They Think It’s All Over – It Is Now

A review of Children in Care in England and Wales has just been published. I decided to give it a wide berth when I saw that the review had been carried out by ‘experts’ from the ‘social care sector’ – I suspected that I knew what would be in that review. Unfortunately there was no escape because when I switched the radio on, the ‘Today’ programme was slap bang in the middle of interviewing the man who led the review, the Director of Children’s Social Services in Leeds. As in Jimmy Savile Central. I was not surprised when I heard that the main problem was austerity in the face of rising demand and that everyone is agreed that the child protection services are in crisis.

 

My posts ‘Today We Have Naming Of Parts’ and ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ discussed the case of Ceryl Wyn Davies, a pillar of the community in Blaenau Ffestiniog who was given a job as the Head of a primary school by Gwynedd County Council after he served a prison sentence for indecently assaulting children. Ceryl Wyn indecently assaulted his pupils whilst working as a Headteacher and received another prison sentence. After leaving prison he was welcomed back into the fold once more and Gwynedd County Council maintained that they knew nuzzing. Someone has now given me yet more information which suggests that Gwynedd County Council have learned nothing after the unfortunate events involving Mr Davies.

After yet another teacher from Blaenau was arrested for sex offences against children last year and Gwynedd once again used that tired old chestnut that he had ‘slipped through the net’, someone from the area put in a freedom of information request to investigate whether Gwynedd County Council were carrying out DBS checks on their staff as legally required.

They discovered that in Dec 2017, 60 staff in schools run by Gwynedd County Council were employed yet had not received DBS certificates. Gwynedd claimed that 60 risk assessments had taken place and ‘control measures’ had been put in place.

I am fairly sure that it is illegal for staff to work in jobs requiring DBS clearance until the certificates arrive. I have friends in that position and even people volunteering as Brownie and Scout leaders have had to wait until their DBS arrives before they can begin work.

My correspondent has also sent me the following information:

As you probably are fully aware, us Welsh do like our Men’s Choirs and we have a couple here in Blaenau that have done rather well for themselfs over the years
One choir is The Brythoniaid which Ceryl is linked to, the other is ‘Cor Meibion Moelwyn’ which Ceryl still to this day plays a big part in, I suppose you could say that their achievement to date is down to him (not that I want to praise the fker).
Ceryl Davies is known for his Poetic & Musical skills. He has written many songs, has made a few albums and has worked for/with Cor Meibion Moelwyn since their very beginning. 
Over the years I have heard of old members of the choir and claims and admittance of sexual abuse on more than one occasion. The latest has just hit the headlines just a few months back. He was a so called ‘pillar of the community’ as they seem to all be discribed who had not long retired from his post of post man here in Blaenau. He is currently serving a eight year stretch after his sister came forward and spoke of her rape ordeal at the hands of her brother “Gwyn Vaughn Jones”. The case was a historical one which he had always known would one day come to light. His sister had always said that whilst their parents where still alive she would continue to hide his abuse, therefore on their death she came forward and reported her brother.
Gwyn Vaughn jones is/was not only a singer but also was up there in the managerial team of Cor Meibion Moelwyn and a good friend of Ceryl Wyn confirmed by his first wife. 
I do not know any of the people or the Cors named in the above e mail, but when I lived in north Wales I was told on a number of occasions that the Cors were being used as networks by which people were concealing wrongdoing and also climbing socially, including bagging themselves jobs. I stress that not everyone in Cors did this, some members were there because they enjoyed singing, but some Cors were definitely being misused. I know one Cor leader who was furious when she discovered that some people had joined her Cor only in order to ingratiate themselves to one particular member who held a senior role in education in Gwynedd and was in a position to wield influence over employment selection panels. There was one Cor in Gwynedd in particular which people would fight to join and I was told that the reason was that it was a Cor full of of influential people and being a member did wonders for one’s career prospects.
On one occasion I saw the phenomenon in action. I was friendly with someone who sung in a Cor who became very cross when he realised that he had been befriended by  a young woman who had only done so in order to access the Cor in which he sang. It transpired that her father – a retired officer with the North Wales Police – had told her to join the Cor to get to know a member who held a very senior position in Coleg Menai (which has now merged with Coleg Llandrillo), because her father had been told that a job as a Welsh language class organiser would soon be advertised and that the member of the Cor would be deciding who got the job. The young woman did not have the qualifications or the experience required for the job and lied on her CV, but her strategy worked. She joined the Cor, befriended the big wig from Coleg Menai, got the job and was photographed at the National Eisteddfod a few weeks later with Leighton Andrews, the former AM, who was praising the Welsh language learning initiative which this young woman was by then leading. A couple of weeks before this happened, I was invited to the Cor to go and watch my friend singing. The guest of honour that evening was Dafydd Iwan.
So if anyone else wants a job at Coleg Llandrillo for which they do not have the appropriate qualifications or experience, you need to join the Cor of which Dr Ian Rees is a member, make friends with him and lie on your CV. You’ll land a job for which you’ll be paid £40k pa despite being a fairly new graduate and you can even post selfies online accompanied by a comment that you can’t be bothered to go into work, you feel like a duvet day so you’ll be pulling a sickie. Leighton will still be delighted to meet you at the Eisteddfod and praise your hard work.
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Now for the exposing of another group of pompous, vindictive charlatans. In the late 1980s there was a health scare in Gwynedd as a result of claims that there was an inexplicably high rate of gastric cancer in the region. It was suggested that the presence of so much bracken in the county might have been a possible cause – Japan also had a high rate of gastric cancer and that had been attributed to bracken in Japanese diets. I seem to remember that the fickle finger of suspicion was pointed at bracken spores in particular being carcinogenic.

The best brains in Gwynedd began investigating and in the early 1990s there were media reports that provided the explanation for the high rate of gastric cancer. The culprit was buttermilk. It had been found that elderly people who had spent their childhoods in Gwynedd and who had consumed buttermilk as children were those who had an increased risk of cancer, the theory being that the cows in Gwynedd had grazed on land infested with bracken and that the carcinogens in the bracken had passed through into the milk. People who had moved to Gwynedd as adults were reassured that this was not a problem with which they needed to be concerned and the future health of the people of Gwynedd was not considered to be at risk because of the decline in the drinking of buttermilk.

Some time after this ground breaking research received massive publicity on a UK-wide level, it was quietly admitted that the research was ‘flawed’ and that there was in fact no association at all between a childhood drinking buttermilk in Gwynedd and gastric cancer.

 

I have now discovered just how seriously flawed that research was and who published it. Questions need to be asked regarding how this paper was ever accepted for publication in the first place and why the work received the endorsement of one of the biggest names in 20th century epidemiology – Sir Richard Doll. I’d also like to know why on earth the researchers who conducted the research were ever allowed to continue in research, let alone end up as leading lights in healthcare research in Wales.

The paper concerned is entitled ‘Gastric Cancer In Gwynedd. Possible Links With Bracken.’ The authors are: O.P. Galpin; C.J. Whitaker, Rh. Whitaker; and J.Y. Kassab. Galpin’s and Rh. Whitaker’s affiliation is given as Ysbyty Gwynedd and C.J. Whitaker’s and Kassab’s affiliation is given as the Centre for Applied Statistics, UCNW.

The paper was published in the ‘British Journal of Cancer’, 1990; 61, pp 737-740.

The summary of the paper reads as follows:

101 histologically confirmed cancer patients at Ysbyty Gwynedd were matched by sex, age and social class to two hospital inpatients without cancer; 77 of the gastric cancer cases were also matched, using the same criteria, to a patient with a confirmed cancer of a different site (excluding the oesophagus). A questionnaire was used to determine bracken exposure and source of water in childhood. Residential and occupational histories were obtained and consumption of buttermilk, a potential vector of the bracken carcinogens, was quantified. Comparison of gastric cancer patients with the non-cancer controls indicated that exposure to bracken in childhood had an increased risk (RR = 2.34, P < 0.001) compared to no exposure and that length of residence in Gwynedd was associated with increased risk (RR = 2.46 for the duration of 61 years and over P < 0.01). Consumption of buttermilk in children and adulthood was attended by increased risk (RR = 1.61 and 1.86 respectively, the latter being statistically significant P< 0.05). Neither the residential effect not consumption of buttermilk in adulthood remained significant when considered in a multivariate analysis with bracken exposure.

Can anyone see the glaring inadequacies – indeed has anyone not seen the glaring inadequacies? There was a control group of THREE. Furthermore, not all of the patients in the study had gastric cancer. Excuse me, but this really is case of ‘for fuck’s sake’. This paper is complete hogwash – no doubt the questionnaires were just as nonsensical as the ‘statistical analysis’ was, but even if the questionnaire was perfect, this paper would still be hogwash because of the control group of three and the inclusion of someone who did not have gastric cancer.

The original version of the paper was submitted in Oct 1988, the referees gave advice and it was revised and accepted for publication in Dec 1990. Someone read this bullshit and did not notice the control group of three or the person who did not have gastric cancer. One can only imagine what the original draft of the paper was like.

The patients in this ‘research’ were diagnosed and treated at Ysbyty Gwynedd and Llandudno General Hospital. In the light of the nature of the complete fuckwits who are employed in those institutions, it is highly likely that the diagnoses were wrong anyway. One of the pathologists who has long held a senior role in the labs that were relied upon to carry out the histology upon which this research is based is Dr Avril Wayte. She is a mate of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s and is a Trustee of CAIS. Avril is married to Dr Donald Wayte, a pathologist who worked in north Wales for decades and who once gave a media interview accusing the parents of children who died of SIDS of having murdered them, on the basis of no evidence at all. Wayte’s ‘expert opinion’ was relied upon in many murder trials, including that of Howard Hughes, who is currently sitting in prison for the July 1995 murder of seven year old Sophie Hook. Many people believe that Howard Hughes is the victim of a serious miscarriage of justice – there was no forensic evidence at all which linked him to the crime. Before he was convicted of Sophie’s murder, Howard Hughes spent time in Bryn Estyn as well as that other prison of Dafydd’s, Garth Angharad and alleged that he had been abused at Bryn Estyn. He was denied compensation on the grounds that he is a convicted murderer. See post ‘News Round Up – And Murder Most Foul’.

