication of the Waterhouse Report. So if any lesser gifted and less well-connected creatures than Ioan feared that Waterhouse was actually going to admit the enormity of what had gone on and that Ioan would get himself out of the ordure by landing them right in it, they need not have worried. Ioans’s memories have been taken to the grave with him.

The Story of Ioan reminds me very much of the work of the Welsh Labour historians who were busy in the 1970s and 80s. They pissed a lot of people off because they maintained that the exploitation of the Welsh labourers in the quarries and other industries involved an enormous degree of collusion from the Welsh middle classes who also exploited the labourers and did very well for themselves out of this, but who had successfully rewritten their part in history and framed themselves as defenders of language and nation. I think it was in Jim Perrin’s obituary of Ioan Bowen Rees that there was a reference to the refreshing Ioan in contrast to the English bourgeoisie who colonised the land conservation societies… the noble Ioan who lived in his Plas shielded by beech trees so as to avoid the prying eyes of the people whom he was shafting whilst they lived in poverty…

After the People’s Champ and Defender of the Nation left his post as Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council, Huw Vaughan Thomas took over. Huw was originally from mid-Glamorgan, read modern history at Durham University, acquired a Masters in Administrative Sciences from City University and entered the civil service. He worked in the Department of Employment and bodies associated with it and was the Private Secretary to two Ministers of Employment. He then lead the Manpower Services Commission’s employment rehabilitation programme for disabled people. In May 1988 he moved to Wales as Director of Training Agency, Wales. He was Chief Executive of Denbighshire County Council for six years – of course he was, it seems obligatory to do a stint with them if you’re going to preside over a major child abuse scandal. Huw told Waterhouse that the allocation of resources in Gwynedd County Council  owed much to history and political considerations rather than assessment of need and the Council’s image was one of ‘fortress Gwynedd’ with a single issue of the language agenda. (I rather suspect that might have been the smokescreen that Ioan created to detract from rather more serious problems.) For most of the first three years of Huw’s tenure, there was a police investigation of Gwynedd’s children’s homes. Alison Taylor wrote to Huw shortly before an HTV programme about the abuse in north Wales in Sept 1991, requesting a meeting to discuss the ill-treatment of children. He ‘took advice’ – we are not told from whom – and he said that she should get in touch with him if she had any new matters not already investigated to report. Alison wrote again asking for a meeting regarding the extensive dossier that he had prepared relating to the abuse of children. Huw declined to meet her on the advice of the Council’s legal officers and the Chief Constable. That will have been at about the same time that those legal officers were pursuing me through the Courts for ludicrous offences such as ‘staring at a social worker in Safeways’ or more serious offences that I had not committed.

So how did Huw fare once he stopped being the Chief Exec of Gwynedd in 1996? Well he was the  Assistant National Secretary of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and he has also been on exchanges with Chief Execs in Tasmania and New Zealand (Christ he’s gone global.) In 2001 he was appointed the Director and Principal Consultant for Taro Consulting Ltd. He was a member of the Richards Commission into the powers and electoral arrangements of the National Assembly of Wales 2002-2004, he’s Chaired the Big Lottery Fund and served on the Parole Board for England and Wales (it really is unbelievable isn’t it). He’s a Board member for the Institute of Welsh Affairs, for the North Wales Training and Enterprise Council, a member of HEFCW, of the Law Society Council, of the Hearing Aid Council and the Olympic Lottery Distributer. His voluntary activities include involvement in two charities for deaf people, a member of the National Trust Committee for Wales, of the Princes Trust and the Chair of Plas Glyn Y Weddw Arts Centre.

Concealed a paedophile gang? Come this way Sir, we’d just love to have you on our Board.

The jewel in the crown was that on July 2010 Huw was recommended for the post of Auditor General of Wales by the National Assembly of Wales. HM the Queen herself appointed him from October 2010. He now oversees 20 billion quid of taxpayers money. His wife Enid is the Chair of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and a member of the BUPA council. His son Owain is a trainee – at the Wales Audit Office.

Once more, I can only repeat what the residents of Ioan Bowen Rees’s village used to say when they were screwed over once more by Gwynedd County Council in some way – Jesus Christ.

There is an ancient Bela Lugosi film that used to cause merriment among film and media students because it was thought to be so ridiculous. I was told that it contained a scene where Bela looms up out of a churchyard and says ‘It’s murder – and somebody’s responsible’. Well for years children in the care of Gwynedd County Council were beaten, kicked, forced to lick Nefyn Dodd’s shoes, used as slave labour, sexually molested, kept short of food and/or abandoned. And nobody was responsible at all. The only person who lost their job was Alison Taylor.