The Compassion Centre

Readers will probably know that among the numerous other beneficial effects of Mindfulness claimed by its inventor, Dafydd’s former colleague Professor Mark Williams, is that it Increases Compassion. That is why the mental health workers who regularly practised Mindfulness, went on Mindfulness retreats and attended/spoke at conferences on Mindfulness facilitated a criminal trafficking gang, oversaw some of the highest rates of suicide in the UK, stood by while their clients became destitute, threatened their clients and perjured themselves in order to secure criminal convictions against their clients.

In recent years, Mark Williams et al have set out to demonstrate that Mindfulness Increases Compassion by the use of brain scans. I’m delighted to report that the research is going well and people have assured me that you can see the Compassion Centre of the brain ‘lighting up’ in those who practice Mindfulness.

The frontal lobe contains most of the dopamine-delicate neurons in the cerebral cortex. The dopamine system is associated with reward, attention, short-term memory tasks, planning, motivation and, in psychiatrists in north Wales and employees of Gwynedd and Clwyd Social Services, it contains the neurons responsible for people trafficking. Being the Vice Centre of the brain, the frontal lobe is commonly coloured red in textbooks:

 

 

Many readers will know that Mark Williams’s research fraud was so successful that he duped numerous politicians who had no knowledge of biomedical sciences at all and thus could be fed any old crap into robustly promoting Mindfulness on the grounds that it has the potential to transform society. Mindfulness was invented by Mark Williams while he lived and worked in Gwynedd, which had one of the highest suicide rates in the UK, one of the lowest mean annual average incomes, one of the poorest performing health services and a Social Services which abused and neglected the people whom it was paid to care for. Williams invented Mindfulness in the late 1980s. Gwynedd still has a high suicide rate, a very low mean average annual income and a non-functioning NHS and Social Services, so clearly it is a testament to the transformative powers of Mindfulness.

Chris Ruane, the Labour MP for the Vale of Clwyd, 1997-2015 and from 2017-present, really loves Mindfulness, he wants everyone to have a bit of it and led the Parliamentary Mindfulness charge. Chris’s constituency covers the areas of Denbigh and St Asaph/Bodelwyddan. The Denbigh area is still choc full with people who worked at Dafydd’s Denbigh Dungeon and Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, a truly lethal hospital managed and staffed by associates of Dafydd et al, is located at Bodelwyddan. St Asaph Cathedral had a member of staff who molested kids for years and one of the organists at St Asaph Cathedral was the son of Geoff, the landlord of the Douglas Arms Hotel in Bethesda. Geoff was a Tory and a believer in law n order. Which will be why some of the police officers in north Wales boasted that they beat up local lads and threw them in Llyn Ogwen and when the victims of these violent assaults appeared in court charged with whatever they had been fitted up for, ‘we’d always be OK if Geoff was on the bench’. Some local men were found dead in Llyn Ogwen having ‘drowned while swimming when drunk’. See previous posts.

Chris Ruane doesn’t have any excuses for supporting Williams’s con, Ruane knows north Wales very well and has spent his entire life on the turf of Dafydd’s gang. Ruane attended Ysgol Mair Roman Catholic primary school in Rhyl. He then went to the Blessed Edward Jones RC High School (he was three years above Carol Vorderman). Blessed Ted’s ended up in very, very serious difficulties which culminated in the removal of the Headmaster in approx 2001 amidst a huge scandal; the school became a no-go area for teachers and pupils, people were fleeing while screaming loudly. Ruane graduated from Aberystwyth University in 1979, when that institution was staffed and managed by the paedophiles’ friends. Ruane then obtained an PGCE from Liverpool University in 1980. He was a town Councillor from 1988 and the Chairman of West Clwyd NUT region. Chris Ruane was a primary school teacher from 1982–97 and a Deputy Head from 1991–97.

Chris was elected as a Labour MP five months after the Waterhouse Inquiry opened.

Here’s Chris, he knows nuzzing…

Official portrait of Chris Ruane crop 2.jpg

 

Chris Ruane contested Clwyd North West in 1992, but was unsuccessful. So Chris was selected as a candidate when the Windbag was Leader of the Labour Party. The Windbag who knew Dafydd’s pal Dr Tony Francis, who was a great promoter of Mindfulness himself.

I am wondering if the effect of Mindfulness on the nation’s politicians is now beginning to manifest itself at last, because The Guardian Online is reporting that Lord Alf Dubs is to launch a cross-party ‘Compassion in Politics’ campaign. Lord Alf’s image is that of a kindly old buffer who has Special Insight into matters humanity because of his well-known status as a child from what was then Czechoslovakia who fled the Nazis. Alf was one of the mainly Jewish children saved by the English stockbroker Nicholas Winton and others on the Kindertransport (Dubs’s father was Jewish). Alf’s father had fled to England the day that the Nazis arrived in Czechoslovakia and young Alf was to meet him at Liverpool Street station. Alf later said that he clearly remembered leaving Prague station at age six and not touching the food pack given to him by his mother for the next two days. His mother was initially denied a visa but was able to join him and his father in London shortly afterwards.

Lord Alf’s True Story is now so well-known that I had forgotten how it first reached the ears of the world and indeed the ears of Alf himself. I refreshed my memory recently. Alf’s True Story was revealed by Esther Rantzen in Feb 1988 in an episode of ‘That’s Life’.

 

It was in late 1987 or very early in 1988 when I wrote to Esther Rantzen about Dafydd et al and provided her with details of the horrors of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. Esther didn’t ring the gas board and neither did the young men with curly hair on her show. She didn’t even read out my letter and make any jokes about deformed root vegetables. Neither did Cyril compose an Odd Ode about Dafydd. Esther did not reply. Why did I write to Esther? Because she had launched a mental health campaign on ‘That’s Life’ and I thought that Esther ought to know what the mental health services in north Wales were actually doing to people.

After Esther launched her mental health campaign, David Scarboro, an actor in East Enders, killed himself in April 1988 and Esther put on her serious face for the TV cameras and maxed out on David’s death. David Scarboro had been treated very badly indeed by a section of the press with which Esther usually had a very chummy relationship. David played the part of ‘Mark Fowler’ and became upset when in 1985, the East Enders storyline dictated that ‘Mark Fowler’ should become a racist. Things came to a head when the script called for a scene in which ‘Mark’ was to deliver racist abuse. Scarboro refused to play the scene. After this it was decided that he should leave the show. His character was abruptly written out of the storyline.

In December 1985, Scarboro briefly returned to the series and subsequently for brief stints in 1986 and 1987, but never on a permanent or on-going basis. Scarboro’s last appearance in the series was in the episode aired on Christmas Day, 1987.

Elements of the UK tabloid press reported that Scarboro had been fired from the show for turning up late for filming and being unco-operative on set. Away from the series Scarboro initiated libel proceedings after several national papers published inaccurate stories about his private life, but the press continued to pursue him and his family. The ‘News of the Screws’ discovered that Scarboro was in a psychiatric unit, besieged it and published photographs of the unit. Scarboro subsequently left the unit because the unit could not protect his privacy and he could no longer get adequate treatment. Inaccurate stories about his condition were published, along with some very, very nasty headlines about the psycho David. David was known to have been distraught at the press coverage and at his inability to receive adequate care.

David died on 27 April 1988. His body was found at the bottom of Beachy Head and the coroner returned an open verdict, although David is always spoken of as having killed himself. A documentary on his life, ‘My Brother David’, was produced by the BBC in 1988, presented by David’s brother Simon. David’s parents left the country soon after their son’s death.

 

In 1988, Jimmy Savile’s sex offending was never mentioned in the media but in spite of all the We Didn’t Knows – including from Esther – a lot of people did know what Savile was doing.

 

Jimmy Savile: Esther Rantzen says she believes late TV ...

 

In 1988 I was told by two people who had been at Leeds University a few years previously that Savile was known to be sexually assaulting ‘young girls’. Two years later someone who’s dad knew Savile via Stoke Mandeville Hospital told me that everyone at Stoke Mandeville was of the opinion that Savile was a ‘twat’ and then in 2000 another person with Stoke Mandeville links told me that Savile was a bloody nightmare and that most of the money ‘raised’ by Savile was wasted on vanity projects, such as the Jimmy Savile Dining Room.

The tabloid press definitely knew what Savile was doing by 1988. They had been given stories but would not publish for fear of litigation.

In 1989, my friend who’s husband worked at the BBC told me that Esther was loathed, the most dreadful workplace bully, ruthless, completely insincere and that ChildLine was widely perceived to be a crude publicity stunt. In those days Esther was being seriously discussed as a potential future DG of the BBC. In 1986 Thatch had personally appointed Marmaduke Hussey as Chairman of the BBC Governors as a result of his close relationship to the Tory Party. Hussey had no previous experience of the BBC and was always seen as Thatcher’s henchman. His had followed a long career with Associated Newspapers, becoming MD; eventually Hussey became Chief Executive and MD of Times Newspapers, 1971-80. Hussey gave up several boardroom appointments when he took up his job at the BBC, but he remained Chairman of the Royal Marsden Hospital until 1998. 

In 1988, the Royal Marsden Hospital, along with a number of other institutions, began perpetrating the cancer research fraud funded by the Cancer Research Campaign and Imperial Cancer Research Fund, which involved Dr Peter Macguire, a former colleague of Dr Tony Francis. The fraud became public in 1990 and resulted in the presumed suicide of one of those involved, Professor Tim McElwain of the Royal Marsden Hospital (see posts ‘Reports Of Death Were Greatly Exaggerated’ and ‘Apocalypse Now’). At the time, I was working for the Cancer Research Campaign myself, at the University of Surrey in a team led by Professor Vincent Marks, the brother of the then President of the BMA, Dr John Marks. John Marks and Ken Clarke were at each others throats at the time. It all ended in stalemate because everyone involved was concealing serious wrongdoing, including that of Dafydd et al, who were procuring children for sex, for, among others, Thatcher’s friend and the then Minister of State for Energy with responsibility for oil, Sir Peter Morrison. Unbeknown to me, when I was working for Vincent Marks, the BMA were providing Tony Francis, Dafydd et al with advice as to how to frame me for serious offences.

The Princess of Wales was Patron of the Royal Marsden Hospital and it was one of the beneficiaries of the publicity stunt in New York which involved Di flogging off some of her clothes in June 1997, not long before she died.

Duke Hussey’s wife, Lady Susan Hussey, is a Woman of the Bedchamber to Lilibet and godmother to Prince William. Sir Peter Morrison’s sister Dame Mary Morrison was also a Woman of the Bedchamber to Lilibet. Susan Hussey is the older sister of William Waldegrave, who in 1988 was a Minister in Thatch’s Gov’t and served as Secretary of State for Health, 1990-92.

Within three months of becoming Chairman of the BBC, Hussey had forced the DG Alasdair Milne to resign. Milne was replaced by someone more acceptable to Thatch, Michael Checkland.

See previous posts for the full background on Hussey and Checkland.

Jimmy Savile was a friend of Thatch’s and spent many weekends at Chequers with her. Savile was also a friend of Carlo’s.

 

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Esther knew that if she wanted to reach stratospheric heights at the BBC she couldn’t afford to piss Jimmy Savile off. Or indeed Dafydd, who was part of the network which Savile was using to procure young people for sex with VIPs.