Howard was convicted of Sophie’s murder at the same time as Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends were trying to frame me for serious crimes. Just after Dafydd ‘retired’, when the North Wales Hospital Denbigh ‘closed’ – the paedophiles and their friends were in overdrive at the time.

 

The Gwynedd patient data used in Galpin et al’s paper was collected between 1982-87 and was given to the Cardiff Cancer Registry . So their dataset will be a joke.

The research for this joke of a paper was funded by Gwynedd Research Committee. Sir Richard Doll provided ‘support and advice at the commencement of the work’. Did Richard Doll know that a control group of THREE was being used and that one of the patients did not have gastric cancer??? Dr I. Antice Evans provided input re the questionnaires; Dr Gwilym Wynne Griffiths, Professor David Barker and Dr Peter Ellwood provided ‘helpful advice and support’.

Dr I. Antice Evans had published on bracken previously. In 1958 Dr Evans published ‘Studies On Bracken Poisoning In Cattle’ and in 1963 he/she published ‘Effects of Bracken Rhizomes On The Pig’. In 1963 their affiliation was given as the School of Agriculture at UCNW. So this was an elderly agricultural scientist who advised on the questionnaires given to cancer patients. Twenty-five years after he published work on pigs.

Dr Gwilym Wynne Griffith was the Medical Officer of Health for Anglesey and ‘an eminent epidemiologist’ would you believe. He died in 1989, before Galpin et al’s paper was published. Griffith was an old mate of Dafydd’s. Dafydd spent 1959-62 working on an ‘Epidemiological Research Project’ with Gwilym Wynne Griffith ‘on mental disorder and mental health needs in Anglesey’. According to Dafydd, this formed the basis of his future work (see post ‘Feet In Chains’).

Gwilym Wynne Griffith was the brother of Huw Wynne Griffith, a famous Presbytarian Minister and ecumenical leader. Born in 1915 in Liverpool, he was the second son of Rev’d Griffith Wynne Griffith, Minister of a Welsh Chapel in Anfield. He and Gwilym had a sister, Elizabeth Grace (BetiHunter, a social worker who died in 2007; and a brother, Douglas.

 Huw Wynne Griffith was educated in Liverpool before the family moved in 1923 to Porthmadog, where he attended the local primary school and Porthmadog County School, then Friars SchoolBangor, when his father became minister of Tabernacl ChurchBangor. Huw Griffith  went to UCNW and then Westminster CollegeCambridge. Between 1941-44 he was Secretary and then President of the Missionary Society of Westminster College. Griffith spent a year at Bala Theological College where he completed his BD. Prof J.E. Daniel, the father of the corrupt judge Huw Daniel, was employed at Bala Theological College and the father of Dafydd Iwan and Alun Ffred Jones was also associated with the institution.

Griffith was ordained in 1945 and served the chapels of BethaniaFerryside and SeionLlansaintCarmarthen (1945-51) and Siloh (SeiloPresbyterian Church of WalesAberystwyth (1951-1983), Ceredigion. He married Mair Benson-Evans (19182003), daughter of Dr and Mrs Benson-EvansPrestatyn in 1945 in Rehoboth ChapelPrestatyn and they had three daughters – Nia in 1947Ann in 1949 and Gwawr in 1956. Nia at least is still alive and kicking – the others probably are as well – and is likely to be mates with Dafydd.

Huw Wynne Griffith was involved in the ecumenical witness from his college days. He served from 1939-41 as the General Secretary of the Student Christian Movement and represented Wales at the Christian Youth Conference in Amsterdam in August 1939. He represented the Presbyterian Church of Wales at the Faith and Order Conference of the World Council of Churches in LundSweden in 1952. In the 1950s he edited Yr Efrydydd and he also became Secretary of the three, later the four, Nonconformist denominations’ discussions on church unity. H. W. Griffith was invited to become Chairman of the Welsh Ecumenical Society in 1954.

In the 1960s Griffith was one of the most prominent leaders of the ecumenical witness within Wales. He served the Committee which prepared the Faith and Order plan of the Welsh Council of Churches (1963-64), and then became the Secretary of the Joint Committee of the Covenanting Churches of Wales (1965-68), responsible for the reports which were produced and published in 1968 and in 1971H.W. Griffith was Vice-President of the Welsh Council of Churches, 1966-68 and President, 1968-72. He was the Secretary of the Church and Society Committee in the early 1970s. Griffith represented the Presbyterian Church of Wales in the World Council of Churches in NairobiKenya in 1975. He was active in ecumenical activities in west Wales and joint founder of Ecwmene Ceredigion, a forum for young people.

Griffith was heavily involved throughout many years with Christian Aid and Shelter. He supported the Anti-Apartheid group in AberystwythAmnesty International and Ockenden Venture. Griffith welcomed children of refugees from Germany to Aberystwyth and he extended the hand of friendship to refugees from the 1956 uprising in Hungary. He and his wife Mair hosted many of the students who came to the colleges in Aberystwyth. 

Huw Wynne Griffith wrote articles in the Welsh-language press, in particular Y GoleuadY TraethodyddPorfeyddEcwmeneY Genhinen and Barn. He prepared a commentary for Sunday schools on the Gospel of Mark in 1953, a book of stories for children, Gyda’r Iesu (1961) and his Davies Lecture to the General Assembly of the Connexion, on ‘C.F. Andrews, Friend of Mahatma Gandhi and a Pioneer of Missionary Work’ was published in 1978.

During WWII Griffith was a conscientious objector. He died in 1993 at Bronglais General Hospital Aberystwyth. His funeral was conducted by his Minister, Revd Pryderi Llwyd Jones in Aberystwyth. Tributes were paid to him by Rev Erastus Jones and Principal Elfed ap Nefydd Roberts, two who had been involved with Huw Wynne Griffith in the ecumenical movement. He is buried in Aberystwyth Plasgrug cemetery.

The poet Gwilym Roberts summed up his contribution in an englyn inscribed on Griffith’s gravestone:

Huw fu byw i wella’n byd
Ufudd was fu i Dduw drwy’i fywyd.

[Huw lived to make our world a better place,
An obedient servant to God throughout his life]

Which he might well have been. But he’ll have known about that paedophile ring run by Dafydd and Gwynne with which his brother and sister were colluding.

Huw Wynne Griffith’s father was a preacher from Anglesey who was a graduate of UCNW. At a later date he was also a member of the Court and Council of UCNW.

Huw Wynne’s daughter is Nia Higginbotham. She uses a Wrexham address and is listed as having been a Director of: Fair Trade Wales; Meifod Consulting; Trefnu Cymundeol Cymru/Together Creating Communities.

 

Professor David Barker was a Top Doc and epidemiologist with an interest in botany. He was Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at Southampton University and Director of the MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit, 1984-03, where he made ‘observations on the geographical relationship between neonatal and post-neonatal mortality and heart disease’. He won the GlaxoSmithKline Prize in 1994 for this work. In 2011 Barker made a BBC ‘Horizon programme’. Barker was a colleague of Sir Donald Acheson at Southampton University. Acheson was Chief Medical Officer when Thatcher was PM and it was Acheson who assisted Norman Fowler the Health Secretary in concealing the crimes of Dafydd and the paedophiles (see post ‘Professor Prestigious And His Associates’).

I have not been able to find out who Dr Peter Ellwood is or was.

 

I know three of the authors of this paper. Chris Whitaker for years was the man responsible for teaching statistics to the students in the School of Psychology at Bangor University. Rhiannon Whitaker is his wife, who was one of his students. Er – a control group of THREE Chris?? Of course your  wife wouldn’t have understood that a control group of three was meaningless, because you obviously didn’t and you taught her. Rhiannon Whitaker was for a long time the Director of NWORTH, the Clinical Trials Unit at Bangor University.

I knew J.Y. Kassab as well. Dr Kassab was a grossly incompetent statistics tutor at UCNW. He was responsible for teaching first year stats to the science undergrads and I was in his class. Kassab’s teaching was utterly chaotic and his accent was so heavy that none of us could understand what he was saying. At one point he kept talking about ‘the underlying lows’. We were all asking ‘what’s a low?’. Dr Kassab then lost his rag and yelled ‘a low, a low, you know what is a low’. Then someone clicked and yelled out ‘oh, you mean a LAW’. Dr Kassab shouted back ‘yes, a low’. It was hilarious, there was no way that any of us were going to learn stats in Dr Kassab’s class. In the end, so many students went to their tutors and said that they just could not learn a thing from Kassab that one Dept – Agriculture no less – put on extra tutorials for their students. One of the tutors who held those classes, Dr Tony Chamberlain, commented that he understood that Dr Kassab gave his lectures in ‘some sort of Middle Eastern language’, which was indeed true. The other person from Agriculture who was responsible for giving the supplementary stats tutorials was the awful Prof J.B. Owen (see post ‘Not Seen Since The 80s – Carwyn’). Who couldn’t add up. One student noticed that Owen made a mistake and pointed it out to him. J.B. Owen got nasty and went into denial, the student got angry as well, was very rude to Owen and was thrown out of the class. J.B. Owen continued to make mistakes.

The Zoology students and Plant Biology students also went to their tutors in despair re Kassab and the statistics class and were simply told ‘don’t worry about it’. The fact that there was a stats exam to be passed at the end of the year was ignored. One student began singing ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’, which summed up the attitude of the college authorities – you’re all up shit creek but we are not going to address this problem.

So how did I learn stats? Brown taught me of course. The only other students who learnt anything about stats at UCNW also asked friends and relatives who were competent re stats to teach them.