Alison Taylor wrote to Carlo in about 1988 telling him that kids in care in north Wales were being abused. She received a letter from Carlo’s office stating that he could not become involved. In 1988 Carlo was the Chancellor of UCNW, which was facilitating an arm of Dafydd’s trafficking gang. Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster and Carlo’s close friend, owned an estate in Cheshire which was one of the Duke’s main homes. Boys from Bryn Estyn were taken to the Duke’s estate for ‘work experience’ but refused to return again without explaining why.

Jimmy Savile was known to visit Bryn Estyn and one boy maintained that he was raped by a group of men while Savile watched.

In 1988, Savile was one of the senior managers of Broadmoor, along with his pal Alan Franey. Thatcher’s mate Baroness Trumpington aka Trumpers was the Health Minister who appointed Savile to the Broadmoor management task force (see posts ‘Socio-Political Context Of The North Wales Mental Health Services In The 1980s’ and ‘A Pretty Classy Piece Of Operation’).

At that time, Broadmoor was full of patients who had been abused as kids in care and by the mental health services. Some of those patients were from north Wales, including one person who was mentioned in the Waterhouse Report as having been abused while in care in north Wales. In the late 1980s, Di began making much publicised visits to Broadmoor and Rampton, although the nature of her meetings with the patients and which patients Di met, was kept completely secret for reasons of ‘patient confidentiality’, a la Di’s visits to AIDS wards, among whose patients were rent boys who had been forced into sex work when in care in north Wales (see eg. post ‘The Wretched Of The Earth’). I am all for patient confidentiality, I always felt that Savile’s much publicised visits to children’s wards complete with TV cameras were gross, but the reason for the ‘confidentiality’ at the secure hospitals and the AIDS wards was because many of the patients were the victims of serious crime. The information black-out was to protect the high profile people who had offended against them.

Jimmy Savile also wandered at will at Ashworth Hospital. Ashworth Hospital was part of Dafydd’s domain, was run by Dafydd’s friends and had a dreadful reputation, easily as bad as Broadmoor. See eg. post ‘Security, Security’. One patient was battered to death by the staff at Ashworth – the murder was investigated by Dafydd’s mate and umbrella Professor Robert Bluglass. There were two major inquiries at Ashworth and although it was admitted that the prevailing situation there was horrific, the problems were blamed on Dangerous Mental Patients, not the fact that the institution was run by a trafficking ring and that many of the inmates were victims of that ring.

 

Esther’s sister Priscilla was a social worker for Lambeth Borough Council. Lambeth had a massive problem with their children’s homes being infiltrated by paedophiles and kids in the care of Lambeth were sent to children’s homes in north Wales, where they were abused and then trafficked back down to London or Brighton. Priscilla’s boss was Valerie – now Baroness – Howarth, whom Esther appointed as CEO of ChildLine. ChildLine ignored phone calls from children in north Wales. One woman also maintains that she told Esther that Savile was abusing children. Esther claims to have no memory of this.

Savile and Esther were involved with the NSPCC. The Duke of Westminster was the Life Vice-President of the NSPCC from 1988 until his death in 2016. Here’s Jimmy with another supporter of the NSPCC:

  • Jimmy Savile sought Margaret Thatcher Stoke Mandeville ...

 

In north Wales, when the former kids in care were giving evidence regarding the abuse that they had experienced previously, support for them was offered via a Helpline run by the NSPCC, although the witnesses were by then adults. The managers of the NSPCC Helpline were the social workers who had facilitated the trafficking gang. One man who was rash enough to accept support from the NSPCC Helpline was found dead. The Helpline managers reassured themselves that they were covered by their insurance for such an eventually. Not only was the NSPCC Helpline run by the traffickers, but the North Wales Police were given the job of driving the witnesses to the venue where they gave evidence. The North Wales Police who had for years ignored all complaints about the abuse of kids in care and who had arrested the kids themselves if they persisted in complaining and who employed a number of officers who were abusing the kids.

 

I read the other day that Childline was set up after a conversation between Esther and Michael Grade in 1985. In the account that I read, it was claimed that Michael Grade had put the idea to Esther. In the summer of 1985, my friend worked in the box office at the Edinburgh Fringe. She ended up in hot water with her bosses when she refused to pull strings after Samuel Brittan, a journo with the FT and the brother of Leon Brittan, the then Home Secretary, demanded that she arrange tickets and accommodation for him to visit the Fringe, although everything had sold out weeks ago. Samuel was so irate that he wrote to his Big Mate Michael Grade, who wrote a wonderful letter to Samuel, telling him that he was ‘appalled’ at my friend’s ‘rudeness’ and that Grade would definitely get Samuel tickets ‘even if I have to give you my own’.

You SHALL go to the ball Samuel!

  • Brittan, Sam Biography

 

The Fairy Godmother himself:

  • Michael Grade

 

When Leon Brittan was Home Secretary, he was handed a dossier compiled by the Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens which named a number of people, including Westminster figures, who were alleged to be abusing children. Brittan later claimed that he couldn’t remember receiving the dossier. Then Brittan did remember receiving it but couldn’t remember where he had put the dossier. Leon Brittan has been named as one Westminster figure who was possibly children himself. While Brittan was Home Secretary, numerous files relating to organised child abuse went missing from the Home Office. Meanwhile, the criminal activities of Dafydd et al continued unhindered in north Wales. See previous posts.

  • Every teenagers dream date:
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A few scenes from life in Britain when Brittan was Home Secretary:

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The friend of mine who so angered Samuel Brittan was my best friend from school, who knew what had been happening to me in north Wales. Her mum was a clinical psychologist and her dad was a social worker and they had advised me after Francis began threatening me in the spring of 1985. My friend’s family lived in Somerset, just down the road from my family and Brown’s family. I now know that I and my friends were under surveillance by the security services by then.

 

I have mentioned in previous posts that members of my family knew/were known by Somerset MPs Tom King, John Biffen and Edward du Cann (see previous posts). King and Biffen were members of Thatcher’s Cabinet and Peter Morrison was a Minister, 1983-85, under Tom King, when King was Secretary of State for Employment. Other west country MPs who knew people who knew relatives of mine were the Tory Jerry Wiggin and Liberals Paddy Ashdown and John Pardoe (see previous posts).

William Waldegrave’s family seat was and still is at Chewton Mendip in Somerset. Previous posts (eg ‘Those Who Are Ready To Serve’ and ‘Upper Class Twit Of The Year – Shooting Themselves’) describe how some people in Somerset who knew what had happened to me in north Wales but who did not support me did very well for themselves in terms of career progress and money throughout the late 1980s and the 1990s. One such person received a cheque from Coutts. William Waldegrave was a senior person at Coutts.

Dafydd’s partner-in-crime Dr D.G.E. Wood was from a medical family near Bristol. Over towards the Waldegraves’ neck of the Woods…

 

My friend who had the dust-up with Samuel Brittan in 1985 was driven out of her job at the Royal Television Society in 1991, just after I was forced out of my job at St George’s Hospital Medical School, after she wanted to make a film about north Wales. Her husband worked in the Drama Commissioning Dept of the BBC and was forced out of his job after his boss yelled at him that he’d make sure that he’d ‘never work in this town again’ when my friend’s husband refused to accept a bribe at work. Weeks later he was transferred to the Religious Broadcasting Unit at Manchester and was soon after made redundant.

The troubles of my two media friends escalated after the summer of 1985 when they moved to London to begin their media careers. They were gradually frozen out by most of their former friends from Stirling University – they had all been part of the circle which included Jack, later Lord, McConnell, who was elected as an MSP in 1999, just before the publication of the Waterhouse Report and then bugger me found himself Scotland’s FM in 2001 (see previous posts) – and they subsequently came under attack from gangsters (see post ‘The Turn Of The Screw’).

Lord Jack’s mate:

Gordon Brown's battle for Britain: 'You have to think ...

 

In the summer of 1987, I went to see Leicester MIND as well as William Bingley, the Legal Director of MIND at MIND HQ in London and told them what I had witnessed and found out about Dafydd et al. I had no idea that not only was Dafydd involved in MIND himself, but that the organisation had been concealing his wrongdoing as far back as the 1960s. I presume that Bingley rang Dafydd and a few other people as soon as I left his office.

 

Readers might remember the Radio 4 light entertainment programme ‘Loose Ends’ when Ned Sherrin hosted it during the 1980s. It starred Carol Thatcher and although everybody on ‘Loose Ends’ did their ‘we’re not afraid to push the boundaries’ bit, Thatch had the BBC firmly under her thumb at the time. Emma Freud was also a regular on ‘Loose Ends’ and a ‘Loose Ends’ book published in 1988 describes Emma as being ‘the posh bird who giggles in the background’. Which was indeed all that Emma did on ‘Loose Ends’. But her dad was Radio 4 favourite/Liberal MP Clement Freud… Who has since been unmasked as a sexual predator, including towards underaged girls. Clement’s son was PR guru Matthew Freud. See previous posts. Gee, why ever didn’t we hear about Clement’s sexual assaults on teenagers then Matthew?? Emma Freud is married to Richard Curtis, who, with Ben Elton, wrote ‘Blackadder’. Ben Elton’s dad Lewis Elton was a Prof at Surrey University when I worked there in 1988 (see previous posts for details of Ben, his dad and others in their network). Emma and Richard were very conveniently living in New York during the year that Clement’s lecherous ways made headline news. They were off just before the story broke and then back again after the dust had settled.

Victor Lewis Smith, the film, TV and radio producer, had a regular spot on ‘Loose Ends’ from 1986. Victor Lewis Smith also worked on ‘That’s Life’. Lewis Smith is a York University graduate who presented his own programme on Radio York before joining Radio 4. Yorkshire: Savile ruled the region. Lewis Smith has written for ‘Time Out’, ‘Private Eye’, ‘Mail On Sunday’, ‘Esquire’, ‘Daily Mirror’, ‘The Independent’, ‘Harpers and Queen’ and ‘The Guardian’.

Stephen Fry was a regular on ‘Loose Ends’ in the 1980s. The Stephen Fry of ‘I took cocaine in Buck House, aren’t I naughty’ and ‘I’m friends with Prince Charles as well’ fame; the Stephen Fry who was/is a Labour Luvvie and is President of MIND. Fry rather blotted his copy book with supporters of MIND when he sent out a rude tweet about the self-pity of someone who was Sharing re their experience of sexual abuse. Shortly after the furore, Fry tweeted that his earlier tweet didn’t express his views; although it obviously had 20 mins previously. I don’t know why anyone was surprised that Stephen wasn’t as cuddly and fluffy as they presumed; Fry was born into a fair degree of privilege but believes that it had no effect at all on his later achievements and quips that of course public school didn’t help him, he was expelled from several but still ended up at Cambridge after serving a prison sentence. That is indeed true Stephen, but the difference between you and the people with whom I was banged up in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, was that they were not guilty of the crimes for which they went to prison and no-one gave them a second chance yet alone a place at Cambridge when they came out of jail. Not that they all did come out, quite a few were found dead in prison.

Stephen Fry used to joke that prison wasn’t so bad, he wasn’t raped in the showers by Mr Big. Had Stephen been a kid in care in north Wales rather than the son of a Gov’t scientist, he’d have been raped repeatedly before he ever got as far as prison. And Carlo would not have invited him to Royal premises where Fry could enjoy a few snorts, any plea from Stephen to Carlo for help would have resulted in a letter from Carlo’s office saying that he could not get involved.

Stephen Fry famously made TV programmes about being a manic depressive to enlighten everybody else on the matter. Which seriously pissed off a few manic depressives known to me; they all had the same response: ‘he’s in fucking private clinics in America, just look at what is happening to us..’.

I don’t blame Stephen Fry one bit for not checking into Denbigh or the Hergest Unit, but he didn’t do people with serious mental illness any favours with his Public Information Broadcasts. More of a PR job for the Top Docs really wasn’t it Stephen?

I was amused to find that not long after I blogged about the messy reality of the Top Docs ‘diagnoses’ and ‘cures’ for prostate cancer, Stephen sent out a tweet explaining that he had recently had prostate cancer, his prostate had been removed and how grateful he was to the Top Docs for Saving His Life. Stephen Fry has had a good classical education but he knows bugger all about cancer research and the prevailing practices in that field. However he is intelligent enough to know that he cannot ever know whether the Top Docs did save his life or not, because there is not an identical Stephen Fry who did not have his prostate removed to use as a control. So Stephen is now doubly incontinent and impotent, which if it did save his life was worth it; but he does not know whether his life was saved or not. But I know that the PSA tests are throwing up a lot of false positives…

My friends who’s media careers were ruined used to meet Stephen Fry and Ben Elton at various events!

Stephen Fry Prince Charles Photos - Prince Charles Hosts ...

 

Jonathan Ross also starred in ‘Loose Ends’ in the late 1980s. The Jonathan who was always an offensive twat but who somehow got away with it for years until he and Russell Brand rang up Andrew Sachs and boasted about Brand shagging Sachs’s granddaughter. There was much shock-horror re the upsetting of a national treasure and a granddad, which eclipsed the rather more unedifying spectacle of Brand bragging about whom he had sex with, when the woman concerned probably just wanted to forget all about the toe rag. Woss and Brand were middle aged men, not 15 years old, so I can’t work out why they were ever received in polite company again.

As for Ned Sherrin; er, where shall I start? Originally a barrister, smug, narcisstic and openly gay even back in the days of ‘That Was The Week That Was’ and David Frost etc. So Ned knew all of the Footlights/BBC 1960s crowd, all of whom knew about the Westminster Paedophile Ring, Jimmy Savile etc. Some of them, like Jonathan Miller and Graham Chapman, knew about north Wales too…See previous posts.

Ned was the John Biffen of the BBC; the clever son of Somerset farmers who made it big. Like Biffen’s family, I think that Ned’s family were impressed by him even if they privately raised eye-brows. They were fairly mainstream Somerset farmers of their generation, so they must have been a little surprised at Ned’s activities.

Ned went to Sexey’s School at Bruton; yes it was really called that. When I was a teenager, the other schools in Somerset used to play Sexey’s School at team sports, Sexey’s seemed to take team games quite seriously.

I might return to ‘Loose Ends’ in a future post, I am still digging…

 

So this was the context in which Alf Dubs’s Amazing True Story was revealed and subsequently broadcast by Esther in February 1988. How did Esther get hold of Lord Alf’s True Story? Amazingly enough, that possessor of a big heart Robert Maxwell was the conduit.

It is often reported that Nicholas Winton, Lord Alf’s saviour, ‘suppressed’ his humanitarian exploits for many years. However, Winton mentioned them in his election material while unsuccessfully standing for election to the Maidenhead Town Council in 1954.

Yet Winton’s rescue achievements ‘went unnoticed for half a century, until in 1988 his wife found a detailed scrapbook in their attic, containing lists of the children, including their parents’ names and the names and addresses of the families that took them in. She gave the scrapbook to Elisabeth Maxwell, a Holocaust researcher and wife of media magnate Robert Maxwell…

Mrs Winton handed that scrapbook over to Cap’n Bob’s wife just like that…

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Winton himself could not remember the reason why this was done. Letters were sent to each of these known addresses and 80 of “Winton’s children” were found in Britain.’

One of whom was Alf!

In February 1988, Alf was invited as a member of the audience to ‘That’s Life’. At one point, Nicholas Winton’s scrapbook was shown and his achievements were explained. Esther asked whether anybody in the audience owed their lives to Winton, and if so, to stand – more than two dozen people surrounding Winton rose and applauded. Well fancy them all turning up like that! But would anyone have actually known if they really all had been saved by Winton? I bet that Esther didn’t take the microphone around to each and every one of them. The BBC were always fiddling figures and rigging situations, those standing up could have been anyone. Furthermore, Alf himself didn’t know that he’d been rescued by Winton until Esther told him…

Although a stockbroker, Winton was also ‘an ardent socialist who became close to Labour Party luminaries Nye Bevan, Jennie Lee and Tom Driberg’. Tom Driberg was a controversial figure in the Labour Party, being a bisexual communist with criminal connections. It was later revealed that Driberg had been working for the security services.

Alf Dubbs served as the Labour MP for Battersea South, 1979-83 and then Battersea, 1983-87. In 1988, when Alf’s True Story received all that heart melting coverage, the Windbag was the Leader of the Labour Party. The Windbag who knew Tony Francis and who was married to Glenys, the school teacher from Holyhead. Glenys’s parents had been Labour Party activists and were good mates with Lord Cledwyn, who in his capacity as the MP for Anglesey and Secretary of State for Wales, 1966-68, as well as a member of the Lords, for decades played a major role in concealing the crimes of Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd et al (see post ‘The Cradle Of Filth’). Lord Cledwyn, along with Harold Wilson, Jim Callaghan, the Windbags and the rest of the Labour Party, also concealed the sex offending of George Thomas aka Viscount Tonypandy, who despite being a Labour politician, was a mate of Thatch and a big fan of the Royals.

 

In Dec 1987, Alison Taylor had been sacked by Gwynedd County Council. She had written to Thatch in Jan 1987 about the abuse of kids in care in north Wales and on Feb 28 1988 Alison wrote to Tony Newton, the then Health Minister.  Alison had also reported abuse to the North Wales Police, only to be told that she lacked credibility and was ‘manipulating’ children into making complaints. By Feb 1988, Mary had won her case against Dafydd et al, but they were refusing to pay her the damages that had been agreed.

By Feb 1988, my official complaint against Tony Francis, Gwynedd Social Services, Dafydd et al was lodged with the NHS and was the responsibility of the Medical Ombudsman in the Welsh Office, Professor Robert Owen. Who was one of Dafydd’s mates from the Liverpool branch of Dafydd’s empire. Robert Owen was the Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Liverpool and also worked as a consultant at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital (see post ‘In Memoriam – Professor Robert Owen’). While my complaint was supposedly being handled, the crooked lawyer from the Welsh Office, Andrew Park, was busy advising Dafydd et al on fitting me up…

By Feb 1988, the shit was hitting the fan in Cleveland in the form of the child abuse scandal there, which was the result of the gang operating in the north east of England with direct links to Dafydd et al in north Wales. Lord Justice Elizabeth Butler-Sloss was employed to Chair the whitewash for that matter. See post ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas And The Culprits Were Named’. Butler-Sloss was the sister of Michael Havers, who as Attorney General under Thatcher had blocked the prosecution of a number of well-connected paedophiles, including the diplomat and MI6 officer, Sir Peter Hayman.

 

Alf Dubs’s constituency of Battersea fell within Wandsworth Borough Council. Wandsworth Council, along with the staff of St George’s Hospital Medical School and Springfield Hospital, were facilitating a big paedophile ring which operated in south London (see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – Part III’). My documents show that there was a direct link between Wandsworth Social Services and Lucille Hughes of Gwynedd Social Services, Tony Francis and Dafydd. There were also direct links between St George’s/Springfield and Tony Francis and Dafydd. Donald Naismith, the Director of Education for Wandsworth, was known to be an active paedophile who was abusing kids in care. See previous posts.

St George’s Hospital had a close historical link with the Duke of Westminster. The Duke’s ancestors had donated the money and land which had led to the establishment of the original St George’s at Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge. When St George’s relocated to their new building in Tooting Broadway in 1980, the Duke demanded of Thatch that the Hyde Park Corner building – worth a great deal of money – should be returned to him, although it belonged to the Dept of Heath. The Duke was allowed to buy the building back for £6k… See previous posts.

In 1988, the year that Alf’s True Story took the world by storm, Professor Sir William Asscher, who as a Top Doctor in Cardiff for many years concealed organised abuse right across Wales, was appointed Dean of St George’s. When in Wales, Asscher had concealed George Thomas’s offending and the crimes of Dafydd et al. The previous Dean of St George’s had been deposed after Oliver Brooke, the Prof of Paediatrics at St George’s, was imprisoned in 1986 for the possession of child porn. Ollie was a big player in a pan-European paedophile ring. Asscher spent the next eight years concealing the rest of the ring at St George’s/Springfield/Wandsworth, on Alf’s doorstep.

William Asscher’s first name was Adolf but he preferred not to use it. Asscher’s family were Dutch Jews who were deported to Westerbork transit camp, where Asscher’s mother secured their release in 1943 by fabricating claims to be of English descent. The family then came to Britain. See previous posts.

Adolf Asscher was just two years younger than Alf Dubbs.

 

In 1988, matters regarding the paedophile ring in the Leicestershire area were beginning to gather steam. Investigations were beginning after complaints about, among others, Greville Janner, one of Dubs’s fellow Labour MPs. Janner was a barrister, also Jewish and a leading light in the Jewish community. Janner’s father, Barnett Janner, had held Janner’s Leicester seat before him. Barnett Janner was also a lawyer and leader in the Jewish community who had moved to Leicester from Cardiff when Barnett was younger and in search of a seat.

In the autumn of 1987, Dr James Earp of the Towers Hospital, Leicester, concealed the crimes of Dafydd et al in north Wales. See previous posts.

 

One high profile lawyer in south Wales in 1988 was Leo Abse, a Jewish lawyer who until June 1987 had been the Labour MP for Torfaen. Abse was a crook and a close friend of George Thomas. Abse admitted threatening and paying people off in order to protect George Thomas (see post ‘It Wasn’t On Our Radar’). Leo Abse’s brother Danny was a poet and worked as a Top Doctor in south Wales. The Abse family all had a keen interest in psychoanalysis. See previous posts.

It was Leo Abse who, virtually single-handedly, was responsible for the Children Act 1975, which resulted in hundreds of kids in care being sent to north Wales (see post ‘Cry, The Beloved Country’). Abse twisted the arms of Jim Callaghan and Dr Death in order to help him achieve this aim. Jim Callaghan had known Glenys Kinnock’s parents as long ago as when Glenys was a schoolgirl in Holyhead. Dr Death personally knew some of the Top Docs in north Wales who were facilitating Dafydd’s gang (see posts ‘Dr Death’ and We’ve Been Expecting You…’). Audrey Callaghan was in on the dinners where Leo Abse persuaded Jim Callaghan to support a rewriting of the legislation with regard to the welfare of children. Audrey had colluded with child abuse when she had sat on the London County Council. In 1969, Audrey Callaghan became the Chair of the Board of Governors of Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Savile dropped in on the kiddies trapped in their hospital beds whenever he felt like it. Audrey continued raising funds for GOSH for the next thirty years. The Princess of Wales was President of GOSH from 1989 and Di was involved with the fund-raising efforts of GOSH.

Leo Abse has been investigated for historical sex offences.

Jim Callaghan hated George Thomas but concealed his activities because Thomas was such a big vote puller in south Wales.  George Thomas was an enthusiastic supporter of medical charidees and also did much for the University Hospital in Cardiff, which was where William Asscher worked. Now which south Wales big wigs with feet in Cardiff and London and interests in medical charidees could have possibly been instrumental in the relocation of William Asscher to St George’s when the wheels very nearly came off the bandwagon after Ollie was jailed??