Twenty years later I was in a hill walking group when I met someone who had been a forestry student at UCNW at the same time that I had done my first degree at UCNW. He said ‘oh gosh, you’ll have been in those statistics lectures then’. No-one ever forgot those lectures. It was a laugh, but the downside was that a great many ‘experts’ carrying out all that healthcare research at Bangor University do not know their arses from their elbows. Do they Chris and Rhiannon?

Not so much an underlying low but an under-lying Lowe. Anyone for Food Dudes? Pass me a Duchy Original.

No-one has ever said a word about the innumerate statistical experts at Bangor University who carry out so much NHS research. Er – perhaps because Kassab’s daughter Susan was a Top Doctor at Ysbyty Gwynedd? Susan Kassab went to Friar’s School in Bangor and then to medical school in London, then returned to Bangor for a while. Susan Kassab knew about Gwynne, Dafydd and the sex trafficking gang. A google search throws up a Dr Sossie Kassab who has a Harley Street practice offering homeopathic treatments for cancer. Sossie Kassab has been outed on a ‘quack watch’ website. However I don’t think that Sossie Kassab is Susan Kassab. Sossie’s CV states that she trained at Barts – I think that Susan Kassab trained at the Middlesex. Gwynne’s old alma mater. If anyone knows differently, please keep do clarify.

This farce of a paper which was mentored by the biggest name in UK epidemiology as well as by another very big name – Doll and Barker – was submitted in 1988. Which was when I was working for the Cancer Research Campaign at Surrey University. Whilst I was there, without my knowledge my data was given to Professor Nicola Curtin of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne University who published it with her name on it as well (see post ‘Reports Of Death Were Greatly Exaggerated’). I had never heard of Curtin until I found the paper with her name on it as well as mine a few weeks ago. After giving my data to Nicola Curtin, Surrey University told me that my funding had run out and I was made redundant. Whilst I was at Surrey, a former psychiatrist colleague of Dr Tony Francis, Dr Peter Mcguire, decided that he would become a cancer researcher and took part in a research fraud which was exposed in 1990 and resulted in the suicide of Prof Tim McElwain (see posts ‘Reports Of Death Were Greatly Exaggerated’ and ‘Apocalypse Now’).

I have been told that Professor Martin Roth, a psychiatrist at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and the former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (see post ‘The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Connection?’), had something to do with these extraordinary happenings.

 

The laughable paper concerning bracken and gastric cancer based on a control sample of three was published in Dec 1990. The month in which Tony and Sadie Francis perjured themselves in an attempt to have me imprisoned. It was that which led to me being forced out of my job at St George’s Hospital Medical School the following month. In Nov 1990 Margaret Thatcher resigned as leader of the Tory Party following a challenge from Michael Heseltine. Thatcher’s failed leadership campaign was organised by her friend and PPS Sir Peter Morrison, a member of Dafydd’s paedophile gang.

I would ask Rhiannon and Chris Whitaker what the hell was going on, but they’re probably far too stupid to have grasped the bigger picture – after all they work with samples of three – so perhaps Heseltine will tell us, because he will definitely know. Heseltine is from Swansea, although he tries to be all posh and English.

Lord Heseltine (6969083278).jpg

 

There is an archive clip of ‘Spitting Image’ in which a crazed Heseltine is in the basement of a Gov’t building feeding documents into an enormous shredder shrieking ‘Goodbye my beauties’. Hard luck Heseltine, no matter what was destroyed by Gov’t, I have 10,000 highly incriminating documents in my possession.

‘Awound The Wagged Wock The Wagged Wascal Wan.’ But now you’ve been caught Heseltine you big ranker.

 

As for O.P. Galpin, I do not know him or her. O.P. Galpin had a letter published in ‘The Lancet’ in 1998 regarding the solution to inhumane and genocidal regimes. They believed that the moral instruction of young people was the only answer. No doubt Dafydd was the man to do this.

 

Paedophiles’ friends: not only did I never produce the sort of horse shit that you published – complete with its elementary errors – but my work was sufficiently good that you STOLE IT and used it to bag yourselves further funding and senior positions! Now, shut your mouths about Brown and me, stop your constant ‘how very dare yous’, do us all a favour, resign and crawl away. As the Old Gits would say – bugger off, sod off, piss off. You might also like to come clean regarding who co-ordinated all this, which happened whilst I was working in cancer research. Sir Richard Doll did his reputation no good at all by ‘advising’ a gang of paedophiles. But then Doll was a colleague of Donald Acheson’s…

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Should anyone wish to have a good laugh at the Whitakers’ lame efforts at cancer research, here’s a link to their nonsense https://www.researchgate.net/publication/20817598_Gastric_cancer_in_Gwynedd_Possible_links_with_bracken

 

Rhiannon Whitaker is not a popular bunny at Bangor. A PhD student gave her the moniker The Fifth Beatle on account of a rather odd hairstyle that she sported for a long time. No-one really minded her trying to look like Paul McCartney in 1963, it was the constant smug rudeness that pissed everybody off. Rhiannon’s favourite game was to pretend to be so important that she didn’t know who the rest of us were, even those of us with whom she’d had quite extensive dealings. On one occasion I had to tolerate sitting in a multi-disciplinary research meeting with Rhiannon. She insulted everybody else on the grounds that they were historians and sociologists and then bellowed at me ‘Who are you then?’ Rhiannon knew exactly who I was, but if her memory had given her the slip, she won’t bloody well forget me now. Neither will she ever be able to sneer at the arts, humanities and social scientists again – because I can reassure them that Rhiannon does not know even the basics where quantitative research is concerned, so her success at climbing into a senior role in NHS research in Wales must have been down to another factor. Probably this one:

 

Dr Dafydd Alun Jones

 

 

John, Paul, George or Ringo? Is that enough for a sample on which to advise the nation with regard to any particular health risk?

  • Flickr: rhianwhit

 

In 2012 Rhiannon was a member of a research consortium known as the Welsh Crucible no less. In 2013 the Welsh Crucible won the ‘Times Higher Education Supplement’ award for outstanding ‘leadership’ . Rhiannon’s spiel for Welsh Crucible purposes stated that:

Rhiannon is a Chartered Statistician and Scientist who after graduating with a Mathematics degree from Bangor trained as a secondary school teacher at Cambridge University. After a career break to raise a family, a change of direction found her developing an interest in medical statistics and clinical trials. Her current research interests include trials of interventions to enhance quality of life for people living with dementia, depression and other long term conditions. A developing theme encompasses a range of child health issues building on Bangor University’s research strengths in child disabilities, autism and conduct disorders. Her methodological interests include how to bring rigorous randomised trials into community based settings such as prisons, pharmacies, care homes, schools and recreation centres. She is Associate Scientific Director for NWORTH, Bangor’s clinical trials unit.

2016 Update: Rhiannon has left Bangor University, to set up her own company and is the CEO of Whitaker Research Ltd, which provides research design, statistical and project troubleshooting services for applied health research.

She also believes that a meaningful study can be carried out using a control sample of three. I’m sure that the commissions from the NHS are rolling in.

 

One of the people responsible for promoting The Fifth Beatle to high office was Prof Ian Russell, latterly of Bangor University, now of Edwina Hart’s empire at Swansea University. Ian Russell caused much grief throughout his many years at Bangor. Bangor realised that they had been sold a pup when a Professor from Bangor met one of Russell’s old colleagues from York and they told him that Ian Russell was ‘an idiot’ and that Bangor were welcome to him. Ian is a healthcare researcher. Of course he is. I haven’t got time to detail the extent of Ian Russell’s fuckwittery here, but because I wasn’t a member of his research team I could have a good laugh at his excesses, rather than have to suffer as a result of them. He used to use the university photocopiers for personal business and one year he used the photocopier to produce his Christmas ’round robins’. Ian used to send photocopying through and then go to sleep in his office, so one would often find his photocopying uncollected. I found the round robins, they were great works of fiction. Ian’s round robin consisted of two pages of lies about his RAE results – his friends can’t have been academics, because the RAE results hadn’t yet been published when Ian explained that his research had been rated ‘excellent’. There were a few photos of Ian dressed up in a kilt and then an update on his hip replacement, which was as excellent as his RAE results.

The PhD student who named Rhiannon The Fifth Beatle had such problems with Ian Russell as his supervisor that he ended up suing Bangor University – as, I was told, had at least one other PhD student of Russell’s. This student told me that Russell was an incredibly selfish man who was a nightmare to deal with. The student maintained that Ian never replied to e mails no matter how urgent the matter and that in response to a formal complaint about this, Russell’s excuse had been ‘I had a cold’. Ian however expected a high level of service from everyone else. He complained bitterly about the inadequacies of the VC when the VC hadn’t replied to an e mail from Ian within 24 hours. Did the VC have a cold? No. His wife was dying of brain cancer, after the paedophiles’ friends at the Walton Centre somehow found that there was no effective treatment for her. Russell’s PhD student was appalled at Russell’s insensitivity. He’d have been really freaked out if he had known that there was a plan by Fergus Lowe and a few others – including I was told, Ian Russell – to frame the VC for a criminal offence.

Ian Russell is a lay preacher.

Carlo was Chancellor of UCNW/Bangor University throughout the glittering careers of Kassab, the Whitakers, Ian Russell and Fungus.

And this man is a Pretty Straight Kind Of Guy:

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Why did John McTernan’s brother-in-law nick my computer Blair?

 

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  • The Crucible
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Cherie Booth QC

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Cheers, every one of us has made a fortune!

 

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O. P. Galpin wrote the entry for William Ernest Beer on the Royal College of Physicians ‘Lives of the Fellows’ Online.

William Beer was a consultant dermatologist in Bangor, Wales. He was born in Southern India amongst the Nilgiri Hills. His father was Assistant Director of the local Pasteur Institute and engaged in anti-rabies research. His great-grandfather, George Beer had gone to India from Devon with William Bowden where, with the assistance of their wives, they had succeeded in establishing churches, hospitals and a school.