Here’s a smug old bastard who ensured that no-one would vote Labour for a very long time:

  • Tony Benn on James Callaghan singing - BBC News

 

Is that a finger part of a hand covered in blood??

 

Bloody War stock photo

Leo Abse had supporters in the form of the Windbags. The Windbags were quoted in the press as having said of Leo Abse that ‘Leo was courageous, highly principled, very funny and totally unique.’ Leo was also very unpleasant.

The Windbags were friends with Claire Rayner, an Angel who by the 1980s was a regular on the BBC and in the tabloids. Rayner knew about organised abuse of children and vulnerable people at the hands of health and welfare professionals, she knew about Jimmy Savile and remained silent about all of it throughout her entire life (see post ‘The Wretched Of The Earth’). Claire Rayner is a good friend of Helena Kennedy QC.

Helena was a leading light in WISH (Women In Special Hospitals) which was established in the mid-1980s to support female patients in Broadmoor, Ashworth and Rampton. Helena knew that scores of women in those institutions were there for no other reason than that they repeatedly self-harmed or tried to kill themselves as a result of the abuse that they had suffered as kids in care or in the mental health system. Helena said nothing about this and she said nothing about Savile’s offending in Broadmoor either, although two female patients there killed themselves because of Savile’s assaults on them. See post ‘Close Your Eyes And Make A WISH’. For years, Helena worked closely with Professor Nigel Eastman of St George’s/Springfield Hospital (see post ‘Eve Was Framed – As Were A Lot Of Other People’), who was one of those concealing the trafficking ring in south London and who also colluded with Dafydd et al in north Wales (see previous posts).

The Windbag is Wales Patron of the Helena Kennedy Foundation.

Helena Kennedy worked with Claire Rayner on the panel which provided the advice re medical services in HMP Holloway in 1999, when there were great numbers of seriously distressed women in Holloway. The advice provided by Rayner and St Helena was to transfer the women to secure hospitals – where many of them had previously been abused…

The Holloway ‘initiative’ involving Rayner and Kennedy was announced on the day that Miranda’s Prisons Minister Paul Boateng visited Holloway. It was the Windbag who made Paul Boateng a junior Treasury spokesman in 1989.

 

As a young barrister, Helena Kennedy worked in Took’s Court, Michael Mansfield’s chambers. Mansfield lived in Wandsworth. Mansfield knew what was happening in north Wales and did not respond to it, even when I wrote to him in 1993. Mansfield had handled the trials of some of the men who rioted at Risley Remand Centre in 1989. Mansfield knew that the medical wing at Risley was full of kids in care from north Wales and Dafydd’s patients (see post ‘Include Me Out’). Mansfield didn’t represent them or ever talk about their plight.

Helena Kennedy was President of the National Children’s Bureau (NCB), with which the paedophile social work academic Peter Righton was involved. Righton was employed by Keele University; Mansfield is a Keele graduate.

 

After discovering his own True Story, Alf Dubs campaigned for Nicholas Winton to be honoured. Winton was knighted in 2002.

Dubs was educated at Cheadle Hulme School, which is in Greater Manchester, near to the wealthy parts of Cheshire eg. Wilmslow, Altrincham. Many of the professional people who concealed Dafydd’s gang which operated in north Wales/Cheshire lived in the Wilmslow/Altrincham area. Dubs studied at the LSE, an institution which educated numerous people who were either involved in the abuse in north Wales/Cheshire or who concealed it. Dubs worked as a local government officer before entering politics. The local government officers trade unions NUPE and NALGO – which merged to form UNISON – contained many people who had been involved with the abuse of children in care. Not only did NUPE and NALGO provide full protection to their members who had abused children, but in some cases – including in north Wales/Cheshire – it was the union reps who had abused the kids. Jeremy Corbyn worked for NUPE before he became an MP and Alun Michael, whom Miranda imposed upon Wales as First Secretary/FM – Michael is another Keele University graduate – also had a deep and meaningful relationship with NUPE.

Dubs lost his Commons seat at the General Election of 1987. From 1988 to 1995, Dubs was Director of the Refugee Council. In 1994, he became a Labour peer. On 9 June 1994, Matt Arnold, the Head of Bryn Estyn, died of an ‘unspecified blood disease’. On 13 June 1994, the trial of Arnold’s friend and colleague at Bryn Estyn, Peter Howarth, for sexually abusing boys in care began. John Smith, the Leader of the Labour Party, had died on 12 May 1994 after Bart’s hospital had been unable to revive him following a heart attack. On 8 July 1994, Peter Howarth was found guilty of child sexual abuse and sentenced to ten years in prison. Miranda became Leader of the Labour Party on 21 July 1994.

Tony Blair in Ukraine - 2018 (MUS7623) (cropped).jpg

 

Before becoming an MP, Miranda had been a pupil barrister of George Carman QC, the crooked, much-feared barrister who was retained by Jimmy Savile. Cherie worked in Carman’s Chambers until 1988. Before Carman relocated to London after he acted for Jeremy Thorpe at the Old Bailey in 1979, Carman worked in Chambers in Manchester and lived in Cheshire, on Lord Alf Dubs’ old stomping ground. It was the presence of Killer Carman in particular on the planet that caused so many people to feel that they could not print a word about Savile or indeed the rest of the crew, including Dafydd. When Gillian Taylforth, the East Enders actress, sued ‘The Sun’ for libel in Jan 1994, Carman caused her so much distress that Taylforth collapsed in court. The scene was treated as one huge entertaining spectacle. Taylforth lost the case and it cost her a fortune. The Presiding judge was Justice Drake, who had presided over the Dec 1994 trial which resulted when the former North Wales Police senior officer Gordon Anglesea sued ‘Private Eye’ and others for libel after they had published allegations that Anglesea had sexually abused boys in care in north Wales. Anglesea won nearly £400k damages. George Carman QC represented ‘Private Eye’ et al and I believe deliberately threw the case (see posts ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’ and ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd – A Few Additional Comments’). Shortly after the trial, one of the witnesses, Mark Humphreys, was found dead.

In 2016 Gordon Anglesea was convicted of the historical abuse of boys in care in north Wales and was imprisoned.

George Carman provided legal advice to a number of newspapers, including, for quite some time, to the Mirror. Which employed Miranda’s PR man Alastair Campbell, who doubles up as a MIND ambassador.

 

For years, people told me repeatedly that if I tried to take on Dafydd et al in court or ever published a word about them, they would produce George Carman QC and I’d be eaten for breakfast. Now I am sure that was true. But I’d like to make the point that the only reason why, after 1987-88, that Carman or someone like him could have devoured me was that by then, Dafydd et al had been allowed to lie and lie and lie – and document those lies as fact and send them to third parties – about me, as well as about my friends who knew what Dafydd et al had done and it would have been those lies that Carman would have relied upon to discredit us. When I first raised concerns about those we know and love, I, Brown, my two media friends and two other academic friends would have made excellent witnesses. We did not have criminal records, we were not alcoholics or addicts and none of us had been involved in sex work, porn etc. None of us had any of the characteristics that were used to discredit every other witness. Furthermore, my medical records were full of written admissions by Dafydd himself, as well as his colleagues, that the most serious crimes had been committed by them. Those documents were unlawfully witheld from me for decades; because the contents would have been enough to put a few people in prison.

The only reason why no-one could find ANYONE considered credible to give evidence against Dafydd et al was that every witness had been systematically trashed, unlawfully, by the forces of the state. I have mentioned many times previously on this blog that I have been made aware that EVERYTHING, from the day that I arrived at UCNW, was recorded by the security services because the whole place was bugged, probably because of the IRA and Welsh activism in UCNW, but also because of the fall-out from Mary Wynch’s case. No-one bugged UCNW – and later St George’s – to protect us. The info gained was used to protect Dafydd et al.

What use is it if MI5 record a gang of people traffickers threatening and intimidating a student who has complained about them and forging documents about her if they do not put a stop to it? What did they think they were doing when they recorded me telling my tutor and Dr D.G.E. Wood that Brown was receiving murder threats, knowing that the idiots Bell and Wood ignored me? The security services, over a period of years, recorded a murdering criminal gang at work. They did not stop them and they did not warn their targets/victims. That is why Killer Carman could put the fear of God into honest witnesses; he knew they all been fitted up and smeared and if anyone challenged him the crooked old bastard would just order a load of lies from members of the gang employed as professional people. Medical records were always an occasion for a party on behalf of the likes of Carman and they’d have had a ball with mine. They were substantially untrue and Carman would have known that, but no-one would have given a stuff.

Carman had such a serious alcohol problem that he employed his own personal Top Doc, who on one occasion set up an intravenous drip when Carman collapsed from alcohol poisoning in court. I bet that none of the ‘not credible’ witnesses to Dafydd et al have ever collapsed in court from alcohol poisoning. I can imagine what would have been said if they did.

Alastair Campbell was for a time as drunk as George Carman. Does that make Alastair someone who is Telling Lies About Top Doctors? No, it makes Alastair a MIND ambassador and the PM’s Press Officer.

 

It is not true that there was no evidence of a VIP paedophile gang in north Wales/Cheshire, there was mountains of evidence. The full forces of the British state were used to ensure that none of that evidence ever saw the light of day.

 

As for events in 1994, my documentation shows that while Matt Arnold was dying and Peter Howarth was standing trial and Miranda was busying himself becoming Leader of the Labour Party, those we know and love were carefully planning – yet again – my incarceration in a secure hospital. The plan swung into action after I and another patient had a meeting with two members of the Mental Health Act Commission and told them that Dafydd was sexually exploiting patients and that serious complaints were not being investigated. We were told by the members of the Commission, in front of nursing officer Jeff Crowther, that they had heard such complaints about Dafydd ‘all before’. Our complaints were never investigated, by the Commission or anyone else. At the time, William Bingley was Chief Exec of the Commission. After we made those complaints, Dafydd et al staged the throwing of a brick through his glass door in the early hours of the morning and claimed that I had done it. On the basis of no evidence at all linking me with this crime which had been staged anyway, details of this were given to the High Court in Liverpool to demonstrate what a danger to Dafydd I was. See posts ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ and ‘The Banality Of Evil’.

That brick has now become part of my ‘history’. Ooh she threw a brick through Dafydd’s door. Er – no, we’ve agreed that she didn’t. But we’ve recorded it all anyway and sworn it in an affidavit to Liverpool High Court. So we know that it happened!

In 1994, the Jillings investigation into the abuse of children in the care of Clwyd County Council since 1974 was underway. The Jillings Report was published in 1996 and concluded that the abuse had been horrific and that the organised abuse of children in north Wales had stretched back way before 1974, probably as far back as the 1940s. Not that anyone but Clwyd County Council’s own insurers and lawyers ever read the Jillings Report. On the advice of Michael Beloff QC, the legal adviser to Municipal Mutual, Clwyd County Council’s insurers – Municipal Mutual also insured the North Wales Police – the report was witheld from everyone, including Clwyd’s own Councillors and subsequently pulped. See post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake…’.

Michael Beloff QC was and is a friend and colleague of Cherie and Beloff was a visitor to Chequers when Miranda became PM. Michael’s dad Lord Max Beloff was a pal of Ioan Bowen Rees, the Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council who oversaw the abuse of kids in the care of Gwynedd. Lord Max was also involved with Thatcher’s fave university, the private University of Buckingham, of which Thatch served as Chancellor. See previous posts.

 

To return to Lord Alf, the hero of this story. He was given a peerage – in 1994! – and served as a junior Minister in the N Ireland Office, May 1997-Dec 1999, under Secretary of State Mo Mowlam. Who had spent her career in the north east of England, who knew about the trafficking gang up there which had direct links to Dafydd et al in north Wales and who as N Ireland Secretary knew all about the VIP paedophile at Kincora Boys’ Home, which was linked to the other gangs on mainland Britain. Lord Alf would have known about Kincora as well. Mo’s Top Doctor also assisted in the lies about Mo’s health when she developed a brain tumour. Mo was in a ropey state for a long time and it affected her performance when she was in the N Ireland office; this was known but concealed.

 

 

While Alf Dubs was still in the Commons, Labour supporting comedian John O’Farrell worked in Dubs’s office and was a Labour activist in Battersea. In his book, Things Can Only Get Better, O’Farrell described the events leading up to Dubs’s shock defeat by the Conservative John Bowis at the 1987 General Election. In 1986, my two friends who were sacked from the Royal Television Society and the BBC in the early 1990s shared a flat in Bethnal Green with some other Stirling University graduates, one of whom was a woman called Julia, who was then John O’Farrell’s girlfriend. Julia was very hostile to me when I shared the flat with them all for a short while in the autumn of 1986 and her ‘bad vibes’ as my friends described the situation continued towards my friends after I had moved out…

I remember it well, Julia sitting there glowering at us without explanation for hours on end. Never mind Julia, your ex did really well out of it, even if I and my two friends ended up with gangsters after us! O’Farrell wrote jokes for Gordon Brown and other New Labour big wigs…

Why did the Leftie cross the road? Er – some gangsters running a VIP trafficking ring were after his girlfriends’ flatmates and the Labour Party were too fucking spineless to speak up…

O’Farrell successfully campaigned for a new state secondary school to be opened in Lambeth – the Lambeth Academy – and became the Chair of Governors from its opening in 2004 until 2012.

 

Alf served on an Area Health Authority and more recently on a Mental Health Trust. I haven’t found out which ones, but ooh I can make a few guesses. Dubs was Chair of the Broadcasting Standards Commission until December 2003 and had previously been Deputy Chair of the Independent Television Commission. He is a Trustee of the Open University Foundation.

In the past, Dubs has been a local councillor, Chair of the Fabian Society, Chair of Liberty, a Trustee of Action Aid, a Trustee of the Immigration Advisory Service and of a number of other voluntary organisations.

Three patients at the Hergest Unit who were witness to the serious wrongdoing of Dafydd et al were involved with Action Aid.

In it’s previous incarnation, Liberty was the NCCL and there was much embarrassment when all that business of the NCCL supporting paedophiles’ rights in the 1970s appeared in the press some four years ago. Paul Boateng and Helena Kennedy were both leading lights in the NCCL.

Dubs is a Patron of Humanists UK, formerly known as the British Humanist Association. Claire Rayner served as both Vice-President and President of the British Humanist Association and many other paedophiles’ friends have been involved with the BHA (see previous posts).

In the Lords, Dubs has spoken on varied subjects including the National Probation Service and road safety. Dubs was Chair of the Road Safety Foundation. In north Wales, the Probation Service was involved with the organised abuse of children and vulnerable people.

Dubs lists his main home as a cottage in the Lake District in Cumbria, which enabled him to claim over £26,000 of overnight subsistence expenses in 2007/2008, although he has lived in Notting Hill, west London, since 1964. In May 2009, he argued in justification that Lords regard the overnight allowance as a payment in lieu of salary. “We are the only legislators in the world that don’t get paid,” he said. “The overnight thing is quite generous because it compensates for not having a salary. In practice that’s how it works.”

Dubs is a Vice-President of the Debating Group.

 

So Lord Alf, how did all that Compassion of yours somehow miss the enormous criminal network with its HQ on your doorstep in Wandsworth which traded in children and vulnerable people? You’ve been the public face of Waifs In Need since 1988. You knew that Ollie at St George’s had been imprisoned and following that there were three high profile scandals at St George’s starring Ollie’s colleagues. Then there were high profile investigations into paedophile rings in Islington, North Wales, Lambeth, Leicester and other places. Your colleague Greville Janner was interviewed under caution with regard to sexual assaults on children in 1990. Don’t tell me that you didn’t notice, because when Greville next appeared in the Commons, he was greeted with a round of applause, so happy were you all to see his his face again.

Lord Alf remained schtum throughout the Waterhouse Inquiry, the more recent revelations re Jimmy Savile and since then the discussions regarding the Westminster Paedophile Ring, including the offending of his fellow Labour peer Viscount Tonypandy.

Ever since Esther discovered Lord Alf’s True Story, at certain times of Peak Distress for Dafydd et al, Lord Alf has been trotted out in the media to remind the world that he was once a Waif who was rescued from Hitler. Little Nell Hodge played the Hitler card the other day when Jeremy Corbyn hurt her feelings; Little Nell was the Leader of Islington Borough Council when the paedophile gang which murdered some of the witnesses operated within that Council. Greville raised the spectre of Hitler as well when he first stood accused; he claimed that the allegations against him were a result of anti-semitism.

Anti-semitism does exist, but we should not allow people who very obviously have questions to answer to muddy the waters by conjuring up images of Hitler which are completely irrelevant to matters under discussion.

Oh, by the way – Esther is Jewish aren’t you Esther?

It is not anti-semitism, this is about NETWORKS which are being utilised. The Jewish network is not the only network that was/is used by this lot, they have used and exploited every network which any of them have ever touched.

The biggest and best network of all at their fingertips is that of the Top Doctors.

 

Esther felt the full force of the Top Doctors when the BBC and Esther were sued by Dr Sidney Gee in 1984 after Esther featured him on ‘That’s Life!’ in June 1983. Sidney Gee was a ‘weight loss specialist’ who, from what I deduced, certainly had questions to answer. He wasn’t as excessive as Dafydd, but if I wanted to lose weight I would not have gone to Sidney Gee, no matter how desperate I was. Sidney Gee also sued two Top Doctors who appeared on ‘That’s Life’ discussing his treatment of patients, Dr Clemency Mitchell, a GP from Berkshire and Dr Roger Blackwood, a consultant physician at the King Edward Hospital, Windsor. Other defendants were the Chief Presenter of ‘That’s Life’ Gavin Campbell and Gordon Watts, Editor. Gee won the case and it cost the BBC more than a million.

Who acted for Dr Sidney Gee? Er, a Michael Beloff QC…

Esther never touched a Top Doctor again; shortly after Sidney Gee clobbered her, she joined forces with them when she launched her lame anti-child abuse campaign, then her mental health campaign, then her anti-drugs campaign… Child Abuse, Mental Illness, Drug Abuse – can anyone see Dafydd hidden in the picture?

Esther nearly got her fingers burnt again when in 1987, she exposed Holyrood House, a ‘nursing home’ for psych patients in Llandudno, in which patients were being beaten up and abused. Esther named and shamed one Margaret Richards as managing Holyrood House. Esther didn’t mention that all of the patients in Holyrood House had been sent there by one Dafydd Alun Jones and that he knew exactly what was happening to them. Nor did Esther mention the widespread rumours that Margaret Richards was yet another person whom Dafydd was shagging, that she purchased his suits for him – which might have been why they never fitted  – and that she was involved in crime in Llandudno. Esther quietly and very quickly dropped her interest in Holyrood House and returned to ringing the gas board and naming and shaming petty poorly paid officials as Jobsworth of the Month.

Millionaire Top Docs forcing kids and patients into sex work? No, Esther wasn’t going there. However she was happy to provide endless free PR for them.

In 1988 Esther launched another lame show, ‘Hearts Of Gold’. I have mentioned before that for a laugh my friends and I entered Dafydd for ‘Hearts Of Gold’ and asked Esther if Dafydd and his patients could meet Bob Monkhouse because they all loved ‘Bob’s Full House’. We pretended that the letter was from Janice Davies, Dafydd’s lying, crooked Nurse Rached at the North Wales Hospital. We never heard back from ‘Hearts Of Gold’, but years later, I found a copy of my letter to ‘Hearts Of Gold’ in my medical records, with accompanying documentation from those we know and love: Look what she has done now!!! Janice is a Senior Angel at the North Wales Hospital and she has IMPERSONATED Janice!!!

So who was Dafydd’s contact at ‘Hearts Of Gold’ then BBC??

  • Bob Monkhouse's comedy gems found in an old bag | TV ...

Lord Max Beloff was not the only link between Ioan Bowen Rees, the Fiery Welsh Nationalist Who Was Of The Gwerin And Who Hated The English. Ioan – who was incredibly enough an expert on local democracy and even published some highly rated volumes in the field, one of which was highly recommended by Lord Max – co-authored with the Irish historian Owen Dudley Edwards (see post ‘Events, Dear Boy, Events’). Owen Dudley Edwards is the brother of Irish writer Ruth Dudley Edwards. Ruth Dudley Edwards was married to Patrick Cosgrave.

Patrick Cosgrave brought up a Catholic, in poverty in Ireland. Cosgrave rebelled against the severe Catholic piety of his mother and his teachers and acquired a love of British history (or a certain interpretation of it) as a teenager, from reading Kipling, Churchill and Lawrence of Arabia. At University College Dublin, Cosgrave embraced the epithet “West Brit”; at a debate, when an opponent accused him of being “to the Right of Douglas-Home”, Cosgrave retorted that he was “to the Right of Lord Salisbury”. Cosgrave claimed that his grandfather, a warden in Mountjoy Prison, had beaten up Kevin Berry, a Republican rebel executed in 1920. Cosgrave partnered Anthony Clare to win the ‘Irish Times’ debate and the ‘Observer Mace’ debate. 

Anthony Clare was an associate of Dafydd’s from the Maudsley, who colluded with serious crime yet was robustly promoted by the BBC as a Caring Top Doc who’s hands were unsullied with the blood of the barbaric asylum docs from past times.

Patrick Cosgrave did his PhD at Peterhouse at Cambridge, which was renowned as a college where gay male students, along with some of their tutors did interesting things such as dressing up in women’s clothes and adopting girls’ names. Michael Portillo took part in such japes when he was at Peterhouse. Cosgrave was was among the Peterhouse alumni nicknamed “the reactionary chic” by the ‘New Statesman’. 

Having freelanced for Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE) while at UCD, Cosgrave was appointed as their London correspondent in 1968, when the Northern Irish Troubles revived. Cosgrave met all the leading politicians at Westminster, who were then brushing up on their Irish history and Cosgrave provided RTE with the fruits of his contacts. So Cosgrave knew about Kincora and allowed himself to be used by the British state, who ensured that the crime continued and that those responsible were never held to account.

After helping out the Gov’t which caused so much trouble in N Ireland, in 1969, Cosgrave joined the Conservative Research Dept, which was at the time known for being a haven of gay male Tories, some of whom went cruising for boys when in London and enjoyed holidays at a venue in Italy known as the ‘villa of shame’, where, according to Matthew Parris, ‘willing boys’ were supplied. At the Conservative Research Dept, Cosgrave became a Zionist. His job there included briefing Edward Heath on Prime Minister’s Questions, while continuing to write for ‘The Spectator’.