Bill Beer’s medical studies commenced in Madras and there then followed junior hospital posts in the Vellore Medical School. Here he came under the influence of an American dermatologist, H. Gass, whose enthusiasm for the subject shaped his subsequent choice of career.

After marriage, Bill and his wife, Joan, chose to return to Nilgiri Hills to work in a mission hospital. Then, owing to a change of policy for tea estate hospitals, they decided to come to Britain. Bill was able to specialise in dermatology as a result of support from the Nilgiri mission. He initially enrolled as a full time postgrad at St John’s Hospital and was subsequently appointed senior registrar at Westminster Hospital.

Although Beer did not know North Wales, he applied for the post of consultant dermatologist for the Gwynedd region. Prior to his appointment, the task of building up a dermatology service for the whole of North Wales was in the hands of Dr Ellen Emslie who had introduced modern understanding, techniques and treatment to the area. [Shurely shome mistake – Ed.] Bill Beer was able to build on this foundation and, over the years, established a reputation for the quality of his service and professional skill. [Shurely shome mistake – Ed.]

Beer’s ‘infectious enthusiasm for the practical and academic aspects of dermatology influenced many of his colleagues, not to mention the many undergraduate and postgraduate doctors who assisted him in the skin clinics’.

So that’s why, for decades, doctors have refused to work in north Wales.

Beer’s interest in dermatology resulted in many research activities and publications, eventually leading to him winning the Wycombe Prize in 1993 by the British Association of Dermatology – two years after his retirement from the NHS.

Yes, another prize for a Top Doc in north Wales, in the year that the North Wales Police closed their investigation into child abuse and concluded that there was ‘no evidence of a paedophile ring’.

Bill’s other interests included the Welsh language – he became fluent – music, gardening, astronomy and mountain walking. Both he and his wife were renowned for their hospitality and for the pastoral care that they gave to junior doctors and university students. Bill’s life was ‘profoundly influenced by a deeply held Christian faith’.

Bill was ‘tragically killed in a car accident, shortly after completing a history of the old C&A Hospital’, which, the Lives Of The Fellows Online tells us, ‘will serve as a fitting memorial to his intense commitment to the area and to his colleagues’.

That tragic accident which killed Bill Beer happened in Dec 1999. Two months before the Waterhouse Report was published. Well Dr Beer had written a history of the C&A Hospital where pretty much anything went, including prostitution on the part of the Angels.

Dafydd used to turn up at the C&A to visit patients who had attempted suicide etc.

Galpin’s name also appears in Hansard, 18 July 1990, regarding Alun Michael asking if the Secretary of State for Wales ‘will list the individuals and bodies which have commented on his proposal to reduce the number of community health councils in Wales; and how many were for a reduction and how many against a reduction’. The CHCs in Wales consist entirely of paedophiles’ friends and never raise any serious challenge to the Top Docs – many of whom sit on the CHCs – and their neglect and abuse. Thus the NHS in Wales has fought very hard to hold onto the CHCs, ‘the voice of the patients’ and the ‘NHS watchdog’.

It was Ian Grist who responded to Alun Michael’s question. Grist was a Welsh Office Minister and a very helpful one to Dafydd and the paedophiles (see post ‘The Paedophiles’ Friends Of Cardiff North’). The Secretary of State at the time was David Hunt, who served Dafydd et al so loyally in the late 80s/early 90s at the Welsh Office that Hunt was brought back as acting Secretary of State for Wales for just a few days in the summer of 1995, to lie about the North Wales Hospital having closed down. David Hunt was appointed acting Welsh Secretary 13 days before Bing Spear died. Spear was the corrupt mandarin who was the Chief Inspector of the Home Office Drugs Branch who so ably assisted Dafydd (see post ‘Little Things Hitting Each Other’). Sir Peter Morrison was found dead four days after Spear died. Peter Morrison’s sister Dame Mary was Woman-of-the-Bedchamber to Carlo’s mum. Hunt was up and off again four days before Bing died to twiddle his thumbs for a few days until he took up the position of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 20 July 1995, exactly one week after Morrison was found dead. See post ‘Criminals Are Getting Away With It’. William Hague became Secretary of State for Wales on the day that Hunt scarpered from the Welsh Office.

Lord David Hunt is now the Big Boss at DAC Beachcroft, a firm of international lawyers who represent the GMC.

Ian Grist provided a truly impressive list of paedophiles’ friends who responded to Hunt’s consultation re the CHCs – 184 opposed the plans for a reduction in the number of CHCs, 14 approved. The list is too long to reproduce in full in this post, but here’s the link https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/written-answers/1990/jul/18/community-health-councils

Look out for old favourites such as St David’s Hospital, Soroptomists International, Age Concern, Crossroads, Gwynedd Drugs Council, Quakers, Health Visitors Association, MIND, WCVA, Mencap, Town and County Councils and a number of MPs who were/are paedophiles’ friends. The Windbag’s name is not there, but Islwyn Labour Party is, so he was present in cognito. ‘O.P. Galpin, Llandudno’ is listed.

 

Now for a bit more info on the charidee ‘Wellbeing of Women’, which was established by Sir George Pinker, the friend of Geoffrey Chamberlain’s who delivered Royal babies (see post ‘Wimmin’s Wellbeing – The Fortnum and Mason Connection’).

‘Wellbeing of Women’ was formerly known as ‘Birthright’ and it was in this incarnation when, in 1986, the Harris Birthright Centre for Reproductive Medicine at the Jessop Hospital for Women, Sheffield was established, ‘offering the biggest stimulus to research into reproductive medicine the UK had seen’. I do not know why paedophiles’ friend Oinker located his Birthright Centre at Sheffield, but the Centre was bank-rolled by Sir – now Lord – Philip Harris. From what I can work out, Harris provided the funding for the Centre in 1984, the year that I first complained about Gwynne the lobotomist.

Philip Harris went to Streatham Grammar School, which suggests that he lived just down the road from where St George’s Hospital Medical School is located, which employed Geoffrey Chamberlain et al who were concealing the wrongdoing of Gwynne, Dafydd and the paedophile gang.

Philip Harris was the Chairman of Carpetrite plc and has over fifty years experience in carpet retailing. Harris left Carpetrite in 2014, sold all of his shares and he is no longer associated with the company.

Harris was also a non-executive Director of Great Universal Stores plc for 18 years, retiring from the GUS Board in July 2004. Lord Harris became a non-executive Director of Matalan in October 2004. Harris was appointed to the board of Arsenal Football Club as a non-executive Director in Nov 2005.

Lord Harris is the co-owner of the Olympic gold medal-winning horse Hello Sanctos ridden by Scott Brash in the team show jumping event at the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Lord Harris and Lord Kirkham bought the horse for an estimated €2 million at the start of 2012. They are also co-owners of the horses Hello Sailor, Hello Unique and Hello Boyo.

Harris has been a donor to the Tory Party since the 1980s and was a big fan of Thatch. He also made donations to Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party. Harris is considered to be one of Cameron’s personal friends and he is  said to have played a role in convincing Cameron to contest the party’s leadership in the summer of 2005. Harris’s ties to Cameron came under scrutiny two years later when it appeared that Andrew Feldman, a political associate of Harris and a fellow donor to Cameron’s leadership campaign, used Harris’s name to claim privileges accorded to active members of the House of Lords.

Harris has contributed extensively to education and as a result, many schools and colleges (such as Harris Manchester College, Oxford), bear his name. Through the Harris Federation, many secondary schools in South London have received Harris donations. In the London Borough of Croydon, Harris helped to found the Harris City Technology College, Harris Academy South Norwood and Harris Academy Merton, Harris Academy Purley, Harris Academy Chafford Hundred, although many local residents are angered that the original name of the South Norwood site, Stanley Technical High School, was dropped in place of the Harris name.

Dafydd’s mate Prof Linford Rees lived at Purley and entertained his celebrity friends there (see post ‘A Galaxy Of Talent’). Purley was also the home of Rashmi Varma, the fertility consultant at St George’s who found herself up in front of the GMC after NHS patients complained that she had forced them to donate eggs to private patients. Varma got off, although I was told by someone at St George’s that she was as guilty as they come. Geoffrey Chamberlain did not face a GMC hearing after he co-authored the paper describing research which had never taken place, although his co-author Malcolm Pearce was struck off. But then Chamberlain was mates with Oinker the Royal gynaecologist.

Chamberlain hated Rashmi Varma and everyone knew that he was waiting to stick the knife in. I wonder why his dastardly plan didn’t work.

In recent years, the forced change to academy status has placed additional schools under the management of the Harris Federation, despite considerable opposition from Boards of Governors and parents.

 

In 1960, Philip Harris married Pauline Chumley. The couple have a daughter Susan and three sons: Martin (director of Tapi Carpets), Peter and Charles. Pauline was appointed an DBE in 2004 and a Deputy Lieutenant in 2005. Lord Harris has an estimated wealth of £285m.

Harris was knighted in 1985. Just after he gave all that dosh to Oinker for the Birthright Centre. The year that Mary Wynch won her appeal to the Master of the Rolls and appeared in the London broadsheets. The year that I began approaching MPs regarding the problem that was the north Wales mental health services. I had written to the GMC about Gwynne the lobotomist in 1984 and they told me that they could not take any action against him.

Philip Harris was given a peerage in Jan 1996. By which time Ronnie Waterhouse knew that he would be Chairing a Public Inquiry into the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, although William Hague didn’t announce this until Aug 1996. Hague became leader of the Tory Party on 19 June 1997 after receiving the backing of Thatcher. Hague was perceived as the heir to Thatch. By 1996, Gruff Rhys from Llanllechid in Gwynedd had emerged as an international rock star (see post ‘The International Language Of Screaming’). Gruff’s dad Ioan Bowen Rees was the Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council when business boomed for the paedophile gang within the Council’s children’s homes (see post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’).

 

By 1986, when the Birthright Centre funded by Harris was established at Sheffield, Mary Wynch had won her appeal to the Master of the Rolls and was suing Dafydd et al. During 1986, Alison Taylor and I continued to raise our concerns regarding the activities of the paedophiles and their friends. On 22 July 1986, Iain Muir, Deputy Headmaster of the Bryn Alyn Community School, was convicted in the Crown Court at Mold of unlawful sexual intercourse with a female under the age of 16, for which he received a sentence of six months imprisonment. The victim was resident at the school for just over three years and was 15 years old when she left. During the middle months of 1986, DCS Gwynne Owen declared Alison Taylor’s complaints to be false or unsubstantiated. In Oct 1986 he sent a report to the CPS severely criticising Alison and in Dec 1986 Gwynedd County Council informally suspended Alison from her job as a social worker. In the late summer of 1986, I was unlawfully detained under the Mental Health Act in Ysbyty Gwynedd by Jackie Brandt and a Dr Perera, after being told by Alun Davies that if I didn’t drop my complaints about the mental health services I would be sectioned. Whilst I was there, Dafydd rolled up and told me to get out of north Wales and if I ever came back he’d have me arrested. In Dec 1986, I went back to north Wales and Dafydd had me unlawfully arrested and illegally detained in the North Wales Hospital.

The Harris Birthright Centre is now located at King’s College Hospital London, has been renamed the Harris Birthright Centre for Foetal Medicine and its Director is Dr Kypros Nicolaides, but I don’t know when it relocated to King’s. When I worked at St George’s I was told that a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at King’s was considered a bit excessive by his colleagues because ‘he has sex with his children’. Just to clarify, the man named as doing this was not Kypros Nicolaides, it was another fertility expert who was involved in charidee work.

 

I mentioned in my post ‘The Village’ that Dr D.G.E. Wood became seriously worried when Brown started publishing in 1984. A lot of people became very anxious all over again when Brown made his first TV appearance in Sept 1987. Brown didn’t have his own TV series or anything, he appeared on ‘Right To Reply’ on Channel 4 with Gus Macdonald. I was supposed to be on there as well, we were invited to appear after we wrote to Gus regarding a particularly offensive appearance that Bernard Manning had made on the BBC. I couldn’t go on tele because Gus’s invitation coincided with my first day at work at the Cancer Research Campaign labs at Nottingham University and I thought that it would look dreadful if I didn’t actually make it into work on my first day. My mates told me that it would have been really cool to have rung up the CRC labs and said ‘I’m sorry, but I’ve got a TV appearance’, but I didn’t dare. If I’d known what a tosser and a fraud Prof Robert Baldwin was (see post ‘Oh Lordy, It’s CR UK’), I’d have prioritised Gus.

I didn’t realise this at the time because I thought that Gus was just the man on ‘Right To Reply’, but Gus Macdonald was actually a very big media figure. He was a former investigative reporter and by the time that he invited us onto his programme he was a powerful media executive. Gus was also big in the Labour Party and back in the 1960s he was involved with Tribune and Michael Foot, after flirting with the International Socialists. Some of the Tribune lot were working for MI5.

Gus Macdonald was one of the first people to be given a peerage by Blair after Labour won the General Election in 1997 and he was later appointed Minister for the Cabinet Office in Blair’s Gov’t – the year after Ronnie Waterhouse published his cover-up, when people started angrily mouthing off about the whitewash. Not that any of them got a Right To Reply. Dim problem Blair, there’s this blog now.

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More Summer Reading!

I’ve been digging around in book shops recently and I managed to pick up a second hand book which might be of interest to readers of this blog.

‘NHS plc’ was published in 2004 and was written by Allyson Pollock. I read quite a lot of Pollock’s work some years ago and what always struck me was that although Pollock undoubtedly knows exactly what goes on in the NHS, she was rather mealy mouthed when it came to admitting the full horror of it all. I always attributed this to Pollock being a policy advisor and therefore maintaining a discreet silence regarding patients’ being maimed and killed – I also was under the impression that Pollock had a background in social policy and such researchers very often do have trouble admitting just how much blood there is on the carpet. But I discovered yesterday that Pollock is actually a Top Doctor – she’s a Consultant in Public Health Medicine and has been since 1986. Since Jan 2017, Pollock has been Director of the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University. Prior to that she was Head of the Public Health Policy Unit at UCL and Director of Research and Development at UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Pollock set up and directed the Centre for International Public Health Policy at Edinburgh University (2005-11). Before then she was Professor of Public Health Research and Policy at Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London. Her earlier career is not mentioned on her wiki entry – but guess what can be discovered if one reads ‘NHS plc’? That Allyson previously worked at Sin City – St George’s Hospital Medical School! She mentions that she worked there ‘before’ New Labour’s 1997 election victory. As she has been a consultant since 1986, presumably she was a consultant at St George’s. So she was there at some point in the 90s then – when the madness and malpractice that I have detailed on this blog prevailed there (see post ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/1990’), under the ‘leadership’ of the dreadful Sir William Asscher…

Allyson Pollock is best known for her work on the gradual privatisation of the NHS with the associated imposition of a ‘business culture’ and the introduction of ‘new public management’ techniques. Her work on this is very, very good. I have never been able to fault her analysis of what this process has resulted in or her historical detail of the steps by which it has taken place. But reading ‘NHS plc’, it is clear why Pollock’s work never details the chaos and tragedy that is happening in the NHS, although she obviously loathes the privatisation agenda and could add considerable weight to her argument if she was prepared to go public on the excesses of the NHS. It is because Pollock is only telling half the story. The bit that Allyson Pollock just won’t mention is the contribution of the Top Doctors themselves to the mess.

Throughout ‘NHS plc’, Pollock paints a picture of a medical establishment that always does and has always done the best for NHS patients and which has been forced off course by the privatisation agenda – an agenda which Pollock suggests that nearly all Top Doctors have fought against for noble reasons. She does name the occasional sinner, the odd Top Doctor who has encouraged and personally benefited from privatisation, such as the odious Dr Chai Patel. Pollock describes Patel as a ‘millionaire doctor’. He is far from the only one Allyson as you well know. Patel of course notoriously ran a huge chain of private ‘care homes’ which were eventually exposed as being riddled with the most dreadful abuse and neglect of patients – it was this that forced him to step down from his role as a Dept of Health advisor on the care of the elderly. Among Patel’s business interests was his acquisition and expansion of the ‘Priory Group’. That is the Priory Group that currently employs two of Allyson’s former colleagues from St George’s and the associated psychiatric unit Springfield Hospital, Dr Robin Jacobson and Dr Adrienne Key! Likewise Allyson names a few of the biggest scandals that there have been in the NHS – scandals so big that she can’t avoid naming them, such as the Bristol Children’s Heart Surgery Scandal or Harold Shipman. There is not a mention of the fact that actually the NHS for a very long time has been dogged by scandals in which patients suffered greatly and were known to be suffering but no-one acted. According to ‘NHS plc’ the problems only began when Thatcher’s administration began privatising the NHS, a process which escalated under New Labour. It is New Labour into whom Allyson really puts the boot – she hates them.

Whilst Allyson highlights the idiocies that that Tories imposed upon the NHS in the name of the ‘internal market’, she makes no mention of why they were able to convince voters at the time that this might be a good idea. It was actually because there was a great deal of dissatisfaction with the NHS. I can remember the debates very well – the allegations made again and again were of Top Doctors who were so fucking arrogant that they would not listen to patients or respond to their needs. It wasn’t simply a case of affluent patients wanting a private room or special treatment, although that was indeed Margaret Thatcher’s personal interpretation. There had been for example massive dissatisfaction among women concerning the way in which many of them had been treated whilst giving birth, which led to practitioners like Michele Odent establishing private practices to which middle class women swarmed. There was the emergence of ME and the Top Doctors’ complete refusal to accept that this might have a physical cause – seriously ill people were dismissed as suffering from ‘Yuppie Flu’. People with an interest in alternative medicine also fumed at the way in which they were mocked and belittled by Top Doctors. I’m of the opinion that much ‘alternative medicine’ is indeed ineffective, but if one is a Top Doctor faced with anxious patients enquiring about such matters, taking the piss out of them to their faces is not the best way to proceed. The London surgeon Michael Baum was interviewed on TV regarding alternative medicine and he explained that patients enquiring about this were usually middle aged women wearing ethnic weave clothes who read the ‘Guardian’. That’s the sort of observation that is best made to one’s friends in private, not made on prime time TV – it caused massive offence and actually did him a lot of damage (which was unfortunate, because some of Baum’s opinions are worth listening to). I remember an episode of ‘Any Questions’ in which the biggest cheer from the audience was given to a Tory MP who when talking about the Tories reforms of the NHS, had robustly said of hospital consultants ‘they’re not God, they’re just guys doing a job’. People had really had a bellyful of the Top Doctors by the mid to late 1980s and that feeling was exactly what the Tories utilised to sell the voters their agenda for the NHS. Allyson mentions that ‘some’ hospital consultants were ‘downright arrogant’, that they were not ‘directly accountable to anyone’ and that team working was ‘often poor’, but she does not get anywhere near to admitting the extend of the greed, the bullying, the autocracy, the abuse of their positions and the overall preservation of their own vested interests that did – and still does – go on.

The attitude of the Top Doctors to patients was exemplified by the ‘reviews’ that the Top Doctors who fancied themselves as thespians used to put on themselves in medical schools at Christmas. Those stage shows were essentially a series of sketches in which the Top Doctors patted themselves on the back and sneered at patients for all being a bit ignorant or neurotic. I attended two such Christmas Reviews whilst I worked at St Georges – they were virtually identical and basically served to consolidate what someone the other day termed the ‘professional superglue’ that causes NHS staff to close ranks in the face of malpractice or patient harm.