Cosgrave became political editor of ‘The Spectator’ in 1971, where his numerous, often scathing, articles about Heath’s leadership were influential in effecting the change to Thatch. 

In 1975, Cosgrave became Thatch’s advisor while she was Leader of the Opposition. One person who had been key to Thatch becoming Leader of the Tories in 1975 was Peter Morrison. Thatch dropped Cosgrave after winning power in 1979, although as her adviser, he had been viewed as a futire Cabinet Minister. By 1979, Cosgrave’s excessive boozing was impairing his reliability.

Subsequently, Cosgrave was briefly Editor-in-Chief of Tiny Rowland’s Lonrho publications. After this, Cosgrave earned a precarious living as a freelance journalist and by writing books, mainly political biographies. Among other publications, he wrote for ‘The Times’,  ‘The Daily Torygraph’ and ‘The Independent’.

Cosgrave’s 1978 biography of Thatch was faulted for hero-worship. His biography of Enoch Powell, whom he also admired, was made with access to Powell and his correspondence.

Cosgrave obtained a British passport and sometimes attended services of the Church of England, while remaining agnostic. 

Cosgrave married three times and divorced twice. It was his first marriage in 1965 that was to Ruth Dudley Edwards, his fellow student at UCD and, later, Cambridge. He married Norma Green, mother of his daughter Rebecca, in 1974; and Shirley Ward in 1981. Shirley Ward was Secretary of the European Democrats at the European Parliament. 

Patrick Cosgrave had financial problems from the late 1970s and when Norma Green left him in 1980, Rebecca was made a ward of court. I bet that no-one dared entrust Rebecca’s welfare to Gwynedd Social Services. In 1981 the Inland Revenue filed a tax demand for over £10,000 and Cosgrave was declared bankrupt.His debt of £18,700 was discharged in 1985.

Cosgrave died of heart failure at the age of 59 in 2001, the year following the Waterhouse Report. His poor health was exacerbated by heavy drinking and smoking.

 

The Defender of Fortress Gwynedd Against Thatch:

  •  It’ll be Christmas before too long, so I’ll get ready to drive around Caernarfon equipped with a loud hailer on the car roof, to give everyone a rendering of some traditional Gwynedd County Council hymns and arias, including ‘Yma O Hyd’ and of course ‘Tomorrow Belongs To Me’. See you at the festivities Dafydd Iwan!

Wales International Harp Festival 2018

 

Now Lord Alf, do us all a favour and spare us your Compassion. We’ve all suffered quite enough at the hands of Mindfulness practitioners. When they spread their Compassion around north Wales, the following scenarios were not unusual:

Why would you leave me like this? stock photo
The evidence will speak for itself stock photo

 

This is what you did. All of you. While you bollocked on about Enemies Within, about being the first Kinnock in a Thousand Generations and Caring and Sharing and Prison Works and being Tough On Crime and Tough On The Causes of Crime. The security services knew exactly what was going on and told their political masters, who decided that it was going to continue.
People who went to the police were found dead. Or sometimes their children were.
Now just fuck off, the lot of you. You have caused enormous suffering and it was my friends who died while you troughed. Fuck off and now. You have been exposed for what you are and we don’t need any more of you mouthing off about Compassion or Stigma or Men Who Won’t Share.

 

The Biggest Expert Of The Lot

Previous blog posts have described my concerns regarding the activities of some people associated with the north Wales mental health services and the way in which they have constructed themselves as ‘experts’, despite the dire state of the services with which they are associated (please see blog posts ‘Experts In Suicide Prevention??’,  ‘More Experts and Their Expertise’,  ‘Compassion, Intelligent-Kindness and Shame’ , ‘An Expert On The Betsi Board!’ and ‘Its’ Those Experts From The Betsi Again!’) One of these ‘experts’, who is employed as a psychiatrist at the notorious Hergest Unit, Dr David Healy, has become internationally famous for ‘bravely taking on’ Big Pharma. But no-one seems to have looked at what has been going on in the very unit in which Healy works.

There is however another ‘expert’ who is probably even more well-known – certainly to lay people – who now has achieved an international reputation for fashionable ‘pioneering’ work and who maintains that he began this work when he was Professor of Clinical Psychology at Bangor University. That is Professor Mark Williams of ‘mindfulness’ fame. Mark Williams has previously featured on this blog in the post ‘Experts In Suicide Prevention??’ However it was with mindfulness that Mark Williams really hit the big time.

Long, long ago, when the North Wales Hospital Denbigh was still in operation and when the Hergest Unit was newly opened, I first heard about mindfulness. There was a psychiatrist in the Hergest Unit, who, in about 1992-3, was telling his patients – including me – that a Professor Mark Williams was interested in something called mindfulness which was based on a Buddhist meditation technique and had been used in America for patients with chronic pain. This psychiatrist suffered from chronic pain himself and found that the painkillers normally prescribed were making him sleepy which was causing him a problem at work, so he was trying to use mindfulness to live with the pain. He told me and some other patients that Mark Williams was interested in using mindfulness with patients suffering from depression and he gave me a copy of Jon Kabat-Zin’s book ‘Full Catastrophe Living’ to read – Kabat-Zin was the man whose work had inspired Williams. After I read the book I was invited to try out mindfulness with a group of other patients. We were all herded into a communal room, along with a few staff who wanted to try mindfulness as well, and we were taken through the introduction to mindfulness that will be familiar to anyone who has undertaken a mindfulness course – the exercise of ‘mindfully’ eating a raisin. We didn’t ever see or meet Williams himself, this particular ‘class’ was taken by a woman who I think was an occupational therapy assistant. Most of the other patients hadn’t read the Kabat-Zin book and very obviously didn’t understand the philosophy behind mindfulness, but had gone to the group in the same spirit as they went to other activities, such as cooking, yoga etc – to do something with their friends. (In those days the Hergest Unit still had a day centre which offered activities.) I noticed the woman leading the group didn’t give a very clear explanation as to the rationale behind mindfulness either, so most patients were a bit mystified as to why they were chewing on a raisin. Although I was told that Williams was interested in using mindfulness with patients suffering from depression, I noticed that this group consisted of a collection of patients with a whole range of different diagnoses (a bit like the research’ conducted into Seasonal Affective Disorder with the light box that I described in my blog post ‘More Experts and Their Expertise’). I should stress here that the diagnoses that the Hergest Unit arrived at were often quite questionable – people would be given three or four different diagnoses over a period of time and they were frequently given completely different diagnoses again if they sought advice from psychiatrists outside of north Wales. There was very little consistency. These mindfulness sessions were supposed to take place weekly ever a period of I think it was six (or eight) weeks. The attrition rate was very high and most people – including me – gave up after three weeks or so. There was very obviously no structure to these sessions and no encouragement to continue or explanation of what was supposed to be achieved. Had I not read the Kabat-Zin book I would have been completely in the dark.

I didn’t return to any more mindfulness groups at the Hergest Unit, but I was aware that they continued. Most patients couldn’t really understand what was behind it all and the most commonly heard comment was ‘well we all had to eat a raisin but very slowly’ – some patients were clearly baffled as to why they were being fed raisins. This suggested to me that most patients weren’t really getting beyond the first session. It very obviously made no sense to most of them. However, there was one group of people who really enjoyed mindfulness, embraced it wholeheartedly and even started going on little mindfulness ‘retreats’. That was the staff – but then the staff weren’t struggling with severe mental health problems whilst on low incomes whilst being on the receiving end of a chaotic, neglectful and abusive service which criminalised them if they complained…

I continued to hear rumblings about mindfulness, although I took very little notice of it. I did not ever meet another patient at that time who told me that they practised it or that it had helped them. I noticed that the psychiatrist who had been so enthusiastic about mindfulness continued to struggle, both with chronic pain and depression, and he eventually took early retirement. By the time that he retired, his relationship with his colleagues had become so sour that he requested that only patients attend his leaving party, not staff. By this time the Hergest Unit was obviously in trouble and staff relationships were clearly very dysfunctional (please see blog post ‘The Hergest Unit, Ysbyty Gwynedd’).

Mindfulness next touched my life in about 2002. A friend in a hill-walking group worked as a doctor for the North West Wales NHS Trust and his office was located in the same building as the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice that had now been established by Mark Williams at Bangor University. This friend was very worried about the activities of the mindfulness devotees and felt that mindfulness was being so ruthlessly promoted that it was almost like a cult. I remember that he was particularly irked that leaflets promoting mindfulness were being left around his part of the building, although he was nothing to do with this group. This friend was one of the many who found working for the North West Wales NHS Trust very difficult and he left his job after a period of serious depression and relocated to south Wales.

About a year and a half after this, I had a truly extraordinary experience with Judith Soulsby, one of Mark Williams’s colleagues, who was initially employed as a research officer by Williams and since then has been heavily involved in the Bangor University Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice and still is today. Judith is a regular at the mindfulness retreats at Trigonos in Dyffryn Nantlle and I think she is classed as a mindfulness teacher or trainer, but I had never heard of her when I first encountered her. She has co-authored a number of papers with Mark Williams and others. At the time, I was recovering from a truly dreadful stay in the Hergest Unit during which I was assaulted by staff; my usual psychiatrist and key worker had been ordered off my case against their and my wishes by the awful Dr Tony Roberts, I had been discharged with no aftercare and was then arrested for ‘threatening to kill Alun Davies’, the manager of the Hergest Unit (please see blog post ‘Interesting Happenings In The Legal System’). I was then refused all care and treatment and Roberts also intimidated a number of other practitioners into not treating me. I could not get treatment anywhere, despite experiencing severe depression. My friends were incredibly supportive and kept me going, but I spotted an advert placed by a Judith Soulsby, for mindfulness for anxiety and depression. I remembered the mindfulness from the Hergest Unit from years ago and the Kabat-Zin book and wondered if I should give it another go – particularly as there was no other treatment options open to me. So I rang the number supplied in the advert and got through to Judith. A bizarre exchange followed. I explained to Judith that I had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was interested in trying mindfulness. I told Judith that if she wanted corroborating details of my condition she was welcome to speak to my former key worker from the Hergest Unit (that was the whistleblowing occupational therapist mentioned previously on this blog – he was sufficiently horrified by Dr Tony Roberts’s actions and Hergest’s attempt to stitch me up for a serious crime that he had stayed in touch with me as a friend). Judith asked if I was a Hergest patient. I explained that I had been but wasn’t any longer. She then said ‘oh I’m afraid we don’t accept Hergest patients on this course’. I was gobsmacked – after all, some ten years earlier, mindfulness had been robustly promoted to every patient in the place. I asked Judith for her reasons. She simply replied that mindfulness wasn’t suitable for Hergest patients. She was then kind enough to tell me that she hoped that I would find what I was looking for (whatever it was it clearly wasn’t going to be forthcoming from Judith and the Bangor University Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice). I got the impression that Judith might as well have said that they didn’t take nutters. I rang the whistleblowing occupational therapist to relate this encounter and it transpired that he knew Judith. He told me that she had previously worked with the notoriously abusive Arfon Community Mental Health Team (please see blog post ‘The Arfon Community Mental Health Team’) and all he could remember about her was that she spent an awful lot of time off sick. I had never heard of Judith, but I presume that either she had heard about me from her delightful colleagues in the Arfon Community Team or that the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University indeed didn’t accept nutters.