Allyson mentions the concession to accept ‘pay beds’ that Bevan made when establishing the NHS. Bevan of course admitted that he was forced into doing this in order to get the Top Doctors to accept the idea of the NHS. (The Top Doctors REALLY objected to the idea of the NHS.) Pollock I note doesn’t quote Bevan’s most famous words – that in order to overcome the Top Doctors’ objections to the NHS he would ‘stuff their mouths with gold’. Allyson tactfully states that Bevan had accepted the existence of pay beds ‘in order to secure consultants’ participation in the new free health care system’. Pollock mentions that in 1975 Barbara Castle abolished pay beds – and my God wasn’t that one of her biggest battles – but her decision was later reversed and ‘by the 1980s pay beds were justified as an income earner for hospitals’. I don’t remember the Top Doctors objecting to their re-introduction Allyson – in fact when you and I were working at St George’s there was plenty of private practice going on. To be fair, some of the Top Doctors doing it were re-investing their earnings into their research programmes and of course there was a limit placed on the amount that medical academics were allowed to earn through private practice. Which was why so many Top Doctors didn’t want academic posts… Some of Allyson’s non-academic colleagues at St George’s were known to be very rich indeed as a result of their private practices.

Again and again Allyson portrays these very wealthy people with interests in private practice who ignored the wrongdoing of their colleagues as selfless barefoot doctors. She maintains that when ‘concerned NHS staff’ critiqued public-private partnerships they were dismissed by Gov’t as ‘self-interested’. However did anyone come to that conclusion? So who were the concerned NHS staff that Allyson was talking about? The cleaners? The canteen staff or the porters? The Angels perhaps? No, it was the BMA and the NHS Consultants’ Association.

There are plenty of clues in Allyson’s book as to what the beef of the Top Doctors really was. It was not that the Top Doctors were taking a principled stand against privatisation. It was a power battle. The Tories wanted to flatten the BMA in the way that they had flattened the NUM because the BMA were causing havoc behind the scenes and that’s what much of the obsession with imposing a business culture and managerialist practices on the NHS was all about. Unfortunately the Tories tried to fight the Top Doctors by giving huge power to an equally toxic group of people – NHS senior managers. The Tories were well aware of the damage that the likes of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Gwynne the lobotomist were inflicting upon the NHS and it’s patients, but their solution was to give as much power to the likes of Alun Davies and Martin Jones. It was not a good idea and for years now a full-on battle has raged between these two groups who are substantially made up of shites. Top Doctors who do have integrity are not going to be told what to do by Martin which is why so many of them are now leaving the NHS and good managers aren’t attracted to working in the NHS because most of the other managers there are like Martin. A few years ago I was friends with a newly qualified law graduate who landed himself a job in the management offices of Ysbyty Gwynedd. He memorably described Martin and co as ‘corrupt as fuck and thick as shit’. Of course, when the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board was first established, they had an excellent CEO, Mary Burrows, who was very bright and genuinely committed to improving the dire state of the NHS in north Wales. Mary was effectively hounded out by the Top Doctors and Martin et al. The last thing that a bunch of unscrupulous, abusive Top Doctors lining their own pockets want is a high calibre senior manager. Which is why you don’t tend to find such creatures in the NHS.

Allyson writes of the battle that the BMA had with Ken Clarke regarding GP fundholding and describes how the BMA were ‘defeated’ and ‘would never again challenge the Gov’t on matters of principle’. Allyson is being somewhat economical with the truth here. The BMA continued to fight Gov’ts tooth and nail, but they adopted a new tactic. Instead of presenting themselves as Top Doctors Who Knew Best overtly confronting the Gov’t, they constructed themselves as People Who Cared About The Disadvantaged – which is exactly the way in which Allyson presents herself! ‘NHS plc’ is full of warm words for the BMA – except towards the end of the book, in which Allyson accuses them of selling out, upon the appointment of a particular Chief Exec. Allyson wrote that book in 2004. In 2007 the BMA famously screwed the Gov’t over regarding the negotiation of the GP out of hours contract which was so favourable to the Top Doctors that one of the BMA negotiators described it as ‘a bit of a laugh’. It was this that led to enormous problems concerning GP out of hours provision. But Allyson’s heart must have melted at some point because in 2014 she was appointed as a Member of the BMA’s Council! She is still there.

Pollock’s own attempts to categorise herself as a barefoot doctor are interesting. She mentions going to dinner with a merchant banker before the election of New Labour to discuss PFIs (I wonder why Allyson was doing that?) and describes how the dinner was held in the ‘bank’s private dining room’ with ‘black coated waiters’ who ‘served lunch that lasted almost three hours’. Allyson compares that dining room with the ‘hospital canteen’ at St Georges and how she ‘could not help thinking of the rows of terraced houses in the impoverished community of Tooting from which St George’s mainly female, mainly black ancillary workforce was drawn’.

I remember those rows of terraces in Tooting as well – I lived in one of them. As indeed did many of the female, black workers of St Georges. So what did the Top Doctors of St Georges think about those workers and the other people who lived in those terraces? Well, one Top Doctor described the midwives as being ‘really thick especially the black ones’. Another Top Doctor told one of the researchers about a ‘really scummy family who live in Garrett Lane’ (Garrett Lane was one of the most deprived parts of Tooting.) A medical student was ostracised because he lived in a shared house in Garrett Lane. It wasn’t only living in Garrett Lane that made one persona non-grata – I attended a departmental meal in a restaurant in Wimbledon during which the wife of a senior registrar refused to speak to a junior doctor after she was told that the junior doctor lived in Brixton. Many of the Top Doctors at St Georges lived in Wimbledon or Clapham or further afield in affluent areas. I only knew of one Top Doctor who lived in Tooting who, as a result of having a number of young children from a series of broken relationships, didn’t have the sort of disposable income that his colleagues had and could only afford to buy in Tooting. He resented living there – although his house was a good deal better than everyone else’s – and he complained at length about the lifestyle enjoyed by another Top Doctor from Kings, who was sufficiently loaded that she was having a house built to her own specifications with a matching bathroom for each bedroom. That was Professor Linda Cardosa – I didn’t ever see her house which caused so much envy, but if any readers did do e mail me and tell me all about it. Should anyone ever see Prof Cardosa on a BMA protest supporting a pay claim I suggest that they ignore her.

As for merchant bankers – the brother of one of the researchers in the dept in which I worked at St Georges was a merchant banker. One of his bonuses was bigger than the annual salary of his sister’s boss. This caused much gnashing of teeth, but no-one used it as evidence that merchant bankers should be paid less – they used it as evidence that they should be paid as much as merchant bankers. As for the merchant banker’s sister – she grumbled at length about her own salary although it later emerged that some sort of ‘special arrangement’ had been made for her so she was earning much more than all the other researchers anyway. Not that she needed a higher salary than everyone else – she drove a Mercedes, but ‘only an old one’ which her father had given her and when she had enough of living in the inner city her parents allowed her to live rent free in the cottage on their estate in Surrey which had previously been inhabited by the gardener. I’m only surprised that mum and dad didn’t supply her with a butler as well.

Not all of my former colleagues at St Georges were as spoiled, as fuckwitted, as snobbish and as shallow as this, but one didn’t have to work too hard to find people who were. There were a lot of them cluttering up the place. The source of their discontent was the fact that so many of them did come privileged backgrounds and they had friends and family who were earning even more than Top Doctors did. So many Top Doctors, despite being among the most highly paid people in the UK, managed to convince themselves that they were very hard done by indeed. It is this phenomenon that propels the BMA and it’s campaigns. The notion of ‘public service’ does not enter into the equation.

In ‘NHS plc’ Pollock is also very critical of NHS organisations selling off buildings and land – the ‘NHS estate’ – to raise money. Such sales are often a very bad deal for the NHS and are effectively fleecing the tax-payer, but the example which Pollock provides is yet another reflection of Pollock’s sleight of hand. She refers to the proposed sale of Springfield Hospital and the accompanying proposed deal with a private care company. Springfield Hospital was an appalling place, in a dreadful state of repair with completely inadequate facilities. It was in no way suitable to be housing mental health patients in the late 20th century. The care was dreadful, abuses of patients were rampant (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’) and eventually there was a public inquiry after a series of murders there. I do not know what the facilities and care standards at the establishment where it was proposed to transfer the patents to were like, but no-one could defend Springfield Hospital. This example reminded me of the articles that ‘New Statesman’ ran back in the 80s concerning the closure of institutions like the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. Those articles accused Thatcher of selling off the ‘homes’ of patients – I really don’t think that the readers of the ‘New Statesman’ would have wanted a home like Denbigh. Of course, the first Health Minister to propose closing the asylums was Enoch Powell – after visiting Denbigh, which appalled him. Pollock compliments Powell for his ‘political inspiration’ behind the 1962 Hospital Building Plan, but she doesn’t mention a word about him wanting to close institutions like Denbigh and Springfield.

Again and again Pollock lays the blame for notorious NHS shortcomings on privatisation. She rightly mocks the deals that were done with celebrities like Lloyd Grossman which resulted in private companies being contracted to provide hospital food that turned out to be awful. But hospital food was known to be awful before privatisation – it was, like British Rail sandwiches, a byword for dreadful food. Whilst I was imprisoned in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh by Dafydd Alun Jones Brown worried about my diet – because he knew how bad the food was in institutions like that. In Denbigh most patients lived on chips – the fare was so grim that chips were usually the most edible thing on the ‘menu’. One patient at Denbigh who was actually receiving regular visitors – unlike most people who had simply been illegally imprisoned and abandoned in there – got her daughter to bring her meals in. Things were no better in Springfield in 1991 where Pollock’s fellow Top Doctors worked. One inpatient was a young South Asian woman who, for religious reasons, was being given meals that differed from everyone else’s (they certainly couldn’t have managed that at Denbigh). So Springfield could therefore tick the ‘catering for a multicultural community’ box – but this young woman was delivered a meal each day which no choice offered or no say in what it was. On one occasion a meal was delivered which for dietary reasons she could not eat (one of the ingredients upset her stomach). She explained this to the vile abusive ward manager – an Australian called Stephanie whose standard method of communication was to shout and swear at patients – and was simply told ‘you’ve got to have it, these meals are costing us a fortune’. The young Asian woman went without dinner that day. This was before there had been any implementation of the idea of privatising NHS catering.