When I later began my PhD I met people who were very cynical about the Bangor University Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice – it seemed that it did not have much credibility with a lot of people, but I heard that they were running Masters degrees. It transpired that one didn’t actually need any formal qualifications to register for their Masters degree, so I decided to take an interest. I found that the Bangor University Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice was growing and that Mark Williams had recently departed for a Chair at Oxford University but was still very involved with the Bangor University Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice. I then read one of Mark Williams initial books on mindfulness  – ‘Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy For Depression’; Segal, Williams and Teasdale (2002) – an account of how they’d developed MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy). Although John Teasdale was based at Cambridge University and Zindel Segal was based at the University of Toronto, it was explained in this book that it had all started at Bangor and I also noticed that Keith Fearns of the Arfon Mental Health Team was mentioned in the acknowledgments. I was gobsmacked – here was a technique derived from meditation, being promoted as successful with depressed patients and involving such worthy sentiments as compassion, yet it seemed that Fearns, who was once described to me by a former social worker as ‘the most abusive professional that I have ever met’, was involved. There were also acknowledgments to Sheila Jenkins, another deeply unpleasant member of the Arfon Team, and of course to Judith Soulsby, who had refused to allow a former Hergest patient to join a mindfulness group. So a form of therapy was being promoted that had grown out of the chaos, neglect and abuse that was/is the north Wales mental health services and the Arfon Community Mental Health Team.

I wondered who had been in the original clinical trials. Had the trials been carried out at the Hergest Unit? If such success had been achieved, why had I not heard about it? I knew scores of patients who had been involved with the mental health services but I’d never met anyone among them who had been in a clinical trial for mindfulness or even said that they had benefited from mindfulness and practiced it. (Although by this time, I had become friends with someone who did practice mindfulness – but she had never passed through the mental health system. She was a member of a Buddhist Sangha and had spent a lifetime involved in alternative communities and had met Jon Kabat-Zin some years before.) I continued to wonder where the original clinical trials for MBCT had been carried out.

One of Mark Williams’s early publications regarding the success of MBCT, ‘Prevention of Relapse/Recurrence In Major Depression By Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy’; Teasdale, Segal, Williams, Ridgeway, Lau and Soulsby, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2000, 68 (4): 615-623, tells us that three sites were involved in a randomised clinical trial, the sites being Bangor, Cambridge and Toronto. 145 patients were recruited – it was stressed that at the Cambridge site, no members of academic staff or students from Cambridge University were recruited. The inclusion criteria state that patients met DSM-III-R criteria for a history of recurrent major depression. The exclusion criteria were, among other things, patients with a history of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, current substance abuse, eating disorder or OCD, organic mental disorder, pervasive developmental delay, or borderline personality disorder and dysthymia before the age of 20. Read the paper here teasdaleetal

I note that the patients at the Bangor site were described as being patients of a community mental health team in Bangor. So that would have been the notorious Arfon Team then, which would explain the acknowledgments to Keith Fearns and Sheila Jenkins. (Many years later, after numerous complaints against them, the Arfon Team were investigated for neglecting patients and a number of them, including Keith Fearns, were removed from their posts.) Now for all I know, Mark Williams and his colleagues may have carried out such a randomised clinical trial and may have achieved the results that they published. But people who were familiar with the practices of the Hergest Unit and Arfon Mental Health Team at the time remember the very elastic diagnoses that patients were being given and the very poor care which sometimes constituted neglect and abuse. There is a very real possibility that patients in this trial would have received a different diagnosis – or indeed a number of different diagnoses – before or after the trial. For example, during the period that I was involved with the mental health services in north west Wales I received at different times all of the following diagnoses: depression, personality disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, paranoid personality disorder, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. I concluded back then that these people simply had no idea what they were doing, but over the past few days I have been reading documents from my medical records that I have only recently acquired and what strikes me is that the diagnoses tended to depend on whether and to what degree I needed discrediting at the time, or whether the ‘service’ needed to find a reason not to treat me. I was by no means alone in north west Wales in my collection of different diagnoses. So where does this leave the inclusion and exclusion criteria used in this trial, at least for the Bangor site? And if there was a new treatment available in Bangor for relapsing/recurring depression why did this news not spread like wildfire? I didn’t hear a thing – the mental health services continued to be dreadful and the suicide rate in north Wales remained one of the highest in the UK. One would have thought that if Bangor had been an experimental site with enthusiastic committed practitioners, the mental health services would be of the highest quality. But no-one seems to have noticed this.

In the years that followed, mindfulness generated enormous interest. Mark Williams established the Oxford Mindfulness Centre within the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University. Patrons included one Lady Lavender Patten of Barnes aka Mrs Chris Patten. Chris Patten aka Lord Patten of Barnes was then and still is Chancellor of the University of Oxford. Mark Williams has now retired and the website of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre has recently been revamped, listing different Trustees. One of the current Trustees is Chris Ruane, a former Labour politician from north Wales who was the driving force behind alerting Parliament to the miracle of mindfulness. Chris Ruane too would have known how bad the mental health services were in north Wales. He went to school in north Wales and for many years his constituency was the Vale of Clwyd, just down the road from the notorious North Wales Hospital Denbigh.

At one point some three years ago a friend and I found a You Tube clip of Mark Williams explaining that he wanted to establish a foundation to ensure that mindfulness would continue for generations and generations to come – what was he planning, a Thousand Year Reich? Mark Williams was also very keen that MBCT should acquire recognition from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) as an effective treatment for depression. There was an awful lot of research being done by then in the field of mindfulness generally, but a lot of the research and analyses on MBCT and whether it was effective had been done by Mark Williams and his colleagues or people whom he had trained or who were networked with him – ‘true believers’. At this point I’d like to introduce readers to a paper from the British Medical Journal that I came across recently, ‘Conflicts of Interest and Spin In Reviews of Psychological Therapies: A Systematic Review’; Lieb, van der Osten-Sacken, Stoffers-Winterling, Reiss and Barth, 2016, BMJ Open http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/4/e010606.full

This paper raises some important issues which seem to have been largely overlooked and is worth reading in full. Conflicts of interest involving researchers receiving funding from pharmaceutical companies are extensively discussed even in the lay press, but Lieb et al raise the issue of a different sort of conflict of interest – researcher allegiance regarding psychological therapies, ie. the belief of a researcher in the superiority of a psychological therapy when reviewing outcomes of this therapy. Allegiance may be due to a special training in one specific psychological therapy, the involvement in previous efficacy research about this psychological therapy or the involvement in development of aetiological models via basic research. Williams and his colleagues developed MBCT, published the initial research into the efficacy of MBCT and his co-authors like Judith Soulsby and Rebecca Crane had received special training in MBCT. Lieb et al maintain that empirical studies show a strong impact of researcher allegiance on outcome in psychotherapy studies…

Mindfulness has truly taken off in the last few years and after Chris Ruane – whilst he was still an MP –  vigorously promoted it to colleagues in Westminster, the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group was established and in October 2015 their report ‘Mindful Nation’ was published http://www.themindfulnessinitiative.org.uk/images/reports/Mindfulness-APPG-Report_Mindful-Nation-UK_Oct2015.pdf The Preface to this report mentions that the Parliamentary group heard from ‘some of those who experienced the transformational impacts of mindfulness’. The Parliamentary Group were deeply impressed by mindfulness and wax lyrical about the near-miracles that they seemed to believe that it can achieve  – among many other things, they recommended that MBCT should be commissioned in the NHS in line with NICE guidelines for patients with recurring depression and funding made available to train mindfulness teachers. The Parliamentary Group’s whole-hearted embrace of mindfulness is so uncritical that it is worth readers taking the time to read this report themselves. But I am interested in who contributed to this All-Party Report. Firstly, Jon Kabat-Zin – he writes the foreward to the Report. But read the Appendix 1, List of Expert Witnesses – there are some very familiar names here from familiar institutions. Again and again people who already have what could only be described as vested interests in mindfulness were relied upon as ‘experts’ – there are names of people who have been part of Mark Williams’s network for years, including a number from Bangor University eg. Sharon Hadley, Rebecca Crane and Jo Rycroft-Malone. Sharon Hadley is the Manager of Bangor University’s Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice and Rebecca Crane is a mindfulness trainer, has been a leading light in Bangor Mindfulness for many years and is now Director of the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University. Jo Rycroft-Malone has featured on this blog before (please see posts ‘An Expert On The Betsi Board’ and ‘Conflicts Of Interest – and Some Very Big Salaries’) She sits on the Betsi Board and in 2103 received a grant of £448,000 from the National Institute for Health Research’s Health Service and Delivery Research Programme to investigate the ‘accessibility and implementation in UK services of an effective depression relapse programme: Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy’. Her collaborators on this project were William Kuyken (then at Exeter University, who has now succeeded Mark Williams as Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre at Oxford University and who is a long-standing collaborator of Mark Williams and his team) and Rebecca Crane. I note with some surprise that Jo’s Bangor University web page also describes her as the Director of the National Institute for Health Research’s Health Service and Delivery Research Programme, ie. the body that funded her research into MBCT https://www.bangor.ac.uk/healthcaresciences/research/people/jorm.php.en

So a number of the ‘experts’ that the All-Party Group relied upon stood to personally benefit in a substantial way should mindfulness find its way into Gov’t policy. As for the All-Party Group recommending that MBCT should be recommended by NICE – well Jo Rycroft-Malone is Chair of the NICE Implementation Strategy Group. I believe that MBCT has now been recommended by NICE…

The mindfulness bandwagon continues to roll on. Mark Williams has developed an enormous international network and his books on mindfulness have been translated into many languages. Interestingly enough, his ‘life changing best-seller’ ‘Mindfulness, a Practical Guide To Finding Peace In A Frantic World’ was co-authored with Danny Penman, who is a former Daily Mail journalist, rather than an academic psychologist. This book – and Williams’s work on mindfulness – received a further boost when endorsed by Ruby Wax (who had previously endorsed the charity ‘Kid’s Company’….). Ruby Wax has famously undertaken the Masters in mindfulness at Oxford University with Mark Williams. At one point Wax was stating in interviews that she had a Masters in ‘brain science’ from Oxford University but I see latterly that she is describing it as a Masters in mindfulness – presumably a real ‘brain scientist’ contacted her and pointed out the difference. I have also heard Ruby give interviews in which she stated that she had no previous qualifications and had always believed that she was stupid until Oxford University accepted her on a Masters course. One assumes then, that as at Bangor University, one does not need any formal qualifications to enrol for the Masters in mindfulness. Mark Williams obviously spotted Ruby’s huge potential.

Mark Williams has now retired and has almost vanished from Oxford University’s  Oxford Mindfulness Centre website (Chris Patten’s wife has also disappeared). But he is still listed as a Principal Investigator of one of the Wellcome Trust funded research projects that the Centre is running, a project promoting mindfulness in schools, again based on MBCT. The website boasts that the Centre has netted research funding of nearly £7 million.

I know of people at Bangor University who worked with Mark Williams many years ago who are not particularly complimentary about mindfulness or Williams’s management style – but many of them until recently still used him as a referee for research funding or had previously co-authored with him. These people also knew the reality of mental health care in north Wales. But no-one has breathed a word…

More recently, I know of one man in Snowdonia who followed one of Rebecca Crane’s mindfulness courses ‘in the community’ after experiencing terrible problems with prescribed anti-depressants and who became very interested in mindfulness and wanted to follow it up after the eight week MBCT course. I was told that although the promotional literature advertised that follow-up would be available, he did not find this to be true. However he persisted, followed up himself and became very committed to mindfulness meditation and practice, gaining much experience. I would have presumed that this man would have been a brilliant ‘advert’ for – and addition to – Rebecca Crane’s Centre in Bangor and I asked him if he had ever thought of trying to get a job as a trainer or teacher with them. He told me that he had approached them but gained the impression that paid work at the Centre was the preserve of a small clique.