Pollock writes some scathing passages about the dreadful neglect of the elderly in the private sector – again this is endemic and she is quite right to draw attention to what is going on. But this was happening before NHS privatisation was on the agenda. As far back as the 1970s I knew of a notorious nursing home in the Somerset town in which I went to school. It was owned and run by a nurse who had been sacked from Taunton hospital and it employed schoolgirls as ‘nurses’ (my friend worked there – at 15 years of age she was passed off as a ‘nurse’). Every Top Doctor in Bridgwater knew about that home – they’d have never allowed their own relatives to end up there but no-one put a stop to it. When I went to university in Bangor in 1981 I found out about a very similar establishment in Menai Bridge. The man who owned the nursing home was a drunk and the ‘matron’ in charge was a nurse who had been sacked by the C&A Hospital in Bangor – after she was found having sex with a male patient in his bed on the ward. This was common knowledge, as was the neglect to which the residents were subjected – Dr D.G.E. Wood had some patients there and visited regularly. No-one had the place closed down. Furthermore Chai Patel is not to the only Top Doctor who owned care homes with questionable standards. Brig-y-Nant in Bethesda was owned by Top Doctor Dr K. Shah, a mate of Dafydd’s (see post ‘Hippocratic Oath or Hypocritic Oaf?’ for details of my encounter with Shah). Shah’s wife ‘managed’ Brig y Nant and I heard allegations from one former care assistant that not only were ‘difficult’ elderly residents dumped in baths of cold water, but when injuries were sustained, one doctor would always be called to deal with the problem – a Dr K. Shah.

Something else that Allyson attributes to NHS privatisation is the silencing of whistleblowers and the appearance of dodgy publications in the BMJ. I can kill two birds with one stone here. Back in the 1980s I remember reading an article that a particularly courageous doctor had penned for the BMJ. He was a GP from Devon and he wrote an account of how he had been called out to visit a patient in a nursing home and had arrived to find residents tied to their chairs with pairs of nylon tights and what he described as a ‘sloppy’ young woman on duty. He attended to his patient and as he prepared to leave he was stopped by an old lady who asked him if he was a doctor. When he said yes, the old lady pulled her skirt up and showed him severe, extensive scalding over her thighs. The old lady told him that someone had poured a kettle of hot water over her legs. This nursing home was owned by a local Top Doctor. A few days later the GP heard that the old lady who had been scalded had died. He was so worried about standards at this home that he contacted the coroner regarding his concerns. The coroner told him that there were no concerns at all regarding the home. The GP discovered that the coroner was a business partner of the Top Doctor who owned the home. The GP contacted the GMC and was told to take a running jump. So he penned an article for the BMJ to let the world now exactly what was possible on Planet Care Home. Was this caring and diligent GP supported in his efforts to expose this scandal? Not at all. In the next issue of the BMJ there were a number of letters published from other Top Doctors, all pompously declaring that the BMJ was not the place to air allegations about one’s colleagues. But that was not the worst thing that appeared in the BMJ in the 80s. On one occasion they debated Homosexuality. One old bigot wrote in and stated quite categorically that homosexuality does not exist ‘in the animal kingdom’ and that it is most definitely a perversion of Man. I’ve got news for that particular high-flier – homosexuality DOES exist in the animal kingdom as any zoologist will confirm. Such was the shite that the BMJ felt able to publish in days gone by.

As for whistleblowing – Allyson’s off in fairyland regarding this: ‘formerly doctors could and did speak out in the interests of their patients’ and ‘in the past doctors were free to speak out – in fact they were under a moral obligation to do so – if they felt it was in the interests of their patients’. Of course Allyson – that is why, for many, many years pre-NHS privatisation, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al were able to break the law, sexually exploit patients, sell drugs to addicts, lie on oath, illegally imprison people in Denbigh, conceal a paedophile ring and threaten and bribe people with many, many people knowing and no-one blew the whistle on any of it. In fact your own colleagues at St Georges and Springfield knew of at least some of what was going on and documented it – but told each other that I was ‘extremely dangerous’ and should be referred to the forensic services ‘for containment’ after I spoke to them about it. Other people who knew what Dafydd and co were up to included Dr James Earp from Leicester (see post ‘An Expert From England’), Professor Robert Bluglass (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE…’), The Medical Ombudsman for Wales Professor Robert Owen, Dr Chris Mawson (see post ‘Doctors Who Disappeared From The Medical Register’) and Dr Chris Hunter (see post ‘The Night of the (Dr Chris) Hunter’). Dr Mawson and Dr Earp did not, unlike the others, suggest that I should be banged up without trial in a secure hospital, but not one of them raised the alarm regarding what was going on.

‘NHS plc’ also takes aim at the various inspection regimes that have been introduced in recent years, such as the CHI (Commission for Health Improvement). Pollock describes such inspectorates as ‘ineffectual’ and mentions that the review teams are ‘inevitably less qualified and less experienced than the hospital staff they were inspecting’. Which is true and it is insulting to good hospital staff. But those inspectorates have been a Godsend to Top Doctors who aren’t doing what they should be doing – such as in Mid-Staffs. Or indeed in north Wales. Dangerous troubled services have passed inspections with flying colours. But it has always been thus – the Mental Health Act Commission were actively colluding with Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) in north Wales to conceal their criminal activity before privatisation was underway.

There is a glaring contradiction in Pollock’s writing, in that among her attempts to portray Top Doctors as helpless pawns in the face of power-crazed Gov’ts there are actually plenty of indications that she knows just how powerful swathes of the medical establishment are, including her own colleagues and the institutions in which she herself has spent her career as a senior member of staff. She clearly explains how the London teaching hospitals and medical schools are invested with prestige and status enabling them to attract high calibre staff, which in turn gives them huge influence even over Gov’t policy – just like Allyson and her Public Policy Units based in those medical schools have sometimes enjoyed.

Allyson mentions the idea to close Guys and St Tommy’s that was put forward some years ago – but she admits that the notion pretty soon died a death because of course Tommy’s is the hospital that serves Parliament. No, no-one’s going to shut down the most elite joint in town with plenty of friends in the Palace of Westminster. Allyson also mentions the enormous power and influence that Great Ormond Street Hospital has, due it’s legacy from J.M. Barrie and it’s very successful fundraising arm. She explains that in 2000, Camden and Islington Health Authority along with the Medical Director at UCL Hospitals Trust, planned to integrate all paediatric services across the area, but that GOSH disagreed with this plan, ‘was in a powerful position to put it’s own priorities before patients needs or planning’ and was successful in ‘silencing debate’.

Yet elsewhere in her book, Pollock holds up GOSH and it’s satellite hospital Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children as being all that is best about the NHS. Queen Elizabeth Hospital was linked to GOSH and a number of consultants at GOSH had shared appointments with Queen Elizabeth. Allyson explains how Queen Elizabeth served the severely disadvantaged area of Hackney where some of the poorest children in the UK lived. She states that Queen Elizabeth was a ‘model of how a hospital in a severely deprived inner city area should be run’, that it was ‘accessible, open and caring with exceptional expertise’ providing a ‘superb service to needy children’. My post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’ mentions that Dr Robin Skynner, who had links with Top Doctors who were concealing child sexual abuse, was the Physician in Charge of the Dept of Psychiatry at Queen Elizabeth between 1965-70.

As for GOSH – that was the hospital that employed the negligent doctor who contributed to the death of Peter Connelly in the ‘Baby P’ case a few years. GOSH has also just been at the centre of the Charlie Gard storm. And I doubt that either of those cases had much to do with privatisation.

Another inconsistency in Pollock’s book concerns Richard Smith, the former editor of the BMJ. He’s mentioned in Pollock’s acknowledgements section as one of the people who have ‘inspired’ her. Yet Smith is named elsewhere in the book as a baddie who jumped ship in 2004 and joined United Healthcare as CEO.

There are clues in the text as to what irks Pollock so much about New Labour as well as the root of some of her inconsistencies. Pollock seems to get to meet some very grand people. Not only did she dine with a merchant banker whilst her heart remained with the St Georges canteen in downtown Tooting, but she had an audience with Geoffrey Robinson in his capacity as Blair’s Paymaster General who afterwards invited her for a drink on the terrace of the House of Commons – although obviously she really wished that she was having a cup of char at a cleaner’s house in Garrett Lane – and she even met Gordon Brown when he was Chancellor. She described them as being on a ‘charm offensive’ and wanted to be ‘seen to be listening’. Pollock also thought very highly of Blair’s first Secretary of State for Health (1997-99) Frank Dobson – ‘a well-liked and competent Minister’. Not many other people shared that opinion – Dobson was widely perceived to be well-meaning but a bit gullible and dim (‘Private Eye’ named him ‘Dobbo’). The NHS continued to go pear-shaped and Dobbo’s scalp was demanded. There was another perceived problem with Dobbo as well – he rolled over for the Top Doctors…

Now although the Top Doctors are a very conservative bunch, they really didn’t like Thatcher and she didn’t like them. Thatcher loathed the professions (as well as academics) and very much saw them as being conspiracies against the layman. So the Top Doctors were most glad to see the back of Thatcher – I remember loud cheering breaking out in St George’s when she resigned. But the Top Doctors are not a bunch of lefties no matter what the Daily Mail says about them. However I suspect that when Blair was elected, Allyson and her fellow Public Policy/Public Health specialists may well have thought that their boat had come in. A Labour Gov’t that wasn’t socialist, with an authoritarian streak, wedded to the notion that Policy Experts should tell the plebs how to live. Which is probably why Allyson broke a leg in her efforts to meet Blair’s Ministers. A similar phenomenon occurred among HE specialists committed to widening participation – Blair maintained that he was going to pursue this policy and educational sociologists all got very excited, but of course he didn’t listen to any of them and a lot of them ended up very miffed. I suspect that Allyson fell into the same trap. Indeed, she makes it clear in her book that she feels that New Labour discredited and intimidated it’s critics, including her. Which they probably did – but then the Top Doctors discredited and intimidated those of us who discovered that their colleagues in north Wales were concealing a paedophile ring. At least Blair didn’t try to frame Allyson for serious crimes or state that she would end up in an institution for the ‘criminally insane’ as dear old Dafydd and Bluglass did with respect to me.

For all her griping though, Allyson knows that the Top Doctors can pack a punch if they are able to successfully construct themselves as the defenders of the NHS in the face of Bastards In Government. She reminds us of the lesson that no politician has ever forgotten – the election of Top Doctor Dr Richard Taylor in Kidderminster, who unseated the Labour MP David Locke. Taylor of course did this by running on a ticket of opposing hospital closures. Pollock mentions another similar event as well – the election of retired Top Doctor Dr Jean Turner in Glasgow in the wake of plans to close Stobhill Hospital. Pollock states that the Gov’ts announcement in 2003 that there would be no closures of smaller local hospitals after the election of Taylor and Turner was ‘a notable acknowledgement of the power of popular mobilisation’.

No Allyson, it was an acknowledgement of how bloody-minded the BMA are – they were fighting ALL hospital closures, including hospitals which were unsafe and harming or killing patients. They didn’t admit that any hospitals were doing this and they didn’t even work behind the scenes to raise standards – they did what they have always done and told the Gov’t ‘touch us and we’ll brain you’. Which indeed they did.

As all good Top Doctors do when they wish to ram home their arguments, Allyson makes references to popular media images of Top Doctors. We are told that the ‘frantic atmosphere in ‘Holby City’ is quite typical of the acute hospital today’. Which is rather like saying that the ‘Carry On’ films with Hattie Jacques giving terrified weedy men bed-baths and Barbara Windsor wearing an Anne Summers style nurse’s uniform whilst her bra flies off were an accurate depiction of life in an NHS hospital in the 60s. There is one big difference between Holby City and ‘an acute hospital today’ – in Holby City the staff never make mistakes and the complex cutting edge surgery is always successful, unless it’s an utterly hopeless case and the patient’s chance of life was unfathomably slim anyway. And from the episodes that I’ve seen, a lot of the surgeons are proud of their upwardly mobile journey from their disadvantaged childhoods – in one episode a female surgeon called Jac even revealed that she’d grown up in care and had been sexually abused. Er, no, as we know from the fate of the kids who grew up in care in north Wales, Jac would not be a heart surgeon, she’d be banged up in Denbigh with everyone calling her a dangerous liar. That is if she hadn’t actually been found dead in suspicious circumstances after having given evidence against the paedophiles that were employed in her children’s home.

Pollock also makes reference to a film called ‘As Good As It Gets’, which she appreciates because it makes some barbed points about US privatised healthcare. It stars Jack Nicholson. As of course did ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’. Which was a film that one of Pollock’s colleagues at St George’s, the occupational health physician Nicky Mitchell-Heggs, had a real problem with. Mitchell-Heggs had previously been a psychiatrist and maintained that ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ set out to deceive because it was modelled on an asylum from the 50s but pretended that such places were still in existence. Which of course they weren’t. Indeed not Nicky – at Denbigh the patients didn’t wear uniforms and there was no piped music. But all the other ingredients were there – a lobotomist, Nurse Rached aka Janice Davies, sane people imprisoned and drugged up because they had dared challenge corrupt Top Doctors and staff terrorising and blackmailing vulnerable people by threatening to release confidential info about them. Except that Denbigh also had a psychopathic psychiatrist sexually abusing the patients who was also concealing the paedophile ring that his mistress facilitated. And those were the two people from whom Mitchell-Heggs and her colleagues were taking evidence regarding my ‘dangerousness’ so she must have known that they were there…. Mitchell-Heggs’s online profile describes her interests as theatre, opera and ski-ing! It’s those self-sacrificing Top Doctors again who fight tooth and nail for the NHS. I also seem to remember reading that both Mitchell-Heggs and her husband now run private practices.

In the initial pages of ‘NHS plc’ Pollock explains that she isn’t able to cover everything in a volume of that length, so there are some areas that she hasn’t commented upon. Such as mental health and learning disability services. Which is just as well considering how bloody shameful these ‘services’ are and were when she wrote that book. She also mentions that she doesn’t cover groups of staff such as cleaners, canteen workers, security officers and porters. In other words those staff who are treated and paid appallingly, whose presence is generally ignored by the Top Doctors and who are actually the very staff who have suffered most as a result of NHS privatisation.

At the beginning of her book, Pollock gives a long list of acknowledgments and names the people who have ‘inspired’ her. They include Dr Richard Taylor, ‘all members of the NHS Consultants Association’, ‘members of the Medical Practitioners Union’, ‘Brian Potter formerly of the Scottish BMA’, ‘Sir Sandy Macara at the BMA’ and Richard Horton of the ‘Lancet’. She mentions ‘many others’ to have come ‘to the aid’ of the Public Policy Unit which she was directing when she wrote ‘NHS plc’. Pollock pays tribute to the ‘special stalwarts of the NHS including Charles Webster, the former official historian of the NHS’. I mention on the front page of this blog that a number of people have written ‘histories’ of psychiatry in north Wales. These histories are at their best highly sanitised and at their worst have about as much historical accuracy as a Barbara Cartland novel. One of those ‘histories’ was written by a Bangor University lecturer called David Hirst and I’m fairly sure that it was his book that was co-authored or assisted in some way by an ‘NHS historian’ called Charles someone. I’m fairly sure that it was Charles Webster. I’ve been googling to try and clarify this but all traces of that book have vanished from the internet. I wonder why – after all it was proudly on display in Bangor University for years, so it definitely exists….However I note that David has co-authored with a number of the Top Doctors from the Hergest Unit! He arrived in Bangor to begin his work in ‘social policy’ in 1973 – Christ almighty, Gwynne and Dafydd were in full swing then, they will have been lobotomising and subjecting people to ‘aversion therapy’ if they dared to be gay til the cows came home. And of course Bryn Estyn was still under the direct management of the Home Office and the systematic sexual abuse of the boys there will have been well-embedded by then. Fancy publishing anything about that lot then David?

Pollock makes several mentions in her book of a man who has acquired superhero status in the eyes of any Top Doctor who wants to pledge their commitment to the NHS – Julian Tudor Hart. Tudor Hart is very elderly now, but he is one of the few Top Doctors still practising who was practising before the establishment of the NHS. He has written about just how grim things were in those days – Tudor Hart worked in south Wales among people experiencing very great poverty and hardship. I am interested in Tudor Hart, because although I do completely accept his account of how dreadful it was to fall ill or have an accident before the establishment of the NHS, he does seem somewhat blind to some of what goes on in the NHS. He is an intelligent man and a keen scholar, so like Allyson Pollock he will know. And being a man of his age from Wales, he will know what Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd got up to as well. Tudor Hart has been very rude about Ivan Illich and sees Illich as someone who simply plays to an audience of privileged middle class rebels, which is pretty much what the psychiatric establishment used to say about Thomas Szasz. There is truth in that argument – one had to be affluent to afford sessions with Thomas Szasz – but it ignores why the work of people like Illich and Szasz caught the imagination of so many. It was because of what folk like Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd were actually doing to them – people didn’t find it very helpful. There is also another factor about Tudor Hart that I cannot forget. He worked in the same practice as Dr Brian Gibbons, the former Health Minister for Wales. Who when I told him that I had evidence of the Top Doctors and managers in the Hergest Unit participating in criminal activities wrote me a letter saying ‘this correspondence is closed’. At the time the Hergest Unit had the second highest suicide rate for women in England and Wales.

I can only conclude that Allyson Pollock is one of the most articulate, useful PR mouthpieces that the Top Doctors possess and that she, along with the rest of the Top Doctors, are not very happy that Gov’ts are no longer commissioning their ‘research’ and seeking their ‘opinion’ on which to base policy.

As Corporal Jones of ‘Dad’s Army’ fame might have said – ‘It’s the Top Doctors. They don’t like it up ’em’.

 

There is one Top Doctor in particular who certainly doesn’t like it up ‘im – David Healy. I’ve been interested to note that since I reviewed his appearance on ‘Panorama’ the other day and observed that the voices of patients were noticeably absent from that programme and that whilst the Top Doctors scrap amongst themselves global capitalism continues to screw up healthcare, Healy has retweeted a couple of things. One was from a patient claiming to have ‘lived experience’ – the use of that phrase alone suggests that he falls into the category of a ‘professional service user’ (my neighbours don’t talk about ‘lived experience’ when they discuss their the local health services). Another retweet was from someone whom I have corresponded with, Finola Moss. Finola is a blogger who is doing some brilliant work exposing just how much money the Top Doctors who are involved with private psychiatric provision are now making. One company very much in Finola’s sight is Cygnet Healthcare and it was info relating to the billions that Cygnet is now raking in that Healy retweeted. The Medical Director of Cygnet is Robert Kehoe. Kehoe was the ‘expert witness’ who lied in a report about me, Brown, my PhD supervisor and even my lawyer after we had all made representation regarding the criminal activities and negligence of the Hergest Unit. David Healy was one of those named on the documents submitted to Kehoe in evidence. I later discovered that Kehoe’s business partner had a personal connection to Healy’s colleague at the Hergest, Dr Tony Roberts.