Mindfulness has gripped much of the western world, but voices of dissent can now be heard. Academic critiques are being published and some people with a longstanding commitment to Buddhist meditation are raising concerns regarding what has been done in its name. Whilst casually perusing google scholar last year I came across extracts from a highly critical edited volume, which included a chapter by a practising Buddhist. This man maintained that he had attended a mindfulness course at Bangor University led by Mark Williams and had been ostracised by the rest of the group for daring to question Williams. He also observed that he gained the impression that the version of mindfulness meditation that Williams was promoting seemed to have been developed with a view to gaining research funding.

There is undoubtedly a group of people who do enjoy mindfulness meditation and maintain that it is indeed transformative, but they tend to be well-educated, with a previous interest in ‘alternative’ medicine or spirituality. Interestingly some of these people are also very uncomfortable with what is now happening – they do not feel that mindfulness should be ‘sold’ to the US military establishment or  to global corporations to improve workers’ productivity. But then the beauty of mindfulness as devised by Williams et al is that neoliberalism can use it to prop up toxic work environments or support the retraction of welfare services. A dreadful employer only has to give staff twenty minutes a day to practice mindfulness and the employer can thus show their enlightenment and ‘compassion’ as well as tell the staff that they should be able to cope with their work environment – after all, it’s their reaction that is the problem not the environment. And I was interested to hear Ruby Wax interviewed on Radio 4 recently in which she plugged one of Mark Williams’s mindfulness volumes as being the book that changed her life. Towards the end of the interview, Ruby spoke about how she had spent years consulting mental health professionals but hadn’t found the solution to her problems, but the good thing about mindfulness was that you don’t need anyone else – ‘cure yourself!’ Yes Ruby, that is the only choice that so many people in north Wales have been left with for so long – but they aren’t millionaire celebrities, so their lives and options are somewhat more constrained than yours.

Somebody recently drew my attention to an article in the Guardian in which Rebecca Crane was quoted as expressing concerns regarding the quality of some mindfulness training and the quality of some trainers. Well this is a fairly obvious consequence of the large scale rolling out of a business model that involves charging people to undertake a Masters degree requiring no previous formal qualifications that then qualifies one as a mindfulness trainer/teacher, enabling the said trainer/teacher to transform the world and resolve any personal problems – and of course to then charge others to do the same. I think it used to be called ‘pyramid selling’.

Even if one accepts that some people find mindfulness helpful and that Mark Williams and his colleagues may have genuinely believed that MBCT was an effective ‘treatment’ for recurring depression – and I fully accept that there are problems with medications used for depression and that many people have been and are prescribed these medications when they do not want them and do not find them in the least bit helpful – I cannot help but wonder at the claims now being made regarding mindfulness by Williams et al. They are maintaining that a mindful approach has the potential to transform virtually every area of society. Did no-one think to look at what was happening in that cradle of mindfulness, the mental health services in north west Wales, in particular the Arfon Mental Health Team and the Hergest Unit? These services have remained highly abusive and neglectful, patients continue to die and the Betsi, the Health Board concerned, is now mired in scandal and in special measures – and one person acknowledged in Williams’s initial work was later removed from his job under after an investigation into patient neglect. (I note that references to Keith Fearns et al have disappeared from Williams’s later books and the second editions of the early books.) Yet the language of mindfulness is that of compassion. Readers of this blog will be well aware that there was and is very little of that to be found in the Hergest Unit or in the Arfon Mental Health Team. Mark Williams was working as a clinical psychologist at Bangor University whilst the mental health services were centred around the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and he remained there whilst the Hergest Unit descended into madness and chaos. He has remained silent about all this and clearly was not able to use mindfulness to bring about any sort of transformation at all in north west Wales. What he did do was escape to Oxford University and leave it all behind….

There is one very sad  individual story among all this. Readers may remember that at the beginning of this post, I described how there was one psychiatrist at the Hergest Unit who was enormously excited about mindfulness, who had begun using it himself, who lent me the Kabat-Zin book and who was encouraging his patients to use mindfulness. Did it work for him? I don’t know what his thoughts on this were because after he retired I lost contact with him. Some four years ago I was told that he had killed himself.

I have been musing over all this with my friend Brown recently. What fascinates me is why Mark Williams ever went to Bangor in the first place. He arrived there in 1991 from Cambridge University. The north Wales mental health services were so bad that they constituted a major political embarrassment (nothing has changed) – Dafydd Alun Jones and Denbigh were notorious throughout Wales. I wondered if perhaps Mark Williams really knew nothing about what was happening there. I think before he worked at Cambridge University he had worked in Newcastle. Maybe he didn’t know Wales at all. But then I found out something very interesting. John Teasdale, Mark Williams’s close colleague and co-author of the MBCT work who worked with Mark Williams when they were both employed at Cambridge University, had previously worked as a clinical psychologist in Cardiff, at the University Hospital of Wales. Teasdale will have therefore known about north Wales. I had a friend who was a medical student in Cardiff University in the 80s and in 1984 as her cohort were all beginning their clinical placements she told me that they all dreaded being sent to Bangor because the tales that returning medical students told were just so grim. And that wasn’t even Denbigh. I think it very unlikely that Teasdale had not mentioned the appalling reputation of the north Wales mental health services to Williams when Williams was offered the Chair at Bangor University. The first thing that anyone does when they apply for or are offered a senior position in a university or the NHS is to ask all their mates and colleagues what they know about the place and the people that they will be working with. Why on earth would a promising young psychologist already establishing himself among a network of credible people leave a highly regarded unit in Cambridge University to come to a service dominated by Dafydd Alun Jones? North Wales has of course always attracted a group of people who come here because they are Welsh and want to return home, or because they are keen climbers/outdoor activity enthusiasts or ecologists. Mark Williams is none of these – and it seems that people in Bangor University knew a long time ago that Mark Williams’s ultimate goal was a Chair at Oxford University. North Wales was not an obvious career move. The only thing about Mark Williams and his interests that fits in with people attracted to north Wales is the ‘alternative spiritualities’ bit – the Bangor area, along with mid-Wales, since the late 60s/early 70s, has been a magnet for people seeking alternative lifestyles. The region is full of ‘old hippies’ and there were many communities of people with interests in things like alternative medicine, Buddhism and meditation. I know some of these people and a lot of them know about and have been very impressed with the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University. Most of these people are originally from middle-class backgrounds and are usually quite well-educated but few of them are academics or have received an education in science. Mark Williams’s attraction to a Chair at Bangor University remains a puzzle. But Brown – as he so often does – pointed out something very salient. On arriving at Bangor University, Williams would have found that the most senior posts in the region were log-jammed by people like Dafydd Alun Jones and if Williams had really had his ear to the ground he may even have heard that a paedophile ring was operating across north Wales in Gwynedd and Clwyd Social Services. Opportunities for advancement would have been very limited and he would have realised that Dafydd Alun Jones et al had such a grip on the region that they were not going to go anywhere and were very difficult to negotiate around. Patient care was appalling and was obviously going to remain so all the time that Dafydd et al were in place, so there weren’t going to be any improvements there.  But Dafydd et al knew nothing about research and weren’t interested anyway – and I bet there was no research governance in place. So mental health practitioners claiming an interest in research would be able to do pretty much what they wanted, publish it as well and there would be nobody to question what they were doing or ask for the evidence. What an opportunity! I only know one person who has ever questioned Mark Williams about his research. That was a former Hergest Unit patient who, along with so many of us, was having terrible problems with both the Hergest Unit and the Arfon Mental Health Team. He was at one point referred to Mark Williams because of his serious self-harming. He has always described his encounters with Williams in very negative terms and maintained that Williams’s techniques ‘didn’t work’. These were not mindfulness techniques, but techniques to supposedly deal with self-harm. Sometime after he decided to stop seeing Williams, this man told me that Williams published his book ‘Cry of Pain’, an investigation into self-harming and suicide. After reading this book, this man became convinced that Mark Williams had used him as research for this book without his consent. I have no idea why this man believed this, but about four years ago this man called in all his medical records via lawyers, and like me, found the most extraordinary things had been documented by staff at the Hergest Unit and the Arfon Team. He then wrote to Mark Williams and cc’d his letter to the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, asking Williams if he had ever been part of a research project and would Williams be willing to give him access to the original research data. Williams wrote a very polite letter back, assuring this man that he had not been part of any research project, but saying that he could not give him access to the data because he no longer had it. Which is interesting because even I still have most of my research data and I haven’t held successive Chairs, established research institutes and built an international reputation on my data. In my experience, people keen on writing do tend to keep their data, because you never know when it might come in useful for another publication or follow-up project. Shortly after my friend received Williams’s letter, a notice appeared on Williams’s Oxford University profile announcing that he had retired and would not be accepting anymore PhD students.

Whilst searching for Mark Williams’s early work on mindfulness in the library the other day, I came across a book written by David Healy in 1993, ‘Images of Trauma’. David Healy published some work with Mark Williams years ago and Williams has also published with Helen Healy, Healy’s wife. ‘Images of Trauma’ contains an eccentric but fascinating piece under ‘Acknowledgments’. Healy describes this book as a ‘joyride’ and ‘as with any joyride there is a certain disregard of convention’. He reminds readers that a reviewer of his last book ‘complained about the cavalier approach to references and facts’. Healy quips that ‘as regards the references, the approach here may be less than a law-abiding Sunday driver might like’. He was ‘happy enough with the reviewer’s qualms about my brushing up against the red reference cones on the edge of the motorway’ and had ‘announced beforehand that some disregard for established facts seemed inevitable’. Healy compares the plot of this book to progress along a multi-laned motorway and that ‘switching from lane to lane inevitably make drivers who stick to one lane nervous’ but he states that ‘it is difficult to know what to make of appeals to stay in lane’. David Healy then goes on to state that ‘as in most cases of joyriding I have had passengers in the back. Some have been hijacked; these include Ian Rickard…’ (Ian Rickard was formerly a senior nurse at the Hergest Unit, one of the many who failed to investigate my complaint about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones trying to bribe me into dropping an earlier complaint about him. Brown heard the telephone conversation in which Jones tried to do this and wrote to Ian Rickard. When I received no reply, Ian Rickard told me that he ‘hadn’t received’ Brown’s letter. A few days ago when I received some newly released documents regarding my medical files, there was a copy of Brown’s letter to Ian Rickard. Ian Rickard more recently has joined the disgraced Keith Fearns on the committee of the North West Wales Branch of the BABCP, the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies.) David Healy continues ‘Others have been there before and have come along again for the ride, perhaps partly out of a fascination at the possibility of disaster…they have individually or collectively screamed from the back seat….Another group of back-seat passengers have been the patients…The book is in many ways an apology for my/our abiding inability to get them much further towards where they want to go than they could get under their own steam.’

Many years ago David Healy was prosecuted and fined for dangerous driving in Menai Bridge.

So whilst Mark Williams established himself as a guru and David Healy carried on revelling in joy-riding despite listening to the screams of other people, I nearly went to prison for something that everyone knew that I didn’t do. And a great many people died.